Saturday, 14 January 2012

If You Go Down To The Woods Today

Tonight's game was a matchup between the 6th (King's Own) Rangers of Albion, played by MJ Figures' 1980s British, and the invading Vrancu, played by PSC's Soviets. The scenario PDF can be found here. While most of the scenery was scratch-built, this game was a baptism for the first of my Pireme Publishing card buildings, bought on sale the other day.

The board, as set up.

With Albiard (blue) and Vrancu (red) objectives.
Because my Soviets are based for Flames of War, I used different coloured d6 for casualty status. Black was “wiped out/current dead”, red was “survivors pinned” and white was “survivors fine”.

The KOR entered spread out, except for 2 Manoeuvre, who went up the road in file...

Turn One
Vrancu Phase
The Vrancu entered unopposed across most of the board, but were interrupted in two cases by the KOR. The ambushing unit threw a whopping eight dice at one unfortunate Vrancu team, scoring two tens. The Vrancu used their cover as well as their training allowed them, and three of the fireteam went down, while the last member kept his head and fired back, causing no casualties.

The Rangers walking down the road reacted as aggressively as they'd been taught when they saw Vrancu ahead, diving for the hedges and opening fire simulataneously. Their reactions did as well as the heavy fire from across the stream, causing another three casualties. This Vranc bottled it, and cowered alongside his mutilated companions among the sycamores.

Albiard Phase
Three casualties was becoming a pattern as 2 Fire Support moved up the right flank and plastered a Vrancu team with fire as it tried to catch them in the open. But 1 Manoeuvre broke it by knocking down an entire fireteam with nothing but rifle fire as they moved towards the stream.

VPs: 0/0

The table as Turn One ended.

Turn Two
Vrancu Phase
Keeping the initiative despite the dreadful beating they took in the previous turn, the Vrancu tested for casualties. Out of their 13 casualties, 5 threw sixes and got up. A few were shot dead, and more fell prey to No Use For The Weak, but overall they only lost five men. Their advance was stalled by the weight of Albiard fire however, and only a couple of fireteams were available for movement.

One brave team dashed for the larger of Herefell's buildings but were caught by 2 Manoeuvre, still prone in the road and lost two men to their superior shooting. Only just passing a TQ check and failing their Morale, they dragged the bodies with them into the longhouse. Upset at their ceorls' awful progress, the Serjeants and their Huscarls moved forwards to support the advance.

Albiard Phase
On the left flank, 1 Fire Support laid down fire to support 1 Manoeuvre's crossing of the stream. Blitzing one Vrancu team, 1 Manoeuvre crossed and took captive the shellshocked ceorls opposite them, taking up a commanding position on the Vrancu's right flank.

Taking advantage of the Vrancu checking their own, 2 Fire Support moved into the other of Herefell's mill and opened fire on the longhouse's shattered inhabitants. Even with a Rapid Move and rolling three 1s, they knocked another casualty off the unfortunate ceorls – but they girded their loins and dug in.

VPs: 2/0 to Albion

Turn Three
Vrancu Phase
Legitimately winning the initiative, the Vrancu got only one fireteam of ceorls to reinforce them, and opened fire with three fireteams at the Rangers in the mill. But their keen eyes gave them the advantage, and their Hoods and Herewards croaked their awful song with terrible efficiency. The ceorls in the woods screamed and died like pigs as the GPMGs sang.

With a bellow and by fine example, a Serjeant led his men in firing at 2 Manoeuvre, still relying on the roadside for protection. Overwhelmed by the past few pounding minutes, still not in cover due to covering their fellows, they suffered three casualties before they knew what had hit them. Their pointman's return fire did nothing to avenge them.
2 Manoeuvre bleeding out...
Albiard Phase
Shocked by the sound of 2 Manoeuvre's screams on the radios, the Albiards were torn by indecision. 1 Manoeuvre descended on more shocked ceorls, and this time did not take them captive.
1 Fire Support finally left their grove of trees, and then realised that the only available cover had a shellshocked ceorl and the bodies of his fireteam. Still enraged over 2M's fate, they charged in (TQ rolled 8!), easily avoiding his defensive fire and taking out his whole team. Their medic, instead of joining them in turning the longhouse to a charnelhouse, went to help 1 Manoeuvre.

VPs: 6/0 to Albion

The table at the end of Turn Three
Turn Four
Vrancu Phase
Somehow maintaining the upper hand, the Vrancu were heartened to hear the sound of a GPMG coughing its way through the woods from Oxene Beach. With their support, the Serjeants led a burst of fire at the longhouse, determined to dislodge the Rangers. Still busy securing the building, they were caught off-guard by the first unco-ordinated hail of fire. Throwing themselves to the floor, they received no casualties – and their return fire was murderous ( including two 9s and a 10!). Before the newly arrived Vrancu could join in, they too were targeted. Despite their stalwart attempts at woodcraft, the whole team were rendered casualties (too many 9s and 10s again!)
2 Fire in the mill were shot at again, and took two casualties from fire before knocking down three of the enemy in response.
Albiard Phase
1 Manoeuvre moved to seize the Herefell LOC, taking control of the road to Oxene Beach. As they did so, they heard the good news – Medic Laverham had saved two of 2 Manoeuvre, though Ranger Callis lay dead, joining the Island's ghosts for ever more.

VPs: 14/1 to Albion

Medic Laverham, flanked by the two men he saved with his Advanced First Aid.

The table at the end of Turn Four.
Turn Five
Albiard Phase
Finally seizing the initiative, the Rangers made some tough decisions. Rushed off his feet, Laverham helped 2 Fire with their casualties, while 2 Manoeuvre did a quick tab to the other side of the field of... whatever it is the locals grow.
Following a successful pattern, 1 Fire laid some pain on the Vrancu Serjeants opposite, while 1 Manoeuvre left their scoring position to remove another Vrancu team from consideration.
Vrancu Phase
The Vrancu have no use for the weak, and it seems that the weak stayed at home, because seven of the ten casualties on their left flank got up scowling. As they did, more reinforcements arrived from Oxene, two teams – one with a GPMG. Using their numerical superiority, they charged 1 Manoeuvre, but glory was not theirs to take. With snarls and long knives, the Rangers caught them in the sycamores and butchered them (with some superlative die rolls, I should add!)

VPs: 8/1 to Albion

Turn Six
Albiard Phase
Wiping the blood from their faces, 1 Manoeuvre continued their rampage through the enemy ranks, slaughtering the casualties in the centre woods. 2 Manoeuvre tried to sneak up the Vrancu flank and do some more damage. Sharp eyed ceorls opened fire while they were out of cover, but their marksmanship was poor, and their only reward was a hail of bullets. 1 Fire used the distraction to sneak from the longhouse to the surrounding hedges.
Vrancu Phase
Reinforcements arrived, and engaged 1 Manoeuvre in a fire fight. It seemed like the big boys had finally arrived, because the lead elements cut right through 1 Manoeuvre's overconfidence with a storm of GPMG fire, knocking out the whole team for one casualty in return. Shocked by this sudden violence against their own men, 1 Fire's covering shots were poorly aimed, and the second Vrancu team survived to add to 1 Manoeuvre's misery, potting their sergeant with a well-aimed bullet.
Covered by woods and hedges, a third team moved in to take them prisoner. Toys, for the pleasure of the Vrancu interrogators at Oxene Beach.

VPs: 8/21 to Albion (Vrancu winning!)

The sergeant stands alone.
Turn Seven
Albiard Phase
Retaining the initiative, and unwilling to risk the survivors (if any) of 1 Manoeuvre with fire, 1 Fire gallantly charged over the hedge to free them, cutting down their two guards with ease and freeing the wounded members of 1 Manoeuvre. Two of them needed serious first aid, and 1 Fire hunkered down to give it.
2 Manoeuvre came forward at the same time to wipe the last Vrancu fireteam off the field and managed to surprise them this time, causing one casualty before the survivor hid among the sycamore trees. Laverham and 2 Fire moved to the longhouse hedges, to support seizure of the LOC.
Vrancu Phase
Reinforcements arrived, and while one 2 Manoeuvre, the other skirted around Herefell to get behind the Rangers – and get a chance at the objective.

VPs: 24/1 to Albion

There being no chance of a Vrancu victory, the game was called at 24-1 in the Rangers' favour.

A fun game, and tighter than the scores would suggest – just look at the turnaround that was Turn Six! The Vrancu need to pool their fire in this game, and the Rangers need to not be reckless!
Overall, luck was the winner in this game. The sheer number of unmatchable 9s and 10s thrown by the Rangers was quite frankly unbelievable, and contributed to the demise of just so many Vrancu teams.
All in all, this was a fun game, and I think the Vrancu hordes will find themselves pitted against the Albiards again in future. Also, points to those who can guess what Vrancu and Ghost Island are derived from!

No comments:

Post a Comment