Hammer of the Scots

Our Hammer of the Scots match was very interesting. It took us about 30 minutes to go through the rules and set up the game. The game itself took three hours and ended as the victory of the English, played by yours truly.

It was an exciting game. Last time I played (in Lahti) I played the Scots and didn’t stand a chance. Olli did the job much better. I kept count of the nobles, you see… In the beginning of the game, English player controls 11 nobles and the Scots barely three. Well, Olli had a pretty good first year and won five nobles for the Scottish cause while the English forces just whittled.

From then on it was pretty close. The noble count fluctuated between 6-8 and 7-7, the advantage being on the Scots. William Wallace did great work, appearing suddenly in different places, picking fights. However, Edward I spent lots of time in Scotland, too. The two met twice. First time, Wallace escaped. The second time Edward had Wallace cornered and without a chance to escape and finished him off.

However, killing Wallace brought the Scots to a fury and in the end of the next year, Scots controlled nine nobles. After that, only two years would remain. I was able to secure one more noble (Dunbar, which was originally converted to Scots by the Norse fleet) before the final year. I would have to get two more nobles on my side to win the game.

I was a bit disappointed as I didn’t get the King in the last levy. However, I did get three units of knights and the Lancaster archers. I also got a pretty good hand of cards (four 2’s and a 1). With the first two cards, I brought my forces to Lanark. Scots reinforced Fife (which I managed to conquer only once during the game — in the other hand, I held Argyll, Lennox and Methien most of the time), so I didn’t go there. On the third turn, I attacked Atholl with two knights. I got Atholl on my side. More battles were fought around Atholl, when the Scots attacked. My knights managed to finish off Moray and converted Comyn on my side.

The final touch to the magnificent campaing was delivered by the Lancaster archers and knights who raided Lochaber, securing Comyn’s return to the English side. Lochaber’s defenders were killed and the archers marched forward to hold Moray, just to taunt the enemy.

It was a good war. It was close and exciting. I had pretty good luck on my side during the last turn (Scots had Herald, but Dunbar didn’t fail me), as my knights crushed the opposition fiercely. I am highly satisfied with that campaign. The greatest moments of the Scots included a raid by Wallace, which reached Carrick. From there Wallace went to winter in Selkirk Forest, which he left through Lothian, going back to safety in Methien. As I said, Scots held Fife most of the time and I held Methien and Lennox, that was the border. Scots did conquer Methien and Lennox and occupied them for a while.

I believe that Scots have actually a pretty good chance in the game. Decisive victory might be hard to come by unless they get to kill Edward (and that needs to happen twice!), but marginal victory is certainly possible. I’m looking forward to playing the game again.

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3 responses to “Hammer of the Scots”

  1. Actually, from the comments I’ve read, the english are the ones sent packing later on. I haven’t played HotS as much as I would’ve liked, but perhaps we can play a game at Lahti soon 🙂

  2. It’s hard to say after just two games, but it’s definitely not as easy for the English as I thought after the first game.
    Challenge is accepted. Who will bring the game?
    Oh, and please bring Game of Thrones! That’s another game I’d like to play. I just started reading the first book; I’m not yet that impressed, but maybe it gets better as the plots evolve.

  3. Well, if I manage to get a ride from Mr. Ryytty then I can easily bring HotS and Game of Thrones.
    As for the books, well it takes some time for them to really get rolling, but I was very impressed after I finished reading the first book couple of years ago.