This was the second game of the night and we figured we’d get all 6 players in on it. No terrain with deployment zones wide enough to accommodate 12 units. Each player gets 1500 points. Interestingly we had Hawks on each side lined up across from each other, but my team’s funky build prevented a true civil war as you’ll see aside from ranged fire. This game is a good example of how factions can be integrated with each other to provide a coherent force. Their side did a little of it while we did a lot of it. Again, I was pretty zonked this evening so forgive any mistakes on my part and I hope other participants can add their own thoughts or at least fill in details that I got wrong.
For the purposes of this report I will refer to both Hawk Heavy Infantry and Greatswordsmen as “Hawk Heavies”. Just because I want to.Set Up
From the other side
Monsters and Mercs played by Brook, Hawks played by Tim, Orcs played by Steve
From left to right:
Wildmen Swordsmen backed by 2 Wildmen Horse Archers
Wildmen Swordsmen backed by Healer Mages
Wildmen Swordsmen backed by Healer Mages
Hawk Heavy Infantry
Hawk Heavy Infantry backed by Healer Mages (part of Tim’s force, not Brook’s)
Peasant Mob backed by Peasant Mob backed by Militia (classic chump stack)
Orc Spearmen backed by more Orc Spearmen
Orc Spearmen backed by Goblin Wolf Riders
Orc Axemen backed by Wildmen Horse Archers (part of Brook’s Force)
OK, so Brook seemed to have forgotten about the “Monsters” in Monsters and Mercs. And Tim is obviously a bad influence since Brook trotted out not 1, but 2 Healer Mages. In it’s entirety, this was a light cavalry-heavy build with a nice variety of classic Infantry units.High Elves played by Rob, Hawks played by Chris, Rome played by Yours Truly
Left to right:
Principes backed by Triarii and Scouts (visibile only in the top pic)
Principes backed by Triarii
Italian Swordsmen backed by Triarii
Italian Spearmen backed by Hawk Bowmen
High Elven Elder Blade Battle Squad backed by Hawk Longbowmen
High Elven Elder Blade Battle Squad backed by Hawk Bowmen
Cygnets backed by Hawk Militia
Cygnets backed by Hawk Militia
High Elven Swordsmen (I’m not sure about this) backed by Cygnets on an angle
Hawk Light Cavalry backed by Hawk Scouts and more Cygnets
I had this bright idea that we’d try an integrated build. My Romans would be responsible for the left half of the line, Rob’s High Elves would be responsible for the right side of the line, and Chris’ Hawks would provide all of the archery and cavalry. Each of us had a clearly defined role. The set up went reasonably well, though I was embarrassed by having 2 Spearmen in anticipation of the big scary monster that Brook never put down. Standing Orders
I’ll be first to admit that I was drinking more than anybody else there except for maybe Rob. Hence by our 11:00 start time, my memory cells where not at full absorbency. My guys where set on close and IIRC the Triarii in the 2nd rank all the way to the left where instructed to scoot over a bit and then do their best to back up the Scouts at a later time. Brook’s Horse Archers where targeting one of my Principes. I think. I believe that the Hawk archery was shooting at one of the opposition Hawk heavy units, but I fail to recall which one. A Peasant Mob was also being targeted, way to pick on the little guy! I do know that the entire enemy line was set to close at 2.5 to accommodate those Hawk heavies. Early Turns
Our Hawk ranged fire was inconclusive early on. I changed the standing orders of both of my Spearmen to Hold in the middle of the map to delay the bad engagements a turn. Chris whipped his Scouts around my flank so get at the Horse Archers which is actually not such a terrible idea since they are on equal footing when engaged and the likelihood of them actually taking ranged damage is not that high. My Pila attacks pretty much yielded standard damage. I don’t know how the initial cavalry charge went on the High Elven flank, but I’m thinking that they did not end well for us judging from the following photo. I’m thinking that having our cavalry rush so far ahead on the flank with the Cygnets lagging so far behind was surely not a good thing. The enemy closed in a more uniform fashion. The beads you see on the units on the enemy right flank are the Healer Mage Auras from Brook’s Healer Mages. Brook put a ton of spoils on his line guys which would pay off for him in the future. Tim placed Auras on his Heavies IIRC.Mid Turns
In this pic you can see my troops doing what they do best – routing! Alas, I can only offer reasonable commentary on my side of things. As damage goes, my guys did reasonably well against the weaker guys, but I wasn’t getting much help on my flank since the Hawk Scouts dissolved on their charge turn somehow. Having the Principes closest to the flank break and run was incredibly inconveniencing. Especially since none of the Wildmen ever routed until late in the game. OK, so Brook did have to erase a couple of spoils boxes to prevent a route or two. That was money well spent on his part. I wish I could have paid my troops like that… The Hawk Heavies proved to be incredibly durable. Healer Mages obviously contributed to that. My Spearmen hung in there reasonably well all things considered, but you cannot expect them to inflict much damage on those kinds of guys. The High Elven Elder Blade Battle Squads (say that 5 times fast!) where holding up to their end of the bargain as well, but like my guys they could not be expected to inflict much actual damage.
While I don’t remember specifics, I do recall that the Hawk Cavalry dissolved quickly and it wasn’t long til Steve’s Orcs where having a party at the expense of the High Elven forces. Endgame
I had finally managed to kill some of the Wildmen along with 1 of the Horse Archers. My Triarii on the far left failed their courage check 3 times in a turn. You read that correctly, 3 times. They where put into the yellow from the first unit of Horse Archers where they blew the first check. I played the Strength of Numbers card and they failed the re-roll. The return attack put them into the red and they failed THAT check. Yup, it was stacking up to be one of those games. I rallied the Principes and they made a much better mark this time around, finishing the first Horse Archers and taking the second unit of HA with them into Elysium. The rest of my guys crumbled in the middle along with the High Elves who fell victim to an absolute Orc feeding frenzy. The last 2 turns our line fell apart in a landslide of death and courage failures. The day was theirs.Final Thoughts
Right idea for us, wrong execution. I always liked integrating the armies and we had a good general plan, but our unit selection could use some work. Our ultimate downfall was an overall lack of breakthrough units. Aside from the Light Cavalry, HE Swordsmen and *maybe* the Principes, we had none. I’m thinking Chris should have sprung for Knights and maybe I ditch a Triarii to upgrade my Principes to the Veteran version and upgrade the Itialian Swordsmen to Principes. In fact, I HAD veteran Principes in my original build and downgraded them for the extra Triarii unit. GAH!!!!!!
Tim’s love of Healer Mages proved to be infectious. I don’t even think Brook needed 2 of them.
And oh yeah, over all we had well over 40 units deployed this game, yet not a one of them cost more than 300 points! Very, VERY unusual for us.Heroes of the Game
For their side it’s gotta be some combination of Healer Mages and a critical line unit or two. All of the Wildmen tanked better than expected and I recall Tim’s Hawk Heavies inflicting steady damage. You know, performing the way they where meant to perform. I’m really curious about the performance of the Goblin Wolf Riders.
For our side? I really can’t name a single unit that came remotely close to greatness. I am also curious about the over all performance of our Hawk ranged units since it seemed that they could help create a breakthrough for us somewhere. At least on paper.The Guilty
From left to right: Brook who is always blurry in photos, a surprisingly sober Tim, our resident Moose Steve, the always classy Rob, and Chris who seems just as perplexed about Brook’s blurriness as I am.
Your humble narrator with his inspiration for the evening
Any participants of this game feel free to chime in because I know I’m missing a ton of stuff here.