AVBCW – Skirmish battle – Brink of Battle (Updated)

Went round to Byakhee JP’s house today for a game of Brink of Battle, a skirmish wargame.[1]

I played the heroic MHC LDV to make a change from the previous game, and JP played his BUF.

The Rules

The Brink of Battles rules are very complex, and clearly a labour of love. They are however, we agreed after the battle, in most ways logical and simple once you get the hang of them. Building the battle force is a number crunching exercise, and it’d be great to see an Excel spreadsheet to help automate the process, and/or some sample battle forces provided.

Both of us had only 7 models playing a 500 point game. We did a simple head on battle with myself as the ‘sentry’, and JP’s BUF as the ‘intruder’ force. You can buy traits for your troops and as the MHC employ Rangers to watch over the Malverns, decided all my troops would have this trait that allowed them to move freely through difficult terrain. In this battle this trait did not help much but for a campaign it would be highly useful.

As we were using so few figures, and we didn’t know the rules well (JP had played one solo game, and I had only read them on Wednesday) we were slower than expected and didn’t get everything right, nor did circumstance allow the full scope of the rules to play out. For example we had both taken Commanders with high CMD ratings that allowed us to issue Action orders to all our figures every go. In bigger battles, or in battles with lower level Commanders/figures then this would not have been possible and would have made a big difference.

The rules also make a big issue of Cover and Concealment – two related but distinct concepts – which ironically Gav H and I identified and started modifying Went the Day Well ? rules to take account of. (More on this later)

The Game

I deployed my troops mostly on a hill on the right hand side, and attempted to defend from there.

Originally I sent two guys including a veteran to snipe at the BUF as they moved through the wood. However, it soon beame apparent that a strong BUF showing at an overgrown wall was going to be the main source and deciding arena for the game. So the two outriders were called back ASAP, especially as the futility of firing at targets that are Concealed and in Cover. I think JP also realised the really slow rate figures move through difficult terrain – woods in this case.

First blood was claimed by the MHC after many shots, but then fate lurched into favouring the BUF, who managed to shoot one of the MHC in the back as he was running away. Boo Hiss !

We then had a couple of rounds of a slug fest, which we both commented would have not happened in a bigger/more varied game. Elite troops with high CON ratings are a real pain to get rid of. Especially as in my case the dice hate you and whilst you can hit the barn door you realise you came equipped with blanks [2]. On the up side, my Commander saw off his NCO after an exchange of fire…his is the lone figure running away…

We ended up both on rout tests, and in this case, JP’s dice hated him more than mine hated me, and so he sarpered first. I can claim no great tactical victory.

Though my MHC did mount a last ditch advance at the flakey BUF firing line behind the wall that may have conceptually lead to their defeat. So, the honest upstanding citizens of the Malverns can sleep safely as the MHC have prevented encroachment on the hills again. 😉

So we had a good game, and we’d like to try the rules out again with a larger and or more varied force with fewer elite troops present. Fun was had which is the most important thing.

You should also read JP’s blog !

Tomorrow – more WHFB with Byakhees Rich & Anthony. On this occasion I’m fielding Dwarves/Stunties, sadly unpainted so lots of naked metal ! But it will be a change from dark Elves for me.[3]

[1] Though JP cheated and got a delivery of Pizza from Domino’s
[2] Deja-Vu of the curse of the rubber swords of Dark Elf Assassins or ?
[3] No change in the diet tho – I have more Pizza lined up…to be covered in a special posting on Sunday once my guts have recovered from 3 days of Pizza – I suffer for my hobby !

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