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--"

Saturday, 22 July 2017

OAAH Beta Test, The Ballad of Green Gumption. Pushing the limits-

The Ballad of Lt “Green Gumption”

They came on 'ard those greenies with a loud “Walloo”

They tumbled our artillery then our poor Colonel too

The last one eyed our company and came on To Do

Stood Lt Gumption proud, “I'll 'ave 'im” to our “Go Too”

Out steps he, one, two a grenade-oh bowls straight and true

Bowled t' greenie a googly to our “Howzat” an' “Got You”

Our Royal Engineers wicket we showed 'em what a to do!

We got sidetracked, so I decided to do this one out-of-sequence. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

I note one of the other playtesters has gone as far as American Wars of Independence – with a flying canoe! This one goes into what used to be called Science Fantasy, but is realistically Colonial as well.

The scenery is my very, very old Purbek Terrain. The trench is embellished with a model of the Space 1999 Moonbase. Been used for everything from 2mm ironclads up.

The sides are very small. I could have easily embellished this game more:
A lurking monster in the ruins
A flank march by one side
Local villagers joining one side.

Second outing for both these sides:
Green Martians.
Infantry Giant Level 2 Q4 A4 D6 Shoot2, Resilient, Ambusher 8x 37 =298
Leader add Sub General
Cavalry Giant Level 4 (Includes big mount) Shoot1, Tough, Ambusher 6x 48 = 288
Leader adds General.
Artillery Giant 2, Artillery Level2, Slow, Ambusher 2x 39 = 78
Total 644

Royal Engineers
Command Vehicle Q3 A3 D8 Artillery L3 (gatling gun) General, Tough, 3 extra lives @ 111
Tankette contraption Q4 A3 D8Artillery L3,Tough, 3 extra lives @ 84
Charabang Q4 A2 D8,Tough, @ 31 carrying:
Infantry Q4 A2 D4, Shoot3, Drilled 8 x 16 = 128 making a total of 159. 3 of these = 477.
Total 672.

The Game. The premise is simple. The convoy has to pass through the village to get over the dry canal. The green Martians are ambushing them. Each game took us about an hour, 'im would say it should take 20 minutes. If part of a campaign we could have got to a reasonable conclusion in 30.

Game 1 I took the Brits, lined 'em up with Tankette in front just entering the village (ready for the ambush to be sprung) command car behind followed by the charabangs.

Seemed sensible to give the Martians the initiative. Naturally Tony started with the artillery- which failed. I used reactions to get my tankette into position and blew it away, leaving Tony the initiative. Out comes his flank cavalry cavalry, but my command car shot 'em to bits.

Now his other cavalry charged my tankette, taking one casualty but destroying it by hitting it on the flank. It may be hard, but it's still artillery. They plunge on, taking 2 lives of the command car by shooting. Then they mashed it, losing another. 

 Then the last remaining one charged my line. As detailed above. The infantry charged my line, but were shot to bits. That had reduced the Greenies numbers below viable. I was lined up, they were lined up and no-one is going forward so the green's going home.

Game 2 I take the Martians. Tony changes the order, putting a charabang in lead. He hastily dismounts his infantry across the road.

My cavalry gets chased by the tankette all round the houses, but my infantry and infantry leader takes on his command car and wins!

I managed to take out the lead charabang with my second artillery (again, the one on the building got stomped) but his infantry destroyed my other cavalry. I managed to get my surviving infantry close to his infantry but could do no more than threaten.

Level 1 artillery would represent a sniper or magic enhanced weapon or even a booby trap.
Boats and airships have their specific cost, war-wagons need a cost. About 10-15 would seem right.
Don't put your artillery on buildings.
At this skirmish level the very close shooting range seems wrong. I'm wondering the effect of doubling the area size would work?
Oh for a couple of not-triceratops with howdahs or artillery-.

Emergency supplies being rushed to the front