Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Hordes of the Things – Game 1

My “homeboy” JC was in town visiting his family for the holidays and I was lucky enough to hook up with him and catch up a bit and convinced him to play a couple of games of Hordes of the Things. Now I’ve played a fair bit of DBA in 15mm and 25/28mm, and for years I owned a number of 15mm Hordes of the Things armies… but it occurred to me recently that I neaver actually PLAYED with them!? So this was my first ever game of Hordes of the Things!?


I cobbled together two forces mostly based off of DBA Dark Age Saxon and Viking forces – with some fantastical elements thrown in to try them out.

The Saxon Based force had the following:

1x Blade (General)
3x Blade
6x Spear
1x Magician

They also had an Elvish allied contingent (because I wanted to try out allied contingents…) with 3x Shooters

The Viking based force had:

1x Blade (General)
6x Blade
1x Warband
1x Behemoth
1x Dragon

I busted out the old terrain tiles as I had enough to make a battlefield for HOTT… not a “legal” battlfield, per se… (rivers and roads not traveling straight across to the opposite side and all that…. but it was fun to use them just the same and the look pretty darn nice (if I do say so myself…). I think I’ll have to make some more…


Game One

I played the Saxon-based force and JC took the Vikings. We diced for who would be the attacker and defender – I ended up being the defender…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

So I set up my stronghold and army on my designated side.

…and JC set up his.

Here’s how it all looked at the start.

There’s a close-up of his sneaky flankers the Berserks (warband) and Trolls (Behemoth)

In the first turn or two I surged forward to the river.

The Vikings advanced rather ponderously… what could they be waiting for…?

My first use of magicians wasn’t working out so well… The first time I tried a magical attack I rolled a one… I can’t remember if it was the second or third attempt, but very early in the game I rolled and second one and they self-ensorcelled themselves!? Not finding magic to be terribly useful in this game!!?

Lacking a frog I used a random cthulhu beastie to mark the location of the ensorcelled wizards… in case I actually rolled a 6 later in the game and decided to bring them back!?

The Behemoths fought some Spear on the flanks. They managed to knock out one, but the second one just kept shoving the behemoths back, and ended up shoving them right off the table! The Warband joined in and they too were shoved right off the table!

JC was having a hard time with the PIP rolls with his flanking force gone he decided to start moving troops across the river…

…then the Dragon showed up and ate my flank.

Now here’s one hitch I came across with the non-standard basing… Those two spear in the picture above Were facing the river when the Dragon attacked their flank. Now if they had been deployed on regular stands there would have been room to turn them to face without having to move the dragon. In fact they could have done so and still been able to recoil (ONCE!) without being destroyed… not so here… We turned both to face the dragon and just had to move the Dragon back a bit…. He won the combat and destroyed both, though now that I think about it… I think maybe only one of those Spear should have been destroyed for recoiling into friedlies it couldn’t pass through... ah well…


The Elvish Allies never did show up and the main elements of our armies never even fought. They ended up just standing on the bank for a bit watching each other and just as the Vikings started the wade across the dragon showed up. At that point they stopped and stood there in the water watching the dragon eat my flank!

Total Losses:
1x Blade
3x Spear
1x Magician (self-ensorcelled!?)

1x Warband - Berserkers
1x Behemoth – Trolls
(both were poorly positioned and were shoved off the side edge of the table…)

Game Two

We switched forces and diced again, once again I was the defender.

The attacking horde of Saxons.

The Defenders of the Fjords…

We both surged towards each other in large groups. I got the dragon a bit earlier in the game (Turn Three versus Turn Six in the previous game).

I do like the extra deep stands… Looks more like an army… to me.

The main forces finally clashed and it was a wondrous shoving match – pushing back and forth, no one side actually destroying any of the others, but slowly, over the turns JC had the luck and began shoving my guys back towards their Stronghold.

JC seemed to be rolling big on the PIP dies, often having surplus PIPs with nothing to do with them. I on the other hand just couldn’t get enough to get my flanking forces across the river to get moving and help the main force out – even the dragon stalled for a few turns..

The Elves also arrived…

… and then, when that Dragon finally DID get moving JCs luck held. He rolled a 6, I rolled a 1, and the damn Dragon flew off the table never to return…. DOH!!! Damned fickle dragons!?

Maneuvering to the rear and flanks while the main line continued their shoving match.

I charged the Trolls across the ford a number of time only to be repelled again and again by those wretched spearmen and their damn pointy sticks!?

Tried to get the other flankers going across the river… just couldn’t get them going and keep my main line intact.

What a mess… The game was getting desperate at this point the Hird was pushed back to the gates of their stronghold!!

At some point my General knocked out a pair of spears forcing them to recoil into friendlies to the rear not facing in the same direction. The then shoved past the line and tried to help the flankers mess about in the rear..

The situation got desperate and I had to do something. I moved the General into a situation where whoever lost would recoil into something bad and die – I had a +2 advantage so I took the risk and succeeded… I also moved the trolls into a bad situation – because of how clever JC had positioned his elves after I had pushed back the spears I would have to turn and face the elves… not that in it self wasn’t bad as the Behemoths count as “mounted” and so get a quick kill against shooters in contact… unfortunately in this position the Spears would be in flank contact… so we were even and whoever lost would die… it didn’t matter in the end because the magician fired off a spell at the trolls and knocked them out…

What was left on the field when the dust settled…

Totall Losses
1x Behemoth – Trolls
1x Dragon (fled off the table…!?)
2x Blades

3x Spear

Dragon not so useful in this game. Gah… It’s too late I need to go to sleep, I post this in the morning…

Well.... kids/dogs have gotten me up a bit too early so I'm not functioning all that much better this morning... but I'll try and finish this up... The second game was definitely a LOT longer (~16 turns vs. 10 turns). In our first the main elements never really even clashed, they just eyed each other up across the river then my magicians belw themselves up and teh dragon arrived and chewed on my flank and that was that. The Dragon was a very decisive element, magicians... not so much...

In the second game the Dragon proved to be utterly useless. The Magician wasn't a whole lot of help...

Game Two definitely seemed more like an "epic battle". Game One seemed more like a Dragon showed up and everyone ran away scared! both seemed entirely realistic.... Hmmmm... maybe "realistic" isn't quite the word for a fantasy game.... maybe "plausible"...?

Anyway, both were totally good fun and I'm totally stoked to get going on my Hordes Campaign!

Big thanks to JC for helping me sort this out.

Now I'll have to sit down and read the rules again and figure out all the stuff I had wrong and where I was totally cheating and making stuff up...


  1. Very well done! Good looking armies and terrain. Excellent reporting. It makes me want to break out my 25mm armies and have a go at conquering the known world!

    Frank (Kontos)

  2. Nice work Tim.

    Your experience w/ Dragons and Weeezards mirror mine.

    All my wizards are second level.

    Gimme more Wb anyday. :D

  3. Sounds fun! Looking forward to hearing about the campaign.

  4. Good report. The first game looked a lot my early games of DBA where the lights duke it out on the flanks and suddenly both armies are at the break point before either side has really come into contact.

    I'm glad you are going to throw magic in despite it s limited effect. The dragon rules work really well for air support in WW2 games. When it shows up, it rules the world but then it buggers off when you least expect it.

    I have permission from the Mrs. to attend in June and i am quite stoked!

    Bob in Edmonton

  5. I don't know if JC told you, but he had some practice with DBA Vikings...

    I found that rivers slow down the game too much, and I don't like to use them. Dragons and wizards on the other hand, much random funness.

  6. Thanks Guys!

    yeah, I had only the nine terrain squares to work with so there wasn't much choice about having rivers or not... Well... I guess I COULD have just played on the table... But it's such pretty terrain and I so rarely get to use it.

    I'm not so sure if I was designing an army from scratch I would use magicians... Definitely wouldn't bother with Dragons...! Have to try out Heroes next game!

  7. yeah, JC did mention he had played in a DBA campaign at one point. Not sure if he mentioned what army he played...?

  8. Yeah I played Vikings in that campaign, but they didn't have a dragon and I only fought people who were softened up first ;)

    This time around the dragon saved me in the first game, and dice rolls got me the advantage in the big push of the second game.

  9. Cool battle report. It got me to pull out my own copy of HOTT! Question for you...Your bases are pretty uniform in depth (unlike the rules). Do the rules still work pretty much as written?

    Happy New Year!

  10. Tim G.


    Yes most of my bases are 60x40mm (infantry) a few are 60x60mm (bigger things...). I pretty much use the rules as written though a few things came up in this first game...

    You're a bit more likely to bump into something that kills when recoiling...

    There was also a situation where a unit (the Dragon!) attacked the flank of a Spear unit, with a second spear unit directly behind it in support, which was at the end of a battleline - now if the had "normal" bases They could have both turned to face and there still would have been room between them and the rest of hte line (enough room that they could have recoiled once before exploding!) however there wasn't really even enough room for them to turn to face (80mm depth trying to turn and fit into a 60mm space....) so we just moved the dragon back a bit - just enough to fit the spears in. Not a big deal.

    I like the deeper bases because it makes the stands look more like units. I'm kind of playing in a bubble here - no one else around here owns armies - so really I can use any sizes I want! Those suggested base sizes in teh book are just that SUGGESTED base sizes...

  11. I finding your excellent bases a bit of a draw. I've just painted up some old GW Dwarves and found your blog. I was so impressed by the look of your stands that I think I will borrow a few ideas of you. Fantastic work and very inspirational.