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This is my personal space about YMG's Battleground: Fantasy and Historical Warfare miniatureless miniatures game. If you love miniatures wargames, but are put off by the expense in time and money of collecting and painting all those figures, this is the game for you! If you are unfamiliar with Battleground simply click on the tutorial link below and watch a quick sample combat. Next, click on the forum link and meet some really great folks who will be responsive and answer all your questions. If you are already familiar with BG:FW&HW this site is an adjunct to the forums where I put up my own brand of replays and and stuff that just wouldn't fit in the forum (but I'll post links!).

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Orc's Penultimate Stand

This battle came about as a result of a discussion on the YMG forum about the effectiveness of Orc Crossbowmen, whom I call XBowOrcs. The concern is that they are not worth the price and always stay in the box. The reply is that they are "situational" and under certain circumstances they are worth the expense. I said they would work sitting in a swamp shooting out, because it would take some pretty major doings to invade the swamp with adequate force to neutralize them. My good pal (and superior Orc tactician) Marcus maintains that sitting them atop a hill was the way to go.

As a scientific kind of guy, I decided there was no better way to check out the competing theories than "On the game grid, Sark!" (Tron) To achieve this I placed a swamp on one side and a hill on t'uther and selected the Kingdoms Scenario "Last Stand." It is significant to note that this scenario gives the defender (the Orcs in this case) only 1700 points, to the Attacker's (HE) 2000. All the defender is trying to do is eliminate as many of the enemy forces as possible before the rest run off the defender's mapboard edge. This means it doesn't matter if the defender is totally wiped out, in fact, it sort of assumes that as a given. It's a matter of how much damage can be done to the steamroller.

The Orcs chose 3 SpearOrcs, 2 XBowOrcs, and 2 Wolfriders for 1696 points. In the picture below the XBowOrcs are flanking the 3 SpearOrcs in the center. The Wolfriders are behind the XBowOrcs by the hill, just out of the picture.

The High Elves fielded 1 HE Knights, 1 HE Bowriders, 2 HE archers and 4 HE Elder Battle Squads (EBS) for 2000 points. In the above foto you see the Bowriders on the far left, then the Knights with the four EBS's next making up the HE line. The archers are behind the EBS's. The HE plan was to seize the hill and roll up the Orcs from that flank, at which point they would simply roll out to the left and exit the opposite board edge.

                                                                Opening Moves
 On turn one the EBS's begin their inexorable march forward while the mounted troops race for the hilltop. The XBowOrcs move toward the hill as the Wolfriders protect their flanks. The SpearOrcs are on Hold as the remaining XBowOrcs move into the swamp.
 Through judicious use of The Lash the Orcs reach the hilltop first (okay, the HE cav let them as they didn't want to race ahead and get flanked by the Wolfriders). The Bowriders do 4 damage to the leftmost Wolfriders, if they had used their precision box they might have one-shotted them, but they were saving it for a time they needed an extra hit, and they weren't expecting such a blowout from one volley of arrows (4 dice needing 5s and 3s). This emboldens the Knights to charge the other Wolfriders and the EBS to make it a pinch.
So the Wolfriders get one-shotted. The wound you see on the Wolfriders above was caused by the archers previously. Of significance is the Wolfrider's sacrifice. They did 4 damage to the Knights (6+2charge+1lash+2frenzy=11dice). This allowed the XBowOrcs to to flank charge the Knights (charge, lash, ferocity) and one-shot them.
 Not to be outdone, the Wolfriders on the far left of the hill charge the Bowriders and do four damage as well, before they two are one-shotted. The SpearOrcs had begun advancing and they flank charged the EBS. All the command card love and lashes had been given to the troops on the hill, so this charge was largely ineffective.
On the extreme left of this picture you can see the the very edge of the Bowriders who have been left in the red by the now eliminated Wolfriders ("We killed them, but we paid a heavy price" Theoden). They will spend some time 2dice plinking from a distance.

                                              The Orcs begin closing the noose.

Sorry about the neck craning this may cause. All this to show that the XBowOrcs and their friends on the right flank pinched and one-shotted an EBS.

All the dice show Courage checks to be taken. Starting from the left at the bottom of the pic we see the XBowOrcs fail their test v. Bowfire. The pinched SpearOrcs above that pass theirs, but their EBS opponents do not and are eliminated by free hacks. The SpearOrcs in the upper center follow the previous example by routing and being eliminated. The last SpearOrc pass their test.

                                And so the end of the last High Elven turn looks like this

The XBowOrcs charge the archers and heavily damage them while taking a surprising amount of damage themselves do to hot elf dice. At this point the HE have lost enough to give the Orcs a 5/1 victory.
Final XBowOrc analysis: Meh. The xbows on the caused 1 damage and the xbows in the swamp did 0 damage. Notably, as heavy swords they kicked HEass!

Heroes for the Orcs: The Wolfriders who essentially sealed the fate of the HE Cav (370 points vs. 680 points).

Heroes for the Elves: The archers who did a combined 6 damage vs HeavySwordsOrcs in hth combat!

Now, I intend to re-fight this battle after hearing from the High Elven council. My first thought is that attacking on such a broad front was a mistake. I think I should have flanked the Knights with a couple EBS's to capture the hill, and left the Bow riders to cover the right flank while the remaining 2 EBS's demonstrated in the center.

1 comment:

  1. New bases. I'm using the new bases I talk about in the previous post. One advantage is that if a unit routs you can just pivot the card on the base without having to pick it up which can be disruptive.