Anyaral - A Chance Encounter

I think I mentioned before I've been interested in this game for several years now (I managed to track my interest as far back as 2016). But I didn't follow up with it because ... life. 

But now the game's latest Kickstarter in July prompted me to back it... at the £1 level for access to the pledge manager while I went ahead and got 2 factions and a game set to dip my toe into the water.

I got all excited to play tonight since my epoxy putty hardened enough to support the 2 ostriches and the walking mech. I set up a casual encounter using 150 points and went at it.

The forces are the Delgon with one priest (elite), 5 basic troops and a mech walker (elite) vs. the Casanii with a Warrior Captain (elite), 2 warrior troops and an Erillai (ostrich) rider (elite). Both sides have 2 elites, and victory goes to the side that eliminates more than half of the other's elites. In this case, it means you do have to kill both elites on a side.

The randomised setup went like this. (I honestly had no idea what I was doing).

After that the forces activated. It's a kind of squad/skirmish game where economy of activations are important as you want to be able to activate as many of your units as possible before the turn unpredictably ends. So leaders who can activate troops are important.

It's first blood to the Casanii as the ostrich rider tramples down a Delgon trooper.

More maneuvering...

And then a placement error allows the Delgon walker mech to attack the Casanii Warrior Captain! The mech spends 3 stamina to make 3 attacks. It's quite exciting as they trade blows. The walker rolls 3 combat stones, and the Captain rolls 4. The walker puts it all on the line and rolls 3 attack stones each time while the Captain rolls 3 defence stones and one attack stone. (If I'd realised the walker was also an elite - something I discovered later on - I've used all 4 stones as attack stones to bring down the walker). On the 3rd attack, the Casanii Captain falls! 

Delgon: 1; Casanii : 0

The ostrich rider disengages from the Delgon troops. 

Then he throws his spear at the Delgon priest... who falls, having failed to make his saving roll (a 6!).

Delgon: 1; Casanii : 1

The next turn sees the ostrich rider disengaging from the Delgon troops and rushing to the Delgon walker.

The Casanii warriors engage the walker. After a brief battle, a Warrior goes down.

Another warrior engages the walker, giving the attack his all, so both sides roll 3 attack stones. They both hit, and kill each other. Messily.

Delgon: 1; Casanii : 2

The cavalry is too late.

The remaining Delgon troops flee!

(Thinking back, I think the walker should have defended instead of going on an all out attack as killing the warrior troops will not win the battle for the Delgon).

AAR: Well, that was interesting. The rules are really simple. Activate and move and make a ranged attack if you can. Then when you draw the first combat stone, all models in base to base contact will engage in melee, starting with the side that last held the initiative. (This is why you line up the activation stones to keep track of initiative). 

Combat alternates until all eligible model have fought. Then it could be more movement/maneuvering again until a second combat stone is drawn, giving a second round of combat and then the turn ends (even if a side still has unactivated units). Then it's the end of turn maintenance and upkeep phase.

What makes it interesting is all the special rules each model has. So while you usually have melee combats when the first combat stone is drawn, some units have abilities that allow them to fight after they've moved into contact with an enemy. 

Learning how to best use each unit's special abilities/skills and how they interact, and even the timing of activations and who activates what, gives this game its own flavour.

It looks like Anyaral: The World of Twilight is engaging (to both sides) and also has meaningful tactical decisions to make every time you activate your troops. The bonus is the uncertain length of each turn as the second combat stone drawn (the black ones) ends the turn after a second round of combat. It's just that in this game, the second combat stone was the LAST to be drawn each turn!

The game lasted 3 turns and took about an hour, which is not bad given my unfamiliarity with the system.

So far, so good!

Now to get the models assembled and based. Then primed and painted so my next game will have proper troops and (probably) a full 300pt skirmish unless I choose another scenario with less points.