Tuesday, 7 January 2020

Middle Earth SBG - Fords of Isen

A bit of a late post as this was my last game of 2019 but hey, that's the way things roll recently.

With the release of the recent War in Rohan supplement for Middle Earth SBG, Kev wanted to give the troops a try out and plumped for the ever popular Fords of Isen scenario to give the rules/stats a try out.

Myself and Alan plumped for the Evil side (as usual) and Kev and Ian taking the Horsemen s side for the encounter, with all the toys supplied by Kev as usual.

The game was it's usual very enjoyable affair with the evil side having to kill Theodred and have 12 bods on the other side of the river by game's end being a very tough nut to crack.

Luckily for us this time, Ian was the 'One King' and threw multiple 1's for much of the game and the Uruk Hai shooting was pretty effective when the Multitude of Rohan Mounted re-enforcements arrived being mown down as if facing machine guns.

Needless to say, the game was a ding-dong affair with much splashing about and only a couple of Uruks drowning trying to cross at the deep end and much heroics on both sides and Theodred refusing to die gracefully, but die he did in suitable style surrounded and alone on the evil side of the river and the evil side just managing to squeeze the victory on the last (twelvth) round of the game with having twelve bods alive and on the other side. Skin of the teeth stuff.

Anybody's game right to the end and a great way to end the year with. Look forward to more Middle Earth shenanigans this year.

Thursday, 2 January 2020

Happy New Year

A slightly belated happy New Year to all for 2020.

Just about recovered from the dreaded lurgy having been laid low over the festives and not feeling up for much hobby activities during the break but up for more once up and on full steam once again.

All the best to all for the coming year!

Monday, 16 December 2019

Forgotten World FireForge Kickstarter

A couple of weeks ago, I received my pledge from Fire Forge for their recent Forgotten World Kickstarter.

As you can see this was fairly chunky in it's contents, 9 boxes of plastic Human and Undead Infantry and Cavalry, some additional sprue's of choice, additional embossed shields plus resin foot and mounted character figures plus I opted in my bonus for some Deus Vult range Scandinavian, Russian and Byzantine box sets.

The original plan was to use the historical figures as a source for alternative heads and for some general conversion works for miscellaneous projects but as the Forgotten Worlds figures are pretty much heroic 32mm scale and the historical figures aren't, that idea has been knocked on the head so will be using these separately.

I've assembled a couple of the Human Infantry, with these (and the cavalry) being pretty generic fantasy humans in a sort of medium infantry apparel (looking much like the Stark GoT troops which I assume is deliberate given the 'Northern Infantry' nomenclature) and generally look the part. The figure parts do come with a lot of mold lines and all require a fair bit of cleaning up and some bits don't quite fit together without a bit of trimming but not too bothered about that. 

Their are Infantry with sword and spear options plus a command conversion sprue all of which have a few options plus additions for packs and pouches etc. plus there are Bowmen packs and the Cavalry pack which I've still to play with yet. The above examples built show the general look of the assembled figures (with the figure on the right having a replacement head from the now defunct Empire Archers set).

The Undead again are pretty generic in origin which is a good idea for this type of product really. Again, I've only assembled a couple of the infantry to see how they go together and these are generally fine but again a bit of mold line problem to be dealt with. With only 12 in the box for these, they do seem a bit pricey if paying full price for them but again are quite nice and do whats required of them.

The bonus characters in the kickstarter are quite nice and Human and Undead forces catered for with generic 'good' General, Hero and Wizard types along with their Undead counterparts. These all assemble fairly well but the bits needed quite a bit of cleaning up where the bits came off the resin sprue and the fit is a bit loose generally and all will need a bit of green stuff to tidy up the joints. Again not a major problem and perfectly usable fantasy types. The foot undead hero is very lined from the (I assume) 3D printing process, but I'll paint up and see if this looks OK. To be confirmed here.

The only, as I see it, failure of the Kickstarter supply to date is the mounted Undead Lich. The parts really don't go together at all well with major gaps on the horse parts which will require substantial green stuff to sort and the rider does not sit on the mount at all well, even after major carving, like the rider is not meant for this horse. I'll persevere and sort the figure out as best I can but I'm sort of minded to not really try here. We'll see how I feel on this one and report back on progress if any.

The KS also included a set of fanatasy rules which on a quick flick through look OK but still to give these a thorough read to see if I'll use them or not.

All in all, a good result on a Kickstarter with lots of usable figures which I'm going to use to fill some holes on my Fantasy Campaign Northern Wars theatre so that's nice, and the Kickstarter was fulfilled within a reasonable time.

On other KS news, I also received my pledge about the same time for the re-written Chivalry & Sorcery RPG rule set (pdf copy) which I'm still wading my way throught 500 or so pages of this to get the feel of the update but looks very pretty so far.

I've also received word from Yannis of Nuclear Shrimp that my pledge for their 'Black Earth: Heavy Metal' KS is now on it's way to me and will hopefully be with me before Christmas which is nice though that one has been a long wait but the figures and vehicles are very nice so I'm looking forward to these to add to my Future Wars project.

Sunday, 6 October 2019


A couple of old type figures which have seen sterling service but needed brought up to scratch for current use with a re-paint and re-basing.

The figure on the left is an 80's Ral Partha Stone Giant and on the right original Citadel Fighters range F1 with a replaced shield. The giant I've had since the early 80's I think and the fighter the early 90's.

Both figures have received a pretty standard treatment and nothing fancy so their back on the table in a jiffy.

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Middle Earth SBG - Matched Play Second Helpings

Recently had a return to Middle Earth and had a re-fight of the Rohan vs Uruk-Hai game in a matched play game from last year (wow, didn't realise that was ten months ago).

Similar forces and table set-up with all the bits supplied by Kev again, but this time myself taking the side of Theoden and Dave K playing Lurtz. Different scenario with this one's objective to being to control five or more locations on the table (plus points for taking out important bods).

With both sides armies keyed to getting into combat quickly, the game started with a general rush to come to grips and Rohan getting the charge in to maximize impact of lots of cavalry.

The game then produced a similar clash of the two lines with a few Uruk-Hai dropping to a the fair amount of Rohan missile fire, and the Uruks managing to unhorse Theoden in the first round with their shooting.

The charge result of the Rohan cavalry was similar as before but much more pronounced this time with Rohan pretty much bouncing off the Uruk-Hai lines.

Not so much my bad dice throwing here, but Dave's very good dice rolling, with Rohan often failing to wound when getting the hits in, but pretty much every time Dave would get the 6's to wound so the combats for the three melee's tended to go one way for the whole game.

Dave didn't get it all his own way though and particularly on the Rohan left flank under Theodred did pretty much have it his way, but not sufficiently or quickly enough to make a difference for the overall outcome.

In the Centre and right of the line, Rohan were reduced to the individual hero's Theoden, Theodred and a Rohan Captain who, in the way of these things producing better results than all their forces combined and held the hordes at bay for a couple of rounds themselves and successfully denied the Uruks a couple of objectives by plonking their butts on the markers and refusing to die in good cinematic fashion.

In the end the game finished with the random game end being rolled on round 8 or 9 I think with the Rohan force broken (well broken) and almost all killed but with the dregs refusing to run away and the Uruk-hai still unbroken but claiming two objectives, it was an Evil victory though Rohan did claim the lives of all (2 at least) the Uruk-hai hero's in return. Theoden, Theodred and the Captain all surviving (though surrounded) till the last.

If it had been the scenario from last time, Rohan would have actually won on points even though they were pretty much all dead.

Another great and much enjoyable game and I am looking forward to the decider, though I note Rohan has lost on points both games (though narrowly) so far. Watch that space

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Defence of Amon Sul - Battle Companies Campaign Finale

So the big finale for the year and a bit long Battle Companies finally rolled around last week with the Campaign victorious Evil side laying siege to the Arnorian Amon Sul and the Good forces trying to delay the inevitable death and destruction bent hordes from slaying all in their path.

The Scenario was simple, the Forces of Evil; Kev (Warg Riders), Andy W (Mordor Orcs), and Kenny (Easterlings), Any K couldn't make it on the day to add to the Evil hordes numbers), were to assault the outskirts of Amon Sul, defended by the forces of Good; myself (Arnor), Dave K (Rivendell Elves) and Leigh (Hobbit Horde) who were re-enforced with 150pts worth of Arnor Warriors and Rangers across the front (18 figures). With the Arnor re-enforcement's included it was a 1200 to 850 point match off plus the evil possible 150 pts of re-enforcement's (would have been 1400 or so if Andy K could have made it) giving the Evil a roughly 2 to 1 advantage in points for the assault, about right.

Having won the Campaign (by a narrow victory of one game, the Evil side gets one re-enforcement roll to come on centre stage on the their deployment line on round 3. Rolling on the table which could be anything from a Ringwraith to a passle of Orcs, the Evil side rolled up a Cave Troll and half a dozen Warriors of Angmar to add to their horde count.

The Ruins held eight objectives roughly evenly spread across the 12' x 5' table, four in the front of the town and four half way back. Each objective worth 2pts, the death of a captain worth 2pts and each other hero 1pt. The game was to be of limited length but I wasn't sure what was fair here so a nominal 9 turns with the option to extend to 12 if the 9 proved too short for the evil side to traverse the the hefty run in. Most victory points gives the winner to see if the good forces delay the enemy enough to let the 'big wigs and mighties' time to escape to fight another day.

First off, the forces of Evil cunningly surprised us by deploying completely on the centre/right flank, thus pretty much nullifying Leigh's mighty Hobbits over on our right. (Leigh then spent most of the rest of the game guarding objectives and marching across the front to come into bow range of the attackers).

First round and the defenders gained the initiative but stayed put and the evils launched their attack on my poor Arnorian's on our left with the Warg Riders surging ahead to limited the rounds of much shootiness coming at them. My first round was fairly poor given the number of shots I poured into them but still managed to take out three Wargs and riders. The Orcs and Easterlings began their march towards our line with the Easterlings being slowed by a covering wall.

The second and third rounds were pretty bloody affairs with the Wargs charging into the defences. My Captain called a heroic move after loosing the initiative a drew back Warriors in his Charge just out of range of the first charge and then managed to get the charge in the following move after a slighlty worse round of shooting but blunting the Warg charge.The two Easterling Cataphracts joining the fight towards the end.

The first Good result followed quickly with my Captain Anairion with his Warrior Sergeant Tarcil charge the Warg Captain and in flurry of blows with the Mighty Needle glowing in his hand (Kev's Captain was the only Evil company to pick up the Needle too) with three mighty blows slew the Warg Captain taking out the major threat to the good forces, the Sergeant and his follower taking out the Warg Captains companion.

Elsewhere on the flank its more of a give and take melee but the number of warriors (and better dice rolling in melee than shooting) hold the remaining Riders and Cataphracts at bay.

The slowly advancing Easterlings trade a fire fight with the Elves and a few rangers in the centre ruins and begin to get picked off one by one as the number of shots coming their way begin to tell.

The Troll and Angmar Warriors appear and start a slow trek towards the centre and approaching Troll killer Hobbits.

The Hobbits continue their long trek to get into action
Troll and warriors long walk to attack the Elves who generally keep behind cover.

The Arnor Warriors and Rangers (including the local inhabitants jump into the fight with the Warg Riders and Cataphracts and though losses are heavy manage to break the Warg Riders. 

Meanwhile the Orcs continue their steady advance on the far left while taking small but continuous losses from the Ranger Sergeant Tarondor and a couple of Rangers defending the left most ruin.

With the Orc horde closing, Captain Anairon rushes towards the beleaguered Tarondor who fires arrow after arrow at the oncoming warriors as they scale the walls taking down the Ranger defender.

The initial fight on the left draws to a close as the Wargs are broken and begin to disappear just as the Easterlings scale the other ruin on the left and put the Ranger defenders to the sword (aided by some firing from the encroaching Orc archers) and begin to close on the untouched Elves while continuing their long range shooting at the Elf Archers and Rangers on the high towers.

In a cinematic end, surrounded by multitudes Sergeant Tarondor goes down surrounded fighting to the end and rather than do the sensible thing and move back to the other Arnorians, Anairon jumps into the fray depending on his mighty blade and cuts down a couple of Orc Warriors but is surrounded too, below the arches of the ruin and despite mighty blows and fate rolls the sheer number of hits (each enemy getting his hits doubled and Andy saved his hero's for surrounding Anairon and got good rolls :-) ) Anairon went down in a flurry of mighty hits from the Orc weapons.

The Easterling's began to assault round the high towers and about to clase with the Elves and the Hobbits reached firing range and began a few pot shots at the Troll and Angmar Warriors.

This was the end of round nine. My Arnorian's were two away from their extended break point but had lost four of their hero's and there were another six or so Arnorian defenders down, The Elves and Hobbits were pretty much untouched, The Warg Riders were broken and a spent force and the Easterling's and the Orcs were both nearing their break points so the Evil side called it, thinking that with the hard Elves and the many Hobbits still to tackle it was an unlikely prospect to get the victory. So the defenders managed a victory delaying the evil hordes sufficiently blunting their initial attack to let the Seer of Amon Sul escape the destruction.

Looking back on the scenario, the Evil side felt that the long run in was just too much to over come despite their two to one superiority in points, and looking back I would probably shorten the run in distance to three normal moves, maybe four at most. With no mechanism for figures to 'rush' within the LotR SBG rules, long moves turn into a trudge which can be fatal while under fire even though shooting tends to get a kill in about 1 in four if your lucky.

But with the Warg riders moving in quickly but unsupported, nullified their advantage of the flank move, pitting one Company against a slightly bolstered other, who managed to get the numbers into the combats that counted counteracting the disadvantage in the points values, though they were sufficiently battered to probably break shortly after now that the Orcs and Easterling's were in amongst them. With a Troll and fresh warriors coming in things were still not completely decided for the Evil forces, but perhaps unlikely to get a result in three moves right enough probably being only able to pick up another three objectives at most in that time.

So a slightly fizzled-out ending to the campaign as I would have liked to get a good tit-for-tat bash-up taking it close to the edge finale but I find it quite hard to get a good balance with LotR SBG scenario's, as I don't play then often enough to get a good feel for the balance, but a good game all in and a completed campaign which is always a result.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Battle Companies Campaign - Threading the Needle

Being the penultimate installment (and final scenario) in the Battle Companies Campaign, where the Companies have crossed into Rhudaur on the trail of the fabled 'Needle' and tracked it down to the ruins of Caer Emwyn but this is also the lair of the brutal Troll.

We randomly applied opponents with places being determined by a throw of the dice. Kenny's Easterlings were pitted against Kev's Warg Riders, Andy W's Mordor Orcs were up against Dave's Rivendell Elves and I ended up facing the might of Leigh's Hobbit horde.

Our game was pretty quick and fairly brutal with myself (as the good opponent) gained the initiative and advanced as quickly as possible taking the flank to avoid the Troll with the best of my hero's and aimed for the nearest objective token and started flying at the Troll. Leighs Hobbits did likewise in a mirror image of my deployment and sent some off to deal with my rear guard, leaving a toke force at the rear to try and catch anyone that got past the Troll and the majority of his force headed straight for the Troll.

As luck would have it, and the worst result for the Hobbits, the first objective picked up was diced for and my Captain found The Needle on the first flip over on the flank. With that in hand the Captain and his accompanying guards started to make a bee line for the far table edge. I jumped in with a couple of Arnor Warriors to stop the Troll from getting in the way and exchanged fire with the advancing Hobbits on the flank.

Leighs Hobbits closed on the Troll and my rear guard where an on going kerfuffle ensued with my Ranger Hero and a Ranger eventually got the better here but not before losing the Ranger to the Hobbits and I continued to keep the Troll busy while losing a couple to the beast. The rest of my band worked their way around the Troll to avoid the Captain and his race for the far table edge. 

In short, once the horde of Hobbits managed to close with the Troll (and a little help from my lone Warrior, once again brought down the mighty Troll by sheer weight of numbers and Leigh kept his honorific as 'Troll Slayer' once again.

My Captain and his entourage swept aside the screening few Hobbits at the rear and swept to a victory claiming the mighty sword the Needle as the prize.

Elsewhere, Kevs Warg Riders defeated Kenny's Easterling but lost a couple of his number (and his victory counted to the good tally much to his chagrin. Andy W's Orcs and Dave K's Elves fought each other to a draw so the Good side gained a much needed two victories to their tally giving a final score of 24 to 25 victories going in to the big battle. This means the Evil side will only have one re-enforcement roll in the Defence of Amon Sul. (Though they might not need it as the Evil BC ratings are well in advance of the Good Side and with four players to three remaining the Evil horde will outmatch the defenders, much as it should be really).

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