Sunday, 17 June 2018

Raiding Season Week #4

This week's campaign battle was Captured from the Cross & Crescent book. It involves one side trying to rescue it's Warlord who has been captured by the other. The game starts with the rescuer having no Warlord so they lose the extra SAGA dice generated and the We Obey free activation until they free the Warlord.
For the campaign the raiders took the part of the capturers so my Warlord was in the clutches of the Normans who needed to escort him off the opposite table edge to secure the win or wipe out my Pagan Rus. I stuck with my normal warband and the Normans fielded 3 points of mounted Warriors, 2 points of dismounted Hearthguard and the Gall-Gaedhill.

The Normans had to setup close to the road with my Rus more spread out than normal in order to cover as much of the table edge as possible. Both side took advantage of the free maneuver moves in the opening turns.

The Normans then push up the Warriors cavalry and unleashed some shooting which had no effect.

The Rus then managed to get a charge off on the right flank and killed several Norman Warriors.

This gave them an early advantage on the flank down which the prisoner was to be escorted.

On the other flank the Normans pushed forwards and took some accurate fire from the Rus scouts who managed 4 shooting casualties in two rounds of fire. In the centre the Norman Warriors combined shooting with a charge to seriously reduce the largest Rus Warrior unit for the loss of only one man.

On the right the Normans pushed for the flank and made a decent amount of lateral movement but not much forwards progress.

Back on the left the Gall-Gaedhill once again got wiped out and caused more casualties with their reflect the hits rule than with their own hits.

 The steady advance continued on the right but with only eight turns to exit the board the Normans were starting to run out of time.

The Rus then pushed up on the left to claim the secondary objective which for the fourth battle in a row was in the same place. The scouts also push forwards and tried to cause enough shooting casualties to take the Norman horse below the SAGA generation point ( 3 models or less ) but failed to kill anyone.

The Norman Hearthguard then got stuck in on the right and wiped out the Rus warrior unit on that flank so the units from the centre started to move over.

At this point the Normans realised they did not have enough time to exit the board as the Rus have an ability which can stop double activations so they would only be able to move the escort party once per turn.
They then concentrated efforts on capturing the secondary objective and in a bold charge almost wiped out the Rus holding it.

So on the right the battle ended with the Rus still in a position to intercept the Warlord.

And on the left the Normans chasing the Rus into a wood. The Slaughter points ended up 14 each which reflected how close the game was, once again the Norman dice let them down at crucial stages so it could have been a different game but I think they still would have struggled to get off.

So this leaves the campaign at 3 PP for the Rus and 7 PP for the Normans after 5 turns with 4 turns left to play for this season.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Mythic Battles Progress

Having decided to build up a Basilean Army to use in Kings of War as well as getting the models ready to use in Mythic Battles I have been cracking on with some of the Greek heroes.

The game comes with a good selection of hero types and each has a unique set of abilities to be used in the game. Mythic Battles uses a drafting process from all the available models so lots of combinations are possible given the large number of Gods, Monsters, Heroes and Troops available.

Some of these will be added to the unit multi-bases for the Basilean army and others will only be used for Mythic Battles, but as I am using a magnet system on the multi-base these models can be easily swapped around.
I need to paint up a few of the Gods and then I can actually try out the rules and see how the game plays out in practice.

Sunday, 10 June 2018

SAGA - The Irish

This week Stuart popped over for a game of SAGA and to give his Irish a run out. This would be his second SAGA game and the first time either of us had used the Irish. As he has already rushed to press with a report I thought I would have a quick look at the Irish board and offer a few thoughts. This also allows me to spot the things that we played incorrectly.
An initial bit of advice would be that when playing a board new to both players it is probably wise that they both have a copy as often two sets of eyes and minds are better than one.

The Irish Board. Support SAGA and buy it!

The v1 Irish board as considered to be very strong and the popular 'Internet' opinion is the the v2 board is still rather good. The unique selling point for the Irish is the ability to purchase 2 Curaidh Heroes for 1 point who can benefit from some of the abilities on the board.

The Irish HG & Levy with a Hero
The main ability the Curaidh tie into that saw use is The Old Way that allows you to activate as many units as you have Heroes with a single dice as long as that unit has a melee armour of 3 or less. This means you can activate your Warriors or Levy, so a Levy heavy army is a real possibility with the Irish.
They also can make use of Blood Of Kings and Irish Hearts both of which bolster the Resilience of the Hero allowing them to charge in and create havoc. As Blood of Kings also lasts through the opponents turn it can also protect against a counter attack.

Irish Warriors & Hero
An Irish player will want as much uneven terrain out as possible due to the defensive bonus that Spirits of the Land gives and also the threat that Sons of Dana provides. The wording for Sons of Dana is interesting in that it only applies to units that moved with Short of the terrain so charging into range does not allow the ability to be activated, also standing still or resting does not allow it to be activated. This is an important limitation on the ability especially in games like Holy Ground that require you to occupy an area that is often uneven ground. It should also be noted that no other abilities can be used with Sons of Dana so it will always be 4 attack dice.

The Two Sides Clash
One thing the Irish can bring in large amounts is shooting and setting up Sidhe on a unit which can then be subject to concentrated fire gives the potential for large amounts of casualties. Making use of the firepower of the Warlord who generates 4 attack dice on his own along with the Fir Bolg ability to turn 5's & 6's into two hits ( on a target with Sidhe ) means units can easily generate 7 attack dice with the potential to cause upto 14 hits, ouch !

Warlord Stuart in Action

As far as melee is concerned the Irish options are pretty slim with all the abilities being concentrated on defence rather than offense. Moment of Truth is a powerful defensive ability against armies that require several Melee abilities to be used to reach full potential. Thinking of the Pagan Rus who need to chain 3 abilities together to get the most out of a melee this would severely limit the combat effectiveness of a Pagan Rus charge. The downside is the cost of 1 rare on a board that has several good abilities that need one as well.

The Pagan Rus Pork Chop Hill
One thing the board lacks is a reaction ability that lets you keep your enemies at distance which can be found on others boards like the Normans or Welsh. This means that in theory the Irish are more likely to be on the receiving end of a charge or shooting attack than some other shooting heavy armies.
I could see the Irish having more of a struggle against mounted armies which are happy to charge in unless they get a good terrain deployment to channel the enemy into areas where fire can be concentrated. Sons of Dana would add an extra terror for mounted troops trying to get around and past uneven terrain and Heirs of Mil would mean the opponent would have to end a move within Short of a unit in uneven terrain they wanted to charge or shoot and thus open up a Sons of Dana shot.

Irish HG Advance

During our game the Irish won out though a few factors did go in their favour especially when I managed to roll no common dice for two turns which meant I could only activate one unit of Warriors via We Obey in an army fielding 5 points of Warriors. We also played The Old Way incorrectly making it even better than it already is.

The Irish Press Onwards
The key to playing the Irish would seem to be taking the Heroes out of the game early on ( As Ragnar suggests ) to limit the use of The Old Way which then forces the Irish to spend dice on moving which of course leaves them less dice to spend on other abilities. The other thing to keep in mind is trying to limit the influence that areas of uneven terrain have on the game, in this instance hills are your friends and using them to create areas clear of uneven terrain helps out.

Rus Warlord Absorbs Concentrated Fire
Overall it was a good game and it is always nice to mix up the armies & generals you face and it was good to see all painted armies on the table.
Now to put my thinking cap on for the next time !

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Ghost Chariots

This week I semi-completed another of the larger units I'm creating for my Herd army. I say semi-completed as I don't yet have the models for the crew. I plan to use models from two Kickstarters for the crew, one from Mierce Miniatures which is funded and waiting for the models to be produced and one from RGD Gaming which is yet to be re-launched but is on course to launch this summer.
The Tribal Chariot Horde adds some ranged capability to the Herd army and also packs a punch in melee combat. In common with all chariot units it has a massive footprint so is vulnerable to flank charges but with a 18" charge range it projects a threat over a large area. It would probably benefit from using the Caterpillar magic item to give Pathfinder but perhaps the Wine of Elvenkind to add nimble would also be a valid choice.

The models consist of one pack of Mantic Ogre Chariots and a Mantic Goblin Mincer which I picked up as part of a job lot of Orcs. As the Mincer does not come with boars or the harness parts I modeled it as a crashed chariot and added a few broken up sprue parts for the harness parts. The obstacle is another of the mushrooms from Scotia Grendel which have featured on a fair few of the unit bases so far.

One of the Ogre crew was sacrificed to make up the Eagle Horde so I have a few spare for other projects. Once the crew arrive the plan is to glue them direct into the chariots and have the crew from the wrecked chariot on foot.

I've also made a little progress with my Homeric themed Basilea army and based up a few units. I had enough models for the Horde of Spearmen and two Regiments of Swordsmen needed for the first formation and an extra unit of counts as Crossbows and a Regiment of Paladin Foot Guard.

The Gods will be rebased onto 40mm squares and I have enough for two hordes of Elohi and a Ur-Elohi. Just need to get them all painted up and the bases sorted out properly !

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Raiding Season Week #3

Turn #4 of the Raiding Season saw the Normans & Pagan Rus clash in the North 2 square as I guessed the location of the raid correctly. This meant the game was the Capture the Relic scenario.
The Normas fielded the usual three points of mounted javelin armed Hearthguard in two units of 6, two points of mounted javelin armed Warriors in two units of 8 and the rotated back in the mercenary Gall-Gaedhill. The Pagan Rus stayed with the same force they had fielded for the first two battles.

Rus all ready to Rumble
The defining feature of the scenario is the Holic Relic being carried across the table by an NPC force which needs to be captured. The Normans won the roll off and moved first and made a rapid advance across the table. The Normans had opted to spread out across most of the table with the Rus adopting the usual closer packed deployment with the mercenary Scouts holding the wooded flank.

The Rus also pushed up across the board but it looked likely that the Normans being quicker would be able to take the first go at capturing the Relic.

This proved to be the case as the Gall-Gaedhill killed the guards and took control of the Relic and a unit of Norman Warriors pushed forwards to cover them.

Meanwhile on the flanks the Normans pushed forwards but took some shooting casualties from the  Rus Scouts.

The Normans have an ability which allows them to move all mounted units in the opponent's turn which allows them to retreat if they feel themselves to be in danger or to advance even further than the Rus foot sloggers. So as the Rus moved up to charge the Gall-Gaedhill the Norman cavalry pulled back to avoid combat but the Norman Warlord moved up to take charge of the Relic.
The Rus charge wiped out the Gall-Gaedhill but failed to gain the relic as it had already been handed over.

More shooting loses for the Norman Warriors
The Norman Warlord then launched an unexpected charge into the nearest Rus Warriors and killed enough to force the unit out of effective action. The Rus responded with a charge on the Norman Warrior unit that had covered the charge and killed five men for one in return. This left the Normans short on SAGA dice generation but in possession of the Relic.

Even more shooting loses for the Norman Warriors
At this point the Normans charged a Hearthguard unit into the only Rus unit that could have hoped to catch the Norman Warlord and despite taking several casualties in return they did enough that the Rus had no chance of catching up and securing the Relic before it was taken from the board.

Norman Warlord makes good his Escape
In the end the Normans won the scenario with a move to spare though they did suffer heavy casualties in doing so. The constricted nature of the fight did little to favour the more mobile combat that the Normans prefer.
The Norman victory means they took three Prestige Points this turn to the Rus's zero allowing them to open up a healthy lead.

It also marks the halfway point for the first Season with the Normans getting four more choices before they decide if they want to stay for the Man the Barricades scenario.