Sunday. The last gaming day of the year. Holidays and sunny weather meant it was only Mark and I for games today. We were both pretty keen for a reasonably relaxed and quiet day.
I initially suggested we play the The Challenge scenario, but as Mark's Warlord is mounted, we couldn't figure out if that meant his Warlord would have to charge mine in the first turn due to the rule that says Warlords have to do that?? And then, what would that mean from a game perspective??
Anyway, we rolled for a mission using Crescent & Cross instead and ended up with the best mission that we could for a fun afternoon.
The Last Stand.
Mark had seemed to misplace his balls when it came to bidding by bidding 10 turns (the maximum bid) compared to my small balls bid of 8 turns. That meant I would have 8 turns to destroy his force. This was going to be tough.... but then we read the rules some more.
Mark read the deployment rules. My foot troops could come on from any table edge. I asked him to re-read that. Yeap, my foot troops could come on from any edge.
I then read the deployment rules. Yeap. Any edge.
We'd also missed an important rule when bidding.... Endless Warband. That changes things a little....
I stuck with my standard Anglo-Dane force (and yes I'll be purchasing some soon along with some Vikings to mix & match a little :) ).
Mark adjusted his Milities Christi force a bit:
8 Hearthguard (mounted)
8 Warriors (crossbows)
And so we started. Mark's forces deployed, their backs to the terrain.
And then the Anglo-Dane advance began.
I bought on the bulk of my force on the side closest to Mark's Hearthguard... I was hoping to get to grips with them quickly if I could. Another unit of Warriors advanced around the terrain eyes firmly on those dirty dirty crossbows.
But then Mark ran away.... his Hearthguard and Warlord legged it out of the way. The crossbow armed Warriors peppered my Warriors causing some casualties...
I continued my implacable advance. And got peppered by more bolts.
But I had got lucky... a large number of 6's meant I had extra Saga dice. More 6's meant I now had "Trapped" ready to go. So I played it. Mark had to think carefully now... all that fatigue was dangerous (especially since he knew I enjoyed "Intimidating" units).
So, he did what any good general would do and charged my Hearthguard with his Hearthguard... and won, forcing my Hearthguard back.
I had got a little cheeky on my turn though. My sole surviving Warrior from the unit after the crossbowmen charged and gave his life for the glory of the Danes. In doing so it added another fatigue to the crossbow armed Warriors exhausting them.... I smiled quietly (might have been more of a giant grin.. maybe..) since they were now effectively neutered.
Here's how things looked at this point. Reincarnated Warriors are advancing from the left. My right is still very strong.
By now I have figured out that I don't need to be careful with my units - they can come back! I need to get into combat! Not only to win the game, but to keep Mark's forces in place (by building fatigue) and whittle them down. I've also realised that spending his fatigue is also going to do me no favours. He needs to keep his fatigue.
The not spending of fatigue makes things a little harder for me, but I send the lads in anyway. Warriors charge the crossbowmen getting them down to 3 then finally 2. The other Warriors charge the mounted Hearthguard a couple of times getting them down to 1. My Hearthguard muck around and get themselves killed.
I then happen to have a spare Saga die and since I'm not sure where to put it, I consult my Saga board - "Exhaustion" immediately jumps out... bye bye crossbowmen. My Hearthguard resurrect and get some vengeance...
Finally on my turn 7... it's down to this...
The Milities Christi Warlord runs away...
I close in for the kill. My first (larger) Warrior unit charges...
And misses. Misses with everything. Bugger.
My second Warrior unit (the smaller one) charges in. They get a few hits. It's enough.
Game over with victory to the Anglo-Danes.
Post-game discussion centered on whether Mark should have sent his last remaining mounted Hearthguard in the opposite direction. I had a unit I could bring back in my turn, so not sure it would have made much difference to the overall result, but I think it would have made for a nervous turn 8!
- I bought on units of Warriors of 5 or 7. That's cool to do? We had thought they needed to be even numbers for some reason?
- Do you generate Saga dice based on the number of units? I effectively had an extra unit of Warriors at one point, so another Saga die to the pool?
It was too hot in the garage. So we flagged playing any more games. Mark already had some plans to cool down later in the evening. I figured it was a good plan and made sure I was ready to be able to head along....
Nothing like a dip in the ocean on a hot summers afternoon for a few hours followed by a chocolate ice cream (victors spoils.... it was Mark's shout :) ) on the way home.
(I've shamelessly stolen the above pic from Lee, but it gives you idea on why the beach was chosen over the garage today...)