Sunday 24 June 2018

Raiding Season Week #5

This week the Normans raided east with the Rus guessing the correct square we set up for the Harry & Burn scenario. This scenario involves the attacker trying to burn some fields and buildings whilst the defender tries to hold them off.

The battle started with the Normans pushing forwards across the board. The Norman mercenary Gall-Gaedhill launched a charge which was repulsed in the first turn.

The Rus then pushed forwards and added some shooting casualties to the Gall-Gaedhill which left them almost wiped out.

The Normans then managed to set fire to their first building and got into position to set fire to a field as well.

The Normans then made use of their Envelopment ability to move during the Rus turn and managed to get lots of shots off but left themselves in a position to be charged. On the right the Rus Warriors managed to wipe out a Hearthguard unit but this left them on 4 men.

 On the Rus left the Normans wiped almost wiped out another Rus Warrior and where poised to sweep around the Rus rear.

The Rus then shored up the right flank with a charge into the Norman Warrior infantry and tried to move troops across to the left to meet the threat. The Norman Warlord launched a charge on the right which killed several of the Rus Warriors.

During the next move the Norman Warlord moved into a central position to threaten the secondary objective and this left him within striking distance of the Rus mercenary scouts and th Rus Warlord.

The scouts managed two rounds of fire against the Norman Warlord and he was struck down with the final javelin which spared the Rus Warlord the task of charging in to kill him off.
This meant a victory to the Rus who also held the secondary objective and due to the loss of the Warlord they also scored more slaughter points, so a good nights work for the Rus who won inside 5 rounds.

So after six rounds the Normans are leading 7 - 4 with only a maximum of three more battles to extend the lead.

This week I have also made some progress on my Mythic Battles set with the mighty Hydra being completed. I kept the process very simple with the model really only being dry brushed with various shades of green and then some details picked out.

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 !