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Thinking Out Loud

Monday, May 08, 2006

Session Report >> Hammer of the Scots

I at least got some a little bit of weekend gaming in -- Dave Stephens and I ended up getting together to play Hammer of the Scots. He had been interested in trying out a Columbia game, and this session of HotS is the first block game he's played.

I was the English and Dave took the Scots. In a change of pace, I decided to play by the rules as written (defender firing first each phase rather than simultaneously).

I was hammered early and often. At one point I rolled 16 or so dice in one battle without scoring a single hit on B2s or B3s. With the Scottish troops entrenched as they were, I could never mount an effective assault without getting picked away mercilessly by their first fire each phase.

After the 7th round, the Scots actually had 11 of the nobles -- I was left with only Bruce, Argus and Mentieth. Then my luck turned around. He tried to seize Mentieth from me with several units, but with 8 B2 attacks, I scored 6 hits for a massive blow to his overall army.

He also strayed too far out with Wallace, harassing my supply lines as I funneled troops into Bruce's territory from England. I ended up getting another very lucky throw of the dice and eliminated Wallace with some weak C2 infantry after he failed to score any hits during the first round of combat. After wintering with Edward that year, I evened things up and we each had 7 nobles at that point.

The last turn of the game I was handed 3 events, and stole Galloway on a lucky die roll with the Herald event, who was the only noble behind my lines of maneuvering and causing me all sorts of grief. He had a pretty good offensive turn, which I negated with Victuals to heal 3 steps. Then I slapped peace down so he couldn't attack. That left me with a 3 Movement card for the last round, in which I was able to tie up enough of his guys and stave off combat to squeak out an 8-6 win (all due to stealing Galloway with that Herald card).

We had fun, but it felt a little cheap that the game came down to that one die roll at the very end. If I had rolled 5-6, Dave would have won, but I rolled 1-4, so I won. Granted, a lot of positioning and posturing led to that point, but it was a bit deflating to all end on that.

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