Saturday, 4 July 2020

Aztecs vs Mount Builders - HOTT

I played a quick game of HOTT this morning, pitting the Mound Builders against some Aztecs. 

The Aztec plan was bad. Split the army and try to swamp one flank with the hordes. This requires PIPs and timing. The Aztecs failed on both accounts.

The Mound Builders were in a strong position, with their toughest troops in the centre and their flanks covered by swarms of missile troops in bad going.

And their 'dragon' - a shaman-summoned Thunder-Bird, turned up quickly.

The Aztec advance was slow.

And the advance of the hordes was quickly broken up by missile fire.

The main part of the Aztec line continued to advance very slowly, whilst the Mound Builders shuffled troops ready for the attack.

The Thunder-Bird flew into the Aztec rear, ready to pick off troops if they retreated from the rain of arrows, dars and spears the attacking Aztecs would be subjected too.

Broken up and already suffering casualties the Aztecs charged. The ensuing scrum was something of a stalemate.

The Thunder-Bird attacked and destroyed the magicians supporting the Aztec commander.

But by now the Aztecs had their own 'dragon' on the board, in the form of a feathered serpent. With little left to lose, it attacked the Thunder-Brd, and in the first piece of good fortune for the Aztecs, destroyed it.

It then swung across to attack the Mound Builder line, scattering a mob of stinkards.

But the other Aztec flank was compromised niw, and losses there broke the army - their serpent had arrived too late

Poor PIPS and a poor setup saw the Aztecs attacking a tough foe too slowly and in insufficient numbers.

I'm tempted to do a refight using DBA tomorrow.

Friday, 3 July 2020

HOTT 52 - Week 27 - The Spawn Of Tiamat vs The Horrors Of The Dreamtime

For this week's HOTT game I got out a couple of my mythological armies - the Sumerian Spawn of Tiamat and the Australian Horrors of the Dreamtime. Tiamat ended up defending.

Tiamat herself is a magician general, and is supported by an army made up of hordes and knights, with  beast, a behemoth and a hero as extras.

Here are some of the knights and hordes.

The Horrors have a flyer general and are mostly a mix of hordes, beasts and behemoths.

The battle started with the Horrors deploying lurkers against some of Tiamat's beasts and destroying them. The lurkers would then go on to hover on Tiamat's left flank for the rest of the game.

The Horrors advanced.

The mighty Wulgaru and the Great Whowie of the Murray River led the way.

:urkers skirmished with hordes on Tiamat's left.

The Horrors' left was covered by their magician element - the Goose Women.

One of Tiamat's monsters clashed with the Horrors' insect hordes.

Both armies were closed up now and looking somewhat fragmented.

The Wulgaru charged Qingu, Tiamat's hero consort, and drove him back.

The fighting in the brush on Tiamat's left intensified as the Horror's beasts

Tiamat's magic drove off the Whowie.

The Horrors' general, Marmoo, flew in on Quingu's flank as the Wulgaru pushed him back further.

Tiamat moved to oppose the insect hordes, but also to get away from being an overlap so that she could continue to use her magic.

Tiamat's behemoth got sucked into the fighting in the rough on the flank.

It destroyed some beasts and drove off some of the lurkers.

Marmoo and the Wulgaru still couldn't finish off Quingu, despite their positional and combat advantage, but magic from the Goose Women ensorcelled him.

This allowed Marmoo to hit Tiamat's flank as his insect hodes came in from the front. Tiamat fought them off.

Tiamat used her respite wisely, and cast chaotic magic at Marmoo, destroying him.

The Horrors had lost their general, but Tiamat's forces had suffered more losses, so the armies fought on.

The Horror's were paralysed by the loss of their general, though, and halted for a turn. Tiamat's forces took advantage of it and surged into the attack. The behemoth destroyed another group of beasts ...

... whilst her right overwhelmed the Goose Women.

This meant the Horrors had now taken sufficient casualties to lose the battle.

Tiamat Triumphant!

This was a close battle with a surprising amount of magical activity and some swings of fortune back and forth.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Mean Guys

I tried another of the 'Palaeo Diet - Fireside Tales' scenarios at lunchtime. I'm not working through the campaign, so the mighty Herc was assigned two companions at random - he got one with a spear and one with an axe.

This scenario is 'Mean Girls' in which Herc and his friends are surrounded by a group of female hunters and must defeat them plus, if they can, recover the chief's splendid belt. I lack any prehistoric amazons, so simply used another tribe of hunters. They are run as beasts using a new Outfolk Hunters beast reaction table.

Herc and his friends, plus a couple of their foes in the distance. Herc and co win if they kill, or drive away, three of the five Outfolk.

Herc found himself by two opponents who seemed particularly aggressive. He wounded one.

Meanwhile his companions moved to attack two outlying Outfolk before their friends could move up and support them. Both Outfolk ended up wounded.

A third opponent attacked Herc, who decided discretion was the better part of valour, and fled the fight, turning to down one of the Outfolk with an arrow as he did so.

One of the Outfolk attacked Herc, who was now seriously injured. But a companion killed another of the attackers.

Herc's spear-armed companion was in trouble, and one of the Outfolk rushed past Herc to finish him off. Herc let fly with another arrow, and the third enemy fell.

At this point I could have ended the scenario; Herc and his friends had killed three of the five Outfolk in five turns. But I decided to keep playing to see if they could get hold of the belt. This involves searching dead bodies and hoping one of them is the chief.

Sadly extending the game cost Herc a companion, clubbed by one of the Outfolk.

They searched two bodies, but neither were the chief. And the two surviving Outfolk were closing in looking dangerous. Herc and the surviving companion decided to quit whilst they were ahead.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

The Power Of One

The Power Of One is a scenario in the basic 'Palaeo Diet' rules in which a single hunter, plus his faithful hound, must achieve a fairly ambitious hunting target within a tight time-limit in order to regain the good will of his tribe. I thought it would be a fun way to while away a chilly Sunday afternoon.

The targets - a couple of mammoths and some wild cattle.

And the hunter. I went with the basic spear-armed hunter for this game. he's accompanied by his hound.

I decided to bypass the cattle initially and take down a mammoth, as this would provide the majority of the bulk I needed to win. The aim was to send the hound round one side to stop the animals moving away, and then take one down as quickly as possible.

Unfortunately one of the mammoths seemed particularly stroppy. As he dog worked around the pair the mammoth turned and attacked it.

The hound tried to move away, but the mammoth attacked again, and killed it.

So really it was now down to the hunter to try and spear a mammoth without assistance. His attacks were pathetic. and the mammoth attacked and injured him.

With time running out I took the desperate decision to switch to the cattle.

I injured one, but the herd scattered.

Then stampeded away from the hunter.

I chased after them ...

... but they kept running and fled off the table.

Night fell and the hunter had nothing to show for his efforts. A failure.

I tried it again, this time switching to a hunter with an axe.

The hound moved round the side of the cattle, my target for this game. 

It got overenthusiastic, however, and moved in to attack one of the beasts, injuring it.

However this had the effect of driving the herd towards the hunter ...

... who killed one of them before they scattered towards some woods.

The herd was totally panicked by this stage, and disappeared into the trees. But I had plenty of time left, and decided to try and kill a mammoth instead. The hunter's first attack injured one.

The mammoth attacked, but this hunter dodged it.

The mammoth bellowed, and the hunter retreated, not wanting to incite another attack.

The hunter crept in for another attack, wounded the mammoth again but was wounded in return.

The mammoth ambled away, pursued by the hound.

The hunter kept up attacks, trying to direct the hound such that the mammoth didn't retreat too far away.

But the mammoth's bellowing kept the hound and the hunter nervous, forcing them to back off, and then begin the process of stalking all over again.

Another attack saw the mammoth on its last legs ...

... but neither the hound nor the hunter could finish the job before night fell.

So the second game was closer to victory than the first - one more hit would have finished the mammoth, achieving the necessary bulk for a victory - but it wasn't to be.

One thing I did try was having terrain affect the movement of beasts. In the game as written only impassable terrain and sheer drops have an effect on their movement, but I like the idea of slowing prey by forcing them through rough or tricky terrain. So for thickets I assumed that, like hunters, beasts would move one stick slower (except S, which would stay as S), and that any L move through tricky ground would be reduced to M. I might try some more with line of sight as well, as this seems to have very little effect in the game.
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