Friday, 31 August 2012

Knights and MaA's

With a dearth of painting activity here over the summer months and my planned progress looking a bit sad, I've got myself motivated again now that the usual non-related stuff has sorted itself out a bit and I can settled down to get my painting mojo in gear again.

To get myself going I painted up some easy fare in the form of a couple of medival skirmish types;

An enjoyable line up to paint up, with four old Copplestone Men at Arms types and a single Perry HYW foot knight.

Didn't try anything fancy but just got them done a gaming standard. The heraldry is just generic (but no doubt will be some ones arms somewhere) the Perry figure in the centre was done in these arms because as soon as I saw the figure I saw it in this colour scheme, simple but effective I think.

The Copplestone figures were a joy to paint (I like all his sculpting and is nice and crisp) and didn't cause any issues at all, base coats, dry brush, highlight and wash, done.

So, now that I've got some progress under my belt, however modest, I feel that I'm up for more and I've already got some units well under way for my Berbers and a couple of other bits and bobs. I've also got some bits of terrain scatter under my belt;

So far so good. More on the painting front soon.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Once more unto the breach...

The game this week was another venture into the realms of Warhammer and rolling out the Empire army to try something different after the last game that my Empire troops marched into a hail of shot and shell.

With a discussion, post game last time with my opponent Ian, we had decided the way forward was, as had been agreed before, to play scenario's. Usually an equaliser for most game systems.

Ian rolled out his Ogres this time with a slightly different army list but still with a pretty lethal line up. My Empire troops were a different line up too with much more fire power and three bulky infantry units.

The scenario randomly selected was a 'Blood 'n Guts' affair which meant taking out the enemy standards and general with my army break point at three and Ians four.

The game in brief was a much more enjoyable affair with Ian gaining the victory but much more hard fought with the truth being I didn't play at my best, and missing a couple of oppurtunities but still put up a plausible fight against a pretty tough opponent. So much happier though the general thoughts on the WHFB's current universe still standing in regards to changing the army lists for the sake of changing it to be able to justify a new army book.

I won't go into all the broken things in the lists here but I have been toying with the idea of regressing to previous incarnations of WHFB's and trying them out again to see if they really were any better (rose tinted spectacles and all). I know a few others out there have done similar with differing opinions on the results.

In future games we're going to try a variety of things including more random scenario's, which give a bit of variety to games anyway, and possibly look at the points values (which in my opinion is what's really wrong with the current state of affairs) and previous editions of the rules and lists (which actually quite interests me just for a bit of fun).

It is perhaps the nature of fantasy gaming that because it is just that, fantasy that it is extremely subjective that you will always find opinions differing in what is right or wrong, or what feels right. Until something better comes along (and so far most other generic fantasy rules don't cut it after  play testing and silly arms races ensue) WHFB's is still the closest to enjoyable to all that our gaming group has found (heaven help us all).

Perhaps there is salvation in the 3rd edition?

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Once More in Iskandria

...with the dust settling on the landing pad as the penultimate shuttle leaves the planet surface with the Koralon horde descending on the mining town the remnants of the feuding forces are forced to make a last dash to get to the landing pad and get that last shuttle. The only problem, there's only room for one Strike Team.

Kev and myself had arranged for this weeks game to be the previously promised re-visit to the 2nd Edition Urban War rules, and we had planned a Junkers vs Viridian clash. On the night Doug was also up for a game so we re-arranged the barney to a three way Junkers (Doug), Vasa (Kev) and Viridians (Me) and a 'Take the high Ground' scenario which meant a random turn ending from turn 6 with the landing pad in the centre of the previously arranged table as the scenario objective.

The quiet streets before the storm hits
Dougs Junkers started off the proceedings and since he had the greater numbers, and lacked any meaningful ranged attacks moved up quickly towards the VASA, Viridians on his flanks and towards the objective.

The Junkers begin to move out from the cover of the flats
and make an early move to control the landing pad.
The VASA, seeing the main initial threat as the Junkers moved towards them in a general sweep with two snipers taking up commanding positions early on and the Black Legion nasties moved on to the roof tops ready to swoop on anything that came into view, or wait until the last moment and jump to the landing pad to claim victory.

The VASA Suppressors move through the pipefarm
covered by their sniper team
My Viridians had deployed in a bit of a conjested area of the table and found it a bit slow to extricate themselves from the tangle but this did give a decent amount of cover while they tried to keep coherence as they moved out. 

The Viridian Marines try to move out of their bottleneck
Early on, from round two, the Junkers and the VASA teams started to clash as the two forces closed quickly on each other. Kev's shooting and indeed his combat dice being pretty poor came off from several skirmishes much the worse and forgetting his initial plan launched his Black Legion into a couple of street fights which he unfortunately lost against the odds. The Junkers Greater Pitbeast making a meal of a couple of the VASA elite troops. 

A Greater Pitbeast and support makes a dash towards
the VASA keeping in cover
While the VASA were occupied trying to survive the gladiatorial onslaught, the middle squad moved quietly towards the landing pad and started to occupy the building all but un-opposed. On their right flank they had a longer walk to move towards the tardy Viridians who though slower anyway were being held up by not wanting to move out piece-meal. The Viridian Mortar team did manage an early hit on the advancing Suppressors and causing several police to dive for cover slowing their advance towards to Junker troops stoming towards the objective.

The Junkers move cautiously towards the Viridians
This meant that the Junkers on this flank came at the Viridians in one's and two's and unfortunately for the Junkers here, my dice rolling was a bit more numerous and ulimately successful bringing down two or three of the Gladiators in short order.

A Junkers Pitbeast makes a rush at the Viridians
as they break from cover.
Two Junkers Pitbeast did make it through the Viridian hail of fire, one in particular, though aimed at the encroaching VASA Suppressors moving through the pipefarm, launched intself at the nearest target, a Marine who was moving towards the VASA enforcers.

A view through the periscope -
a rampaging Pitbeast surprises the Viridians
With a hail of accelerated flachettes ripping around it, the beast made it to the Viridians but enraged by the fire, the beast rampaged through the Marine lines and emerged the other side unscathed but dealing no damage. The other beast leaping to vicorate a slightly worried Marine was cut down by the Strike Team Sergeant in mid air.

The rampaging pitbeast came to on the other side and despite a hail of hits from the surrounding Marines survived long enough to dispatch a very puzzled Marine before finally being put to sleep by the other Sergeant using her CAL extra moves to riddle the thing with bullets.

The Viridians finally manage to get out of their
bottleneck and start to close in.
By this time, the Junkers had put a big hole in the VASA force and the Viridians with a bit of aid from the VASA snipers and Suppressors had put a bigger hole in the Junkers lines.

The VASA and Viridians move in for the kill
Though the Junkers had the high ground and were generally in cover, their numbers were looking grim. The Viridians almost untouched by hiding from the main arena of battle and picking anything off that moved into view, were looking the strongest but the furthest from the objective and the VASA also reduced to breaking point but moving in for the kill it came to round six.

The VASA Suppressors move to take out
 the last of the Junkers
With the VASA and Junkers trading shots from combat shot guns and blows around the doorway of the landing pad, each taking losses and a couple of losses to the last of the Junkers moving towards the fray around the landing pad from Heavy Gauss rifle fire both the Junkers and VASA were forced to take a break check from 60% losses which they both failed.

The Viridian Sergeant was then in range to do a sprint over the high level pipes to the landing pad to claim victory for the Viridians.

A hard fought battle with the victors given the victory by default, more by being slowed down early on and letting the other two parties batter lumps out of each other before coming into the battle to pick off targets almost at will, a victory is a victory and after last time where I grasped defeat from the jaws of victory, I'll take it anyway it comes.

Another fun game full of the bits that make skirmishing gaming fun, with lots of cinematic moments and dice dealing despair, mainly to Kev, but to everyone in roughly equal measure it was anyones game till the last. Other game will no doubt ensue soon.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Impetus; Berbers vs Late Romans

It's been a while, but my game of the week this week was what turned out to be a bit of a re-fresher course for Impetus.

I trotted out my slightly altered list of Berbers (using the Later Andalusians Beta List) against Kev and his newly painted Late Romans.

Since more a reminder to the rules, we kept the table simple and played a straight forward pitched battle.

I knew the game would be a tough one for my Berbers being a pretty light force and up against lots of FP infantry with Shortbow A support and some Impetuous Heavy Cavalry the forces VDs pointed out the difference with my force at 27 for 300pts and Kevs at around 34 I think, a small but significant edge.

We played the game un-subtly and generally put the hammer down and laid into each other. The game was interesting and indeed enjoyable and perhaps more to the point, though provoking with several lessons learnt on both sides.

My medium and light cavalry surprised us both and managed to destroy his general and take his other two units of heavy cavalry down to a wound a piece. My Infantry was however outnumbered and pretty descively out classed but went down fighting.

In the end, with a couple of units gone on the flanks but my general and the other infantry in the centre being destroyed I reach the army break point and we called it a day with Kevs' Late Romans the victors and in what appeared at first glance a final walk over despite early swearing from Kev as his General and other cavalry managed to get a good doing from some riff-raff. However, if the final shooting from some light cavalry had just scored a couple of hits on his cavalry then he would have lost another 6 or so Vioctory points and so would have been in a pretty shaky position too.

A few points on army composition did come out of the game for us both, with Kev thinking about how exposed his general is in a single unit of bodyguard cavalry and me deciding (probably just taken me a while) that skirmish screen is really a waste of points, so will give the supporting archers behind spear a bit of a go.

Light Cavalry is definitely very powerful in the game, possibly un-realistically so, but I'm not tempted to power game and have lots of them charging about the table. I'm going to keep the historical balance in the force and try to see if I can develop the force into a game winner. We'll see.

As a slight aside, the post game discussion led to us deciding to try the same game but using the Crusader Rules to see how they compare. To date they are the rule set that my Berbers have had any noticeable success in. We'll see how they fare up against some Romans soon, with a report to follow of course.

Warmachine on Trial

Last week, my game of the week was a small game of Warmachine against my erst-while opponent Dave K.

Dave had recently purchased a starter force of Khador faction troops and wanted to have a trial game to get an idea of how the game played and whether it was really of interest.

Even though I'm a bit of a novice to the game myself, I was sufficiently up on the rules to give the system a run through, using my own Khador troops. So a very un-civil war ensued.

The two forces, small-ish for an introductory game, were not surprisingly evenly matched with my force led by Irusk and being a bit shooty, and Dave's force led by Sorcha being more thumpy. 

All in all, Dave enjoyed the game and saw the possibilities in the rules; easy to pick up but hard to master was his verdict, which is pretty near the mark I think. With a great deal of depth to the rules, surprising in a 'Fantasy' rule set perhaps, but certainly worth a visit now and again because of the tactical and strategic versatility of the rules.

More games to follow no doubt in the fullness of time. Might even get the troops painted up, even if it's just to differentiate between our black clad forces.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Claymore 2012

Yesterday was Claymore 2012 day in Edinburgh. A fine day out usually, and this year was no exception, with the weather absolutely glorious through in the east of the country all day and lots to see and play at the event made it an enjoyable day for all. Well maybe not all, as the traders and clubs stationed in the Atrium had to endure crippling temperatures for most of the day as the sun beat down on the glazing above made the area absolutely stifling ( but good light to see the stands and games) but unpleasant to have to work in the place.

The air conditioning was on in the area, but the placing of the stands meant that just a foot away into the circulation space round about was pleasantly cool, tantalisingly close.

All in all a grand day out with only the usual grips and moans that come with old age; the b&b I thought particularly poor, which I think many agreed with me, as generally there wasn't the usual hordes and it was pretty easy to see the goods on offer rather than the standard push and shove. Maybe all the good stuff had gone at opening time. The other perhaps more pertinent gripe is the grub, which was the usual council style fair and I know this is something the organisers can't do anything about but more a rant at the state of the nation where the caterers do everything to a cost and aren't allowed to sell cheese for a burger due to health & safety regulations. Hurrumph.

And on to the photo's;

A pretty good selection of games were on offer as you can see from the foregoing, plus quite a few others including Urban Mammoths Urban War who's Marc Smith had a lengthy chat on the future of Urban War 2nd Edition and new range of figures soon to be released and several small scale PPG's all of which looked to be well attended.

I'm pretty sure SESWC had another successful day, although my impression was that the numbers were down on last year though not certain, possibly the too good weather being the cause of that, but still pretty well attended.

The one impression I did get which is perhaps a little bit worrying was on the traders front. Although there were the usual numbers of traders with a couple of new names to the event (which means someone else has dropped off) the traders did not seem to have a great deal of stock. Again this was a general impression only with a couple of traders admitting that it was near the end of the season and didn't want to stock up, there was also the other end of the scale with a couple of the bigger names having lot's of lead and other goodies to sell. There just did not seem to be the variety, or indeed the quantity of products compared to previous years.

That said, I did manage to pick up most of my shopping list (plus a couple of other unplanned goodies) in the form of several bits and bobs from Warbases including some of their MDF modular buildings which are very good value for money and should soon be formed into Italian Wars period structures, a couple of blisters of Copplestone White Russian cavalry, a couple of Artizan Andalusians blisters, some Foundry paints to try, a pile of terrain type additions from Mutineer Miniatures and Coritaniand the latest couple of issues of Medieval Warfare magazine from Caliver books (to save the postage) so happy enough with my haul.

I assume some part of the recession is beginning to bite into the stock that traders can keep and transport too plus there's always the '..if I'd known you were looking for that I'd have brought it up with me..' syndrome which I know caught out a couple of folks, so the morale there is to let the traders know before hand if your expecting to get something particular from them, otherwise they're only human and may not bring that particular selection.

Well done to the FDWC crew that put on the WWI Russian vs German game which definitely looked good on the day and picked up a fair bit of interest, and congrats to David Imrie (Saxon Dog) who I'm led to believe picked up the Best in Show for his very pretty Otterburn game with it's scratch built terrain, which you can see above is rather nice.

Anyway, a good day out once again, and I'll be there next year looking to have something else to moan about whilst having an enjoyable day 'oot.

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