On Thursday last we decided to try out Dragon Rampant, the fantasy version of Dan Merseys rules. 2 players aside, and each commanding 24pts- the two Daves with Daemons and Orcs versus Geoff and I with Men and Elves. The scenario rolled was The Ring, in which one of the Daves units was carrying a Macguffin, which served as the objective, with a tendency to scythe the battlefield clean of life if its bearer is the last unit standing! An interesting twist- to win the ring Bearer can't just hide at the back. If everyone else gets wiped out he explodes so both sides lose!
|The Daves deployed. The nearest Dave has borrowed my Orcs for the occasion. Mostly Harlequin |
with a Ral Partha Giant. The other Dave has a variety of scouting Imps backed up some nastier stuff!
Unbeknown to us the Orc Warlord has the Ring!
|My force- Archers, Halberdiers, Free Company, and a Helblaster,|
commanded by the Tsarina, and Legolas!
|Geoffs Fully Painted Snow Elves - Mostly citadel 80's Noldor Elves I believe.|
|Regular readers know my theory on arm gestures and how they relate to the outcome of the game.|
Compare Daves feeble and limp wristed effort with Geoffs much more decisive and definite gesture below...
|The Allied advance had gone smoothly by this point- the Orc cavalry had been pushed back, and|
everyone was in good shape. Then it went rather pear shaped.
|The Free Company got beaten up by everyone, The halberdiers were roughed up, and the Archers were|
driven back. Worst of all, the Giant made mincemeat of the Tsarina!
|...which was promptly ended by the volley gun! With the ring bearer dead and the|
rest of their forces inbits, the Orcs and Daemons quit the field.
This was a great game, and very hard fought, with the Orcs and Daemons chewing up our melee units before our line steadied itself and brought its superior firepower to bear. Lessons to remember in DR are simply to be mindful of the order in which you try and active your units for certain tasks, to make sure you give yourself the best chance of completing as many of them as possible before the initiative is lost!
Last night I had the opportunity to play a Dave again, only this time it would be Fuzzie Wuzzies (plus allied Pathans!) Versus Redcoats in the Men Who Would Be King! This game is superficially similar to DR, the core rules are essentially the same. But enough is changed to give a different feel to the game, one more appropriate to the Colonial period.
We had 24 points for the Fuzzies, 18 for the Redcoats, with the Scenario "The High Road". Daves objective was the British Camp.
Dave took one unit of Pathan Horse, and one of Pathan Foot, 3 units of Fuzzies and a captured/enslaved gun. All the Tribal foot were rated Fierce. The Horse were Veteran.
I took 2 units of Regular Riflemen, one of Natal Volunteers, and one of Natal Native Contingent. No particular special stuff was added, but perhaps worth noting that my colonial forces are all based around units of 12, so for my tribal units I knock a point off to account for the reduced strength, so paying 2 for 12 rather than 3 for 16.
|The Pathan advance past the generic African village...|
The Fuzzies are stuck behind it.
|The British Firing line deploys. The NNC, a very long way from home, are beyond the camp.|
Ignore the other stuff to the left- that was just Dave sorting his units out!
|Daves assault falls to bits- He kept trying to double time; This requires a test and allows a|
unit to move an extra d6". The Tribal units don't normally have to test for their movement,
but with poor Leadership andbeing made to test every turn they ended up all over the place!
Just using their free move would have kept them alltogether and moving every turn rather
than half the time. The Pathans got out in font by themselves- The Natal Volunteers
charge and a couple of volleys from the Redcoats cleared both units from the field.
|This is as far as the Mahdists got. They managed to beat the Volunteers back, but the|
Redcoat volleysripped into their piecemeal attack, and what was left was finished
off when the NNC charged forward destroying the remaining Fuzzies...
So, we swapped sides, to see if I could do any better!
|The Fuzzies actually got to within charge range before they took any casualties!|
I'm happy now that it was just the tactics that were lacking. My more concerted attack was far more successful than Daves version . Seeking the flanks and advancing in cover is the way to go, and with an extra unit of Horse instead of the gun I'd have been turning both flanks!
My advice is to think like a Zulu- don't just rush headlong into the rifle fire, keep moving to the flanks...the civilized Imperialists don't get free moves, and can't move as fast so they can't keep up. Use this to keep forcing them to try and move (costing them firepower) and keeping yourself concealed (costing them firepower!) . Get round behind them and then close in from all sides.
Once close don't try and charge home straight away- firepower is key and the Natives have more, although of lower quality. Charge a Redcoat and he gets a chance to stick you with his bayonet- He'll almost always win that contest. However, throw a spear at him and even if he ducks there's still a good chance he won't get to shoot back! Then when they are pinned and thinned out a little, you can move into finish him off!
I'm now happy that TMWWBK is a suitable ruleset for use in our next project.
Each year at Gauntlet (our clubs annual show) a few of us put on a game. As big and impressive a game as we can manage (usually at short notice with little free time and a tight budget!). This year nobody had suggested anything and nobody seemed keen to put themselves forward. We've done this for the last 4 or so years but it seemed this tradition was to be short lived. And then somebody told Rick that the table was booked for us. The organisers clearly expected something from us! I threw a few suggestions into the ring, based mostly on what was on my painting table at the time...fantasy stuff mostly, dungeon crawls etc. It got no takers. And then I suggested the Anglo-Zulu War reckoning it was another non-starter...and Rick went and bought some Zulu's. And TMMWBK. That's about as close to committing to something as this group gets!
So for Gauntlet, in a little over 3 months we will put on as big an AZW game as we can manage using TMMWBK rules. I've worked out a scenario, we have enough redcoats and their auxiliaries, I'm making the scenery...all we need now are Zulus...thousands of 'em. I've 120 ready so far, but that's not nearly enough! Another 100 marched onto my painting table this week. 24 have already marched off again, but I must redouble my efforts if we are to put on a reasonable game for Gauntlet!