HelgaCon: Book of War
Book of War has been on my mind a lot recently, which makes it a happy coincidence that the next game I played at HelgaCon that I want to discuss is Delta’s Book of War round robin. Very oddly the players of this game worked out to be me and my two brothers, so we had a little war of succession. Delta wanted to run three total games so each of us got to play the other, but sadly due to time constraints we only got two done. He also wanted to play with bigger armies, which is likely the reason we ran out of time. We started out with a big 500 point game between me and Max, and then reduced to a 250 point game between Max and Christian.
I built my army around heavy crossbows and light cavalry. That gave me units with the longest range and fastest movement, which coincidentally is the same number: 24″. I then rounded out the army with a unit of pikemen, because I wanted to see how pikes operated in the game. I tried to punch through Max’s lines with my light cavalry to try and spook Max into moving into range of my heavy crossbows. Unfortunately I didn’t quite have enough movement for it and took some heavy losses in my cavalry. Ultimately I didn’t mind, as Warhammer has trained me to see light cavalry as disposable units best used for making your opponent make bad formation choices, but it did fail to get Max’s units up within range of my heavily defended hill full of crossbows and pikes. Though I later noticed that pikes don’t get all their excellent advantages when on the slope of a hill, so I might have been sorely disappointed if/when max actually charged in. Doh!
Anyway, we ended early due to time starting to really run out, and Max had me on points from having taken out so much of my light cavalry. Between this and a missed call that cost me half my cavalry, Delta was feeling a bit guilty and I had him giving me the benefit of the doubt in all subsequent calls. Honestly I really don’t blame him at all and I had a fun time playing, but I took advantage of it in specific case: that Max be forced to play the next game giving me the chance to go take a shower. Thank goodness for that, as I had a game to run in the next time slot and the extra time to get ready was really appreciated.
Seriously though, I had a lot of fun with Book of War. I was really glad just to get a chance to play the game with Delta there. It’s one thing to give feedback based on written work, but entirely another thing to actually play test the game. I admit I have an ulterior motive for helping Delta with this project as much as possible: I intend to use it in my own campaign to resolve mass combats whenever possible. As such I wish I could have played in his later Siege-based game, but I was glad to have whatever play time I could get.
Max and Christian had a great fight while I was in the shower. It really dragged out in a bloody mess to the last man. Personally I find games where the favored winner shifts back and forth repeatedly, and that’s exactly what was happening here. As we didn’t get to play the final game of me vs. Christian, I insisted that the war of succession remained bloody and unresolved for many more years.
Oh, why is Book of War on my mind now a week later? Well, as we’ve been packing up the office at work I’ve had to bring home my 10 mm minis and terrain. I didn’t trust the movers to pack and move it, so home it came. One of the coolest things about these guys is how portable they are. Between the size and the use of magnetism, it’s very easy for me to pack this all up and bring it home without it impacting the show-ability of our house. This got me thinking.
Delta plays a lot of quick one-on-one games of Book of War with his girlfriend and posts about it regularly. Jenn has on occasion been interested in war-gaming, and given how light and easy Book of War is, I was starting to think maybe she’d like to play the odd game with me. And as these guys are so portable, I bet I could leave them in the basement and pop them out for an odd game and then pack them back up even while we continue to show the house. Best of all, my painting area is still accessible, so I could even paint some more of these guys as needed.
I don’t know which is more exciting, a chance to play Book of War some more, or having something (anything) to do during this house selling process other than sell a house. It seems like a match made in heaven. Now I just have to convince Jenn of that.