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Author Topic: Mini Billhooks game  (Read 312 times)

Offline Norm

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Mini Billhooks game
« on: September 24, 2020, 09:43:09 PM »
I suppose traditionally gamers tend to step up the size of their game, which can put rules under stress. I know I have been playing Never mind the Billhooks with larger forces than 100 points. Anyway, tonight I went the other way .... small and was pleasantly surprised at how much of a good game that it gave me. The system survived! :-)

Basically I set up a 4’ x 3’ space and had just 30 points of Yorkists defending a hill. That only gave them, 1 x archer, 1 x bill and 1 x skirmish x-bow. The Bill was a ward, with the army commander and the archers were a ward with a leader and the skirmishers were independent.

Below, the Lancastrians on the left had a ward with 1 x archer and 1 x bill and to the centre another ward the same. On the right they had artillery for a total of 62 points. So the card deck just had two leader cards per side.

Obviously the Lancastrians did all of the manoeuvre in the initial phase, with the Yorkist x-bow putting a stop to that.

The Lancastrian artillery did quite well, playing their shot against the high ground.

The Yorkist archers and x-bow put a lot of harm on the advancing Lancastrian formations who had their archers out in front.

On the Lancastrian left, their archers ran away due to VERY effective x-bow shooting, on their right, they got up the hill and engaged the Yorkist archers.

Two things of note. Firstly, I was surprised that the hill didn’t offer a significant defensive advantage. I think perhaps making the slopes ‘bad going’ to an attacker going uphill might be preferable in the future for a terrain feature that I want specifically to be a defensive position. 

Secondly, just for a bit of good visual, I had put a small hamlet on the Lancastrian right. As time went on, the Yorkists got a Special Events card ..... it was the Ambush card, which I have never come across before. Essentially it creates a new skirmisher unit that emerge from a building, So suddenly the Lancastrian right that were attacking up the hill, had Yorkist skirmishers in their rear - what a superb bit of narrative play.

Anyway, the Lancastrians ended up losing both archer units and that ended the game, which I found to be totally engaging and it gave me a good weekday evening game. Billhooks is looking increasingly versatile.   
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 07:13:30 AM by Norm »

Offline HappyChappy439

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Re: Mini Billhooks game
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2020, 11:55:49 PM »
Thanks for sharing!

Silly question but how did you find using the multi-based figures with the billhooks rules?

Offline AndyC

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Re: Mini Billhooks game
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2020, 05:10:38 AM »
Another interesting stress test on NMTBH.
Yes, if it’s a steep hill you could make it Bad Going.
That way it would effectively half movement (1 action to move and
Fall into disarray, one action to remove the disarray)
meaning a defender will get more chances to shoot at you.
Shallow hills just deny you any re-rolls when attacking.

Offline Norm

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Re: Mini Billhooks game
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2020, 05:56:00 AM »
Thanks for sharing!

Silly question but how did you find using the multi-based figures with the billhooks rules?

It is not as visually intuitive as using single bases in a sabot, but you can still play the system as designed. Firstly you have to have a way of noting how many losses the unit has taken. In my bigger games I have a small slip of paper tucked under the unit that records current strength. In this mini game, it was so small that I just used a diagram of the game with the units marked on and their strengths recorded there - a sort of visual roster.

For practical application, you need to remember that the losses are coming off the second rank in order to keep the front rank full, which matters in melee as sometimes only the front rank is fighting. So if you have a bill unit (which the rules have as a 6 figure frontage) down to 8 men, you will need to remember that 6 of those 8 occupy the front rank and the other 2 occupy the second rank.  again less intuitive to visualise than single figures on a sabot, but quite workable and your mind quickly becomes attuned to seeing the game that way. 

(Thanks Andy).
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 07:17:39 AM by Norm »

Offline AndyC

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Re: Mini Billhooks game
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2020, 08:03:22 AM »
Good and full reply there about multI-base figures.
The other thing about non-solo games is
It’s best if you use a method where the
enemy can also see what losses one of your
Units has suffered, like with single figure removal.
PS on steep hills I think you should not apply
Both the reduced move AND the disarray. Think of
it more as a “flight to the front” by the fittest, going
as fast as they can while
the fat, wheezy boys (like me!) straggle behind (represented
by the disarray token)

Offline Norm

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Re: Mini Billhooks game
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2020, 09:35:41 AM »
Andy, good suggestion. At most, the kind of terrain that I would likely be wanting to use would be more like rolling hills, rather than anything more severe anyway. The rules continue to be a good fit for whatever is thrown at them.

 

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