Sunday 30 May 2021

SAGA: River Crossing

This week I decided to give the Greek board a try to see how it played as compared to the Carthaginians. The Greeks have three different themes to play with and I went with a Syracusans who field a classic infantry heavy Hoplite force. To get the most out of the army you need to to use the Phalanx abilities, which require your units to be in open terrain.

The Greeks consisted of:
1 * Warlord on Horse
2 * points of Hearthguard on foot in 1 unit of 8
3 * points of Warriors on foot in 3 units of 8
1 * point of Levy with bow in  unit of 12

Mr T played the Romans again and fielded the same force as last time:
1 * Warlord on Horse
2 * points of Hearthguard on foot in 2 units of 4
3 * points of Warriors on foot in 3 units of 8
1 * point of Cretan archers in 1 unit of 8

We rolled for scenario and got the River Crossing scenario, which gives bonus points for units that have managed to cross the river by the end of the game. This was not the best scenario for the Greeks as their abilities really rely on being on open ground so having the board centre being rough or dangerous terrain wasn't good for them to be able to push forwards.

The Romans realised this and opted to use the river as a safe area to stage for an assault on the Greek lines and pushed up on one flank whilst shooting from the other with the Cretans. The Cretans proved that with time to shoot they are pretty deadly and they managed decent chip damage throughout the game.

Once the Romans had cleared the river I was able to launch an attack with the Greeks on hand which pushed the two Warrior units back with some casualties but it wasn't a knockout blow

The Roman counter-attack was pretty devastating and took off most of one unit of Greek Warriors so the Greek Hearthguard went on the attack again and managed to wipe out one unit of Roman Warriors and damage another but at the cost of being wiped out. The Greeks have an ability which allows them to make a charge with a unit that is the defender in a melee once the melee is over, essentially taking a charge and then counter-attacking in the oppositions turn.

The Romans had blocked my attempt to advance over the bridge and also push some infantry across on the right flank.

In an attempt to even the odds up my General launched himself into some Roman Warriors and managed to wipe them out, it's easy to forget how powerful the Warlord is in melee.

On the other flank I chipped away at the other Roman unit but as the battle drew to a close it was the Romans who ran out the victors by a few points.

It was an interesting game and the Greeks have an interesting board which I will look at another week which encourages clumping up and moving forwards, but it needs open terrain to really shine.

Saturday 22 May 2021

SAGA: Archer Wars

We continued are re-familiarisation with SAGA this week with another quick game of Romans vs Carthaginians. This week in an attempt to combat the ranged superiority of the Carthaginians the Romans recruited the Cretan archer mercenary unit. 

This unit comprises of 8 Warriors who generate 1/2 shooting/melee dice per figure and have a few nasty rules. They can be activated to shoot for free once per turn as long as that is the first activation they undertake and also on their first shot of the turn they gain 2 extra attack dice and a +1 to hit. Either of the last two rules would be good on their own but together is really powerful, you'd probably want these chaps in any army that lacks good shooting abilities on it's board.

Having realised how nasty the Cretan's are I was fortunate to have my mounted Warrior unit opposite them so moved up and charged in the second turn, taking 4 off and pretty much eliminating them as force from the game.

The rest of the game saw the Romans come on in the normal fashion with the Carthaginians looking to weather the initial storm and then counter-attack to cause damage. Mr T's rolling was down to his normal standard and his troops fluffed a couple of big combats so I was able to wear him down reasonably quickly.

The game ended when the Roman commander was exhausted by my Levy archers and then finished off by my commander who bravely rode in to complete the kill.

Sunday 9 May 2021

SAGA: The One with the Elephants


For this week's SAGA game I decided to try out some elephants which are a new unit for Age of Hannibal. I used the same force as last time but replaced the 2 points of Hearthguard with 2 points of elephants in one unit. The elephants count as citizens so they can be the one unit of citizens you need in the army. Mick went with the same force as last time.

2 points of Hearth Guard in two units of 4
3 points of Warriors in three units of 8
1 point of Levies with Javelins in one unit of 12
1 Warlord on Horse

2 points of Elephants in one unit of 2
2 points of Contingent Warriors on foot in two units of 8
1 point of mounted Contingent Warriors with javelins in one unit of 8
1 point of Levy bowmen in one unit of 12
1 Warlord on Horse

Elephants come with several special rules to simulate their role on the battlefield. The Carthaginian battle board doesn't have a special elephant related abilities on it but they can make good use of some of the abilities. Eagle Eye could be used to boost their shooting attack, but that is better used on the levy bowmen if they are still generating 6 shoot dice. Blood Price is another ability that stands out as it allows you to transfer up to 2 wounds onto a neighbouring unit instead of taking them on the target unit. This coupled with the Resilience (2) is the only way to keep those elephants in the game, as they only have 1 wound each if the enemy can get through your defences then the unit can be wiped out very quickly.

Whilst the elephants don't generate a lot of base attack dice, 5 versus the 8 of one point of Hearthguard or Warriors, they do score automatic hits which in most cases should make up for that.
The scenario we rolled up allowed us to nominate one opposing unit to count as double kill points so Mick went for the elephants making them worth 8 kill points each, this meant we would be certain to see them in action.

The game itself followed the same pattern as the last one with the Carthaginians sitting back and the levy archers shooting up the Velites whilst the Roman foot advanced to get to grips with the enemy

The got into position and launched one battle board loaded attack against the elephants when I had my defensive abilities ready almost did the job, despite rolling a fair few attack dice the resilience (2) and Blood Price meant I was left on 3 fatigue and transferred two deaths onto the Spanish infantry. I did leave both our battle boards empty so if Mick had been able to activate for another charge that turn he would most likely have taken at least one if not both off.

Unfortunately he couldn't and I had the chance to load my defences back up again and when the next weaker charge came in I was again able to survive with both elephants and inflict some more casualties back.

As one last final throw of the dice the Roman commander charged in but taking 4 automatic hits along with the other hits I rolled left him as a thin pile of pulp on the battlefield.

So the elephants worked in the sense that they lived but it takes a fair amount of battle board investment to keep them safe and even though they didn't die it was on the knife-edge a couple of times, I think you'd always be worried about the loss of the investment you've put in, 2 points of foot Hearth Guard are a safer investment in my eyes.

Saturday 1 May 2021

Kingdoms of Men: Final Models

 With the arrival of League of Infamy and the extra Drakon riders I'd ordered I've been able to finally complete my Kingdoms of Men / Ostrogoth army. 

The three Drakons have been converted with the same Gripping Beast Goth models I've used in the rest of the army as riders and then painted up with Army Painter metallic's. I went with red, white, & blue for the Drakons to help tell them apart on the battlefield and I still have one more to paint up to use in the League of Infamy game.

The General on Winged Beast they are representing are good low cost flying units which are reasonably tanky but should mostly be looking for a flank charge. Being only 190 points each you can easily find space for them in any list.

As this is the end of this project I thought I'd get the models out on the table and photo them all together. It's always nice to get a group shot of a completed army, this one had initially started as an all mounted force but has grown to include a fair amount of infantry as well.

As well as the Generals on Winged Beast I've also added an extra Troop of Mounted Scouts to bring my up to 3 full Regiments and an extra mounted Wizard, this used up all the Goth / Dark Age cavalry models I had.