Championship Game 4 vs Ian playing Men of Hawkshold
My fourth game was against Ian who had reportedly just learned how to play Battleground the previous week. While I certainly didn’t underestimate him based on that (Pandemonium Books and Games is just crawling with gaming naturals), I was still surprised at how well he played. This would be a ticking clock scenario with terrain and as you can see, what terrain it was! We had a large hill, a large forest, and hedges ringing half of each deployment zone. I was pretty zonked by this point, so I only managed to get 1 pic off. Thanks to Rachael and Kevin for taking so many pics of this game.Set UpMen of Hawkshold
From Left to Right:
Light Cavalry backed by Peasant Mob
Light Cavalry backed by Peasant Mob
Bowmen backed by more Bowmen
This army is 2171 points and I didn’t realize it until I started putting this report together. It turns out that Ian accidentally counted his Light Cavalry as Scouts. It was an honest mistake on his part and I didn’t catch it myself until days after the fact. In his defense, Hawk Scouts look an awful lot like Light Cavalry on the top-down view of the card. He made a brave choice to place his Cavalry in the center of his line and this would pay off for him. Ravenwood
From Left to right:
Brownies backed by more Brownies
Brownies backed by Archers
Spearmen backed by Bowmasters
Brownies backed by Archers
Brownies backed by Bowmasters
Looking at the terrain offered me, I figured that 1 of 4 things could happen:
1 - If he also chose to stand and shoot that my S&S army would be better than his.
2 - If I chose a close and hose army and he did S&S, the terrain would work against me.
3 – If we both chose to close and hose it would be anybody’s game
4 – If I chose to S&S and he chose close and hose, I could shred him on the way in and I’d get help from the hedges.
Based upon this, I chose to Stand and Shoot. Now if you are going to stand and shoot, STAND AND SHOOT! I tried to maximize my shootiness with nearly 1400 points worth of units being ranged guys. This is a pretty cowardly army, but this is the only game in the entire weekend that I played anything like this so I don’t feel too bad about it. Ian pointed out that all of his previous opponents had behaved the same and we had a chuckle over it. Interestingly enough, I fielded a total of 7 ranged units all weekend long and this army featured 5 of them.Early Turns
I had a Bowmaster and Archer targeting the Longbowmen while the rest of my archery was targeting his Knights. The dice on the hill are the objectives of his ranged units with the Longbowmen set to take the very top of the hill. He had his Spearmen on hold at the beginning, but soon after changed their standing orders to close and the one farthest to the left was assigned to take an objective in the center of the forest.
Early on his ranged guys started trudging up the hill and as soon as the Longbowmen hit the top I let them have it with some Spirit Guidance assisted bowfire. I was able to put them into the red in 2 turns of firing and cutting the attack of the Longbowmen down to (2) 6/6 certainly pleased me. His archery was largely ineffective early on due to move-and-shoot penalties and the soft cover bonus I received by having the nearest available targets right behind the hedges. I wasn’t having as much luck against the Knights, only doing about a point of damage per turn with 3 ranged units (some with Spirit Guidance!) Yeah, the rolls where that bad. Mid Turns
One of the Hawk Bowmen units placed itself in front of the Longbowmen, so I no longer had a line of sight to the Logbowmen. I had my Archer farthest to the right (my left) fire at them while I shifted the Bowmasters formally targeting the Longbowmen to fire at the Light Cavalry nearest to them. The rest of my archery continues to grossly underachieve and the Knights had only 3 points of damage to show for 3 turns of ranged fire, so I had my Spearmen break ranks and charge them on the flank right before they crashed into the Brownies directly in front of them. The Knights where put into the red, but their courage held and Ian had Bravery on them anyways. I moved out my Brownies on the left (my right) to threaten a pinch on his Light Cavalry that was about to smash into the Brownies next to them, so Ian had the Light Cavalry charge those guys instead. If they hang on for the turn, I could get a pinch on that Light Cavalry, but these Brownies where one-shotted as they failed their courage check after the initial charge. So no pinch. The Brownies that had been saved by this then charged the flank of the Light Cavalry.
The pic above is blurry, but you can see what’s going on well enough. The Light Cavalry on the right has made it’s way through the hedge and has engaged the Brownies lurking over there. The Knights have fallen after the Brownies in front of them moved in to pinch, but those same Brownies have been killed by a combination of the Knights’ dying swing and some archery on yonder hill. My Archers on the far right (my left) have also fallen to Hawk bow fire. I had 2 of my ranged units fire at the Light Cavalry in the hedges, but they where tough to hit due to the soft cover and the cavalry bonus. I had one of the Bowmasters focus on a Peasant Mob that was about to pinch my Spearmen while I had another Archer fire on the Light Cavalry to the left. This Light Cavalry unit was really pissing me off. I could have a second opportunity to pinch them as long as the Brownies on their flank survived 1 round of combat with 5 boxes remaining. Ian played a surge to victory, so they needed 4s to hit and 5s to damage. All 5 attacks struck home for both rolls, so those Brownies die and still no pinch
The Spearmen continue their crawl across the map. Endgame
The Light Cavalry on the right has killed the Brownies behind the hedges and then moved on to kill the Bowmasters that where behind them. 1 of the Peasant Mobs in the middle of the map where wiped out by a combination of Ravenwood Spears (comically the best infantry unit in this game!) and archery. The other Peasant Mob hung on and actually routed the Spearmen, who where also now getting peppered by Hawk bow fire. The other Light Cavalry was finally put to rest by concentrated bow fire as they finished off their 3rd unit of Brownies. Bowmasters and 1 of the Archers started firing at the Spearmen in front of them. At this point the 8th turn was done and the game was Ian’s.Final Thoughts
Well, the Light Cavalry NOT being Scouts certainly changed things because Scouts would not have done nearly as much damage as the Light Cavalry wound up doing. In fact, both Light Cavalry units where stellar this game. On the flip side, my archery was pretty miserable. Granted I was shooting at cavalry for a good part of the game, but I had turns where I would do like a total of 2-3 damage from nearly 1400 points worth of ranged units, and that was with a generous helping of Spirit Guidance! The Brownie fiasco on the right of my line certainly didn’t help my cause either. Despite the points disparity and poor fortune on my part, Ian still played pretty well. The fact that he had only learned the game the previous week made his play here pretty impressive.
In hindsight, I should have just played a mixed army and claimed the forest to help with scenario points. By standing and shooting I gave up the initiative in the hopes of shooting his army to shreds. I think my decision to go stand and shoot was also influenced by the fact that I had been sitting on this army build for quite some time and I thought this terrain offered me a good opportunity to try out what I thought to be the ultimate Ravenwood stand and shoot army.