An Old Midlish Rhyme
The wind from the North sings of heroes of Olde
The wind from the East makes our blood run Cold
The wind from the South smells of Spices and Gold
But the wind from the West tells of warriors Bold.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Dragon Wagons

The game has been fought!
As the convoy winds its way forward the Huns appear to block the Eastern road. The artillery in the fort, having run out of Greek Fire (Magical weapon) opens up with rocks. All game long the Hun levy infantry  didn't care for that as shown by the number of morale rolls of 3 or 4 when hit! 
After much thought I decided that I needed two house rules.

1. Third time lucky. If the 1st unit fails its activation, it is done but a 2nd unit may try. If it fails, it is done but a 3rd unit may try. If it fails then the player's turn is over. Once one unit has been activated, the first failure ends the player turn.

2. Love your friends. The 3" rule for enemy holds but units may move as close as 1" to friends. A unit moving to contact an enemy may not ride through one units 3" zone to attack a unit farther away but it can attack the closest enemy or the middle of a line of units even if this violates the 3" rule for a unit farther away or to the side of the target.

Both rules helped ALOT! Mind you I still had a couple of player turns where no one activated. Not many though.

For the first few turns the Goth's catapult was their only unit showing. A charge by the Duke drove it back into the woods where he left it but by the time he met the King of the Goths most of his bodyguard had been crushed by comic book rocks. 
With 4 factions, I made a deck with 4 cards, one for each faction, and  pulled cards each turn to determine the sequence. That worked well.

I made the  wagons into 3 "units" of 2 stands each and allowed each to move with a unit which was touching it. The unit was assumed to be spread up and down the line so any attack   on the wagons was an attack on the escort.
The Roman cavalry has sallied forth but not in time to prevent the Duke from being wounded by the Goth King.
The game lasted longer than I expected and was full of incidents and reversals of the sort that make for good stories so that worked. The combat was also OK and the more generous activation worked well. Not sure the game would have worked for me without it.
Many turns later, the Huns have fled, beaten  by the hails of arrows from the Roman catapult, the Clibinari and the British Scouts. Four wagons have fled for safety to the fort but two were still in danger. Prince Micheal routed one band of Goths but was grieviously wounded. A hail of arrows from the remnant of the Roman Clibinari routed the wild  Rugi and slew the Goth King. Heroes of the day! The arrows from these brave horsemen routed 6 units in all plus, indirectly, the Hun King and slew the Goth King. Only the British scouts came near them.
Conclusions? This should work for a convention game. Would I use it at home afterwards? Maybe but probably not, I suspect its a better game against a live opponent. So should I go back to home rules for the convention? or stick with the plan?

I'm undecided.

I am decided on restoring the bases though and the 2 stand units will stay! (for battles, not Prince Valiant skirmishes)


  1. Marvellous looking game Ross. Regarding activation rules, it makes more sense to me to not have too many rounds when no units are activated (though I suppose it better represents veteran soldiers sensibly not wanting to engage the enemy).

    1. Well the activation isn't only for aggressive moves but my real objection is not to unit failure but that if some unit out of sight on the far side of the woods decides not to shoot at a sitting duck then that automatically stops that elite heavy cavalry from charging into say an open flank over on the far side of the battlefield, 2 completely unrelated incidents where the units are each unaware of the other.

      There is also a Double Jeopardy aspect where a unit which passes might shoot etc but get no hits anyway. Thats why we use dice!

      The real objection though comes if it a convention game where someone has travelled and paid money to play, gets a string of unlucky rolls and has to just sit and watch or if its a once a year game with an old friend who has an unlikely stretch of unlucky rolls. Been there with other rules, not fun for either side. A mix of not realistic mixed with no fun doesn't sound like a solid rules system to me but even though it can be just fine when the dice average out on the given day or if you play everyday and can afford to write off the occasional Friday night or 6.

  2. Will Prince Michael recover? Will his martial abilities be reduced because of his wounds? This appears to be an overall splendid game!

    1. He has always recovered thus far, he'd better or there will be no more blog posts from him!

    2. To rephrase that, he better recover or he won't be writing any more blog posts or running any more games!