Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas greetings and a brief update

With most of the family struck down with heavy colds and a Christmas Tree that would not stay up, to the point where the real tree, now completely devoid of needles was relegated to the garden and an artifical one purchased on Boxing day you would think Christmas Day was one to forget...

However it presented the opportunity of getting some family game time in with the family favourite Zombicide! Dosed up on cold remedies the clan set about dispatching the hordes of undead as we fought our way to the exit. 

A new game entered the familiy stable this year in the shape of the Sheriff of Nottingham, a game of bluff and outright lies and fakery. This was a present from my gaming gang at the old company and it was the first opportunity to get it out of the box since leaving in November.  

Image result for sheriff of nottingham

The guys had done a fantastic job of giving the front of the box a make over including my own face.
Thanks guy's bloody brilliant..... It's just a shame I could not share it with the rest of the workforce for fear of outing you all as gamers :-)
And no I don't see any likeness....

Each games last around an hour and half, the trick is to sneak enough contriband goods past the sheriff, whilst at the same time offering the occasional bribe to make it worth his while not to look in your sack. 

With the requirement to tell lies why did I think for one moment that 3 teenage daughters would be any good at such a game. 
Needless to say I have lost every game so far.

Meanwhile in last club night of the year, my good friend Dane, brought in his Mythic Battles Kickstarter. The game comes in three parts, setting it up, playing the game and then finding the right tray to put it in at the end..... OK so it's not that bad but it does require a degree of prep before the game, it has some lovely castings but where do you store it all?

With our Gods and Heroes assembled we set off collecting the red gems, first to four wins and there are only seven available.

The game went down to the wire with the good guys falling at the final hurdle as Apollo was felled and the loss of a God resulted in a loss for my side. Definately one to play again. 
Have a good break everyone - Next up the Annual review of 2017...

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Haitian Reinforcements - No Porkies

Finally another 6 Infantry limp off the paint table together with a much needed Big Man.
These should serve to flesh out the units bringing each up 8 figures rather than the 6 currently in play.

The Big Man is from Trent Minatures Insurgent pack and makes for a prefect low level leader, bare chested with his tunic open, cocking a pistol.

I also finished a couple of extra shock markers or loot tokens these were made up of a pack of pigs from Warbases animal range, which I figured they fitted in with the general feel for the period. There are several accounts of religious ceremonies being conducted before the slaves/insurgents went into battle.

Antoine Dalmas who wrote about Bois-Caiman at the time states that a "kind of celebration or sacrifice" was held, in which "The religious ceremonies that the blacks practiced in slitting the pigs throat" he continued "the eagerness with which they drank its blood, the value in which they placed on progressing some of its hairs - a kind of taliman that, according to them, would make them invulnerable"

It feels like the perfect reason to paint them up and perhaps even some special rules for units who have drunk pigs blood?

Saturday, December 09, 2017

The Pearl of the Antilles - Haitian Revolution AAR #4 Hold the line.

Painting and posting has slowed to a trickle but hopefully the Christmas period will give me that free time to get juices flowing and some of the back log cleared.

Last weekend saw the Wyvern Christmas all dayer, we were a little thin on the ground but it's always nice to get in a full days gaming without rushing the end of the game with the usual what might have been discussion.

This years outing took us back to Haiti and a combined British and French Affair.

The slaves were revolting, several plantations were in ruins, the land owners and loyal staff had nowhere to go but the coast in the hope naval units would rescue them from the slave army.

The civilians queue on the beach hoping that what remains of the French and British garrisons in the area would be able to hold back the slave army before the row boats could lift them off the beach.

The idea for the game was split it into two parts the morning saw both British and French forces manning the barricades as the Haitian forces cam on in three entry points in a random order, but allied players needed to keep their forces largely intact as they needed to be the dominate force in the area once the slaves were put down.

The British line their barricade awaiting the first wave of slaves to show themselves.

They did not have to wait long as the first unit out of the bag was 12 wallahs with big choppers, they charged forward and were met with a full volley which sent them running for the tree line.

Meanwhile on the French side of the table they were having a worse time, slave skirmishers had somewhat surprisingly taken out a number of the French defenders including one of the officers who was knocked clean out, a unit of knife armed slaves got to within striking distance before being beaten back.

Meanwhile on the British front the bulk of the slave army had appeared and had begun to inflict a number of casualties on the defenders, but keeping good order the British, presented aimed and fired which slowing drove up the shock and casualties of the Haitian army as it failed to make any head way against the thin red line.

The morning came to a close with the defences still intact and the Haitians force morale sitting on a lowly 3.

The afternoon saw both sides regroup and reposition themsleves, the British and French carried over their casualties whilst the Haitians were back to full strength, this time the Haitians opted for massed columns with skirmishes out in front.

Alas the allied line held, the Haitians had gambled on one of the allied players pulling back from the line to head for the waiting naval transport, but in a rare show of honour both players opted to trust each other destroy the flame of liberty so they could continue to line their pockets with the ill gotten gains of the slave trade.... (Yep I was feeling a little picked on, I was sure one them would buckle and run for the boats) :-)

The Haitians were firmly beaten but to be fair it was to be expected, facing a well trained formed enemy behind defensive works what did I think the outcome would be?
The lack of a couple of extra officers/bigmen in the Haitian units would have kept them moving but the levels of shock and poor quality bigmen kept them surpressed.

A great game regardless and one day the island of Haiti will be free and they will win a game.
You can guess what's on the paint table next.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

All work and no play.

Hobby time has been rather thin on the ground in recent weeks.
A new job some two hours closer to home should have given me plenty of time to get in front of the brushes, but intense home work and manual reading put paid to any free time in the evenings, hopefully the next month should see things calm down.

I did manage to sneak a trip down to Warfare last weekend and joined the rest of the Wyverns in a refight of Cambrai 1917, using Paul @ Kallistra's excellent hex terrain and figures.

The British out numbering the Germans 3:1 and supported by 30 Tanks attempted to break three lines of German trenches.

As one of the German commanders we opted to leave the first trench line lightly defended hoping to draw the British in where they would lose a number of tanks in attempting to cross the trench lines with the occasional grenade attack from the infantry defenders.
In a bloody affair in which the British opened up a number of channels through the use of concentrated artillery they flanked the German left but could not capitalise on the assault as they had lost all of their armour and around 60% of the infantry.

A drawn although the British were quickly on twitter to celebrate a victory.

“The news isn't there to tell you what happened. It's there to tell you what it wants you to hear or what it thinks you want to hear.”
 Joss Whedon

A great days gaming touch and go right to the last turn when the German Infantry managed to destroy the last 3 tanks with Grenades, what are the chances of rolling 3 12's in a row.

Purchases on the day were few, but with Christmas coming and limited paint time, probably not a bad thing, I picked up some extra items for Ghost Archipelago in the shape of a couple of swamps which need some extra's adding by way of grasses and reeds. I also picked up some lovely treasure pieces which will be great to fight over in the months ahead.

Redoubt had released their cotton pickers for the ACW, but they should be fine for the Haiti Project and some extra jump off points.

I have managed to prep the Crewman from the Ghost Archipelago Nickstarter, with 20 in a box, I opted for 10 European type characters and 10 Middle Eastern both gangs armed with a mixture of weapons, having given the Chinese a run out a few weeks ago, I figured three distinct factions could be formed for any one simply wanting to walk into the club without having to roll for all the stats from the outset.

Until next time....

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Ghost Archipelago - 1st Outing.

Just a short post today showcasing the first outing for Ghost Archipelago last sunday evening.
One of the great things about these rules is I have pretty much all that is required to put a game on, swamps, plastic plants and fish tank ornaments.
Whilst I work on putting suitable crews together Chinese and Romans stepped in to go treasure hunting.

With 3 players on the board and the gaming area very small we were soon well into the action, the wandering monster element gave the game an extra dimension espically as we encountered one on every treasure pile.

We made a couple of mistakes, half speed when carry treasure for starters but all in all very slick and as time goes on I can see a better use of the magic which for many of us in this case with restricted to enhancing firing and lightening bolts...

In case you are wondering The Roman's bagged the main treasure.... but also lost the most men in the after game wash up...

More to follow.

Saturday, November 04, 2017

The Pearl of the Antilles - Haitian Revolution AAR #3 Into the Hinterland

Following on from the last game which was a close call and saw the Haitian's fall back as their morale fell away as the support units were beaten and driven from the fight, this scenario sees the British push inland towards the fertile plantations, fearing they would be returned to slavery the Free Haitians make a stand.

To win the game the British advancing from the bottom of the table must secure the deployment point at the far end of the table, clearing any defending forces that stand in their way.

Once again my dice roll let me down and I was limited to a Force Morale of 8 whilst the Regular Brits had 10 points, I let the British force come on hoping to draw them in and pick them off once group at a time.

Rather quicker than I had hoped for Blunt of the 95th rushed towards the crop field, I could not afford to give up such a valuable position and deployed by skirmish troops to slow him down. The firing was rather poor but the number of troops looked rather scary.

The British Regulars pushed forwards and I unleashed the first of my Wallahs armed with nothing but sticks, clubs and knives they rushed from their quarters to drive back the enemy.

The slave army closes in, armed with Big Choppers they fight as clan in the first round, they gave the Brits a fright in the first encounter and my opponents looked nervous as they closed with the red coat detachment.

Victorious in melee, but victory came at a price, the Brits were driven back but Cpt Blunt fired into the flank of the cheering slaves and killed their leader, the force morale dropped down a level.

By now thanks to some terrible rolls on the force morale table and wounding of a number of Haitan leaders I was in danger of losing the game before any of the main forces were deployed.

With shock mounting and my of the leaders at status zero, I order the light troops to fall back giving up the secondary deployment point and slave quarters to the cocky British who had limbered their gun and were now marching confidently forwards.

But it was a crafty rouse and as the British marched on in column the main Haitian force deployed and poured a crashing volley into the regulars marching towards the house and barn. The British stalled as shock started to mount.

The Sailors having who had been soundly beaten in the first encounter moved forwards looking to repair their damaged reputation.

Meanwhile I knew any further losses would make it difficult to protect my already weak force morale, I deployed my remaining forces looking to drive the Brits from the table.

Having fired off their only controlled volley the Haitian Regulars struggled to reload as the sailors charged in, over running the secondary deployment point and heading straight for the unloaded infantry.

In an uneven affair the quality of the sailors and the lack of ready muskets drove the Freeman back, the Force Morale fell again.

The Royal Navy pushed on crashing in to the flank of the remaining Infantry.

In an effort to distract my opponent I poured forwards hoping to bag Blunt, but the hero of the early skirmish took to his heels afraid of what the Big Choppers might do to him. 

Even with Captain Lawnmower knocked to the ground, the Sailors pressed on looking to seize the Haitian colours.

It was all over Major Deliveroo leader of the Haitian Forces was wounded, his troops broken and his force morale at zero left the table to the British.

Another British victory but a near run thing, the Haitians gave a good account of themselves but they need to be more careful and look to perhaps deploy on mass, as on both occasions the force morale has been seriously reduced before the main force can be brought to bear. The war has a very different feel to European Warfare. Perhaps next time a counter attack will drive the British back to the beach.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Wyvern Wargamers - ACW Campaign for Sharp Practice.

On the back of one of the Wyvern's all day bashes a number of us have decided to embark on a short ACW campaign to keep us busy over the winter months and ensure the painting tally for the year continues to tick over.

I have been reading the Too Fat Lardies Campaign Suppliment over the summer and it has a number of areas of interest which might make some of the club games more interesting, as there will be consequences at the end of the game.

With 3 players per side the original map and suggested forces was a little to small, so I have increased the map to double that in the suppliment and supplied each side with roughly 180 points to select from. I have kept to the principle by putting a central road in but by splitting it should give commanders a challange on how to cover the terrain on the map.

It's late in the War and the Confederates are on the defensive, the Union forces enter from the Blue Arrow, can they defeat the Rebel command?

As we speak players are totting up points and force combinations before setting off on their respective mission.

Campaign updates will appear on the blog when intelligence is open to all, commanders will recieve their own updates via e-mail.

Stay tuned for more.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Dusting off some old favourites... AVBCW.

A little behind on postings, so much for winding down in my notice period at work :-)
Another 3 years have passed and time to dust off the AVBCW Collection, every now and again its good to revisit Worcester in 1938 and the exploits of Harry Doyle and Severn Riverside Wharf Labours Federation and the Astwood Defence Association.

Over the years I have used several rule sets, Operation Overlord, Flying Lead, Mud and Blood and in this encounter - Chain of Command.

Major Bert Shedwhistle a senior leader in the Astwood Defence Association feared for this parish. They had guarded their parish boundary from "wrong'uns" and had cooperated with the authorities when required to do so. But as the war pressed on where they backing the wrong side?
A small detachment of troops were sent on a mission to secure valuable supplies in the shape of a lorry full of Rifles and Rations, the driver and guard were soon over powered and the lorry driven to the bridge were they were to meet the canal boat which was to ship the weopon cache back to the parish.

The night passed without incident but at dawn on the Sunday morning government forces were spotted advancing through the early morining mist. Bert mustered his me they had to hold on until the boat arrived.

The scenario was a flank attach with the ADA having to hold out and break the morale of the attackers before their own morale fell, with both forces packed out with conscripts the force morale were both under ten.

The ADA form up and deploy amongst the trees and hedge rows to protect the lorry from the advancing government forces.

Meawhile the Police appear on the Kidderminster Road lining the stone wall armed with a rag tag collection of rifles and pistols they would be hard pressed against the machine gun armed ADA.


A BUF Heavy Machine gun deploys in the two story farm house, by accident and much to my frustration the bedroom window covered every firing aspect where the ADA could deploy it was to be the match winner and proved the value of picking support weapons when drawing up your forces.

An Astwood fire team deploy but becomes the first victim of that flaming gun team, appearing on table it got caught by the HMG team on overwatch and is soon pinned, losing two men and being forced to ground.

The ADA get a degree of revenge catching a group of BUF thugs in the open as they ran from the wool shop to try and get a better angle on the defenders.

With the HMG keeping the defenders heads down the Government and Polce units advance across the fields.

Things were not going well for the defenders a well timed ambush using a CoC dice inflicted minimal casualties as they attempted to withdraw the HMG cut them down....

The Canal Boat arrives but the BUF are rushing towards the tow path.

As the Boat makes it painfully slow progress down the canal the police pour fire into the defenders, they had now flanked the men body of defenders and were pushing across the wheat fields.

As a final insult as the perimeter guards full back from the strong point they are caught by the HMG in the open, who inflicts enough shock to pin them and pushing the Ashwood Defence Associations forceir morale below zero.

Today's lesson..... When a HMG is deployed keep your flaming head down unless you want it shot off......