MOAB is looming large on the horizon, so last night we thought that we'd better start fitting in a few games of 36AP HOTT in preparation. I haven't decided on an army for this year, but I put something together from my Barsoom collection - the army of Helium with Green Martian allies.
In the first game I played Geoff, who was using a pretty generic medieval army - Knights, Blades, a few Shooter, a few Riders and a Paladin
36AP does not favour armies with aerials, since it still uses 1D6 for PIPs, and there's never enough to go around even for basic troops. But I had an aerial wing nevertheless. Geoff opposed it with his crossbows.
Splitting the aerial up probably wasn't a good move, but I had a cunning plan, and only required one, half-decent, PIP roll with which to implement it.
I didn't get it; for seven bounds I failed to roll above a 3 for PIPs, and only got one 3. The bulk of the fighting was therefore done by my solid line of Blades, who were facing Geoff's equally solid line of Blades.
Blades vs Blades equals lots of shoving back and forth.
Geoff had a group of Knights and Riders on one flank. He had to work them past some bad going fields, but my lack of PIPs meant her was able to do it before my Green Martian allies (Knights, and a single Hero) were able to take advantage of his vulnerability. Even so, they made a bold attack on his flank.
With my aerials being whittled down by Geoff's missile troops, John Carter was forced to head over to my other flank in order to sort things out.
The Green Martian flank attack had some success, but without PIPs it petered out. Tars Tarkas, the Green Martian Hero, moved into to position to just cover the flank.
He was attacked by Geoff's Paladin, and killed.
The rest of the Green Martians came over to avenge their fallen Jeddak.
But they were too late. Geoff's army broke through the Red Martian line, and the Martians routed.
In fact although the Martians had lost half of their AP, they had pushed their opponents close to their breakpoint as well. A few decent PIP rolls at a couple of critical moments could have seen them pull off a victory.
In my next game I faced an Ancient Greek army under Peter. There were no real fantasy elements in this at all - just Spears, Riders, Knights, a handful of Shooters and an elephant Behemoth.
Again my aerials were opposed by enemy missile troops, and they pretty much just eyed each other up for the whole of the game.
The main battle was on my right, where the Green Martians faced the Greek cavalry, and their elephant.
The mighty Martians slaughtered their human foes, helped by Peter's appalling combat rolls. And Tars Tarkas killed the elephant.
What a great thing to write. I shall write it again. Tars Tarkas killed the elephant.
In the centre the armies met on a hill, with the edge the Martian Blades had being offset by the Greeks being upslope. Again, there was lots of shoving back and forth.
But on my right the Green Martians were having it all their own way. With one flank collapsed, and a stalemate in the centre and on the other flank, Peter conceded. Without extraordinary luck there was little he could really do to salvage the game.
I do like the look and scope of the 36AP games, but it really does penalise armies with more than one aerial element, or anything else which could be PIP-heavy. I suspect that I will be steering clear of massed aerials in October.