Neriticans in the Ice and Iron campaign (4 players)

Our group of players in Prague decided to run a small campaign following the outline given in the Vanguard v1.5 rulebook. This topic should follow the adventures of my small company composed mostly from frogs. At 200 points my warband should include:
Riverguard Dambuster Sentinel
Riverguard Sentinel
Water Elemental
Riverguard Treeleaper
3x Riverguard
3x Naiad Initiate

Considering the Riverguards are most likely to die and suffer permanent injuries I added two more of them to form the company at 250 points including 17 points for items in my supplies caravan. As the neriticans tend to have less power dice than my opponents usually have the idea is to maximize the number by running 2 command models which bring 2 red and 1 white dice, and provide two rerolls.

The other 3 players take warbands from Northern Alliance, Brotherhood and Nighstalkers factions.

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Game 1 - against the Brotherhood player
Scenario: Breakthrough, 100 pts

I took the company leader Dambuster Sentinel (with Buckler and Lucky Charm), 3 Riverguards (one of them as a healer) and one Naiad Initiate. My opponent fielded a mounted Exemplar, 2 foot knights and 2 bowmen.

The passage went through a forest in the center with a fence on its right and several small obstacles scattered around the board to provide cover.

The picture shows the situation after the first round. My 3 riverguards are hiding in the forest, the dambuster and naiad behind it, while the opponent just positioned the foot knights behind an obstacle and left the other models in the open. In the second round I moved the riverguards to the border of the forest making a group attack on the two bowmen. The first one survived (attacked by one riverguard) while the other was killed in the hail of javelings comming from the remaining two riverguards. There was just some repositioning otherwise with the Dambuster and Naiad going around the forest from the left side and the knights heading to the fence on the right but getting close enough to the riverguards in the forest. The third round the foot knights started assaulting two riverguards but both of them fortunately survived, one knocked down. There was an exchange of arrows and javelins between the remaining riverguard and bowman without any wounds. Executioner killed the naiad who served as a decoy and detractor. The Dambuster charged the knight at the knocked riverguard, knocking him down but was left exposed to a charge of the executioner in the following round. However, the executioner failed completely on its attack, causing no wound while the dambuster finished the foot knight and then took on the executioner. Their fight lasted two rounds with the dambuster prevailing thanks to another bad luck with the attack rolls of my opponent. In between, one riverguard got killed by the remaining foot knight and the two riverguards failed in their attacks on the bowman hiding behind obstacle. After one of the riverguards got killed by the bowman, the other preferred to run away from the battlefield trying out one last shot of javelins at the nasty bowman without success.

In the end, I scored 2 points for escaping with the rivergard in 4th round and another 1 for the dambuster that escaped the last round. My opponent managed to escape with the bowman and foot knight the last round. Scenario win for the frogs. :smiley:

The two killed frogs (one of them the company healer) were in fact only wounded and were retrieved by their friends under the cover of a night. Unfortunately, they both suffer from hunting nightmares causing a permanent worsening of their Nerve. The surviving riverguard got leader’s commendation, achieved rank 1 and was promoted to be a hunter. When we rolled for explorations we read the results from a wrong exploration table by mistake. We have realized only the next day that there is another exploration table in the rulebook specific for the campaign. We decided to keep the results, so the frogs went to a tavern, drank some beer there and will have their nerves improved in the next game. :grinning:

You may also have a look at my campaign document. The first sheet is my warband taken to the first game, the second sheet serves as my company overview and the other ones will show the game outcomes.

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Nice report and well done on the first win. Did you roll for weather at all? The furs, food and snow shoes can be a right pain if you end up underfed and in a snowstorm with no furs or snow shoes!

We played with food but without any weather so far. Our intention is to introduce the random weather from the 3rd scenario on. I am not sure it is worth taking the furs or shoes even for just 1 point. In general, I really like having lucky charms and one does not have that much room for extra equipment. We will see how it goes, we have only little experience with scenarios involving weather so far as we mostly play without this feature.

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I know what you mean - the actual chances of needing furs or snow shoes are actually pretty low!

Game 2 - against the Northern Alliance player
Scenario: Snowblind, 175 pts

I took the company leader Dambuster Sentinel (with Buckler and Lucky Charm), Riverguard Sentinel (lucky charm), my freshly promoted Riverguard serving as a company hunter (rare mount, rare bow), 3 Riverguards (one of them as a healer, two with lucky charm) and two Naiad Initiates. My opponent fielded the Snow Troll Prime (leader), Frostfang cavalry, Half-elf Berserker, 3 Huscarls, Ice Naiad (rank 1, improved Nerve). I am not sure what items my opponent took. As my opponent forgot his 3 huscarls at home we proxied them with my frog shaman and 2 naiads. I also did not find a suitable model for a mounted riverguard hunter, so I proxied it with a centaur shaman that I use in KoW.

The first picture shows our deployment in the 4 zones, each behind two of the objective markers placed in the corners of the central square. I had the riverguard sentinel together with two naiad initiates and the mounted riverguard hunter together in one zone behind a fence, opposite to them the dambuster sentinel accompanied with three riverguards. The opponent put his leader together with ice naiad and the berserker in the zone in front of him, the frostfang cavalry accompanied by three huscarls in the opposite (more distant) zone. He opted for a strategy to engage immediately my leader and riverguards with his fighters in the Snow Troll Prime group. His leader had to run and fatigue walk to engage my riverguard dambuster, the ice naiad ran into contact (no charge due to limited visibility according to the scenario) and attacked a riverguard as fatigue action scoring one wound. The berserker ran and walked to engage another riverguard. Only one of my riverguards escaped into a near forest. The other opponent’s group also headed in a direction of my leader’s group. I was at the ropes, only redeploying my other group to have 2 of the objectives under my control. The dambuster sentinel somehow managed to score 4 wounds on the Snow Troll Prime, three in combat, one due to toxins at the end of the round, so the opponent’s leader was hanging on a last wound. The riverguard engaged by the ice naiad also managed to put 1 wound on her.

In the second round the frostfang cavalry charged my leader, it barely survived but was finished off by the Snow Troll Prime. I was a bit lucky and then unlucky here as my opponent did not roll quite well on the attacks and in the end I needed to roll 4 on a nerve to survive. Unfortunately, I rolled 3 and 2 (reroll) so my dambuster sentinel got killed putting one wound on the frostfang cavalry while retaliating. The riverguard engaged with the ice naiad managed to kill her and the other riverguard knocked down the berserker, but it then stood up. The riverguard hiding in the forest shot at one huscarl without scoring a wound, so it got charged in response and got knocked down. The riverguard sentinel shot at another huscarl (no wounds), was charged by him in response, lost 2 wounds but managed to put 1 on the huscarl, partly thanks to one naiad that also charged in.

Having lost my leader and the other command model on a last wound my situation looked quite gloomy at the end of round two. I got really lucky when the tablet appeared at the marker in the half of the board “still under my control”, close to the riverguard sentinel and reacheable by my naiads and the mounted hunter. If the tablet appeared on the other half of the table, I was ready to resign. The situation turned in my favor as the rivergard sentinel with the help of one naiad managed to kill the huscarl engaged with the sentinel. The last combat-free huscarl covered the tablet but was brought down by shots from the hunter and then finished by a naiad. The other naiad walked at the tablet, picked it, then later made an heroic effort action to go away with it. On the other part of the board my 3 riverguards were easily killed without putting in a serious fight in response.

At the beginning of round 4 my opponent resigned as he had almost no chance to get to the naiad carrying the tablet. Despite having 4 strong fighters standing (against my 4 rather weak ones), his leader was on a last wound (no success on Regeneration since the end of round 1) and could hardly be risked. I had two good shooters with Pound covering the center through which the opponent would have to advance while the time (number of remaining rounds) was running out …

So, another win but I feel quite a lucky one. My leader’s body was retrieved, surprisingly he is still surviving, with just some broken bones which cause him to lose 1 wound in the next battle. For his heroics in leading the party to a win while sacrificing himself, he got promoted to rank 1 (+1 wound). One of the riverguars got so impressive scars, he will inspire his comrades from now on, so he was voted on to be the company grizzled veteran. The battle went really badly for me, but in the end everything somehow turned out well …

The pictures were taken by my opponent, more of them here.

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Great to see people playing the game - I also love that you play Nerticans, one of the factions I really don’t have much if any experience with.

We had a similar experience with this scenario where it went to an area that I had little presence, though I feel that was my own tactical error! In our case a Huscarl ran off into the sunset with the tablet! We are playing the same scenario with Forces of Nature and Basileans next - it will be interesting to see how that pans out too.

I like this scenario as it forces people to spread out a bit - as we both found out it can go your way (or not) based on luck unless you have a good presence across all four locations.

Terrible luck for you on your leader’s nerve too! But that’s why we love the dice element of the games right!

Game 3 - against the Nightstalkers player
Scenario: Capture the Giant, 200 pts

I took the Dambuster Sentinel (with Buckler and Lucky Charm), Riverguard Sentinel (Lucky Charm, Bodkin Arrow), Water Elemental (Lucky Charm), the Riverguard serving as a company hunter (Long Bow), 3 Riverguards (one of them as a healer, another the grizzled veteran) and 2 Naiad Initiates. If I remember it well, my opponent’s party included Butcher Fleshripper (Battle potion, Buckler), Reaper Souldrinker (Buckler, Lucky charm), 2 Shadowhounds, 2 Spectres, 3 Reapers, 1 Horror.

The first round we both tried to spread out our parties a bit, so the giant could not hit too many models when she (we used a female model with a frying pan) moved. The nightstalkers were more careful and stayed quite away, sending only the spectres closer to the center to shoot. My shooting proved more successful as the riverguards managed to put 3 wounds in total on the giant against one scored by the nightstalkers, so I won the round. I also advanced more to the center with my models to keep closer to the giant if she moved into opponent’s half. The disadvantage of this strategy was that I could not keep my models completely off the possible giant’s paths.

The picture shows the situation at the beginning of the second round after the giant moved in the direction of my water elemental accompanied by 2 naiad initiates. In fact, it should have stopped its movement on my models, so we decided to stop it just in front of the elemental. One of the naiads was killed by the mighty giant, while the other miraculously survived and the elemental took (fortunately) just one wound. In response, the elemental charged the giant hoping to score some wounds, but in total (including its heroic effort) scored only 3. The giant was also charged by both shadowhounds whose attacks were vicious thanks to a support from a nearby Horror. In fact, I tried to pull the Horror away when it took a place near the giant, but did not succeed with the Tounge Lash ability of my Dambuster. The rest of my party concentrated their ranged attacks on the opponent and I managed to knock down one Spectre and my grizzled veteran Riverguard killed another one despite not rolling particularly well on my attacks. On the other hand I rolled amazingly well on the armor saves for the giant, so the opponent managed to put only one wound on the giant with his shadowhounds (4 melee actions in total with a plenty of dice). Another round won.

Unfortunately, at the beginning of the third round the giant went again across my group of models that was placed in front of the central bog and included the Dambuster Sentinel and two Riverguards. It was really a bad luck as all other possible paths of the giant would not put my models in danger. As it was, both Riverguards were killed (one had already 1 wound from opponent’s shooting) and the Dambuster suffered one wound. I tried to shoot at the giant with no luck, followed it with a charge by the Dambuster (again no wound scored!) and charged again with a Riverguard in a despair later in a round, managing to score 1 wound. It turned out I made a serious mistake not saving a power dice in a previous round to clear a fatigue from my water elemental. It was standing in a relative safety of a difficult terrain and I anticipated an engagement by the two shadowhounds that were nearby (and also fatigued) after attacking the giant previous round. However, my opponent used the Dread ability (I have completely forgotten about it!) on one of them and the elemental failed its nerve test making him useless for the whole round. The opponent then proceeded to walk with both shadowhounds around an obstacle to get into contact with my naiad and approached the static water elemental with his Butcher. He also charged the Giant with a souldrinker (scoring 2 wounds) and my Dambuster with a Reaper, scoring 1 wound. The Dambuster relatiated, knocking the Reaper down. It looked I would loose the round 1 to 2 but at the end of the round the Dambuster’s toxins put another wound on the giant (but did not managed to kill the knocked down reaper), so the round result was a draw.

In the fourth round the giant ran away ending in between the tower (impassable terrain) and left the edge of the board. The opponent’s model were not able to reach it there but I managed to score a wound on it with my grizzled veteran, so it was another round won for me. Unfortunately, I lost my Water elemental attacked by a Butcher that used the Battle potion in this attack, scoring several wounds and later finishing the elemental with an heroic effort. I also lost the naiad in a combat with the two shadowhounds and somehow could not shoot down opponent’s spectre with my hunter and the Riverguard Sentinel who suffered 2 wounds in the shootout despite being stealthy and in cover of a forest. The Dambuster Sentinel killed off the knocked down Reaper and lashed its toungue on the Souldrinker. Unfortunately, the Souldrinker then scored 2 wounds on the Dambuster, he managed to be steady but failed both nerve tests needing to roll 4 at least once. Once again the same bad luck with my leader as in the previous game.

In the fifth (and last) round the giant finally went across two opponents warriors, killing one of them. The shadowhounds killed my riverguard hunter, the butcher killed my riverguard sentinel while only my riverguard veteran managed to run away into a potential safety. My opponent managed to engage him with a Reaper (run and fatigue walk) but as there was no 6th round the grizzled veteran was the only one from my party who survived the butchery of Nighstalkers and the giant. The following picture shows the situation at the end of the game with my surviving veteran and a reaper engaged with him hiding behind the fence at the tower doorsteps.

Well, so it is another scenario victory but I do not feel quite well about it as the game was quite dicey and chaotic. My opponent almost completely destroyed my party and scored much more xp points than me. I should add I was extremely lucky when rolling on the casaulty table, 5 of my models have recovered fully (though 2 of them had to be ransomed after being captured), only the riverguard healer ended up with a severed arm, being completely crippled and unusable now. If I did not roll so well for the casaulties this win would feel more as a loss for the company …

The grizzled veteran passes one of his xp on the riverguard sentinel, so he is promoted to rank 1 now (and also become a second healer) with Ra improved.

Finally, an interesting note. After the 3 games, I am the only one with 3 wins. However, the other 3 players (including the Brotherhood player who lost all his games) all of them have already rank 4 party while I got to rank 3. It looks that going for the scenario objective is often risky and winning a scenario translates into more losses and less experience points. In this game it was my 4 xp (2 for kills, 1 survival, 1 because the opponent had a higher rank party) against something like 12 xp my opponent harvested. This looks like serious disproportion considering I won the game. Is it really intended.

Congratulations and thanks to those who managed to read through this rather lengthy report.

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