For Amazons, pitiless battle and horsemanship and all tasks done by men are a delight from birth. This is obviously why they have always shown a warlike spirit and feel no need for men, because the work of war greatly strengthens their courage and makes their bodies fearless. — Quintus of Smyrna, “The War at Troy”
Yesterday, I celebrated my birthday with a huge Amazon versus Amazon battle. It is the largest RRtK, Rally Round the King, game I’ve played to date. It was an all day affair. I think that if it had been played by two players it would have taken about three to four hours to play. Why did it take all day? Well, part of it is because I wrote down notes of everything and took lots of pictures. The other part is that while playing the game, I did laundry, talked to birthday well wishers on the phone and cooked dinner. I think if I do this next year I’ll reserve a table at a game store and try to get other gamers to play with me.
Setting Up the Game
I mentioned in my last post that I’d done all of the recruiting rolls and determined the Battle Tactics for each army. The Battle Tactics would help determine the order of battle and deployment for each army. (Oh yeah, I discovered a math error in my point totals. The Asterian army had 875 points and the Nycenaean army had 894 points.)
If you’ve played RRtK before, then this part on setting up the game will be familiar. I’ve included it so those who have never played the game can get an idea as to how to go from army list to miniatures on the table. After I’ve recruited my army, the first thing to do is to establish a War Rating for my army (see page 9). The War Rating is used in the calculation as to who is the attacker and who is the defender, and War Rating points are used to activate halted bodies of troops. Asteria had a War Rating of 7 and Nycenae had a War Rating of 6.
Most of the time I play games on my dining room table. However, a game of this size requires a larger table. I don’t have a larger table, but I do have a queen sized bed. I made up the bed and placed six two foot by two foot, one inch thick pieces of insulation foam on the bed. This gave me a playing surface of six feet by four feet.
Over this I laid a large piece of felt and was now ready to set up terrain. Before setting up terrain, I had to determine which army was the attacker and which army was the defender. This is done through Scouting (page 27). Scouting is a calculation of mounted troops, skirmishers, whether your army is invading and the War Rating. The result was that Asteria was the attacker and Nycenae was the defender.
Not only does the attacker get to go first, but the role of attacker or defender also determines which side of the table is your baseline for deployment when playing solo (page 53).
Laying out terrain is covered in pages 27 through 30. The table is divided into nine sections with a major terrain piece in each section. Rough Terrain was the result of my roll on the general terrain table. That meant I would be using the “Rough” column on the terrain generator table. Here are the results:
After placing the terrain, it is time to deploy the armies. Since the defender starts deploying first, I list the order of battle for the Nycenaeans first. Their Battle Tactic for this game was Encircle Flank (page 53). Basically this tactic involves overloading one wing in an attempt to quickly roll the enemy’s flank. The tactic calls for placing 30% of the units in this wing.
The right flank wing was commanded by Captain Ioanna. She commanded 1 unit of Nobles, 3 units of Sword Maidens, 2 units of Warriors, 1 unit of Cavalry, 3 units of Archers and 3 units of Slingers/Javelins.
I placed a sorceress figure on each command stand to make identifying leaders easier. The pictures are a little darker than usual, it was an overcast day and I used my iPad to take all of photos.
The Center was composed of 60% of the units including the Reserve. The center was commanded by General Callidora. It consisted of the cream of the Nycenaean infantry, but Callidora’s body would have to advance through a dense wood before engaging the enemy. The center contained 6 units of Nobles, 4 units of Warriors, 3 units of Archers, 8 units of Slingers/Javelins and the Hero Titania. The reserve containe 4 units of Warriors.
The Battle Tactic called for a small left flank of only 10% of the total force. This small wing’s only task was to protect the flank of the center main body, It was commanded by Captain Dion the Just and contained 2 units of Nobles, 1 unit of Archers and 1 unit of Slingers/Javelins.
The opposing Asterian army did not have the number of heavy infantry that the Nycenaeans enjoyed. Yet, it was a force to be reckoned with.
The Asterians had allies on the right flank, a host of forest nymphs commanded by Daphne Bright Oak as their captain. The wing consisted of 2 units of Nobles, 4 units of Warriors with their war clubs and obsidian-tipped spears, and 3 units of Archers.
When I rolled a war rating of 4 for the Asterian General, I knew this person had to be a commander of renown. I picked the general from my last big Amazon game, Phoebe. Only now she is known as Phoebe Foot Breaker.
The Battle Tactic rolled for the Asterian army was the more common Penetrate Center where the center body leads the two wings to smash through the enemy’s center leaving only remnants of the enemy to be handled by the flanks. The center is made up of 60% of the army with 20% on each flank. The center also had a 10% reserve. The center was composed of 4 units of Nobles, 1 unit of Sword Maidens, 3 units of Warriors, 8 units of Slingers/Javelins and 4 units of Cavalry. The reserve consisted of 1 unit of Nymph Warriors, 2 units of Archers and 1 unit of Slingers/Javelins.
Last, but not least, was the Left Flank commanded by Captain Eudora. It consisted of 1 unit of Nobles, 2 units of Sword Maidens, 3 units of Warriors, 1 unit of Archers and 2 units of Slingers/Javelins. Also attached to te left flank was the Hero, the Dwarf Verthandi.
Usually the placement of the magic users is written down on a piece of paper and the miniatures are placed on the table until the player wishes to cast a spell. It’s to keep your opponent from targeting the magic users, but it is kind of pointless when playing solo. So, I rolled a d6 for the placement of the magi users – Right Flank (1-2); Center (3-4); Left Flank (5-6). The Asterian magic users were attached to the Center and the Nycenaean magic users were attached to the Right Flank.