After a bit of a hiatus, Young General and Old Warrior returned tot he Battlelore lists with a replay of the scenario Rising Down the Spearbearers from the Golblin Skirmishers expansion pack. This time the old guy took the dwarves. I think it's fair to say that both of us expected the Goblins to lose, because they generally seem to suck.
As has been his recent practice, Young General spread his loremasters around, taking Level 1 for each, with his sixth War Council point spent on the required Spider. His argument for this strategy is that, even though he doesn't have many cards to choose from, just about every card he gets is useful. Given his heroic and opportunistic style of play, this is more useful than it might seem.
Old Warrior experimented with another variation on his war council policy. This involves selecting a Level 2 Commander, on the theory that having a large hand of Command Cards is the most important factor in designing a war council. While not a maximal position, this allowed a very credible 5-card hand for Command Cards, compared to 4 for Young General's army. A Level 1 Warrior seemed to promise getting the most bang for the war council buck. There is only one Warrior Lore card that provides a level bonus, so taking extra levels for that Loremaster didn't seem worth it. The Training Camp Landmark, while sounding good, turned out to be underwhelming in practice so it didn't seem worthwhile going for a Level 3 Warrior.
Instead a Level 3 Rogue was selected. Having a Level 3 Loremaster of some kind is very useful because it gives the largest hand of lore cards, a maximum of 4 in this case, compared to just 2 for the Young General's army. The Wizard, Cleric and Rogue all have good qualities but in this case the Rogue was selected because the Rogue's Den secret passage seemed likely to be useful.
The battle, itself, was the usual close-run affair. Young General is getting very comfortable with understanding his options with units and the implications of his moves, He still has some difficulty forming an overall strategy but this is far less of a drawback in Battlelore than it would be in many other wargames. As it turns out, he came within a hair's breadth of winning due to the improbably heroic actions of a single unit. (I'm expecting he'll enjoy playing with the Heroes expansion when we get to it.). If you look at the set up below, you'll see a single Red Banner heavy cavalry unit in the upper right corner (Goblin left flank).
While Young General moved and fought using most of his army, including the Giant Spider (which survived the battle this time for a change), all the kills he got were due to that heavy cavalry unit which rampaged through Old Warrior's right flank and his center for most of the game, killing all five units that were lost while not taking a single hit in return!
As usual, though, the dwarves were killers in their own right, especially against Goblinoids and Old Warrior was able to scratch out a win, although it took the play of a few good Lore Cards (including an Assault and Terrify) and the employment of the Rogue's Secret Passage to infiltrate a unit into the Goblin rear area.
The final score was 6-5 for the Old Warrior's Dwarves and Men.
The Goblinoid Spear units not only weren't ridden down, they were studiously ignored by Old Warrior's units, who avoided attacking them as much as possible. The scattered deployment of the Goblinoid army made it hard for them to mass sufficient force in the early part of the game, but this had little impact due to the heroism of the aforementioned heavy cavalry troop.
Overall, another close fight. When informed that the next expansion featured the Dwarven Battalion, Young General lay claim to trying them first.