09 March 2011

Harassment of Harrenhall (Battles of Westeros)

Played a great game of Battles of Westeros this weekend with my buddy Calle, we took a break from miniature wargaming. The scenario that was played is the very last one in the campaign book; the Lannisters (Red) have defeated much of the Stark army (White) and are marching north towards the homelands of the Stark family. What remains of the Stark army shadows their trail waiting for an opportunity where the Lannister army is spread out thin enough to be attacked with good odds. The Lannisters, finally fed up with their pursuers turn around and make a stand.

The disposition of forces in this scenario is huge, both sides pretty much max out on units. The Stark army start out at a disadvantage since their army is still formed in a column along the road. The Lannisters are grouped more tightly and can spread out to cover the entire frontline quickly.
Stark has initiative, the best that can be done is to try bringing some troops from the back up to the flanks. Stark cavalry move north and Kennelmasters move forward.

Both sides move into position, with each side allocating one of their 3 heroes to the south, center and north flank to keep their army together and max out on order abilities. In a huge battle such as this, with minimal room for maneuver it becomes more important to activate the right unit at the right time to build up a push through the enemy lines.

The objective in this scenario is quite simple. 1 VP for each one of the 3 objective markers that start out in Lannister hands. Victory points for enemy morale being green/red, and killing points for destroyed units 1VP for Green, 2VP for Blue and 3VP for Red.

At turn 3 it appears as if the battle will become a deadlock neither side seem to be able to break through the frontline - meanwhile reserves are moved around from the back up to reinforce weak spots or to prepare a renewed assault. The situation down at the south flank looks grim for the Starks, character Maege Mormont gets captured which cripples the command ability of a lot of unit. Luckily Greatjonn Umber takes over and moves in to replace the losses to stabilize the Lannister cavalry onslaught. The center is holding up quite well for both sides, battle around the hill and the forest makes for limited movement possibilities and many units fight one on one. In the north Lannisters are commanded by Gregor Clegane, or "The Mountain" as he is called. 7feet tall crazy guy leading a well armored unit of swordsmen and being pretty much impossible to capture due to his high defense value. Most of the Stark Cavalry head up north to try to make a breach in the Lannister lines. Casualties start to pile up on both sides, the morale slider jumping back and forth, at one point being down to green for the Stark army but going back to neutral middleground again.

For a long time it looks as if the Lannisters will win by simply holding the line, the Starks are just unable to break through to either one of the nearby objectives. During the final 2 turns however, the Lannister command ability is slightly reduced because of bad command cards and unusable command tokens, allowing the Stark army to make a push and claim the northern objective. Clegane is sent running, it looks as if the center objective would fall into Stark hands as well but as the 6th and final turn ends the Stark are just one square out of reach! Calculating losses and victory points sums the battle up to a Stark victory by 1 single point!

I love this game, each scenario is tactically different from the other, some scenarios are about outmaneuvering, others about outwitting your opponent - this one was about a lot of micro management and activating the right unit at the right time and placing reserves on proper flanks. As with the other scenarios that I've played this battle could have swung either way, and as the result implies it was really really close to be a draw!




If you are unfamiliar with the game, check my boardgame review category, there is a 3 part review of Battles of Westeros in there.

6 comments:

  1. Great review! Thanks for taking the time to write it up. Sounded like really intense game.

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  2. Probably the most bloody and ferocious battle I've experienced in the game so far - but it was a blast to play as always! :-)

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  3. Im just setting this up now...the scenario calls for seventeen lannister cavalry pieces and yet only 15 come with the game...is this true for your set as well am I missing two pieces?

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  4. Yes there seemed to be cavalry missing - someone gave me a link to FFG where it was explained - don't remember if it was a typo or if all boxed sets came with too few miniatures.

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  5. well, the box came with fifteen and the component list says fifteen as well. If you find that link please post, i can't find the page and I would like to know... thanks

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  6. I can't seem to find it now either. But - I'd recommend you just write to FFG customer support and describe what you're missing. I wrote them myself and got my missing cavalry after about a week (I live in Sweden) so that was pretty fast.

    Very smooth customer support in this regard. Though this was also my only time contacting the FFG support about anything. I read that the turnaround on missing pieces being shipped to you from FFG is very fast and most people get their missing stuff within a week.

    Just make sure you answer all their questions so that they can process your inquiry smoothly.

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