Friday, May 21, 2010
Flotsam and Jetsam: Pig Wars Batrep
The coast is not so lovely this time of year...
Last Friday saw another "big ole" game of Pig Wars. This time, I am proud to say, I showed up with two complete warbands totaling 39 models altogether. I really had to shoehorn one of those warbands in points-wise to make it fit, so most of the figs were militia quality. We had five total players, two represented Northern Vikings (the Dubh Linn'ers), two represented rival Southern Vikings (the Wexfordians), and the last group represented the shipwrecked survivors from the Church and the band Irishmen sent out to rescue said survivors.
Tom's Wexford Vikings arrive and head straight to the Irish rescuers
Bob's Wexford Vikings spy the makeshift shore camp and set phasers to pillage
On the opposite side of the table were mine and Ken's two warbands, the Northern Vikings. We came in together along the shoreline and split up after that. There wasn't really a plan, just go whack the other guys in the head and take their stuff, pretty standard.
As you can see from these pics, the table really makes the game. I love the touch of all the broken up timbers washed upon the shoreline. Having all painted armies kind of goes without saying too, but it's a standing 'rule' (for lack of a better word) around these parts anyway. Also, as is my usual M.O., I get the luxury of posting cheap camera phone pics quickly and being completely fuzzy on any semblance of historical context or scenario details.
My Dubh Linn Vikings scavenge coastal wreckage looking for loot
The shipwrecked survivors erect a makeshift fortification
As the Vikings approach, the Monks close ranks
First contact with the survivors was made by my warband. Up top, by the makeshift rampart you can see the devastating charge of my Beserker, felling two defenders before they were able to react. This of course exhausted him, and he collapsed from fatigue the next turn.
Meanwhile, Bob's warband was closing in fast on the other side of the encampment. Had we been allies, it would have been a nice pincer strategy. As it was, he was just one more headache to worry about. There was no love lost between the rival bands, and while I had men engaged with the shipwrecked, he charged in as well, attacking both the embattled groups. It really all came down to morale checks (and subsequent rallying) as well as that all-important initiative draw. Had a couple of these gone differently in the last turn or two, my warband's dismal performance may have been able to be redeemed by the end of the game.
Our homemade saga cards add that extra little bit of flair to the game, and this time I made sure my warband had plenty of build points to pick up three of these. Every warband also got a bonus saga card in the beginning, so I was starting out with a whopping four cards. Looking at these cards you can get a good feel for the enhancements they bring to the table.
Swift of Foot: Allows one model to move as if they're encumberance rating was one level 'lighter'. Basically a mailed/shielded model could move as if they were mail only, etc. I gave this card to my single Berserker model who was mail only. So he was now moving as if he was unarmored, which was great, a whopping 12" per turn for the big guy.
Great Coat: This is basically an heirloom level mail hauberk. I immediately gave it to my warband's leader. Since the figure has a pronounced, ahem, codpiece, which I painted a bright, vivid gold, he didn't have an heirloom hauberk, but a vintage codpiece.
War Leader: You get to give your high hold card to anyone needing it within LOS, pretty good stuff. I never actually used this during the game, but had to give it to my leader model as well, if for no other reason than he was, duh, the warband leader after all.
Heimdall's Horn: This one affects the standard bearer of the warband, of which is a compulsory troop selection anyway. It always you an automatic rally of a routing unit, which given the nature of all our troops running away all game long, is very handy. Unfortunately, my standard bearer bit the dust pretty early in the game (my own mistake) and I never got to use this card. Ironically, I think I failed a morale test and routed because my standard died!
Overall I'm not going to say anything I haven't already; the game was fun, the terrain was beautiful, the scenario was inventive, and the company enjoyable. All in all, a Friday night well spent. There were legitimate digital cameras in attendance (with mini-tripods), so I suspect a proper batrep may show up on Repple Depple at one point.