This one looked very interesting. At first sight, it seemed hard for Baratheon to get their troops over the bridge or ford choke points.
I had the "Order all R'hollor units, whether under command or not" card, so I used my first turn to move the two non-R'hollor units out of the way - putting the cavalry into the the building (figuring they'd survive a bit due to cover), and the infantry on the road.
Lannister's first turn was drawing his infantry with Kevan nearer to the exit point. I had feared that he would try to block the ford, and was quite pleased that he didn't.
Next turn I ordered all R'hollor units and marched over the bridge in force. Both of us where a bit surprised how quickly the Baratheon forces could advance - from the layout of the battle map we had the impression that Stannis' forces would take longer to cross the bridge.
Lannister continued bunching up forces near the exit point, while I moved Bryce Caron and his cavalry toward the ford, to attack from a second flank.
Here is the situation in the middle of the first round:
Timmet's units moved toward the road, but kept in stalwart formation and did not attack. The only attack in the first round was a Lannister archer shooting on Stannis without scoring a hit. Rather unusual, and it shows that both of us are getting more careful, often deciding to skip an attack for better positioning.
Lannister had kept one command token to have the first turn this round, but on second thought really did not want to attack outright and just took another shot with his archers.
I drew off Stannis from my main troops and attacked the archers in the forest, figuring I could still command via relay through Melisandre. My hope was to lure Lannister to spread his troops a bit thinner, but he did not fall for that bait. In addition, I would have liked eliminate those archers to get a victory point. I had hoped for at least two hits from my three dice, so I would have had a chance to finish them off with a second attack next round, but I scored only one hit.
The Stone Crows now started toward my troops, using a tactic to advance one hex toward my edge of the board before the command, and then moving two because of the road. With their four-dice attacks, and my units always being intimidated and losing stalwart, they started to make a dent in my formation.
However, Shagga himself ended up only two hexes away from Melisandre, so I started a Shadow Child ritual on my turn. As I still had a command card that would allow me to discard one shadow child token, that would have been the death of Shagga at the end of the round. But I had not anticipated that Lannister had one more card with the "advance toward opponents edge" tactic, and so could attack Melisandre with a Burned Men unit, which interrupted the ritual. Too bad - I really would have liked to pull that off.
I eliminated that exposed unit quickly enough, and also attacked with the cavalry from the north, but still Lannister was one ahead on victory points at the end of the round. Bad, because I needed three points more if I kept my commanders on the board.
In a turn of idiocy I attacked the stalwart Shagga with green cavalry, instead of going for the softer archers. This directly gave one more victory point to Lannister, because Shagga chopped horses plus riders to pieces with his counterattack.
In turn, I disengaged Stannis from the archers, and managed to capture Timmet with a coordinated attack.
Now, the fighting started for real. Bryce managed to "steal" heavy armor from the neighboring Lannister infantry, which kept him alive during the round.
I moved all my commanders into positions from where they had a chance to reach the exit point. Lannister proceeded to block and attack Melisandre.
The last round. It looked like a very close match, with an advantage for Lannister: both of us had 5 victory points. If I managed to move one commander out, it would be a 1 point lead for Lannister, if I managed to bring both Stannis and Bryce out, it would be a 1 point lead for me.
A closer look at the board (Jan just forgot to turn the flag of the heavy infantry - it should be active):
Wanting to clear the path to the exit for Bryce, and get a victory point to boot, I attacked the Lannister heavy infantry with two cavalry units, carefully positioning them so that the second one could attack even if the first got a morale result. But the dice had their way and gave me 4 morale results from my 5 dice attack! Second attack wasted, and no way to eliminate that unit. Well, at least they were out of the way. I still pursued one hex, figuring that having my own unit, which I could reactivate, there was better then letting Lannister occupy the spot on his turn:
Every unit that could be commanded participated in blocking, unblocking, attacking.
My red cavalry managed to chase Stannis' blockers into the forest, and he chose to leave the field of battle:
I failed to eliminate the Burned Men unit, and the decision came down to the last attack by Shagga onto my red cavalry in the forest: He had two dice and needed one red shield (plus a second hit from one of his axe tokens) to get even on victory points. The chance was just below 1 in for 4, but he made it. Final board:
Lannister had eliminated 8 units, Baratheon 7, but Stannis had made it out, so we both had 8 victory points. As the scenario does not specify who wins on equal victory points, we decided to go with the tie-breakers in other VP-based scenarios, and award the win to the player with higher morale. Thus Lannister won because he was one point ahead on morale. If I had not used a morale token to reactivate one of the units attacking the burned men, I would have won because I had momentum.
We had thought it would be even harder and most of all slower for Baratheon to get through. Because of the road it does not take that long, and it's quite possible to get commanders out.
With 5 command cards (but only 4 tokens), this scenario has almost luxurious ordering possibilities, especially for Stannis, who can reactivate almost for free, and relay through Melisandre. This is by design, of course - without this, Baratheon would have a hard time getting a commander out.
The Stone Crows Intimidate plus their 4-dice attacks works wonders to break up stalwart formations.
Even though it did not work in this session, Shadow Child can actually be used with careful positioning and enough command ability.
Positioning Bryce Caron so that his ability to draw an opponent in his direction (usually to keep him off his intended target) is quite hard. I never had a chance to use it.
- [+] Dice rolls
- Ian McCarthy(KenToad)United States
- Thanks for the report. That sounds like a brilliant scenario.
- [+] Dice rolls
- Mark Johnson(Isolater)Australia
Excellent write-up Cristoph and brilliant pictures.
I particularly like the first one in Round 1!
- [+] Dice rolls
It was an extremely tense session, which was decided by the last die roll.
What was especially funny - even though it probably cost my one victory point - was the (imagined) sight of the Lannister infantry in their heavy armor, who normally move at most two hexes, retreating in panic through a forest and over the ford.
- [+] Dice rolls