Monday, January 13, 2014

Little Wars

I played a(n even more) simplified version of HG Wells' Little Wars with my son (age 6) this weekend.  I played an 18 figure all-infantry Army Red against his combined Army Dark Blue forces of 24 infantry and 8 cavalry.  Each side was equipped with a Playmobil cannon.  Victory would go to the first side to get three figures to the opposite bound of the playing field.  Melee was decided by simply throwing a die each with loser tipping over a figure – in the event of a tie both figs were knocked over.  Terrain was board books stacked upon eachother and some Lincoln log structures. We obeyed Wells' rule of "guns first": that is, you fired your three shots with you cannon at the top of your turn, then did all your movement, then resolved any melee. All movement was 12 inches.

He won rather convincingly but highlights (which placed us firmly in the land of play) included my hitting a cavalry figure, and then having it fall over and knock his companion over, and so forth twice more, like a row of dominos, killing four in one shot! The other trick shot was firing a dart through the doorway of the Lincoln log structure and back out the opposite side to knock over two Army Dark Blue troopers who thought themselves protected.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Of broken vikings.

We played SAGA twice more.  Initial deployments of fist game seen above - my Anglo-Danes at top and Gabe's vikings at bottom.  His archer unit is just out of the left side of the frame. Gabe used the rock outcropping for cover, then tried to flank around it to attack the Danes' left flank.  

My counter was my a new tactic I'd thought of for the Danes, which was to burn a whole turn's worth of activations to slide my entire warband to my right by a full move. Dane warriors then fell upon the viking archers. Viking warriors counterattacked (burning up a lot of activations as a result) with the Dane's falling back but incurring a lot of collateral damage.
Meanwhile I'd been using the Anglo-Dane's Intimdate ability to cancel viking activations and keep the attempted flank move stalled. The end result was that we reached the fifth (out of six) turn and I had a big points advantage and (once again) all his forces were too far to engage for melee before the turns ran out.

The first game took longer to play than the previous session, so I suggested removing some terrain and then "mirroring" the rest of the board.  This was just a sort of staight up line-up-opposite and have at it game.  This eliminated Gabe's usual problem of getting the majority of his units in striking distance. However, the signature Dane ability (Intimidate - which cancels an enemy activation) gave me an edge again (I think), as the Dane right curled back in the face of advacing elite troops then stalled thier advance.  The game was decided on warlord vs. warlord combat which I won.
We then discussed the Viking faction and what its strengths were (if any).  Gabe read up online a bit and found a lot (A LOT) of instances of vikings losing.  My inkling is that the viking faction is poorly suited to the "Clash of the Warlords" scenario wherein the victory conditions favor conservative, low-casualty play (since each casualty is a point for the other side).  We're going to use the "Battle of the Ford" scenario next time which involves two bridges, with points at the end of turn six determined by how many figs each side has on the opposite side of the river.