Legiones III - Deployment thoughts
This is the bit before the battle when both sides have well thought out plans and deploy accordingly. It is the part just before the bit when you realise it is a complete bollocks of a set up and before the inevitable scramble to rescue some sort of plan after the first dice are rolled...
We left part II where the Amerindian army had chosen to deploy on a specific edge, here the top edge. The reasoning here is that the Amerindian player has been bitten in the arse several times by the Elf bow and wants to limit the Northmen players placement. He can still set up in the village and the woods at bottom right but the Amerindian can put bowmen in the top right woods who can dominate the hill objective safe from the better Elf shooting. In addition the Magician placed in the most leftward hex of the village can effectively place fog to block shooting from wherever the Elfs deploy.
They are also looking at getting their mounted warriors from between the two woods to whichever object left or centre needs them. The Warchief will deploy in the centre woods in order to be able to command somebody and reinforce the obvious centre battle to come. The Thunder Eagle will join him there within range of all 3 objectives.. The Giant will join the Magician in the left hand village and be choosing rocks to hurl. The Apache ambushers are having to wait for the Northman player to make the first ambush deployment which will probably be in the middle field making it impossible to deploy there. That will leave the right hand field, the hill or a possible but unlikely placement in the terrain along the edge of the enemy deployment.
Having said all this the Northmen will deploy 9 of their units first and that may change everything! In standard deployment as we have here the deployment Zones are as highlighted on the map below.
The Northmen deployment is essentially an attempt to not give away where there best units will deploy.
And it doesnt give much away at all, The Valkyries are sufficiently fast they can cover the objective hexes and the Huscarls could be going left or central. The spearwives might make a dash to contest the left objective or might be a bluff. The shaman is well placed to do his business out of sight of anything at deployment other than a sneaky ambush deployment should the Northman player leave the central fields unoccupied.
As nothing was given away by the enemy half deployment the Amerindian player went with the original broad plan. Basically they are not going to compete the left objective unless a chance arises to charge the Giant forward along with whatever the shaman summons...hopefully. The warchief can see all the plains warriors for a cheeky Command 3 to give them a free move the Bow will be able to shoot any Spearwives on the hill after a short reposition and the Thunder Eagle is central and flexible.
Northmen deployment was not as the Amerindians expected. They also appear to be looking at the hill and centre objectives as the main thrust with the right hand objective as possible on a run but not a major effort. The Elves are as expected taking position in the centre where they can pepper any attack on the centre. Huscarls are solid but do not have light or Skirmish attribute so will be reluctant to attack an enemy in the fields but may make for the hill. The troll on the right is a surprise as he is too far to be protected by the Shaman. However in another surprise the Northmen placed all 3 ambushers in the right hand woods covering the right hand objective. Any Amerindian unit approaching the centre will suffer as they have Skilled 1 missile meaning they automatically reroll any 1s, Additionally as they are all adjacent one 7+ card will activate them as they have Advance(-). This is worse than normal Advance which requires 5+ but still they could swamp the objective. The Valkyrie is positioned for a last turn flight to claim this objective if needed.
The Amerindian Ambushers have decided to contest the objectives from the start and none can be seen at the start as the two central units are in 'ambush cover' as defined on the terrain chart and cannot be shot at until they are revealed by a unit moving adjacent or they move or shoot. The ambusher on the hill does not benefit from this but is in dead ground to all Northmen Line of Sight.
With all deployment completed the two sides rolled for initiative and the Amerindians rolled a 1 and the Northmen a 3 giving the Northmen player the choice of first or second activation. Reroll a tie. On the first turn this is not usually vital unless you definitely want the last activation and will not use cards for anything else! After turn 1 it can be vital and the player who lost the roll can play a hidden card snatch initiative. The winner of the initiative ROLL must then also play a hidden card or lose initiative. If both players play hidden cards the highest wins and both cards are discarded. Ties are decide in the order Spades, Hearts, diamonds Clubs with Spades being highest. If it is still a tie redraw until somebody dies...
Turn 1 will be discussed in the next blogpost "Legiones IV - where it starts to go terribly wrong"