Age of Sigmar – Seraphon vs High Elf Alliance

Today we played round two our Age of Sigmar competition. As we found out we were 1 week later for the summer campaign , so the results would just be for our own fun. Today I gave a run out for my High Elves.

I took Althran Stormrider Host war scroll battalion . Which consisted of

  • Hero on Griffon
  • Elf Mage
  • 5 Swordmasters
  • 10 Lothern Sea Guard
  • 5 Ellyrian Reavers
Actually the contents of the Battle for Blood Island- which I have – and 600pts exactly. Looking like karma…
Logans Seraphon remained the same
  • Skink Starpriest
  • 20 Saurus warriors
  • 10 Skinks with javelin
  • 10 Skinks with blowpipe
  • 3 Ripperdactyls
The elves looked very outgunned. After reading the warscrolls then it seemed like the older models didn’t have such an oomph as the later releases. We played take and hold again, with slightly less terrain (doing away with the nonsense polystyrene tiles!). The game has a string narrative. Serpahon starting   – with Ripperdactyls off table, ready for their swooping attack. There was a general advance The Saurus drummers allowing them to march – but then not to charge. In the subsequent Elf turn Althran on his Griffon showed was a monster can do. With Hand of Glory cast (re-roll hits and wounds) with a massive 16” one – he is flying – then rolling a double 6 for the charge allowed him to charge whoever he wished. The target was the big block of 20 Saurus warriors.
He did great dispatch, inflicting 10 casualties on the unit.  The Saurus had already taken 2 casualties from an Arcane bolt earlier in the turn. in the Battleshock phase Logan threw a 6 , adding 12 … even with a bravery of 10 that meant another 8  lizardmen fled the field. The mistake was not to have given them inspiring presence that turn ( given to some Skinks who were skirmishing ahead of the lines). So it was looking good for the Elves from the get-go. However, in the next turn the Ripperdactyls cinematically swooped down to wreak revenge! this they did.
With their initial boosted attacks from the warscroll battalion they took Althran down to 2 wounds with their clawing attacks to start. The beak attacks are only 1 dice attack, but each time they are successful they get to roll another attack. These exploded attacked finished off the brave elf nobleman. The following turns saw the elves turing their attention to the Ripperdactyls and pepper with arrows and a few arcane bolts saw them off. With all the big beasts gone, it was down the infantry. The Ellyrian reavers had also been picked off by the Rilpperdactyls. The sword masters had some success , but with only a low model count they suffer from mortal wound spells (arcane bolt ect), as soon as they are less than 5 their usefulness to capture objectives is diminished. Finally the skinks ran out of room. As ‘wary fighters’ they can break off from combat , being safe to shoot next turn. However against the elves who shoot back …and with elf shields 4+ save (re-rolling 1s & 2s in shooting) they were getting the worse of the deal.
The final nail came with a the Elf mage longbombing a charge to attack the Skink Starpriest. With ‘Arcane bolt’ followed up with ‘hand of gloried’  sword and the tiny lizard was dispatched.
 
So victory for the elves, only minor as they didn’t have enough troops to hold both objectives!
Great game. I’m really enjoying these Age of Sigmar games. They have a real simplicity, but with some clever decision making. No monsters are too powerful as they can be ground down by infantry. Infantry are vulnerable to high losses due to battleshock, so nothing is massively survivable. Its hard to make anything approximating a deathstar! no 2++ re-rollables here

Age of Sigmar – Seraphon vs Nurgle

Today we played a game of the much maligned Age of Sigmar. Logan has been collecting Seraphon, and with the release of the Generals handbook if was a breeze to get a ‘pick up’ game organised.  He had just finished painting up his models, to get a game in for the Summer campaign , with a week to got before ‘back to school’. We used the first scenario – take and hold, which is a typical capture the flag game. We only used 600pts to try and get a game that we could setup, play and get to a conclusion, in the time we had available.

Logan’s Seraphon was a Shadowstrike Starhost warscroll battalion   (2 units of Skinks, Skink priest and Ripperdactyls), and a unit of 20 Saurus.

I dug out some some Nurgle, 5 Blightkings, 20 Plaguebearers, 2 units of 3 Nurglings and a Herald as leader. As I had the keyword Nurgle in my army selection Blightkings counted as battleline.
The terrain was rather crowed (too much so was the view afterwards), and we fought over a ruined village next to a river- in reality I found some old terrain tiles that hadn’t been used in 20 years, so needed a trot out
The Seraphon were rather devastating. They have rather a lot of anti Chaos buffs (as the Seraphon manifest from the blazing light of Azyr – new fluff)
 
The game started very quickly the Saurus marched (with drummer), and threw high on the charge fighting the Plaguebearers on the riverbank. This was to be the chunky combat of the game. The Saurus , being given inspiring presence were immune to battle shock. The Plaguebearers as now even more of a tarpit, they get a 5+ save , with a subsequent  5+ save – Disgustingly Resilient ( I will not call it Feel no Pain 😉 ) They during battle shock if they throw a 1 they get 1d6 plague bearers back. This fight ground out.
My Blightkings were lead a merry dance with by the Skinks, the Starpriest hitting them with 2 spells each turn – typically done d3 Mortal wounds each time. Not something that a 5 model unit wants.  The Skinks poor out a lot of shooting and when I did close to contact , as wary fighters the skinks can break off during their ‘activation’ in the combat phase. With the Plaguebearer/Saurus combat being the main focus, that meant that quite often they would activate first and break off with no loss.
 
The Ripperdactyls start off table as part of the battalion rules, arriving when needed. They come with a Bloat toad model, who as a non-combatant moves around the table giving away their arrival point. When fighting within 2” of the toad the Ripperdactyls go into a frenzy. Combining the ‘Swooping Dive’ rule with the ‘Strike from the Skies’, they come down with a vengeance. In this case some unsuspecting Nurselings camped on the objective felt their wrath. Normally these little spuds just shrug off hits. 5 wounds per base, remove all excess hits at the end of the phase. But the toad has shuffled next to them and the reptilian Stukas obliterated them in 1 attack.
The jig was up for Nurgle, the plaguebearers stuck in a long running combat (killing 20 Sauruses takes a while!), Nurglings wiped out, and the Blightkings less that 5 models so could not control any objective.
I have to admit I really enjoyed this game. It was ‘lite’ for sure, but needed thought and gave some interesting decisions in the game. It was a bit like Warmachine, but without the terminally fiddly bits that that comes with.  The generals handbook was excellant for making the game quick to set up, and the force selection was a breeze with all the ‘upgrade’ minutiae  from WFB gone. The app was excellent too. Add your troops to ‘my battle’ and you can keep a track of all your units quickly without constantly having the ‘book lookup’ – Free too!
Recommended

MeG – 3rd Servile War game

spartacusfLast night we played a game that was a combination of introduction and campaign game. Dino, Paul and Peter played for the first time. I picked a game from the 3rd Servile war – Spartacus campaign. To make it a closer run thing , I picked the Romans to be led by Crassus – where the Slaves finally get beaten.

 

 

 

 

One way to play this campaign is a single game pickup. You can select lists from the campaign pack, select a date. Substitute the campaign maps for the one in the rules and away you go.

Just to talk about the lists for a moment (they are a bit fast and loose, close to 12K points).

The Spartacus list is

Spartacus

There are couple of campaign rules in play.

  • Spartacus gets a 40% bonus to scouting is he chooses to ‘invade’ (Night Attack)
  • The Slaves can also substitute the Apennine backdrop as their secure flank option ( Impassable mountain range)

The Roman list is

Crassus

There are couple of campaign rules in play for Crassus

  • Homeland Muster, not allies allowed
  • Garrison troops, at least 25% of TuGs must be poor
  • Seasons tactician, the C-in-C must be at least talented.

During the PBS stage, Spartacus and his slaves dominated. As a legendary leader they beat Crassus (red vs yellow – close thing though). They picked to defend selecting the most central location in Italy. Peter as the Roman had some decent cards, but it seemed that neither side was worried about moving from this location. The Slaves has 9 cards (3 scouting) to the Romans 7 (4 Scouting). The Slaves held on to their best 3 cards for scouting, and the Romans 2. The desultory movement was back and forth to the adjacent square, ending up with initial location

The terrain was dense with secure flank. The slaves picked the Apennine mountain, alongside some large compulsory rough hills. At this point they didn’t realise that the Romans were flexible so could switch between close and loose order. However, it was probably a good plan to at least avoid the potential ‘shove’ that close vs loose would get in the open.

A few more optional, smaller hills were placed and that concluded the battlefield. The hills were scattered evenly across the table, but it did give the slaves a good defensive position

Both sides had held onto their best scouting cards, from the prior stage – But they neutralised each other both sides having 1 red, 2 yellows. The Romans had an extra green, but not enough to give them a discernible advantage.

The armies deployed 4 groups at a time. The slaves just having a slab of ‘imitation’ legionaries, sandwiched between the ‘mob’. Crassus’s army seemed small by comparison, with just 8 TuG of Legionaries (2 of which were poor)

The plan was simple, as a test of the rule mechanisms and introduction to the game, both armies would butt each other, neither side demonstrating any tactical finesse.

The Roman army chose to float Crassus and let his subordinates take the strain. With hindsight Pete thought that this was not such a good idea, but I’m not so sure. Certainly it demonstrated the difference in the command structure.

In the fighting the Slaves held their own. The Roman equipped slaves being average impact weapon matching the Roman. The legionaries has a bit of bad luch by losing a couple of bases to skirmishing shephards ( 2 wounds on 3 black dice!) , but as the fight settled down the Roman quality started to show. Being melee expert, and average gave them a 2 dice colour advantage against the regular slaves. Combined with the ability to shove loose order (vs close) the poor slaves started to take a lot of damage. However, this was mitigated by the fact that the slaves had cunningly arranges that each legion was fighting at least 2 TuGs. So from an attrition perspective a legion could only take 3 losses, vs the Slave 4.5 per tug ( so actually against 2 TuG, the romans need to inflict 9 kills). As long as they kept throwing a white dice the Slaves can attrit their way to victory.

When we called time , the Romans looks shakey, most legions had taken a couple of casualties and were looking like they would be swamped by Spartacus and his followers.

 

Britcon game 6 – Batavians vs Later German – Sarmatized with Hun Allies.

Game 6  Brian with his Later German – Sarmatized with Hun Allies.
Last game of the tournament. Brian my opponent had used Barbarians a lot in the playtest was an expert in handling the hairy-ones. The Gothic element of the army was 1/2 charging lancer , 1/2 bowmen –  with a Hun ally of flexible horse archers. Being the last game and everyone being a bit tired and emotional we didn’t consider the terrain too much. It looked like it should suit me being in ‘dense’ terrain.
just when I hung onto goof cards thinking – this time I would outscout my opponent – no, Brian matches me card for card and has the temerity to trump me with the final green!
However Brian threw 3 6’s and removed half the terrain leaving a flat plain, on which his lancers stood,  between rough hill upon which his archers stood.Couldn’t have got any better. The Batavian loose foot were now getting used to standing in the open facing charging lancers and resigned themselves for a early bath.
line ’em up – as Barker intended
The armies lined up centrally and both sides moved forwards! The cashed was soon forthcoming. On the side with the Huns they fell back peppering the chasing barbarians in their wake for desultory effect.
Huns Skirmish while Sarmatians charge in
The Sarmatian style lancers charged in . The impact was not so bad. The lancers were up, but Brian  could not get his ’s’ shatter results where it could cascade down the line. The Batavians held, with a few base losses, but they had also inflicted losses on the cavalry lancers. Being in much smaller blocks, it looks like we might yet attrit our way to victory.  However, in the ensuing melee the dice turned from being less that average to red hot for Brian, and with largely even fights the cavalry broken through and destroyed 4 units of Batavian foot in short order.
This rocked the army and enemy cavalry was running amok being the lines. The camp was up for grabs.  There was one  desperate chance with the Chatti cavalry  to regain some pride, as the cavalry that had broke through was worse for wear, and the luckily they broke those units. However in a brilliant display of using charging cavalry, while the Chatti were finishing off the lancers, one TuG turned 90 and advanced to the rear. The following there was nothing that could be done. The lancers charged the rear. The factors were nasty +3 for rear, +2 for charging lancers.. The first round killed a base , got the shatter, so the next file was +7  so 2 red dice (the best) , vs 1 black dice (the worst) … the 1st Chatti units broke, the angle meant that the lancers broke through and hit the next Chatti in the rear and did exactly the same !! Good night vienna
15-4 to the the Later Germans
So that concludes my documentary on how to lose a competition. If not bottom, I suspect I was close ! Good fun , but my army design had some serious flaws that need examination

Britcon game 5 – Batavians vs Greco Bactrian

Game 5 Leslie with his  Greco Bactrian

This was an interesting game, against an army type that I had not faced before. The army was professional with a floating commander in chief issuing orders from the rear. The army was a mash-up of hellenistic pikemen and Xystophoroi and Iranian lancers and light horse archers. The pre game make it really difficult for the germans. they lost the initial roll-off for choice of attack/defence on the same dice. Forcing the Germans to attack into the plains. Having better generals (more cards) stopped the Germans trying to sneak towards any type of terrain. To make matters worse the Bactrians outscouted the Germans which  made them start deployment (normally the attacker deploys second), so with a billiard table to play on with two gentle hills in the far corners, it couldn’t get much worse.

The Germans deployed centrally – there was not much else they could do. I would hope to be wide and collapse in on the ended. The Greco-Bactrians obliging deployed pikes, elephants, cataphracts and charging lancers opposite. So, at least it would be stand up game and not one of wheeling. On the left there was 2 Batavian cavalry facing one charging companion type cavalry with elephants in close support. The right had warband screened off by skythians , being formed could shoot with reasonable impunity while the sluggish warband trundled forward.

The game was straightforward with no mincing. The germans has no other plan and the Greeks had the upper hand anyway! the lines crunched and the impact proved fruitless for the barbarians as pike supported by lancers had the advantage. There were quite a few casualties on both side but Leslie wisely stored his better cards to rally of hits off at the end of each turn, leaving the line looking intact.

The German lines are thinning while the Greeks shove on

Small recompense, but the Elephants did suffer some loses and the Batavian ‘poor’ skirmishers who were cowering at the rear had an opportunity to gain some glory and javelin’d the beasts to death (well inflicted the final wound the that finished them off)

One units of germans broke though the line, and flanked charged some Iranian lancers and destroyed the unit in one go. However it was all too little to late.

The Batavian centre broke, and with a few dribs and drabs the Germans capitulated.

15-7 to the Greco Bactrians

Britcon game 4 – Batavians vs Ancient British

Game 4 – Batavians vs Ancient British (played by Simon Hall) 

So here we are gain propping up the table. The two leviathans of wargaming heritage – Early Germans vs Ancient British – commanded not less that by the author himself!
Simon’s army was voluminous. Only a couple of fanatic TuGs, relying mainly on big blocks of Warrior (loose average types) and some larger chariots(6s) and Slingers(9s). Terrain was advantageous for neither side. The fact that there was a secure flank meant the both armies could reply right up to the table edge (of the secure side). As the securing terrain was woods, then the warriors of both armies would not be particularly impeded.
You can see the starting deal. Note that the Chatti Allies are played face up for the first turn. No coloured cards means unreliabilty.  So its unlikely that you will see many mediocre graded ally generals ! … or at you peril 🙂
The game was a demonstration of attrition. The big Brit blocks lined up and while the Batavians www generally ‘up’ in most fights, any sort of loses would be telling. Yet gain the superior 4s of noble cavalry were a weak link. One TuG of nobles did a sterling jobs while teetering on the edge of break (with 1.5 loses)
It was all pretty straight up with not much manoeuvring, and the smaller Batavian army was eroded away until it finally broke
15-3 to the Ancient Britons

Britcon game 3 – Batavians vs Republican Romans

Britcon game 3 – Mark with Republican Romans

Hang on! haven’t we just had this?  No, its another Romans army using the Xth lead by Caesar. This time it was Mark at the helm… and it was his birthday – so happy Birthday Mark!

This time the terrain was massively dense. There was secure flank with a river, and dense woodland – of both a difficult and rough variety – leaving only a narrow gap between the water and the trees. Just enough for the Romans to reply in, neat eh?
The sneaky barbarians would have none of it, and the Batavians being of the loose variety skulked en masse in the wood, lead by the talented Civilis , executing a swinging envelopment while the close order Chatti and Batavian cavalry stood in the open. Mark (Caesar) ’s plan was simple. March forward and fight what was our in front of him.
The enveloping nature of the game meant that the Romans were being teased apart. This army was different to the last in that while the core was all the crack legions. The other filler was in larger and therefore of less value to destroy. To win I would have to defeat the legions. The big swinging flank did come round, and the superiors Batavian nobles did face the weakest element of the line – that being average legion. However, their mad charge was not quiet so effective this time and the protracted melee would always favour the professional Romans.
Caesar was on the corner with the tenth, and they were charged frontally by Chatti warlord, flanked by Chatti warband and fighting Batavian noble horsemen. Every single base was fighting – in 2 directions. However, the quality difference was such that the Germans could not quite attrit them in time – or actually – not at all!
 
The Romans re-deployed some ambushing cavalry and they rode down some Batavian nobles, who were not having a good day. Some numidians light horse were routed as were another average legion on the left flank. But that was mutual destruction. The Germans cavalry while being good quality, I have being finding are the weakest link. Its not that they cannot fight. They can dish it out OK, but they cannot suffer any major casualties.
The Batavian broke. It has looked reasonable promising at the beginning. But resolutely the Romans had just stood firm, letting the barbarian troops dash themselves upon the ranks until the fight in them was gone. When they al just routed back in the dark wood to fight another day
The result was 15 – 3 to the Romans

Britcon game 2 – Batavian Revolt vs Republican Romans

Game 2 – Bren with Republican Roman

I’d played Bren’s Romans at the Challenge so I knew what to expect. There is also a precedence for sharing lists before the game start in these rules, so you get to see exactly what you are facing.

These were Caesars boys. 10th Legion, lead by the legendary Caesar. There were a full ‘hangers on’, but they were just ballast for the Roma mincing machine. To my mind the game was largely decided at the beginning. The Romans won the choice to attack to defend, choosing to attack (deploy 2nd, go first). The defenders get to pick the ground upon which we fight. The Batavian chose the densest flank secure location on the map. During the pre battle phase Caesar had all the cards, but chose to draw the Germans away from the wood into the plans , and away from any flank securing sector. We ended up on a largely empty table – with just 2 pieces of rough terrain. Neither side had the edge in the outscouting phase so it was a normal alternating deployment.

This was probably a mistake by the Romans who with such a small force might have been better trying to end up moving closer the coast to get its own secure flank (just my view)

The Roman army was very small, and covered only 1m of the central sector of the table. The German filled that with stodgy warriors and overlapped the army by 30cm in each end with Cavalry and loose formation Batavian infantry

The Chatti in the centre was reliable (phew!) and stayed central. The plan was simple – envelope the flanks while the centre delayed. This all went swimmingly well.


On the left flank the average Roman cavalry capitulated in short order to the more numerous superior Batavian nobles.


On the right Batavian warrior flooded the end of the line agains ‘lesser’ quality romans .. this held and turned into a grinding match. The Romans were just better, but the war band more numerous and it would take a while to carve through

The killer blow was with the Xth. It had been plugging away in the centre and its flank supports had been dwindling. A gap opened in the centre just wide enough for the Chatti iron collars (superior types) to advance into, surrendering the flank of the Xth. The charge was momentous. The Chatti charging the flank, Batavian nobles to the front. The Romans lost a base but held. However fighting to front and side against more opponents the number started to tell. In the ensuing melee the Romans were better (technically killing more), but the Germans had twice as many to lose. Combined with this the Romans dice were appalling, they inflicted less than average, while the Germans seemed always to fine the wounds on the black and white dice.

Here you can see the Chatti hitting the flank of the Xth. The Yellow card you can see is played to prevent the average warriors from impetuously changing the centre

The Batavian noble cavalry had broken through on the left flank, into the soft underbelly of auxiliary archers, and ran amok. The camp was fortified , so prevented that being sacked. Fortified camps can only be attacked by infantry in these rules. But the jig was up. A couple of German units had been destroyed , but Caesar holding on, committed to fight in the front rank. He was wounded , the Xth broke and the Romans collapsed.

15-7 to the Batavian revolt.

The game lasts 2 hours from start to finish. Fast as there was little skirmishing or shooting

The German don’t win very often but when they do it is glorious !

Britcon Game 1 – Batavian Revolt vs Skythians

So Britcon 2016 starts and this year with a new system – Mortem et Gloriam. I have selected Civilis revolt, so the Batavians (Early Germans) and Chatti Allies (more early Germans). I’ve played this in DBM, FoG and now MeG, so it seemed appropriate. The army is a core or warband types, with some Roman deserters. So, in this they are Auxiliary types, who are flexible so can either be loose or close formation. The Batavians are ‘loose’ also, while the Chatti are also flexible. The only problem with tribal flexible is that once they are set at the start of the game there is no change between loose and close formation (a luxury afforded only to drilled troops)

My list is

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 00.12.39

Game 1 – Bob using Skythians
I have played Bob earlier this week as a practice for Britcon, and on that occasion he was using Huns. So the Germans had a hard time corralling those light horsemen off the table. This time it was even worse. The Skythians, while their quality is not quite what the Huns is, they make up for in numeracy, and shooting prowess. The Scythian list is pretty simple, all average, flexible cavalry meaning they can either skirmish or form up. A trade off between tactical mobility and fire power. The game did not start well. I did win the roll off and chose to defend. However, the initiative cards lured my army away from its secure flanks, dense terrain location further and further into the open. Finally ending up on the plains – but with a secure flank. The terrain was simply the secure flanks and one piece of terrain that did fall centrally but had not bearing on the game at all.

The scouting phase was unkind to me also. 6 scouting cards vs 3, and an unlucky draw meant that I was 100% out scouted, meaning I had to reply my whole army before seeing any of the enemy

You can see here the brave germans have nothing facing them after they deploy

The game was one of pushing forward, to try and flee the light horsemen off the table. After seeing my deployment the Skythians weighted both wings, and also had a flank march, there was precious little directly in front of me.

The nomads turn up. This pictures is notable for the Chatti allies cards (1st turn allied cards are face up. If you get no colour cards they are unreliable

It didn’t look good. However, I endeavoured to make a game of it and pushed forward and tried to squeeze the edges of the table so that at least the German noble cavalry would have some bearing on the game. The Germans pushed forward , as did the Skyths. The game played out as I charges , the cavalry skirmished and shot. This shooting did not kill many bases, but the ’S’ (slow) results slowed my charges so that the advance across the table was slowed. Shooting did start taking effect and I lost bases here and there but by which time Civilis was a good 3’ across the table. The cracks, however, were starting to show.

The Noble cavalry did get into good charging opportunities, but being Superior Melee experts the units were small ( 4 bases) The more numerous Skythians has some good shooting and took a base off as the Germans charged, This meant they were always a base from breaking completely. As the ongoing melee continued – while being at a significant advantage it was never enough to break though while the attritional casualties that the Skythians inflicted were enough to break the Germans cavalry.

The table is devoid of troops in the centre as they retire to the entremities

The Batavians did make it to the Skythian camp, and generally the whole army – or what remained of it – was less than 30cm from the enemy table edge, when the Germans collapsed. In the end after a hard fought battle the Germans had destroyed a single base of the loss of their whole army – so a maximum loss 25-0

While it was disaster, the game was fun and it felt that the Batavians had a chance – even when all the cards were stacked against them