Monday, August 27, 2018

Blood Bowl: Match Report- Khemri vs. Chaos- Exhibition Play

The Forever Jackals was a Khemri team I made-up from Warhammer Fantasy Battle Skeleton box set a few years back.  It uses extensive green stuff and a liberal use of bitz to get them ready for the astro-granite.  I even completely sculpted a model or two.  Blood Bowl purists will note that the team still uses the square bases of WHFB instead of being converted to round bases.  What can I say, I am cheap!  I bitz bashed a Skaven team in a similar manner as well. 

You can see the scale difference between the old teams.  The new ones are much bigger, and make even the tomb guardians seem tiny in comparison.  Oh well.  I am still going to use those old-scratch built teams!  This might even be the Khemri's second or third time on the pitch!
* * * * *

Lord Summervale: We at Cabalvision IV are happy to bring you the latest updates from around the Blood Bowl circuit.  Welcome back as we take a closer look at pre-season play in the Deep North League- Southern Regional Conference. 

Our coverage will start with a hard-hitting contest between the Chaos Goat Herders vs. the Khemri Forever Jackals. 

Mad Johan: Hard-hitting is right Summervale.  At times both teams had 4 or more players in the dug-outs!

Lord Summervale: Khemri is led by their team captain the mummy Pharoah Far-Tu-Komen, and has an impressive frontline of two other mummies and two bltiz-ra!  However, someone has to carry the ball, so the thrower Anoobis rounds out their positionals. 

Meanwhile, the Chaos Goat Herders didn't even bother to give us their line-up.  They said something about "Blood for the Blood God" when our reporters tried to get the details.  According to one witness, our Cabalvision IV grot was lucky to get out of the locker room alive!

Mad Johan: Well, you can bet those crazies from the Chaos Wastes will be coming to smash some face.  Plus, I am sure their team will try too. 

Lord Summervale: You are quite the Blood Bowl mind Johan, as that is exactly what they did.  The initial kick-off went to the Chaos team, and one of their beastmen runners picked it up.

Mad Johan: The Goat Herders showed an amazing amount of discipline and made a cage pretty early.  They then methodically marched down the field smashing skeletons as they went. 

Lord Summervale: Well, Pharoah Far-Tu-Komen and his gang got their share of hits in too.  I am pretty sure those Chaos Warriors are not use to getting manhandled like that! 

Mad Johan: Yeah, there will be plenty of big hits on the highlight reels from this game! 

Lord Summervale: The Chaos Goat Herders managed to pound the ball down field for the score.  However, the cost to both teams had been pretty high. 

Mad Johan: In the closing moments of the first period, Anoobis the Khemri thrower embarrassed himself pretty good.  He couldn't even manage to pick-up the ball much less engineer a drive.  He would have been pretty red in the face.... but you know....

Lord Summervale: Indeed.  In the second half, the Forever Jackals received and Anoobis managed to pick-up the ball early. 

Mad Johan: This time, it was the Khemri's turn to bring the cage!

Lord Summervale: It worked pretty well, and they managed to get past mid-field when a sneaky beastman managed to slip behind and hammer old Anoobis. 

Mad Johan: Alas Anoobis, I knew him well!

Lord Summervale: There was a huge scrum for the ball.  I am surprised no one got ejected with the business that was going on in that pile-up! 

Mad Johan: It's pre-season for the refs too.  That or they were afraid of all those blood-crazed Chaos fans? 

Lord Summervale: Somehow, a beastman came out of the scrum with the ball. and made a beeline for his end zone. 

Mad Johan: I wonder how many demonic pacts it took for that to happen?

Lord Summervale: At the very end of the second half, the Chaos Goat Herderz managed to score a second time.  They went on to win 2-0 over the Khemri Forever Jackals. 

Mad Johan: More importantly, both teams had two players in the casualty box at the end of the game.  I thought that Skulsmash Reever vs Rock-N-Roller game was brutal.  It doesn't hold a candle to this one!     

Lord Summervale: It makes me look forward to the regular season!  The League champion might be the only team with enough players left to field a team! 

Tune in next time, as regular Season Coverage of the Deep North League kicks-off and as always remember to drink the blood of your enemies responsibly!  See you next time here at Cabalvision IV. 
* * * * *

Now that my family and I have given just about all the teams a try once, I figure it is about time to get the family league going.  Good-bye Exhibition play and hello League play.  However, I wouldn't mind getting one more team, either Elven Union or Dark Elves before starting the league, so we will see what happens. 

Monday, August 20, 2018

The Games: Blood and Spectacle- The Games of Leptis Magna

After the conclusion of the Munera games in Subhartha, Metallus was pleased to be booked in Leptis Magna. The consul of the city had heard of the exploits of the men from the colony of Leptis Magna and was curious to see them in action. Metallus booked passage on a coastal galley and quickly made way from Subhartha to Leptis Magna in the province of Africa.

Once there, he was greeted warmly by the cities council and treated as a bit of a celebrity. This pleased Metallus greatly. However, his pleasure led to caution. The Consul wanted the men of Leptis Minoris for their ampitheatre. However, they were to test their metal against the Consul's own Gladiators from the Gladiator school the Consul had invested in..

This made Metallus' politic instincts twitch. His men needed to be skilled in the arena, but was it better to let the Consul's Gladiators win the day? How would the Consul react if his own Gladiator's lost? How would the crowd react to the show? Caution would need to be the order of the day.
House of Letpis Minoris

For this series of The Games, I thought it would be fun to have a different set of rivals than the usual Picked Men of Quintillius. As much as I love to see Juggartha tear up his opponents, the world was starting to feel too small with only two Gladiator troupes constantly squaring off. I have enough Gladiators painted now for more than one Troupe, so this seemed like a good time to try them out.

This School in Leptis Magna would be called the Ludus Massinissa after the pre-Roman ruler of the area. The Ludus would include only Barbarian warriors of the following types:

2 Heavy- Murmillo and Hoplomachus
2 Medium- Provacatur and Dimechaerus
2 Light- Both Retarius
- In addition, I would start them with the “Baths” Professional servants. This would allow the Ludus Massinissa to re-roll a gate dice.
Ludus Massinissa
That should give a good show. The Ludus Massinissa (642 Troupe Rating) would enter the arena as Underdogs to the Ludus of Leptis Minor (750 Troupe Rating).

The day of the games, the people of Leptis Magna eagerly bought tickets for the event between the cities' consul and these men of the colony. The Consul himself was to be the editor of the games in honor of the grand history of the town and their loyalty to Caesar in Rome. It was a day that would surely be spoken about before the upcoming elections.

Event 1: Tertiarri

The Consul and Editor gave a short speech about the importance of the city, and the brotherly love it had for its former colony in Roman Spain of Leptis Minor. Metallus paid little attention as he measured the mood of the crowd. He knew it was to be a Tertiarri up first, which was a grueling event. They seemed good natured and the weather seemed perfect for the event.

Metallus looked over his men and decided who to send out. He decided to send out Normallus his new Thraex and Alexander the Eldar. Normallus would be the Primus. He noticed that his opponets would be a Murmillo and a Retarius. Good match-ups that the crowd should enjoy.

House of Leptis Minoris
  • Normallus a slave thraex
  • Alexander the Elder a slave Laquierious
    Ludus Massinissa
  • Brutus a barbarian murmillo
  • Ahenobarbus a barbarian retarius

In a Tertiarri, both sides select a Primus to fight. If he defeats his foe, he must then face off and defeat the second gladiator as well. If he does so, his Ludus wins. If he fails, the other Ludus wins.

Turn 1:
Both gladiators simply jog forward, eager to fight.

Turn 2:
Brutus walks forward, and the eager Normallus charges straight in to fight. The Thraex puts 3 CP in and holds one back to defend. Brutus defends with 4 and holds 2. Brutus rolls terrible and uses his last two to parry. However, it is not enough and Normallus gets a hit through. However, the curved blade can not find a weak spot in the Murmillo's armor this time.

Turn 3:
Locked into combat, Normallus attacks again this time with 2 and holds 1 to defend. Brutus does 4 and 2 respectively as he gets the measure of his foe. Again, Normallus' curved blade sneaks in under the murmillo's guard and this time reduces him 1 pain. The crowd cheers the display of swordsmanship, especially as Normallus uses his small shield to push Brutus away.

The Thraex used a striking success to push back his foe.

Turn 4:
After the push back, Normallus charges back in with a leaping attack. He uses 3 and holds back 1. Despite being injured, Brutus stays with 4 and 2. This time, Brutus gets the advantage on the thraex and twists his large shield to try and knock the blade from his foes hand. The small curved blade goes flying and lands in the dirt.

Brutus follows up with some savage close quarter jabs. Normallus knocks one away, but is forced to rely on his manica to defend. One gets through and reduces him to 1 Pain.

Turn 5:
Brutus senses his advantage and takes over. He presses the attack. He uses 5 dice to attack and holds 1, Normallus defends with 2 and holds 1 to parry with his shield. The Thraex's parry does little, and the Gladius of Brutus begins to do its work. The Thraex is reduced to 0 Pain.

Normallus sees the danger he is in and tries to back away, but Brutus keeps him locked.

Turn 6:
Normallus tries to break away again, but fails. Instead, he tries to use his shield to bash his way out of close combat with 2 dice, while Brutus defends with 3. The Murmillo easily avoids the attack and counters with his own, but the Thraex manages to avoid the jab and slash combination.

Turn 7:
With an eye towards the Tertiarri in the corner, Brutus wants to finish Normallus. The Thraex again fails to break away and his awkward attacks are easily. Brutus manages to wrench Normallus' shield away and toss it aside. However, the Thraex ducks and weaves away from Brutus' attacks.

Turn 8:
Brutus puts 5 dice into his attacks and holds only 1 back. Normallus desperately defends with all 3 dice. The Thraex blocks or dodges away from a flurry of blows, but it isn't enough and he is taken out of the fight. The crowd is suitably amused by the Thraex, and allow him to live, however he may still have serious injuries.

Turn 9:
Alexander the Elder hefts his spear and jogs into the arena. Brutus simply waits.

Turn 10:
The older gladiator maneuvers to stay out of charge range of the Murmillo. Again, Brutus waits to avoid fatigue.

Turn 11:
Alexander swings his lasso around his head while the crowd chants. He tosses it towards Brutus. The Murmillo tries to swat it away, but misses the timing and is entangled! However, before the Laquerious can capitalize, the Murmillo manages to cut his way free.

Turn 12:
This time, Brutus turns towards Alexander and moves slowly towards him. Alexander tries to lasso his opponent again, but this time is unsuccessful.

Turn 13:
Brutus can feel the fatigue spreading through his body. Again, he swats away the lasso as it lashes out for him. However, he is now close enough and charges the older Gladiator. A darting sword reduces the old man 1 Pain.

Turn 14:
Brutus passes his fatigue test as he sense victory. He attacks with 4 and holds 1, while Alexander uses 2 and holds 2. The Murmillo is too much for the Laquerious and knocks him down, reduces him below Pain 0, and Dazes him. The old man raises his two fingers in the missio. The crowd grants him mercy as well, but he was not taken out of action.

With pride, the editor announces the Ludus Massinissa the winner of the first event!

Event 2: Pairs

The crowd roared their approval and lauded Brutus' victory against his two foes! The crowd had been entertained, but Metallus could see that their blood lust had been roused. They wanted more from this event. He would need to choose his fighters wisely.

House of Leptis Minor
  • Minoris the slave Murmillo
  • Janus the slave dimachaerus

Ludus Massinassa
  • Gallus the Barbarian Provactur
  • Petronius the barbarian Dimachaerus
Minoris is paired against Gallus, while Janus will face Petronius. It is considered bad form for a gladiator to interfere with a fight until the pairs each have a victor.

Turn 1:
Gallus rushes forward bellowing a challenge in his barbarian language. He beats his sword against his breastplate to arouse the crowd. Petronius dashes to the side and behind a pillar. Minoris saunters forwad and takes huge leap to show off his ability, to great cheers. Janus moves out behind him and much slower.

Turn 2:
Minoris misjudges the distance and his charged by the bellowing Provacatur. Gallus puts 5 into the attack and holds back 1, while Minoris puts 6 in defense since he all ready acted this turn.. Their blades ring off each other.

The other two stalk around the arena.

Turn 3:
Petronius charges in and attacks Janus. Petronius puts 4 and holds back 2. Janus uses all 3 to defend. The barbarians blade slips by and reduces Janus 1 Pain.

Minoris puts 5 into his attack, and holds back 1. Gallus uses 3 to defend and holds back 2 to counter-attack. 2 hits ring off the Provocatur's armor. Gallus returns the favor and attacks back, but no connections occur.

Turn 4:
Minoris again leads off with 5 dice and holds 1 to try and finish Gallus off quicker. He defends with 4 this time. Again, a sword blow rings off of Gallus' armor. Gallus counter-attacks, but Minoris dodges and begins to circle his prey.

Petronius puts 4 into attacking, while Janus defends with 2. Both hold back 1. There fight is inconclusive as no one finds an opening.

Turn 5:
Minoris keeps up his offensive, determined to strike flesh. Gallus defends with 4 again. The barbarian is wise to the Murmillo's circling technique and follows him with a striking success of his own.

Janus attacks with 2, while Petronius counters with 2 and holds 3 for his own attack. The barbarian outmaneuvers his foe and sends him off-balance and sprawling into the dirt. He quickly attacks. This reduces Janus to Pain 0.

Turn 6:
Petronius sense victory and puts all 5 dice into his attack. Janus tries to defend with all of his own. Janus manages to block the hit with his shoulder guard, and the crowd cheers in approval. He then manages to clamber to his feet.

Gallus attacks Minoris with 4 dice and holds 1, and this time Minoris defends with 4 and holds 2. Minoris uses 1 to parry. This keeps him from having to make a save. Then, he counters with his 1 vs. 1, with no impact.

Turn 7:
Gallus again gets the drop on Minoris and attacks with 4 and Minoris defends with 4. Gallus has a strong roll and uses a stiking success to Go Past His Guard. The Murmillo's armor blocks two, but a third gets by and reduces him to 1 Pain. However, his counter attack is solid, but bounces off the barbarian's armored chest plate.

Janus senses the bloodlust of the crowd and puts 3 dice into his attack. His only chance is to defeat his foe. No Missio will probably be given. Petronius defends with 3. With a ferocity, Janus reduces his foe to 0 Pain as well.

Turn 8:
Gallus senses victory and presses his attack on Minoris. However, he is over eager, and poor foot work allows Minoris to circle him outside of his combat arc. Gallus will not be able to parry or use striking successes, unless he breaks off and re-centers himself. Minoris then follows up with a fierce attack of his own that reduces Gallus to 0 Pain.

Petronius is now feeling the desperation of the crowd chanting for blood too. He attacks with 4 dice and holds only 1. Janus defends with 3. However, it doesn't look good as Petronius has 2 potential hits. Janus' armor fails and he is taken Out of Action.

The Mercy roll for Janus can not have any modifiers. He needs a 7+ to survive. Janus is killed in the arena by Petronius. The crowd roars in approval!

Turn 9:
Petronius turns to face his next potential opponent.

Gallus gets desperate and puts it all into an awkward attack on Minoris. He defends with 4 again. The attack reduces Minoris to 0 pain as a sword strike gets past him. The Murmillo responds with a savage blow to Gallus' helmet that knocks him flat and dazes him.

Turn 10:
Petronius gets ready to fight Minoris, and saves his strength from fatigue.

The dazed Gallus fails to get up, and tries to crawl away as fatigue saps his strength. Minoris also feels fatigue. Minoris moves in for the kill, but manages to put the Gladiator down but not OOA.

Turn 11:
Minoris passes his fatigue test while Petronius waits for him to finish off Gallus. Before the Provocatur can raise the two fingers, Minoris smashes him senseless with his shield. He turns to the crowd who chant for blood. Minoris kills Gallus in the arena.

Turn 12:
Minoris fails another fatigue test, reducing his CP 2.

Petronius has been patiently waiting, and charge the Murmillo. He attacks with 4 and holds 1 while Minoris defends with 3. Minoris uses his last CP to force a parry. However, the medium gladiator uses a striking success to go past the Murmillo's guard. However, it was not enough Minoris blocks the hit with the brim of his helmet. The Dimachaerus rushes past the Murmillo after completing the charge.

He is hoping that by the time the Murmillo can turn around, he will be exhausted.

Turn 13:
Both gladiators fail a fatigue test. Petronius moves away and begins to turn, while Minoris pivots in place.

Turn 14:
This time, they both pass their fatigue test.

Petronius stumbles in to attack with 3 dice and holds 1, while Minoris defends with 2 and holds 1. Minoris uses his last CP to parry, but the blade slides harmlessly across his manica.

Turn 15:
Both again pass their fatigue tests. This time Minoris successfully blocks Petronius attack and tries to knock him down, but the other gladiator stays upright. It serves as distraction enough as Minoris downs Petronius with a hit across the side of his helmet.

Turn 16:
Minoris fails his fatigue test and collapses to the floor of the arena next to the body of his foe.

The crowd rises to their feet in honor of the hard fought battle and the two Gladiators. Thunderous applause fill the amphitheatre. The editor looks on with a huge smile on his face. Such a contest is the stuff of legends and election victories!

Both Ludus are declared victorious!

Event 3: Single Combat

The editor rises to his feet to give a stir speech in honor of Minoris and Petronius and how they overcame their foes and fought to an honorable stalemate. The excitement of the crowd is halted as a heavy downpour stirs up suddenly and forces everyone to seek shelter, much to the Counsels chagrin. When the weather clears and the games can continue, the crowd is much smaller and the arena is filled with mud.

House of Leptis Minor
  • Ordinarri the slave secutor

Ludus Massinissa
  • Domitius the barbarian Hoplomachus

Turn 1-3:
Ordinarri slogged through the mud forward, while Domitius made his way behind a pillar.

Turn 4:
Ordinarri turned and moved towards Domitius. The secutor moved so close that the Hoplomachus decided to charge him instead of throwing his spear. He used 4 dice while Ordinarri used 3 to counter. Domitius used a single striking success to try and knock down the Secutor. With a sweep of his spear, he sent Ordinarri into the mud.

He manages to crawl away, before pulling himself upright.

Turn 5:
Ordinarri reacted quickly and charged back into fight. He put 5 into the attack, while this time Domitius used 3 to defend. He used his skilled swordsmanship to get 4 potential hits, but 3 just clanged off the Hoplomachus' heavy armor. However, he was reduced 1 Pain.

However, the return attacks from Domitius were just as fierce! He used a striking success to go past his guard, and a second one to try to knock him down again! The attacks did not get through to cause pain, but Ordinarri landed in the mud again! He was unable to get up in the recovery phase.

Turn 6:
Domitius went to work attacking the downed gladiator. He used 3 to attack, while Ordinarri used all 5 to defend. Again, Domitius goes past his guard but fails to find a weak spot.

Ordinarri again crawls away in the mud, but this time is too mired to rise.

Turn 7:
Ordinarri manages to hustle back to his feet, and again charge back into the fight. The fighting is inconclusive, but this time Ordinarri manages to knock the Hoplomachus into the mud. However, Domitius jumps back up to continue the fight.

Turn 8:
Ordinarri goes back into the attack with 4 dice. This time, the Hoplomacchus forces Ordinarri into poor footing with a striking success. He loses his last banked CP. However, Domitius can not capitalize on it.

Turn 9:
Ordinarri wades in again. A loud pair of clangs fill the arena as Domitius blocks the swings with his shoulder guard. Neither warrior seems to be getting the upper hand.

Turn 10:
With the encouragement of his servant, Ordinarri passes a fatigue test. Domitius does as well.

Domitius comes in with his spear whistling and going wide and then with a tight thrust. This time, it is Ordinarri's turn to deflect them with his armor. However, it is a feint as the haft of the spear ends up between Ordinarri's legs and he is toppled into the mud again!

Turn 11:
Ordinarri fails a fatigue test, but Domitius passes.

Ordinarri again scrambles back to his feet quickly, not allowing the other gladiator a chance to capitalize on downing him. This time, his sword work pays off as he manages to find a weak spot in Domitius's armor and wounds him, bringing him to pain 0.

Turn 12:
Ordinarri fails another fatigue test that Domitius passes.

The secutor sense his limbs weakening and judges the time is now to end this battle. He puts everything he has left into the attack. He manages to get past Domitius' guard and downs the Hoplomachus.

Domitius raises his two fingers in the missio. The crowd was amused by his ability to throw his opponent into the mud, and grants him mercy.

The Ludus of Leptis Minor is the winner of the event.

At the end of the games, the Editor grudgingly rose and awarded the laurel's of victory to Metallus and the gladiator's of Leptis Minor. He then transitioned into a speech about the grandeur of Leptis Magna being evident in its Spanish colonies valor in the arena.

Metallus tuned the rest out. He was more interested in counting the gate. After all, he had to replace Janus some how.

* * * * *

Campaign Stuff

Janus from Leptis Minor
Gallus from Ludus Missanissa

Serious Injury:
Normallus from Leptis Minor- However, he has a full recovery.

Ludus Massinissa get +3 XP for underdogs

Brutus= +15- Earned a Chariot Skill- Emergency Stop
Ahernobarbus= +4
Petronius= +9- Earned a Chariot Skill- Stand Aside
Domitius= +4- Earned a Ferocity Skill- Throw Sand

Normallus= +1
Alexander the Eldar= +1
Minoris= +12- Earned +1 Combat Pool
Ordinnarri= +7

The House of Leptis Minoris earned 40 coin, while the Ludus Massinissa earned 30 coins.

Metallus purchased a new Dimachaerus gladiator to replace Janus.

The Reputation of Ludus Massinissa went up 1 despite their loss in the games. There performance even as underdogs spurred much pre-election talk, much to the consuls delight!

Troupe Rating
Both Troupes lost rating due to the death of Gladiators.
Ludus Massinissa is at 572 Rating
House of Leptis Minor is at 681 Rating
* * * * * * 

Final Thoughts
Wow, a Tertiarri and Pairs in the same Games!  What a slug fest.  The Bloodthirsty crowd during the Pairs was especially dangerous.  Neither Lanista could gamble on asking for the Missio and had to fight on until they could not fight anymore, which is what ended up happening!  Due to the documenting, this may have been one of the longest Games we have played yet!  I think it took about 2 and a half hours, but without documenting and some rules review probably would have been closer to 2.  Still, a brutal match. 

You can check out these rules here:

Monday, August 13, 2018

Blood Bowl: Match Report- Dwarf vs. Ork- Exhibition Play

Catastrophe! I had this report all written up as we played th4e game, but then I lost it do to being an idiot. Therefore, this match report will not be as detailed as some of the other Blood Bowl matches I have had. However, since it was the first use of my Dwarf team I figured I might as well try to put in some of the highlights.

* * * * * *

Lord Summervale: Welcome to the half-time report! Cabalvision IV's continuing coverage of the Deep North League continues as we take look at the Southern Regional Conference action. It is still pre-season as new teams enter the conference. Let's see how they stack up!

Mad Johan: After the loss of teams from last season due to contract disputes, attrition, murder, and jail sentences there has been an influx of new teams into the Southern Regional Conference.

Lord Summervale: Indeed. The three remaining teams are the Forever Jackals from Khemri, Skaven Da' Rat Packers, and fromt eh Chaos Wastes come the Gridiron Gravediggers. However, this season they are going to be joined by the expansion Nottingham Nobles human team, Ork Skulsmash Reeverz, Skaven Cheeze-Ballerz, Dwarf Rock-N-Rollers, and the Chaos Goat Herders.

Mad Johan: With so many inexperienced rookies, the casualties should be record setting this year!

Lord Summervale: The Skulsmash Reeverz under their Kaptin Grimgrod Rotgut clashed with the Dwarf Rock-N-Rollers earlier today. Here are the highlights of the match.

Mad Johan: With Dwarf teams the highlight reel is always short......

Lord Summervale: …. um, yeah.... moving on. The first half saw the Orks kick the Rock-N-Rollers into terrible field position. It took them half of the first half just to get to mid-field. Sadly, the Skulsmash Reeverz were there waiting for them. The Ork team smashed open the Dwarf cage and forced the ball loose.

It was a mad scrum, but eventually Kaptin Rotgut himself emerged with the ball. A short pass up the middle found the blitzer Ruk-Ruk. He hauled it in and that led to a score at the end of the first half. Things looked bad for the Rock-N-Rollers as they were down by 1 and kicking to the Orks.

Mad Johan: The Dwarf team made good use of sideline pushes to eliminate a few Ork players. The Slayers frenzy ability helped out.

Lord Summervale: In the second half, the Dwarf team had to act fast....

Mad Johan: …. which is really hard when you are a dwarf!

Lord Summervale: The opening kick was short, and a missed block up front left the Ork line open. A few dwarf blockers desperately trundle through and forced the ball loose from back-up Ork thrower Runthugga.

This also led to a scrum where possession went back and forth between the two teams. The Orks tried to throw it down field, but the Rock-N-Rollers were all over it and stuffed the receiver quickly.

Mad Johan: One of the great moments of Blood Bowl is watching dwarf blockers try to intercept a pass. Hilarious!

Lord Summervale: The Rock-N-Rollers managed to push the ball down the field as their line play began to tell on the Skulsmash Reeverz.

Mad Johan: This game featured some eye-popping hits between players that left players down across the board. I was shocked to see half of the Ork team knocked-out and in the dug-out at one point!

Lord Summervale: It was this punishment that allowed the Dwarf runner Harry Harrison finally cross into the end zone to tie up the game. The fans at Freeboota Field booed and hissed, but the refs let the score stand.

From there, the Orks did not have enough time to complete a scoring drive despite a successful pass down field. Time ran out.

Mad Johan: Since the refs were hungry, they decided to call the game a tie and go grab some grub. It was only pre-season. They were hangry so called the game despite the jeers of the crowd.

Lord Summervale: We will now return you to your regularly scheduled match after a word from our Sponsors; Guillotine Razors- Maybe the best a human can get! Thanks for tuning into Cabalvision IV. Nuffle be praised!

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Heirs to Empire: First War of the Diadoch- Eumenes vs. Craterus

Craterus vs. Eumenes of Cardia
Here is another Heirs to Empire battle report featuring the armies of Eumenes of Cardia vs. his rival Successor’s in Anatolia.  These battles took place early in the Diadochi wars between Alexander’s successors, and helped shape the political map of the wars to come.  As such, the armies were probably similar to those that Alexander himself used in his great campaigns. 

After Neoptolemus’ defeat by Eumenes, he fled and joined up with Craterus.  Craterus was crossing the Dardennelles from Greece to pressure Eumenes and force the Pro-Perdiccan loyalists out of Turkey.  Meanwhile, Perdiccas himself was assembling and leading an army to face off against Ptolemy in Egypt after Ptolemy stole the body of Alexander. 

Most of what remained of Neoptolemus’army from his Satrapy in Armenia was easily absorbed into Eumenes’ army to absorb losses.  However, Craterus’ force had much greater numbers than Eumenes could muster.  In addition, the core Phalanx was made up of reliable Macedonians from Europe. 

The two forces faced off.  The details of the battle have been lost to ages.  We only know the outcome.  In a daring attack, the outnumbered Eumenes managed to smash the larger army of Craterus.  Craterus himself was killed in the battle.  Neoptolemus was also killed in a duel between himself and Eumenes.  It is said that Eumenes and his cavalry unit squared off against Neoptolemus’ cavalry on purpose to face the treacherous enemy general personally. 

The Forces:
The forces are pulled from the sample armies in the rules.  They are both 54 points.

Craterus’ Army
2 Bronze Shields- 1 Led by Craterus
2 Irregular Peltasts
1 Thureophoroi

Right Wing
Asphract Cavalry- Neoptolemus
Asphract Cavalry (Javelin)

Left Wing
Archers- General

Eumenes of Cardia
Silver Shields- General
Bronze Shields
2 Thureophoroi

Right Wing
Epilektoi Cavalry

Left Wing
Companion Cavalry- Eumenes

During this battle, it is probable that the Silver Shields were probably deployed with Perdiccas for the Egyptian campaign, and not with Eumenes of Cardia.  However, for simplicity and uniformity of the campaign I am going to keep them with Eumenes. 

In addition, it is likely that Thureophoroi were not a distinct and established part of the army.  Such troops played a role of that of the Hypaspists in Alexander’s army.  Since the main difference between these troop types is the Hoplon versus an oval shield they are interchangeable this early in the Diadochi period.   

It is unclear how this battle actually took place.  Some scholars believe it must have occurred during a river crossing or similar situation for the victory to have occurred as described in the sources.  It is unclear as the sources that remain spend little time on the actual battle, only the aftermath.  To that end, we rolled a random scenario and came up with Raze and Loot. 

In this scenario there are 5 markers placed on the board to represent valuable items such as wells, supplies, sacred sites, etc.  The Defender tries to protect them while the attacker tries to destroy them by attacking them in melee.  Craterus was determined to be the defender. 

To match the situation, we changed he deployment a bit.  We made sure that Craterus and his army was by the river, to help match the potential historical match-up.  Also, this scenario allows Craterus to deploy a bit seperated based on the location of the objective counters.  This also probably helps match the situation Eumenes and Craterus faced. 

The objectives were watering holes spread across the desert, and the river crossing Craterus and his army used.  Eumenes’s deployment was pretty standard.  He was on the right flank with his Companions.   The center was his phalanx flanked by Thureophoroi on each side.  The Epilektoi were on the left.  Nothing fancy and fairly compact and in a straight line. 

The Left wing (of Archers and Skirmishers) deployed forward to protect the watering hole, but also potentially harass the main advance of Eumenes army.  The Center was deployed just past the river ford in an arrowhead formation.  The right flank was the Asphract cavalry units and they deployed out near another watering hole. 

Turn 1:
Both sides determined their Commander’s Gaze.  7 for Eumenes and 7 for Craterus.  Craterus bids 5 while Eumenes bids 0.  Craterus goes first. 

His Left Wing and Right wing stays put, while the center moves up to join them and try to form some sort of battle line.  The center jostles around abit to try and let the Peltasts move slightly ahead of the phalanx units.  Eumenes does not try to interrupt at all. 

Eumenes’ has his Epilektoi pivot and race towards the farthest objective over the ridge line.  He also turns his Companion cavalry and rides closer to his center.  Meanwhile, the center forces move towards the center objective.  The Bronze Shields are lined up to run over it. 

Turn 2:
Both sides determine their Commander’s Gaze for their wings.  Eumenes has 7 and Craterus has 9, he has the advantage in Commander’s Gaze.  Craterus bids 3, while Eumenes bids 1. 

Craterus’ forces move forward and form a battleline with their left wing.  Neoptolemus uses his Javelin Asphracts to ride forward and throw their Javelins at the Epilektoi, but they are just out of range!  The other Asphracts follow suit.  Eumenes does not interrupt.

Eumenes forces respond by moving forward steadily and confidently.  His Companion Cavalry moves up to be next to his main battleline.  The Epilektoi ride up the ridgeline towards their objective.  Will the Asphracts pursue them? 

Turn 3:
Craterus has 7 Commander’s Gaze across his front, compared to Eumenes’ 7.  Eumenes bids 1 and Craterus bids 0. 

Eumenes’ Epilektoi continue to move down the ridge towards the watering hole.  Craterus does not interrupt.  Then, the Companion Cavalry go into open order and head towards Neoptolemus.  No enemy interruption.  Finally, the center moves up.  The Bronze Shields secure the objective while the rest of the army moves to support. 

Craterus waits patiently to respond, allowing his opponent into his kill zone.  The Left wing starts the fighting.  The Archers open fire on the Thureophoroi.  In addition, the skirmishers move up and move and shoot.  One is out of range.  However, the Thureophori are reduced two armor. 

From Crateru’s center the Thureophoroi move up and hurl their javelin’s as well. Eumenes’ Thureophoroi are reduced to two Courage and start to waver.  One of Craterus’ Irregular Peltast units move up and reign Javelins on Eumenes’ Bronze Shields. To soften them up.  A Commander’s Gaze re-roll forces them to lose one courage.  This is followed up by a charge from Craterus’ Bronze Shields, with the second unit supporting the attack.  Eumenes troops counter-charge with a Commander’s Gaze.  This reduces Eumenes’ Bronze Shields to wavering.  However, with the counter-charge the Craterus’ troops are reduced 1 Courage. 

Turn 4:
Craterus earns 9 Commadner’s gaze, while Eumenes has 6.  Craterus then bids 5 Gaze compared to Eumenes 2. 

Archers hit Eumenes’ Thureophoroi for another Courage loss.  Eumenes’ center general tries to interrupt with his last Commander’s Gaze, but he fails.  This is followed up by a charge from Craterus’ Thureophoroi into Eumenes troops. It is enough to break them.  Meanwhile, The Skirmishers move up.  Craterus’ Irregular Peltasts charge into the main center melee.  ON the other side. The irregular Peltast move up and shoot Eumenes other Thureophoroi for 2 courage loss. 

The javelin Asphracts move up and attack the Open Order Companion Cavalry, but fails to cause any courage loss.  Eumenes manages to interrupt then.  He charges into the horseman using a last Commander’s Gaze.  The weaker Asphracts are easily shattered! 

Eumenes Thureophoroi charge the Irregular Peltasts.  No one has any Commander’s Gaze left to try and evade or pursue.  They just start fighting.  The damage is pretty catasprophic as both side fight ferociously!  Both are now wavering! 

Meanwhile, the Epilektoi storm a well.  They change to open order and start heading over the ridge towards the next marker.  Eumenes’ troops just need to hang on long enough for them to get to it.  However, in the center Craterus and his Bronze Shields manage to smash through Eumenes’ Bronze Shields and force them to rout. 

At the end, Eumenes’ army takes a Collapse check after losing two major units.  However, they all pass.  In addition, Neoptolemus’ and his Asphracts take are disordered after seeing their friends get smashed by the Companions.        

Turn 6:
Thinks look bad for Eumenes and his army.  Eumenes earns 8 Commander’s Gaze, while Craterus has only 6.  Eumenes bids 4.  Craterus bids 5 in an effort to win his first turn. 

Craterus uses the first turn to dangerously charges his injured Bronze Shields into the Silver Shields supported by his other Phalanx and Peltasts.  They hit hard, but ineffectively only reducing them 1 Courage.  The return push by the Silver Shields is enough to rout the rest of Craterus’ main infantry force!  Meanwhile, the Irregular Peltasts rout Eumenes’ last Thureophoroi unit.    

The Companion Cavalry with Eumenes charges headlong into Neoptolemus and his Asphract unit.  It is completely obliterated, leaving the way clear for the final well.  Meanwhile, the Epilektoi climb over the ridge. 

Seeing Craterus’ unit collapse, one of the Skirmisher units breaks up and runs for it as well. 

Turn 7:
Craterus has 5 Commander’s Gaze and Eumenes gets 8.  Eumenes bids 5 and Craterus bids 0. 

The Epilektoi and Companions meet on the third watering hole.  With that, Craterus army sees that all is lost and falls back. 

Things looked bad for Eumenes there, but he managed to pull it out in the end.  Again, the Companion Cavalry and Silver Shields lived up to their reputation.  In hindsight, Craterus gambled big by charging with his injured Bronze shields, but his dice failed him in the critical charge and only caused 1 Courage loss.  He should have held back and used his uninjured units as a second wave.  Ultimately, it might not have mattered as Eumenes’ superior cavalry allowed him to win the day.

Ultimately, another historical outcome.  Both Neoptolemus and  Craterus’ units were overwhelmed.  We do not know how Craterus died, but in the main infantry push seems appropriate to me.  We do know that Eumenes killed Neoptolmus in a duel after crushing his cavalry unit with his own, which is what happened here too!  In addition, Craterus had Eumenes outnumbered just like in the Historical battle. 

Overall, a fun scenario and a fun little battle.