Thursday, October 6, 2016

Lord Matthaus Strikes

It was 12 years ago that Francesia (my imagi-nations continent) was born. I drew the map while Hurricane Frances was passing over my head. Today, I am off work as I await the arrival of Hurricane Matthew so I decided to get a game in. Matthew is looking pretty ominous, as you can see from the satellite image, so I decided to make him a character in my Anarendor campaign. I used an alternate version of the name, which I feel sounds a little more sinister.

Satellite image of Hurricane Matthew
Lord Matthaus was once one of the most renowned knights of Anarendor. For his service to the Crown he was elevated to the peerage. Alas, the desire for power corrupted his soul. To achieve his goal, he sold himself to the Dark Lord. Through powerful dark magic, Matthaus was transformed into a lich. He now commands the Dark Lord's armies.

After his vanguard secured the crossing into Anarendor, Matthaus rushes his army into the kingdom, bent on quick conquest and destruction. The local baron, Hendrich, seeks to slow down the invasion. He positions a small force to block the road while he takes the rest of his troops on a flanking march. He hopes to surprise the enemy and crush their vanguard.

Battle Notes
I decided to play a One Hour Wargames scenario (in fact, I think I will run a 5-game OHW campaign). The only scenario of the first 6 I haven't played is #6 - Flank Attack 1. This will be today's scenario.

Army of Evil - The evil vanguard consists of 4 hordes of orcs, 1 company of the Iron Legion (undead knights), and 1 band of orc archers. Their goal is to get 3 units off the board along the road within 15 turns.

Baron Hendrich - the baron has committed 1 company of local levies and 1 company of rangers to block the road. He commands the flanking force, which includes a company of Royal Infantry, 2 companies of levy, and another company of rangers.

Initial dispositions
The army of evil is rushing down the road (headed to the bottom of the picture). Levy holds the road while rangers lurk in the woods. Hendrich's flanking force is cresting the hill.

Note: In the past, I only allowed 1 unit per square. I've been bothered that the armies seemed too dispersed. For today's game, I allowed 2 units per square. Only the front unit could participate in melee. It worked well in this scenario.

Battle Report
As the army of evil marches on the levy, archery takes out some of the Iron Legion (leading unit). Hendrich sounds the charge and his flanking force rushes on the enemy column.

Note: In the past, I ruled that melee occurred when enemy units were adjacent. For this game, I changed the rule. A unit must be able to enter the enemy's square in order to initiate a melee. This resulted in a delay in fighting. In the picture above, for example, none of the units are in melee. I think the rule works better for ancient/medieval battles.

The orc warbands take on the flankers but are cut down. The levy, supported by 2 companies of rangers, tries to hold out against the Iron Legion.

But the levy cannot stand. The survivors flee down the road. Meanwhile, the rangers take out the orc archers.

Hendrich and the Royal Infantry (in the middle of the flanking force) are pushed back. Both ranger companies loose upon the advancing orcs, decimating them.

Note: I borrowed an idea from HoTT. Once eliminated, orc hordes may return to the battle. I ruled that it required a roll of 4-6 on a die. The 2 orc units destroyed in this turn failed their rolls and thus did not return.

The Iron Legion continues its march, exiting the battle. Meanwhile, the remaining orc warbands drive off the last of the levy. Hendrich and the Royal Infantry fall upon one of the warbands.

It is an epic fight, but Hendrich goes down. The rangers come out of the woods and pepper the orcs. The remaining orc warband loses heart and flees from the battlefield.

The day is won, but at a heavy price. Baron Hendrich lies dead on the field.

1 comment:

  1. Made it through the storm OK. We only got the outskirts. However, the forecasts show it turning around and coming back at us!