Thursday, December 29, 2016

Flashing Steel - The last game of 2016..

Quite possibly the last game of 2016 and the last club before Christmas saw us return to Elizabethan England and an attempt by the evil Spanish to capture the Queen of England and whisk her off to Spain to marry King Phillip.

I am a great fan of many of the Songs of Blades & Heroes rule set so when Paul suggested we give Flashing Steel a try how could I resist, I played Cutlass! recently so was keen to see how they compared for swashbuckling adventures.

We drew up forces of around 500 points each. 
The Spanish had to break into the Farm Complex snatch the Queen and escort her back to the waiting boats, the English had to stop them.
 The Queen awaits her escort.

 The Spanish cross the bridge a sneak leads the way looking to clear the way of any defenders.

 Face off - The Sneak edges along the wall, whilst the Captain of the guard awaits the invader.

 The English trained band lets off a volley, smoke fills the battlefield as the Spanish bucklermen attempt to breakdown the door.

 As the door starts to splinter the English charge forward looking to delay the Spanish.

 The clock winds down and as English reinforcements rush to the fight.
The Spanish had gained the upper hand in the melee, but the farm gate was still intact and with English no time to find the Queen the invaders would be forced to leave empty handed.

Another valuable edition to the Ganesha Games's stable.
As with many of the SOBH rule mechanics we were pretty much in to normal game play within a couple of turns, as with the earlier rules all of our characters had a quality rating with our senior more experienced characters finding it easier to pass than the lowly infantry and leaders able to command troops to carry out a number of actions within their command radius.

A nice tweak within Flashing Steel is the improved characteristic for the weapons adding to your combat score which can make a significant difference in hand to hand. 
This extends into firing with a number of new modifiers including accidental discharge and clouds of black powder which can both help and hinder depending on the way the wind is blowing. In the scenario above the Spanish were protected by the smoke but it also allowed the English to close when they were unloaded.

The rules had a very familar feel to them with characters circling each other looking to land that mighty blow, however I might consider adding back in the gruesome kill, which has been omitted from the rules - shame as this was great for breaking up a melee.

Perhaps a re-run using Cutlass! in the new year?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Mantic Games - Trident Realm of Neritica

I don't profess to be a tread setter, but hot on the heels of the recent Atlantis game comes The Trident Realm of Neritica from Mantic games.
Now there has to be some items in here worth transporting over to the Atlantis project.
  • Water Elementals (mini waves that will crash against the enemy)
  • the awesome Riverguard (which look a little like ninja frogs)
  • Thuul (a bizarre mix of Halfing and octopus… )
  • Gigas (large crustaceans with massive pincers)
The army sets for the  can now be pre-ordered from Mantic Games:
With a full release in February.

The New Year has not even started and I can see a new project appearing over the horizon.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Campaign Suppliment for Sharp Practice - Dawns and Departures.

An early Christmas present for me. Now available from the Too Fat Lardies is the Dawns & Departures campaign supplement for Sharp Practice.
Image result for too fat lardies dawns and departures review blog
Just as the revised French in Egypt near the painting finishing line the campaign suppliment lands.
Perfect for the new and improved adventures of Ensign Claude Canard and his Friend and mentor Ensign CĂ´telettes de Mouton of the French Sloop "Le Vendeen" 

The campaign handbook provides a number of campaign options which only need a few tweaks for fighting in the Middle East all based around a Narrative Campaign system.

79 pages of Lardy goodness - be given a mission. Make life long friends (and enemies), build your reputation and influence at court and make your fortune.
What more could you ask for in 2017...

Now back to the French....

Merry Christmas all.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cutlass! - AAR - Adventures in Atlantis.

My apologies for the lack of posts of late, I had high hopes for December in terms of hobby time, but a combination of things has meant little or time to myself, still with less than a week before Christmas I can see light at the end of the tunnel and it's no someone bringing me more work.

I mean't post this a few weeks ago, I have been itching to try the Black Scorpion rule set - Cutlass! for some time and whilst the figures queue up behind the French (more on them in a future post) a recent club night saw the first outing and a small encounter pitting Atlantian Guardians against the Borites a reptilian type creature which inhabits the swamps of Atlantis.

Atlantis was dying of the seven cities the first two have been "lost beneath the waters of the outer limits forever" and the third one, Troya, is now deserted and empty. Elsewhere the swamp lands are slowly rising and Mogdaan, Zaarg and Borite attacks on the fourth city of Vaar are increasing in frequency and ferocity.

Atmir has been ordered to take a Guardian Patrol and a handful of trusted slaves into the Outer limits to gather intelligence on Borites numbers and their intentions.

The swamp lands of Atlantis.

Atlanians and human slaves land on the beach looking to see signs of the Borites.

Guardians deploy on the flanks looking to protect the poorer Humans from an sneaky lizard attack.

The reptiles lie in wait.

It starts to go wrong from the start, a Borite is spotted and shot at, he reacts and charges into contact with the lead scout.

The Prisoner soldier is injured in the first round of combat - ouch.

Meanwhile as the Guardians struggle to contain two Borites to their front even though they out number them 3:1, a far larger war party looks to flank the patrol - Gulp.

With many of the Atlantian patrol, spooked, injured, stunned or unloaded, the reptiles start to move in for the kill.

Caught on both fronts the patrol struggles to hold back the attackers, the occasion blow is parried but Guardians and slaves start to fall.

A poor action total for the Atlantians sees them swamped by the swamped dwellers (sorry....). Who with a much better Action roll are able to bring a number of extra attacks to bear.

Atmir and his two surviving Guardians flee the beach. He will be able to report back that they are a credible threat and bloody tough....

On reflection I probably over equiped the Lizardmen or gave them to many bumped up stats or did the Atlantians just suffer from the curse of freshly painted figures?

The rules worked really well and the action points make for an interesting encounter, perhaps the first game for many a year where a single character who has the drop on several can run a mock before the defenders can get into any order.

The Atlantians well armed wasted several orders trying to react to a single ambusher and the close terrain meant they had difficultly get any aimed shots off before the guys with swords and pointy sticks arrived charging in and over coming most of the the defenders.

It will be interesting to play through with the generic offerings in the book to see if the out come was much different. But this scenario for me had a real early colonial feel to - Last of the Mochians anyone?

On a slightly disappointing note and a learn for the Black Scorpion guys is the bind quality of the rules, I really don't expect to have several pages come loose from the binding and drop out after only one game, to the point where I am now considering having to put all the pages in a plastic ring binder, an expense I should not need to carry after only 3 hours of use.
I hope they choose a better printer for the forthcoming Western Version.

Until next time.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Wyvern Wargamers - Winter All Dayer 2016 Part 2 - The Battle of the iNyezane River.

It's been quite a while since the last big Zulu outing at least 5 years - So what better excuse for the Wyvern's to get the old gang back together.

Last Sunday saw a larger encounter using "Men Who Would be Kings" adventuring in Zululand with the lead elements of Col. Pearson's Right Flank Column crossing the iNyezane drift into Zululand.

5 British players all looking to make a name for themselves, so whilst they all fought to defeat the Zulu they would be awarded points for various acts of valour.

1 Pt for Each undestroyed Wagon on the North side
1 Pt for Each Destroyed or routed Zulu Unit
-1 for each unit lost.
4 Pts for setting the Kraal on fire.

The game starts with a company of engineers at the drift with detachments from the NNC helping to transport the wagons across.

On the British right the Zulu appear rushing to fill a rocky enclave with Riflemens. As more warriors fill the pass, the frontier horse press forward to slow the Zulu advance.

Meanwhile the Kraal is a hive of activity as warriors rush out looking to halt the British crossing, with over 30 Zulu units on the table it would be a hot day in the field for the Brits.

11.00am and the Zulu have amassed quite a force, a lucky dice roll by the Zulu commander see's the Zulu able to field 10 units in one go, they fill the plain in front of the Kraal and head out to meet the colonial invaders.

The Engineers had done a stirling job and had been able to push all the wagons over the iNyezane River, perhaps to well as the Buffs and the supporting sailors were rather thinly spread. Seeing an opening the Zulu's pour down the hillside.

The British scramble to form a firing line as the Zulu close in, Sailors, Redcoats and NNC stand ready to recieve the charge.

Battle is joined, wave after wave of Zulu's crash into the British line, a number of sections are forced to fall back, but close order drill and crashing volley's destroy a number of native units and pin several others. The Zulu's fall back or are shot down where they stand.

The forces of the Crown re-group a number of their units are at less than half strength but they had beaten back the inital Zulu assault. They now press forward clearing the remaining natives to their front. 

However this initial assault has allowed the Zulu commander to draw up sufficent forces to begin a second push on the British line.

Married and Unmarried warriors start down the hillside towards the invaders.

Two companies of the 2/3rd The Buffs have made there way up the steep incline, only to be set upon by the second wave of Zulu's they are badly mauled and the Colonel's Nephew is killed in action.
The British fall back under pressure from the charging Zulu warriors.

The British are won't be caught a second time, a strong firing line is formed including 7lbs Artillery  and a Gatling Gun, the Zulu's still had a third of their army in the field but had no wish to attempt another assault on the British. Pearson had been bloodied but lacked the strength to push up the hill without sustaining yet more casualties. 
The battle was drawn.

A great days gaming - a near run thing for both sides.
What if the Zulu's had been slower to arrive?
What if the Infantry had crossed the drift first?
What if the Zulu's had thrown more troops into the first attack rather than massing on the hill side?

Perhaps another refight in 2017?

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Wyvern Wargamers - Winter All Dayer 2016 Part 1

There is nothing like an all dayer to get the creative juices following or the cold sweat of panic knowing you have less than 24 Hrs to get figures battlefield ready.

Tomorrow the Wyverns revisiting the Zulu Wars with Col Pearson's Right Flank Column crossing the iNyezane Drift.

We shall be using the Daniel Mersey's - The Men Who Would Be Kings rules. With 90 points aside on offer - The Zulu's really will be thick as grass...
But still time to recruit a unit of sharp shooters to slow the British advance.

Full AAR to follow....

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Warfare 2016

Sunday saw our annual trip down to Reading for Warfare, the last show of 2016.
Thanks to all those who stopped by. We were looking recreate an element of the the Battle of the Somme and the push for Albert, a detailed overview can be found here.

Thanks for Paul and Sally at Kallistra for supply the fantastic terrain, the Hexon system is really the only choice for creating the necessary trench lines on this scale.

Some pics of the battle as it unfolded.

The battlefield, British on the left and German Machine guns on the right.

The Germans man the trenches a poor roll by me meant that the British Artillery failed to surpress many of the MG's apart from the very last 3 on the far right.
The Brtish reach the wire but suffered over 1000 casualties within the first hour of play.
The German defenders in the mine crater suffered as the British looked to break into the first line of defence.
The mine on the British right had smashed the German trenches and the loss of three of the seven Machine guns and weakened the German left allowing the Brits to push through on to the second line after fighting had ranged all day in the forward trenches.

Meanwhile on the British left the Trenches were in partial British hands but the Albert Road and village was still heavily defended.
As a gentle reminder what was waiting for me on the paint table at home, our next door neighbors  Steve Deeprose put on a fantastic looking Egypt game...... Right back to the brushes those Frenchies will not paint themselves.


Saturday, November 19, 2016

1 Sleep till Warfare

For many Black Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year, but for wargamers surely Warfare is that day?
Time to buy all those presents for yourself that you really want on Christmas morning...

The Wyverns will be supporting our good friends Kallistra running a large WW1 encounter using their Raging Empires Rules. A fast placed game allowing you to game trench warfare on a large scale.

Drop by and say hello you are always welcome to come and roll some dice.