One game we have been playing a lot over the last few months is Grimdark Future, from One Page Rules. Over the last few weeks, we have been trying out their skirmish game “Age of Fantasy: Skirmish”, so with the recent release of v3.1 of the rules, it was time for another try out to see how it played.
400 points, using the force organisation optional rule, seems about right to me – so this is what we used. As far as scenario goes, we kept it simple – d3+2 objective markers, and deployment up to 12″ on opposite sides of the table.
I (Graeme) took Goblins, using the following:
- Leader with a Great Weapon
- Leader with Caster (2), Dual Hand Weapons and Warning Cry
- 2 Units of Warriors with Spear
- 2 Units of Shooters
- 1 Unit of Spider Riders (now in units of 3 in v3 of the rules, as opposed to a single base in v2).
- 1 Nasty Assassin
- 1 Troll
- 1 Fanatic
Bob took Chivalrous Kingdoms – can’t remember the exact list, but it was something like:
- 3 x Heroes
- 1 x Quest Knight (Monster Hunter)
- 4x Mounted Longbowmen, upgraded with lances (yes, FOUR!)
- 1 x Longbowmen
- 1 x Men at Arms
- plus more Knights if I recall
Interestingly, there were no Magic users – there was lots of shooting, and lots of lances.
Figures: My Gobbos were all 3d Printed from Artisan’s Guild; Bob’s were all from GWs Lord of the Rings range.
Setup: there were only three objective markers as it turned out, 2 on my side, and 1 on Bobs – forcing him to go on the offensive.
I played it cagey, advancing 2 units of Gobbos armed with Spear to hold the objectives (the counter rule being particularly useful against all those lance armed Knights). They were to be supported by the Shooters and the Spellcaster (though he failed in his attempt to shield units to bowfire).
Bob advanced, and used his superior range and massed shooters, to bring down fire on my troops causing several casualties – he took some fire himself, also losing some of his troops.
The nasty assassin made an appearance this turn, using it’s surprise attack on deployment to reduce a unit of mounted bowmen to 1 figure, and subsequently to take three hits off one of Bobs heroes using Takedown – I knew it was pretty much a one (or two) shot weapon before it was destroyed, and so this proved to be…it was effective though.
The other Gobbos got themselves into defensive positions, awaiting the inevitable onslaught from lance armed Knights, all the time being whittled away by longbows.
Meanwhile Bob got himself into position ready to charge home in turn 3.
Superior longbow fire was now beginning to cause a problem, however, the Gobbos still held two of the three objectives, and the Troll was moved up to be able to contest the third just in case we lost one.
The lancers charged the fanatic on my right flank, however, it failed to cause any hits…so in the fanatics activation, it simply moved through the opposition unit finishing it off (destructive is different in v3, as only one unit is now affected….you can’t line up a number of units to move through any more).
Well it all happened on turn four – Bob charged in, and though he failed to destroy the Spear units, bouncing out an inch after combat, he was able to contest both objectives held by the Gobbos.
At the same time, the Troll moved up to contest the third objective, meaning no-one was earning any victory points.
Bob’s final throw of the dice was to try to kill one more unit of Gobbos, meaning they would have to take morale checks across the board (for losing 50%)……my luck held though, and at the end of turn four it was honours even.
The result, a hard fought draw.
Well I do feel that v3.1 is an improvement on the previous iteration – the game just seems more balanced than it was previously, and some of the more extreme “traits” have had their effectiveness reduced (e.g. destructive).
I particularly like the new Caster rules (we had reservations, but on playing them I find they offer a new tactical dimension) – I can see the benefit, though, of adding another caster to my list to add to the dice rolls – I failed to cast spells three times out of my four attempts.
I also feel as the new “cover” rules worked particularly well.
I do particularly like the skirmish game – I like being able to get a variety of armies on the table, and the low figure count (15-25 per force at 400 points) makes this achievable. Next up for me is a Havoc War Clans force, again using figures from Artisan’s Guild.