Thursday, May 21, 2015

WarCry Skirmish

I'd just finished reading a book about the American Civil War, but still had some spare time. It was too late to play a more intensive game like Bolt Action or Field of Glory, so I pulled out my current "filler" rules of choice, WarCry. I don't mean "filler" in a bad way, I just mean this is a fun, simple game to play when you don't feel like allocating the brain cells for a major war, and don't have the time for a huge campaign. I made army lists, set up and played the game in about half an hour.

Orc Army
Wizard, 5 spells. One No-Attack spell, 3 No-Move spells of various strengths, and a Mage-Kill which was wasted as there was no enemy mage. None of the No-Move spells got used either.
Champion with Rally ability. This lets him bring a dead comrade back on a roll of 6.
5 Archers
10 Warriors

Dwarf Army
Champion with Immune to Magic ability. Didn't come in handy, but very Dwarvish.
10 Rangers with Crossbows
8 Heavy Foot

I've recently been reading Donald Featherstones "Complete Wargaming". It has some great, simple generic rules on weather, so I decided to use those just to liven things up a bit. I rolled up "torrential rain" the bows and crossbows would be useless! Looks like the missile troops will be fighting with swords today. Incidentally, WarCry feels sort of like if Donald Featherstone wrote fantasy. Simple, straightforward rules, with just enough flavour to keep them interesting, but not overly complex.

Let battle begin!

The Dwarves.

Orc archers and mage on the hill, warriors to the right.

Dwarves surge forward through the rain.

Orc archers are ineffectual in spite of being uphill, in the distance the Orc warriors are slaughtering the dwarf heavy foot. A No Attack spell cast by the Orc mage slowed down the Dwarves at the foot of the hill.

But the delay accomplished nothing, orc archers dying quickly, while the orc warriors destroy their enemies.

Dwarf rangers getting flanked. They fought bravely and killed the orcs on the hill, but died at the hands of their flankers. Victory orcs!
Simple, fun and effective.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Battle for the Gruneveldt Crossroads - 1813

The French are invading Prussia again! The sleepy town of Gruneveldt is home to a strategically important crossroads that the Prussians need in order to move their armies to counter the threat. The French have a battalion of fusiliers and two of voltigeurs, as well as a battery of horse artillery. The Prussian defenders have a single battalion of musketeers, a regiment of cuirassier cavalry and a battery of foot artillery. The Prussians are outnumbered, and must hold on to the crossroads for 10 turns until the main army shows up. This battle will be fought with Bruce Quarries Napoleonic rules.

The french.
Left, front to back: Voltigeurs, horse artillery, fusiliers, voltigeurs. Right: artillery, musketeers, cuirassiers.

The Prussians defending Gruneveldt, and the crossroads.

French horse artillery moves forward and unlimbers.

Prussian cuirassiers get ready to charge voltigeurs.

The voltigeurs form square, the cuirassiers flow around them.

Cuirassiers then charge again from the rear, and the square holds once more.

After taking causalties, the voltigeurs charge the foot battery, routing the crew.

French fusiliers charge, but most of their impetus is blunted by deadly close range musket fire.

As the fusiliers and musketeers fight in the foreground, to the left the horse artillery battery rushes to face the oncoming column of Prussian cuirassiers.

Uh oh. Those cuirassiers are about to get a mouthful of lead, and rout.

The brave musketeers defending the crossroads send the French fleeing, but more French await a flank charge.

The French charge the flank, and the battle weary Prussians decide they've had enough and rout...on turn 9!

The entire Prussian army was in rout on turn 9. The French have a battalion and horse artillery battery in good order, as well as two other battalions that have taken significant but not crippling causalties. When the main Prussian army arrives, they'll find the cross roads held against them.

That was fun, close to the very end! Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Battle of the Lonely Tower - Warcry

I tested out my new fantasy game "Warcry" with a skirmish sized battle in my last post, so today I decided to give a large battle a try. The rulebook suggests 1250 pts for a large battle, so I drew up lists for Elves and Dwarves.

Dwarves: 2 Champions: Mordron Stone, Dwarf King, who makes his unit immune to magic, and Thane Grud, his right hand man who gives his unit the ability to ignore kills on a '6'. 60 pts total.

Ranger x15, 405 pts. armed with Crossbows.

Two units of Heavy Foot, 15 strong each, total of 780 pts.

Total: 1245 pts.

Elves: Phandulf the Clever, Elvish Wizard. He has 5 spells, "Summon Wolf", "No Move", "No Attack" and two "Mage Kill", which were wasted as the Dwarves had no mages. 150 pts.

Spider Archers x20, 600 pts, skirmishing archers. Skirmishers get an extra movement phase.
Scorpion Cavalry x10, 200 pts, Light cavalry armed with javelins.
Wasp Hoplites x17, 289 pts elves with spears who can fight in two ranks.

Total 1239 pts.

The rulebook suggested several victory conditions to choose from, I decided to go with the basic 80%  losses and you're done.

The Lonely Tower - so old that no one could remember who had built her, had stood on the border between Elfland and the Dwarven Rockhold since time immemorial. Phandulf the Clever, wizard of the Elves, knew the Tower contained a Nexus giving control of the weather to whoever delved its secrets, and the power to end the drought that had withered the elves forests and fields. But Mordron Stone, king of the Rockhold, mistrusted the elves intentions. He feared the elves would send endless rain to flood the dwarves mines. As Phandulf and his elves approached the tower, the dwarves stood waiting.

On the left, front to back: dwarf heavy infantry, rangers, heavy infantry. The right: Elf archers, cavalry, spearmen. The lonely tower silently broods in the distance.

The elven army. Phandulf the Clever has his spells ready.

The Dwarves. King Mordon leads the left unit, Thane the right.

Archers adopt their skirmish formation, arrows at the ready.

Dwarf heavy infantry charges the elf spears.

Fleet of foot elf cavalry charges the dwarf rangers before a single volley can be launched.

Dwarves take heavy causalties from the more numerous elf archers.

Long slog ahead.

Phandulf attempts to summon a monster...and fails.

King Mordrons unit is suffering

The elf cavalry is getting the worst of it.

And now they're all dead.

But Mordrons heavy infantry suffer a similar fate. The king goes to join his rangers.

The dwarf rangers attempt to come to grips with the elves, but they quickly skirmish away.

Elf spearmen finally triumph over dwarves. Thane makes a strategic withdrawal.
King Mordron howled in rage. "You elvish cowards! Come and fight my mighty warriors!" The fleet-of-foot elves mocked him from afar, knowing full well they could use their superior speed and longer ranged long bows to lead the Dwarf king and his rangers a merry dance for as long as they wished, slowly and inevitably destroying what was left of Mordrons army. King Mordron of the Dwarves spat in disgust as he and his surviving dwarves marched off the battlefield, leaving the elves in control of the Lonely Tower. Phandulf the clever, mystic senses alert for danger, entered the tower to wrest its secrets.

Thus ends my second game of Warcry. Even with the bigger armies it still lasted only about an hour, which is great. Of the three spells Phandulf cast, only one succeeded, he cast No Move and delayed the Dwarf Rangers for a turn. He failed to summon a monster, or keep a unit from attacking. Warcry limits an army to having no more than 50% of its troops be skirmishers, to minimize inconclusive battles where one side can evade forever. All in all I had fun, this game is super simple, something to throw on the table now and then for a little fun. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Warcry - Fantasy Battle Game - review and Battle Report

The other day I came across a miniatures game I'd never heard of, by a company I'd never heard of. Having some spare cash, I decided to treat myself. I do love obscure games!

There's the cover art. Yes, I know.
I could find out absolutely nothing about this game. The Miniatures Page mentions the game, but has no information. The store I got it from had a small publishers blurb, but that was it. Even the games companies webpage doesn't mention it. 

Let's start with the cover: A beautiful amazon warrior woman wearing plate armour, that provides excellent protection to her whole body, except for her chest. least it's not a chainmail bikini. In the back ground is a burning castle, and that gets top marks for awesome.

But before I go any further, I want to get something out of the way: I bought this game simply because I'd never heard of it and wanted to check it out. The more obscure the better. I could be a real critic and make a big deal of the spelling mistakes, bad grammar and occasional rule that makes no sense, but if stuff like that bothered me, I wouldn't be buying games like this! So let's move on.

Roster/Combat Chart
The chart in the upper left is used to cross reference the attack vs. defense in combat. You get a number which must be equalled or beaten on a d6. Simple and effective, plus I like charts. There's also a summary of the turn sequence, terrain effects and special rules. Once you fill in the roster portion of the sheet you've got 90% of what you need all on one page, both rules and stats. I like it.

The rules are very straightforward. You move, shoot, fight, all the usual stuff, but with no complications. Champions (i.e. Heroes) add a special ability to the unit they're attached to. They don't fight themselves, and can only be killed by magic. Mages move by teleporting at will. There are chits for every spell that you are supposed to photocopy and cut out. Place them in a container, and pull out one spell chit for every spell you bought. There are a small number of spells, in several random strengths. I don't like chits so I just rolled randomly instead.

Finally there's 8 different armies with stats for four troops types each. The troops are generic, there are no official miniatures and any range of fantasy miniatures provides suitable figures.

After reading the rulebook in about 45 minutes or so, I was ready to play. The rules are so simple that one quick read through was enough to get me through my first game with virtually no time spent looking things up.

I set up a 500 pt game (the rulebook rates this a 'skirmish' sized game) and played.

Orcs: Champion, 9 Archers, 11 Warriors.
Elves: Mage, 8 Archers, 10 Spearmen. The elf Mage bought 3 spells: Kill Champion, Kill Mage and No Attack. The orcs had no Mage so that spell was wasted.

Orcs on the left, elves on the right.

Elf archers, spearmen, and mage.

The orc warriors advance. The elf mage in the distance cast Kill Champion, wiping him out.

Big fight brewing.

Orcs attack the spearmen, Orc archers and elf archer start shooting at each other. The Elf Mage cast
No Attack on the orc warriors to keep them out of the fight, but they resisted. The mage had cast all his spells so he teleported off to safety.

Causalties mount.

Almost everybody's dead.
 After this last picture the orc archer charged into combat, and in a turn or two the elves were all dead. The game lasted less than an hour.

I enjoyed this game! Very simple rules, simple enough you can easily change things around to your preferred way of playing without unbalancing the whole thing. I'd like to play it again, but with more miniatures. I've certainly got enough! I'd also like to try some of the simple scenarios suggested in the book.

Bottom line: I can't recommend this game to everyone. The production values are low, and it would be just too simple for many. But I like it. I bought it as a little treat for myself, a simple diversion, and it works for that.

Thanks for reading!