Last game saw our first attempt at a Battle game; unfortunately, we didn’t finish but it did give us a good feel for the game requirements. If truth be told, we took too long to set the game up. This was mainly trying to find suitable terrain from the club shelves. For the campaign, we will need to make sure the terrain is at hand and ready to go. The armies should also be out of their boxes and in units before the start.
|Vikings form up on the ridge line - Saxons move through woods|
First off, we need a gridded play area. This is in hand as ‘Harald the Barrel’ has done a fine job of renovating one of the older club mats and adding a seven inch grid. The mat is still a tad shiny but Harald has taken it way to give it another coat of matte varnish.
There are 3 possible linear terrain items: Road, River or Stream.
The River is optional and only used in the Raid game. If used, it is positioned on a long table edge, so we can simply use one of the blue mats for this.
A single Road is compulsory (unless the River is used in the Raid game). Club terrain should be fine for this.
A Stream can be one of the terrain choices but only a maximum of one can be used. Again club terrain should suffice.
The remaining terrain items are all area terrain and all occupy two grid squares each.
Buildings. There are 6 compulsory Building areas (i.e. 12 squares) in the Raid game and a maximum of 2 Building areas in the Battle game. We found it necessary to move the buildings around to accommodate the figures, so a building template is really necessary to mark out the Building squares.
Woods. Up to 8 wooded areas may be used (i.e. 16 squares!). Again these would benefit from templates so that the trees can be moved.
Rough Ground (Marsh, bog or crops). There may be up to 4 areas (8 squares) of marsh, bog or crops.
Rough hill. There may be up to four of these.
Gentle hill. There may be also up to four of these.
Palisade There may be only one of these and it is an option in the Raid game. The palisade surrounds one of the building areas. The club does possess a suitable palisade.
At first sight, the game requires a frightening number of markers - I counted almost twenty different types, described in the rules! Thankfully, this turns out to be a belt and braces approach and you don't need many at all. I reckon that we can get away with the following:
In common with most Peter Pig games, casualties are marked with casualty bases. These are not on the table for very long so any suitable marker / token would do, although a base containing a casualty figure is undoubtedly the best.
Units are either in Battle line or March formation. Variants of Battle line are Swinehead and Shieldwall. The former is denoted by a suitable arrangement of the units bases but Shieldwall requires some sort of marker. As it happens I have a number of spare shields mounted on small round bases (from a different game) which will suffice.
Hacking Through or Gaining Ground
The winner of an ongoing melee will be either 'Gaining Ground' or 'Hacking Through'. Both of these can be denoted by an appropriate arrangement of the unit's bases. For 'Hacking Through' position one of the winner's bases so that it is piercing the enemy line. For 'Gaining Ground' advance both flanks of the winning unit as if it were pushing the loser back. This may be tricky with reduced units but any configuration that suggests one side is pushing the other back will be OK as an aide memoire.
Morale affects the number of action dice available to that unit – either lose 2D6 OR lose 4D6. These morale states are mutually exclusive. In our test games we have used the appropriate number of red micro dice.
At the end of a melee surviving units are fatigued and lose 3 action dice. We have used 3 yellow micro dice (as distinct from the red morale results).
Search Markers and Plunder
These are only applicable to the Raid game. Each building square (all 12 of them) potentially contains loot. The rules suggest using 12 potential loot markers that are removed after a building square is searched. It actually makes more sense to add a marker after searching, reducing the likely number of required markers.
Plunder markers will be required to designate units that have successfully searched. Theoretically there could be up to 12 of these (one per building square). However, the rules suggest that only about 8 will be necessary. Plunder markers can be locals (i.e. slaves), livestock or loot. I'm sure several of us have civilians and livestock in our collections and I have some chests that will do as loot.
A single plunder marker may be termed a 'Gift from God'. The rules suggest a princess, holy person or a chap with a big treasure chest. I have a Bishop miniature which may do the job.
|Saxons in shieldwall are gaining ground. Vikings have 3D6 fatigue and a 4D6 morale result|
|Vikings (with 3D6 fatigue) are Hacking Through the Saxon Shieldwall (which has a 2D6 morale result)|