Sunday, November 6, 2011

Romano-Normans versus Welsh Orcs!?

Lacking some players and preparation for our regular Savage Saturday Session, we busted out some HOTT toys and had ourselves a BIG BATTLE game of Hordes of the Things. Christian took the Romans, Dave decided the obvious and sensible opponent for Romans would be Orcs(!?), Patrick decided to join Christian with some Normans and then I pulled out the Welsh… because I’ve been having just too much fun with the Warband armies…


1x Rider General (Tym Brownwyn)
1x Shooters (Welsh Archers)
10x Warband (Welsh Warriors)

1x Hero General (Darv Huntcha)
1x Behemoth (Giant)
2x Beasts (Packs of Wolves)
6x Riders (Orc Wolf Riders)

1x Blade General (General Christianicus)
4x Blade (Legionnaires)
4x Spear (Auxilia)
3x Riders (Cavalry)

1x Hero General (Duc Patice Le Jeune)
2x Shooters (Norman Archers)
6x Knights (Normans Knights)


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

I actually cleared off a bit more of the table to set up a ~5’x4’ area to play on.

Patrick and Christian… Invaders of Wales.

Christian hasn’t played HOTT in over a year… Patrick’s never played it (thought he did get in a game of DBA once… a while back). Originally they had their toys set out differently but Christian actually looked through the rules to refresh his memeory of what was good against each other and realized that HIS force would do much better opposite Daves and that Patrick’s force should be able to ride mine down without much trouble…

I had realized this from the get-go and just hoped they wouldn’t figure it out…

So here is the Romano-Norman line…

Normans ready to ride own the Welsh Warbands and Steady Romans facing the Orc Rider-based army.

Another shot of that Romano-Norman line

…and the Orc-Welsh Alliance.

I figured the only way I could survive this was to stick to the woods…. And there wasn’t very much on my side of the table. Patrick did seem to be planning to move his line out together and there was some archer dead centre and woods only a turn or two away from his. So I left one batch of Warband in the wood and took another batch and ran them hell bent for leather hoping to reach the cover of the woods before the Norman Knights rode around it!

To the Welsh right the Orcs rode up and occupied the largish hill in the middle of the field and decided to wait for the Romans to come to him…

I had though of just staying at my end of the table in the woods and doing the same, but that would have left the orcs flank wide open to attack from the Norman Knights…

My Warband reached the woods… leaving the Bow behind (hey, they get a quick-kill against Knights in the first turn… of course the Knights also quick-kill archers… one of those nasty “instant death” scenarios…)

Of course the woods were occupied by the Norman archers!

One group of Norman Archers repelled one of my warbands…

The other, clearly a little better hidden in the woods, ambushed and utterly destroyed one of my other warbands!?

First blood goes to the Normans – Welsh are down one.

The knights galloped around the woods and made contact with one warband hanging out the back of the woods and the Archers in the open…

The Archers were ridden down… (Welsh down two)

…but the Warband miraculously held its ground.

Things were developing a bit more slowly over on our right – I was beginning to wonder if my battle might be over before the orcs even engaged!?

I kept retiring my general away from the knights – just out of range of their charge, but close enough to give them something to think about and possibly take advantage of any open flank I saw.

Finally the Warband beat down some Norman archers in the woods and forced the other band out of the woods (Normans down one)

After a second (or third) round of battle the Norman Knights finally rode down the Welsh Warband behind the wood. (Welsh down three)

The Orcs finally got into the action by having their giant lumber down the hill to try and tromple over some Norman knights.

Duc Patice Le Jeune himself decided to aid the archer in the woods and another band of knights lined up the Welsh in the woods…

More Norman knights, that had made it around the woods were trying to reorganize and prepare to ride down the Welsh Warbands in reserve.

The Archers and Warband fought each other to a standstill and the following turn the Knight galloped into the woods to attack the Welsh Warband.

Now… being a newcomer to the game I normally would have pointed out to Patrick what an intensely bad idea this would be… But things were going rather poorly for me and didn’t look like the situation was about to improve at all in the immediate future so I let him do it and he would shortly learn why you don’t mess with the Warband in the woods!!


THAT’s why you don’t mess with the Warband in the woods! Those knights drop to a +1 combat factor and are quick-killed in bad going…

Patrick’s a clever guy. He will NEVER make that mistake again…

(Normans down two)

Over to my right things were heating up… I can’t remember how the Giant extricated himself from being flanked… I think it might have been one of the MANY tied combat results of the evening, on the following turn he brought in the wolves to take off the pressure on the flank.

Of course beasts don’t do so well against mounted… especially when they are flanked… so they didn’t last long (Orcs down one)

Well after that first Knight vs. Warband in the wood disaster, Patrick figures out why I’d left most of my army in the woods at my own end of the table and they suddenly seemed like a less fun thing to try and ride down…

Christian pointed out that there was a HUGE gap between our lines – held only by my Rider General – and a wide open stronghold for the taking!

Finally the Romans and Orcs getting into it. Cavalry and beasts skirmishing on the flanks.

Again the wolves are ridden down and scattered (Orcs down two)

Duc Patice Le Jeune abandoned his archers, deciding his presence was required elsewhere. I kept chasing them further and further out of the woods… Patrick realized he could, on his bounds, withdraw from close combat to shoot at me – and potentially drar me further from the woods… AFte rhe tried that once, my warband scampered back into the woods and we pretty much just hung out and eyed each other up suspicioudly for the rest of the battle…

More bashing on the left of the line…

More Knights smashed by the Giant… (Normans down three? – eveining up the odds down at my end!)

More mounted skirmishing at the extreme right of our line.

This time it is the Romans turn to take some losses (Romans down one)

But they were quick to give back as good as they got…

Over at the other end of the line Roman Auxiliary Spearmen destroyed some ORc Wolf Riders (Orcs down three)

The Roman legions draw ever closer to the hill while the mounted units continue to skirmish on the extreme right…

Lots of charging and falling back going on over there…

Two of the Norman Knights were approaching my Rider General and just happened to be in range of one of my Warbands in the woods – I charged them out – the odds were even and if I rolled higher I could recoil the Knights into their pals and essentially quick-kill them (even odds +3/+3 – both quick killing each other – I generally try to avoid these situations but I needed to get something moving or they’d ride down my general and carry on to the undefended stronghold…)

The Warband and knight fought each other to a standstill and the other knights pushed my General back up the hill… no more quick-kill possibility for my Warband… but they’re still there tying up those Knights for another turn…

Oh! One of those situations I love. Behemoth with enemy troops to the front and rear. No matter what he’s going to kill something…

Today, it is the Knights. (Normans down four!)

More mounted skirmishing on the Orcs right.

Another Unit of Roman Cavalry destroyed (Romans down two)

Duc Patice Le Jeune Decided enough was enough and rode in to challenge the Giant!

And drove the Giant back (not quite far enough to tromple over some romand Spearmen, however…)

The Romans finally made it up the hill and into contact with the orcs.

It proved to be their undoing. Two cohorts of Legionnaires destroyed – including the General! (Romans down FOUR – including General – at the beginning of the Romans next turn they’ll have to test for panic)

The General and Welsh Warband continue to battle the Norman Knights.

Again the General is pushed further back up the hill… and the Warband fights on!!

Not to let up with the Romans morale seems to be on the edge of collapse the Orcs surge forward…

…pushing the Romans back down the hill, and riding down the last of their cavalry (Romans down FIVE – including General – at the beginning of the Romans next turn they’ll still have to test for panic)

The Romans next bound came. Christian rolled one PIP and the rest of the Roma army fled the field…

Patrick finished the round (because a battle isn’t over until the end of the round). My Warband soldiered on – actually pushing back the Norman Knights!? (unfortunately there was no one for them to recoil INTO…)

Whoosh! Fun times… and I’d call it a close-ish one. I thought I was doomed from the get-go but held on long enough –with the help of the Orcs giant who kept a few of the Normand busy – and our side managed to pull it out of the fire and crush those evil invaders! Huzzah!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably another battle report…?

Painting-wise I’ll probably finish off the Dwarves then move on to finish up the Pre-Feudal Scots… after that…? More DBA and HOTT stuff… thought whish exactly remains to be seen!


  1. Another great report! Interesting to see a large 4-player game.

  2. We've played three a side - which is a great deal of fun! Also with three a side your army doesn't automatically collapse when the first command is demoralized... I mean, you're in a bad way, but it isn't the end of the game as it pretty much is in two a side...

  3. I love the Reaper casualty marker - good game and great write up.

  4. Nice looking game!! At Reject central we quite often play with 3 or 4 a-side, it can get a little messy though......

  5. Very good looking game, Tim. Question: Who makes that Norman mounted casualty figure? I'm getting some stuff ready for 'Saga' and I'm currently working on some Normans...

  6. Cheers!

    Curt - I'm pretty sure the norman casualty came in a bag of Old Glory Norman Knights... I can't remember which one....?