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.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Dux Britanniarum Campaign - April 565 AD

Second month of raiding in the Dux B campaign and this month saw myself raiding into my Pictish neighbours terriotory and trying to lift some cattle in the Cattle Raid scenario.

With both myself and Andy (my Pictish Neebur) pretty much novices with the Dux B rules, we were a bit hit or miss with the rules but luckily there was a fair bit of sage advice on hand to help us out if we got really stuck (which we did on a couple of occaisons) but we muddled through a despite a couple of errors on our part, mainly through assumption of things rather than anything else, we played through the game and had much enjoyment from the event.

With myself trying to get at least two of the three stands of livestock from one end of the table and off he other I knew things were going to be a bit of an uphill struggle. Getting three moves free before Andy's Picts appeared at the far end of the table to intercept (couldn't have been a worse place for me for him to appear) my forces did their best to high tail it towards the other end of the table.

The inevitable clash came on the far half of the table with some skirmishing which I got a slight advantage with and my cavalry easily saw off his at the far end of the table. So far so good.

First major mistake now followed with us believing that my cavalry couldn't charge to their rear (into the rear of his warriors nicely lined up in front of mine about to charge) we assumed that they couldn't do an about face so instead I charged his missile troops and scattered them to the four winds. Andy subsequently agreed that this situation if I'd been able to attack his infantry would have drastically changed the course of the game, but c'est la vie).

Andy's Pictish warriors then charged my warriors and scored a whopping 20 hits and did obscene amount of kills and shock on my chief and his warriors who, funnily enough, reeled back and withdrew back in the direction from which they came for a couple of turns while my Lord frantically took off shock from the warriors until they stood pretty much where they had started.

Things started to get pretty confusing from this point and to be honest quite exciting, with all the troops on the table going this way and that and too-ing and fro-ing right across the table in a see-saw match with neither gaining the upper hand but the Scots picking off more of the Picts until honour's were pretty much equal again.

Eventually, time really beat us and with this the last game still going on in the hall, and a bit of a crowd had gathered to watch and shout abuse (sorry encouragement) at the two sides, Andy was supposed to be flying out on hols at 5:00am the next morning, I called a halt to the festivities as the game was still up for grabs but was going to take a fair bit of time to draw to a conclusion in my favour at any rate, I gave the honour's to Andy (and told him he could keep his scabby cows, I didn't want they anyway) by way of a Pyrrhic victory, Andy allowing me to withdraw un-molested., as our losses meant we are both going to sitting out of the raiding next month already and didn't want to make things worse.

A pretty exciting game as I said and certainly picked up lot's on the rules for next time. Although May 565 AD might be a bit quiet round these parts.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Future Wars Update 006 - Mechanised Infantry Platoon Complete

1st Platoon 1st Company 3 Scots (Mechanised Infantry), 2065 AD

Finally getting thing's into gear again and I got around to finishing off ('at last!' I hear them scream) my Mechanised Infantry Platoon for my Future Wars project.

With only one squad and it's vehicle to do, I bit the bullet over the last week or so and got them done including the APC (which prooved quite difficult to match the previous two, though you wouldn't have thought so with a pretty middling blue colour scheme but it ended up pretty close any way. (Plus it is a different model to the other two, supporting a GMG rather than the chain gun's of the other APC's).

Charlie Squad
Along with getting Charlie Squad done and dusted and bringing the Platoon up to full strength, I also, while I was about it, painted up a squad of other troops, in the form of some Special Forces types, to use as a bit of punch to augment the Regular's.

Attached Special Forces Squad
Now with the 1st Platoon, 1st Company 3 Scots (Mechanised Infantry) complete and in the bag I can continue with The Enemy which is now all prepared and ready for painting up with the their second squad already in the slips.

I've had a couple of small exploratary game's and have been tweeking the rules (Future Wars) slightly as a result, to make troops, particularly the Kra'uul, a bit more durable.

I've also been playing about a bit with the vehicle rule's to make them a bit more interesting and bringing in some light flyer types for a bit of hit & run and straffing. I'm also looking to get some human type upgrades for the 'Hoomies' in the form of some believable Hard Tech but keeping a weather eye out to see what I think fits.

I'll write up the proposed back story for a bit of fun and setting the scene, soon.

Once I get the other two Kra'uul squad's painted up, I can get my first game proper and start the ball rolling with 'the Defence of Stirling Barracks'. Watch that space.

Necromunda Campaign Round 8 - Gang Fight

This being the eight episode of the Necromunda Campaign and six bods were present to get violent in the Underhive.

Anyone keeping tabs on this campaign will have noticed that Round 7 is missing, this being due to the fact I'd missed out on that round due to being in foreign parts at the time. This had resulted in everyone ganging up on the Eldar (or so John's version goes) and eventually Andy's Close Combat shock troops, his Van Saar had triumphed and Andy had picked to go for everyone's favourite Gang Fight scenario for Round 8.

Six bods were present for this rounds bash which we split over two tables; myself and the Redemption were up against Dave's Goliaths and Andy's Van Saar on the first table and John's Eldar were pitted against Kev's Cawdor and Doug's Genestealer Cultist's on the other table.

On the first field the Goliath's pretty mob handed advanced straight across towards the Van Saar who also advanced but a bit more cautiously but with Tunnels ans Vents deployed a couple of sniper types in the stacks in the middle and this gave them a commanding field of fire for the whole game. The Redemption also advanced splitting their attention pretty equally between the other gangs but started a bit away from the other gangs.

The fight between the Goliath's and Van Saar was fairly brutal, protracted and too the point with the CC dude's of the Van Saar pretty decisively getting the upper hand in a un-Necromunda like melee in the middle of the table with the snipers shooting at any target that presented itself including a couple of pot shots at the advancing Redemption.

The Redemption advanced as quickly as possible trying to keep to cover on their right flank where they were a bit exposed to the fire from the positioned Van Sarr snipers but the snipers failed to cause any wounds on the few shots taken against the Reds.

The Redemption had much more cover elsewhere and were free to advance there quickly coming up to the flank and rear of the Goliath's who were much more occupied to their front.

The Goliath's seeing their danger a bit too late were fully engaged with the Van Saar, tried to head off the Redemption with a few gangers available, and under a hail of gun fire and flamers three or four went down or out of action in very quick succession.

Coupled with not making much head way against the Van Saar, the Goliath's bottled it and fled to keep their losses to a minimum.

This left the Van Saar and the Reds to battle it out and with the Vans a bit more grouped they launched a quick assault on the few Reds who were taking a few pot shots at them from cover.

The first couple of rounds were fairly inconclusive as both sides tried to pile numbers into the melee which developed and all pretty much in one round the Van's won most of their combat's (the Red's don't seem to score very highly here) and in the space of two rounds six of the Reds were taken out of action (one from a re-roll on a previous downed result, so I decided to leg it quick before my whole gang were dead. 

This leaving Andy and his Van Saar's the victors on the first table but with some four casualties to his name.

Table two was a much different story, with the Cultists and Cawdor Gangers having to be much more wary due to the Eldar fire power and they played things a bit more cagey and advanced through the burb's slowly trying to keep to cover while the Eldar sat tight and waited their advances.

The Cultist's starting closer, opened up proceedings first and there was an ongoing exchange of fire with little to show for their efforts.

The Cawdor crew advanced edgily but once caught in the cross hair's of the Eldar, Kev's fairly unlucky gang to date so low in number losts a couple down and out of action almost as soon as in range and with little to hurt the Eldar's toughness legged it.

The Cultit's tried to maneuver to get some edge on the Eldar but John sat pretty tight a kept up a steady fire but refused to venture out into the street's much.

The fight here turned into a fairly typical urban street fight with both sides scattered around taking pot shots from cover at anything that moved the other end of the street.

In the end with casulties light on the Cultist's but the only one's really capable of hurting the Eldar being the one's down Doug called it a night and withdrew but honour satisfied as the game lasted the whole evening, and his band were still largely intact but felt he didn't have much to gain to keep the fight going.

Thus John's Eldar triumphed again and with no Eldar Out of Action casulties, he was the overall winner of Round 8 Gang Fight.

The length of the games is beginning to show that the gang's are getting tougher so a bit more edge is present making the games a bit more interesting but the Eldar are still proving a tough nut to crack unless ganged up on.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Car Wars - The Beginning?

Sorting through some old boxes looking for some old RPG supplements for a bit of inspiration for an campaign thang I'm putting together the other day, and I came across the original microgame box for Steve Jackson Games Car Wars.

With all the hoo-ha at the moment for Mad Max related gaming following the release of the re-make of the film, I thought I'd dig it out and have a shufty at the game and see if it was worth resurrecting at all after 34 years (ouch).

Thinking back, I think we only played the game a handful of times at the time, mainly due to the card pieces and playing board were very fiddly, and didn't get into it though the game at the time, even though the game certainly took off with lots of add-on's and supplements etc and was pretty popular back in the day.

Having looked through the rules and bit (amazingly they all seem to be there still) I deduced that they might worth a spin (un-intended pun) though I believe there are some more updated versions about, so that may change once some investigation and reconnaissance has been done with the other bods at t'club.

May your road be clear!
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