Pyros Island 4 – Lilith’s triumph

Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Biviusand the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. The campaign will end one one of two sides wins its third victory. See setup here.

 

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attack Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupy the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, and defeat the Syracusan army in the Sika Valley. As the invaders push West towards the sea-side village of Ormiskos, they are defeated by Zenon, who also captures Bastet. Zenon’s proposals of an agreement are rejected by Lilith. Neos now refuses to fight: Bastet has been captured and he wants the battle against Lilith to be fair. The Carthaginian leader takes advantage of the situation and defeats Zenon at Lofos. She is now ready to attack Zenon’s stronghold at Kastro.


Story-telling prelude: the Carthaginian have put Kastro under siege. Something unexpected happens.

GMA: convince arrogant merchant
[I interpret this as “a convincing and arrogant mercenary”]
Cordolix, a Gallic veteran mercenary, deserts Zenon to join Lilith’s army. He tells her he has fought for the Carthaginian before, in Sicily, and he knows how superior they are to the Greek.

Has Cordolix freed Bastet and carried her with him? NO

How does Cordolix convince Lilith to let him lead her Heavy Infantry? [Two options a-la Bivius]
A. Cordolix seduces Lilith
B. Cordolix swears he will kill Zenon in battle

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Cordolix, Lilith, Bastet, Neos, Zenon

Having found out of Cordolix desertion, Neos decides he will fight again. Each army will have two leaders.

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The Cavarly of Neos and Lilith are soon engaged in a fight. The Syracusan prevails and Lilith is forced to retreat and join a Medium Infantry unit: both her cavalry units are destroyed [C:0 S:2]
Neos charges again, but this time Lilith battles back and forces him to retreat.

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Lilith resists Neos’ charge

At the centre of the battlefield, Cordolix and Zenon also engage in Combat. The first destroyed unit is Carthaginian Auxilia [C:0 S:3] and the Carthaginian infantry must retreat.

But Cordolix seems to want to fulfil his promise: he attacks Zenon and scatters both his Heavy Infantry and the Medium Infantry backup. Zenon is alone, retreating towards the fortifications of Kastro. [C:2 S:3]

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Lilith sees that the time is favourable and launches a Coordinated Attack. On the Carthaginian left flank, a cavalry unit tries to kill the fugitive Zenon, but fails. At the centre, Cordolix charges the Carthagenian infantry that had already been hit in the previous fight: he destroys two units. [C:4 S:3]
Lilith does the same on the right-flank, finishing two badly damaged Syracusan units [C:6 S:3]

Campaign score:
Carthaginian – Victories:3 Banners:21
Syracusan – Victories:1 Banners:14

This is the third victory for the Carthaginian, hence the end of the Campaign. Kastro falls, Lilith conquers the island of Pyros and frees her daughter Bastet.

How does it end for the main characters? [Again, a-la Bivius]

A. Neos marries Bastet, with whom he will rule on the island of Pyros. But he requires that Zenon joins in the government has his private counsellor.
B. Neos manages to escape: he cannot be found anywhere. Lilith sentences Zenon to death. Bastet marries Cordolix and the couple will now rule on the island of Pyros.

Great! Lilith and Neos can meet again in the future for a second campaign!

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Pyros Island 3 – The Fall of Lofos

 

Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Biviusand the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. The campaign will end one one of two sides wins its third victory. See setup here.

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attack Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupy the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, and defeat the Syracusan army in the Sika Valley. As the invaders push West towards the sea-side village of Ormiskos, they are defeated by Zenon, who also captures Bastet. Lilith still refuses any agreement and Neos now refuses to fight: Bastet has been captured and he wants the battle against Lilith to be fair.

Lilith thinks of trying the Northern route that leads from Sika to Kastro. The two armies meet again near Lofos.

Only the two leaders Zenon and Lilith take part to the fight. I rolled for some wooded area and I also included two camps: capturing one counts as a banner i.e. victory point. As usual, Zenon is attached to a Heavy Infantry unit and Lilith to a Medium Cavalry one.

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Lilith and the Carthaginian on the left; Zenon and the Syracusan on the right

Zenon’s infantry advances at the centre of the battlefield. The Carthaginian Cavarly tries to outflank him on both sides.

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But the Light Cavarly unit on the left of the Carthaginian army is first beaten by the Syracusan Medium Infantry and then destroyed by a Light Infantry ranged attack [C:0 S:1].

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On the opposite flank, Lilith is pushing forward with her Cavalry and three infantry units.

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Lilith leading forward her Heavy Infantry and Auxilia

Her advance pushes a Syracusan infantry unit out of the battlefield [C:1 S.1]. But she is now isolated, with only an Auxilia unit in support. Her Heavy Infantry, even more isolated at the centre of the battlefield, will be destroyed by Zenon [C:1 S:2]. The Syracusan army is close to the Carthaginian camp, defended by a badly damaged cavalry unit: yet the defenders repel an attack by the Syracusan Light Infantry and destroy the unit [C:2 S:2].

But Lilith is on fire: she clashes with the Syracusan cavalry. Her horsemen are initially dispersed, but they soon rally and destroy the Syracusan cavalry [C:3 S:2]. Her charge does not stop before she also removes a light infantry unit from the battlefield [C:4 S:2].

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Lilith pushes forward, while her camp is under siege

 

The Carthaginian camp is under continuous attacks, but it strenuously resists. The Carthaginian Auxilia near Lilith engage a fight with the Infantry at the left of Zenon: the Syracusan take considerable damage. Finally Lilith charges the two weakened units and destroys both of them [C:6 S.2].

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This was an outstanding win for the Carthaginians!

The Campaign score is now the following:
Carthaginian – Victories:2 Banners:15
Syracusan – Victories:1 Banners:11

With the next battle, Lilith will have a chance to win the campaign. She will launch an attack against Kastro, Zenon’s capital town.

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Pyros Island 2 – Battle for Ormiskos

A Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Bivius and the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. See setup here.

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attack Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupy the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, and defeat the Syracusan army in the Sika Valley.

The second battle takes place in the area between Lofos and Ormiskos.
[I randomly chose a terrain type: woods. And randomly placed a few tiles on the board]

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Initial deployment is similar to that of the first Battle: Zenon and Bastet lead the main forces of the two sides. both leaders attached to Heavy Infantry units. Neos and Lilith face each other on the left-side of the Syracusan army: both are attached to Medium Infantry units.

The fight is hard on the wings lead by Lilith and Neos. Once again, Neos charges too boldly with his horsemen and his unit is destroyed [C:1 S:0]. He falls back to join a Light Infantry unit in a wooded area.

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Neos’ cavalry is destroyed

Soon after, Zenon and Lilith meet at the center of the battlefield. The Syrancusan are the first to take damage: Zenon’s unit is reduced to half strength and a Medium Infantry unit at his right is almost destroyed. But he conquers his first banner, thanks to the destruction of an Auxilia Carthaginian unit. [C:1 S:1]

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The Carthaginians rally and counter-attack, they destroy both Zenon’s light cavalry and the damaged Medium Infantry unit. [C:3 S:1]

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Bastet’s soldiers rally and defeat a Syracusan infantry unit

But Zenon’s reply is devastating: his elite Infanty, flanked by two Medium Infantry units. attacks Bastet frontally. An Auxilia unit is swiped away. Zenon’s veteran destroy Bastet’s Heavy Infantry [four “square” results], she herself is unable to escape [“helmet”]. The infantry unit to the left of Zenon are also effective and destroy an already damaged Carthaginian Medium Infantry unit. Four banners conquered by Zenon in a single turn: 3 units + 1 leader [C:3 S:5]

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Zenon’s attack. The Syracusan infantry on the left will also destroy its opponent.

The Carthaginian cavalry tries a desperate attack to avenge their leader: they outflank the Syracusans and attack Zenon from behind! His Heavy Infantry barely survives, but they immediately battle back conquering the sixth banner. [C:3 S:6]

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The desperate attack by an isolated Carthaginian Cavalry unit

Final score: Carthaginian:3 banners, Syracusan:9 banners

The Campaign score is in perfect balance:
Carthaginian – Victories:1 Banners:9
Syracusan – Victories:1 Banners:9

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RPG interlude.

Was Bastet captured by the Syracusan? YES

Zenon offers Lilith to free Bastet, if their army leaves the island. But Lilith seems much more concerned with her honour than with her daughter’s life and promptly refuses.

For the next battle:
A. Lilith finds a replacement for Bastet’s leadership (both armies have two leaders)
B. Neos refuses to fight (both armies have one leader)

B: Neos feels that it would not be fair if he continued to fight, now that Bastet has been captured. He will let Zenon and Lilith set the issue.

Pyros Island – Battle 1 – Sika Valley

A Commands and Colors Ancients solo campaign, with RPG elements based on Bivius and the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck. See setup here.

Previous events: Neos, the son of the tyrant of Syracuse, has broken his marriage vow with the Carthaginian Bastet. His father exiled him to the island of Pyros (a Syracusan colony) where he became the lover of the ruler Zenon. Bastet and her mother Lilith attach Pyros to force Neos to marry Bastet or take revenge upon him. They occupied the Southern part of the island without encountering opposition, but the Syracusan army will face them in the Sika Valley.


The two armies face each other. Zenon leads the main Syracusan body: he is attached to a Heavy Infantry unit. Neos leads the left wing: one Light Cavalry unit, one Light Infantry, two Medium Infantry.
The main body of the Carthaginian army, facing Zenon, is lead by Bastet, who is also attached to the Carthaginian Heavy Infantry. Lilith faces Neos on the right wing, with two cavalry and three infantry units.

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Lilith and Neos advance boldly and they are soon engaged in direct combat. Zenon awaits in reserve, launching his cavalry against Lilith. But the Syracusan horses are too isolated and one of the two units is soon destroyed.

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The fight between Neos and Lilith favours the Syracusan, but the Carthaginian leader is quick to evade the decisive attack and moves to a safer position.

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Lilith’s cavarly is badly damaged: she takes cover behind her light infantry

Bastet advances: her army is deployed in a solid line and occupies the centre of the battlefield. Zenon still does not join the battle.

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On the other wing, Neos’ cavalry has also been hit hard, but he holds his position. This will cost him the destruction of both his cavalry unit. Later, the Carthaginian cavalry will outflank and destroy an isolated infantry unit.

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Neon’s cavarly still in the front line

But the decisive fight is lead by Lilith’s infantry: they completely destroy the Syracusan right wing, finally conquering the sixth banner.

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The last Syracusan cavalry unit is defeated

Final score. Carthaginian:6 banners, Syracusan:3 banners

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RPG interlude.
Does the scene involve Zenon? NO
Which characters are involved? Neos and Bastet

GMA: delay tender companion
Neos arranges a secret meeting with Bastet. He swears that he will marry her in a year, if the Carthaginian leave Pyros.
Is Bastet interested in the proposal? (unlikely: 25% chance) YES
But when Bastet speaks of the idea with her mother, Lilith says she is determined to see the question solved without further delays. Lilith proposes to lead the army by herself alone, if Bastet is not willing to fight against the Syracusans. Bastet immediately replies that she will do her part.

Pyros Island – CCA Solo Campaign – setup

[NB: this is a gaming campaign. Do NOT expect historical accuracy]

I recently discovered that the huge army lists from De Bellis Antiquitatis have been converted for the Commands and Colors Ancients boardgame. I do not have CCA, but I own another game using the same system: Memoir 44. Since the publisher of CCA (GMT games) makes the rules available for free download, I thought of creating a few paper minis, reconstruct the command deck on the basis of the description in the rules and use the Memoir board and tiles.

I will play a simplified DBA-style campaign set on an island, where each side initially controls three locations. The first side that wins three battles will be the winner of the campaign. I hope this simple set-up will allow me to master the rules and maybe try something more complex in the future.

Inspired by Sicily before the first Punic war, I decided to use these two armies from Scenario X:

29. Syracusan East Sicily 410-210BC
1xMC or HI (G), 1xLC, 1xHI, 5xMI, 1xMI or War, 1xAux or MC, 1xAux or WM, 1xLI
[I chose Medium Infantry instead of the Warriors]

39. Later Carthaginian 275-146BC
1xMC (G), 1xLC, 1xHI, 2xMI, 1xAux, 3xWar or LI or Aux, 1xEl or MC, 1xEl or LC, 1xLI
[I chose to have 4 Auxilia and no Elephants]


RPG/Story elements will be simply managed Bivius-style, mostly with a Binary-Random-Oracle. I will also use the free subset of the Game Master’s Apprentice (GMA) Deck for inspiration.

From the story-telling point of view, with respect to Memoir 44, CCA has the huge advantage of representing individual leaders. I will use two leaders per side, so I will have four main characters.

Who is the attacker? ODD:Carthaginian EVEN:Syracusan
ODD:Carthaginian

Two of the four leaders will be women. Carthaginian or Syracusan?
ODD ODD
Two Carthaginian women will fight against two Syracusan men.

I painted and named these four leaders:

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Left to right: Lilith, Bastet, Neos, Zenon

Zenon is the ruler of the Pyros Island.

Is Neos Zenon’s son? NO
Neos is the son of the tyrant of Syracuse. He also is Zenon’s lover.

Is Lilith the Carthaginian leader? YES
Is Bastet her sister? NO

Lilith is Bastet’s mother.

Why are Lilith and Bastet attacking Pyros? GMA: interrupt active purity
I interpret purity as referencing to virginity: Lilith is thinking of Bastet’s marriage

Neos was engaged with Bastet, but he refused to marry her. As a punishment, Neos’ father exiled him to Pyros. Lilith wants Neos to marry her daughter or die.

The Carthaginian attack was a total  surprise: the invaders landed at Paralia, in the Southern part of Pyros and could easily occupy the fishing village of Notos and the fortified hill of Frourio. Zenon has gathered his army and will face the invaders in the Sika valley.

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Cybela and the Monsters of Grayhill – Season 2 Episode 1

A solo campaign with plastic toys based on the Ironsworn RPG. In Season 2, I will fight battles using the Mighty Monsters miniature rules by Ganesha Games.

Previous Events. Season1: Duchess Cybela of Elfbrook is a mecha pilot. Together with her friend Tahuta (a secret agent) and Count Fanir (a mecha pilot and adept of the Cult), Cybela takes part in the fight against the Boarwood invaders. The enemy is defeated and the Iron Talisman they had stolen is recovered.

As a starting point for Season 2, I rolled a Major Plot Twist:
Someone or something goes missing.

Is this the Iron Talisman again (unlikely): YES

I also rolled a new NPC: Religous Guard

The Iron Talisman was kept in the treasure chamber of the Elfbrook cathedral. When it goes missing, also the Cult treasurer Provost Alban of Grayhill disappears. A few days later, the city of Grayhill is attacked by huge monsters of unknown origin. The Elfbrook mecha division is sent to Grayhill.

Swear an Iron Vow: Free Grayhill from the Monsters (Dangerous)
Challenge:6,7
Action:6+1Heart+1(Bond with the Duchy)=8 Strong Hit +2 Momentum

Cybela is sure that this has been a misstep by the cult. It is a great opportunity to advance in her long-term goal of reducing the power of the Cult in favour of the authority of her father, Duke Themon.

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NPCs:

  • Count Fanir – Cybela’s rival as the best mecha-pilot in Elfbrook and a fervent adept of the Cult.
  • Provost Alban of Grayhill: former treasurer of the Cult, who disappeared together with the Iron Talisman
  • Duke Themon of Elfbrook – Cybela’s father
  • Archmage Brynn, uncle of Cybela and leader of the Cult. A powerful and ambiguous man.
  • Tahuta – an agent in Elfbrook special forces and Cybela’s best friend.
  • Etana – chief engineer at the Mechanization Ministry. She favours AI robots over human-controlled mecha.

Scenario Oracle: Blood Journey

Cybela and Fanir are charged to escort a medical team bound to a military hospital in Grayhill. They are confronted by a Winged Golem and a Triceratops.

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Left to Right: Cybela and Fanir’s mechas; the medical team; Golem and Triceratops

Mighty Monsters stats:

Cybela’s Mecha (180 pts)
Head:Q4C2 Laser-Shoot Medium C2; Body:Q4C4; Arms:Q4C3 Laser-Shoot Long C3; Legs:Q4C2

Fanir’s Mecha (145 pts)
Head:Q4C2 Laser-Shoot Medium C2; Body:Q4C3; Arms:Q4C3; Legs:Q4C2

Medics: Q4 C1 Short Move

Winged Golem (210 pts)
Head:Q4C2 Area-Attack Medium C2; Body:Q4C3; Wings:Q4C2 Fly Medium; Legs:Q4C2; Tail:Q4C3

Triceratops (120 pts):
Head:Q4C3 (Head Butt); Body:Q4C3; Legs:Q4C2; Tail:Q4C2

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Turn 1,2: The Golems Area Attack hits Cybela’s mecha (1 hit) and the medical team (1 man down). Fanir hist hard the triceratops (2 hits and Groggy).

Turn 3,4: A second Area Attack takes down a second member of the medical team: only one survives. Cybela hits the Golem (1 hit).

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Turn 5,6: The Golem flies on the top of a building, but Cybela’s laser attacks knock it down.

Turn 7: the surviving man advances. The Golem stands up only to be knocked down again by Cybela. Fanir and the Triceratops confront each other, but with no effect.

Turn 8,9: the man is now only one move away from exiting the board. Cybela hits the Golem again: it now has taken 5 hits (1 yellow die and 2 red).

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The golem is knocked down

Turn 10: after several failed attempts, the Triceratops charges Fanir’s mecha and hits.

Turn 11: The Golem stands up and hits both mechas. The Triceratops knocks down Fanir’s Mecha.

 

Turn 12: the man successfully exits the board! Cybela’s mecha is crippled by the Golem. The Triceratops hits again Fanir’s mecha: the result should have been a Knock Down, but since the macha already is on the ground, it is destroyed!

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The Elfbrook team has partially achieved its goal, but they were the first side to loose a unit in the fight. I will grant a single advance on the Dangerous vow progress track and Elfbrook must pay the price: someone suspects that Fanir deliberately let his mecha be destroyed.

Is Fanir suspected by Etana (likely) or by Cybela herself (unlikely)? Cybela.

Cybela’s current situation:

Stats: Edge:2 Heart:1 Iron:2 Shadow:1 Wits:3
Health:5 Spirit:5 Supply:5 Momentum:3
Vow: free Grayhill from the Monsters (Dungerous) – Progress:1
Background Vow: limit the power of the Cult (Extreme) Progress:0.8

Mighty Monsters by Ganesha Games: demolition golems

For my second Mighty Monsters game, I set up a more complex scenario: two golems (entering from the left) will try to destroy as many as possible of the six coloured buildings. Two robots and 4 infantry stands will try to stop them. Both the golems and the robots have a stronger and a weaker unit. The stronger golem can flight and has a psychic ranged area-attack; the rock golem is slow and has no ranged attack. The advanced robot is armed with two lasers; the regular robot has a single laser.

Winged Golem (303 pts)
Head Q3 C2 AA2L; Body Q3 C3; Arms Q3 C3; Wings Q3 C2 Fly Long; Legs Q3 C2; Tail Q3 C3

Rock Golem (175 pts)
Head Q3 C2; Body Q3 C3 Charge; Arms Q3 C4; Legs Q3 C2 Slow

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Advanced Robot (230 pts)
Head Q3 C2 Laser C2M; Body Q3 C4; Arms Q3 C3 Laser C3L; Legs Q3 C2

Regular Robot (175 pts)
Head Q3 C2 Laser C2M; Body Q3 C2; Arms Q3 C3; Legs Q3 C2

Infantry (12 pts x 4) Q3 C1

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The two golems, entering from the right side of the board, move towards the closest buildings. The Advanced Robot is fast at taking a good shot at the Winged Golem and inflicts the first hits. The Winged Golem ignores the wounds and destroys Building #2; at the same time, the slow rock golem brings down Building #1.

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First two buildings destroyed

The Winged Golem flies on the opposite side of the board, taking cover behind Building #3. The Advanced Robot rushes in pursuit. While the Regular Robot hesitates at the centre of the board, the Rock Golem slowly moves towards Building #4.

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The Winged Golem easily destroys Building #3. He then throws a devastating psychic attack towards the Advanced Robot and the Army Men: 3 of the four Infantry units are killed. Then he flies to Building #5. The Rock Golem charges Building #4 and brings it down too!

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Only the two buildings on the left still stand

The Winged Golem destroys Building #5. Then it flies back to the right side of the board and engages in a ranged fight against the Advanced Robot. The other robot tries to defend Building #6, the next target of the Rock Golem. But the golem charges and Knocks Back the Robot against the Building that collapses: the robot takes considerable damage too.

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The Rock Golem slams a robot into the last building

With all the buildings destroyed, this was a clear victory for the golems. I played some more rounds. The Rock Golem killed the last Infantry unit, but all the main figures kept fighting, even if some were starting to accumulate red dice.


 

Now that I begin using different attacks (Slam, in particular) things are more fun. Also, having specific objectives (the buildings in this case) always makes games more interesting. It is clear that a game as large as this (about 500 points per side) is going to take a couple of hours. For my next games, I will try to stay closer to 400 points, and I will make buildings C3 (instead of C2) so that it is less easy to destroy them. I am looking forward to receive the Adventure Crafter by Tana Pigeon, so that I can add some role-playing and link the fights into a story.