Sunday, September 15, 2019

Northern Conspiracy September 2019 Game Night

Friday was our club's monthly game night for September. Michael B. was running some Saga practice games and Ed M and I had a tie score to settle, so we both brought our Saga armies to settle the tie score of 1-1 in Saga games played recently (posted earlier in this blog and Ed's blog).

Ed brought his Mongols with the same composition as game #2 which he won by a large margin. Why fix what isn't broken? I dropped the legendary commander in my Eastern Princes list for a second unit of hearthguard cavalry. The rest of my list was the same, Black Hoods eastern cavalry mercenaries, two foot warrior units and my levy crossbowmen. Why take a wagon when the crossbow unit has the same effect as the wagon's 'Lure of Avarice' special rule? The enemy wants to kill the crossbows first.

Rob Z. is likely to push a borrowed Mongol army at game day, so he watched on to learn the tricks of the trade from Ed. I have to say Ed has a good grip on the Mongol's 'dirty tricks' so Rob had a good teacher. We were using Michael's box-o-terrain which was mostly woods. Ed and I improvised with the felts to represent the various terrain pieces. The olive green piece is Ed's favorite Mongol-friendly large hill, again placed first to dominate the center of the table. The bright green felt to the left is a ruin...something the Mongol's can't burn down. (I'm learning!)  The woods in the rear were placed last by me, to hopefully narrow the front. Ed chose to put a four-figure warrior unit on the far side of this which limited some of my free maneuvers, but also kept Ed's warriors out of the fight for most of the game. Even trade there I think.

Turn one was mainly maneuvering by Ed and I. In Ed's turn two he launched his mongol initial attack. A bow volley from his hearthguard and a second shot by his mounted warriors. He flaked four crossbows. The terrain here saved me a couple of figures for sure. Ed used some Mongol 'dirty tricks' to withdraw his entire army after the shooting. He was hoping to prevent my warriors from repeating their counter-charge of the bow-armed hearthguards. He was successful in accomplishing this. I couldn't reach him even with a double move from my warriors.

In my half of turn three, I went 'all in' to punish the Mongol hearthguards for drawing their bows. I put nearly all my Saga dice into a single charge by my only unit that could reach Ed's hearthguard. I used a Saga ability that gives my hearthguard resilience(1) for the melee. I got lucky and took out four of Ed's hearthguard and although the Saga ability saved me from losing any figures, my hearthguard stood exhausted in front of the entire Mongol army. Still a huge swing of momentum.

En Ed's half of turn four he completed the destruction of my hearthguards with ranged fire from two warriors and a coup-de-grass charge from his hearthguards. I was able to chip away one additional figure from Ed's hearthguard in the melee.

My follow-up was to advance my entire army in a slightly more cohesive battle line. I poured most of my Saga dice into a shot from my crossbows which flaked some warrior figures off Ed's right-flank unit. My remaining hearthguard unit charged home on Ed's warriors killing four of them while suffering two exhaustion.

In turn five, Ed did a good job of shooting up my remaining hearthguard unit with both of his warrior units. He flaked three figures with two shooting attacks. Ed also was able to flake four figures from my Black hoods with a charge from his largest remaining warrior unit. This put the game very much in the balance for the final turn and a half.

My half of turn five went ok, I ended up flaking two more of Ed's hearthguard with my crossbows, withdrew my sole remaining hearthguard figure and brought up my infantry. I hoped Ed would think he was behind and engage, but he withdrew which ended up I think being the correct choice.

In turn six Ed shot with his warriors completing the destruction of the Black Hoods and withdrew his army to a bulwark in the corner of the board.

My half of turn six was uneventful. I didn't think risking my Warlord in a headlong charge into Ed's units had enough reward to warrant the risk, and I thought I might actually be ahead on points. I was wrong on one of those two for sure and probably wrong on both. Instead I took a pot-shot at Ed's trailing warrior unit to no effect.

Ed and I totaled up the points for the game and the tie-breaker game ended up 17 points vs. 17 points. A TIE!  So there will be another game at some point to decide it! Great game played by Ed. It was lots of fun with Saga ending up being a decent spectator sport as several ended up watching the end of the match as other games wrapped up early.

Michael's other table of Saga had four players, including guest Conspirator alumni, Randy. This was some hot Anglo-Saxon on Viking action. I was too engrossed in my own game to find out who won.

Thanks again to Michael for providing Ed and I terrain and a table cover and the opportunity to play another practice game of Saga.

Pete S. ran a lovely looking Plains Indians vs US Cavalry game using 'She Wore a Yellow Ribbon' rules.

Phil set up his 'battle of the snowshoes' FIW game, but unfortunately there weren't enough players to run all the games. This is the tail end of the summer slow season for the club. Hopefully as the weather turns colder attendance will climb back up to normal levels.

1 comment:

Ed M said...

Excellent report, AJ. Equal parts appropriate and amazing that the third match extended rather than broke the tie between your E Princes and my Mongols: seems we have each other's numbers (literally).