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Monday, 2 May 2016

SAC! - Play-test Game 2: The Bandit Camp

Following on from the first play test game featured for SAC! - Mill Raid - I am happy to present the second featured game - Bandit Camp.

Unlike the first game which focused largely on the narrative, this play test will highlight more of the combat through showing the actual dice rolls and outcomes.

This game is also available for you to play test for yourself (and I would love to hear your views and feedback!). Full details of trying SAC! for yourself can be found here - Play Test Bandit Camp

A couple of notes -

* This game uses a set of 'light' rules, not the full version of SAC!

* The Command Dice for the turn are located in the top right of the photos. These show the initiative order for the current turn.

* Text descriptions are under the photos and you can click on some photos for a larger shot.

Scenario Details

This is a solo scenario - player vs enemies. Although it could be modified to suit two or more players if needed. It is also flexible in terms or period, suiting anything from Ancients through to Medieval. It could even be run as Elves vs Orcs if so inclined!

In the Campaign game the player would use forces from their own lists, but for this game the player gets a set number of troops. This force consists of one junior, inexperienced officer, and two units of relatively reliable and trained troops.

The mission is simple - find and locate the Bandit camp, and deal with their leader!

The board has a special set-up as shown below,

A single path branches into two roads once it reaches the wooded area. The clearing at the far end represents the Bandit's camp. Each approach has a hidden surprise for the player....

The players forces - 
Two units of Roman Legion and a Centurion Officer

The Bandit force -
Two units of brigands and the Bandit Leader

The Bandit Leader and one unit start in the camp. 
The other unit waits as a possible ambush on one of the roads approaching the camp.

The Romans march into the woodland and reach one of two 'event' locations. 
On a 1-3 the area is trapped, on a 4-6 the bandits spring an ambush. In this play through, the event is a trap and the lead Legion loses a point of armour (8 remaining).

The normal move of the Legion is 5", and they can run an extra half of this, for a total move of 7.5".
Enough to reach the clearing and the camp!

Next to act this turn are the bandits. The dice in the top right hand corner are black for Legion, red for Bandits. The Legion advanced in to the camp on phase one of this turn, the bandits charge also in phase one. The draw is handled by a mechanic called 'Advantage', and is usually held by the force who wins the most combats in a round. It also changes when they lose more combats in a single turn than they win. For this game though, Advantage, and thus the ability to go first on any ties will always be held by the player, regardless of combat results.

Units in SAC! must maximize frontage where movement allows. 
This means each bandit (if they can move far enough) must engage one-on-one with the Legion. 

The first round of combat is fought. Red dice are Bandits, black dice are Legion.
The Bandits fight at 2d6, the better trained Legion fight at 2d6+2. 
Even with the Legions extra bonus they lose this round of combat!

Any combat dice which score a '6' do one automatic damage regardless of winner/loser so the Legion suffer another armour point of damage (dropping them to 7 armour remaining). They also lost the combat so weapon strength (3) is compared to current armour (7) to see if any casualties are inflicted. The heavily armoured legion take the blows on their shields, but drop their armour by another point (6 points remaining!).

Loser chooses to stay or withdraw from a round of combat. The lead Legion decides to stand. 
On phase 2 of this round, the second unit of Legion move up the road to the camp.

The scenario states that on the start of the 2nd round of combat in the camp the remaining Bandit unit will be alerted to the combat and head back to the camp to defend.

Troops in combat don't need orders to fight, but they still must obey the initiative order. As the player holds the first phase they decide to fight another round of combat as the first option.

The Legion wins the round, but this time its a bloody affair. Two sixes - one for each side - has been rolled, so both sides take damage. The Legion won so their weapon strength (3) is compared to the Bandits current armour (was 4, but the 6 reduces this to 3). Luckily the Bandits just have enough armour to avoid a casualty, but next time they wont be so lucky!

This scenario states that if a Bandit unit loses combat they will retreat.
The Bandits run from combat.

When a loser runs from a combat they have lost, they must test their Morale. If they pass then the retreat will be an orderly withdrawal. If they fail... then its a rout.. the Bandits have a Moral of 2d6 and need to score 10 or above to pass. They roll a '7'. It's not a retreat - its a run for your lives!

As winner of the combat the Legion can follow up the attack by charging after the bandits, or they can attempt to show restraint by holding position. To hold requires a Morale test. The player decides to grab space and advance into the camp. The armour of the Legion makes them slower than the Bandits, so although they advance, they cant catch the bandits this turn.

Orders require line of sight to issue. As last phase was the players phase one, now it is the Bandits phase one (as shown by the red dice in the upper right of the photo). The bandit checks line of sight to his reinforcements out on the path and shouts for them to hurry up!

The bandits second unit heeds the leaders command and rushes back to the camp.

In normal SAC! units can be issued 2nd orders in the same turn by using a mechanic called 'Push'.
This is the 'light' version of the game and the Push mechanic is not included so the turn ends with the second unit of Legion moving further along the road.

After the command dice are rolled for a fresh turn, all units routing move before any orders are given.
The routing Bandits make it to the edge of the board!

The Bandits have the first action holding the red 'two'. 
The second unit of bandits rush at the harried first Legion unit. Again, models must be placed 1v1 at the front edge of the enemy unit.

Another scenario special rule sees the Bandit Leader issue a direct challenge to single combat to the players Officer. If the player accepts the two will fight, if the player chooses to decline the offer, the bandits will gain a Morale bonus. The player decides to chance the single combat and the two are moved into base to base contact.

The Legion's first unit again loses the dice roll and suffers yet another point of armour loss!

The Bandit Leader fights at 2d6+2, the Officer at 3d6.
The players Officer loses the combat and suffers two damage - 1 for losing, and 1 for the '6' rolled by the Bandit Leader. Characters also suffer Morale, so rather than risk a rout by the Officer the player decides to hold combat and hope for a better result next turn,

The second Legion can just make it into combat to help their troubled friends.

Multiple combats are still one combat roll vs one combat roll.
Any extra models add their 'assist' value to the score.

The dice rolls are 7 - 7, but with the Legions normal +2 and +12 from 4 assists, they easily win this round. Full SAC! rules give a better advantage to sides with more men and greatly increased rolls. SAC! light though does not, so despite an epic win, only normal weapon strength vs normal armour is compared. 

Units routing are always moved at the start of the turn. This effectively counts as a move (or as an order), so they cannot be moved again. They can however be ordered to rally. The score needed to rally is 10 or above. Luckily for the Bandits they make the roll and rally!

A new turn sees the Player first to act and on phase one they fight another round of combat in the mass melee. The combat is won by the Legion, but another 6 from the bandits means another point of armour lost on the first legion.

The bandits lower armour is now not high enough to stop the Legions weapon strength. From here on in every round of combat they lose will likely be a casualty. 
The first model to fall this game is a bandit.

The bandits fall back, and roll a double 6 for their Morale!

The momentum swings in favour of the Officer and he inflicts two damage on the Bandit chief!

The Legion move into the camp as the current turn draws to an end.

The Bandits roll first action on the new turn, and charge into the second Legion.
The Bandits win the combat and inflict a point of damage, but the Legion manages to land a number of good blows and inflicts a point of damage in return.

The Bandits on the edge of the board are now just in range of the first Legion unit.

The combat though does NOT go in their favour. Not only do they lose a point of armour from the bandits '6' but now their armour is below the weapon strength of the bandits...

.. the result is the first player casualty! A Legionnaire falls!

The personal combat this round is won by the players Officer. 
An extra bonus is the roll of a '6', for 2pts of damage this round.

The damage is enough to fell the Bandit Leader, and he goes down as a casualty.

In the campaign game, a casualty doesn't necessarily mean the model is killed. They could just be injured or knocked out. The damage to their armour will also need to be repaired as well!

The first Legion unit, though seriously exhausted, manage to win the combat.

Note the Leadership dice - the Bandit leader has fallen so the Bandits roll no dice!
They can only react and run when they lose combat.

Another bandit goes down as casualty.

The remaining bandits run for their lives!

The second Bandit unit manages to win the combat.
Winners cannot voluntarily withdraw from combat so the Bandits are unable to react to the danger behind them.

The player charges the first Legion unit and the Officer into the combat.
There is no point rolling any further dice from here - it is clear the player has won!

This is just a stand alone test game, but in the full SAC! campaign the player would earn experience points and rewards to further advance their forces. The damage they have taken - armour points, casualties etc would also need to be addressed. SAC! includes rules for characters such as Armour and Weaponsmiths, as well as ownership and control of places like 'Forges' to build and repair items!

Thanks for reading!

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