Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Callinicum refight with Warrior Kings

Here is a refight of Callinicum using Warrior Kings.  For a bit of information on deployment,house rules and how I graded the troops just go to this blog link.

Persian troops
6 Persian Line cavalry - Mounted Melee, Dual Armed, CV4, AC4, 3 figures
2 Elite Persian Cavalry - Mounted Melee, dual Armed, CV5, AC4, 3 figures
3 Lakhmid Light cavalry - Mounted Skirmish, CV4, AC2, 2 figures
Byzantine troops
3 Skutatoi - Foot Melee, Dual armed, CV4, AC4, 4 figures
4 Line Cavalry - Mounted Melee, Dual Armed, CV4, AC4, 3 figures
2 Elite Line Cavalry - Mounted Melee, Dual Armed, CV5, AC4, 3 figures
1 Isaurian Light Infantry - Foot Melee, Dual armed, CV4, AC2, 3 figures
3 Ghassanid Light Cavalry - Mounted Skirmish, CV3, AC2, 2 figures


Deployment from Persian side - 3 year old daughter's arm at the back helping out

The General stands exist just to indicate which stand they are actually with.  They can't move from the stand in Warrior Kings.
For the Byzantines, I've linked the Light Infantry and all the Heavy Cavalry so they can be activated as one body.

Overhead shot of deployment (and an excuse for anther picture of my daughter getting ready to roll the dice for me).

Turn 1

Persians activate first - right to left (as they have to).  Moved the elite heavy cavalry 45 degrees to left and then moved another 1/2 move.  The Lakhmid Light Cavalry moved straight ahead 16.

The Byzantines moved the Ghassanid Light Cavalry to 4 the Persian Light Cavalry - out of missile range.  Moved half of Heavy Cavalry plus the Light Infantry up to align with the Ghassanids.  The rest of Heavy Cavalry their full distance (12) straight ahead and ended up about 5 from Persian Elite Heavy Cavalry.

I was thinking of moving the Ghassanid Light Cavalry directly back as Skirmish in WK can move in any direction.  However, flank attacks are quite deadly in WK and moving the Ghassanids back would have exposed the Light Infantry flank so did not. But later realised that Skirmish can't move into contact with non-Skirmisher units and so this may have been a good tactic.

Note only Melee units trigger enemy threat reaction tests so the Ghassanids moving within 4 of the Lakhmids does not trigger a test.

End of turn 1

I use a little green bush to indicate bodies that are halted/inactive.

Turn 2

This turn is fairly detailed in including dice rolls etc.  I'll tone it down for the rest of the turns but it is here to show how it works as, other than the example in the rules (between 2 bodies for 2 turns), there is nothing else to show how the dynamics or rules for Warrior Kings works.

Persians wheel the Reserve Heavy Cavalry and move 6.

The Elite Heavy Cavalry wheel and attempt to charge the opposing Byzantine elite Heavy Cavalry.
Attempting to charge reaction test: 3,3. pass 2 dice.  Persians move to 1 away.
The Byzantine Cavalry roll for receive charge reaction test: 3,2 - pass 2 dice with the reaction 'stand and fire'. Result of fire: d6 roll of 2 +1 (mounted target) - nothing (need 5 for a hit on AC4).
Persian Cavalry roll for received fire reaction test: 6,6  - still pass 2 dice (CV5 +1 for friendly adjacent, +1 for next to leader = 7) with reaction  'Chargers continue'.  Persians move into melee.
One stand vs one stand (no alignment of stands - similar to Armati in this respect). Byzantine roll 4 (+1 leader, +1 vs mounted) = 6 = one hit.  Persians roll 4 (+1 vs mounted, +1 shock cavalry first melee round) = 6 = one hit.  Leader risk check d6 = 4 (a 6 is bad).
Both sides roll a involved in melee test. Each now at -1 for 1 hit but with a high CV and leaders present a 6 is likely a pass as well.  Roll anyway and check if a 6 occurs.  Persians roll 1,5 = pass 2 dice.  Byzantines roll 5,3 and pass 2 dice as well.  Result is carry on.

Note that as I mentioned in my review of Warrior Kings, the original rules had the result for Mounted for passing the involved in melee test being they retire if did not cause the enemy to rout/retire.  In this case both would retire.  However, the update from Ed from the THW yahoo group re a new WK/WH rule (you will need to be a member of the twohourwargames yahoo list to access message 6245) is that a revised melee reaction test result for mounted should be used for Warrior Kings as well, which is Mounted will only retire if they did not cause enemy FOOT to rout/retire.  Either way would give a good game and there are arguments both ways that either one reflects history (my simplistic arguments - the original version highlights cavalry regrouping and charge, the new one is that at this high level the regrouping does not need to be represented by both stands retiring).

Lakhmids move up to within 3 of the Ghassanids and halt (as they are within missile range).  But they cannot fire as they moved.

End of the Persian turn and the Byzantines now start on the right.

Ghassanids missile fire the Lakhmids.  Each shot will be at +1 (mounted target).  First roll is 2 +1 = 3 is one hit; second roll is 5 +1 = 6 which is one hit (only one hit can be inflicted by missile fire from a stand).  Last roll is a 2 +1 = 3 is one hit.

Note: not sure if missile fire should be resoled individually by stand - i.e. each Ghassanid stand fires and a reaction test for the target(s) done, then the next stand fires and reaction tests done.  I think by body makes more sense and the example in the book seem to lean to this idea.

Lakhmids roll for a received fire reaction test - 2,4.  From right to left: first passes two dice (CV 4 +1 next to one friendly, -1 one hit).  Reaction is fire back.  Second passes test and so does the third (reaction tests are rolled per body but applied per stand).

Return fire (all three Ghassanids are targets as there are not completely aligned, and all stands directly in front of a firing stand are targets).  The leftmost Lakhmid rolls 1 (+1 mounted target) =  no hit.  The middle Lakhmid rolls 1 (+1) as well = no hit. Other Lakhmid rolls a 3 (+1) = one hit.

Ghassanids take reaction test for received fire (yes, Skirmishers will tend to keep firing at one another until one side is completely routed or retired). Roll is 4,4.  From right to left.  First stand is CV3 +1 friendly adjacent = 4 =  passes both dice (reaction is return fire).  Middle also passes (CV3 +2 for two friendly adjacent stands) and left one is CV3 +1 friendly adjacent -1 hit and passes 0 dice. Reaction is rout.
Ghassanids return fire (all three Lakhmids are targets as they are not completely aligned, and all stands directly in front are targets). Fire dice are 3 (one hit) and 5 (one hit)..  Middle Lakhmid stands chooses not to take the hit.

Lakhmids take reaction test for returned fire 2,3.  From right to left CV4 +1 friendly -2 hits = 3. Passes both dice.  Reaction is return fire.  All others do not have a worse modified combat value so pass both dice too.
Missile fire rolls (from right to left) are 6,2,2 (each +1 for mounted target) which is one hit to one ghassanid and 2 to another.

Ghassanids take reaction test for received fire. Roll is 3,5.  From right to left.  first is CV3 +1 friendly -2 hits = 2 passes no dice and routs; the other stand passes 1 die (CV3 +1 friendly -1 hit) - reaction retire (take 1 hit and move 7 directly back)
I choose not to implement the rout until all reaction tests are done for the body.  If I had, the -1 for friendly adjacent stand would not apply for the second Ghassanid and it would pass 0 dice and rout too.

Onto the next body....the Light Infantry & 2 Heavy Cavalry splits. The Light Infantry charges the Light Cavalry in the flank.  Flank attacks are defined if a stand contacts an enemy unit not on the front edge.  Flank attacks are very deadly in WK.  Light Infantry rolls for attempting to charge : 4,4, passes 2 dice.  Light Cavalry has to roll for a received charge. If it does not pass both dice, flank attacked units are routed.  If they pass, they are not longer treated as being charged in the flank.  Flank attack effects a receiving charge reaction test, otherwise it does not effect melee. Roll 6,3 - pass 0 dice (CV4 +1 friendly adjacent, -2 hits, -2 charged in flank = 1).  Routed.  Light Infantry rolls to pursue: 4 which is must pursue.  Pursuit distance is 4 but not enough to contact next LC.
The Heavy Cavalry charge into the Persian Elite Heavy Cavalry.  Charge reaction test - 4,3.  Passes both dice.

Note the charge brings the 2 Heavy Cavalry into contact with all 3 Persian elite heavy cavalry.  One of the Persian elite heavy cavalry is also in contact with the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry.  The rules are a little unclear (and I didn't find it in the Q and A either) about whether the overlapping Byzantine elite heavy cavalry will participate in a melee.  In this case I assume all would participate as all Persian cavalry will be in melee.  I assume also that if the byzantine heavy cavalry charge had only hit the two heavy cavalry and did not get to contact the third Persian elite heavy cavalry that the melee would only be between the contacting stands, the melee with the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry would then be a different melee.  This latter assumption is due to the fact that no stand is shared between the melee areas.  BUT in the actual case here, there is a common melee stand and so it is all one melee.  But after all that, it is hypothetical as I have to roll receive charge for the body, which includes all three stands.  If the stands being charged by the Byzantine heavy cavalry fails and retires/routs, then the Byzantine heavy cavalry would not contact it, and then there would be no shared stand...

View from the Persian side prior to the 2 Byzantine cavalry charge

Persian elite heavy cavalry roll for receive charge -3,6.  From the Persian right to left: CV5 +1 friendly adjacent, +1 adjacent to leader, -1 hit = 6.  Pass both dice.   Other two stands also pass both dice. Reaction is return fire.  The 2 Persian cavalry that can return fire do so - one die is 3, one is 4. +1 for target mounted is 4 and 5.  One hit (Byzantine left heavy cavalry).
Byzantine take received fire test - 6,4.  CV4 +1 friendly adjacent = 5. (and -1 for the one with a hit).  Each passes one dice with a reaction of continue charging plus take 1 hit.

The hypothetical melee outlined above now occurs and assume one combat. Persians roll 2,1,3 +3 mounted target, +1 leader  = 10 or 2 hits. Leader risk d6 roll = 4. ok.
Byzantines roll 1,1,3 (!) +3 target mounted, +1 leader, +2 mounted first round = 11 or 2 hits.  Leader risk check roll = 4. ok.
Involved in melee check:
Persians first - 3,2.  As the worst is CV5 -1 hit +1 friendly adjacent +1 leader contact = 6 all pass 2 dice, carry on.
Byzantines - heavy cavalry body first  6,1.  hmm.  CV4 +1 friendly, -1 hit = pass one dice = retire. Move back 4 and take another hit.  The Persians roll to pursue - a one so do not.
The Byzantine elite heavy cavalry  - 6,1 but as it is leader and adjacent to a stand it passes both dice - carry on.

Next body... Byzantine elite heavy cavalry - the other one has not been in melee - wheels 45 degrees and charges a flank.  Attempt to charge - 3,3 passes 2 dice.  Persian heavy cavalry receive charge test: 6,3 fails one die and routs. Byzantine rolls for pursuit - 5 yes.  pursuit distance = 4 which is not enough for another contact.

Note pursuit and retire distance is set by the Armor Class, number of figures and mounted/foot.  Almost always a stand's movement distance divided by 2 and minus 1.  To this is added +1 or -1 depending on the roll of a die (1-3 = -1, 4-6= +1).  Whether a unit pursues is subject to a die roll too and based on original CV - high CV stands will generally pursue if attacking, and less so if defending.  With low CV it is the other way.  Generally.  It is actually simpler than it sounds - roll higher or lower than original CV and compare to 5 types of reaction (attacking, defending etc).  Pursuit roll is required is enemy stand retires or routs.

Next body - Moved Byzantine heavy cavalry up 12 (full distance).
Next body - moved heavy infantry up full distance of 6.

 End of turn 2

Turn 3 

Persian to start - Note that no Persian units are active as all have done a reaction and they have all stopped moving.  They have only 2 activations and I want to move the Light Cavalry and charge the reserve heavy cavalry into the flank of the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry.  So the right most heavy cavalry is not activated.  The reserve heavy cavalry is moved and one heavy cavalry will be charging the Byzantine elite heavy cavalry in the flank - passes attempting to charge.  The Byzantine elite heavy cavalry takes a receive charge test - passes both dice (note: roll 3,1; CV5 -2 flank charge = 3).  Reaction is return fire but cannot (out of arc) so stands.
Persian Cavalry moved into melee.
Persians roll 1 +1 mounted enemy +1 mounted first round = 3. no hits.
Byzantines roll 1 + 1 mounted enemy = 2. no hits.
Byzantine roll for involved in melee reaction, pass one die - retire.
Persian pass both dice for involved in melee reaction.
Persians roll for pursuit - yes - and move 5 which brings them into contact again.  Melee carried over to next turn.
Note: when looking up the rules for something else later in this turn, I noticed that is the pursuer contacts the enemy that retire, the enemy is routed instead.  so the melee should not have carried over.  Also, new melees are not carried over but keep happening until no more contact.  For example, if the pursuing Persian Heavy Cavalry had contacted a new stand, then a new melee would occur rather than carry over.  I realised the error when another Persian stand contacts the Byzantine Heavy Cavalry and so chose to automatically rout it at that point.

Next cavalry body does nothing - not in range for missile fire and not activating.
Light Cavalry could both move and attack the Light Infantry in flank - but would likely die as Skirmishers charging rout if don't pass both dice.  But also if they have to themselves undergo reaction, they will need 3 or less to pass so don't really want to put them in a position where they need to take a reaction test.  Maybe try and follow-up the Ghassanids and keep them constrained.  Certainly need to get away from the Light Infantry.  So the Light Cavalry move up to within 2 of Ghassanid stand.

Byzantine's move and choose to move the Ghassanids away to protect the Heavy Cavalry  flank

Activates the Elite Heavy Cavalry stand with the leader, wheels and attempts to charge Persian Heavy Cavalry flank.  Passes 2 dice.
Persian Elite Heavy Cavalry receive charge reaction - passes both dice (Leader stands are tough - CV5 +2 leader, +1 friendly adjacent, -1 hit, -2 charged in flank: only a roll of 6 is bad) and stands.  Persians are now assumed not to be flank charged.
Persians roll 6 +1 leader = 7. one hit
Byzantines roll 5 +1 leader, +1 mounted in first round = 7. one hit.
Both leader pass risk test.
Both pass 2 dice for involved in melee test and so melee will continue next turn. 

Next body - Heavy cavalry attempt to charge enemy Persian heavy cavalry body to its front.  Passes 2 dice.  Persians stands all pass 2 dice for receive charge test and return fire causing 1 hit to each Byzantine stand.  Byzantines pass only one dice for receiving fire, take an additional hit each and charge in.
Melee results in two hits to Byzantines and two hits to the Persians.
Involved in melee test results in Byzantines routing and persians passing 2 dice and pursuing. Pursuit causes possible charge of the Byzantine Elite Heavy Cavalry in front (charging its flank).  See previous error above in that the Byzantine Elite Heavy Cavalry should have routed, and so this is what was done now to resolve that:  The Byzantine Elite Heavy Cavalry is routed.  The Persian Heavy Cavalry stand that pursued it pursues now and does a pursuit move of 7.  The Persian Heavy Cavalry that was doing an attempt to charge is simply moved its pursuit distance.

What the Persian's see after the Byzantine Heavy Cavalry rout

Next melee is between the two Elite Heavy Cavalry with leaders.  Both currently have 2 hits.
Byzantine inflict 1 hit.
Persians inflict no hits.
Both pass Leader risk roll.
Persian involved in melee test results in passing 0 dice.  Routed.
Byzantines involved in melee test results in passing 1 dice.  Retire. Retires into the enemy heavy cavalry and so it routed.
The Persian army must now undertake a leader lost reaction test. All stands do so.  Starting from right to left:
  • The three heavy cavalry body all pass both dice. Carry on
  • The two heavy cavalry body (the reserve) pass both dice.  Carry on
  • The single reserve Heavy cavalry body pass 0 dice - ROUT
  • The 2 elite Heavy cavalry pass both dice.  Carry on
  • The 2 Lakhmid light Cavalry pass one dice.  RETIRE (another hit each - they are not much good except as speed bumps - but then again, the Lone Ghassanid is not in much good shape either).
The Byzantine army must now undertake a leader lost reaction test. All stands do so.  Starting from right to left:
  • The light infantry pass 0 dice and rout
  • The Ghassanid light cavalry pass 1 dice and retire.  
  • The heavy cavalry - the one with 3 hits passes 0 dice, the one with two hits passes 1 dice and retire.
  • The infantry all pass 2 dice.

While things looked grim for the Persians when they lost the leader, after the leader lost result for the Byzantines, it look much worse for the Byzantines - 1 light cavalry speed bump, a heavy cavalry that is likely to rout at the sniff of a reaction test and 3 good infantry that can easily be out-maneuvered by the Persian 6 heavy cavalry in good condition.  I'm calling it for the Persians.

End of turn 3 and the game

While it may seem like a lot of dice rolling, in practice things moved very fast.  I could not tell you how long the game lasted as it took awhile to write the notes as I was going but I would say there was about 50 minutes of play.  I have played about 10 games on a 2'x2' board and they all lasted from 30 minutes to 1 hour. It was strange that no melee ever had an outnumbered side (figures for each side of a melee are totalled and the one with fewer is outnumbered and gets a -1 to the reaction test.  It applies for missile fire too but I often forget that). The game is very dynamic, very fast and well suited to fast play.  Warrior Kings gets a large tick for a ruleset that plays under one hour on a 2'x2' board.  The only real change I made was to make inches into centimetres.

1 comment:

  1. Nice review and the 2x2 board is very inspiring