Sunday 26 November 2017

Artefacts of Kyron Campaign Battle #3

The third battle in the ongoing KoW campaign saw the Kin and Men fighting to take control of three artifacts left by the god Kyron. The artifacts need to be carried by a unit and bestow benefits to the units carrying them.

Sword of Striking – unit gains Elite rule for melee
Armour of Recuperation – unit gains regen 6+ , this does not stack if unit already has regen
Banner of Kyron – unit gains inspiring

The size of armies was increased to 2250 points as more troops joined the campaign and I took the chance to make a few changes to my force. I felt I needed a little more long range punch and also a bit more close range face punching. I drafted in some Lycans who I wanted to use as I really liked the models and also a Horde of Crossbows with extra range.

The opposing Kingdom of Men decided to stick with their previous basic composition but added extra cavalry leading to an army which had plenty of reach in the charge phase.

The KoM General searching for even more troops !

The artifact tokens ended up being evenly spread across the table with each side putting a big push on their right hand flank and not contesting the left. Due to the Men's units being cheaper they had a greater holder force on the Kin's right.

The Kin army

The massed KoM cavalry

KoM centre

The battle itself proved to be a bloody affair, at least for the Kin as the Men unleashed some devastating ranged attacks and pushed forward with their mounted troops.

The Kin also pushed forward and due to the speed of the Lycans turn one saw a fight break out for the middle token. The Kin's long range fire also wavered the mighty Oliphant with the Kin fast troops ready to charge in on turn 2. On the Kin's left flank things looked more critical as the mass of KoM cavalry moved quickly forward.

As the centre was the scene of a fierce fight we ruled that both sides would be busy trying to kill each other rather than trying to wrestle the artifact free. On the KoM right they took control of the Sword and the Kin moved forward on their right to take control of the Amour.
At this point things went badly wrong for the Kin, in rapid succession they lost the Reaper Guard Regiment, Blade Dancer and Gargoyle troops and Shadows Regiment all without loss to the KoM forces. The KoM also shut down the Horde of Crossbows with their Air Elemental and the Lycans followed soon after. This allowed the KoM to seize the Standard of Kyron as well.

As the Lycans were about to be overwhelmed the Kin right started to make progress and managed to wipe out the Oliphants and the Regiment of Sergeants facing them and then threaten the infantry towards the centre.

Some more accurate ranged fire managed to wipe out another Regiment of Reaper Guard and only the onset of night ( well lunch in fact ) allowed the Kin to slip away with one artifact. Many Kin had perished in the battle and despite it only lasting 4 turns a lot of ground had been covered especially by the KoM cavalry.
The KoM made it three wins in a row so far in the campaign and as such get to choose the field of battle for the next game. This will see the opposing armies foraging for supplies either in the woods or plundering the local farmlands.

I also managed to get a game of SAGA in during the last week with Mick using the Attack at Dawn scenario. This uses tokens to represent the difficulty of identifying the enemy forces on a misty morning and the idea is to decide on the best time to reveal them. Hidden forces cannot fight or shoot ( or be shot at ) but if you stray to close to the enemy ( or they to you ) then your forces are automatically revealed.
The game itself was really interesting to play but did not make for great photos.

We also kept the force composition secret ( in a change to the rules in the book ) and the Normans fielded no Knights but lots of mounted Warriors and shooting levies in a change to their previous lists. The Byzantines went with less shooting and got badly handled by the Norman archers, so more thinking required by me for the next game.

Sunday 12 November 2017

Mythic Battles: Pantheon

Yesterday I received my Mythic Battles: Pantheon God level pledge, the first ever Kickstarter project that I have backed. I was expecting a reasonably large box but in fact received two reasonably large boxes inside an even larger one.
The boxes came crammed full of models and cards and all sorts of other bits and bobs and so today I set to sorting it all out. The models themselves are plastic and came pre-assembled so you could pretty much play the game straight out of the box. Two of them had come away from the bases in transit but as they had been made in China and then shipped to Bristol via France that's pretty good. A quick dab of superglue later and they joined the happy throng.

I had pledged pretty much on the strength of wanting the models and at around £100 for over 100 models that feels like good value. The models are well cast with lots of good detail on them with only a little cleaning up going to be needed before they are ready to paint.

They can be split into a few groups : Gods & Titans, Monsters, Heroes and then Troops.

The largest model is the Titan who is an impressive 100mm tall and then the Gods are just below that with the Troops and most Heroes being about 40-50mm tall.

As such they are rather larger than the Mycenaeans that I already have but it is safe to assume that Gods & Heroes are better fed than the average foot soldier so should be a bit taller.

All of the Heroes, Gods, & Monsters are unique casts with only the Troops being single pose multi-figure groups.

The plastic used is of a good quality and seems tough, if fact Athena has already managed to draw blood when she jammed her spear into my finger, she is probably one to watch!

I hadn't really noticed before that the Greeks seem to have had a thing about snakes and lizards but the set contains a good variety of them.

Here you can see a size comparison with Achillles, Bellerophon, Athena, Hydra, & the Titan. With such a variety of scale and figure type the painting should be fun.

For the actual game part each unit comes with a stat card and those stats change as the unit takes damage, this is done with a slider to help keep track of the current stats, a rather neat trick. I did have a panic as the cards have the French version on one side and English on the other. On initial inspection I thought I had been sent a French set.

The game also came with two reversible maps, movement is done by areas rather than measuring, these came with a scenario book which no doubt with offer different modes of play.

I have not yet had a proper look at the actual game side but the games starts with players building an army from the pool of available units based on the cost of those units and then the aim is to either kill the opposing God or power up your God twice with mystical crystals. After a proper read I suspect all will become clear.

Units in the game are activated using cards drawn from a desk, the cards in the deck are decided by the units in your army. Some units will generate more cards than others and each unit has a special ability or two that it can use.

Overall I am very happy with what arrived and having taken a chance a year ago on the Kickstarter it is really good to get the final product in my hands.
I am now planning how to make the most of the models, with SAGA 2 inbound which will feature a ancient Greeks source book and the promise of including magical monsters and also Kings Of War being so flexible it may be I can use the models for three games.
I have also put some money into the latest Mantic Kickstarter called Kings of War: Vanguard again mainly based on the models, the Nightstalkers look very nice and rumour has it they will be allies for the Twilight Kin when we get a proper army list. Hopefully that KS will end up being as good as the Pantheon one.

Saturday 11 November 2017

When Two Fords go to War

After a break of a couple of weeks Mick and I managed to pitch our forces into battle once more. The scenario this time was a 6 turn battle in which the aim was to get as many of your troops into the opponent's half of the board as possible whilst stopping them doing the same. This effort was hampered by the river across the middle of the table with only two crossing points.

This was the first game in which we used the terrain placement rules from Cross & Crescent and as I hoped to cut down the long range firing from the Normans I opted to put down a wood in Micks half and a LOS blocking hill near the ford I was going to try and cross. Once the terrain has been laid out ( players choose upto 3 pieces and then take it in turns to set down ) you get to choose one piece of terrain and if you roll high enough can move or even remove it. In this instance the terrain stayed put.
The Normans setup on a wide frontage and the Byzantines concentrated on the right side of the table aiming to use the terrain to reduce the Norman shooting. 

The first couple of turns saw the Byzantines push towards the right ford and the Normans efforts to move forward somewhat hampered by the woods. On the Byzantine left the Norman archers had a good field of view so the Byzantines hung back out of range.

The Normans then launched a surprise ( well to the Byzantines anyway ) charge across the right ford using an ability that lets them move through friendly units ( not normally allowed ) and giving them extra movement range. This almost wiped out a unit of Spear warriors and left the Byzantine Warlord in a dangerous position. 

Fortunately the spearmen and nearby bow unit weakened the cavalry enough for the Warlord and second unit of spears to wipe them out.
The Byzantines then pushed into the ford in the face of heavy Norman crossbow fire.

Over on the left flank the Byzantine cavalry had moved over to support the attack on the right ford and the Normans had moved forward a little but still not enough to get into shooting range.

This brought the game to the final turn and the Byzantines pushed as many troops across the ford as they could and even managed to get a cavalry charge into the crossbow men who had been happily shooting the infantry down. This lead to only one crossbowman surviving.

On the left the lone Byzantine archer unit had pushed up to the ford to try and stop any Normans crossing.

The Normans had the final move and facing a heavy defeat tried to reduce the Byzantines scoring by charging the cavalry near the right ford and also making a dash across the left ford with there Warlord and remaining cavalry unit.
On the right the Norman infantry did a few casualties but not enough to seriously reduce the Byzantine force across the river.

On the left the Byzantine archers put up a brave fight and managed to kill half the attacking Norman cavalry. This left the Normans with 6 Victory Points to the Byzantines 11 points, so the Byzantines returned back to winning ways, hooray !

This was an interesting scenario and I had initially thought it would turn into a slugging match in the ford but whilst the ford did serve to channel the fight we still had some maneuvering to do as well.