Friday, 15 May 2015

The Bard's Tale - Campaign Game 4

After an enforced break, Dave and I were finally able to meet up to complete our mini Dux Bellorum campaign. With the Welsh having been dominant in all the previous games, we felt that a final showdown as per 'The Bard's Tale' fitted the bill nicely. We decided to do away with any advantages that the Welsh had accrued so far, plus neither side taking any Strategies & Tactics. A 'vanilla' game maybe, but we thought it would work out rather nicely.....

Turn 1 Welsh - 6 LPs Irish 6 - LPs
The Welsh were the Agressors for the final game and after both sides had deployed, and more importantly decided which units their Bards were attached to, things got off to a brisk start. The Welsh cavalry advanced to the hill, not expecting the Irish to be within charge range, which they were. Dave had put his Bard with said cavalry, who in the combat lost one point of cohesion, but gained one victory point! I on the other hand had not put my Bard with my cavalry and so gained no points at all.

Both sides deployed for action, with the Welsh having to use an Irish Bard on loan. Oh the shame of it.
Both sides advance, with the Irish cavalry charging home. The Welsh prevailed in the combat but fail to gain any victory points due to poor positioning of the Bard.

Turn 2 Welsh - 6 LPs Irish 5 - LPs
At the start of the turn we experienced a power cut, leading to accusations of cheating on my part with my loaded die and metal table overloading the circuit. I couldn't possibly comment but no die rolling took place until the power had come back on...

Having learnt my lesson, the Welsh placed their Bard with the cavalry, which saw the loss of one Irish cavalry unit, but both sides gained victory points for this. A blunder saw a Welsh unit move forward, but only at half-pace. The Irish skirmishers burst out of the wood, attacking the Welsh skirmishers in the bog, who lost one point of cohesion. Luckily the skirmishers managing to hold on helped to secure the Welsh right flank for the moment.

Fighting takes place on both flanks as the centres come close to uncontrolled charge range.

Turn 3 Welsh - 6 LPs Irish 5 - LPs
In a bid to gain maximum victory points, the cavalry fought each other to complete destruction, whilst in the centre combat was joined.

The Welsh keep a reserve as the centres clash.
Both battle lines fragment, leading to some interesting choices next turn.

Turn 4 Welsh - 5 LPs Irish 4 - LPs
As the battle raged, the Welsh lost two units, leaving the Irish with more Leadership points next Turn. Crucially though the Irish were fast outpacing the Welsh in terms of victory points, with three of their units close to  their cohesion limit.

The Irish left flank is nicely poised to turn into Welsh next turn.
Cohesion points abound across the table, with Dave's victory point die visible in the top right hand corner.

Turn 5 Welsh - 3 LPs Irish 4 - LPs 
A particularly bloody turn put both sides on Break tests, which they both passed with ease.

The losses on both sides are clearly visible.
The Irish Companions are outnumbered, but fighting gamely on for eternal glory...

Turn 6 Welsh -  2 LPs Irish 3 - LPs 
The Irish Companions finally succumbed to Welsh numbers, which lead to the automatic rout of their army. Despite losing the battle, they won the game as they comfortably had about a 2:1 advantage in victory points over the Welsh. So it is the Irish that will be immortalised in songs and poems, with the Welsh, well having none to their name.

Post Game Thoughts
Well a cracking game that had a completely different feel to all of the others. As always a few thoughts:
  • This certainly was no 'vanilla' game. If anything it played better without any of the S&Ts of the previous games. We learnt very quickly that the Welsh Monks were game changers, so it was nice to have an even playing field as it were.
  • The Bards add a nice touch to the game. Their positioning took a lot of thought, which added another level to the game. I really must paint mine up as as a Welsh player, using an Irish Bard must surely bring me eternal shame?
  • Both of us generally went for all out attacks, which seemed fitting for this scenario, which made it rather bloody but also great fun.
So the mini-campaign game has been great fun and Dave a great opponent. The games have created their own narrative, which is nice, allowing us to easily choose the next scenario. I would recommend this sort of mini-campaign to anyone out there, as it is much more fun to play than a stand alone game.

So what next? Well we have decided to start with some 'Black Powder' games, kicking things off with some Prussians versus Austrians in the Seven Years War. These will be followed by a 'tour' of various periods of the 18th and 19th Centuries, culminating in the Franco-Prussian War I would imagine. All being well things will get moving next week.