Kevin Smyth, Dave Schueler, and I ran another game of our Quetzalcoatl Rampant variant for Dan Mersey's Lion Rampant rules. We test-played the Kevin's scenario, which we'll host at the upcoming Drumbeat game day in February.
The scenario has the Spanish and their Tlaxcalan allies attacking an Aztec village in search of corn to feed themselves. The village sits in the middle of the board with four maize storage structures in its four corners.
|Come to beautiful Mexico and be sacrificed on the altars of our bloodthirsty gods|
To win, the Spanish/Tlaxcalans needed to capture corn from the granaries and take it back off the board. To do this they had six 6-figure bearer units, plus their soldier/warriors could be pressed into service schlepping grain as well. The Spanish/Tlaxcalans started just outside the town on one side and the Aztecs started on the opposite side. There was also an Aztec relief force that could come in on the Spanish/Tlaxcalan flank on turn 2 or in their rear on turn 5.
Kevin and I played the Aztecs, Dave and Bailey played the Spanish/Tlaxcalans. Another player, Will, joined us and took over Kevin's forces, leaving him free to command the relief force.
The rules we used were a bit more tweaked from our last game. We gave the Aztecs and Tlaxcalans an 8" move and a 12" atlatl shot. Unlike our previous games, this was not a walkover for the conquistadors.
Dave and Bailey were plagued throughout the game by the most abysmal die rolling in the history of dice. My rolling and Will's was average; Kevin rolled some of my roughly six-sided antique bone dice and was unstoppable. He failed only one courage test or activation in the game, sometimes against heavy odds.
The hated invaders of Aztecland started with their Tlaxcalans forward with the idea that because they move faster, they'd be in position beyond the first granaries when they made contact with the Aztec defenders. However, they just couldn't get things going. Too many failed first activations ceded the initiative the the Aztecs who poured into the town.
|Aztecs overrun the town|
|Securing the temple|
|Fearsome Eagle Knights on the flank|
|Spanish/Tlaxcalan high water mark|
|Bailey on the ropes, pressed hard by Will's Aztecs|
|This is the end|
Kevin's die-rolling was truly astonishing. Had it been just average, the Spanish would have fared much better on that flank.
I think the rules are tweaked to where we want them. We'll play this scenario at Drumbeat and again, plus another scenario, at Enfilade! in May.
Postscript: Grizzled Mox &c.
After the game, Kevin, Dave, and I repaired to Mox Boarding House in Bellevue for beer, lunch, and a short game of The Grizzled, a cooperative card game set in the trenches of World War One. Players have to work together to survive missions.
It's not easy and we lost the game after three missions when my character, Gaston Fayard, accumulated too many hard knock cards. By then it was late in the day and we didn't have time to play more rounds and drink more beer—which was all to the good as I was operating on only four hours sleep from the night before and nappy time beckoned.
|The Grizzled card examples|
When I got home, I found a small package from Bicorne Miniatures waiting for me: reinforcements for my ECW that I'm painting for The Pikeman's Lament. I got some English musketeers ramming a charge and fumbling with their cartridges, some Scots Covenanters ramming a charge, and a command group. There was another package from Bicorne, too, but it required my signature, so the post office is graciously hosting it until I come and sign for it on Monday. It's odd that one package required a signature and another didn't. The one that did has the ECW cavalry and artillery I ordered.