Saturday, 10 September 2016

Stone thrower wot won it

At BOYL I was introduced to a fellow Oldhammerer called Nick and we got together yesterday for a game of 3rd edition - 1000 points of orcs versus beastmen. Scenarios being important we raided Dragon Rampant for inspiration and opted for the Crystal Gale: 10 crystals placed around the table to add a treasure hunting element to the fighting.

The somewhat blurry photo above shows the initial setup - centaurs, beastmen, more beastmen, a troll with its shaman minder (or is that the other way around?) and a pack of chaos hounds facing (also left to right) some archers, warriors (in mid-move), savage orcs, shaman, elite orcs (also in mid-move), a stone thrower and some boar riders.

As Nick had observed he was fairly outnumbered, but I wasn't feeling too sympathetic at that point as his beastman general had 6 personal attributes - all beneficial ones at that - and I was feeling a bit concerned about facing him. To balance things out his shaman had an attribute of Stupidity, hence his delegation to troll duty.

The game left me with four main impressions: a good evening was had rolling dice, which is certainly the most important thing; those dice are probably more significant to the outcome of the battle than any generalship short of horrendous errors; 1000 points is about right for a short game (somewhat over two hours plus the table setup, attribute generation and so on) and war machines are still overpowered in 3rd ed.

Speaking of dice, Nick's centaurs swept into my archers fairly early on - and after a shocking initial round spent most of the game battling them. By contrast the chaos hounds, with very similar stats, made short work of the boar riders on my right flank and in the picture above are about to kill off my stone thrower crew.

The crew by that point had more than earned their keep. Their three shots of the evening (when they weren't busy animositying) had hit the shaman and troll (killing both, although the troll regenerated) and the general's unit twice - sending him routing off the table with a couple of his surviving beastmen. I was fortunate that due to the long minimum range of the stone thrower their failed animosity rolls couldn't inflict similar damage on my own units!

Definitely the dice were on my side, so I'm no doubt due the opposite result one evening soon. I was however left with the feeling that I should do a version of my 1000 point force with no war machines.

My final blurry picture of the evening shows the dispositions when time ran out. Nick was 4-3 ahead on the crystal collection front but depleted in terms of forces.

Which brings my to my final impression of 3rd ed - you can quite quickly get to the point where the result seems clear, but actually getting from there to a definitive end can take a long time. So it's quite handy sometimes to be stopped by the clock.

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