Tuesday 11 April 2023

Beerenberg takes the field - 28mm Fantastic Battles

Taking advantage of time off over Easter, I got in a game of Fantastic Battles with Jim who was good enough to tailor a small 650 point army of orcs to face off against the current state of my halfling burgher army on a 20u x 20u table (4' x 4'). 

The halflings of Beerenburg fielded (from left to right) two hackbut small artillery batteries, a small unit of urchin slingers commanded by a rogue, a three-company unit of skilled guild archers backed up by a magic-user and the warlord, a giant, and a single company of mounted burgers accompanied by a captain. 

Facing then were a reckless three-company unit wild orcs led by a captain, a four-company unit of archers, an elite four-company unit of spear-orcs with the orc warlord, and another reckless unit of wild orcs - this time four-companies strong, led by a magic-user.

During the Mishaps sequence, all orc units except the slower elite spearmen became enthusiastic and deployed further forward than expected. The halflings suffered no mishaps and prepared to receive the enemy.

On the orc left, the column of wild orcs led by the shaman advanced.

Keeping pace, the reckless wild orcs on the orc right did the same, receiving fire from the halfling hackbuts on the hill, and the skirmishing urchins (who had gone forward themselves, but now fell back before the orcish advance). The orc archers remained within range of the urchins, but beyond the bowshot of the halfling guild archers, waiting for the orc spearmen to catch up.

The shaman led his reckless orc column forward into the woods on the halfling right.

While on the halfling left, concentrated shooting from the hackbuts, slingers, and guild archers scattered the wild orcs before them and started concentrating their fire down the line, focusing next on the orc archers. Before his unit fled, the orc captain had jumped to join the archers, but now he realised that even that unit would not necessarily provide sanctuary.

The orc archers advanced under withering fire while the halfling warlord rallied the urchins of all their Resolve loss. Over in the woods, the orc shaman changed from column into line.

The halfling captain chose that moment to order her mounted burghers and giant into the orcs in the woods. The giant was empowered by the halfling mage, rolling a crushing 12 attack dice into the orcish flank. In order to protect the giant, the halfling captain asked a small swarm of rats to pop up between the giant and the ominous looking orc spears, but they emerged off to the right of the intended location. Not ideal, but no harm done.

The wild orcs in the woods held their nerve through the first combat but suffered heavy losses and failed to inflict any noticeable harm in return.

Over in the centre, the massed halfling shooting managed to scatter the orc archers before them - not without suffering Resolve loss in return. The orc captain had again left his unit ahead of their defeat, allowing them to flee around him. But the orc casualties were mounting and they only needed to lose one more company before the army broke.

In a last-ditch attempt to have a laugh, the orc captain single-handedly charged the slingers who stood to face him. Wielding the Blade of Unsurmountable Power, the captain managed to cause two Resolve loss on the skirmishers before he fell. Those two hits were enough to kill the poor halfling rogue attached to the unit.

To thwart any chance of an orcish moral victory, the halfling rats started gnawing into the flanks of the spearmen. The orcs quickly drove them away, but they were pinned for what turned out to be the essential turn ... 

... as over in the woods, the orcs finally broke and fled before the halfling burghers and their mercenary giant. With the loss of the large wild orc unit, the belly went out of the orc warlord and his army melted away.

This was a surprising victory for the halflings - I was expecting to be quickly overwhelmed by the much larger and more bellicose orc army. However, the orcs' piecemeal advance allowed the halflings to concentrate fire on one unit at a time. In addition, the units on both flanks of the orc line had the reckless trait meaning they were faster and fiercer, but had less resolve. As irregular companies, with defence 4+, that meant they were particularly fragile when faced with massed shooting or, as in the woods, where they were pinned in place with an attack against their flank. 

My thanks to Jim for a fun game and some great craic. Part of me thinks I should retire the Beerenburgers now, as they are unlikely to ever be quite so successful again!

1 comment:

  1. Glad they had such a good outing. Looking forward to seeing them in action again soon.
    Alan Tradgardland