Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Monday Night Book of War

You can sort of see how my holiday week between semesters is being spent. The "opposition" (i.e., my girlfriend) wanted a rematch after the loss the prior night. I was happy to comply. (There's a Grant-like theory that she plays better while drinking, so wine was poured...)

Turn 1 -- The opposition at top has speedy light cavalry, slow-but-tough heavy infantry, and two units of longbows. I have goblin wolf cavalry, goblin archers, and one figure of trolls. (Note that I'm using some flat counters for part of my wolf cavalry. Wolf cavalry has 3 HD; troll squad is 6 HD, with regeneration of 1 hit/turn, double attacks, and auto-morale.) After first-turn movement, light cavalry is already halfway into my territory, with goblin archers headed up the hill on the far right.

Turn 3 -- On left, light cavalry has surrounded and routed 1st unit of wolf cavalry. Troll has engaged heavy infantry, who are reforming into a single file so as to wrap around (some debate on this assessment; opponent felt wrapping should be complete in one turn). On the right, archers have exchanged fire, and I've been fortunate enough to drive away all of the longbowmen (with half my goblin archers also defeated).

Turn 5 -- With some moderately lucky rolls (esp., morale failure by opponent), my combined troll and wolf cavalry have routed the heavy infantry off the board. Simultaneously, the light cavalry have surrounded & cut down the rest of my goblin archers. Trolls & wolves have done an about-face and are headed back into the woods to gain the center and screening from now-free light cavalry.

Turn 7 -- Jockey for position. Light cavalry are wheeling around, seeking advantageous attack on my monster forces. Opponent goal is to wipe out the wolf cavalry in one sharp blow, and then pick off the troll figure alone.

Turn 8 -- Forces collide. The opposition actually falls short in their charge this turn, and wolf cavalry have made first contact. Some semi-friendly debate on this measurement.

Turn 10 -- Attrition. Light cavalry have reduced goblin cavalry to one figure (the yellow-colored cavalry miniature), while taking steady losses from wolves & trolls.

Turn 12 -- Victory. The monsters reduce opponent cavalry to 1 hit remaining, who then turn and flee the field.

This game was somewhat more lopsided than others we've played, largely due to the "gimmick" of me trotting out the troll figure here. The trolls are probably the most problematic thing to price-balance in the game, since at almost any price, they massacre normal melee troops, yet fall prey to large bodies of archers (that is, with regeneration, you need to rack up a huge number of hits against them all at once). Probably even by turn 5 I felt this game was mine, excepting a faint chance of the light cavalry surrounding them in the open for lots of attacks (and hence me running into the woods at that point). Currently I've got trolls priced at the equivalent of 75 gp/man-month (compare to D&D men-at-arms pricing), but maybe that's not enough. In the future I'll be interested in getting feedback on whether other people have a better analysis.

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