Friday, August 28, 2009

Defend the Village - Ares test game

I am playing the same scenario that I used with WHAA and Savage World Showdown, but this time I will be using the rules Ares by Majestic Twelve Games. Actually, I actually played it twice, but the first game I didn't take any pictures, and I messed up some of the rules. In that game, the orcs rushed the town, and on the right were beat up pretty bad by the archers, and then hurt even worse when the reached the hedge. On the left though, in the first round of melee, they took out Borom, and quickly rolled over the left and finished everyone else off. It started well for the humans, but turned into a bloodbath real fast.

Now, on to this matchup!
The Initial Setup.

The orcs were emerging from the woods, and Lord Borom was just entering the village

Round 1
Round 1 saw the orcs moving up to the river, and the humans rushing to take their positions along the hedge.

Round 2
The orc archers were now in position, and while the other orcs were fording the stream, they took a few pot shots at the quickly arriving humans. Amazingly, one arrow found its place and dropped one of the human warriors.

Round 3
The orc archers fire their rounds as their allies continue to advance, but this time they come up short. However, the human archers who are now at the hedge, open up on the orcs rushing at them. 1 orc falls to their arrows.

Round 4
The orcs on the right rushed the hedge, but the human archers opened up on them at point blank and 2 orcs fell. However, the orcs reached the hedge, and a bloody fight ensued. The orcs managed to drop one of the warriors and one of the archers.

Round 5
This round saw the fight fully engaged. At the opening, the orcs rushed, but no one fell. However back at the hedge, the fight continued. Gorg dropped a warrior and rushed over the wall, but the human archer fell one of his allies, and another was killed while rushing a warrior at the hedge.

Round 6
This and the next round were the deciding fights. Gorg and two orcs made it over the hedge. Gorg attacked a human soldier, but the soldier managed to fend off his blows. One of his companions fell as the other orcs double teamed him, but the humans reacted quickly. One of the men at arms saw an opening and rushed Gorg from behind. Gorg never even saw the attack coming as he was focusing on the man before him. The man at arm's spear ripped through Gorg's armor and pierced his heart, instantly ending his life. At the same time, the archer pumped an arrow into one of the orcs that had just killed his friend. The remaining orc panicked, but had nowhere to flee, so held his ground.

Over at the hedge though, things went bad for the humans. Borom was locked into a battle with two orcs, and one of them managed to get past his defenses and landed a heavy blow that left Borom fighting with only half of his strength.

Round 7
Thing really went bad for the humans here. At the opening in the hedge, the orcs made a savage push and butchered 3 of the human defenders, and more importantly, Borom was once again overwhelmed, only this time with even worse results. A sword managed to find a gap in his armor and tore deep into his body. He dropped to the ground as his life slipped away. The remaining human warriors fought valiantly and killed two orcs, and the sole human archer took down one more. The human's morale was wavering, but they knew that if they fell back, that the people of this village would be massacred, so they held for a little longer.

Round 8
This round saw a complete resurgence for the humans. After seeing their leader so brutally murdered, they grew angry and leaped into action before the orcs could react. In their furry they cut down 3 orcs, and the archer turned his attention to the human archers who were still firing whenever they could. He took out one of the unarmored orc archers, and the remaining two send all of their arrows at the human archer, who took an arrow in the neck, and fell lifeless.

The remaining orcs were stunned by this sudden turn and fell back as their morale waivered.

Round 9
For a brief moment, the remaining orcs considered moving back in for an attack, but they were now outnumbered, and weary, so they decided to retreat and come back again when they could recover their strength.

This game has a lot of cool mechanics, but I do not like the I Go U Go aspect. I like games that make combat simultaneous. The orcs would probably have won this game, but in Round 8, the humans acted first, and even though they were outnumbered two to one, they each managed to kill an orc, thus evening up the fight. Then the orcs rolled a bad morale test and fell back shaken.

However, the game was still a lot of fun, and rather easy to play. I used the "Fast Play" variant which is one the MJ12 Yahoo site(basically it drastically reduces the hits a figure has), and the whole fight lasted less than an hour. I think that I will run this again, but allow the defender to strike back unless he is ambushed or struck from behind.


  1. Nice report and helpful feedback. I like the way you gamed with different rules and offered your insight on each. I'm curious how you liked warrior heroes. Which of the 3 do you prefer using?

  2. Actually I was to make the same question. Which system did you like it most and why?

  3. I think that I like Warrior Heroes the best. ARES works well, but having to use the different dice slows things down. It's a good system with a lot of nice details, and as much as I like details, it slows down a game a lot.

    Savage World Showdown is a good game also, but has the same issue with multiple die types. Now that the second edition is out, I will try it again.

    Song of Blades and Heroes is also a well supported and good game, but, for me it is a little too light in the details.