Saturday 30 June 2012

Perry Italian Medievals...More Goodness

After my musings on the Perry's latest releases for their European Armies range, I noted that the Italian Clergy models would be good for doing a Carroccio diorama or something similar, and lo and behold the Perry's have read my mind;

On their metals workbench an Italian Carroccio which looks to a another great looking set for their rapidly expanding European Armies range.

Also noted on their workbench were these labourers;

and these Italian Crossbow;

and these light infantry types;

All of these figures (not sure when they will be released, but I suspect soonish) look suitably tasty and will be added to my rapidly growing Italian Wars lead mountain. The light infantry and crossbow will go nicely with the Command group they've recently released (and I've recently purchased) 

along with the Clergy set mentioned above.

I am pleased to say that the Perry's appear to intend to expand this range further and I look forward to their next items in their prolific output.

The Italians depicted above are generally useful for Condottiere forces and Italian States of the mid to late 15th Century but the mazzocchio (torus shaped head gear) worn by some of the figures does put them in the circa 1450 - 1475 periods but that really wont stop me from using them in my Italian Wars armies, though all these releases including their Men at Arms cavalry does open up a strong possibility for an Italian Condottiere army as a stand alone army. I'm certainly amassing a sizeable amount of figures for the Italians that I might do an 'either/or' army of 1450 Condotttiere/1495 Italian Wars and get the best of both worlds. Probably the best (and cheapest) option.

Mixing the chaps above with TAG Italian Wars Italians and my recent Venexia Codottiere purchases, does open up lots of good looking possibilities for my Italian forces.

Sunday 24 June 2012

War & Conquest Rules

War & Conquest Rulebook
I have recently been given a copy of the the new set of rules War & Conquest for ancient and medieval battles.

The rule set written by Rob Broom and published by his company Scarab Miniatures show Rob well known pedigree of various, now sadly defunct, Warhammer Historical and WAB publications.

Once again the rule set is in the the form of a coffee table book, hard bound and with lots of eye candy through out, and anyone with some of the aforementioned WAB books will recognise many of the troops from them (obviously from Robs own collection) plus many others too.

The rules themselves are made up of the usual sections; Intro 'Preparing for War', Movement, Charging, Terrain, Shooting, Combat and Combat Resolution making up the  core of the rules and the first two thirds of the volume. The last third is made up of the exceptions to the core rules; Personalities of War, Strategy Intervention Points, The Armoury, Skirmish Formations, Chariots & Elephants, Battle Begins and a final Section, 'The Rearguard'.

The rules themselves will be familiar in principle to anyone who has played WAB and the terminology throughout the rules is quite similar in flavour.

The rulebook is full of, well...rules. There is not really any padding to the volume and indeed no army lists or scenarios except the taster towards the end, the 'Battle Begins' and Rearguard' sections which cover quite interestingly basic scenario concepts and a random generation system for creating on the spot games, an interesting and useful section in it's self.

The rules are well laid out and with the now expected high production values, the rules keep up with the other newly released rule sets for the periods lately, though I do notice a fair amount of 'space' but this does lend some clarity to the rules if increasing the page count.

All the mechanisms in the rules are illustrated well using miniatures (rather than diagrams) which I like and these work well.

The actual rule mechanisms do not in themselves appear to earth-shatteringly novel or ground breaking; throw to hit/wound/save/kill with modifiers for weapon types, formations and so on, but there one or two little gems thrown in to the mix which again add to the flavour like the 'surge' rule for warbands which amounts to mob rule, 'there's more of us than them, get 'em' and  the Frontal Attack Zone, ala Impetus-esque zone of control and a few other tweeks making this a bit of a tasty gumbo of a rule set.

There has been much in the wargaming press recently regarding Hail Ceaser (HC), Clash of Empires (CoE) and War & Conquest (WaC) and the authors doing a pros and cons comparison for the rule sets. HC seems to be winning the publicity battle to date at least from where I stand, with CoE running a bit behind and WaC tagging along. This may be due only because that was the order that the relative rule sets have been released, but also because of the hype generated by rule supplements and army lists that the other two have generated have helped their profile. WaC does not seem to be going down that route and instead is releasing army lists through the Scarab Forum but more through the rules dedicated yahoo group.

Though I have not yet played these rules in anger yet, I do like how they read and they do seem to be taking on the WAB mantle quite well and any WAB army/army list would translate to WaC very easily with many terms (and indeed rules) being the same between both.

It will be interesting to see how the various rules turn out in terms of popularity and staying power and if there's room for all three (plus the other dis-similar rules) on the block. I would guess that at least one of the three will disappear, but not without a fight, but I'm not saying which one I think it will be...

Saturday 23 June 2012

Warmachine - Khador vs Menoth

Gaming this week has been pretty slim but I managed to get a game on at t'club, of Warmachine with Jim.

Early moves as the Menoth forces surge forward towards
the Khador line 
Quite a fan of the Warmachine Mark I rules and liking the mix of tactics, sneakiness and a good mechanism for creating a narrative skirmish game with a surprising amount of depth, I had not played in quite some time but had picked up the Mark II rules and Khador force book cheaply fairly recently. A few bods at t'club have been playing Warmachine on and off for some time and I thought it about time to join in and see if the Mark II rules were much different.

Arranging a small(ish) skirmish using my Khador force against his Protectorate of Menoth we duly laid out the table and set too.

It can be said that the match was definitely a game of two halves. Early game; the Menoth forces surged forward eager to get into combat quickly, the Khador forces advanced in a more sedately fashion and pretty quickly bits of warjack were flying everywhere but suitably enhanced by my Warcaster they weathered the storm while my sacrificial Men O War drew the might of the Menoth warjacks awway from the main battle. The Menoth Knights in the center then slowly took apart my Iron Fang Pikemen.

Late game; getting into their stride the Khador Warjacks waded into the fray with a tag team developing between the Widowmaker snipers and the mighty Juggernaut warjack, the snipers weakening the enemy before the warjack slammed into them and finishing them off (with warcaster joining in where necessary). Right to the end where, in the space of two rounds the last of the knights went down, one big Menoth warjack was reduced from hardly a scratch to a pile of crap metal and another warjack again without a chip in his paintwork lost both arms, legs mangled was left functioning but harmless leaving Menoth with their warcaster and one functioning jack we called it a day.
End game - the Khador tag team closes the fist and
demolish the Menoth remnants
Fun game with lots of ups and downs and definitely painted a story while playing with a bit of thought required to bring out the possibilities of your force but enough luck of the dice to make it unpredictable.

Upshot is that the Mark II rules still get my vote as a game system, lots of fun. I like some of the models in the various ranges though as what usually happens in these games, they get bigger and more unlikely to keep up their sales, but all in all the game aesthetic does appeal (though steering away from the more OTT elements).

Will no doubt have some more games of Warmachine in the futeure and with this impetus, I might even get around to painting my Khador force.

Thursday 21 June 2012

Old Rules Rool?

Chivalry & Sorcery RPG Rulebooks
Having recently been looking for some inspiration for some random generated goings-on for my Rulership campaign recently, I remembered that I still had hidden away in the attic a lot of my RPGing days rule books etc and remembered that the Chivalry & Sorcery books I had, had an immense amount of tables for generating just about anything you could think of for a medieval milieu campaign.

So I promptly dug them out and have been putting them to good use since, saving me a lot of work and effort for generating some of the more mundane happenings for the Rulership Campaign.

As an RPG, C&S never really caught on though it has gone through various incarnations and resurrections through the years ( I bought the original rulebook when I was still at school, so that shows you how long they've been about).

The amount of depth that the rules allowed you to go into was mind boggling, and as I said, there's a table for anything from prospecting to the yeild in bushels that the average fief could produce in any particular month along with manpower tables and how many blacksmiths it takes to keep 10 men at arms supplied with horseshoes.

There were two main problems with the rules which prevented them catching on; the first one was that it took you hours and a calculator to throw a character and bieng quite difficult that character usually died in the first half hour of play, and the second problem was that the idea of the system was that you made up your own campaign from scratch and most people wanted (or want) a ready made backdrop to campaigns with all that entails. Just too much hard work.

A pity as there is a wealth of useful stuff hidden away in the rulebook and the various sourcebooks.

I would not recommend them to any one looking to play an RPG campaign (far too old skool now anyway) but if any one is looking for background info or random tables for just about anything you can think of for a solo or umpired wargames campaign for just about any period then if you can pick these up second hand they would be a couple of quid well spent.

Friday 15 June 2012

ECW Skirmish

This week I took part in a play test in of a skirmish ECW game put on by fellow FDWC member Dave K who is putting on the game as a participation game at a local gaming event and was wanting to have a trial run. Fair enough.

Oh look a cannon! Aarrgh!
My opponent for the evening was Pete who took on the guise of the rascally Royalists and I was the roguish Roundheads out for mischief.

Some Dragoons out for a ride in the countryside.
I wont go into any details about the scenario and the game lest I spoil any surprises, in case anyone's looking who might play the game, but enough to say myself and Pete had a great game with lots of laughs and caused a few headaches for Umpire Dave, who true to form, didn't get phased at all.

A pleasant ride through the countryside
The rules Dave was using were an old set ' Once Upon a Time in the West Country', a skirmish set for ECW games which worked pretty well and with Dave winging things, the game was great fun.

Monday 11 June 2012

War of Rulership Campaign

After quite a bit of preparation, I have finally started my 'War of Rulership' Campaign.

Based on my fantasy campaign of days of yore on the planet of Alba, the campaign will be centre on the concluding half of the war known as the War of Rulership  and involves (one way or another) 19 factions.

The campaign will be documented on my other blog The Lornian Chronicles, with the day to day stuff done on paper and on line with the conflicts, from skirmishes to epic battles played out on the table top, so hopefully some eye candy to come, and a good old yarn too.

The stakes are set and the dice are rolling, so I'm looking forward to a bit of self imposed mayhem in the months to come.

Monday 4 June 2012

Abbey Project Update

Using the long weekend to get a couple of bits and bobs done and as the second major part of my Abbey terrain project was nearing completion anyway, I managed to get it finished off (bar a probable couple of highlights and maybe fill out the foliage on the bushes a bit) this afternoon.

The piece forms the major intact part of the western range, which only now needs a couple of small tumble down rubble pieces to finish off, which I'll do next.

Along with the rubble pieces, I'm going to make up the central dias/platform area which should nice and easy to do.

The next major piece which is all planned out and awaiting assembly is the gate house, which will likely be the single biggest piece of the project.

The issue I've found with this piece, which I didn't have last time is that the 3mm MDF used for the base is still a bit prone the movement, which it did with this piece which 'sprung' long ways, and after various soakings etc isn't too bad, though you can see it on the end-to photo above and meant that the removable walk way pieces are a bit loose.

I know why this has occurred but a bit of planning is required to prevent it happening again as several of the pieces planned are going to be similar in layout. I also like the 3mm MDF as it's not too heavy looking which 6mm MDF does. Any tips on preventing this gratefully received.

Wappinshaw 2012

Another show, this time Wappinshaw in Glasgow and the second year at their new venue.

A smallish show, but I like to go and support the event in my home stamping ground and the show showed improvements over last year, mainly the really terrible yellow lighting from last year round the traders had gone, so really no grips at all and I had an enjoyable day out in the town.

Met up with friends, bumped into a lot of folk I only bump into at these events and catch up with things, look at games, toy soldiers, buy more bits to play with, eat food thats bad for you and then drink beer. What more can a body ask for. (Don't answer that one...)

I also had the pleasure of meeting Kingsleypark, a fellow wargames blogger (and his son Cameron) and it was good to put a face to the name and have a chat in person.

Good traders at the show and picked up a couple of bits and pieces and also, some very nice games;

Battle of Oriskany 1778

Kirriemuirs' Malifaux game

Battle of Oriskany 1778

Gourock Wargames Assoc. impressive
Battle of Kunersdorf

Solway Miniatures
A Very British Civil War

FDWDs own Battle of Heligoland Bight
I was very impressed by Phoenix Wargames Club (the hosts of the show) own game that was put on, mainly by the very nicely done figures. of the Battle of Ascalon.

I also had a interesting chat with Simon regarding the game and the club and a set of rules they are working on. I will certainly try and get over some tuesday to the club to get an update and say hello. Thanks to the guys there for putting on another good show.

After the show I had the usual wander round the town with a couple of mates and visited a couple of wargaming haunts and had a bit more gossip about things in general and gaming in particular and a couple of beers and then headed for JTMs house and had a quick game of Mordheim for no other reason than it seemed a good idea at the time, aided by another couple of beers.

All in all an enjoyable 'day oot' in the Tinsel Town which for a change wasn't raining.
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