22 May 2011

Battles of Westeros - Battle of the Whispering Woods

The Whispering woods scenario takes place roughly halfway into the scenario book, and is fairly close to the battle of the whispering woods described in the books.

The setup is Jaime Lannister at the head of the Lannister army, rushing out head first to attack the Stark forces – unknowing that the whole thing is a well planned ambush. The Stark troops are hiding around the forest, and in this scenario they also have special hidden archer tokens.

There is a fair deal of ways to earn victory points in this particular scenario. First of all you get 1VP for each destroyed enemy unit (symbolized by a captured standard bearer). You also get 1/2/3 VP depending on whether the enemy morale is down to Green/Yellow/Red. On top of that the Lannisters get 5VP if they capture Catelyn Stark which is placed behind the river. And both forces can achieve instant victory if they have 5 VP and capture the enemy general (Robb Stark or Jaime Lannister).

The battle turned out close the how it went down in the books. The Lannisters split up on two flanks and hit with everything the Stark army had. The southern Lannister flank was pretty much annihilated by turn 4, with the remaining troops killed by turn 6. Of the 3 Lannister commanders Adam Marbrand and Kevan Lannister were captured. Only Jaime Lannister evaded capture, even with the Stark cavalry units surrounding him no one managed to roll high enough damage to beat his “capture”  value.  The Starks had the upper hand in this scenario, even if the Lannisters started with the Momentum marker. The Starks had 1 more commander than the Lannisters which adds a bit more flexibility. At the end of the battle only Greatjon Umber had lost his troops and wandered alone (almost being captured at one point) – the others (Maege Mormont, Robb Stark and Rickard Karstark) all still had their retinues intact.

It was a great scenario, the Starks did have a bit more luck with generating their order tokens each turn, as the Lannisters kept generating green tokens when they would need Red or Blue thus crippling their command options a little.

We enforced a change in rules regarding the archers as well. The rulebook made it sound as if the archers fired arrows each Stark command phase. This sounded crazy as you only get to activate 1 unit per turn (unless they rout and are rallied). So we cut this hidden archer attack down to 1 attack per turn instead. They may only fire 1 attack per archer token (3 in total) but make such an attack often enough and it really messes up the balance of the battle – especially since my archers managed to snipe some hard to kill red cavalry the first 2-3 times I used the hidden archers.

The battle ended a solid Stark victory even though Jaime had escaped the Lannister army was smashed.

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