Friday, 12 August 2022

Gory Bloodbath

I set up another game of Dragon Rampant the other day, using the Orc warband from the previous game, and an Elven warband. I created some random terrain and selected a scenario at random as well, getting the basic Gory Bloodbath fight.

Elves are on the left, with 1 x Heavy Rider with Blessed Weapons (Leader), 2 x Heavy Foot, 2 x Light Missiles and 2 x Heavy Riders. The Orcs once again fielded 1 x Elite Rider with Level-Headed and Fear, 4 x Light Foot and 2 x Heavy Riders.

Both sides had Quests that meant they would only have one battered unit at  a time and were looking to score lots of casualties on their opponent.

The fight opened with a series of actions between the mounted elements on both sides. The Orcs lost a unit of Wolf-Riders, but took out some Elven cavalry in return

Eventually the Elves prevailed, with the second group of Wolf-Riders skulking away battered and never returning to the fight.

Meanwhile the Elves were content to sit and wait for the Orcs to come to them; if the Orcs didn't then the Elves could move up and shoot at them until they advanced or died.

The Orc light foot was going to struggle against the heavier Elves, but the idea was to inflict some hits then try to use their hideously expensive leader to break the Elven units

The surviving Elven cavalry attacked some Orcs who retreated into the village.

Archers rained down arrowy death on another group of Orcs.

Things really weren't going well for the Orcs.

Their leader charged and rolled badly in combat. It was obvious that he wasn't going to score that winning kill.

With no obvious way for teh Orcs to win I ended the fight. I didn't calculate Quests or Glory; I just assumed that the Orcs had lost.

The Elves are a tough proposition in this scenario, which is just a straight battle. In a more involved scenario this pairing might produce some more interesting results.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Dragon Rampant - Ents vs Orcs

After my game of HOTT the other day I was reminded that I hadn't had Dragon Rampant out on the table in ages. It's easy enough to repurpose HOTT armies into a warband, and I thought that it would be fun to give the Ents another outing on the table, albeit with a different set of rules.

I opposed them with some Orcs.

The two warbands were as follows (both 30 pts)


Ent Leader - Offensive Heavy Foot
2 x Big Ents - Offensive Heavy Foot
2 x Smaller Ents - Heavy Foot
2 x Woodmen - Scouts


Nazgul Leader - Elite Rider with Level-Headed and Fear
2 x Wolf-Riders - Heavy Riders
4 x Orc Warriors - Light Foot

I rolled the Blood Feud scenario from Lion Rampant. The Orcs were looking to kill the Ent Leader, whilst the Ents had to try and destroy the Orc warband. The random terrain gave a battlefield with just three hills on it.

In terms of Quests, both warbands declared that they would never have more than one battered unit on the table, whilst the Ents declared that they would destroy the Nazgul and the Orcs that they would destroy half of the Ents' units.

The Ents formed a cordon around their leader.

Early moves. The Orcs moved their wolf-riders on the left to attack and harry the Ents there and maybe open up a route for the Orc leader to break through and attack their Ent counterpart. The Ents made for teh long ridge. Holding this with the Woodmen and smaller Ents would create a nice road-block and prevent the Orcs from bringing a large force to bear on the Ent leader.

Wolf-riders caught some Woodmen in the open and easily routed them.

Ents counter-attacked.

Another overview. Both warbands were advancing slowly.

The Ents now had some of their force on the hill, though, and shooting from the Woodmen inflicted hits on one of the groups of Orc foot. The Orcs then charged and caught the Woodmen on the hop, routing them.

Over on the flank, one of the groups of wolf-riders had routed, but a larger Ent had also fallen back battered and seemed incapable of rallying. Some smaller Ents were still fighting the other group of wolf-riders, with little success. At some point two lots of Ents were battered, causing them to fail one of their quests. And then the group of small Ents routed.

Some Ents stood firm on the hill. A group of Orcs charged them, lost the fight and immediately routed. Other groups moved to attack from the flanks.

A large Ent retreated off the table. This now left the Orcs only having to destroy one more Ent unit to complete their quest to destroy half of the opposing force.

They redoubled their efforts on the Ents on the hill, hoping that a steady chipping away would cause a rout. To be honest the Orc foot came off worse as the Ents forced up close and fended off all of their attacks.

The Orc leader was now working his way around the flank

Whilst Orc foot kept one large Ent busy, the Nazgul charged the Ent leader, driving it back.

Ents held firm on the hill.

The Ent leader counter-attached, and managed to catch teh Nazgul on the halt (it failed to countercharge). But the Ent failed to inflict any casualties, took some hits in return and retreated, battered.

The Ents on the hill charged the Orcs opposing them. Both units routed.

This meant that the Ents had taken half losses and had to test morale. They passed. They were also down to two units, and the Orcs were down to three, so the end-game results were triggered Each side would have to dice on their turn to see if the game ended After three turns of relatively little action, it did. 

Neither side had achieved their scenario victory conditions; the Orcs had not been destroyed and the Ent leader was still alive. So the Glory went down to Quests alone. The Ents failed both of their so scored -2 Glory. The Orcs achieved both of theirs; they had destroyed half of the Ent warband and never had more than a single battered unit in play (because their troops simply routed whenever things went wrong). This gave them 5 Glory. So the Orcs picked up a convincing win.

I was surprised at how quickly Dragon Rampant came back to me, since it's been a good couple of years since I played any game of this type. It's the first time I've played the game using either of these armies; I might tweak both warbands a little before I field them again; the Orcs could be interesting with light missile weapons for their foot for example.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

Ents vs Elves

It's been a while since I played a game of HOTT, so I decided to set one up the other day. Doing so I came across this Ent army I made for my wife over 20 years ago. It's probably not been out on the table in over 15 years, so I though I'd give it an outing.

It's not one of my finest efforts in terms of painting, and the figures aren't the best either (Irregular Miniatures mostly), but they were OK in their day I guess.

The army consists of three Behemoths (including the general) four Warband, two Lurkers and a beast. The warband represent smaller Ents, the lurkers are allied woodmen and the beast is a shape-shifter in bear-form.

They ended up facing my Elves, who defended and fielded a hero, four shooters, two riders and four spears (which included the general).

The Ents formed up - the larger Ents formed the centre and the faster, smaller ones were on the flanks. The bear was on the far left.

The Elves occupied a field on their right, but the ally woodmen were hiding in it and ambushed them. The Elven archers fought them off.

The Ents advanced, and the Elves sent out cavalry to turn their right flank. Some smaller Ents occupied a hill to delay them.

The cavalry attacked, but the Ents swept down the slope (like that landslide in The Railway Children) and destroyed one element of them.

However the other cavalry swung into their rear, charged down the slope and destroyed them in turn.

However the cavalry had been delayed long enough that the Ents had now reached the Elven line

The first attack saw some of the Elves pushed back, and element of spears destroyed  ... and their general slain!

With 6AP lost to the Ents' 4AP the loss of their general meant that the Elves broke.

This was the final position; the Elves still had strong flanks, but their centre was buckling even without taking into account the loss of their general.

So in their first outing in decades the Ents picked up a swift, if lucky win.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Treasure Junks

When I organised Galleys & Galleons for Thursday evening I wasn't sure how many players I would have to accommodate, so I put together various sheets with ship-stats on them so that I could run a range of scenarios. One of them was based around my Chinese treasure-junks. In an idle moment over the weekend I decided to set up the game.

Here are the mighty treasures ships, carefully maneuvering past some shoals.

But a couple of opportunistic Dutch captains are on their trail, looking to grab a portion of the fabulous riches on board.

The junks formed a ragged line heading for the safety of the top-left corner, whilst the Dutch moved to intercept them.

The Dutch close up. The wind was very lively during this game, and shifted from the south (bottom of picture) to the north (top of picture) fairly rapidly. This left the junks in irons. It then shifted to the north-west, making it hard for the Chinese vessels to reach safety and leaving them somewhat immobilised in the face of the Dutch attack.

The Dutch open fire. The junks are a tough target to damage, but it's not impossible, and there was always the possibility of critical hits.

The Dutch kept firing as teh junks swung around to bring their broadsides to bear. The Chinese have strong gunnery, but with a low quality it's harder for them to bring it to bear effectively. The Dutch couldn't match. them for strength but could shoot twice as often.

The Dutch eventually inflicted a hit on one of the junks.

The Chinese, however, responded by taking one of the Dutch ships between two fires. 

An overview of the action. The wind was still against the Chinese, who were moving to make a series of  tacks to get themselves to safety. Meanwhile one of the more agile Dutch ships was turning back into the fight whilst the other was starting to suffer damage.

Slow and steady won the race; the Dutch ship suffered so much damage that it sunk.

Two of teh junks now headed for safety, whilst the damaged vessel did its best to follow them. The surviving Dutch ship tried to head back into the fight, but a lucky shot damaged its rudder, hampering its mobility.

The Chinese steered carefully past some rocks.

Unable to steer effectively, the remaining Dutch ship collided with one of the mighty behemoths. This wrecked the Dutch ship.

I played out the end of the action to see if the Chinese could steer to safety. It was touch and go, and once ship came very close to hitting the rocks.

However eventually they all made it to safety. One junk was slightly damaged.

The Dutch lost both ships sunk.

I used the Cromster from the rules for the Dutch, and the Treasure Junk stats from the supplement for the Chinese (although only one had the Flagship trait). The Dutch should be able to win this if they can hit the junks with long-range fire and score some criticals to slow one or two of them down or to cause them to fail activations. As it was the junks, immobilised by the wind to a high degree, were able to concentrate short-range fire on the Dutch and give as good as they got.
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