Sunday, 17 April 2016

Battlesworn Star Wars Solitaire: Playthrough

Using the scenario from the previous post, below is the description of the solo playthrough. All bids (initiative, shooting, combat etc) for the smuggler side were generated by the solo bidding charts. Please note that this is not a review as I was involved with proof-reading and some editing of Knights and Knaves.

As the main objective is to enter the building and destroy the plans, the main Imperial tactic will be to bid high initially in an attempt to get as many figures as possible through the crystal fields, bypass the thugs, and try to enter the building. As the AI will generally bid lower from turn 7 onwards (and an action is needed to enter the building), at least one Imperial model should really try to be in there by turn 6. This should also give extra time for the search. The Imperials also need to deal with the bounty hunter, who is a major threat.

Here is the ground level view of the deployment. Stormtroopers are to the front so that both Sith are not closest enemy;

Turn 1
Imperial Initiative Bid: 6
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 3

As the smugglers have initiative, and Vader is in LOS of the bounty hunter, he uses the sniper ability (does not have to shoot at closest enemy) against Vader. Vader bids 4, the bounty hunter bids 2, so there is no dodge attempt. Rolling 3 dice (2 bid +1 for ranger vs preferred target) the wound roll is 6,6,4 - two hits. Vader expends the talisman and blocks the shot (AKA calls upon the force). Two thugs then shoot at the stormtroopers in the open, both missing, with the return shots missing as well. A lot of shooting so far. With the reaction moves, the apprentice, a stormtrooper and the speeder move forward. If not for the thug in the way, the speeder could have moved through the crystal field. This is the situation at the end of the turn;

Turn 2
Imperial Initiative Bid: 6
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 2

This is a good bid result for the Imperials, as they can do a lot more moving. With the initiative, a Gamorrean charges the stormtrooper (who was moved up as a blocker), and the bounty hunter shoots at the sith apprentice. The apprentice bids 4, the bounty hunter 6. The apprentice failed the dodge roll. The bounty hunter then rolls (7 dice) 6,6,5,4,4,4,1. for two hits. The apprentice also plays the talisman, using the force to block the shot. Both talismans are now gone, but have certainly paid for themselves. Now the speeder moves to be just outside the building, the apprentice moves into a position to charge the bounty hunter, Vader moves to the road and a stormtrooper moves forward out of cover at the rear. In the fight, both the stormtrooper and Gamorrean bid 5, so a non-event, but good for the stormtrooper. Things are looking really positive for the Imperials. The situation at the end of the turn is;

Turn 3
Imperial Initiative Bid: 3
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 6

I thought at this point the Imperials should go on the offensive and try to win the initiative, bidding 3. The smugglers bid 6 (maybe the AI disconcertingly thought I was going to bid 6 again....?). The apprentice charged the bounty hunter who reaction shot back. The apprentice bid 3 and the bounty hunter bid 5, Again, the apprentice failed to dodge, but the bounty hunter clean missed with a 6,5,4,4,1,1 roll on 6 dice (including the ranger bonus). Vader then charged Lando (thinking this will be an easy fight). Even though Lando could have reaction shot back, the pistol was more valuable in melee with a +2 dice bonus (rather than +1 for distance shooting). Instead a thug did a reaction shot on Vader. Vader bid 3, the thug 6. Vader failed to dodge, and the thug rolled 6,5,3,3,2,1 - against a monk a miss as 2's count as 1's (otherwise would have been 1 wound), so Vader gets through unscathed. The speeder made a move for the building but was reaction charged by the second Gamorrean. In the fight, the speeder bid 6, and the Gamorrean bid 5, with both missing with their subsequent rolls. The apprentice bid 6 and the bounty hunter bid 2. With his 3 dice (+1 ranger bonus) the bounty hunter rolled 5,5,2 for 2 hits. The apprentice (now on condition yellow) rolled 5,4,3,3,1,1 for no hits. Not good. Vader bid 6 and Lando bid 4. Lando rolled (6 dice with +2 pistol bonus) 6,5,5,4,3,2 for 3 hits. Vader rolled 6,5,5,3,3,2 for 3 hits. Both Vader and Lando on condition red. Not good. The stormtrooper bid 5 and the Gamorrean 3. The Gamorrean striking first rolled 6,6,4 - as the stormtrooper had only one life point he was killed. Not good. The situation at the end of turn 3;

Turn 4
Imperial Initiative Bid: 6
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 5

I bid high again so as to call up the rest of the stormtroopers and get reserves into the battle. I was anticipating the AI to bid low. The smuggler bid of 5 was completely unexpected and perfect at foiling this plan... The freed up Gamorrean charged Vader. With the other 4 actions, the smugglers tried to shoot up the stormtroopers. There was a lot of shooting, as the stormtroopers could return fire. After 4 shots on the 3 stormtroopers, there were 2 dodges but one stormtrooper who was in the open was killed. The remaining two stormtroopers returned fire but missed. With only one reaction for the Imperials, it had to be used to save Vader. Using the Monk break-off ability, he slipped out of the combat and into the crystal field. The fight between the apprentice and the bounty hunter was a draw with a bid of 5 each, and the speeder vs the Gamorrean was drawn with bids of 6 each. The early progress made by the Imperials has come to a standstill. The situation at the end of the turn is below;

Turn 5
Imperial Initiative Bid: 3
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 5

A good initiative result to get things moving again. Vader moved through to the other side of the crystal field. A thug did a reaction shot. Vader bid 3, the thug bid 6. Vader failed the dodge (not sure why he can't dodge!), and the thug's wounding roll was 6,5,3,3,2,1. Normally this would have done one wound (and take out Vader with one life left), but the Monk ability turned it into a zero result. The remaining two moves were to make the stormtroopers move forward as reinforcements. They are desperately needed to peel away Lando and the Gamorrean! One of them took a reaction shot, the stormtrooper bid 3, the thug 2. The thug rolled a double 6 killing the stormtrooper. There goes the reinforcements.... In the melees, the apprentice and bounty hunter drew yet again, with both bidding 5. The speeder bid 5 and the Gamorrean bid 6. The speeder cut through for 3 hits (6,5,5,2) bringing the Gamorrean to red condition, whose 6 dice strike back was 6,6,5,4,2,1, bringing the speeder to yellow condition. The position at the end of the turn was;

Turn 6
Imperial Initiative Bid: 2
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 3

I wanted to win initiative and luckily did so, with the AI getting only one reaction.  The apprentice used the Monk ability to break off from the bounty hunter, and move out of the crystal fields towards the building. This used up the one smuggler reaction move - the Gamorrean next to Lando made reaction charge back. The speeder was now free to get into the building, and use the cavalry ability to break off melee (he could have done it anyway with his opponent on red condition). The fight between the apprentice and Gamorrean was another draw with both bidding 5. I forgot to take a picture at the end of this turn, but the main thing was the Imperials finally got into the building.

Turn 7
Imperial Initiative Bid: 2
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 4

Just needed the two actions here - one for the search roll, the other to break off the apprentice from his second combat. The apprentice moved towards the building and was reaction charged by the Gamorrean in red condition. Now for the search roll (drum roll...), a 2, so nothing found yet, but a +1 modifier for next turn. The most logical reaction move for the smugglers now seemed to be moving the bounty hunter towards Vader and box him in. I hadn't really seen this possibility when I broke the apprentice off from the bounty hunter originally, as I was focused at getting into the building instead. Not seeing moves that far in advance is why I don't play chess. In the one fight, the apprentice bid 3 and the Gamorrean 5. With the 3 dice the apprentice finally did something nasty and killed the Gamorrean (6,4,2) - two hits, but only one was needed. The situation at the end of turn 7 was;

Turn 8
Imperial Initiative Bid: 3
Smuggler Initiative Bid: 5

This first thing was to move the apprentice into the building (now a +2 search modifier). With the 2nd action, I decided to get Vader away, and moved him into the crystal field - this turned out to be a bad decision (a really bad decision). The thug did a reaction shot. Vader bid 3, the thug 6. Vader failed to dodge yet again. The wound roll was 6,5,5,3,3,2. Two wounds on Vader, and he was down. Now the search for the 3rd action (drum roll....), a 3 (with the +2) modified to 5, another failed search. With the remaining reaction, Lando simply reloaded his pistol as the final scene (I couldn't think of anything else to do with the game over, and this seemed the most cinematic...). The Imperials lost with Vader taken. The situation at the end was;

In hindsight, I made the wrong moves with Vader. He should have gone for the bounty hunter at the start instead of the apprentice - and then try to get him into the building ASAP and out of harms way. And when I broke Vader off, he should have tried to leave the field rather than hang around. At the end, I should have used paralysis (force choke) on the bounty hunter rather than try to run away at that stage, or just do nothing so that there could be no reaction shooting on him. The other alternative was to do a different opening and use stormtroopers at the start, using them as blockers to draw off the building defenders. Not sure. The game seemed to slip away from the Imperials, but was still winnable at the end.

The Talismans proved to be good value, but unfortunately, used up to soon due to some lucky shooting from the bounty hunter - Vader could have used it at the end. The tricksy break-off from melee that monks have was good as well, allowing the apprentice to bounce through a few enemy to get a run into the building. The one Monk ability I should have used but didn't was the dice flip when defending against shooting.

The initiative bids from the AI were higher than I expected, but it worked out for the smugglers as it gave them a lot of reaction shots and charges. I was using the second row on the initiative bid table (where there are 2 or more unengaged shooters) which does give an increased chance for higher bids. This is also the first game I had where there were no tied bids, so didn't get to see my attempt at a modified version of the escalation rule come into play...

Battlesworn Star Wars Solitaire: The Scenario

After having played a few "Star Wars" genre games using Battlesworn, I thought the rules worked quite well. Some of the new classes in Knights and Knaves have added enough dimension to use characters like Sith/Jedi (Monks) and Bounty Hunters (Rangers), and skilled users of heavy blaster pistols (Pistoleers). There is also scope to thematically use Talismans (force powers) and Magic Weapons (high tech).

Background and Victory Conditions
Smugglers lead by Lando Calrissian have stolen some top secret plans and are preparing to upload them to their employer. The Empire has found out where the smugglers are, and a small raiding party lead by Darth Vader has landed to find and destroy the plans, which are hidden in an old mining building. The smugglers had advance warning of the landing party and quickly set up in defensive positions. The empire wins if the plans are found and destroyed by turn 10 (or 11 depending on whether the game extends). It is assumed that they will be uploaded by this time. However, the empire automatically loses if Darth Vader dies. As usual, if one side has more dead than living before the end of the game, the other side wins. The player controls the empire forces, and the solitaire charts/priorities control the smugglers. Victory is determined at the end of a turn (not during).

The Old Mining Building
The building can be entered from any side, but it takes an action point (not a reaction point) to do so. One model can then use an action or reaction dice to conduct a search. On a 6, the plans are found and destroyed. There is a +1 bonus for each friend in the building. In addition, for each attempt after the first search, +1 is cumulatively added to the roll. Smuggler models cannot enter the building, and models in the building cannot fight or shoot.

Given the more shooty nature of sci-fi, for this scenario the compulsory 4 fighters are replaced by Shooter/Rabble (1 slot cost). There is no limit on shooter slots. Shooter/Rabble are shooters, but they;
(1) are killed with a single point of damage (as rabble),
(2) are only worth 1/3rd of a figure when killed (as rabble), and
(3) can only charge or intercept models that are rabble or in yellow/red condition.
(4) cannot bid 6 or 1 in close combat (treat as if in condition red for close combat only).

The Escalation Rule (Firefight)
For this scenario, I thought it is better if the escalation does not have a melee focus. On a tied initiative bid, instead of charging, a model will shoot at the closest enemy (select eligible shooters closest to enemy first). Snipers must also shoot at the closest enemy. Any shooters targeted will return fire per the normal rules. In subsequent tied bids, instead of bonus dice in combat, an additional shooter will shoot, increasing in number with each tied bid. Shooters selected must have a loaded weapon and must not have fired (or returned fire) in the current escalation turn.

NPC Priority
The main (scenario specific) priority for the the smugglers is to charge, counter-charge, shoot or reaction shoot at Imperial models that have moved into, are are in a position to enter the building. The bounty hunter will also target Darth Vader where possible. Lando will try to save his shot for something other than a shooter/rabble.

The Smugglers
From left to right: 1 x Lando Calrissian with blaster (Rogue/Pistoleer**), 1 x Mandalorian Bounty Hunter (Sniper/Ranger* plus Magic Ranged Weapon), 2 x Gamorrean Mercenaries (Fighter), 5 x Thugs (Shooter/Rabble). This gives 9 figures for the 12 slots. *For this scenario, the bounty hunter's Ranger skill treats the crystal fields as terrain that can be ignored, and the preferred target is Monks (he is a Jedi/Sith hunter). The Magic Ranged Weapon, for the cost of one slot, simulates the bounty hunter's modified EE-3 carbine. ** Lando's Pistoleer class nullifies a Monk's "Deflect Missiles" ability, and the Talisman cannot be used against it.

The Imperial Raiders
From left to right: 1 x Darth Vader (Monk/Warmage*/Brute), 1 x Sith Apprentice (Monk/Brute), 1 x Veteran Trooper on Speeder (Cavalry), 4 x Stormtroopers (Shooter/Rabble). This gives 7 figures for the 12 slots, a small force. *Darth Vader has the paralysis spell which represents the "force choke". Having the Sith as a Monk/Brute multiclass simulates light sabers that can deflect most missiles (Monk ability), and do more damage in close combat (Brute ability). Both Darth Vader and the Sith Apprentice have Talismans Against Arrows for the cost of one slot, which gives them a one off save against a ranged attack from a Sniper or Shooter. Thematically, this would simulate using the force to stop a laser beam (such as happened in the Force Awakens film).

The Board and Deployment
Below is a 90cm x 90cm table (3' x 3'). The water feature is impassable. The felt patches on the purple crystal field and the weird plant field denote a change of terrain for movement purposes, but only the actual crystals or plants block LOS or offer cover. The hill blocks LOS and also is a change of terrain. The road is a change of terrain, but only once - a figure stops of entering the road, but not when entering new terrain on leaving it. The building is shown on the bottom left hand corner.

With the two sides now deployed, ready for action, and pimped out with Knights and Knaves accoutrements, my next post will be a report on how the fight went.

Friday, 15 April 2016

Star Trek Attack Wing

Michael brought along his Star Trek Attack Wing game at the last meeting of the Sutherland Shire Gamers. It has similar mechanics to X-Wing but a lot of differences as well. This became a 4 player game, Michael taking a Federation ship, Steve taking none other than Captain Picard, Craig taking a Romulan ship, and I had a Klingon ship. There was plenty of variety between each vessel.

The game was easily picked up by everyone (only Michael had played it before), and after a brief intro to the rules, we started. The Romulan and Klingon ship began the game cloaked.

This is the situation at the start, with the 4 ships coming on from different corners:

The two federation ships were first into the fight. Steves Picard won out, destroying Michaels ship;

The Kingons got a powerful shot on the Romulans (who were uncloaked from a previous attack), wiping their shields and doing a critical hit. The Romulans had to roll a dice each turn, if the result was a "critical", their ship blew up. So it was Russian Roulette for them as the game continued...

The Klingon ship caused a bit more damage, destroying the shields on Picards ship. However, the Klingons were eventually beset by both the remaining ships. The Klingons took 2 critical hits (the same as the one the Romulans had), and had to survive 2 "blow up" rolls each turn. With two enemy ships at their rear, discretion became the better part of valor as they fled the field;

Picard now attacked the Romulans who, against the odds survived the attack and kept surviving the death rolls. When the Romulans attacked back, they got a really good hit, eventually destroying Picards ship;

Everyone enjoyed the game. I thought the Steve was going to win, but Craig managed to survive about 6 "blow up" rolls, and score some good shots back to eventually win. My Klingon captain will have to explain why he fled the battle to his superiors....

This is the first time I played the game, and despite the similar mechanics, it felt different to X-Wing. I think overall ships had more attack dice and less evade dice than X-Wing. This showed in many attacks crippling the enemy when a lot of hits were rolled at once. Anyway, it would be good to play this again.

Saturday, 9 April 2016

Mythological Battlesworn with Knights & Knaves

I have collected a few warbands to be used with the Of Gods and Mortals (OGAM) rules. However, with the extra character classes provided in the Knights and Knaves (KnK), it looks like they can be used in a good thematic game of mythological Battlesworn. So, I had a game with my son Steven, who used a Greek force, whereas I ended up with an Egyptian force. Unlike OGAM, there are no gods, but there is plenty of scope for legendary characters and monsters to mix in with normal humans.

Below is the Greek roster. From left to right are: 4 x Greek warriors (Fighter), 3 x Spartans (Tanks), 1 x Medusa (Warmage with Paralysis spell), 1 x Minotaur (Berserker/Brute), and 1x Bronze Bull Automaton (Giant/Construct). The giant class seemed a good fit for the automaton, the knock back ability looked right with the big horns flinging opponents away. A total of 10 figures for the 12 slots.

Next is the Egyptian roster. From left to right are: 4 x re-animated Anubians (Fighter), 2 x Egyptian slingers (Shooter), 1 x Goatman (Berserker), 1 x Goat (Beast), 1 x Sobekian Crocodile (Tank/Brute), 1 x large Scorpion (Assassin/Tank). A total of 10 figures for the 12 slots.

After the deployment, the battle looked like it was going to be an all-in brawl. Both sides were very much lined up against each other. The Greeks won initiative in the first turn, one of the actions was for Medusa to attack, hitting the goatman who became paralysed;

As it transpired, the automaton was near the scorpion, which was fortuitous for the Greeks as it had immunity to poison. With a few crazies about (berserkers and beasts), it wasn't long before combats happened. With the Greeks winning initiative, the automaton did indeed charge the scorpion, who, striking first, hit the scorpion who was hurled back out of the terrain. The scorpion did not even get a chance to strike back as it had bid higher.

The other dramatic fight was a clash of the two other multiclassers - the Minotaur up against the crocodile. The crocodile bid 5 in the first melee, whereas the Minotaur bid 6. Striking first, the crocodile did 2 wounds. So when it was the Minotaur's turn, he attacked with 8 dice (bid of 6 plus bonus of 2 for wounding). Luckily for the crocodile, he survived with only 2 wounds himself. At one point, an anubian fighter joined in to break the deadlock, but the minotaur who was on condition red bidding 6, rolled 9 dice for 6 wounds on the hapless fighter. This was a real titanic fight that lasted the length of the game when the crocodile won in the last turn.

The game took 8 turns, with a win to the Egyptians. There was only one drawn initiative bid, and using the escalation rule, more models were moved into contact. There were no "turtling tactics" in this game, every model was fighting by the last turn except one, which probably explains the early finish. Overall, the KnK classes blended in nicely and added a bit more storytelling to the game.

The Swiss Steamroller (or Not)

I recently acquired a medieval Swiss army (before they all adopted pikes) for use with DBA3, especially now that those rules are "upgraded" and allow for crazed Swiss halberdier blocks (6Bd in DBA3). However, after a few games, it became apparent that the halberdiers were little more than speed bumps for enemy knights, an occupational hazard of the medieval world...

So I thought I would try them with L'art de la Guerre (ADG), which has rules for morale (the Swiss are elite!), and special rules for halberds (they are not the generic blades of DBA3). I have already played some games of ADG, and think it is good at the 100 point level. This is around the 12 element mark, and gives a fast game finishing in less than an hour.

Anyway, I played against Martin. The Swiss (list 220) were: 6 Halberdiers (Medium swordsmen 2HW Elite), 2 Pikemen (Pikemen Elite), 2 Crossbowmen (Light Infantry Crossbow), a brilliant general and fortified camp for a total of 11 elements and 100 points. Martins Germans (list 227) were 4 Men-at-Arms (Heavy knight impact), 1 Mounted Crossbow (Medium cavalry crossbow), 2 Militia (Crossbowmen), 2 Free Canton Militia (Medium spearmen), 1 Halberdier (Heavy swordsman 2HW), 1 mediocre bowman, and a brilliant general integrated into a knight unit. 11 elements and 100 points.

This was the starting situation in the first game. Needless to say that we are novices with the rules and made plenty of mistakes. Martin experimented and charged his knights into the pike. In DBA3, the pike crumbled under similar circumstances, but in ADG they are more resilient. By the end of the game, 2 knight units ended up being destroyed in these frontal charges. This alone made the Swiss a lot tougher.

At some point, both lines were fully engaged. By the end, the Swiss left flank ended up collapsing, while the German centre gave way to the pike push. True to form, the German knights with general also destroyed a halberdier unit - some things never change. As mentioned, we made plenty of mistakes with the rules and the first game really ended in a draw.

We then tried a second game. This time the German knights dismounted to take on the pike on foot. So the pikes did not wreak the havoc of the first game. This time, the "elite" quality of the Swiss came a bit more to the fore, which helped the halberdiers do a lot of the damage instead. The German medium spear and bowmen did not do too well.

Both games lasted about an hour each. The rules are probably a lot more complex than I thought, and there was a lot of looking up the book during the games. Also, in ADG, once lines are joined, there isn't much manoeuvre but lots of dice rolling until one side wins. When this is the case, I am not sure that a "brilliant" commander is important anymore, or what players can do apart from rallying troops in combat.

I do like the extra flavour - the effects of armour and morale can have a dramatic effect during the battle. There were a few times where a loss was turned into a draw, or a draw turned into a win with morale. And there is a distinct difference between the ancient and medieval periods. On the rules website, there is mention of fantasy lists coming out at some point, that would be interesting to see.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Mock Battles


When I first received the Warhammer Historical Gladiator book (now out of print), I was blown away by the sheer amount of information and ideas it contained. I played a few games, but soon found that the one on one gladiator fights were not to my liking, but with a thought that perhaps using the rules for the large "mock battles" in the arena might be where the rules work best. It has taken many years, but I finally have got around to it.

I have noticed that online, many people have tended to put their own tweaks into the rules, and with this, I haven't been an exception. A fan of hexes, I planned the battle on a hexsheet, and treated a 1 pace movement in the rules as a 1 hex movement. The sides play out in an IGOUGO format, so I though a "reaction" type system could be used where figures could react to enemy, and move out of sequence, by rolling equal to or lower than their Constantia (morale). A common tweak is also adding Disciplina to the "who won the fight roll, to reward better fighters. There were a few other tweaks, such as shooting being part of the movement phase, but probably a little too much detail for now.

So last friday night at the Sutherland Shire Gamers meeting I tried scenario VIII "Attack on a Celtic Village" with Martin. The idea is, for the purposes of roman entertainment, a bunch of condemned noxii (slaves, prisoners of war, criminals etc) are dressed in Gallic clothing and some weaponry, and thrown against veteran gladiators with legionary armour and weapons. The numbers in the scenario were reduced but the proportions remained the same. The 8 legionaries had the following stats D:3/4, F:4, P:7 (including +2 for the scutum), A: 1, W: 2, C:5. Of the 12 gauls, 6 were armoured; D: 3, F: 4, P: 5 (including +1 for the parma), A:1, W: 1, C:3, and 6 unamoured; D: 3, F: 3, P: 4 (including +1 for the parma), A:1, W: 1, C:3. There were 5 burning buildings to the rear of the gallic lines (as opposed to the 1 in the book).

The first game ended the way is was meant to, with a complete victory to the Romans - 3 of the 8 roman figures suffered one wound, but all the celts were defeated. The initial pilum volley was quite important as it evened up the numbers for the battle.

Then we tried a second time, this time replacing an unarmoured celt with a "maximus" figure (pictured to the left) , who was boosted with stats for a primus palus: D: 5, F: 5, P: 4, A:1, W:2, C:5, Cv: 3. He was also given the two special attacking moves - "Salmon Leap" and "Gea Bolg".

The Romans advanced, and inexplicably, the pilum volley completely failed - some of the celts used their "reaction" to kneel, and make them a more difficult target to hit. The kneeling (or ducking) mechanism is quite a nice feature in the rules

To the right is the result of the first combat round. Maximus had an immediate impact - using one of his Cv points he did a "Salmon Leap" and hit, causing 2 wounds to the legionary. Elsewhere, one gaul fell as the romans did not find it easy this time.

The superior number of celts started to have an effect - they were able to move behind the legionaries to cut off their "back off" path, giving extra attack bonuses to the celts.

An interesting part of the rules is that casualties are left on the table to become an "obstacle". To cross them, a model must take a jump test. In one case, a legionary had two sides covered by fallen casualties, with a celt behind and in front. He used a "shield" defence with his scutum to survive the attack, pushing the celts back, and then, winning initiative, was able to jump away thinking he was now clear. However, and another 3 celts quickly rushed up to surround him in the open now...

This was the situation towards the end. Overall, all 8 romans had fallen, and only 3 celts, a complete turnaround.

Maximus was a major part in this (accounting for at least 4 casualties), but also the Romans were very unlucky with dice in the second game. Maximus was helped a lot by the tweak that adds Disciplina to the who won the fight roll.

The Warhammer Gladiator rules worked well for a "big" battle. Unlike the one on one fights, the larger battles had some narrative to them. I think the addition of hexes made it easier to work things out by cutting out the need to measure the size of gaps or micromeasuring move distances. It was also interesting to see how the celtic side became different with a primus palus figure in their ranks - in the first game they needed to test morale in order to charge in, but if they were a near a primus palus, this was no longer the case, being able to automatically charge in and surround. Overall, the second game captured a bit of hollywood feel.