Thursday, 5 July 2018

(Outremer) Kick Off in the Kasbah!

Tom kindly ran a game of Osprey's new Crusades skirmish game Outremer: Faith and Blood yesterday evening at BIG. Matt, George, Steve and myself all used identical forces of Arabs in a four way battle of a leader, two spear and sword armed warriors and three peasant bowmen.

My guys advance into town!
The game was a free for all but largely developed into two separate skirmishes as the bulk of my and Steve's bands of brigands clashed in the marketplace.

Steve's leader and warrior burst into the market square!
The rules are fairly straightforward with some nice touches, like making a Faith roll to charge into combat, combat using different dice types depending on the skills of the fighters, modifiers generally seeing dice move up or down a type as appropriate. Each figure is allocated a playing card and this drives when they can take their two actions in the turn as the cards are drawn from a shuffled deck.

Bloodbath in the marketplace!
Combat between unarmoured or lightly armoured figures is pretty brutal and bows soon make you regret not using cover (Steve's archers atop a building taking out both fighters in Matt's and my band!)

We need find some issues that may or may not be covered in the rules (this was our first play and the rulebook layout is not the best) such as disengaging from combat but things generally went smoothly and the game sped up as we became more familiar with the rules and the card deck grew smaller as characters became hors d'combat!

Stand and Face Me You Cur!
Overall all four of us had a great time (thanks Tom) and are looking forward to taking part in a campaign over the next couple of months. If you have been thinking of getting hold of a copy of the rules, I recommend you do.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

(Outremer) Saracen Warband III

I painted the dip on the Saracens late Monday night so they would have 24 hours to dry whilst I was working on London on Tuesday. I should have guessed there was something wrong with the (rather old) tin of dip from the 5mm thick hardened crust on the surface that I had to hack through with a pair of scissors and whilst it seemed to go on ok, it seemed to dry very quickly. The next morning I had a quick look for heading off and was dismayed by the effect, it had dried matt and was akin to an ink wash not the dip highlight that normally saves time with shading.

I was rather despondent about it all day yesterday and decided as I sat on the train home at 1am this morning to treat it as an ink wash and highlight the figures. Looking at them in the cold light of day they aren't as bad as the quick glance on Tuesday morning so the tunics had a quick drybrush with thr original colour, as did the metal bits. I decided against touching the white areas so they are very grubby looking but wouldn't you be after months in the field chasing down the infidel?

I painted and drybrushed the bases and have had a crack at some hand painted shields (these still need a quick ink wash) which aren't too bad.

Not my best painting but they are almost done and a dozen will take to the field tonight!

Monday, 2 July 2018

(Outremer) Saracen Warband II

I've decided that the quickest and most effective way of getting these figures painted and on the tabletop is the trusty old dip, so today was all about block painting!

I'm not too keen on figures being too bright given the rigours of the battlefield and the lack of Persil so I am hoping the dip with subdue the sky blue which is a little brighter than I would like.

Just got to decide what to do with the shield designs now, the LBMS decals are lovely but do I really want to spend six quid on buying them for dipped figures?

Sunday, 1 July 2018

(Outremer) Saracen Warband I

Tom at BIG has suggested we run an Outremer: Faith and Blood campaign in July and August (Outremer being the new Crusade skirmish rules from Osprey).

The game looks like a lot of fun requiring very few figures and having a box of the Gripping Beast  plastic Arab spearmen and archers I volunteered to join in. Whilst Tom has figures for both sides I thought I'd get gluing this morning and sat out in the garden snipping bits of plastic off the spures and sticking them together.

As everyone at BIG is well into Saga as well I decided to stick together enough figures for 3 points of Saracens as well!

I have a trial game of Outremer on Wednesday so will report back how it goes...

Thursday, 31 May 2018

(OSC) Fighting the Bear

Matt from Evil Bear offered to play a game of his OSC Modern Skirmish Rules with me at BIG yesterday and I have to say what a great little set of rules!

A fireteam level modern skirmish set, OSC has some very simple mechanics but plays exceptionally well and engages both players at all times. The inclusion of Action, Event and Resource cards is a great touch and adds a lot of flavour to the game.

OSC can be played 'properly' or (as I did) 'Hollywood fashion! We played a near future game each with an Encased Armour trooper and teams of regular troopers attempting to recover various Objective Counters.

It was a close fought battle ending in a draw, I almost blew it in the final turn but the Gods of Dice saved me (again). OSC has a lot to recommend it and I'm looking forward to playing it again soon.

Friday, 25 May 2018

(Saga) Saxon Hearts

The second game I played with Rich was Saga, and this time Rich decided to play as Anglo-Saxons against my Vikings.

This was a hugely enjoyable game and the Saxons proved to be a tough opponent, providing lots of tactical challenges, their battleboard if used well seems like it could be decisive, especially with abilities counting units as having 10 or more models!

The battle ended in a draw and to be fair probably would have been a victory for Rich if I had heard what he was saying in a decisive combat between my Beserks and his Thegns (there were a lot of games going on around us and looking at the Saxon ability used I should have rolled a few less dice but didn't hear this and Rich didn't notice at the time). Still it was good fun and we both enjoyed the game.

(WH40K) Wrath of the Space Wolves

Played a couple of games against Rich at BIG yesterday. First off he suggested we try the current edition of 40K. Not having played a game since 1989(!) I wasn't sure what to expect. We played two different Space Marine 750 point armies. The game was fun and ebbed back and forth, but I still couldn't get my head around the relative infectiveness of missile fire in what is supposed to be an SF game.

The melee combat was fun (the game showing its fantasy roots) and advantage swung back and to, I thought I was about to win, but some poor dice rolling let me down at the death and Rich emerged the victor...

Overall, I'm happy to play the odd 40K game like this, but I can't see myself getting into it in any major way...

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A (brief) Partizan Snapshot!

Went to Partizan on Sunday to help on the Hysterical Games stand so I didn't really get a chance to have a proper look around and take photos but a few things caught my eye...

Martian Practice (VSF Sharp Practice):

World War One:

Suez 1956:

Friday, 11 May 2018

(What A Tanker!) Panzer Marsch!

After my Saga debacle I managed to get involved in a six player game of What A Tanker! at BIG on Wednesday evening, taking command of a Panzer IVH!

The game was reasonably balanced points wise with the Germans having three PzIVH's and the British a Sherman Firefly, regular Sherman and an M10. Jim dispensed with the initiative rolling and we drew cards playing cards to see which crew's turn it was. This was a good idea and I'd suggest it as a house rules as it made the game a lot quicker.

It was a good game and much better balanced than my exertions against the evil StuG's on Saturday. I managed to sneak around the side of the blue building in the photo above and brew up the Sherman Firefly who had kindly exposed his flank to me. Unfortunately the M10 lived up to its tank destroyer reputation by destroying my tank a couple of moves later as I tried to get into a position to hit him. Good fun.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

(Saga) The Gods of Dice Fail Me!

Had a game of Saga against Matt last night at BIG. He'd been kind enough to lend me his Viking army for my first couple of games so it was a bit strange facing the very troops who had done so well in my initial forays with the system...

Unfortunately my army (and my dice) let me down big time!

This picture around turn three shows about as good as it got for me, my four beserks having just killed four of Matt's Hearthguard. Unfortunately my badly positioned warriors in the woods to the left were unable to follow up the beserker bloodbath and bad positioning of my Levy archers meant they didn't do a great deal much of the game, though with my Hearthguard they did take out a unit of Matt's Warriors. Unfortunately he managed to wipe out my Hearthguard and almost all my other Warriors.

Apart from some lousy positioning during the set up (I did have a plan, Matt just did something else!), my use of the battle board was poor this week and my dice rolling absolutely abysmal. Obviously the Gods of the Saga dice have deserted me for playing with tanks! :D

Saturday, 5 May 2018

(What A Tanker!) StuG Bait!

The Lardies came to BIG today and ran a three game What A Tanker! tournament. As I had only given the rules a cursory glance and had a Sherman I didn't imagine I would do much in the three games I played. And I was not disappointed! :-)

My Sherman was downgraded to a basic M4A3 to start and with three others attempted to thwart an attack by three PzIV's and a StuG. Under the tutelage of Lardy Rich my tank was swiftly destroyed by the StuG, though my crew survived!

Steve goes BOOM!
In game two against two StuG's and two PzIV's  the Sherman team decided to play more conservatively - initially, making use of every piece of cover going.

A cautious advance - spot the hidden StuGs!

However even this didn't work as we soon lost the only tank who had been successful in the last game, so I decided to try and draw the enemy out by advancing as my two comrades picked off the German armour. That didn't work as one was swiftly blown up but my Sherman led a charmed life, despite its exposed and surrounded position, surviving the game with just one Command Dice left.

A Sherman called Starstruck survives!
For the final game my M4A3 was upgraded to an M4A3 (76) with the other Shermans being replaced with a Firefly and two M18 Hellcats. Against two StuG's, a Hetzer and a PzIV. I lasted two turns before being brewed up by a StuG! 

Steve goes BOOM! - again
My crew though survived and returned a couple of turns later in a M4A2 Jumbo. However pinned in the corner of the table with the Firefly and with a series of crap Command Dice rolls by both crews we saw the M18's obliterated and the Germans roll over the board.

The Jumbo does not a lot - the Cromwell's are proxies for  the previously destroyed Shermans!
A lot of fun, not sure how balanced the games were, the StuG's are powerful and hard to hit, could have done with a Hawker Typhoon! Overall the game is huge fun, not to be taken seriously, but does need a number of tanks on the table for optimum enjoyment.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Saga: Invasion of the Half-Painted Vikings

Saga night again this evening down BIG playing against a new, more experienced opponent in the form of Jason with his Anglo-Danes, using my half-painted army...

We played two games and I learnt a few new rules. The Gods of Dice once again smiled favourably on me at critical times and I am learning to use my Battle Board better now, unleashing Ragnarok at the end of the last game wiping out Jason's remaining warriors and taking down his Warlord.

Even using my own figures, my Thrall archers punched above their weight in both games, twice bouncing back melee attacks from the Anglo-Dane warriors, thanks to some good dice and choice Ability benefits.

A lot of fun, one win and one draw. Hopefully I can the army properly painted before their next battle.

I didn't have time to get in a game of What a Tanker! but watched Matt and Jim playing and it look at lot of fun so I signed up to the forthcoming Tanker Day at BIG at the beginning of May.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Spitfyre: Things to Bomb!

Spitfyre includes air-to-ground attacks (and AA fire) and initially Rob and I thought it would be cool to get one of the artists to paint some targets for people to print off for games. For one reason or another that didn't go ahead but as I wanted to show ground targets in the rulebook I needed to come up with something else.

In the end I bought some of Pendraken's 10mm WW2 British infantry, a Bofors gun and emplacement and a command bunker.

The infantry and Bofors crew I painted up historically. Albeit with green orc faces. When Hysterical get around to producing their 10mm Panzerfäuste game I can repaint the flesh and use them as historical BEF troops for something or the other....

In the end the bunker did not end up in the rulebook, but it was fund and quick to paint.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Spitfyre: Vulture Squadron takes flight!

I got so engrossed with getting the Spitfyre rules reading for printing, the PDF issued to Kickstarter backers, real work and a nagging toothache that I almost forgot the blog today! But here are the Dwarf air force Stukas, sorry Vulture Dive Bombers! :-)

I had lots of "fun" researching colour schemes for the vultures, who knew there were so many breeds! Word of warning though, Googling vulture images whilst eating your breakfast is not recommended!

I think Darko has done an amazing job on these models, capturing the vibe of the Stuka in a bird! I want one in 28mm now... :-)

If you are interested in checking out the game, Hysterical Games will have a demo of it at Salute on Saturday and have said they will have some stock of the game and first models of the range...

Monday, 9 April 2018

Spitfyre: A Kondor Moment...

The great thing about the success of the Spitfyre Kickstarter was the funding of miniatures that I thought would only ever exist in my head, such as the Dwarf air force Kondor 111 bomber!

This is a very impressive model and I guess if it wasn't produced in a light resin I'd have had problems basing it.

As you can see comparing it to the HurriKane fighter wyvern , it is quite big!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Spitfyre: The Eagle Takes Flight...

More Spitfyre models today, this time the KriegAdler 109's of the Dwarf Luftbestienkorp...

I love the helmets sculpted on the eagles (to protect against lucky enemy shots) which I have painted yellow like historical Bf109's...

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Spitfyre: Achtung SpitFyre!

Managed to finish a flight of Orc Air Force SpitFyre wyverns this lunchtime...

Rather than copy the same paint scheme as the HurriKanes, I decided to paint the wing membranes grey as a nod to the mid to late war RAF grey/green camo...

Like the HurriKanes hough I painted the 'Eye of Balor' on the wings! :-)

Lovely models, I'm sure my painting doesn't do them justice.

Onto the Dwarves next, the KriegAdler and KampfKondor are part way done now and I've just got the KampfGeier dive bombers to start.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Spitfyre: Rock Me Like A HurriKane!

Full speed ahead on the Spitfyre painting today. The Orc Air Force SpitFyre wyverns are almost done and I have completed a flight of HuriKane wyvern fighters...

I based the painting scheme on that which Will did for the Spitfyre Kickstarter concept art...

I think the contrast between the green dragon body and the buff wing membranes works nicely.

Many Orc Air Force pilots paint the "Eye of Balor" on the wings of their steads to give the evil eye to any enemies approaching from behind...

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Spitfyre: NightFyre!

I need to get the Spitfyre rulebook to Rob by Monday for it to be printed in time for Salute. It's all laid out and just needs the photos done, so I need to pull my finger out with a paintbrush! 

I've started the Orc Air Force SpitFyre and HurriKane wyverns which are all in base painted or wash stage drying on the windowsill at the moment.

However as I has a spare SpitFyre I decided to paint one up as a night fighter dragon, some kind of rarer black skinned breed used to thwart any nefarious Dwarven attacks at night!

There are no night fighting rules in the game as yet, but as the Kickstarter requires a supplement to be produced this might be something to look into...

As he was largely a drybrush up from the black undercoat it didn't take too long to finish him. I have to say I am impressed with the detail on the model, Darko did a great job sculpting them, you can even make out the teeth on the Orc and his thumbs on the twin Vickers guns (remember the models are 10mm scale!)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Saga: The Wrath of the Jomsvikings

Had my second game of Saga this afternoon against Rich at BIG with Matt on hand to help with some of the rules. Rich had played Jomsvikings with some success with the first edition and from what I'd read I knew they could be a tough warband to counter.

I went with the same Viking army I used in my first game but as we went up to 5 points I add a unit of Beserkers for some fun (and a Viking force should have some Beserks IMHO). We also used the terrain rules this time and I think we got a little carried away here!

Rich advanced his warband forward across the board in a narrow fronted block, I spread my force (probably a little too wide) and focused my efforts on taking out one unit of his warriors with a my Levy peppering them as they advanced before hitting them with a full unit of warriors. This worked well despite Rich inflicting punishment on me a couple of times. This ability removed my activation, the alternative being I could let him build up Wrath and I whilst I wasn't 100% sure what that would do but I knew that allowing the Jomsviking to do that early in the game would be a disaster!

My Beserks wiped out his other unit of Warriors, and themsleves in the process. I had positioned them badly so just wanted to see how effective they were. Combined with some specific abilities they look like they could be a powerful one shot weapon - I just need to point it at the right target!

Having aided in the destruction of one unit of Warriors, the Levy pretty much took out a large unit of Heartguard with some impressive archery rolls and with my Hearthguard took out Rich's other unit of Hearthguard, though many a warrior ended the day in Valhalla!

This just left his Warlord and despite some good Saga die rolls I was canny enough not to take any Punishment or allow Rich remove fatigure, letting him now build up his Wrath. He did managed to get this to work to his advantage once but the Levy kept firing arrows at his Warlord and eventually brought him down.

A pretty resounding victory but I was lucky with some dice rolls. I can't imagine the Levy bow are going to be this lucky week in, week in, but I am coming to grips with the Viking battleboard and some of the abilities that allow you to gain a few advantages at key time.

Good fun!