Sunday, 31 May 2020

Barsoom Rampant

Having enjoyed a game of Dragon Rampant yesterday with co-opted HOTT amies, I decided to try a different setting, and put together a couple of 30pt forces from my collection of Barsoomian HOTT armies.

Red Martians
Leader - Elite Foot with Venom (John Carter)
3 x Offensive Light Foot (Red Martian Warriors)
1 x Light Riders with Flying (One-Man Flyers)

Green Martians
Leader - Heavy Rider with Fear (Jeddak of Warhoon)
2 x Heavy Eiders with Fear (Warhoon on Thoats)
2 x Offensive Heavy Foot (Warhoon Warriors)

I rolled the Pot-Boiler scenario, with the Red Martians defending. Rather than them boiling up prisoners in a cooking pot (which is the premise of the original scenario), I had them covering a rescue operation where the Barsoomian equivalent of nuns and orphans were being airlifted from a crashed flyer.


The Red Martians have to form a defensive perimeter and prevent the Green Martians from contacting the rescue mission. Each turn they rescue one nun or orphan. If the Green Martians contact the crash, they kill the survivors automatically. There are ten survivors.


John Carter supervises operations.


Green Martian riders appeared to the south.


Other warriors moved in from the east and north.


The Red Martians rushed forward to block the rapidly moving Green Martians.


The Green Martians charged!


To the east the Green Martians kept their eyes on the prize, and tried to bypass the Red Martian warriors on the hill there, but were charged.


Meanwhile the Green Martians to the north came under fire from the Red Martian flyers.


To the south the Red Martian foot fell back, but they'd emptied many Green Martian saddles in return.


The Green Martian jeddak joined the fight.


That purple marker is the point the Green Martians have to contact.


Another Red Martian charge saw some Green Martians scattered.


But the other Red Martian foot had fallen back, shaken after their encounter with the jeddak of the Warhon. John Carter was all that stood between the mounted warriors and the crash-site.


To the east a ferocious sword-fight was developing, but the Red Martians were getting the worst of it, despite their uphill advantage.


The Green Martians attacked John Carter, who cut them down.

(I left the die rolls in shot. A 3+ is a hit and because of the Venom trait he counts each 6 as two hits. He killed four of their six figures outright.)


The Red Martian foot rushed in and finished off the surviving Green warriors.


But it was too much for them, and they ran as well.

(They destroyed the Green Martian unit, but failed the post-melee morale check and routed. We can assume that they went haring off in pursuit of survivors or something.)


The Jeddak charged in. He'd boasted that today was the day John Carter would fall, and was intent on making good his claim.


He was decapitated, the wounded survivors fleeing the field.


To the north the flyers had kept up a steady fire, and drove off the Green Martians there.


This left one group of Green Martian warriors to the east, who passed the morale test for the loss of not only their leader, but the rest of their force as well.


They advanced steadily towards the crash-site, as the flyers shot at them.


The surviving Red Martian warriors fled as the Green warriors approached.



John Carter was slow in reaching the rescue site. A charge by the Green Martians would reach it ...


And did.


I didn't play out the final melee, but we can assume John Carter avenged the massacred survivors.


And the final tally? The Red Martians rescued six of the ten survivors (6 Glory) with the Green Martians cutting down four (4 Glory). The Green Martians scored 3 Glory for only ever having one battered unit on the table at one time (mostly because they died or routed when they failed morale tests), but failed in their quest to kill John Carter, or have all five of their units launch a charge at some stage (the northern unit, shot up by the flyers, let them down there). So they got a net 1 Glory for Quests - a total of 5 Glory. The Red Martians had already won on that basis, but scored 2 Glory for killing the enemy Jeddak (John Carter really didn't like him at all) and another 1 Glory for scoring 3 casualties in one turn (they did this more than once because of John Carter). They failed to launch the first attack of the game, so ended up with a total of 9 Glory, giving them a fairly solid win.

Later on I set up another game. For this one I dropped the flyers from the Red Martian force, replacing them with Tars Tarkas, a Green Martian Heavy Rider with Blessed Weapons, and dropping one unit of Green Martian riders to replace them with a Lesser Warbeast with Fear (supposed to be a pack of calots but actually depicted with the obligatory plastic dinosaur)

I randomly determined a scenario, and got Lion Rampant's 'Meeting the Neighbours'. This required each warband to cross from one corner of the table to the opposite, scoring points for exiting units, but with the wrinkle that they are each heading towards each other's entry zones. The scenario ends when one side has exited all of its surviving units, so it's a race of sorts; if you get left with units on the table they score nothing.

John Carter led his troops forward.


The Green Martians were slow to activate at the start, despite the bonus leadership abilities their commander had.


The two sides approach each other. The Martian warbeast headed along the north edge in an attempt to avoid a compulsory charge for as long as possible.


Tars Tarkas charged some Martian riders


He fought like a demon, drove them back ...


... and wiped them out.


A group of Red Martian warriors hung back to engage the warbeast. The Red Martians prized the skin of this particular animal for some reason, and had vowed to kill it.


Of course, convincing it to part with its skin was easier said than done, as they soon found out.


In the centre John Carter led his men past the Green Martians, who headed in the opposite direction. I'm not even going to try and rationalise this totally un-Barsoomian state of affairs.


One unit of Green Martians blocked his path. He drew his sword ...


... and the survivors fell back. Unfortunately they were blocking the Red martians' path to their exit zone, whilst the surviving Green Martian units now pretty much had a clear run to theirs ...


... aside from Tars Tarkas, who attacked the opposing leader. In the ensuing fight the mighty Thark fell unconscious (and was, we can assume, captured by his foes), but he took plenty of  enemies with him. This was good; damaged units count less when exited in this scenario.


Now the Green warriors could head for home.


Near their exit zone the warbeast was dining well on Red Martians. The ones not eaten fled.


John Carter moved forward and the Green warriors facing him also fled.


The last few turns of the game went down to movement activation rolls. The Green Martians got their final units off the table first ...


... whilst John Carter and one unt of Red Martians left the board on their side.


The Green Martians had got three units off the table, but two of them were at half-strength or less, so were only worth 1 Glory. The other was worth 2 Glory. The Red Martians exited two full-strnegth units for 2 Glory each. So in terms of the basic conditions the encounter was a draw. But what of the quests? Both sides had stated that all of their units would charge, but this was an empty promise on both sides, so they both lost 1 Glory for that. The Red Martians had, once again, boasted that they would score a pile of damage in one round, and thanks to Tar tarkas they did so, giving them 1 Glory. But they failed to kill the warbeast, and lost a point for that. The Green martian fared better. They scored 1 Glory for striking the first blow, and another 2 Glory for seeing two Red martian units battered at the same time. The totals? The Red Martians finished with 3 Glory owing to their failed quests, whilst the Green Martians won the encounter with 6 Glory. Had the Red Martians killed the warbeast they would have won.

I'm not sure if my classifications fully do justice to the warriors of  Barsoom, but they were both great games and I enjoyed playing them.

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Dragon Rampant - The Crystal Gale

It's been a while since I played Dragon Rampant, so I modified the two HOTT armies from the other day - Fishmen and Ophidians - into warbands. I set up a random terrain, and randomly got the Crystal Gale scenario.

Both forces were built to 30 points. 

Fishmen

Leader - Heavy Foot
2 x Heavy Foot
1 x Offensive Heavy Foort (Troll)

2 x Heavy Missiles
1 x Bellicose Foot



Ophidians

Leader - Heavy Foot with Spellcaster
2 x Offensive Light Foot with Enchanted Weapons
1 x Light Missile
1 x Greater Warbeast


The Quests were as follows. They were randomly determined; I normally randomly select four and drop one, plus drop or change any that don't make sense:

Ophidians - No more than one Battered unit, and no use of magic (3 Glory each). Cause 3 Strength Points of damage in a singe turn (1 Glory).

Fishmen - At least three enemy units Battered at one time (3 Glory). Destroy two enemy units in one turn (2 Glory). Have opponent make first failed Courage check (1 Glory).

This is a scenario where the Quests are important, since both sides will generally acquire roughly equal numbers of crystals. The scenario ends when the last crystal is collected, so one side may be looking to deny the enemy access to last crystal or two whilst they set about trying to achieve their Quests.

The Ophidians had the edge on Quests; they could probably avoid having multiple Battered units, and with a small unit count were unlikely to have three Battered units in play at one time, making the Fishmen's Quest difficult to achieve. Their spellcaster was wasted points, but could be used in an emergency. But on the assumption that both sides would collect roughly equal numbers of crystals, the 3 Glory for not using magic was, in fact, quite worthwhile.


The Ophidians got off to a slow start, whilst the Fishmen advanced and grabbed up a pile of crystals. The Fishmen went for an aggressive attack on their left, but were up against the Ophidian's assault troops. Needless to say the fighting was bloody. The Fishman bellicose foot routed from the first combat.


With a few Quests to achieve, the Fishmen covered one of the crystals in order to stop the Ophidians from collecting it. A crystal is only collected if a unit moves over it; a charge doesn't count. So by sitting near the crystal, the Fishmen forced the Ophidians to drive them away from it before they could collect it. And this would expose the Ophidians to morale tests which in turn could see their units battered or destroyed, thus giving Glory to the Fishmen.


The Ophidians failed to move forward on their left. The Fishmen moved some missile troops into the bad going there in order to contest the collection of the crystal in it.


Eventually the dinosaur and the archers started moving.


The Ophidian assault troops attacked the troll, wounding it, but also taking casualties.


The troll held the first attack, but ran from the second. The Ophdians lost a unit, which was bad for the Fishmen as well, since a dead unit can't go battered, and they needed three battered enemy units on table at the same time.


The Fishmen moved forward in order to try and damage Ophidian units - their missile troops in the brush opened fire on the dinosaur, hoping to goad it into a charge, whilst some of their heavy foot advanced towards the archers.


On the other flank their heavy foot formed a wall of spears, forcing the Ophidians to assault them in an attempt to drive them away from the crystal.


The second unit of assault troops was lost; the Ophidians were now down to three units, but were still ahead on Glory despite having fewer crystals. In the background you can see the second unit of Fishman missile troops occupying the temple, where they collected another crystal.


The dinosaur charged. The Fishman missile troops hadn't really slowed it as it closed, and suffered accordingly.


The Ophidians kept up the attack on the Fishman phalanx.


In the centre another unit of Fishman heavy foot had contacted the Ophidian archers, but the archers held firm, and drove the attackers back.


The dinosaur routed the Fishman missile troops, whilst the archers drove back the heavy foot with shooting. Battering three Ophidian units was looking increasingly unlikely.


Indeed another volley of arrows routed the Fishman heavy foot.


From their position in the temple the Fishmen opened fire on the Ophidian leader.


Meanwhile the Fishman leader approached the dinosaur, hoping to goad it into an attack, but the brush slowed its advance and made an impetuous charge difficult. The dinosaur collected the ninth crystal though, leaving just the one on the Fishman left.


Things were looking bad for the Fishmen; their heavy foot covering the crystal failed a morale test, and routed ...


... but under fire from the temple the Ophidian leader - the only unit which could collect the crystal - also went battered, and couldn't move until it rallied. The archers went battered as well, thus failing the Quest to have only one Battered unit on the table.


It failed to rally, and routed.


With their leader lost all of the Ophidians had to take a morale test, and the archers, who had also taken casualties from the missile troops in the temple, routed as well.

(I wasn't sure if this counted as two units destroyed in one turn, but assumed it did - the Fishmen achieved that Quest for 2 Glory).


At that point I did some calculations, and called the game. The Fishmen couldn't win, but had pulled it back to a margin of 1 Glory from what looked like a whitewash early on. I assumed they'd collect the last crystal.


The Fishmen collected six crystals (6 Glory), achieved on Quest for 2 Glory and failed two other Quests (-2 Glory). This was a total of 6 Glory.

The Ophidians collected four crystals (4 Glory), but achieved Quests worth 4 Glory (no use of magic and causing 3 Strength of damage in one turn). They failed one Quest (-1 Glory). This was a total of 7 Glory.

So a close game, and very much dominated by attempts to achieve Quests and pick up, or deny the enemy, Glory.

(Ironically I gave the Ophidians a spellcaster because I haven't used them that much and wanted to give magic a try. But the setup of the scenario made the No Magic quest very attractive indeed.)
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