Saturday, June 24, 2017

Varangur rulz OK

Andy's Kingdoms of Men army is almost finished, and we'd promised a game again for some time. For a change I chose to use my DBA/HotT based Barbarians, very suitable for Varangur, one of the new races in Kings of War. The DBA/HotT basing doesn't quite match, but it is close enough for us.
The Varangur is a pseudo celtic race, and I took a warrior horde, two warrior regiments, two regiments of heavy horse and two of light horse (the mounted looked suspiciously Hunnic and Gothic in nature) and a unit of cave trolls (a mammoth proxying for the third troll. There was also a character as general.

Andy's KoM army had a regiment of foot guard, one of spear wall, two of heavy pike, supported by two regiments of those fearsome knights, and three troops of archers. These were lead by a captain and supported by an army standard bearer. Each army was approximately 1500 points.

Initial deployment, KoM on the left, Varangur on the right

KoM knights on Andy's right

KoM heavy pike

Tentative advances

The KoM knights rushed forward and hit the lighter Varangur horse...

The lighter horse fled, and the heavier Varangur horse came along to play

First contact - we hadn't realised how effective the Varangur heavy horse were .. ouch

Trolls and heavy horse hit a unit of heavy pike, eliminating the  pike

Closing the gap in the centre - the warrior horde closes in

The heavy pike gone ..

argy bargy with the infantry masses in the centre

The trolls are hit a unit of foot guard, and the heavy horse are caught in the flank by a unit of archers

The mad melee of infantry in the centre

The second unit of Varangur heavy horse hits Andy's second unit of knights..and routs it

The other unit of heavy horse hits the foot guard in the flank, and routs it

But the Varangur warrior horde is in turn routed. Gaps are now evident in both armies

The second unit of heavy pike hits a Varangur warrior regiment in the flank.. that was never going to end well for the warriors

Andy turns his left to close in on the Varangur, and claim some loot counters

Not  a lot left on the battlefield at this stage... a very bloody affair all round
 The game was 'Loot', and I managed to sneak across in my last turn and capture a third loot counter to Andy's two.. he'd slightly mis-judged and was about a centimetre too far away from his third counter.

We both felt that the game was an honourable draw, but a really exciting game, with lots of laughs.

One last close up of one of Andy's knight units.
So, I managed to make good use of an historical army of 20/25mm figures to create some interesting variety in our games, and visually it didn't look too bad despite the scale difference. The game was 'bloody' in casualty terms, but a really exciting affair which swung backwards and forwards from turn three to turn six. Along with the beers and food overall it was a great evening.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Return to DBA . yep, it's been a while

It has been quite a while since i last played DBA (I haven't played a game since well before DBA3.0 came out. In essence, I went off the the game. However I grabbed the opportunity to try some games at Keith's place the the week. Here are just a few shots from the three games we each played.
I played two games with the Spanish, and one with the Early Mycenaeans.

No drawn out AARs ... just the simple observation that I may have rekindled my enjoyment of these games. More games would seem to be in order if I can carve the time out of my busy work weeks.

Fleshing out the Firefight rules tests.

Another go at Firefight, the skirmish level sci fi game from mantic (and their answer to GW's 40K game). This time we upped the size to 1500 points, and added in a vehicle, some walkers, a flyer, and the use of orders to see how the game played.

Andy took the Marauders, and I took the GCPS. The mission was 'Violent encounter'. VPs are accumulated for each 5% of the enemy's strength destroyed.

The initial set-up, with Marauders on the left, GCPS on the right.

GCPS Marines rushed forward into fortified ruins to claim an objective.

Similarly a unit of Goran auxiliaries did the same

Things evolving on the GCPS left - a unit of Orc commandoes backed up with 2 units of Goblin snipers. Marines backed by autocannon and Striders thinking about being aggressive

The other orc commando unit tried to be a bit sneaky, pushing towards the Marines ensconced in the fortified ruins

Andy pushed his missile armed raptor vehicle around the Marines' right flank

Marines in the centre rained fire down on a unit of snipers, eliminating the entire unit (it had been deployed in the forest area at the top of the photo( .. not a lot of resilience there

Suppressions accumulating all across the battlefield

A unit of Marines try to move forward to take the initiative on their left, backed by the fire support of a unit of autocannons, and two striders

However the defensive fire of the commandoes on the hill, equipped with two flamers, caused devastating casualties
 This unit had been nominated under secondary objectives as a 'meat shield'. This meant that their loss did not give VPs to the enemy.

Air support arrives for the GCPS

And another air strike ...

Only the sergeant survives from the Marines on the left, and the commandoes opposing them have taken serious fire, with quite a few suppressions

The GCPS fire support platoon equipped with laser cannons is eliminated after coming after serious sniper fire

More air strikes...
At this stage we realise that the special ability of each side's commander meant that units within 12" can't be Grounded. However both sides have several units grounded at this stage, unable to shake off sufficient suppressions. This proves to be crippling for both sides. The Marauders however still have a unit of Goran auxiliaries, and several units of Goblin snipers very much intact and able to take the initiative on the battlefield.

Secondary objectives included the Marauders gaining 3 VP if their commander is alive at the end of the game. For the GCPS 1 VP was gained for each time an order was rolled for and the number of successes exceeded the number required.

The Marauders were ahead by 1 VP.. a minor victory, and so GCPS pulled back for the night.

I was surprised at how quickly units became grounded. We tended to stick to the terrain, and so I was also surprised at how little manoeuvre there was as a result. It may of course be because we haven't mastered the nuances of the rules yet.

Looking forward to another game at some stage.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Firefight get's an outing

The Warhammer 40K models don't get much of an outing here. It's true that at the moment work tends to dominate life so most of my army collections don't get much of an outing, but the 40K armies even less so. Basically we have found the rules to be overly complex, with a lot of those 'annoying itches' that leave us dissatisfied. It's a shame, because we really like the miniatures that are produced for the game.

When Mantic produced it's Warpath/Firefight rules we looked forward to trying them out, and Andy and I subscribed on Kickstarter, taking early delivery of the rules. Firefight is the 40K equivalent with single based figures fought in units. Warpath steps the level of action up so that you are fielding units made up of multi figure bases.

The core mechanisms are not new, but they are good. Think 'Epic lite' if you want a mental model around which to frame your thoughts. The turns are activation based, with clearly defined options for action in each activation. Players take turns at activating units on the table top until all available units have been activated. Notions like basic melee and fire mechanisms, and nerve, are consistent with those used in Mantic's successful mass battle fantasy game 'Kings of War'.

So Adrian, Andy and I set out to try the mechanisms .. something of  a baptism of fire. We didn't pretend to be playing a full game. Rather, I set out approximately 640 points of Marauders and GCPS with a little terrain so that we could test the core mechanics.

The play test didn't disappoint. We could very easily see the layers of subtlety implicit in the mechanisms. There are plenty of opportunities to be clever without the encumbrance of a 200 page tome of rules. The appropriate combination of weapons (fire and assault), and the ability to create suppression, seem to be the key.

Here are just a few shots of this small play test in action. The 'flame' markers indicate suppressions.

A good start. Next we'll play a proper game with a greater variety of weapons. Finally, a thinking man's sci fi game that will use those 28mm miniatures I collected and painted with so much hope.