Last night Jaime got his revenge from Playtest Game 1, taking Wuxing vs. my Ravenwood armyl
Jaime had felt that the Terracotta Guardians had too many non-red boxes when they were 5/5/3, so we experimented with them being 4/5/3.Set up & Strategy:
Bear Pack, Bearkin x4, Brownies behind Wolfkin, WolfPack behind Bear Pack.
Bearkin, at 244 for a (5) 5/6 unit with 13 courage, seemed like an ideal unit to grind it out vs. 1/3 Terra Cottas. I took 2 Bear Packs in case he tried to slope his line back, and they too should fare well. I'm not sure how good a plan it was to take the Wolfkin & Wolfpack, though figured they could delay, or pinch if his line were too short. Perhaps I should've swapped them out for Bearkin & Brownies, but I wanted to take a variety of units.
Wuxing, left to right:
Guardians, Jade Nobles, Salvaged, Swordsmen, Spearmen, Guardians, Salvaged behind Monks.
Point to Jaime for taking a very nice grab-bag of units, allowing us to see them all in action.Initial Moves
Our lines spread out and advances.
On the right, Jaime decided to line up the Monks vs. my Bears. I was OK, though not thrilled with this. Observe that his Salvaged are trailing considerably--Jaime would have to waste 3 command actions moving his units to preventing pinches. (Minor advantage to Ravenwood.)First Engagement!
Two untis have engaged: Bearkin vs. Swordsmen (advantage Ravenwood) and Bearkin vs. Spearmen (theoretically even). Jaime spend a CA to keep his Salvaged out of the fight for a turn.
On the far left, the Guardians have not yet moved. Jamie was debating whether to remove their move cap and engage the Bears (He decided against it.) Anyway, the Jade Nobles' flank was well protected as soon as they move.
On the first turn of combat Jaime got what just might be the best use ever of a "Fortunes of War card." I'd played Strike on a Bearkin who was taking on Spearmen, needing 6 dice at 5s and 4s. I got 5 hits, then did 5 damage...he played Fortunes of War, and all 5 of my dice were 5s and 6s!
I also whiffed miserably vs. the Sworedsmen too, though later on I got some very good rolls, so overall my dice came in about average.Mass Engagement!
Left to right...
Bears & Guardians, a theoretically even fight (307 vs. 308) savage each other with obscene dice rolling. Both go into the yellow; the Bears hold.
Bearkin do surprisingly well vs. the Jade Nobles. Since they have Spirit Gudance marked, I'm all-but guaranteed to put them in the yellow next turn.
Bearkin predictably start mauling the Salvaged. I consider this a deployment error by Jaime--if I can get through them fast I'll be able to pinch those Jade Nobles!
Grinding in the center.
Wolfkin don't engage as they were on Hold; Bears don't engage because they'd been capped at 2.5" I didn't quite have the room to go twos-company vs. the Monks, so I send the Wolves at the Salvaged--sad!Grinding and Routing
More grinding combat up-and-down the line. I roll 3 rout checks and fail two, but one was Wolfkin (which kept them alive longer vs. the Guardians), while the other I had an Aspect of Wolf card and next turn was mine, so they'd be back in position.Sad!
Jaime was spending command actions to fix Breakdowns, only rarely making Manipulate Qi boxes ahead of time.
Left to right.
Guardians and Bears (cut off by accident from the photo) grind away.
Jade Nobles break down, and since next turn is mine and their box isn't checked, their next swing will be pathetic.
My Bearkin chew through the Salvaged! And they're about to pinch those Jade Nobles out of...NOOOO!
Bearkin rout from Swordsmen!
More grinding combat on the right of no great consequence. Jaime is giving the Monks +1 power, and they're doing quite well vs. the Bears. Though that's more because of the Bears' skill 5 vs. 3/1 defense.Collapse on the Left
Guardians wipe out the Bear Pack, though they are down to a single red box.
Jade Nobles are also victorious vs. their opponent...I think mine routed in the red, but their position was hopeless.
Bearkin are flanked by Terra Cotta Swordsmen.
I rally my Bearkin to hit the Swordsmen in the rear...this proved to be a mistake later.
Had we been playing a tournament game, I'd have conceded at this point, as my units on the right were likely to lose, but we played on.Insult to Injury to Injury
Bearkin on the left rout, so that means no pinch from my rallied unit. My units on the right are rapidly running out of hit points. Note how the Bearkin and Spearmen are grinding each other down beautifully.Collapse on the Right
On the left, my earlier greedy positioning of the Bearkin has put them just out of final rush range of the Swordsmen, who went after my routing unit.
On the right, Bears have been destroyed by Monks. Wolves have one box left, they'll crash into the Monks and will at least do a point to put them into the red. Brownies will do one lucky point to the Guardians, which will put them in the yellow.How it Ends
My Bearkin hit the Swordsmen, routed when pinched, but were saved by Aspect of Wolf. They made an all-out effort to take the Swordsmen down with them, but couldn't quite do it, and fell to a double-pinch.
Victory to Jaime's Wuxing army!
In the Green: (nothing)
In the Yellow: Jade Nobles, Terracotta Guardians
In the Red: Terracotta Guardians, Shanzai Monks, Terracotta Swordsmen, Salvaged Terracotta Warriors.
Scenario points: 752: a 6-3 VP split, 8 points shy of a 7-2. (For you folks using the regular 5-point system, it's the middle of the 4-2 range.)Conclusions
I was a bit concerned last game that I'd underpriced the TerraCotta units, and this game makes me feel that way more. IMHO I was slightly ahead based on maneuvering--Jaime lined up Monks well vs. my Bear Pack, but he spent maybe 4 more Command Actions than I did pre-combat. Perhaps my courage dice were a bit below average, but my initial routs all passed or I had Aspect of Wolf and didn't suffer much. Our combat dice were both hot-and-cold, but overall pretty balanced.
Constructs' ability to hang in there for a long time while relying on the opponent to blow a rout check somewhere is very strong. Also, their price is based on the assumption that the player will fix a breakdown in the yellow, but not fix it while in the red (except for the two cheapest units, where it's assumed they'll never be fixed.) No price is put on the flexibility--the ability of the player to let a yellow one stay broken down in order to hit harder elsewhere, nor on the player sometimes fixing a breakdown while in the red.
The monks, on ther other hand, felt about right for their cost.
I'm going to revise the costs of the constructs, and many units will be losing a red box, as I want to keep the main line units somewhat affordable.
Also, Niko convinced me that the current version of "Beyond Defeat" is too strong. While by numbers it's comparable to Orc Frenzy, the situations in which it gets used make it a better deal. So that card will change. Stay tuned!