The Blade vs Spear “fix”

I played out two battles with Mid Anglo-Saxon (b) vs Viking (b).  With the old rules, it seemed that the (a) version of Anglo Saxons had more of a chance since it had a few Wb which could Qk Bd.  Choosing the (b) versions of both armies, you get a near perfectly homogenise army of Sp vs Bd.  The Vikings took a Wb for their optional element.  The Saxons opted to not raise the Fyrd (no Hd) and took the lone Psiloi.  The Saxon was the defender and chose a woods and two gentle hills.  All landed on one side of the board in quadrant I and II.  The BUA was in quadrant III.  The Vikings chose to deprive the Saxons of the terrain and let them anchor their line on the Burgh (BUA).

The first game was simply to allow ties go to the Sp with the Bd having to recoil.  There were enough pips to allow the Saxon line to shuffle and anchor against the BUA while the Vikings advanced over the hills.  Both sides had reserves.  the Vikings kicked out a Wb on their right while the Saxon countered with a Ps to cover the flanking move.  A shoving match ensued, at first with the Sp gaining the upper hand with some good rolls.  The overlap from the bua helped and kept a Bd in check as the Viking did not want to fall victim to a sally from the garrisoning Sp.  It was not to be though.  A combination of poor pip rolls and the eventual 6-1 combination opened hles in the Saxon line.  The battle ended 4-0.

I felt that the Sp, despite being able to win ties against the Bd, could not muster enough combat power to kill the Bd reliably, even on a double overlap.  So for the second game, I allowed the Sp to Qk on a tie.  The battle focused this time on the area west of the BUA (Saxon Left) with the Vikings getting the upper hand early.  However, the Viking general did too well and the psiloi was able to swing back to the flank while a Sp fought to the front.  1 lucky roll and 1 dead Viking general.  under the new rules, this does not end the game but gives 1 extra victory point at games end.  So now the viking command structure was stunned.  Two of the next 3 turns, the Vikings could only move a single unit.  However, even though they were getting picked off here and there, they managed a late rally and did kill two Sp for the cost of a Wb and two Bd.  Only 1 Bd died as a result of a tie.  The other was a result of being flanked and killed.

That second game turned on a freak incident where the general outstripped his support and the light infantry swooping in to save the day.  So it got me thinking, what would happen on a flat plain with 6 Bd vs 6 Sp.  Each mini-army would have 1 general.  the game wuld be over after 2 kills.  I played 10 of these and the results were even.  Dead even.  The Sp jumped out to a 2-0 lead but the Vikings came back and took the lead 3 games to 2.  Then it was all Sp again for the next two games and then a trade back and forth until 10 games were played.  The total was 5-5.   Both sides won their share of laughers.  Each army won in a single bound once (scored the required 2 kills in 1 bound) and the Sp managed 3 kills once.  This seems to be a reasonable “fix” for Bd vs Sp though I have not seen what effects hills and woods have on it all.

A quick look at the moving parts.  Sp are at their best when the fight at even odds.  This will give you a 1 in 6 chance of a tie.  Any differential, positive or negative will result in a reduction in your chance to tie.  So when going against a blade army and you don’t know which combat to choose first, make it a Sp at even odds!

To recap, I would make Wb recoil against Sp on a tie.  I would make Sp Qk Bd on a tie.  Simpe.  Effective.  No need for fiddly side support and special rules.

 

 

 

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One Response to The Blade vs Spear “fix”

  1. Merlyn Heagy says:

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