Another night, another big battle. There where only 3 of us, so the die roll determined that I’d be controlling the 4000 point army while Brook and Chris would be teaming up against me with 2000 points each. For the uninitiated, we used an expanded map with a 12-unit wide deployment zone. No terrain since we didn’t get started until it was almost 10! I only allowed myself 7 command actions per turn as I normally do when controlling 4000 points. I still don’t feel at a shortage of command actions when I do this and as you’ll see at the end, I still had a huge command card advantage. I will warn you in advance that there was little in the way of clever strategizing or spectacular tactical play going on this night, this would be a truly ugly grindfest.
We where going to try out Brook’s Smash hit house rule this time around, so I selected Lizardmen. As it turned out, my opponent’s faction selection (Orcs for Brook, Hawks for Chris) made it that I would never bother with the Smash hit thing this game due to the nature of those faction’s defensive stats. Oh well, we’ll give it another go next time.Set Up
Well, that pic came out rather crappy. Let’s try one from the other side, shall we?
Much better! Sadly, the rest of the photos where taken from the first angle so you’ll have to switch your perspective back to that of the first photo. In the upper right hand corner of this pic you will note the tan, flower imprinted couch cover on one of our couches. A mere couple of weeks ago BubblePig rested his fine, fluffy head there for an over night stay for Dexcon. Ah the memories…Orcs controlled by Brook, Hawkshold controlled by Chris
From top to bottom:
Crazed Goblins backed by 2 Goblin Wolf Riders
Orc Swordsmen backed by Crazed Goblins
Orc Swordsmen with Goblin Bowmen behind them
3 Hawkshold Greatswordsmen with 2 Peasant Mobs behind this meat grinder
Hawk Swordsmen with Scouts behind them facing South
Hawk Militia with Scouts behind them facing South
Hawk Knights (We’re OK as long as we don’t fight big guys!)Lizardmen controlled by Yours Truly
Starting from the top:
Ancients behind Swarmlings
Trog Spearmen with Trog Bowmen behind them and the Trogs to their right
Hatchlings behind Hatchlings 2.5 inches behind main line (Kiddie stack)
Ancients (hungry for Knights) with Raptor Pack facing South
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my deployment was just brutal for Chris’ Hawks. I didn’t intend to punish him, the deployment just seemed to unfold that way. Once I realized that Brook was laying down a solid wall of Orcs, I decided to counter with a wall of Trogs who would be expected to hold down that region while I deployed my smasher units on the other front. Sadly for Hawkshold, it would be their front. Sorry Chris!Standing Orders
Orcs and Hawks where uniformly set to close. The Goblin Bowmen where targeting one of my Trog units that was closest to it, but I can’t remember which one.
The Lizards where also set to a universal close for the most part. The Ancients on my left flank where set to target the Knights because I’ve always felt that a strength of big units is their ability to eat heavy cavalry. My Swarmlings on the far right where set to close at 3.5 so they wouldn’t be pinched early by Wolf Rider sneakiness. My Trog Bowmen where targeting the Orc Swordsmen that would be facing my Trog Spearmen. Early Turns
Nothing astonishing occurred the first couple of turns. I plopped Fury on a few units and drew cards. You can see the Crazed Goblins doing what they do best – run stupidly to their doom. Damage from archery at this point was minimal.
That’s more like it! We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up. Brook used direct control to keep his Wolf Riders from charging into my Ancients early on while I direct controlled said Ancients to keep them from pinching the Crazed Goblins. I was perfectly happy to maintain this standoff as it was costing Brook twice as many command actions to achieve this as is was costing me. Besides, the Swarmlings with Fury where going to win this fight anyways. The Trogs and Orcs are engaged in a grind that was slow going at first. This would become a continuing trend. The Great Swordsmen are not yet engaged, but the Swordsmen, Militia, and Knights all get into the act. All pre combat fear checks where passed IIRC. The Knights actually started off better than the Ancients did. Again, not a whole lot of damage from ranged fire.Mid Turns
Apparently a lot has happened here and thank goodness I remembered most of it! Starting from the bottom again. The Swarmlings have defeated the Crazed Goblins. Brook eventually bit the bullet and had both Wolf Riders twos-company the Ancients (this action was sadly cut off at the bottom of the pic). I had direct controlled the Ancients to both protect the Swarmlings and prevent an off-map final rush of the Wolves. The Ancients took a beating, but hung in there and eventually routed (and killed) one of the Wolf Riders while the Swarmlings had their close objective changed so that they could pinch the other Wolf Rider unit. The Orc/Trog grind crawls on with the Orc swords beginning to get some traction while the Trogs just can’t seem to inflict anything. In a microcosm of this action, the combination of Trog Archers and Spearmen have inflicted all of 2 damage on their Orc adversaries by this point. Ay Caramba!
Where things had bogged down for me on the Orc front, they where going much better on the Hawk front. For one thing, my dice where simply better against the Hawks for some reason. One of the Greadswordsmen units polished off a Trog unit, Swordsmen dispatched Hatchlings and then routed the second Hatchlings, but that was all the good news the Hawks would get for this phase of the game. The Triceratops Herd closest to the top routed the Militia on my opponent’s turn, then rammed into the Scouts behind them on my turn. Flattening the Scouts and beginning a feeding frenzy for the Lizards. The Ancients put the Knights into the red and the Knights routed, bringing them to a tragic end. My Raptor Pack made short work of the other Scout unit on the far flank.
This pic was taken a turn later. Again, starting at the bottom. The Ancients have survived the twin Wolf Rider charge with 2 red boxes and they thanked their little Swarmling buddies for helping out with the pinch. The Trog line has begun to disintegrate on the Orc front as my Trogs cannot seem to do any damage at all. Tyrants have won their fight against their Greatswordsmen opponents and wind up getting pinched by a Peasant Mob and Orcs. The mighty Tyrants dispatch first the Peasant Mob, then take the Orcs with them into the afterlife. While widely maligned, Tyrants are pure gold on your line in a fight like this. In a strange occurrence, the Triceratops Herd engaged with the Greatswordsmen simply stopped doing damage. The Greatswordsmen spent 4 turns with 1 yellow hit box remaining and the Trikes just couldn’t do that point! They eventually routed and fell to the stubborn Greatswordsmen. Now the bad thing about winning my left flank so decisively was that I now had all of these heavy hitter units way out there on the fringe and it was going to take a good deal of time to get them back into the fray. Fortunately the Trike Herd was able to get into it first and it made short work of the Hawk Swordsmen. By now they where soaked to their knees in Hawkhold blood! I just let the Hatchlings run since they only had a couple of red boxes remaining anyways. Endgame
With most of the units gone and the surviving ones moving to convene in the middle of the board, I could now take aerial shots of the combat. Looking at the board, it would appear that the reptiles where in serious trouble. But note that the Hawks have now been completely annihilated, I would now have a 7 to 4 command action advantage for the rest of the game. Plus I had recycled my deck by this point, so drawing regeneration again was definitely a possibility.
On the right, my Ancients and Swarmlings where finished by the Marauders and a SwordOrc unit, but the Marauders took grievous punishment in the exchange. The Goblin Bowmen where actually lashed into combat to pinch the Raptors along with Sword Orcs, but along came the Trike Herd to cause gruesome explosions of Orc meat. To make matters worse for the Orcs, I was able to draw both regeneration cards over the next couple of turns and had healed my Ancients back up to 3 green boxes. True comedy ensued when the Crazed Goblins ran into the Trog Bowmen and did absolutely no damage whatsoever. Then again, I did have a ton of command cards and The Crazies couldn’t get any help.
And so it has come to this. All of the remaining Orc units have fallen to the Triceratops Herd/Ancients combo and the Trogs are now free to shoot again after vanquishing the Crazed Goblins. I will say that this is the ONLY time I have seen Trog Bowmen be worth their 176 points – LOL. Brook surrendered at this point.Final Thoughts
1 – Even though my attack dice where lame on the Orc front, I was certainly helped out by the fact that my guys just - wouldn’t - run! I failed 5 courage checks the entire game and was able to negate 2 of those with Cold Blooded. Sure I had some help from Fury and Blood Frenzy, but only having to turn 3 units around with 4000 points is still a good start on the path to victory
2 – My command action advantage at the end of the game sealed the deal since I had an answer for just about any command card Brook could play. The game very much may have ended differently if I didn’t have that advantage.
3 – The fall of Hawkshold was sped along by the fact that my dice on that side of things where good. Not outstanding, but certainly better than Chris was rolling with only a few exceptions. In addition to that, I had a lot more firepower facing the Hawks than I had facing the Orcs.
4 – My continuing philosophy that Large units own cavalry holds. Even Knights are going to have a hard time maintaining a fight with a unit like Ancients because they are simply unable to force a rout check on the charge turn with all card play being equal.
5 – I was lucky nobody thought to bring along spears.Heroes of the Game
Hawkshold – The Greatswords that weathered the storm and beat back a Triceratops Herd. They later got stomped by the other Herd, but they certainly made a good accounting of themselves.
Orcs – No single Orc unit really stood out and the Marauders where lackluster, but most of the SwordOrcs where very resilient and eventually triumphed against a line that was nearly their same cost in points. Alas, they where betrayed in the end by the fall of Hawkshold and the resulting disadvantage in command actions.
Lizardmen – Both Ancients made their mark and the Tyrant Spearmen where quite manly, but this award goes to the Triceratops Herd that started the game facing Hawk Militia. Here’s the list of guys that where on this unit’s kill list: Militia, Scouts, Hawk Swordsmen, Greatswordsmen, and 2 SwordOrcs. It’s true that many of these units had been softened up by previous combat, but that’s still pretty impressive! The sad part is that they where unable to join in the post-battle feast where the Lizards dined on the flesh of their vanquished enemies because Trikes are not meat eaters. Oh for shame!