Saturday, July 30, 2011

Strandhogg Fantasy Game 5: Plunder and Pillage

Another weekend, another great game of Strandhogg. I am now more familiar with the rules and I think I manage to remember most of them.

Thomas and I played a scenario from an old issue of Battlegames. The goblin player/attacker has to plunder a village with four buildings and set them on fire. He gets points for each building plundered and fired, but to gain enough points to win he must physically reach at least three of them.

I gave the goblins three warbands and a troll. The dwarves begin the game with a warband of rangers scattered - three to each building.

The goblins rush across the river, taking the dwarves by surprise.

An effort is made to form lines of defence...

Thomas sends the troll down one flank, forcing me to pull my dwarves back; meanwhile, his goblins get to work, looting a building and setting it on fire.

Two warbands come down the other flank, their archers setting up a position on the hill to rain arrows down on the defenders as the warriors close in. Chickens flee.

The goblins successfully loot and burn another building, bringing Thomas one point from a draw even as the dwarven reinforcements arrive.

The leader of the rangers is killed by an arrow and the rangers flee to the rear, even as the warriors beat off the goblins who are even now attempting to torch the barn. The goblin king, himself wounded, orders several of his goblins to form a 'goblin shield' before him.

On the other flank, the goblins are just one activation away from torching the building when the dwarves manage to engage them in melee and disrupt them.

The goblins fall back, covering their retreat with archery - the dwarves have prevented a goblin victory, but have lost more than two-thirds of their forces.

This game was very close - had Thomas' goblins activated before my dwarves on that crucial turn, he would have won the game. He managed to overcome the low Courage and Melee ratings of the goblins by holding his archers back to form a 'fire-support base' from which he picked off my archers. The missile templates were a laugh - one of my dwarven thanes was taken out by a stray shot as he took shelter behind another warband, and for the first time we had an incident of 'friendly fire' as a goblin was killed by his careless compatriot.

This was the fifth time I took a friend through these rules, and once again we managed a close game with a narrative in about two hours. I think using an interesting scenario is key to having an enjoyable game.

The flame markers are a last-minute measure - I thought I had cotton balls at home but I was mistaken, and so I improvised using some coloured paper I had lying around at home.

At Thomas' suggestion, I am adding a rule to allow the troll to throw stuff - watch out for some boulder-flinging mayhem in our next battle report...

No comments: