Power Armor

Power Armor
Khurasan power armor infantry with conversions

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Orc-at-Arms: first playtest

I am designing a fantasy wargame, "Orc-at-Arms", and we had our first playtest.  Pictures and a description below.  We went for a quirky backstory: a portal to another dimension has opened in Northern England, circa 200 AD, and a horde of orcs have poured through.  A Roman legion, backed up by local auxiliaries, has been dispatched to defeat the beasts.  Some elves came through the portal, too, and are acting as allies and advisors to the Romans.  We used Wargames Factory Romans and Barbarians, and GW's Lord of the Rings plastics.

Orc-at-Arms is intended as "mass skirmish" game.  Troops fight in units of 4+, and the player has to manage maneuvering a large force of units that he won't have complete control of.  Our game was a small one and easily handled by the system, and we had about 15 units on the table and around 100 minis.

The scenario featured a force of Romans (3x infantry units, with 6 men each, and a cavalry unit of 6), supported by a unit of elvish bowmen (6 archers) and two units of British auxiliaries (8 men each). The Roman infantry were rated very well in the game.  The orcs had 5 or 6 units of regular infantry, of 6 or 8 figures each---regular infantry, but with extra punch when they charged.  They also had a unit of heavies (4 infantry, with better abilities), 2 trolls, and a gaggle of goblins.

In the game, the Romans have ambushed an orc force that has just sacked a farmstead.  The orcs start badly deployed, but with superior numbers.  The Romans got a free turn of movement to get into position.

6x4 table.  Orcs in the middle, Romans around the edges.

The main orc position.  Heavy unit on the left; trolls in the middle.

Two units of Roman infantry

The British auxiliaries

The orc position, viewed from the Roman lines

Roman cavalry

The Romans got moving forward immediately.  The orcs sent units to meet them, while the goblins deployed to cover the flank.  The elvish archers shot up one orc unit, and the lead unit of Roman infantry smashed an orc unit in combat.

The Orcs tried to shore up their center, throwing in the trolls and the heavies.  One Roman unit was chewed up, but the orcs got the short end of it.  Meanwhile the goblin flank guard was effortlessly crushed by the Roman cav.

You go squish now!

The elvish archers took up a position on the hill and rained arrows down on the trolls, killing both.  Meanwhile, the Roman cavalry broke into the orc's position and started running down units.  On the left flank, the orcs attacked one auxiliary unit and sent it packing, but the battle had already been lost in the middle.  Victory to the Romans, the auxiliaries, and their elvish allies.  Now to find the portal and close it, before thousands more orcs come threw and threaten all of England...

The game played well for its first playtest (well, second---Ivan of Nordic Weasel Games gave it a try a few weeks ago).  The basic systems of movement, orders, and combat worked fine.  I was taking notes throughout the game of stuff I want to add--disorder, adjustments to missile fire, some more stuff for morale, refinements to the orders/commands---but the game is quite promising. We set up and played (and I explained the rules to my friend) in about 1 hour and 40 minutes---not bad for a good sized game.

All miniatures and terrain are 25/28mm and are from Russ's collection---great looking game, man, thanks for bringing your stuff!

Thanks for looking!

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