Wednesday, 22 April 2009

This One Split Playtest: Here There Be Giants

Another day, another playtest. This time Farid volunteered to join in, playing with my plains elves (but pretending they were dark elves, hence dark magic). Farid had not been exposed to the rules before, so to me this served as a basic test on how we were doing.

I fielded my orcs again, this time enhanced with the giant I had just finished painting.

Orc Army: Grumbuz's Tribe
With Aznar's faillure, the challenge of breaking through into the elven plains fell to Grumbuz again. Why this was so important he did not know, but the emissary had been very clear on the importance and the dire consequences of failure.

However, luck was on Grumbuz's side today. Not only had the blood moon risen, furthermore his ranks had been bolstered by a small band of giants - the promise of revenge on menfolk and those vile elves enough to convince the elder brutes to join in.


Certain of the upcoming glory, Grumbuz's plan was a simple one. On his left flank he would have Blogsok - another recent addition to his forces, the day must be glorious indeed - with strict orders to protect the flank and not attack of his own initiative.

The right flank, along the river, would be Magrott's task, with the giants fighting amidsts his troops. Their task was to push forward and protect the right flank of the army.

In the center he had Ragnok's tribe, with Akz's ogres in support. They were to break through the thin elven line, with both flanks secured it should be easy enough.

Now all they needed to know WHERE those pesky elves were. They had been under observation by their scouts for days, but so far he had yet to see more than a shadow.

Grumbuzz's tribe:

Grumbuzz Chief: Solid, Inspirational, Staunch, Rash

Addertongue shaman: Junior dark mage (Dav), Capacity 16, Staunch. Spells: Despair, Weakness, Confusion

Thwok hero: Poor, Liked, Slayer of All, Hard to Kill, Initiative II (Enthusiastic)

Magrott Chief: Able/Bold, Inspirational, Staunch, Hard to Kill

Bruisers: OO HI B, two-handed weapons, 10, Shock
Bruisers: OO HI B, two-handed weapons, 10, Shock
Heavy Spears: OO HI B, two-handed weapons, 10
Heavy Spears: OO HI C, two-handed weapons, 10
Light spears: OO MI C, spear shield, 10
Mob: OO LI D, spear shield, 10
Mob: OO LI D, spear shield, 10
Skirmishing younglings: SO LI D, inferior bow, 7
Skirmishing younglings: SO LI E, inferior bow, 7
Skirmishing younglings: SO LI E, inferior bow, 7

Ragnok's tribe:

Ragnok chief: Solid/Thick, Liked, Staunch, Rash, 2x Hard to Kill

Bruisers: OO HI B, two-handed weapons, 10, Shock
Giant: Large Giant B, Heavy Armour, Shield, 10, Shock, Terror
Heavy spears: OO HI B, Spear and shield, 10
Heavy spears: OO HI C, Spear and shield, 10
Heavy spears: OO HI B, Spear and shield, 10
Light spears: OO MI C, spear shield, 10
Light spears: OO MI D, spear shield, 10
Mob: OO LI C, spear shield, 10
Mob: OO LI D, spear shield, 10
Skirmishing younglings: SO LI D, inferior bow, 7
Skirmishing younglings: SO LI E, inferior bow, 7
Skirmishing younglings: SO LI E, inferior bow, 7

Blogsok's Wolfriders:

Blogsok chief: Atrocious, Liked, Staunch

Wolfriders: OO HC C, Handweapons and shields, Carnivorous mounts
Wolfriders: OO HC C, Handweapons and shields, Carnivorous mounts
Wolfriders: OO HC C, Handweapons and shields, Carnivorous mounts
Wolfriders: OO HC D, Handweapons and shields, Carnivorous mounts

Akz's Ogres:

Akz Chief: Able/Bold, Inspirational, Slayer of All, Hard to Kill

Ogres: Light Giants B, two-handers, 10
Ogres: Light Giants C, two-handers, 10

Grrr Hero: Poor, Liked, Staunch

Akz: Slain by a pesky elven hero
Akz's ogres: Serious casualties from elven bows
Magrott: Severely wounded by the same pesky elven hero
Magrott's tribe: All the best troops bled to death in the stream
Ragnok's tribe: A few units lost, otherwise minor
Blogsok's Wolfriders: no casualties.

Elven Army: Thanalis's Border Rangers

Apparantly we were facing the same elves that Aznar failed to defeat. We don't know what went on in their head, but have a pretty accurate list of their forces. Then again their mage seemed to be casting dark spells?

Thanalis Commander in Chief: Allegedly a poor commander
Insuldir Mage Master (schooled) Spells: Some dark spells?!

Erimor, East Rides mounted rangers:
* 2x Mounted Rangers: OO Light Cavalry B, spear, elven bow, strength 6
* 2x Centaurs: SO Light Cavalry C, bow, strength 5

Leinor, East Rides foot rangers:
* 3x Foot Rangers: OO Light Infantry B, spear, elven bow, strength 10
* 2x Skirmishers: SO Light Infantry C, elven bow, strength 7
* Hero Incelan

Veriborn, Lonely Hills foot rangers:
* 3x Foot Rangers: OO Light Infantry B, spear, elven bow, strength 10
* 2x Skirmishers: SO Light Infantry C, elven bow, strength 7
* Hero Caethin

Eilas, White Sun Pegasus Scouts:
* 3x Pegasus Scouts: SO Medium Cavalry B, shield, elven bow, strength 5

Vanuldir, Grove Cavalry
* 1x Noble Cavalry: OO Heavy Cavalry, B, lance, javelin, shield, strength 8
* Hero Avelion

Taluwya, Grove Cavalry
* 3x Unicorn riders: SO Light Cavalry C, elven bow, strength 5

* Vanuldir: Almost wiped out and routed along with his noble cavalry and the hero Avelion
* Eilas's pegasus scouts: Thrown back with losses, and one flight routed
* Erimor's mounted rangers: Thrown back with heavy losses

The Battle - Grumbuzz's perspective


Once again we could only see a scouts, and no sight of the elven army. Kicking Blogsok forward on the left flank (never seen a more useless leader!), I left Ragnok to deal with the right flank, with orders to use the woods for cover to advance close to the elven line.

In the center my tribe was advancing steadily, and Akz's ogres along with them. Roaring laughter rose when an elf strode across the stream, and called out a challenge to Akz. The fool did not seem to realise that Akz slew elf heroes for breakfast. Lazily trotting forward, Akz swung his axe, cleaving straight through the elf. Or rather, the space the elf occupied instants before, instead only lightly clipping the elf. In turn, the elf stabbed Akz once. We could not believe our eyes as Akz's tumbled, the elf coolly cleaning his blade on the ogre's trousers.

A setback, but nothing that could not be dealt with. On the left flank Blgsok had fallen still again, only to have a cloud of budgies (pegasus riders? - ed.) swoop down on them. The wolves seemed to be having a blast, teeth tearing out feathers and tails. Most amusing to see them scurry back into the distance, not to be seen again.


The right flank was starting to become a problem though. First of all, just as the archers approached the thick woods, the hostile mage did... Something. Something that caused the leaves to fall and the brush to shrivel and die. Blinking in surprise, the most forward younglings were cut down in a hail of elven arrows. So much for that plan.

More importantly still, some very bright looking elven heavy cavalry had advanced all along the river, supported by their rangers. If I did not act soon they would get behind Ragnok and cause all sorts of trouble. After personally instructing him to deal with the threat, I took charge of a unit of ogres and started to flog them forward again.

Addertongue reassured me he had things in hand though. He strode forward, and cast the magic of Despair on the leader of the elven cavalry. Soon, he promised, the leader would run away in tears.

Ragnok may be a bit thick, but from the looks of it Ragnok sure knew how to handle his troops. Leaving his skirmishers to cover the front, he pushed the remainder of his troops to the right, and through the water. It was a risky choice, as it would leave them disordered upon arrival on the hostile banks, and at risk to a strong charge by the hostile cavalry. Still, they outnumbered them vastly, and the giants would not be easily intimidated, he was sure of that.


I must get that idiot Addertongue flayed. No tears, from the elven leader. Instead, a single, lilting laugh seemed to shake off the entire magics that our shaman had ensorceled him with. Trumpets sound, and the elven cavcalry comes thundering forward. Met with an unswerving line of orc steel and spear, the cavalry is thrown back in some confusion, and we hold the right bank!

In the center, Magrott will not be outdone. Leading from the front, he sees an elf step out of the archery line, and skip across the river. The same one Akz fought against, probably. The challenge from the elf was still spilling from his lips, when Magrott charged forward, bold as ever. Blades flashed for what seemed like an eternity - until Magrott stumbled back to his lines, severly wounded, and leaving the elf triumphant. Again.

Still, Magrott had enough presence of mind left to urge his tribe forward, in one close block of orc anger. They charged down the hill, and fully expected the elf to skip back across the water even hastier than he had come. Instead, the flanking units watched in soem amazement as the elf stiid his ground, stopping the center in it's tracks, slaying a few orcs, and THEN skipping back to his lines. With a few more wounds for the effort, but nonetheless STILL alive. This disrupted the orc formation, and the wounded Magrott would never get them moving forward in any coordinated fashion, again.


On the right flank, things were going much better. Having stood their ground, Ragnok's orcs were pushing the elven heavy cavalry back, and the giants were wading through a thin cloud of fresh centaur blood. Soon, the heavy cavalry would root, very close to annihilation.


Sheer grit and determination from Magrott pushed the forward units of spears into the stream, to assault the archers on the far side. Already, the elf hero had cost them direly, spending more time within range of those blasted archers. Now, wading through the stream things got really close. If only he could get his spears in contact with the rangers facing them, he was sure they would break through. Unfortunately, the attack faltered within arm's reach of the opposing shore.


The orcs trapped in the stream were hastily being turned into living pincushions, arrows sticking out in all directions.


Too wounded to do much, Magrott could but watch as finally their morale faltered, his finest troops running back to preserve their hides. Grumbuzz tried to intervene, brining up a unit of ogres, but these too would arrive too late to make a difference. The attack in the center had failed dramatically, and the stream flowed red with orc blood.

On the right flank, the elven rangers would manage to break one unit of heavy spears, before they themselves were chased off by the giants and the remainder of Ragnok's orcs.


Overall, an elven victory. But an expensive one, with one regiment of their nobles left crumbled on the field. For Magrott, the price was heavier still, with the muscle of his tribe left dead or dying in a stream.

* Farid had a lot of fun, and seemed to pick up the overall intent of the rules quick enough. Success!
* The battle was interesting enough - by making use of the terrain the elves were able to hold, but only just. They were certainly not helped by their poor commander in chief
* Magic added flavour, but did not dominate
* Defensive shooting is probably too effective, as it is already a bonus round of shooting. Will be amended.
* Rules need to be amended to the effect that infantry cannot provide rear support to giants etc.
* Blogsok is a useless git.


  1. I had great fun to play. The game supports tactical concepts (plenty of rule sets allow for extremely weird possibilities) on overall my dice performed below statically probabilities The Charge of the Nobles should have been a success besides throwing snake eyes which I succeeded to accomplish 4 times. And if your Heavy Cav. fails that miserably they deserve to die anyway al the other regiments sustained some casualties but no more then 1 stand. I do belief if the terrain wasn't in my favor this would be a hard pressed battle even for a veteran.

    I can only recomended the This One Split Rule set.

    Farid the Dark Elf

    This ruleset is stimulating me at least to purchase 15 mm Dark elves.

  2. looked like a close battle to me. And interesting as well, so I'll take my chance to play some time as well