Thursday, April 23, 2020

A DIscord "Wars of Ozz" Battle Report

     Last Saturday, the author of the "Wars of Ozz" rules, Buck Surdu, as well as fellow demo team member Greg Priebe, and I,  linked up through Discord to try another "social distancing" game using the "Wars of Ozz" rules and figures.  Buck set up the table, terrain, and figures in his home and acted as the gamemaster; then, using his cellphone on a tripod,  live-streamed the tabletop to Greg and me so we could view all the units and terrain. We then could instruct him how we each wanted to move our troops when one of our units activated, and he would conduct the actual movement on the table.  We rolled dice as necessary and reported the results of the rolls to him.  I viewed the proceedings on my laptop, and I believe Greg was using his iPad.
     Please note, the rules, point values, modifiers etc., are still being tinkered with, so all of those that 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.
     In this game we did the Attack/Defend scenario from the rulebook.  For this scenario, Greg, who would be in the roll of attacker, would command two 20 point Brigades; one Winkie and one Gilliken.  I, as defender, commanded a single 25 point Brigade of Quadlings.   The table layout was generated as per the rules outlined for this scenario in the rulebook, using the selection of 20 half-maps in the book.  Victory would be determined by points:  5 points for controlling the hill in the center with the wall, and 1 point for each enemy base eliminated.

Allied Force

Generic Overall Commander       0 points

Gillikin Brigade

1) Brigade Commander, generic  0 point
2) 1st Regiment                           5 points
3) 2nd Regiment                          5 points
4) 3rd Regiment                           5 points           
5) Medium Artillery                    5 points

                      Total:                  20 points

Winkie Brigade

1) Brigade Commander, generic 0 point
2) 1st Regiment                          4 points
3) 5th Regiment                          4 points
4)  Herku Regiment                    4 points         
5) Oogoboo Regiment                4 points
6  Thi Regiment                         4 points

                      Total:                  20 points

Quadling Brigade

1) Brigade Commander, generic  0 points
2) South. Prov. Regiment             5 points
3) Cent. Prov. Regiment               5 points
4) North. Prov. Regiment             6 points
5) Light Cavalry                        5 points    (Note: We used a Munchkin unit for this, as Buck didn't                                                                 have a Quadling one, but we used the Quadling stats for it.)
7) Light Artillery                         4 points    (Note: We used a Winkie model for this, as Buck didn't                                                                   have a Quadling one, but we used the Quadling stats for it.) 
  Total:                                       25 points

     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.  (For this game I was assigned Red and the Winkie/Gilliken Alliance was Black.)  Movement is a set amount, plus the amount of the highest of a 2d10 dice roll.
     Like my previous reports, Buck took photos of the table at the halfway point (after 6 activation cards were drawn) and the end of each turn.
(Click any photo to view larger)
Set up positions at the start of the game.
      In the photo above, in the foreground,  you can see Gregs Gillikens to the left of the road and the Winkies to the right of the road.   In the distance is my Quadling force, defending the series of low hills on the far side of the table.  My plan was to spread my force out, with a unit on each hill, and hope he would attack along the whole front rather than concentrate on breaking one flank or the other and rolling up my line.  I placed the Lancers behind the woods on the right of my line, (left in the photo above) with the plan to launch them when I saw a good opportunity; hopefully to threaten or cripple their left flank  once it had advanced and engaged.
End of Turn 1, Part 1
 At the end of the first half of Turn 1, things were going well for my command.   The Winkie advance was already beginning to spread out as some units rushed forward and others dragged their feet.  The Winkie 5th Regiment raced for my cannon, and initial fire from my gun had already drawn blood.  Over on the other side of the battle, the Gillikens were getting bogged down in the rough terrain to their front, so things on that side were relatively quiet for the time being.  I was a little concerned though, as the Gilliken Medium Artillery was already nearing a position from which it could fire on my Southern Province Regiment and be out of range of my muskets.
Turn 1, Part 2
    In the second half of the turn,  the Winkies got right into it with their 5th Regiment charging my cannon, and their 1st Regiment charging the Central Province Regiment defending the farmstead.  The 5th was halted with close range fire, and sent routing; while the 1st came to grips after being hit with an initial volley, and actually eliminated a Quadling base in melee.  But the casualties were too many for the Winkies, and that 1st Regiment broke and ran as well.  The Quadlings, however, foolishly chased the Winkies back down the hill and out of the protection the farm offered.
     Over on the Gilliken front, as expected, their battery unlimbered and began to send rounds into my Southern Province Regiment.  Luckily, their initial shots had no effect.
Turn 2, Part 1
     In the first half of Turn 2, the Winkies continued to press the attack, with the Oogoboo Regiment moving into position to attack my battery, and the Herku Regiment going after my Central Province Regiment who had moved out of the cover of the farm.  Luckily, the Quadlings of the Central Province came to their senses and were able to reorder themselves and move back up into the farmstead.    
      Meanwhile, the Winkies of Herku caught my battery off guard, and the artillerists did not issue effective close range fire.  The green-skinned warriors closed into melee with their glinting spears and dispatched one of the gunners, while driving the rest back 4 inches in Disorder.  
Winkies move to attack the Quadling battery and the Central Province Regiment in the Farmstead.
     The Quadling gunners found the loss of their precious cannon unbearable, and in a fit of madness charged the WInkies to regain their gun!  The Winkies caught by surprise at the charge of the mad gunners, fought valiantly, but the Artillerists managed to drive them from the battery, and the green-skinned warriors themselves fell back 4" in Disorder.
     Over on my right front, I knew I could not let the Gilliken cannon shell my line with impunity, and the only resource I had to stop it was my Lancers. So I gave the order for them to charge forth from behind the woods.  It was a long distance, but I rolled well; they managed to reach the gun with barely an inch to spare.  The Gilliken artillerists let loose with a close range canister shot, and an entire base of cavalrymen evaporated.  However, the Lancers passed their test to close and they had at the gunners with their long steel-tipped weapons; killing four of the enemy crew, and driving the last one away in rout.   The Gilliken infantry regiments continued to press determinedly forward towards my Southern Province Regiment holding the hill on my right flank, and the Northern Province Regiment in the center.
Turn 2, Part 2
     I was now being pressed on both flanks as the second half of Turn 2 got underway.  Over at the farm, the Winkie Herku Regiment closed with the defenders of the farmstead, and after a deadly round of melee, pushed the Quadlings of the Central Province back into the farm, and the Winkies pursued them. Another round of melee was fought, and both sides dropped back in Disorder and licked their wounds.  My regiment was down to three bases now, and the chances of holding the farm were in doubt.
     As the Oogoboo regiment reordered themselves after being driven from the Quadling battery, the Thi Regiment came forward and charged the guns.  My fire as they closed was less than effective (I was down a gunner), and this time the green-skinned enemy was out for blood.  They took out three more of my gunners, and sent the sole survivor running.  The battery was lost for good this time.
Oogoboo Regiment makes an attempt to dislodge the Northern Province Regiment
     With a relatively fresh Winkie Regiment now directly on the flank of my Northern Province Regiment, I wheeled those troops back from the wall they defended, to deny their flank to the enemy.  The Oogoboo Regiment, now reformed, saw this as an opportunity and moved up on the hill to prepare a charge, as the Gilliken 2nd Regiment pressed in from the front.
     Over on my right, the Southern Regiment was being hard pressed by both the Gilliken Black Castle Regiment and the 9th Regiment, who took turns tag team charging me.  I'd drive one back then the other, and I had to give ground as well, falling back into the woods at the rear of the hill; but the Regiment held.  I was whittled down to just two bases, but I was still on the field, and both Gilliken units had gotten bloody noses.
     Meanwhile, my Lancers, reformed from having captured the enemy battery, and turning, saw the rear of the enemy Black Castle and 9th Regiments right before them; and the flank of the 2nd Regiment just a little further way.
Turn 3, Part 1
    Turn 3 began and everything hung in the balance.  The Winkie Thi Regiment swooped over the hill where the battery had been, and moved to hit my Northern Province Regiment in the flank.  The Oogoboo Regiment tried their luck agains my Northern Province troops, and were driven back with heavy losses from close range fire.
     My Lancers charged at the Rear of the Black Castle Regiment and showed no mercy, eliminating a base  and sending them falling back in Disorder.  Their dander up, the cavalrymen soon got their second activation, and targeted the flank of the 2nd Regiment.  A murderous few rounds of melee later, and the 2nd Regiment was chewed to pieces by the lances of the horsemen.  Both sides had come to grips, and neither wanted to let the other go.  Finally my Lancers had enough, and fell back 4 inches in Disorder.
   Sensing the initiative, the Southern Province Regiment marched from the cover of the woods and retook the edge of the hill, then fired down at the Gilliken 9th Regiment.
Turn 3, Part 2
(The only good shot we got of this part of the game was from the Quadling side of the table) 
    It was then the second half of Turn 3, and things were abut to go from good to bad very quickly for me.  Over in the farm, the Winkie Herku Regiment charged my Central Province Regiment, and after a brief couple of rounds of Melee, the Quadlings had had enough and ran for the table edge.  The Winkies, their blood lust up, pursued them, chasing them off the table.
     In the center, the Thi Regiment, charged the Northern Province, getting enough distance in their movement roll to hit my unit in the flank.  The green skin warriors fought like madmen, and sensing the end was near, the Northern Quadlings broke and ran for the hills, with the Thi fighters in hot pursuit.
     To add the final nail in the Quadling coffin,  a feeble volley of musketry from the Gilliken 2nd Regiment was enough to convince my Lancers that they had earned their pay for the day, and they too turned tail and ran.

     At that point we decided to call it a game.  It turned out to be a fun match, with the Winkie/Gilliken alliance getting the 5 points for the hill.  When the casualty bases were counted, and added with the points from the hill, it was 27 points for the Gilliken/Winkies and 24 points for my Quadlings.  A pretty close game.  It was also one of the most exciting games of "Wars of Ozz" I've played, with the fortunes of war going back and forth between the two sides.
     This game was such a success we're going to try something even bigger this weekend; doing a 4 player game.  Buck will once again act as gamemaster, and one of the players (Chris Abbey) will be taking part from England!  Stay tuned!

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