Friday, 28 October 2016

Broken Legions - Argonauts vs Barbarians

I bought a copy of the Broken Legions skirmish rules at MOAB convention. I really like the theme of "weird" ancient Rome where the Emperor (whoever is in power at the time) is involved in clandestine attempts to locate powerful artefacts, with skirmishes, not recorded by historians, taking place in the far reaches of the empire.

Martin and myself tried a game last week with Barbarians AKA Gauls/Germans (Martin) vs Settites AKA Egyptians (me). I got trounced. We decided to try again this week. However, this time I ran Argonauts (Greeks), who I thought would be better at fighting and maybe be able to defeat the rampant barbarians commanded by Martin. The lists used were;

Argonauts (150 points, 9 figures)
1 x Argonaut Captain (32 points)
2 x Heraclean Champions (48 points)
1 x Lost Legionary (20 points) - Auxilia
5 x Argonauts (50 points)

My theory was that this was a hard fighting force - no tricksy magic stuff. Everyone had a melee level of 4, and were heavily armoured.

Barbarians (151 points, 13 figures)
1 x Tribal Chieftan with Battle Axe option (33 points)
1 x Tribal Champion with Battle Axe option (17 points)
6 x Warriors (36 points)
3 x Berserkers  with Warpaint (45 points)
2 x Huntsmen (20 points)

Again, no druids or magic using, just a straight fighting force, albeit the huntsmen can shoot with deadly longbows.

We played the Lost Treasure of the Gods scenario, where a number of sacred sites had to be searched for special items that gave victory points and arcane blessings. This is probably where I made my first mistake - I was outnumbered, but split my force in order to get to more sites faster. In hindsight, I should have kept everyone together as a group, and focused on defeating the enemy first. Below is a photo of the right flank action;

I seemed to initially do well here, defeating some of the barbarian warriors, but as there were more of them, it was difficult to exploit any advantage. The Argonauts made a few critical fumbles, and failed some morale tests and broke from combat. Meanwhile, on the left flank;

I ran into the berserker force. The trick seems to be to get the first charge against them (they are very deadly on the charge), but this is easier in theory than in practice. I defeated one, but the remaining two made short work of my force, even without the aid of the Tribal Champion, who showed up a bit later (after he finished searching the site in the background) just to make sure of things... The next picture shows the overall view;

In two games against the barbarians (commanded ably by Martin), I found them very hard to break. They have a special rule where every one fighting gains increasing attack bonuses as more figures fight. As they also outnumbered the Argonauts, they could get late charges in to gain further bonuses and first attacks. However, I could have used some of the special hero abilities better (such as "To me, Men!") to try and get the jump on the enemy.

If I was to play against the barbarians another time, I might try the Settites again, and give everyone the ability to shoot, and damage the barbarians from a distance before the melee starts.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Leptis Magna Season 1, Episode 6

Following on from the last episode, we carry onto the next round. My posts are in blue, Marks are in green, and any post-editing commentary are in red. The gladiator rules used are Munera Sine Missione - note that this version may have differences to the current version. Each round will be posted as a weekly episode.

Macer can scarcely believe his luck with the success of both Mago and Kemsa. Kemsa picks up a new skill, but Mago’s saving drop 1 gold for the extra maintenance payment.

Macer stood next to the Governor, Vespasianus, and that rich merchant who Macer had earlier entertained (clearly the private fight and new friendship with the merchant got Macer near the Governor). However, Kemsa’s opponent being killed in the arena started a chain of unfortunate events.

The next gladiator scheduled after Kemsa was Isaac, who was quite disturbed at the death. At the start of their fight, Isaac stepped back and preached to the crowd that the games are an abomination, and that life is precious. He fell to his knees and started to pray. The crowd got very agitated and yelled at the Governor “Are these the games you promised us!? Where is the action?” and “Go back to Rome!”. Perplexed, Isaac’s opponent looked to Vespasianus for some guidance.

The rich merchant, standing between Vespasianus and Macer, all of a sudden started at Macer “Ah Ha! Is that not the man who threw the fight at your villa? This explains it, he must be one of those Christian sect members!”. “A Christian?” asked Vespasianus, “they are being blamed for the calamity in Rome, and are being arrested”. Vespasianus looked at Macer “Are you harbouring Christians in your ludus?”. Lost for words, Macer was thinking of a response when a large turnip struck Vespasianus. The crowd started to riot and was pelting the Governor with turnips, yelling “Go back to Rome and take these turnips with you” and “Do you want more turnips, here they are!” throwing more. The legionary guards quickly surrounded Vespasianus and secreted him away from the stands. The mob now burst into the arena in a crazed frenzy. Macer quickly fled down the stands behind Vespasianus and through to his gladiators.

[NOTE: This scene was inspired by Suetonius's sentence "The chance of the lot then gave him (Vespasian) Africa, which he governed with great justice and high honour, save that in a riot at Hadrumetum he was pelted with turnips."]

Macer quickly gathered his gladiator troup along with his own guards tried to push through the masses and flee Hadramentum. All the time, the gladiator troup and Macer were being pelted with turnips that were flying all over the place. Despite the confusion, Mago notices a boy had fallen and was being trampled by the mob, and in the distance, he spotted Isaac, who survived the riot so far and seemed to be escaping to freedom. What does Mago do:

1) Continue pushing through with Macer to get out of the city,
2) Break ranks, and save the life of the boy,
3) Break ranks, chase Isaac, and bring him back to Macer for punishment.

Oh dear. I wondered, when you referred earlier to Isaac being from that new sect, what would come of it!

Kemsa picks up the new skill "Stamina"  - excellent!

Just to cross check with you:
Mago now has 3 skills: Dodge, Reflex, Stamina.
Kemsa now has 3 skills: Dodge, Attack, Stamina.

Without consciously thinking, Mago shoulders through the crowd and grabs the boy, carrying him back to safety. Seeing Isaac in the distance, Mago secretly wishes him good luck, although it is unheard of for a gladiator to escape - as they are all branded - and if Isaac is recaptured he will probably be crucified or sent back to the arena with no chance of Missio.

After carrying him to safety, the boy asks Mago what his name is, and Mago tells him he is a gladiator and to cheer for him in the arena. The boy gives Mago an old silver amulet as a thankyou gift and runs off. Time is pressing and Mago quickly rejoins Macers group (so he is not seen as an escapee….) and Macer gets out of the city. They all journey back to Leptis Magna, glad to be away from the troubles of Hadramentum.

After a couple of months, it was time to plan for the great Festival of Liber Pater to celebrate the harvesting of the grape crop. Mago has been matched against Asiaticus (4 skills: Reflexes, Attack, Dodge, Stamina), and Kemsa is up against Kassandros (4 skills: Reflexes, Attack, Dodge, Stamina). They are both matched against strong opponents so have been given a good timeslot in the games. Both will also gain a skill if they win, and money at last!

The day starts full of excitement, with the parade commencing at the Temple of Liber Pater, moving past the Arch of Tiberius and towards the amphitheatre. All await the fights of the two undefeated gladiators from Macer’s ludus.

Setbacks for Macer's rising stars!

I was convinced Mago was not going to survive this fight. Asiaticus acquired 10 strength to Mago only 7. And Asiaticus was extremely aggressive, using his extra AP from the Reflexes skill to come to close quarters right away. He immediately hit Mago for 4 strength, putting Mago on the defensive. Asiaticus took only 2 strength loss (no big deal when he had ten to begin with) and whittled Mago down with sustained sword and shield bashes over several turns to only 1 strength remaining. At that point Mago was also exhausted, having 1 strength and 4 fatigues. It seemed all over. But then ... Asiaticus started throwing terrible AP dice, and also Mago managed to entangle him in the net. For seven turns Asiaticus threw no higher than 4 for AP (+ his extra AP for Reflexes). Entangled took away 3 AP, so he had between 0-2 AP each turn available to try and cut free and / or close with Mago. He was unable to break the net, and Mago was able to offload all his fatigues by not spending any AP, and then get in two or three decent side-hex hits on Asiaticus, taking him down to only 3 AP. Asiaticus was then the exhausted one. He was able to cut away the net, but then lost his sword. Mago finished strongly with two good hits that Asiaticus could not withstand.

If Mago recovers from his wounds, he will acquire the 'Attack' skill. I am not allowing the 'Veteran' skill until at least 4 other skills have been acquired.

Mago: lost 6/7 strength, 0 fatigue, Vincit (Won).
Asiaticus: lost 13/10 strength, 4 fatigue, Peruit (Killed).

Kassandros initially adopted the tactic of keeping away from Kemsa, using his +2AP advantage. Eventually however he got tired of that (maybe hints from the crowd?) and he started attacking. The results initially were few effective hits and rapid building up of fatigue by both gladiators. But then it started to get serious. Hard core fans in the crowd explained to their friends that up til now Kassandros had just been testing Kemsa, to see what his weaknesses might be. Now, Kassandros slipped through Kemsa's guard with his sica, twice in two turns, taking Kemsa down to only 3 strength. Kemsa hit back with a shield bash and spear attack, taking Kassandris to only 2 strength. Both gladiators were now also on the brink of exhaustion. Then Kassandros was able to trip Kemsa (double 2 special result) and stand over him so he was forced to surrender. His appeal-to-the-crowd score was 10 before modifications, so the crowd were easily persuaded to spare him. It remains to be seen whether Macer will be so generous ...

Kemsa: lost 5/8 strength, 3 fatigue, Missio (Lost but given Mercy).
Kassandros: lost 5/7 strength, 2 fatigue, Vincit (Won).

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Leptis Magna Season 1, Episode 5

Following on from the last episode, we carry onto the next round. My posts are in blue, Marks are in green, and any post-editing commentary are in red. The gladiator rules used are Munera Sine Missione - note that this version may have differences to the current version. Each round will be posted as a weekly episode.

Macer was happy to the extent that his theory of minimal injuries was correct, but he was not sure whether the merchant enjoyed such a one sided match up. He did however think the concept worthwhile to persist with. Strangely, Isaac claimed that he did not put up a fight in the end as was converting to a new cult which extolls him to love his brother and turn the other cheek. Macer laughed this off, calling him a dullard. Kemsa gains 1 gold as reward, bringing his savings up to 8 gold, along with extra rations of turnips and wine. Kemsa was left wondering whether he was truly superior as a boxer, or whether Isaac threw the fight.

The editor of the games, who has previously been unnamed, is actually the city Magistrate, Lucius Septimus Geta. He is from a distinguished and wealthy family of the Roman Equestrian rank, and a major political force in Leptis Magna. Though typically, Macer has scant regard for Geta, especially as Geta is good friends with Noctua. Geta summoned Macer to a meeting to discuss the upcoming games. Macer was advised due to financial constraints, the scale of the games has been reduced, and there is no room for Macers gladiators to participate. He did however say that the governor has declared games in the city of Hadrumentum to the west, dedicated to the goddess Edesia. The games are designed to appease the angry populace there, but as the Governor is too stingy to pay, all participating ludus’s are donating their gladiators for free. There will be compensation only if there is a death. Macer protested “What? No reward? Shouldn’t Noctua go instead?”. Geta grew angry, “I have put forward the ludus of Macer to represent Leptis Magna! If you do not do your civic duty, you will be excluded from the Festival of Liber Pater!”* Grudgingly, Macer agreed to go. “This is Noctua’s doing!” he thought to himself, “All because I didn’t sell him Mago!”.

The wagons, provisions and gladiators took to the road. Upon arriving in Hadramentum, the following match ups have been declared: Mago vs Seleucos who has 2 skills (Dodge and Attack) , Kemsa vs Porphyry who has 2 skills (Attack and Reflexes). Mago’s opponent is of lower skill (so no experience from the win), whilst Kemsa’s is equal (so he will get experience). There are no winnings to be earned, so a risky affair. Though for the first time Mago and Kemsa will have the Governor in attendance.

* The festival of Liber Pater is THE major event in Leptis Magna. It is a festival of wine, freedom, and intoxication (equivalent of the Bacchanalia).

It seems Seleucos is considered an up-and-coming fighter in Hadramentum, which is why he had been picked to take on Mago. As the fight got under way both gladiators circled each other cautiously at first, neither was willing to make the first move to contact. Eventually Mago saw an opening but his attack was parried by Seleucos and Mago acquired a fatigue. Mago continued to take the initiative though, and for several rounds he deliberately spent more than 6AP (he has D6+2 potentially) to try and get in a side attack, but to no avail, except that his fatigue began to mount. Then at last he was able to entangle Seleucos, and shortly afterwards knock him down (double 2 but not able to end his move adjacent). From then on Seleucos was not able to get back to his feet - he would need to throw more than 4AP to do this, 1 to counteract the entanglement and 3 to equal his front-hex defence save modifier. He could not score the needed 5AP, nor could he cut free from the net. Mago took several moves to finish him off, as Seleucos cleverly rolled and crawled to avoid the trident, but inevitably he succumbed in the end. The crowd spared him.

Mago: lost 0/8 strength, 4 fatigue, Vincit. (Won)
Seleucos: lost 8/8 strength, 1 fatigue, Missio (Lost but given Mercy).


As the crowd discussed this fight afterwards, it was generally agreed that either Kemsa is the dumb-luckiest gladiator of recent times, or a tactical genius. No-one is sure which. He and Porphyry did not waste any time coming to blows, and Porphyry soon scored what seemed to be a winning blow, taking 4AP off Kemsa, who was unable to hit back effectively at his more nimble opponent. It was not looking good for Macer's boy wonder. Even when Porpyhry tripped and fell in his own turn (double 3 special event) Kemsa was unable to turn it to his advantage, instead building up more fatigue. He was actually coming quite close to being exhausted. Porphyry withdrew from the fight for a couple of moves, reducing his own fatigue level, but Kemsa kept moving after him, so his own fatigue level stayed dangerously high. Watching from the sidelines Macer vowed to sell Dahia so no more tiring distractions there, and saving on turnip rations too. But then Fortuna started to smile again. It seemed Kemsa's tactic of keeping in touch with his opponent was paying off. Kemsa knocked Porpyhry down, and was able to land some good hits (including a shield bash) before he could get up again, taking him down to his red strength tokens. Finally, in a last attack, Kemsa broke through Porpyhry's defences and delivered a massive 6AP fatal blow. The photo is a staged shot, but it gives the idea!

Kemsa: lost 4/10 strength, 4 fatigue, Vincit (Won).
Porpyhry: lost 11/8 strength, 1 fatigue, Peruit (Killed).


Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Leptis Magna Season 1, Episode 4

Following on from the last episode, we carry onto the next round. My posts are in blue, Marks are in green, and any post-editing commentary are in red. The gladiator rules used are Munera Sine Missione - note that this version may have differences to the current version. Each round will be posted as a weekly episode.

These were great fights, especially that of Mago’s, the crowd was right in it. Macer has noticed that Kemsa is doing it really easy and starting to think he has a prodigy on his hands! Noctua was angry that his plan to beat Mago backfired. He approached Macer with an offer to buy Mago for 50 gold, seeing his potential, but Macer took this as an insult. Noctua walked away saying “We will see….”. Mago gains a new skill but Kemsa does not, as he beat a lower ranked opponent. Their winnings were Mago: 6 gold, Kemsa: 3 gold. Their savings are now: Mago: 21 gold, Kemsa: 7 gold.

Onto world news. Apart from stripping the provinces of resources, the Emperor Nero is mass minting new smaller coins to fund the rebuilding of Rome. This has lead to a debasement of the currency, increasing inflation and placing every economy on the brink of collapse. It has also increased the frequency and severity of riots throughout the Empire. To simulate the effects of rampant inflation, the debt owed to Macer for freedom has now risen from 100 gold to 120 gold.

Mago had suffered some heavy wounding from his fight, and is unable to participate in training. One of the household servants helping to heal him is Dahia. Both Mago and Dahia grew close, and, as it transpired, Dahia soon fell pregnant. Upon finding out, Macer was not impressed. “Another mouth to feed? Have you not seen the prices for turnips* lately? All turnips are being sent to Rome, and the extortionate prices charged to us locals for the leftover scraps is criminal!” The end result is that, after each fight, Mago will from now on have to pay 1 gold to Macer as an ongoing upkeep cost.

To find an additional revenue source in these trying times, Macer has decided to charge for “private” cestus fights between his gladiators. He figures that wounding from the cestus is less severe, and fights will likely finish by exhaustion instead. The first paying customer has been found, a rich merchant from Rome passing through town arranging turnip and wine deals. As is the custom in these private fights, the paying merchant chooses the fighters, and all the gladiators lined up (except for Mago who is still wounded). The merchant chose Isaac, a newer recruit of Macer’s from the province of Judea, and Kemsa.

Please use your cestus fighter figures and maybe the tiled “private” fight board you have? Cestus Rules: All MSM rules apply except:
  • Treat the cestus as a normal weapon except when attacking, roll a d4 instead of a d6. (defender still rolls d6, all other rolls are still d6).
  • a “double 1” event signifies cestus strapping coming loose. The gladiator needs to spend 2AP to correct, or they are limited to just one attack each turn.
  • Gladiators cannot use any skills gained in arena fights (each has zero skill level).
Let me know the outcome. There is no appeal to the crowd, the loser will survive, unless brought to -4 or less strength, which is unlikely. Or so Macer thinks.

* Turnips are a very important staple food in the province of Africa.

Kemsa had a bit of sparring practice with other gladiators in Macer's ludus, but he went into the fight with Isaac feeling quite nervous. It was his first Caestus fight, Isaac was a specialist at this genre, and it was also the first time Kemsa had been in a small private arena right under the noses of toffs who could make or break him by clicking their fingers.

He need not have worried. Most of the small crowd invited to watch this private bout knew Kemsa was a rising star and were eager to see him at work. And because Isaac was from Judea there were also many shouted jokes ridiculing the Jews and their One God.

Isaac was cautious at first so Kemsa closed in, but Isaac easily dodged the blow and Kemsa took a fatigue. Then quick as a flash Isaac worked around to Kemsa's right side and delivered a stinging blow, 1 strength lost. But Kemsa shrugged off the blow, turned quickly, and slugged Isaac to the ground. Kemsa then stood over the prone figure and delivered a second blow (other fist, disadvantaged weapon) and Isaac suffered another knock down while already down (two successive 'double 4' results), thus losing the bout.

Uproar among the spectators! Macer's faction applauded a decisive win. Some booed and yelled about foul play, hitting a man while he was down. Photo below.

The Editor (the rich merchant from Rome) was out of his depth, with both sides looking to him for a decision, and much unhappiness and possibly personal danger whatever he decided! It looked as if he might be pelted with his own turnips. This was not what he had paid for. In the end he played it safe, and ruled the fight had accidentally come to a premature end and should be started again.

On the restart Kemsa was feeling a bit weak (not getting enough turnips perhaps?) but Isaac was also shaky, doubtless concussed after two knock downs. This is also a reflection of the Strength scores, Kemsa had 9 strength, Isaac had only 6. Anyway ... Isaac again avoided contact at first but in the small arena there is not too far to run. Kemsa was able to close and delivered a single blow ... and Isaac took a decisive knock down (double 2) with Kemsa obviously adjacent.

I don't think I have ever seen three successive special event results in three combats before, all of them "defender knocked down".

The crowd was not happy and demanded Isaac be killed on the spot. His adjusted appeal dice roll score was 0. Assistants carried Isaac off (he was out cold) as fast as possible before things got really ugly.

I don't think this will hurt Kemsa's reputation with Macer as his new prodigy! I hope Kemsa does not start to get too big for his boots.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Leptis Magna Season 1, Episode 3

Following on from the last episode, we carry onto the next round. My posts are in blue, Marks are in green, and any post-editing commentary are in red. The gladiator rules used are Munera Sine Missione - note that this version may have differences to the current version. Each round will be posted as a weekly episode.

Macer was ecstatic with the results, he is already having visions of moving back to Italy! The day was good. For some inexplicable reason, Noctua has fallen out of favour with the Editor and was given the early session, with many of his gladiators being excluded. Mago & Kemsa got to fight in the evening session.

Unfortunately, the governor Vespasianius could not make it, he was called away to Rome as there was a great fire. Many have said the whole city is burnt to the ground, and collapse of the Empire is imminent. In his place were the Governors two sons, Titus in his mid twenties, and young Domitianus, barely a teenager. “A hopeless lot” grumbled Macer, “The whole family is destined to obscurity!”.

Titus seemed appreciative of the efforts of Mago and is an avid “parmulari”, preferring the light gladiator style. Young Domitianus on the other hand was completely unimpressed at the crowd granting missio to the losers, he only cheered when a death occurred.

Mago earned 4 gold, and Kemsa 2. Mago’s total savings is now 10 gold, and Kemsa 6 gold. Neither could work out how the winnings are calculated. Again, Kemsa thought he did better but was paid less. In any event, there were wild celebrations in the ludus, with a week of drinking and other activities.

After a period of time, a major announcement was made. An impromptu hippodrome has been set up on the outskirts of the city, as the circus is coming to town! Macer, in his morning address to the gladiators, tells every one of the event. He also states that when it comes to chariot racing, all should support the greens. It is suspected that Macer only supports the greens as it is the favoured faction of the imperial family, and some notable families in the city. There is an opportunity to bet. The odds given are as below;

Greens: Aquilinus of Rome 1:1
Greens: Hiram of Tyre 6:1
Blues:  Apollinarius of Syracuse 4:1
Whites: Himilcar of Hippo Regius 21:1
Reds: Eleazar of Jericho 10:1
Golds: Murena of Metapontum 2:1

So if you bet 5 gold on 2:1 odds, you will win 10 gold and get your 5 back, so 15 gold. Aquilinus has the highest reputation, having raced in the Circus Maximus. The gold team is a new creation of the governor, created at the behest of his young son Domitianus, as gold is one of his favourite colours, and he tires of the standard team colours. The golds have also employed an experienced Italian charioteer in Murena. Himilcar is the local racer, though he is not credited as having much chance.

The choices are;
a) Do nothing, just enjoy the atmosphere
b) Place a bet – let me know how much and on which driver
c) Ask the devious Samasu for his opinion

Thanks - an easy choice this time. There is bound to be skulduggery going on, so Mago will ask Samasu for advice (offer him 1 x aureus for information ...?)

Mago approaches Samasu in a rare moment when he is amongst the gladiators. Samasu seems happy to see Mago, giving him a warm embrace. Mago gives over the 1 gold for any information (good suggestion). Samasu says “word on the street is that the Sicilian will win, but I am not sure, there are many different interests involved”. Let me know what Mago (and Kemsa) might want to do. If Mago bets big on the outsiders Eleazar or Himilcar, he can in theory repay most if not all the debt to Macer! Or take Samasu’s tip and bet on Apollinarius, though nothing is certain, gambling is risky business…. You can also bet on more than one chariot.

Mago went away from the chat with Samasu perplexed. In the end, not really any the wiser, he decided to place bets as follows: on Blue (Apollinarius) 2 aureus, and on White (Himilcar) 2 aureus.

Meanwhile Kemsa is baffled by the whole betting thing. The gossip in the gladiator barracks only confuses him. In the end he decides to listen to what the boss (Macer) has said, and he bets 2 aureus on Green (Hiram, not Aquilinus).

Interestingly, Mago and Kemsa do not seem to have discussed the matter between themselves.

It was a blistering hot day and the chariots lined up. Unlike the gladiator fights, many in the crowd were decked out in the colours of their favourite chariot faction. The horse teams then dashed forward as the charioteers commenced their 7 laps. Something was clearly amiss with the favourite Aquilinus, the horse team seemed skittish and he had difficulty controlling them. Then the clumsy Himilcar clipped the chariot of Murena, who was sent crashing into the wall. The field opened up for Apollinarius to take the lead which he held to the end. A win for the blues!

Mago spent 5 gold (1 to Samasu, 4 in bets) and won 8 (4:1 odds on the winner) plus his bet of 2. Overall, he nets 5 gold (10-5), so his total savings are now 15 gold. Kemsa’s savings drop to 4 gold. He is rather peeved that Mago won on the races and didn’t share his knowledge. Macer is also fuming that the greens lost, and supporters of the governor’s gold faction were cursing the local clumsy buffoon Himilcar.

Time passed. There were big problems in the Empire. The dispossessed populace of Rome had to be appeased and the city rebuilt after the fire. Much money and resources are being drained from all provinces and news is filtering in of riots in some provincial capitals. It was decided to hold games for the benefit and Rome (and to keep everyone happy), with a Festival to Jupiter (the patron god of Rome) being declared. A great “pompa circensis” would be held beforehand, starting at the Temple of Roma and Augustus in the city, moving along the roads and ending in the amphitheatre.

Mago is up against Murex, in quite an unusual match up. The showman Murex is from Noctua’s ludus, who is back in favour, and has 3 skills – Popularity, Dodge, Reflexes. It is unknown how this match occurred against the crowd favourite Murex, but it is suspected that Noctua wants to clip the upcoming star Mago of Macer’s ludus. Kemsa is up against Pertinax, who was Mago’s opponent from the first game. Pertinax has since won a fight in the last games and has gained the Attack skill. Don’t forget the second skill both Mago and Kemsa picked up.
For 2nd skills Mago has drawn "Reflexes" and Kemsa has drawn "Attack".

This fight looked for a while like it would be Mago's last. Both gladiators initially circled each other, scoring small hits, but then Murex (who preferred using his Hasta at close range rather than throwing it) scored a big hit, Mago lost 5 strength in one go and was wounded (down to his red strength markers). But then he was able to recover from a knock down, and somehow managed a couple of reasonable hits on Murex, taking him down to the red markers also. Both had also accumulated various fatigues by now and were in danger of becoming exhausted [or "tired" as the sophisticated would say ;)]. Murex decided to fall back and try to catch his breath (use no AP, reduce fatigue level) and Mago was inclined to do the same. But then Mago threw 6AP and launched a final desperate attack. First he knocked down Murex who also lost his shield. Murex struggled back to his feet but Mago was ready and delivered a final blow. Murex's popularity with the crowd, and the good show he put on, ensured he was spared by the crowd.

Mago: lost 7/9 strength, 2 fatigue, Vincit (Won).
Murex: lost 9/9 strength, 1 fatigue, Missio (Lost but given Mercy).

This round proved a tough fight for Kemsa also and he had to come from behind to win. An early side attack on Pertinax was saved by his armour (would have inflicted 5 if successful!), and Pertinax capitalised on this escape by taking three strength off Kemsa, who seemed unable to land another blow and was building up fatigue. But then Kemsa knocked Pertinax down and he also lost his fully-enclosed helmet, and was too groggy to get up again. Kemsa fluffed his next attack, merely pushing Pertinax away, but he could still not get back on his feet. Then Pertinax also lost his sword and still could not get up, and Kemsa was finally able to score a big hit (inflicted 5), followed next move by Pertinax appealing to the crowd (absolutely terrible run of AP dice by Pertinax). Also he threw just enough for his appeal to the crowd to succeed - 1 less and he would have been toast. This Leptis Magna crowd seems a bit on the "soft" side!

Kemsa: lost 3/9 strength, 3 fatigue, Vincit (Won).
Pertinax: lost 7/10 strength, 1 fatigue, Missio (Lost but given Mercy).


Monday, 3 October 2016

MOAB 2016 Hordes of the Things

The 12th MOAB HoTT tournament is now finished. This year it was run in 15mm, using 36AP rather than the usual 24AP, over 4 rounds. To accommodate the extra troops, table size was slightly increased from 60cm x 60cm to 80cm x 60cm. Unlike last year, we had quite a few draws this time, probably as a result of the larger army size and the preponderance of slower moving foot armies. There seemed to be some confusion as to whether army breakpoint was at 16AP or 18AP (which is 50%). Given the number of draws and the 16AP confusion thing, it did make me think that the army breakpoint should be lowered from 50% in 36AP games (maybe back to 12AP?) to speed games up a bit.

Being part of the GBnU tournament, it had a history theme, which ensured that there were lots of knights and foot heavy armies. However not all were in theme as there were elves, and a Cthulhu force, and some of the historical armies were quite fantasy heavy....

I used a scoring system detailed here for the tournament. The final results were;
  1. Geoffrey Stewart: 7 chits, influence 1 (10) (Generic Medieval army)
  2. Alan Saunders: 5 chits, influence 3 (7) (Cthulhlu army)
  3. Martin Stewart: 5 chits, influence 4 (6) (Egyptian army)
  4. Peter Paddon: 4 chits, influence 2 (6) (Greek army)
  5. Victor Jarmusz: 4 chits, influence 5 (6) (Carthaginian army)
  6. Robert Grierson: 3 chits, influence 8 (4) (Elvish army)
  7. Caesar Anderson: 2 chits, influence 6 (3) (Medieval army with lots and lots of beasts)
  8. John Thompson: 2 chits, influence 7 (3) (Celtic army with lots of trees)
A great win by Geoff, who was undefeated. The influence is used as a tie break, the lower the better, and chits represent the score. The number in italicised brackets is what scores would have been using the Berkeley method (3 points for a win, 1 for a draw), as a comparison to see whether the system used produced the same results, which it did overall - albeit tiebreaker conditions might be different.

There was a bit of extra free excitement at MOAB this year, where, in the distance, some competitor from a game (Warhammer 40K I think) seemed to quite loudly and animatedly object to something. This drew some humorous and raucous cheers from people around the main hall.

Anyway, onto some real action;

This photo is my Carthaginians against Geoff's medievals. My only claim to fame is that Hannibal (behemoth general with the red howdah), destroyed the blade to the front, and destroyed the knight general behind. However, the Carthaginians ended up losing everywhere else...

The next photo is Caesar's medieval band with lots of beasts (large dogs) vs the Celts (I think a lot of the Celts were loaners from Peter and Alan) with lots of trees. Quite strangely, the dogs were quite attracted to the trees.

This is Peter's Greeks vs the dread Elves of Robert (a loaner army from Alan's collection). Not sure of the exact details, but it ended up with a Greek victory. Quite strangely, there is a tree; trees seem to be in vogue.

Here are Martin's Egyptians against Caesar's medieval force, which ended in a win for Martin.

This was a climactic round 3 battle between Alan's Cthulhu and Geoff's medievals. At this point, both were undefeated and ultimately, Geoff won the battle and eventually the tournament.

Finally, a photo taken during round three of some of the games in action. A fun day was had by all!