Sunday, 7 February 2016

War on Barsoom - Seasons One and Two

In my last post I gave the rules for a simple mapless HOTT campaign, designed for use with my Barsoomian armies, but adaptable for just about anything with little or no modification.

So how does it play?

I picked six of my Barsoomian armies; the Red Martian city-states of Helium, Gathol, Manator and Jahar, plus the Green Martian horde of Warhoon and the Black Pirates of Kamtol. This would give three games in each season. I decided that I probably wouldn't play all three games, and would focus on one nation as mine, treating the others as non-player nations. I chose Gathol, because it has a nice mix of aerials, foot and mounted. The other nations would choose their opponents at random (I ought to be able to work out a clever algorithm for this, but not just yet), and I would resolve their battles with a simple opposed roll; one D6 each, +1 if you have a Warlord bonus, and highest wins. If the total was 3 times  that of the enemy then it was a big victory, gaining extra Prestige.

Enough waffle - on with the campaign.

Season 1

As described in the previous post, each nation started with three Resource Points and zero Prestige.

I rolled a D6 for each nation, and added the number of Resource Points they had (three, in all cases). The totals were:

Helium - 8
Warhoon - 4
Gathol - 7
Manator - 6
Jahar - 5
Kamtol - 4

The Green Martians of Warhoon won the dice-off, so as lowest scorer they got to choose who they attacked. The went for me - Gathol. The Black Pirates of Kamtol were next. They could now only attack Helium, Jahar or Manator. They rolled the latter. This left Jahar and Helium. Jahar had the lowest total, so would be attacking Helium.

Since I was actually playing gathol as 'my' nation, I set up their battle against the hordes of Warhoon. I was the defender.

A Green Martian battle-plan is not a subtle thing. With eight Knight elements a full-frontal charge is often the best approach, and it was certainly the best option in this case, in a hope that my line could be breached before I could effectively bring my aerial navy into play.

The hordes of Warhoon charged and the brave warriors of Gathol held them. The fighting was fierce, it's true, but the red men prevailed.

Defeat came when the Warhoon general over-extended himself, and was cut down trying to force his way through the red line on his own.

As a winning defender I didn't gain any Resource Points. However since both armies had an equal Prestige (zero) I gained one point for defeating an army with equal or greater Prestige. The Green Martians didn't lose any Prestige. In addition I defeated the Green Martians comprehensively - 8AP of their army, plus their general, for a total of 10AP, against no loss on my part. This gave me an extra point of Prestige for the epic victory.

So, Gathol went from zero Prestige to two Prestige.

I decided to play the next game purely out of interest. It's a while since I've used the mostly aerial Black Pirates, and Manator is an interesting foe, as they have no aerial contingent of their own. It would be a tricky fight for the Red Martians.

Manator defended, and the Black Pirates found themselves negotiating some tricky ravines on their approach to their opponents.

This is the core of their army; four Airboats, including their general.

The battle developed with Black Pirate scout-fliers engaging the Manatorian reserve on one flank, whilst their warriors tried to secure the other.

The Manatorian cavalry fought well, but was caught in the open by the enemy's aerials.

After a long fight the Manatorian general was cut down by Black Pirate Blades, to give the raiders a 10-7 victory.

The Black Pirates picked up a point of Prestige, but also gained a resource Point for being a victorious attacker. Obviously Manator lost a Resource Point

The third battle saw Jahar attacking Helium. I simply resolved it with a die roll, and Helium won. This gave them a point of Prestige, but since Helium was defending no Resource Points changed hands.

At the end of Season one, this was the position:

Helium - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Warhoon - 3 resource Points, 0 Prestige
Gathol - 3 resource Points, 2 Prestige
Manator - 2 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 3 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Kamtol - 4 Resource Points, 1 Prestige

Season 2

Once again I rolled a D6 for each nation, and added the Resource Points. The scores were:

Helium - 8
Warhoon - 5
Gathol - 9
Manator - 7
Jahar - 6
Kamtol - 5

Again it was a dice-off between the Black Pirates and the Green Martians as to who would choose a target first - not inappropriate really. The Pirates chose first and opted to attack the Green Martians of Warhoon. This left Jahar, as the next lowest score, with the choice of Helium, Manator or Gathol. They went for Manator. Helium was the next lowest but would be attacking the only remaining target - me.

Again I was the defender. Like the Black Pirates in the previous game, Helium ended up attacking through a series of ravines.

Helium's aerial navy was supported by John Carter himself.

Both armies pushed forward quickly. Helium advanced their navy to take on mine. I swung my cavalry across from the other flank to support my aerials. Helium advanced their infantry to prevent this. I advanced my infantry to attack them. Simple, really.

A big aerial battle commenced on the one flank.

In the centre my brave warriors attacked the Heliumitic dogs.

John Carter found himself isolated, and I sent as much cavalry as I could muster to get him.

The naval battle didn't go well for me, and soon Helium ruled the skies. But they were unable to make much of their advantage; both sides were dogged by numerous PIP rolls of '1', which meant that moving aerials was impossible and, indeed, doing much else was difficult. With the higher Prestige I had the Warlord bonus, but true to form the 'best' roll I got when using it was a '3'. It did allow me to avoid yet another '1' though.

John Carter was in serious trouble. But he's John Carter and, believe it or not, he survived this.

Heliumitic fliers came in to support their leader. He held off attack after attack ...

... but eventually the odds caught up with him, and he fell to a sword-blow to the head*

I lost 8AP. Helium lost 13AP, and I got a 2AP bonus for taking out their general as well. This wasn't enough to net me a bonus Prestige point. and since Helium had a lower Prestige than me I didn't gain one for the victory either.

I resolved the other two battles with die-rolls. The Green Martians of Warhoon defeated the Black Pirate attack on their lands. Since the Pirates had the higher Prestige they lost a point, and the Green Martians gained one. Jahar defeated Manator. As the attacker they took a Resource Point, and also gained a point of Prestige because both nations had the same value.

The status at the end of Season 2

Helium - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Warhoon - 3 resource Points, 1 Prestige
Gathol - 3 resource Points, 2 Prestige
Manator - 1 Resource Point, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 4 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Kamtol - 4 Resource Points, 0 Prestige

So Jahar and the Black Pirates are starting to edge ahead as winners, with Manator looking pretty sorry for itself. The first two nations may find themselves more on the defensive now, whilst Manator goes on the attack looking for land.

I may play out a couple more seasons and see where things go.

*John Carter doesn't die. He's stunned, left for dead and will awake the next day on the battlefield ready to wend his way home via an extraordinary series of adventures. He'll be back in time for the next battle as well.

1 comment:

  1. Those armies look great. Nice write-up; thanks for that!


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