This was our first opportunity to use the D3H2 and for this test we had an Orc-Goblin raiding party invade a minor Kislev principality mirroring the army list of III/48 Rus. Armies were 24 points each with generals free for each side. The Rus fielded their spearmen, skirmishers, Bulgar allies and a pack of wolves to add a touch of fantasy to their side and the Orcs deployed a behemoth (troll), Orc warband, skirmishers, Goblin horde supported by Goblin riders and a shaman.
Three wood and a small hamlet framed an open ground sufficient for both sides to deploy their troops. The Rus spearmen formed two lines echeloned to the right and skirmishers took positions on either flank with the wolves. Prince Igor and his Bulgar allies formed a central reserve.
Placing their behemoth in centre, the Goblin horde formed to its left and Orc warbands on the opposite side displaying a formidable line. The Orc shaman took a position to the right of the line.
Both sides moved eagerly forward as there was no shortage of pips; this brought both sides into early contact. The Rus shield wall broke at one point but the jubilant Green skins were flanked and destroyed on the following turn.
Solid battle lines quickly dissipated as casualties mounted for both sides. The Rus, taking advantage of the chaos cut down a number of isolated units to seize victory with a score 8 – 12.
The Orc commander took the opportunity to replace the shaman for a viable number of warband and Prince Igor. for his victory was given Hero status for the cost of two spear.
The Rus again defending, formed their shield wall resting its right flank on a wood. To its left were the Bulgar allies supported by all the skirmishers.
The Orcs, now reinforced with extra warband deployed in a similar formation feeling confident of success. The Orcs moved quickly forward to close with the Rus, however, their advance stalled as both flanks were threatened by the presence of skirmishers on their right and howling wolves on their left. Adding further to Orc discomfort the Bulgar knights cleaved a number of Goblin horde to the right of the battle line.
Sensing the ‘do or die’ moment, the Orc general sounded his war horn to be answered with a deafening roar of the warbands and behemoth. Charging full tilt into the Rus shield wall and as the dust settled the Rus still formed an unbroken shield wall with green-skin corpses forming a rampart. Coupled with earlier losses the Orcs retired off the battle field leaving the Rus victorious with a score of 1 – 12.
On a positive point, my opponent (Jan) did like the freedom of element selection. Discarding the shaman as a poor investment, aside from its cost, pips were needed for scrying. With this in mind, the warband would make a better option.
The composition of the Rus closely followed their army list including the Bulgar nobles (3Kn) as allies. Rus skirmishers cost less than standard foot troop and for their reduced cost this permitted the use of wolves (beasts).
Both games moved quickly despite the increase score needed for victory; 12 points are required for victory. Comparing this to a standard ancients game, the fantasy games take several turns more to reach a decision.
A revenge match is scheduled in two weeks.