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Subject: 1st St. Albans - Solo game, first time playing Men of Iron rss

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Hans Korting
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I do own both Men of Iron and Infidel, but must confess that I have not played any of their scenarios yet.

Seeing how well received Blood & Roses was, and me being stupid enough to cancel the preorder, I started to have my doubts about cancelling it. And then it was sold out at GMT too...
Luckily I was still able to score a copy at UGG in Germany, and I was quite happy seeing those wonderful maps and counters. I will not be cancelling any MoI preorder again in the future.

Recently I finally found some time to play the game. I am more familiar with WWII games, and have little knowledge about the Wars of the Roses. But hey, these metal wielding guys, hindered by all sort of armor plating look kind of cool.

And so I set up the first scenario of the game, the 1st battle at St. Albans.

I had not really read the rulebook, only skimmed through it a bit, since I had read that the rules were not that hard to grasp. I randomly picked the required Seizure counters, and since I was playing solo I placed them face up on the map for easy reference.

Following the sequence of play, and referencing the rules, the Yorkist army let fly with some arrows, fired by longbows. And at the first action I immediately was impressed by the effect of those longbows, and the way the game plays. Rolling two 9s in a row, Clifford was almost out of the action from the start. A 'Near Miss' Seizure counter saved his behind to fight another day.

Yorkist troops advanced on the left flank, followed by their right flank.

At first little progress seemed to be made, until some troops around the 2nd Duke of Somerset called it a day, and filtered away. A breakthrough seemed to be imminent.

So it looked like the best place to break through would be on the Yorkist right, and so more troops were pushed forward.

But all of a sudden the Lancastrian right seemed to be crumbling too, and Clifford had to move aside. The end seemed to be near.

Crossing the bridge, Richard Neville and his merry band of warriors were convinced that this would be their moment. But while eyeing Clifford's men, that had moved into the orchards, a sudden threat appeared behind them.

Even the longbowmen could not stop this onslaught, and so Richard Neville had to move back, trying to save his men, and even his army. The bloodlusting Lancastrian infantry was on him with a vengeance.

Somehow Neville did succeeded in making a stand, and he even advanced again. Clifford in the meantime had sent a messenger to the rear, asking his King for some support. And so some dismounted men-at-arms were brought forward. At that same time some Yorkist troops had been able to cross the ditch and reach Cock Lane.

The dismounted men-at-arms had been waiting all day to get into this bloody brawl, and when they finally did, they did so with a steeled determination. Neville's troops were decimated and on the run. He moaned 'Hey, this is not what happened in the history books!'. What should have been an easy Yorkist win, had turned into a near defeat!

Suddenly it turned dark over the field of battle. The Lancastrian center gave way, and Yorkist troops, looking for revenge, gave it their best. Further into town, infantry and longbowmen went from house to house, looking for blood.

Finally the Lancastrians gave way, the King just able to reach safety.

This was fun!

As mentioned before, the rules for this scenario were easy to follow. The game has a nice narrative feel to it, and since the battle did go both ways it was still surprising during solo play.

Hope you enjoyed reading this.

(there are a couple more images in my gallery that I did not use in this AAR)


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Ralph Shelton
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Excellent! I am glad you liked it.
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mark dempsey
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Thanks for the report,this is a great game.Try the Bosworth battle,I've played it twice solo with a win each for both sides-both battles were very close.
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