Sunday, July 17, 2011

Strandhogg Fantasy Game 4: Battle at the Ford

FG, an old friend whom I haven't gamed with or indeed met for a few years came over this afternoon to catch up and have a game.

We played a game of Strandhogg in around two hours, which gave us plenty of time to chat over drinks and chips afterwards.

For this game I wanted to field my dwarf warriors instead of my rangers to see how the new stats and unit configuration works, so I picked a suitable scenario from the Warhammer Skirmish booklet.

The battle depicts a goblin incursion into dwarven territory, the boundary which is marked by a stream. The goblins attempt to cross at the ford, which is guarded by a dwarven ballista.

Besides the ballista the dwarves have three warbands: one huscarl and two warriors warband. The goblins have three warbands of foot, one of warg riders, and are joined by a troll.

FG began the assault with a warband of warriors on foot, followed by the warg riders. The ballista dropped a few goblins, but as they surged across the ford the crew had to relocate themselves as the huscarls move forward to cover their movement.

On both flanks the warbands threw out their archers to pick off the advancing goblins.

The warg riders made first contact, charging against the shieldwall of huscarls. The melee here would last a few rounds and draw in the foot warbands from both sides on the dwarven left flank, but the dwarves finally emerged victorious.

On the right flank the dwarven archers retreat uphill as the goblins close, while the warriors come off the hill to form a shieldwall. The dwarven warriors are given better Melee rating than the goblin warriors, but as d10 is used to resolve combat, the combat is not always a sure thing; in addition, the goblins' armour gave them a fair chance to survive a blow. What told however was the goblins' lower Courage rating, which meant they didn't always charge into melee as ordered and could not capitalise on their numerical advantage, and they were more prone to losing figures through failed Morale rolls.

On the other flank the troll slew a few dwarven warriors, but was eventually taken down by a thane, who himself suffered a wound in the combat.

The goblin king attempted to shore up that flank by joining the melee, but was also killed.

The dwarves' joy was however short-lived, as their own king, now moving forward in a shieldwall with his huscarls, was felled by an arrow from the last goblin warband that crossed the ford.The huscarls charged the goblins in a rage, and after a few rounds of melee scattered the invaders. The toll was heavy though - the dwarves have lost their king and half of their forces.

Overall it was a fun game - we both enjoyed moving lots of figures around without having to measure for each one precisely. The shooting templates were fun to use.

The new weapons rules I added gave more flavour to the game. The modifiers for the two-handed axes gave the huscarls a real advantage in melee, as did the 'extra attacker' rule for the spears on the goblin side. FG had however forgotten about the wedge formation I told him - perhaps that may have made a difference on one of the flanks?

I still forget bits of rules though, like the shrinking command radius with casualties, and what happens to warriors when their leaders are slain, so I should stop adding new rules until I am more familiar with the basic ones.


Rodger said...

Sounds like a good game. I see you have a marker with arrows in the ground- for low ammo? What do you use to show that the spear has been used?

captain arjun said...

Thanks for picking that up, Rodger - I meant to mention it in the post but forgot with all the problems I had with formatting...

I didn't use javelins in this game, and the spears I mentioned were melee weapons - I basically ported over the special rules for weapons from Warhammer Fantasy, so I rules that figures holding spears and in base-to-base contact with a friendly figure in melee can also attack - this means up to four figures can attack a figure as opposed to two under the current rules.

If I were to use figures with javelins or throwing spears, however, I will probably make markers of toothpicks stuck in a blob of putty small enough to place onto the base of a figure, and remove them as they are used - that way a figure can be armed with two or three javelins, as they were in real life.

Rodger said...

Brilliant ideas. We had our first game of Strandhogg last week ans are still sorting out ideas for markers and identifing certain troops. Thanks for the reply.

captain arjun said...

For morale I just tip the figures over on their sides to remind ourselves which warbands need to check morale the next activation. I also use the number of casualties sustained over the last activation as a modifier, but only check morale once per activation so there is no chance of a catastrophic disintegration of a warband - I think this is important in multi-player games where each player may only have one or two warbands to command.

For troop types I am fortunate that the LOTR figures are pretty WYSISYG. To identifiy leaders, I glue one of those beads that ladies use for their nail art onto the side of the base of the leaders. You may have a colour-coded system, or a "rank" system where 1 pip = veteran, 2 = leader, and 3 = noble.

You can see it on the base of the goblin at the bottom of the 4th picture.

Rodger said...

Excellent. Thanks for the tips.