Last night I had my first game since the house fire.
My old friends Phil and Hairy Dave put on a three-way Blood Eagle match between Phil’s Welsh Prince Rhodri the Giant Slayer, Dave’s Picts (aka The Unnamed), and a rebel Welsh Lord called Cadris (kindly loaned to me by Phil).
Prince Rhodri gained his name when he landed the killing blow to a Frost Giant in a game last year (it was surrounded by Vikings, Welsh and Picts at the time).
Anyway Prince Rhodri’s force consisted of a couple of archers (with skirmisher, hawkeye and war bows), a few lowly spearmen, a couple of mail-armoured Uchelwr (heroes) and himself (hero) on a mighty pony. This pony should be called ‘Huey’, after the way it transported him around the battle field. Rhodri also had a legendary sword called Gerd.
Cadris (hero) had more men, having not invested points in so much armour and heroes. He had two archers, one with (with skirmisher, hawkeye and war bow) and the other with Stealthy as well, four hardy spearmen, and a couple of unarmoured girls carrying spears. Cadris is a equal opportunities employer.
The Unnamed were a tough bunch with a Lord, a Champion and a Druid (who used Second Sight so many times it eventually burned out), as well as a few spearmen and a couple of hunters (skirmisher, hawkeye, hunting bow). Most of their upper echelon had poisoned weapons (nasty, nasty stuff).
Prince Rhodri began the game calling upon Cadris to return to his service and drive back the Picts, but to no avail. We were to witness some vicious Welsh on Welsh action. They only united (briefly) when the Picts got in the way of their own inter-tribal wrangling over a pig.
The games had four relics of Dewi Sant (Saint Dewi) in a ruined chapel (worth one point each), and three happy pigs wandering about the centre of the field (worth two points each). The pigs would move randomly 1d6″ until accosted. The pigs became free whenever the person leading it was engaged in a fight.
The table itself had plenty of terrain; three hills, one of which was tall and steep, a bog, the chapel, four small woods and a hedged enclosure containing one of the pigs. The chapel was type three terrain unless you entered by one of the four doors.
In a game with lots of Welsh war bows, cover would be important, especially that which blocked like of sight, as the hawkeye trait seemed to be the standard.
In the first few turns there was a rush to claim relics and pigs. The odd figure here and there fell to bow fire but things did not really get serious until Cadris was slain and the Picts began cutting a swathe through Rhodri’s lighter forces with their magic and poisoned blades.
The game then went very narrative as Rhodri’s men and the Picts began to concentrate on each other rather than the objectives, allowing Cadris’ forces to begin marching loot off the field.
In the end Prince Rhodri’s force was decimated and had only a couple of figures left, along with one relic (one point). The Picts had several men left standing and had got two pigs off the field (four points), despite the Apache Gunship, which was Prince Rhodri on his mighty pony, charging around the length and breadth of the field mowing down pretty much anyone he came across.
This included Blodwen, a fourteen year old girl, whom he missed on his charge, but then used a Hero point to reroll his attack and slay her as she ran with a relic. Amongst Cadri’s men, Rhodris will be forever called ‘Rhodri Girl-slayer’.
Cadri’s force managed to get a pig and three relics off the field for five points and the match.
Honestly this was the funniest match I have played for a long time, with Dave and especially Phil, taking on the roles of their leaders with gusto.
One pig changed hands between the three forces at least six times, and I have named it Lucky Lleu. In one engagement there were three of Phil’s Welsh, two of mine and two of Dave’s Picts all fighting over the confused sow.
In the after battle survival checks Cadris managed to crawl from the battlefield to fight again. He is plotting his revenge against Rhodri as I write this…
Overall it was nice to play a battle where the players had not chosen to field a handful of well-armoured heroes each. Instead the forces were more balanced and reflected the period. This led to a much more enjoyable match, instead of a slugfest.
Prince Rhodri’s legend is growing.
My apologies for the lack of photos, but we were playing for fun, not an AAR 🙂