As usual, we rolled randomly for scenario and ended up with A Dance of Dragons.
NCU: Roose Bolton, Commander
Units: Flayed Men
3 x Cutthroats (all with Dreadfort Captains)
2 x Bastards Girls ( 1 with Dreadfort Captain, 1 with Ramsay Bolton & Reek)
One of my favourite models, as he looks like Mads Mikkelson...
Littlefinger, scheming with the future Warden of the North
I added a few shields to the Cutthroat models for variety
Ramsay Snow, his Girls and the heir to the Iron Isles
The Flayed Men...
I have read how brutal these guys are, so never planned to field to units in one force.
Raymond's Stark forces consisted of:
NCU's: Catelyn Stark
Units: Tully Cavaliers led by Brynden Tully (Commander)
2 x Stark Outriders
Umber Greataxes led by Robb Stark
I opted to go first after we set up terrain with a corpse pile on my left nearest objective A, a spikey log between it and the Weirwood Tree near B and Palisade near C. Reason I wanted first turn was to get the movement boost and grab the cancel an NCU objective, as I didn't want Roose cancelled early on.
Raymond kept a unit of Outriders off board, Cutthroats. Centrally, the Starks had Greataxes and Tully Cavalry against Bastards girls, 2 Cutthroats and the Flayed Men with the Crannogs and Greywind on my right v Ramsey, Reek and his Bastard girls.
So I jumped on the Maneuver to advance up Ramsey and his girls, while enemy Baelish took swords but used letters, which I then took and Catelyn took the crown to force a check on my far left Cutthroats...
And having deployed within 6" of the Corpse pile, my lonely flank unit suffered horrendously when I rolled snake eyes first roll!!!
As we continued to maneuver units, I actually read my cards and cursed my own stupidity (We had advanced to far into the round, and though Raymond was gallant enough to offer me the re-roll, I felt it would be better remembered lesson next time if I let it sting. Note to self, read your card!!!)
The only other noticeable event was for Ramsey and his unit to take the right objective taking some Crannog arrows in doing so but causing Catelyn to lose her abilities. Also, the Tully Cavaliers got a charge in against a unit of Cutthroats and slew 5.
The board was nicely poised with the Bolton concentrated and the Starks spread out. The Outriders kept off came on my left behind the reduced Cutthroats.
The Bolton forces certainly had the numbers against the my opponents toughest two units
The Crannogs held back, with Greywind threatening Ramseys Girls. But my Flayed Men could swing either way if needed.
Sansa went first for the Starks, claiming the manoeuvre and allowing the Cavaliers to retreat. I then use Littlefinger to take the Swords, allowing Ramsey's unit to shoot, then Sic em despite the 2" base move. But it all went well, reducing the Crannogs to a single rank. Greywind did come into their rear, but the unit suffered little and passed the panic test
When Ramsey activated, the surviving Crannogs shrugged off the attack... Nice dice rolling!!!
I didn't really hope for my chances on the left...
However, I bit the bullet and charged the Flayed Men home on the Cavaliers. They hit hard, and dropped a few horses with the help of some poor dice rolling. I had previously put Roose on and gave out two panic tokens, one on Greataxes and the other for use on Cavaliers but didn't need it. Yet...
I followed them in with some Cutthroats, leaving Brynden Tully on a single wound after another failed panic check...
However, with some fancy card work, the Greataxes swung around to the flank, then charged into the Cuthroats, taking them out and then moving onto the centre objective. They lost a man due to me using a card to remove a panic token and cause D3 wounds when they activate.
What happened next was a great bit of low cunning, as my Cutthroats hammered into the Greataxes who failed their panic, giving me the objective, while the Outriders hit my flank but didn't do great and I actually caused as many wounds in my activation due to some poor armour save rolls. Then Brynden activated, and my second Roose card allowed me to remove Bryndens panic token to cause D3 wounds, killing the enemy commander and allowing my Flayed Men to be in position for the first activation next turn to get into the Greataxes rear. I was feeling pretty confident, and Raymond was certainly feeling the pain...
On my right, Ramsey's unit had been reduced as they were shot at as the Crannogs retreated while Greywind kept the dogs pinned in melee.
At end of turn 2, with 2 objectives and an enemy unit destroyed, the Boltons had 3 VPs against the 2 VPs for Starks (for two Cuthroats being destroyed)
Well, with quite a lot going on I didn't take pictures of my Flayed Men smashing the Greataxes and Rob, then turning to face the Crannogs, nor Greywind attacking from Stark Baelish taking movement but using Swords and Ramsey unit still refusing to panic and drop the objective. However, as below, my Littlefinger took the Swords and got the Bastard girls to kill the wolf and swing to sandwich the Crannogs
On the left, with my Cutthroats freed up and Bastard girls in fine fettle, the Outriders retreated with 7 wounds left onto the left objective.
But my luck continued as my hunting bows caused a few wounds and the Stark morale roll was appalling, the unit disappeared and dropped the objective.
Despite my innate genius, tactical acumen and great dice, Raymond's remaining to units went on the offensive, with the Crannogs shooting, then charging and finishing of Ramsey and his bastard girls on my right, while the Outriders ignored the objective to come charging into my left unit of dogs...
So as turn 3 ended, I was ahead 6 VPs Bolton to 4 VPs Stark, and had my heavy horse in the Flayed Men against some skirmishers and two other units against some light cavalry...
Alas my left hand dogs went down cheaply before the Stark outriders had even activated buy taking swords I think (or Stark Baelish on another tactic). I was left with choice of turning to face the Outriders or charging the Crannogs.
I chose to run down the annoying Bog inhabitants, but with weakened token, I didn't manage to finish the job.
While the Stark Outriders went into the Cutthroats with all cards blazing...
The surviving Crannogs retreated around and watched their arrows bounce off the heavy armour
End of turn 4 saw the Boltons sitting on 7 VP's and Starks on 6VP's and Raymond feeling the despair as he had two crannogs left to face my armoured juggernaut who would activate first, and his light horse still matched against my Cutthroats.
This was very quick as the Flayed Men ran down the annoying Crannogmen, while the Outriders were still locked in with the Cutthroats but managed to use more card chicanery to defeat them and take the objective. However, the last activation saw Sansa take the crown...
And my Flayed Men drop their objective to level the VP's at 8-8 going into the final turn...
Well, I could have picked it up I suppose. But I skirted the Objective and charged the Outriders, planning to either wipe them out or panic them and seize their objective. However, I rolled a 1 for the charge and came up short which meant I couldn't win. I had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory...
Well, I would have had Raymond not decided that The North Remembers and didn't want to win the battle seizing the crown and preventing me possibly panicking him, nor by simply retreating, so he charged in...
And thought it hurt, I still had a chance...
Alas, Baelish took the crown to no avail as the Starks passed their check and took the game...
Final Victory Points: House Bolton 8, House Stark 9
I had the Starks at my mercy and should have Flayed them all... It was a great game, with my first dice leaving me thinking it would be one of them nights, then turn 2 and 3 I had the cards and position to dominate the field and battle and it was all going so well. But Raymond fought on, and though it looked bleak at end of turn 4, some savage Stark card combo's, good dice and my Flayed men letting me down, first on morale and then in a charge where I needed 2+ simply turned the game. Oh well, it was their first outing and I know I made quite a few errors, like only using Roose's dual panic once and same with Ramsey's Reek order. But it was a really eventful, fun filled, bloody battle and those Crannogs were a pain all game, hence my disparaging names all through the report...
For our next match up, we've decided on a 52pt all cavalry match up, with Lannister v Starks playing Winds of Winter. That will be interesting...