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Excalibre Games


Hammer of the Scots
Example of Play
Scottish Player – Scot
English Player – Brit

Braveheart Scenario

Scot – OK, the bagpipes are playing and I’m ready to kick some English butt. First, I deploy my starting forces at full strength onto the board. I have no choices here: Moray and Fraser are deployed in Moray; Grant in Strathspey; Wallace, Douglas, and Barclay in Fife; the Galloway block in Galloway; and Bruce in Annan. That leaves me with 11 noble blocks just waiting to join the uprising. I’ll put them face-up off to the side of the board so I can find them when I need them. Since the French block only joins my force pool once I’ve got 8 nobles on my side, I’ll put him face-up among my nobles. Same with the King block. That leaves me 7 blocks to draw from during builds. I’ll put them face-down off to another side of the board.

Brit – I fully intend to live up to the title of this game. First, I deploy my starting nobles at full strength onto the board. Dunbar, Steward, Lennox, Menteith, Argyll, Atholl, Angus, Mar, Buchan, and Ross go to their home areas. Sorry boys, it’s not up to me. Comyn can go to either Badenoch or Lochaber. I’ll put him in Badenoch since he seems a bit more threatening from that position. Next, I put my two infantry blocks at full strength onto the board; Cumbria in Lothian and Northumber in Menteith. Ah, it’s good to see Scotland in a sea of red even if I have to listen to Scot’s annoying bagpipe CD! Since Galloway and Bruce are under Scottish control, I’ll put those blocks face-up off to the side of the board. Hopefully, they’ll be coming in before too long. That leaves me with 13 red blocks to draw from for the feudal levy. I put them face down and shuffle them about. The scenario says I can only draw four blocks for the levy in the first year of this scenario. And I get … the Lancaster archer, the Welsh archer, the Durham knight, and the Welsh infantry. Not bad! I was hoping to get Edward, but I guess he’s still got business to attend to in Flanders.

Scot – While Brit draws that infernal red wood, I’ll shuffle the deck and deal out five cards to each of us. Let’s see what I’ve got … three "2" cards, a "1" card, and the Herald. OK I guess, but I was really hoping to get off to the right foot with a "3" card to start the rebellion.

Brit – Let’s see what Scot dealt me … a "3" card, two "2" cards, a "1" card, and the Truce card. Not bad.

1297 – 1st Turn

Scot – I’ll play a "2" card to get the ball rolling. I secretly select it and place it face down on the table.

Brit – I’ll play the "3" card to get the jump on Scot. I secretly select it and place it face down on the table.

Both cards are now simultaneously revealed – Brit’s card is the higher of the two, so he goes first.

Brit – No mystery I’m going first. Since ties go to the English, my "3" card ensured me the first move of the game. OK, since my feudal levy looks pretty strong and since I’ve got a high card, let’s cross the English border into Annan with the two archers and the knight block and teach Bruce a painful lesson about friendship and loyalty. Since it takes one group move to move one block across the English border, three blocks are all I can bring to the party. The Welsh infantry will stay in England.

Scot – So, Brit starts the game a bit frisky, does he? Well, if he wants to recreate a battle of Stirling Bridge, I’ll be happy to oblige. I’ll use my first group move to reinforce Bruce at Annan with Galloway and my second to bring Wallace and friends into Menteith for a fight.

Brit – Since I went first, I decide what order these battles will take place. It doesn’t really matter in this case, so let’s fight the battle in Annan first and Menteith second.

Battle in Annan

Scot – OK, let’s see what Brit’s got … uh oh. Well, since there are no "A" blocks in the battle, Bruce goes first. But given that it looks very unlikely that Robert’s going to make it out of this alive, I’ll use my first battle round to retreat out of Annan and into Carrick. This gives the English no-one to fight this round. The Galloway block arrives from the reserve to start the second round. Like Bruce, Galloway can escape unscathed because he first to fire in the second round. I’ll put him back into Galloway.

Brit – A wee bit of panic setting in already, eh Scot? Well, let’s get this battle phase over with by fighting in Menteith.

Battle in Menteith

Scot – In the first round of combat, Wallace attacks first. I roll a 5-2-1-6 … two hits!

Brit – I’ll take them both off the Northumber block. Now it’s Menteith’s turn with the dice of death. Since he’s defending in his home area, he attacks at B3, not B2. I roll a 6-3-3 … two hits!

Scot – I’ll take one off Barclay, one off Douglas.

Brit – Next, my Northumber infantry attacks. I roll a 5-3 … two misses.

Scot – Now it’s Douglas’s turn. He rolls a 4-2-2 … two hits!

Brit – I’ll take them off Menteith and Northumber.

Scot – Clan Barclay finishes up the round. Unfortunately, that backwoods maroon rolls a 6-5-4 … three misses. That’s the end of the first battle round. Wallace begins the second battle round. He rolls a 6-4-2-2 … two hits!

Brit – I’m forced to take the first hit off Menteith, but I’ll take the second hit off the Northumber infantry, which eliminates the block. Damn you Wallace! I take Northumber off the board and put it face-down with the rest of the blocks currently out of play. Well, there’s no use having Menteith stick around now, so instead of attacking in the second battle round, Menteith will retreat to Lanark, where a lot of red blocks are lurking nearby.

1297 – 2nd Turn
Scot – I’m going to try to be cute and play the Herald card with an eye towards recruiting the Steward into the rebellion. I put the card face down on the table.

Brit – Now a "2" card. Let’s keep the action going.

Both cards are now simultaneously revealed – Since event cards always go first, Scot take the first turn.

Scot – I roll to see if James the Steward will see the light. I roll a 3! True sons of Scotland, rejoice! I replace the red Steward block with the blue Steward block at the same strength he was before (3), which means a battle in Lanark is inevitable between the newly rebellious James the Steward and the thoroughly chewed-up Earl of Menteith.

Brit – Rats. I could try to reinforce Menteith, but what are the chances that he’ll survive a battle round and allow my reserves to get into the fight? Not good. So with a heavy heart, I abandon Menteith and instead hit Bruce in Carrick with all three of my blocks in Annan. For my second and final group move, I’ll bring the Welsh infantry out of England and into Annan.

Scot – Since I went first, it’s my choice regarding the order in which we resolve these unfortunate disputes. Lets fight in Lanark first and Carrick second. That way Bruce can retreat north to Lanark.

Brit – Scot’s a clever one. Since I’m the defender in Lanark, Menteith rolls first. But since the Earl of Menteith has absolutely no chance of prevailing here, I’ll forgo my attack and retreat his sorry 1 strength point butt into Annan just in case the Scots get cute and think about blitzing into England while I’m busy elsewhere.

Battle in Carrick
Scot – Now the battle in Carrick. The Bruce goes first, but instead of engaging in battle, I’ll retreat him out in the first battle round into the welcoming arms of the Steward in Lanark.

1297 – 3rd Turn
Scot – A "2" card it is. I’ve got people to see and places to go ….

Brit – What the heck. Let’s go for broke. With an eye toward Stirling, I play a "2" card.
Both players put their card on the table face down. They are simultaneously revealed – a tie! In the event of ties, the English player goes first.

Brit – Let’s see if I can improve on history. For my first group move, I move my army in Carrick through Lennox and into Menteith! For my second group move, I attack out of Annan with both blocks into Lanark.

Scot – That little weasel! The attack out of Annan means that both the Bruce and the Steward are pinned and, accordingly, cannot reinforce my boys at Stirling as I had hoped. On the bright side, however, going second means I can take advantage of Brit’s aggressiveness by running the Galloway block into Annan, threatening England itself. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s worth risking opening up Galloway to the English army with so little to gain this late in the year by a raid on perfidious Albion. So I’ll instead get my northern forces into the game and attack the Earl of Ross out of Moray.

Brit – Since I went first, it’s my call on battle order. First, we’ll fight in Menteith. Second, we’ll fight in Lanark. Third, we’ll fight in Ross.

Battle in Menteith (Stirling Bridge!)
Scot – OK, so it’s the battle of Stirling Bridge … again! Will the English ever learn? Wallace attacks first. I roll a 1-3-3 … 3 hits!

Brit - &*#@$%!! I take one off of each of my blocks. Now it’s my turn: a total of six dice to roll, all of which hit on a 1-3. I can’t believe it; I roll 6-6-5-5-5-3. Only 1 lousy hit!

Scot – Since Wallace is the strongest block I have, the hit has to come off him. Now it’s the Scottish infantry’s turn. I roll for Douglas first: 6-4-4 … a whiff! Next, clan Barclay. Those backwoods maroons disappoint me again with a 6-5-4 … all misses! That conclude the first battle round. Wallace goes first in the second battle round. I roll a 4-4-4 … another whiff!

Brit – I was about to retreat out of this mess, but since Scot’s dice got cold, I’ve got a shot again. What the heck. Fortune favors the bold. I roll 6 dice again: 5-5-3-3-3-1. That’s 4 (count ‘em, four!) hits!!

Scot – I take two strength points off Barclay and one strength point off Wallace and Douglas. Now it’s my infantry’s turn. Douglas rolls 6-1: a hit!

Brit – I’ll take it off the knights from Durham.

Scot – Barclay now attacks. Battered and bruised, my much maligned friends from the north roll a 2! A badly needed hit ….

Brit – I’ll take it off the Welsh archers.

Scot – Now it’s the third round of battle, and I’m going to hold firm and trust Wally. The bearded one rolls a 5-3. A hit.

Brit – I’ll take it off the Lancaster archers. Now it’s my turn. I only have a total of 3 stength points left. I roll a 5-4-1. Only 1 hit!

Scot – I take it off Wallace. Now Douglas attacks and rolls a 3-2 … two mighty hits!

Brit – I’ll take the hits on the two archer blocks, eliminating them both. They go face down off the board with the rest of the red blocks.

Scot – Now Barclay finishes up the battle and rolls a 5 … a miss.

Brit – After three battle rounds, the fight is over. My battered and beaten knight block – now only at 1 strength point – retreats into Lothian. Darn, such a near-run thing! At least I can console myself with the fact that Wallace’s men are pretty beaten-up as well.

Battle in Lanark
Scot – Now let’s turn to the battle in Lanark. Ah, the Welsh infantry! Let’s see if he has the gall to attack his fellow Celtic brethren.

Brit – I roll a 3. The Welsh stay and fight.

Scot – Well, the Welsh will pay for their perfidity. Steward is a B3 since he’s defending in his home area and rolls first. I roll a 4-4-4 … whiff! Bruce rolls next: 5-3-3-2 … only 1 hit.

Brit – I’ll take the hit on the Welsh infantry. Now it’s Menteith’s turn. But since there’s no chance of victory (remember, I only hit these guys to keep them from reinforcing Wallace at Stirling), Menteith will retreat into Carrick rather than attack. The Welsh will do likewise, retreating into Annan to keep between the bad guys and England proper.

Battle in Moray
Brit – OK, I’m due. My boy the Earl of Ross attacks first: 3-2-1 … three mighty hits!

Scot – I’ll take two hits off Fraser and another off Moray. There’s no point in sticking around for this. Moray uses his first battle round to retreat into Moray. Fraser retreats into Garmoran.

1297 – 4th Turn
Brit – Great. I recreated the battle of Stirling Bridge. What am I thinking? Time to put the "Truce" card down on the table.

Scot – Hello "2." How do you do? Now you’re going onto the table.

Both cards are now simultaneously revealed – Since event cards always go first, the Truce goes into effect before Scot activates his armies.

Scot – Oh, so now Brit wants to smoke a peace pipe! Too bad about that, but there’s always next turn. I’ll use one group move to march clan Fraser into Lochaber and another to slip Barclay into Fife.

1297 – 5th Turn

Each player plays the last card in their hands. Each is holding a "1" which results in a tie. The English go first in the case of ties.


Brit – I’m not about to let Scot snatch-up Fife at the end of the year like that without a fight! I’ll use my one group move to attack whomever he popped in there with the Earl of Angus.

Scot – Fife’s a great source for reinforcements over the winter and I can’t count on Barclay holding out on his own. Since I don’t have to worry about Brit attacking me for the rest of the year, I’ll send Douglas north to try to save the day.

Battle in Fife
Brit – Even though the Earl of Angus is the attacker, he’s a "B" block, so he attacks before Barclay (a "C" block). I roll a 5-5-2 …a hit!

Scot – Barclay bites the Scottish dust. Stick a thistle in him – he’s done. I slam him face down into the off-board pool of Scots. Douglas arrives as a reserve in the second round only to suffer the same fate as Barclay (Angus rolls 1-2-4). Douglas goes in the pool off board.

Winter 1297

Brit – First, I have to return all my nobles to their home areas. Since Menteith’s home is currently occupied by the battered army of William Wallace, he immediately defects to Scot! I sadly take the red Menteith block off the board and put him face-up with the rest of his rebellious kin while Scot finds the "blue" Menteith block and deploys him at 1 strength (the same strength he had when he defected) into Menteith. The Earl of Angus, however, does have a home to return to and I return him there forthwith. All my remaining English nobles are fine.

Scot – Now I return all my nobles to their home areas. The Bruce re-deploys into the just-vacated Carrick (heh-heh-heh!) while everyone else stays where they are. I will exercise my God-given right to re-deploy Wallace into the Selkirk Forest. I then check to see if I have more blocks than allowed in any of the areas I occupy (the castle rating plus one if there is a church present). Unfortunately, I’m forced to remove the Fraser block from Garmoran; I place him face-down with the rest off to the side of the board.

Now it’s time to adds reinforcements to my army:

  • I add 1 point to the Earl of Moray (bringing him up to full strength) and draw a block from those blue blocks that are face-down and off to the side of the board. I secretly draw the Scottish archer block ("Etterick") and deploy him at a strength of 1 into Moray.
  • I also draw a block for Strathspey (I can’t reinforce clan Grant because it’s presently at full strength). I secretly draw "McDonald," whom I deploy at a strength of 2 into Strathspey (1 for the castle rating and 1 for the church).
  • I use the three points I get for holding Stirling by bringing the Earl of Menteith up to full strength and adding 1 point to the Douglas block.
  • I draw a block to add to Lanark (the Steward is already at full strength) and secretly pull the "Campbell" block. I deploy it with the Steward at a strength of 2.
  • Finally, I add 2 points to the mighty William Wallace since he’s spending the winter in the Selkirk Forest.
  • Unfortunately, both the Bruce and the Lord of Galloway are already at full strength, so I can’t do anything with those replacement points. Remember, castle limits apply to new blocks being brought in during the winter, and Carrick and Galloway are only rated at castle 1.

Brit – Time to clean house. I am forced to remove all knights, archers, and hobelars from the board and then I check to see whether the castle ratings for the areas I control are high enough to host his remaining blocks. This means removing the battered knight block from Lothian and placing it face-down with the rest off to the side of the board. All my other blocks are fine. Next, I’m allowed to add replacement points to whatever red blocks remain on the board. Most of my blocks are already at full strength but I can add a step to replenish my Welsh Infantry in Annan (I cannot use the second build point). Since the English can’t deploy new blocks onto the board with his replacement points, they are all simply lost to me this winter. Finally, I secretly draw my feudal levy for 1298. Since there are 13 blocks face-down in the "dead" pile, I draw 7. Oh Nelly! Turns out Longshanks is back from Flanders. I get Edward I along with knights from Lancaster and York, the Lancaster archers, and infantry from Northumber, York, and – yes – Lancaster. I plop them down into England. Now that’s an army!

Scot – While Brit greedily examines his feudal levy, I gather up all the cards (including those played this year), shuffle the deck, and deal out five to Brit and myself. I get two "3" cards, a "2" card, a "1" card, and "Victuals." Hot diggity!

Brit – Let’s see what Scot gave me for Christmas … AARGH! A "2" card, two "1" cards, "Herald," and "Pillage." So Longshanks is all dressed up with nowhere to go!! I glumly advance the year track by one, signaling the beginning of 1298. I try to keep a straight face, though. No use to signal to Scot that I got squat.

1298 – 1st Turn
Scot – I will hold off playing the Victuals card until I really need it. No use jeopardizing the year by risking a simultaneous play of event cards. Let’s play it conservatively and start with a "2" card.

Brit – What can I do? Best to start with an event card to keep Scot guessing for at least another turn about whether that big army of red wood has the wherewithal to come into Scotland. Moreover, I wouldn’t mind an early end to the year since there’s not a whole lot I can do with these cards. I’ll play "Herald."
Both players place their cards face-down on the table and simultaneously turn them face-up. Events always go first, so Brit begins the turn.

Brit – Galloway. I want Galloway. Doh! I roll a "6." I shall not have Galloway.

Scot – Time to start talking some reason to those turncoat nobles in the north. I use one group move to march Moray into Buchan and another group move to activate my army in Strathspey. McDonald marches into Moray to make sure nobody tries anything funny up there while clan Grant joins the Lord of Moray in the attack on the turncoat Earl of Buchan.

Battle in Buchan
Brit – The Earl of Buchan attacks first. Unfortunately, my luck continues to go south. I roll a 5-4-4; all misses.

Scot – Ah, there is justice in this world! Moray rolls a 5-4-1 … a hit! Grant, however, rolls three 6s. A whiff.

Brit – Round 2 begins. Although it looks like Buchan is going down, retreating him out of there will only forestall the inevitable. Better to take as many Scots down with me as I can. But no – Buchan whiffs again, rolling a 5 and 4.

Scot – Brit’s not having a good day. But Moray is. He rolls a 6-6-2, inflicting another hit on the Earl. Grant, however, is as cold as Buchan, missing again with a roll of 5-4-3.

Brit – Final round. Can the Earl defy the odds and hold out? I roll one die – a 2! Finally, a hit.

Scot – I’ll take the hit off clan Grant. The Lord of Moray now throws them bones and gets a 5-1-1 … two hits! I hand the Earl of Buchan off to Brit, who places him dolefully off to the side of the board, face-up along with his fellow rebels. I, on the other hand, snatch-up the blue Buchan block and welcome the Earl to the revolution. I deploy him at 1 strength into the newly liberated Earldom of Buchan.

The second turn of 1298 then begins again with players secretly selecting cards.

By now, I think you’ve got an idea of how the game plays. Hopefully, it will play better for you than it has for Brit!