Saturday, June 28, 2014

Brink of Battle: more Romans and Celts

Here are two more reports of Celts vs. Romans skirmish battles using Brink of Battle. This time I have played against an "automated" force. The enemy always has the Break but I still make the Strategy check to determine which side gets the bonus action tokens and initiative. Each turn, I must first allocate all my action tokens. Allocation of enemy action tokens follows these criteria, in order:

1) figures that are in danger of being eliminated. This includes broken figures, as they might leave the battlefield if they do not recover.
2) figures that might complete an objective.
3) figures closest to the enemy.

I am using Jay's suggestion for an automatic use of the Break by the "enemy":
"I don't know the rules, but as for the "break" action. Could you possibly have a number which you increment by 1 at each opportunity for a break. You could then roll a die, add this break number and if it hits or exceeds an amount you set for the scenario then a break occurs. This way there is some tension as to when the break occurs, and more and more likely as the turn goes on. You could also tweak that break limit, and possibly increment the number more when performing actions which are particularly harmful to the enemy so a break is more likely to occur."

Since Brink of Battle uses ten-sided dice, I am starting the "break counter" at 5 each round. Each time the break could be used, I roll a d10 and if it is equal to or lower than the "break counter," the break occurs. Otherwise, the "break counter" is increased by one.

The roman forces are the same as those in the previous battle report. The celt forces have had a small adjustment, by swapping one spearman with one archer and changing the archers' attribute from Gung Ho! to Marksman level 1. The detailed roster is presented at the end of this post.

First battle
In the first battle, I controlled the celts. The river in the map is fordable but counts as difficult terrain that does not provide concealment or cover.

The forces approach each other. My archers take position by the river banks. At the third turn, the romans enter the river and the archers fire at them, but do not cause any damage.

The legionaries advance under fire and throw their pila. Two legionaries are killed, as well as one archer.

At the start of the new turn, the romans have to make a rout check as they have lost 25% of their forces, and surprisingly they fail (a roll of 1 + a command value of 7 versus a roll of 7 + 2 losses!) So it is an early victory for the celts.

Second battle
This time, I played the romans, in the same configurations on the battlefield.

The forces advance. The celt archers use mobile fire actions to reach the river bank and fire at the legionaries, killing two of them.
In the following round, the archers keep firing and causing panic among the legionaries. It does not take long before they fail a rout check, even before crossing the river!

The battles (especially the second one) allowed me to try the break system. I still need to try some battles between forces with firearms, as more range means more figures will have opportunities for break actions. These house rules for action token allocation and the break may help playing solo, but the individual actions must still be decided by the human player.

Other than that, I need to figure out if I am doing something wrong in terms of tactics for the romans, as the forces are balanced, in terms of points. Maybe it is just that in these small numbers, and with some difficult terrain, the archers have too big an advantage over the superior attributes and equipment of the legionaries.

Force rosters
The romans are a standard-type force with eight figures (504 points):
COMMANDER (95 points) CBT 5 / CMD 7 / CON 5
Traits: Commander, Inspiring / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Pila (Javelins), Shield

VETERAN (73 points) CBT 5 / CMD 5 / CON 5
Traits: Shield bash / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Pila (Javelins), Shield

6x TROOPER (56 points) CBT 4 / CMD 4 / CON 4
Traits: Stubborn / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Pila (Javelins), Shield, Helmet

The celts are a horde-type force with twelve figures (505 points):
COMMANDER (101 points) CBT 6 / CMD 6 / CON 5
Traits: Commander, Myrmidon, Shield bash / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Shield, Helmet

5x TROOPER (40 points) CBT 4 / CMD 3 / CON 4
Traits: Gung Ho! / Gear: Spear, Club, Shield

6x TROOPER (34 points) CBT 4 / CMD 3 / CON 4
Traits: Marksman (1) / Gear: Short bow, Club


Slorm said...

Thanks for the AAR, I bought the ruleset a few months ago, but still I haven't tested it.
I hope that after reading this AAR and the other (I didn't read it when you posted it in the past) I will give an opportunity to the game

Have you seen that there are a Scifi and Fantasy version?

Ricardo said...

Hi Slorm, thanks for the comment. I recommend you try it. Building a warband (using the points system) takes a bit of time but the game is simple and consistent. I knew about a fantasy version, but not a sci-fi one... that is interesting.

Slorm said...

You can get it here!

Fitz-Badger said...

I like the look of your game, Sounds like an interesting and fun game, too. I think I will have to take a look at the rules. Thanks!