Sunday, February 25, 2018

Asteroids.... On the cheap....

With Hammerhead less than a week away, the Wyverns will once again be on display...
This year we will be venturing back to the time of vintage sci-fi and Flash Gordon.

The Star Eagle Rules finally landed yesterday, several months late... But just in time to be able to be printed, read and the templates created.

Time for everyone to take a squadron of Rocket Ships and fight for Mongo!!!

To break up the playing area. I wanted to put a asteriod field together, but Galeforce Nine's offering was simply not cost effective - £24 for 5 floating asteroids... You would need to spend over £200 to get a reasonable feel. So it was suggested larva rock for BBQ's might do the trick.

£10.99 gets you around 3KG of rubble in a bag....  

You will need to sort the more rounder chunks from the others which can only be described as house bricks, but in my case at least 2 thirds of the bag was suitable for my needs. 
They will need soaking and cleaning up to remove the dust and I will probably give them a dry brush and a varnish over time.

I ordered some Hawk flight stands came to about £15.00 for 16 stands. Which should be stable enough to hold the asteroids.

Many of the 'Rocks' come with holes deep enough to add the stands, but I shall probably look to drill them and glue the stands in to give them some stability adding in some extra's around the base to give the idea of mass.

When you compare them to the War Rocket Class Rocketships you get a reasonable idea of the size of each piece of floating space rock.

All together this comes to around £30.00, which feels far more suitable.
Lets just hope they don't fall to bits when I drill the holes, still worse case I guess they can always go back on the BBQ should we every get a dry day again....

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Worcester Living History Weekend 17th Feb - Thoughts on the day.

Yesterday saw the first of what hopefully will be an annual event, the Guildhall in the City was a great room to play in with plenty of natural light and room to move around, the building dates back to the 1770's which really gave the day that historical feel.

It was a low key affair with representation from us and the Wyre Forest Wargamers who are based out of Kidderminster, together and Andy and the gang who run Worcester Wargames, who put on the event.

It would be great to see more of the local clubs and gamers there next year.
I know you are out there...

9.00am and ready to go..
Plenty of interest from members of the public who were mostly unaware of the hobby, but they were soon drawn in by the history and levels of painted figures on display.

Will we drum up any extra members, I suspect not.
Did we raise awareness of the hobby for sure.

The Battle of Ramillies 1706
Germans vs Romans.
ECW - Somewhere just outside Worcester
WW2 - France 1944
When we discussed what would feel right for the day and what would give a suitable overview of traditional gaming we opted for a Marlburian epic - Ramilies 1706.

The History Bit.
Battle of Ramillies, (May 23, 1706), victory won by Allied (Anglo-Dutch) forces led by the Duke of Marlborough over the French during the War of the Spanish Succession. The victory led to the Allied capture of the whole north and east of the Spanish Netherlands.

The battle was fought at the village of Ramillies, 13 miles north of Namur (in modern Belgium), between a 62,000-man Allied army under Marlborough and a 60,000-man French army.
A strong Allied attack on the French left forced them to shift reinforcements from the centre. 

Marlborough, however, called off this attack because the marshy ground would not permit cavalry support. Half of the battalions from this wing then marched, undetected by the French, to the centre to support the final concentrated Allied assault. 
This smashed the overextended French army. The French lost about 17,000 killed, wounded, or captured and by the next morning were thoroughly dispersed. 
Allied losses numbered about 5,000 killed and wounded. 

Much like the events on the day the Cavalry were the stars of the show, crashing into each other until neither were capable of exploiting the gap in the enemy lines. Both sides attempted to cross the marshy ground and stream. each side lost a good number of troops as they faced off over the boggy ground.
As the day closed the British Guards were finally able to gain a foothold on the French side.

A hard fought draw and entertaining game.

We used a variant of Blucher it was perfect for a battle of this scale were Corps and Brigades are represented, It has a fantastic mechanism where you don't know exactly how much you can do, because your opponent rolls the order dice and conceals them from you. Your can move Brigades and units, but once you go down a command level you can't go back up.
There were several turns were both sides were about to strike the master blow only to find they could only move 3 units!!!

It would be good to see this event return next year and with some better advertising and more support it could really help pulling in some new recruits for all the local clubs.

If you have stumbled on here following the Living History Event in general.
Wyvern Wargamers can be found here.
We play the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month - In the village of Bishampton 15 mins outside of Worcester.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Worcester Living History Weekend 17th - 18th Feb.

The Wyvern Wargamers will be taking to the road today and are pleased to be taking part in Worcesters Living History Weekend, the event has grown over the years and this year for the first time includes Wargames.

Organised by The Worcester Re-enactors in partnership with The Commandery, it attracts thousands of visitors who can immerse themselves in a journey through history, from Vikings to Victorians.
Visitors to the Commandery on February 17 and 18 can enjoy a huge variety of displays in one of Worcester’s oldest buildings, as re-enactors from across the centuries bring history to life through Living History encampments, military drill displays, traditional craft demonstrations and vintage vehicles. 

If you wanted to experience warfare on a smaller scale we along with a number of local clubs and societies will be putting on a games at the Guildhall in the centre of Worcester.


If you are in the city and are tired of following the other half and the kids around the clothes shops, why not drop in and pay us a visit.

We are always on the look out for new members so come along and find out what it's all about. 

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Ghost Archipelago - #2 Boiling Point.

Atmir was concerned, last week their were scattered reports of musket fire in the swamp lands to the north of Atlantis and now one of his guardians was missing, judging by the markings it looked like Terrorpids, but they had never ventured this close to the city before?
Atmir step off with his patrol to track down his missing guardian.

A three way battle to rescue the captive slowly coming to the boil, none of the players are sure who the victim is, but each are convinced that he is a member of their crew or patrol.
Each player places two treasure tokens and are tasked with securing the treasures and tipping over the pot, before it comes to the boil.

After last weeks encounter both Captain Masters of the Royal Marines and Captain O'Keefe and the crew of the Sun Chaser had retreated into the hinterland to regroup and take stock of the situation, where on earth were they?
The last thing they both remember was the naval engagement, the storm and then nothing, swashed ashore in land appearing on no maps or charts. 

Both knew there must be more of their crew ashore in the steaming jungle but where?
So they set off in search of other survivors.
Heading down the jungle track they blunder into one another, Masters reacts first and fires off a volley as the rival crews duck for cover and ready their pistols and muskets.

Menawhile in a clearing not far from the ongoing gun battle the Terrorpids, get ready for lunch.
Who know who they where or who created them... [thanks e-bay :-)] 
But they seemed unconcerned with the crash of muskets and dense smoke, as they watched lunch come to the boil.

Atmir drawn by the musket fire arrived on the table top, seeing a Terrorpid rush towards his patrol he orders his men to fire, but the musket balls had no impact on the hardened shell of the reptile.

Atmir grabbed the nearest treasure which only served to awaken more Terrorpids as the rushed from the jungle to enter the fray, clearly at this stage I was going nowhere and having little impact on the battle on the other side of the board.

The crew of the Sun Chaser continued to exchange fire with the Marines, with casualties on both sides but slowly the marines pressed their advantage and the privateers started to fall back.
Both sides had exhausted their blunderbuss rounds and their supply of grenades and smoke bombs.

The protracted firefight drew a number of Terrorpids from the guard posts, which only added to the confusion on the battlefield. The poor captive started to come to the boil.

On the far side of the battlefield Atmir was unable to extract himself from the increasing number of Terrorpids, as a Wave Warden he cast a Pool Spell to pin two of the reptiles, but they simply crawled out.

All three factions with treasure in hand, decided to leave our poor victim to his fate they grabbed their own treasures and headed off the table, leaving the Terrorpids to return to lunch.

A great encounter even if once again we had no outright winner.
The wandering monster rules, where the player with the lowest initiative places the creatures served to really mix up the game play and in effect stopped the game becoming 2v1.
The amended firing and melee rules felt alot better.

Next up Crustacean Graveyard.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sharp Parctice 2 - The French in the Desert.

A little later than planned, the AAR from a month ago, nothing like a little sunshine when it's forecasted to pour down over the weekend again...

Many of the Egyptian encounters have been rather cluttered in terms of terrrain so I wanted to put on a game that gave the feel of the immensity of the desert, I also wanted to try out the new cloths, they are a better shade than my first canvas but the material on these is prone to creasing.

The French force on mass, including, the Coptic Legion and members of the Ships Crew "Le Vendeen". The camels provide support in the shape of ammunition and a water cart.

The objective.
Far across the open desert lies the watering hole with all but a few goats in sight. 
After two days march the French are in much need of supplies and if they do not reach the objective by turn 15 will start to lose men to the heat.

With skirmishers sent to the flanks the main body presses on as the sun beats down.

Now there was a surprise.
With so little terrain on the table the Ottoman Skirmishers appear in the run down adobe building, their rifles picking off rank and file before the French muskets can get in range.

The size of the table means that the French are strung out, leaving gaps in their formation, lets hope the Ottoman force does not have cavalry.

The Cavalry appear !!! 
A charge down the left flank sees them push back the ships crew and start to flank the French force, the skirmishers do what they can to slow the charge but the French main body can't get a shot off as the dunes shield the rushing cavalry.

Mean while at the adobe casualties and shock are begining to mount as the French main body loses patience and unleashes it's first volley into the defenders and the skirmishers nip away at the arab defenders.

In need of support and teh French slowly gaining the upper hand. The Arab militia are called into play, with only First Volley and being poor shots, they do little to harm the French centre, but valuable time is wasted re-ordering the line and calming the troops, time which mean't the French were not advancing on the blue waters of the oasis.

As the game draws to a close the French had held the line, the Mamluk cavalry was heavy with shock and would need to retire, but the oasis was still some way off. 
A draw....Another dry day in the field for the French.

A great game, Sharp Practice 2 certainly gives a far superior game over the first version, cavalry has that bit more impact, the force composition serves to balance the forces and gives a greater challenge for the table top general espically in this case where the make up of the Ottoman command was not known.

Playing on a larger table provides some interesting command challenges, where and when to deploy is critical, the exposed terrain makes the temptation to fire as soon as you get in range, but this slows any advance to a crawl and most of the leaders time is spent clearing up shock.

With Mark pushing through his Egypt project. See his excellent work Here.
I am very tempted to move the French cavalry and extra french company up the paint queue.

Friday, February 02, 2018

Black Powder Ghost Archipelago....

The beauty of Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago is that the rules are very simple, quick to pick up,  which opens them up to be adapted to various settings, having read through the rules over a number of weeks they did not need to many tweaks to make introduce muskets and pistols to the crews armoury.

In the world the alternative setting of Black Powder Atlantis, Warden's are fewer, but the crews are bolstered by a further 100 gold coins to spend, unless of course you opt for a magic user, Heritors take the form of Officers or Captains.

And so to the first dry run. A simple table and a case of run in and grab the treasure before running off.

The Marines are first on the scene, I used crossbow rules as the standard template, in review I shall be increasing to damage to +4 damage for Muskets and +2 for pistols with the ranges remaining unchanged given the size of the table.

The Pirate crew rush straight up the middle heading for the central treasure. The Marine fire off a volley.

Musket rounds are fired off by both sides, but damage is minimal. So time to close with the Cutlass!

Meanwhile an injured crewman staggers back to the start line only to trigger a Swamp Zombie who stumbles towards the injured crewman.

In the centre of the table an almightly melee is underway. Without the magic users on the table damage is taking a long time to wear down opponents, it could have been poor dice rolls but next outing, I propose to inflict double damage if surrounded by 4 opponents and you have no escape.

The clock ran down before the game could be fought to a conclusion, but with a few tweaks the setting transfers rather well.

So in the next outing I shall be upping the damage for firearms.

Pistol - +2 Damage
Musket +4
Grenade +6 - 2" Burst.

Each figure can gain experience and take wounds rather than just the main two in each faction. Each faction can secure more advanced crewmen by increasing the gold by 100 points if no Warden is in the crew..

To mirror my existing collection of wandering monsters and to keep with the theme, I have adapted the encounter table as follows, more on the particular stats next time.

Random Encounter Table
First Die Roll
1 - 12
13 - 18
19 - 20
Second Dice Roll
Level 1 Encounter
Level 2 Encounter
Level 3 Encounter
Tribal Warrior
Tribal Warrior (2)
Swamp Zombies (2)
Werewolves (2)
Atlantean Warriors (2)
Tribal Warrior
Swamp Zombie
Swamp Zombie (2)
Swamp Zombie
Atlantean Warriors (2)
Atlantean Warrior
Tribal Warrior
Atlantean Warriors (2)
Atlantean Warriors (2)
Tribal Warrior
Tribal Warrior
Atlantean Warriors (3)
Atlantean Warrior
Tribal Warrior
Swamp Zombies (2)
Atlantean Warrior
Tribal Warrior (2)
Tribal Hunter
Atlantean Warrior
Tribal Warrior (2)
Tribal Hunter
Atlantean Warriors (2)
Swamp Zombie
Swamp Zombie
Atlantean Warrior
Giant Crab
Atlantean Warrior
Atlantean Warrior
Atlantean Warrior
Tribal Warrior
Swamp Zombie
Atlantean Warrior
Soldier Crab
Tribal Hunter (2)
Giant Crab
Atlantean Warrior
Swamp Zombie (2)
Giant Crab
Atlantean Warrior
Tribal Warrior
Soldier Crab
Swamp Zombie
Giant Crab
Soldier Crab
Tribal Hunter (2)
Witch & Swamp Zombies (2)
Giant Crabs (2)
Giant Crab
Witch & Swamp Zombies (4)
Soldier Crab
Soldier Crab
Soldier Crab