Tuesday, 12 January 2016

July 565AD, Part 2

Another game of Dux B, and another raid on the beleaguered of Alt Clut, this time by some Scotti.
Having heard that there were no cattle left in the kingdom they had obviously decided to try something else and were raiding a church instead.

The church in question was half way up the table on the left hand side, while the British would appearing on the opposite side of the table form the church. The Scotti got 2 turns of movement before the British arrived, but this was reduced to 1 by the recently constructed watchtowers.

Smelly Scotti

Valiant and Brave British

Early game was quite quiet, with the Raiders advancing up the board towards the church, while the British swung their infantry wound behind the Scotti to cut of their escape, while the cavalry headed up the board to deal with the mounted Scotti.

Lots of smelly Scotti
The Scotti decided to send their Skirmishers to look for the loot in the church, but they were obviously not to happy at this as their dice rolls for movement were pretty rubbish. The main band of raiders on foot advanced towards the church, keeping one eye on the British to their right and rear.

British Shock cavalry try to get their chance

Missed it! Now done over by Scotti cavalry

At the top of the table the cavalry were also squaring off. My shock cavalry have to get the charge to be any good and the combination of movement roles always seemed to put them too far away to get a decent chance of contacting the enemy cavalry.  Ian managed to position his cavalry on my flank and then it all came down to whose cavalry got to activate first, and of course it was the Scotti, who assaulted my first unit of Shock Cavalry with  his Noble Raiders, accompanied with his general in a chariot.  I came out of it badly losing half the force and the rest retiring due to excess shock, but at least my Elite Shock cavalry had a chance to do something now.

More valiant and brave British
In the middle of the field not much was happening. The Scotti skirmishers were making some half hearted efforts to find the treasure, while the Raider infantry just milled around in the middle of the board waiting for something to happen. The rest of the British infantry had all joined up into one large Shieldwall and were manoeuvring into a position to cut of the Scotti escape.  I finally got the chance to charge into the Scotti cavalry with my Elite shock cavalry, but unfortunately I had to cross a wall, which unhorsed half of them.  Not to worry, they get double dice on the charge.  Which apparently means that you will get twice as many misses, and in two rounds of combat my elites managed to miss with every attack (that's about 12 dice, none rolling above 4) and were wiped out for their trouble.
With the British cavalry all but eliminated attention was drawn to the centre of the battle, where the Scotti gave up looking for loot and came out to fight.  There was a large Mexican stand-off in the middle of the board as the Raiders appeared reluctant to engage the British Shieldwall. 


Stop hanging about and get on with it!

After some goading Ian finally had a go, and after some fighting there was no clear winner. there were no British casualties thanks to Shieldwall, but a lot of shock, while there was quite a bit of shock and some casualties on the Scotti side.
Meanwhile my remaining cavalry had transferred to the other side of the table and were ready to charge into the flanks of the Raiders line, hopefully putting one of their bands out of the game, but shock horror the dice roll came up short by an inch, leaving them stranded in front of a big pile of angry barbarians!  True to form the first counter from the bag in the next turn was the Noble in charge of the Raiders, who charged and wiped out the remaining cavalry.

First engagement.
There were a few more rounds of combat, with the Shieldwall accumulating huge amounts of shock, but no casualties, while the Raiders suffered casualties and shock, before the raider cavalry were finally finished off, leaving the Scotti Raiders with a Force Moral of 1 and a few groups close to routing. Annoyingly we ran out of time and had to call the game there.
The final result was a +3 victory to the British, with light losses on either side.  I used the funds from this success to promote my Lord to a Legatus as well.
An interesting game, if extremely frustrating with a lot of key points being decided purely by whomever got the command chit from the bag first, which can be very frustrating.  There was also a fair amount of head scratching about the rules as there are some things that didn't make any sense to us.  I understand the need for a command card for skirmishers and cavalry, but if the have an attached noble why not just let them activate when the noble does? It would solve a great deal of problems with suited cards etc. I may try that as a house rule during a later game and see how it goes. I suspect it will make the game a lot more straightforward, while making cavalry  slightly less powerful due to less ability to remove shock.
I still enjoy the game (sort off) but am finding the random element a bit annoying. There were some turns where almost the entire Scotti force had activated before the British got to do anything, and while this is an extreme example it can be very annoying.
I am also really struggling with the British Shock cavalry. They are quite powerful but extremely limited as the movement rate of cavalry is pretty variable, making it hard to plan for them and if they don't get the charge then they are pretty much useless. In all my games so far they have just been a liability as I would have been better served having them on foot instead.  That would certainly have been the case here, as the extra staying power in the Shieldwall would have been useful.  Perhaps if I ever get to the stage where I accumulate some extra troops I may swap them out. They may be useful in a few scenarios, but for now I think I will start leaving the horses at home.

Monday, 4 January 2016

First of the Year

As it seems customary, here are my first painted miniatures of the year...

Really rubbish photo I'm afraid. Frostgrave Illusionist and apprentice, along with a random Hasslefree miniature that has been kicking about on the painting table for an age.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Looking Back

Its almost obligatory to do a blog entry that looks back on the years gaming activity, so here are my reflections of 2015's gaming. 

I will try and break this down into manageable chunks;

In terms of actual games played I did not stray much from my regular Monday night game at Falkirk District Wargames Club.  It is a vibrant club that plays a wide range of games.

By the time you allow for illness and family Holidays etc. I have probably played about 40 or so games this year, but over a wider variety than I would normally do.  Roughly speaking I have played this year:

Sword and Spear
Chain of Command
Dux Britaniarum
Kings of War
Dungeon Saga
Lord of the Rings
Warhammer Fantasy Battle 3rd Edition
Epic Armageddon
Field of Glory.

Fantasy and Sci-Fi still makes up the majority of my gaming, but I think that is largely due to the amount of work involved in putting together a Historical force. I still have my eye on a 15mm Arab type army from the crusades, but have no idea when I will ever get round to it.

I also managed to squeeze in a couple of Board games, playing Pandemic, Forbidden Island and Dungeon Saga.

I quite enjoyed playing a lot of different games but sometimes felt that I was constantly trying to remember rules, which can be frustrating. I feel that games are at their most enjoyable when you know the rules well enough to concentrate on playing the game. 

There have been a few campaigns as well this year, and I participated in a Necromunda, 2 Chain of Command, Dux B and started a fledgling Frostgrave campaign.  This is a good this as campaign are by far my favourite way to play and I am looking forward to joining in a few more in 2016. 

Chain of Command remains probably my favourite game, alongside Epic and Mordheim.  I also enjoyed the few games of Malifaux I played and will look forward to spending a bit more time on that in 2016.

Painting wise this was also a bumper year.  I have no idea exactly how many models I painted but it felt like quite a few. Of the top of my head;

WW2 Germans
About 15 Malifaux Models
About 20 Frostgrave models
40 or so Haradrim Infantry
24 Haradrim Cavalry
2 Oliphants
About 15 or so Goblins fro Otherworld
Otherworld Ogres and Giant
Frostgrave Terrain

I also painted a few models for display only, which was great fun.  This year I also moved over to using a wet palette and to be honest I don't know why I didn't do that years ago as it makes painting a lot easier.  I also discovered my new favourite paints this year as well, from Scale75. They cover extremely well, are great to work with and dry super matte. I have been gradually buying up sets of them and will be phasing out my existing paints as they run out.

It is purchasing that has been the biggest problem. This year the brakes really came off and I went a bit mad. I usually buy for next years big project, with a few smaller distraction on the side to keep things interesting, but this year I seem to have bought enough for about 5 big projects.  This was also the year for kickstarter, with a couple of big ones getting delivered and one other large one due in March.   

In addition to this I purchased an Epic Eldar and Epic Marine army from E-bay, and a Rogue Trader Ork army to use for 2nd edition 40k, so there will be lots to do.

Looking forward to 2016 is looking like a busy year.

I will need to make a decision on a large paiting project, which is looking like it will be Aliens vs Predator. The first batch was delivered just before Christmas and the rest is due in March. I also have the Antenociti Workshop Forward Base Kickstarter to paint and build as well, also purchased with Aliens vs Predator in mind. On top of that I will continue to push ahead with my Fantasy collection, which will get used for both Frostgrave and Otherworld Skirmish.  I have an idea in my head for a series of linked games of  Otherworld Skirmish but will need to paint some more Goblins, and the Westfalia Halfmen when they arrive in March.

In terms of games I want to play, there is a Chain of Command campaign and a Dux B campaign to finish off, plus no doubt some Frostgrave to play as well.  I would like to keep playing some more Epic, and Lord of the Rings, perhaps expanding to the War of the Rings ruleset so I can get all the toys on the table at once. 

The biggest things hobby wise this year seems to have been Frostgrave, which everyone seems to have gone mad for. There are some very creative and inspirational warband being created for this, as it seems to really capture peoples imaginations.  The other big news for me personally was the announced return of Games Workshops Specialist games division. As the only GW game that I actually still like are all specialist games (Epic, Mordheim) plus its continued support for Lord of the Rings has got me very excited.