Monday, March 28, 2022

Silver Bayonet Solo - Scenario 1 Wolf Pack - 1st Impressions.

Nice to get the freshly painted figures on the table so quickly.

I have been itching to give the rules a run out for a number of weeks, Joe's previous offerings always make for a fun evenings gaming and Silver Bayonet is no different.

One with the game.

The scouting party in the clearing spotted movement in the tree line, they had to move swiftly if they were to the find the missing orders before the local wildlife payed them a visit. 

The two privates unearth the first clue marker and instead of finding a clue they find themselves a Werewolf - Gulp.

Meanwhile on the other side of the clearing as the full moon rose a wolf turned into another Werewolf, things were starting to look bad already for the patrol.

The Russians fell backwards as the wolves rushed from the forest, a number of the men had been wounded and they had burned all of their Fate dice reducing the damage from the attackers. Father Gregor had been busy healing this comrades.

On the far side of the clearing the Captain lead a counter attack into the charging Werewolf. One of his men had already fallen to the wolves who sensed more blood. Egor squared up and swung his axes.

Just as things were beginning to look bleak the wounded troopers who had finally beaten the original Werewolf unearthed the missing orders and were beating a hasty retreat.

The valiant Captain was struck down but not before he killed the Werewolf. Egor swung his mighty axes, hacking at the snarling beasts. 

For a first encounter it seemed a mighty hard, or was it the curse of freshly painted figures?

Silver Bayonet seems a little more balanced than Stargrave/Frostgrave. There are less wandering monsters but they are that little bit tougher than previous games and I suspect players will be less tempted to fight each other but rather deal with the monsters first.

The rules are easy to pick up rolling 2 dice against a target number, with the option to counter attack or duck back. There is a fast pace to the game and you are certainly to encouraged to get stuck in rather than sitting back and firing at distance.

A great new feature is the Fate Pool, a number of dice allowing you to re-roll, lessen damage to yourself or make monsters more potent, quickly reload or point the creatures towards another unfortunate soul.

The scenario's are well balanced but do suffer from a couple of minor niggles mostly around the scale of terrain or monsters encountered, I have some odd stuff but Pixie's or Living Scarecrows? I certainly don't have galleon for the 10th scenario.

Let's see what a two player game brings.....

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Silver Bayonet - Russo - Japanese War.

Despite having the rules for a number of months, it's taken a while to get figures to the paint table. How things have changed as I picked bloody Russians.... :-(

I had an idea to shift Silver Bayonet to Manchuria and the Russo-Japanese War, which allows me to tap in to much of Chinese collection and other weird models from the Water Margin. 

The Northstar Russian faction are great sculpts, many of them are generic in overcoats and soft caps, or civilian types so swapping out a couple of figures for the Tsuba castings and the we jump forwards 80 years.

They should be fun to play, Yori who can turn into a Werebear, an old woman who is an supernatural investigator and a priest as a champion of the faith, together with a couple of squaddies the equivalent of red skirts in Star Trek.

The idea for Manchuria allows me to field this Russian faction, but also a Japanese faction including monks or Chinese Honghuzi who fought a guerrilla war against the Russian occupation and regularly attacked the Chinese Railway line between Harbin and Vladivostok acting in support of the Japanese.

All set for the first solo outing.
A Russian patrol goes out in search of an earlier party who has gone missing with valuable orders for the front line. As night falls and the full moon rises they hear a blood curdling howl. 

The team stumble into a clearing where they find human remains but their investigation is interrupted by movement on all sides.

This should be fun......

Friday, March 18, 2022

AVBCW - Worcester Aflame.

It's been at least 5 years since Worcester was last aflame and a British Civil War outing.

That's what the show circuit does for you, a brief chat turns into a why not and out of cold storage comes the AVBCW collection. Time for Harry Doyle Leader of the Severn Riverside Wharf Labours Federation (SRWLF) to make an appearance. 

One of the best things about the AVBCW is the opportunity to dig a little deeper into local history, this scenario led me down a path exploring Worcestershire and whether we had any mines after all when you have a coal mine you need to get it on the table right.... It turns out that a branch of the Severn Valley Railway lead to the Highley Colliery and the idea for the days scenario. 

Harry Doyle had lead a force out of the city to meet with the Highley Militia to secure coal for the winter. District Leader Clarke of the BUF had received news of this from an informant and sent a flying column to capture the mine for the fascist cause.

The SRWLF can deploy anywhere from the stream backwards, there are two access roads and the railway line, that need to be defended from the attackers.

The opening moves as the BUF arrive by trucks but are instantly countered by the SRWLF who advance across the stream to line the hedge row closing the road to the men in black.

Pigeons are sent into the air and flags are waved, the workers from the Royal Mail depot send forward a special delivery to slow the BUF advance.

Under heavy fire the BUF advance, driving the wharf men backwards and push up the railway line.

Under pressure in the centre and with fascists crossing the stream, the Highley Militia supported by a SRWLF Armoured car move down the railway line to take the fight to the government forces.

On the left flank a similar move is countered by Anti-Tank weapons deployed in the wheat fields and a Police assault on the opened topped truck.

The armoured assault swings right catching the BUF armoured car in a weak spot and setting it afire.

However having held back the British Regulars, the district commander calls forward his reserves, they rush down the open road bypassing pockets of defenders.

As the local militia and socialists rush to redeploy in the face of the fast moving column, the Police rush the hill taking out the spotter and supporting sniper who had been annoying the advancing troops for a number of hours.

The regulars debus and under Clarke's personnel command pour fire into the defenders who whilst better armed are soon under a number of pins, which forces units to go down rather than fire on the fresh attackers.

The Police fresh from their victory on the hill push on as the defenders in the corn field are slowly whittled down.

The left flank is forced but both sides found themselves unable to advance across the field.

Much like a game of cricket fought over a number of days, rained stop play and we agreed on a tie.
Although on the table the armoured car was pressing down the road and it would only be a matter of time before the coal mine would have been in the BUF's hands and as I write this post now it certainly feels like a victory for the men in black and the regulars.

A great encounter with plenty of opportunities for both sides. Bolt Action gave a really balanced game although the hand to hand element is rather brutal. Once again we added in the Blucher dice mechanism by rolling for each opposing command, so you never knew if you had 2 or 12 command dice to play with. That really is a game changer for the Bolt Action encounters.

These toys have been in storage far too long, it might even inspire me to finish the last few pieces of bare metal.

Until next time.... 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Leven Miniatures - Korean Structures - Red Phoenix

I must be honest these were a struggle to finish, what with events in Ukraine and doubt whether these will see the table in a while, just a little too near real life at the moment.

It turns out after weeks of painting 6mm getting your eye in back to 28mm was harder than expected so thought I would clear these off the paint table. I picked these Leven Miniatures pieces up before Christmas but got side tracked when the Baccus Pony Wars order landed.

These crates and barrels will act as objective markers or a supply dump in the rear lines, for the ROK forces to defend from the rampaging NK armour.

The next couple of pieces are part of an airfield setting to go with a couple of Attack Aircraft that are waiting on the paint table, the Air Traffic Control Complex is a lovely piece and will have multiple uses.

A reinforced bunker for a sortie across enemy lines.

As we have all seen,  control of the media is so important so the radio station will be great for a number of scenario's. The mast is detachable for storage and transport.

Not sure about the size of this piece, a small chemical plant but it will come in handy for tagging on to more industrial areas of any gaming table.

If the Chemical Plant is small the next piece is huge. The Shou Sugi Ban Style Dojo whilst Japanese in style should fit in nicely with the other oriental style pieces.

Lovely pieces but back in the draw for now and on to something a little less to near real events.

Sunday, March 06, 2022

Hammerhead 2022 - The Fetterman Massacre 1866.

After two years, wonderful to get back on the show circuit and a visit to Hammerhead at the Newark show ground yesterday. Hammerhead is a great show, every game is participation game which makes for a really friendly atmosphere, it was great to catch up with loads of old friends and find out how many new projects they have been working on over the lockdown period.

For our part the Wyvern's took the 6mm Pony Wars on our travels with a refight of the Fetterman Massacre 1866. Players played the part of Fetterman's command fighting for their lives to escape Red Cloud's trap?

Captain Fetterman believed with 80 men he could ride through the Sioux nation, Red Cloud and Crazy Horse had other ideas. 

Once again the Wood Train coming out of Fort Phil Kearny was under attack by the Sioux, Fetterman led the relief party.

Spotting a group of native horsemen he ignored orders not to pursue the Indians over the ridge and was ambushed by over 2000 warriors.

Could players escape the trap and get back over the ridge before the Indians over ran his tiny command or hold out long enough for his own relief to arrive?

Fort Phil Kearny and Captain Eyck relief force mustering to response to the sound of battle.

Unfortunately I was far to busy to take any photo's of the game in play but needless to say it was not a good day for Fetterman who went down in history for all of the wrong reasons.

What a great days gaming, plenty of interest in how Sharp Practice can be converted into 6mm and how the adaptions work for gaming the native Americans.

The prep for Hammerhead gave me the push to finish the last of the terrain pieces, excellent castings from Leven Miniatures. The fort is a wonderful piece of kit, I left the buildings to allow me to move them around within the command.

The bell tents allow me to expand the fort compound or set up base camp for the cavalry on campaign and at £3.00 a pack great value for money.

The last couple of pieces useful for loads of scenario's. A log cabin or traders post and a church bringing religion to the prairie lands.

Until next time.....