Author Topic: Vlachold vs Persia: Ticking Clock  (Read 550 times)

Hannibal

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Vlachold vs Persia: Ticking Clock
« on: June 26, 2014, 03:59:16 PM »
With the changes we made, Vlachold needed to have some more testing done on them.  One thing we didn't do was put them up against Alexander, Persia, or Wuxing, so we decided to see how they'd do against those factions.  I played Vlachold while Scott (opimius) took Persia.  The mission was Ticking Clock on map 3D.

Vlachold:  2 Voynik Swordsmen, 2 Voynik Spearmen, 1 Voynik Thralls, 1 Kraynik Lancer, 1 Voivoide Knights, 1 Warriors in the Mist, 2 Command Cards.

Persia:  4 Mercenary Hoplites, 1 Saka Horse Archer, 1 Scythed Chariots, 1 Indian Elephants, 2 Command Cards.


Vlachold Units for reference
:
Voynik Swordsmen - Core - 195 pts
O:(5)5/5  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  3G/5Y/2R

Voynik Spearmen - Core - 217 pts
O:(6*)5*/5*  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12  Mv: 3.5"  3G/5Y/2R
O:(-1) -0/-0 when charging. O:(+0) +1/+0 vs. cavalry or large units. O:(+0) +0/+2 when holding vs. charging cavalry or large.

Voynik Thralls - Standard - 149 pts
O:(5)4/5  D:2/2  Rge:-  Cge: 12*  Mv: 3.5"  3G/2Y/5R
When you lose a damage box from Drain, mark a [sacrifice] box.  For every marked [sacrifice] box, gain +1 Cge.  (Note, the unit has 3 [sacrifice] boxes)

Kraynik Lancers - Standard - 242 pts
O:(6)5/5*  D:2*/2  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 7"  2G/2Y/2R
Cavalry.  O:(+0)+0/+2 and D:+1/+0 when charging.  Red Harvest. Drain:  7" range.  May not Drain Voivode Knights or Tepes Lords.  Blood Powers:  Blood is Life.  (Note: they have 1 Blood Point box)

Voivoide Knights - Elite - 436 pts
O:(6)6/5*  D:3*/3  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 6"  3G/2Y/2R
Cavalry. O:(+0)+0/+2 and D:+1/+0 when charging.  Red Harvest. Drain: 6" range.  Blood Powers:  Blood is Life, Inhuman Frenzy, Unholy Aura.  (Note: they have 3 Blood Point boxes)


Persia units for reference:
Mercenary Hoplites - Core - 304 pts
O:(7*)5*/5*  D:3/2  Rge:-  Cge: 13  Mv: 3.5"  6G/2Y/3R
Phalanx.  O:(-1)-0/-0 when charging. O:(+0) +1/+0 vs. cavalry or large units. O:(+0) +0/+2 when holding vs. charging cavalry or large.  No "King's Favor" box.

Saka Horse Archers - Standard - 171 pts
O:(4)5/5  D:1*/1  Rge: 10.5"  Cge 12  Mv: 6"  2G/2Y/2R
Cavalry.  D:+1/+0 while Charging (This is in addition to the normal Charging Bonus.) No penalty for Move and Shoot. Range attack is LOS.  When Direct Controlled may treat Rear Arc as Front Arc for ranged attacks.  No "King's Favor" box.

 
Scythed Chariots - Elite - 134 pts
O:(3)5/5*  D:2*/1  Rge:-  Cge: 11  Mv: 5"  2G/2Y/2R
Cavalry, Wheeled.  O:(+0)+0/+2 and D:+1/+0 when charging.  +2 Impact Hits (3 total) if attacked enemy currently has a lower MC or is engaged.   May not be directly controlled or given a Standing Order Modifier.   No "King's Favor" box.

Indian Elephant - Elite - 392 pts
O:(5)5/6* D:1/4  Rge: -  Cge: 11  6G/4Y/4R
Howdah:  (3)5/5  Rge: 7"
Large. Fearsome. (Terrifying to Cavalry.) Two Impact Hits.  O:(+0) +0/+1. No "King's Favor" box.  Howdah Attacks: This is a ranged attack even when Engaged. (Does not get Free Attacks vs. Routing Units and no attacks on opponents turn.)


Deployment  (now with snazzy new Persia color proofs!)


Persia (L->R):  Saka Horse Archers behind Scythed Chariots, Merc. Hoplites, Indian Elephants, Merc. Hoplites, Merc. Hoplites, Merc. Hoplites.

Vlachold (L->R):  Voivoide Knights, Voynik Spearmen (in front of Thralls), Warriors in the Mist & Voynik Swordsmen (in front of Kraynik Lancers), Voynik Swordsmen, Voynik Spearmen.

The terrain gave Scott a severe disadvantage because Vlachold's People of the Borderlands rule meant that I wouldn't be slowed down by the hills.  Not only would I move faster, I could capture the uphill bonus and his phalanx units would suffer a penalty.  His whole plan was to delay with the terrain and then have his phalanxes steamroll my infantry.

My plan was a classic "refuse the right flank, envelop the left," because I knew the only unit that my Knights feared in the terrain was the Indian Elephants.  But I had a secret weapon for them:  the Warriors in the Mist. 

Most the orders were straight forward for Scott.  Literally.  He went straight forward with all his phalanxes and his Scythed Chariot.  The Saka Horse Archers had an objective on the hill to slow me down.  The one thing he did differently was order the Indian Elephants to angle to my right, away from the Warriors in the Mist.

My orders had my Voyniks on the center and right to slide sideways.  This would make room for the Warriors in the Mist.  They were actually not deployed well, but by giving the Spearmen on their left a standing order to intentionally get in the way of the Warriors in the Mist, I could shepherd them in the right direction.  My Knights went on Hold because I didn't want them racing off until the Kraynik Lancers came around the left flank.


Persia Redeploy


And here's the result of my herding the Warriors in the Mist.  With their way to the Merc. Hoplites blocked, they angled to the next closest enemy:  the Indian Elephant.  Scott is angling those Indian Elephants to go after the Voynik Swordsmen while the Mercenary Hoplites come around behind them and hopefully over the hill to block the Warriors in the Mist.  At this point I'm pretty sure he won't make it.

On the left, the Scythed Chariots and Saka Horse Archers advance, to fend of both units of vampire cavalry.  Roughly 300pts trying tie down 700pts.


"Hold...Hold...."


A few turns later and Scott had managed to pull off his switcheroo.  He has to DC the Indian Elephant to hold them back from charging in.

On the left, my Voivoide Knights had their order changed and moved into Final Rush range of the Scythed Chariots.  Since Scott did not want to charge them in, he spent 3 CAs to direct control them, sacrificing all his CAs for the turn.  The Saka Horse Archers hit their objective and reformed on it to set up a pinch.

Also on the last turn, the Voivoide Knights drained the Thralls.  Since this is primarily what we were testing, and the Thralls would be facing the Merc. Hoplites, I wanted to drain 3 boxes for the Knights so they could heal and make the Thralls Cge 15.  (Note:  I forgot to print out the new Thralls, so there should be 3 [sacrifice icon] boxes there).


Voivoide Death Ride!


My Voivoide Knights slam into the Chariots, playing an Accuracy to destroy them.  The Knights will get flanked by the Saka Horse Archers, but I'm willing to accept that because the Horse Archers will themselves be pinched and destroyed.

To the right of the Knights, I DC my Spearmen not to charge the Merc. Hoplites.  On the central hill the Warriors in the Mist move forward.  Meanwhile the other move-capped Voynik Spearmen are just out of final rush range, thankfully.


Phalanxes Charge


Three of the four Merc. Hoplite units charge in, to mostly disappointing results.  However, on the right, the Voynik Spearmen are put into the Yellow.  They rout and are destroyed.

In the center, Scott has to spend another CA to hold back the Indian Elephants.  This allows the Merc. Hoplites to move forward to put them in the face of the Warriors in the Mist, completing Scott's plan of not letting me get the Warriors in the Mist onto his big monster.  Meanwhile, he moves his Indian Elephant so that I can't flank the Merc. Hoplites with my Voynik Swordsmen.

On the left hill, the Saka Horse Archers flanked the Voivoide Knights.  During the M&C Phase, I healed the 1 point the Scythed Chariots did on the Knights and it was a good thing too:  the Saka Horse Archers did 2 points of damage.  I would've taken a check otherwise!

The Knights fight back, forcing a Yellow check.  I'd debating on playing a card to make it a red check, but Scott had played A Thousand Nations here, giving the Saka a Cge 15 this turn.  If the Saka routed, the Voivoide Knights would flank the Merc. Hoplites and then be able to flank the other unit of Hoplites, rolling up the Persia line.  Holding this one turn would buy the Persian line 2 more turns of combat.

Scott rolled a 14.  If I'd played that card, they would have failed.   :P


Counter-Attack


On the left, the Kraynik Lancers charge and the Saka failed their rout checks (giving each vampire unit a free Blood Point as they feast on the routing unit).  The free hits between the two units put 10 additional damage boxes on the unit, killing it twice over.

To the right, the Voynik Spearmen rout from the Merc. Hoplites and I use the backup rule to move the Thralls in and pin the Hoplites down.  If the Thralls last one turn, the Voivoide Knights will flank the Merc. Hoplites.

In the center, the Warriors in the Mist charge (the hoplites pass their Terrifying check), and the two units trade damage. 

On the right, I DC my Voyniks not to charge the Indian Elephant and to wheel so that the Merc. Hoplites to the right will be in front of them.  The Voyniks fighting the Merc. Hoplites grind out a point, oblivious to their impending doom.


Holding On


On the right, the Indian Elephants charge while the Merc. Hoplites pinch.  The pinched Voyniks pass one check but after combat they flee and are cut down.  Against the Indian Elephants I play Fatalism, letting me reroll my rout check.  I ended up not needing the reroll.

In the center, the Merc. Hoplites and Warriors in the Mist trade damage again.  Throughout this fight, Scott played two Accuracies and a Follow Through (or an Accurcy + Strike and Follow Through, can't remember exactly).  This shows the achilles heel of the Warriors in the Mist:  having both an asymmetrical statline like D:4/0 and not being able to play cards actually makes them fairly vulnerable in a protracted fight.  They're really good at hurting big guys, but most big guys have enough movement to ensure they don't get engaged with the (auto-Close) Warriors.  I even managed to do a fairly good job of shepherding them this game and I still got a less-than-good matchup.

On the left, the Merc. Hoplites beat up on the Thralls, but they pass their Cge 15 red check.  So long Merc. Hoplites...was nice knowing ya...


Envelop the Left


My plan to take the left flank has worked, but I'm going to lose the right flank.  Starting to smell like a draw, folks....

The Voivoide Knights flank the Merc. Hoplites and absolutely murder them, but the Mercs. kill the Thralls on their way out the door.  The die on the Thralls is because I drained 2 boxes of them to heal the Voivoide Knights.

In the center, the Merc. Hoplites (with the aid of a Follow Through) put 3 wounds on the Warriors in the Mist.

On the right, I play Mettle on the Voyniks and only take 1 damage from the Indian Elephant.  Over the course of this fight, I ended up using both Tenacity cards (which are designed for situations like this; look up the card) and Desperation.  I only played Desperation in the Yellow, so I only got +1 Pow, but I did 2 damage.


Mopping Up


This picture is my next turn.  On the previous turn, the Merc. Hoplites did the last three points of damage to the Warriors in the Mist, destroying them.  The Voivoide Knights responded by flanking them and putting them all the way down to their last box.  But the Merc. Hoplites stubbornly passed their check. 

Below, the Voynik Swordsmen fight to the very last, using my Dogged Toughness to pass a check.  Through the use of another Tenacity card, I put the Indian Elephant into the Yellow, getting me 1/3 of its points cost for the scenario.  Note the Merc. Hoplites:  because I'd angled the Voynik Swordsmen back so many turns ago, the Indian Elephant only got half its card on the Voynik.  Meaning on my turn, I lined up with the Indian Elephant and the flank of my Voynik Swordsmen was suddenly out of reach of the Merc. Hoplites.  So they couldn't pinch last turn and gave me 1-2 more turns of fighting the Elephant.


Stalemate


On Scott's turn 7, the Elephant started to wheel around but we both knew it would never get into another combat.  The Voivoide Knights finished off the Merc. Hoplites, but they very rudely responded by putting two damage on the Voivoide Knights, putting them into the Yellow.  The Knights failed their check and dropped to Disrupted. 


Endgame

(sorry for the glare)

Each of our respective Turn 8s was spent grabbing terrain objectives and sliding into Deployment Zones for bonus points.  Neither side felt a fight favored them and this was an easier way to grab points.  On the last turn, my Voivoide Knights cannibalized the Kraynik Lancers to heal out of the Yellow (because 1/3 of the Knights was more points than 1/3 of the Lancers).

Final score:
Persia:  1737
Vlachold:  1467

ratio:  1.18 

Less than 1.25 ratio equals a Draw.  Although, probably a winning draw for Persia.  If we played Breaking Point Persia probably would have easily won.  If we played Total Warfare, Persia would've most likely won.


Analysis:  This game basically came down to those Saka Horse Archers making their Yellow check.  If they hadn't, I would have rolled the Persian line and won this game outright.  I think in the center, both Scott and I played fairly well.  On the one hand, he did a great job of making sure my Warriors in the Mist didn't hit his Elephants.  On the other hand, I managed to stall those Elephants so that they only killed one Voynik Swordsmen all game.

As I was typing this, I realized that I could have maneuvered differently to get my Voivoide Knights into the fighter sooner.  I could have had the Spearmen in front of the Thralls move left to face off with the Saka Horse Archers, so that they'd protect the flanks of the Knights.  Then when the Knights hit the Scythed Chariots they could immediately flank the Merc. Hoplites.  That would get me the internal flank much quicker and would freed up the Kraynik Lancers to move out to the right and threaten a double envelopment.  Ah well, hindsight.


Vlachold Thoughts:  We tested out three things here:  the Thralls, the new cards, and how they do against Persia.

--Thralls:  I juiced these guys up toe Cge 15 early by draining 3 boxes from them.  I'm not sure how if they're too powerful or not.  On the one hand, they performed exactly right:  by draining 3 boxes, they became functionally a 0G/2Y/5R unit, meaning they'd be taking a lot of checks even on a Cge 15.  They held up the Merc. Hoplites for 1 turn just like they needed to, but they wouldn't have held for any longer than that because of how many attacks the Merc. had.  I may end up peeling off a Red box on these guys.

--New Cards:  We changed three Fatalism, Desperation, and Punish their Mistake.

Fatalism worked great.  Although technically it's a nerf to the card, I'm okay with that.

My concern with Desperation was that it's too good in the Red.  I'm starting to think that's okay, because this faction has a lot of 3G/5Y/2R.  There's not a lot of Red boxes in this faction, so the opportunity to use this card isn't that often.  You can use it on the Thralls, but the card is Pow boosting card and they have an Off Skill 4.  You can also use it on the Werewolves (who have 5 Green boxes), but they are pitch to play and already Pow 6.  So it may be that the super good in-the-Red bonus is okay.

With Punish their Mistake, I don't think I used this card right.  I think this may actually be quite a good card, but I never felt like I had a good place to use it.  I think that has more to do with me than the card, so the jury is still out here.  Also, Marcus has told me I need to change the name.

--Against Persia:  this was a tough fight for Persia because I had better cavalry and the terrain was really poor for a stand and shoot.  Still, I think Scott did well by just putting out phalanxes and crushing my Core troops that way.  Phalanxes do very well against D:2/2 and worse.  He had the advantage in 4 of the 7 matchups, which about matches how the end score came down.

Both of us felt the other guy had an advantage.  I could take him on in a straight fight and he felt he was outmaneuvered.  Which says to me that the two factions are probably evenly matched.  We may come back to Persia, to see how a shooty build does, but I know that there's at least one build that Persia has that can hold it own against Vlachold.