Friday, 8 February 2019

Vapnartak 2019

Last Sunday was the 2019 Varpartnak show in York and once again the FDWC put on a bus for all interested to take a jaunt down to the show and I managed to make it along this year.

The day started early with all picking up the bus at 5:00 am and after a leisurely trip arrived before the doors opened and made it inside fairly quickly to avoid the cold.

Early morning crossing the Pennines
A warm welcome was had at the door along with a free figure 'Bjorn the Berserker' as long as stocks lasted. 

The usual traders were present and a fair number of games on too but not many participation games which was a shame. The show was pretty busy from the start and became pretty warm and crushing around the middle of the day but this is to be expected so not an issue. There was always somewhere you could escape if you felt the need and plenty of area's for sitting if you wanted especially round the competition game area on the top floor.

There were a few games on of note but only the big pirate display really caught the eye but this appeared to be static. The Colonial game was anything but and produced much noise and merriment which was good to see.

There were several smaller games on the upper level area and a couple of these caught the eye but all pretty much game mat and bought terrain affairs which appear to be the norm nowadays. The bright day outside and large amount of glazing did make things difficult for photo's. I did like the Post-Apocalypse game particularly though.

The competition's seemed to be fairly well attended and a couple of the Infinity boards for the comp looked quite nice and interesting to play on.

Once everyone had done the rounds and spent all their pennies we all headed back to the bus for 3:00 and headed back up the road. Once again a good day oot but quite a long day, but nice to see York gaming again and no doubt will do it all again next year. Looking forward to the adventure already.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Medieval Tabletop Wargaming Day - Lion Rampant

Last weekend saw my first wargaming outing of the year in the form of attending a Medieval wargaming day organised by messrs David Imrie and Ian Beal over in Leven.

There were twelve participants in the first game if the day which was a six a-side barney using the Lion Rampant rules. The terrain and setting provided by David along with a good dollop of the troops with some of the others bringing along a goodly amount of re-enforcement's.

The battle was a grand affair and lasted slightly longer than planned but I think the Lancastrian's getting the advantage by the end the game overall.

The second game of the day was aa slay of three tag team games with everyone teaming up with their previous opponent against another tag team with a 25pt a piece force made up of troops you had available again using the Lion Rampant Rules.

This game played a bit quicker as was to be expected and my team mate and I fought to a defeat by a narrow margin.

Great day out and thanks to David and Ian for organising the day. Looking forward to the next one.

Saturday, 1 December 2018

Battle Companies Campaign Update

Another small get together this week to keep the Battle Companies Campaign alive with four attendees; myself Andy W, Kev and Kenny mustering their Arnor, Mordor Orcs, Warg Riders and Easterlings respectively, playing a round robin bout, two games each with random generated scenarios.

First up for myself was a game against Kenny's Easterlings. Kenny's band was down a fair bit from my Arnor Company so went the defender in a 'Stand your Ground' scenario. This was pretty straight forward and I won the tussle but the Easterling two bows did significantly better than my eight and managed to take down half my Company before submitting to the higher numbers once combat was joined. No losses were incurred on either side but I ended up gaining an Arnor Warrior and have two hobbit archers sitting out the next game. Kenny managed to increase his band by two warriors.

My next game as we all moved round a chair was up against Kev's Warg Riders. His Company had a significant higher rating than mine so I started with six re-rolls and the same Influence points right off the bat. With two hobbit archers sitting out the game and Kev only having one scout type sitting out the game, things seemed a bit stacked against me in rating and in numbers. The scenario rolled was 'Recovery', with five counters in the middle, one the 'relic' searched for and each band starting at opposite ends and objective to find the relic and take it off the opposite side from deployment.

Deployment for Recovery Scenario
The Companies advanced and the Arnor forces managed an early kill to archery for a change as they advanced and reaching the line of counters first too due to Kev keeping as much to cover as possible as he advanced. The first counter approached proved to be the relic so all was down to the fight to follow.

Early game was a mixed affair with casualties on both sides and an early good round from Kev where his scout took down two of the Arnor force in one round and the Orc numbers looked to begin to tell.

Mid-late game Orc numbers telling
The Arnor force now seemed to pick up a step (mainly down to Kev's inability to get the wound rolls in) and the warriors carrying the relic took a fair bit to drop but they eventually did, but the Arnor Warriors, (including the Captain who managed to get his first kills of the campaign, and getting two to boot) managed to pick up the pace and the tide turned quite spectacularly and managed to turn the numbers round with the Arnor forces outnumbering the Orcs by a good margin at the end.

Kev went for the objective though and leaving a couple to slow down the Arnor troops managed to get two orcs on the relic and managed a free move towards the base line with only his captain intervening. Last round and the Orcs got he initiative and the win but with only three orcs alive and narrowly loosing his captain too.

Great game with big loses on both sides but I was happy with the way my band stood up to uneven odds at the beginning and nearly pulling out the win but Kev's tactics at the end getting the well deserved win.

The other two games of Kev's Warg Riders versus Andy's Mordor Orcs was a hard fought game too with Kev just managing a win in a 'Show of Strength' scenario, and Kenny's Easterlings against Andy's Orcs which though quite one sided ended up with the Easterlings getting a whopping 13 Influence points and a much needed injection to the Company.

The scores on the doors of three Evil wins and 1 Good win were added to the running total and the Evil side moves further ahead to 15/21.

Next up more random scenarios for the other four players and the next Campaign Scenario; 'Bridge over the Mitheithel'.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Middle Earth SBG - Matched play

This weeks club match was my first trial in anger of the new Middle Earth SBG rules from GW. Playing against Kevin with him supplying the forces as usual in the form of Theoden and his Riders pitted against the vile Lurtz and his gang of Uruh-Hai thugs. I of course chose to play Lurtz's force.

Forces close
Early shooting worked well for the Uruk-Hai and 2 or three Rohan unhorsed and three or more Royal Guard are shot in the first couple of rounds, the Uruk-Hai hero claiming a couple on his own.

Lurtz gets pinned in the doorway
Kev goes for the charge and a line develops across the field but this limits shooting so everyone pretty much piles in.

Rohan charge in to the pike block and bounce while the Warg Riders
 counter charge the centre

The fight on the right begins to go Evils way with numbers telling

Cavalry dual goes Evils way with the Rohan failing to get the kills

Theoden rides tp buff up his forces on the Evil left flank

The mid game goes by with priority shifting and a couple of heroic charges declared and countered. Rohan gets the hits but the Uruk-Hai get the kills. Rohan failing to close the gap in numbers that they need to.

Numbers thin mid game with Rohan getting a good round
In the closing rounds Kev got a couple of better rounds and scored a decent number of kills but the Uruk;Hai continued to eat away steadily at the Rohan force.

In the end the Rohan centre disintegrated and the melee seperated into two fights around the ruins and the two Rohan main hero's with Rohan doing slightly better on the left and clearing the far side of the ruins but the Uruk-Hai doing the same between the ruins.

End mid game the Rohan force was broken.

End game? Theodens line looks about to end as the king and his son are
cut off and surrounded
Even though the Rohan force is broken it doesn't lose many to rout due to good courage and buffs but continue to lose to the Uruk-Hai attrition. With the Uruk-Hai looking to have already won and still unbroken things look grim but it's still not all one side.

The end nears and playing through the final round to see how things pan out Kev manages to take out a couple of the general Uruk and Theodred cuts down Sharku and thus gets the Uruk-Hai below break point and despite overwhelming numbers Theodred miraculously survives the final round.

Theodred likewise surrounded but manages to survive

The other side however Theoden and the Rohan Captain are cut down by Lurtz and Ugluk and the massing Uruk-Hai.

Surrounded, Theoden is cut down by Lurtz and his Uruk-Hai

In the end we totaled up the victory points and the death of Theoden proved to be the clincher with a narrow 6 to 5 victory going to the Uruk-Hai but with the Rohan force scattered and only 8 left on the board and the Uruk-Hai broken but with 17 or so left fighting. Rohan closing the gap near the end but not enough to tip things

Very enjoyable game all in all. Kev felt it to be a bit one sided and Rohan getting beaten up due to his inability to get the kills despite hitting lots. I felt the game was pretty even but the numbers on the Uruk-hai side giving the edge and limiting the Rohan Cavalry charge advantage.

Definitely up for another rematch on the matched play or give a scenario a try.

The rules were all pretty familiar with really only the changes to the hero rules to pick up on. Certainly seem to be reasonable and will be up for more trials soon.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Rogue Stars - A Quick Tour of Duty

This week I was mostly playing Rogue Stars.

Several bods at t'club got together for a RS fest organised by Andy W and I joined in to give the rules a try as I'd not managed to attend previous gatherings.

Six of us teamed up in pairs and rolled up random scenarios for a pre-set Crew as supplied by Andy with myself picking up an Inquisitor based Crew against Andy's Cultists which proved to be an interesting pair up. The scenario we rolled being the Rescue with one of my crew being the captive to be rescued.

The game worked out to be a very evenly matched pair up with both sides giving each other a bloody nose. Initially things tended to go to the Cultists way while the Inquisition was a man down, but try as he might Andy failed to capitalise on the advantage by taking anyone out but repeatedly wounding the Servitor Cherub to the extreme and the Crusader ended the game with over 9 pins but only 1 wound but both refusing to get killed but the Inquisitor did go down mid game to an uncharacteristic good wound dice throw from Andy.

In the end the Cherub freed the Medic from the clutches of the Cult and she made a bee line for escape but taking out a Cultist with a Mind Bolt before getting tangled up but repeated knock downs.

In the end, the the honour's were pretty even with three down each side but a narrow points victory to the Inquisition.

Thoroughly enjoyed the game and I believe the others enjoyed their games too. Interesting game mechanics but with a fair bit of variety available in the seemingly light rules. Definitely get another outing with Rogue Stars soon.

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.

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