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Saturday, 16 March 2013

Mayhem: Red Runs the River...

Long time no update so firstly apologies for that - insert usual excuses about family, life, work, sleep, etc... Frustratingly I've been trying to get this final report finished for about a week and a half now!

I'd best also take the time before plunging into the last desperate moments of the Battle of Harrison's Ford to add that Mayhem is actually a very quick, intuitive and exciting game to play!

Turn 8
Von Damne's Dependables
CP's rolled - 7

A ripple of fear radiated out amongst the red and green ranks of the ford's defenders. Bluch Norres had fallen.

That was impossible. Norres' reputation was terrifying to friend and foe alike. He was the only man capable of punching a cyclops between the eyes. It was said of him that he did not fear the dark - the dark feared him. Now the unthinkable had happened and a great hero had truly passed into legend...



Beulengger redoubled his efforts having witnessed Norres' demise and together with the surviving lancers, smashed the last Skeleton horsemen to pieces. While he had the momentum and Lavister was fired with the lust for battle he wheeled around to face his nemesis.


With a great battlecry, Beulenegger spurred his mount into a headlong and desperate charge at the Giant in the hopes of finally seeing off their tormentor.


In a flurry of claws and feathers, Lavister lashed out sending the brute reeling backwards, clutching several deep rents across its chest and midriff. Cheered by the triumphant shouts and roars of pain coming from the river, the second unit of Lancers who had previously withdrawn turned to face the oncoming hounds.

Again using the Impact ability, the Griffin expends another point to fly into combat with the Giant. Gaining the bonus die for the Impact hit gave the Griffin the edge and the Giant received 2 damage points.

Turn 8
Zeegal's Marauders
CP's rolled - 6

The Giant reeled from the savagery of the Griffin's onslaught. Clutching the tattered ribbons of its belly with one hand, it swung its huge club in a wide arc to fend off the terrible foe. However, Lavister was not to be denied. Avoiding the blow with ease the noble beast once more raked the Giant with its great claws and with  a deafening crash the huge brute fell lifeless to the ground.

An unlucky set of dice mean that the Giant loses the combat by a score of 5. Needless to say it does not survive the damage roll - rolling under 13 on 7D6 (one for each damage point).



Barely pausing to feast upon their freshly killed quarry, the Hounds surged onwards and crashed into the newly reformed Lancers. The snarling and snapping beasts quickly threw the Horsemen into disarray.



The second unit of hounds couldn't muster the strength to master the slow but strong current of the river and contented themselves with slowly stalking forward to their next target.



Turn 10 
Von Damne's Dependables
CP's rolled - 2

Disaster! With the loss of the Bluch Norres' elite unit, Von Damne also loses 1D8 from his CP roll resulting in a rather paltry score of 2 this turn!

As confusion reigned with the line of command further disrupted by the hounds' advances, much of Von Damne's army could do little other than look on as the struggle for the river bank went on.


The unit of Lancers on the river bank itself smartly turned about and charged into the rear of the Hounds that were snapping at their comrades. Outnumbered two to one the Hounds fell into disarray as panic threatened to set in.

Turn 10
Zeegal's Marauders
CP's rolled - 7

Held at bay by two units of horsemen, the hounds fell into a desperate fury. As they were herded forward by the Lancers' charge in the rear, the savage beasts were funnelled forward, tearing down the opponents who stood before them in a wild attempt to escape.



Zeegal watched on with satisfaction as the tide slowly turned in his favour on the far left flank. With a sweep of his great sword, the evil general waved on his minions across the ford...



Turn 11
Von Damne's Dependables 
CP's rolled 5

Yet all was not lost on the left - bereft of many of their kin and their great leader Bluch Norres, the surviving unit of Lancers gave a great cry - the deaths of their comrades would be avenged! The hounds before them didn't stand a chance as a terrible fury possessed the horsemen.

The destruction of the Hounds pushes Zeegal's army past its breaking point. From next turn onwards  he will have to pass a leadership test before issuing any commands to his troops - failure will see the game end as he  looses control and his army break and retreat.


Back in the vanguard the Handgunners made it back to their original positions on the hill with the Thunderers. Taking advantage of the brief respite from the skeleton archers' volleys of black arrows, they and the Dwarves on the valley bottom reloaded their weapons.


The remaining unit of Thunderers, weapons already primed, ranged in on the lead Half Orc unit. As rifles crackled up and down the line the enemy ranks rippled and fell into disorder.

Turn 11
Zeegal's Marauders
CP's rolled - 5

A shudder of confusion passed through the ranks of chaotics as the realisation that all was not going to plan dawned on them. No longer did they have the strength of numbers they had enjoyed and even for such bloodthirsty creatures as the Half Orcs the task of taking the ford seemed daunting. Yet if any had considered fleeing Zeegal's baleful gaze and bellowed commands soon sent them scurrying back to the line.


Dulf Lundgrin, chief among the barbarous horde of Half Orcs was not happy. For too long he had been forced to wait while Zeegal had frittered away his army and now the ford ran red their blood. Pointing a clawed hand at the Halberdiers who blocked his path, he bellowed a challenge,

"I must break you!"


Led by Lundgrin, the Half Orcs charged the Halberdiers. The struggle was brief but the Halberdiers managed to hold the Orcs at bay. However, using the momentum of the charge, Lundgrin whipped his troopers into a frenzy and threw the human defenders backward. Trapped between the wild attacks of the Half Orcs and their fellow Halberdiers who were bringing up the rear, the soldiers had no where to run and were cut down to a man.

Dulf Lundgrin has the Push Back attribute that means he pushes back any unit he ends up in a draw with in combat. Should that unit come into contact with an obstacle or other unit they are eliminated.


Turn 12 
Von Damne's Dependables
CP's rolled - 7

Von Damne looked on aghast at the wake of death the Half Orc hero brought with him. Only the double impact of his trusty Dwarf allies could stop the onslaught...

"Fire!"

The crackling report of the combined volley from the Thunderers and Handgunners stopped the Half Orc charge in its tracks. Despite Lundgrin's guttural commands and the sting of the flat of his blade, his warriors faltered and fell into disarray.


Seeing his chance to halt Zeegal's assault and send his evil army running for the hills, Von Damne quickly ordered his remaining troops into the fray. The surviving Halberdiers gripped their pole-axes tightly, ready to avenge their comrades. The thundering of hooves signalled the Half Orcs' doom as the Lancers charged into their flank. Lundgrin fell last of all, pierced by many lances and fighting to the last.


Turn 12
Zeegal's Marauders
CP's rolled - 0

Zeegal looked on, a towering rage building inside him as yet more of his minions fell at the defenders' hands. The surviving Half Orcs turned tail and fled and as he cured their cowardly hides, his control over his undead horde waned. Skeletal archers flickered and faded into insubstantiality, bones and decayed equipment clattered to the ground. 

With a last snarl of frustration, the Warlord turned his bestial mount and stalked back to the Wastes from which he came...


Epilogue

Well what a battle! It could certainly have gone either way at certain points and I thought the forces of evil had broken Von Damne's lines as the hounds badly mauled the Lancers holding the river bank. Yet some lucky dice rolls and the threat of the Thunderers covering the ford saw Von Damne's Dependables win through, though at a high price.

The rules were great - quick to play, easy to follow and full of many layers of tactical complexity for their apparent simplicity. It was nice getting all the different die out - D8, D10 and so on, and  I think using them as steps in combat/ranged combat skill and movement is elegant and effective.

One of my favourite things about them was actually building the two armies from scratch - assigning movement and combat values, special skills and attributes to give each different unit its ow unique flavour and tactical considerations.

I'd like to give Warmaster a try some day but I will definitely be coming back to Mayhem again - hopefully with a human opponent next time, rather than solo play.


9 comments:

  1. Great finale! Thanks for the report which has served as a great tutorial for the system. Mayhem does look to be an excellent rule-set, though I've only played around with it yet using a few bases per side.

    Next month I think I shall start buying some 15mm stuff to get the ball properly rolling. Those Copplestone Dwarves looking ever-so tempting...

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    1. They are a bit tasty - I look forward to seeing what you make of them and the game!

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  2. Epic climax to the story, well done. Sad it's over!

    Warmaster is...ok. The designers themselves consider Black Powder and Hail Caesar! to be it's more worthy successors and that those 'evolved from Warmaster' systems make the parent obsolete.

    I agree.

    I will put them on Scribd if they are not already.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks fella - it does mean though that I get to finish off a few painting projects, get stuck in with Oldhammer weekend preparations and get back to cracking on with the Lustria project...

      I don't think Warmaster will match Mayhem in terms of playability and sheer fun but I may as well get my £4's worth which is what I got the rules for on ebay!

      Don't know much about Blackpowder and Hail Caesar so I'll be checking those out - thanks!

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  3. Great report, and nice photography too. I'm going to check out Mayhem, it sounds very interesting.

    Warmaster is an excellent game, and very playable. It is probably less complicated than Mayhem, at least based in what I read here. It is played at a grand tactical level, with an emphasis on sweeping maneuvers.

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    1. Thanks Ivan - glad you liked it and hope you enjoy Mayhem as much as I did.

      I got that impression from the rules and must admit I quite like the scope of Warmaster.

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  4. An excellent report, thanks very much for sharing!

    Steve

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    Replies
    1. Thanks - glad you enjoyed it!

      Good luck with your new 10mm project. I can certainly recommend Mayhem - great fun.

      Lovely epic stuff on your blog too!

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