Wednesday, November 9, 2022

The Siege of the Emerald City - Wars of Ozz AAR

I was able to play in three full games while attending Fall In this year. Unfortunately my first two games on Friday were cancelled, and I slept poorly enough that I had to skip the first (I wasn't going to drive three hours to Lancaster on the same amount of sleep). 

So after wandering around for a few hours, I played in a siege scenario for Wars of Ozz, one of the newer sets of rules from Buck Surdu, miniatures from Old Glory, and setting from Chris Palmer (who was running the game). I'd seen the rules here any there online but hadn't had an opportunity to play, so I decided to jump in when I saw there was a spot open. 

Wars of Ozz takes place in a post-post-apocalyptic Earth that has ended up resembling the Oz of Frank Baum's imagination with a slight twist, like introducing 18th century technology.

Two brigades of Winkies with Skeleton and Dire Bear allies marched on the walls of the Emerald City. The defenders, two brigades of Munchkins, waited for the assault. 

Behind them, the perfidious Gnomes (or Nomes?), allies of the Winkies, had blown a hole in the walls of the Emerald City and came pouring out. Luckily, the Munchkins' allies, the Quadlings, had been garrisoned in the city and would counter the Gnomish ambush. 

I was commanding one brigade of Munchkins for the game, consisting of the named Zoraster’s Guard regiment, a Munchkin Landwehr regiment, a Heavy Cavalry squadron, and a light gun. 

I was facing off against a Winkie brigade which had a regiment of Skeletons, a regiment of close-combat infantry with spears, a regiment of Marksmen (the only Winkie regiment with guns), and a heavy gun. 

The Quadlings quickly advanced against the Gnomes, with two musket-armed regiments and a unit of Tin Woodsmen. To keep the Gnomes contained in the city, the Munchkins diverted a cavalry squadron to attack the Gnomish rear. 

The cavalry charge was successful, and the artillerygnomes were chases off. 

Meanwhile, the Winkies had moved their Marksmen to their far flank while their close-combat infantry concentrated on the center of the Munckins' defensive line. 

My Heavy Cavalry seemed reluctant to get stuck in the Marksmen, but they were at least keeping the musket-armed Winkies out of the fight. 

The Munchkin forces on the other side of the table were much harder pressed, dealing not only Winkie infantry but Dire Bears as well. 

The Quadling brigade was holding firm in dealing with the Gnomes, who had decided to continue pushing into the city rather than try and break out into the Munckins' flank. After taking a beating, the Gnomes began to rout back into the hole rather than run into any more of the Quadlings musket fire. 

My personal MVP for the game was this regiment of Munchkin Landwehr, who not only defeated the undead Skeletons but also held their nerve in the face of charging Winkies.

Wars of Ozz uses a very clever set of reaction charts that are different for each faction. A unit of Munckins, for example, is likely to fire upon a unit that fires at them, while Winkies are likely to surge forward into melee. This can be modified by the number of bases lost, or if a commander has joined the unit. 

There were several occasions when engagements (like the above) seemed to take a life on their own as units reacted to each other, devolving into a mess of melee, musketry, and eventually failed morale checks. 

The game ended with a victory for the forces of the Emerald City. While the Munchkins had been bloodied, they had rallied back into a defensive line while many of the Winkie units were routing. And the Quadlings were just waiting for the Gnomes to fully retreat before they could march out of the city to reinforce the Munchkins.

I had a great time while playing. The rules were easy to pick up and interesting to play, and the miniatures and table were fantastic. Chris ended up winning the "Pour Les Encourager Les Autres" award for the best game in the Friday night time slot, which was well deserved!

As no one plays in my local area, I only ended up buying a regiment of Munchkin Landwehr to paint for fun, in honor of the brave troops that served so well during the game. 

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