Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Tactical Review: The Deserted Town of Cleft Falls


This game had two firsts for me. 

1.       Setting the game board up.
2.       Playing Tomb Kings.

Although Tim explained how Tomb King magic worked several times and gave me a crib sheet he’d written several hours before the game I still found it a bit tricky, and because he had a magic-heavy army I only managed to get one incantation cast all game.  I don’t blame Tim though. He’d never played Tomb Kings under the new rules so was expecting me to get more off and is already talking about me having a lot more magic in our next game. I know how committed he is to his opponent's getting a fair shake and I did have more points than he did! He was also very sorry that he hadn't explained it as well as he could have. He shouldn't be so hard on himself though. I know he always does his best to give me a good game. Still onwards and upwards as they say. 

The scenario was pretty simple, kill the good guys!  My only problem was getting close enough and being unable to march was beginning to cause problems.  The Empire was magic heavy and immediately took out a chariot and a rank of skellies, fortunately my catapult managed to find the range and splat one wound for the lady magic user.  You should have seen Tim’s face! It was a picture that his precious lady (with the big cleavage) was nearly flattened like a pancake.

I think it was round 3 that I managed to attack a building that Tim occupied, I managed to win that and subsequently make them panic on the following turn after another round of successful combat.  In round 4 I managed to get my Tomb Guard into close combat, again they won and caused the enemy to flee.   On the other side of the table my Tomb Priestess was slain by Marcus von Drak along with the remaining chariot. 

The game was completed at the end of round 6 with Tim’s long swords not moving a single inch and his multi-shot mounted unit causing little or no damage all game.  Somehow I managed a victory on a swing of 35-40 victory points towards the mighty Tomb Kings but in reality it was a hard fought draw.

Tim will be drawing up a tactica for the long swords and the multi shot mounted unit on how not to play them.  I think it will be a funny read as this is the second time that a) the long swords haven’t done anything and b) the multi shot mounted unit haven’t been used effectively.  He can’t be blamed for that though. We changed the scenario objective after he’d deployed and he was following advice from a tactics article he’d read.


Well… I feel as though I really haven’t cracked Empire.

The challenge with an army that has shooting and assault elements is knowing when to commit the close combat units. Too early and they can get in the way of the shooting but too late and they become a stupid waste of points. Or maybe they should be committed straight away.  Who knows? I certainly don’t.

I’ve read quite a few tactics articles that suggest holding in place while shooting then counter-charging. Obviously there is an elusive subtlety to this that I have yet to master.

Practice is what I need I think and lots of it; but next time I think I will send my combat troops forward and flank-deploy my shooters… see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I was happy with the magic balance. A fourth level fire wizard is amazing and backed up by a second level beasts wizard would have been great too if I’d managed to get off my Transformation of Kadon spell. Unfortunately I kept going for the more powerful version and kept failing the roll.

Maybe next time.

This was a particularly good game where it was unclear, even when we finished, who had won. That’s how it should be.

Actually, after a recalculation I've just realised that killing Mike's general tipped the balance over into a victory for me so perhaps I should take all this back.

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