Thursday, February 23, 2012

Dark Ages Campaign Concludes

Round 8 of our Dark Age Campaign came to an end last week. With a three way on territories going into the last round it was really anyone's prize to seize in Round 8. Rich and I had fantastic game it was very close with me probably slightly ahead going into the last couple turns. I made a gamble move I didn't need to go for some big points and it backfired, leading me to a bad luck serious of event that took me for slightly winning to a major loss. If I had just played conservative the last few turns a close score between Rich and I really would have changed the map dynamic above to where (given Chris's  score)  the winner would have been decided by a few territories or a tie breaker of total armies raised. In the end the big Victory for Rich . Gave the Caliphate of Cordoda the clear Campaign Win. Conquering nearly half of the known world (even back in Ireland, again after I kicked him out once, argh!)  Chris wrapped up in second with a good score and wisely invading all the remaining neutrals territories he could last round..Chris picked a I think 6 territories the last turn. The Saxons got a serious push back but maintained a decent sized empire all the way across the North. The poor Normans survive barely, with a few territories even reverting to Neutral Baronys.

I am pretty happy with the way this Campaign system worked out..there were a few tweaks along the way. But I'm confident good system with some unique mechanics if you want to play a map based campaign with  moves against multiple opponents in a single round and want to resolve them with just one game. Best part about the system is that it can be used for any size army game..its totally neutral to what you use it for, you could use it for a board or card game if you wanted give even play your favorite themed campaign and resolve all the games playing chess. You'll be reading about the first two of my own projects. a Skirmish Fantasy Ruleset and The Campaign Systems throughout the year here.  You'll also get to see the campaign playtested again this year as we gear up for another Ancients Campaign, (Antiquity this time, probably 300BC ish) later in the Summer.

I'll leave with a pair of Battle narratives written by both Rich and Chris describing their victories
in the final round!  Hail Caesar for the Win!.

Round 8 - Arabs vs Saxons on the river board
Mission: Take the High Ground (objectives)

John set up broadly, with each division equally in one third of the table. I set up the Damascus division in the center in 2 ranks; Berbers in a line to the right and split the Ghulams with the 2 heavy between the infantry divisions & the light units skirmishing on the left flank.

The center hill was the key component of the battle. John moved Huscarls & a large Coerls unit onto the hill which were charged by the heavy Ghulams. While able to chase off the Huscarls, the Royal Ghulams were flanked by archers (and despite counter charging with my own archers) and were broken. (In the final round, John managed to roll 3 6's out of 4 dice for hits!) The second Ghulam unit was shaken and chased off. And to top it off, the C-in-C was lost fighting the Huscarls.

The Damascus unit dithered about in the center for a number of turns, either being disordered by skirmishers or slacking about with critical lack of leadership.

The Berbers on the right flank fended off all attempts to cross the river & spent most of the game shooting up a cavalry unit & some Coerls. I believe John failed to move the final 3 rounds of the game & I had no reason to leave my objective unguarded.

Shooting on the left flank started well with John's heavy cav being blown off the board by a pair of 1s on a shooting break check. Slowly, the rest of the division crossed the river & chased my shooters back into the center of the board. The standard unit of Turkomen were broken by the Vikings, but it set up a flank charge by the Damascus archers which pushed John's units off the board.

Top of the eighth. Its looking bleak for team Arab. Surrounded by Saxons and down on points. The Viking/Coerl group needed 3 moves to charge into the Damascus Archers - and they succeed. Luckily, the Archers are only pushed back by the combat & the Vikings are shaken to prevent any pursuit. Huscarls with C-in-C charge into the foot Ghulams + City Spearmen. Being fully rested from doing nothing this game, Team Arab breaks the Huscarls & kills the C-in-C. Moving up, the units are ready for a final charge against the large Coerls guarding John's objective.

Bottom of the eighth. The Volunteers - a unit which last took an aggressive action some time in early January, pass their leadership with double 1s & rear charge the Viking/Coerls. With a flurry of righteous blows, the Vikings are dispatched to Valhalla. Game ends with the Ghulam/City Spear team breaking the Coerls and claiming the objective. Adds up to 30 victory points being scored in the eighth.

Final: John 12 Rich 37

Round 8 -Normandy vs Byzantium
Pitched Battle

The board had a small town on one side, hill in the center, and forest on the other. Both players deployed, avoiding the town on one flank, between mid-field and the board edge with the forest, loading all the cavalry on the forest side.

Aaron had the first turn and it was pretty uneventful. His infantry divisions crept forward, and his cavalry division stumbled over it's own hooves (a theme for the next 2 turns). Chris shuffled forward and into shooting range.

The face off between the Cavalry divisions lasted a couple turns. Aaron failed to move his cavalry - he was sweating because he deployed his units sideways on the board so that they would fit - but he did manage to hold off Chris' charge with shooting disruption. Supporting Chris' peltasts took the woods and began a game long poo-flinging contest with Aaron's archers, with no side the victor. Aaron finally engaged the cavalry units, and after a few combats over a couple turns a Pyrric victory resulted; Aaron was left with a shaken heavy cav and Chris, a small light horse archer. These two units were then stuck in a perpetual cycle of shooting wounds and rallies.

Chris' center division mimicked Aaron's cav and stared at the hill for half the game. Eventually, Chris' lancers were able to 'lance' a unit of archers and half a medium unit before becoming shaken, themselves. The rest of the division joined the other infantry.

The infantry divisions of both sides stayed about 15 inches apart until the last few turns. Chris was able to disrupt Aaron's line with shooting for a couple turns. Aaron even managed to disrupt his own line with a blunder. He was able to return fire, but Aaron's archers seemed to do more harm slowing the advance of his heavies than good. Aaron was unluckier than Chris in roughly even combats when the armies finally met, establishing a victory for the Byzantine Empire.

Final: Chris 22 Aaron 10


Chicago Terrain Factory said...

You ran a grand campaign John. Dividing the map and the table top gaming elements made for one of the best campaigns I've been a part of.


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