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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

Thursday 10 May 2018

Introductionary game of DBA 3.0

A last minute change of plan resulted in me pulling together a game of DBA at short notice with fellow Falkirk club member Alan.  Fortunately I still had my box of Carthaginians and Spanish together from my games against the 3 Marks the other week so it didn't take too long .

Alan is an ancients novice so in many ways this was a good opportunity to give him a gentle introduction.  I gave him a very quick intro and we then lined the armies up and got going.  I find it better and easier to have a game and point out rules and tactics as we go through rather than give a comprehensive introduction at the start.

I took the Spanish and Alan the Carthaginians.  The two lines advanced a little offset giving opportunities for outflanking on our respective left flanks.  The Spears and Blades just bounced off each other.  Alan did manage to turn my blade line and take out one element but I ended up winning the battle on the flanks for a 4 - 2 victory.

Alan enjoyed the game - he likes quick games and DBA certainly fits that bill.  He has some Perry's plastics and he agreed to sent me a list from which I will fashion a 12 element army.  We can then have a game where he can use his figures

Sorry for the glut of posts but I want to at least post every time I game and I am now up to date.  The next one will be about our club show Carronade on Saturday 12th May in Falkirk

Games 47

 Rules played 19 New 8
Places played 7 New 0

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Another good day at the National Museum of Flight

The first Sunday in May is normally when the National Museum of Flight hosts their Wartime Experience event.  The main focus tends to be outside on WW1 and WW2 re-enactors but there are always also other attractions inside the hangers which for the last six years has included wargames.

The Falkirk club has been an ever present and we have been able to run 2 games each time.  The WW1 Wings of War game has always proved popular with the public.  We strip the rules back a bit to make them fast play and let the public play the game s with a little bit of help from club members.  Kids just love shooting down their parents! 

Our other game was the new Too Fat Lardies ruleset What a Tanker.  I had 3 games of this involving a mixture of club members and the public.  Personally I think this may work better in a wargames show where most of the participants have a little knowledge of such mechanisms.  Not that it is complicated and it does play fairly quickly but it is not so simple Wings of War which is just move , measure range and draw cards for damage. However I will certainly be investing in a set of the What a Tanker rules probably at the Carronade show in Falkirk on Saturday 12th May.

The weather was fantastic which actually worked against us a little as some potential attendees may have preferred a day at the beach and those that came were more inclined to spend time in outside than in the hangers.  However with ourselves, South East Wargames Club and Gothenberg Gamers the wargames hobby had a really good representation and attracted a lot of interest

We had one young lad who was really taken with Wings of War and who came along with his parents to the next club night to have a look around.  This has instigated a debate about our club policy towards minors which seems to be a bit of a minefield.

Games 46
 Rules played 19 New 8
Places played 7 New 0

Tuesday 8 May 2018

Ding Dong Dell

The next round in our battle companies Lord of the Rings campaign was just two games this time.  My first was against Rory and his Angor force.  Although it ended up being a bit one sided in my favour the game actually took over an hour which I think is a record for the campaign so far.

The scenario involved the individual figures coming in from all edges of the board so it took us a bit of time to sort ourselves out but unsurprisingly it all ended up in big scrap in the middle.  The dice rolls were with me so I was pleased o chalk up another victory.  I was able to generate a mounted knight as reinforcement, but had to rely on a warg mounted orc supplied by Kev as a substitute as I didn’t have a suitable figure with me.

The second game was against Andy and his Mordor Orcs.  I was defending a camp with six lots of supplies which Andy’s forces had to set fire to.  To do that they had to be in contact with the supply marker, not in combat, and then roll a 4+. 

Andy, who has leading the campaign and has a fairly large warband attacked from all sides.  I decided to concentrate my forces and try and cause early casualties and risk some supplies being destroyed. Just about the first combat saw my elf knight (orc warg rider) put out action – not a good start!

On the other side of the camp I managed to mob two of Andy’s better Orcs including his leader and although they put up some resistance they went down.  Casualties were soon mounting on both sides but first one, then two then three lots of supplies went up.  Andy’s Orcs hit break point and the game ended (on a roll of a 1 or a 2) on the first roll just in time for a draw to be declared.


Games 35
 Rules played 18 New 7
Places played 6 New 0