It was at this point that a critical error occurred. The enemy blue swords attack the green archers and get two Flags (of course!). The green archer can ignore one flag, but it has to take the other. I mistakenly take a hit and battle back, but as you can see, a retreat path is actually open for him. In fact, he should have simply taken both flags, getting him out of that death trap. Ah well, the heat of the battle prevails...
The score is now 3-4, and his weakened red infantry is alight with two Fire tokens.
The score is now 3-5 and the tension is palpable. (You know I just had to say that!)
Two dice from my green infantry against his green infantry is 11% to destroy the unit and 44% chance to get only one hit. If I get a retreat (31% chance) it would mean I won't win this turn.
Three dice from my blue infantry gives a 26% chance of wiping the unit out and a 44% chance of getting only a single hit.
I decide to risk it and attack with the green and the blue first, then let the red cavalry mop up the weakened units. As long as no one retreats, I could get them both right here.
The blue attack weakened the enemy further, but in battle back I was forced to retreat, leaving my red cavalry out of support.
My red cavalry did finish off the blue swords, making the game 4-5, but in the Bonus Melee Attack the green swords held out. I was not going to win at the beginning of next turn. And with that green sword of mine at a very weakened state, he would be vulnerable, and likely to be destroyed, losing me the game.
At the start of the next turn the hapless red infantry goes up in smoke, bringing the game to 5-5.
This was a great play and now he was going to be able to make a power move against me, with cavalry, much as I had done to him many times before. Payback is a pain...
This was a good game although for me it never really felt close until the end. I always felt behind and on the defensive, which is something I try not to do. I prefer to act rather than react, and make my opponent address my game, rather than address his.
When I played Blue Banners, I should have opened the line with the single unit moving one hex. This would have placed it away from the hill and outside of the one-move reach of the enemy red swords unit. I should have immediately followed up, as I did in the game, with the play of the Patrol Left card, allowing the green Goblin archers to duck into the rear, and the blue swords seal the line. From this position the green Goblin archers still serve a very useful purpose - they provide support for the green Goblin Lizard Riders.
Considering that my original plan was to essentially refuse that flank, my move aggressively forward was indefensible. It broke the line of support and allowed my opponent to use fewer cards to get his attacks. Granted, he had more than enough cards to attack with, but in the end it cost me three victory banners. It was this early action where the battle was lost. No matter what the subsequent rolls at the end, I cannot blame luck.
All in all it was a great game and my opponent played well. It was tense at the end and came down to who would make their die rolls. It made for a fun night.
If you want to try BattleLore on Vassal, or any other in the Command and Colors series, drop me an email.