Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Normans against Romans. IMpetus Battle Report.

We have an Impetus tournament coming up in a few weaks time, hosted by Falkirk District Wargames Club.  I am not planning on taking part but I offered games to anyone who fancied a wee refresher of the rules.  Dave was the first to take me up on the offer, so a Patrician Roman vs Norman game was arranged using the Impetus tournament rules. 300points, one command blah blah blah.

My army was exactly the same as last time, as I never change my list to suit the opponent.

4 Units of Heavy Infantry Long Spear with supporting Archers
1 Unit of Cataphracts
2 Large unit of Warband (Foedaratti)
2 Units of Foederatti Heavy Cavalry
1 Unit of Foederrati Javelin Skirmishers.

Dave brought:

3 Units of Breton Javelin Light Cavalry
About 5 Units of skirmishers?  (I can't quite remember, there were a lot though!)
6(?) Units of Impetuous Norman Knights.

We deployed using the tournament rules and I really made a mess of things.  With my Long Spear Units on the right, butted up against a hill, my (pretty much useless) warband units in the centre and all the heavy cavalry on my left.   Dave managed to get almost all of his Norman Knights deployed opposite my Left Flank, leaving a few skirmishers and the light cavalry to deal with the warband and Heavy Infantry on my right Flank.
An overview of the table from the Roman side.
 I decided early on that my best chance would be to stall the Norman Knights as long as possible so that I could get the time to deal with the skirmishers and light cavalry. This would allow me to swing my Heavy Infantry round to the Left and try and head of the rampage of the Norman Knights.

That is pretty much what I did. Dave was reluctant to commit his knights too early so I capitalised on this and surged forward to try and deal with his lighter troops and cavalry.  I had some good luck hear and managed to deal his light cavalry and start to shift to my left flank before the Norman Knights struck home.

My right flank advances, while my left Holds and tries to look scary.

The last remaining Breton light cavalry unit about to bite the dust.

Dave finally committed his cavalry but as I was on Opportunity I managed to get the drop in him.  His cavalry were slightly better than mine and he had more of them so despite some good efforts on the part of my cavalry they were eventually overwhelmed.  Luckily this bought me time to bring two unit of Heavy Infantry across the board to help out.

Luckily my unit of warband had managed to survive a frontal charge from the Norman Knights intact and I managed to bring my generals unit of Heavy Infantry into play on the central hill.  After some heroic efforts from my general and his bodyguard they managed to beat off on unit of knights and then destroy the Norman General as well.  Dave managed to roll a 6 fro his cohesion test, destroying the unit outright, but then rolled a double six fro risk to general, which killed him outright, ending the game there and then.

Death of a general. the Norman general snuffs it!
 In the end Dave's army was on the verge of breaking anyway, and he had some rotten luck during the game.  All in all an enjoyable game of Impetus, with no mucking about with the ridiculous light cavalry or interpenetration rules.

Next week is another Impetus game, this time against a medieval army of some sort, so an even bigger gap between the armies.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Battle at the Mansion, Oldhammer

Monday nights game was another bash at 3rd  edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle (Oldhammer).

Once again we opted for 1500points and I just took the same Orc and Goblin army as last time.
Fraser had brought his Undead, which had narrowly avoided getting put on e-bay thanks to the clubs recent interest in Oldhammer.  His army consisted of a couple of units of infantry, one unit of archers, two units of cavalry and a Liche riding in a chariot.

I tried to set the terrain up to reflect the opponents so we put the GW manor house in one corner, along with a couple of Graveyards and some ruined buildings.  The idea being that the Orcs had decided to raid the Manor House, not realising that someone had got there first. Being Orcs they decided that they would have a go at the Liche and accompanying undead anyway.

Deployed for battle.

I managed to get the roll of for first turn and my Rock Lobber crew promptly failed their Animosity test!  The rest of my army advanced cautiously, with the Boar Riders on the left heading of to counter the skeleton horse archers that had been deployed on my extreme right.  I started chipping away at the undead with my orc archers and my magic (fireball was the only useful spell I managed to generate).  In his turn Fraser advanced as quickly as possible and returned fire with his skeleton archers, but inflicted no casualties.  In the magic phase he summoned an Undead Hero, to allow him to control his army better.

Mid game manoeuvres.

The first combat of the game took place when my Boar Riders charged into the skeleton horse archers, on my extreme left flank.  The Boar Boyz passed their fear test and wiped out the skeletons in one fell swoop.  As it turns out that was going to be my only success of the night. In the centre the other unit of skeleton horsemen charged one of my units of goblins. There was a fanatic in the unit and he rolled a double six for movement, crashing straight through the skeletons, killing 2 and then ploughing straight into the wall that was behind them, killing himself there and then. In the ensuing combat my goblins fared badly, and as the skeletons caused fear they broke automatically, with the skeleton horsemen in hot pursuit inflicting lots of free hacks.

This then caused a raft of panic tests in my line of troops, which everyone promptly failed, withe sole exception of my orc archers, mostly because they were out of range and did not need to take one.  As my main Orc unit was in combat with a unit of skeletons at the time they were also chased, suffering lots of free hacks as well. 

It was pretty much game over at this point, as two thirds of my army was routing, with two units getting no opportunity to rally.  The final thing I did manage to do was turn the boar riders round and charge one of the units of skeleton foot, convincingly beating them.  They promptly rolled a one for their instability test, meaning that if I managed to push them back again they would all be dispelled. Alas it was not to be as the skeleton horsemen had seen of the unit of goblins that they had just beaten and charged the boar riders in the flank, who promptly failed their panic test and fled.  That was pretty much game over so we called a halt there.

The one orc success of the game. Boar Riders eliminate the skeleton horse archers.

Disaster!  The orcs lose their nerve.

This is where it all goes wrong.  Pretty much downhill from here on in.

The Orc army starts to flee the field.

The one remaining Orc unit tries to get at the Liche, unsuccessfully.

Last die roll of the game. Boar Riders fail their panic test and leg it.
This was another good game of Oldhammer, with Fraser deciding to keep his skeletons for a while longer as he enjoyed himself. 

One thing that really became apparent from this was the difference that can be made to the army by the presence of the Int, Wp and Cl stats. While it is fairly easy to get the Leadership stat up it is not so easy with the others. This really makes a difference with armies like Orcs as they have fairly poor stats in this regards. The low Int on Orcs and Goblins making their spellcasters a lot less reliable than say, elves with their very high Int, as it should be.  in the end it was the low Cool stat of the goblins that was their undoing, causing them to fail a lot of panic tests. 
Another thing we decided was that the units do not need to be nearly as big, with units of 20 Orcs probably being planty big enough and perhaps 30 for goblins as this puts of the need to make a rout test until you have lost a fair few models.

All in all a successful test and I am looking forward to my next game of Oldhammer.  It is great fun, but I will not be trying to purchase an army of Oldhammer era models as that would probably be a little bit on the expensive side!  So I will jsut use the models I have for now.

The next few weeks are all about Impetus.  Our club is hosting a tournament at the end of October and I offered my services to anyone that wanted to get a refresher on the rules.  Impetus playing seems to go through peaks and troughs at out club, with peaks happening in the run up to any tournaments that are happening, and then troughs occuring just after the tournament has passed.
I am not a tournament player by any stretch but if you want to understand how a set if rules work then the best thing you could do is play against a seasoned tournament player.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Full Thrust

This weeks game was a stab at Full Thrust.  I have not played Full Thrust in about 4 years, and even before that I had only played it half a dozen times.  Alec had asked about it as he had a Japanese fleet he wanted to try, and had never actually played the game before.

We managed to select two small fleets, each totalling about 1000points. I opted to use my NAC ships as my ESU fleet was a bit worse for wear after several years of neglect in the loft and I decided that using the Kra'vak would have been a bit mean on their first go of the game.

My fleet consisted of:

1 Heavy Cruiser
2 Escort Cruisers
1 Light Cruiser
3 Destroyers

NAC Fleet

Alec's fleet was:

1 Battle Cruiser
1 Heavy Cruiser
1 Light Cruiser
2 Destroyers
Japanese fleet

I had the advantage in the number of ships I had in my fleet but the Japanese fleet was of a generally heavier class.

As it was a first go we just set up at opposite corners of the board and went at it. 

In Full Thrust there is no theoretical top speed so I decided that I would go with the old Star Fleet Battles motto "Speed is Life" and closed pretty quickly.   In the initial pass I managed to do a fair bit of damage to the Japanese fleet, destroying one destroyer and doing a lot of damage to several of their other ships. I managed to get away with some heavy damage to one of the Escort Cruisers but little else.
Moving round for another exchange of fire at each other,

There followed a few turns of manoeuvring and low level sniping as we came round for another pass and this time the exchange of fire took place at point blank range.  The damage to the Japanese fleet was pretty conclusive, wit two ships destroyed and the rest of the fleet crippled, with the exception of the Battlecruiser, which I had ignored.  I managed to loose the heavily damaged Escort Cruiser in the exchange of fire and some minor damage to the rest of my fleet but apart from that I got off pretty lightly.  
Fleets closing for the final clash

We called the game at this point as the Japanese fleet was in no condition to keep fighting.
Another jammy victory as Alec was very unlucky when generating system damage to his ships as his fire control systems kept getting knocked out, leaving him unable to fire any weapons and I managed to win initiative a lot, which allowed me to fire the opening salvo of the turn.

All in all it was an enjoyable evening, with a chance to revisit a game that I have not played in a long time.  I don't think that I would like to play Full Thrust all that often, perhaps 3-4 times a year, but it is a nice change of scenery (or not, if you not what I mean).  Full Thrust is a good game but there do not seem to be that many decisions to be made in the management of your fleets, as you always get to fire everything that is in arc, and pretty much all you want to do is close and get the first shot of. Perhaps that is the novice Full Thrust player talking and there is more to it than that, but at the moment I don't see it.  it certainly doesn't compare to the decision making involved in Star Fleet Battles, which is about the best starship combat game I have ever played, if you do not go overboard in what you include in a game. Sadly no-one seems to play SFB anymore as again I only ever considered myself a novice at it and never got the opportunity to develop beyond that level.

The club was again full to capacity, and I am now trying to make sure I get to the club at a decent time, to ensure that I can get a table!  Again a nice mix of games getting played:

2 games of Fields f Glory
Check Your Six jets game (I think that's what it was)
3 games Warhammer Fantasy
ACW game (still don't remember what this was called)

Plus a few other games that I did not get a chance to have a look at.

Next week we are back to Oldhammer, with another 1500 point test game against Fraser's Undead (note that is just Undead, not Vampire Counts of Tomb Kings).

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Hold the Line!

This Monday's game was to be Impetus against Frazer, who is quite a good tournament player. I brought my Patrician Romans and he brought along some Celtic warband types.  The size of the game was 300 points and my army consisted of:

4 Units of Roman Heavy Infantry with supporting Archers
1 Unit of Clibinarii Heavy Cavalry
2 Large Units of Impetuous Heavy Infantry (Saxons in this case)
1 Unit of Skirmishing Saxons
2 Units of Impetuous Heavy Cavalry (more Saxons)

The Roman Centre

Hairy Blokes on horses on the Roman Right

Roman Heavy Cavalry hold the left.
Arrayed against me was a long line of Large warbands, all looking big and scary, along with some chariots on their left and some medium cavalry on their right.

The barbarian Horde
As both armies were made up of heavy infantry this was looking like it was going to be a brutal affair, with not much in the way of fancy manoeuvring going on, especially as most of Frazer's army was Impetuous and a good chunk of mine also.

I managed to get the advantage on my left flank with a handy double move to catch the medium cavalry by surprise and managed to win that combat.  In the centre the two lines of heavy infantry advanced towards each other with an exchange of fire between the Celtic skirmishers and Roman supporting archers.

The two army lines advance.

The Saxon heavy Cavalry try to contact the chariots but fail to roll the required numbers, twice!

The Roman Line awaits the impact from the hairy nutters.

The hairy nutters close the ground.
There was an initial tussle between two units of Frazer's warband when they charged out of a wood and into one of my large units if Saxon infantry. Luckily my Saxons managed to emerge victorious, with only light casualties. 

On my right the heavy cavalry finally managed to contact the enemy chariots and due to some poor luck on my part the combat was a draw.  My other large unit of Saxon heavy infantry attacked the far end of the barbarian line of heavy infantry and actually managed to emerge victorious, putting me at a distinct advantage for the coming fight in the centre.

Heavy cavalry duff up the chariots, while in the background the large Saxon have just finished of a large unit of enemy warband.

In the final turn of the game Frazer's line of warband charged into my line of Roman infantry. I looked at the amount of dice that Frazer and expected the worst. In a streak of jaminess I passed every cohesion test, completely blunting the warbands assault.  While this happened my heavy cavalry of the right flank finished of the three bases of chariots, which broke the barbarian army, sealing victory for the Romans!

The two line clash

The scene at the end of the battle.
I would like to say that it was all down to skill but I was a jammy git the whole night, with a large amount of passed cohesion tests in the final turn being the icing on the cake.  It was a very straightforward game, with two line of heavy infantry advancing towards each other and then lots of dice rolling on both sides, which makes for an enjoyable game. There was very little operating at the edge of the rules as well, as that can make for a very frustrating game. 

 The club was once again very busy and we were full to capacity, with a very wide variety of games.
Next week I am playing Full Thrust! I have not looked at the book in a few years and will need to have a wee look at my fleets and see what sort of state they are in.