David and his wife came round to our house for New Year's Eve and so, while the birds were gossiping in the next room, we got down to the serious business of representative combat. I had previously lured David into BG:FW game earlier this year with a 2,000pt battle between Hawkshold and Runeguard (read it here). I'd recently bought the Lizardmen decks but hadn't used them and as the Dwarves are a fairly boring bunch he was keen to try out the Lizzies; mention of the T-Rex helped sweeten the deal. I mentioned that we could start a 2-player campaign and he was keen so not only was this the first time for either of us to see Lizards on the battlefield but it was also the first chance for us to play Kingdoms.
Battle 1: We drew Ticking Clock for our scenario (1,500pt and 8-turn limit) and 1F for our map (3 small woods on one side of the battlefield with a road running parallel between the woods and map edge). This was the first battle and so we were only able to muster core units - we both selected the following:
David - Swarmling Warriors x 4; Trog Warriors x 1; Tyrant Warriors x 1; Tyrant Spearmen x 1 = 1,495pts.
Myself - Peasants x 2; Militia x 1; Bowmen x 2;Swordsmen x 4; 2 x Command Cards = 1,493pts.
I had used the least points and so was able to force David to begin placing and ordering units as well as giving him the first turn. The Hawks were set up on the right side with the Swordsmen forming a line extending left from the woods in front. The Bowmen and Militia were in the second row and the peasants were out on the right. The Lizardmen were formed up with the Tyrants interspersed between the Swarmlings and on the opposite side to the Woods with the Trogs out towards the flank.
Orders for the Lizards were fairly straight forward - Close; orders for the Hawks were likewise Close but with the Swordsmen given 1" max move modifiers to slow their rate of advance. The Peasants on the flank were given Close with terrain objectives, the idea being to throw his line out and then try and slip around for later pinching opportunities.
Both lines advanced towards each other with the Swarmlings quickly moving through, and thus capturing, two of the wood terrain objectives while, in turn, the Swordsmen for the Hawks did likewise with one wood. Early on one of the Swarmlings swept wide beyond the woods and, once on the road, was able to fly forwards at MC 6. Unfortunately, I had overlooked this threat and had one of my Bowmen on the far flank of the 2nd line, with the Militia squeezed between the other. Between this, and the failure of 2 of 3 Peasants to disrupt the line as much as I hoped, saw the Lizards quickly gain the upper hand by annihilating 1 Bowmen and 2 Peasants.
Eventually the main lines met, however, and the pendulum began to swing back. The Swarmlings fared poorly against the Swordsmen and one even managed to take down the Tyrant Warriors with the help of a Peasant pinch in the centre. On the right flank the flanking Swarmlings were knocked out by the Militia while the wood-bound Swordsmen continued to battle with some Swarmlings. By the 7th turn the tide had seemingly turned and the Hawks were now dominating. This seemed certain when, in the final turn, the Swarmlings battling the Swordsmen in the woods finally succumbed and gave the objective back to the humans. Meanwhile, out on the left flank, the surviving Peasants had managed to slip past the enemy's flank and run into the Lizard deployment zone, closely pursued by the Trog Warriors who, fortunately, weren't able to catch them.
The final tally was:
Human VP: 4 x Swarmling & 1 x Tyrant Warrior destroyed (902pts); 1 x terrain objective (150pts); 1 x unit in enemy deployment zone (150pts) = 1,202pts.
Lizard VP: 2 x Peasant, 1 x Bowmen, 2 x Swordsmen destroyed = 699pts.
Interestingly, no other unit had been reduced beyond green and so, having divided the winning score by the losing one, it appeared that the Humans had won a Marginal Victory and 4VP to 2VP. And thus we roped the women into a few games of Ticket to Ride and Tobago before celebrating New Year's Eve.
The following morning, however, I was checking through the rules and realised that the Lizards had actually captured two of the other wood objectives and revised their score accordingly. The extra 300pts gave them 999pts and this was enough to reduce to winning margin from 1.71 (marginal victory) to 1.2 (0.05 below the threshold for a victory) and thus the battle was declared a draw. Unfortunately, this was not my first mistake, as I had also mistakenly declared that VP also doubled as GP. This, of course, is not correct but, not realising my mistake we rolled 7GP for the base score and believed ourselves to both be in possession of 10GP. We both therefore bought a Logging Camp and Mine to give us access to all our units for the next battle.
Battle 2 was played on New Year's Day, in the evening. This time we drew Breaking Point for our scenario (1,500pt and battle ends when 900pts destroyed on one side) and 1E for our map (1 x 2-tiered hill dominating the centre of the battlefield). This was now the second battle and thanks to my [as yet undiscovered error] error we had access to all our units:
David - Swarmling Warriors x 3; Hatchlings x 5; T-Rex x 1 = 1,497pts.
Myself - Longbowmen x 1; Swordsmen x 2; Spearmen x 1; Heavy Infantry x 1; Light Cavalry x 1 = 1,499pts.
This time David had used the least points and he forced me to take the first turn. This worked well for me as my army was positioned on my right flank with the Spearmen and Heavy Infantry in the front row but back from the forward edge of the deployment zone, with Longbowmen behind the Spears and L Cav behind the H Infantry. The two Swordsmen were positioned as the rear to the left of the Longbows and all were put on Hold except the Longbow and L Cav who were given Close.
David positioned his T-Rex on his left flank, opposite my H Infantry and Spearmen, with the Swarmlings and Hatchlings deployed in a line two ranks deep. All were given Close but the front rank was given an objective directly in front on them. Of note, the second rank wasn’t given objectives and David was soon to realise this was a mistake. There were no terrain objective pts available this time and so I was relying on my Longbows to carve up his line and offer me pinching opportunities to score my required 900pts.
The game started with a wound to a unit of Swarmlings courtesy of the Longbows, followed by the wholesale advance of the Lizard army. At this point David realised his error in not applying objectives to his second rank as they quickly started to run into each other. The front rank, however, advanced consistently and speedily, slowed only slightly by the hill. This, however, allowed the T-Rex to outstrip the main body of the army and she started to look a little isolated as she moved beyond the Swarmling support.
At this point I realised that I wanted to guarantee the T-Rex matched up against the Spearmen and, in order to do this, I gave they and the H Infantry a terrain objective centre on the other’s then position. Cunningly, this allowed me to move my Spears 2.5" forward and the H Infantry 1.75" to the left on the first turn, thereby ensuring that the Longbows and L Cav were able to make use of the indirect path rule to remain in position. The third turn saw them continue this movement, with the H Infantry making it into the Spears’ previous position although the Spearmen were now deployed 2.5" forward of their previous position and a hungry T-Rex about 0.5" away from them. Fortunately the L Cav were now free to advance and so I took direct control and swung them wide ready to pinch the T-Rex on my next turn.
Turn 3 saw the beast plough into my Spearmen and cause a despairing 1 wound. My gleeful cackle, however, was quickly silenced when the erstwhile Spearmen managed to only inflict 1 wound despite the benefit of a Command Card. While this was happening the rest of the Lizzies had crested the hill and were on the downward leg, with David having previously re-ordered his second rank. Other highlights consisted on a single hit to one of the Swordsmen from the Swarmling Bowmen (range, I suspect, is not a Lizardman forte).
Turn 4 saw the hammer fall with the L Cav hitting the T Rex on her flank and despite the vile lizard reducing the Spearmen to yellow with 4 hits, in turn she was left reduced to red, failed her rout check, and was promptly left with a single hit point as she scurried away. At this point the Hatchlings and Swarmlings finally made it into combat and, thanks to my fortuitous thrashing of the giant lizard, I was quickly able to take advantage and begin rolling up the line from the right with my L Cav. I did, however, order the Spears to chase up the T-Rex, who David had wisely allowed to flee towards his own deployment zone in order to maximise survivability, to ensure that when it did rally and return to the fray it wouldn’t be hitting an unprepared line.
Battle was fiercely contested over the next half-a-dozen turns with numerous pinches for both sides and, despite the loss of the L Cav (who, in fairness, had pretty much singlehandedly wiped out the T Rex as well as slaughter a unit of Hatchlings and Swarmling Bowmen), the Swordsmen were comfortably wiping out the rest of the Lizards thanks to their inability to flank and gain pinches. Indeed, it appeared that on my 10th turn I was all set to wrap up a victory and I was so keen to do so without losing any further units I got a little greedy...
I charged the Spearmen into the T-Rex and a unit of Swordsmen into Hatchlings, with another unit of green Swordsmen battling Swarmling Warriors in the yellow. I was fairly confident of winning by killing the T Rex and was hoping to wipe out the other 2 units to prevent a possible pinch the following turn from some Swarmlings out on the left flank. Unfortunately, the Lizards had other ideas. The Spearmen managed to inflict no damage on the T Rex, even with a Command Card, and in turn suffered 3 wounds. The Longbowmen, who actually hadn’t done much all battle, likewise managed to do nothing to the big scaly one. Both Swordsmen failed to inflict any wounds on the Swarmlings and Hatchlings and, for their trouble, one was put into the yellow with a possible pinch looming.
Fortunately the threatened Swordsmen weren’t pinchable in the following turn and the other Swords wiped out their hatchling enemy and moved round to face off against the Swarmlings threatening their comrade’s flank. The T Rex, who again survived the Longbowmen, stomped towards my line, although I wasn’t too concerned as there was a healthy H Infantry unit protecting the right flank. It didn’t come to pass, though, as on David’s turn his units were further reduced in health while mine went untouched and then, finally, on my next turn, I wiped out both and managed to drop the T Rex with the Longbowmen (it had only taken 8d from the Spearmen and 12d from the Longbow to do so).
With that, the Lizardman army was completely annihilated, thereby meeting the 900pt breaking point threshold and ending the game.
The final tally was:
Human VP: 3 2 x Swordsmen; 1 x Heavy Infantry; 1 x Longbowmen surviving = 1,034pts.
David’s score was not taken into consideration for this scenario but for reference he managed to destroy:
1 x Light Cavalry; 1 x Spearmen destroyed = 465pts.
Although I had comfortably won I failed to score enough to win a crushing victory and so the score was 4VP - 2VP to the Hawks.
At the end of the battle we rolled for gold (11 = 9 GP) and at this point we realised our mistake in allocating GP as VP at the end of the first battle. Although it clearly had made an impact in that we were both using Standard and Elites in the battle we simply decided to accept the mistake and play on. With 9 gold to play with David and I schemed what we might buy but ultimately decided to wait until the next battle to make our purchases.
It goes without saying that I love BG:FW as much as ever but playing Kingdoms for the first time has certainly been an interesting experience. It is a great expansion and I’m definitely glad that I own it but it’s certainly been a learning curve with all the errors we made in our first two battles. We’re now hoping to finish the campaign in its entirety by September, as this is when I deploy to Afghanistan for 6 months (although this is probably not going to happen). I will, however, be posting further reports as we fight our battles.
Happy New Year!
- Last edited Sat Jan 2, 2010 12:45 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Fri Jan 1, 2010 11:35 pm
Life and death come and go like marionettes dancing on a table. Once their strings are cut, they easily crumble.
What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror. Then we shall see face to face.
Nice DOUBLE Session Report!
Handsome devil huh?
Awesome session report CJ, thanks. I frequently pimp my Battleground Play Aids, but (I'm very proud of them and) perhaps the section on Kingdoms will help you and your friend in your campaign.