Monday, 7 March 2016

To the strongest game 3

Having played 2 games of to the strongest and enjoying the simple mechanics a third game was to be played. As with the other 2 games I was given the troops and just had to get on with it. The two armies in question were Ptolemaic Egyptians and the Classical Indians. I do not believe the two armies ever fought each other so I am not aware of any historical precedence. But just looking at the army lists it is EASY to predict the result.

I was given the Indians. Facing off against Dave. With Relfie on my right and Kev diagonally opposite.  Dave and Kev the Ptolemaics and me and Relfie the Indians. before any of this starts sounding wingng I will say I did enjoy the game but understood and vocalised the result LONG before it happened. Anyone with any knowledge of ancients has probably already worked it out.  Both sides had a lot of units and both sides had limited space and I could have deployed far better than I did so some of it is my fault. And I put my hands up to that. If I had been a real life general I would have chosen a better place to fight the battle which allowed for manoeuvre which was about the only advantage we had. Still sometimes you have to fight in areas not of your own choosing.  So fair play.

All the dice in pictures represent remaining missile weapons that unit has.

I did manage to score the first success and killed some Ptolemaic skirmishers so the game was of to a good start. Now the classical Indians had some raw quality longbow archers and a good amount of ammo.  However neither Relfie nor myself were able to cause any lasting damage on the pike armed phalanxes as they closed the distance. All that happened instead was that we ran out of ammo and while we did disrupt them they were able to re order their ranks and move forward without much difficulty.

My cavalry on the left were able to stop Dave moving down my flank and went into position on turn 2 of the game and stayed there as I tried to move elephants to support but due to them being hemmed in and poor card draws were not able to support them. Just as well they did not need my support. While they did fail to kill anything else in the game they did stop Dave from advancing. And were my most valuable troops despite the points indicating otherwise. I did manage to get some heavy chariots close to that flank but they were unable to assist because of the terrain and location of enemy troops.

Relfie on my right had also run out of arrows and replacing them was a struggle. The right flank did seem to see-saw a few times, mostly sawing on the Indians But Relfie was doing OK. Dave and myself were not quite in a stale mate position as Dave did manage to kill all my skirmishers and seize my only bit of defensible terrain.

But despite trying to win the raw Indians with only 2 wounds wer in the end just no match for the Ptolemaic's in pike blocks with better saves and 3 wounds. So eventually the inevitable happened and the Indians lost.

Congrats to Dave and Kev on their win and commiserations to me and Relfie but at least we delayed the inevitable for as long as possible.

Final result was 6VP (Victory points) to me and Relfie and 16 VP to Kev and Dave. Kev to his credit did offer to swap side with me when I stated a the beginning that the forces were not balanced which was nice of him, but what was the point, it would still have been an Indian Loss and a Ptolemaic win!

If we had room to manoeuvre we might have been able to attack the pike blocks in the side (Relfie did manage it once against the same unit twice but the cards did not favour him. ) But in front of me was just a solid mass of pikes and unarmoured bowmen would have trouble killing them in any set of rules when they are out of ammo.

I do not blame the rules or the army lists but perhaps we did have far to many troops in far to smaller area so (Not our choice although we could have deployed better). My first time in using that army and not an army I would choose to use again. The army match up was just not good and you could see from the start how the game would end. I am sure some players would have done better. But we did what we could with what we had and took a long time in dying. I am sure some players who know the armies better would have faired so much better and may even win. But that on the day did not happen.

Thanks for reading all the best Clint



20 comments:

  1. As you say, putting up as good a fight as you can is sometimes all you can do. At least it allows for entertainment and game play, and reinforces memories of what not to do next time when setting up a game.

    I'm now collecting 28mm Ancient Germans for TtS!

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    1. Thanks Roy. I have 2 Japanese (Samurai)armies that would work quite well I think and am about to start a Minoan/Mycenaean army for the same set of rules.

      A "Deep " armoured pike block is hard to counter when you do not have room to manoeuvre and only have raw archers to do it with.

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  2. 15mm, where can I go to have alook at the rules?

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    1. Thank you Damon. I would suggest http://bigredbat.blogspot.co.uk/
      as that is the blog of the rules writer, or
      http://bigredbatshop.co.uk/
      as that is how to buy them. They are pretty good and nice and simple with lots of army lists freely available if you check the shop.

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    2. There is also a forum

      http://tothestrongest.yuku.com/

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  3. It might not have been your day, but looks like you had a blast.

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    1. Thank you Michael. It was enjoyable but the two armies really did need to be better balanced. Points do not always equate to game balance.

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  4. Looks good. Very tight table to maneuver your units on.

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    1. Thanks Simon. It felt like a game of tetris as well as a wargame. For some of that I blame myself but mostly I think it was too many troops on too small a table!

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  5. Looking and sounding good Clint!

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  6. Even though it was obviously an unbalanced game fro the off you nevertheless seemed to put in your all to enjoy it. I don't particualrly like "balanced" games (they rarely are), nor using points or anachronistic forces. This latter point seems to have been a trend in ancient warfare for as long as I can remember and probably why I never did any more than dbbble in the peirod.

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    1. Thank you Joe. I also do not like points systems but each side must have a chance of winning so maybe changing the objectives or the Victory conditions as two armies lined up bashing each other is passé. I am tempted to do another blog post explaining the maths of this game just to reinforce my point.

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  7. Sometimes life just ain't fair.

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    1. Thanks John. I worked it out. My archers had 3/4 of 1 % to kill his pikes in a single turn! Assuming 2 units firing 2 shots. And assuming all three (2 of mine and one of his managed to activate). So As you just cannot beat the maths as I said it was a forgone conclusion.

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  8. Well, against steady phalanx the only way to win (traditionally) is to lure them into broken ground. I don't think that a low-grade, infantry horde army has much of a chance otherwise...

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    1. Thanks C6.
      I totally agree. The rules were good and the game was good, just the match up was terrible. But I am at last over it now.

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  9. I'm not familiar with "To The Strongest" Clint, but your write-up has certainly drawn my attention to it, even if it would appear to have been a rather lopsided confrontation. Having said that I do enjoy your write-ups even when I'm already thinking at the beginning that your position doesn't sound good. Is this the rules set that has lead to "Frostgrave" disappearing under a heavy weight of snow at your club?

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    1. Thanks Blax. I cannot say this lead to the frostgrave games ending. My personal view would be that some players were not doing well and just lost interest. But that is just a guess and I may be totally wrong.

      "To the Strongest" rules are very good simple and fun, but those two forces just should not have fought each other. The matchup was completely one sided. But sometimes you can see that before the game and at others you cannot as the guy who set the game out has now found I think.

      But It was fun and while I do not mind loosing we all like to think we have a chance of winning.

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