Friday, 31 May 2013

HOTT - Return Of The Night Of The Generals

Last night we played a HOTT big-battle. In order to keep the flanks occupied, though, we mixed up the deployment of the commands, so that each army was not just on one side of the table. Commands could start with an enemy command to their side. This made for a more complex game, with commands having to rush to the aid of other ones that were being surrounded and overwhelmed.

Each army was made up of four 24AP armies (we didn't mix troops up into specialised commands as you would for a 'normal' big battle). There were no strongholds, but each side had a CinC.

The majority of teh figures came from Geoff and Peter's medieval collections, so we had lots of human Spears, Blades and Knights. John fielded a Numidian force of Riders and Warband, whilst I went for the token non-humans, fielding the Ophidian snake-men (with three Magicians) and the Warband/Knight menace of the Squidmen. Two human commands were allied with mine and we apparently became the forces of Chaos, because were weren't completely made up of warm-blooded, bipedal vertebrates. Personally I think legs are over-rated.

Anyway, here you can see three of the generals considering their deployment. We played on an 8' x 2' table, using 15mm figures. There was a very wide road running down the centre-line.

The Squidmen. They had no real opposition in front of them, and spent most of the battle marching around the wood.

Some medieval humans. The enemy. Also I got my finger in shot. What an amateur.

More humans. I think these were on my side. The big knight-wedges in the centre were classed as Behemoths. Opposite them are John's Numidians in a skirmish formation.

The Ophidians. Three Magicians seemed to scare people. They also eat PIPs.

More medievals face off against each other.

Advancing armies. All of those Knights were a bit scary for an army which has a core of Warband, so I hid the foot in a village and pushed the Magicians to the fore.

The first big clash - Heroes and Riders attack Shooters and Spears.

The Squidmen creep up behind the fight.

Oops! Peter charges his Knight general into a Shooter and loses big-time. However this was also the CinC, and on his next PIP roll the command went demoralised, breaking the Human army. Game over.

Ophidians face a human attack ...

... and then watch the rout.

We set the game up and played again, but I didn't take any photos. A shame, as it was a much longer, and closer, fight. The Squidmen were surrounded and wiped out early on, leaving us a command down, but in the middle the Numidians were caught in a pincer and ended up in a lot of trouble. More troops got sucked into the fight, and casualties mounted on both sides, with the Humans having the edge. However Caesar, teamed up with the Squid/Snake Alliance, got lucky and killed two enemy generals in one bound. Both of their commands broke, and half of the human army fled the field in one fell swoop. Pathetic humans.

The format worked well, and made for an interesting couple of fights with players having to react to foes coming from more than one direction. It would be interesting to see how it works with more Aerials (we didn't have any).

One thing we are considering for future battles is some kind of march-moves so that commands on the flanks that deal with their opposition can then exploit the situation more effectively - basic troop movement, which works fine on a board suitable for 24/36AP gets a little slow on larger tables. We are just considering allowing troops to make a second move, so long as it doesn't go within a certain distance of enemy elements - effectively troops out of contact have the option for a double-move.

One shot from the second game - here we see a couple of Numidian horseman contemplating the guns of a steam-tank.

And on the subject of tanks, let me finish with the return of a regular feature on this blog - Ralph's Burning Tanks! This week he will be mostly exploding in North Africa.

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