Sunday, 6 November 2016

Blood Eagle: Scenario Test 1

As announced, Ulrik and I tested my four player scenario for Horisont VIII today. As the two attacking warbands have different objectives, the playtest did not run quite as I expected (Ulrik controlling both attacking warbands meant that he could  coordinate their efforts, which made things a bit harder for the defenders), but it gave me a hunch about what to keep, and what to change before the convention. That being said, I am going to solo test the scenario with the changes, before I decide on the final form.

As only the defenders and the relief force start the scenario on the table, I set up the two warbands according to the scenario rules.

We were almost through Turn 1, before Ulrik managed to roll a 6 for one of the raiders - thus enabling him to place his first model on the table.

He placed the Uruk on the side edge, almost as close to the relief force's edge than to the settlement, which I don not think will happen with four players. but he clearly intended to cut off the advance of the Dwarves (and the retreat of the defenders and the civilians).

As the raiders can be activated as normal on the turn they arrive (I may want to change that, allowing them to be activated only when they start the turn on the table), the Uruk ran towards the middle of the table.

I reacted by starting to move my archers into position to shoot at the Uruk.

Another Uruk arrived to threaten my lines of communication. My archers started getting nervous about the situation.

Finally, Rolf the old Huskarl approached the settlement. My spearmen moved to intercept.

Meanwhile, the Uruk-Hai continued pouring onto the table, while my archers started looking over their shoulders for some muscle support.

Úlf came sprinting past Rolf, not wanting to let the grey wolf get away with all the glory!

Caedmon answered the archers' plead for support.

Aedelric ordered Baldric to help him guard the left flank of the archers. The peasant tried (in vain) to hit Rolf with his sling.

Ulf pressed on, engaging Eadgar up close and personal.

And Sigurdr arrived to lead his raiders.

The Uruks assembled behind the small hill.

Daegberht ran to the aid of Eadgar.

Baradin was on the verge of getting in contact with the forward defenders, but the Uruks swiftly moved to intercept him. My archers sent a volley after Urgrat, but they only managed to scratch him.

Eadgar was dispatched by a Throwing Axe from Úlf, and afterwards Daegberht was downed by a hard Axe hit to the helmet. Úlf was having a ball.

The situation from the viewpoint of the advancing Dwarves. The Uruk-Hai seemed intent on driving a wedge between the defenders and the relief force. I am certain, we shall see a more direct approach from the player(s) controlling the Uruks at Horisont (their objectives should assure that)!

Ivar arrived on the outskirts of the settlement.

The last raiders, Halfdan and Thorstein arrived from another direction than the others. Being the Hlaford of the settlement, Aedelric had to consider the safety of his peasants, and ran back to help Daegberht - but to no avail; Daegberht was captured by Úlf soon after.

The following minutes saw one more of my warriors despatched, my archers again failing to down a single enemy with volley fire, and we decided to call it a day and a combined victory for the raiders. It was getting late in the afternoon, I had to cook supper, and the situation looked bleak for the defenders. Had the two attacking warbands been controlled by different players, it would have been interesting to continue and find the overall victor, but as both were controlled by a single player, there really was no point in pressing on.

It was, as always with Blood Eagle, a well-flowing and enticing game (and was, as always, marred by my ineptitude to pass a Fate Test), and I got some very valuable pointers for fine-tuning the scenario rules (and we agreed on some house rules for making it slightly easier for missile troops to actually make an impact on the game).

The game also made me think about getting some scatter terrain purchased and painted (barrels, crates, water-throughs, etc.), as I would like my tables to look more 'alive'. That will have to wait until after Horisont, though.

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