This time the armies were 42 points -- slightly larger than the recommended 30+ points. It was a replay of the game we played a few weeks ago -- I was Viking raiders, attacking a poor hapless village of peace loving Saxons. There were a couple of changes though -- the Vikings had javelin men for their skirmishers, and the Saxons had a unit of archers.
There was a funnel between two woods, and the Vikings were lucky with movement, rolling a double 1 for the movement for one formation, allowing them to move the formation twice. They immediately moved to block off the pass between the woods..A fight developed at this choke point, with the Viking skirmishers working their way through the woods.
(The beads in the photo show unit strength -- blue or green beads for command points, red beads for strength of elite units, orange and yellow for the strength of average units.
The battle in the pass between the woods intensified. Rod was OK -- he just had to hold the village to win. But it was 3 Viking units vs 2 Anglo-Saxon units -- the numbers were starting to tell.
On the right, some Vikings got through the woods and fell on some happless defenders. This was an even fight, but the Saxons just couldn't roll good dice. In the middle, the shieldwall was collapsing through numbers. And on the left some Vikings have worked through the woods and are about to sneak into an undefended village.
The Vikings scored a total victory. But they were lucky -- two units were beaten up, and most took some damage.
I introduced Lowell to Saga. Played in 15mm figures, halving the ranges for everything.
First game was 'Defend the Village'. The nasty vikings charged in, but the brave saxons sallied out and tried to beat up on the viking archers. This didnt go well. It didnt go badly, but there wasnt a resounding victory. And the sallying troops were pulled away from the village. The village was in dire straights -- the defenders were being cut down. Eventually the sally got back. I claimed a victory on the last turn by having one figure (all I had left) still in the village -- with a horde of vikings raping and pillaging!
Second game was 'The Duel'. Again Vikings -- but this time Jomsvikings (beserker type fellows) vs Anglo Saxons. The Jomsvikings kept doing dirty tricks, like scaring my troops into not moving. But Anglo-saxon numbers won out -- by the end of the game the Jomsvikings only had two figures left. But they won (convincingly), because they had done the most damage to the Anglo-Saxon warlord.
Finally, the planets aligned, and we got to play Art de la Guerre.
I am sure we got many rules wrong. I know we got flanking wrong for the first few flank attacks. But the overall feel of the game was right. Things were as you would expect them to be!
I was Roman:
Brilliant Commander with 12 units of legionarries
Brilliant Commander with 2 unites of equites, 2 units of auxiliaries, and 1 unit of archers
Competent commander with 4 units of auxiliaries, 1 unit of equites, and 2 units of skirmishers
Rod was German:
Competent commander with 16 warriors and 2 skirmishers
Competent commander with 4 units of elite cavalry and 2 units of javelinmen
Ordinary commander with 4 units of elite warriors.
The battle was a straight field battle, with the warriors lined up against the legionairres, and lighter troops on the flanks.
Rod's elite heavy infantry took ages to get through the woods, and then ran into some nervous auxilia -- whom they crushed!
But in the center the legionaries were winning a slow grind. The barbarians never got enough command dice to bring up their flanking forces
On the other flank the cavalry forces squared off. The Germans crushed the Roman Auxilia, but the Roman cavalry rolled hot dice and crushed their German counterparts.
The barbarian center collapsed. But the game was close -- the romans were one unit away from breaking too!
We finished with time for another game, so we broke out Dominion. It was Rod's first game, so it took a while for him to see the combo's that were possible. By the time he realised, it was too late.
Murray was back in the office! He could only stay till 6:00, so at 5:00 we stopped work and had a quick 5 player game of 7 Wonders. I won this game. Murray then left, and we had another 4 player game, which I didn't win -- though I got close. I did notice that the 4 player and 5 player games played very differently -- in 4 player you had more resources, and there was less trading.
A winter game of Flames of War between me and Lowell. Lowell charged tanks down both flanks. I dropped an ambush on one flank, but didn't do enough damage. Lowell's return fire missed, and I then cleaned up his troops on one flank.
But the real action was on the other flank. Lowell assaulted into the woods, and destroyed an infantry platoon (despite losing dome tanks along the way.). I used a captured KV-1 to contest the objective. Lowell managed to run over to contest the other objective. And I couldn't get close enough to stop Lowell grabbing the win.
I got smashed in my first game, as I misplayed the first combat, not realizing how to use the command dice. By the time I had figured the subtleties of the mechanic out, I was behind the 8-ball, in the death spiral, etc.
Basically, you have a certain number of command dice. You can use these to influence movement, attack, or defence. I was a raiding army (think vikings), hence good on attack and poor on defense. Rod was the local defenders, good on defense and poor on morale and attack.
Since I was poor on defense, I should have used my command dice to boost my defence. Instead I used them to boost my attack -- but the boost want enough to break through, so I ended up being damaged and still in melee. Eventually, being damaged in a long grind I started to lose units, which cost me command dice, which cost me units, etc.
In the pictures below we used the dice to count the units strength. When reduced to zero the unit is eliminated and routs.