Thursday, 30 January 2014

Durin's Bane

Just a quickie to test the Blogger app on my phone.  A hastily taken piccie of my latest, the Balrog from the LoTR movies.   I think the movie got the Balrog wrong, but it is still a lovely model and it was interesting to try and paint something that was more of an 'effect' than a normal animal or person. Flame is a difficult thing to do and after doing that I spent very little time on the rest of the model, as there was not much point.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

And now.....The Gallery

Some Grand Manner Darg Ages buildings I bought as a birthday present to myself last October. I have been slowly painting them up over christmas.  Rubbish Photos AGAIN!

Chain of Disaster!

Every so often you have one of those nights when things just go wrong.  it happens to me very once in a while. That last time was playing Lord of the Rings against Ian, using the White Rider scenario. That debacle is detailed in an earlier entry on this very Blog.

Well it happened again this Monday.

Just before Christmas I had arranged to have a bash at Chain of Command, the WW2 ruleset from Too Fat Lardies.  I don't normally play that period as it is still in living memory, if you get my meaning, but I am a big fan of Dux Britaniarum so thought I would give them a bash.  Unfortunately I had to call off that game so we had rescheduled it for Monday night.

We ended up playing a meeting engagement, where two opposing platoons are to sweep an area and engage any enemy that they encountered.  Ian ended up playing the British and I took the Germans. 

I had three sections, each comprising of a rifle section of 6 men, and Machine Gun team of three men, accompanied by a Junior officer. Leading this lot was a German Senior Officer.

The British force was much the same, except it also included a light mortar and en extra senior officer, both of which were to have a serious impact on the game.

Chain of Command has a 'Patrol Phase' before the game starts, and this is where you try and outfox your opponent and get yourself and advantage in the game deployment. This results in you having 4 'jump off points' on the board that represent areas where there might potentially be troops, but it is up to you to decide which of these points your troops should be deployed from. I found this a bit confusing and only really understood it towards the end.

Ian one the initiative and got first go, bringing on a Bren gun team  in some woods in the middle of the board. I deployed a full section on my left flank, in the hope of covering the road with the machine gun and advancing with the rifle section.  

In Chain of Command you roll command dice each phase to determine what you can do with your troops. The number on the die dictates what you are allowed to activate. It is similar to other Lardy game except using dice instead of cards.  When you roll the dice if you get a double six you get to retain the initiative and have another go straight away.  Ian managed to do this with alarming regularity in the early game, which allowed him to push his troops forward and effectively pin all my German troop in place. This pretty much set the tone for the game and I never really managed to salvage anything from there.

To add insult to injury all of my commanders must have been having an off day as every time you suffer a casualty there is a small chance that one of your junior officers will get hit. This seemed to happen a lot and I was starting to run out of commanders by the end stages of the game, while Iain had an extra Senior Commander to help his force along. 

To cut a long story short I was seriously outclassed and had pretty much given up by 9:30, and we packed up at 10:30.  I must confess to being a bit frustrated by the whole affair as it seemed I was doomed pretty much by the way the die went, and there was not much I could do about it.

It looked like a good game, but I would need to play it a bit more, under more favourable circumstances to form a proper opinion, as I basically spent most of the night receiving and then trying to remove shock counters and not much else.  The rules apparently reward proper WW2 tactics, but as i am not really a history buff I cannot really comment on that.  SO in a nutshell, they have potential but they were not exactly tested under ideal conditions. I will try and arrange a rematch for February.

I also did not take too many photos as I was too busy trying to keep up with the rules.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

And now...The Gallery. Jan 2014

Photos of my completed Late Roman Army for Impetus, along with Hairy allies. Entire army is from Musketeer Miniatures, with bases from Warbases and Transfers from Little Big Man Studios.

Apologies for the terrible photos.

First of the Year

My first game of 2014 was to be a game of Impetus.  Dax had arranged a sort of"boot camp," where he would set up several tables and supply armies for people that have never played the game before to have a go. I decided to join in but brought along my recently completed Late Roman army.
The point were 350, which was more  that we usually use.

I managed to squeeze in:

4 Units of Heavy Infantry with Archer support
2 Units of Lanciarii skirmishers
2 Units of Light Horse (One with Javelins and one with Bows)
2 Units of Medium Cavalry
1 Unit of Cataphracts
1 Unit of Clibinarii

I ended up fighting against Andy, who instead of using his Teutonic knight types was borrowing Dax's Alexander era Macedonians.  His army consisted of:

3 large pike blocks, each consisting of three units.
2 units of Light Foot
5 Units of skirmishers, each armed with various missile weapons
2 Units of Heavy Cavalry, roughly equal in quality to my own Cataphract.

My plan was to set up all my infantry on one flank and try and hold his pike blocks in place, while my numerically superior cavalry duffed in one flank and then turned on to the flanks of all the pike blocks.  It turns out the enemy commander was Alexander himself and was genius level. Basically all of Andy;'s troops were very very reliable and I did not manage to win an initiative roll for the entire game.

My Left Flank

My Right Flank

Mid Game and the pikes are closing in.

Cavalry try to turn the flank.
Early game I managed a few successes, with my two units of light cavalry managing to eliminate a base of light foot, and some good shooting from skirmishers.  Eventually though the pike blocks made contact and I was expecting the worst. However I was reasonably lucky and managed to weather the pike blocks, even managing to eliminate one in the later stages of the game!

My stalwart Roman Infantry save the day (again).

My cavalry make an arse of things.

How to trap a big pike block with some skirmishers.

Desperately trying to finish of Alexander!

My cavalry on the right managed to make a right hash of things. I had a fairly impressive advantage but all my heavy cavalry kept missing their attacks, or Andy managed to pass his cohesion tests. Numbers tell though and I was managing to make some headway, albeit costly and slow.  

Towards the tail end of the game I actually managed to defeat on the pike block and managed to reduce Andy to almost his army break point, while having a healthy margin left on my own. Unfortunately it was business as usual and my cavalry fluffed all their attacks and cohesion tests and what was looking like a good chance of victory in mid game turned into a desperate hunt for a draw. My cavalry let me down and once again ti was down to my heavy infantry to come through with the goods and break Andy's army, leaving me with a hard fought draw.

In the end it was once again my infantry that one the day, with my cavalry punching well below their weight.  It was another really enjoyable game and a fine start to the years gaming. It was very interesting using cavalry that were not all Impetuous and I had never used Light Cavalry before (it showed), and I looking forward to getting in a few more games.  I definitely need to get some Dice of Destiny though as there were a fair few annoying Cohesion test roles on both sides that I would have loved to have altered.

Once again apologies for the terrible photos.

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Happy New Year

So 2014 rolls in and I quite glad to see the back of 2013, for various reasons that are not related to toy soldiers.

Looking ahead to gaming and painting in 2014 I seem to be looking at a bit of an odd year.

Painting wise I am looking at painting quite a lot of terrain, including finishing of my Dark Ages buildings from Grand Manner, building the walls to Balins Tomb and finally building the Amon Hen kit I bought at salute aboute seven years ago.  That will probably fill up the first half of my year.

I am also looking at doing some repair work.  My Lord of the Rings collections is a little bit worse for wear and could do with some TLC.  There are a lot of broken horses, spears and pikes that all need repaired, not to mention a large volume of sabot bases that need finished of. I ordered a large quantity of War of the Ring style sabots from Warbases when the game was first released but at some point he changed the dimensions of the bases so I will need to get a custom order of bases done at some point.  I also need to do some repair work on my recently completed Romans and Saxons. It seems that a spear falls of one of my Saxons every time I look at them, and one of the boxes of Romans had an accident and requires some work.
Apart from that I don't appear to have any plans. My Romans are all finished (for Impetus use anyway) and I can't see myself purchasing any more WHFB models (although you never know!).
I still have my sight set on a 15mm army for use in FOG but I seem to be unable to make any final choices about what to do so that has stalled a wee bit.  My Aliens vs Predator kickstarter will hopefully land in May and that will be a substantial set of models that will need painted so that will probably take up a good part of my painting year.  
I also always seem to keep going back to the Warlord Games Engoish Civil War Range, as ther are some very nice miniatures that I think would look very nice on the gaming table.

From a gaming point of view again there are no concrete plans.   Play some of everything really.  Top of my playing lists at the moment are Impetus, Lord of the Rings and Mordheim. Apart from that I am pretty open.  I am going to give Chain of Command a bash in January and am also looking inot teh Beta version of Koncordia from the same people that wrote Impetus.  The rules look quite interesting and will give me an excuse to dust of some of the old sci-fi miniatures that are in the loft. I would also like to play some more Dux Brittaniarum and some Saga.  I have both sets of rules but dont seem to use either as often as I would like to.

The other rule set that I would dearly like to get back into is Epic Armageddon. It is my favorite sci-fi ruleset and seems to do a much better job of recreating warfare in the 41st Millenium than 40k does. Unfortunately in a fit of madness when the game was first published I gave away two of my three epic armies (Marines and Eldar) to other club members in order to stoke the fires of the game. Unfortunately both of these people have since pretty much left the club, and with the Epic lne being discontinued by GW I am left with a rather large Imperial Guard army and on one to fight against. A very sad state of affairs.

The other thing I would like to do this year is get a bit more involved with the club.  It is an excellent club and we have done some great stuff in the past year, but I seem to manage to miss most of them. I missed the Longstreet campaign, which seems to have swallowed up half the club and looks like it is great fun. I suppose part of the problem is that model wise my collection has a very narrow focus, which can make playing other periods a bit tricky. I think I will need to start leaving some Monday nights free and just wandering in and seeing if I can join a game.   In 2012 I made a point of trying get at least one game in with every member of the club, which I really enjoyed doing. Perhaps I will make that my gaming goal for 2014.