Recommend
16 
 Thumb up
 Hide
6 Posts

Battleground» Forums » Sessions

Subject: Sunday Battleground rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
CJ
United Kingdom
Colchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
Hawkshold vs Undead

My perennial partner-in BG-crime, David, popped around for 3 hours today and we managed to thrash through 2 games (non-campaign).
David has had issues in the past with finding a faction that was well suited to his style of play – smash and grab. He’s tried Dwarves and Lizards but neither worked well for him. Since our last game I had finally got around to purchasing all the remaining fantasy factions and so I offered up David his choice. As chance would have it the first box he picked through happened to contain the Undead and it suddenly seemed obvious to me that this was the no-nonsense brutality he needed in his faction. To face him I did consider playing the High Elves for the first time but ultimately decided to play with my beloved Hawks, allowing me to play a couple of unusual army designs for the first time.

Game 1

The first order of business was to generate a scenario using Kingdoms – we drew Total War (annihilate the enemy) and the Familiar Foe special situation (all drawn Command Cards remain face up) with the battle to be waged on the 2E map – 1 large forest and 4 small ones running across the centre of the battlefield with a slightly curved line.

I realised that with such a terrain setup there would be severe restrictions on manoeuvre and ranged-fire. My usual hammer and anvil tactic of a sturdy infantry line and cavalry lurking on one wing would clearly not work in this battle and so I went for a punchy infantry line than usual for 1,999pts.

4 Greatswords (GSW)
1 Spearmen (SPR)
1 Pikemen (PKE)
3 Peasant Mobs (PES)
2 Scouts (SCT)

David mustered the following for 1,993pts:

1 Zombie Troll (ZTR)
2 Abomination (ABM)
4 Zombies (ZOM)
5 Skeleton Cavalry (SCV)

The battlefield looked as follows (forests are marked with their terrain objective designation and according to their relative size and location):

Undead
SCV
ZOM ZOM ZOM....................SCV
ZOM ZTR SCV ABM SCV ABM SCV
forward edge of deployment zone

................................AAAAAAAA......
...............CCC..BBB...AAAAAAAA......
........DDD.................AAAAAAAA......
EEE...............................................

forward edge of deployment zone
PES GSW GSW GSW GSW PKE SPR
SCT PES................................PES
SCT
Hawkshold

My plan was to minimally advance into the forest and then win a straight-up fight with the Greatswords. The Peasants would protect the right and left flanks while the Scouts roved behind the enemy and assist the line by rear pinching.

His plan (as I learned later) was to familiarise himself with a faction he hadn’t seen before. He followed his usual tactic of advancing as a single line to location objectives along an axis running left to right through the midway point of the battlefield before closing on the nearest enemy and fighting to the end. I thought he was doomed using cavalry as his line, and said as much, but the battle turned out to be closer fought than I expected.

The start saw both armies advance in an unbroken line on Close using location objectives to ensure that both lines didn’t fracture. The exception was my Pikemen and Spearmen who advanced into the large forest with location objectives but Hold on standing orders. After a few turns I was the first to make an error: assessing that I needed to hold back my lead Scouts who had swung out from behind the Peasants and were bearing down on the Zombies to their fore-right. I needed to hold them back and gave them Bravery before drawing 2 cards. Unfortunately I then realised that I also needed to delay my Spearmen to prevent a pinch from his Skeleton Cavalry and no longer had any Command Points. As I had assigned a point to the Scouts but not actually spent it at that point I gave it instead to the Spearmen and swung the Peasants out from behind them. I then bit the bullet and charged the Scouts into the Zombies.

The Scouts didn’t fare well against the Zombies but the combat took 4 turns and by the end both units self-destructed. By this time the lines had engaged, with the exception of the Skeleton Cavalry on both ends and my corresponding units. The Greatswords got stuck into the Zombie Trolls and an Abomination while the Pikemen went to work on the other Abomination. Matched up against the Skellie Cav, though, the Greatswords were spectacular and one-shotted both units with the judicious use of Command Cards. Although early on David had held a CC advantage he started to make use of the Reanimate ability so that by this point I had managed to achieve parity. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to manoeuvre the un-engaged Greatswords into pinch attacks for several turns and at this point the game started to turn.

In order to prevent the Skeleton Cav on my left rolling up my line I charged in with my remaining Scouts. They lasted for a few turns but soon the Peasants were called into action once more. At this point the Greatswords had only just polished off the Z Trolls and would take two turns to hit the Cav on the flank. With just 2 hit points remaining on the cav-engaged Peasant, and combat yet to be completed on my turn, it seemed inevitable that they would tear through them and then move beyond the reach of the Greatswords and into my exposed belly. I measured out a few ideas to delay them but was at a loss as the Peasants to the rear left of the fight were out of charge range. Then I realised I could reform them in situ and then wheel left to get half an inch abutted against the engaged Peasant’s rear. Suddenly I had a unit backing up would guaranteed, come what may, that at the very least I could charge Greatswords into the Cav flank (even without a pinch that would doom them) and polish them off before a straggling unit of Zombies could get involved. As luck would have it, though, the Peasants survived for 1 more turn after losing only 1 hit point and so when the Greatswords hit on my next turn they did so as a pinch. That was the end of the cav and all threat on my left.

While this was going on things had taken a turn for the worse on my right. The Skeleton Cav had blown apart my Peasants and were able to charge my Spearmen to the flank while the other hit them in the front. My Bravery-inspired Spearmen decided discretion was the better part of valour and routed on a 16 roll and were knocked from full health to a single red box on the free attacks. Fortunately, though, the inside cav had advanced beyond the centre point of the engaged Pikeman and were not only unable to take advantage on their next turn but were also able to block the inward facing cav from doing so also. By this time the near-dead Spearmen were rallied and advanced back into the fray to further delay the cav while on the left the Undead flank had collapsed utterly. The Pikemen finally finished off the Abomination and the Greatswords the other leaving 4 Greatswords (2 in the green, 2 in yellow) and the Pikemen and Peasant (both in green) facing a single Zombie and two battered Skellie Cav. At this point David capitulated.

This was a hugely enjoyable game and we managed to play through in 90mins, including set-up time. I am being won over more and more by Hawk Greatswords who are not only able to take a pasting thanks to 5 green boxes and 1/3 defence but can dish out punishment with a (5)6/6 profile that most line infantry can only dream of. I also got the opportunity to play with some Pikemen knowing full well that the forests nullified the bowmen threat and the number of units I had mustered would enable me to ensure a favourable matchup for the +1 defence bonus against cav/large. On the other hand I find Scouts continue to be a waste of time. Against the Skellie cav they did alright and almost won a fight until reanimation came into play. They failed to make it past his line as I intended, however, and so were simply a speedbump in the game. Bravery-inspired Peasants always work well and this game was no exception.

Positively, David finally managed to find a faction that worked well for him and I am now hopeful he will be a more competitive opponent than he was with the Dwarves and Lizards. He openly confessed he was less interested in winning than in testing out his units but given that at one point I was on the verge of defeat and only the Spearmen surviving (albeit with 1 hitpoint) and the Peasants managing to back up their brethren stood between me and total collapse.

Game 2

Once again we generated a scenario using Kingdoms – drawing Key Objective (possess the terrain and lower the die to 1 to finish the game) with the battle to be waged on the 3F map – 1 large marsh in the centre of the battlefield.

I mustered the following for 1,995pts with the intent to cede the terrain and play a Stand and Shoot battle:

2 Longbowmen (LBW)
2 Bowmen (BOW)
2 Heavy Infantry (HVY)
1 Spearmen (SPR)
2 Peasants (PEA)
1 Command Card (CC)

David mustered the following for 1,996pts:

1 Death Knights (DKN)
1 Giant Catapult (GCT)
3 Skeleton Spearmen (SSP)
1 Skeleton Cavalry (SCV)
1 Skeleton Bowmen (SBW)
4 Command Cards (CC)

...and deployed as follows:

Undead
.........GCT.SBW
...DKN.SSP.SSP.SSP.SCV
forward edge of deployment zone

.......LARGE.MARSH.........
.......LARGE.MARSH.........

forward edge of deployment zone
.....HVY....SPR...HVY
...PEA...BOW.BOW...PEA
...........LBW.LBW

My plan was to bombard his advancing horde with a battery of arrow fire, initially targeting the central Skellie Spearmen and spreading outwards. David, as usual, was all about advancing to the central axis before reassessing his targets and moving in for the kill (once I can get him to come up with some new plans I think my winning streak will be in trouble).

Despite David having a huge CC advantage at the start of the battle this one turned out in my favour on this front. By keeping my units on hold I was able to wipe out the central Skellie Spearmen on the second turn and amassing a significant number of cards early on. As David advanced he moved unopposed into the marsh and immediately began dropping the die until it rested on 2, thereby allowing him to end the game at his whim. Although controlling the objective would give him 400pts my having by now destroyed 1 Skellie Spearmen and 1 Skellie Bowmen ensured that the pts differential would only result in a draw. So far David had only managed to hit 3 and 2 hits on my Heavy Infantry and Spearmen respectively (with the Catapult and Bowmen).

At this point David decided to advance forward with his flanking cavalry which immediately turned inwards and stopped just shy of both Heavy Infantry. My immediate response was to throw both Peasants wide from behind the Heavies and also reordered the central Spearmen to move left towards the Death Knights (on my left). Time was a ticking, though, and David had to leave shortly for work so he made a wise call and dropped the die to 1, ending the game at the end of the turn.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alfred Wallace
United States
Champaign
IL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It looked pretty good to me--went to the end of the second battle and had a final points tally.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CJ
United Kingdom
Colchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
No, it lopped off the best part of 2 paragraphs and just looked like I was taking the piss. I'm going to try again editing this one as it adds to the overall report but never really warranted its own thread (I felt like a fraud putting it in know I would get GG for it).

edit:

-I retyped the remainder into the original post - no go, it was simply deleted when I clicked post.

-Retyped into a follow up reply - no go, again it vanished.

Not sure if there is some sort of issue with BGG, with my computer, or what...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
David Kitcat
United Kingdom
Malvern
Worcestershire
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chris, nice to have you back. I enjoy your session reports.

I found the Undead tricky to use. The Zombies can form a great wall to hold up average enemy troops (not Greatswords, though) while you do damage elsehwere. They are fairly cheap to Reanimate but the main downside of that is eventually you start to run out of cards & they do need cards to do any decent damage.

Skellies are more skilled, but they can't hold the line against better troops.

Rats & Ghouls are great on the flanks against Peasants & Militia.

The main problem I had was that the Hawks have such a nice range of good troops - they are a very well-balanced army - there always seemed to be a couple of units with an edge on me - either Heavy Infantry that I couldn't touch or Greatswords that would carve through my troops.

Perhaps you should get those High Elves out next time. They are the one faction that I haven't used either. You'll probably be able to run rings around him but he will have the longer battleline.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CJ
United Kingdom
Colchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
DaveKitcat wrote:
Perhaps you should get those High Elves out next time. They are the one faction that I haven't used either. You'll probably be able to run rings around him but he will have the longer battleline.


Yeah, but my love of Hawks is a thing to behold. I'm not sure I can bring myself to discard them so.

As for David, I think he is finally starting to get it. His declared intent to actually read the rules and some strategy guides (despite my having given him the lot years ago) is a good sign, I think. Afterall, gloating in victory doesn't feel nearly as good if you've just tumbled your opponent with ease.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
CJ
United Kingdom
Colchester
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mb
It's just been pointed out to me that 400/317=1.2618 which is actually enough to have scored David a minor win. I've had the misfortune to inform him via facebook and I await his response with trepidation.

Sufficed to say I cried when I realised this was correct soblue
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.