And welcome to another edition of Rev's Battle Reports. I'm Rev, and once again I'll be taking you through the tactical ins-and-outs of medieval brik warfare while your eyes drink in my amateur cameramanship.
This evening's report is something special. You've seen several reports where I've squared off against my friend and colleague McLovin. McLovin and I have decided to play an open campaign of sorts, a series of battles along a "map"--if you will--that leads toward either one of our fortresses. The way this works is the victor of each battle "pushes" the battlefield toward his opponent's homeland. The battlefield will shift slowly over the games, rotating new terrain plates and keeping old ones along the boarder to give the illusion of progress or retreat. Here are some specific rules for the campaign:
6) Battles last 7-8 turns. At the end of each 4th turn, an army may call a limited number of reinforcements onto the battlefield.
7) Victory is determined by victory points similar to the style of Warhammer; each CP in casualties is one victory point for the enemy, and other victory points awarded for scenarios and objectives.
The losing party "falls" back but become responsible for reconstructing the battlefield; at least one, perhaps two rows of baseplates from the previous battlefield must remain the same.
9) Army construction is limited; each battle uses a designated number of CP for army creation and a set number for reinforcements; ALL CASUALTIES from any given battle may not be used when creating the starting army for the next skirmish (the earliest they can come back into the campaign is as reinforcements for the next battle). This has a larger impact on war machines and constructions than on actual minifigs.
10) By the same token, units that survive a battle are mandatory
inclusions to the next battles starting army. This obviously still counts against starting army totals.
11) War Machines and animals that survive the battle but have no "operators" may be captured by the victor; this does NOT count against starting army totals
12) The campaign progresses like this until we get bored!TL;DR
...time for some pictures!
This is a picture of the end of the battle, but it strikes me that I never took a picture with an "overview" of the battlefield. Both the Forestman's and the Dragon Guard's deployment zones are mostly open field. On the Dragon Guard's right flank is a fully assembled River Fortress; the center of the battlefield sports a river and a bridge, and to my left are more open field and a Forestman tree outpost. As always, the terrain offers important choices for deployment and combat later on.Turn 0/Set-up
(disclaimer: lighting in my house for this battle was weird and I'm still getting used to my iphone camera / photos will not be the best I've ever taken)
Yup, Rev is using the Dragon Guard. I'm going pretty infantry heavy this game with a lot of diversity. First, on my right flank, shielded by the River Fortress, I've got 3 dragons each bearing a bowman. I've taken a wizard hero with a spear bunker, knights with 1d10 armor and hammers, swordsmen with flaming swords, some archers, a ballista, and about 6 dual-wielding militia on the far left.
McLovin deploys in a fashion that has become very typical for his Forestman army. Either flank holds mounted knights, he goes crazy on the archer count, and the archers are screened by various Wolfpack and Black Falcon infantry with handweapons, spears, and shields. His hero is the collectible Brunhilda with a part of ghost bodyguards. The Dragon Guard win the roll to see who plays first!Turn 1
Shut up; I know first turns are boring. The Dragon Guard line moves forward. Tactically, I'm thinking a couple of things. First, I want my wizard and spearman to hold that center bridge. With his augments and their strength, I can likely use that to force an engagement between the river and the smaller tree outpost. This, handily is where I've scooted my ballista that is equipped with MKII grenades. The mistake I've made, however, is to put my fire-sword infantry so far to my right. They have no targets and won't be supporting anything trapped by the water like that.
On the right flank I pull a move that surprises McLovin. He thought my dragons would carry their riders all game. Nope. The only reason I put them on the dragons was so I could plop them on the Fortress, gaining superior range and cover. The dragons will then secure my right flank from behind enemy lines.
And with this positional advantage, the Dragon Guard shoot several Forestman. It's only turn one, but McLovin mentions to me that he has very poor hopes for this flank...Turn 1
In retaliation for their fallen buddy, the Forestmen by the Fortress snipe on of the Dragon Guard archers. Not too shabby.
In the center of the field, the Forestman skirmish party surges forward. The most intimidating and deadly part about this is all of the response actions his multitude of archers are holding.
Close-up on some riders.
And McLovin's final move for the turn on the left flank. Remember how I said I felt strong on the right flank with the Fortress? Not so much here. I've got 6 guys with handweapons and 2 archers to try and hold back these riders from getting behind my lines with rear charges and dismantling my war machine. With no pointy weapons on this side of the field, I'll also do pretty poorly trying to receive of the charges. I expect to lose this flank and just want to hold it up as long as possible.
Rounding out McLovin's first turn, these riders had come within range of the ballista, so I response-fire a grenade at them; one rider blows up and both horses take a point of damage.Turn 2
On the left flank, I spread out as you can see. The archers pick on and snipe the Wolf Pack rider. One down. To the right, the only Dragon Soldier with a pointy weapon makes a long charge to try and slay the Black Falcon's horse. The Dragon Guard soldier fluffs his attack while the resulting counterattack ends his life. That was pointless
In the center of the battlefield, the Dragon Guard continue to focus efforts on the forward riders (one, because they are exposed; two, because McLovin is really good at using cavalry; I want to take that away from him).
Even though I can't slay the armored
knight, grenades and archers swiftly eliminate his means of locomotion.
McLovin has a lot of saved reaction shots. As a result, the Dragon Guard only send in a single dragon at first. The dragon becomes a pin cushion after some nice critical rolls.
With the sky clear of arrows, the two remaining dragons swoop in! Boy was I hoping for some flame-thrower and CC goodness here, but both the dragons flub their attacks! Nooo!!!Turn 2
On the left flank, the Dragon Guard brace for charges from the riders. Two lances connect and splatter Dragon guts all over the place while an archer downs a militia as well. Yup, I'm just about ready for this flank to fold! Ugh, that would mean major failures on the right and the left...by now I'm worried that I need my middle to become impenetrably strong...
With Brunhilda in the lead, the Forestmen make for the choke-point between the river and the tree. Archers incapacitate a hammer knight.
And take a look at this! Some lucky shots from the ground mean the Forestmen eliminate another one of the Dragon Guard archers on the Fortress. AND if you look in the background, a lancer swoops in with his pile of 6's to smack around one of the green dragons. Gulp...the right flank that I thought would be so strong is buckling...
Some more dead dragon and a few of the Forestmen taking up residence across the river form my wizard and spearmen.Turn 3
Small consolation, the final archer in the Fortress takes a successful pot-shot at the rider who slew the dragon. I can deal with this.
A blurry photo, but through the haze, you can see some amazing things happening on the left flank! Dual-wielding militia rush up and lay a pounding on the Forestmen riders, slaying two of them! Very unexpected.
In the center, a couple things have happened. The Dragon Hammerers rush up, one of them takes out a ghost bodyguard. Two gang up on Brunhilda, but she calls the other ghost to redshirt. She then retaliates and kills a hammer.
Tactical Side-note: I'm fully expecting all of those hammerers and maybe even the next wave of infantry I send in to die at the hands of archers and Brunhilda the Hero. What I'm trying to do, though is eliminate all of the nearby redshirts so that I can take Brunhilda down in a single go. We'll see if it works.
And this shot was a very big game decider. So just a note, McLovin does not like Heroic Feats, so in all of our games, we play that Heroes have a supernatural dice pool. Brunhilda has 2d6 supernatural, and my wizard has 2d6 and 1d10 (McLovin was ok with this since it was all calculated by CP and wasn't vastly more than his own hero).
So, my wizard launches a fire-ball at a group of 4 clumped-up Forestmen infantry. On his d10 explosion, the wizard rolls a 9! Vaporize!Turn 3
The Forestman archers respond by taking out one of the Dragon Guard bowmen.
On the left flank, not much is happening. Some pillow fights and a militia gets into a scuffle with a spearman (upper-right). I'd like to point out that the Dragon Guard have indeed successfully halted the advance on this flank. The ballista and the backfield were successfully guarded.
In the center choke point, a dud grenade falls and another Dragon Hammerer bites the dust. So much for clearing out Brunhilda's redshirts.
I don't have any more pictures of the right flank with the Fortress this turn, so I'm assuming nothing of interest is happening over there.Turn 4
This picture takes some explaining. A spearmen Forestman had claimed an ridden a horse all the way across the battlefield to give to the armored knight. My ballista has run out of grenades. The Dragon Guard DON"T want the Forestmen to have any more cavalry running around. So the ballista engineer loads his assistant into the launcher and shoots it at the knight and using the momentum to knock him off. Notice, however, that the flying peasant took enough crash damage to split himself in half!
On the left flank more melees. A spearman is down and now a Forestman archer is in trouble.
Make that two Forestman spearmen clubbed.
In the center of the battlefield, the Wizard hero and his Dragon Spears claim the far side of the river. The Fire Blades approach Brunhilda.
Brunhilda is in trouble! The Fire Blades skewer the nearest Wolf-Pack ally.
Random picture from the tree-tops...I actually can't for the life of me remember why I took this photo...
...probably just to build suspense. You see, the lead Fire Blade attacks Brunhilda and rolls several critical successes. Even with her own supernatural dice, she cannot shake off the damage. Brunhilda, the Forest Hero, is slain! And with her death, the Dragon Guard are laying a very convincing claim to the center of the battlefield.
And as Turn 4 comes to a close, the Dragon Guard reinforcements arrive: another ballista with fresh ammo, a squad of spearmen with a Dragon Priest (read Medik), and a singular armored knight on the far left flank.Turn 4
This is awkward...One of two things happened. Either McLovin's Turn 4 had absolutely NO action in it (all retreating/regrouping) or I forgot to take photos of it...I can't remember. Anyway, the Forestmen mostly consolidate and McLovin's reinforcements enter the battlefield. The Forestmen reinforcements are pretty straight forward: 1 mounted knight and 9 spearmen all in a row.Turn 5
This picture may cause some dejavu. McLovin had mounted an archer on that horse there in an attempt to take it back to the knight who was knocked off earlier. Sensing the dangerous potential, the ballista engineer loads HIMSELF into the launcher and aims for the mounted archer. Neither one survives the crash...
On the left flank, the newly arrived Dragon Knight receives some help from a militia in dispatching one of the few remaining Forestman riders. The Dragon Guard, contrary to initial impressions, clean up the left flank
Dragon Spearmen who had crossed the river with the wizard make some successful and unsuccessful charges.
The wizard himself veers off with spearmen to continue engaging the Forestmen and their allies.Turn 5
With the Fire Blades approaching, the retreating forestmen pin one to the ground with arrows.
A reinforcement Crusader has arrived on the battlefield; he runs down a militia-man.
This picture gives you an idea of how the Forestmen have repositioned themselves behind the lines of their reinforcements (that's a lot of spears!)Turn 6
The Dragon Knight does his duty and careens into the newly arrived Crusader. The Dragon Knight wins.
In the center, there are a few more casualties on both sides.
And the Dragon Guard's wizard lets loose with a fireball again. I think based on the roll, McLovin should statistically lost 4 or 5 figs to the blast. A series of excellent armor rolls means only two succumb to the blast.
How about a nice field overview? The Dragon Guard's fresh spearmen are moving forward briskly. The Dragon Priest has been trying to Ker-Triage with NO success
I swear, between the two games I've actually used Mediks, I've only raised like 2 dudes! I can't roll on the Ker-Triage table for the life of me!Turn 6
More close combats in the center.
More combats and re-positioning.
Given how devastating he's been this game (protecting spearmen and vaporizing six infantry on his own), McLovin is now intent on at least killing my Hero (so I don't get him back next game). Between archers and spears, the Forestmen force the wizard to call for his last redshirt.Turn 7
Ok, so the Forestmen's knight finally remounts (At the end of the game!); the Dragon Knight continues his swath of destruction, however.
Not sure who has or has not been picked off in this picture; just more combats.
And another field overview. The ranks of the Forestmen are REALLY thinning out at this point.Turn 7
But wouldn't you know it. With the archers not close enough to redshirt (failed the roll), the Dragon Guard wizard is no more. A small victory.
Finally, on Turn 7, the Forestmen's knight ally gets his only kill. He swooped around and speared the Dragon Knight.Endgame
(Turn 8's really quick)
On the left, the Dragon Spears chop up a Black Falcon or two.
And BLAMMO! The reinforcement ballista finally gets in range and sends a mortar at a clumped group of Dragon Spears and Crusader allies. The damage is severe and all four are incinerated.
Which leads us to the first picture you saw, the wasted battlefield in front of the River Fortress. The battle--to both of our amazements--turned into a very distinct Dragon Guard victory. Let's take a look at the victors.
Surviving the battle for the Dragon Guard are: 5 Spearmen, 1 Militia, 1 Dragon Priest (Medik), 3 Archers, 1 Ballista Crew with Ballista, and 1 Fire Blade.
The Dragon Guard captured: 3 or 4 horses and maintain possession of an unmanned ballista.
McLovin's Forestmen retreat with just two archers and a knight.
Thanks for stopping by! In our next installment, the victorious Dragon Guard will push further into Forestmen and Crusader lands.