I had a HOTT date with my wife last night…. and I shall spare no details…
Okay, so she’s played board games... and role-playing games… and I’ve even gotten her to play a little Mordhiem (Shadow Elves)… but this was kind of a big step, all that previous gaming had been only when other friends of mine came over, she’d join in. This was just us playing some head to head action. Also Hordes of the Things is almost like…well… a “real” war game….
I had actually been reading on Board Game Geek (and maybe elsewhere…?) about others experiences playing HOTT with their wives and how they got them to play along… and it just happened that I was painting up my HOT(T) Druidic/Pagan Priestess for my Pictish army and she commented that she thought it was a nice figure and she’d like to play it in a game… Well, of course I jumped at that opportunity and started discussing possible additional forces she might be interested in playing… She came up with the idea of an all-HOT(T)-chick army… (I should mention that Amanda is secretly a huge fan of movies with hot chicks that kick ass – Charlies Angels, Underworld, Matrix, etc…). Now I have neither and a “all-HOT(T)-chick army” or even my Pictish army complete for her to lead with the Pictish Priestess… But I did talk her into trying out some Elves….
The Army of the Elf Queen Amandalyll
1x Magician General (Queen Amandalyll)
The Army of the Witch Queen Maevella
1x Magician General (Witch Queen Maevella)
1x Behemoth (Trolls)
1x Beasts (Wolves)
2x Warband (Naked Warrior Fanatics)
5x Blade (Norse Mercenaries)
THE GAME – The Battle of Morgelli Hill
(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)
Queen Amandalyll and her forces ready to defend the Keep of the Forest.
Now Generally when I introduce someone to a new game I try to help them out as best I can and make lots of suggestions for different options for set up and strategy and the plusses and minuses to each option… Unfortunately it’s been a while since I’ve play a LOT of DBA and, indeed this is only my third game of Hordes of the Things, so it was really quite a learning experience for both of us.
Here’s another shot of her set up. She put the Elvish Axemen (Blades) in a second line behind the first because she figured they were too slow…. It probably wouldn’t have been a bad move if they’d stayed there to defend the stronghold against flankers.
There’s the rest of the table with Morgelli Hill in the middle.
I ended up with a large forest smack-dab in the middle of my deployment zone! So I grouped the bulk of my forces off to one side hoping to somehow spread them out after I got them past the woods. I just had to accept that, with the elves going first, already deployed in a line, and the slowest troops in that line being faster than my blades… she was going to get to the top of the hill first… I also deployed the beasts in the woods to run around the flank and maybe munch on some archers along the way. The trolls I deployed so they could go and whomp on the knights.
I started off slowly – building momentum…. Amanda’s main line made it to the top of the hill before I was even past the forest and starting to spread out my line. The beasts made a break for the flanks.
Amanda decided to pull the Knights out of the right of her line – where they were facing my trolls (Behemoths) – and bring them all the way around the back to the other end of the line where they might be able to deal with my beasts and warbands…
Elves on the hill.
Unfortunately she brought up the blades to stand behind the first line where they mostly just got in the way when the line started to recoil and get broken up and were unable to quickly turn to meet treats to their flank when I eventually got stuff around there.
GRRAAARRR!! The beasts chew on some Elfie-flesh. I think these archers may have held their ground for a turn before the wolves tore them to shreds… It was the first blood of the game and Amanda was saddened by their loss…
The wolves then followed up and started to roll up the line to chew on some more archers. Round two didn’t work out quite so well for me. I rolled a ONE!? EEEP! The archers were shooters in contact with “mounted” and uphill… I think she only had to roll a three to double me. The wolves died in a hail of arrows. Then we were even.
A bit later on – our lines have now met. My warband kept recoiling from the archers. The behemoths crunched into their flank destroying some archers (or maybe it was their flank contact when the archers recoiled from a magic attack that destroyed them…?). Amanda figured out that trolls don’t like sparks and so every time they got near the flank she would blast them with the magicians and make them flee 600 paces.
It was around this time that the whole Magician General thing seemed a little… I don’t know… Precarious?! I tried to keep my distance from her mages in case she got a good pip roll and decided to double-team the witch-queen!
Slowly trying to shove the elves off the hill and flank them. I’ve shoved them right into the blades and Amanda was now having a hard time trying to pull them back, individually, and turn them to face the trolls and blades I was trying to sneak around the flank.
Some of the Elf Blades finally moving back and the Knights are now in a position to threaten the Warbands.
Alrigth at this point I thought it was about to all go downhill for me. The Warbands have been flanked… There goes two stands thought I…
Here’s Amanda’s big dice roll to blast my warband! After all the factors were counted I think we were both +3 for our combat factors… all she had to do was roll higher than me…
It was not to be.
Instead the Warband forced the archers back and turned to face the Elvish Knights.
The situation starting to look a little more desperate… The elves being pushed back to the doorstep of their keep… the Elvish Knights being pushed down the hill b a bunch of wild naked fanatic humans covered in body-paint and tattoos…
The Warband finally got the best of the Knights. I had always been +5 (+3 plus a rear support factor and uphill) and the knights had +3 vs. Foot, but also had a quick kill… Amanda had started to wonder if I might just shove them off the table, but I knew once I pushed them off the hill things might get a bit more dicey with that quick kill vs. Warband. As it turned out I roll a 6 and she rolled a 2 on the last turn they were on the hill and that was if for the Knights…
For three turns in a row the Elvish magic duo tried to double-team my Magician General – a dicey proposition as the lower roller gets Ensorcelled! She was making a reasonable enough gamble though – her primary attacker was the subordinate magician and she had a +1 advantage over me and if she DID win – my general (along with 4AP worth of stuff) was out of play! The first two turns we rolled dead even, on the third attempt she finally ensorcelled my witch-queen (The elephant is marking the location as I couldn’t find any frongs…)
What to do…? What to do….?
Despite having taken out my General things were still looking pretty grim for the elves. They had by this point lost all of their archers and the knights. One more loss would have lost them the game.
Amanda for about the middle third of the game had the most horrendous luck – she would constantly roll two’s and three’s for here pips while I seemed to roll only fives and sixes…. Generally I try to let my opponent win their first game (who ever wants to play again if in the first game they get CLOBBERED!) but what can you do when the dice are just against you!
I moved that line of five blade in against he one blade and two magicians – and brought the warbands screaming up…
Some how the elves repelled the charging blades. Then they brought up their own and took out two of my own and that was that!!!
A jubilant Amanda with the remains of her force!
She’ll play again!
I tried to convince her to wear a tight tank top or her bikini top so I could post some gratuitous booby shots like the ones that seems so popular on Board Game Geek these days (like This One… or This One… or This One… or This One…. over 700 thumbs up for one of them there... the most I ever got for an image was five... anyway, you get the idea… ) but she wouldn’t go for it… Ah well… She played the game - as if that isn't cool enough!?
The remaining elements when the human army broke.
The Army of the Elf Queen Amandalyll
The Army of the Witch Queen Maevella
1x Magician General (ensorcelled)
It was a close hard fought battle!
I think we both learned a lot. It will be interesting to see how the next game goes…
Now to teach it to the kids...