Saturday, 29 December 2018

Ho Ho Ho! What was under my tree this Christmas?

Well, this is only the wargaming stuff. There were some CDs too, but you aren't interested in those, are you?

First, there were some sets of rules. I am interested in playing Lion Rampant next year, but I also see a lot of fun to be had from its fantasy derivative, Dragon Rampant. I also think that The Pikeman's Lament would be a good way to get into something that I've long wanted to do, 17th century Pike and Shot gaming. I really want some 3/4 armoured cuirassiers and reiters at some point.

Anyway, my first plan is to create an Italian City State or Condottieri force for Lion Rampant, so the two Perry Plastic boxes I got will be incredibly useful, and will obviously fit in with the plastic Light Horse I bought a while ago for the project. I've also got another box of the Mercenaries and one of the Foot Knights too, so I have lots of options here for different units and a variety of different armies. 

I also got some Crooked Dice figure sets for my, as yet unstarted 7TV project. Still, I won't lack things to paint in 2019, so roll on the Too Fat Lardies Painting Challenge 2019.

I got a set of Aliens. Definitely going to be featuring these guys in a game once they are painted.

And a set of Weird Science figures. I really love the blobby monsters.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Barbarian Horde vs Mountain Dwarves: A Sword and Spear Fantasy AAR

Just before Christmas, there was an epic Sword and Spear Fantasy encounter at the club between my Hyborian Barbarian Horde and Clive's new Magister Militum Dwarven army. There is a report of this on the Mödlhafen blog, but it seems only right and proper that the Barbarian point of view is also put on record.

Both armies were huge, around 1850pts of Dwarves and maybe 2000pts of Barbarians. Yes, we could have scaled things down a bit, but the chance to get everything on the table was too great to resist. You can see the size of the forces involved in this titanic clash in the first few pictures.

The two armies needed a 9ft long table to accommodate them.

I decided that I would have to get my Impact troops into combat as soon as possible, because that is pretty much what the Barbarians have to do. It is an army that lacks finesse, so it needs to get up close and personal as soon as possible.

I placed all my shooty troops in woods, not that I actually have many of them in the first place. 

My centre was packed with all my powerful heavy foot, supported by my L3 Magic user. I also had an Arcane Artifact to give my magicians as much of a boost as possible. The Artifact means that I get to roll an extra Magic D6 (giving me 4D6 in this game) and discard the lowest scoring dice.

Ignoring the Dwarven flying boat, I get my heavy cavalry, supported by  a Hero and led by a Captain) moving on my left as quickly as possible.

On my right, I send my Light Horse (out of view) on a flanking manoeuvre while I dash my packs of Wolves into action. I fully expect the wolves to get beaten, but hopefully cause a few casualties along the way.

My skirmishing archers start hitting the Dwarf flying boat. I really want to puncture this particular balloon.

My light horse move forwards, outflanking the Dwarf chariots. I hope that they will take this vehicles out.

As hoped, over on my left, the heavy cavalry wipe out the Dwarf crossbows and leave the Dwarf wizard exposed. Now, I just need to get these cavalry units through the Dwarf line, and start attacking them from behind.

My remaining heavy cavalry support the wolves and get into action. 

Charging my Hero on an Elk into the flank of the Dwarf cavalry, the unit is wiped out. The Hero is counter-charged by some Dwarf crossbows, who are melee capable.

My light horse charge a chariot unit in the flank, winning the combat with ease. I am hoping to roll up the Dwarf left flank.

Elsewhere, disaster strikes as my heavy cavalry are charged in the flank and, in successive combats, both units are wiped out. Disaster!

I blame those mammoths, personally!

My heavy infantry make slow progress across the battlefield. I really need them to get into combat with the Dwarven artillery, the kind of sneaky unit that the noble Barbarians just treat as cheating. Where is the honour in blowing your enemies up from a distance? Surely honour and fame only come when you "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentation of the women!" after the clash of steel on steel?

On my left flank, a Dwarf Hero destroys my skirmishing bowmen, meaning that I need to send my Medium Infantry into combat to stop him causing chaos.

My Troll heavy infantry close on on the Dwarf centre

My right flank makes much better viewing than my left. I seem to be gaining the upper hand here.

Unhappily, we are running out of time, just as I destroy one of the Dwarf chariots, allowing my light horse to get behind the Dwarf line. 

I never did manage to puncture that annoying balloon.

And, just as my main infantry units get into charge range, we have to call time. I like to think that this encounter would have seen my Barbarians victorious.

So, a truly epic battle that ended in a draw. It was good to see big armies on the table, even though the sheer size of them makes control difficult. I never even got my Giant into combat, so he was pretty much wasted. 

I can imagine that concentrating all my mobile units on one flank might have worked better, with the main infantry line just holding a defensive position. Perhaps that would be for another day.

Monday, 17 December 2018

More CoC on a Sunday afternoon

The impromptu "campaign" between my Germans and Brian's Soviets rumbled on yesterday at the club. The scenario we were playing was Number Five in the rules - Flank Attack, and I was defending. The support dice rolls would obviously favour the Soviets, but I did end up with four points, which I decided were best spent on a FOO and an off-table battery of 81mm mortars.

The game also gave me the opportunity to get my new JoPs and ruined buildings on the table. The first few pictures show the table. My German platoon would be defending the ruined factory complex which was being used as a fuel dump. The Russians would have to cross some fairly open ground, much of which was pockmarked by craters from the Russian artillery's pre-game bombardment. 

Here are the German Jump-off Points, all close to the factory, except for a more forward one on the corn field on the left.

Brian had the higher Force Morale, 9 to my 8 and went first. Amazingly, he rolled 3 sixes, thus ending the turn and removing the effects of the pre-game barrage. I was now able to deploy my troops at will. I put my first section into one of the ruined factory buildings. 

The second one followed shortly, in the corn field.

On my right flank, Brian pushed two squads forward, detaching two scout teams.

I didn't care much for this and my FOO, who had already deployed,  contacted the mortar battery and shortly after was able to call down a barrage. This successfully pinned Brian down and blocked off my right flank.

This was the only action so far. I had deployed all my troops and most of them stayed on Overwatch while waiting for the Soviet assault to start. What I was really worried about was Russian armour, which I was certain would appear before long. 

I wasn't wrong. Two 76mm T34s soon appeared, together with the third Soviet squad and the senior leader. My anti-tank capability was my Panzerschreck team, plus three Panzerfaust 30s. Not great.

I decided that I needed to shift the mortar barrage, which had done its work, causing the loss of one scout team and several casualties on the Soviets on my right. I soon had mortar fire dropping down on the area where the tanks were advancing. I knew that it would be very hard to damage the T34s, but I wanted to keep the infantry as far away as possible.

I pulled my lefthand section back at a run, hence the shock marker on the rifle team. The JL had already removed the shock on the MG42 team. I needed to bring these across to my right, because the section there had already lost the MG42 team in a bout of Russian initiated hand-to-hand-combat.

Despite loosing the MG42, the rest of the section were slowly whittling away the Russian squad with close range rifle and SMG fire. The other Russian squad here had been pretty badly knocked about by the mortars and I didn't see it as a threat.

Before long, the remnants of both squads were pulling back. One was routing and the other in no fit state for anything. Soviet Force Morale was dropping fast.

My troops in the ruins were pretty comfortable. They were not suffering at all. Things were looking OK, apart from the armoured threat.

Brian had pulled his final infantry squad back to a more central position, a turn end having unpinned it, but it had suffered shock and a couple of casualties. I used a CoC dice to maintain the barrage, though.

I pushed a section forward, in the hope that I might get lucky with a 'Faust or the 'Shreck.

The T34s rumbled forwards. All I could do was wait.

At this point, time was running out. Elsewhere, Brian had done a typically Soviet thing and thrown his last strong squad into a charge against the intact section on my right. No pictures of this, because I forgot to take any. I ended up with a huge number of defence dice and easily won the combat, killing both his SL and the squad JL. His Force Morale plummeted to 2. At this point we called time. 

It seemed unlikely that the Soviets could win, given that they had no infantry and Brian was rolling a mere two command dice.

So, another engrossing game of CoC and another win for the Germans, who I think are ideally suited to a defensive role in Chain of Command.

Thursday, 13 December 2018

What the postman brought this time

I was expecting a box from Bad Squiddo, because I knew that Annie had shipped the Maze of Malcor Nickstarter, but I wasn't prepared for an explosion of PINK!!!!! when I opened the box. A gorgeous surprise. This was a couple of things that weren't in the parcel that I picked up when I saw Annie at Warfare.

And here they are - Ninjas and Onna-bugeisha with naginata and yumi, plus badges.

There were also the usual freebies in the box. I think the walking stick is going to go on the Christmas tree.

Then, underneath was all the Maze of Malcor stuff. First, the box of plastic female soldiers.

Then, the actual book.

And finally, a huge bag of shinies.

In that bag are the new female Thief, Barbarian, Knight, Templar, Apothercary, Markswoman and Tracker with with Warhound figures, plus a lot of new specifically Malcor goodies. There are five new Wizards and Apprentices, representing the new Schools of Magic; Sonancer, Astromancer, Distortionist, Fatecaster and Spiritualist.

There are also assorted monsters and creatures. These are as follows. There is an Acrisbird (a bit like a grumpy ostrich on steroids), a Banshee, a Bog-Man, a Coal-Man, a Collegium Porter (a kind of animated chest of drawers), Starfire Elementals, Glass Spiders, Shrieking Wolves, Phase Cats, Bloodwaves and a Mantodeus ( a sort of giant creepy-crawly). In addition there is a model for Malcor, accompanied by some Wraiths (his Advisory Council) and one for a Rangifer Shaman, plus the shades of four dead Wizards which were stretch goals for the Nickstarter. I think there was supposed to be a fifth one of these but the goal wasn't unlocked.

All in all, a huge amount of stuff to make up (there are lots of separate bits with some of these figures), prep and paint. Still, at least it will keep me busy after Christmas.

I can see lots of potential for these figures, apart from Frostgrave, and they are terrific models too.