I'm off work this week, recovering from a minor operation (hint: no more kids for me!) - so it would be remiss of me to get at least one days' gaming in.
Seeing as I can't drive at the moment, invited Giles over to have another crack at the Brink of Battle skirmish rules. We'd made a couple of mistakes with the rules in our previous Game of 'Brink', which turned into something of a slugfest - this time, with the correct application of the rules, things would be very different!
We decided to go for a 500 point foce each (plus 25 for having a fully painted force with namedncharacters and background) Giles brought a seven man team of his Malvern Hills Conservators, including an SMG toting commander, veteran sergeant and troops with the 'ranger' trait, allowing them to move normally in difficult terrain.
I decided that my Blackshorts needed some air - an eight man team lead by the fearsome 'Trouncer' Trudd, armed with his trusty cricket bat (classed as a great bludgeon) and the 'burly' trait, meaning that he would be formidable in close combat. I also had two veterans, one with an SMG and the other with a sniper rifle (both with the 'huntsman' trait and the sniper with the 'marksman' trait, making them good shots on the move) and some riflemen with the 'stubborn' trait, meaning that they would automatically recover from panic should things go awry (which they did!)
And so once again the fascists decided to push into the Malverns, earning the ire of the MHC. A random scatter of scenery to represent the Malvern Hill countryside later and the two forces faced off. The MHC, keen to capitalise on their ranger skills, headed for the woods, while my Blackshorts split in two.
One group, with sniper and SMG veteran, headed for the nearest hill, hoping to gain a vantage point from which they could fire on their foe. The second bunch, led by the fearsome Trudd, made their way down the road.
First blood went to the MHC, who managed to down my HMG veteran, causing his two chums to run off in panic - there goes my plans for the sniper! The Blackshorts along the road also took hits, which luckily did less damage.
Return fire from the Blackshorts and a lucky shot, which managed to down the MHC commander, severely reducing the Conservators' ability to stay together as a force. Another casualty and the MHC was down to less than 25% of their number.
This forced a rout check at the beginning of the next round, which, bereft of their commander and his command modifier, resulted in a failure. The MHC gave up the ghost and conceded defeat, leaving the Blackshort patrol to press on into the Malverns.
The next round was a surprisingly short, yet bloody affair. Amid another random scattering of countryside the MHC once again sought shelter in the woods and hills, while the Blacshorts advanced in a line towards a stone wall, along which they hoped to dig in and fire on their opponents.
However the the aim of Spode's finest (and my dice rolling) was somewhat off, giving the MHC the lions share of successful shots. Soon the Blackshorts were whittled down to Mr. Trudd, keeping his head down in a coppice, impotently gripping his cricket bat. Round two to the MHC.
Time then for one more game, with both sides warily facing each other through a wooded rise. Once again the MHC quickly occupied this feature, while the Blackshorts once again split in two, one half heading for the shelter of a coppice, the other along a road (again!)
The two foes blasted away at each other, both taking casualties but neither willing to break cover and inflict the killing blow. Eventually we decided to call it a draw, and both sides withdrew with honours even.
Three short, but fun games, made better by a proper reading of the rules and, this time, both players remembering to use the traits! Sadly Trudd never got to swing his cricket bat, but could at least lick his wounds in the knowledge that the MHC had been given a thick ear, even if a few knees had been scraped in the process.