Wednesday, 26 July 2017

OAAH Beta test 4 United Colours of Skeleton

I thought I'd gone slightly overboard with my recent skeleton project (not yet finished). I used all bar a handful- I need more javelins and some big nasties.

By now we are getting a good feel for the game – and liking it. Some thoughts:

Best unit sizes are 8-12. 6's works for skirmishers. 4's are OK for cavalry but less robust units just melt. Once you get above 6 the law of averages takes over- when 2 units clash one will be destroyed and the other probably next to useless. There are exceptions, of course. Odysseus's spear went against a unit of skeleton archers 2:1 who shot the bleep out of them, then beat them in hand-to-hand. I'm remembering my Clausewitz, hit a larger unit with 2 smaller units in sequence.

I'm thinking about Romans- my Warbase penny bases I considered too large for such a tight formation. Now I'm considering mounting 2 per penny so they take up exactly half the area of other troops. Would work for pikes at cataphracts as well. I just need a couple of bases with a single and a casualty- now that takes me back!

Skirmishers take out monsters, so protect them with same or lose them! The biggest can hit 6 opponents and have up to 4 lives, but a unit can whittle them down, they just need 6's. It is possible for a unit of 12 javelin to inflict several casualties shooting (6 dice) then go in for the kill. They'd lose men, but still be a viable unit at the end.

Skirmishers being charged and getting a reaction while in same area and in front of a parent unit. The sensible outcome here is that the skirmishers shoot n scoot to the flank while the attacker either splits their attack or plows into the main enemy unit. If they don't get the reaction, they get squeezed and the attacker chooses how many to fight them with. Does mean that the main body doesn't get an opportunity to shoot at the attackers (I'd suggest) as the skirmishers are in the way.

Heroes and Chariots – no matter how you beef them up, they have 1D. They're going to kill 1 unless you roll a 1. 2 if they shoot, like Achilles. So any small unit will roll over them. There's a couple of “apps” you can give 'em.

I tried working these forces in small grouping that totalled (about) the 16 allowed per open terrain section. My idea was to try moving everything in the clump at same time- roll for each then go with the lowest or what was logical. Didn't work, worth a try. But the small groupings seemed to work, if you can get them to work in tandem & resist temptations.  Have a look below.

General 4.2.4. Hero, Charioteer, General, 2xlives, Undead about 45
A,C,E Skeleton spear, units of 8 4.1.4 pikes, Undead about 15 (points don't work for undead) = 360
B,E,H Skeleton archers, 4.0.3 Skirmishers, Shoot 0 Undead 20 @ about 12 = 240 units of 6 &4
(these proved amazingly resilient and effective)
G,I Skeleton javelin (non skirmishers) 4.1.4 Shoot1 Undead (2x8) 16 @ about 14 =224
F,J Skeleton javelin 4.1.3.. Shoot 1 Skirmishers Undead 6 @ about 15 = 90.
Hydra 4.5.5 Monster L3, Fear, Swamp march, x4 lives 57
Harpies 3.3.5. Flying. Fear. Fast. Devastating charge. 27 x 4 = 108
Total about 1,124

Minotaur General 3.3.5 General Hero Chariot 2 extra lives.
A) Myrmiddons 4.2.5. Elan. Devastating charge. 8X17 = 136
Achilles 3.3.6. Hero. Shoot3. 4Xlives 56 (total 14)
E) Javelin skirmisher 4.1.5 Shoot 1 (5 defence may be high, but buckler, helmet, moving) 6 x 15 = 90

B) Citizen (unarmed, small shield) militia 4.2.4. Shoot1 8 x 12 =96
F) Archers 4.1.1 (a tunic & helm-) skirmishers. Shoot1 6x 12 = 72
Chariot Hero 3.3.5. Hero. Chariot 20 (total 16)

C) Artificial spear 4.3.6. Pikes. Artificial 8 x 23 = 184
Bronze Bull 3.4.6. Artificial Monster L2. Fast. Trampling. 42
Bronze Giant 3.4.6. Giant L3 Artificial. 39 (total 12, plus general, 14)

D) Spear. 4.2.5 (body covering shield, helmet) 12 x 14 = 168
Oddyseus 3.2.5 Hero, Inspiring Leader (whoops, should be sub gen) 2xlives 35
H) Bow 4.1.4 Skirmisher Shoot1 3 x 12 = 36 (total 15)

G) Spear Satyr 4.2.4 Skirmisher (I was going to make warband but it's not costed) Ranger (whoops, should have added terrain) Difficult target 8 x 15 = 126.
H) Bow Satyr 4.1.4. Skirmisher Shoot1 6 x 12 = 72 (total 14)
Kohen 3.4.5. Hero. Fearless. Devastating charge. 2Xlives 40.
Total 1,116 – bit of a shortfall, but not enough to worry.

The Game. Let's have a look at the key points:

Ladies First.  They moved up to take the objective first thing.

Insert Ride of Valkeries and Huey rotors here:

Spotting their prey, they swoop on Kohen, and exchange 1 for 1.  This is a theme.

They swoop in (swoop n poop attack) to avenge the general.

Now it's the turn of Achilles, cutter of toenails, to feel their wrath.  A javelin takes 1, but he goes down (!) taking another harpie to hades hallowed halls.

Now is the harpies turn to suffer the javelins of outraged Greeks.  The first attack from the flank fails miserably.  Turnover, reaction and 2 successes followed by 3 hits-.

The Centre Storm

The Evil General, confident in his boneheadedness, leaps an area too far.

The Brazen Bull, Irrascabull, leaps to its doom, taking a life from the fiend.

Achilles throws a mighty caste and the undead is as dead as his hat.

Up run the avengers, javelins fly!  One is struck down by Achilles throw, another by a mighty blow, but Achilles has lost two lives, um, too and must retire.

The Achaean Left

The Satyrs went in but crashed and burned against a solid skeleton staff.  They had a remote chance.

Following a fellow playtesters suggestion, the charioteer having 3 successes sneaks around the rear of the spear and plunges in.  But he's only one and he too goes up in flames.

Next along was the city militia.  These managed quite well, the archers stood up.  The spearmen and their skeleton opponents ground each other into dust.

Now we have the Myrmidons.  I cannot get these right.  They didn't advance, being slow to engage they suffered and were eventually destroyed by archers-.

The Hydra.  Funny, isn't it?  You start to percieve character, or even mind, in your little fellows depending how the dice fall.  Like the dragon of last-week, this one was reluctant to  advance.

Out trots the Bronze Giant, Talos.  But he could not stand up to the multi-headedness, crashes down, but the Hydra loses life 1.

Now in come those pesky javelins.  3 lives left!  Not enough and down goes the mighty beast.

The fall of Odyseus

His job was to sweep up the flank with the biggest unit, allowing the Artificials to take the target.

The Artificials- well what's left.  I described this above.  The spears got 2 of 3 activations allowing them to assault uphill.  The archers got the reaction (the failed activation) and used it to get out of the way, shooting as they went-getting a respectable 2 casualties.  They wiped out the skelly spear, but at great cost, leaving them at the mercy of the archers on their flank.

"Right lads, this is what we'll do--"