Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Tactical Review: Crossing at Still Water

I may have won, but looking back over the game, I ask myself what I would have done differently…
An objective-based game that doesn’t require me to exterminate my opponent’s men is always tricky as it’s just so tempting to kill! I managed to resist most of that this time, using my existing and newly conjured zombie units to hold the centre while I slipped through. Because the Skaven (masterfully controlled by Mike) were so fast at redeploying I was never going to be able to win that battle in the centre of the field – they were only there to hold up the Skaven horde – but I did make one crucial mistake…
I had a huge 50-strong unit of zombies right in the middle. I did two things wrong with this. Firstly I tried for a lucky charge and failed which left my unit flank exposed to the entire Skaven army. That led to their rather rapid death. If I’d reformed to point at the oncoming ratmen I’d have had 30 attacks each turn and might have done some real damage. As it was I got a good whupping.
Secondly I wonder how big a difference it would have made if I hadn’t entered the water with them. Standing in a river means that rank bonuses are lost. It would have been nice to hold onto that. Having said that, the Skaven lost their bonus too which had the greater effect of limiting their leadership, so maybe staying in the water was for the best. Also, being in the river created a much bigger roadblock for the Skaven so perhaps that was best after all.
With home-grown scenarios the victory conditions can be a bit woolly. I should have formalised them a bit more in retrospect. My goal was to cross the river. His was to stop me. Mike and I decided I had won but it was a bit vague how many units I needed to get across the river to win. Would one have done it? Did all of them have to cross? Next time I’ll be more specific.


We took to the field with a new scenario to me, protect the river bank and stop the advancing undead horde. 

Tim and I had decided that I would deploy first and then the undead would advance onto the board in the first turn.  FIRST MISTAKE, Instead of spreading my army out I’d concentrated on one side leaving the other completely exposed, Tim immediately noticed this and deployed accordingly.  SECOND MISTAKE was rolling two misfires for my weapons teams KABOOM and they are both dead, although I had my Wind Mortar left they ended up doing more damage to my own army!

My only option was to cross the river with the majority of my army then march along the river’s edge before hopefully crossing the river again to put me in a position to charge.  Not being able to march through the river left me too far from the action and although my beloved Plague Censer Bearers managed to get into combat they were overwhelmed and were duly slaughtered.

Although I lost it was a thoroughly enjoyable game.

Tim and I both agreed the following day that the battle was excellent fun although with the outstanding and towering marketplace on board perhaps the Skaven army shouldn’t have been fully deployed.  If we play this scenario again I would definitely protect the whole river or at least centre the army so that I can quickly move out to either the left or right without having to travel the length of the board!  My magic users were pretty redundant all game, being so far away from the action Warp Lightning was never an option, and their muskets were certainly not worth the points cost. 

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