Chad and I got together this past week and did a Wuxing playtest. I wanted to see how the Wuxing shooting units would perform, and Carthage -- relatively pricey units with most below 3 defense skill and no long range shooting of its own -- seemed like a good faction to test that against. Chad gamely agreed to play Carthage, though I didn't tell him what my strategy would be before the game.Set Up & Strategy
Carthage Army, left to right:
Slingers behind Libyan Foot, Elephants behind Libyan Foot, Sllingers, Libyan Foot behind Slingers, Slingers, Elphants, Libyan Foot
A pretty standard close-and-hose army. The 6-power Elephants are the obvious choice here, and the heavy hitting Libyan Foot are more than a match for any Terra Cotta infantry.
Wuxing Army, left to right:
Two Rocket Arrow Batteries behind Salvaged, Crossbowmen, Crossbowmen behind Crossbowmen, Spearmen, Salvaged, Spearmen
I deployed the Rocket Arrow batteries last, hoping to fake him out, and that the Hill-Forest combo would keep too much weight from hitting my line at once. My units had orders to form a slanted defensive line, many of my units sliding to their left.
Cross-eyed Pea Shooters
Left to right:
Slingers go through the woods. The Libyans are moving in at an angle to make a hole for the Elephants, so the Slingers will end up behind the line, though they'll prevent a pinch.
Crossbowmen have put the Libyans on the right into the yellow.
The Rocket Arrow battery dice make them absolutely worthless. I was rolling lots of attacks, which would then all fail to punch through. Rather than the expected 1 damage per unit per shot (d6 +2 dice at 4s and 2s each), I've done exactly 1 damage in 4 shots (rather than the hoped for 8, with maybe 2-3 negated by Command cards). Interestingly Chad got very good use out the flexibility of his his Hardened cards--I'd roll a large volley, get a lot of hits, then he'd play Hardened so they only damaged on 1s.
In the middle, I do what seemed like a good idea at the time--his 3 slingers all had orders to Close on my Spearmen, and their sling are downright dangerous to a 1/3! When the middle one stumbled to just barely within final rush range, I chaged the Spearmen into them, knocking them back and now the others would either engaged my Spearmen (who would quickly take them apart), or Chad would have to waste two command actions holding them back.
Elephants have had their speed capped so that the Libyans can keep pace. I'm not thrilled to have the Elephants aimed at my salvaged, but the real goal of my right flank was just to keep his forces busy long enough for me to win on the left, then shoot them to bits with the Rocket Arrow Batteries.Engagements!
Left to right
Slingers & Pila throws knock my 0/3 Salvaged down to 1 box. Yike!
Crossbowmen charge into the Libyan Foot rather than take a second volley of Pila, plus with the Libyans wounded this is a fight I hope to win quickly.
Slingers charge into my Spearmen. I'm really hoping to rout one of them as it goes into the red, but a Loyalty card keeps then in the fight (It also helped the Libyans). Had the slingers routed, my units would've been protected and I had a good shot to win the left flank. Nice card play by Chad!
Elephants and Spearmen move in on my Terra Cottas. I'm disappointed to see that, because of the map edge, I can't my Spearmen up enough to prevent the Libyans from coming to within No Turning Back range, so the Elephants will be able to devastate my Salvaged.First Kills
Left to right.
Libyans euthanize my 1-box Salvaged.
Crossbowmen finish off the Libyans -- I think they went down fighting, though they might've routed in the red.
My Crossbowmen on the right pinch & annihilate the Slingers, while Spearmen put the slingers on the other flank into the yellow (they hold). Then Chad sends his Elephants into the Spearmen's flank. Thanks to that rule I so want to see change, a couple of wounded slinger units means the Elephant charge at at something like 8s and 9s, so my Spearmen explode into dust. My Crossbowmen units return the favor with a rear+flank pinch...though sending both Crossbowmen after the Elephants meant I was doomed on the left.
Elephants are predictably crushing my Salvaged, while some pila have wounded the Spearmen (who are about to charge into combat).
Libyans on the far right pass their rout checks and kill off my Spearmen.Last Hopes Fade
Left to right...
The Libyans, having wiped out my Salvaged, march toward the Rocket Arrow Batteries, who are shooting for all they're worth. With the Libyans at 3 hit points, I get one last crossbow shot. 3 hits! I play "might" at this point and hope for the best....2 wounds. The Libyans then wipe out one Battery.
Crossbowmen face Libyan foot. An uphill fight, though not an impossible one.
Crossbowmen are about to die thanks to another Elephant-skirmisher combo. I tried to shoot the last box off the Skirmishers, but missed.Playing for Points
I'm trying to put on as much "point" damage as possible before being annihilated.
My last Rocket Arrow Battery wiped out the 1-point Libyans, then targets the Elephants. With only 6 hit points and a 1/2 defense, the Slingers are making them bleed.
Crossbowmen are failing to dent the Libyans much. It's worth noting that the Wuxing commander is having to spend LOTS of Command Actions fixing breakdowns by the mid-late game. This means the opponent will have more command cards, so the Wuxing units will predictably underperform.Endgame
A photo right before my units got pinched & wiped out.
Two poor final swings by Crossbowmen (now with 1 box left) mean the Libyans stay in the green, while a decent final shot by the Rocket Arrow Battery puts the ElephantsVictory To Carthage
In the green: Libyan Foot, Slingers
In the yellow: Elephants
In the red: Libyan Foot, Slingers, Slingers
In the afterlife: Elephants, Libyan Foot, Libyan Foot, Slingers
Total points: 678.3, a 6-3 VP split.
Thoughts on the game.
I thought this was pretty good defensive terrain, but the utter inability of my units to score damage on the Elephants meant that my shooting points were all but wasted. Chad also did an excellent job getting his units were he needed them to be on time.
It's worth noting that Chad thought I should've targeted the Libyans with my Rocket Arrow batteries. He may have been right--it's hard to tell. (With wretched dice it didn't matter much).
Those Slingers' (3) 5/5 packed a nasty punch for 73 points. Had I not sent those Spearmen forward they were going to get quickly pulverized.
Thoughts on Wuxing & rules
- The Crossbowmen are really good value for their cost. Standing and shooting, they're about an even fight vs. the Libyan Foot. It's good they aren't core!
- At the moment, "reliable" includes the crossbow shot, though I may have forgotten this during the game. In any case, I think it's best to change that. The crossbow fire is already priced very cheaply, so it's probably best not to give them an even better shot.
- This game served as a good example of why I hate skirmisher pinches adding to their allies' attack. Little guys who shoot at (3) 5/5, move 5", survive a hit, and them make an ally hit at (5) ridiculous/ridiculous are worth SO much more than 73 points--particularly vs. Fantasy armies who can't harvest them with their own skirmishers. (Chad was willing to play the game with Skirmishers not doing that, but I wanted to play with the current rule set.)
- I really wish the Rocket Arrow Batteries had performed closer to their statistical average. While Chad and I both agree that their price seemed reasonable, it's possible that they should be 20 points in either direction. (As with any "weird unit," I had to play a little fast-and-loose with the Formula when calculating their price.) And you'll never be able to figure that out of they go all whacky.
Good game, Chad, and well played!