Sunday, December 7, 2008

Hold the Line session

Mark K. and I continued our full day of gaming with Hold the Line, which uses the same system as Clash for a Continent with some changes in physical components and minor rules changes.

We played the Battle on Snowshoes battle, which is rather interesting because it really pits extreme quality against quantity.

This battle finds a small force of Rogers Rangers led by Rogers himself defending a wooded hill against a larger force of French and Indians in an incident from the French and Indian war.

The Rangers are top-notch troops. They have the movement bonuses of Indians while also counting as Elite troops for morale and other purposes. They are led by Rogers, who is an excellent leader who can add as many as 2 dice to a melee and takes two hits to kill. He's also responsible for giving them a 3 +D3 command action point allowance. A tough buzzard indeed. The only weakness they Rangers have is numbers. There are just five 2-strength units. On the other hand, with 4-6 CAP per turn there's a very good chance that Rodger will be able to act with all or nearly all of his force every single turn.

In contrast the French force, while large, is cumbersome and poorly led. Five of the units are militia, barely worth committing to action. Another five are Indians, mobile through the woods but likely to come out second best in a fight with the Rangers. Finally the French have three 4-strength regulars. These can go toe-to-toe with the Rangers but are slow.

Our first battle can be summed up in one word. Disaster. I had the French and was able to actually coordinate a joint advance with the Indians, the regulars and some militia. It all came to nought, however, as the Rangers were able to deftly dance between the flanks dispersing Indians and then face-off against the French regulars. A musket ball took down the only French leader and before long the French force was completely defeated.

Out switch match was a near-run thing for me, this time as the Rangers. In this case the Indians turned out to be dead shots and the Rangers unable to make their Elite saving rolls and I ended up with two dead Rangers early on. This created a very hairy situation indeed. The Rangers were eventually able to do a lot of damage to the Indians but eventually found themselves pressed against the wall (and the map-edge victory hexes) by the French regulars. The French simply ran out of time and came out a turn short of victory.

Given the fact that almost everything that could go wrong for the Rangers did go wrong and they still manged to win, and the fact that the first battle was a blowout, I have to call this one as having a strong Ranger bias.

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