>> Sunday, 28 February 2010
Skirmish During The Trojan War
A 28mm Bronze Age Wargame, Tyneside Wargames Club, February 27th, 2010
Report: Steve Spence
Having just sweated blood to produce 14 new chariots in a week for the UK Warhammer Ancients Grand Tournament, I was keen to see them re-used before being consigned to the shelf. So, Lloyd was set the challenge of coming up with a skirmish game (using his own rules) that could be both chariot-heavy and playable. As usual, he delivered in spades.
The scenario involved a Trojan raiding party, legging it for home after an unsuccessful sortie against the Greek camp, pursued by vengeful Achaeans. The Trojan chariot force was inside the citadel, ready to issue forth to rescue. Victory points were achieved by killing well-equipped or famous figures and recovering their body, either to strip it for booty, or to deny the opposition the opportunity for an appropriate funeral (and, of course, wake). Potential candidates were identified after any figure was slain in combat, by die-roll.
The game started with a small force of Greeks having caught up with the fleeing Trojans, splitting them into two contingents and cornering some Lukka. The Trojan player had to choose whether to abandon the Lukka (including their king, Sarpadon) or to try to keep them alive whilst the rescuing force assembled and deployed. He chose the latter course and several rounds of to-ing and fro-ing ensued, with the (slightly) superior Greek numbers telling in the end. Some casualties revealed themselves as 'notables' and some satisfyingly Homeric struggles for the possession of corpses took place. The encouragement for the Trojans came in the Greek player's inability to roll the score required to initiate the arrival of his reinforcements, including the chariots which whould be necessary for successful hearse operations.
Slowly, the Trojan relief force emerged from their citadel and formed up. At the front, the Lukka finally fell and the remnants of the Trojan raiding party were reduced to Hector and two or three of his personal retinue. The Greeks had possession of three or four important cadavers and, finally, their reinforcements started to arrive.
The Trojan chariot force finally started to emerge from the citadel. The bottleneck of the gate meant that only two could deploy each turn. Fortunately, there were several successive turns of indecisive fighting which allowed a four-chariot holding force to launch an attack on the Greek line. The scenario rules included a mechanism for determining whether the charge of the chariots caused the Greek shieldwall to quaver, in which case the chariots could enter melee, or if the Greeks would hold their nerve, in which case the chariots would 'bounce'. Twice, the chariots launcehd pell-mell assaults on the ever-strengthening Greek line, losing some of their number to missile fire, and twice they were repelled.
The Greeks had been steadily loading ex-Trojans onto their chariots and could only be prevented from a resounding victory if the Trojan charge succeeded. Alas, after some savage fighting, the Greek shieldwall prevailed and drove off the Trojan nobility. The Greeks legged it back to their camp to count their booty, indulge in some heroic corpse-despoiling and to further deliberate on how to get into that blasted citadel (tunnel? Time And Relative Dimensions In Space machine?)
Footnote: Lloyd has a widely-held reputation for dice-rolling to order. He disputes this, of course, and insists that I place on record his dice-roll to finish off a wounded Hector at the resolution of a combat where the Greeks had cornered the Trojan hero and inflicted four hits. Anything but a one on any of the four rolls would cause the fatal wound. I leave it for posterity and his friends to judge whether this was a typical or an atypical Lloydian dice-roll.
Rules and Scenario: