Monday, 2 January 2012

An hour of stolen sheep and shattered goats (and a Happy New Year!)

By way of a selfless act on behalf of Mrs Dux Homunculorum, Alan (the Dux) was able to travel south last week for an afternoon of gaming. We started with a game of Irregular Wars, playtesting one of the scenarios that will (in the not too distant, but not too close, future) make it into the second edition of the rules. 

We tried out the 'Reive and retrieve' game, finally putting my sheep to pasture (and on the table). The Dux (the attacker) brought out his Lowland Scots, while my Royal English were the defenders. A flock of 1d6 livestock (I rolled a four) were deployed between the lines. We had ten turns in which I had to try to keep my sheep out of his thieving hands. The sheep, however, were moving impetuously and not really subject to orders unless being herded by a dedicated company of the Queen's men.

The battles muster: Scots to the left, English to the right.
View from the English left, many of the Scots were skulking beyond the woods.
The Scots laird (read: 'Robber Baron') bursts forth.
The first herd is seized before the eyes of the English militia (and its only turn 2!)
The militia open fire on the thieving (literally this time) Scots.
On the English right, their own border horse corner their northern counterparts.
Seeing mutton as the better part of valour, the Scots laird and his comrades make
their way off the table with two of the herds, abandoning the rest of their men to 
face English steel.
English demi-lancers break through the Scottish lines to pursue the fleeing Scots
thieves. Unfortunately for them, they are just too slow and the Scots get enough
 victory points of mutton to sound defeat for the English (and still only turn 4!).
It was great getting the game in, and we discussed a lot of different suggestions to make the scenario work smoothly. Looking back at it, there are many different approaches I could have taken to give myself more of a fighting chance, but the Dux blocked my mounted with a wall of pikes and rode off with the booty. An enjoyable game that I'd certainly like to try a rematch!

****

We followed up our test scenario with a quick game of Song of Blades and Heroes by Ganesha Games. It was a good chance to give the Dux an intro into the game using a quickly created Viking warband, and for me to finally put my Arkadians in the field. I didn't get around to taking any pictures of the game, but lifted the following photos from the Dux's blog (HERE). We played a simple pitched battle, delving deep into my scenery stores to come up with a pretty weird battlefield on the cusp of Alpine-esque chalk downs and arid desert.... Anyway, the Dux sums up this game pretty well on his blog:

"Despite Olaf the Unsteady being knocked over at one point by Pan, pragmatic Norse steel soon prevailed. Of the satyrs who legged it, one returned just in time to get axed, the sight of which again appalled the survivor to the extent that he took to his little goaty heels. I must confess to feeling a certain amount of guilt about the dryad."

I decided as a result of this game, that having a Terror-causing Hero with Q:3 and C:3, is not a good combination. Have a look at the SBH battle honours page (HERE) to see Pan's new incarnation.

So all up, a fairly poor old show for an afternoon's light gaming. Two defeats. One, of a game I designed, and another of a game I play a lot against a new-comer. Nevermind, both my English and my Arkadians will fight again, and then they do...

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