Monday, 9 July 2018

Mid Year

July already!  How did that happen?

So as we are half way through the year I thought it was about time to have a quick look back at the year so far, and cast a few thoughts on the year ahead.

Gaming wise the year has been about average. I don't record the amount or type of games that I play, so cant really be very precise on this. It feels like I have been playing the same amount of games as usual though, although what I have been playing has been slightly different.

We have playing a Lord of the Rings Battle Companies campaign, and we area about 9 games in now,  I opted for Warg Riders as we needed an evil force to even things out and I had enough of them that I wouldn't need to do any painting.  They started out pretty weak, largely due to poor numbers but are starting to come into their own now as more and more of the wargs are turned into proper cavalry.

I played in a tournament!  I am a big fan of the Kings of War rules from Mantic. it is a great replacement for WHFB.  I am always up for a game and another club member has been talking me into playing. After an initial surge of interest in the game at the club it seemed to have hit s bit of slump, so entering the tournament was a way of getting some games in. After an enjoyable days gaming I even managed a third place, as well as picking up the best army award which was a nice end to the day.  Between jobs, a wife and two kids I really struggle to find the time to get away for a full days gaming, but I will probably make an attempt to attend the next one in October.

Go me!

I have also managed to play a few games of Art De la Guerre, the ancients rules.  They have been the preferred set among the competition gamers after the demise of Field of Glory.  I have a half painted arab army that will probably be finished nearly next year (maybe) and am looking forward to giving that a few more tries.  I managed to try the Strongsword rules, from Westfalia and they seemed to be quite playable.

In general though I have struggled to get games for the rules that I am interested in. I haven't managed to get much interest in Kings of War, Conan boardgame, AVP or Shadespire. I had great hopes of Shadespire but have failed to drum up much interest in it, which is a shame as it is a great game.

Another thing I have been doing is reviewing my collection and deciding what I want to keep and what I could probably get rid of. I have some stuff that hasn't been out of the box for years.

So far I have been sorting into "keep", "maybe keep" and "get rid off".  

So far the keep pile consists of:

My Dark Elves (or Twilight Kin as they are known in Kings of War)
All my Lord of the Rings (It's Lord of the Rings!)
All my Fantasy Skirmish miniatures (for Mordheim, Storngsword, Otherworld Miniatures game)
AVP  ( I like the IP a lot and the models are lovely. I don't get to play but like the models and enjoy painting them)
Conan (great boardgame).
Late Romans (will probably rebase for ADLG)
WW2 Germans (Chain of Command is a great game!)
Shadespire (still a great game and I will keep pushing)
Epic (another great game).
40k Genestealer Cults

Maybe Keep:

My old WHFB Orc and Goblin army. It hasn't been out of the box in a long time, and is now teetering on the edge of the sale pile.
Malifaux ( I enjoyed painting them but there doesn't seem to be any appetite for it any more).
Rogue Trader Orks (I have collected a large amount of older GW Orks to use with 40k 2nd edition, but again I'm not sure how much use I'll get out of them so selling them on is a possibility)


Void 1.1 (I haven't played this in a loooong time so will see about getting rid of them)
Urban War (I still have Koralon and Gladiators for this, but there doesn't seem to be much appetite for it so away it goes).
Warmaster (Chaos army is already away, but there is still a large Dwarf army to sell)
Full Thrust (I still have a couple of fleets to sell. I got rid of all the books last year)
Space Hulk (I have the 1st edition, plus the Death Wing and Genestealer supplements so should get a decent amount for them).

I am still in the process of selling a lot of my older models and that will continue for a while yet. I sold a big pile of books last year but the models take much more effort to sell.

Too much stuff.

Looking ahead there are a few things coming up that I am interested in.  Age of Sigmar 2 from Games Workshop has just been released and it is looking very pretty. The new models are great (especially the ghosts) and the new endless spells look like great fun. There is no real appetite for it at our club though so I have resisted it so far.

There is a new Lord of the Rings ruleset imminent. GW have reviewed the game and relabelled as Middle Earth Battle Game, so hopefully this will be the ultimate edition. If it looks any good I will pick up a copy.  Most of my visits to Middle Earth are scenario, narrative based gaming though so I don't really feel any pressure to pick it up.  I skipped the Hobbit rules, probably due to a vague sense of disgust as the movies were so terrible but might pick this up.

40K Kill Team. Warhammer 40k has a severe case of bloat these days. With entire armies of knights and superheavies possible it is all a bit much to put on one table.  Kill Team may be the solution, with only about 10 models a side on a small table. I would still like something a bit larger (perhaps 40-50 models a side with a couple of vehicles) but it could be fun to play this small.

Adeptus Titanicus:  40k in a decent scale.  The cost is likely to make me want to cry and but I am following it with interest.  I love the models and the rules look interesting.

Giant Robots!

I am also looking to the 40k codex for the Genestealer cults (GSC). I love the models and have amassed a load of them before 8th dropped. I haven't touched them yet but will follow the new codex with interest. Some new Cult models were accidentally leaked by GW recently and they are very nice. I like the GSC as the faction does not suffer from he bloat of the older races as GW have tried to shoehorn more and more models into the range in an effort to get more money form those people that play those races.


These new games have all caught my interest this year, but as usual will depend on whether or not I can get anyone to play them!  There are a couple of people in the club who already play 40k so should be able to get games of that, and Kill Team should be ok. Adeptus Titanicus may be a hard sale though!  I may end up buying a little bit of everything, just to paint as at the end of the day I spend far more time painting miniatures than gaming with them.

I am going to try and get a few more games of Otherworld Skirmish in as well. There are a couple of people who may be interested in giving it another bash, and I have a large collection of fantasy miniatures painted that need using from something.

Painting wise I am just planning on just enjoying myself this year. I spent the first part of the year working my way through all the Shadespire expansion, a big pile of 15mm cavalry and some new units for my Kings of War Twilight Kin.  I am probably going to spend the rest of the year painting one-off models that have caught my eye. At the moment I am painting some fantasy models from the excellent Westfalia and Hasslefree ranges, as well as working on some terrain.  I may paint some Predators and at some point in the future feel the need to paint up a 40k Kill Team as well, but at the moment I am painting for the sheer pleasure of it.

I may even update he blog again at some point!

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

Random Kings of War

Another Monday night and another games of Kings of War.

This week Ian and I opted to use the Clash of Kings 2018 supplement, and also the random cards that were released alongside. We used the 2k points, with my usual Twilight Kin, while Ian brought his Ogres. Ian was hot of a tournament at Common Ground Games so I expected a difficult night.

My list was fairly standard fir, consisting of:

Horde of Crossbows, Peircing 1
2 Regiments of Reaper Guard
2 Bolt Throwers
Regiment of Blade Dancers with Ram of always wound on a 4+
Troop of Blade Dancers
2 Troops of gargoyles.
Regiment of Dark Knights with Maccwars Caterpillar
Horde of Abyssal Riders
Banner bearer with Bloodboil
High Priestess with Inspiring
Minor Noble.

I had ditched the usual spearmen as I find them pretty lackluster, and didn't really expect to be facing any cavalry anyway. For this evening a single unit of Corsairs would be doing double duty as Reaper Guard.

Ian fielded the following:

2 Hordes of Berserker Braves
2 regiments of Berserker Braves
2 Hordes of Braves
1 Giant
2 Mounted Biggits (one with Lightning bolt, one with dragon breath)
1 Boomer Hero with Bloodboil
2 Wizards, one with Griffon Banner.

We used the new random cards, and this entails drawing random objectives for each player, one set of conditions for the game, and 1 stratagem card for each 500 points.

The condition we drew was poor scouting, meaning that the armies only had ot deploy 9" from the center line, rather than the usual 12". useful for Ian's Ogres as he was keen to get stuck in as soon as possible.  

The objective cards each have a major and minor objective on them  and you draw two at the start of the game.  You pick one card to be your major objective and reveal that to your opponent, and select the other card to use as you secondary objective, which is revealed at the start of turn 4.  

My objective were quite good, and worked well with each other. My major objective was to rout the three most expensive units in the Ogre army, with bonuses if I managed to do it in melee. the three most expensive usint were the 2 hordes of Berserker Braves and the giant. My secondary objective was to select the most expensive unit remaining on the board and if I managed to rout that it would be worth an additional 2 victory points. These two objectives had quite good synergy and meant I could concentrate on routing ogres, rather than any positioning shenanigans.

Ian primary objective was to capture the objective in my side of the table, with bonus points for capturing the central objectives, while his secondary objective was about killing as many points of my army as possible while losing as few of his.

My deployment was fairly straight forward, with the Crossbows, flanked by the two regiments of the reaper guard covering the open ground in the center of the board, while I put my faster units on my right flank.  Ian deployed almost his entire army on his left flank, ready to burst through the trees and start routing my Twilight Kin.

Early game and the Ogres advanced quickly, trying to close the ground with my nervous looking troops.  I decided to just get stuck in and advanced straight at my opponent, with my knights charging and doing a lot of damage to the giant, and the Abyssal Riders routing a suicidal Biggit that had approached too close. 

Ian retaliated by routing my knights ad advancing with the rest of his forces. turn two and I got stuck in routing, routing several units, with the Abyssal Riders managing to get two of them, thanks to using the "Unstoppable Charge" Strategem card.

Mid game and the Ogres were starting to look a bit thin on teh ground, with the elves giving a good account of themselves. the Blade Dancers accounted for two ogre regiments, before they themselves were routed, while the lone Elven hero decided to try and take out the badly wounded Giant.  He failed his first attempt, but miraculously the giant fluffed his return attacks, giving him a second chance. Despite some good hits he didn't manage it and was squashed flat fro his lack of performance.

Late game and things started to unravel for the Ogres, withe the crossbows finishing off the giant, and the two units of Reaper Guard routing one of the two remaining Ogre Brave Hordes. The other Ogre Horde had managed to get around my flank and had been tackling my bolt throwers, but by this time I had scored all the victory points I could and was going to comfortably deny the ogres any of their objectives so I wasn't too bothered.  We called it at the end of turn 5 as there weren't enough Ogres left on the board to achieve anything.

Everything went quite well this time round, with my dice all behaving themselves and rolling pretty well. Ian had a pretty poor night, with some atrocious dice rolls.  I managed to get the momentum on my army early on and kept it, which seemed to be the way to succeed at Kings of War.

The different cards were interesting and I quite liked having asymmetrical objectives in the game. The stratagems were also interesting but the only one that made any real difference was the "Unstoppable Charge" one, which allowed me to rout two enemy units in one turn.

I still consider myself a novice at Kings of War, with only about a dozen games under my belt but I am still enjoying the game and think there is a large amount of traction left in it yet, especially with the cards generating random scenarios and the annual refresh from the Clash of Kings book.  I just wish they would get on and sort out the Twilight Kin to a full list so I can see what to paint next.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

More Epic

Third game of the year, and another game of Epic.

Mark and I have been talking about getting in a game of Epic for a very long time, and we finally managed it.

I stuck with my Guard, while Mark brought the "13th Legion" list, which I had never heard of or seen in action.  We had previously agreed to play without any flyers, and as such I had some extra points to spend.  After some thought I added in a Super Heavy Tank Company, consisting of 2 Shadowswords and Baneblade.  I thought some added anti-titan firepower would be useful ,and if nothing else they could be used for picking of Land Raiders that I know Mark is quite fond of.

Mark's force consisted of lots of Infantry detachments, some of which were mechanized in a combination of Rhinos and Land Raiders.

Deployment was fairly standard, with the Chaos Marine spread evenly across the board, and the guard doing something similar.

First turn and against all the odds the Guard managed to get imitative!  Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth I activated the Super Heavies and used them to vaporize two Land Raiders, killing the troops inside and breaking the formation. Not a bad start.

That set the tone for the game, with my Guard performing quite well and only failing a couple of activation tests throughout the game.  Mark had some terrible luck with some poor saving throws and unlucky activation rolls.

We managed to play three turns, with me able to force the Chaos Right Flank and break through to the their back field, and Mark able to push on his right flank and get some serious gains.  In the end we ran out of time and had to call it a night.  The final score was something like 1-0 to the Guard on objectives, but as you would usually play a fourth turn and it looked like the game could easily go either way we decided to call it a draw.

Another excellent game of Epic, and against a new opponent, fielding an army that I had never played against as well. Also, my lone Sentinal Ace, Geoff, once again was the soul survivor from the Sentinal Squadron. Gonna get that man  a medal.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

An Epic return

2nd Game of the year, plus 2nd Blog Post.

Ric and i had arranged to play this game before the new year, as generally that is how far we need to plan ahead to get a game in.

This time it was 3000 points Epic, Standard tournament game, Imperial Guard vs Eldar.

The table

Guard mustering for war

Eldar, lots of tanks

I opted for my fairly standard guard list, with a mixture of infantry, tanks and a few pieces of artillery.  Ric opted for a very tank heavy list, with everything mechanised apart from a few scouts.

This game was defined by two things:

  • The Guard won initiative, every turn.
  • Poor Activation and Rallying Roles.

We played three turns, and my Guard won initiative every turn.  That has never happened. I cant remember the last time I had the initiative in a game of Epic, mainly due to the poor strategy rating of guard against the much better ratings of Eldar and Marines. 

Poor Activation roles was a serious issue in this game, especially for myself. My poor old tank company never managed to fire a single shot all game, failing its first activation, then the Eldar managing to get past their supposedly impregnable armour  and kill enough tanks to break the company.  
Loads of tricksy Eldar Tanks.  Too many for my liking!

Guard Infantry in a sticky Situation

Rallying was poor on both sides, with one Eldar tank formation broken on the first activation of the game (Artillary for the win!) and never managing to rally for the whole game. 

Activation continued to be poor on both side, with my guard especially suffering an annoyingly large (even for me!) number of ones.  In turn three we both managed to fail at least 50% of our activation tests, leading to a lot of frustration.

The final act of the game was a failed activation test on a group of Eldar Vypers, which broke the formation and forced them to withdraw, which actually handed the Guard the victory with 2-1 on objectives.  

I cant think of a more undeserving victory than this.

Still great fun though and as always Ric was a gentlemen throughout, even in the face of my increasing frustration. The Guard must have run out of batteries for the radios or something.....

Next week a return to one of my favourite games, Chain of Command....

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Still Going

The blog has been quiet for about 6 months now, mainly due to work and life pressures.

It was getting hard to find the time to do everything that needed doing, let alone the nicer, hobby related things. I decided that I would spend what limited free time I had painting and playing with toy soldiers, rather than writing about them.

Things have eased up slightly, so there may be a small return to the blog, or I may spend more time painting. We shall see.
Not really much has changed in the 6 months absent from the blog, with gaming continuing on a Monday night at my regular club, Falkirk District Wargames Club.

I have decided to abandon 9th Age completely, as I don't think it is really what I am looking for in a game.  I wasn't sure before but the publication of V2 of the ruleset was the deciding factor, as the game now feels more like work than recreation. The Dark Elf book is  a real mess, with all sorts of stupid names and pointless rules appearing so I have just given up in disgust.

I have continued to play Kings of War though, and despite being terrible at it I have enjoyed the games I have been playing. I am still using Twilight Kin, despite there being no proper list and it getting no attention in the upcoming Clash of Kings rules update. To that end I am now converting my Warhammer Orcs to also use in the game. This should involve a minimum of painting as I only need to include a few thing to make the army viable under he new rules system. 

I bought a large 15mm scale Egyptian army for use with Field of Glory in December 2016. Unfortunately Field of glory has pretty gone the way of the Do-Do, as v2 of the game went out ot print and the Caliver Books published v3, which no one picked up due to the prohibitive cost of buying a new rulebook and army lists for a couple of rules tweaks.  
Our club has since moved on to L'art de la Guerre, which is a French derivative of DBA, recently translated into English.  Unfortunately by the time I got wind of this the game was sold out pretty much everywhere and there appeared to be no plans for a reprint. I was very lucky and thanks to sharp eyes of a club member I was able to get a copy from a gaming store located in Dorset. I still have to paint the miniatures, but thankfully the new system requires far fewer so I anticipate being able to get them on the table sooner rather than later.

My 2018 gaming opened up with a game of Lord of the Rings against Dave Knight, and we opted to carry out the assault on the Deeping Wall from The Two Towers., with Dave rolling a die and ending up as the defenders, leaving me to take the roll of the Uruk-Hai.  The game went badly, probably more due to my ineptitude than anything else, but I think it is a hard scenario for the Uruk's to win.  I must admit to being "slightly" pessimistic during the game and this is the main thing I need to work on this year.

Dunlendings try to scale the wall (and fail!) while the Pike wait for the breach to be created (get on with it!)

Still no progress, and pity the poor Dunlending that climbs a ladder only to be confronted by an irritated looking Aragorn!

As usual for 2018 I don't really have any plans.  I expect to play some games and paint some stuff. It is a hobby I do for fun and relaxation so I try not to make it stressful by giving myself artificial targets.

There are very few purchases planned this year. I was looking at the impending Batman boardgame kickstarter, from Monolith, that same people that made the excellent Conan game, but a 200 quid service bill on my bike and an impending family holiday to Florida may have scuppered that idea.

I have been slowly buying Genestealer Cult models of Warhammer 40,000 and now have a fairly significant collection, to the point where I just need to pick up the more specialist parts of the list.  There is no codex for them in 8th edition yet so I am in no hurry to get this done and probably won't put brush to model until the later part of the year.  

While Genestealer Cult has got me back into 40k again (sort off) I still think the system is a bit lacking. To that end I have been slowly trying to work out how to convert my favourite system, Chain of Command to use 40k models and setting.  40k is a very different beast to WW2, with some weird and wonderful stuff going on but I am making slow progress and hope to have some sort of working prototype soon. That pretty much sums up what's been gong on, and this might be the last post for a while, or it might not.  I shall wing it and see how it goes.

Twilight Kin in action (another loss!)

The Fellowship flee from Moria, pursued by Wargs.