Thursday, January 31, 2013

Forward to Glory!: A Warmaster Samurai AAR

Okay, it has been a little too busy in my tiny corner of reality. On the one hand, I was able to sell enough of my miniatures to various gents to pay for school and expenses for a bit. On the other hand, I have been substituting at several schools around the area, but won't see a paycheck for a solid month (hooray for once a month paydays).

Brent and I played a Warmaster Samurai game, using Alex's Clan Wars figures at the Crazy Squirrel this past Tuesday. It was a game fraught with stresses for both sides, one where I nearly threw in the was THAT bad for me.

Set Up:

Brent runs a lot of Warmaster games, for the club, as well as at conventions in the state. He's run this game before, using three times the forces, but with a 4x8 table, and 25mm figures, we had plenty of troops to crowd the table with (that is a bit of foreshadowing).

As we usually do when we play, Brent brought out the "Feck-Your-Buddy-Binder-of-Optional Rules™" I usually do well with this, but not tonight (I should have taken this as the bad omen it proved to be). Brent was able to screw with my defensive terrain by taking a hill on my side of the table and placing it on his, and then placing a fecking building on my table edge in the middle of my deployment zone.

Yes, he was smiling, if not gloating, when this happened.

THEN, I ended up losing a unit of Retinue due to another bad roll using this optional rules, a unit that never actually came back to the table (I forgot about it until it was too late to make any difference).

Brent deployed first and went first, so I did have the saving grace (which it turned out to be) of deploying after he had committed his forces.

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Brent's right side is in the foreground.  photo image_zps63d4a99c.jpg
Brent's left side. Notice that big hill to the left? Yeah, that WAS in my deployment zone at the start of the set up phase, which was nice as I was the defender...until he out scouted me.
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Yeah! Mr. Roll Better Than Me, see what I did there? I went all "strategic" (well, "tactical" in the non-RTS world)on yer ass. I deployed ALL of my forces in about 1/3 of the length of my table edge.
 photo image_zpsb2d8d344.jpg My super awesome (and brilliant!) deployment seen from my own side of the table. Sorry for the slightly fuzzy pics, but it was crowded in the game room that night and I had to dodge people all the time while snapping the pics.

We decided that the building in my deployment zone counted as fortified (6 to hit, disregard first 2 wounds for push-back from missile fire). I placed two units (six stands) of retinue in there.

Oh, yeah. This was a Minimoto game, so ALL troops counted a having bows, in addition to hand weapons. Feck me! Cavalry had a range of 16" and infantry a range of 24". Foot moved 8, except Household Samurai who moved 6", Cavalry moved 12".

Turns 1-2

Brent was able to move all of his forces at least once, but he failed with his cavalry on his far left to move a second time.

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Brent, being diabolical, teased me with the range of his Retinue at the beginning of Turn 2.

I, on the other hand, moved my cavalry on my right (six stands) and one brigade of 12 stands immediately to its left. Nothing else passed command, even though I needed 8's with my generals and a 9 with my C-in-C, I rolled...poorly.
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Yet another crap pic. Man, I was on the ball that night. :( Here is my army at the end of my first move. See that crazy formation of my infantry brigade there? Yeah, that was my cunning plan, to lull Brent into thinking I was being a moron.
 photo image_zps962e6a37.jpg My super tough cavalry about to get tickled by archery fire.  photo image_zps9aa05ae9.jpg The other half of Brent's Line of Pointy Death Dealers. And another fecking fuzzy pic. photo image-14_zps57ff158b.jpg
The first of two cavalry units burst through my infantry defenders.

My fecking cavalry taking 2 wounds that I failed to save, causing them to run away. I decided they would push through the friendly infantry behind them, risking those infantry becoming confused, but I was a bit miffed I failed two 3+ saves. The infantry failed to become confused, which worked out okay.

Turns 3-4

Brent Moves his entire army, yet again. The cavalry on his far left balk a bit, but still are within striking distance.
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At this moment, virtually his entire army (minus the cavalry on his far left) was in range to shoot my troops. Which they proceeded to do every turn!

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Here is my pathetic excuse for an organized force at the end of turn 4. Hey, the infantry is in line along a wall, counting as defended (5+ to hit, ignore first wound for push-back), but that didn't last long. See my cavalry at the top of the frame? That is the result of 5 fecking command rolls (fail, fail, fail, pass, fail). At this point, I had rolled box cars and then a one, resulting in that brigade being at -1 to all command rolls for the rest of the game. Feck me again!

Turns 5-6
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Brent's slowly advancing force using me for a pincushion. While my troops cannot seem to find the way out of the deployment zone.

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See that Charlie Foxtrot in the center of my line? That's 2 confused units (one cav, one infantry) and part of my wall undefended. I did get one unit of three stands of  Household Samurai into the one building before the rest of the brigade failed to advance. See that cavalry at the top of the frame? Yeah, they failed their command roll once again. Feck me, feck me!

On turn 6, my fecking cavalry finally move again. I was so excited that the moved that I forgot to take a pic. My archers along the wall and in the building on my right were able to get enough lucky hits that they pushed back parts of Brent's line of Retinue, blocking the cavalry behind them.

Keep in mind, no casualties have been removed as missile fire has only been sufficient to push units back.

I am about to throw in the towel at this point as my units are one big Charlie Foxtrot, aside from the one brigade of cavalry on the far left that is finally clearing the zone. Brent has Retinue in one of the buildings in that village, but everything else he has is in range of my defenders. I am taking 15-18 stands of bowfire a turn, where I can only hit back with 7-9 stands.

Turns 7-8

Brent reorders his lines a bit, following my lucky hits and his failed saves.

My army is finally unconfused, and my cavalry advance far enough to charge a unit of Retinue on Brent's far right. I beat them, killing two stands, and follow up into a fresh unit of Household, so that I won't be charged by them on turn 8.
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That is my cav on his flank. Brent's CinC is the one stand towards the top right, from his infantry being attacked.
 photo image_zpsb790580e.jpg Detecting a weakness in his battleplan, Brent re-routes his cavalry from his left, towards his right. They don't get far before the end of the game.  photo image_zpsd28c18f9.jpg Brent responds to my Ginsu Cavalry, moving his CinC to a safer position, and advancing another unit of Household to support the one being attacked.  photo image_zps30191c31.jpg I manage to get a second unit of cavalry up, to deal with the one remaining stand of Retinue, followed by a single unit of Household. They turn out to not be needed.  photo image_zpsd8f495db.jpg An extremely bad pic after I was able to get single unsaved hits into two units of Retinue, pushing them, and the cavalry behind them, backwards by five to seven inches, confusing some Retinue in the process.

Brent's turn 8 sees our units tie, causing us all to break off 1". My turn 8 sees my cavalry charge into the last remaining stand from the one unit, which had the CinC in contact. Turn 9  photo image_zps7256827b.jpg Brent and I fight it out again, and I put all of my attacks into the one remaining stand, but fail to kill it (I did 4 wounds, but it takes 5 to kill), but the combat tied again as I was now flanked and had lost a stand.

At this point, Brent was late for cleaning up as he had to go pick up his son from work.

However, I still had my turn to take, so in order to save time, I had my general (not my CinC) issue a challenge to Brent's CinC because they were within the range to do so (an optional rule of Brent's).

Alex and Brent both felt I'd lost, because "Everyone knows you tend to roll 1s." Which is so true that it's a cliche for us. 

We fight five quick rounds of combat, rolling 3 dice each for attacks. Round 1) We both fail to wound. Round 2) We both score one wound on each other. Round 3) We both miss, completely. Round 4) We both fail to score a wound. Round 5) Brent wounds me once. I wound him twice, killing his CinC and ending the game in a victory for me.

I calculated that I pass 25% of my command rolls the entire game, rolling high all the time. Those high rolls helped me in combat, though.

I lost one stand of cavalry, and Brent lost four stands of infantry (two Retinue and two Household), plus his CinC.

Feck me!


  1. That was a good read, nice one Justin.

    1. Thanks, Fran! It was a stressful game. I don't mind being beaten by the player, but I hate to get beaten by game mechanics.