Continuing the current run of Midgard play test games, we ran a big Greek mythological battle using my rules, for which I constructed a plot line seriously inspired (i.e. ripping off) some of the most famous Greek myths (and Ray Harryhausen).
Greek hero Basileus has been set three (highly dangerous, possibly fatal) tasks by the King of Athens in return for his daughter’s hand in marriage. Fortunately, Basileus is favoured by the Gods and has a large crew of warriors in a small fleet of ships (the Argianauts).
Left: Hagne the Harpy and Typhus the Steersman locked in single combat. Reaper Bones and Foundry figures painted by Martin H.
I shan’t go into the battle in great detail, as gaming compadres Martin and Tom WD have already covered much of the action in their blogs (click on their names above to see their reports.) However, I shall chuck in a number of pics, a few individual shots of the newest models in the collection, and some game development chat.
The scenario for this latest game was None Shall Pass, one that we’ve played several times before and always gives a tight game. However, this time the defending force would be holding two passes in a mountain valley rather than river crossings. Sailing to Crete, Basil and his Argianauts have raided the Horn of the Minotaur from the ruins of the palace of Knossos, but now they need to escape the irate attentions of King Minossos and his unsavoury followers to get back to their ships.
Suffice to say that the Cretans and their beastly allies put up one hell of a fight, putting Heracles out of action, killing Typhus the Steersman and holding one of the passes right until the bitter end. However, with the death of King Minossos and his Cyclopes, a much-relieved Basil broke through one of the passes and made his escape.
Testing the flying rules was one my key intentions for this scenario. Flying creatures are by no means the focus of the game but I wanted Midgard to have sufficient rules to allow some flying heroes and units on the battlefield (e.g. Perseus, the harpies, the odd wyvern, dragons and so on.) I also wanted to create rules that would allow the flyers to be highly manouverable and a nuisance to the enemy, but not to dominate the battlefield.
Paul and Tom (controlling two harpy units each) caused a lot of consternation amongst Basileus’s troops, in particular picking off archers with swooping attacks. However, the one ground attack where the harpies landed and took on a hoplite unit ended in disaster. We were all agreed that the balance felt about right for these light, harassing flyers.
Some of the new toys for this game included a bunch of harpies – these ones are 3d prints from Artisan Workshop and purchased from FullyCycled on Etsy. There are only two poses but I varied them with different basing heights and angles. The paint job is 95% GW Contrast Paints: the skin is various mixes of Guilliman Flesh and thinned-down Wyldwood with a slight highlight of acrylic flesh. Wings are various layers/ mixes of Gryph-Charger Grey, Talassar Blue, Wyldwood and Black Templar before being dry-brushed with a light grey acrylic.
Other new models were a box of Dark Alliance 1/72 plastic Cyclopes that my son had bought me for my birthday. These were great fun to paint (another quick job using mostly GW Contrasts again) and made some tough units for the Greeks to take on. There was a good natured discussion about whether the Cyclopes should have a penalty for throwing rocks given their lack of binocular vision – one to ponder for the army lists! 🙂
Challenges to single combat feature heavily in Midgard and this game was no exception. Shockingly, Heracles (the most powerful hero in this battle) lost out to Minossos, showing that sometimes the dice just go against you! There was a fine narrative moment when Hagne the Harpy slew Typhus the Steersman in a challenge, but Typhus managed to down the harpy leader with a final stroke of his sword. Exciting stuff.
Overall, I was very pleased with the game. The scenario gave us a very tense conclusion following the loss of Herakles, with both sides suffering heavy losses. Single combats worked a treat and the flying rules were just about right. I went away with a number of notes about things to clarify in the rules as play testing continues. Hopefully we’ll be able to play Basil and the Argianauts episode 2 in the not too distant future.