I have really liked the Frostwings for a very long time, since 1997 to be precise. However, coming back to the game in November 2018 after a very long absence, they were not the immediately obvious race that I wanted to use. This honour went to the Selumari, the Coral Elves, who had ‘normal’ racial abilities that were tied in to the terrains, and not, as with the Areosa, abilities tied into how many dead units they had strewn around on the battlefield.
Having now got to grips (almost) with the basic game mechanics and having an inkling about tactics for nearly all the races, I have decided to keep my ‘Blues’ army as a standard opponent for a while, whilst I try out my pretty new Frostwing army, including the Magi that pleased me no end when he appeared a couple of days ago.
I will be taking this game slowly and deliberately so that I can try to work out playing strategies as I go.
The statistics that I present here are not 100% accurate as they do not take account of re-rolls, racial abilities, spell effects etc. They also treat SAIs as if they were in a dragon attack. If I were to present the accurate statistics, this would take an inordinately long amount of time for little benefit. (Translation: Work them out for yourself).
But first, the Blues (Coral Elf – Firewalker – Eldarim army)
The Blues came about from my playing with Coral Elves and Firewalkers separately and discovering that they would possibly work quite well together with the Empyrea (Firewalkers) acting as magical mercenaries to a strong Selumari missile army. The Eldarim were added to allow me to try to prolong their lives by adding dragonkin units and shields to make up for their lack of saves.
Now the Areosa (Frostwings army).
The Areosa home army was a line up suggested to me by my friend and collaborator Jeff Denmon, the campaign army is heavy on magicians because I wanted to show off the fact that I had a Magi, and that I want to try out the Magic Negation racial ability. The Highland standing stones gives me 4 faces of magic actions and the possibility of later using yellow magic for saves (Stone Skin spells), as Frost is well known to be brittle.
The teams have exchanged pennants, tossed the coin and set their formations. The Blues will kick off after the interval.
The Areosa Home terrain is on face 6 showing melee. Looking at the vital statistics (above) it would appear that the Blues melee would be soaked up by the Areosa saves. Taking on the Areosa in melee at this stage is not a very good idea therefore.
A second possibility is to try to manoeuvre the terrain out of the way of the 5th face, which is for missile action, and is looking to be very dangerous for the Blues if the Areosa were to get this army using missile (according to the above statistics they will generate between 10 and 18 missile hits 66% of the time). This would still leave the Blues with a melee action which is likely to be unsuccessful.
Option 3 would be to bring in a useful minor terrain, giving the possibility of a magic action face being rolled. With an expected magic roll of between 6 and 12 results, this would appear to be the sensible option. Even if the magic face does not appear, there is the chance that the IDs double for either manoeuvre or saves, both of which are useful.
Furthermore, if the wasteland bridge is used, the colour red is introduced, allowing the Eldarim to recruit red Dragonkin (and the Firewalkers could use their Flaming Shields ability, if they had any shields to flame). It would also have a 25% chance of rolling double manoeuvres for IDs.
The last option would be to split up the army, or send the whole army to reserves. Given their current superiority on manoeuvres, along with the possible enhancement using magic such as Wind Walk, the proximity of the 8th face of the terrain die makes this also a bad option.
The Blues home terrain, being on its 4th (missile) face means that the Areosa horde and campaign armies are in reach.
Attacking the horde army would be overkill in the extreme, as it would achieve nothing more than adding 1 unit to the Areosa DUA that they could use for Magic Negation. This would be a waste of a march.
Attacking the Campaign army looks to be a more profitable idea at this point but, even then, it looks likely to take out only a few units that will help with Magic Negation.
Manoeuvring or using another minor terrain might be looked at once the first march result has been seen.
Blues 1st March
The Blues horde army use a wasteland bridge, rolling the ID.
The magic action face is chosen. The army, therefore, roll for magic results.
They generate 12 results, 3 better than the expected value, but still within the 66% probability range.
They summon a Fire Dragonkin Champion, which will assist with saves and mobility.