Another game of Dux B, and another raid on the beleaguered of Alt Clut, this time by some Scotti.
Having heard that there were no cattle left in the kingdom they had obviously decided to try something else and were raiding a church instead.
The church in question was half way up the table on the left hand side, while the British would appearing on the opposite side of the table form the church. The Scotti got 2 turns of movement before the British arrived, but this was reduced to 1 by the recently constructed watchtowers.
Early game was quite quiet, with the Raiders advancing up the board towards the church, while the British swung their infantry wound behind the Scotti to cut of their escape, while the cavalry headed up the board to deal with the mounted Scotti.
The Scotti decided to send their Skirmishers to look for the loot in the church, but they were obviously not to happy at this as their dice rolls for movement were pretty rubbish. The main band of raiders on foot advanced towards the church, keeping one eye on the British to their right and rear.
At the top of the table the cavalry were also squaring off. My shock cavalry have to get the charge to be any good and the combination of movement roles always seemed to put them too far away to get a decent chance of contacting the enemy cavalry. Ian managed to position his cavalry on my flank and then it all came down to whose cavalry got to activate first, and of course it was the Scotti, who assaulted my first unit of Shock Cavalry with his Noble Raiders, accompanied with his general in a chariot. I came out of it badly losing half the force and the rest retiring due to excess shock, but at least my Elite Shock cavalry had a chance to do something now.
In the middle of the field not much was happening. The Scotti skirmishers were making some half hearted efforts to find the treasure, while the Raider infantry just milled around in the middle of the board waiting for something to happen. The rest of the British infantry had all joined up into one large Shieldwall and were manoeuvring into a position to cut of the Scotti escape. I finally got the chance to charge into the Scotti cavalry with my Elite shock cavalry, but unfortunately I had to cross a wall, which unhorsed half of them. Not to worry, they get double dice on the charge. Which apparently means that you will get twice as many misses, and in two rounds of combat my elites managed to miss with every attack (that's about 12 dice, none rolling above 4) and were wiped out for their trouble.
With the British cavalry all but eliminated attention was drawn to the centre of the battle, where the Scotti gave up looking for loot and came out to fight. There was a large Mexican stand-off in the middle of the board as the Raiders appeared reluctant to engage the British Shieldwall.
After some goading Ian finally had a go, and after some fighting there was no clear winner. there were no British casualties thanks to Shieldwall, but a lot of shock, while there was quite a bit of shock and some casualties on the Scotti side.
Meanwhile my remaining cavalry had transferred to the other side of the table and were ready to charge into the flanks of the Raiders line, hopefully putting one of their bands out of the game, but shock horror the dice roll came up short by an inch, leaving them stranded in front of a big pile of angry barbarians! True to form the first counter from the bag in the next turn was the Noble in charge of the Raiders, who charged and wiped out the remaining cavalry.
There were a few more rounds of combat, with the Shieldwall accumulating huge amounts of shock, but no casualties, while the Raiders suffered casualties and shock, before the raider cavalry were finally finished off, leaving the Scotti Raiders with a Force Moral of 1 and a few groups close to routing. Annoyingly we ran out of time and had to call the game there.
The final result was a +3 victory to the British, with light losses on either side. I used the funds from this success to promote my Lord to a Legatus as well.
An interesting game, if extremely frustrating with a lot of key points being decided purely by whomever got the command chit from the bag first, which can be very frustrating. There was also a fair amount of head scratching about the rules as there are some things that didn't make any sense to us. I understand the need for a command card for skirmishers and cavalry, but if the have an attached noble why not just let them activate when the noble does? It would solve a great deal of problems with suited cards etc. I may try that as a house rule during a later game and see how it goes. I suspect it will make the game a lot more straightforward, while making cavalry slightly less powerful due to less ability to remove shock.
I still enjoy the game (sort off) but am finding the random element a bit annoying. There were some turns where almost the entire Scotti force had activated before the British got to do anything, and while this is an extreme example it can be very annoying.
I am also really struggling with the British Shock cavalry. They are quite powerful but extremely limited as the movement rate of cavalry is pretty variable, making it hard to plan for them and if they don't get the charge then they are pretty much useless. In all my games so far they have just been a liability as I would have been better served having them on foot instead. That would certainly have been the case here, as the extra staying power in the Shieldwall would have been useful. Perhaps if I ever get to the stage where I accumulate some extra troops I may swap them out. They may be useful in a few scenarios, but for now I think I will start leaving the horses at home.