Sunday, 19 February 2017

Age of the Wolf Game 3

At the end of season 1 of the campaign, both my armies (Danes and Vikings) had done well - winning battles and gaining wealth, troops or whatever. For the second season we again let the dice decide what each faction would do, leading to the rather strange situation of three of the four defending. So we had just one game to play, Danes raiding a Saxon village. It was a straight battle with victory points determining the winner, with the attacker gaining bonus points for every field or hut burnt to the ground. We double checked the setup, but it was definitely straight into the action as two units of Danes immediately set fire to two fields.

With a time limit of just seven turns, the Danes could not afford to hang back and pile fatigue on to their enemies, a tried and tested tactic. Instead, as the Dane commander I spent most of my Saga dice purely to move around as many units as possible, with an occasional use of the intimidation ability to cancel an enemy activation. The nearest hut went up in flames, while hearthguard pressed on to attempt to torch the third field, this by now defended by Saxon warriors. Over in the centre, Danish levy once more proved a thorn in the enemy's side, as their arrows brought down a unit of hearthguard.

Resistance by the Saxon defenders was weak, their warriors no match for the Danish hearthguard - the third field was soon ablaze. The game was coming to and end now. The Danes made a final push around the rear of the Saxon army and made it to the penultimate hut, but were unable to set it alight. Satisfied with the carnage they had wrought, they withdrew back to their own encampment. In points terms it was quite close, but adding in the bonus for the burning fields and hut it was a clear victory to the Danes.

In the post game phase, both forces suffered a slight decline in their numbers due to battle attrition. The Danes had plenty of wealth and were able to reinforce some of these losses, but the Saxons are penniless and have to rely on the mercy of the fates. This was reasonable with another six levy joining, but the Saxon commander is really struggling and thinking of defecting to Welsh allies! At the end of season 2 the Saxon contingent is really struggling, while the Danes and Vikings are roughly neck and neck in front.

Three games in then and it's possible to make a slightly more informed opinion of the Age of the Wolf supplement. It's a great idea, there are four new scenarios to play (including the one above) and there is huge scope for narrative development with all the little traits and abilities of the warlords, the fates, reinforcements, and such like. The book is pretty well laid out and it's reasonably easy to follow the procedure around seasons, games and campaign mechanics. There is a problem with forces being mismatched, it's not explained at all well. And the random events can be very unfair - Saxon flood and famine coupled with Vikings gaining ten hearthguard (elite) troops springs to mind. As we prepare for season three it's clear that the Saxons are really struggling. It's also very unclear as to there being any way they can get out the predicament.

3 comments:

Michał Kucharski said...

Ah, looking fantastic!

Michael Awdry said...

What a wonderful looking game.

Old Fogey said...

Thanks guys, just hope the Saxon commander doesn't get too disheartened by his early setbacks!

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