My goal, beyond having fun, was twofold: test some new rules and test the rules in a smaller, scenario driven, game. Spoiler alert: Full marks on both points.
|The convoy escort has beaten off the first attacks and advanced but a new assault is gathering.|
The scenario was a mix of the general idea of an old teaser ambush with some terrain laid down as much according to instinct and the pieces on hand as to any vague plan of a narrow valley between hills and river. I then chose 12 units per side plus a victory objective from which arose a back story.
In the Midlands, rumours of dark dealings and a new threat from the West are circulating. The King has "requested", Sir Daniel, Purveyor of Truths to leave his lair and venture forth in person to get to the bottom of things and return with proof. After adventures not recorded he and a force are returning with a captured Lion Priestess in hand. They have only to pass through the Shadow Vale and across the Stone Bridge to reach the safety of the Midlands.
|The rearguard cavalry is moving up to counter attack.Casualty figures and looters mark lost units.|
The convoy enters the table as follows:
Scouts: 1 x light armoured cavalry crossbows
Tunstall Lancers 1 x Armoured shock cavalry
Tunstall Archers: 1 x Light armoured. archers
Pikes: 2 x armoured pikemen.
Guardians of Truth: 1 x Heavily Armoured Shock Infantry
Sir Daniel and escort: Character General
Captive in cart with light armoured escort.
Border Archers: 1 x Light Armoured Archers
Pikes: 2 x armoured pikemen.
Longbottom Lancers: 1 x armoured shock cavalry
Rearguard: Border Horse 1x light armoured shock cavalry
The Westfolk forces are all hidden in ambush. Rather than use my usual cards and blinds option or the hidden map deployment I would use in a 2 player game, I tried something new. Each turn I rolled 2 dice. A 6 meant a cavalry unit, 4,or 5 an infantry unit. These are drawn from a list of available units, if none of the appropriate type are available none appear. For each unit I rolled 2 dice. If Red was higher the Lion Queen could place the unit anywhere on table not visible to the enemy and not yet searched by them. If Blue was higher the unit had to be placed in one of the not yet cleared ambush locations closest to the enemy and must shoot or attack if possible or advance full speed on the turn of placement if not. The system worked well to provide a reasonable ambush that was a surprise to both sides but especially to the ambushed as there was no eyeing of cards as possible danger spots, every hill and wood was a danger.
The list was:
Lion Queen. Character and General with Special unit. Attributes not defined yet so treated as shock cavalry able to move through woods with magical protection equal to armour.
The Assasasin. character not yet defined so treated as light infantry but with attack of 5 and magical protection equal to armour. (didn't get into action)
3 x Light Cavalry, lightly armoured (shield)
3 x light infantry archers, unarmoured but counting as light due to camoflage
4 x light infantry, lightly armoured.
|The scene from a different angle.|
(oops I thought this was a later picture but its here now)
|The game hangs in the balance. Both armies are only a few units away from losing morale and have multiple wounded units.|
As mentioned above I was very pleased with how the rules worked with the armour save. With as few as 12 units per side, and a scenario, an engaging battle was fought lasting longer than the earlier, larger, straight encounters, possibly 2 hours and somewhere between 20 and 30 turns. A large battle should still go fast but with a bit more depth than before.
I hadn't been happy with my trial horse archer rule or the shoot only before move and lack of difference in archers types so I tried introducing light and massed archers on horse and foot and let light ones move and shoot but with 2 dice while the massed one could do either. The move and shoot with 1/2 dice worked fine, the other not so much and anyway, looking at the figures I realized that unless my old Minifig Picts were some sort of stealth snipers, they were really just an unarmoured version of the lightly armoured English archer figures they were fighting. For massed archers I had really been thinking Persian Sparabara and the like. In the end I decided to just let any archer move and shoot with 1/2 dice and I'll worry about special units later. One I'm puzzling over is my 2 stands of "lances" which contain a mix of lancers and mounted crossbowmen. Possibly a special unit stat with 2 dice of shock and 2 of archers. But that's a question for later.
In case anyone is wondering about the increased flank value instead of a hedgehog, the pikes are more like Swiss with a mix of pikes and halberds and ready to form square at the drop of a hat without orders from above.
|The bridge is in sight. The rearguard cavalry is swiftly advancing on the rear of the enemy cavalry but then archers pop up in the scrub along the river and the Tunstall Lances go down and with them the army's morale.|
More work on characters and magic is next I think. Not to mention more rebasing, painting and playing.
|The deal is struck. Safe release of the prisoner for freedom to go.|