Friday, June 30, 2017

A Small Woodland Skirmish

While painting continues for the larger, battle-sized project, I have been trifling about with some skirmish scenarios using the reprinted release of Knights and Magick from Heritage Miniatures.

Knights and Magick is a great, old school "nuts and bolts" rules set, where forces are assembled from the ground up, assigned quality level, armour class, and weapons and all paid for with points or credits. A unique '0 - 15" hit system is used, combined with some charts, to determine casualties. If a hit is successful on doubles, the result is a 'gruesome death' - no saving roll vs. constitution and any friendly troops witnessing must make a morale check.

With the amount of detail and customisation available, Knights and Magic fits right at the intersection of skirmish scale and role-playing game, which is where I'd like to be.

In our youth, my brother and I used to play the knickers out of Knights and Magic, and when a chance visit brought him to me door, we managed to get a game in...much to the dismay of my rangers.

Setup was fairly simple 105 points of five ranger "heroes" vs. 123 points of fourteen orcs, backed up by a single 23 point troll. The rangers would get to defend a hilltop ruin, while the orcish troops would have the benefit of attacking at night.

First turn or so, the rangers used their longbows to kill two or three orc archers, while the main orcish force advanced through some dense wood to hit the flank of the hill.




Orcish archery was mostly ineffective throughout the game, while that of the rangers was moderately effective. The troll was on the rangers before archery could make itself felt.

Turn three and four: The troll charged up the hill slope, while Ælfwina, the apprentice ranger, counter-charged the foul creature. Winnie actually scored a hit, but the troll rolled his save. Winnie was not so lucky, and she went down before the Troll's spiked club. 




Brandon, son of Brand, leapt to the side of the fallen girl. So to did Grÿsr, son of Gÿr. To no avail, though they hacked at the troll, both were slain (my brother's dice were afire and he kept making con rolls).



Finally, with Orcs were circling the hill, Crisagon, son of yet-to-be-revealed-in-this-picture, stood forth against the troll. My brother then uttered words that chilled me to the marrow, "You know, there has yet been a 'gruesome death' in this game."  I quailed as he reached for the dice. Double threes. Crissagon's head burst like a melon.  Ew...nasty.

The battle was over, all the rangers dead. The forest belonged to the Orc.

It was a pretty awesome game. And took about 90 minutes.

Post-game thoughts:
My brother called the game "brutal", in that his orcs had to cross three turns worth of killing ground. Once they closed to melee range, the balance would swing back to them. The troll was quite the wild card - in previous games, the troll had been dispatched by piling on the rangers. Best laid plans, and all that.

One point brought up was I had skint my rangers by only giving them a +1 weapon bonus with their favoured weapon. Bro pointed out if I raised it to +2 (for 1 point each) then all the rangers would have had +1 on their remaining weapons. 

Noted, adjusted, live and learn.

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