Monday, 29 December 2014

That was the year that was

Time for the almost obligatory roundup of the year. Seems to be a blogger tradition so here goes...

Gaming wise I managed a few games, but not as many as I would have liked. I probably played about 40 this year, split between a few key rule sets.  We concluded our Mordheim campaign, started Necromunda and I discovered the excellent Chain of Command rules from Toofat Lardies.  I also played a few games of Lord of the Rings and a few games of X-Wing, as well as a few games of Dux B. I don't remember playing much more than that really.  Interestingly I have not played a single game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle this year that I can remember, which is a change for me as it was my staple game for many a year. 

In terms of painting I managed to paint a few models, although I dont think I managed as many as last year.  This year I painted approximately:

50 Germans for Chain of Command
2 WW2 German Vehicles
4 Mordor Trolls
11 Models for Necromunda
a few Rogue Trader Orcs
2 Mantic modular Terrain buildings
some sci fi scatter terrain.
Some more dark Age buildings
Dark Ages livestock and some carts.

I dont recall painting much more than that, which is a pretty disappointing year painting wise. I have also been rebasing  my Lord of the Rings collection so that the sabot bases they are on are all the same size. I also did some sabot bases for Dux B.

Purchase wise there has been a few, most of which are now painted. I bought my WW2 Germans for Chain of Command, plus I managed ot put together a large force of Orks from the Rogue Trader days of 40k.  I also purchased the beginnings of an Eldar army fro Epic and got some very nice 6mm scale buildings from Kickstarter.

My biggest Hobby outlay this year has been Kickstarter.  Aliens vs Predator still hasn't delivered, mainly due to making a game from a very lucrative IP licence owned by a large corporation. I have high hopes that this will deliver in the early part of next year. In addition to this I also bought in to the second edition of Kings of War, but only for the rulebook. There are a lot of things I like about this ruleset and a few I dont, but these can easily be tweaked and will give me a set of rules to use my WHFB collection with.  The other big kickstartet investment this year has been Forward base by Antenociti's workshop. It was very well run and I fully expect that this will deliver in March as promised.  I also bought into Zealot Miniatures dungeon terrain for a small amount as it will help flesh out the terrain for Mantic's Dungeon Siege kickstarter, a very nice looking dungeon delver that has a basic ruleset that I can hopefully enjoy with the kids. The last Kickstarter of the year was an impulse purchase of an art book by the excellent Gary Chalk of Lone Wolf fame.  All in all I am expecting some rather exciting parcels to arrive in the next 12 months!

This year I only managed to attend three shows, Carronade, Claymore and Targe. All three were great fun and I even managed to pick up a trophy at Targe this year!

I think moving house and a few other work related issues has had a big dent in hobby activities this year, with 2015 looking to be much the same, what with all the planned work going on to the house. I am still hopeful of a good years gaming ahead though.

Looking towards next year and what it holds there will be the continuing Necromunda Campaign, as well as the conclusion of our Chain of Command campaign. There will also be a Dux B campaign kicking of in March.   I am also hoping to play a lot more games set in Middle Earth next year, as that has been neglected recently, especially the War of the Rings ruleset.  I would really like to take Helms Deep to a wargames show as out club display next year but as always I dont know if I will have the time for it.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Isen Fords, the second

The last Monday night of the year and I suggested that a game of Lord of the Rings was in order.  I haven't played much of that recent;y and perhaps the release of the last Hobbit movies has put it in my head to have a game.

Rory, Dave and Kenny all volunteered to have a go and I opted to have a bash at the Isen Fords. Rory wanted to have another try at the second battle, this time as the good guys. This suited me as upon opening the box I discovered that Erkenbrand's horse was broken, and as he fights on foot in the second battle we could use him in that one.

We tossed a coin and Rory and Dave ended up as the forces of evil, while Kenny and I took on the roles of the brave defenders of the Westfold.

The scenario is very simple.  There is a force defending the fords, and there is a chance from turn three onwards that mounted reinforcements will arrive.  The forces of Isengard, comprising of Uruk Hai, Dunlendings and a Troll (controversial!!!) are to attack the ford, with a flanking force of warg riders arriving anytime after turn 4.  The victory conditions are very simple, the forces of Isengard have to clear the ford by reducing the Rohan to under 25% of their starting strength by the end of turn 10.  Anything else is a win for Rohan.

Things started fairly slowly, with a slow advance from the evil side, while the Rohan stayed still to maximise their shooting. Shooting was fairly ineffective, apart from Kenny managing to take out most of the Uruk Hai beserkers before they hit our line.  In this scenario the river Isen is low and may be crossed at half speed, so the forces of evil waded across. The troll had the fastest movement and so made it across first. At the ford itself my forlorn hope got a good doing over by the Dunlendings as their superior numbers started to count.

Turn 3 and my cavalry arrived on the field. Hooray!  I withdrew from the fords and formed a line with my Royal Guard at the centre and started fishing about trying to find a brave soul to distract the troll.

Turn 4 the Wargs arrived (boo!) but they had very limited impact as they wandered on to the field right into the path of my cavalry.

By now battle was well and truly joined, with mounting casualties on both sides. The Warg Riders were dealt with, having virtually no impact on the game and we continued to feed the troll with one brave warrior of Rohan every turn.

By turn seven the Isengard force was broken and started to disapear. Turn 8 and the Rohan force was broken and started to disappear, albeit very slowly thanks to some very lucky die rolls and Erkenbrand's high courage value.   It all came down to courage rolls in the end and I was very lucky, with 14 Rohan left on the board at the end of turn 10. A victory for the Rohan, but a very close one though!

A very enjoyable end to the years gaming, although the Rohan were very lucky.  They managed to win eight out of the ten priority rolls and most of the roll off (thanks Rory!).

I have not played much Lord of the Rings this year and it is one of the things that I intend to remedy in 2015. I suspect that the game will go the way of the Dodo after the last movie has faded from memory so there may be a shopping spree in January as well, to make sure I get the last few bits I am after.    no more gaming for the rest of the year as that is the club closed for Christmas, but there will be the obligatory round up of the years gaming activities to come in the next week or so.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Eldar prove to be a Pain

The penultimate game of 2014 saw round three of the clubs Necromunda campaign, with me having choice of scenario due to my victory in round two.

Participants for round three were:

Rory and his Redemptionists
Dave and his Goliaths
Ian and his Eschers
John and his Craftworld Eldar
My Cawdor gang.
The table just before we started.

Stuck in the corner. I never managed to advance much further than this!

As the club forum is currently down we did not have access to the campaign ladder that Rory had put up, and a lot of the scenarios were unsuitable for a 5 way game so we opted to play a gang fight.

We rolled randomly for deployment and I ended up sandwiched in a corner with John Eldar to my right and Ian's Eschers to my left. There was very little cover as well.  John wont the roll off for first turn and advanced towards my corner, with me going after him.  The game started well for me as I managed to down one of his Eldar and take another one out of action, while elsewhere on the board Dave decided that a headlong rush was a good tactic and tried it on Ian, with mixed success.  Rory was a bit isolated in his part of the board and started to advance towards the Eldar and Ian's Escher.

Turn two saw a couple of Eldar Guardians poke their head round the corner of a building and put two of my gangers down, while I incinerated one with a Melta Gun for his trouble.  Elsewhere on the table there was an almighty gunfight happening between Ian and Dave, with Dave starting to come off slightly worse, while Rory exchanged fire with some Eldar scouts.

Turn three and John's guardians put down another two of my gangers, at which point I decided I was on a hiding to nothing.  I had moved my gang about 3 inched in total, with basically no where to move unless I go through the Eldar, two of which had managed to put nearly half of my gang down in two rounds of shooting.  I called it a day at that and retired, slightly miffed at the whole affair.

bloomin' Eldar...grumble grumble

Dave was next to go, thanks to casualties, leaving Rory and Ian to contest the spoils, which Ian eventually won when Rory decided enough was enough.

Another miserable experience being completely outgunned by the Eldar, although a consolation was that I managed to actually kill one outright. Eldar are unable to replace casualties easily so that is a bonus for the future campaign for everyone.  I also managed to get a boatload if experience for fighting against a much more powerful gang and some advances. My gang is now starting to look like it has a close combat bias and would certainly do well in Mordheim!  Unfortunately this is Necromunda so I am not sure how much use these advances are going to be.

One thing about Necromunda is the amount of time and effort that it takes to put the table together, with 4 people all putting terrain together and laying out barricades etc. It makes for a very collaborative experience!

In other news our Chain of Command has moved on, with my German Platoon getting ready to make the assault on the French defended Baincthun bridge, after the other Platoon commanders fluffed their assaults (if you want something done!).  Unfortunately the French commander decided to give ground and withdrew. This would give him time to recover some men to his depleted platoon. This means that the way is clear for the German assault on Mont Lambert, which we are planning on playing in the new year as a big Cain of Command game. We should have enough models as there are already three Germans Platoons available for this and while there are only two French Platoons the casualties on the French side have been quite heavy so there should be enough models on their side as well.  Looking to concluding a fun campaign and trying a big Chain of Command game.