Showing posts with label barsoom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label barsoom. Show all posts

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

War on Barsoom - Season Five

In Season Four I lost to the Black Pirates, defending my home territory. I hoped things would go better in Season Five.

At the start the positions were:

Helium - 3 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Warhoon - 3 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Gathol - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Manator - 1 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Kamtol - 5 Resource Points, 2 Prestige

The die-rolls for determining who attacked whom were:

Helium – 3+ 5 = 8
Warhoon – 3 + 4 = 7
Jahar – 3 + 5 = 8
Gathol – 3 + 1 = 4
Manator – 1 + 3 = 4
Kamtol – 5 + 5 = 10

Both myself (Gathol) and Manator had the same, lowest, score, but with the lower Resource Point total, Manator chose their target first. They decided to go big and attack the Black Pirates, who would get a Warlord bonus in the fight (which would be determined by a die roll).

This left me with the choice of Helium, Warhoon or Jahar as my targets. All had 3 Resource Points, but Helium and Warhoon had higher Prestige than I did, so would get the Warlord bonus. I opted for the softer target - Jahar.

This left Warhoon attacking Helium, again to be decided by die roll.

Jahar and I had the same size of aerial navy. We both had a core of blades. But where I had thoat-mounted riders, they had cannibal hordes and Phor Tak's disintegration ray.

Our navies faced each other, Gathol's supported by my mounted, and Jahar's by Phor Tak. I massed Gathol's blades on my left, aiming to rush the cannibals on the opposing flank.

With the artillery part of their support, Jahar's navy went for a static defence. Gathol attacked swiftly.

The Gatholian foot advanced on the other flank.

The navies met. Gathol pushed back their foes, then there was a lull for several bounds as neither side got enough PIPs to continue the fight. Gathol finally pushed forward again, and with the support of the riders they destroyed the Jahar fleet.

Outgunned but undaunted, a Gatholian flier killed Phor Tak and deactivated his awesome and terrible device.

Jahar's foot attacked the Gatholian thoat-riders. They killed some, but the rest held bravely for the rest of the battle.

Meanwhile Gathol's foot engaged the cannibals. The cannibals didn't stand a chance. and no support would come from any other troops in their army.

The end. With both flanks destroyed, Jahar's forces broke. They had lost 12AP, and inflicted on 4AP on Gathol, giving me an extra Prestige point for my victory.

I took a Resource Point from Jahar, and got two Prestige.

In the other battles, Manator lost heavily to Kamtol, who gained another point of Prestige. And Warhoon defeated Helium, taking a Resource Point, and also gaining a point of Prestige.

These are the totals at the end of Season Five:

Helium - 2 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Warhoon - 4 Resource Points, 4 Prestige
Gathol - 4 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Manator - 1 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 2 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Kamtol - 5 Resource Points, 3 Prestige

Things are still looking bad for Manator, but Jahar is looking sad as well. Helium will probably be on the offensive in the next season, whilst Gathol, Kamtol and Warhoon are riding high but more likely to be targets next time around.

Monday, 1 August 2016

War on Barsoom - Season Four

The facts that I brought my Barsoomian armies out of storage the other day, and that I found the relevant notes in the pad I was using for my recent gladiator games, reminded me that back In February I had started playing a simple, mapless HOTT campaign using the armies of Mars.

The setup is HERE

Seasons One and Two are HERE

Season Three is HERE

At the end of Season Three, this was the position:

Helium - 3 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Warhoon - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Gathol - 4 Resource Points, 2 Prestige
Manator - 1 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Kamtol - 4 Resource Points, 1 Prestige

I also found that I had diced for the pairings in Season Four, so this evening I resolved the battles.

A D6 plus the Resource Points had given:

Helium - 4
Warhoon - 9
Gathol - 6
Manator - 2
Jahar - 6
Kamtol - 5

Manator got to choose first, and went for Helium. The Black Pirates of Kamtol chose to attack Gathol (the army I was nominally playing) and this left Jahar attacking the Green Martians of Warhoon.

I decided to play out 'my' game - the Pirates attacking Gathol, and use die rolls to determine the other actions.

As the defender I got to set the terrain. The Black Pirate army is very strong in aerials and, whilst my army also has a decent aerial force, I chose to place lots of rocky spires in order to hamper their movements as much as possible. I hoped that by closing down the battlefield I could gain a local advantage with my much smaller aerial navy, whilst bringing my superior ground forces to bear, either in support or by taking on the Black Pirates' own foot.

Unfortunately the random terrain placement saw the rocky areas all along one side of the board and, taking a risk, the Black Pirates went for that edge, hoping to push through and out of the dangerous terrain and fight me in the open area in which I would be deploying.

I deployed to take advantage of the hill. This would be no use against the Prates' aerials, but would dissuade their foot from a frontal assault. As the defender I had to set up first, so I went for a symmetrical deployment with my aerials in reserve ready to move to wherever the enemy navy presented itself.

The Black Pirate advance was slower than they'd hoped. Poor PIPs would dog both armies throughout the battle, but obviously this hampered the Pirates more than it did me. In order to delay their advance I pushed forward some of my thoat-riders. But they were attacked by the smaller Back Pirate fliers.

My airboats moved up in support, and the battle began in earnest.

Both aerial navies moved cautiously towards each other. The Pirates had the advantage that their flanks were covered by the rocks, but once they emerged they would then be in danger of being forced back into the terrain and destroyed.

A Gatholian airboat came under attack, but succeeded in driving the enemy fliers into the rocks where they were destroyed.

One Pirate airboat engaged the Gatholian cavalry, whilst another blocked its retreat and prevented the Gatholian navy coming up in support.

Airboats fight!

In the centre the Black Pirates' flagship was in danger, as a small Gatholian flier attacked it whilst a larger airboat blocked its retreat. The Black Pirate foot began to move forward to support their leader.

A aerial view of the battle. At this stage losses were equal - Gathol had lost a couple of elements of riders, whilst the Pirates had lost two fliers.

Airboats clashed again, with the Pirates being driven into the rocks.

On the other flank the ground troops finally began to fight, as Gatholian riders attacked the Black Pirate blades.

The fighting intensified as each side sought to outflank the other.

The Gatholians destroyed another Pirate airboat.

But they lost one themselves.

Both armies were one element away from breaking now, but the Gatholians had the advantage as their foot turned the flank of their Black Pirate counterparts.

The Black Pirate flagship attacked the surviving Gatholian warship, but couldn't destroy it.

The Pirate blades held the Gatholian attack, and turned their opponent's flank. They destroyed the enemy blade element, to win the battle.

An overview of the final positions. Both sides had lost over half of their aerial navies.

The Pirates won 13-10, in a close game that could have gone either way. PIPs were hard to come by at some stages, and I am annoyed that I forgot that Gathol was due the Warlord Bonus in this game, which may have given me an advantage at a key moment. Still, that's my fault for not remembering the rules of my own campaign.

The Pirates gained one Prestige for their victory, whilst I lost one for losing to a foe with less Prestige. I also lost a Resource Point to the Pirates.

In the other battles both defending nations held off their attackers. The Green Martians of Warhoon also scored a crushing victory over their Jahar foes This gave them two Prestige. Helium scored nothing for holding off a weak attack by the forces of Manator.

At the end of Season Four, this is the position:

Helium - 3 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Warhoon - 3 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Gathol - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Manator - 1 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Kamtol - 5 Resource Points, 2 Prestige

The Black Pirates are now in a very strong position, but with their high Resource Point total are likely to find themselves defending in the next season. Manator is still doing very badly, and will almost certainly be attacking someone again.My own nation is languishing in mid-table mediocrity. Maybe that will change in Season Five.

Friday, 29 July 2016


MOAB is looming large on the horizon, so last night we thought that we'd better start fitting in a few games of 36AP HOTT in preparation. I haven't decided on an army for this year, but I put something together from my Barsoom collection - the army of Helium with Green Martian allies.

In the first game I played Geoff, who was using a pretty generic medieval army - Knights, Blades, a few Shooter, a few Riders and a Paladin

36AP does not favour armies with aerials, since it still uses 1D6 for PIPs, and there's never enough to go around even for basic troops. But I had an aerial wing nevertheless. Geoff opposed it with his crossbows.

Splitting the aerial up probably wasn't a good move, but I had a cunning plan, and only required one, half-decent, PIP roll with which to implement it.

I didn't get it; for seven bounds I failed to roll above a 3 for PIPs, and only got one 3. The bulk of the fighting was therefore done by my solid line of Blades, who were facing Geoff's equally solid line of Blades.

Blades vs Blades equals lots of shoving back and forth.

Geoff had a group of Knights and Riders on one flank. He had to work them past some bad going fields, but my lack of PIPs meant her was able to do it before my Green Martian allies (Knights, and a single Hero) were able to take advantage of his vulnerability. Even so, they made a bold attack on his flank.

With my aerials being whittled down by Geoff's missile troops, John Carter was forced to head over to my other flank in order to sort things out.

The Green Martian flank attack had some success, but without PIPs it petered out. Tars Tarkas, the Green Martian Hero, moved into to position to just cover the flank.

He was attacked by Geoff's Paladin, and killed.

The rest of the Green Martians came over to avenge their fallen Jeddak.

But they were too late. Geoff's army broke through the Red Martian line, and the Martians routed.

In fact although the Martians had lost half of their AP, they had pushed their opponents close to their breakpoint as well. A few decent PIP rolls at a couple of critical moments could have seen them pull off a victory.

In my next game I faced an Ancient Greek army under Peter. There were no real fantasy elements in this at all - just Spears, Riders, Knights, a handful of Shooters and an elephant Behemoth.

Again my aerials were opposed by enemy missile troops, and they pretty much just eyed each other up for the whole of the game.

The main battle was on my right, where the Green Martians faced the Greek cavalry, and their elephant.

The mighty Martians slaughtered their human foes, helped by Peter's appalling combat rolls. And Tars Tarkas killed the elephant.

What a great thing to write. I shall write it again. Tars Tarkas killed the elephant.

In the centre the armies met on a hill, with the edge the Martian Blades had being offset by the Greeks being upslope. Again, there was lots of shoving back and forth.

But on my right the Green Martians were having it all their own way. With one flank collapsed, and a stalemate in the centre and on the other flank, Peter conceded. Without extraordinary luck there was little he could really do to salvage the game.

I do like the look and scope of the 36AP games, but it really does penalise armies with more than one aerial element, or anything else which could be PIP-heavy. I suspect that I will be steering clear of massed aerials in October.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

War On Barsoon - Season Three

I played out Season Three of my ongoing Barsoom HOTT campaign the other day. You can read about the campaign setup HERE and the first  two seasons HERE.

I began by rolling a D6 for each nation and adding their Resource Point total. The scores were:

Helium - 8
Warhoon - 8
Gathol - 6
Manator - 2
Jahar - 8
Kamtol - 9

Manator selected a target first, and attacked the Black Pirates of Kamtol. As Gathol I got to choose the next target, and went for Jahar, because they're baddies. This left the Green Martians of Warhoon attacking Helium.

I decided to just play my game, and let the dice decide the others off-stage.

Jahar is a Red Martian city-state, and as such has the conventional mix of an Airboat/Flyer aerial navy and Blades as the main ground troops. However they also tried to become a great power by massed breeding, which created problems of overpopulation and left some areas resorting to cannibalism. The army therefore features cannibal hordes. They also used the services of the genius scientist Phor Tak, who developed a disintegration ray, as well as a defence against it which was applied to Jahar's ships. He appears in the army as an element of Artillery.

The armies deployed. Both sides had their navies on the open flank, whilst I massed the remainder of my troops in the centre. A few cannibals lurked off on the Jahar left.

Phor Tak, with his disintegrator ray.

Both armies advanced.

My Airboats got trapped as enemy aerials got behind them.

The Jahar navy then attacked.

With my navy destroyed I was in trouble. There was nothing for it but an all-out attack on the main Jahar line before their aerials could be swung into my flank.

The fighting was fierce with fortune swinging back and forth.

Eventually, though, I trapped and killed Jahars' general. Their army would keep fighting, but the reduced command and control would make their aerials much harder to employ.

Both armies kept fighting, with Jahar's troops proving hard to kill.

A dangerous moment - some of my cavalry was backed into bad going by enemy fliers. Jahar only needed to kill one of my elements to win, and this could have been it ...

... but it wasn't. I broke through the enemy line, and advanced on the enemy stronghold.

I failed to capture the stronghold, but my cavalry did kill Phor Tak, and that gave me the points for a win. Just.

I won 14-10. As the attacker I gained one of Jahar's Resource Points. I got no Prestige, however, since Jahar's total was lower than mine and I didn't win a crushing victory.

In the other battles the Black Pirates of Kamtol fought off Manator's attack and gained a point of  Prestige. Helium scored an epic victory against the Green Martians of Warhoon, and gained two Prestige.

At the end of Season Three, this was the position:

Helium - 3 Resource Points, 3 Prestige
Warhoon - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Gathol - 4 Resource Points, 2 Prestige
Manator - 1 Resource Points, 0 Prestige
Jahar - 3 Resource Points, 1 Prestige
Kamtol - 4 Resource Points, 1 Prestige

Note: If you are reading this post on then you are reading a stolen version. Please go to 'The Stronghold Rebuiltfor the original posts. Thank you.
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