Saturday, 23 December 2017

Alien Squad Leader V3.0 is now available to buy

Yes, indeed, Alien Squad Leader is back!

Version 3.0 is a 186 page softback available here:

So what's new in version 3.0?

- 14 army lists expanded to 21.

New additions are Human Cultist, Alien Tribal Mercenaries, 2nd Global War Allies, 2nd Global War Axis, Alien Predatory Warhost, Far Eastern Corporate Mercenaries, and Rebel Alliance.

- New unit types: Flying Infantry & Light Armoured Vehicles.

- Primitive Sub-commanders with the "bully" rule can now be taken in addition to normal command stands.

- Points values tweaked to ensure that everything is now a worthwhile buy.

- Addition of characters, represented as individual models.

They have various abilities that can be used to support your troops. Vulnerable, but very flexible units. Luck points can be spent to allow them to perform heroic feats.

Why not take a look? (The first ten pages are previewed on the webpage).

I am sure that Alex won't mind me posting this, after all, all advertising is welcome, so, if you are one of the people who has wondered where they can get these rules, look no further. 

As for me, I am already planning some new armies, which will appear on this blog in the New Year,

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Securing the redoubts (Take Two) - A Sharp Practice ACW AAR

A while ago, I umpired a game of Sharp Practice for Andy and Nick at the club. The scenario was one where the Union side had to try and capture some reboubts that had been abandoned by the Confederates, while the Rebels were attempting to regain control of the same defences.

The scenario was fundamentally sound, but the Union side was pretty much handicapped by having too much open ground to cross before being able to engage with the enemy. I wanted to replay this, but decided that what was needed was a more cluttered table, so that there was more cover for the attacking Union troops, led by me. I also gave them a unit of cavalry, who were defined as Dragoons with breech-loading carbines. The Confederates, with Nick once again commanding, gained an extra unit of musket-armed militia.

Here is the battlefield, with more tree cover and fences than previously. The hill on the Union side creates the effect of a valley between the two sides.

From this end of the table. we can see the Union deployment point, marked by the tents. The Confederates will deploy from the middle hill on the right of the table.

The Union troops began to deploy quickly, with the carbine-armed cavalry aiming to secure the hill on the Confederate left.

The Rebels also began to deploy, with their cannon making an early appearance.

Quickly getting the cannon into the central redoubt, and a unit of skirmishers in the paddock below the hill, the Confederates had stolen a march on the Union troops

While the main body of Union infantry took up a firing position along the fences on the Union right flank, both units of skirmishers and a second group of infantry took up position on the hill and in the wooded ground in the valley. From here, the idea was for the skirmishers to advance and pick off the gun crew.

On the Union right, the cavalry advanced, dismounted and began to deploy in cover behind the hill on the Rebel left. 

The main Confederate infantry line waited in support of the cannon position, with the militia being pushed forward to try and neutralise the Union  skirmishers, whose accurate fire had already caused casualties and shock on the cannon crew, actually hitting the gun commander and knocking him out. He would stay down for much of the battle, limiting the effectiveness of the cannon.

The Confederate infantry were soon in action against the dismounted Union troopers, to good effect. The Union skirmishers were also taking casualties but succeeded in driving off the Confederate sharpshooters who had been screening the gun.

The dismounted cavalry were forced back with heavy losses but were replaced by the main Union infantry line, who split into two parts and advanced to occupy the hill.

The central redoubt was captured by Union skirmishers, who succeeded in killing the gun crew, but were themselves then pushed back. This fight would to-and-fro for a while while the Union troops were able to force the Confederate militia to flee the field.

Although the troops on the Confederate right had been mainly stuck with the task of holding the redoubt there,  they did eventually send one group of men to reinforce the centre, making it difficult for the weakened Union centre to hold on to the redoubt. With one redoubt in Union hands and two controlled by the Rebels, the issue became one of attrition. Which side was strong enough to seize the advantage?

As things turned out, the Union forces would prove to be too weak to press their advantage so, with time running out, the game was guaranteed to be a draw. Perhaps the Union side had a slight advantage in numbers, but not enough to capture the central redoubt.

Once again, this scenario was an entertaining one. In typical Civil War style, the fighting was inconclusive, with both sides taking a lot of casualties. With hindsight. it would probably have made more sense to send the cavalry on a long flanking  manoeuvre on the Union left and use the skirmishers on the right instead, sending the bulk of infantry through the centre.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Lincombe Barn Wargames Society Alien Squad Leader Tournament

A couple of Sundays ago, the club held its annual ASQL tournament. This was the first one that I'd taken part in, so it was something that I was looking forward to a lot.

There were eight of us taking part and the format meant that we would all play three games using 150pt armies, each one on one of five different tables against a different opponent. The terrain was pre-defined and the encounter would be a simple Pitched Battle, with points for the number of stands destroyed, plus the number of hits caused to the rest of your opponent's army. The result would them be translated into a share of 50 points, 25 each for a draw, and a sliding scale of points depending on the size of a win.

I'm not going to go into each battle in any great detail, because I was obviously not watching the other games too closely.  There was a variety of different armies on display. There were two Outlaw Gangs and one each of Human Cultists, Alien Imperials, Human Imperial Strike Force, Hive Mind, Cyborg Enslavers and Victorian Imperial (full descriptions are in the ASQL rulebook).

Here are the five tables;

None of these would give any particular advantage to any single army but in some cases the terrain would prove to be a major factor in deciding the outcome of the battles fought.

I took quite a few pictures, and I'll try and let them tell the story where possible.

These Cyborg Enslavers look remarkably familiar. Good thing there won't be many staris to climb!

Victorial Imperials, resplendent in the uniforms of a long-lost Golden Age of Empire.

The first of the Outlaw gangs, all equipped with various sorts of vehicles.

The Human Cultists, a.k.a. House Slytherine.

Alien Imperials. These were mine, a blend of high tech and scary monsters (no super creeps, though)

These are the Human Imperial Strike Force, a small but tough army.

Part of the other Outlaw Gang, vehicles with heavy weapons and lots of gangers.

The rather worrying bugs of the Hive Mind.

A special mention for this terrific scratch-built Outlaw Gang heavy weapons truck.

Now a fairly random selection of battle shots.

Victorians vs Hive Mind

Cyborg Enslavers on the "march".

 Victorians vs Hive Mind

Alien Imperials vs Outlaws

Alien Imperials vs the other Outlaws

Alien Imperials vs Hive Mind

Human Strike Force (not sure who they are fighting)

Extermination guaranteed.

Outlaws striking a pose.

Victorians line up against those damned unsporting Outlaws.

 Hive Bugs skittering into the attack.

Outlaws again.

And finally, my Alien Imperials in action against the Hive Mind. I actually won this game by a large margin, mainly by staying in the built-up areas, to neutralise the Hive Flyers, and blasted anything in sight. My Trained Beasts also did good work in hand-to-hand combat.

So, how did it all play out? Well, I fought both Outlaw gangs, drawing in an inconclusive opener against Alex S and losing badly against Clive. He knew that he had to stay out of range. I decided to stay in a built-up area, nothing happened, so I tried to tempt him out into the open. He  shot up my Primitives and stayed out of range of my Heavy Droids. I decided to go for broke, attacked and took a lot of hits, suffering a heavy defeat. However, a good win against Owen's Bugs ensured mid-table anonymity for my army.

The big surprise was how well the two lots of Outlaws actually did. Clearly tougher on the table  than they appear on the page.

The final standings were;


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

What I bought at Reveille

I really meant to post this last week but, mea culpa, I forgot!

Anyway here is my haul of goodies and shinies. First off, here are some figures from Annie at Bad Squiddo, including the new Lizard Woman for Frostgrave Archipelago, who I don't think is on the website yet, and the excellent Land Girls with shotguns.

I bought a Saddle Goose dice bag/token bag from Glenbrook Games (no artificial giraffes were harmed in the manufacturing of this bag).

I bought various dice (we always need dice, surely?). The gold, silver and bronze 8- and 10-sided ones are from Magister Militum and the rest are from Annie's bargain bins. 

I bought a female Lewis Gun team from Ironclad Miniatures' VBCW range.

I also bought some 15mm wizards and some gravestones from Magister Militum, for a couple of new projects (of which more will follow in due course).

In these bags are some new resin and metal sci fi vehicles for another project (a new ASQL army). They are new items from The Scene but they aren't on their website at the moment. They are very nice, as are the vehicles which are there. I may have to buy more. I do like what The Scene is doing with these vehicles. They are very nice and have lots of possibilities.

And finally, and no, I am not doing a Star Wars project, I bought these two flyers from fellow club member John Curry. These will get a paint makeover and be reincarnated as distant flyers for a future ASQL army.

Not a bad haul, really, and lots of painting ahead of me.