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Subject: Goblinoids Stand atop Dwarven Bodies (Free Companies) rss

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Justin Hwang
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This is my session report on Free Companies scenario, solo. Yes, solo.
I’ve seen some variants on solo BL and I find it unnecessary to use any variants when playing solo. I’ve been playing Memoir’44 solo for a while, probably about 7~8 games and the trend continued to BL. What about hidden command cards, lore cards, and tactics you say? You can always use your split personality kept hidden for exactly this kind of purpose. But seriously, I find it not too difficult to keep myself objective and stay with what a player (like myself) will do. This is mainly because of,

1. I start both sides with specific strategy I want to try out. On this game, I wanted to see how level3 commander and level3 wizard duke out. As long as I don’t divert too much from the initial plan, I don’t unfairly “surprise” the opponent.
2. The cards drawn on each side often show the best move or short term plan. A powerful lore card with perfect enemy set up... no brainer, use it! Weak command cards- be defensive and maintain good position until you get better hand.

So, I set up Free Companies scenario, anticipating another great match with my arch rival who is strategically and tactically just as good as me... myself. The adventure book states that the landmarks are not used in this scenario but I decide to use them.

Burgundy (flag side with goblinoids) chooses level3 commander, level 1 cleric, wizard, and rogue. His strategy is to utilize large choice of command cards to keep the goblinoids from being annihilated and keep them mobile.
D’Armagnac (banner side with the Spider and dwarves) chooses level3 wizard, level 1 cleric, commander, and creature. His strategy is to use the Magic Pentacle to amass lore tokens to utilize the Giant Spider and level 3 wizard’s powerful magic.

Burgundy places the commander’s landmark, Command Tower (I forgot the name) right in front of goblinoid archer and green infantry. He drew strong right flank cards to set up a strong defense around the tower with the goblinoids.
D’Armagnac places the Magic Pentacle to the right of the dwarves. His plan is to keep the Pentacle with one of the blue dwarven infantry.

Burgundy, as expected, throws an opening move by setting up strong defensive line around the command tower. Green infantry goes into the tower, utilizing max 2d offensive dice roll towards the tower. The archer and the other green infantry stands ground on the two hills in front of the tower. The archer immediately takes out one blue dwarf with one sniper shot. The dwarf collapses to the ground by sudden piercing pain on his back!
D’Armagnac realizes that the archer could become nuisance and marches three dwarven infantry, standing face to face with the goblinoids. They get disadvantage of attacking uphill and goblinoids can ignore two flags. Dwarves and goblinoids stand off with almost equal force, except that the goblinoids archers don’t hit on the bonus strike.

With strong right flank command card, moving upto 6 units per turn, Burgundy eventually forces dwarves to retreat. Red dwarven infantry became the first casualty of the battle. One blue dwarven infantry is reduced to only one man. Retreat seems inevitable. Burgundy pushes the limit with the fast goblinoid cavalry, further capturing one more dwarven infantry but both cavalry is reduced to a single unit each.

D’Armagnac, trying to find his turn of the tide in the opposite side of the battlefield, moves the Giant Spider with one blue infantry. Attacking the enemy’s unsupported green infantry from the top of the hill, it brings fear to the humans not yet seen blood.
Burgundy could have been shaken by thought of losing stray green infantry but calmly sends blue cavalry support. The attack is weakened from the spider due to unfortunate command card draw. The plan of utilizing the creature by paying the lore tokens is postponed in anticipation of casting the fireball spell to unsuspecting enemy.

Burgundy successfully slows down enemy’s plan by using lore drain. Meanwhile, he draws Forest Frenzy. At current situation, more than half of the enemy units will be hit by the spell. Burgundy starts saving lore tokens to unleash the fury of the nature.
D’Armagnac manages to take one of the hill in front of the enemy’s tower. It seems like the tower is within reach with just right lore tokens and some support from human cavalry. He moves the blue cavalry from the center flank to decimate the support the tower defense has. Blue cavalry successfully kills goblinoid green cavalry but fails to score any more hits in the pursuit.

It seems like unsuspecting D’Armagnac has chance. It’s about this time when the forests move to Burgundy cleric’s command. Poor D’Armagnac dwarves and infantry falls to crushing roots of the forests. D’Armagnac’s center flank dodged the trampling trees fairly well but the slow dwarves and heavy infantry took the blow.

The sound of warhorn of Burgundy spreads across the battlefield. This is the sign of charge!
Burgundy moves forward, while goblinoids somehow escapes death blows from dwarves and human horsemen.
D'Armagnac senses the urgency and the near-defeat. He can't manage to lose another unit and finds himself using defensive spells often. This saves some of his men but he can't save enough lore tokens to cast fireball.

Though the D’Armagnac orders the Giant Spider around, trying to save the battle, the units are weakened, the charisma of the commander isn’t quite enough to pour adrenaline through the cracks of their armour. It is instead the lethal edges of Burgundy sword that penetrates the crack. Weakened D’Armagnac heavy infantry takes the blow with their heavy armour, battles back, and takes another hit from the cavalry and there’s no more men to battleback. They are the sixth unit to fall under the sword of Burgundy.

Burgundy wins the battle 6-4.

The command tower was very effective in keeping the goblinoids’ line intact. They would take the hit from time to time but almost impossible to make them retreat without help of lore cards. The dwarves sure have the same strength as goblinoids with (command tower support)+(friendly unit support)+(hill) but there are just more of them. The luck of the dice roll is always a factor and the goblinoids got better luck in the game. Goblinoid cavalry could run away very fast and the dwarves can never follow them to give them the final blow. With the command tower in the goblinoid line, dwarves simply shouldn’t have attacked even with the archer’s slowly killing them one by one.
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shininiu wrote:

D’Armagnac places the Magic Pentacle to the right of the dwarves. His plan is to keep the Pentacle with one of the blue dwarven infantry.




I thought Loremaster Landmarks were not in effect in this scenario?
 
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Kevin Reynolds
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shininiu wrote:
The adventure book states that the landmarks are not used in this scenario but I decide to use them.


He wanted to anyway. But then, maybe it was in response to what you said when he edited the post.
 
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Niels Taatgen
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If you look at the DOW site, this scenario is very well balanced. I suspect the reason that this is the case though are Forest Frenzy and the Hills Rumble. Given the overload of hills and forests in this scenario these cards are extremely powerful. As a consequence, whoever draws and plays these cards has much better odds to win the game. It seems like Forest Frenzy was pretty important in your game as well.
I suspect that this scenario was created to teach war council construction. If you look at what cards each loremaster has, and you look at the board, you are supposed to conclude that you need a Cleric, preferably a high-level cleric. Once that lesson it taught, I think the scenario has limited replayability, because of the luck in drawing the critical Cleric cards.
Of course you can argue there is a lot of luck in Battlelore anyway, but all of the other luck is small and incremental.
 
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