Author Topic: Vlachold vs Hawkshold: Longest game of Breaking Point ever  (Read 912 times)

Hannibal

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Vlachold vs Hawkshold: Longest game of Breaking Point ever
« on: March 18, 2016, 03:29:33 PM »
Scott and are kicking off round 2 of Vlachold playtesting, with Hawkshold vs Vlachold.  We randomly set up 3 maps+missions and then each person got a veto, ending with Breaking Point on a map with a forest-protected road.  Since I'd been most heavily involved with Vlachold lately, Scott played them and I took Hawkshold

We were using the Ninth Draft of Vlachold, which can be found here.

Vlachold:  2 Voynik Swordsmen, 1 Voynik Spearmen, 1 Voynik Hillfolk, 1 Voynik Thralls, 1 Warriors in the Mist, 2 Voivode Knights

Hawkshold:  5 Peasant Mobs, 3 Great Swordsmen, 2 Hawkshold Knights


Deployment


Vlachold deployment is pretty easy, seeing as it's labelled.  

Hawkshold (L->R):  Peasants & Greatswordsmen (in front of Peasants and Knights), Peasants (in front of Peasants), Greatswordsmen, [gap], Greatswordsmen (in front of Knights and Peasants).

So I'm going to say right up front, I was really rusty this game.  And it showed.  We haven't played a game since early January, and before that we hadn't played regularly since the August campaign.  This was less of a problem for Scott as he kept to a simple plan whereas I changed mine up quite a bit.  His plan was essentially a Close across the board, with the center-right Voivode Knights move capped to 3.5" and his Hillfolk getting an objective (the yellow die off to the right).

My plan was to put most of my guys on hold while I reorganized my Knights into position.  I gave my Peasants on the left an objective to slide sideways and valiantly sacrifice themselves to the Voivode Knights.  The Peasants in the center had an objective to try and pull the Warriors in the Mist into a bad charge.  The Peasants on the far right got a Close with an objective to move towards the chump stack in the center.  


Vlachold Advance


Vlachold moved forward, rolling out on the flanks.  I knew on the right the Hillfolk were going to tie down the Great Swords for pretty much the game, but I had no choice.  I only hoped that I could earn back the points elsewhere with my Peasant matchups.  Speaking of which, I changed the orders of the center Peasants because I realized that my little trick wasn't going to work.  I hadn't deployed correctly to give Scott no good choices, so I cut my losses and settled for chump stacking. (Like I said, rusty)  I advanced them forward a bit to try for the old Peasant Gambit, where the two Voynik Swordsmen would pinch but expose their flanks.  It wouldn't work, but it would at least force Scott to spend CAs, netting me out one.

On the left, even more of my being out of practice showed.  I deployed the Peasants in the second row in such a way that it would take 3 turns, not 2 for them to get out of the Knight's way.  Not evoking the Indirect Path rule, I slid the Knights sideways so they're scoot through the hole next turn, only being out of position1 extra turn instead of 2.   ::)


Out-Gambitted


This is two turns later and Scott has outwitted me pretty thoroughly.  Scott simply put his Voynik units flanking the Warriors in the Mist on Hold, more than 2.5" away from my Great Swordsmen.  Note:  the Peasant Gambit does not work with 2.5" movers!  There is no way that his units can be closer to the Peasants but within my Great Swords' FR range.  These are things you have to remember with guys who charge 2.5".

In the center the Warriors in the Mist charged, doing 3 damage, but the Peasants passed their rout check due to Bravery.

In the forest he kept his Vlachold Swordsmen more than 2.5" from my Knights.  He was within Final Rush range of my Knights, but out of LOS.  This was the chickens coming home to roost on my deployment miscue.

Meanwhile on the far left the Voivode Knights charged the Peasants, doing 6 damage, but they also held thanks to Bravery.


Voivode Death Ride Redux?


This is the next Vlachold turn.  On my turn, I'd moved up to set up a charge, while on the right I gave the Great Swordsmen a Close order to chase down the Hillfolk.  On the Vlachold turn, the Hillfolk charged doing 3 pts to the Great Swords' 1.

On the center-right, the Voivode Knights put their maneuverability on display, sliding sideways 5" while the Voynik Spearmen slid sideways 2.5".  This put the Spearmen out of charge range of the Great Swordsmen (and in fact everything was out of reach of the Great Swords), but in FR range of the Knights.  And if Holding Spearmen wasn't enough of a disincentive for the Hawk Knights, the Voivode Knights would be able to pinch them (again thanks to that base move 6" allowing them to sidestep 5").

In the center the Warriors in the Mist continue to underperform a bit, bringing the Peasants down to their last box.  Not only do the Peasants pass their check, but they've managed to do 2 pts to the ghostly warriors over the last three turns of combat.

On the far left, the Voivode Knights force a yellow check on the Peasants, which they fail and are cut down in Free Strikes.  I'd been short on CAs on my turn and couldn't Bravery them up, but I rolled a 14 so it wouldn't have mattered.  At this point I know I'm in serious trouble.  The only saving grace that I have is that the Knights are out of the front arc of the Voivode Knights, so I'll have two combats to run them off instead of one.  Otherwise we may see the return of the Voivode Death Ride.


Hawkshold Charge


Finally I start getting some of my heavy hitters into combat.  On the left, the Knights charge and I do 4 wounds but use Follow Through to make it 6 wounds.  Still just a Yellow check, but he's that much closer to a red check or outright destruction next turn.

To the left my charging Great Swords barely do 3 damage despite having a red card played on them.  In the dead center the Warriors in the Mist cut down the Peasants, but the next wave steps forward.  

On the center-right I DC the Knights to not charge and instead to wheel to face off with the Voivode Knights while the Great Swordsmen advance (and coincidentally protect the flank of the Knights by blocking the Spearmen with just a corner.

On the far right my Great Swordsmen do enough damage to force a check and I play Fumble to prevent taking a Yellow check this turn.  If my Great Swordsmen routed here that would pretty much be the end of things.

Scott passed all three rout checks (Cge 12) without needing any command cards.  Just wrong...


Fortune, what a . . . ahem, "ducking bore"


So far dice had more or less been balanced, if a bit hot & cold.  On the two turns leading up to this picture, my dice went absolutely cold while Scott started rolling pretty hot.

On the left Scott & I had traded Dogged Toughness with Force and I'd rolled two wounds.  He rolls for rout check (with a +2) and gets a 13.  FAIL!  Now my Knights can charge the Voivode Knights frontally.  But not so fast!  Scott erased the Perseverance, lowing the roll to a 12.  On my turn I kill the Voyniks (as seen in this picture) but it's too late.

At the center-left the Great Swordsmen chew through the Voyniks, but they pass their check.  The mirror story is told in the center with the Warriors in the Mist and Peasants.

On the center-right Scott has now moved his Voivode Knights back towards the center, again sliding 5".  He is out of range of the Great Swordsmen but threatening a pinch.  I DC the Great Swordsmen to step into the gap to hold them down.  I'm not totally happy about it, but I am keeping 360pts tied down for only 271 pts.

Meanwhile the Voynik Spearmen slid even further to the right, blocking off the Hawkshold Knights.  On my turn I let them final rush, because holding them back gains me almost nothing.  Note that by sliding to the right the Spearmen were also out of charge range of the Great Swordsmen so I couldn't even pinch.  

So in go the Knights.  Neither one of us play cards on the Spearmen attacks.  I'm figuring that they'll only do about 2 and I don't want to give Scott the chance to play a card having already passed.  So Scott rolls the dice and promptly does 3 wounds!  In fairness, I also do a boatload of damage but Knights kind of should.  Both sides end up passing their rout checks.

On the far right the Voynik Hillfolk way overperform, doing 4 damage with 4 dice in the previous turn while my Great Swordsmen do 3 damage over two turns!  The Hillfolk follow it up by doing one point this turn, having now forced 2 red checks.  At least my Great Swordsmen hang in there and pass both checks.


Troubled Knights


As expected, the Voivode Knights on the left flank the Hawk Knights.  We both expend cards but the Hawk Knights are dropped into the Red.  The Hawk Knights do 2 pts in return with a card.

On the center-left the Great Swords kill the Voynik Swordsmen, although they're put in the Yellow.  They pass their check though and will be able to flank-pinch the Warriors in the Mist next turn.  The Warriors in the Mist, meanwhile, put the Peasants all the way to their last box but they pass their check.  Deja vu...

On the center-right the Voivode Knights withdraw to keep out of Final Rush range of the Great Swords.   I think not because he feared them, but because he anticipated the Hawk Knights blowing through the Voynik Spearmen.  Then the Great Swords could pin down the Voivode Knights so they could be flanked by the Hawk Knights.

Turns out it wasn't needed.  The Voynik Spearmen, without cards, do 3 wounds on the Knights killing them (needing 4s and 2s).  Yup, that's right:  the Spearmen did 6 damage in two turns instead of the 3 damage they should have done. Good times.  Oh and the Knights?  They did a measly point of damage...

On the far right the Hillfolk whiffed, balancing out their earlier success.  The Great Swordsmen did two points and forced a rout check.  The Hillfolk failed and Scott played Fatalism on them, as much to try out the card as for game effect.  Those Great Swords were not going to contribute anything else to the game.


Desperation


Pretty much no point to play conservatively here, it's all about breaking him before he breaks me.  On the far left, the Hawk Knights are cut down but they put the Voivode Knights in the yellow.

On the center-left the Great Swordsmen flank-pinch the Warriors in the Mist and do 6 damage with 6 dice!  It's not exactly balancing out some utter bed-wettings of my dice earlier, but it comes at a really opportune time.  The Thralls backing up the Warriors in the Mist now have to step forward into that pinch.  Note:  Scott, with all his dancing with the Voivode Knights on the center-right has been draining the Thralls one point a turn to maximize the bonus they'll get for their special ability.  So the Thralls are Cge 15, but have no Green boxes.

On the center-right, I let my Great Swordsmen flank the Voynik Spearmen.  I take them down, but the Iron Voyniks with 3 dice manage to do 1 damage on their way to their dirt nap.

On the far right, Scott fails to end the game when his Hillfolk whiff.  My Great Swords respond by destroying them.

At this point I figure I've been broken and count up my casualties:  413+413+70+70+70 = 1036.  

We tally up Scott's casualties:  195+195+217+222+301 = 1130.  

Neither one of us is broken, but neither one of us has more than 1,000pts on the table.  Thanks to my Great Sworsmens' timely kill of the Warriors in the Mist, this game's a draw.  But we decide to play it out to see who breaks whom first.


Endgame


Two turns later, it's all over.  My Great Swordsmen and Peasants whiff completely and fail to kill the pinched Thralls.  The Great Swordsmen are then rear charged by the Voivode Knights, destroying them.  On the right the Voivode Knights flanks the Great Swordsmen and cut them down over two turns, taking minimal damage in return.  I'd been hoping to kill the Thralls and force a mutual break, but it was not to be.  


Phew...what a game!  What I find interesting is that despite me getting pretty thoroughly outplayed, Hawkshold managed to grind out a draw based on sheer toughness of their units.  I can only imagine how things would have turned out had I managed to get engaged two turns earlier with my Knights & Great Swordsmen on the left.

Rather than discuss my opinions on Vlachold here, I'll do it in the Nine Draft thread.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2016, 12:47:37 PM by Hannibal »

RushAss

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Re: Vlachold vs Hawkshold: Longest game of Breaking Point ever
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2016, 09:46:10 AM »
Good report.  I can clearly see the awkwardness of the Hawk line trying to get it together.  And one has got to feel bad for the Knights for getting housed like that by Spearmen.  Spearmen should hurt Knights, not kill them!

Interesting to see Warriors in the Mist get chumped out like that.  That's one area of the game where the Hawks did well.
"You can never break the chain - There is never love without pain
A gentle hand, a secret touch on the heart
A healing hand, as secret touch on the heart"
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Hannibal

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Re: Vlachold vs Hawkshold: Longest game of Breaking Point ever
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2016, 01:10:31 PM »
Yeah that 2.5" move can be just crippling.

Bad luck on the Spearmen, but honestly that's Knights for you.  That's exactly why the "Cavalry Vulnerability" exists.  Not because of spears, because one set of dice can just utterly hose them  Knights are a gambler's unit. 

Yeah the Warriors in the Mist got chumped and I earned back the 50+ pts I lost on the Hillfolk-Great Swordsmen matchup.  I could have thrown a 4th Peasant at them and still been ahead on points.