Sunday 17 March 2013

The Battle of Plank Street, a GMs perspective. and a little tactical lesson from history.

It was an utter pleasure to host a battle between two brilliant Oldhammerers on Friday night. That we did it over the internet on our computers hardly seamed to matter, that the other two were typing and only I was talking  was, odd, but worked.

Some of the action.

I have to say it was great, I live in a different town to my gaming mates, have two kids, a very busy wife, well you all know the story, most of you are living it too. not to mention when I do see my gaming mates they ain't all over 3rd ed.  I've been looking for some time for a way to play my fellow oldhammerers, Gaj and Dreamfish are running quite nicely with their turn based system. But I'm afraid I have no patience, I need immediate results to keep my attention.

close up of above to show the detail.
I've checked out many virtual table tops but never found one that fitted the bill, until an ad in Gygax magazine sent me to roll-20.

Long story short it works and we had a blast, Thantsants and Warlord Paul have done a great job writing up the story I actually don't feel I need to. (I'll do one any way with close ups of the fronts of many of the staring minis..) I think it is reasonably fair to say this is the first real time battle between us blogging oldhamerers.

However in this post I'd like to look at some of the finer points of what we call TAKTIKS. I'm reasonably sure Thantsants mentioned he recently (past few years) got back into the hobby and my guess is he hasn't played anywhere near as many games as Warlord Paul. Warlord Paul I think is a bit of a ringer, he regularly goes to club (this may stop once BOJ appears WP!) and I think he knows his military history.

Lets look at this set up before the first turn of the battle of plank street. WP plays the orcs at the top, Thants the dwarves at the bottom.

The flanks of WPs army are his strongest units, yep even that unit of goblin spears due to the champion. His center is weak though not to a fault. He also set up first. Thantsants who admitted to never having played dwarves set up with his missiles on the hill. Not a bad place, but failed to anchor the flank of his line against the wolf boys. The main body of his troops was arrayed to fight the center, not the most important threat, the orc boys on the left most hill. Rookie mistakes I'd say and  the magic amulet played no part in that.

Now ignoring how the battle eventually fought who can tell me what other warlord on what other distant battle field arrayed his troops thus against more disciplined and better equipped foes? (WP no chipping in).

 The toughness and Ld of the dwarves may win out yet though.

Anyway thanks for a great game guys, look forward to finishing it, exploring the region of
Axwoon and Scabbie Rump further and hopefully playing more Oldhammerers at my place.


  1. Mmmph mmmpph, mmmph! *gagged*

    Been historical wargaming that long I do it without realising it now.

    Hoping to maintain my Thursday club nights (they wouldn't survive without their esteemed treasurer) as things seem feasible on paper. Might be in for a shock I suppose.

  2. I couldn't remember the warlord...but I remembered the battle. I even saw the image you redacted for display above.

  3. OK I've had some email guesses and daveb's uncertain memory. Time for a clue, not a cryptic one an outright narrow down the field clue. It's Punic.

  4. Cannae? You certainly seemed to have nipped that picture from the Battle of Cannae entry in Wikipedia! :^)

  5. I'll have an "H" please Bob!

  6. Bang on Dale and Gnawdoom, Hannibal at Cannae. As in this battle a relatively weak centre occupies the enemy’s ranks and best soldiers, ideally without actually fighting them. At the same time the flanks are where the best units are situated, enveloping the enemy’s weaker flanks.
    Now in Thantsants favour he did place his numerically small but statistically tough Longbeards on the flank and this may save that side but the right is in real trouble.

    Just because we’re fantasy players doesn’t mean we can’t learn from history.

    BTW Dale love your blog, notice you’re no stranger to Hannibal and Carthage yourself. My eldest and I thought your wooden soldiers were great, he wants to make some. Oh for more hours in the day (or less work).

    1. Ah - I was beginning to wonder about something from anyiquity - lets see if I can pull off a Pyrrhic victory eh? ;)