Saturday, July 1, 2017

Battle 11: Varangur vs Herd (Intro Game)

After a pretty successful introduction to wargaming, we switched up the terrain a bit, and prepared for a rematch, using the same lists. We simultaneously “deployed” both armies, and then tweaked the Herd a little bit after chatting. I went for an oblique deployment with the weaker Warband in the center.

Again, the Hunters use their Vanguard move pretty aggressively.
My opponent decided to go wide. The Longhorns, Hunters, and Centaur Chieftain went on my left, hoping to use the forests as cover and then hit me in my flanks as I advanced across the board. Like before, the Brutes deployed to threaten the more open center, while the Beast Pack lingered nearby. The Hunters again opted to use their Vanguard move, and we rolled off. My opponent won, and she decided to go first again.

Turn 1: Herd

Everything moved up, with the Longhorns being a little more aggressive than the Brutes. The Hunters take a potshot at the Bloodsworn, but miss.

Turn 2: Varangur

I reform my Bloodsworn and mounted troop to face the oncoming threats in the woods.

Minor adjustment to the Varangur line.
I had learned my lesson from Game 1. The Herd are quite speedy, and at such a low points level with fewer units… I needed to play defensively.

Turn 3: Herd

The Hunters again take aim at the Bloodsworn, but again miss. My opponent, realizing I am not going to waltz out into the middle of the field and get slaughtered, continues her advance in the hopes of bringing the fight to me.

The impatient Herd approacheth.
The Brutes continue to move up. Probably too far, as they entered charge range of all of my guys. Instead of advancing along with the Brutes, and screening them from harm, the Beast Packs uses its Nimble abilities to reposition, and the rest of the Herd sticks to the trees. My opponent really liked the speed of the Beasts, and wanted to see what they could do, besides being chaff. In my view, this was a mistake. They should have screened the Brutes from the murderous regiment of Mounted Sons.

Turn 4: Varangur

The Bloodsworn advance a bit to threaten the woods, while the rest of the Varangur piles into the brazen Guardian Brutes, with the Skaald skulking around for moral support.

My mounted regiment slams into the first group of Brutes, and routs them, even with the Brutes being inspired. The mounted troop and Warband attack the other group of Brutes, with the troop doing a fantastic 7 damage and the Warband doing 0. The second group of Brutes are "merely" Wavered.

C'mon Warband.
It was a pretty solid turn for me. If the Warband had contributed, I probably could have wiped out both Brute units.

Turn 5: Herd

As my opponent starts her turn, she begins to understand and appreciate the role of sacrificial chaff units, like the Beast Pack, which now charges over attempting to delay the dangerous regiment of Mounted Sons. The vicious beasts manage to deal a wound to the evil knights, disordering them.

The Centaur Chieftain moves to both get out of the way and to inspire the rest of the army, and the Hunters finally get a wound on the regiment of Bloodsworn.

The Herd launch a counterattack.
Unfortunately, I forget that the Brutes have the Fury special rule, so instead of counter-charging say, the Warband, they merely shuffle sideways, allowing the two units of Tribal Longhorns to utilize their Pathfinding abilities, and crash into the troop of Mounted Sons.

The counterattack was successful!

Like last game, the troop of Mounted Sons are obliterated. The victorious Longhorns reform. Points-wise, I probably should have protected them better both games, but what's done is done. My Varangur army doesn't have a lot of chaff, unfortunately.

Turn 6: Varangur

The Regiment of Mounted Sons attack the Beast Pack, and even disordered, manage to destroy them when it comes time to test their nerve. The Warband charges the Brutes, and this time, manages to deal some damage. Likewise, the Bloodsworn attack one of the Tribal Longhorns, and deal a few wounds. The damage was lower than I wanted, but it's still damage. Even outnumbered, I think the tanky Bloodsworn are well positioned now for grinding out the Longhorns and Hunters.

The Warband's damage roll is the purple dice. They did something!
With the melees finished, we move on to checking the Nerve of the wounded Herd units. The Beast Pack took a massive amount of damage, and are easily routed. Only snake eyes could have saved them.

I move on down the line. Boxcars for the Brutes, and boxcars on the inspired reroll. They are totally doomed.

Then, onto the Tribal Longhorns. Boxcars on the wounded Longhorns, and… another boxcars on the inspired reroll!

Pictured: the fourth double-six in a row.
I felt like all the luck I had ever accrued in all my dice rolling in any game had coalesced into these four, hugely triumphant, but also largely insignificant rolls. Ooof. We decided to call it quits here. It was the Herd's turn to be in a very rough spot now, and the Dice Gods obviously wanted this game to be over.

The rematch was also a good game, but I wish I had caught omitting the Fury special rule before writing up this report. Oops. The game would almost definitely been prolonged if they had counter charged, but my Mounted Sons could have probably still carried the day.

Introducing a brand new player to wargaming was pretty cool. Everyone else I have played with previously had some experience, even if it was not recent. For a brand-new player, I think the DM approach of just keeping the game moving and not sweating all the details worked well. The goal with a new player is to pique their interest; not drown them in rules and detail. The finer points can come later, if they want to explore the game.

I think 750 was a good points level to play at, and I think 750-1000 is the sweet spot for introducing the game to people. It's small enough for people to mentally track their units and get familiar with them, but large enough that a bad roll or two is mitigated. These games were particularly short, and I think part of that was due to the smaller table. If you're introducing an army with more ranged options, I'd suggest upping the table to a more normal 4' by 4', or the shooter will likely be overwhelmed.

I had a lot of fun getting back to the table, and while this wasn't her usual gaming endeavor, my opponent had fun, and we'll probably get another game in soon. T
hanks for reading!

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