Thursday, November 8, 2012

Up on the soapbox. Time to rant!

Notice this rather unique "battle" image from my 5th game of the tournament.  

Yes, you see that correctly.  Jamie has narry a figure on the table, and the game is about to begin.  That is not by choice, that is just the pure playtesting genius that is GW.

We were playing the dreaded Recon scenario, which made everyone's lives much more difficult.  It should be a fun scenario, but it is poorly designed, to say the least.  The FAQ that came out just before the tournament only made things worse.

Speaking of worse, this matchup (and the resulting reinforcement rolls), was the worse case scenario for this scenario.  You had arguably the fastet army in the tournament... my Easterling Alliance, vs dwarves.  Ouch.  My infantry was moving more than double the speed of the stunties, thanks to the war drum.

What made things a disaster was the bad reinforcement rolls of the dwarves.  As you can tell, they did not show up.

To make matters worse, you have to deploy off a specific point of the board, which creates a very small area in which to deploy.  There was barely enough room for the 4 chariots and for the 6 cav.  Anything bigger... who knows what happens.

That lead to this situation.  I am almost half way across the board, and there are no dwarves!

The objective is to get as many of your troops off the board via the opponents deployment zone as possible. Great for me, right?  Not so!

Since none of the guys I would run off the board would count as casualties,  I would never reach my 25% break point (when the game is supposed to end).  So, if I ran off all my guys early, Jamie would simply move all of his dwarves (slowly, of course) off the board unopposed.

Sounds like a fun 2 hours, doesn't it?

Jamie even had to use a point of might to get the archers on the table (the figures in the right hand corner).

Basically, this is where I lost the game.  I was already feeling very bad about the situation.  All I had to do was weave back and forth with all my fast stuff, and just run by the dwarves.  If they spread out to stop me, they would get pummeled, creating a gap, through which the rest of my cav would run through.

I went off to the left to deny the archers any shots,and started marching my infantry forward as well.

I fake to the left, with the intention of hitting the weaker dwarf warriors in the center.  My original intent was go go all the way over to the right, hitting the archers, who had already spent a point of might.  The infantry would trade places, and form a wall against the dwarves hustling on over to join that fight.

However, I felt really guilty about this, and I decided against that dance move.  That is where the game would go from a prefect storm for me to a complete disaster.

I was able to make a decent charge at the warriors, but flubbed all the rolls.  Yes, I survived all the throwing axes and such, but now I would be really stuck there if I lost priority.  If I won it, I could escape...

I think you already know how that turned out.  Lose priority, get stuck, etc.  Spend might, lose roll off, etc.  Getting my foot troops all the way down there helped to even things out a bit, while the terrain did keep the Iron Guard and Khazag guys away from me for the time being.

I do manage to get some kills, but I cannot extract myself.  This is bad.  On the far right, my infantry engages the archers as much as possible to prevent shots at the pikemen, and to keep those archers from marching off the board themselves!

I did have a chance, however, to rescue the situation.  Jamie called a heroic combat with Balin and buddies on the chariot you see surrounded.  I knew that he wanted to kill that to get to the king.  Since he had priority, there was no way to avoid it.  However, both characters were fight skill 6.

In the inevitable combat, I managed to roll a 6.  I think he used a point of might to make his a 6 as well, which lead to the most important roll off of the game.

If I won that roll, I would probably not do any damage to him, but I would be pushing away all his best combat units well away from the fight, into terrain, etc.  That would be just enough to let me kill off the weaker warriors and get to the finish line, using the war drum.

So, it was all going to some down to a 50/50 roll, which I really hate.   Sadly, it went for the dwarves, and that ended the game.  Neither of us would get anyone off the board, so that +3 for killing the general would be the difference in the game.

I had killed twice as many dwarves as I had lost, but they were nowhere near their break point.  Time expired, and that was it.

As I have said, this scenario is pretty badly designed.  I would have to play it again with the elves, and I was going to take a very different approach.. Stay tuned!


  1. Noooo
    King Khosrow is turning in his grave..
    Kataphracts should not loose with dwarves ;(

    Its his punishments for taking those anachronistic chariots for sure :)

    1. He... it was the chariots that saved the Kats from all those bow shots and throwing axes...

  2. I couldn't agree more about the scenario. It is poorly written and i expect some tweaks in further tournaments.

    1. I felt very bad for Brent, since GW left him stuck with that FAQ (which only made it worse). This is either lack of playtesting or playtesting limited to the same few people who only think in GW-ese, whatever the heck that is.