Thursday 31 March 2016

Battle Report - 28 March 2016 - Dux Britanniarum

So here we are with the first playtest of a new raid scenario for The Dux Britanniarum Compendium.

Standard practice for these is I write up the scenario page, and hand it to Andy to set up without help from me, as that's usually a great way of finding out where I've not written things down because I thought they were obvious.

As per normal, terrain setup is random, and we're aiming every time we do this, at least to start with, to either have a random choice of two scenarios to test (so as not to colour our terrain choice) or get a third party to set up terrain.

Warbases' rather fine stag model making a bid for freedom.
This scenario is currently named 'Deer Hunt' but may get renamed to something a bit more evocative - given the way the rulebook scenarios are named, probably 'Hunt For The White Stag'. Essentially, both sides have heard rumour of a mighty stag that they wish to bring down, and there's a fairly disordered (deliberately) set of setup conditions as the various groups and nobles straggle onto the battlefield looking for the stag.

The stag is set up basically to run from one short edge of the table to the other, with some rules to make it veer away from units.

"After that stag, lads!"
Things worked out pretty well - we had a fascinating standoff between the two lords, neither wanting to pursue the stag as it would mean turning a flank to the other, and of course, both of us probably had Carpe Diem cards, which would have made that rather painful. I blew am Aggressive Charge to get a hit bonus on the stag with a group of warriors, failed to kill it and got a warrior nastily gored for my pains, before the stag broke from combat and kept running.

"After you."
"No, after you."
Several bowshots from both sides followed it, but it managed, eventually, to flee the table, while my warriors made a real mess of some of Andy's warriors and levy. Meanwhile, the two lots of hearthguard got stuck in, which resulted in a long drawn-out scrap and excess shock on both sides, before the remainder of Andy's warriors hit me in the flank. WITH a Carpe Diem.


At about that point we called it.

Our rule with these playtest scenarios is going to be that they will count for part of our campaign if we determine the core scenario isn't fundamentally broken, otherwise, as they say, "it never happened". I'm pleased to report that in this case the main issues were some needed clarity in the setup instructions, and some minor tweaks on the stag's movement and combat, but otherwise, it seems to work and it seems to give (because of the scattered initial deployment) some very interesting tactical decisions.

Now if Warbases' would just make a dead stag and one trussed on a spear, I'd be a happy man.

If you want the in-character version of events, mine's here, and Andy's, with out-of-character observations, is here. You'll note some interesting in-character thoughts about the nature of belief, and the White Stag: does it matter if it's actually magical? In fact, no. 

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