IntroductionSo, we're playing Hordes of the Things this week at the games club. As usual, I'm providing all the forces and the terrain, which gives me the right to decide exactly how to set up the game.
When we last saw them, my Goblin army and my other 'evil' army, The Cabal of the Black Hand, had both been roundly defeated by the forces of good. Now they are both combing the wastelands, looking for a new base from which to plot their nefarious schemes!
In the same area as the wandering armies is the Dark Tower, home to a very powerful hermit wizard. Conveniently, the wizard has just died (probably caused by something he summoned) and thus the Dark Tower is vacant, protected only by whatever traps and enchantments he may have left there. This would make an ideal base for any evil overlord, so all armies in the wastelands are heading straight for it as soon as the news reaches them.
This will be another big-battle game, with 3 commands of 24AP on each side. Special rules as follows:
- Neither side has a stronghold of their own. Instead, the Dark Tower is placed in the centre of the board. It counts as a stronghold and can be attacked by either side. Victory at the end of the game (i.e. when time runs out and we have to pack up) is decided solely on possession of the tower: the last side to capture it will win! Note that the tower cannot be garrisoned or make attacks of its own, but will always defend at full [stronghold] strength.
- Before deployment, each side rolls a single d6. The winner can choose to start setting up first and take the first turn, or to set up second and move second. When deploying, each side takes it in turn to place one command at a time, anywhere along their base line or along their left flank (but not within 12" of any already-deployed enemy unit). Any returning hordes or heroes escaping from ensorcelment will come back at this position as well.
The North East
The goblin bodyguard spent a number of turns trying to exact some revenge on the phantasms, but were completely unable to touch them.
ConclusionWell, that was unexpected!
- Firstly, I had imagined when setting these 2 armies against each other that there would be vast blocks of horde troops slugging it out with each other. However, both sides relied almost entirely on their non-horde units, only moving the latter when they had a surfeit of PIPs (command points). So the battle was really fought between beasts and riders, behemoths, magicians and heroes and so on.
- Secondly, I think the goblins took their eye off the all-or-nothing victory condition. Despite some terrible deployment (from which they never really recovered), the Cabal made very effective use of their more mobile units; the sneakers and flyers. The goblins didn't really have any counter to this.
- Goblins: probably the southern troll. He (or she?) stalked and destroyed an undead hero and then led a ravening horde on a wild charge. It also wasn't scared of no ghosts!
- Cabal: definitely the last base of sneakers. Even though other such phantasms had been chased off without achieving anything useful, this one gave a heart attack to a goblin warchief and went on to capture the stronghold (admittedly with assistance on both occasions). It also said "boo" to a troll, only to discover that trolls don't really know about ghosts.