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Mar 18 16 10:05 PM

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As I am playing solo I thought a campaign would be easy to organise with some simple campaign rules, random enemy army generation and random terrain generation.
The campaign is based during the early raids of the Vikings in England.  As I wanted to see how some of my randomness worked I haven't yet worked on the back story.
The random enemy/terrain and events all worked well.
Unfortunately, this was my first  outing with DR/LR where not a unit wanted to move.  Most turns saw anywhere from 0 to 2 units move per side.  After fourteen turns, where only three resulted in four or more units moving on at least one side, the Saxons called it a day out of frustration.
A full report and photos will follow.

I am unsure what happened to the dice today.  They will be severely punished before my next game!

At the moment I might name my game Lion Couchant (not quite Lion Domant).

Last Edited By: Ethelred the Almost Ready Mar 18 16 10:16 PM. Edited 1 time

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#1 [url]

Mar 19 16 4:12 AM

Ethelred the Almost Ready wrote:
As I am playing solo I thought a campaign would be easy to organise with some simple campaign rules, random enemy army generation and random terrain generation.

 

Hi,
​I've not been wargaming very long and I am playing solo. 
I would be very interested in knowing more about your campaign rules, enemy army and terrain generation if you'd care to share.
Thanks

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#3 [url]

Mar 22 16 2:52 AM

After several false starts to post photos I will try again.

The campaign is a work in progress, so some things will be modified as I go along.
For a solo game I accept that there is normally one side we want to win more than another, so I have simply allowed for this bias with making one side, the Saxons, my "player" army, while the Vikings are the "non-player army". 
While I might want the Saxons to win, random events and potential size of the enemy favour the non-player.

Firstly, to create a random table top.  I took the idea of terrain tiles from the game Carcassonne and made my own cards which represent a 2x2' area.  The terrain feature is in one quarter of the card.  How the card turns up determines where the feature is.  For example, the standing stones are in the bottom left corner of it's 2x2 ara, the church is in ythe upper right.  So, onn my 6x8 table there happen to be 8 terrain features.  Other tiles are woods, river, rough ground, hedges etc.

image


The next step is to decide who is the "attacker" and who is the "defender".  The bias is towards the Vikings as the attacker with a +2 to the roll.  Each side rolls d6 and the highest is the attacker.  This is modified by +1 for the side that won the last battle and +2 for winning the last 2 battles.
I have not fully decided on how to use battle objectives but feel I will have 1 primary objective and 2 secondary objectives.  These will give glory points to the side that holds each for the longest.  The random positioning of these is biassed towards the defenders side of the table.

The Viking force is randomly generated.  As the campaign increases the number of units will grow.  But for games 1-3 the enemy (non-player) units are d3 plus 4 (so 5 to 7 units).
There is a base Leaders unit and then other units are randomly drawn from cards.

Some of the cards:

image

The Saxons are deployed.  Then the non-player units are deployed: the leaders card is placed according to a dice roll and all other units are placed face down within 18 inches of the leader.  
The distance between the two forces is also determined randomly by dice rolls.
The first move of the non-player is done blind with th Move Roll being 5+ and distance 6 inches.  The cards are then flipped to show what the units are and the figures placed on the table.
This gives the Saxons some uncertainty over what they will be facing and the exact strength in points of the enemy.

The random events are rolled for each ropund after the first.  A 1-2 on a d10 means a random event, a 3 means the Viking lord issues a challenge.  The random events are rolled for with a d20.  I can list these later if anyone is interested.

Otherwise, I then play the game to the best of my ability for both sides (but with a possible not-so-subconscious bias for the Saxons).




 

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#4 [url]

Mar 22 16 5:58 AM

Thanks a lot for posting. That is a lt simpler and more elegant than the things I have been trying to do.
I, for one, would be very interested in hearing more.
How are you deciding the composition of your Saxon force?
Also, have you thought of using the Glory Boasts as objectives? I've put them on cards and deal them according to the number thrown on a D8. 1 or 2 = a 1 glory boast, 3 or 4 = a 2 glory, 5 or 6 a 3 glory, and 7 or 8 no boast at all.

Last Edited By: dexey Mar 22 16 9:59 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#5 [url]

Mar 22 16 10:56 AM

  (but with a possible not-so-subconscious bias for the Saxons).




 

That's only right.image

I like your terrain generation method. One question about the forces: wouldn't the availablitly of units be more likely to decline as the campaign goes on instead of increase? Or, possibly, increase for the Saxons if they are successful and their neighbours rally to their cause and either remain static or decrease for the Vikings depending on their success?

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#6 [url]

Mar 22 16 2:56 PM

Codsticker wrote:

  (but with a possible not-so-subconscious bias for the Saxons).




 

That's only right.image

I like your terrain generation method. One question about the forces: wouldn't the availablitly of units be more likely to decline as the campaign goes on instead of increase? Or, possibly, increase for the Saxons if they are successful and their neighbours rally to their cause and either remain static or decrease for the Vikings depending on their success?

That's a good point but there are ways that the Vikings could increase their units.
Leader's brother, father, cousins respond to a call for help. Alliance with Welsh, Strathclyde Welsh or Scots for promised power over conquered lands. Employing mercenaries from Gall Gaedhill and/or irish. Negotiate a deal with Northumbrians or York vikings for share of plunder.
Lots of excuses for more figures :0)
 

Last Edited By: dexey Apr 7 16 8:44 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#7 [url]

Mar 22 16 5:45 PM

I think people would rather a game progresses rather than regresses.
I m perhaps influenced by Dux Britanniarum and Dungeons and Dragons (not that I have played the latter for at least 28 years).  In Dux Brit both sides get advancements.  In D&D the characters meet progressively more difficult monsters as they go up in level.

I haven't completely worked out replacement of losses and gaining new units, but I am thinking along these lines: each victory will give a number of points and these, with glory points can be accumulated or spent to replace losses and, if points are left over, raise new units.  I think I might also have upgrade much like Dux Brit - buildings, forts, churches etc and may have a mechanism to upgrade leaders.
The Vikings are essentially new bands each time as each battle will generate a different composition of enemy force through the random cards.
Over time I will modify scenarios so that they start to tell more of a story and create a reason for the campaign and hopefully a logcal end point.

After my first game which limped along I replayed the same game.  This time there was plenty of maneouvre and blood!!
I didn't really record the narrative, but for the next game I will narrate more so you can see how these ideas come together.

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#8 [url]

Mar 22 16 6:16 PM

As mentioned, the first game ended up being a very hesitant affair, both commanders were obviously nervous.
The game was replayed.
The Saxon force was a 24 point warband.
Leader with his foot guard.
2 units of heavy foot
2 units light foot
2 units of skirmishers

The Vikings units ended up being
Leader with huscarls (6 points)
2 units heavy foot - expert (12 points)
1 unit light foot with javelins (4 points)
1 unit mercenary Saxons (light foot with -1 courage; 2 points)

Which just happened to come to 24 points.  The Viking cards would tnd to yield higher cost units and the possiblity of rolling for more units than this (the minimum) means that the Viking force will often be 28 to 30 points.

The Vikings had a poor starting position in relation to where the objective markers ended (the leader ended up being assigned the far right and the objectives were all on the Viking left).

This photograph shows the situation in the centre early on.  The Saxon leader is charging into the mercenary Saxons who have taken a hit from skirmishing (see the blood splatter marker - remember, I am using reduced units).  The black backgammon marker is a secondary objective:

image


A close up just before the inevitable slaughter (a further 5 casualties and rout)

image


You may note that the Saxons have an unfair advantage - Hengist (Footsore) and Beowulf (Eureka).

Saxon and Viking heavy infantry clash near the church.  I think I may have a rule where the Saxons lose glory points for curches and villages being looted/burnt by the Vikings.

image

image


Another clash of heavy foot in the centre of the table.  The blue marker reminds me that the Saxons have gone into a shield wall.

image

And although the losses are even, the Vikings suffer a loss of nerve and rout.

image

A mighty victory to the Saxons who managed to claim all three objectives.  Losses were 16 dead Saxons, 23 dead Vikings with 32 routing (these are actual "men", not figures).
The random events saw some reinforcements for the Saxons - one unit of skirmishers (there is, in fact, more chance of Viking reinforcements).  The Saxons also received an event called "God Smiles" where they have one round at +1 for all activations.  There was was a challenge issued by the Viking leader.  This was touch and go for the Saxons as the Viking had rolled an attribute where he is only hit on a  in challenges, however, neither managed to score a hit over three rounds.

Over the long Easter weekend I will try to post another report.

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#9 [url]

Mar 23 16 5:19 AM

Ethelred the Almost Ready wrote:
I think people would rather a game progresses rather than regresses.
I m perhaps influenced by Dux Britanniarum and Dungeons and Dragons (not that I have played the latter for at least 28 years).  In Dux Brit both sides get advancements.  In D&D the characters meet progressively more difficult monsters as they go up in level.

I haven't completely worked out replacement of losses and gaining new units, but I am thinking along these lines: each victory will give a number of points and these, with glory points can be accumulated or spent to replace losses and, if points are left over, raise new units.  I think I might also have upgrade much like Dux Brit - buildings, forts, churches etc and may have a mechanism to upgrade leaders.
The Vikings are essentially new bands each time as each battle will generate a different composition of enemy force through the random cards.
Over time I will modify scenarios so that they start to tell more of a story and create a reason for the campaign and hopefully a logcal end point.

After my first game which limped along I replayed the same game.  This time there was plenty of maneouvre and blood!!
I didn't really record the narrative, but for the next game I will narrate more so you can see how these ideas come together.

There are some similarities there with the Arlequin's World blog ideas for WotR with Lion Rampant. Worth a read if you haven't seen it.
http://arlequinsworld.blogspot.co.uk/2015/06/lion-rampant-wars-of-roses-campaigns.html

 

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#10 [url]

Mar 24 16 11:01 PM

Setting up the second game.
The Saxons have managed to replace losses from the first battle.
A new tabletop is generated.
image

You will see the river tiles have arrows, this means the river continues in the direction of the arrows and ensures that once a river is drawn we know where it is going!


Both sides roll a d6 to see who is the "attacker".  Despite getting +1 for winning the last battle (success makes the forces more aggressive), the Saxons lose the roll and are the defenders.
Objectives are diced for and placed on the table.
Then the Saxons are placed on the table.  Roll for number of Viking units and select cards.
image


The Vikings are at the moment only represented by cards.  The leader card is placed according to a dice roll (1= right, 2,3 right centre, 4,5 is left centre, 6 left).  All other Viking cards are placed within 2 feet (I incorrectly said 18 inches in oprevious post) of the leader, but "blind" as they are face down.  

Both forces are each moved directly in from the edge by 3+d20 inches to ge a random starting distance.
All this process is quicker than it sounds - about 10minutes total to get terrain and figures on the table.  The result of all this is that terrain is random.  The Saxons know where the objectives are, but don't know the composition of the Viking force or exactly where they will appear.

Initiative rolled and first moves.  Vikings are now revealed .  Saxon and Viking leader traits are only rolled after the first move (Saxon = Great Leader; Viking = Rash).

Random events are rolled for on the second and subsequent turns.
d10 1-2 = random event, a 3 = Viking leader makes a challenge.
d20 determines the random event.

I use a green dice for Saxons, red for Vikings initiative and roll these together with the d10 annd d20 in one go to keep things moving quickly.
image

Herer the red and green need to re-roll as a draw, no random event as the d10 shows an 8.  If there had been a random event it would have been 20= A random Viking unit is drawn from the deck and placed on the table - again randomly assigned either on the left or right flank, on friendly base line, or (heaven forbid) on the Saxon/enemy base edge.

Here the random placement for the Vikings has worked in their favour.  The only unit across the river is a skirmish unit.  On the main part of the table we have light foot, the leader, warriors (I use berserkers for these).
image


The rest of the Vikings are heavy foot with a priest and mixed light foot.
image

This means the Vikings have 27 points to the Saxon 24.

 

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#13 [url]

Apr 9 16 9:53 PM

Having now played six games so far I have found that I am still not happy with my campaign rules, but the solo aspect is going well.
Saxons have won 4 times, but one of these was very narrow.  They have lost twice and risked losing badly today.  
The terrain set up is still a bit too open at times, but there is just enough to affect tactical decisions.  Todays layout caused both sides to funnel units through difficult terrain and some units were horribly slowed up and never partook in the battle.
I still haven't a good rationale for why an attacker should try to win an objective and not just kill the enemy. I may put a time limit on getting to the objective.
In todays game the Saxons were the attackers.  They placed their forces to make the best of having both the primary and secondary objectives being on their side of the middle line.  Saxons are happy.

The random placement/generation of the enemy sees them in an even better position to reach the primary objective (a smi-flanking position).  Saxons not so happy.

Saxons roll allows them only to come in 4 inches from their base line.  Vikings roll to be 15 inches in - even closer to the objective.  Saxons even less happy.

After the first blinded move of the Vikings they are then revealed.  Vikings manage to have 9 units against the Saxon 8.  The Vikings also have good quality units but also some skirmishers.  In terms of poits it is 32 Saxons, 39 Vikings.  Even less happy Saxons!

So it ended up that the random placement and enemy generation led to a tense game.  I had to think hard about how to win the game.  Unfortunately some poor decisions coupled with poor dice rolls saw the Saxons badly defeated.  The only way to save something and allow his troops to limp off the table was a challenge by the Saxon leader.  This was a victory!  The death of the Viking leader caused a pause allowing the Saxons to pull back.

The random start (and potentially the effect of random events - there were none in this game nor, indeed, in the last) makes for an exciting and challenging solo game.  

I still have to learn how to use cavalry and find that the Saxons have little punch on the offensive with mainly shield wall troops.  I really need to hold back my elite companions and cavalry rather than use them early on.

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