Southampton Sluggaz Online League Challenge
Submitted by Vanguard David Richardson
…..Lord Franck looked out from the top of his Keep and smashed his gauntlet on the Battlements in frustration! His army was assembled and ready to lay waste to his enemies but he could not sally forth. Without warning on the day of departure his personal mage magically sealed shut the gates of his fortified city warning of a terribly and deadly pox that had begun to stalk the lands.
Lord Franck was concerned. Not just about the plague, but also that he now had several thousand heavily armed and increasingly restless warriors inside his walls. It was a tinderbox that only needed a spark to ignite. Sensing the impending catastrophe once more the Mage approached him.
“My Lord. I have communed with the Magi of nearby cities and we have a solution. We can distract and occupy the Soldiery by projecting their minds into a different existential realm where they will combat those of other cities. They can release their bloodlust, and also hone their skills. Of course, whilst doing this they will be in a catatonic state in the real world – and thus less of a burden to the citizens of your fair city until the Disease passes”
Lord Franck thought it a marvellous idea. Of course, having them all in a fugue state for hours at a time would also stretch out the reserves of Wine and Rum in the stores….a double victory! The horns of war sounded that very day, yet instead of forming ranks, the men at arms and mercenaries got themselves comfy on bales of hay, on makeshift camp beds, and in the case of the militia bowmen in the pig pens and one by one fell into a trance…..
The current Viral Pandemic has stopped physical gaming for myself and my gaming club in the UK. To keep us from going utterly mad, we have been been playing Conquest online using a rather simple solution in the form of an Excel spreadsheet with various graphics inserted onto the spreadsheet. One player is responsible for hosting the game and it is their duty to move the pieces and “roll the dice” via the simply 1-6 random number generator formula contained in the spreadsheet itself. We have been hosting the games via Zoom, which also has the added benefit of allowing other members of our group to observe the games, help out with rules queries and generally heckle both sets of players.
Each game was played on a 4×4 table, using the same identical layout each game. The map is shown below, but includes a height 2 hill on each side of a river (water terrain), with a forest (hindering and obscuring terrain) to one side of the hill.
Two objectives were played along the middle of the table, each about a quarter of the way onto the table, with a 3” radius scoring zone. Finally the table was divided up into numbered and lettered squares representing 1” each. Players could use these to accurately say where they want their regiments to go, though in practice we generally just shouted “left a bit – right a bit” because we were happy with things being approximate.
The Game Rules
We played a variant of the game that myself and Andy have been using for our demo games that we’d been running. I like to call it TToT (Ten-Turns-or-Tabled) and as the name suggests, the game runs for 10 turns, or until someone is completely wiped out. The winner is decided by victory points using the following scoring system:
1 victory point per regiment killed (Please note that characters are NOT regiments)
2 Victory points if you slay the enemy Warlord
1 Victory point per objective claimed at the end of each game turn
Enemy tabled turn 5 or before: 5 Victory points
Enemy tabled turn 6: 4 Victory points
Enemy tabled turn 7: 3 Victory points
Enemy tabled turn 8: 2 Victory points
Enemy tabled turn 9: 1 Victory point
Turn 10 or Neither side tabled: 0 Victory points
The total number of victory points determines who wins the game, with the total victory points that the player earns throughout the event being used as a tie breaker at the end.
A win is worth 3 Tournament Points
A draw is worth 2 Tournament Points to each player
A loss is worth 1 Tournament Point
This is slightly different to the official rules in that we did not count character kills towards victory points earned, and tabling someone was not a guarantee of a win, although it certainly helped if you smashed someone apart early. Playing until 10 turns also added value to heavy regiments, that otherwise run the risk of not influencing the game much.
We played at 1000 points, and had 7 players with all factions represented. We also used the entire army list, rather than limiting ourselves to the units that are physically released at the moment. Whilst the armies were locked in for the entire league, We decided that you could pay a tax of 1 Tournament point to be able to completely rewrite your list. This was useful if you were finding that your list was getting smashed apart, but not always worth doing given the penalty for doing so.
FINAL CONQUEST LEAGUE RESULTS
Mike Wells (Nord) – Played: 6 W/D/L: 5/0/1 TP: 16 VP: 59 chr:12
Alex Hood (Dweghom) – Played: 6 W/D/L: 5/0/1 TP: 16 VP: 57 chr:9
James Reah (100 Kingdom)- Played 6 W/D/L: 3/1/2 TP: 12* VP: 56 Chr:9
David R (Dweghom) – Played: 6 W/D/L: 3/0/3 TP: 12 VP: 47 chr: 8
Reece Avis (100 Kingdom) – Played: 6 W/D/L: 3/0/3 TP: 11* VP: 45 chr: 8
Andy Sparkr (Nord) – Played 6 W/D/L: 1/1/4 TP: 7**VP: 34 Chr:4
Mike Hartley (Spire) – Played: 6 W/D/L: 0/0/6 TP: 5* VP: 30 chr:6
* changed list once
**changed list twice
As you can see, the league finish was incredibly close. In fact, Alex and Mike played each other on the last game, with Mike needing a win and a decent victory point score to overtake Alex, who up until that point had been unbeaten.
The “Chr” score is the number of characters killed by that player. Andy ran a side event at the same time, with highest scoring player winning a supplementary prize. As it happened, Mike won the league AND this with a crazy 12 characters taken out across the 6 games.
Mikes list was a very elite force with Trolls, Bowchosen and Raiders led by a Jarl and Blooded. The combination of lethal ranged shooting, and an incredibly potent close combat unit was utterly devastating to all who faced him.
Interestingly both Dweghom players (Myself and Alex) had similar lists with Ballistae, Hold Warriors with a Sorcerer and a Raegh leading Dragonslayers. The difference was that I went for 2 regiments of Ballistae and Flame wall on the Sorcerer, whilst Alex went for a single regiment of ballistae, eruption for the sorcerer and a Herald of Stone in his Warriors. Whilst my flame wall was devastating against the lighter armed Nords and Spire, I just could not do enough damage to the more heavily armed factions, despite the additional weight of fire from the ballistae, and I finished mid table.
James changed his list mid way through the event to include a Priory Commander and a regiment of Crimson Tower knights, who really added some additional punch to his force. It has to be said that both 100 Kingdoms players had consistent results from their fire dart casting Chapter mages.
Andy was determined to play his Nords using the already released units. A factor that certainly cost him dear as they are all mostly low defence lighter units that were prime targets for crossbows, ballistae, flame walls and, well basically EVERYTHING. He did enjoy spending lots of tournament points to rewrite his lists multiple times though.
Mikes Spire were unlucky to say the least. He actually tabled his opponent twice, but both were fairly late on in the games and he still lost out on victory points.
All in all it was tremendous fun, and everyone played with a great attitude. 21 games were played in all across an 8 week period and we certainly learned a lot from it. We have just begun a map based campaign as well, which I will endeavour to post updates for.