Friday, 5 August 2011

More War & Conquest

With a few days off what could be better than a day spent play-testing some more of the forthcoming War & Conquest from Scarab miniatures!

Rob brought perfect wargmaing with him again - it was chucking it down with rain. Re-painting the window frames will have to wait for another day :o)

Whilst the rules are still in development they are very much at the fine tuning stage. As such I won't go too much in to the mechanics during this post.

There's a bunch of clickable photos shown below, but first I'd like to say that I had a superb day of playing wargames, nattering about wargames, eating good food and marvelling at Rob's seemingly endless knowledge of Rock music. He used the phrase "anorak" - not me!

Both games were straightforward pitched battle affairs, though we did move the scenery around a little for the second game. The game plays very well with a good balance between detail and abstraction. It actually felt like I was in command of a large force of barbarians trying to overcome the might of Rome. The system the strategy points whereby you can influence command and/or morale tests really makes you think about what's most important on the battlefield - there just isn't enough points to do everything which nicely represents that even the most able command cannot be everywhere on the battlefield at any one time. It makes the game less predictable without bringing in lots of annoying randomness. It also makes you think ahead at least one turn.

I was also lucky enough to see a few pages of the proposed layout and "By George!" it's going to look VERY good indeed!!!

Anyway, enough preamble ... here's a few pics of what happened. (Captions follow each picture)

War and Conquest
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The battlefield featured a small gallic farmstead and here's Mr Celtic-Farmer welcoming his new overlords and "offering" them a wagon load of supplies in return for not being chopped in half.

Game 1

War and Conquest
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Deployment. Note the wide formations. We agreed that the farm area would simply all be considered as rough ground which would slow our troops and make their move less predictable but not hinder the game too much. I decided to hold of the warbands in reserve in case the Roman cavalry tried any crafty outflanking manoeuvres.

War and Conquest
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The action starts to heat up with the warbands closing in on the Roman line. By this point there had been some satisfying fights between the opposing units of skirmishers, with the more numerous Celts getting the upper hand and moving closing to the Legionaries so as to pick a few off with stones and javelins. I directed the noble cavalry on the left ratehr badly leaving them close to the Roman auxiliary archers and war machines.

Blah

War and Conquest
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The opposing lines clash and begin what would become a mighty struggle as each side tried to grind the other to dust. Like the noble cavalry, the reserve warband was not effectively used and could have played a vital role. But warbands are not particularly manoeuvrable in WAC - which seems right to me.



War and Conquest
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The noble cavalry were very lucky at one point - the archers and the scorpion opened up on them requiring four armour saves. Just a few more casualties and they would no longer be an effective unit ... in an unusual display of dice rolling skill I managed to save all four!

War and Conquest
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A little later and we see that one of the warbands has been shattered but the others continue the fight. Barbarian numbers fighting hard against Roman tenacity! At last the cavalry have got their act together and are ready to descend on the Roman rear.

Even with the intervention of the deplted noble cavalry the Celts could not get the breakthrough they needed. But the Romans too were tiring and their numbers were dwindling. The continued until each side had fought the other to a standstill with no clear winner. The battle lines had held for both sides and we agreed that it was clearly a draw.

This was a fantastic game that could have gone either way at several exciting points during the game. Perhaps if the noble cavalry had got in to the game earlier ... perhaps if the reserve warband had also got in to the fight.


Game 2

We swapped sides with Rob taking charge of hairy horde whilst I donned the purple and led forth the legions... This game proved to be a much more decisive affair!


War and Conquest
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The Celts had massed their cavalry on the their right flank and their skirmishers on the left, which is exactly what the Romans had done too.

War and Conquest
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The lines begin to close. Note that whilst I kept the legions in the wider formation of 9x2, I decided to use the Auxilia in a 6x3 formation, on the basis that the extra depth would make up for their slightly lower effectiveness in combat (in comparison to the legions that is). The wisdom of that decision would soon become apparent.

War and Conquest
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On both flanks some amazing concentrated missile fire from the clouds of skirmishers saw off both the Romand Celt light cavalry. Note the Celt warband immediately to the right (as we look at the photo) of the noble cavalry ... these were the fellows who had made little impact in the first game. This time they meant business.

War and Conquest
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A couple of turns later and what a difference. The warband mentioned earlier have chewed through one of the units of Auxilia and have pursued into the one behind. The Roman skirmishers have fled the farm as the noble cavalry approach. In the centre another warband are having the best of it against the regular legionaries. The verteran legion have routed a warband, whilst the other cohort of regular legion are squaring off against two further warbands.

War and Conquest
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The second unit of Auxilia were quickly despatched as were the nearby legionaries. The routing warband rallied very well and would return to the fight almost immediately. The other regular legionaries fared poorly against the smaller warband but held their ground and hoped for the Auxillary archers to help out on the flank.

By now it was getting quite late, we played another turn and it was clear that the Celts were going to win a decisive victory so we called it a day.

One ruleset, two games and two very different results all depending upon how things are played out. Jolly good fun indeed!

4 comments:

Vladdd309 said...

Thanks for an enjoyable read.

Really looking forward to the War and Conquest release.

Dan said...

Great look game thats for sharing

Rodger said...

Great report of your two games. Nice photos too.

Matt said...

Thanks chaps! :o)

I should also mention that both games (the first in particular) had some excellent and dramatic "gaming moments" i.e. the sort of things that you talk about afterwards.

Cheers

Matt