Me - "I don't know, the rules are quite complicated; we could play Song of Blades and Heroes?"
CJ - "No, your game. After all, I am six and a half now, and you could help EM because he's only four."
Me - "Okaaay. If you're sure..."
CJ - "Yes I am. Now, what is the story for why we're fighting? What do we have to do to win?"
What could I do in the face of that on the Monday after BOYL? He wanted to play 3rd Ed. and assumed that it would have a narrative element. Of course I was going to encourage him :)
Omzax the Occultist was not a nice man, even before he made whatever deal it was with Dark and Nameless Powers in order to gain his mastery over magic. He was particularly notorious for turning his enemies into mice and then feeding them, one by one, to his pet cat. Zap! Squeak! Miaow! Crunch!
I gave both boys matched forces (six foot knights, five arquebusiers and six peasants), put the wizard (conveniently asleep so he took no part on the battle) in a house in the centre of the board, and let them at it.
|BOYL dice being put to good use.|
Obviously, I GMed. I do in any game we play together, but this time I didn't even control "the baddies" and let the two of them pit their wits against each other. Did I simplify things? Only a little. We had no characters, no magic, and I left out the reserve move phase, but otherwise I kept it to the book. Guns took a turn to reload, changing formation cost movement, stand and shoot was used when receiving a charge, combat was by the book and I even had them doing Ld checks for charge responses and after suffering 25% casualties and losing combat. They took to it immediately, especially CJ who liked looking up target numbers on the Combat and Wound charts; he even contradicted me correctly at one point saying he was still allowed his units full movement because "they've only done their free simple manoeuvre so far." Good lad!
Back to the battle....
CJ (commanding the Goodies and needing to capture Omzax) advances carefully, bringing all his forces around one side of the house:
EM, meanwhile, decides to try and bring his gunners around in a flanking manoeuvre so that he can recruit the wizard to his evil cause:
First contact! The peasants wade into each other with lesson one being learned - more models fighting in the front rank means more chances to cause wounds. Oh, and the charge bonus is pretty nifty, too.
Having made short work of CJ's peasants, EM's peasants themselves get charged in the rear by CJ's knights and are put to flight.
They survive the free hacks (how?!) and outstrip their slower pursuers...
... rally, and return charge...
...AND push the knights back!!!!
Before the inevitable slaughter happens:
Meanwhile, EM's knights survive the hail of fire from CJ's handgunners (just! All five hit and although one failed his save, the other three only rolled exactly what they needed) to slice and dice them as their charge carried them into contact:
But, in their state of reduced numbers, they were no match for CJ's knights who polished them off and then moved on to the handgunners, who were far less prepared than their late opposite numbers and had to receive the charge unloaded.
Leading to the inevitable...
Sir Christophe le Cygne looked grimly across the meadow, strewn as it was with fallen comrades and foes alike. Their job was not yet complete - the accursed wizard must be seized and brought to the king's justice. Cautiously they approached the hut and pushed open the door...
Zap! Zap! Zap! Squeeek!
And so, the little tykes are blooded and brought into the Oldhammer fold. A good evening's work! Next time they want wizards to be part of their forces. CJ wants mounted knights and EM wants monsters. I'm going to be busy keeping ahead of their requests. It's a hard life :)
À la prochaine,