Monday, March 23, 2020

"Wars of Ozz" Battle Report

     This past weekend I set up a small solo battle with the upcoming "Wars of Ozz" rules, written by Buck Surdu, and soon to be published by Old Glory/Blue Moon.  I thought folks might appreciate seeing a brief play-by-play to get a feel for how the game flows.  All the figures are from the upcoming official "Wars of Ozz" figure range, except Evora the Witch, and the Brigade Commander for each side. Those three are proxy figures.
     Please note, the rules, point values, modifiers etc., are still being tinkered with, so all of those  you see mentioned here might not be exactly what's used in the final version. The general mechanics of game play should however remain the same.
     The rules can be played one on one, or with teams of multiple players on each side.  In general, each player commands a Brigade consisting of 25 points worth of troops.  Brigades are usually comprised of troops from one of the four main factions: Munckins, Winkies, Gillikins, or Quadlings, and these can be supplemented with an assortment of allied troop types.
     For my battle, I created a Munchkin Brigade and a Winkie Brigade.  Here's the order of battle:

Munchkin Brigade*

1) Brigade Commander, generic  0 points
2) Col Sourdough's Regiment     6 points
3) Medium Battery                     6 points  (Note: I used a Quadling model for this, as I didn't have a                                                                          Munchkin one, but used the Munchkin stats for it.)
4) National Guard Regiment       5 points
5) Light Cavalry                          5 points
6) Pumpkin Heads                       2 points
 Nerve  Bonus (+1 Elan for         1 point
                         one regiment)
                      Total:                  25 points   

Winkie Brigade*

1) Brigade Commander, generic  0 points
2) Evora the Witch                     10 points
3) Winkie Regiment                    4 points
4) Winkie Regiment                    4 points
5) Greater Pumpkin Heads          5 points
Magic Swords (+1 Fight for       2 points
                         one regiment)
                      Total:                   25 points

     I set up a simple crossroads on my 3.5 'x 3.5' dining room table, and set the objective for both sides to destroy/drive-off the enemy.   I began with both sides setting up within 6 inches of opposite edges.  The recommended table size for a one-on-one game is 4' x 6', so I was a little cramped.
(Click on any photo to view larger)
Initial Set-up
     One of the fun things about War of Ozz is the leader characteristics table.  Each 0-point Brigade and Regimental commander you have rolls on an attribute table before the game.  This table assigns them a name, sobriquet, and a quality.   This quality might bestow benefits or detriments to their units.
     So, for my Munchkins, my  Brigade Commander got the quality "Superior Fighting Quality" which gave a +1 Melee to any unit he attached himself to.   The Regimental Commander of Col Sourdough's Regiment rolled "Impetuous" which gave the unit +1 Elan, the Nation Guard Regimental Commander got "Eagle-eyes", which gave a +1 to Marksmanship, and the Light Cavalry Commander got "Poltroon" which gave -1 to it's Resolve.   Allies and Batteries don't have such identified commanders.
     My Winkies' Brigade Commander got "Poor Staff" which reduced his Command Radius to 9" (Normally 12"), and one Winkie Regimental Commander got "Zealous", which made the unit automatically charge any unit within 10" that fired upon it, and the other Regimental Commander got "Steadfast" which gave the unit a +1 Resolve.  Evora the Witch had the following pre-assigned spells: Fire Ball, Blood Lust, Poppies, and Fear.
      Briefly, activation is handled in the following way: each Brigade Commander has a pool of d6 dice, one for each unit in his command. At the beginning of the turn these are rolled and placed by the leader in a dice pool for each unit within his command radius.  Each unit that is out of command radius rolls its d6 individually and places it by the unit's leader.  A deck containing cards numbered 1-6 in red and 1-6 in black is then shuffled and placed on the table face down. Play begins with flipping cards one at a time.  As the card numbers are revealed, if the commander has a die with that number, he can assign it to one of his units, and that unit can activate.  In cases where both sides have units with the same number in close proximity, each side should be assigned a color (red or black) at the beginning of the game, and what ever color the card is is the side that goes first.  Movement is a set amount plus the amount of a dice roll.

Turn 1, Part A
TURN 1, Part A:  [Note: For each turn, I took a photo at the start of the new turn (or the end of the previous turn depending on how you want to look at it), and then I took a shot at the halfway point after the first 6 cards were drawn.]
     As the game began, all units advanced.  The Munchkin's Medium Battery advanced half its move and quickly unlimbered. The Munchkin Light Cavalry advanced to a fenced field to their front.  Over on the Winkie side, the two infantry regiments advanced towards a nearby stone-walled field, while the Witch and Greater Pumpkin Heads moved off towards a woods on their right.
Turn 1, Part B
 TURN 1, Part B:  The two Winkie Regiments continued their advance, the lead one stopping behind the cover of the far stone wall in the field.  On the Munchkin side,  the Pumpkin Heads, who had initially advanced in column, took this opportunity to march a half-move forward and changed formation into a line. The Munchkin's Medium Cannon then opened fire upon the closest Winkie Regiment in the field at long range. Despite the range and the cover of the wall, the cannon rolled well and scored 3 hits on the regiment.  The Winkie Regiment, having taken fire, then made a roll on its Resolve table to see how it would react to being shot at and got a result which said "advance towards nearest enemy".  The Pumpkin Heads, who had recently advanced and formed line were the closest; so the Winkies, their dander up, climbed over the wall and marched towards the Pumpkin Heads, getting just to the far side of the Yellow Brick Road. 
The lead Winkie Regiment, having come under fire of the Munchkin Battery, charges across the road.
 Colonel Sourdough's Regiment, to the left of the cannon, finally advanced clear of the woods where they had begun the game; while both the Light Cavalry and National Guard Regiment on their left advanced as well. On the Winkie side, the Great Pumpkin-Heads advanced to meet the approaching cavalry. And in a moment of forgetfulness, with writing notes and taking photos, I forgot to give Evora the Witch her second activation.
Turn 2, Part A
    TURN 2, Part A:  Because it was now out of command radius of their Brigade commander,  the Winkie Regiment which had charged towards the Pumpkin Heads as a result of its Resolve check last turn, had its activation dice rolled and assigned separate from the commander's pool (As did the Munchkin Cavalry which had advanced so far forward) .  The Winkies lucked out though, with the activation card [2] as the advanced regiment came up first.  However, the Munchkins had a couple dice with the same number in their pool, and they assigned one to the Pumpkin Heads. Since the card was Black, and the Winkies had been determined the black side,  they got to activate their units first.
    The Winkies declared a charge, and the unit ran towards the Pumpkin Heads. The Pumpkin Heads passed their Resolve check to stand, and the Winkies passed their Elan check to close with the enemy, and got a bonus of +1 Melee.   Melee was then fought in a series of rounds.  Each round, both sides rolled to inflict casualties on the other side, then both sides tested their Elan to see if they would decide to stick it out and fight again, fall back, or, worst of all, Rout.   This was a bloody fight with neither side wanting to give quarter.  It lasted 3 rounds, with both sides ending up inflicting a total of 8 casualties on their foes. In the end, the Winkies buckled first, falling back 4 inches and becoming Disordered.  The Pumpkin Heads occupied their position and were Disordered themselves. (All units are Disordered after Charging and/or Melee)
     The second Winkie Regiment then advanced to the stone wall to support their comrades who had fallen back; and on the far side of the field, Evora spoke incantations and launched a Fire Ball at the Light Cavalry, doing one casualty.  The troopers checked their Resolve, and stood firm.
Colonel Sourdough's Regiment and the Winkies go at it on the road; Spear vs Bayonet!
.  The Munchkin's battery saw the Greater Pumpkin Heads down the road, and in an effort to help the cavalrymen, fired a long range shot, blowing a large hunk out of one.  The injured Greater Pumpkin Head, along with the rest of the unit stood firm.  They then braced themselves as the Munchkin  Light Cavalry launched a charge at them.  This fight was brief, lasting only one round.  The cavalry inflicted 3 hits (enough when combined with the cannon hit to remove a base), and the Greater Pumpkin Heads inflicted 3 hits as well (enough when combined with the Witch's hit to remove a base).  The Light Cavalry decided it had enough and fell back 4" in Disorder.  The Greater Pumpkin Heads  occupied their position and were Disordered as well.
     Colonel Sourdough's Regiment came forward to the edge of the road to deter any Winkies from making an attempt at overrunning the battery.  The Winkie Regiment at the wall knew it would have to clear the Munchkin infantry away, and getting their second activation card, charged at them.  This was the Winkie Regiment with the magic swords.  After two rounds of combat they had eliminated 8 Munchkins, while taking 5 casualties in return. With 2 bases worth of troops gone, the Munchkins had had enough and rolled a Rout result on their second Resolve test.   The Winkies weren't happy either, and their Resolve test resulted in them having to drop back 4 inches and become Disordered.
Turn 2, Part B
TURN 2, Part B:  On the Munchkin's far left, seeing the Sourdough Regiment Rout, the National Guard Regiment wheeled to their right in case they would be needed to fill the hole left by the other regiment. The Munchkin allied Pumpkin Heads, who had reformed the first half of the turn, charged at the Winkies across from them, but their nerve was shaken and they stopped short and fell into Disorder once again. Colonel Sourdough's Regiment then got its second activation of the turn and attempted to Rally. The result was that it halted, but reformed facing away from the enemy. The battery also activated, and fired close range into the nearby Winkie Regiment.  It did 3 hits, and the Winkie's tested their Resolve and ended up becoming Disordered and dropping back 4 "
Turn 3, Part A
TURN 3, Part A:  This turn kicked off with Evora the Witch casting a Fire Ball at the Munchkin National Guard Regiment, toasting two of them.  The Munchkin Light Cavalry once again attempted to Charge the Greater Pumpkin Heads, but failed their Elan roll and ended up stopping short and firing their Carbines. They did two hits on one of the big gourds, but the Greater Pumpkin Heads held firm.   The Munchkin Battery took the opportunity of the nearby Winkie regiment being disordered to pivoted right to better cover the both Winkie Regiments.
     Over on the far left of the Winkie line, the battered regiment positioned there prepared to charge once more at their Pumpkin Head adversaries.  They succeeded, and the Pumpkin Heads stood to receive the charge.  One round of Melee later the Winkies had only done 1 hit, and the  Pumpkin Heads had done two.  They then both checked their Elan, and the Winkies decided they had had enough, routing back across the Yellow Brick Road. The victorious Pumpkin Heads held their ground, and were Disordered.  The other Winkie Regiment formed up in hopes of charging the cannon before it could get a shot off, and on the far right of the Winkie line, the Greater Pumpkin Heads shuffled their line left in a hope of moving onto the cavalry's flank. On the Munchkin side,  Colonel Sourdough's Regiment did an about-face and began the march back to help the artillery; and the National Guard, seeing the Greater Pumpkin Heads maneuver, wheeled back to support the cavalry.
Turn 3, Part B
TURN 3, Part B: Evora the Witch moved to a position where she had line of sight to the Munchkin Light Cavalry to blast them with Fire Balls. Then the Winkies last hope was dashed as the Munchkin's battery activated and fired at the nearby regiment at close range.  The battery rolled really well, and did 4 hits, and a full base of troops was eliminated.  The Winkie Regiment had had enough, failed their Resolve test and Routed.  Their fellow Regiment, that had already Routed previously, attempted a Rally roll but Routed once again, and lost its next to last base from scattering.
     At that point, though I finished out the deck, I knew that with their left flank in complete flight it was over for the Winkies. 
Final Positions, End of Game.
     This was a fun little game, and hopefully it gave folks an idea of how the rules work.  In retrospect, I made some errors in my handling of the Winkie side; particularly Evora the Witch who ended up stuck in a woods on one flank for most of the game where she had limited visibility and maneuverability and had little effect on things.  It also didn't help that in general that the Winkie side had lousy dice luck.  Despite having much better melee numbers than anyone else on the table, the Winkies seemed to always only equal the number of casualties they were taking, or worse. They should have been doing much more damage to those they came in contact with.

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