My Blog List

Monday 31 December 2018

How went 2018??

First of all another good year in terms of number of games played, 112 miniatures and 2 board giving a total of 114.
In terms of rule systems I managed a good deal of variety with 38 miniature sets and 2 different board games.
At the club I have been involved in a Middle Earth Battle Companies campaign which whilst not as much fun as the multi player Mordhiem campaigns of the past have still been enjoyable.
Away from the club I enjoyed some good game at Tim’s (with Tim, Doug and Aiden) including most of the Jacobite rebellion battles and the start of a Hannibal campaign.  Another highlight was a trip to the Naval Wargames Society weekend at the Fleet Air Arm Museum which was well worth seeing in itself.

Following on from organising a public participation game at our local Big Roman Week I wrote up the event in an article for Slingshot which was published.
In painting terms I only managed 21 fully painted figures (target 100) but did a lot of tidying up and basing which let me claim 679 completed figures (target 600)  in the year which is a lot better than my normal output.
Blogging went very well with a post after every game until August when I developed a bit of a backlog and just about stopped.  

My target of playing in 5 new places to get my lifetime score up to 100 ended up being a disappointing 2, so I am now stuck at 97!
Overall a pretty good year as my main objective is as always was to play lots of enjoyable games with friends old and new and in that I very much succeeded

Sunday 23 December 2018

Miniatures games played 2018

This is what I have played this year - a good number of games (112) and selection of rules (38)

Lord of the Rings 17
DBA 3.0 14
Wings of War 12
Lion Rampant 9
What a Tanker 9
Field of Battle 6
Bandits High 4
Pulse of Battle 4
Saga 2 3
Cartouche 2
Full Thrust 2
L'art de la Guerre 2
Sharp Practice 2
War and Conquest 2
Archon 2 1
ArcWorlde 1
Ball and Chain 1
Blitzkrieg Commander 2 1
Bolt Action 1
Chain of Command 1
Check Your 6 1
Coastal Patrol 1
Din of Battle 1
Dragon Rampant 1
East Neuk Irregulars 20th Century 1
Fire and Fury 1
General Quarters 1
If the Lord Spares Us 1
In Her Majesty's Name 1
Jump or Burn 1
Kiss Me Hardie 1
Rogue Stars 1
Sails of Glory 1
Songs of Blades and Heroes 1
Strongsword 1
The Men Who Would be Kings 1
Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815 - 1878 1
Zeebrugge 1

Monday 1 October 2018

100 games up by 1st October

2018 has been a good year for gaming so far and I am very pleased to get to the 100 game mark in record time with a fun game of WW1 Bolt Action v Kenny ably hosted by Bill.

Lets see if I can get it up to 120+ !

Saturday 4 August 2018

Mini Epic Galaxies

Now it's not that I don't enjoy board games because I do.  It's just that given the option of a miniatures game and one not involving miniatures I invariably choose the former because that is what I am in to.  Monday was an exception however.  I didn't have a game arranged and my last minute plea for help on facebook provided me with two options. 
One was Necromunda the other an unspecified board game.  However the Necromunda game was a run through for a campaign starting in a few weeks time which I don't intend to take part in so it felt a little odd to take that offer up so I plumped instead for the board game.
In fact there was no board as such just cards representing planetary systems which the 4 players had to conquer/occupy with actions determined by dice rolls.  No actual conflict.  Myself Kenny, Stephen and his daughter Charlotte were the dice rollers.  It was quite easy to pick up and good to play something completely different for a change.  Thanks to Stephen for brining the game along and Charlotte and Kenny for being good sports, particularly as I somehow managed to win.

Back to the miniatures for my next game - Inverurie at Claymore

Friday 3 August 2018

First Impressions of General Quarters

A few weeks ago I happened to comment that I had never played General Quarters before and was immediately invited to have a game at the next available opportunity.  I always like to play something new - new to me but not strictly new as the version played ay the club was published in 1975!
The booklet betrays its age but the rules are actually pretty simple and straightforward.  Big guns cause more damage and the closer you are to the enemy the more likely you are to hit just about sums them up.  Gun game with the lads although for once (recently) my dice luck wasn't really in so the IJN had the edge over the USN.
Shot of the action

Sunday 29 July 2018

War and Conquest Second Game

Rory and I got out the old WAB El Cid armies for a game of War & Conquest.  Our only other attempt at the rules was about 4 years ago! I took Andalusians with Christian allies with my opponents being Berbers
Catching up with my blog posts so keeping this one short.  Suffice it to say that we spent quite a long time thumbing through the rules and the devastating charge unleashed by my knights was much more effective than I ever expected.  We will try these rules again shortly

The Christian knights are the second unit up on the left - they managed to take out the 3 infantry units facing them

Tuesday 10 July 2018

Champion Hill 16 May 1863

When playing Ball and Chain a couple of weeks ago a new member, Doug Smith, introduced himself.  His background was in RPG but he was interested in getting into wargaming with ACW at the top of his list.

One of my opponents (confusingly another Doug) has an extensive collection of 15mm ACW and agreed to put a game on.  He organised and umpired it - I took the Confederates against Doug and Tim as the Union.

The battle was essentially a holding action.  I had 3 good quality regiments and 2 batteries against 5 Union regiments and 4 batteries.  Confederate reinforcements were potentially available (but never arrived)
Set up with the Confederates on the left defending the ford and the crossroads

Initially I just had 2 regiments and 1 battery deployed, the other regiment and battery were actualy heading away fro the fighting.  It took some time to get them turned and back into a useful position, not helped by a couple of low dice rolls and a tardy result.

The Union infantry just kept on coming on with a few shooting casualties taken, mainly by my forces.  One of the few differentiators between Confederate and Union forces is a +1 on a Confederate charge known as the Rebel Yell.  Given that I was outnumbered by almost 2 to 1 in any firefight I decided to throw caution to the winds and charged at every opportunity.  It was then essentially a dice rolling exercise - I won the first one but then lost the second 2 combats.  As I attempted to steady them one of my regiments gave up the ghost and at that point I conceded.

A fun night of ACW - thanks to Doug for putting the game on and Doug and Tim for being sporting opponents.

Monday 9 July 2018

Saga 2 Iron Man (Road Trip)

The second leg of our Road trip took us to Matlock in Derbyshire for my first Saga 2 Iron Man tournament.  I did 3 of these last year, including one at the same venue hosted by Dales Wargames WRG held at the impressive Whitworth Centre. Numbers were once again down a bit at 8 but still plenty to allow 3 good games.
We got a bit of an introduction to the changes from Saga 1 at the start.  There are lots of differences but the fundamental feel of the game is unchanged. 
The tournament system is prey straight forward.  Richard provides all of the armies and the players rotate around the table using different armies and fighting different opponents each turn.  To win the competition the important thing is to kill as many of the opposition as possible - own losses are irrelevant.
My First game was Picts v Late Romans against Andy Lyon, who had done a lot of the introduction to the changes and knew the rules pretty well.  A proper gentlemen he kept me on the straight and narrow and took any pain out of my first game with  new rules.  He beat me fairly convincingly but I did manage to pick up a few points and pointers.
Pict general - the only photo that I remembered to take

My second game was Scots v Vikings against Kieran Matthews who was the youngest player there and perhaps lacked the killer instinct of some of his opponents.  I was able to press him quite hard and almost wipe out his warband for a comfortable win.
My third game was Byzantines v Pagan Russ against Colin Alcock who I played at an Iron Man 1 event in 2017.  This was a real ding dong affair as the balance of advantage continually shifted.  By the end of it neither of us had many troops left but I had just shaved the win.
Overall I came 4th out of 8, not a bad result when I was 7th after the first game.  Thanks to the organisers for putting on an enjoyable event.
So what was my impression of Saga 2?  It is a natural progression from the original rules.  Some minor issues have been dealt with which marginally improve game play. Other changes are rather more superficial. It allows expansions into new periods which many will like.  So marginally better but I will still be happy enough to play the original version.  Personally Saga 2 does not offer enough for me to make the financial investment in the rules and supplements at full price.  If I can pick some up cheap at a bring and buy I may be tempted.  I will however happily play any other Iron Man events that I can get to.
It was a much better drive home, cooler and less traffic.  I do enjoy a good wargaming Road Trip!!!

Friday 6 July 2018

2018 Plan - going pretty well after 6 months

100 plus games – at 67 at the half way stage so looking good

Iron Man events – 1 done so on track

New rules – 11 played but still 5 of the 6 I was planning on yet to play so hopefully might make progress on this in the remainder of the year

28mm Jason and the Argonauts and  15mm South Americans yet to paint and play

Blogging going well all games recorded

Painting targets –bare metal 21 out of 100 and total 291 out of 600 so better than normal

5 new places wargamed to get my hundred up – just one so far and that on 30th June!

Thursday 5 July 2018

Naval Wargames Society weekend at the Fleet Air Arm Museum (Road Trip)

I have been an intermittent member of the Naval Wargames Society for a while now.  I don't actually do that much naval wargaming but find the history fascinating and definitely would like to do more.  The annual weekend that the Society hosts has long been on my to do list but the previous venue in Gosport was just too far from Falkirk.  The new venue at the Fleet Air Arm Museum is actually still a pretty long trip but I decided to give it a go this year.

Unfortunately I had to be back at work on the following Monday morning so I was only ever going to do the Saturday.  However there was also a Saga Iron Man 2 tournament on Sunday near Matlock so I decided to go for a road trip.  Originally the plan was to drive down on Friday, stay locally, drive up to Derbyshire on the Saturday night and then home after the tournament.  My wife is very supportive of my hobby but was a bit concerned at the amount of driving involved so we changed plans.  She also came down, as did our dog, and we drove down a day early to have a day together in Somerset on Friday then plan as before.

The extremely hot weather was difficult particularly on the drive down.  We needed regular stops to give the dog some air and roadworks made it an 11 hour trip.  Two drivers was definitely a bonus. On Friday we spent most of the time at the beach keeping Beau (our Patterdale/Labrador cross) as cool as possible.  Our hotel, the Ilchester Arms, was very good, extremely dog friendly, and less than 10 minutes away from the Museum.

I was initially a little disappointed at the event as numbers were quite low, probably as a result of the change from an established venue.  However the games were excellent.  First up was, rather surprisingly to me, a Wings of War game.  David Manley has added in rules for motor launches using the same mechanics as the air rules.  Myself and Phil (I hope that name check is correct) each had a Sopwith Baby seaplane and a motor launch and were tasked with capturing or destroying an immobile surfaced U Boat.  German air cover was provided by David and Simon each with a 2 seater seaplane - can't remember the type.

It was actually quite a hard task as in Wings of War 2 seaters can be pretty deadly as they effectively shoot all round  and they were also more robust than our aircraft.  Things were not helped when Phil drew a Boom Card (instant explosion) and lost his Baby early on.  To even things up a Camel was drafted in to bolster the British forces.

Much manouvering and drawing of damage cards ensued but eventually all the British forces were destroyed for the cost of one of the Germans.  Phil's motor launch was nearly able to get in range to make a torpedo attack on the U boat but he just could not quite make it.
My Motor Launch being attacked by a dastardly German floatplane
A bonus was entry into the museum which is well done with many FAA aircraft on display and some excellent models of aircraft carriers.  Worth a visit - we went round rather quickly in an hour but 2 hours would have been enough for a more leisurely stroll round.
A real life Sopwith Baby armed with anti Zeppelin rockets
The afternoon game was a recreation of the Naval attack on Zeebrugge in WW1.  The aim was to get blockships to the lock gates and render them inoperable thus depriving the German Navy of a U boat base.  I was responsible for Monitor fire, air raids and a submarine filled full of explosives used to ram an access route which were all part of the general bombardment/diversion whilst the main attack went in.  I had to leave before the end but I understand one ship managed to fight it's way all the way through to the lock gates and allow us to claim victory for the RN.
HMS Vindictive at the mole
I enjoyed the day but it was a long way to travel so it may require a longer break to allow me to do this again. Still a road trip is always fun and it can't get this hot every summer can it?

(report on second part of the road trip to follow soon)

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Two Very Very short games

The latest round in the club's Battle Companies campaign was very short and not particularly sweet.  I played Kev and the scenario called for me to defend a hill.  Kev simply went for all out attack with his Warg Riders and in 3 turns entirely wiped my force out!  We had an odd number of attendees so Alan played Kev next and there was no time for a third round.
100 % casualties
I did manage a second game.  After our day out at the Wartime experience event we attracted a new member and her young son.  I too the lad on in a game of Wings of War and am afraid I showed him no mercy shooting down his camel in even less time than it had taken in my first game.
Closing in for the kill

That was my gaming for the night.
Games 65
 Rules played 26 New 11
Places played 10 New 0

Saturday 23 June 2018

Ball and Chain

A kind gentleman recently posted a generous offer on facebook,  Rules that he no longer required - free to a good home. Included was a set of Fantasy rules that I had never heard of - Ball and Chain.
Published in the mid 90s they looked a little old school but certainly worth a game to try them out.  I posted about them on the Falkirk club facebook page and Following our game of Hannibal Crossing the Alps both Tim and Doug offered to play a game the following Monday.
I was happy to arrange something as I have been wanting to get some more of my growing collection of elves on the table.  This is the 3 way scenario I came up with

The Elvish race came into existence at the birth of the world.  For eons they lived in peace and harmony. Despite their famed longevity few if any of even the oldest elves remember the so called Golden Time.
Then came the Great Sundering, the scattering of the families and an everlasting legacy of hostility and  hatred between them.  The old Elvish lands are remote, desolate and wild.  Occasionally intrepid rangers or foolish adventurers venture there in search of ancient artefacts.  None of any great power has ever been recovered but rumours of a hoard with strange properties have been circulating around the Courts.  Small parties have been dispatched by competing clans to investigate and return with anything that may be of value.
Ball and Chain by Dave Garnham
6 x 4 table covered in woods and with a reasonably large central glade.  Paths lead from each of the four corners to the glade. Three elf forces will randomly enter down 3 of the 4 paths.  Each player rolls for deployment and comes on (up to 6 inches) on a roll of 6 on the first turn, 5 or 6 on the second etc. Roll to see entry point once a successful deployment roll has been made. 
There will be 2 imps that will appear when a player for any reason rolls 49, 50 or 51.  This player can place an imp anywhere he likes on the board and it will immediately attack the nearest elves.
There will be 12 artefacts scattered in the glade or just inside the woods bordering the glade.  They will be of 2 types. An elf in sole contact with an artefact at the end of its turn will have picked it up by the start of the next turn. If an elf carrying an artefact is killed it is difficult for it to be recovered and requires a 6 at the end of the first turn searching, a 5 or 6 at the end of the second turn etc.  Any searcher engaging in combat breaks the search sequence and if they wish to try again must start with a 6.  No elf may carry more than 2 artefacts.  If an elf tries to carry artefacts of different types there is a (one off) 10% chance of a deadly adverse reaction. No elf will voluntarily give up an artefact in any circumstances.

The aim for each group is to get off the board with as many artefacts as possible.  At the end of the game it will be apparent that although all the artefacts have power one type is vastly more desirable than the other.  There is no way of knowing this in advance so this will be determined only once the game has finished.  The group that has left the field with the most of the more desirable artefacts wins.

My biggest mistake was to go for a 4 x 6 table as this meant that 2 of the forces were inevitably going to be closer to each other and it would take the 3rd longer to engage.  This was made worse by all 3 rolling to enter the table on the same turn.  Doug with Dark Elves soon engaged my Wood Elves and Tim with his High Elves remained some distance away

The rules worked OK.  There was some difficulty with those for horsemen in combat and shooting but we made on the hoof interpretations to get something workable.  I got the upper hand against Doug early on but a couple of long range shots from Tim took a couple of my guys out and before long I was down to one man!  Having recovered most of the artefacts and all those within reasonable reach both Tim and Doug started to withdraw from opposite ends of the table when an Imp finally appeared. It was nearly packing up time so we let it do a couple of rounds of combat before calling it a day.

We all had fun.  The rules are usable and could certainly be easily modified to iron out our difficulties.  It was good to get some more of my Elves on the table and I now have a setting that would be usable for future games.


The Wood Elves advance

Brave Dark Elf charges 

The Imp arrives

Postscript: Looking at my background for the scenario I talk about  a Great Sundering of the Elves.  This is actually the way Tolkien describes the break up of the Elves.  I don't remember reading it and haven't actually read any Tolkien post the Silmarillion which I struggled through once.  I suppose it either is in the Silmarillion or I have somehow picked it up elsewhere.  I thought I was my own idea, although almost all fantasy owes at least something to the great man.  I think I will just keep it in anyway.

Games 63
 Rules played 26 New 11
Places played 10 New 0

Hannibal Crossing the Alps

Amazingly one of my projects is at last coming together!  Some time last year Tim introduced me to the Piqet derived Pulse of Battle set of Ancient rules.  He also had in his possession a copy of a scenario booklet called Hannibal Ad Portas which covers the period from Hannibal leaving Spain to advance into Italy to the Battle of Zama.  I have a painted Republican Roman army, a Gallic army and various Spanish, Numidians and Africans.  By using some of my Grek and Macedonian figures to pad out a bit I pretty much had enough figures to play the scenarios for just a bit of painting and some rebasing.  The main area of difficulty was having enough Roman figures to do the bigger battles.

The first scenario is the only what if and depicts a contested River Crossing as the Carthaginians moved into Gallic territory.  It assumes Roman cavalry support which is a bit of a problem as I would need about 50 cavalry figures at least 20 more than I had.  I decided to bypass that as the second scenario is Hannibal crossing the Alps.  The Gallic side was already available and completing the Carthaginian side would give me 90% of the figures that I would need for the Carthginian for most of the rest of the battles.

I am not a quick painter/rebaser but a deadline is a wonderful thing and I managed to get them all near enough for the battle.  The board was a very unusual affair with a path snaking its way from one side to the other between mountains and in the centre a forest.  One of the issues was that the scenarios were written for a different set of rules so there was an element of improvisation as we went through the game.

The set up has the main Carthaginian force advancing down the path parallel to  one side of the table with multiple snake like bends to traverse,  Some light forces hold the heights covering the exit points.  The Gauls come on randomly on either flank when the appropriate card is drawn. Given the length of the column there is always likely to be a Carthaginian unit capable of being ambushed.  However the Carthaginian units are generally of better quality than the Gauls.
Some Pictures
The Carthaginian Column as it advanced into the Pass


Nearer the end of the game with the Carthaginian column strung out but the Gauls unable to stop the relentless advance

  I ran the Carthaginians and Doug the Gauls.  In the end the weight and power of Hannibal's troops were too much for the opposing tribesmen, much as the case in history.  There were casualties inflicted however including a pushed back elephant that we agreed had gone plunging down the Apline slopes to it's death.  At least someone was dining on elephant steaks that night!
A most unusual game.

Games 62
 Rules played 25 New 10
Places played 10 New 0

Friday 15 June 2018

First Impressions of Strongsword

Kev backed the Westphalia kickstarter which included a set of fantasy rules authored by the excellent Dan Mersey and brought them along to the club to let myself and Rory have a go
I had a band of adventurers, basically humans plus an elf ranger and a dwarf whilst Rory took the Goblins.  A gang of Forest Trolls had taken up residence in a village and were steadily eating their way through the corpses of the former residents, our mission was to destroy the trolls and then battle it out for control of the village.
The defining mechanic of the rules is the fact that each force has to define one of 6 battle states (or was it stances?) at the start of each turn. 1 and 2 have the emphasis on rallying and falling back, 3 and 4 shooting with some movement and 5 and 6 attack.  Each force has to change its state each turn.
I started with some turns at 3 and 4 shooting at the trolls and then the goblins at either full or half strength.  Rory did a couple of shots and then moved up into contact.  The trolls were difficult to kill with a hit roll needing to be followed by a kill roll (enough for most) and than a second kill roll.  Despite this my archery was effective and in the end I took down 4 of the 6 trolls.  My magician had bad night not getting off any difficult spells at all and only causing some minor nuisance.
The trolls blocking the road

With the trolls out of the way the goblins advanced into contact and shooting was largely forgotten.  They had lost some casualties to the trolls and were split up a bit so were rather outnumbered, although to be fair this had a minor effect and they did a good job of holding on for quite a while before I was able to pretty much finish them off.
The Goblins advance

All in all an interesting game.  The rules were not stand out but had a couple of interesting twists and should be good for a few more games.
Nice to have photography available again!  

Games 61
 Rules played 25 New 10
Places played 10 New 0

Saturday 9 June 2018

La Gloire! Or Rotten Luck RN!

Being without a game last Monday and not having any time to prepare anything myself my plaintive plea on our club Facebook group brought forward an offer of the Napoleonic Naval game Kiss me Hardy from John which I gratefully accepted.
This was a follow up to an earlier scenario which had resulted in the Commodore of a French fleet and his ship being taken by the RN.  However the French had managed to regain control of their ship but were now being chased down by their former captor.  Peter took the French ship and John P (the game organiser was John E) his British pursuer.
Meanwhile 3 French ships (mine) and 2 RN (Kevan) hastened to join the fight.
I say hastened but I actually made a rather leisurely approach.  The briefing suggested intense rivalry between my commander and his superior (Peter).  I played to character with the hope that sufficient damage might be done prior to my arrival to give me an edge when I got into combat and if my commander ended up being the most senior French officer present well so be it!
In fact John P made fairly short work of his opponent with a vicious stern rake inflicting a lot of damage and Peter was forced to strike.  I speeded up and detached one ship to go after John and sailed my other into action against Kevan.  Now I am no expert on sailing ships and benefited from a lot of good advice from the umpire and indeed my opponents as to what was and was not possible.  However I can (sometimes) roll good dice and started to get the better of my opponents.
The real story of the night was not my good dice rolls but John’s appalling luck.  When firing multiple d6s are rolled to hit.  At the same time a D10 is rolled and if the number on it is equal to or less than the successful D6 hit rolls special damage is done.  This can be pretty devastating with masts, officer casualties and even the magazine at risk.  However on a 1 a gun in the firing ship blows up causing damage on itself.
In the space of very few rolls John rolled special damage 3 times and then proceeded to roll a 1 on each occasion.  This together with other damage (including High Officer Casualties inflicted by myself on a special damage roll) gave him a 15% chance of failing a strike test.  You can of course guess the result of his roll.
So my commander had captured a RN ship and in the process reclaimed it’s prize (and unfortunately its captain) for France.  A change in wind and the advanced hour meant that we called it there.
Vive La France!
Games 60
 Rules played 24 New 9
Places played 10 New 0

Friday 8 June 2018

Deep Fried Lard 2018

Saturday 2nd June saw me make my annual trip to Musslebrough Rugby club for a day’s Lardy rules wargaming organised as usual by Derek.  He had a number of last minute cancellations and reorganising to do but it all worked out fine.
We normally have a few Falkirk club members playing but this year it was just myself and John and I played in his Coastal Patrol game in the morning.  Some German S Boats had managed to ambush a British convoy and were soon attacking with some verve. I ran some MTBs who appeared a little late in the day but whose heavy armament offered the biggest threat to the Germans.
There was a successful torpedo hit on a merchant ship and other damage to the merchant men and close escort.  The Germans did not go unscathed however and my boats also caused some damage without sinking anything.  When the game was called it was probably a German victory as they had stuck to their task of going after the merchantmen well.
In the afternoon I was happy to get into a 10mm What a Tanker game.  I have made the decision to jump into this scale and was keen to see how it played.  It was set in 1940 with 3 of us taking the French against the invading Germans.
My tank tootled around a bit and got into some quite good positions before eventually being blown up.  On this evidence I don’t think early war works as well as mid or late war as the relatively low number of strike dice make it difficult (although certainly not impossible) to do significant damage  The game was declared a draw with both sides down to one tank sheltering in opposing woods.
A really fun days gaming  - thanks to Derek for organising.
Games 59

 Rules played 23 New 9
Places played 10 New 0

Wednesday 30 May 2018

Rivendell B Team Relic Found Gondor Captain Assassinated

It was catch up time in the Battle Companies campaign again so I brought out the B team again,  You may remember on their first foray they found Leigh's Hobbits quite a handful (see earlier post). This time I played Kenny and his Easterlings and Alan  with his Men of Gondor.

Kenny has had a difficult start to the campaign and was down to 4 men against which I was able to muster 7.  Find the relic has a string of 5 objective markers across the centre line of the table 4 of which are dummies and one of which is the relic.  4 were in the open with 1 on a hill to my right.

Both sides charged forward and fought over the central objectives.  I detached one spearman to look at those on my left.  We battered backwards and forwards with a couple of casualties on both sides and soon discovered that the relic had to be the one on the hill.  Once again I had a spare spearman to detach and pick it up.  The Easterlings were now down to 2 men and had no chance of getting to the relic.  I decided the best option was to pull back and make for my baseline.  I didn't realise that one of my opponents figures had a leg wound which made pursuit virtually impossible so I was able to claim the win.

Kenny does not have a copy of Battle Companies which is currently out of print so had 4 battles worth influence points and experience to spend.  He is now in better shape with 6 figures and some upgrades which is good.

My second game was against Alan who managed to beat Rory whilst myself and Kenny were battling it out, giving him an impressive 4 wins out of 4.  I was facing 10 figures against my 8 and I drew the task of assassinating his leader.  Instead of the camp we used a fantasy graveyard which made an interesting setting.  I snuck up on the camp but the alarm was raised almost immediately and very quickly I lost 3 elves to no men.  Now outnumbered 2 to 1 I didn't fancy my chances of winning at all, particularly as the Gondor leader was taking no risks and had not engaged at all.  Two more casualties on my side and that was the game up.

I am actually not at all sure how I won from such a dire position other than fantastic dice rolling!  The spearman on the right forced his way in killing 3 and other battles went my way.  Suddenly the Gondorians were broken and had to start making courage rolls.  I lost one elf but a failed courage test meant that I had 4 onto 3.  The Gondor Captain took a hit and then failed his fate save and I had somehow won!  I was also lucky in the reinforcement rolls getting a knight and another spearman (the B team is spearman heavy)  .

So I now have 2 strong warbands both of which have played 5 games and are 10 strong.  Our next meeting is intended to be an all in affair so the A team will make an appearance but as usual if anyone can't make it I will have the B team ready to take to the field again.

Games 57

 Rules played 22 New 9
Places played 9 New 0

Sunday 27 May 2018

What a Tanker I Am

I had my first trip up to Perth this year for some games with Richard.  We played 2 games of What an Tanker and plotted some future games with these rules but  more of that anon.

Many moons ago I had a plan to do the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 28mm.  I did a fair bit of research and got as far as buying some diecast tanks but eventually gave up on the idea.  Still on the backburner but may well end up being something I do in 10mm. The tanks were Corgi 1/50 models, 2 M47s for the Turks and 2 T34/85 for the Greek Cypriots.  To fit the rules we ran the M47s as Panthers - marginally superior to the T34/85s but not by too much.  We gave each of the tanks a card and the Greeks one extra one to even things up a little bit.

My What a Tanker I Am moment game when I got the tanks ready for the game.  I thought I had 2 T34/85s one boxed and one unboxed.  It turned out the box was  in fact empty and I had hung on to it in case I wanted to resell.  Richard was able to proxy with a 20mm tank so we were at least able to play but I felt a right plonker!

In the first game I took the Greeks.  Richard used the terrain rather better than I did putting his tanks into a couple of the woods.  We ding donged back and forth for a while as I improved my position.  We had one battle in a central wood but I got forced out and although the damage was mainly temporary it suddently racked up and the crew had to bale out.  Two to one was too much for my other tank which soon suffered the same fate.

We swopped sides and once again Richard got into a good early position, hull down this time.  However a roll of four 1's enable one of my tanks to race up the board and get behind his flank.  He was able to reposition himself but soon after it was good throw v bad throw and he was brewed, 

The other T34 had been manoeuvring behind his mate but then suffered an even more extreme roll off.  To explain the mechanics in a head on attack the M47 needed 5s and 6s as hits rolling 9 dice and the T34 also needed 5s and 6s as saves, rolling 8 dice.  Three unsaved dice = brewed up.   The difference on this roll was so great that even adding his dice pips together to try and make up 5s for saves (not something you can actually do) the T34 was still destroyed!

The second game was over very quickly which gave us time to plan future games before my drive back to Airth.  We had both enjoyed the nights gaming and thought it would be good to try a short campaign.  I am also keen to build up some WW2 forces as I am woefully short on that era. The main issue was scale.  I like 28mm but it is both expensive and a bit overscale for more than 2 vehicles a side.  Richard has some 15mm stuff but it is a scale that I am not really interested in investing in for the period.  We settled on 10mm British v German in Normandy.  More details when there is something concrete to share and hopefully some pictures! 

Games 55

 Rules played 22 New 9
Places played 9 New 0

Saturday 26 May 2018

Inverurie 23 12 1745

Tim hosted a playtest of this battle of the Jacobite rebellion that he is going to GM a Historicon later this year, and which is also likely to be the Falkirk Club's game at Claymore in early August.  Unfortunately I have waited a few days to write this up and as my phone is kaput at the moment I don't have any photos.  This is going to be my memories of the game rather than a blow by blow account.  I promise a better write up after Claymore!

I took the Hanoverians which were split into 2 groups - one in the town (my extreme right on the long table edge)   and the other loosely grouped outside of it.  They included the famous piper Donald Ban MacCrimmon.  In the real battle he was captured by the Jacobites but later released as he was so respected that the Jacobite Pipers refused to play until he was let go. In our game he bolstered the unit he was with and was able to survive the battle intact.

The main terrain feature was the River Don which started a few inches in on my left flank (long table edge), curved a bit towards towards the centre and exited on my right flank (short table edge) a few inches form my opponents base line.  The apex of the curve was on the centre line where a bridge provided a crossing.  Roads from each side converged on the bridge and each road started with a Jacobite force which needed to cross the river to get to the town and to engage the government forces.  A third Jacobite force approached down a road which crossed the river at a bridge opposite the town.  Phew - I hope that makes sense - a couple of photos would have been much simpler and clearer.

The expected crux of the battle was the race for the bridges.  If the Jacobites could get over they should have the numbers to overwhelm the Hanoverians, but if the Hanoverians could block the bridges the Jacobites would have difficulty deploying and would be at a severe disadvantage.  Field of Battle is form the Piquet stable so movement relies on drawing move cards and winning roll offs by sufficicnt to maximise movement so either result was very possible.  The Jacobites were restricted to the roads on their side of the river to represent the treacherous ground and poor light, but on the Inverurie side there were no such restrictions.

The battle started at 4 pm so it was fought in very poor light - Tim restricted musket range to 4 inches to reflect this.   The Jacobites had the early luck and swarmed over the bridge on my left with my guys being a bit slow to react.  At this stage I even considered a retreat into the town but was advised by Tim that this was not a practical option. 

My force in the town was also slow to react but eventually made up ground to confront the Jacobites who had crossed the other bridge.  In the centre the battle was see sawing without a great deal of damage being done but on the right the Hanoverians tore into their opponents just about wiping them out.  This had a severely adverse effect on the Jacobite force morale and as one or two units took damage on both sides in the centre they were suddenly in the position where with the correct card drawn and a lost dice roll off their army would break.    Sure enough the luck remained with me and I was able to achieve a rather unlikely victory. 

Sorry for the slightly chaotic and rambling post.  It was  a really fun game and to me represented the inherent unpredictability of a battle fought by quite small forces in difficult conditions rather well.

If you attend either Historican or Claymore please drop by.  It is just Tim at the former but we will both be in Edinburgh.

Games 53

 Rules played 22 New 9
Places played 8 New 0

Thursday 24 May 2018

First Games of Bandits High!

Having seen Andy K playing a game of Bandits High a couple of weeks before I asked him if I could give it a try.  He explained that it was a collectibles game and that once the original set was bought additional planes were available in sets of 3 but bought blind so his collection is a bit eclectic.  It is a part of the Axis and Allies stable.

  The basics are pretty simple.  All planes have a normal speed and a fast speed. To do anything other than a simple turn a dice roll is required, modified by stats that vary by plane.  Each plane has a number of special abilities unique to each plane.  Initiative rolls, to see who moves first, play quite a big part as the second moving player can react to his opponent and set up a superior position.  Each plane has a certain number of firing dice and hit on a 4 5 or 6 depending on angles of attack.  There are a few modifiers.  A six is a double hit - most hits are cumulative with 3 being the usual number needed to shoot a plane down.  Roll high enough and an instant kill is possible - on one occasion on 4 dice I rolled 3 x 6 and a 5 to very luckily achieve this!

The first game was between myself and Alan with Andy umpiring.  I flew a Kawasaki Ki-61 Hien (Tony) against a Widcat and after a fair bit of manoeveirng managed a win.  In the second game I added a Zero and Andy took over the Americans and added an Aircobra once again a decisive Japanese victory.  We then tried one of the scenarios a bombing run by the Japanese. The Aircobra was replaced by a Lightning which proved pretty destructive and although I managed a few hits on the member both my planes were shot down so a win to Andy.  In our final game we switched theatre and I was the interceptor taking a Spitfire and a Fulmar against a combined German/Italian force.  The Spitfire proved deadly shooting down a FW 190 and Falco,

My overall impression is of a game that would be fun to play occasionally but might not stand regular outings.  If I saw it on a Bring and Buy I might pick it up at the right price - the models themselves are certainly quite nice.  Thanks for the introduction to the game Andy!

Games 52

 Rules played 21 New 9
Places played 8 New 0

Thursday 17 May 2018

Carronade 2018 - show review

Another Carronade has been and gone and from the feedback received from all concerned it has to be rated the best one yet!

We constantly look to improved and addressed a number of issues raised in 2017, most notably the choke point in the central hall, which helped us continue to enhance the experience.

It was a beautiful day which probably had a negative impact on numbers so we were very pleased to hold attendance at last years levels.  There were definitely fewer youngsters and it may be that some visits were shorter than normal but the trade still did very well as did the flea market.  Painting competition entries were marginally down and some of the participation games only really took off in the afternoon but these were minor niggles.  I was particularly gratified when a seasoned wargamer, veteran of many shows around the UK, stated that this was the best show he had ever been too! Ever! he emphasised.

We have a small team that pull the show together and the machinery is now working pretty smoothly.  There was also a great response from other club members turning out on Friday night to set up and staying behind on Saturday to reset the halls and tidy up.  Well done to all concerned.

I managed one PP game run by the East Neuk boys and set in Iraq during WW2.  The aim of the game was for a team of motorcyclist to escort the young crown prince in his staff car to the safety of a British base.  Must derring do and unlikely feats of bikemanship were encouraged.  Great fun - I missed the very last move but I think we managed to escort the young lad to safety.

A short break then show committee debrief and we will then start planning Carronade 2019.  Hope to see many of you there

Games 48

 Rules played 20 New 8
Places played 8 New 0