Saturday, October 20, 2012

First Hammer of War Solitaire Game



Hi all

I decided to take a break from painting and enjoy some of my little toys. I set up a small battle to try out my solitaire rules for the Warhammer.  Rules are 7th Edition and Lists are from Ravening-Hordes.
The opposing sides were an Orc and Goblin force and a Dwarf force.  
The Orcs and Goblins had a unit of 15 Orc Big Ones with full command, armed with hand weapons and shield, and with light armor. They also had one Goblins of the Night unit of 20 Goblins with Spears, Light Armor and Shield (yes technically under RH lists they cannot have light armor, but for the sake of game these ones are rich).  The unit also harbored a drug-induced fanatic and a full command. The general was a Goblin of the Night Big Boss armed with a Great Weapon, Light Armor and a Talisman.

The Dwarfs had a unit of 12 Dwarf warriors armed with hand weapons, shields and heavy armor. They also had a unit of 10 Miners armed with great weapons and heavy armor. Both had full command.  The little force was led by a Thane with a hand weapon, heavy armor, shield and talisman.

The scenario was a simple meeting engagement. The two armies deployed in two lines of battle 20 inches apart and the only physical terrain of note was a difficult hill on the ranks of the Orc and Goblin force.


I flipped a coin to decide which army I would play and the coin decided I would play the Orcs and Goblins. My next task was to prepare the AI. First I noted saves and unit strengths on the unit cards of both armies. For solitaire gaming you only need cards for the AI army, but I also have cards for the army I use since they cut down on the need to reference a list. 


Then I built the charge reaction deck for the Dwarves. This deck is the AI deck for deciding how AI units will react to a charge. Since Dwarves are famed as brave warriors they only got one Flee reaction card in their deck and 6 cards of Hold (no shooters so no stand and shoot). I f the AI was going to play the Orcs and Goblins then the charge deck would had 2 flee cards and 4 hold cards, with a further flee card added to it when Goblin units test (this in order to represent the cowardly nature of Goblins). 


Then I built the army action deck. This is the deck of cards that contains all the actions that units in the army can do. Since I had no shooters I left out all cards relevant to shooting. I also kept the character cards (like join unit, leave unit) separate. When a character was part of a unit his cards are shuffled in, but when he is not they are taken out. Since the dwarves had no Aggression 2 units (a measure of reckless/aggressive a unit is) I only 1 copy of each aggression 2 and 3 cards in the decks. Ag0 and Ag1 cards were all 2 copies. 





With the decks created I rolled for who plays first adding the respective aggression of the Generals. The Dwarves won and on a role of 1-3 on d6 decided to move first.



Dwarf Round 1

I shuffled the three dwarf unit cards and turned the top one up. The Dwarf Miners would first draw for action. They drew Attack Strongest Enemy and thus marched forward towards the Orc unit. The Dwarf Warriors drew March and thus Marched towards the closest enemy, the Goblins of the Night Unit.




Orcs and Goblins Round 1

I decided to hold the orcs back and just marched the Night Goblins forward with the goal of unleashing the fanatic when the Dwarves come within 8”


Dwarf Round 2

The Dwarf Warriors drew first drawing a Leave Unit card. Thus the Thane left the unit and moved towards the goblins. The Warriors drew again and also got Move, and Moved towards the Goblins with the Thane being in front.


The Miners drew March and moved forward again drawing a March card, coming within 8” of the Goblins of the Night and triggering the Fanatic! 



My evil grin turned to a frown when the fanatic only moved a measly 3 inches towards the Miners failing to reach them! Something told me I would rue the day!





Orcs and Goblins Round 2

Indeed my deduction was correct! In the compulsory moves phase the Fanatic happily in his drug-induced daze careened into the Orcs! 



Of course he would do 6 hits on a D6! 



And of course all 6 would wound killing off 6 orcs! 



We are talking about fanatics here! Thankfully the Orcs barely made their panic test and survived! 


With all that ugliness out of the way I separated my Goblin of the Night Big Boss with the goal of using him to flank something (of course I forgot that he cannot really flank anything due to unit strength)! 



The Orcs attempted to charge the Miners but alas! They fell short by 1 and a half inch! The Goblins kept their position guarding the flanks of the orcs form the warriors (also they are speared arm troops. No sense in losing the additional attacks).

Dwarf Round 3
In the compulsory move section the mad fanatic careened away from the battlefield towards the edge of the table. But he did not leave. Future pain assured! 

The Thane went first and drew Move to Flank and thus moved towards the side of  the Goblin regiment. The Miners instead of drawing the needed Charge card, drew Decrease Ranks, and thus reduced their rank to a rank of 1 with 10 models. The leader seeing the Orcs advance thought it better to get as many weapons forward as possible. The Warriors on the other hand did get a Charge card and thundered forward into the Goblin Regiment!


In the combat phase the Dwarves managed to kill only one measly goblin, while the Goblins of the Night managed to land 7 Hits, of which, of course, none wounded! 







Hate helped both sides and the Goblins won the combat thanks to more ranks and outnumber. Dwarven mettle though is not shaken by lesser creatures no matter their numbers! The Dwarves passed their break test and held!


Orc and Goblin Round 3



Time to take vengeance thought I!  The Crazed fanatic moved in parallel to the table edge, but at least not on me!  The orcs with a deafening WAAAGHH! charged the Miners, while the sneaky Goblin of the Night Boss also joined the charge. I drew a charge reaction for the Miners and it was Hold. Pickaxes held up high the miners waited for the foe!
                                     

In the battle that followed the Orcish onslaught was checked! While the sneaky big boss killed one of the Dwarf Miners, the Orcs failed to inflict any wounds on the Dwarves (the one wound needed a 6 and the dwarf rolled a 6)!!! 





Indeed the Miners reciprocated by killing 3 Orcs and winning the combat 5 to 2!  The orcs and the big boss all failed their Break Tests! 





The Orcs got overrun by the dwarves (rolling 4 on the dice to the dwarves 7) and were mercilessly pick-axed! The Goblin Warlord ran away (12”!!) having done what in his opinion was enough to show his bravery!

Rounds 4-6

This rounds saw pretty much the battle of attrition between the remaining Goblin regiment and the Dwarf Warriors! The Gobbos fought with uncharacteristic bravery, forcing the Dwarves to test for Break twice, but the dwarves held. 

The Fanatic of course returned, and of course killed a goblin before veering off chasing his drug induced dream of a red fast squiq! 
                                       

The Thane ended up not taking part in the battle due to not getting the charge card. At some point the Miners flanked the goblins and forced them to Break. 







Successful Goblin Woundings? 4


 Successful Dwarf Save? 4 of course! 





 The goblins outran their opponents and stupidly or bravely rallied. A round of indecision by the dwarves let them charge the Warriors but once more they could not do enough! This time they broke and ran out of the table ending the battle!






Outcome: Decisive Dwarf Victory. Three Dwarfs were out of the battle but in return the Dwarves decimated 15 Orcs and 20 Goblins!

Dwarfs MVP:  Either the Miners or the Goblin Fanatic!

Orcs and Goblins MVP: The Goblins of the Night Unit that went toe to toe with a Dwarf Warrior regiment for 5 rounds and even returned for more!

Discussion:

This was a fun game even though it took more time than I thought it would . Then again it is the first War-hammer game I have played in years.  I was satisfied to appoint by the solitaire system but can see some problems. Some of the orders required a subjective decision by me on how the AI will interpret it. For example the Miners drew a Attack Strongest Enemy card once they had killed the Orcs. Card-wise that would  had required them to wheel towards the goblins until they got them in their front. I decided to play it as a reform card.

I might have to include some more charge cards (the deck of 22 cards had 2 charge cards and 1 reckless charge card) in the deck as the AI felt a bit conservative in its approach with units in perfect charge position not doing so. Then again these are dwarves, a rather conservative lot!

Leaders proved a bit underwhelming, but that makes sense in such a small game. In future games I may decide to keep non-monstrous unit leaders in a unit permanently or simply cut down the number of join and leave unit cards they get.

Did the solitaire work? Yes I think it did. For starters the AI cleaned my clocks. Part of it was the random fun of the fanatic, and part of it the innate quality of the dwarves, and part my stupid decision to spate the Big Boss from the Gobbos.  While the AI was conservative, units generally did things that made some sense on some level.
Did I have fun? Yes. The Fanatics blew a hole into me but it was fine as the randomness of the little critter added to the anxiety and tension of the battle! Obviously playing with a human who enjoys the game and good company is better. But the solitaire did its job. I was pleasantly surprised by the Night Gobbo regiment that held the line for so long!

I cannot wait to play a bigger battle!