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Wednesday 28 February 2018

Middle Earth Battle Companies

A number of Falkirk club members are interested in running a campaign based on the new Battle Companies supplement for the Middle Earth strategy battle game from GW. The core rules are very similar to their Lord of the rings game and in fact the only issue with using these rules is that some of the 22 companies are not covered by ealier versions.  However I don't think that most people will rush out to buy anything new and we will muddle through with what we have.

The basic companies are 5 to 6 models but the idea is to run a number of games from which they will gain experience additional gear and new recruits. Anyone familiar with Mordhiem will notice many similarities.

The campaign has not started yet so I wanted to try a couple of practice games to remind myself of the rules. Richard obliged with his (nasty) dearfs.  The starter companies are actually rather small and the games were pretty quick once we had decided on a basic scenario and got started.  We ran the scenario again with opposite sides (shock horror I got to play dwarfs against elves).  On both occasions the elves seemed a bit better powered than the dwarfs and won.  I forgot to take pictures I am afraid

If the games were all at basic warband level I would not be too interested but I think as warbands develop they the games will get a little more complex and interesting

I used Lothlorien against Richards Durin's Folk.  In the campaign I expect to use Rivendell and with that in mind have purchased some early High Elf figures from John.

Games 14
 Rules played 12 New 7
Places played 3 New 0

Saturday 24 February 2018

12 games 12 sets of rules

I have had a good start to my wargaming year so far, managing to play 12 games.  Variety is something I enjoy and I have been quite chuffer to have a run of playing different rules, with 7 of them being new to me.  The balance has been 7 historical and 5 not which is also good.  The sequence will be broken on Monday as I am plying a game with the new GW Battle Companies expansion.  Allthough the name of the rules have changed this is essentially Lord of the Rings which was my first game of the year.

The last game of the sequence was a Pulse of Battle game against Doug, hosted by Tim.  Thanks to Tim by the way as 4 of the games have been at his house using various incarnations of Piquet rules.  They tend to attract a rather narrow playing base as the flow of games can be very unpredictable and many find them rather frustrating.  A heavy dose of Fog of War and the inability of generals to get their troops to act when needed is not everyone's cup of tea.

The game used the same armies as the Archon game the previous week.  This time I took the Ancient Britons and Doug took the Romans.  I had the advantage in both games in that the Romans were markedly superior under Archon and much less so under Pulse of Battle.  In both games I benefitted from poor combat dice being rolled by my opponent and won the games as a result.  The picture below shows my left flank where my 'Ancient British Panzer Division' (who remembers that quote?) won the day for me.

Games 12
 Rules played 12 New 7
Places played 3 New 0

Friday 23 February 2018

First Game of Archon 2

It was over to Tim's again to try out another of the Piquet stable. Archon covers the period up to 500 AD and requires the Piquet master rules to play.  Our battle pitted Ancient Britons against Early Imperial romans.  Crudely the Britons had the advantage of numbers and the Romans the advantage of armour.

Peter ran the Ancient Britons.  Like myself he is happy to live with the frustrations and lack of control inherent in Piquet rules to enjoy the ebb and flow of battle that the system is so good in portraying.  This being our first game we both pretty much lined them up and set tem off against each other.  Peter had a very mixed bag of luck.  He won the vast majority of the activation rolls enabling him to do more things.  However when it came to combat his rolling was absolutely abysmal.

The first combat illustrated the above very well.  My army included two light war engines and I pulled the 'move war engines card' early on.  Realising that I might not get a chance to move them again for some time I advanced them in march formation ahead of the army.  The Britons were a long way away and I expected to be able to move up infantry in support before two long.  Peter, utilising multiple activations, was able to quickly move up a unit of light cavalry to take out one of the engines.  The light cavalry is not particularly powerful in melee but were still throwing a D12 against my D4.  However Peter managed to throw a 1 against my 3.  Initially we moved the cavalry away in rout but after a bit of head scratching and reading of the rules we realised that the war engine could not defeat the cavalry, it just had not lost.  The cavalry were reinstated into contact and awaited a later opportunity to draw a melee card and have another card.  However before that could happen Peter drew a 'courage' card which obliged him to do a test on his units in contact with the enemy.  Another roll of a 1 and the cavalry failed and this time routed away for good!

The game proceeded in similar vein and despite the Britons having some success on one flank with chariots the Romans were able to grind out a typical Roman style victory.

I did a fair bit of rebasing work on my Celts as we are looking to run a 2nd Punic War campaign that will use them.  It was fun working on figures that were among the first I ever purchased with some of them being 40+ years old and still going strong.  Thanks to Tim for hosting and Peter for remaining a great opponent evenin the face of such appalling luck

Games 10
 Rules played 10 New 7
Places played 3 New 0

Thursday 22 February 2018

Another brush with nasty dwarfs

This time it was Dragon Rampant with Andy running the diminutives against my proud Wood Elves.  The scenario was 'Cooking Pot' from the rules with me defending said pot and slowly eating the contents whilst the dwarfs attempted to take it.

For some reason this tale has not been well preserved in elvish archives although rumours have circulated which have somewhat tarnished the previously unsullied reputation of our champion (failed to activate all game!). 

Revenge will be all the sweeter in our next encounter

Games 11
 Rules played 11 New 7
Places played 3 New 0

Wednesday 14 February 2018

The Blasted Heath

The Yeti had escaped and the Tong, Funanchu , Bobbies and Indian army guides were all out to capture it on a wintry Hamstead Heath. 

The Yeti appeared too far away from my Tong to make recapture feasible so we had a good old battle with the Guides instead with several casualties on both sides

Thanks to John for organising

Games 9
Rules played 9 New 6
Places played 3 New 0

Tuesday 6 February 2018

Vapnartak 2018

The annual Falkirk club bus left 5 am sharp for the 5 hour trip to York

For once we arrived before the doors opened but after a short wait we were in

I made a beeline for the Harrogate club's Italian Wars Sharp Practice game which had a bit of pre show publicity that had grabbed my attention.  Sharp Practice is a favourite at the club but in 28mm Napoleonics which for some reason don't really ppeal.

So I was straight into a game leading the forces of Venice against the dastardly French.  Sometimes the luck goes with me and sometimes against.  This was one of those games where I could do no wrong.  My right flank powered forward against the Swiss mercenaries and, with the help of a fortuitous double move and lots of excellent dice rolls, swept the Venetians to victory in no time at all.

I then met up with Tim and had a quick look around the other games.  My eye was then taken by the Warploque Miniatures stand.  They have the ArcWorlde fantasy range of figures and rules.   North star miniatures had a sale just before Christmas where I had picked up the rules and a couple of warbands.  One of these was Elves and they can use an undead unicorn as an upgrade.  It is a really nice model and I decided to get it.

There was then a temporary evacuation for a security alert.  When I went back in and wandered around again I realised that there was an ArcWorlde participation game that I was able to join in.  My warband consisted of a Dark Warlord, 4 hobgoblins and 3 unusual creatures.  these had the ability to blow themselves up but then be very quickly reincarnated by the Warlord.  my opposition was another Warlord and a number of undead types.  This game was much closer but after many self inflicted explosions I scraped a victory.

I then had a wander through the fleamarket but there was not much on offer and I thought that much of it was overpriced.  Another look around for a game was unsuccessful so I headed off to the bar with Tim and Kenny for a pint and a burger.  One pint turned into 3 and we were also joined by Doug and then Peter.  At about 2:30 I realised that the bus was leaving at 3 so dashed round for a couple of minor purchases and then it was back to the bus getting home about 8ish.

My thoughts on the show?
Trade - first class but not what I go for
Games - the 2 I played were excellent but there definitely seemed to be fewer of them than previous years
Fleamarket - too little space allocated and very little of interest on display
Venue - pretty good although the catering could be better (but that is true of almost every show)
What makes it a great event for me is travelling down with a load of mates

So another great day out

Games 8
Rules played 8 New 6
Places played 3 New 0

Saturday 3 February 2018

The Affair at Kisii German East Africa 12 9 1914

Another new set of Piquet rules as provided by Tim - Din of Battle.  This was a historical refight of the very early days of WW1 in Africa and a German excusion over the border into British territory.  I took the Germans and  Doug the British with Tim umpiring.

Both sides were largely made up of African forces.  Following elements of the historical account the Germans were drawn up on parade and deemed to be unaware of the approaching British until they spotted them, which in our game took some time. Parade ground formation is far from ideal but the luck that was with me all night was immediately on show as after spotting the next card I drew was deploy which enabled me to very quickly remedy the situation.

The British kept advancing with some casualties on either side.  However my rate of fire was much superior as Doug was having great difficulty drawing a reload card.  AS the British advance continued I deployed my Ruga-Ruga auxiliaries on my left flank.  Once again the cards favoured me as I was able to advance them to close range and rout 2the 2 British units to their front.  This was effectively the end of the game as British morale cracked.

Having read an account of the actual battle it was interesting to note that in that the British got very low on ammo but after a stalemate were able to more or less bluff the Germans into retreating.

The victorious Ruga-Ruga

Games 6
Rules played 6 New 4
Places played 2 New 0