Sunday, 11 January 2015

Opening Salvoes

War has returned with a vengeance to Ye Olde Englande! All across the land the generals and commanders have been quick to answer the call to arms in support of their chosen cause.

First to declare himself, as ever, was that insidious cad Lord Tiberius Flasheart (Rick), who immediately raised his banner in Wrecsam in support of the King. The embarrassingly small turnout from the local populace did nothing to dampen Flasheart's enthusiasm, and his triumphal procession in expectation of his great victory uncovered a powder magazine and a Cache of Siege equipment.

Hot on his heels and hailing from the frozen north James "Big Jim" Mcdonald (Luke)mustered his Highlanders for War, and bit of raiding and pillaging south of the Border. He has not yet divulged his territorial acquisitions or declared his intentions, other than to conduct a survey among the English to determine the extent to which their mothers can sew...

Meanwhile, in Warrington, respected Parliamentarian commander Sir Samuel Stapleton-Smythe (Aidan) raised his banner, taking control of Stockton Heath and rushing to the local Library to brush up on study of military strategy, being only mildly distracted by the Gardening section in the process.

Further south, Sir Andrew de Cavenham raised his banner over a pleasant afternoon tea of Scones and Clotted Cream at Stonehouse in Devon, making use of the Drill square there to train his troops and uncovering a supply of siege equipment into the bargain. He assures us that plans are afoot to support the King and to turn Devon into a major tourist attraction...

In Rockferry on the Wirral, the Roundheaded Hazlerigg (Ian S) cut short his holiday to declare a muster of his own, making a local Manor his Headquarters, and securing the village of Willaston. No troops have attended yet, but Hazlerigg is confident that something'll turn up...

Across the Dee in Flint one Sir Christopher Fazey (Chris)has declared for the king and begun to gather renowned Horsemen to his cause. He has established his stables at Flint, along with his own personal library and a small powder magazine. When pressed by this correspondent for  a statement Sir Christopher began by talking about "Foxes" and "cunning" and "Charge!" but the joke got a bit long-winded and convoluted and by the time he got to the end of it nobody could remember how it had started so it just sort of trailed off into a series of feeble puns...

Another well known figure has returned for this season, with General Baldrick (Red) raising his banner at Knutsford and taking control of much of the A5033 in the process. Knutsford contains an Arsenal, perfect for Baldrick who is renowned for his penchant for pushing little cannons around.

Horror has returned to the south coast of England, no its not the Vikings, its the Swedes! With De Blondeville (Michael) establishing his headquarters at a manor with its own extensive Library in Bournmouth. He has spent the first few weeks of the campaign setting up a spy network intent on finding out just what haircare products Flasheart uses to keep his flowing locks so full of lustre.

Back in the north west, one David Astbury MP (Dave) for Wigan, has declared for Parliament, taking control of the A49 and Winnick. He has mustered a formation of elite infantry for the occasion, known as the NMA....however he refuses to tell anyone what it stands for, insisting they work it out for themselves.

In an unusual move a Swede elected to fight for the King- Diderich (Digger) Beckman, a Swedish commander, announced that he had acquired a royal warrant to raise troops for the Kings cause, though the fact that it was written in Swedish and in Crayon has caused some to cast doubt on ts authenticity. However it is doubtful the King will turn down this foreign aid!

Finally to the east, no less a figure than the Marquis of Newcastle  (Ian H) has raised his banner in York, establishing himself in a nearby Manor and taking control of the A1237. His Whitecoats have rallied round in support, but whilst the Marquis has nominally declared his support for the king, he admitted his main aim is to find a reliable supply of Daz, in order to keep those Whitecoats "Whiter than White" as he has had to ban his troops from consuming such luxuries as Vimto and Baked Beans due to the difficulty of getting the stains out...

Summery of Factions, Players and Territories-   total territory points are divided by the number of players in the faction to give the faction score.

Sweden   -3 Territory points overall

  • De Blondeville (Michael) CV8 - Bournemouth (Capital, Town +20pts), Manor (+1 brigadier) and Library (+1CV), plus a Spy Network- 3 Territory points

Parliament  -3 Territory points overall

  • Sir Samuel Stapleton-Smythe (Aidan) CV7- Warrington (capital Town +20pts ), Stockton Heath (village +5 points), and a Library  (+1CV)- 3 Territory points
  • David Astbury MP (Dave) CV8- Wigan (capital, Town+20pts), Winnock(village+5pts), and a Road (+1 to determine 1st turn) -3 Territory points
  • Hazlerigg (Ian S) Cv8 - Rockferry (capital, town +20 points) Willaston (village +5 points) and a manor  (+1 brigadier) - 3 Territory points
Royalist -3 Territory points overall
  • Lord Tiberius Flasheart (Rick) CV9 - Wrecsam (capital, town +20 points), Seige equipment cache (allows siege equipment and storming parties etc), Magazine (+2 powder tokens of d3 available)  - 3 Territory points
  • Marquis of Newcastle  (Ian H)- Cv8 - York (town +20 points), Manor (+1 Brigadier) and Road  (+1 to determine 1st turn) - 3 Territory points
  • General Baldrick (Red)  Cv8 - Knutsford ( Town +20 points), Road (+1 to determine 1st turn)  and an Arsenal (+1 artillery piece) -3 Territory points
  • Sir Christopher Fazey (Chris) CV9 - Flint ( town +20 points), Magazine (+1 powder token of D3 available), and a Library (+1CV) - 3 Territory points
  •  Sir Andrew de Cavenham Cv8 -  Stonehouse (town +20 points), Drill square (one unit becomes superbly Drilled) and a Cache of Siege Equipment (allows siege equipment and storming parties etc) - 3 Territory points
  • Diderich (Digger) Beckman - Cv- unknown, Territories- Unknown. (but 3 Territory points as Default!)
Scots  3 Territory points overal
  • James "Big Jim" Mcdonald (Luke) CV- Unknown, Territories- Unknown (but 3 Territory points as Default!)
So everyone is on a level pegging to start with!

With no fewer, or more than, Eleven commanders exposing themselves to enemy fire it could not be long before battle commenced, and it was to be the Marquis of Newcastle that fired the opening Salvo of the campaign, with Astbury MP as his target. The two opposing commanders were attempting to expand their control of the local road networks by taking control of the ever important M62.
The Scenario played was Flank Attack (see 1st blog post- scenarios) with Ian as the attacker, a road was rolled as a prize, with Ian staking his manor, and Dave staking his road.

 Dave and Ian Prepare for battle! Both had deployed a single commander with two Regiments of Foot. Dave deployed made one of his NMA regiments reliable, and added a unit of Horse. Ian plumped for a gun and a unit of Dragoons held back for a Flank Attack.
 Ians brigade deployed- Pike to the right and Shotte in the village.
 Daves NMA
 Ians Pike sees off Daves horse in a daring attack-Dave advanced in the centre but struggled to make any other progress
 Ians pikes were reluctant to come to grips...
 Ians Dragoons outflanked Daves right hand infantry regiment.
The final clash- push of pike betweens Ian and Daves Pikes in the centre.

The battle lasted 8 turns or so (because the umpire, me, forgot about the turn limit!) and was slow to get going due to both commanders astonishing ability to fail command rolls, even though both had CV8 commanders. The problems of just having 1 commander each were apparent with such dice rolls! The 13 cards of ammunition each actually lasted some 6 turns! In the event both sides broke each other pretty much simultaneously and a draw was declared! Unfortunately the lack of action meant the game took so long we didnt have time for a second one as planned! 

It was this that persuaded me that something else was needed, to prevent our little forces getting bogged down- hence a new rule- 
"A moment of Tactical Genius" - Once per game the Army Commander may reroll a failed Command Roll. He may only reroll it once, and must abide by the second result. This applies to the General Commander figure of all players forces.

So after a single game, there is no change to the scores! But there are more games on the way, more players showing a keen interest, and dont forget the campaign day at Frodsham HQ on the 25th!

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