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Subject: A Teutonic Nightmare rss

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Joseph Bottoms
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After over a month not playing any games, I managed to get two back to back. I pulled out my PnP copy of Hollandspiele's Grunwald Swords, the first game from the Shields & Swords II series for a solo playthrough.
I am familiar with the series so a quick re-read of the rules and scenario set me up for some quick armour crashing, horse dashing fun.

The Grunwald Swords is a single scenario game on the battle of Grunwald, which pits the Polish-Lithuanian allies against the order of the Teutonic Knights. It was one of the larger battles fought in medieval Europe and is seen as the beginning of the end for the Teutonic Kinghts.

[set up]


After setting up I decided on the strategies for the opposing sides, settling for the ones I felt seemed most obvious.
Essentially the victory conditions state the Teutonic player must kill 30 points of enemies and 10 more than the opponent. The Allied vc's are either to kill 35 points worth of Teutons or capture their camp.
The Teutons would defend the ridgeline protecting the high ground and their camp, while the Allies would make a frontal assault on the ridge using their superior numbers to hold troops in reserve to plug any gaps or exploit any gaps in the line.

Each turn a side may assign two commands to one wing. The Allies have a better set of command chits including a horse command which the teutons lack.
The Allies left wing moved forwards engaging the Teutonic heavy horse units on the right and the rest of the armies looked on while a cavalry skirmish took place. Eventually the Allies prevailed mainly in part being able to use a horse command + bonus which increased their combat class by +2 making them essentially invincible in attack even if rolling an 8!
[Allies press forwards]


At this point the Teutons were forced to call in their meagre reserves to plug the gaps and hinder any Allied units getting through and capturing the camp.
As the Aliles I withdrew the Orange(Lithuanian) wing, which is essentially a way to gain points by holding them off the battlefield and unable to contribute to the fighting. Nobody missed them.
[Knights call in reserves]


The battle began to develop as the Allied infantry wing attacked the big Teutonic Heavy Horse wing. The infantry were essentially canon(sword!) fodder attacking uphill against the knights. But they played the double roll of tying the knights best wing down while the attack was pressed against the Teutonic right, while also not counting for victory points if killed.

The situation at this point was already dire for the Knights, their small light grey and dark grey wings were collapsing and I was already having to Siphon off individual heavy horse units from the white wing just to plug the gaps appearing and stop the Allies reaching the camp. At this point the Allies still had not even used their pink wing that I had left in reserve, let alone the orange Lithuanians which were yet to return to the field.
[battle well and truly joined]


In the end the Allies could have won multiple ways, but I decided to put the Knights out of their misery by reforming the Lithuanians which game the neccessary points to break the 35 point victory threshold. By the end of the turn the Allies had enough points from eliminations that they would have won by that alone anyway and it was likely only a matter of time before the Teutonic camp would have been captured (which brings an auto victory).

The game as expected was fast paced and fun. I enjoy picking a strategy, using your set of wings and orders to achieve your aims, while reacting to any developing situations.
However with this battle in particular I really could not see how the Teutons were supposed to win at all, the odds are incredibly stacked against them. They are inferior in numbers and hampered greatly by lack of horse command. I was able to essentially win the game with only 2 Allied wings, one to tie down the better Teutonic wing, while the other repeatedly used the horse + bonus commands to smash through the Teutons towards their camps. If this hadn't of gone to plan I still had two wings in reserve!
Perhaps it was poor Teutonic play on my part and I should have chosen an attacking strategy instead of defending the ridgeline. But I still think the odds would have been against them....
[Teutons break, Lithuanian's return]
[Teutonic dead pile, many points!]
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Jonan Jello
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I'll mourn over the marble steps, Junkies of the world lay across the monuments, I climb and blister on the mount, Drunks take a piss where heroes once bled out
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Good stuff, Joseph. Nice, organized setup, too. The S&SII series has always enticed me. I've always wanted to try one and considered purchasing the games during sales. Are there PnP versions available?
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Joseph Bottoms
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Hex_Enduction_Hour wrote:
Good stuff, Joseph. Nice, organized setup, too. The S&SII series has always enticed me. I've always wanted to try one and considered purchasing the games during sales. Are there PnP versions available?


Thanks.

I only have a small desk, so everything has to be organised precisly

You can get print & play files for Hollandspiele games on https://www.wargamevault.com/ for $12.00. It works well for me here in the UK as buying a game from the US then paying shipping and tax really cranks up the price.

Joe
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Steve Jones
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As an FYI, Grunwald Swords and almost all Hollandspiele titles are now carried by Second Chance Games in the UK

SJ
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Joseph Bottoms
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bluepantherllc wrote:
As an FYI, Grunwald Swords and almost all Hollandspiele titles are now carried by Second Chance Games in the UK

SJ


^^^^ perhaps this isn't meant for my benefit as I am aware of this. Hollandspiele & Blue Panther do a great job and I am sure I will buy a Hollandspiele title from Second Chance one day, unfortunetly the prices are basically the same as if I ordered from the US.
I understand the reasons, but its a steep mark up.

So for now the games I can PnP I will.
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