Sunday, February 22, 2015

Star League Season 4

I have begun yet another season of Star League. This time, I am using my streamlined rules, which I automated in Excel so that I can play a game with the push of a key. To make the season more interesting, I chose a team and am playing its games manually. I mentioned adding some other features, like Star Power to add some decision points to the games I play manually.

I am currently halfway through the season. The current standings look like this:

Galactic Division
Blitz                        4-1
Knights                   4-1
Dynamos                3-2
Avengers                0-5

Stellar Division
Fury                        3-2
Helix                      3-2
Electrons                2-3
Gravitons               1-4

Note that I renamed the teams, although (aside from the Knights) the new name starts with the same letter as the old.

My team (the Knights, formerly the Canopans) is tied for 1st with the surprising Blitz (former Betelguesans). The Blitz already have more wins than they ever had in any season! It is interesting that last season's champs, the Avengers (former Antarens) have utterly collapsed. I didn't even make any changes to their roster and yet they are struggling. Part of their problem is their utterly anemic offense, which has scored only 3 goals to date.

Speaking of offense, the new rules have greatly curtailed scoring, which has dipped from 2.5 goals per game last season to 1.6. In 9 of 20 games, one team has scored no goals. I think part of the reason is that if a team missed a shot in the old rules it could (depending on the dice rolls) get the ball back and take another shot. The new rules don't have a provision for rebounds, lessening the number of shots, and therefore goals. I'll have to review the stats to see if my theory is correct. I'd like to increase scoring but I don't want to mess with the simplicity of the rules. One simple solution is to increase the offense ratings, but I may wait until next season to do it.

Anyway, allow me to leave you with a game report:

Knights vs. Gravitons
For game 4, the undefeated Knights visited the 1-2 Gravitons. It should have been an easy victory for the Knights. Should have been.

Early on, the Gravitons stunned the Knights when they managed to slip by the defense and smashed a difficult shot toward the goal. The goalie managed to get a hand on it and deflected it away. The Gravitons gathered the rebound and shot it past the sprawled out goalie. 1-0 Gravitons.

[Game note - I am using Star Power for both sides in my manual games, giving each side 1 per half. On this play, I used Star Power to re-roll the goal. It came up a no-goal, hence a save. But then the Gravitons countered with their own Star Power, which came up goal. I declared that they scored on a rebound!]

The angered Knights retaliated by powering their way to 2 goals. Then they grew lax and the Gravitons slipped a shot in to equalize the game at 2 goals each. The Knights had an opportunity right before the half, but the Graviton goalie made a tremendous save.

Early in the 2nd half, the Gravitons stunned the Knights with another rebound goal.

[Again, back-to-back Star Powers saw a goal denied followed by a goal scored]

The Knights coach ordered his players to push forward. For the rest of the half, the Knights controlled the ball and rained shots upon the Gravitons' goal.

[I choose a strategy of Aggressive Offense in an attempt to equalize the game. This put the Knights at risk defensively, but fortunately they managed to control the ball and remain on offense\

The Knights managed to put one shot into the goal to tie the game. Then, as time was winding down, they managed a break-away. The shot flew from the forward's hands. It curved past the goalie into the nets. Goal! With a last second shot, the Knights managed a thrilling 4-3 victory.

Friday, February 20, 2015


After making a foray into my 90s gaming experiences, I want to backtrack a little bit to the 80s and discuss a role-playing game.

In the early part of that decade, I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons, and enjoyed myself thoroughly. That’s not to say that I thought D&D was a perfect system. It wasn't (and still isn't) and some of its issues began to grate upon me. In the mid-80s, Steve Jackson Games came out with a new system, GURPS (the Generic Universal Role Playing System) that intrigued me greatly.

One of my beefs with D&D was its hit point system. As characters increased in levels, they could take more wounds before dying. This struck me as unrealistic (as Grognardia frequently noted, gamers became increasingly concerned about realism in the 80s and I was no exception). Any human (even a powerful hero) can be felled by a single sword blow or arrow, if it hit. Instead, gaining experience should lessen the chance of getting hit in the first place. I knew that the hit point system was an abstract way of denoting all this, but it bothered me. I thought that a better way would be to allow the character a roll to parry, block, or dodge an attack instead of abstract hit points. I decided to write up my own RPG and began jotting down ideas. That’s when I discovered GURPS and realized that it featured many of the rules concepts with which I had been tinkering, such as an active defense roll!

GURPS included a number of rules that I considered an improvement over D&D. At the time, I preferred its skill system, which allowed players to tweak their characters and make them unique. I liked that it used a single type of dice (I hate using multiple types of dice – i.e. “groping for dice” systems). I liked that it was universal so it could be used for multiple genres (I think that a D&D hit point system doesn't work as well for games with firearms. You can’t have a stereotypical western-style gunfight if the opponents have enough hit points to survive several bullet wounds). I thought the advantages system was very clever. In all, it seemed to hit on all the ideas for a new game that were floating around in my brain.

Alas, my love for GURPS turned out to be a brief flirtation. While I purchased the core system and many of the sourcebooks, I never actually played a game. This was a time when I did not have any regular RPG partners to experiment with the game. I tried to create some adventures but the character creation system, which appealed to me as a player, deterred me as an adventure designer. I erroneously thought that I would have to go through character creation for each NPC in order to ensure proper balance. It also struck me that the referee would need to do a lot of rolling (parry rolls for every NPC – ugh). While I admired much of the game system, it just never became a game I played.

Today, I am much less concerned with “realism” and thus have returned to many of the D&D concepts. In particular, I like class systems with broad archetypes. It just makes character creation a snap. I also use hit points; these days I’m OK with the abstraction. Yet some of GURPS’s ideas have filtered into my solo RPG system. I only use a single type of dice (D6) and, like GURPS, each roll uses multiple dice (although I use 2D6 instead of 3D6). My rules are essentially generic and universal rather than being tied to a specific genre or world (although each genre has its own tweaks to the rules, such as specific classes). Furthermore, I never gave up on the defense roll idea. I did make some changes, though. To ease the work on the referee, only player characters make defense rolls. In fact, I streamlined combat for the referee; the NPCs don’t even make attack rolls. Instead, I assume that the NPC will hit unless the PC can make a successful defense (which becomes easier to do as the PC gains levels). Conversely, I have PCs make hit rolls; if they succeed then the NPC is automatically wounded. For me, It’s quick, simple, and effective. Furthermore, it is a result of years of pondering the benefits and drawbacks of the GURPS active defense roll.

Sunday, February 15, 2015


Although I have not been providing updates regularly, Game Night has continued in my house. Over the past month, we have played a couple of new games, which I received as presents. Let me give a quick synopsis of each.

The first of these new games was my Christmas gift,  Firefly: The Game.

Based on the cult classic TV series, the game strives to re-create the experiences of the crew of Serenity. Each player takes the role of a captain of a Firefly class merchant ship. The captain must hire a crew, make contacts, acquire contracts, and hopefully earn some cash while avoiding trouble with the law or the reavers. To achieve your objectives you'll need to fly your ship throughout the 'verse, visiting various ports.

One cool aspect Firefly is that there are different missions cards. You select a mission for each game so this creates variety. We played this once, using the basic mission where you have to make contacts and earn some cash. I managed to acquire (mostly) legal contracts, so I could avoid any legal complications. After zipping around a few planets, I was able to rake in enough cash to win.

Fortune and Glory
Fortune and Glory was my birthday present.

It's a pulp-era themed game of treasure hunting for archaeological relics (a la Raiders of the Lost Ark). Players race around the world, avoiding Nazis and mobsters, then facing various dangers in order to retrieve the artifacts. But be careful, if you fail you may find yourself in a cliffhanger! Wil Wheaton provides an entertaining overview of the game on Tabletop (he gets some of the rules wrong, but you'll still learn the main sequence of play).

Box back showing board and some of the components.
We played the basic competitive game last night (they also have advanced rules and a competitive version). I was Jake Zane, the pilot based out of San Francisco. I got lucky; there was a plethora of artifacts in North America (locations are determined randomly) so I didn't need to go very far. However, my wife found one artifact that gave her a boatload of fortune so we had a tight race. We both got to 15 fortune (the goal of the competitive game) in the same turn so then it was a race back to our home cities. I got initiative and made it home but she made it too. However, when she drew a City card (which you draw to see if some adventure occurs in the city) she got involved in a chase that delayed her. Thus, I was victorious!

Both are fun games that effectively evoke their themes. In each, you have to strategize which missions to take then hope that you can roll well. Fortune and Glory has a neat press-your-luck mechanic. When trying to retrieve an artifact, you have to overcome (via dice rolls) a number of dangers (which are drawn from a deck). After overcoming a danger, you can camp down and heal or press on. If you fail, you'll lose any accumulated glory. Do you press forward to get a jump on your opponents or do you play it safe? Interesting choices.

While we enjoyed both games, they both have one serious drawback - they have a ton of components! Large maps, several card deck, lots of markers, etc. Thus, it is a little daunting to set the games up. Sometimes we just want to grab a game and go. I have a feeling that this feature may limit how often we play these games. Nevertheless, I am glad that we have them.

Star Cup 3!

It's been a while since I last played a Star League game but I decided to catch up today. Last time, I played the first game of Star Cup 3, which the Antarens won. Today, I finished off the series.

Game 2 - Antarens @ Hydrans
The game began with the Antarens controlling the ball, but the stiff Hydran defense prevented any shots. The Hydran coach got impatient and ordered his players to press forward. This strategy backfired as the Antarens were able to clear the ball, rush forward, and score. Antarens 1-0 at half.

In the second half, the Hydran coach switched to a balanced attack but then tried to crush the Antaren's best player. This maneuver drew a penalty, but the goalie was able to block the shot to keep the Hydrans in the game. A little while later, the Hydrans were able to feed the ball to their striker who rifled the ball into the net. Tie game!

Overtime was looming when the Hydrans were able to scoop up a loose ball. They maneuvered down the court. Time was running out when they shot and scored. A dramatic 2-1 victory for the Hydrans!

Game 3 - Hydrans @ Antarens
The Star Cup returned to the Antaren's court for the finale. In the middle of the first half, the Antaren coach unleashed his striker, who was able to slip one by the opposing goalie. From then on, the Antarens played very conservatively. The Hydrans were able to maintain possession but they had trouble getting into scoring position. Late in the second half, they had an opening. The Antaren goalie dove for the ball - save! After that, the Hydrans failed to mount a serious threat and time wound down for a 1-0 Antaren victory.

Season 3 Champs - Antarens!

Note on Season 4 - I set up the season 4 and began playing week 1 using the automated program. I will be playing one of the teams, but we'll save that for a later update.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


So far, I’ve presented the Retrospectives in a rough chronological order based on when I first played the featured game. While discussing the Complete Brigadier last week, I mentioned how that game led to a new story in my wargaming career. Today I would like to leap ahead a bit and tell that story – the story of my involvement with De Bellis Antiquitatis (aka DBA).

DBA cover from edition 1.1
Now, my main gaming interest at the time was horse & musket, though the campaigns of Rome intrigued me. This interest led me to picking up Tactica; unfortunately the size of the armies put me off. One day in the early 90s I read a review in a wargames magazine about a new, innovative set of rules called De Bellis Antiquitatis. Most sets of rules at the time used several bases of figures (with 3-4 figures per base) to represent a single unit. DBA used 1 base per unit with a set number of 12 units per army. Thus, an army would comprise of fewer than 50 figures. That’s an army that even my slow painting could tackle! The game was compact, requiring only a 2’ x 2’ space. Finally, the rules were very simple – opposing units rolled a die and added a few modifiers with the loser either being eliminated or forced to retreat. This simplicity led to short games of under an hour. Despite being simple the game required sophisticated tactical play. Units were categorized into various types (spears, cavalry, warbands, etc.) each of which had strengths and weaknesses versus other types. The key was to create favorable match-ups for your attacks.

All these innovative elements appealed to me so I ordered a copy. When I got it, I was very pleased with the results. I began building armies in 6mm (using half size bases). I had enough stands to field 2 Roman armies in addition to Carthaginians and Gauls. I never managed to build Greeks but with imaginative substitution (pila-armed Romans stood in as Hellenistic phalanxes) I could also field Successor armies. Following a trip to Ireland, I started painting medieval Irish, Vikings, and Normans.

Shortly after DBA was published, fans of the game began modifying it for other eras. After I found a horse & musket variant, Eighteenth Century Prussians and Austrians, American Civil War Yanks and Rebs, and Victorian British and Pathans all battled on my tabletop using DBA-esque rules.

Alas, they only held my attention for so long. Problems cropped up. The system worked great for armies with disparate troops types (it is especially good at recreating Roman vs. barbarian battles, which is not surprising considering its origin as rules for battles between Romans and Gauls) but it tended to lapse into stalemate when the armies were of similar make-up. Also, as I’ve mentioned before, the combat system just did not feel right to me for combat with muskets. I began searching for alternatives and have since adopted other mechanisms.

Nevertheless, DBA gave me many enjoyable hours of gaming. It inspired me to paint up armies for a wide variety of eras. It also influenced my designs when I tried my hand at creating my own rules. For many years, I used its activation system (activate a number of units or groups of units equal to the roll of a single die – a simple system that still created some fog of war). The latest version of my medieval rules uses an opposed roll system, which I first found in DBA. Finally, it introduced (at least to me) a design philosophy that I still embrace: small armies + compact battlefields + simple rules allowing for quick games.= awesome fun.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Battle of Kramer's Crossing

With his victory at Hargrove Hill, General "Black Bart" Blackwell aggressively pushed his forces eastward toward Grayrock City. He intended to recapture the capital and force the rebel commander Esquire Giovanni into a costly counterattack. Meanwhile, as Giovanni was falling back on the city, he sent forth a detachment to delay the Bluderian advance. They took up positions at Kramer's Crossing.

I was perusing the One-Hour Wargames scenarios and came across scenario 23 - Defense in Depth. It struck me as a perfect scenario for the next chapter of the Grayrock Revolution.

I randomly rolled up the army compositions and came up with:
  • Bluderia - 4 Infantry, 1 Skirmisher, and 1 Cavalry
    • In addition, Black Bart makes an appearance
  • Grayrock - 2 Infantry, 1 Skirmisher, and 1 Cavalry
    • Per the scenario, 2 units must be converted to Irregulars (essentially Skirmishers). I chose to convert and Infantry and a Skirmisher.
Opening set-up.
  • I randomly rolled the Bluderian set-up. The units are (from left of picture) 3 infantry, 1 skirmisher, 1 cavalry, 1 infantry. Black Bart is attached to the leftmost infantry.
  • I placed a Grayrock infantry in the town of Kramer's Crossing (left). The irregulars were in the 2 woods near the river while the cavalry waited on the hill.
  • Fords across the river are marked with stones (actually fresh kitty litter on a circular base)
  • Another patch of stones marked the exit point for the Bluderians. They need to get 3 units off the board by the end of turn 15.
As the Bluderians approached Kramer's Crossing, Blackwell deployed his forces. He planned to make a general advance to the river and look for fords across the river.
The Bluderians advance toward the river.
 Musket fire erupted from the woods and the town of Kramer's Crossing. Infantry and skirmishers poured lead into the woods, denuding the trees and lashing the ambushers. Meanwhile, an infantry unit on the far flank spotted a ford and hurried toward it, only to be subject to withering fire from the northern woods.
On the right, Bluderian infantry head to the ford.
In the center, Bluderian musketry scour the wood.
Both advances are met with withering fire.
The irregulars in the wood routed a Bluderian infantry unit but were forced to flee. The Bluderian attack on the town stalled. Bluderian  cavalry rushed across the ford and headed for the hills.
The Grayrock irregulars abandon the woods.
Bluderian cavalry cross the ford (right).
Note: Fire from the town was particularly effective. Black Bart was able to stall any losses by judicious use of the rally rule. Although I allowed a rally on an activation roll of a sword on the Command & Color dice, I limited it to 1 die, While beneficial, it did not create too significant swing. Eventually, Bluderian infantry succumbed.

Seeing the Grayrockian cavalry on the hill, the Bluderian horse charged. Meanwhile, Black Bart decided to abandon the attack on Kramer's Crossing. Instead, he pushed his troops toward the northern ford. Fire from the other woods routed another Bluderian infantry unit.
    Cavalry clash (right)
    Black Bart marches away from Kramer's Crossing
Note: When I began the flanking maneuver, I realized that I would probably run out of time before I could get enough troops off the board. The only hope was to force march them (in my rules, rolling a flag for activation allows a move of an an extra space. I decided to allow a force march even if within 3 spaces of the enemy, however the unit could not fire). In role-playing terms, I figured that if the Bluderians could get to the hill, then Black Bart could "declare" a victory.

Bluderia's superior horsemen prevailed and the Grayrockians were swept away. 
Grayrock cavalry is swept away
The cavalry then rushed toward the road while the Bluderian infantry slowly made its way toward the ford. Grayrock infantry left the town to shadow the Bluderian march.
Bluderian cavalry rush to the road.
Bluderian infantry tarry west of the river.
 The cavalry made it to the road followed shortly thereafter by the King's Rifles (the Bluderian skirmishers). As the Rifles tried to make it to the road, they were hit by a hail of musket balls from two enemy units. They broke and fled back toward the river. Meanwhile, the irregulars in the northern woods (near the river) continued to pour fire into the enemy infantry, routing another unit.
The Bluderian Rifles find themselves in trouble
Note: I am missing a couple of turns' worth of pictures. I got too caught up in the action!

The Rifles managed to drive off some irregulars, but the Grayrock infantry pursued and forced them to surrender. 
The Rifles surrender
By now, Black Bart realized that he could not get to the hill by nightfall. Instead, he withdraw to a safe camp to await reinforcements (including his slow moving artillery).

End result:
  • Bluderians - 3 Infantry and 1 Skirmisher lost. 1 unit (Cavalry) exited.
  • Grayrock - 1 Cavalry lost.
At one point, it looked like the Bluderians would get 2 of the 3 units off, with another close behind. If that happened, I would have declared it a minor victory for the Grayrockians. Although their position would have been turned, they would have been successful in delaying the enemy. However, fortunes turned and the King's Rifles got swamped while the Bluderian infantry could not get across the river. As such, it turned out to be an even more impressive victory for Grayrock.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

RETROSPECTIVE - The Complete Brigadier

Up until the mid-1980s, my gaming experience had consisted entirely of board games and role-playing games. I was aware of miniature wargames (thanks to Donald Featherstone) but I didn’t know how to play. That would change one day after a trip to my local game store. On the shelves, I discovered an intriguing box.

Box cover (pic from Boardgamegeek)
I was drawn to the cover with its pictures of toy soldiers in rather animated poses on a map. I picked it up, read it over, and was enthralled. Here was the answer I was searching for – how to play miniature wargames!

As I recall, the components were quite nicely done. There were two staple-bound booklets somewhat akin to the Traveler black books. One was an overview of miniature wargaming, which was a great introduction for a newbie like me. The other booklet contained the actual rules. Throughout, they were illustrated by the charming drawings of animated miniatures (it just dawned on me that they were reminiscent of the illustrations in H.G. Wells’s Little Wars). The boxed set also included 2 sets of counters (red and blue) so one could dive into the game without waiting to acquire miniatures.

Components (pic from Boardgamegeek)
I would love to say that Complete Brigadier threw open the doors of miniature wargaming to me, but that would not quite be true. I tried it out but it just didn’t work for me. There were a few factors that prevented me from playing it regularly. Even then I was a solo player and (per Boardgamegeek – I don’t remember any specifics from the rules) Complete Brigadier required writing orders. Order writing just doesn’t work well for solo games, plus it really slows the game down. I also think I wasn’t all that keen on being limited to brigade actions. Finally, the game just required too many miniatures for my glacial painting pace. I remember taking over a year to paint up 2 battalions each of French and British Napoleonic era infantry. To play the rules, I needed a few more battalions in addition to cavalry and artillery. Complete Brigadier ended up being a dead end.

While it did not throw open the doors to me, it opened them a crack and gave me a glimpse inside. I liked what I saw and I was inspired to keep searching for rules that worked for me. The late 80s was a time of many failed attempts as I picked up the latest popular sets only to be disappointed. I remember trying, and rejecting, Tactica, Fire & Fury, and even the venerable The Sword and the Flame. I dabbled with rules sets found in books like the Military Modeling Guide to Wargaming or in magazines like the Courier and MWAN. All to no avail; I just could not find the rules for me. That would change, but that is another story. Nevertheless, that story would never have occurred if I had not picked up that set of the Complete Brigadier.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Now that I am back in a horse & musket mood, I've been contemplating my minis organization. I decided to abandon my Risk armies but was debating between 2mm and 6mm. Well, I have settled on 6mm (using Baccus's excellent figures). Here is my plan:

  • Create 3 main armies (Empire, Bluderia, and Redgrave)
  • Each army will consist of 4 infantry, 2 skirmishers, 2 cavalry, 2 artillery, and a general. This will allow me to field any of the random 6-unit force compositions in One-Hour Wargames.
  • Create a 4th main army of native tribesmen. I have not decided on the exact composition but I'm thinking it will consist of skirmishers and spear-armed warbands.
The goal is to shift my wars to a new continent recently discovered by the Francesian powers. They will be battling to seize control from the natives and from each other.

The last part of the plan is:

  • Create 3 minor armies (Drakendorf, Grayrock, Greenglade).
  • Each of these armies will be half the size of a main army. They will be used as allies.
I have enough infantry, cavalry, and generals to create 2 main armies. I need to order some skirmishers as well as troops for the third army.

Battle of Hargrove Hill

Although the rebels had a clear advantage after Nieuville, it seemed anti-climatic to proclaim them victors. I succumbed to temptation and decided to play another battle. A Grayrock victory would end the war with a rebel victory.

Once again, I turned to One-Hour Wargames for the scenario and army compositions. I randomly rolled scenario 5 but changed it to scenario 4, which featured defense of a hill. I chose to have Grayrock defend while the Bluderians attacked; it fit the backstory well. The objective was to hold the hill and game's end (15 turns).

After being elevated to command, General "Black Bart" Blackwell wasted no time. He hastily prepared the forces at Glumport and marched south toward the coastal road. Esquire Giovanni had established a cordon of troops around the city, ready to contest any attempted breakthrough. When the perimeter forces on Hargrove Hill saw the Bluderians marching out, they sent messengers to Giovanni's main force. Giovanni rushed to the scene, and a general battle broke out.

The forced engaged were:

  • Bluderia: 3 infantry units, 1 light infantry unit, 2 cavalry units.
  • Grayrock: 4 infantry units, 1 light infantry unit, 1 cavalry unit.

In addition, the Bluderians had 1 general (Black Bart) to account for their new general's aggressiveness. Giovanni was being more cautious and remained near the rear so he was not represented on the battlefield. However, to compensate and provide a little advantage, Giovanni could call on 2 Redgravian infantry units, which would come onto the field as reinforcements.

The scenario begins with 2 units of defenders on the hill. The attackers come onto the board on turn 1 and the remaining defenders on turn 2. Note that I am using my white army to represent Grayrock.

Turn 2 - the armies arrive on the battlefield
 Black Bart aggressively advanced his forces toward the hill. Bitter fighting broke out and the defenders took severe casualties. Meanwhile, on the left-center [left/right references will be based on the Grayrockian perspective] a cavalry clash broke out. Soon, the Grayrockians were in full flight. Unbeknownst to Black Bart, Redgravian reinforcements were arriving from the west (left)
Grayrockian cavalry (left-center) in flight.
Redgravians arrive (far left)
 The defenders on the hill rallied while reinforcements rushed to the scene. The Redgravians were strangely passive.
Swirling battle for the hill.
 Blackwell had led the assault of the Furter infantry but it had taken a beating, Blackwell rallied the unit and assaulted again. The Franken infantry attacking from the other side of the hill prevailed and it moved up to the crest. Meanwhile, the cavalry clash ended with a complete Bluderian victory. The Grayrock horse was scattered to the four winds.
Bluderians gain a foothold on the hill's crest.
Grayrock cavalry is lost.
 Ferocious fighting continued. The Furter infantry was repulsed again but Blackwell rallied it again. Meanwhile, Bluderian cavalry charged the passive Redgravians.
Charge against the Redgravians (left)
 After much bloodshed, the Bluderians pushed the rebels from the hill.
Grayrock retreats from the hill
 The victorious Bluderian cavalry then launched itself upon the Grayrockian infantry trying to reclaim the hill.
Charge! Bluderian cavalry attacks the infantry (center)
 The cavalry charge forced the Grayrockians to abandon the assault on the hill and retreat towards the village of Hargrove.
Grayrockians withdraw from the hill.
 By this time, the Redgravians dispersed the Bluderian cavalry on their flank and began a tentative advance toward the hill. The Bluderian cavalry in the center wiped out an infantry unit but were then scattered. Giovanni realized that his weakened forces could not retake the hill before nightfall so he called for a general retreat.
Giovanni calls for retreat.
I lost count of turns, but it must have lasted about 12 turns. At the end, I just felt that the Grayrockians lacked the troops to retake the hill. Given the strategic situation, I felt that Giovanni would be cautious and would avoid a useless counterattack so I called the game.

Each side rolled 6 dice for activation - needing a unit symbol or sword on the Command & Colors dice to activate a unit. Throughout the battle, the Grayrockians threw horrible dice (if they only had artillery!). That's why the Redgravians were passive through most of the battle.

I used a rule that a unit could be rallied by using a sword for activation. I then rolled 3 dice with a unit symbol or sword returning a lost stand. This turned out too common and too powerful so I required 2 swords to perform a rally on a unit. I recently re-read my rules (I played off the top of my head) and realized that I did not play the rally as written. Per my original rules, an army could only perform one rally per turn and would only roll 1 die per rally. I shall have to try those rules next game.

What next for the Grayrock Revolution? Well, Black Bart messed up my plans to end the war so I'll have to figure out the next scenario.

Giovanni's forces retreated south and then turned west to fall back on the capital. Black Bart advanced along the coastal road, intent on retaking Grayrock City and ending the revolution.