Obviously the first thing you do when you have a new HOTT army is to get it onto the table and play a game or two. So it being a quiet Sunday afternoon, that's what I did.
Whilst I do have some 'realistic' historical opponents for the Mound Builders, I just used the armies that were to hand. Specifically the Fishmen I was using in Dragon Rampant last week.
Here's the setup. The Mound Builders fielded a blade general (in litter), a blade, three hordes, a lurker, four shooters, a behemoth and a dragon. The Fishmen had six spears (including the general), one artillery, two warband, a lurker and a behemoth (the Sea Troll making his HOTT debut). The Mound Builders defended, and went for a river, hoping that they could line it with archers as the Fishmen advanced. Of course the battle ended up being fought along the river.
In an unusual move, the Fishmen deployed their artillery on the far side of the river from the rest of their army. The aim was to push it forward, and shoot at the flank of the Mound Builders, whilst leaving them to cross the river in order to deal with it.
The Mound Builders had obviously been busy, and had a nice mound to defend.
In response to the artillery, they pushed some archers and stinkards across the river.
The archers were attacked by a giant crab rising up out of the water. Note that I was using my No Water Lurkers variant, as described HERE.
The archers drove off the lurker, but in the meantime the artillery had advanced, with the sea-troll covering it on the other bank.
Whenever you need rescuing, a Thunder Bird turns up.
A good job, as the archers, having survived the giant crab, were wiped out by the artillery.
The Thunder Bird swung in behind the sea-troll, as the other archers tried to drive it back. It kept advancing ...
... only to be forced back after losing the close combat, with the Thunder Bird destroying it as it recoiled.
The Thunder Bird flew in behind the Fishman line.
The Mound Builder archers concentrated all of their fire on the Fishman general, forcing him to recoil into the Thunder Bird, and destroying him. Game over.
After such a short game, with only a couple of actual combats, I decided it was best to play another. This time I used the Elves, who were also still out on the table after last week's Dragon Rampant game. They consisted of two magicians (one the general), six warband and two shooters. The Elves defended, and placed plenty of woods in order to limit the Thunder Bird.
Warband covered both flanks. All very pretty, but could they fight?
The two Elven sorcerers held the centre.
The main Mound Builder force massed on their right.
The battle opened with an ambush by the Mound Builder lurkers. This was driven off, but left some of the Elves badly out of position.
The Mound Builders were moving a column of archers up on their left flank, so the Elves rushed their warband forward to intercept them.
Once again, the Thunder Bird put in an early appearance.
Battle was joined in the woods.
The Elves drew first blood.
But the Mound Builders got themselves organised.
A second group of Elvish warband tried to move up in support, but were blocked by the returning lurkers and the Thunder Bird.
The first Elven casualty.
The battle raged to and from in the woods.
The Elven magicians joined in, attempting to bespell the Thunderbird.
Moving forward, both magicians were able to bring their magic to bear, but still couldn't drive the mighty bird off.
On the other flank, the Mound Builders charged into the Elven archers in the woods there.
The battle at its height.
The giant looks down on the puny Elves before it.
Meanwhile the archers finish off the last of the Elven warband in the other wood.
The Great Sun continued to push the Elven archers.
Whilst the giant swept away the Elves before him.
With their army crumbling the Elvish magicians launched a double magical assault, one driving back the giant in confusion, whilst the other failed to drive off the Thunder Bird. Again.
The Mound Builders pushed forward; one good hard attack and the Elves would crack.
But once again it was the Thunder Bird which won the battle, swooping in on the Elven sorcerer-princess and killing her to win the battle.
The position at the end of the battle.
Two wins in two games is a good start for any army. It will be interesting to see how this army fares in DBA as well.
As a game of HOTT with a new army, this qualifies for my Six By Six project as well.
6x6 - Game 1.4