Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Wrath of Rohan

Rory and I had decided last week to have a game of Lord of the Rings, GW's excellent skirmish game.  We did not decide on an actual scenario so this Monday I turned up at the club with everything LOTR related that I own.

After a bit of chat we settled on the "Wrath of Rohan" from the The Two Towers scenario book. This is the part of the book where Eomer chases down and destroys the Uruk Hai and Orcs that had abducted Merry and Pippin at Amon Hen, and where the two Hobbits escape into Fangorn Forest, and eventually make contact with Treebeard, which ultimately leads to the demise of Saruman at the hands of the Ents.

We tossed a coin for sides and I ended up the forces the darkness, while Rory ended up in charge of the heroic Rohirrim, led by the Third Marshal of the Riddermark.

The battlefield after deployment

Orcs and Uruks prepare to receive the charge.

Rohan right flank

Rohan left flank.

As always in LOTR SBG the good side had priority on the first turn and Rory opted to be cautious and do a small advance to allow for some shooting.  This proved pretty effective with some decent early casualties on the Orcs.  The return fire from the Orcs was not quite as effective, only managing to down a couple of horses.

Turn three saw the Roahn crash into the Orc lines on both sides, with pretty devastating effect.

There was not much in the way of sophistication in this game, with the Rohan basically getting stuck in and the Orcs doing their best to survive.  Casualties mounted fairly steadily on both sides until we reached break point.  This is where the bravery of the Rohan came in as they passed all their 'Stand fast ' tests and not a man among them fled the field.  the same could not be said of my orcs, as first the cowardly Grishnakh fled the field, swiftly followed by that entire flank.  I think something like 10 orcs failed their stand fast tests in that single round. 

High casualties on both sides.

The final few turns were pretty quick!
In the end the high moral helped and the orc force slowly disintegrated into nothing, until eventually only Ugluk and a single Mordor orc remained.  Ugluk was dully flattened by an enraged Eomer and the last orc fled the field.

There was some discussion over the victory conditions as both sides had two goals.
Rohan had to wipe out the enemy completely and get the Hobbits safely of the board into Fangorn Forest.  The evil side had to retain control of the Hobbits and reduce the Rohan force to under 25% of their starting numbers.  Rohan succeeded in wiping out the orcs and the orcs succeeded in reducing the Rohan numbers.  Unfortunately the Hobbits had failed to escape the board, but were also roaming free so neither side had succeeded there.  In the end we settled for a draw.

Another great game of Lord of the Rings, and a very close one as well.  I class myself as a novice at this game as I don't get to play it half as often as I would like. There seems to be a lack of interest these days.  Next year I am hoping to expand my LOTR collection beyond the Isengard/Rohan section of the book and have enough to do most of the scenarios involving The Fellowship of the Ring. This will mostly involve scenery, with a few extra models needing painted as well.

THis week the club was quite quiet, relatively speaking. There were only about 25 attendees!  A short time ago that would have been a pretty good club night, but at the moment we have a high membership and the new members have brought a new energy to a Monday, not to mention a new range of games to play. 

No firm game arranged for next week, so will need to wait and see what I end up playing.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Stuck in the Middle.

Game 5 of our occasional Mordheim campaign rolled in, and it looked like it was going to be another 5 way bash.  

The scenario was that there was a river running length ways down the centre of the table. In the centre of the river was a wizards tower. This tower belonged to one the minions of the eventual end of campaign boss that we were going to have to fight. This minion, who had the profile of a chaos magister was trying to escape the table, protected by 4 skeletons. If we did not stop him from leaving the table we would have to fight him in the final scenario of the campaign.

The table set up

The Evil chappie with his escort.

Present for this weeks game were:

Ian's Reiklanders

Rory's Kislevites

Andy's Sisters of Sigmar

Dave's Marienburgers

My Beastmen Horde
I was a bit nervous about the lack of terrain but the random roll for deployment managed to put me in a corner of the table, slightly out of the way.  The Sisters and the Kislevites ended up deploying right on top each other, with the Reiklander opposite me and the Marienburgers down the other end of the table.   

Early game saw the Sister and Kislevites get stuck into each other and after a few turns of shooting and fighting they both managed to fail their break test and so were out of the game fairly quickly.  The Marienburgers kept a low profile early game, moving towards the tower and taking a few pot shots at the Sisters pet Elf but not much else.  
Kislevites advance of the Sisters of Sigmar

Down my end of the table Ian and I cautiously approached the fleeing evil minion, as the random roll to see what direction he fled in sent him in our direction. In a freak streak of luck that only Rory could manage the evil minion cast Eye of the Gods on himself and promptly rolled a 1. This meant that the gods had taken offence at him and he was taken out of the game, before any of us had even had a chance to get near him.  Ian and I declared a shaky truce and decided to polish of the skeletons.   
The Marienburger'r are a bit sneaky.

Ian quickly broke that truce and as soon as he had taken out the two skeletons on his side of the river started taking pot-shots at my Beastmen.

Reiklanders attack the skeletons before showing their untrustworthy side!

Beastmen get stuck into the Skeleton Bodyguards

This called out for some revenge.  A small fight quickly broke out at the entrance to the tower, on a small Island in the middle of the river. It took a while but I eventually managed to come out on top. I ended up stalled on the river bank with the rest of my Beastmen for a few turns though, allowing Dave's Marienburgers to creep closer and start taking pot shots at me. I decided that I did not fancy getting sandwiched in between two fresh enemy warbands and decided to get stuck into the Raiklanders.  A few charges later and my Beastmen had seen of Ian's warband as he elected to flee the field. 

Stuck in the middle between two warbands.

This left me Dave's Warband to deal with and he approached the back of the river and the two warbands formed a line and faced off against each other.  My Beastment have the longer move so I managed to get of the charge and inflicted some decent casualties, but not without taking a few of my own in return.  We were both on break point and it came down to Break tests.  Dave managed to pass his first ones, and then I managed to pass my first one, despite my Warband Chief being taken out of action.  In the final round of combat I managed to take most of the remaining members of Dave's band out of action, at which point he fled rather than stay and suffer any more casualties leaving the Beastment victorious!

Sneaky Humans!

One down, One to go!

Another excellent game, and I managed to pull of a victory, despite thinking that I was going to get stuffed, especially when there were two warbands closing in on me.  There were a few things that helped me.  All the archery in the game was pretty useless, with only 2 casualties in the whole game from shooting despite a lot of shots coming my way. Ian had it particularly hard, with his arrows hitting lots but failing to wound most of the time. My warband is getting pretty tough now and Strength 3 bows are becoming less of a worry for me.  Also both of opponents lined up nicely for me to get in some very nice charged.  My warband is very limited in scope, but when I get to charge home en mass they are pretty effective, as demonstrated by taking out two warbands in quick succession, thanks to some aggressive tactics.  

Stars of the show this time were the chaos hounds, who did a lot of damage to both opponents. Everything was not all roses though.  The Centigor must have spent at least a third of the game under the influence of alcohol, which is some achievement considering he only has a 1 in 6 chance of that happening.

Casualties were light, with one henchmen killed and one hero missing his next game due to a leg injury. The biggest setback was my leader was robbed of all his gear, which was a substantial amount, including a crucial item for the campaign!   On the plus side I had one Henchman promoted to Hero, bringing me up to the full complement of 6, and get all the loot from the tower, whatever that ends up being.

Another excellent game of Mordheim and I am really looking forward to game 6 of our campaign,which will hopefully be Late November/early December.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Stay on Target!

Ian and I have been trying to get in a game of X-Wing for about 2 months now, but real life just kept getting in the way.  This Monday we finally managed to get the game done!

We were playing a scenario where a force of Rebel fighters had to escort a shuttle on a diplomatic mission of the opposite board edge while the Imperial forces were doing their best to stop.  The only victory condition was the success or failure of the shuttle crossing the board.

On the Imperial side there were 6 Tie Fighters, including the main man himself Darth Vader.
The Rebel force consisted of 3 X-Wings and 1 Y Wing, with one of the X-Wings being piloted by Wedge Antilles and every ship containing a droid.

We tossed a coin for sides and I ended up as the Rebels.

The Dark Lord of the Sith himself

The shuttle did not move very quickly so it was going to be a hard slog across the board.  Early game was fairly inconlusive, with some pretty poor shooting from the Rebels and the Imperials content to strip the shields of the Rebel fighters and start chipping away at the shuttle.

Mid game and I started to lose some fighters, while my X-wings proved to be pretty ineffective.  Thanks goodness for the Y-Wing as the turret mounted Ion Cannon allowed it to shoot all round, while maintaining formation with the shuttle and it started to pick of the Tie Fighters.

End game and it went right down to the wire. I was down to my last two fighters but I was two moves away from getting the shuttle across the board.  Then Ian made a schoolboy error and turned Darth Vader the wrong way, leaving him out of arc to finish of the badly damaged shuttle as it tried to limp away.

The game really went down to the wire as Ian fired everything he could at the shuttle in the last turn, but he had no luck and the shuttle managed to escape on its diplomatic mission.

A great game and nice and close, which also makes for a more enjoyable evening.  X-Wing is an excellent game and it was enhanced by a nice interesting scenario that forced a few extra decisions from us both rather than how quickly can we eliminate our opponent.

Next week we are back to Mordheim, which I am really looking forward to.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Scottish Blokes with long pointy sticks

This weeks game was a wee bit different.

Dave Imrie (of Saxondog) and friends came through to give a run through and playtest of the new rules that they are working on, called Hollow Crown. They are supposed to recreate battles for the 14th century.

There were six players altogether and I was slightly late (as usual) so ended up on the Right flank of the Scots force, commanding two schiltrons, a unit of archers and some skirmishers. In a stroke of luck I managed to get a commander of excellent quality. which was to have pretty serious repercussions on the way my troops performed.  In the centre of our line was another schiltron, with a supporting unit (or Herces) of archers on either side, and then there was more of the same on our left flank.

facing us were a fair few numbers of English billmen and knights, all supported by more archer Herces.

We decided as I had the most able commander that our right flank would advance, while the centre held back slightly and the left stood and shot at any English that came near.

In the Hollow Crown rules schiltrons are quite difficult to move effectively but you are able to use your commander to mitigate this, which is what I spent most of the game doing.  This allowed me to advance in good order. In the meantime our centre shot the advancing English to ribbons and thing were looking good for us.  Unfortunately we discovered that in these rules Knights are very very tough, and the centre schiltron stumbled a bit when it engaged them in combat. It then got a very bloody nose when a supporting unit of Highlanders charged in.

While this was going on I had just about managed to close the distance to my opponents and finally managed to get a charge in against an English archer Herces, which had the desired effect and chased them of the board.

All in all it was a great night and the rules look like they are going to be good fun.  A nice blend of resource management and bucket of dice rolling.  Another advantage was getting to use Dave Imrie's beautifully painted miniatures, produced by his own Claymore Casting.  

I am quite keen to try these rules again as they were good fun.  I am also considering a Scots Army from Claymore Castings for next years project.  I haven't really decided but it is mostly an infantry army and I really hate painting horses so that is something in its favour.  So many periods and armies and so little time!

Next week Ian and I will (hopefully) be playing X-Wing. I say hopefully as so far this game has been cancelled and postponed 5 times. So far nothing has come up for either of us so I am hoping we get the game in.

Also this week my blog hit 1000 page views.   I am not sure who it is as I only have 6 followers, but someone must be having a look!  My page hits have increased since I posted links to some game reports on the Impetus forum.  I am not really very active on very many forums so dint really advertise very much so it is nice to real 1000 hits.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


And now, the gallery......



Heavy Infantry

The General with archer support

Heavy Infantry with archer support

Companion Cavalry

Heavy Cavalry

Heavy cavalry again

Companion Cavalry again
The Photos are pretty rubbish, but you get the idea.  All infantry are based on 2p peices and cavalry on 50mm bases, then tacked into sabots.  This is so they can do double duty for Saga or Dux Britaniarum.  I have a large number of models still to base up. Enough to make a full Late Roman Army. This will hopefully give me enough points to be able to vary teh army a wee bit so I can keep my opponents guessing.

Big men in Armour on Horses squish little men without Horses

Another Monday night, another practice game of Impetus.  This time it was Andy who wanted to polish up on his rules before the clubs tournament at the end of the month.

Same arrangement as last time. 300 points, one command.  

I used my Patrician Romans, with no changes and Andy bought his Early Feudal English.

His army had several units of Longbowmen, several units of knights, some light foot, some light cavalry and a large unit of heavy infantry.  

I won the roll off for deployment and forced Andy to deploy first.  He deployed with his archers on my right flank, with a unit of knights deployed behind each one, on opportunity.  His centre was more archers backed by knights, and his left were all his light troops.
The English right. Lots of Knights!

I answered by deploying my two large units of warband on my right flank, well away from his knights as they would be an easy target.  My heavy infantry with long spear and supporting archers held the centre and I out my three units of heavy horse on my left flank, on opportunity.

My tactics would be similar to last weeks games against the Normans.  Avoid fighting his knights for as long as possible, while trying to deal with the rest of his army. This should minimise the amount of knight units I should have to kill before he broke.  It seemed like a good plan at the time.

Early game seemed to go quite well. I advanced quickly on my right flank, while holding on my left.   Andy basically did the same, no doubt hoping that I would advance across the table allowing him to shoot at my troops before trampling them into the ground with his knights. 
The Roman left holds, while the centre advances.

The right flank advances.

Left flank holds.

I managed to remove two units of light foot fairly quickly and started chasing off his light cavalry before Andy decided to change tactics and come out to play with his knights.  His initial attacks were blunted but against his VBU7 I4 units it was only a matter of time.  The mid game consisted of me trying to actually do enough damage to his knights to break his army, but it was an uphill struggle to be honest.  On my right flank my Impetuous warband were trying to chase down his light cavalry, but were suffering very heavy casualties in the process.  

In the late stages of the game I was starting to run out of troops, but I had an opportunity to end the game after I had managed to eliminate a couple of units of his knights.  I had held all of my heavy cavalry in reserve, waiting for the right time to attack, and I launched them forward into one unit of Knights.  It is at this point in the game that it all went completely wrong.  While my infantry had done an excellent job the cavalry let me down badly, with first one and then a second bouncing of the single knight unit without managing to inflict enough casualties to break his army.  In the final turn of the game i managed to get a rear charge on a unit of knights and all I needed to do was cause him to fail a cohesion test by one point to lose the unit of knights, and then the game, but it was not to be, and I failed to do so on two attempts giving Andy a deserved victory.

A lengthy stalemate developed at this combat.

More flippin' knights!

We have them cornered now!

Brace for Impact!

Final fight of the game, and the Romans fluff it.
Another great game, with a narrow loss to my Romans. The only thing I would say is that I need to try and get some games in period.  My last game there were 600 years between the armies, and this time there were 800 years!  That is OK, but not really why I started playing Impetus, plus these periods seem to see the heavy knights dominating, and large parts of my army are a liability in these situations. If this persists I will need to have a re-think about army composition.

Another thing I have noticed is that my heavy cavalry persistently perform under par. My last game against Andy was also lost when the cavalry had a great chance to win a combat, with a serious advantage and they again fluffed it. I need to hurry up and get the rest of my Romans finished so that I have a bit more flexibility.