Monday, 28 February 2011

Armies of Arcana - Second Impressions

This was our first battle with the AoA rules and in hindsight we got some of it wrong. We used the rules as published in the rulebook, not the playtest package from the AoA forum because I've not got to printing it out yet.

We decided to play till someone had to take an army break test as in the attrition scenario - 30% army losses

AoA action occurs in several simultaneous phases - none of the IGO-UGO of the "other game" - whoever wins initiative gets to choose whether to move first or second because a lot more emphasis is put on being in the right place and so forth


c2400 pts Dark Elves

15 Spearmen + Champ (with Unit)
12 Repeater Crossbowmen
15 Swordsmen + Champ (with Unit)
7 Witch Elf Berserkers
5 Med cavalry with lances
1 Mounted Sorceress
1 Assassin
1 Mounted Dreadlord ( the General)

Dark Elves are costly per figure but have a good all round stats

My mate:
c2400 pts Dark Age Humans/Hairy Barbarians

1 Great Hero with cavalry Bodyguard
8 Berserkers
8 Skirmishers
9 Cavalry with javelin
20 warriors with great axe
12 archers
40 assorted standard warriors
1 hero + 8 bodyguards (hero bought with unit)
1 Wiseman/Shaman

He didnt purchase the Sheildwall upgrade in his point costs so his guys were very lightly armoured.
The game took a while because we did a fair bit of consulting the rulebook it being our first game, though we have been playing each other for years.

Turns 1-2 was mostly movement and shadowing apart from the repeater crossbowmen mowing down anything moving around the central choke point in the middle of the table

Turns 3-4 were far more brutal!

The Barbarian Cheiftain and cavalry bodyguard had come barrelling down one side of the table (my right) in an attempt to engage my lancers but didnt quite make it.....the lancers being cunning Dark Elves dont do full frontal assaults and moved to a flanking position which unleashed the witch elves on the cavalry, effectively pinning them and causing a couple of casualties on the horsemen.

Turn 4 saw the Witch elves kebabbed by the cavalry, leaving one left, but the lancers had flanked them causing enough damage to break the Great Hero and bodyguard.
A missile battle occured between the Barbarian Archers who had made it into the wood, causing enough damage to make the DE Repeater Crossbowmen take a morale check in the morale phase not before another volley caused the barbarian archers to break and run for it.

The DE Spears moved into the central choke point where the berserkers threw themselves on the spears - the Shaman cast a fog cloud on the general area, which the spearmen stoically endured because I forgot to move them - taking no eldritch hits because they saved

I was starting to get a bit twitchy by now because there was a lot coming the left side of the table against my swordsmen and sorceress, who cast Frost Blades on the Swordsmen - this was enough to deter the cavalry they were facing off against from engaging.

Turns 5-6

The great hero and bodyguard fled followed by the remaining frothing berserker who caused a wound on the Great Hero!
The repeater crossbowmen did their thing again (something was said about emplaced Gatling guns)

The Spearmen wiped out the remaining berserks and enaged the Minor Hero and retinue. The Assassin infiltrated in the wood (ie cover)
(This caused a debate as to whether the Wiseman could drop a Freezing Fog on her head because she was now in play, but hadnt done anything, nor could she technically be seen. The way I understand inflitrators working is they cant be seen till they've done something) .She was however within missile range of the Shaman and darted him for one wound
The scrap in the middle continued with the Shaman casting explosive shards on my spearmen - who had by now taken a fair few casulaties and needed to break. The Shaman was assassinated with a further dart from the Assassin for two wounds.

The Hero and bodyguard rallied and slaughtered the remaining witch elf berserker who was technically to their front (sparking another debate could a mixed unit of 1 berserker and 5 lancers engage from the front)
We decided not so the Barbarian cavalry got flanked again by the lancers, who did slightly better this time, the barbarians causing enough to make them check morale.

At which point I'd machinegunned with repeater crossbow fire or otherwise done away with 30% of his points value, leading to an Army Check which failed, so the Dark Elves were victorious.

Next game is in a months time - in all I consider it £20 well spent for the rules and missiles are VERY effective.

I'm going to take a unit of longbows next time to see if it makes a difference. 1/2 rate of fire but longer range

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