Monday, 15 October 2018

War & Conquest - Further Trials

Last week myself and Dave K wound up the WaC machine and had another outing for our Berbers and Andalusian's for another trial game with a bit more knowledge behind us.

We went for 2500 pts a piece to give a bit more scope for troops on the field even though this was probably a bit too large a game to be likely to complete on a club night.

My line up was fairly similar to the previous game but the change was to ditch the skirmishers and add a small unit of mercenary knights plus a unit of Mercenary Spear. The Archers being added to the spear units to make up two large combined Spear/bow units, and the addition of a Captain. The General upgrade was ditched as well. Dave's line up was pretty much the same as before with the addition of more jinete types to fill out the points values but still went for the big unit of knights.

We went for clear and boring table to simulate the plains of Spain (and more importantly, keep the rule's simpler so we could concentrate on the moving and combat).

With a better understanding of the rules this time round we got much further through the game but still didn't manage a conclusion, though this was more to do with army size than rule checking this time round, though there was still a fair bit of that.

The game was much more balanced this time and produced much food for thought.

The combined arms units were quite powerful but more aligned for defence as the bows massed fire could only be used stationary so Dave pretty much avoided these keeping clear of their fire power especially the Merc's. In future I would probably field more but smaller units to give a bit more flexibility.

The small unit of Merc Knights proved to be too small to be really useful (at 6 Figs) but still held up the cavalry flank but were really too fragile.

The Berber Cavalry faired pretty well against the Knightly types causing mild casualties and remaining out of contact with their feigned flight and would hopefully draw the knights off the table or put them out of position for long enough for the game to be decided else where.

With the bulk of the Infantry not coming to blows before we ran out of time, not much was picked up here, but I did do a unsupported advance with my Guard Cavalry to see what would happen and a few points were noted here in rules terms mainly about counter charging.

Another interesting game with much food for thought, though Dave has a slightly jaded view of the rules we will have some more games to try and at least get a game to a conclusion. I find the rules fairly light and quite easy on the brain, just needing some familiarity to smooth things and certainly take out the extreme results that WaB was prone to quite nicely.

Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Antidiluvian New Medievals on Horizon

Recently announced forth coming releases from Antediluvian Miniatures are some additions to their historical offerings in their 'Wars of the Bruces' range. Announced are as below, Scots Spearmen;

Great looking sculpts from Matthew Bickley and with more to come, I'm looking forward to seeing what comes next in these most useful mini's.

Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Claymore '18

Attended this years Claymore show through in Edinburgh a week or so ago, so been a bit remiss in getting posted but hey-ho.

A fairly nice day for the event but still quite warm in-doors but not as bad as previous years.

I thought the show fairly quiet this time, certainly not the usual buzz on previous years (though I didn't manage along last year, the only year I've missed since the shows inception). In fact I thought the atmosphere pretty flat all in all but that may just be me.

The usual traders were all present including a couple of extra ones I'd not seen before but didn't pick much up as shopping list was pretty small this time and not very successful on the accessories front so will need to get online so not really an issue. I did buy one Lucid Eye figure just for painting but nothing much else caught my eye.

A fair selection of games on show but not many with a wow factor. I did like the Durham Wargames Club Cossacks vs Ottoman game if only for it's unusualness, very nice.

Durham WC game

The Tradeston WC game was eye catching, looking pretty epic if only because of the size, but nice.

Tradestons game

The League of Augsburg game was quite nice too but really a display rather than a game but eye candy none the less.

League of Augsberg

I don't really do the 'bring and buy' thing as i can't be bothered with the scrum etc but I did note that the stall was half the size it used to be, so probably a sign of the online selling thang nowadays.

I only stayed for an hour and a half and things were getting quieter when I left so I can only assume the numbers were down on previous. The confusing thing was the car park was full when I arrived and was still full when I left ( in previous years I've always managed to park fairly easily) perhaps there was something else on too which scared some folks away?

All in all a bit flat, which is a shame really as it has been a really great show in days past and I'm sure will be next time.

Friday, 20 July 2018

War and Conquest - Four Year hiatus

OK, its took a bit longer than I thought, a lot longer in fact. Four years in fact. That is to say when I said four years ago we would have another trial game of War and Conquest rules, I didn't think that it would take that long, but it did. But at least it finally happened.

The game was a 2000pt affair keeping things simple with my opponent of four years ago Dave K taking the Andalusians and myself the Almoravids again, probably with similar lists.

We did take a bit of time to get into the swing of things with both of us struggling to find rules we were looking for but knew existed but managed to track things down eventually.

We did struggle a bit as the first contact produced a fairly complicated melee with light troops fleeing through friends on both sides and a strong flank attack with multiple knock on effects, so this did pose a good test of the rules and a stronger test on ourselves to find the appropriate solutions to the problem. As a result we didn't get very far through the game which is probably just as well for me as things were looking pretty dicey by the end of round two.

We'll dig the rules out again (soon this time) to have another, more informed bash with the rules as they do have some nice points though as last visited they are very WABish. Looking at the army lists, I think these need to be re-visited but no tinkering with these until another couple of games under the belt.

I suspect we did get a few things wrong but thats all part of the process, we even talked about digging out WAB 2nd edition to see how that compares.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Battle Companies Campaign Update

Managed to get another small get together for the Club Battle Companies campaign last week. A fairly small gathering with Alan, Dave K, Andy W, Kev and myself getting another couple of games under the belt.

Myself and Andy W played the next campaign specific scenario 'Catching the Thread', with Andy's Mordor Orcs attacking my Arnor band who were in possession of the ruined village searching for the relic 'The Thread'.

The outcome of the scenario was a definite military victory to the Orcs as the strength of my band is definitely in the shooting department but this strength sadly eluded me as any of my guys couldn't hit a barn door if it was lying on top of them on the day. The Orcs lost a few guys in the end but my band went down almost to a man. It didn't help that one of my Rangers was so well camouflaged that I forgot to use him for most of the game. (You might spot him in the bottom left of the first photo above).

A good hard fought game and most enjoyable. The game result proved to be a draw in the end as I managed to prevent the Orcs getting a hold of the relic (the objective) right up to the last turn though losing it myself right at the end as my last man standing fled the field.

On the other games there was a prethala of other mayhem with Warg Riders, Elves, and the men of Gondor battling it out but several draws and one evil win were the results there.

With other previous games results in and a large increase in the number of no score draws adding up, the side of Evil is now slowly creeping ahead in the campaign tally with a score 11/14 good to evil wins.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Terrain Trials - Supplemental

Way back when in the mists of time, when I was trying out some trial works for terrain boards, specifically the Frost Ruins from Heroic Maps under my Terrain Board Trials - Side 2 post, I had had the idea to do some scenery elevation platforms utilising off cuts and spare card bits.

This as is usual with myself took a bit of time to get round to, and following my also usual over engineering a solution, I've finally got round to doing some of these 'elevators'.

Using some strips of polystyrene packing bits I had lying about, were glued together to make a suitable thickness and cut into uniform lengths. These were then clad in foam core to make square and smooth. (You would be surprised on the variance on the dimensions from apparently uniform polystyrene, though low grade packing right enough).

These were then covered in a couple of sheets from the Heroic Maps sheets I had left over but also a couple of extra sheets printed off mirror imaged to cover each piece completely. The elevations then had some photo-shopped 'arches' printed on card and stuck on once again.

Finished articles are pretty robust and definitely useful for adding a bit of change of height to city scape terrain layouts, though a bit more work intensive then previously thought. I will add another couple of blocks in time to increase variety/coverage.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Strongsword - Trial game

This weeks club game was a trial of the new fantasy skirmish rules from Westfalia 'Strongsword'. Written by Dan Mersey and released as part of a kickstarter with the usual plethora of mini's (all of which are very nice). Kev at the club jumping in to the kickstarter for the figs and picking up the rules to give them a try.

All the figs etc are Kev's (though not from the kickstarter) and Kev umpired the game with myself and Dave K being the willing victims for the rules trial.

The scenario (from the rules) chosen to trial the rules was a raid on a Troll village with a band of human ruffians (Dave) and a band of Goblin Veterans (myself) doing the raiding. 

Trolls in the middle of the village and another three at random doorways when approached and Humans and Goblins approaching from either side of the village. I won't go through a blow by blow account of the game but the victory went to the Humans on a scalp point count (so much for each of the Trolls and a varying amount for each warrior, veteran, hero or champion) with them picking up four of the trolls to bow fire early on.

Humans and Goblins advance on the innocent trolls

The fight was pretty even once contact was gained (similar stats for a goblin veteran to a human for instance) and the limited magic used was fairly minor mostly an add on to the combat rather than a game changer but that was on a one game only view. There's probably more to that with more games under the belt.

In fact all the game mechanics were pretty simple with everything being done on a D10 which I like and pretty similar to most of Dans' game mechanics in other rule sets like Dragon Rampant et al. Nothing there to tax the brain and easy enough to pick up a game with any issues. The rules are pretty inexpensive so not much to dish out and give them a try and certainly pretty on the eye with a clear typeface and decent layout.

Like most skirmish games, the enjoyment from these rules will depend on a good round of scenario's and there are some in the rules to get you going and more available online apparently.

Goblins take cover from the Human firing line

I quite enjoyed the game over all and for a small(ish) set of fast play rules thought they were fine and would be happy to air the rules again.. This may be the issue here in that there wasn't anything innovative or particularly unique about the rules and if you've other skirmish rule sets already, nothing in particular to drag you over to Strongsword. If you don't already, then these will serve you well without issue.

The rules do revolve around Westfalia's range of figures and obviously now a days you need to have a set of rules to support these (apparently) so thats fine and to be expected. The figures are very nicely done as always ( I particularly like the kobolds) are a suitably fantasy generic but with a few specific ones which are a bit different (like the arab style hobbits for instance) which fit warbands for the rules but will be used elsewhere without any issues to slow you down.

You can download a preview version of the Strongsword rules here.

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