Sunday, 23 August 2015

Scatter Terrain - Scourer Hedges

Some other bits to add to the terrain cupboard, just finished off, in the form of the ubiquitous scourer hedges.

Turned out OK, involved quite a bit of work, but simple enough to do. Will probably have to make some more to make them really useful as these tend to be better in large quantities. Maybe mix some up with combined hedge and fence pieces.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

French Perry Plastics

Seeing the '3 Ups' for the forthcoming French-ness from the Perry's as part of their Agincourt to Orleans range I am taken by the difference between these and the already released English Plastics and the notable differences that they portray.

This is, in fairness, is mainly in the realms of the head gear and the use of crossbow's admittedly, but I see a considerable difference in the poses and postures of the figures too. 

I have noted a recent trend in the sculpts to be more elongated in the torso which I don't like particularly but still very nice and useful figures on the way.

I can see myself using a lot of these, where as the English plastic box set from the range didn't do it for me and couldn't see any use for myself. Maybe I just like spear and crossbow rather than longbow and more longbow :-).

As the blurb on the Perry pic above say's, they can be used many European armies and this is where I'm likely to use these but probably with some head swops for some more central/eastern European head gear or maybe even a few Scot's. The whole benefit of plastics after-all.

Looking forward to their release, when ever that is, in an event.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Necromunda Campaign Round 10 - Grand Finale

Sniper say's 'I can see you!'
So the big final of our Necromunda rolled around last week and of the original dozen or so starters, five had made it through the hive for the final showdown.

Doug and his Genestealer Cultists, Dave and his Goliath Mob, Andy with his Stunty Van Saar, my Redemptionist Fanatics and John and his all-conquering Eldar were the final few.

With the game being the last of the bunch, and to make things a bit more interesting for everybody, we decided on a all-together punch-up on a crowded table with no break point for anyone, just a time limit with 10:30 being the time to count the cost.

With the table duly set and the usual random deployment round the table starting with the Cultists at the head of the table, Eldar, Goliath's, Redemptionists and finally Van Saar with the un-occupied gap between them and the Cultists. Doug threw highest and the Cultists kicked off the evening's proceedings.

The Cultist's took their usual tactic of a pretty spread deployment and with Tunnels & Vents deployment occupied nearly a quarter of the table, though very spread and immediately started moving bods towards the Eldar and Van Saar.

The Eldar took their usual stance too and deployed their troops in a fairly tight cordon with snipers at the back on vantage points to over-watch the rest.

The Goliath's and the Redemptionists taking a completely racist outlook on thing's (and an attempt to even thing's up a bit) decided on a non-aggression pact and go for the Xeno's and Heretic's at the end of the table. We weren't too sure about the Van Saar, but gave them the benefit of the doubt. Keeping in cover the Goliath mob moved straight down the side of the table towards the Eldar. The Redemtionist's  who were two men, (well women Zealot's with Eviscerator's) down due to the multiple 'Old Battle Wounds' rule which half the gang had, began the trek through the ruin's weaving their way towards the Eldar in attempt to settle an old score, hatred of one of the Eldar Storm Guardian's.

The Van Saar also took to their now standard deployment with half close combat types deploying in a fairly tight group moving forward and the other half using Tunnels & Vent's rule took up some good position's on high to support the combat types.

Pretty quickly things down the other end of the table started to get interesting as the Cultist's and the Eldar almost immediately came to blow's with the Eldar launching into close combat with their Storm Guardian's and for several turn's they sniped and skirmished with each other and lobbed the odd grenade, vying for supremacy at that end of the table but neither commiting their full force to force the issue.

The other end of the table, the Goliath's and the Red's moved slowly towards the alien's keeping to cover and generally ignoring the Van Saar to not force a confrontation and distract them from the their target.

The Van Saar had a completely different agenda however and with their melee gangers moving to cover both the Cultist's in the south and the lesser threat from the Red's next to them, their shooter's in their vantage point's took advantage of an excellent position and took some interesting long shot's at anything that moved. Early on this meant some good attempt's at the Eldar and Cultist's having the angle to shoot at these longer range target's but though they pinned a fair few didn't really get the kill's, mainly due to some significant toughness stat's.

This however changed as the Goliath's quickly came into view as they headed south and the Van Saar couldn't resist the meaty target and popped a couple of shot's at the massed ganger's and downed one and took a pot-shot at the Red's but failed to contact. Dave wasn't happy about this and split off a couple of his pistol and grenade armed ganger's who circled round behind the Red's, ignoring them and headed off to seek revenge from the Van Saar. It was here that the game was up, as it was noted that they ignored the Red's they passed and various cries of 'foul' and 'not fair ref!' were cried.

While the tussle between the Cultist's continued, Doug sent a couple of his team, including a genestealer, on a fairly slow but safe route towards the Van Saar position's.

The Red's as they moved toward's the partial cover of the central Air Conditioning plant, their leader took a shot with his Melta gun and fried one of the Van Saar Tough's.

The table now decended into seperate north and south fights. As the Red's maneuvered through the terrain, the Van Saar rushed out of the ruin's they occupied and assaulted the passing Red's and being the CC fiend's that they were fairly easily downed the Red's leader taking him OoA and along with one of the Zealot's.

The Van Saar commanding vantage point
Now came the time of the grenade storm. The two Goliath's had circled round and started to lob grenade's over the intervening pipework into the midst of the Van Saar (and an unfortunate Redemptionist not downed earlier) and generally played havoc with the close combat types finally leaving only one of them alive but down. The lone survivor of this attack was duly taken out by one the Red's Deacon's on the next round in revenge for the loss of their leader.

The next part of the grenade storm was not far away as the only way to get to grips with the Eldar was going to be a rush as time was marching on and staying in cover the whole way would have taken till next Thursday (and been pretty dull too).

The Goliath's trusting to numbers moved out into the open and started to run towards the Eldar position's followed by half of the Red's who had significantly more cover to start with.

The Eldar/Cultist fight had continued meanwhile with both sides backward and forwarding with both sides pretty even and OoA's being two apiece but the Eldar with another down.

Down but not out, several Cultist's and Eldar lay low or seek cover
while the Van Saar take shot's and the Red's and Goliath's advance
Now, as the Goliath's advanced the Eldar snipers opened up on the crowd and dropped a couple and a plasma grenade dropped another couple, the surviving ganger's started to lob grenade's at the Xeno's, that is to say, all the surviving ganger's started to lob grenade's with hilarious result's. Yup, Dave actually managed to blow himself up with his own grenade, not once, not twice, not even three times but four, over the course of the next couple of turn's, the strategy of having cheap replacement's didn't really work out although it did drop a couple of Eldar but didn't manage to take any out, well maybe one.

Unfortunately, the Goliath's paid a hefty price and at the end of this attack, most of the Goliath's were down or out. 

The Genestealer eviscerates a couple of Van Saar in bloody ruin
The Van Saar were the next to feel the wrath of the weird ones with the Cultist's finally reaching their target and the Genestealer rushed into contact after dodging sewveral shot's as it closed, and it promptly shredded a Van Saar or two as it passed and on into the rest of the gang. This was followed up by a couple of more normal cultist's into the fight. The Genestealer then circled round now reaching the opposite end of the table as it moved to come behind the Red's and Goliath's.

The Goliath's all take a lie down while the Red's move
With the clock moving in it's inevitable way, it was time to try and get a move on. A couple of the Red's had moved toward's the Van Saar as they had realised they were never going to reach the Eldar in time anyway and with a bit of a tussle another Van Saar went OoA but a couple of the Red's were down below the sniper tower. The rest of the Redemptionist's moved as quickly as possible toward's the Eldar who in turn moved out to meet them with now no worry of fire from the Goliath's most of whom were taking a bit of a nap.

The Red's and Goliath's get chewed up bad out in the open
as they rush in to get to grip
Not wanting dwell on this bit very much as it is pretty painful, but enough to say that five of my Redemptionist's weren't even a speed bump to the Eldar Storm Guardian and Farseer who easily one each combat and then into the next. Don't think any of my guy's even got to wave their sword's much. Sniff.

Now with the clock ticking on the last round and a few desultory skirmishes as a couple of Red's and Goliath's were put out their misery and a Van Saar was dismembered. Doug went first and finished of his Van Saar dinner and checking had 7 of his original 10 standing. John's Eldar were sitting at 6 still standing but one down but checking at the end of his round he checked and managed to roll a 1 so he ended up with 7 out of 10, you can see where this is going.

Much quieter street's
right at the end.
Dave next, and checking for downed troops didn't manage to revive any so ended up with 7 bodies still on the field but only 2 standing out of his original 13. The Red's next and after a bit of a tussle and much swearing I managed to get my Deacon back on his feet leaving me with four bodies out of my original 10 still on the field but 2 standing sneaking me into third place.

And the final throws of the dice for the game and the campaign went to Andy's Van Saar who were looking very worse for ware having been the brunt of several attacks and literally with the last dice roll scored a critical from on high with his heavy bolter (the heavy bolter getting his eye in at last) on the Genestealer passing below and shredded it in it's turn, meaning Doug was down to 6 bods standing and John's lucky recovery roll getting his downed Eldar back on his feet meant that Doug was pipped at the post for first place by the Eldar.

Boss game for the last game of the campaign and we all agreed the best of the campaign, with much amusement from Dave's grenade antic's, Doug's Genestealer eating Stunties for tea and my inability to hit anything except with a flamethrower, it was a great way to end thing's.

We all agreed, including John, that the Eldar had proved to be too strong for anyone to beat one to one, so would be avoided next time. The Van Saar and the Cultist's proved to be pretty good by the end and get honourable mentions. The Goliath's were plagued by several unlucky casualty roll's so had to constantly replace people and the Redemptionist's ended up in worse nick than they started with so many battle wounds, lost eyes and chest wounds most were more a liabilty than anything, certainly not as good as their band rating would suggest.

After this foray into the realm's of Sci-Fi, our next skirmish campaign will be the next Season of Mordheim and the continuing story of the fight against Allek the Necromancer and the hunt for the Great Treasure. Probably interspaced with a likely Frostgrave campaign. Watch this space for how these work out.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Claymore 15

Once again a trip was duly taken through to the east coast for Claymore '15 at the weekend there.

The roads were as usual, heaving on the saturday with the run of events and such on on the day but all bearable along with a slightly changeable outlook on the weather front.

The venue at Edinburgh College Granton Campus (the Old (New) Telford College) was pretty busy when arrived at (lucky to get parked) and stayed that way right up until 2:30/3:00 ish which was great for the event and the level of busy-ness stayed at a fairly OK level throughout. All good so far.

The array of games on offer from the various clubs were over a pretty good spread of interests and a reasonable number were participation events roughly half those on offer.

A selection of games catching my eye this year;

Dave Imrie's ECW Demo

Towton Game using Lion Rampant Rules

Kiriemuir's 1st Battle of St Albans
League of Augsburg's Great Northern War

Missed name of this game...but it's got Elephants!
Quite a few smaller, skirmish or similar games on offer including Bloodbowl (complete with stadium) and a multitude of smaller Sci-Fi type games and a couple of Fantasy ones too.

Traders were many and fairly diverse offerings but mainly the old trusted names that are there every year but not complaining about that. Picked up a few bits and bobs, mainly terrain making materials and few resin castings plus a couple of monster types for Frostgrave, so quite happy there.

The only fly in the ointment this year was the catering, which was abysmal. I think the caterer's were pretty new to the franchise but the staff were as helpful as they could be, just a bit un-organised, but the actual bon affaire was +#!?>"% awful. Coffee was OK though. A 'must try harder' mark for next year.

All in all, once again a 'guid day oot' in the Auld Toon and will, of course, be there next year.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Warhammer; Age of Sigmar Rules Trial

Myself and Ken at club on Monday had a trial shot of the Age of Sigmar free download rules from GW to see what they were like and to see what the hoo-ha was all about.

Digging out and dusting off his Dwarves, Ken had about 100 figures so brought them along in the form of a couple of clan units some Longbeards, Slayers, Miners and Crossbow, a bolt thrower and catapult.

Following suit, I dug out a 100 or so Empire figures in the form of a couple of Halberd units. Flagellants, a small unit of Archers and a unit of Knights and Pistoliers and added in a cannon for good measure to see how that fayred.

Since the Dwarves were 'magic-less' and to keep it simple to start with, I plumped for no magic as well.

The rules, over a whole four pages are pretty basic, but slighty deceptively as the Warscroll's (another name for army list) for each army actually have the add-ons which do complicate the rules a bit (but not much).

The game itself was fair enough once we got the gist of where things were on the rules and in the Warscrolls but had to guess a bit on a couple of points which didn't seemed to be spelt out anywhere (like the Rend modifier being a save modifier). It was actually quite difficult to not add stuff to the rules as we went along as they are simple-stupid almost.

The dicing for initiative each turn is interesting which led to Ken advancing very quickly until I got the advantage and got the charge in almost right across the board.

The mechanics of the game are basic and much the same as WHFB's under different titles, throw to hit, throw to wound and armour save. The difference is the 'not really unit's' mentallity and once we got this 40K/Warmahordes individual figure movement idea on board saw the difference particularly as my Flagellants first piled in to the flank (no difference) of his already engageed unit of clan warriors and utterly destroyed these in tandem with a unit of Halberds and my General, and then went on to take apart his Slayers in short order. The 30 strong Flagellant unit seemed very strong indeed.

Elsewhere there was a line of combat involving the Dwarf Miners, his general and the other clan unit vs my large Halberd unit and knights and towards the end my archers and the Dwarf Crossbows also joining the fray. My Pistoliers circled round the battle and in the end managed to annoy his artillery a bit.

The Dwarves really got hammered in the end but lasted until maybe round four or so when we called it a day with what seemed a slightly one sided battle to the Empire.

Several of the bits didn't seem very clear like how you sorted out multiple wounds from the likes of the cannon or catapult (with us deciding as per old WHFB rules with the multiple wounds affecting the units as a whole) but with four pages of rules this probably isn't much of a surprise. In fact the first and probably most of the second page are setting up the battle so really the rules are on one piece of A4.

Our prognosis of the rules in the end was that they were fair enough and also fun but perhaps a bit too simplistic and the field anything you want and just pile is very obviously aimed at a kids market. Indeed the whole concept does smack of the games we had as kids with Airfix soldiers and lining up what you had and knocking stuff over.

Not quite sure at what size of game is envisaged by the designers, as the individual movement of even a hundred figures could be quite repetitive and laborious, so maybe 30 to 40 figs skirmish size is the target, not sure here. Moving the units about old style, got in the way a bit of the mechanics of the new rules I felt.

There's doesn't seem to be anything to draw veterans into the milieu. That isn't what their about anyway, not aimed at our demographic. Since the whole WHFB thang wasn't broken in it's own terms, if we want out bring the troops out again, I think we'll stick with 3rd or 6th or maybe (blech) 8th or play something entirely different, or if you want a 40K/Warmahordes like experience, we'll play 40K/Warmahordes.

It will be interesting to see what new figure ranges the future will bring and I watch that window to see what goodies might appear for use in other things and though not a fan of the Sigmarines, I know GW are bound to bring out something good. Here's hoping for that bright spark.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Frostgrave In Da House

Appearing through the door yesterday dropped the Frostgrave package with rules, plastic Soldiers box set, a scatter of resin 'treasure' pieces and a number of metal figures.

Always nice to get pressies in the post.

Most of the bods at the club also seemed to get their deliveries yesterday so I'm quite impressed with the postal drop that Nick at Northstar and team must have pulled off to get all the packages out on time, as I believe most bods about seemed to have got theirs too.

Following reviews (and indeed a fair bit of hype that Osprey Games seem to produce) the rules promise to be interesting and conducive to a decent campaign, which I'm always up for.

Following a quick flick through the rules and they look to be fine and very reminiscent of latter manifestations of D&D rule books in layout and indeed some of the artwork (possibly same artists) but not a bad thing there. Easy on the eye without too much clutter and a decent type face, the rules appear to be quite easy to follow.

I have been looking forward to these rules release and once digested I'm keen to get a couple of games in to see if they deliver what I'm hoping for.

By way of a bit of (really un-connected) inspiration, I have started to re-read the 'The Anvil of Ice' by Micheal Scott Rohan, the first in his Winter of the World series. Apart from being a good read which I thoroughly recommend, I chose the Enchanter Wizard for the Frostgrave start up pack and this fits pretty nicely with the Frost/Ice theme going on and the main character of the series who does a fair bit of Enchanting. Works for me anyway.

Once they've been digested and trialed, there will no doubt follow a review.

I'm sure there will be a fair bit out there in the Interblog about these rules over the next wee while so it promises to be interesting in any event.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Necromunda Campaign Round 9 - Gang Fight?

Round 9 of the current Necro Campaign and the penultimate one too.

Just my Redemptionists, Dave's Goliath's and John's Eldar were ready for a rumble on the day and we laid down equi-distantly and jumped into the action with John plumping for his favourite stand-up gang fight scenario.

John went first and deployed on a couple of roof tops pretty quickly with his snipers and moved the rest forward with a bit of caution.

I having a pretty short range of fire, going next in the running order and set up opposite the far reaching Eldar, went out for a rush to get to cover and a position that I could get some shots off as I closed as quickly as possible, going for some nice 'king-of-the-hill' cover in the middle of the table with a bit of skirting round added in for good measure.

Dave went a bit off-piste and en-masse started to circle round the outside of the table moving behind me.

Things went a bit a-wry pretty quickly for me with Dave taking a pot shot from a heavy bolter at long range at my cover rushing troops and with one shot landing and taking OoA my gang leader. Not a good start. Next when my one gang member who could take a shot, stuck his head out and was promptly downed by one of Johns Overwatch snipers, Two down.

Dave continued his move round behind my positions and the Eldar edged out a bit further under their overwatching snipers. My guys who were in reach, desperately through them selves through the nearest door and thought they were temporarily safe in the central building, and then move through the building to take the fight to the enemy. The rest continued their rush for a bit of cover and hopefully a position that they could fight back.

A Plasma grenade put paid to the idea of safety but only one of the Fanatics in the building was downed by the blast but the plasma ball prevented any further movement through the building. A sniper put paid to the downed Crusader already on the deck and then a Guardian off loaded three shuriken shots into the chest of the tail end Crusader who hadn't quite made it to cover. Bottle test was promptly failed and the Redemption left the field before the end of round three having not fired a shot. Not their best showing to date.

Dave, now having no one to circle behind, about faced and headed back the way he cam and started to move en-masse to towards the new enemy. The Eldar consolidated their gain and took up cover in the central building with a couple of Guardians and the rest headed round straight towards the Goliath's.

To make a slightly longer story shorter, Dave fed in Ganger's into the meat grinder around the building in front of Dave's deployment area, and although the Eldar didn't quite have it all their own way, the Goliath's quickly succumbed to the Eldar onslaught and with five down to perhaps one Eldar, Dave called it a day giving the Ever-victorious Craftworld Eldar the win once again.

At the end of the game, even John admitted that perhaps the Eldar were a bit too powerful and on any one to one encounter were likely to come out on top. Only when ganged up upon, have the Eldar been put to rout.

The grand finale next time is going to be a free-for-all slug fest with an extended break point for each of the gangs in a Tunnel Fight or similar which should be entertaining at least. Till next time.
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