Thursday, April 23, 2015

Have at them! Captains and Kings and the War of the Roses...

I decided to have another go with my War of the Roses retinues.  Unfortunately for the poor figures, the dice gods were unkind on the Leader rolls!

Sir Blue's Foot Knights were led by Sir Red himself a Rep 5 leader.  His men-at-arms were led by a Rep 3, which would effect them mightily on activation, and his bow were led by a Rep 4.

Sir Red was not so lucky.  He was a Rep 4, his men-at-arms with a Rep 3 leader, as were his bows!

The lined up across the field with the bows in front and the knights and men-at-arms trailing them.

On turn 1 only Sir Blue's men were able to activate, and they advanced.
Turn 2 saw both retinues advance. Sir Blue's bows and men-at-arms were slowed by the sand pit.
Turn 3 saw Sir Red activate first and move his men forward.  Sir Red's bows were now in range of Sir Blue's, and they loosed a fusilade, bringing down 1 bowman. It has no effect on the red bow's morale.
In turn 4, the bows exchange fire with no losses, but the Blue bowmen don't like it and 1 figure leaves. (I decided for photo purposes to show the figure bolting, but they are actually removed from the field).
Turn 5, Sir Blue's knights interpenetrate his bows, preventing them from firing or moving.  His men-at-arms, no longer under his leadership, stand around. (Note that I forgot all about Fast Move for the entire game.  Sir Red's knight loose and a Blue knight goes down!
Turn 6. The Blue knights charge the bows.  Their leader has enough sense not to challenge a knight to single combat, but, flustered, they do not fire!  The knights kill 4 bowmen, including their leader, but they hold, though losing another figure to morale.  The bows have no choice but to continue the melee and they are wiped out! Sir Blue, reduced in numbers, now finds himself face to face with Sir Red! Sir Red's men-at-arms advance on Sir Blue's bows, who do no damage.

I should point out that at the beginning of each round of melee, a figure is removed from each unit in melee, so there is on-going attrition.  The only time this does not apply is when one unit is down to its last figure. These figures are not mentioned in my commentary.

Turn 7. Sir Blue has no choice but to charge, hoping his extra die for Ferocious charging will even things out.  It does, but no one dies, and both Carry On. The Blue activation die was a 5, so no one else can activate. Sir Red continues the melee against Sir Blue, killing 1 knight. Both Carry On. 

Sir Red's men-at-arms charge Sir Blue's bows who get off a shot, taking no one down, but causing 1 runaway. The men-at-arms knock down 2 bowmen.  Both Carry On, but 1 man-at-arms runs away.
Turn 8 Sir Red's men cannot activate, including himself! Sir Blue's knights continue the melee with no results. The bows continue to melee the men-at-arms, with little result, but 1 man-at-arms runs away.
Turn 9. Sir Blue dies! Both his remaining units pass their Leader Down test. One of Sir Red's knights has had enough!  Sir Blue's bows finish off the men-at-arms. Sir Red's knights advance.
Turn 10,  The Blue bows take out 2 knights!  The Blue men-at-arms change facing to get around their bows.
Turn 11.  Sir Red charges the bows, who fire to no effect.  Sir Red takes out 3 bows.  They rout, and so does he, leaving the untouched Blue men-at-arms masters of the field!
So quite a different result this time.  Sir Blue's knights suffered too many casualties fighting Sir Red's bows to be able to go one-on-one with Sir Red's knights.  I haven't had both units rout at the end of a melee before this, and forgot that the men-at-arms should have rolled 


Friday, April 17, 2015

War of the Roses via Captains and Kings

Ed Teixeira of Two Hour Wargames published Captains and Kings in September of 2014.  It replaces Montjoie!, and was awaited with baited breath by yours truly.  Unfortunately, I didn't have quite enough of anything painted to give a try.  So I started spasmodically working on Saxons, but then remembered that I had bought 350+ primed and based War of the Roses figures a couple of years ago, for the proverbial song.

Retinues for each side were as follows:
7 foot knights Armor Class 6, Reputation 5, move 4". The overall leader is in this unit.
8 men-at-arms, AC4, Rep 4, move 6"
12 bowmen AC4, Rep 4, move 8"
Since the scale is 3 - 5 figures each, this equals 35 knights, 40 men-at-arms, and 60 bowmen at the outside.
I had made the bowmen Dual Armed instead of Missile, but didn't use it.  I've since realized that they should have stayed Missile.

The Reps of the units are pre-determined by their class, but the Rep of the leader of each unit is diced for. Oddly, all but one unit of men-at-arms had Rep 5 leaders.  The unlucky men-at-arms had a Rep 4 leader.

Here is the initial setup.  Some pictures aren't well-focused.  I'm still learning my new camera. Sigh.
The men-at-arms at the bottom right have the Rep 4 leader.  Everyone else has a Rep 5 leader.

Turn 1:
     All figures on both sides advance at the knights' rate of 4", so that the units will remain in base-to-base contact in order to be activated by the overall leader.  Hereafter, the unit on the left will be known as Sir Rojasblau, and the unit on the right as Sir Weissrot, the colors of their liveries.  The knights are in the place of honor, the right of their respective lines.  The knights and men-at-arms are in "mob" and the bows in "line" so they all have line-of-sight to fire.

Turn 2:
Sir Rojasblau wins the toss, and advances his line 3" to stay out of Sir Weissrot's bow range.

Turn 3:
Goes to Sir Rojasblau, who uses his command to advance the knights and men-at-arms, and let his bows fire!  They knock out 2 of the opposing bowmen, who carry on.
Sir Weissrot's knights charge their opposing men-at-arms.  The leaders face off, but do not hurt each other.  However, a total of 2 men-at-arms fall. All carry on.  Sir Weissrot's men-at-arms are slowed bythe hill they are on.  His bows knock out 1 opposing bowman, and another leaves due to morale.
Turn 4:
goes to Sir Rojasblau, who is so slow he can't charge the men-at-arms on the hill. His bows do no damage.  Sir Weissrot's knights and Sir Rojasblau's men-at-arms continue their melee, much to the detriment of the men-at-arms, who are now below half, and leave the field.
Sir Weissrot's bows return fire, and kill the opposing leader, but they carry on!
The men-at-arms charge Sir Rojasblau's knights and lose a total of 3 figures for their effort, including their leader, but they hold!

Turn 5:
finally goes to Sir Weissrot, whose's knights perform a slow-motion wheel to come to bear on Sir Rojasblau's bows. who fire to little effect, thoug one opposing bowman remembers he left the kettle brewing and leaves to check on it.  Sir Weissrot's men-at-arms pause, lose 4 in melee and rout!

Turn 6:
Sir Rojasblau has gained the upper hand. He slowly changes fronts to threaten Sir Weissrot's bow.
His bows fire to little effect, but an enemy bowman also remembers his kettle and bolts!
Sir Weissrot charges the bows, who don't get off a shot, and lose a total of 5, but carry on.

Turns 7, 8 & 9 consist of both sets of knights grinding down the bows until they rout, leaving Sir Rojasblau with 3 knights still on the field, and Sir Weissrot with 2.  They are quite far from one another, so I ended the game with Sir Weissrot surrendering the field.
What did I learn?

Use the bows superior movement to keep them out of melee.

 I forgot about the ability of the line formation to move backwards at full rate, and their ability to interpenetrate the other formations and vice versa.

A much better formation would be bow in front with men-at-arms and knights behind them.

Don't melee knights unless they have been somehow reduced in number.
That Armor of 6 is a killer!

Perhaps I need to reduce the knights to 6 figures.

So, very enjoyable for a first game, but I have a bit to learn!