Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Hamlet of Kragg: A CHRONICLES OF BLOOD Battle Report

The Maradon troops advance. Glythwyl cries out to his archers: "Bring down that ogre!" One of the elves has a shot, and he wounds the ogre, while the other elf archer moves for a clear angle. The other Jhanakai troops reposition to face the Maradon attack. The infantry advance forward and out to both flanks to draw the assaulting Maradon soldiers into a kill zone for the elf archers. Stunned by the the wound he has received before even engaging in battle, the ogre turns tail and flees the field.

[Game note: there was only a 1 in 8 chance of an ogre morale failure – a seriously lucky break for my forces on turn one].

Turn 1: An elf archer shoots the ogre.

Turn 1: The ogre flees.

The Maradon forces continue advancing despite the loss of the ogre, pressing into the elf archers' kill zone. One of the archers succeeds in wounding a Black Band mercenary, while the Jhanakai infantry complete their deployment on the flanks. The wounded mercenary also panics and flees, leaving the Maradon warband two men down before they even make contact.

[Game note: again I'm ridiculously lucky, as there was only a 1 in 6 chance of a morale failure for the mercenary].

Turn 2: The barbarians demonstrate on the left flank; a wounded Black Band mercenary routs.

Since the disciplined Jhanakai warriors hold their ground and wait, the Maradon warband pushes on despite their early losses, and are just shy of contact, when the elf archers shoot once more. Both archers target the remaining Black Band mercenary, and both hit. The two arrows are enough to kill him outright. Meanwhile, the barbarians on the Jhanakai left flank pull back, in an effort to avoid mêlée contact and to continue drawing the Maradon troops into the kill zone. On the right flank, Glythwyl and his elf warriors charge the Maradon soldiers facing them, wounding two. But one of the elf warriors takes a wound himself. With three of their men down, things are looking grim for the force from Maradon.

Turn 3: Glythwyl takes on a Maradon soldier.

Turn 3: Elf warriors double-team their enemy.

The Maradon captain finally charges into combat with the barbarians, but she is unable to do any damage. Her soldiers on that flank also engage, but are ineffective. Meanwhile the Maradon soldiers on the opposite flank continue to fight the elves, but it is they who take a loss, as the injured Maradon warrior on that flank takes another wound and is killed. Suddenly, however, hope springs up for the diminishing Maradon company – an additional Black Band mercenary comes charging onto the battlefield. Perhaps he is a courier, or a scout from another detachment. Who knows? But his help will be welcome in this fight, if only he can reach his comrades before it is too late. Meanwhile, the elf archers shoot to no effect, and in the mêlée on the left flank, a barbarian and a Maradon soldier each take a wound. On the right flank, Glythwyl slays his opponent, and, with no more enemies on that flank, his warriors turn and begin a rush to reinforce the left. The wounded Maradon soldier on the left flank now panics and runs away.

[Game note: the first random event of the game – reinforcements for the enemy force. Also, once more, the morale rolls are not kind to my automated opponent, who again had only a 1 in 6 chance of failing morale.]

 Turn 4: Mêlée on the left flank, with the Maradon captain in the thick of it.

As the clash between Maradons and barbarians continues, another barbarian is slain. The newly arrived mercenary rushes toward the fight, but he will be too little too late. The elf archers are again completely ineffective, but Glythwyl and his warriors continue to press toward the left flank. Seeing their position is hopeless, the remains of the Maradon company withdraw from the field.

Turn 5: The elves rush to reinforce the left flank.

Reactions to the Chronicles of Blood rules: These are a great set of rules. In addition to its no-nonsense structure, I find that the system runs very smoothly. One thing I like, and which did not occur to me in my initial read, is the high luck factor, which actually works quite well in a solo game. In this case, I was the one who got absurdly lucky (no force could withstand three failed morale checks). But the reason I say this is a good thing, is that had the luck been reversed, I would have been CRUSHED. Which means that the system can definitely beat you (even if it didn't turn out that way in this game), and any solo system aspiring to success has to be able to beat you. I think my battle plan of avoiding mêlée engagement and trying to draw the enemy into a kill zone for the archers was sound. But I have no illusions – I won this game because luck was on my side, and I certainly don't expect to have that sort of good fortune every time around!


  1. Damn Ogre, good batrep, them elves are gits.

  2. I got beaten tree times in the roll.
    What kind of dices do you use? Unfortunately, all of mine are dedicated to rolling ones on my turn, and 6 to 10 on the enemies :)
    Luck is the important factor, but so is strategy. I found that I would win my last battle if I had only used different spell with my wizard...

  3. Shelly: Thanks! I always have fun writing these (and playing of course).

    Lurker: No way man, my elves are cool! Slicin' and dicin' like a buncha mad fools!

    Aleksandar: Oh yeah, you have to pick the right set of dice! My chessex transparent blues and greens were very kind to me yesterday :)

    You're right about the strategy element too. One other thing I like about the game is that you can make an almost chess-like calculation of the enemy moves and plan your reactions to them -- which can then be upset by the luck factor in the dice. "The best laid plans of mice and men..."

  4. Whisk: Thanks! Alas, I cannot claim credit for that one -- it's a D&D miniatures pre-paint. I can be such a lazy bum sometimes! :)

  5. At least you didn't fall asleep at your desk while you were writing. But I did.

  6. Whisk: Oh no!!! You didn't wake up with QWERTY-face, did you? :) Hope you got some good writing done anyway!

  7. Actually, I did. And my arm had pressed in wrinkles from the robe. I think that's the first time I ever fell asleep at my desk. But boy, it was cold, rainy, the puppy was snuggled in. Too much for me to resist.

    Today I just have to get two hours done and then I am done for the week of writing, and onto other fun things. Got me some groovy pots to fill with herbs.

    Hope you're having a groovy day. Anything planned for the weekend? Just working the shop for me, and then the bookstore on Sunday.

  8. Whisk: I'll be working in the mornings, and have a pal coming over to play chess Saturday afternoon. BTW, just read your blog post about finishing your manuscript -- glad to hear it, congrats!

  9. Thanks for the congrats. Feels so good. Now Tim's going to do his Big Blue Pencil thing and then we're going to try and sell it.

    Now that I finished it, just feels like I can do other things, too. Got ideas started for the next one, and I have two other unfinished manuscripts.

    I've never played Chess but was told that I would like it. I did play Othello a lot as a kid. That was fun.

    Enjoy your Saturday. I hope work goes fast. We're headed I think to Free RPG day and then the fabric shop for the night for me.

    But tomorrow ... Borders! Woohoo!

  10. Whisk: Hey, chess on Saturday was fun -- we actually played blitz (5 minute chess) for about 3 hours straight, and he won most of them (he's a full rating class above me) but I got in a few wins anyway.

    I read Tim's blog post about the Free RPG day incident with the crappy shopkeeper -- that sucks. How was the fabric shop and Borders? Better than the crappy salesperson incident I hope!

  11. Very cool that you guys had a good time. I had fun at work. It's a nice job, just not enough hours. Yeah, that guy at the game shop, he's very hard for me to be around because he's just so loud and on. But ... Borders was nice on Sunday.

  12. We just released a premium expansion allowing you to create custom armies.

  13. Shane: Very cool indeed -- I've already bought it!