Tuesday, September 22, 2020

LOTR Campaign - Battle #1 First Clash.

The first battle of the LOTR Campaign and both sides try to find that edge or perfect combination to defeat their enemy.

Hundvar urged his men forward, tasked with scouting the border between the Dead Marshes and Emlyn Hills, a dreary place long ago given up by Gondor but now with the Orcs of Mordor on the march it would be a useful buffer against the threat from Mordor.

Hundvar had his orders. Patrol the valley and visit the 4 way points to win the game and control the territory. The only downside he had received word of the vanguard of the Orc forces were entering the valley and he was out numbered at least 2:1 

Clearing the woods Hundvar immediately found his path blocked by a horde of foul creatures who had entered the valley from the Southern edge, he formed his men up and readied them for the forthcoming fight. He needed to get his men to open terrain to stand any chance.

Wow there were a lot of them. He called forward his skirmishers good men from Rohan who lined the tree line, whilst they were expert marksmen they could not stand up to the massed pike of the Uruk-Hai

The archers took careful aim but the Orc's came on backed by a number of trolls who were being wound up by their handlers to charge any human in sight. All thought of reaching the way points was gone this would be fight for survival.


Hundvar knew that if he acted fast he might be able to blunt the orc attack and break their morale before they could bring their numbers to be bear, he urged his men forward switching into open order and at the last moment closing his ranks, but falling painfully short of the orcs who were working themselves up into a blood frenzy.


The Orcish crossbows where unable to fire without hitting their own troops. They watched on as the armoured Uruk-Hai trudged forwards their movement slowed by the harassing fire from the tree line.


The Orc's big break, falling short allowed the beserkers to spring their trap and rush forward from the mass ranks of warriors, but the shield wall held firm and the men of Gondor where able to blunt the attack, Hundvar putting himself in the front rank hacked away at the attackers but being struck by an Orcish blade wounding him.



Whilst the last of the berserkers were dispatched Hundvar looked to his left, valuable time had been wasted. The massed ranks of  Uruk-Hai Pike charged forward, he screamed to his men to form square but it was too late, his men already weakened from the melee to their front were unable to react to the fresh threat and whilst his men stood for a turn despite being attacked in the flank. The Orc's were behind his shield wall, Hundvar threw himself into the melee with the fresh foe but it was to no avail, he and his men were wiped out to a man. The remaining men of Gondor fled the field.


A game of missed opportunities, forgetting the Stepping Out rule meant the men of Gondor fell painfully short letting the beserkers in, which lost time, allowing the  Uruk-Hai to close before a square could be formed, the rules are unforgiving if you are caught in the flank. 

The Orc's to had plenty of learns. The trolls so deadly in the previous encounters were restricted to deploying behind the ranks of infantry as the low level ambush points meant they could only deploy with no fervour, good job the pike did there deadly work.

First blood to the forces of Sauron. But games are likely to be tougher here on in with both sides thinking different ways to counter the various troop types and their opponents tactics.

Campaign losses.

Human - 25 Points

Orc - 2 Points

On to the next encounter where the points are even.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

28mm Hittite Archers - Warlord Games

Another core unit makes it off the paint table for the Kings of Bronze Project, I have sent myself a target of the first game in November, so lots to do in the next 6-7 weeks.

These are from Warlord Games and form the backbone of the Hittite faction, for my Bronze Age forces. The archers are a mix of styles representing south east regions of the empire Hittites, Hurrians, Syrians and the various city states loyal to the Hittite kingdom including Aleppo or Arzawa.

Whilst their is little evidence to suggest the Hittite forces engaged at Kadesh brought to into action their Infantry their else where in the empire plenty of foot troops were engaged very often in units of mass ranks of archers.

I again opted for a multitude of colours, blues, green, reds and 'tyrian purple' which gives a good look, but does slow the production line, that certainly won't be an issue with the Egyptians looking at the mass of white required.


I am conscious that the Infamy Infamy rules are aim at representing Large skirmishes in Britain and Gaul where the fighting style and terrain lent itself to the clash of swords and shield, and Rich Clark is at pains to point out that skirmishers should just be a side show and chip away at the the of the Roman fighting formations, so I was a little worried about how a formation of 24 archers might unbalance the game.

They might have a tendency to become super unit which is definitely not the intention as unlike a skirmish unit the archer formations for both the Hittites and Egyptians were expected to stand their ground and fight in hand to hand if called upon.

So on the back of the posting about the Hittite Spearmen I opted for the follow stats and in house rules.

Within the Infamy Infamy rules these are regular 'drilled' warriors benefiting from elements of the drill book relating to combat, Fill Ranks, Form up, Interpenetrate, Rally and replacing Throw Pila with Fire Arrows. I have opted for a zero armour class so they will be vulnerable poor armour saves and classed them as inferior warriors in close combat. 

Units have a limit of three rounds of missiles during the game, but may resupply from a camel train if such a support option is selected.

Set out below is the unit record for Infamy Infamy and the associated points.

Hittite Spearmen

Type

Inferior Warriors

Points Value

14

Weapon

Bow

Strength 

8

Armour

Step Out

Aggressive Attack

Characteristics

None

2

2

Drilled, Darken the skies


Right back to the brushes.
Next up Hittite Chariots.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Lord of the Rings Campaign - March of the Dark Lord.

Much like many gamers it does not take long for fun games to turn to campaigns and so it proves with the recent run of LOTR games. 
We are a fickle bunch.... mid-lock down I planned on playing out the Narnia campaigns using the risk map, but ideas change and the Infamy Infamy rules are certainly fun so a switch to Middle Earth and a slight tweak to the mechanisms and campaign rules.

I give you the Lord of the Rings Campaign - March of the Dark Lord (or they eat horses don't they?)

Sauron the Dark Lord of Mordor is on the march and his armies of Orc's, Trolls and Goblins are pushing into vast areas of Middle Earth.
The longer the alliances of Elves and Men can hold out the greater the number of troops will rally to the cause.
The first side to secure all Gold locations on the map wins....


The map above shows the opening moves, with Sauron in blue and the forces of good (sorry author bias) in red. The mines of Moria and Isengard in Fangorn are already in Sauron's control and more armies are entering from the east.

The campaign is low on paper work and more an excuse to get in some linked games on the table, I was inspired by the recent diplomacy game with the use of supports and defend options which impact on the scenario options within Infamy Infamy and the points available.

Let's see if the game play changes now there is something to play for rather than simply pride....

For those interest I have outlined the basic campaign rules below.

Points.

Reinforcement Points awarded every 3 months/turns - 10 points for each territory held, with a bonus 50 points for holding an entire region. Points can be spent using the point totals within the Infamy Infamy army lists/ LOTR variants.

These must be deployed from a branded location in a ‘supplied’ territory that can be linked link back to the main home territories.

The maximum points of any Army created from a territory during the reinforcement phase is from a Black branded Territory is 100 Points, A Gold Brand has 200 Points available. Standing armies may be reinforced as long as they are supplied but only to a maximum of 200 points. 

Army Size.

Initial forces are as follows.

1400 Blue.

800 Red.

The maximum points of any Army is 200 Points but must start the campaign as a minimum force of 100 Points.

Map Movement.

Armies move at a rate of one territory per move. Mountains and Rivers can not be crossed unless by mountain pass or bridge. For the purposes of the campaign the sea channels are not available.

Only one Army can move or occupy a territory at any one time.

Army Orders.

Each Army will be given one of the following order choices and must name the territory they are moving to or supporting for the move to be actioned.

Orders

Code

Move

M

Support

S

Defend

D

 Order Definition.

Move – Armies move from one territory to the other between their own lines or attacking enemy forces, if two opposing enemy forces are entering a vacant territory a ‘General engagement’ will always be fought.

Defend - If an Army moves into a defended territory, the defender will roll for the scenario type and can choose to be the attacker or defender in the scenario.

If a Gold Branded location is attacked then Scenario Six ‘Outpost Attack’ will always be played regardless of a defend order.

Support – If an army chooses to support a bordering region then the defender will 25, 35, 45 support points based on 1D6 (to a maximum of the size of the supporting army.) rolled even if this takes the defender beyond 200 points.

Any losses received on the day will be shared equally on a pro-rata basis between defenders and supporters.

Should the supporting territory be attacked then the support option will be removed and the attacker will roll for the scenario and choose the attacker and defender. (if the neighbouring territory given a support order for the named territory under attack or defending a region.

 Territory type and terrain generation.

Rhun – Britain (Orc territory)

Rhovanion – Britain (Orc territory)

Mirkwood – Germania (Human territory)

Rohan – Gaul – (Orc territory)

Arnor – Italia – (Human territory)

Eriador – Italia (Human territory)

So there you have it.

First up an Alliance of Men patrol heads into Emyn Muil from South Mirkwood encounters an advance force of Orc's marching up from the Deadlands... out numbered 2:1 can they avoid the enemy vanguard and spread the word of the pending invasion?

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Infamy Infamy Leaders Command Markers - Hittite Leaders.

Short on painting time this week, well actually still staring at the block of 24 archers, have been undercoated and base coloured applied, perhaps one regiment at a time is too much of a stretch and I need to build up to it.

I thought I would treat myself and switch to finishing a couple of the leaders for the Hittites and the new custom Warbases movements tray's.


As mention in my previous post I wanted to include room for a dice marker to either record their status or record shock or wounds. They also needed a place for the name so players could easily identify the correct leaders.


A little bit of trial and error and I found the correct font and scale to drop the leaders name in at the back of the tray, I opted for generic leader titles 1- 8 so they could cross periods. Paul over at Move a long nothing to see. suggested backing the names with magnetic card so they could be interchangeable. That's definitely on the to do list. See that's why it's great to have the club house back open again :-)


The figures are from Warlords Hittite range, lovely castings both wearing bronze scale armour, I am on the look out for more warrior type leaders for both the Hittites and the Egyptians most offerings seem to be quite static and I need a couple in more heroic poses to lead the close combat troops.


8 bases a side complete.
Now I just need the trips to fill out the leaders and mass ranks...

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

Dispatches from the front XI

It's been a couple of months since the last dispatches post.

Things seem to have slowed a little in recent weeks, hopefully this will change with the club re-opening albeit adopting social distancing measures, but it will be good to catch up with the guys about future projects and ideas for games to come....

After the recent commission for new terrain and the Wadi from Two Shed Fred, I thought I would carry on the theme with some new leader bases for Infamy Infamy and Sharp Practice.

Great service from Warbases, I asked them to create a single figure movement tray with space for a name and a dice slot to cover perhaps shock or wounds. A couple of e-mails chatting through the potential layout and a few days later the following arrive.


Really pleased with these and perfect for future games. The cut out block can be overlaid on to the base to represent figures unconscious or wounded or other similar in game markers.  


It would be a shame to not make use of the postal rates so I topped up the order with extra movement trays and shock templates, so now fully stocked up from Warbases and Minibits I just need to get paint on metal.


So coming soon more shock bases for the Egyptians for Infamy Infamy.


Having recently completed the Wargames, Solders and Strategy Great Wargaming  Survey, the discount voucher for Karwansaray prompted me to order a couple of extra's in the shape of Ancient Warfare Magazine. Each one is tailored towards a period or race. 


The magazines for the Hittites and Egyptians is full of interesting articles and plenty of eye candy to help keep the painting juices flowing.



Most of us wargamers are creatures of habit and today marks a significant change in my paint table layout... I have been using the same paint pots for around 20 years but have been restricted to batches of 10 to 12 figures. I have decided to switch to bottle tops which gives me more figures to paint at any one time.


However having been conditioned to paint in 10-12's doubling that to around 26 feels like a stretch to far, although it was pointed out to me by a good friend of mine that whilst it might be monotonous to paint 26 belts, spears, swords etc, etc. I would finish a regiment in one go rather than in three separate batches.

My question to the collective is how many is usual and how many is too many?
Staring at the mass of White in front of me it feels like I should be increasing in smaller numbers?
I guess the next couple of weeks will tell.

Meanwhile the planned Narnia campaign has been replaced by a switch to Middle Earth and an expansion of the Lord of the Rings games, I just hope my performance is better than the last game or the Orc's will be in Hobbiton before Christmas.