Friday, March 13, 2015

Hordes of the Things Mega-game

It's been a time of nostalgia, gaming-wise. In a follow-up to our re-fight of the battle of Heraclea, a little while ago I hosted a game of Hordes of the Things, the fantasy counterpart to DBA. Hordes, or HotT, plays fast but gives combat outcomes based upon the tropes of fantasy literature. We played HotT 2.0, dating from 2002.

The scenario saw a bunch of invaders from across the sea attacking some forces  and allies of the Remusan Empire (what if Remus had been the lucky twin, instead of Romulus?).

Below, Conscripts Frederick and Dallas command the Remusan alliance (re-purposed Late Carthaginian and Polybian Romans, with the Elephant acting as a HotT Behemoth). The Remusans were the defenders, so set up their stronghold near the centre of the south board edge.

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Facing them were an unlikely alliance of Britons and Elves,  run by Keegan and myself. The Britons wre represented by some Late Romans, with Cataphracts and Cavalry acting as HotT Knights, and a bunch of Blades and Warband. The Elves were a purpose-built HotT army I painted, a collection of beautiful castings from Chariot Miniatures, comprised of Shooters (archers), Magicians, Knights, and a Hero.

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The Remusans started north in a general advance, wheeling slightly as they peeled off some cavalry and light troops to contest the Briton western, right flank.

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The Magicians used up command points (PIPS) to cast their magic, forcing the Remusan Behemoth to flee.

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The Remusan Riders got stuck in against Keegan's Shooters and Riders...

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...losing one of their number to Briton archery.

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The Remusan Riders withdrew, in position to prevent the Britons from flanking the Remusan line.

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The Remusans then advanced their whole line into contact, trusting to their heavy infantry to carry the day.

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In a series of ever more unlikely, contested rolls, Keegan won the majority of combats. Key were his Knights and a stand of Warband, who quick-killed their opponents and pursued forward a base depth.

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On the Briton left the Elves formed up a line of archery as the Elf Hero formed his knights into column, to avoid the bad going of the farmer's field.

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A single stand each of Briton Knights and Warband turned the flanks of the Remusan centre. On the Briton right, a double-deep unit of Warband cut down a unit of Remusan Legionary Blades, but were in turn destroyed by the Remusan General ("That's how you do it, boys! Follow me!")

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However, Keegan was on a hot streak, and his two Knight and Warband stands ploughed through the Remusan ranks, leaving ruin in their wake.

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Meanwhile, the Behemoth got back in the fray just in time to get a fireball in the face, fleeing off the table from Elvish magic.

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The following two pictures of the stands lost by each side tell the tale:

The Briton losses...

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...and the pile of Remusan casualties, mostly killed by two those stands from Keegan's forces!

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I painted the Elves several years ago, at the urging of DougR, who also taught me how to play HotT, with his Goblin army. The Elf sculpts are great; these figures are barely 3/4 of an inch tall. They really capture the high cheekbones and sharp features of GW-style Elvish troops. They reward careful painting; so, I painted them basically as I would any 28mm model.

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The General is a mounted Magician in purple robes, accompanied by another Magician standing in a circle of mystic stones (made of putty). I recently painted up a Toad stand, which is what a Magician turns into if their magic goes horribly, horribly wrong!

(Click on the photos for larger pics.)

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The core of the force is four stands of Shooters, who in HotT shoot better than DBA Bow.

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The army's striking arm is an Elf Hero (actually an Elf spear man with a Knight's horse) and two accompanying stands of Elf Knights. One of these days I will put designs on the Knights' shields.

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I really enjoyed playing these simple, old games. I have since purchased the latest versions of both rules sets, DBA v.3.0 and HotT v.2.1, and ordered some Xyston Scythians. I hope to be writing about another Mega-DBA game in the not too distant future!

1 comment:

Phil said...

A nice looking game, beautiful lines of battle!