Wednesday, 19 June 2013

The Force is Strong With this One!

I have been eyeing up the Star Wars X-Wing game from Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) for a while, but never actually taken the plunge, mostly due to forking out for other things like new boilers for the house and a new roadbike.  The game has appealed to me for some time though, for a couple of reasons:

  • No painting required. A zero effort game from this regard is a big bonus as the main thing that keeps me from starting a new period is the amount of work involved in getting to a point where you can have a decent game.
  •  It's Star Wars!!!
  • Virtually no terrain required. See the first bullet point above.
  • Very simple to set up and play, for those Monday nights when you just want a quick easy game and then the opportunity to have a wander round, be sociable and see what other people are playing.
  • It's Star Wars!!!

It turns out that Ian had already got the basic set and suggested a few weeks ago that we try it out, which I was very keen to do.

We just used the basic set of 2 Tie fighters vs Luke Skywalker in his X-Wing and managed to get 2 games in pretty quickly  and still be finished for just after 9pm. A pretty good result.

The game itself plays very well and we had a pretty good grasp of the rules by game two, which took twice as long to play as the first due to us making more use of movement and trying to get into good positions.

I will probably invest in a basic set and a couple of extra ships at some point.  I have a real soft spot for the Y-Wing and B-Wing, but it will probably wait until after my summer hols at the end of June. One thing I did notice when I went and visited the FFG forums to have a nose around most of the discussion seemed to be around how to build the most efficient build and promoting tournaments. I think this is a bit sad, to turn a great setting into an attempt to squeeze as much efficiency out of your list.

I also forgot my phone so no pictures, not that there was much to take a picture of.  So instead there are a few pictures of a flying Nazgul. This is the first of two that I bought in the Wayland Games sale just before Christmas.

Apologies for the terrible quality of the pictures, but they were taken with my phone and I also have virtually no understanding of photography.  The other thing I have to work on is my spelling, as some of my previous posts have had atrocious spelling!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Field of Glory...or perhaps not.

My game on Monday night was a six player games of Field of Glory Renaissance (FOGR).

The game was 1500 points which I was led to believe was at the upper limit of what teh army lists were allowing.  It was a French vs German bash, 30 Years War.

The French Army

The German Army

I have played a little bit of FOGR in the past and quite enjoyed it. The rules are quite intuitive and make a cerrtain amount of sense, although they can be a little bit slow.

I opted to join teh French side, and ended up commanding several large formations of Pike and Shotte in teh centre, while to my right was a very large amount of cavaley, and on my left was more inaftry and a few cavalry units. The French deployment on the other side of teh table pretty much mirrorred our own, as the cavalry all faced off aganist each other on one flank, leaving the infantry to duke it out on the rest of the battlfefield.  

As it it turned out I was a victim of the size of the game and the fact that I had a purely infantry segment on the army.  On my righ the cavalry advanvde quickly and there was soon an almighty cavalry battle going on while the infantry tried to close with each other.
The large Cavalry tussle, pretty much the only serious action all night.

The left flank, some action developing, but not much!

Due to the cavalry getting stuck in so quickly and the sheer volume of them in this very large game the turns slowed down to a crawl, as it took a long time for all the cavalry fights to be resolved. This meant that I did not actually manage to get anywhere near my opponent on the other side of the table and my troops never saw combat beyond one exchange of fire just before we had to stop for the night. So a lot of time watching other people roll dice, while moving my own troops toward a distant enemy.

The Long March in the Centre, but mostly to no avail.
It was amusing to watch John basically win every fight on the night, with him always seeming to be able to roll the required number of hits to win every fight, regardless of how well his opponents rolled.  The downside of this was that his opponents were pretty dismayed by the end of the night.  

My oponion of FOGR has not really changed, it just needs to be played at a points match suitable for a Monday night game, probably about 650 points.  My first foray into painting 15mm is an ongoing Byzantine Army for FOGA, but this will probably take a while to get painted.

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Scouring of the Westfold

I blame it all on the drugs.

Rory, Ian and I had originally intended to do a large Lord of the Rings game using my altered version of the Impetus rules.  However, I have developed a rather bad case of toothache over the weekend and was seriously distracted by the pain in my gums.

The scenario I was going to run was the relief of Helms Deep, which has a nice mix of heroes and lots of troops, so would have been a good way of testing how my altered rules work (more on that later). Unfortunately I completely forgot to lift the case that contains all the heroes and characters for my LOTR collection.  All of my rank and file troops are based up for War of the Ring or Impetus and are stored in A4 file boxes, whereas all the character models, standard bearers and other stuff that wont fit in an A4 file box like Siege Ballista etc are kept in a carrying case full of foam trays from Miniatures in Comfort.  I completely forgot to lift this case and as it is pretty difficult to fight anything from Helms deep without the King of Rohan or Gandalf the White being present I had to quickly find something else to do.

I felt pretty bad but Ian and Rory were OK about it and in the end I managed to find a scenario for the LOTR Strategy Battle Game that did not require any of the named heroes from the books.

In this scenario a small force of Rohan are defending a small village from some marauding Uruk Hai and Dunlendings, who are hell bent on burning down the village.  

The village, with its small band of defenders about to be set upon.

Rohan warriors prepare for the onslaught.
Basically there were three building and the bad guys had to try and set fire to them, and then stop the Rohan from putting the fires out. Every turn after the building was set alight you rolled a die and on a 4 or more you added one more to the score for the fire. When it reached 6 the building was destroyed.  The Rohan had to destroy the Isengard forces before this happened, and could attempt to put the fires out if they could find any spare manpower. The Rohan also had some reinforcements on the way and they had a chance to turn on up from turn one.  Ian elected to play the forces of Rohan, with Rory taking the Isengarders (a pattern is emerging in our LOTR games here).

The game got of to a quick start and there were a fair few casualties from missile fire, which should have sent alarm bells ringing as missile fire in LOTR is pretty unimpressive.  Then the Rohan reinforcements managed to arrive on turn two as well!

The Cavalry have arrived (literally)!

That was about the only luck Ian had in the whole game though, as his Rohan just could not get a break and made a pretty poor showing. They managed to win a fair proportion of the fights but could not seem to actually finish his opponents of.  Only when the cavalry entered the fight did things start to look up, but in the final half of the game Ian could not get the Initiative and with no Might points left he could not take advantage of his cavalry charges.
Fighting in the streets.

The cavalry get stuck in, but Rohan are looking a bit thin in the ground by now!

Only a few cavalry left.
Eventually all three of the buildings were ablaze and there were just not enough Rohan left to do anything about it. The last turn of the game saw a lone Rohan captain, his horse killed under him facing down a dozen or so Uruk Hai.  Very Heroic but ultimately futile.
The lonely captain prepares to fight to the last.

The Uruk Hai will dine on manflesh tonight.
Rory  had an excellent evening and his troops performed admirably, pretty much walking over the Rohan with only a few casualties, and used a few sneaky tactics to keep Ian's cavalry busy. Ian had a pretty rough time of it, with his Rohan preforming very under par.

It was an interesting game to watch as I have played this game a half dozen times against Kenny, another club member and I have used the uruk Hai every time.  The best I have ever managed is a draw, and then only once. Every other game has been a resounding success for the Rohan. Perhaps it is always raining when my Uruk Hai are trying to burn down the village?  That is my usual excuse anyway.

Both the guys seem to enjoy the game, even though it was not what was originally offered, for which I must apologise.  In the end though Lord of the Rings is an excellent set of skirmish rules that I doubt I will get tired of using for a long time.

For LoTR mass battles Games Workshops War of the Ring looks great because of the numbers of models but feels pretty flawed, probably due t the fact that they were trying to use the profiles from the skirmish rules and turn them into a mass battle game, instead of just writing a new set of rules.  That is why I started playing about with the Impetus rules for my mass battles.  I basically use the Impetus combat and shooting mechanics, but use the War of the Ring turn sequence, along with the inclusion of Might points to represent the powerful heroes that are the staple of a good fantasy story.  I hope to have another try at these in July, and will no doubt post a report then.

No firm game arranged for next week, so will just turn up and either try joining one of the wide selection of games available on a club night at Falkirk District Wargames club, or just hang about and be sociable.