Monday, January 28, 2013

Dux Bellorum Playtest

We gamed on the floor on a 90cm x 160cm table.

Boris and his beastmen fielded:

1          Boris the Beastman (Mt Companions)
2          Beastmen (Cataphract Riders)
3          Ogres (Ordinary Warriors)
2          Wargs (War Dogs)

 Turn 1- both sides advance.
 The Ogres: I got these from a friend a few years ago.
 Boris and the beastmen (catphracts) lead the advance.
 The beastmen charge the Rohan warlord and his retinue.
 The medium cav are not match for the ferocious beastmen and the to units of cavalry are destroyed. I'm starting to regret giving Finn 2 units of cataphracts (Beastmen)
 Run away!
 Meanwhile, on the other flank the wolves charge the Rohan Cavalry.
 The orgres (ordinary warriors) get into the action, swamping the rohan cavalry. 
 Suddenly I'm down 3 LPs and Finn has lost none.
 Combat rages- LP dice reduce damage for both sides. 
 Handbags at 5 paces. High protection (6) + prodigious use of LPs means both general barely scratch each other for several rounds.
 Finally the Riders of Rohan start to gain the upper hand. The wolfs (wardogs) are destroyed and the ogres are also taking losses.
 The sheild wall locks shields and prepare for the ogre onslaught.
 Seeing the bows are vulnerable the ogres charge them and destroy them
 However, the Rohirrim Cavalry ride to the rescue running down the ogres and saving the shieldwall.
A close game. Finn enjoyed it and quickly got the hang of LPs after originally not wanting to use them. Combats, with LPs involved, tended to be indecisive- which is a good thing. It took time to wear down a unit and it reduced some of the swinginess of the combat mechanics (hit-= damage without a save without the use of LP). They also meant that some thought had to go into which units you wanted to support using LPs, which made for an  interesting sub system within the game.
Our general's units really only scratched each other and did minimal damage, by pumping the LPs to my general as much as I could though I managed to hold the beastmen and gave the rest of the army breathing space to finally start wearing down the beastmen.

The rules were simple and intuitive and we quickly got the hang of them. Turns went quickly and the game lasted 8-9 turns and took less than an hour, probably 45 minutes all up.