Friday, 21 March 2014

IHMN trial solo game

A week ago, Craig and I managed to get together for a few trial games of IHMN, a brief report of which you can find on Craig's Blog . Spurred on by this and the fun we had, I decided to draw up two Companies based upon my Mordheim Witch Hunters and Pig-faced Orcs (more details of which to follow later on) with the view to having a solo game or two. The Orcs are broadly speaking based upon the Zulu, with the Witch Hunters on the Cognescenti.

So after a few evenings playing around with lists etc, I had my forces ready. As I don't have any 28mm buildings yet, the game would be played in the countryside. I tried to give a variety of terrain and lines of sight to make the game interesting and a challenge. So this afternoon everything was set up ready for a game or two, with the first a simple 'Breakthrough' scenario as per the rulebook with no added 'extras'.

The Witch Hunters entered from the left by the woods, with the Orcs either side of the stream, deployed to mutually support each other.
The Orcs.
The Witch Hunters.
The Orcs won the Initiative and moved quickly into the long grass to take advantage of their stealthy talent. A lone Orc moved onto the hill to get a good line of sight for shooting with his crossbow. The Witch Hunters moved more slowly, weighed down by their armour.
The Witch Hunters moved into and alongside the small wood, the latter slowing their movement down.
The long grass helped to protect the Orcs from any shooting that might come their way. As it turned out, both sides had moved so far that the shooting modifiers were too much to allow any chance of a hit.
This time the Witch Hunters won the inititative and moved into combat where possible, whilst leaving some in the open for possible shots with their crossbows. Once again however, both sides movement prevented any realistic chance of any hits from their crossbows. In combat the Withc Hunters dog was rather easily dispatched, whilst the Orc leader was knocked down after being hit by an incense burner.
Both sides start to close into combat and line themselves up for shots from their crossbows.
In Turn 3 the Witch Hunters once again won the initiative roll, but the Orcs superior numbers prevented them gaining any real advantage in the movement phase. For the first time there was some shooting, but despite hits, both sides easily passed their Pluck rolls.

And that was as far as I got in the game. I had intended on writing up two reference sheets for each company for use during the game, but in the end didn't have time. This really hampered my ability to play the game, as I was constantly swapping bewteen books and pages. Mea Culpa! 

Despite this I learnt quite a lot from these few turns, as well as the trial games with Craig. So I thought I'd jot down a few thoughts based upon my games so far. In no particular order:

  • The game mechanics are very quick to pick up, in fact after only a few minutes of playing.
  • The rules provide for a fast and fun game.
  • Reference sheets for each company are a must, detailing things like what a characters armour rating is, their Fighting Value etc. It saves no end of time in the game, thereby allowing you to concentrate on the game in hand.
  • I think a 4'x4' table is better to play on compared to a 3'x3' table. So far I have been able to move into combat so quickly, thereby pretty much eliminating any ranged weapons. The extra space to manouevre in will give a better game I'm sure.
  • Having played Mordheim for years, a good scenario is critical for any skirmish game. The ones in the book are very simlar in feel to Mordheim and some will work much better than others IMHO.
  • A few buildings are a must to give some variety not only to the visual look of the table, but also game play.
  • I find the fact that each figure is gauranteed to move in each turn a bit strange, as all the games I have played of late have involved some form of 'command-and-control' element. I'm going to try having each figure having to roll higher than their Pluck roll at the start of each turn before they can perform an action. It may or may not work but I want to try it.
  • I haven't found ranged weapons to be very effective yet as mentioned above. This may be due to the very open terrain I have due to the lack of buildings on my part, so the jury is still out. As and when I get some buildings, which are in the pipeline, I'll be able to make a more objective judgement.
  • Figuring out how terrain limits movement is a bit vague in the rulebook, but it appears that say a Type 2 piece of terrain removes 2" from a figures movement. If in doubt just use common sense.
  • Playing the game as a campaign is a must as far as I'm concerned. I'm looking forward to starting my 'Tractate Middoth' campaign once I got the hang of the rules and sorted my Companies out.
So taking the above into account, I'm going to go away and write up two sheets for my Companies, to make the next game much easier for me to play. Hopefully another AAR to follow this weekend!