I finally managed to put my (extensive) MageKnight miniature collection. For those not familiar with the game here is the Wikipedia article on it. Last night, feeling kind of bored and with nothing interesting to do, I called the dreaded Colonel McRaffy, Scourge of the Steppes, Hammer of the Elves, Lord of the Orcs. OK, his name is NOT Colonel McRaffy, but he is a dedicated Orc player in every game from D&D to WH40K. He picked Orcs (no surprise there), I picked Elemental League.
Colonel McRaffy poring over troop dispositions.
McRaffy's plan was simple. Move fast, get into melee, kill. Considering the orcs, this is not a bad plan at all.
I am afraid the Elemental League Death Star will be operational before the Orcs arrive.
I used a simple, old tactic. I had some pretty powerful ranged combat figures (a Troll Artillerist and a Troll Gunner) backed up by some enhancers that improved their ranged damage and provided them with high defense. A Centaur Champion secured one of my flanks, and the winged little elf provided me with healing and interference.
Orcs moving down the middle.
McRaffy selected two pieces of blocking terrain to limit my fields of fire. I selected two long, narrow bodies of water to funnel him to a prepared position.
When in doubt, Trolls with big guns win.
Knowing I would be facing orcs, I selected a Troll Gunner to use the Flame/Lightning special ability and shred their formations. True enough, when the orcs reached the top of the funnel, I was able to hit their formation for considerable damage. Pushing the figure in the next round and rolling a fumble was bad luck, but I had started whittling him down.
The top of the funnel
The killing ground.
The orcs spent two rounds in the killing ground of the funnel before breaking out. After repeated shots, the units that were left were not in any shape to deal with a relatively intact Death Star.
The Ankhar Butcher charges in.
The Centaur Champion clears my right flank.
In the end, only 3 figures essentially reached melee range with my Trolls. With a Defend "daisy chain", they were not able to damage them and were soon dispatched. Apparently shooting fence posts as crossbow bolts is not fun for the targets.
Roll of the dice
In the end, it was poor figure selection that did Colonel McRaffy in. More figures, figures with Force March to move them quickly across the killing ground and a killer figure with high attack and damage output (or autodamage figures with Poison or Ram) would have been more effective. Still, a good time was had by the both of us, and by the time we called it a night, midnight had already come and gone.
MageKnight is a fun, quick and deceptively simple game with good strategic depth. If you haven't played it, lots of figures appear on EBay and other sites regularly and with reasonable prices. Perhaps next time I will convince the good Colonel to try his hand at MageKnight Dungeons. With close to 700 figures available, I don't think that either of us will be bored any time soon.