Legiones IV - Turn one - The game starts for real
And we're off!
Northmen turn 1 roars into action as the Northmen player slams down a red 5 and activates the Shaman. Shamans are a safe activation 1 as it sets nothing up to be killed straight away and can do some cool stuff which feels like you are being clever, to me at least. Anyway the Shaman as his first action pulls out an ambitious Summon to try for a bear. This is a summons 5 creature requiring 5 hits on 5 WP rolls so high odds of failure which is exactly what happens as he gets 3 3 4 5 6 leaving him 1 hit short of a grizzly (remember 6 counts as 2 hits). Luckily he has a red 2 in hand and this allows them to reroll exactly 2 combat or spell dice. Smarter than your average bear they get 1 and 5 resulting in the 5 'hits' required so as if by magic a bear is summoned and is placed in a hex next to the Shaman. The bear is understandably a bit groggy having been hibernating one minute and here the next and as with all summoned creatures gets only 1 action if activated on the turn it is summoned.
For his second action the shaman considers moving but can see nowhere better/safer so pulls Hasten out of his spell bag and casts it on the bear!. The bear does not resist and is soon lumbering off using it's first action move up the hill. This was not its full move as that would have left it in line of sight of the Apache who could have shot and then run off using its hit and run attribute. As it is it remains out of sight but tempting the Apache to move into line of sight.
Which it does on the play of black 10, it shuffles across and fires with its ranged fire 4 unfortunately rolling a less than outstanding 1 1 2 6. The bear laughs and rolls its 3 defence dice getting 2 5 5. Both hits from the 6 are blocked...With no good red reroll cards and not having the Skilled attribute they curse and await their fate. hit and run allows them to shoot then move but not move, shoot, move. They do however have Evade which may help them survive should attacks come in.
The attack does come in as the Northmen player uses a black 8 to activate the Spearwives on an Advance(-) move which needs a 7. This means they have to end their move in contact with each other and must do the same second action - or no action if this is impossible. Here the Spearwives on the hilltop attack the Apache who wisely say they will evade 2. The spearwives roll 3 3 6 giving 2 possible hits but the Apache roll 5 5 6 which is more than enough to block all the hits. They evade 2 hexes and the Spearwife unit follows up. The Northmen now have 2 units in control of the objective.
Using a 5 black the Amerindians activate the Warrior bow who being Light slope through the woods unhindered and line up to shoot at the spearwives who are all within range and line of sight. The central unit shoots 4 dice up at the central spearwife unit, there is no disadvantage for shooting uphill so needs 4-6 to hit. they roll 2 3 4 4 for two possible hits, the spearwives defence is only 2 so they roll 2 dice but get a 4 5 blocking both hits. The furthest bow now shoots at the same unlucky spearwife unit 1 3 4 5 is 2 possible hits. The bold spearwives again roll 2 dice but fail to get above a 3 so unless they can reroll will take 2 hits. The northmen general has some black cards which could be used but decides to save them and see how the third attack goes. The final bow shoots and inflicts 2 more hits to which the spearwife only blocks 1. To have a chance of saving them the northmen would have to use a black court card (of which they have 2) and get a 4-6. Looking at the board it seems likely that if they took this chance it would be a short respite as the mounted plains warriors seem set to sweep around and would finish her off easily. They decide to keep the card and lose the spearwife unit and the Amerindians gain 1 VP for killing them. This makes the score 2-1 as both sides started on 1 due to overspend on points. It also reduces the Northmen control of the objective to one unit and splits the spearwives into 2 units which will require separate cards to activate if they are still around next turn. Finally the Amerindian decides to use his Army special rule Count Coup. This allows him on killing a unit to draw a card then discard a card. He decides to throw a Bounty card for killing beasts as the Northmen only have trolls which are hard to kill. This will be discarded in return for an activation card draw which luckily is a red king!
Northman T3 turn sees more bear action as the confused bear is stumbled across into contact with all three Warrior bow activating on a 8 black. As a summons it has only one action so can't fight but this will put the bowmen in the stickiest of sticky positions next turn as they will have to move backwards to escape his ursine wrath. They are too weak to fight him in melee and cannot shoot while in contact. Additionally it will cost a movement point to extricate themselves from being adjacent. As a bonus he is blocking the advance of the Mounted warriors through them having to spend an extra movement point for each hex they leave adjacent to him. All this from a freeby summoned bear!
Using a 6 red the mounted warriors move up, They would like to have stood off and shot using Skilled 1 bow but the need to claim the objective and the nuisance of the bear means they are limited to closing in melee with just 2 of the three units as they were activated using Advance. All three need to do the same second action and stay adjacent to another, so melee it is. The Mounted warrior unit on the hill rolled well getting 4 hits on the spearwives and they rolled poorly in return achieving no blocks. This would be an outright kill so the northman plays a black 3 to reroll exactly 3 defence dice and gets 3 6 6 ! Lucky bastard! The spearwives still take 2 hits but are alive and in their compulsory retreat are reunited with the other unit. The mounted follow up onto the objective.
The Warchief is now kicking himself for not playing a black card on the unit by the bear as it could then have used 5 movement points and been in position to attack the retreated unit in its new hex and allowed the rearmost unit to be in position to attack the bear...Nevermind the lead unit attacks the bear while the rearmost unit sits polishing their arrows.
The mounted warriors will roll 4 dice against the bear. The bear could choose to last gasp fight back its defence which turns its defence dice into attack dice at the cost of no defensive blocks. He has 8 hp so can take a knock. Before any dice are rolled he says fight back! Rather unfortunately this turns out to be a battle of inadequates as the mounted warriors cause 2 hits which are unblocked so become 2 hits whilst the bear rolls 1, 1 and 4 doing only 1 hit back. As the defender the bear still has to retreat. He moves to the only hex available not occupied or next to his attacker. The mounted warrior does not follow up as this would put him out of adjacency with the rest of his mounted friends.
At the end of the third action all the action has been on the left and the Amerindians appear to have the better of it so far. Looking at the remaining cards the Northmen have red ace and J plus black 6 J and Q. The Amerindians have just two red cards 6 K but black A 3 4 6 J Q so in terms of resource the Amerindians have the edge but remember that the Northmen have that sneaky Hidden enemy tactical to remove a random enemy card.
Activation 4 for the Northmen was bold with a 6 black being used to hurl the Huscarls towards the central objective.
This used their full movement allowance so left them unable to fight but it puts them in a solid defence as they have both Support and Brace 1 attributes, Support allows a unit to reroll a defence die if adjacent to another same name unit with Support and Brace 1 allows them to reroll 1s. In addition they are tight up against the Apache who will not want to fight them even disadvantaged (as they are in the fields) so will probably choose to leave if possible. Finally they are up on top of the objective with 3 units of tough boys.
In response the Amerindian Warchief plays a 3 black on himself. He immediately uses Command 3 attribute as his first action to order the 3 nearby Mounted warriors over to the hill reinforcing control of the objective there but retaining their capacity to move 4 and pepper any targets in the area. He then uses his second action to move 3 spaces into a space adjacent to the central objective. The central object is also a plot card for the Amerindians so they are bound to fight for this. The Warchief briefly considers using a tactical Conch to immediately activate a second unit but decides to hold back for later.
Time for the Northman Warchief to get involved hoping to drive away 2 mounted warrior units from the left hand objective. He ran up the hill and gave a warrior unit a good axing despite the Warrior calling Evade making the attacks disadvantaged. He did 4 hits thanks to a couple of 6s in the 5 dice roll (with rerolls of 1s and 2s due to Skilled 2). He also has skilled which allows him to disadvantage the defender ruling out 4s for blocking. The chastened warrior Evade away 2 hexes and could not be chased down. The warchief did follow up though onto the objective and using Cleave attacked a second mounted unit who was unable to Evade due to its position. Cleave .allows a second set of attacks on any enemy within reach but at disadvantage and he rolled poorly leaving the mounted warriors unscathed.
A disappointing activation followed for the Amerindians however. Using a 6 black the mounted warriors who had been Commanded forward earlier rode into battle against the Warchief aiming to drive him back and also push back the Spearwives securing this objective. Sadly for the Mounted warriors the Warchief with Brace was unshiftable and no casualties were caused. To add insult to injury the Spearwives also refused to take a hit and the objective remains vulnerable. The Troll could easily walk up the hill and smash a warrior unit out of the way making it 3 each with activation cards running out.
looking to consolidate the centre beyond undermining the Northmen threw forward the Elves using a J black. This renders the central objective secure as can be with 5 of 7 control hexes occupied by Northmen. Things are now looking a tad difficult for the Northman as he has only one activation card left they can use. To try and balance things up they decide to use the tactical Hidden Enemy to remove a card from the Amerindian hand and hopefully ruin their plans. The card removed is a black 4 which actually did ruin the Amerindian hand as it would have provided another activation using the Shaman...
The Amerindian now also has to play safe and reinforce his objective on the right, an Ace plus 4 combination activates a single Apache who with his Skirmish ability to ignore enemy zones of control and pass through his friendly units spins out from under the noses of the Huscarls and moves their full 5 movement ending up next to the Northman Warchief on the right hand objective.
Another Northman move born of desperation sees the Hunters lunge forward to create a block formation on the so far untouched objective in front of them. With only an red Ace left in hand after this they need to hope the combination of disadvantage terrain and Evade will keep them in position..The Hunter who moved only 3 hexes rather than 4 cannot shoot as he moved on an Advance with the other Hunters and as the other Hunters moved 4 hexes he is also counted as moved two actions.
With three activations left the Amerindians have to try and shift the Hunters from the objective. It is impossible to move the Elves/Huscarls off the centre and the hill objeactive is secure. Despite the Hunters poor defence of only 2 dice they are in terrain which means they can only be hit on 5 or 6 by anything available to the Amerindians and if they chose to evade only on a 6! Evades can be one or two hexes so even an attack which does some damage might shift them back against the objective. Added to this they can as Skirmish troops by attribute, evade through the other Hunters. The position they have adopted here is really tricky.
The Amerindians are also taking a risk which may come back to haunt them next turn. The Shaman runs into the open and casts a big 4 Summons for a bear and gets it easily with two 6 and two 5. Another puzzled bear is transported from Jellystone national park and placed cunningly next to the objective. Everything rests on the next move for the Amerindians. The Northmen holding just an Ace calls the end of their turn.
It's Thunder Eagle time! The Avian destroyer flaps its first action 4 spaces into range and hurls a strength 4 dice fireball at the Hunters. These boys get no benefit of disadvantage terrain nor the opportunity to Evade against a spelland as a result are fried. Another Kill VP to the Amerindians. The Northmen are hoping against hope that the enemy now has a dud card left but thanks to the earlier kill they already have the Red King they drew. Additionally they now have the chance to draw another card as they can count coup again. This time they decide not to as they have nothing they want to throw away in exchange.
So playing the King gained earlier from counting coup the Giant rumbles into position ignoring the Hunter's zones of control as he is Massive and as such heads for the Hunter on the objective. Here the Amerindian is hoping for a great attack roll as they need sixes to hit the Hunter who has called Evade one space and is in disadvantageous terrain for the Giant. Sadly no sixes appear but the Hunter still has to evade one space. The Giant follows up and using it's Unstoppable attribute attacks the same target again. This is similar to Cleave but must attack the same target disadvantaged. Had the Hunter evaded 2 the Giant would still follow up but be unable to attack again. However this attack is still double disadvantaged as it begins disadvantaged for Unstoppable and is still in the fields.This attack is also fluffed and no hits are caused - a very underwhelming Giant. With that the turn ends as neither side has activation cards left.
So at the end of turn one's action it is time to see what the points are. The Northmen have 1 VP from the Amerindian overspend, 5 VP from the control of one objective (centre) and none from Plots. Total 6 VP
The Amerindians have 1VP from Northman overspend, 2 VP from Kill Points (the Spearwives and Hunters), 5VP for the right hand objective surrounded by mounted warriors) and 2 Plot card points for Kill More and Kill 2 enemy units for a total of 10 VP'. These last two being an unexpected bonus.
Each side now keeps or throws away any activation cards in their hands and draws back up to 10 and a new plot/tactical is dealt to each side. Initiative is rolled and turn 2 begins.
Overall next turn is going to be critical. If the Northmen gain initiative the Amerindian Shaman is in trouble as the Elves can step away and shoot him to death. This will result in the Elves being in the open and themselves very vulnerable but worth it.
In the hideous melee on the right involving loads of warriors, the Northmen Warchief and a Bear things will get bloody and I am sure the Northmen Troll and Warchief will do damage. The Bear has Critical troops which is fearsome. On the left the Northmen also have uncommitted strong units with a Troll and a Valkyrie plus the Valkyrie in the centre whereas the Amerindians have only the Giant and Thunder Eagle. Overall I feel the Northmen have the advantage in this game as they have an army with the capacity to inflict more damage and as the fighting in this scenario is focused on 3 points this should win out.
Turn 2 to follow!