Friday, May 28, 2021

New Kingdom Egyptian Infantry and yet more Shock Markers

Projects are coming in think and fast lately.... with a wish list of games stretching into several weeks.

Anyhow before I get too distracted, a couple of extra's for the Kings of Bronze Project and some North Star Egyptians who are now back in stock... The excuse was to make up the postage for the recent Stargrave purchase.

Lovely figures rather more muscular than their Warlord counterparts. The Officer and Command group are great with some real dynamic poses.

Meanwhile I had a bunch of loose rocks which were not getting used so decided to add them on to circular bases and create some additional shock markers, they also use up some of the spare shields that were left in the original blister packs. 

Twelve of these should be enough for a standard game, recording shock and kills for both sides.
Next up the Sherden Guard finally make an appearance.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Stargrave - Starship Troopers - See Boltz Run.

The first outing for Stargrave - Starship Troopers.

Captain Marion Leafy and the crew of the William E Barber have been hired to collect a cache of arms from the Skinnies for a group of Mormon extremists in the Arachnid Quarantine Zone. The meeting had gone badly and before you know it laser bolts filled the air.

Five loot tokens two on each half of the table and a central loot token in the centre of the table, the Skinnies enter from the top of the table, the crew of the William E Barber from the bottom.

First Mate Eve Hopkins rushed forwards with a number of the crew across the open ground towards the centre loot location. It was smash and grab, get the token and get out.

Meanwhile The Skinnies start to infiltrate the table flanking left and right, a member of the mobile infantry popped up on a roof top of the nearest building they had been sent to secure the cache. He was swiftly dispatched by the Skinnies with a concentration of laser fire.

They seize the roof tops over looking the centre of cluster of buildings and the first loot counter. 

Boom !!!! - caught in the open Hopkins catches the full force of a grenade. Out of the fight before they had fired a shot. Wilkes the medic could do nothing to help.
Harry 'Flash' Gordon dived into the scrub lightly wounded, not the best start for the crew of the William E Barber.

Boltz the ships dog ignored by the Skinnies darted into the centre building and remarkably managed unlock the loot token.

To the right Leafy starts to work on another loot token, she easily opens the security latch using her computer deck. But the Skinnies had not been idle and now had the ships crew firmly in there sights. With two grenade launchers they started lobbing grenades onto the crew.

As the high explosive rounds rocked the crater, the blasts triggered a bug hole. A random location right behind Leafy and her crew. A warrior bug comes scuttling out targeting the nearest figure.

Gunner Vaskes fired before being skewered by the Arachnid. Skinnies to their front bugs to the their rear, it was a bad night for the crew of the missile ship.

Leafy needed to clear the path, she rushed into combat and discharged her concealed firearm finishing off the bug. She turned to urge the crew to get a move on, but was caught in a blast from yet another HE round, knocking her out of the fight. Leader down and loot token lost.

The surprising hero of the hour was Boltz the ships dog stealing the middle loot and heading off table swiftly followed by Wilkes the Medic and a number of Mobile Infantry rushing to recapture the stolen loot.

The table was left to the Skinnies with 4 tokens to 1.

Not the best first outing but things were about to get a whole lot worse.
Whilst the crew recovered from their wounds Marion Leafy was not so lucky her wounds were irrecoverable and she bled out. There would be no big pay day for Captain Marion Leafy.......

As the remnants of the crew drank in an off world bar, in walks Squadron Leader Patricia Leafy - twin sister of Marion, having received a transmission from her sister in her dying moments Patricia had walked away from her career and a path to citizenship to lead the crew of the Missile Ship William E Barber.

Well that was fun not the result I had hoped for.
The inclusion of troopers and bugs make for an interesting encounter and their random placement can change the dynamics of the game. It's not a good idea to get caught in the open and losing your lead characters really does scupper your chances.

Better luck next time.... I am putting this down to the curse of freshly painted figures.

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Stargrave - Starship Troopers

Nothing beats face to face gaming and idle gaming chat, before you know it a new project is underway....

It's been quite a while since the Starship Troopers stuff has been on the table and with the launch of Stargrave a few weeks ago, an opportunity to bring them back to the table with a new set of rules and some fun encounters. We had some really good games over the years with the Atlantean's and the Ghost Archipelago rules so it should be quite easy to pick up these rules and create a number of rival ships crews. 

First up the crew of the Missile Ship - William E Barber.

Decommissioned after the first battle of Klendathu. Capt Leafy was wrongly accused of cowardice and now along with her crew is a gun for hire on the Terran Government's most wanted list. 

I was a little light on the ships crew so a swift order to Denizen and a quick paint job and the crew is up to a full compliment of 10 including Blotz the ships robot dog.

On first pass Stargrave looks to follow the style and formula of Frost Grave and Ghost Archipelago, easy to learn and rewarding if you get your tactics right...

The set up of scenario's will be familiar to those who have played the other versions, albeit with a couple of subtle changes, loot token have to be placed in the opponents half of the table, the wandering monsters are bolstered by pirate gangs who get more numerous if you don't get a move on.... 

Lot's to ponder as we prep for the first game.

In the opening encounter Capt Leafy runs up against a band of Skinnies in a trade gone bad. The Skinnies are one of the many nations or tribes which spread out into many worlds during the Age of Hegemony.

The setting a dusty mining planet inside the Arachnid Quarantine Zone, the Federation military vessels don't cross into the region which has created a haven for smugglers, Independent 'wildcat' colonies such as the Mormon extremists create a tense atmosphere of shoot first and ask questions later. 

Throw in the Bug activity which is increasing across the region and you have quite the mix.

Would you like to know more? ............

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

LOTR Campaign Game #6 Into the valley of death rode the 6 Warg Riders.

It's been months but face to face gaming is back and so too the LOTR campaign and the concluding game of round 2 We are both a little rusty but it does not take long to take off the dust sheets and remind ourselves of events so far.

The Orcs were pressing their advantage bypassing Helm's Deep they drove North through he Gap of Rohan and into the wide and empty land of Enedwaith. The forces of men were out numbered on many fronts looking to delay the advance whilst their forces mustered in the West.

A simple patrol game the dark forces number 200 points facing off against 100 points of human forces. The Uruk-Kai had simple orders visit 4 terrain pieces in 4 sectors of the table, the humans had to stop them.

Outnumbered the Rohan defenders hide from the patrolling creatures. The Warg riders dart here and there seeking any sign of the humans. The Humans were deep in country and soon the Warg riders had out stripped their accompanying infantry. Rohan archers snipped at the riders and drove a number of the scouts backwards.

As the riders fell back the Orc commander called forwards his Berserkers rush charged from the massed ranks. The men of Rohan scattered.

But some men held firm the men of Gondor veterans of numerous encounters formed a square a loosed their arrows into the Warg riders driving them backwards.

Heavily armoured warriors filled the valley advancing north. light troops and scouts were one thing for the Rohan Militia but these would be a different challenge.

A lone figure stepped forwards from the Marsh looking halt the attackers advance.

Quickly followed by more Rohan militia who rushed to plug the gap as the Orc's poured through.

The grey haired warrior was able to destroy the first set of berserkers but a second group rushed forwards aiming to destroy the old man in the swamp.

The Warg Riders had recovered and slipped past the thinly spread defenders.

Unsurprisingly the Rohan were beaten, but they had inflicting a number of casualties on the Urak-Hai. But were too few in number to stop the patrol reaching it's objective.
Enedwaith. had fallen to the Orc's. 

Roll on Turn 3.

Thursday, May 13, 2021

6mm Roads and Paddy Fields - Two Sheds Fred

For several years I have been on the look out for a decent road system, I have tried several manufacturers none of which have really given me what I need.

Step forward Two Sheds Fred. 

Fred and Emily did a great great job on the Desert Wadi recently and they were the natural choice to create a bespoke road system for the new gaming area. I wanted something semi rural, ideally for the 6mm Red Phoenix project but easily able to extend to the larger scales.  

It was great to see a couple of testers first, which resulted in us shrinking the road width and raising the banks. The finished article is just fantastic and with enough T Junctions and Y Junctions to give me multiple design options.

The original plan was for Korea and Cold War encounters between the North and South, no encounter could go by without a number of paddy fields. I had seen several designs on the web in 15mm or 28mm but needed something a little smaller, again Fred and Emily can through providing me with a number of layouts and sizes.

Two Shed Fred have a number of off the shelf pieces but are equally happy to create bespoke pieces. Great value for money and a quick turnaround. 
You can find them here. Twoshedsfred | Facebook

The roads blend in perfectly with my collection and give me a great area to fight over. The paddy fields close off several of the open areas and give some natural protection for the infantry defenders.

I am tempted to give Bolt Action a run out, having read a number of posts about using Bolt Action in a modern setting and adapting the rules to larger scale games it sounded like a few adaptions could give me a blend of the two. 

Increasing the activation system from individual vehicles to platoons and totalling up the fire points for the infantry sections.

There might be a danger of mixing platoons up on the table, but having based the infantry on section bases should reduce this risk and in fairness the number of infantry on the table is probably less than a 28mm game. Each base will have a number of fire points which should should make the firing a little quicker. 

It needs some road testing, something to work on whilst attending yet another zoom call.
With face to face gaming less than a week away, I am itching to give the new terrain a roll out.

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Sea People - Lucid Eye & North Star.

Another unit rolls off the paint table this team a slight distraction in the form of Sea People, I originally was given a pack of Northstar's castings as a Christmas present, only being 4 figures that lay in the draw of shame until now. Having seen Lucid Eye's latest release I thought I could round them up as a unit and have them as mercenaries on either side of Hittites or New Kingdom Egyptian forces. Besides they add a flash of colour to the table.

The peoples of the Mediterranean Islands were known to the Egyptians as the Sea Peoples. They included the Lukka, Teresh and Sherden.

They were armed with long bronze slashing swords and wore various kinds of helmets, sometimes decorated with boar horns. Some of the tribes even wore bronze body armour. A huge horde migrated by land and sea attacking Hittite and Egyptian settlements. The Egyptians defeated them and captured many prisoners many serving in the Pharaoh's army.

The two ranges combine well in style and size, the Lucid Eye range contain a number of female fighters, I have no idea if they genuinely fought in battle but they are hardly noticeable within the unit.

The leader is a serious piece of metal a true Big Man.... Probably more like 32mm but looks great on the table.

Next up something a little more modern.

Monday, May 03, 2021

Kings of Bronze #2 - Hittite Hasty Defence

A rainy bank holiday here in the UK, but an opportunity to give another solo outing, testing the AI rules and Infamy tweaks for warfare in the Bronze Age.

On the far side of Al Shebbeh after a few hours of plundering the town of it's meagre pickings and a handful of slaves. Word reached Overseer Huharmati of Egyptian reinforcements looking to recapture the town. 

Huharmati deploys his forces to meet the attack spreading out across the open plain, he had little idea as to the composition of the forces approaching him, but from the dust on the horizon they appeared to double his number.

Hittite archers lined the wall of the previous owners Palace of the Egyptian vassal state.

Huharmati readied his chariots and sent his chariot runners forward to disrupt the advancing Egyptians.

Fortunately for Huharmati the Egyptians were coming on in a piece meal fashion, poor rolls meant that the bulk of the enemy forces started to enter the fray around turn 4 allowing him to block the narrow road into town.

Acting quickly to block the main street, Huharmati advanced his spearman in ordering them into close order to cover the approach of any Egyptian attackers.

The Hittite infantry slowly advanced. The Egyptians were massing but they were unable to make use of their light chariots in the narrow streets. Egyptian skirmishers fired down on the infantry block but were unable to slow their advance.

Battles can be won on the smallest of margins, the Hittite spearmen charged into the stationary chariot which had out stripped its accompanying Infantry driving it from the table. The advantage was now with Huharmati.

With the main street blocked Huharmati ordered his chariots to the right flank, he spotted a unit of archers advancing on his position. Being a veteran of numerous encounters he knew if he could break key units then the force morale of the enemy could be broken along the entire front.

The Egyptian archer formation loosed a cloud of arrows into the advancing heavy chariots, but time was running out for the attackers, the Hittites chariots circled and attacked from the front and the flank.

Huharmati charged, throwing his heavy spears into the formation and crashing into the unarmoured troops, their leader was killed with over half his men, they broke and ran.

The breaking of the formation, the loss of the officer pushed the Egyptian force morale below 0.
The Egyptian attack faltered and the attackers fell back.

Nice to get a game on the table, the blinds work well and add a real fog of war to encounters, I have a couple of extra units to paint up and hopefully next time I can put a human player on the side of Egyptians and test the rules properly.