Last Saturday (26th September) I had a great first play test game of Wars of Orcs and Dwarves with Buck Surdu, Chris, Mark, Jim and Greg. The game was hosted in North Yorkshire but all of the players were from various locations in the USA (Buck lives in Florida, Mark in Massachusetts, Jim in North Carolina and Greg and Chris are from Maryland). The game was played using 'Zoom', a video conferencing application. I have a webcam mounted on the ceiling in my games room, the camera and microphone covers the whole of my games table. These images are web into the video conference. All of the players have rules, dice and units stats. The players make there decisions and roll there dice and the results are reflected on the table top for everyone to see. Games take a little bit longer to play, as there is no concurrent activity, but they are certainly the next best thing to get together around a gaming table. The huge bonus is off course that you can as easily play with friends from the other side of the world as your friends from the next village.
Wars of Orcs and Dwarves takes the rules mechanics of 'Wars of Ozz' which is a Black Powder, Mass Fantasy Battle game set in the world of the 'Wizard of Oz' and 40+ other books written by L Frank Baum and others and applies them to Tolkien inspired, 'traditional' fantasy. Mark, Greg and Jim played the Orcs and Goblins and Buck and Chris played the Dwarves. The battle started with aggressive opening moves from the Orcs. Mark immediately sent the pack of ferocious wolves charging into Bucks Dwarven archers.
On the Dwarves right flank, Chris Palmer sets his Brigade to advance through the woods and rocky ground towards the 'Great North Road' which provided the strategic objective for the game.
Fighting unsupported the wolves took casualties from the Dwarves short range volley as they charged home and in the subsequent rounds of melee. We can see the survivors routing past the advancing Ogres and Goblins.
The next unit to charge Bucks Dwarven archers was a regiment of Night Goblin Archers. They have already suffered two casualties from bowfire as they have advanced. After each four casualties, a base is removed.
The Dwarven archers managed to move to there right flank to let the more heavily armored Dwarf Free Company advance into melee with the Goblins.
Meanwhile on the Orcs left flank, Greg and Jim have managed to get there Orcs to surge forward to occupy the road, control of which determines the winner of the battle.
Bucks Dwarves stoically fought of the Night Goblin attack, but no sooner had the Goblins routed there place was taken by a unit of huge, lumbering Ogres.
Gregs Orcs fan out in to line occupying a defensive position between the sturdy dry stone walls.
On the Dwarves right flank, Chris's brigade advances cautiously as fast as there short legs allow.
A bizarre sight, Jim’s Ogre regiment charges in a one stand column. It was a gamble, if they had reformed, it would have used half there move so they would not have got into combat, and it certainly kept the pressure up on the Dwarves.
Chris Palmers Dwarves fought well, here we see another unit or Orcs routing towards there own lines.
The Dwarves had enlisted the aid of a mercenary hill giant. He had little problem defending the bridge from the advancing Goblins.
Eventually the Free Company on the Dwarves right flank broke.
At the end of the game, victory was awarded based on the amount of non-routing units occupying the terrain tiles that included the main North - South road. The Orcs had three, the Dwarves had two, so on this occasion it was a minor victory to the green skinned brigade.
We are already planning a return match in four weeks time.
The game mechanics worked very well and I think was enjoyed by all.
The terrain was all built using Sally 4th Terra-Former modular terrain tile kits, which you can find out about here.
Over the last month I have been rebasing all my old Games Workshop Warhammer Fantasy Battle miniatures onto 2" square unit bases for playing Wars of Orcs and Dwarves. Click here to take a look at the rebasing article and some of the classic Warhammer miniatures in greater detail.