The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
Snorri is unhappy about your bar tab - VERY unhappy...

Monday, October 31, 2016

OHW #10, "Late Arrivals" w' Feudal Rules, P.2

As the battle of the Late Arrivals continues, the Blue force puts up a fierce defense - the main question is should they have brought in their knights mounted as an intercept force, or dismounted right into the town [which is after all the Victory Condition!]? I opted for the intercept force as I felt the threat would slow Red force down instead of having them assaulting the town in a turn or two. But was it the right choice?  We shall see...

Turn 8, Below. Unspurisingly, the Blue Knights are wiped out. Knights don't handle flank charges well, altho Foot Knights can withstand them for several turns, depending on who the outflanking force is. Red Knights providing the Hero's retinue are slowly rallying, now down to 8 Hits - almost serviceable and a threat!

Turn 9 below [forgot to turn dice over].  Red advances pell-mell to the town! A Unit of Blue Bowmen occupy it however, and aren't about to give it up - the pub is there, not to mention other benefits of being in town. They shoot Red Knights for 5 Hits, running out of missiles in the process! However, it is clear that no more missiles will be needed. Note the Red Hero Knights are down to 5 Hits and ready to fight - but they can't rally off the 5 red Hits.

Top of Turn 10 below. Red continues its advance and prepares to receive the enemy reinforcements forming a rough line facing the open South table edge. Note the Base Depth [2.5"]linking the Knights to the Serjeants is a Protected Flank, but the Bowmen to the Serjeants is not - the back corners are not also within a BD. I use blank bases to check measurements related to BD and BW. The first Red Knight has charged into the town inflicting 3 Hits and taking only 1 back - but so far the Blue Bowmen are ahead. Can they withstand the onslaught??

Bottom of Turn 10 below. Blue reinforcements arrive, a Unit of Bowmen and Lights. The Lights enter and charge the flank of the Red Knights attacking the town, inflicting a net 2 Hits doubled to 4 Hits [Dx-2 x2, so they rolled a '4' on my D5]. I could've pushed the Bowmen closer to the town, but wanted them to get some shots off before they were in melee. With Knights and Bowmen, it is sometimes best to have them offset from an enemy advance, threatening a charge or shooting respectively.

Turn 11 below. A Red Knight charges the Lights flank , rolling 5+2 x 2 for 14 Hits - ouch! Obviously, we're playing for the victory condition here. With two weak melee Units holding the town, the Red Knight only takes 2 Hits back [Bowmen and Lights roll Dx-2 for melee Hits, which means they can get '0' Hits if they roll a 2 or less]. Red Serjeants advance on the Blue Bowmen who're taking shots from the Red Bowmen. Red Hero positions himself for, well, something heroic, of course! [Heroes add a Hit to combat rolls].

Turn 12 below. Red Hero switches to the Red Knight attacking the town, hoping to finish off the Blue Bowmen holding the town,. He inflicts a total 8 Hits, halved to 4. The Blue Lights go dim - unsurprising considering they'd 1 Hit left and the lowest Knights can roll is 3-4 Hits depending on the dice you use. The Serjeants charge into the other Blue Bowmen who're now up to 8 Hits, and are still being hit by missiles as the Red Bowmen have a Line of Sight to their open left Flank. 
Melee in my variant includes hand to hand combat but also pauses in the action. Given the small scale, it isn't hard for Bowmen to squeak in a volley here and there. I debated this with myself a bunch, but it also makes Bowmen useful supports without making them charge. My historical reading is that they avoided melee whenever possible, nor were they expected to melee, so it's important that the game mechanics allow them their historical purpose. After a lot of play testing, I found that allowing shooting into melee [if there's a Line of Sight], putting the Shooting phase first, and lengthening the missile range made for the right balance.

Turn 13 below. Only a couple rolls really matter, so I roll off the melee real quick. The Blue Bowmen roll a 5! With the -2 it is still 3 Hits and they see off the Red Knights who had 13 Hits. With the -2 they had a 50% chance of inflicting two Hits. The Knights could inflict a max of 8 hits halved to 4 since they're defending the town, pushing them to 14 Hits at the most. So I knew the Blue Bowmen would survive this turn but not if they'd defeat the Red Knights.

Quick roll for Turn 14. The Red Hero's retinue charge into the town, scattering the Bowmen before them by rolling a 7 total, or 4 Hits net [rounding up]. Red wins!

Well, I think the scenario is fine - after several plays I've won for both sides and each time learned a bit more about how each can win. All the battles were decided, ultimately, by either a poor decision by one general [well, they're both me] or an excellent exploitation of an opportunity that I suddenly realized was there.

Some good things about IGO-UGO in this game is that it makes it easy to play in large groups and by switching sides I can switch mentally also, sometimes seeing an opportunity or error I didn't realize was there.

I'm very pleased with the rules. The mechanics have been clarified from the original NT version, decision points have been not only preserved but enhanced, and the game reflects the historical sources I've been reading. I'll be posting both the rules and some of the best books I have soon.


  1. Ah, good to see you back... back in time, so to say. Your 1HW-report is entertaining as always (almos like in the movies) and useful again for understanding the rules and what's going on (miss that in other peoples AARs). Great! Oliver

  2. Glad you enjoy it Oliver, makes the time spent seem more worth it. I have to admit, I like crunching out the AARs since they also help me think thru my own development of the rules. I'm pretty happy with this set, if you've a chance to try them out, do LMK, always like feedback, especially on the mechanics.

    I can honestly say that in 35 years of gaming I've never learned so much as I have since I spent about $15 on Neil Thomas' "One-Hour Wargames" book.


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