Sunday, December 09, 2018

Ghost Archipelago - #4 Swampland

Blimey has it really been over 6 months since the last outing of Ghost Archipelago?
No wonder it took longer than usual to get to grips with the rules, good news by the end of turn 2 we were well under way.

A couple of quick texts around the group and we were able to amass enough boats and bridges for the Swampland Scenario, three islands with treasure aplenty, but don't roll low on your initiative as this will cause a swamp zombie to appear. Unsurprisingly it was a night of low rolls :-(

The adventures had been busy over the past 6 months and everyone had a couple of sail boats to bring to the party, Marines, Privateers and Atlantians all prepared their landing parties.

The Crew of the Sun Chaser got off to their usual start, set upon by Zombies. OK we the other players kept placing our undead foe in their path. The Marines marched about confidently shooting anything that moved and the bullet heads hung about doing very little.

Bonus points could be gained by stepping on each island, but being a sporting bunch we of course were happy to let that happen - Not. So Zombies were soon appearing on the bridges to block the path of the adventurers.

Whilst the Privateers made a lightening grab for the central treasure, the Marines rushed the central island however tonight for once the Atlantians had decided to bring some powder for the muskets and could actually hit a target, the Marines came under concentrated fire and several of their section were killed caught in the open, left isolated even Captain Masters was shot and put out of the game.

Even without a leader the Marines continued their bold moves snatching treasure and loading up their sail boats, however if you can block a bridge why not fill have a zombie climb aboard your vessel. Yes we the other players might be going last, but we get to mess you up with Swamp Zombies.

As the game drew to a close the Privateers had snatched the bulk of the loot, the Marines limped off with a bunch of treasure and the Atlantians were left holding the table with nothing but one pile of gold and a bunch of undead.

A cracking evenings entertainment which makes me wonder why it took so long to make it on the table. The wandering monster rule and low initiative placement keeps the game flowing and serves as a great tactic to keep players tied up. As you push for that extra treasure.

Despite their high casualties on the night the Marines managed to recover most of their troops and everyone is spoiling for a fight to get their revenge. Roll on round 5.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Haitian Buildings.

For a while now I have been pondering which manufacturer to pick to make a small town for the Haiti campaign, many of Haiti’s towns and cities feature elegant colonial government buildings and cathedrals which were built during the years of French rule. In particular Cap‑Haïtien which served the administrative center is particularly noted for its colonial architecture sadly a number of the older buildings on the island were destroyed in the earthquake of 2010.

Haiti has it's own unique feel to it which in wargaming terms can be represented in my opinion using a number of  the offerings on the market for Spain, Mexico or the Spanish maine all of which give me that Caribbean feel that I am looking for.

Haiti may have its shabby areas but its art scene thrives.Image result for old 1800 haiti pictures

I do like my tabletop to have some good functional scenary that can be played across and handled without flinching everytime someone walks by the table.

Of late game and painting time seems to be under pressure from the real world so and with a backlog of figures I certainly don't want to be spending valuable figure time on construction so even though so some of the latest MDF offerings are fantastic and I might be tempted by some key pieces in the future I am only looking at pre-built offerings.

I thinned the list of possibles down to some of Brigade and Empress they both had key buildings that would get regular game time.

Brigade do a lovely set of Caribbean buildings which fitted the bill, but without an easy way to get them into the UK have stepped back from these.

The Empress stuff is lovely and the Church for example would make a great centre piece but running in at £59.00 it did make me wince a little.... (I do see the value in MDF if you have the time and skills to construct these buildings).
However the range lacks the breath I was looking for.

Image result for empress spanish buildings

Then I came across these guys at Warfare last weekend. Tablescape.

Light weight, Ready Painted and with a generic feel that gives me the Haitian feel but could also cross over into several other collections that I have.
They were reasonably priced as well.
The Church below is ready painted for £32.00.
No making, sticking, green stuff or painting... that has to be a good return on investment?

The guys have a broad range and the out houses can be added to some of their main buildings to give me a little more variety as needed.

Each building is made from rigid foam, the smaller buildings are solid and the larger buildings have a hollow centre, you won't be able to put figures in them, but most Sharp Practice games I don't tend to do that anyway.
I will probably add a little colour to the window frames and doors but they really are table ready straight out of the box. I picked up a couple of core town houses, the out houses and farm buildings.

No excuse now not to get on with the Infantry languishing on the paint table.

I will post some comparisons next to the figures in the coming days.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Boukman & Lamaretiniere - Trent Miniatures

Remind me next time not to fit my own bathroom, it's taken far longer than planned for and seriously dented by playing and painting time. I think I will still to modelling on a far smaller scale.

I am sure I am not the only one but if I don't pick the brushes up on a regular basis it takes a little longer to get my eye in, with a battalion of half finished French staring at me from the paint table, I thought I would ease myself back in with a couple of leaders for the Haitian campaign which is now likely to kick off in the new year.

Both figures are from the Trent minaitures range and give me a couple of extra options in Sharp Practice for some additional big Men and Women...

First up - Boukman, the first leader of the August 1791 slave revolt in St. Domingue.
Boukman was a true big man reported to have a large and powerful physique and was reputed to be a Voodoo priest. He was killed in battle in November 1791.

Then we have Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniere, a female soldier in Toussaint Louverture’s army.
She fought with Dessalines in the defence of Crete-a-Pierrot against Napoleons invading French.

It seems ages since I last did a show, so really looking forward to Warfare tomorrow where me and the rest of the Wyvern guys are supporting Paul and Kallistra by putting on the Battle of Varna.

It's sure to be bloody, be sure to drop by for a chat if you are at the show, with 000's of Ottomans on the table we will need some help moving them all....

Kallistra on tour 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The dead are rising - Elizabethan Zombie Wars.

All Hallows Eve is nearly upon us, so time to raise the dead and dust off the Elizabethan forces for a club zombie outing. Three groups of the living, The English looking to rescue their comrades from the clutches of the evil Spanish, The Spaniards have landed in England looking to cleanse the land they have heard rumours of witches holding the locals in their evil grasp and finally the locals seeking to secure their food stocks before the opposing armies loot them....

The only problem all objectives are in the barn unknown to each player.....

Each player selects a table edge to approach the village, no cadavers are in sight, but each player is aware that the village is surrounded by six burial pits and any noise will awaken the dead.

The Spanish head down the road on mass believing in safety in numbers. However this only serves to awaken the plague victims as the ground gives up the recently passed.

The English fair little better as the burial mound spits out its content driving them towards the village.

The English head for the cornfield looking to hide amongst the corn, out of sight and ear shot.
Will the dead lose interest?

Meanwhile the Spaniards greated by a wall of zombies outside the blacksmiths make a dash across the enclosure, looking to lose their opponents, however this triggers a further plague pit, many of the Spaniards slip past but one poor soul is caught.

Taking several of the dead with him Pedro falls and the zombies are briefly distracted as they feast on their opponent.

The forces of Spain reach the barn doors first and whilst battling the dead hack at the barn door without success the noise echoes across the village.

The locals somewhat late to the party rush down the road having seen that the undead were distracted by the Spanish despartely trying to force the barn doors open.

Finally with the dead massing the Spanish finally break the barn door down to reveal the awful truth.... The dead and their foul coven of witches, the dead shamble forwards seeking the flesh of the invaders.

So close to their goal the Spanish are forced backwards by the sheer weight of the dead rushing towards them. With Sword, Dagger and Musket Butt the Spaniards set about cleansing the land.

The English seize their opportunity and spotting the side door charge forward firing into the Witches who now have no zombies to protect them and their prisoners.

Many of the Spaniards and locals join the ranks of the dead as they struggle in vain to reach their objective as the sneaky English finish off the witches and rescue their comrades.

With a number of casualties the Zombies gorge on the recently killed allowing the remainder of locals and Spanish to leave the table to the dead, as the English take their prize and head for home.

A great club game with plenty of fun as each side tried to draw the zombies on to their opponents. Played using LOTR with a couple of adaptions A link can be found here.

It's just a shame no one entered Werewolf Wood :-)

Until next time....

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Dux Brittaniarum - The return of the Irish

After the bloody encounter a few weeks ago, time once again to venture into the world of Dux Brittaniarum this time with the Irish taking to the field and an Irish Raider force looking to sack a village on the mainland.

Short of skirmish and missile troops, my Elizabethan arquebus were pressed into service to fill the ranks of the attackers.

I decided to form all of my raiders into a central block they are pretty niffy in attack but take on shock rather to quickly if caught.

The village looked deserted but then the local lord and his heavy horse made an appearance, freshly painted and looking to crack some Irish heads.

More defenders appeared on the rise above the village, missile men and levy, a quick dart in and plunder was begining to look unlikely.

I pushed on up the centre of the field whilst the enemy cavalry moved to take the high ground on the right flank, I had to counter this calling forward my noble cavalry.

Battle lines are formed. My skirmish units on the left started chipping away at the enemy formation, I can't inflict kills but the shock can break them if you pour enough fire on them. In the centre my raiders face off against the enemy cavalry whilst on the high ground we both stare each other down with our heavy horse.

The Irish stand off continues neither side looking to commit, whilst the defenders bring up further foot to protect the village from the raiders. Something had to give.

It's not very often that you have the perfect card combination, but every now and again :-)
Now one thing you need to remember with raider cavalry is, the greater the shock the enemy have the more attack dice you get..... ouch....

The defenders were slaughtered like pigs!!!!
The enemy cavalry were wiped from the field without any losses on my side.
(Sorry SWF. but I could not help myself and had to include the pic when you went and made the tea.. you should never have left the pigs in the box :-)....)

Despite the loss of the noble cavalry it was to be a short lived victory, the raiders faced by two solid shield walls and with most of the skirmish troops having been driven off, the Irish could make little head way in their goal of sacking the village.

The Irish line contracted and started to fall back under increasing shock. The raiders in a final gamble charged the levy shield wall only to be forced back with multiple points of shock. There would be no loot to be taking home this evening.

Another cracking enounter going on way past midnight... I might even be tempted by some of the new footsore miniatures to bolster the Irish ranks...

Right back to Haiti....

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Terminator Genisys - 1st outing.

Having made an impulse purchase in Warlord sale for Terminator Genisys in the thinking that the rules might work for my Russian Sci-fi project, I thought I would put them through there paces.
I already had the buildings for a modern table with plenty of rubble and ruins should be easy to recreate the world according to skynet...

I watched the game play on Beasts of War and the rules seemed to flow quite nicely.
I felt the original release price was excessive, but £10 which equates to not even a blister pack of cavalry these days you do get quite a lot for your money.

  • Colour rulebook: 128 pages including modelling guide and points system.
  • A Kyle Reese figure.
  • 10 Terminators.
  • 5 Crawling Terminators.
  • 16 Resistance Fighters.
  • A gaming surface.
  • a number of card barricades and tokens
  • Dice to play the game.
I pulled together a quick 500 points to give the rules a work through.

Each player takes it in turns to roll the 'Fate' dice this either gives you one or two figures to move or your miss a go and pass the dice to your opponent, in the begining this felt a little heavy going when you are simply closing but in close action it becomes pretty important.

The counters signify characters yet to move and can be very tactical espically if you are the resistance and have more figures than the mighty machines as once they have exhausted all their figures you move the rest.

Each class of miniature is given a quality dice D6, D8, D10 etc, etc. The Terminators are tough even if destoryed there is a change that they will turn into a crawler and keep on coming.
However they don't seek cover where the humans do which does help to even the sides up.

Characters that are hit but survive, receive 'reeling' markers, you are only able to remove one per character per turn, so concentrated fire can surpress tough figures for quite a while.
A simple and effective rule mechanism even if it was spread over 7 or 8 pages.

As you expect with licence products their is plenty of film images in the book, modelling tips and painting guides, strip this back and the core rules take up around 4-6 pages. You have some movie based rules options - Time travel, OK if you want to play the full game experience I guess.

I plan on giving my modern russians vs insurgents an outing next time to see if they work.
With at least three of my gaming circle the proud owner of a £10 Terminator Box set, I guess could be persuaded to paint the figures.