Monday, May 30, 2011

Ambush on the Forest Road Battle Report: The Shortest Fight Ever

I played this solo, as always, personally giving orders to both sides in turn. I had never played the "ambush" scenario before, and I severely underestimated the value for the elves of having their troops hidden through the use of dummy markers. Apart from the use of the dummy markers, the scenario sets up just like the standard "all out battle" scenario. Superficially, it looks like the ambush scenario does not much change the flavor of the game – in fact I was a bit disappointed by this appearance when I initially set up the board and deployed the troops. Boy was I ever wrong...

Brunt's men marched down the forest road, keeping their eyes peeled for elves among the trees. As they came upon a place where the road passed a crumbling ruin, one of Brunt's men spotted something, but before the troop could react, the elves were upon them. Glythwyl's rangers took the men in the flank, killing two human soldiers quickly. Glythwyl himself, again, as in his previous battle, managed to quickly charge his human counterpart, knocking Brunt to the ground.


Stunned by the speed and ferocity of the elves' onslaught, the only one of Brunt's men able to react was the archer, who angled out to the right flank for a clear shot, but even he was unable to get off a single arrow before Glythwyl finished off Brunt. Seeing captain Brunt slain, one of the men fled in panic. In the flurry of arrows and blows that followed, one more human warrior was killed, along with Flux, the wizard, who was laid low before managing to cast any spells.


The archer and the remaining Maradon soldier took off running through the trees and made their escape.


Lessons Learned: I played the elves well and the humans badly. This got compounded with favorable dice rolls for the elves which turned what would already have been a difficult battle for the men into an absolute slaughter. The tactical lesson for today: don't underestimate the advantage of setting up with dummy markers in the ambush scenario. 

15 comments:

  1. Great little post, I'll be using lots of dummy markers in the FIW rules I'm trying to write, It does throw a level of uncertainty into a game, ignore them at your peril!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Ray -- you are so right about the dummy markers, both about the uncertainty and the perils of ignoring them.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Bard, not to expose my ignorance, but I will. What are dummy makers and the rules that go with them. I think from the title I can guess what it means, but curious on how it works in game. When I read your post it got me to thinking of something in my own campaign.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Tim: Your guess is undoubtedly correct. The dummy marker is just a generic stand-in of any sort that hides the identity of a model (and in fact may simply be "empty" representing nothing at all). It's an easy way of simulating concealment without the bother of written deployments for models. So, for example, if you are using dummy markers, I know where your troops *might* be, but I don't know where they actually are. In the SBH Ambush Scenario, the ambusher gets a number of dummy markers equal to twice the number of his actual troops. The true nature of the dummy markers (actual model vs. nothing there) is revealed when an enemy moves within a certain visual range, or when the owning player decides to move/attack with a model located at the marker's position.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've always liked the idea that dummy markers represent "something" there, whether troops, cleverly disguised decoys or even traps of some sort. I've encountered systems where certain markers cannot be ignored even if they are revealed to not be troops because a few are traps.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Doc: Yes, in fact, if I remember correctly, Rattrap Productions games, for example, center around that concept (I think they call them "encounter markers"?). The marker can really be anything -- an ally, an enemy, a trap, some helpful item, or nothing at all.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Essential fog of war are dummy markers, good post.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pool Fool: Thanks! I've always thought a picture of "the agony of defeat" was just as narratively valid as an image of "the thrill of victory."

    ReplyDelete
  9. Zertuzzi: Thanks! Glad you stopped by to visit.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great blog, nice game reports

    -- Allan

    ReplyDelete
  11. fpotd and tidders: Thanks for coming by -- I appreciate your visit!

    ReplyDelete