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Subject: Deeper In Castile - What's all the Dwarf hype about? rss

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Jim W
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I'm not much of a session writer so forgive me for the lack of zest (or grammer blush ) in the battle report. However, I would like to point out my experience using Goblinoids and Dwarves was not alike to what I've heard from other people. Here is a session report on my solo play of Deeper In Castile.

First the battle report:

Deeper In Castile
Pre-Battle Impression: Being the first time using Dwarves I was quite excited to see how well they did in battle. Several other players have been saying that Dwarves are extremely strong where Goblins are on the weaker side. With this battle there are Dwarves on hills; I was sure that Henry of Trastamara was going to give Don Pedro a battle-kicking lesson. The game was overly evenly matched although Don Pedro had more cavalry, yet more green troops.

The Battle:
Don Pedro knew no fear (at least for his goblins) as he immediately threw his goblin cavalry against the far left Dwarf swordmen. The Goblin charge was quickly repulsed by the dwarves countering with a battle back causing the Goblin cavalry to run for safety.

Henry decided to move his right flank forward to protect the bridge and support the Dwarves on the hills. Henry himself lead his troops into battle (red cavalry). Don Pedro quickly seized this opportunity to move his left flank to counter Henry's move. Don Pedro forces quickly charged into melee with Henry's river forces, overwhelming them with size and speed (cards), routing much of Henry's infantry and eliminating Henry's horsemen and injuring Henry.

(current score Henry 2 vs Don Pedro 2)

Don Pedro happy his success along the river was still convinced that to win this battle he would have to push the dwarves from their strong hill positions. Calling on the speed of the goblins he sent the goblins forward in a big swarm. The dwarves took minor casualties but remained strong, battling back and forces the goblin cavalry to run.

(current score Henry 2 vs Don Pedro 2)

Don Pedro then decided to make a massive infantry line (goblin and human) and then send them forward in a gigantic foot onslaught. The huge line of infantry crashed up against the dwarves on the hills like the sea against a rock cliff. The dwarves stoutness gave them the ability to holding on to dear life, taking and delivering casualties.

(current score Henry 3 vs Don Pedro 3)

Henry in a last attempt to relieve the dwarves from Don Pedro's massive attack sent his left flank forward, charging with the his medium horsemen. At first the horsemen's charge confused the goblins causing casualities and panic. However, Don Pedro the Cruel rallied the goblins by explaining the doom that they would faced from his own hands if they did not battle on; therefore the goblins held (dwarves couldn't roll a retreat flag if their lives depended on it).

(current score Henry 4 vs Don Pedro 3)

While Henry's medium (blue) horsemen continued to wrecked havoc upon unprotected infantry units behind Don Pedro's advance, Don Pedro's mass infantry wore down the dwarves causing them to flee from the hills. By now Don Pedro himself with his medium horsemen rushed into battle with the dwarves.

(current score Henry 4 vs Don Pedro 5)

Henry had one last chance pull a victory from the goblin jaws of defeat. He sent forth his left flank infantry to mop up the weakend goblin units. However, the goblins had cleverly took the hills from the Dwarves and repelled Henry's last charge. What was left of the dwarves was slaughtered and Don Pedro laughed with a sinister blood thirsty laugh as injured Henry regrouped what little was left of his troop and retreated off of the battlefield 'Deeper In Castile'.

(final score Henry 5 vs Don Pedro 6)

After battle analysis:

The cards: Battlelore being a game of random chance doesn't always mean that obvious advantages are always utilized. Henry having six cards had very mediocre cards to start out with. Don Pedro with only five cards had excellent cards such as many attack and advance cards. As the game continued Henry cards choices improved as Don Pedro's luck with cards waned. Unfortunately for Henry it was too late.

The dice: I've never seen so many non-hit's in any of my previous games. I kept rolling non-hit helmets for everything. I was sure that the goblins would get throttled as they charged the dwarves, however, the dwarves could barely cause causalities and hardly ever rolled a retreat flag. On the other hand the dwarves did shrug off a few retreat flags being bold. However, for the number of attacks sent against the dwarves very few retreat flags were rolled (therefore the advantage of being bold didn't do much for them).

Overall: Another close and fun battlelore game. I've only had one game (Burgos, Castile - my wife verse me) where Don Pedro won against Henry by 2), otherwise the games have always been within one. It was a long battle 50 minutes, mostly due to the number of misses I was throwing on both sides.

Dwarven Hype: We'll now I see that the mighty dwarves are not necessarily so mighty. The goblins and humans forces were able to cause them to flee the hills and every Dwarf unit was eliminated (how embarrassing for dwarves to be killed by goblins! blush ). This is twice I've been impressed by goblins for their speed. However, considering luck of the cards and dice, Henry was fighting against the odds. His cards were poor and the dwarves couldn't roll dice for squat.

May your (BattleLore) battles be plentiful and eventful! Thanks for reading.



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Read the rulebook, plan for all contingencies, and…read the rulebook again.
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Were you remembering to only roll two dice uphill and three dice downhill for all units (before bonuses)? Dwarves can support each other, too, so that they ignore TWO flags when they are attacked. Dwarves on hills are hard to dislodge because they can always Battle Back due to their inherent Bold status—barring some Lore cards.
 
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John Lopez
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Dwarves are no super weapon, but in hills they are excellent defenders. To dislodge them, you would need to roll two retreats, and since uphill attacks are typically two dice, this is difficult. They *usually* are destroyed instead of retreating in that situation.

Personally, I prefer to use "Darken the Skies" and a Lore with ranged attack bonuses to soften then up before attempting to dislodge/eliminate them. On the other hand, goblins work fairly well against dwarves *because* of the frightened status: damaged units fall back much farther than usual, making them more difficult to finish off for a flag.

So while Dwarves are cool, the situation is more complex than it would seem at first brush.
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Happy Gaming
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Since I got crushed playing with the goblins in this scenario I know just how difficult it can be to dislodge those dwarves! After some further thought I think the key may be to focus on eliminating or driving just one unit off the hill range (the unit on the lone hill excepted) so that you can then charge up and attack from one hill to another at even strength. And as suggested above, softening them up with range cards is an excellent idea. My mistake was to attack a number of the dwarf units at once, which was a foolish endeavour in the end.
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Jim W
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Whoops! Your right, supported Dwarves get Bold2. Honestly, I rolled very few flags in this particular game, and I remember the Dwarves ignoring a few flags during the battle. The only Dwarf unit that would be bold2 would be Dwarf crossbow I believe since they were the only ones surrouned by two friendly units. Poor Henry just couldn't get up to the dwarves in time to support them.

These session reports are very useful (reading others and writing our own). There's lots of people out there that can remind us of the rules we missed.

In the session I wrote about what really did in the Dwarves was the multi-attack from enemy forces wearing them down, the lack of cards on Henry's side, and poor dice rolls. I could easily see Dwarves kicking behind and taking names if they had the cards and dice to support them.
 
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Jon Quinn
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Just Finished this one on Vassal a couple minutes ago. I was the goblins. I got creamed.

I think the dwarves should be avoided, and the center units moved to the flanks in a pincer type move.Perhaps the goblin archers should stay out of range of the dwarven crossbows and shoot at them until they come off the hills.

But tangling with those dwarves on the hills is suicide under normal circumstances. And advancing too far on the sides is as well. I rushed it and paid the price.
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Niels Taatgen
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One way to get to the dwarfs is to focus on the crossbow unit. If you get a proper "triangle" in front of them you have a good chance of breaking the dwarf line. The battleback of the crossbows is only 2 dice with only banners hitting, so the odds are on your side if you attack them with infantry. Once the crossbow unit is gone, you can occupy the middle hill spot, which is a better vantage point to attack the other dwarfs. Make sure your units are always supported, otherwise the dwarfs can attack you without punishment.

Of course, as is true for all Battlelore strategy, you need the right cards for this strategy. That is the great thing about this game: you always have to improvise. Just remember that as long as those dwarfs stay stationary on their hills you call the shots.
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Mike Bialecki
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jwquinn wrote:
Just Finished this one on Vassal a couple minutes ago. I was the goblins. I got creamed.

I think the dwarves should be avoided, and the center units moved to the flanks in a pincer type move.Perhaps the goblin archers should stay out of range of the dwarven crossbows and shoot at them until they come off the hills.

But tangling with those dwarves on the hills is suicide under normal circumstances. And advancing too far on the sides is as well. I rushed it and paid the price.


I just got finished playing this scenario twice (one with each side). I played the goblin side first and got absolutely crushed! I was really stubborn about taking down the dwarves off those hill and paid for it dearly. Score: 6:1

My friend and I then discussed what I should haved done, and then played the scenario again. This time my friend played the goblins. He used the strategy we discussed and totally ignored the dwarves, focusing on killing my flanking units. Why fight the dwarves on their own territory? Let them come down off those hills if they want to get involved in the battle. The victory conditions are to kill 6 units. There are plenty of NON-dwarven units to destroy for victory.

In the end, the Dwarven side still won, but the score was 5:6 and the goblin side would have won on the next turn had I not killed the last unit. It was an awesome battle.

I will never go gung-ho against a Dwarven unit on a hill again. A lesson learned.
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