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Small battles in a big game

Posted August 7th, 2013 at 02:27 PM by Sylvano the Wasabus
It’s summer and with extra free time due to no school we have begun another Big Game, as we call them. We made a world map- islands and ocean- with different terrain and outposts that generate 20 points a turn. We each have five factions. There are wild outposts too, which grow at just 10 points per turn, though I think there is only one left now. The others have all been captured.

The orc nation is fairing the best. They have the small advantage of being near the edge of the world- this world is flat and you can fall off, as it is on paper- giving the orcs one guaranteed secure border. In their sector Rome struggles on and Jandar has failed utterly, reduced to less than a hundred points through repeated attempts to take a feral outpost.

These are really fun battles. One of the good things about a big game is that it has a lot of variety in the play but it’s all tied together. The beginning battles are small and they grow larger as the game progresses. Already Einar is facing off against the Undead/Japan alliance. Einar is putting up a good fight but I fear the end is inevitable.

The Undead/Japan complained that Einar had violated their territorial waters. Really the claim was outrageous – just a pretext for the coming fight. Before Einar could move a medium army of 225 points the Undead/Japanese engaged it with a 325 point army. This was all at sea, so by our rules the fight is a boat battle.

The Undead/Japanese invasion army was actually spread out over three squares- sailing speed is determined by 20d. So this 325 point vanguard contained only Undead points. They assembled a force on one large boat (we use inverted terrain pieces as ships). They had a pair of cannon, some lackeys to fire them and a pair of the new untried vampire warriors to fly overhead and drool.

Einar is my faction in this game and I wasn’t worried even though I was 100 points weaker than my opponent. They had spent valuable points on boats and cannons and I was going to do neither.

Our faction system is a little different than yours, so I was able to take 2 air elementals, 2 water elementals, 2 white wyrmlings and Morsbane in a little tiny boat. Admittedly he looked a little silly but I had taken him to help against anticipated enemy fliers- if he negated their flying they’d likely drown. All the figures except Morsbane didn’t need boats, and the water elementals were in their optimal situation.

But as usual, things did not go as planned. After some initial boating for position, the Undead cannon had range and Splash! took out both water elementals on their first turn. I was faced with two turns of approach, exposed to cannon fire before I could even engage. I choose retreat, paid the 10% penalty and got out of there. It would be better to combine those points with armies already marshalling on the Einar mainland.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the Templars were trying to take a wild outpost and make it their own. The outpost was on a small island, so the Templar battle would be a landing- they’d have to approach with boats or fliers (45% of an army can be mercenaries). The outpost defenders are chosen randomly by 20d- in this case, dwarves. Templars with 140 points, dwarves with 110.

I really love these small battles. What every figure does is so important. Luck is pretty important too. They’re fast, they’re exciting and sometimes one decision or one individual wins the fight.

The Templars landed with only one squad- four Templar penitents. These halberdiers are the faction’s heaviest infantry, and one of our game’s toughest crews. I had chosen the Griffin clan archers, hoping to shoot them in the water, and George Fredrickson, a weak melee hero.

Well, I screwed up the positioning and the Templars were able to zoom in, land and engage before I could get a volley off. I guess I’d forgotten the reason that dwarves have short legs- they don’t run. In our game they only have three move. The Templars cut down two of the four Griffin Clan and things looked grim. But the dwarves rallied and killed two of the pennants, eyes for eyes.

What happened next is the stuff of legends. The penitents freaked. Their strong defence should have been enough to repel a couple of flimsy arrows. George Fredrickson is armed with spear and 20d attack that works 19+. I don’t ever remember it working. The Templars cut down the rest of the Griffin Clan and George was left alone with the two pointy penitents, on a narrow spit of land, his back to a swamp with a nice view of the sea.

They hacked at him and he poked back. Fredrickson only has 4 life. Soon he was up to three wounds, but then he got his 20d and dropped one penitent. It was down to a one on one. He got his 20d a second time and won. But there were no Templars left alive to say Holy Crap....

I was certainly happy but it was terrible for the Templars. Their expeditionary force had been destroyed and their boats captured. They were in the center of the map- weak already because it has two fronts with orcs on one side and Japan/Undead on the other. What’s a Templar to do?

Well the obvious choice is to make treaties. Making a treating with a large power never really works. “I’ll try not to step on you,” says the elephant to the beetle. So the Templars entered the Alliance of smallish central nations- The Kingdom of Arc and the Kingdom of York. With Yorkist assistance the Templars take the outpost and then they wait- stuck in the middle with their allies as their large enemies grow closer on each side....
Total Comments 8


Arch-vile's Avatar
Sounds like a crazy fun campaign, like mixing Risk and Heroscape, with a little Star Wars battlefront galactic conquest sprinkled in.
Posted August 7th, 2013 at 02:40 PM by Arch-vile Arch-vile is online now
ZBeeblebrox's Avatar
Sounds like a lot of fun Sylvano.

Reminds me of what I have been working in this year. Hopefully I will be in position to reveal soon
Posted August 7th, 2013 at 05:23 PM by ZBeeblebrox ZBeeblebrox is offline
flameslayer93's Avatar
Seems like a blast! Hopefully the Orcs win. Orcs are awesome like that.
Posted August 7th, 2013 at 08:07 PM by flameslayer93 flameslayer93 is offline
MegaSilver's Avatar
Always great to read your blogs, StW.
Posted August 8th, 2013 at 12:43 AM by MegaSilver MegaSilver is offline
chas's Avatar
Send in the Elves!
Posted August 8th, 2013 at 09:07 AM by chas chas is online now
Tornado's Avatar
Sounds awesome. Reminds me of some old War of the Lance games from back in the day.

Looking forward to your project ZB.
Posted August 8th, 2013 at 11:19 AM by Tornado Tornado is offline
greygnarl's Avatar
Love reading about your big game. Would you ever consider making a state of the game thread where you give updates however often makes sense so the community can follow along?
Posted August 8th, 2013 at 08:46 PM by greygnarl greygnarl is offline
Sylvano the Wasabus's Avatar
I don't think I could keep up on a state of the big game thread- we play about six nights a week and a lot happens. Sometimes there are turns of manoeuvrings and diplomacy leading up to the battles. And sometimes, after a crushing defeat, one isn't so cheerful about the game....
Posted August 16th, 2013 at 09:10 AM by Sylvano the Wasabus Sylvano the Wasabus is offline
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