Monday 30 December 2013

At Last Some Finished Wood Elves

Progress has been oh-so-slow, but finally the last 3 pieces needed for my prospective campaign starting "Song of Blades and Heroes" are finished.

An Archer, Dryad and Leader. All 80's Citadel (or Marauder) to go with the painted warriors I already have. Hopefully more to come in the near future...

Thursday 26 December 2013

Rogue Trader Ork Raiders

A quick peek at my Xmas present from Halo*Star.

Imagine my surprise when the wrapping came off to find a good looking Rogue Trader Ork Raiders box.

 And inside, in perfect unpainted condition, the entire squad. I'll be sure to take my time with these great Kev Adam's Orks. 13 Ork Troopers, a Heavy Bolter trooper, a Squad leader, Second in Command Hhruk and Warboss Thrugg Bullneck (in reverse top row order)

Nice to see all the fluff on the back as well.

What a top present!! 

Thursday 19 December 2013

Chaos In Carpathia

Wargame Downloads are having a bit of a sale at the moment, so I took advantage and picked up the Chaos In Carpathia and Chaos In Cairo rulebooks for a measly sub £5 price each.

Both use the "Goal System", which I'd read before (but not played) in their SuperSystem Rules. These rules come equally highly regarded, and despite being separate standalone rulebooks in slightly different periods ("...Carpathia" is Victorian and "...Cairo" is Pulp) the characters are compatible and close enough to mix together. One oft-mentioned down point is their is no system to make up your own characters, but having looked through the 2 books there are easily predefined characters and hoods to furnish me with a few varied gangs, so it won't be a bother.

The rules look straight forward enough, and once a couple of warbands are drawn together I can see it being a lot of fun. Best hit the lead pile to add a few more to the orderly queue on the table...

Thursday 12 December 2013

Plastic Hex Builder Scenery

There are many really nice industrial\sci-fi laser cut terrain kits about just now. I keep looking at these from a distance partly due to my thin wallet thesedays but also because I know I have a mostly unused alternative sitting around in the hobby shed - plastic Hexagon system box sets. These kits have been around in various guises for a while now, in the past under the banner of Robogear, Urban War to name just 2. I think Pegasus Hobbies currently market them.

I've had a few sets, mostly in bits, sitting in the hobby shed for too long to remember. I'd picked up a few small boxes from Poundstretcher when the Airfix Robogear line went down the pan. My recent games of Urban War, however, have prompted me to properly sit down an try to put some useful terrain sections together, ready to be quickly put on the table.

 The main piece I wanted was a multi level tower structure a table centrepiece. 

 Next on the construction menu were some platform\outpost pieces (along with a couple of bridge sections). This gives more elevation and routes round the table. The can either be used stand alone...

 ...or connected together.

And with the remaining odds'n'sods I managed to put together some ground cover.

The upside of these kits is that they are pretty versatile, even if some of the shape combinations make my head hurt. Also my fingers hurt from trying to push in click-in joints, mostly from the edges of the clips. They are very metallic grey. I've seen some painted, even with just a wash, to good effect, but I am still undecided as to whether I want to mark some degree of permanence to my constructions with paint, or if I can even be bothered to be honest. I suspect it'll depend on whether I get fed up with the look.

Monday 9 December 2013

More Wild West Action

After the fun of the first session a second night of Dead Man's Hand was in order. No report, just some stills of the action. We played a full strength game of 21 Rep points (which only used 6 figures each).

One outlaw slips upstairs with the intention
of moving forward and covering the front street.

The first outlaw bites the dust, as the duo find themselves
 caught in a crossfire from two sides of a building

The Cowboy breaks the window shutter with the butt
of his shotgun to get a shot at the outlaw inside.

If  dice rolls aren't going your way, sometimes those close
range bonuses need to be exploited.

Highlights of the game must be
  1. the look on MacSver's face when I played a card allowing me to shoot through a building wall (I missed unfortunately). 
  2. My Man-With-No-Name blasting away 3 shots at MacSver's Outlaw boss from point blank range, hopelessly missing with all of them, only to have Tim's gunslinger sneak up and shoot him in the back of the head through a window. 
  3. Starting the premise of home ruled cinematic extra actions. In this case using an action of break down a window blind to get a clear shot in. I can see this being extended to other fun things: pushing a cart down the road to act as cover? Starting a cattle stampede? Rolling barrels?

Friday 6 December 2013

More Woodland Friends

Painting progress on my Wood Elves has been slow ( torturously so) but I had a wee delivery today to add some more variety to the Woodland Defenders ranks.Both are from Ral Partha Europe at bargain prices.

Firstly there is Adler, Giant Eagle. Pretty cheap for a Giant Eagle I thought when I ordered it. Now it's here, it's more a large Eagle. Not the Tolkien Taxi type of Giant Eagle. Nice figure though, so can still be used to swoop down on foe.

More than making up for any slight disappointment is my gang of mushroom men. 4 different figures in the pack, small and full of character. Can't wait to get them painted and on.

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Making Warp Portals

Been making a few warp portal markers for my Urban War Koralon (although there is nothing stopping me from using them for other games). U.W. provide counters to represent the portals, but as they are small and sit flat on the table surface they've never seemed to represent the technology that is described in the rulebook. If my scary aliens are to charge through space I want them them to do it through a swirly magic door!
So I had a google around for images under "warp portal", "magic portal", etc and picked a few I liked. In the end I plumped for the one above as it had the swirly-ness I wanted and enough of it in the centre of the picture to be shaped.
Then I loaded it up in my graphics software (I used the free software GIMP) to size and shape it into the desired doorway shape. Somewhere in the Urban War forums there is a thread mentioning that portals should be 40mm wide, so that is roughly the size of the base.

The picture was then mirrored in GIMP, printed and cut out and folded to make it double sided (the mirroring in GIMP keeps the swirls going in the same direction)

The final part was laminating to give it a bit of durability and rigidity before slotting into a stand base (I bought these from EM4 Miniatures).

Saturday 30 November 2013

First Game of Dead Man's Hand

There was a great deal of rootin'-tootin' and no little shootin' going on up at MacSver's battle shed this weekend. He was running me through my first game of Dead Man's Hand (by Great Escape Games).
It's a skirmish level West Wild game with randomised figure activation (by way of a card deck) with extra cards held by the players to play "events" on any of the figures, which is fun.

We played the first introductory scenario, where a gunslinger is "greeted" by 3 local dudes.

Not liking the odds, the stranger ran for cover behind a building and fence. The local toughs flanked round.

The stranger stepped out behind the fencing and took a shot, but missed. Fortunately his movement and the slight cover saved him from any damage.

Things were looking bad though when a local ran round the corner looking to fire his shotgun at point blank range. Fortunately the stranger literally had a card up his sleeve that made the man stumble and lose the rest of his actions that turn.

Confident behind his cover, the Stranger took another shot at the poncho local. He only managed to worry his target with an "Under Fire" mark. These act as minus modifiers for the receiving figure and can be removed using an action on their turn. Every turn a figure gets 3 actions (eg move, shoot, aim, etc). They also act as hits. Each character has a number of Under Fire markers they can receive befoe they are out of action.

The confidence of the Gunslinger was ill founded though, as the final local man took careful aim and took him out.

This all seemed pretty straight forward. The randomised activation order helped the experience of the chaos of a gunfight (not that I've been in a real one obviously), and the event cards in your hand also give the player some extra tactical depth, not to mention the glee of scuppering your opponents expectations.

We played most of a more even more sided game afterwards:

Sometimes the cards can encourage rash

...sometimes too rash...

...with fatal consequences!

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Urban War Weapons Test Dept

Following on from last weeks introductory Urban War game, MacSver and I had another game to test out some specific pieces of equipment (and their associated rules). One section was how weapons teams played, so the Viridians had a HMG team and Mortar Team (which handily also tested indirect\speculative fire effectiveness) and the other was to see if Heavy Armour could be a game breaker, courtesy of some VASA Black Legion.

The table was set as shown with players starting at either end.

3 objectives were randomly positioned D10 inches from the centre of the table (the direction indicated by the way the D10 pointed) to run a variation of the 3 Sisters Scenario in the rulebook. The 66% breakpoint was kept.

The Viridian's split into 3 groups from the off. A brace headed to the covering position on the left, the Weapons teams moved right to try and take advantage of the limits high position and cover, and the foot-sloggers pushed through the middle.

The VASA decided to move more directly towards the objective points, one force flanking wide and most the others working with the middle cover positions.

A round or 2 in and the the 2 forces had reached their phase one positions. The mortar crew decided to try a shot at the VASA sniper, which and a good elevated position overlook a main bottleneck. Their test shot the previous turn and hopelessly missed but this shot hit the sniper right on top of the head and even took out the supporting Suppressor on half damage.

On the other side of the table the VASA were carefully pushing forward with little resistance, as the covering Marines failed Overwatch command checks time and time again, with only there hard cover saving their skins.

With the VASA starting to close in (and starting to keep space between them) the targets were getting rare for the Viridian Mortar. One (very) speculative shot though did pay off with another mortar landing on the head of a Suppressor, ending his fight. The Heavy Machine Gun team had reached their optimum position to use their range and firepower (especially with the enemy Sniper gone) but all they managed to do all game is make a lot of noise - no hits were scored.

MacSver though it was time to test out the Heavy Armour special rule and popped a Red Guard member up for a charge. Heavy Armour basically acts as an additional save, with the appropriate level (+2 in this case) adding onto a D10 roll, hoping to get an total result of 10 or more. Unfortunately for his jump trooper MacSver didn't make his required 8+ roll and he was out-of-game. So not a license to stride down the centre of the table then!

The turn count was starting to get to the crucial number 6, and everyone was wary of the final objective dash (from games ends from turn 6 onwards with a rolled D10 + turn number > 12). The VASA Sergeant rushed out of cover to try and take out her opposite number. No-one was on overwatch, but fortunately he made a crucial cover save. A hail of lead flew the other way, but with one Marine shooting and the Sergeant ploughing ALL his CAL extra shots at the VASA Commander she was still untroubled. Finally a lone Marine stepped from cover, drew a bead and took down the enemy #1.

This signalled the 66% breaking point for the VASA force and they withdrew.

A fun and useful game. MacSver was most obliging, it must be pointed out, in putting some of his troops in perilous positions to allow the testing of some rules and effects. The effect of mortars to negate obstacles was shown (and also their unreliable accuracy). It also hammered home the importance of finding some solid cover to stand behind when taking fire - this extra save really saved the bacon of some of the Viridian Marines time and time again.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Nostalgia Hit

If there are two games to take me back, Heroscape is one but the biggy has got to be RISK.

Mark the calendar, as it was Arabiansquire's first ever game this afternoon (and my first game for around 21 years!).

Thursday 14 November 2013

A Hex based SoBH battle

Amazing what you find in your "Draft" folder sometimes. In this case a Hex based "Song of Blades..." game using Heroscape scenery and Lord Of The Rings Hex battle figures (which come in at 40mm scale, by the way), using the alternative Hex measuring rules found in the old 2nd Edition (this was 18 months ago and the revised edition hadn't been released yet)

The Scene was set as thus. A Magic stone was rumoured to have appeared in a mystic stone circle (conveniently in the middle of the board). Three groups; Orcs, High Elves and Humans (mostly), were sent out to collect it and return to their original bases.

With a quality of Q2+, the Elves sped up the table, reaching the stone circle first. The Humans and Orcs were slowly moving up the table, the humans hampered by terrain (water) and the Orcs by their poor quality.

Elven Swordsmen moved across to shield the stone carrier from the approaching Human force, but one of them was shot down.

The Orcs meanwhile were still struggling to make any headway, especially with their quarry quickly moving away from them.

The remaining Elf charges across the stream to confront the Human archer, rather than stand there as a target, but only knocks him back.

This does however give the Stone carrying Elf space to head back home, with a rear guard left to protect against the Orcs.
But they are soon in trouble. An Orc goes down, but the distraction allows the Humans to make contact. They have decided to sweep across the table, with Gandalf and Gimli heading towards the Elf home base to cut off the carrier.

The Stone carrier is almost home with Gimli being handled by 2 guards. But the gap in the defences allows two human warriors in to attack. The Elf is hangs tough though and kills one of his assailants.

As Gandalf closes in from behind, the Elven guard step up to help out their comrade.

He attacks, but now being outnumbered his attack fails and he is pushed back.

The Humans try to desperately surge forward and release their fellow soldier, but are repelled, and the Stone is finally brought back to the Elven base. It was a great deal closer than expected!

Monday 11 November 2013

Urban War Demo

MacSver came down to run through a game of Urban War with me. It was a fun and useful session, as we found I'd had a couple of rules wrong. MacSver chose to play Viridian, as their more "shooty" focus seemed easier to follow for a first match.

As this was a first game we opted for a straight fight, both sides starting at either end. MacSver was quick to ascertain that his Sniper could fire the length of the table and mentally mapped the table length firing lines through the various scenery. Quite how effective in practical terms I'm not sure, but as a psychological exercise very good as it had me wary of his shooting from the word go!

 The Marines started moving down the right flank with covering fire from the Sergeant and Sniper and using the old supply pipework as a sheltered route.

The VASA, with their shorter effective firing range (and Close Combat only troops) moved up the opposite side, hoping to get a chance to charge in from a side. A Sniper and Suppressor were left behind to cover the Marine flanking advance.

The covering VASA were short lived. The Sniper was taken out by the Viridian Sergeant from the ruins across the table (despite feeling safe tucked behind a window) and the Suppressor missed his shot and was taken out by the Marine Sniper.

The VASA continued their advance up the left, using the tall ruin and a base for cover. A Viridian Marine tried to draw some of the covering fire from the other side, but unfortunately for him drew it too well and was gunned down

The Viridian Sergeant decided to to nip the VASA advance in the bud, and used both his extra CAL actions to dash round into the ruins and charge a baton wielding Suppressor. The resulting close combat was a stalemate, and his opposing number took up a covering position, not wanting to fire into the melee.

The Viridian Sergeant successfully broke off though, and made to escape. The VASA Sergeant gave chase but could only shock him with 2 volleys of fire. The Viridian managed to escape out of LOS round the corner, but the Suppressor caught up and with his baton on combat mode beat the enemy to the ground.

The other CC Suppressor dashed round the corner of the building to threaten the lurking Viridian Sniper, expecting a hail of lead. But luckily it was almost the first time in the game that the sharpshooter hadn't been on Overwatch, and the charged assault proved most successful, leaving the last couple of Viridian to break and retreat.