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Pocket Battles: Macedonians vs. Persians» Forums » Sessions

Subject: The value of TV trivia on the battle field rss

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Billy the Hut
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By way of a disclaimer this is a run down of my friend Jeff & my 1st go at Pocket Battles. Off the top of my head I can't recall who said it (I think it was one of the reviewers I've found here on BGG), but as they roughly put it, the 1st go is often a somewhat different game with the same pieces because rules are sometimes missed or not yet understood. So please forgive me if I've made an error in my initial trial of the game.

We spread out the game & went over the rules together and in doing so Jeff happened to end up with more Macedonian troops in front of him than Persian troops. This was how we choose sides. We then figured a sixty point army would be good. The rules suggested 50 to 100 point. We figured 60 would be a good small initial intro without hitting the sparse minimum suggested.

The army building phase it seems is a rather important part of the game. I believe having a bit more experience with play will make each of us far more proficient at this. Luckily we each were approaching this with an equal level of inexperience.

We proceeded to combine our chosen troops into units:


Then we did the initial army deployment:


Jeff was the 1st active player and as an opening move he charged my left flank (two Takabara, a median Cavalry, & Standard Bearer) with his right flank (Prodromoi, Hypaspistai, & Hetairoi). His charged wounded my Cavalry but left all my forces standing and I returned the strike to no effect, no hits. No matter I felt good about this flank and my odds. So in return I carried on with the engagement. As well as reinforcing the flank with units from my center. His forces had clearly spent many an hour on the drill field while my troops had spent the time discussing the latest episodes of Downton Abby. I again failed to land a single blow and he completely eliminated my unit.

At this point I've used up one of my order tokens and lost the rest to wounds. Jeff still has three of his six order tokens to use. He charges my center twice as well as dusting me with arrows. This process eliminates my remaining center unit, that all the while were debating the Masterpiece Mystery series Sherlock, because they never did manage a single hit. Ouch!


By the end of that 1st battle round I had scored a total of ZERO damage on the Macedonians, yet I'd lost 29 points of my original 60 point army.


Now you might have expected me to concede at this point. cry The Macedonians were now outnumbering me almost two to one, their forces were clearly better trained and I was a hair's breath away from defeat. However I hung in there because I had one last hope. The Persians had one last advantage in this battle. They had clearly demonstrated they were more well versed in the intricacies of current British TV drama.

So we began the next Battle round. I pulled the unit I'd used to reinforce my left flank back to the center and charged hitting the Macedonians. It was stunning. ninja A move that caught the Macedonians completely off guard. shake They never expected the Persians to hit their ranks like water over a duck's back.


In the end it wasn't a total flop, I did finally land a hit, taking down 3 of Jeff's units, each worth 2 points. Yes it's true, Jeff thumped me. But I still consider it a moral victory.
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Matt G
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Billythehut wrote:

...Jeff was the 1st active player and as an opening move he charged my left flank (two Takabara, a median Cavalry, & Standard Bearer) with his right flank (Prodromoi, Hypaspistai, & Hetairoi). His charged wounded my Cavalry but left all my forces standing and I returned the strike to no effect, no hits. No matter I felt good about this flank and my odds. So in return I carried on with the engagement. As well as reinforcing the flank with units from my center. His forces had clearly spent many an hour on the drill field while my troops had spent the time discussing the latest episodes of Downton Abby. I again failed to land a single blow and he completely eliminated my unit.

At this point I've used up one of my order tokens and lost the rest to wounds. Jeff still has three of his six order tokens to use...


Hi, thanks for posting. I always enjoy reading the session reports. I think I can help with one of the first game glitches. You count the wounds for all the troops but you only need to apply a wound token to your unit when a troop isn't eliminated - that is, for troops with more than one wound that are left standing (e.g. Cavalry).

Using the example quoted above, you elected to apply a wound token to the cavalry unit when Jeff scored a hit on the first turn. That was correct and leaves you with five order tokens. You could have chosen to apply the hit to the Takabara troop but you would not need to apply the wound token to your unit since the troop was removed (it only had one wound).

You used your second order to attack the engaged Macedonians (swing and a miss, bummer). I infer the Macedonians responded with four hits since you said your unit was eliminated. All troops in the unit were destroyed therefore you wouldn't need to spend any wound tokens. You should have four order tokens left to tell your units to put down the remote and respond to his next charge.

I recognize that I could be wrong and that you played it correctly since this session isn't completely turn-based but I thought I'd clarify just in case. The strategies between the armies are more nuanced then they initially appear.

Keep up the fight!
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Mike G
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Nice session report. Welcome to Pocket Battles!

You just discovered that playing with lower point armies is difficult. It's hard to recover from a direct hit since it takes out a proportionally larger part of your army. With larger armies you have more time regroup and recover.

I'm curious to hear your next experience with larger armies.

Now take those remotes away and get those soldiers back into training!
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Billy the Hut
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MattG wrote:
I infer the Macedonians responded with four hits since you said your unit was eliminated. All troops in the unit were destroyed therefore you wouldn't need to spend any wound tokens. You should have four order tokens left to tell your units to put down the remote and respond to his next charge.


You're right he did respond with 4 hits & I did give up a wound token for each killed unit. Well, so much for that. Thanks for the heads up on my mistake.
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Matt G
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Go for the rematch - Alexander wouldn't stand for a doubt cast over his victory!
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