Friday, 1 October 2010

Modified 'Battle Cry': Play-test 2

Turn 1
The first line of Union attackers advanced two hexes towards the Confederate defences, which opened fire at extreme range, destroying one figure from the right-hand Union unit and forcing the left-hand unit to fall back one hex.

Turn 2
Whilst the second line of attackers remained at the start line, the first line continued their advance. They were again fired upon by the Confederate Artillery units, and this time the centre Union infantry unit lost a figure whilst the two flanking units were each forced to retreat one hex.

Turn 3
Both the first and second line of Union troops moved forward, and the first line were now very close to the Confederate defences. This drastically increased the effectiveness of the Confederate Artillery. The right-hand Union Infantry unit suffered two casualties, the centre unit was wiped out ...

... and the left-hand unit lost a single figure.

Turn 4
The Union first line had been heavily depleted, but their sacrifice had enabled the second line to continue their advance untouched. The Confederate Artillery opened fire on the right-hand Union Infantry unit, which was wiped out.

The left-hand Union Infantry unit was also hit, lost two figures and was forced to fall back one hex.

The centre unit of the Union second line was also engaged by the Confederate Artillery, but the fire was ineffective.

Turn 5
The Union second line was now able to advance until it was within a short distance of the Confederate defences, and the defenders fired their Artillery in the hope that they would be able to destroy the Union attackers before more than just the left-hand unit reached the earthworks.

The right-hand Union Infantry unit was wiped out ...

... the left-hand unit was forced to withdraw two hexes ...

... and the central unit of the Union second line lost a single figure.

Turn 6
The Union advance was far more successful than expected, and by now two units were in the earthworks and were poised to cross the moat. The Confederate Artillery was firing at almost point blank range at the attackers, and the right hand Union Infantry unit lost two figures.

The centre unit also lost two figures ...

... but left-hand unit only lost one, leaving the second line unit that was behind it untouched.

Turn 7
The Union attackers advanced into the moat, and fired at the Confederate defenders. Because the defenders were uphill of the attackers, each of the firing Union units only three dice.

The right-hand Union Infantry unit's fire forced the Confederate Artillery unit opposite it to retreat ...

... as did the centre Union unit. However, because the Confederate Artillery unit could not retreat one hex due to the Infantry unit that was behind it, it lost a figure and a cannon.

The left-hand Union Infantry unit's fire also forced the Confederate Artillery unit opposing it to retreat one hex.

The Union units were able to follow up their assault by moving into the hexes vacated by the retreating Confederate Artillery, and the play-test ended with two Union Infantry units poised to fight the Confederate defenders inside the fort.

The modified version of the rules worked much better without the rule that allowed 'flags' to be exchanged for figures, and I have now removed it from the draft. The play-test was interesting to fight through, and the result was an interesting one. Whether or not the result would be that same if I was to re-fight it again is open to debate ... but I suspect that it would not be too different.


  1. Bob

    I think that the right hand unit of the first line was wiped out twice, once in turn 4 and then again in turn 5.

    Also, the front line units seemed to have only moved one hex instead of two as they were not battling!

    I also thought that the second line units should have advanced more closely with the front line to minimise their casualties.

    Good report otherwise!!


  2. Jim Duncan,

    Actually what is wrong is my report ... which was written over a day after the play-test took place.

    During Turn 4 the right-hand unit in the first line was hit by three 'flags', a 'cavalry', and an 'artillery', and was forced to withdraw three hexes ... as shown in the following photograph. It was then wiped out in Turn 5.

    The units did move two hexes forward during the next move; the right-hand unit reached the hex just in front of the earthworks and the left-hand unit was in the hex containing the earthworks. This may not be very clear on the photograph.

    I did consider keeping the second line of troops closer behind the first line (as I did in the first play-test) but decided to leave a larger space so that first line units that were forced to retreat would not collide with them. If they had been closer, I suspect that you are right and they would have suffered fewer casualties.

    All the best,


  3. Unless you are modifying other rules too, like the victory conditions, Turn 5 was a bad Union turn in that you willingly gave up two VP by throwing the two one-figure units forward to their deaths. In Borg games, that is a losing strategy.

    Borg's games have interesting subtleties and pulling units out of the line to be replaced by fresh troops is one of them. You can do what you did - commanders' prerogative and all - but you are penalized for doing so, so their sacrifice better count.

    Out Battlecry, Memoir 44, Battlelore, etc. game play all reflect this conflict - throw them in versus pull them out - as the rules all have the same concept burned in. The unit still has the same combat power AND is closer in where it can cause more damage, but it is very brittle and can easily yield game-ending victory points.

    Such is the subtle design of Mr. Borg! :)

  4. Dale,

    Don't forget that I was testing out modifications to the movement and combat mechanisms, which is why I was less concerned with other aspects of the rules.

    The more I use BATTLE CRY, the more I realise how subtle the interplay of the rules are,and this is one reason why they have been so commercially successful. They work ... and work extremely well.

    All the best,