Sunday, 6 October 2019

Re-Imaginings


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 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).


Thursday, 30 May 2019

Future Wars - The Battle of Stirling Part 1



It's been a while since I started on my Future wars Project and I've been steadily gathering troops and terrain for the campaign. There's been a bit of progress in getting things modeled and painted but it's been fairly slow. With a view to actually getting a game in, I decided to get things on the table and though in mixed states of completeness I got a game in to see what things were beginning to look like.

The battle played out here is the first part of the two-part Siege of Stirling following on from the events set out in the Kra'uul Invasion timeline and is set during 30th Sept to 1st Oct 2065.

The Human forces, comprising European Federation troops and some allies (British, German and Scandinavian forces and a small number of elite Russian League troops), are holding a line roughly across the Forth and Clyde Canal and have dug in to prevent further territorial losses to the Enemy, whose advance is slowing (thought to be due to incurred losses and a growing lack of resources).

Dawn, and the Enemy approaches through the mists
Following the destruction of a Kra'uul scouting party which was caught in an ambush south of Slamannan, intel was gained that an attack in force around the Stirling area was imminent and a defense was prepared to meet this.

This first of a two part game sees the main Kra'uul attacks against the defense lines around the F.O.B. to the South East of Stirling and the second the main thrust against the defenses around Stirling Barracks to the West respectively. 

This first part of the story is played out with the Enemy attack against the FOB's southern perimeter, defended by the 3rd Scots Mechanized Infantry.



The Kra'uul advance towards the Human defense lines

Round 1 saw the Kra'uul getting the initiative and a general advance was underway with the First and Fifth Interdiction Squads leading the assault on the left flank, Ninth Interdiction Squad in the Centre with the Command Squad Resolute Dominion in over-watch in support, on the right flank a Battlesuit Assault group led by a stealth squad took the point of the attack.


Facing the Battlesuit assault on the human left is Charlie Section 1 Platoon with their Bulldog APC armed with chain gun in support and a Mini-gun Sentry in auto on the tower behind. The Centre is held by Alpha Section with their Bulldog APC with the turret mounted grenade launcher and the right Bravo Section again with a chaingun armed Bulldog APC. Bravo Section was further reinforced with a Special Forces Assault Team in an advanced position concealed in the ruins to the fore. The Platoon Command were in support in the Centre with Mortar and rocket armed command vehicle.



The first round saw the Kra'uul getting the initiative and started a general advance on the Left, Centre and Right with the Command in reserve. The left exchanging fire with the Special Forces in the ruins with the |Special Forces getting the worst of this and loosing two of their number to the heavy incoming fire but managing to take down one Kra'uul Warrior in reply. 

Elsewhere sporadic and inaccurate fire had little effect but at the end of the round the Human Command Squads Mortar and Rocket Battery had some success in covering the defenders right and the accurate indirect fire called down by the Bravo Section leader took out two Gun Drones and another Warrior as they advanced into the open.


Round 2 and the Kra'uul maintained the initiative and continued the advance but started to lose cohesion with the centre not pushing hard and the right forging ahead (as befitted the Battlesuits).




The Special Forces were forced to fall back from their forward position which quickly proved to be very exposed but managed to avoid any casualties as they withdrew (very slowly in cover) despite the closing Kra'uul.

Special Forces at bay while Charlie Section move up

























A vicious gun fight ensued on the Human right between Bravo Section and the First and Fifth Interdiction Squads and both sides loosing two of their number in the running fire fight.

1st and 5th push for an advantage as SF try to take cover
and Bravo Section cover the fall back
Kra'uul 1st Interdiction sniper's commanding view
pinning, but fails to get the kills
In the centre the Ninth moves slowly forward in the face of inaccurate but sustained fire from Alpha Section, with the Kra'uul Command overwatching the advance and adding some covering fire into the defended buildings.

Kra'uul Command view

The Enemy right begins to loose coherence too with the Stealth suits forging ahead and now all the units engage in close range fire fights with the defenders but fail to take down any defenders but manage to successfully pin the majority of Charlie Section who stand up to the fierce assault and cause a number of pins and in a burst of sustained fire from Number C1 Section, the roof mounted Minigun and the APC, tore apart the lead Stealth suit as in moved into contact with Charlie.


Battle Assault Group move forward but don't keep up with
the Stealth Suits

The Battle suit group advance with a seeming lack of vigour and appear to be letting the Stealth suits take the brunt of the fire from Charlie Section and Support.

Charlie 2 Section

At the end of the round, the support opened up again and managed to pin some of the Ninth as they moved forward from cover causing them to slow their advance even more as they dived for cover and a mortar round landed square on one of the Firsts Warriors blowing him to pieces and causing a couple of pins on his fellow squad members ceasing the pressure  on the Special Forces as they try to fall back and reform.

Command continue to lay down covering fire






Round Three and the Kra'uul assault continues to falter even with the continued initiative, with a seeming lack of gusto from the Interdiction Squads and the Battlesuits, all moving forward but with a lack of co-ordination. Only individuals making efforts to advance the position in the face of the determined defending fire.

Kra'uul left pushes into the falling back Special Forces

while Bravo section swing into the fight from the flank

The Enemy left begins to look pretty shaky as they fail to capitalize on the Special Forces retreat which had stalled as they were forced to take cover from the Kra'uul attack. The First and Fifth both move into contact and a brief close quarter fight ensues with Bravo Company advancing from support into the melee.

A Gun Drone and Warrior go down from heavy support fire from Bravo Section but one of the Special Forces troopers is taken down by another drone in return in the ugly cross fire and close melee engagement.


The Left and Charlie 2 Section assault the Stealth Unit head-on
The centre only sees some distance exchange of fire as the 9th are delayed by the support fire. The action of note is the second Stealth unit moves in close to the Alpha Section APC and proceeds to pour heavy fire into the vehicle which miraculously survives but is brought to a halt as it attempts to defend itself from the sustained close assault.

A lone Gun Drone from the 9th is taken out by a lucky (unlucky) rocket in the centre from the support command vehicle guided by the Alpha 2 section leader exposed up in the gantries.













The Centre defence holds but braces for the Kra'uul big push.










Beginning of Round Four and the Kra'uul kept the initiative and their air cover finally made a showing in the form of a single assault craft which made a strafing run from the south west which pinned a couple of Bravo section as they advanced on the gantries, killed a rifleman in Alpha Section who was supporting A2 Section leaders spotting duties, and puts another nail in the destruction of Alphas APC. In return, the only return fire was from Charlie's sentry gun which failed to make contact as the assault craft sped off to cause mayhem elsewhere on the battlefield.

The melee continues on the Enemy left but with Bravo Section moving in and the Section APC entering the fray the Kra'uul 1st and 5th are all but destroyed with the 5th forced to break and fall back. Charlie Section capitalises on the gap and advances into the space in the Kra'uul line.



The Battlesuit Assault finally hit home by leaping onto the lower gantry and opened up on Charlie 1 Section and two troopers and a Section leader go down and Alpha 2 Section is forced to fall back from this and the Stealth Suit attack in the centre.


Charlie Section exchanges fire with the remnants of the Battlesuit
Assault Group
Charlie 2 advances behind the Charlie APC to attack the other Stealth Suit which is doggedly (but fairly ineffectually) standing its ground, continually pinned. The APC attempts to ram the Suit while firing its minigun point blank but the Suit manages to avoid the cumbersome vehicle and empties its cannon into the oncoming vehicle which erupts as it suffers a catastrophic failure and takes out two of Charlie Section in the process.














In the centre, the 9th push up reaching the gantries but are pretty battered and spread out, and the Command move out of their sheltering cover to lend a bit of covering fire to the 9th as they attempt to close with the defenders.

The Battle Suit moves in from the flank ignoring the falling back infantry and assaults the Alpha Section APC while the Stealth suit recovers from multiple pins and lets loose a full claose range barrage into the APC which though knocked about to shrebbins, weathers the storm more or less intact (though it might need a new paint job and a service) and is unable to return fire. Te Battle suit takes a few scrapes in return from the sentry minigun and support fire for it's troubles.

The battered but victorious Assault Group vainly try to push
their advantage. Charlie Section fight for survival



Alpha Section consolidate along with Bravo moving up on the flank and gain some ground and commence an reasonable cross fire on the advancing 9th and a Gun Drone and a Warrior go down to the closing cross fire which is developing and making the 9th fall back to cover.

Charlie Section are looking pretty massed up with 1 Section taking another casualty from a Assault Group Gun Drone and 2 Section falling back. The lone Stealth Suit does take a wound and a couple of pins from 1 Section in the confusion.

The Command Support launch another round of Mortar fire and a further rocket into the advancing 9th and command and cause more disruption (though no casualties) making a couple of Kra'uul warriors dive for cover and another Gun Drone gets destroyed which erupts in a catastrophic failure but luckily only adds to the pins on the squad and no casualties.

Round Five and the Kra'uul assault is beginning to stall, with the best they can throw at the defenders not being enough to make a sufficient dent in the line and still taking casualties themselves they begin to look a bit thin on the ground.


On the Humans right flank Bravo section now advance with the remnants of the Special forces into the open ground left by the destruction of the Kra'uul left and begin to flank the Kra'uul 9th and Command and swap fire through the gantry steelwork.


The last Gun Drone in the centre is removed by particularly accurate fire from Alpha Section LMG and more pinning is inflicted by the squad on the surrounding warriors as these fall back to consolidate.

The remnants of Charlie Section, and Alpha 2 lay into the Battle suit supported by the Sentry Gun and remove the hulking suit in a spectacular round of fire. The Alpha APC recovers sufficiently to add its tupence worth and manages to fire it's grenade launcher to finish the suit off. Though the APC is not destroyed, it will probably have to be towed from the field and probably scrapped for its trouble.

The second Stealth suit also goes down while struggling to recover from pinning is unable to return fire and losses a close assault and takes a final wound from A2 section Leader's shotgun.




Round six and the end is nigh, the remnants of the Kra'uul command squad fall back into the ruins to the south closely followed by the bloodied but victorious defenders, who though successful are unable to pursue and hold the line.

The Enemy withdrawal is covered by the remnants of the Kra'uul right and centre (a gun drone and Kra'uul warrior are lost to the increasing cross fire) which cut off from the rest of the Kra'uul force by Alpha Sections advance in the centre, but manage to pin the advancing Charlie Section before they are shot down for their trouble.

The Kra'uul assault on this section is over.


The first part of The Battle of Stirling goes to the Human defenders who though suffering heavy losses, inflicted heavier on the assaulting aliens who lacked the force to carry the defence (the Kra'uul dice were not very good on the day at all).

The game was played using a modified version of the 'Future Wars' rules which make the Kra'uul much harder to kill and recover from pinning much easier than the Humans. Their fire does make them very easy to spot which proved quite decisive particularly for the support fire from the Humans. 

Next up, part 2, the assault on Stirling Barracks.


Casualties for Rounds 1 to 6

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