Sunday, 20 April 2014

Mordheim Season 2 - The Egondorf Exit

Being the eighth episode of the ten episode season 2, things are hotting up with the bands getting quite experienced and the latest game proved to be the longest, hardest fought game so far.

With the hunt for the Necromancer Allek getting closer, the bands close in on one of the Necromancers minions, running him to ground in the ruined village of Egondorf where the mage is raising undead from the dead among the ruins. Holed up in the shattered remains of the great hall in the village the bands surround the junior necromancer and try and take him out to finally get the intel on the hide out of his master Allek.

The scenario is one of general mayhem with the only hook being that the mage and his skeleton bodyguards will make a break for it in a random direction from the second turn on a roll of 6 on that turn, on a 5 the following and so on. The band winning the game gets the intel first and gets it's choice of deployment in the following game.

The usual bands were in for the kill, Andy's Sisters, Kev's Beastmen, Dave's Marienburger's Ian's Reiklander's and my slightly depleated Kislevite's were all present for the mayhem to follow.

With the usual random deployment, it was clockwise Beastmen, Reiklanders, Sisters, Marienburger's and Kislevite's. Pretty much the same set up as the last engagement only with the Sister's and Reiklander's swapped.

The Beastmen started things up and the first move saw little effect with everyone eyeing up each other and seeing who was going to go where. Only the Sister's commited early going straight towards the Necromancer and his minions.

The Beastmen move furtively towards the Kislevite's
The Beastmen shuffled about a bit but slightly towards the Kislevite's, the Reiklander's generally took cover but moving forward, the Reiklander's doing the same. The Kislevite's also took cover with their depleted number's and two hero's down but did try a couple of early shot's at the anyone they could see but to no effect.

The stalwart Kislevite's take cover
The inactivity didn't last long as it never does, and with the Beastmen's Centigor failing it's stupidity and charging the nearest enemy (the Kislevite's), theBeastmen were committed and Kev duly moved purposefully towards the Oblast's finest.

The Centigor charged in but failed to take out the Kilevite Merc Ogre.

The Kislevite's fired into the advancing herd and interestingly managed to take out two of the mass surging towards them.

The Beastmen pounce
The Reiklander's position further but Ian is playing thing's very cagey, and watching what transpire's eslewhere and is playing the waiting game on this one.

The Sister's move in but on the first run in, fail most of their fear test's and only a couple of gals go in but they manage to do a bit of damage to a couple of the skeleton bodyguard's anyway.

The Sister's move in for the kill on the Necromancer Jr
The Marienburger's spread out and move toward's the Sister's keeping to cover and generally keeping out of site as they move from cover to cover.

The Necromancer then chose to make a break for it, striaght towards the Kislevite's, who were now not really very happy.

After a brief and bloody engagement,
the Kislevite's have only two standing
The Beastmen now charge into the Kislevite's en-masse and although a brief struggle ensue's the Kislevite's go down hardly having time to swing an axe. Kev even managing to get two spells off in one turn (more than he has managed in the rest of the campaign in total.

The last remaining two Kislevite's although I'd have liked to do a last daring charge into the horde and possibly cause a casualty (and force a morale check) my own morale failed (un-surprisingly really) and the Kislevite's were toast. Hardly causing a speed bump.

One down, who's to follow?
While this was going on, the Sister's manfully strode forward and in the space of a round or two managed to swamp the Jr Necromancer and his skeleton guards in pretty short order though they did lose a casualty in the process, but caught the mage before he could escape his hideout. As they moved into the Necromancer they also took a side step toward's the Marienburger's who were now getting pretty close.

The Sister's and The Marienburger's move into the contact
This now proved the next event as the Marienburger's  jumped in and very bloody melee ensued around the hideout as the Sister's tried to get as many in as possible but were slightly more spread out after dealing with the last skeleton earlier.

The Beastmen paused in their advance after taking out the Kislevite's and re-shuffled slightly and then began to move slowly towards the Marienburger/Sister fight.

The Reiklander's still hadn't committed yet but had taken up position toward's the centre of the table.
The Reiklander's begin to position themselves

The Sisters/Marienburger melee continues
The melee with the Sister's and the Marienburger's continued for a couple of rounds with both side's taking casualties but in the end after a bad round with the greater part of the Sister's going down, their morale broke and the Sister's fled the field. Two down.

The Beastmen enjoy a brief snack (Kislevite's) among the ruins

The Reiklander move forward
With the Sister's leaving the field the remaining three bands were left fairly evenly spaced around the table. The Marienburger's began moving toward's the Reiklander's, the Reiklander's moved into cover behind a couple of the larger building's and the Beastmen began circling round towards the Marienburger's also keeping to cover. All of which meant that the three band's were all moving clockwise round the table in a merry-go-round kind of way. 

The Merry-go-round begins
This state of play lasted only for a round or two because of the distance's to travel.

The merry-go-round continues
The stalemate only lasted for a short while as the Reiklandr's stood their ground pretty quickly and the Marienburger's moved into contact. A few shots were exchanged as they moved in but the unscathed Reiklander's were obviously the stronger here so Dave tried to move his band into the high ground and occupy the large town market where the Reiklander's would have to come up the stair's to get him or else trade shot's where the Marienburger's would have the advantage of the cover shooting from window's.

The Reiklander's quickly pounced to prevent this and with a short engagement took out a couple of the Marienburger's as they struggled to get into the building. This took the Marienburger's loses into the dangerous zone and Dave took the voluntary rout to limit the damage to his band. Three down.

The Marienburger's try to take cover
The Beastmen now took the direct route and moved straight through the centre of the ruins and the Necromancers hide out towards the victorious Reiklander's.

The Beastmen move through the ruins to make
the decisive move

The Reiklander's moved forward and re-formed on the other side of the market building and prepared to meet the Beastmen.

Crunch time
The Beastmen, keeping together moved in for the kill but in keeping cohesion meant giving the initiative to the Reiklander's as they emerged from the ruined hideout but Ian's gambled on a round of shooting to force a rout test on the Beastmen (who only needed one casualty to have to test) rather than risking the charge and getting the chop in first.

The Reiklander's stand back and try to shoot before the melee
but the Beastmen charge is decisive
Unfortunately for the Reiklander's, the Beastmen's toughness was more than a match for their shooting and the Beastmen charge went in instead with a couple of the Reiklander's going down to the inevitable.

Ian having already had a lot of bad luck with casualties this campaign decided to cut his loses and made it off the table with his band (if not his honour) largely intact which left the Beastmen the victor's once again. They get the victory, the small treasure the Necromancer was carrying but more impotantly get the where about's of the Great Bad One and get to choose their deployment in the penultimate game, the assault on Allek's stronghold.

Another stonker of a game with lot's of back and forth-ness and the first game of Mordheim where we nearly ran out of time. Pretty good for a skirmish game all in all.

Next time, things start to get really serious.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Abbey Project Update

It's been a while, but I've finished off another (pretty small piece) of my Abbey Terrain Project, namely the Walled Garden wall which is the second last piece for the west range.

I won't tell you how long it's taken me to get around to getting them painted.

A couple of other bit's that have been looking to get finished off which I've finally gotten around to do were a couple of generic hills, which should be useful anyway.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Mordheim Season 2 - The Hanging Tree

Being the seventh exciting installment in our ongoing Mordheim Campaign and the crowd were as usual waiting with baited breath for the outcome.

The usual suspects were all out for the event with Kev's Beastmen, Dave's Marienburger's, Andy's Sisters, Ian's Reiklander's and my Kislevite's all out for a stroll in the sunny Talabec Border Country in search of 'The Hanging Tree'. A huge gnarled oak where-in is imprisoned the spirit of an old and evil necromancer, with it's branches festooned with the remains of past victims of it's malevolent spirit. The reason the bands are searching for this evilness is that there is a Mace of Undead slaying rumoured to be among the roots at the trees' base dropped from a past hero.

The clearing round the Hanging Tree will randomly raise 1-3 zombies at one of six points around the clearing at the end of every complete turn on a roll of 5+ on a D6 once anyone enters the vicinity of the tree.

Once again the bands were deployed at random with the Sister's close to the Beastmen, the Kislevite's next on the right of the Beastie Boys and then the Reiklanders a little away followed by the Marienburgers in the opposite corner from the Beastmen.

This led to an immediate pairing up of the Reiklanders vs the Marienburger's and as Kev's Beastmen were pretty much stuck between the Sister's and Kislevite's decided to make a dash for one (deciding to go for the Sister's first) so as not to get caught between the two.

The Beastie's charge through the woods towards the Sister's

The Kislevite's then started to move towards the the Beastmen in the hope that the Sister's would soften them up a bit before the crunch.

Kislevite's move out
The Reikland and Marienburg Mercs moved towards each other and a bit of sniping ensued as they approached with little effect both jockeying for position as they did.

The Reiklander's and Marienburger advance
 towards each other through the woods
In a very short order, the Beastmen rushed the Sister's and in what seemed the blink of an eye the Beastmen felled a number of the Venerable One's and Andy promptly failed his rout test on his next turn. Hardly able to swing a hammer in anger much to his chagrin, and an early bath ensued. While the Kislevite's continued to advance on the Beastmen extending their line and staggering it to hopefully blunt the coming unabashed storm.

The Beastmen hit the Sister's with an audible thwack
The battle on the other side of the clearing lasted a bit longer with the two Merc bands trading blow for blow in the woods but the Marienburger's coming out the worse for it and Dave deciding pretty early on to cut his losses and making the rout.

The Reiklander's and Marienburger's meet in a vicious scrum
With the Beastmen clear of the Sister's, they turned and rushed towards the advancing Kislevite's. Losing one dog to the usual paltry support fire from the Kislevite's, the almost unscathed Beastie's hit the front of the Kislevite line (in the form of the Merc Ogre and the Esaul) which had advanced ahead of the rest to hopefully break up the band a bit.

The Kislevite's extended line breaks up the Beastman charge
The barney was a great ding dong affair with the two bands trading blows and in the end with loses equal Kev was first to have to check for the rout and fail where I managed to hold but just.

With my numbers depleted I decided on the better part of valour and made a voluntary rout leaving the field to Ian's Reiklanders.

It was of course at this point where the tree managed a token defense and threw up 3 zombies right at the end where the Reiklander's made pretty short work of having no other distraction's at this point.

The Reiklander's deal with the Tree's token defense for the win.
And with the zombie's dispatched Ian got another victory under his belt and a tasty weapon to boot.

The post game round up threw up a couple of interesting results with the Beastman leader getting to fight in the pits (again) and loses all his equipment, the Kislevite Captain was slain with this being a pretty disastrous result for my band at this point in the campaign and losing the spell book too adds to that misery. The other bands didn't get too much of a mauling but Dave's luck with the after game rolls has been pretty dire up till now.

Another enjoyable outing for the bands and the campaign now enters it's final phase as they close on Allek and his minions.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary - Feeling Old?

With the realisation that it was forty years ago this year that the venerable D&D rules were released on an unsuspecting world made me stop and think.
I first picked up on the rules towards the end of the 1974 from an issue of Military Modelling which had an advert for the rules and as I was already getting into Fantasy Table Top gaming at the time and it caught my attention so I launched out and spent my pocket money on the boxed set of booklet and I was hooked.

I spent the next fourteen years or so enjoying the game that was D&D and then AD&D with my RPG gaming starting out at the old Clydesdale Wargames Club, and then moving to my own group The Lords of Entropy, where up to about 30 players at one time or another dropped in and out with a hard core of about a dozen or so regulars and was a great social event every week, often two or three times each week in one campaign or another.

In the late 80's I dropped out of RPG's and gaming in general for a while, largely due to the pressure's of a young family and career and all that entails and the lure of D&D paled.

Getting back into gaming in the late 90's D&D reared it's head again but in a much quieter model with a few short campaigns now and again but these fizzled out by the time the mid Naughties rolled around. The various guises of 2nd, 3rd and 3.5 editions never really catching the original wonder of the original and to my mind best, AD&D.

The huge plethora of material available over the years ranging from the TSR/WOTC produced official stuff to the fanzine and less professional modules, articles and so on is immense and quite mind-boggling really, and all the names that go with this plethora that still conjure up memories; Judges Guild, Trollcrusher, Fantasy Games Unlimited, Underworld Oracle, TSR and a hundred others.

The RPG genre has blossomed over the years into all sorts of games, and in fact if you can think of it, there's an RPG version of it. Going into your local game store and seeing what's on offer is often a sobering sight by it's sheer quantity.

The art work generated over the years is quite staggering too and the humble D&D was the progenitor of a huge art industry now largely feeding the games industry both electronic and table top or card based. I still think many of the early illustrations from the rule books are quite iconic and summon up all sorts of memories from those that know them.

I still have huge numbers of very fond memories of all the campaign's which latterly I DM'd more often than not in the world of Alba which ranged from the usual dungeon bashes to large continent spanning conflicts and I still have pretty much all the material generated for Alba Campaign's and indeed is the basis of my slowly ongoing solo wargames campaign over at The Lornian Chronicles.

To think that the mighty D&D has been around for 40 years does make you stop and think, and although it's fortunes have gone up and down a bit, there aren't many rule sets or games out there that are still alive and kicking after 40 years so it must have something. A quick search on the internet will easily show that the game is very much alive and with the recent re-launch and Beta test not long complete D&D should be here for a while yet and still inspiring gaming out there. Still it's been a while. 

Monday, 3 February 2014

Mordheim Season 2 - Juttesdorf Jig

Being the sixth exciting episode of our Mordheim Campaign Second Season rolled around just before Chrimbo and and the troops were out for blood once again.

The town of Juttesdorf
The usual suspects were abroad on the streets of Juttesdorf, namely Kev's Beastmen, Andy's Sisters of Sigmar, Dave's Marienburgers, Ian's Reiklanders, and my Kislevite's were all on the hunt for treasure and the Amulet of Allek which had been stolen from the Beastmen Leader in the last round.

As usual with these things, the action started almost immediately with the Reiklander's getting the initiative and kicking things off with a quick advance toward the centre of the town and their bowmen having a few pot shots at he Kislevite's on their right.

The Reiklanders moved into the ruins to their front and their bowmen quickly took up firing positions on the upper walkways there while the rest of the band advanced towards the centre of the town as well.

The Sisters, slightly caught in-between a rock and a hard place after random deployment found themselves betwixt the Marienburger's and the Beastmen also moved into cover and the town hall to their front and the merc Elf Archer moved to get a position on the hall tower while the majority of the band moved towards the Marienburger's.

The Beastmen, moving all the while in cover and slightly away from the rest of the bands, moved towards the Sister's.

The Kislevite's going last in the round, moved towards the Reiklanders pretty quickly, trying a different approach in not relying on their large number of (sadly inaccurate bows) and seeing if getting into combat was a better approach.

Kislevite's taking fire
Kislevite's charge into the Reiklander's
The direct approach seemed to work pretty well and with a quick advance and some fairly poor shooting from the Reiklander's as they did so and a couple of sniper shot's from the Kislevite's and a good showing in the resultant couple of rounds of combat the Reiklander's went down to the axes of the Oblast's finest including the Reiklander's Captain who lost the Spell book of Allek to the Kislevite's.

After finishing off the Reiklander's who promptly made a hasty retreat and a voluntary rout after an unlucky showing, the Kislevite's proceeded to advance into the town but not unscathed.

Over to the other side of town the action between the Sister's and the Marienburger's had also hotted up with a swirling melee and much dashing about from the Sister's and a singularly inaccurate Elf Bowman, and several melee's developed and broke and re-developed in a ding dong barney.

The Sister's slug it out with the Merc's

Meanwhile behind them, the Beastmen continued their slow but inexorable advance towards the Sister's.

But with things suddenly turning in the Marienburger's favour, the Sister's broke failing their rout test but in fairness Andy had already decided enough was enough and his losses were getting serious.

A lone sister becomes a casualty in the middle of the town square
With the Sister's and the Reiklander's broken the Marienburger's also decided they'd had enough having picked up some treasure and a few casualties from the fight with the Sister's and made a bee line for the exit.

This left the Beastmen having walked halfway across the town and finding everybody gone, made a u-turn and now headed for the burb again and the Kislevite's who were forming a hasty firing line before the beastly onslaught.

The Beastmen horde descend on the Kislevite's
The Kislevite's stand was brief and after bringing down a couple but nothing like enough and a brief melee I decided to leg it before major casualties were inflicted, leaving Kev's Beastmen frustrated having not seen much action but once again victorious on the field.

Another good bash and a very bloody one once again but with the Kislevite's and the Marienburger's making a better showing than previous but the Beastmen proving that on their own their pretty un-stoppable unless softned up but someone else first.

Next leg of the campaign is up tomorrow to should be good.
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