Friday, 20 November 2015

Daleks and Daemons


Last night I went down to the local club to play Chris at a spot of 40k. On a whim I decided to take a slightly different force to usual- I recalled my Daleks hadn't been out for a while, and so, digging out the necron army list, I put together a little 1100 point force-
A Dalek Supreme, 4 teams of 5 Daleks, and 4 drones (scarabs).
Chris decided to throw a slight curve ball with an Daemon world force- A Daemon Prince special Character (430 points of monster that I didn't have a weapon strong enough to hurt!) and a collection of beastmen, minotaurs, and frenzied chaos warriors.

With one side screaming EXTERMINATE! and the other bellowing BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD! in an attempt to cause severe hearing loss on all sides we were expecting absolute carnage!  And, boy, were we to be disappointed...

When this veritable horde bounced off the startline and screamed towards my daleks I was a little worried- With no vehicles and shooting on his side he had no reason to hang back, and my Drones were useless. My opening volleys did precisely nothing. This didn't look good.

In a bid to slow the advance the Drones went forward to stop march moves, the daleks backing off to get some space. The Daemon Prince charged the nearest Daleks, and the rest of the army charged the Drones, eager to clear these annoyances away.

It was then that we discovered something weird. The Drones (or scarabs) are T8. With nothing higher than S4 he couldn't touch them. Almost the entire chaos army was tied up in combats they simply couldn't win...A few minotaurs dashed forward to break the Dalek line, but they went down quickly to cries of EXTERMINATE! The Daemon Prince found its own opponents were less than obliging. Refusing to engage him in honourable combat it was forced to fight them one at a time- though the outcome was inevitable it took one of the most powerful creatures in the 41st Millenium the whole game to knock down 5 Daleks, and even then he only killed two of them!

The Dalek Supreme led the rest of the Daleks towards the enemy deployment zone ( I had the dawn raid mission ), taking pot shots as they went, though most of their efforts bounced off the invulnerable Drones! Eventually, Chris tried some desperate tactics to rectify the situation- he decided to disengage from the the three drones he had rashly charged- he managed to do this without loss, but all three units were fleeing, The drones charged the routing units and they headed for the hills, but managed to rally to a man on the table edge! The drones charged again, and this time the Khornate loonies stood, having found that being in melee with shots bouncing off the drones was fare safer than letting the Daleks use them for target practice.

Thus the game ended, with minimal casualties, some very bored looking Daleks and ridiculous combats in which the two sides were so hopelessly mismatched there was no chance of either side actually winning!  In light of this The Dalek Emperor and Khorne have both decreed their respective taglines must change to WOULD-YOU-LIKE-A-CUDDLE? and HUGS-FOR-THE-HUGS-GOD! Bloody pathetic 'aint it?

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Push and go Panzer IV platoon

A few years ago I found a push and go panzer IV in a gift shop on a caravan park.  It came in a box with a bunch of Abrams...  The Panzer IV at least looked like it might be close to 1/56 scale. So, as it was only £3.50 I bought one. And it was.  

Earlier this year, at a different caravan park, I was able to pick up two more.

I removed the motors, and wheels. and the strange lugs under the turret- as bought the turret didnt turn, it merely wiggled from side to side as it moved. The top deck was rebuilt, with a central hole, and a new lug on the turret for a proper pivot.

They are not the most detailed models ever, the detail being a little soft, but its good enough that its clearly and unmistakably a panzer IV.

The camo scheme is taken from an image of a tank right at the end of the war. Im guessing here but I suspect that by this point the paint available to the jerries was little more than coloured water, as it looked very thin and hastily washed on. I quite liked the effect and watered down my paint to try and mimic it.

All in all , not bad for a little over a tenner for 3 tanks!

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Of Wizards Towers and Kings of War...

Hello again, and welcome to another installment of me building, painting and playing with toy soldiers.

Since my last post the action has been all Kings of War. With the death of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, the question went around the group "What will our orcs do now!?" We had hardly played the last couple of editions of WHFB- they were fairly dire and the constant codex creep and having to keep up with the Jones' was a pain in the bum, and hadn't played Fantasy at all for ages for this reason. There were better games to be playing, but the fantasy itch was always there at the back of our collective minds waiting, biding its time.

And its time has come! We'd discussed a few possibilities. Modding Hail Caeser, renovating an older edition of WHFB etc. But little agreement in how to go about it. And then Warhammer was killed off...and Mantic announced Kings of War 2nd ed would be released soon. We had a look. We liked what we saw. And we dusted off the old fantasy figures and sat back for 2nd edition to hit. I pre-ordered the gamers edition almost immediately, and to get us going we downloaded the various Beta and Free versions of the lists and tried a few kick abouts.

What we have found is a game with a deceptively simple system, the rules are clear and concise, and don't try to be to detailed (which is unnecessary anyway when your dealing with armies with a couple of hundred figures!). We learnt to play within the first couple of turns of a 90 minute game. It doesn't take much longer to get a handle on the various special rules and unit profiles in play. The tactics are a little trickier!  And it is tactical- its a game that rewards attempting to out deploy and outmaneuver your opponent. There are gimmicks like magic swords and spells and monsters and warmachines that you can use to try and "herohammer" your way to victory, but the benefits gained for outflanking your enemy or getting behind him outweigh these by miles! Attacking in the flank doubles your attacks, in the rear it triples them. A good magic artefact might do nothing more than give you a slight advantage over an otherwise equal enemy unit. Outmaneuver your enemy and even fairly modest units can inflict a lot of damage!

Like Hail Caeser the game has fixed unit sizes and worries more about the overall footprint of a unit rather than individual models. Much better suited to a mass battle game. But dont get too hung up on your troops not being on exactly the right size base, we havn't gone and rebased all our figures and it doesn't appear to matter in the slightest.

It is proving a popular game in these parts and folk are flocking to the banners! So far my various fantasy armies have fought all manner of deamonic forces, Ogres and Samurai and I'm looking forward to many more games of this soon! And maybe a campaign...

In other news I've been building some scenery.

May I present a a wizards tower built specially for my Necromancer, Sirius Dictian.  The Core of the tower is simply a Pringles can with polystyrene built around its base. The stonework is milliput- each stone formed individually. Wood work is matchsticks, Window and door frames are built up with plasticard and then the stonework milliputted on. The Roof is a card cone, with lots of little bits of roughly shaped card glued on in rows. The whole thing took about 2 weeks.

Unfortunatly this last few months has seen a lot less painting than normal. A few extra elves were painted, Work has begun on what might eventually be a war elephant.  A tank arrived in the post- something called a bronekorpus tank, from a Russian company, only £3.50ish, and not bad for the price, It comes with a lot of bits so you can pick and choose from a variety of weapons. and assamble them in a variety of ways. Mine got the same colour scheme as the Cataphracts, as seen in their recent battle against necrons. It will count as a Predator, though with a different weapons fit- a Conversion Beamer and a Missile Launcher. I'm not entirely happy with the paintwork- something weird happened when I varnished it and a lot of the paint bubbled up. No matter, it was cheap and cheerful and it will go well with the Cataphracts.

Also on the painting table- an array of odds and ends mostly- a couple of beastmen, a pair of riflemen (thanks Rick!) a handful of Romano-British horsemen, and a few stray medieval chaps. Also some tanks. I picked up a couple of the new zvezda models- the Grant and the Stuart. And very nice they are too. The Grants went together a bit easier than the Stuarts but a bit of pushing and trimming and they went together ok. They are quite a lot smaller than my battlefront Grants and Stuarts, so they wont be joining those companies but may be the beginning of new forces. Did you know in FOW midwar that you can fit two British armoured Squadrons of 16 Honey Stuarts each into a 1500 point force? Thats 32 fast tanks.  Food for thought perhaps...
On a recent trip to South Wales I picked up a pair of 1/56th Panzer IV's. I'd already got one of these models from a caravan site in Yorkshire, and was pleased to find another two to go with it. They were a mere £3.50 each, and it was the work of moments to remove the push and go mechanism, and rebuild the turret ring so the turret rotates properly. Once I'd done that with the new pair I went back and did it with the original one too, (I'd previously only glued it in place!). Now all three are undercoated and on the painting table awaiting a suitable latewar paint job. I don't do a lot of 28mm wargaming for ww2 these days but I'm sure I'll find a use for them, and you can't really say no to a 1/56 scale panzer platoon for around a tenner can you?


Sunday, 2 August 2015

Raising the Dead

I've been meaning to get an Undead force for a while. Could never find a Necromancer that I liked though. And it had to be a Necromancer, of course. Because of Nicol Williamson.

And then I heard about Frostgave. Went to Northstar to have a look. And there found I my Necromancer!
So I ordered a box of the Wargames Factory Skellies (had my eye on those for a while!) and to the painting table we went!

Sirius Dictian, and his apprentice Gunther Tripe, commanding his Undead horde.
Some of the Arcane Armorial inspired shields I've been trying
Behind the Archers, Sirius Dictians pet Snail, Snaegl. A pet more loyal to his master you never saw... 
Had another go at some freehand banners. What is life without Whimsy?

Snaegl, by the way, I found at a Carboot sale for 20p and simply couldn't say no. I'd like a whole unit of them but I've never seen anymore like him.

The skellies were painted thusly- Humbrol Dark Brown spray as the undercoat, Bleached bone drybrush, Revell Watercolour MudBrown (heavily watered to make a wash) washed over and then a Bleached Bone Drybrush. Seemed to work quite well I felt.
The Wargames Factory Skellies are excellent models, this is the new improved version with sturdier limbs etc, which is probably why I had no breakages.  Theres a bunch of raising dead (4 in the pics above and more on the sprue) that I will use for a diorama I think.  You might notice some unusual weapons amongst them .  I quickly noted that they are compatible with almost any of the Historical plastic kits around at the moment. So I raided my bits box and equipped some as Zulus, others as Romans, and some as 18th century British infantry! I think theres even a 15th century knight in there too...

I am especially happy with my shields and my banners. What do you reckon?

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Raid on Research Station 217

      High above the shining orb that was Hetraxis Prime, Captain Coruscant gazed down through the viewport. Restless, he drummed his fingers on the sill, the servo-assisted gauntlet leaving impressions in the metalwork. Six months they'd been here. Six whole months on this clapped out freighter in high orbit with nothing to do but gaze out of viewports. And wait. Still, the pay could be worse, though the lack of activity and anonymity of his employers was beginning to grate. Wait, they said, and when the alarm sounds head for the Teleporter. That was another thing- a rust bucket like this had no business containing such an enormous and advanced teleporter suite. And the secrecy- Even as the commander of the Cataphracts he had been unable to see anything of the ship, or even more than a handful of the crew. 
        He turned back to face the room full of Cataphracts on stand by. All were in full power armour, armed and waiting. The rest of the company were stood down at the moment. His gaze moved from face to face and saw boredom on each one. And the room was strobed with red light, and a keening noise filled his universe, and with a start he realised the alarm was sounding. He jammed his helmet on and headed for the Teleporter, the deck pounding as twenty of the toughest mercenaries in the Segmentum followed. The comm-link in his ear was alive with chatter and he strained to pick out the intel he would need, "Contact, hostiles sector 5...we're pulling back...Sergeant Drayma, movers inbound in life signs detected" The Cataphracts took their positions around him, as the blast doors closed, "Nothing on Auspex, we can't get a to sector 5, we are taking heavy f-aaarrrggh..." , the suite was filled with a blinding white light as the Teleporter powered up, its energies reducing the vox chatter to garbled static but just before arcane technologies whisked him through a tiny crack in space and time Captain Coruscant was just able to make out a transmission that chilled him to the bone, "contacts identified, ident confirmed...Necrontyr..."

Hello and welcome back. Today, a Battle report. I had a couple of old friends, Dave and Ali over the other weekend, they used to do a fair bit of gaming with me back in the day and after a bit of a hiatus were keen to have a game over a beer or two. So I cooked up a scenario and bought some beer and set up a game for them. I decided we'd use the 2nd ed rules as it would be vaguely familiar to them and it was something I'd been playing a bit recently. And I asked Ali to bring his Necrons.

The Scenario
The Inquisition have found an ancient artifact of obvious alien power. Being totally unimaginative they named it the Shard of Infinite Darkness. Desirous of its arcane cubic secrets they took it to a secure and top secret facility-Ordos Xenos Research Station 217 on the planet Hetraxis Prime. Here, they studied it and attempted to unlock its power but despite years of effort had failed to make any headway. The Station itself is defended by several mercenary contingents, who are not even aware that they in the service of the Inquisition, some of whom openly patrol the surrounding area, and others who await in a disguised freighter in high orbit.
Half a galaxy away, in a forgotten tomb, the Necron Lord Rubix was annoyed. One of his favourite toys, that had kept him occupied during the eons between bouts of exterminating all life in the universe, had gone missing, and he couldn't find it anywhere. Despite turning out every cupboard and looking under all the sarcophagi it remained elusive. In frustration he turned to more arcane means of searching and eventually discovered a website where a conspiracy theorist named the StarChild claimed to have seen a similar cubic artifact in the hands of a human inquisitor. Swiftly, he revived enough warriors for a raiding party and boarded his personal Starship in pursuit!

The table was laid out with the research station in the centre of the table. Large mountains and jungle and ruined buildings were placed around it.

Dave took the Inquisitorial forces under his command-
The Research Station is armed with a Twin Linked AA Autocannon and 2 lasguns covering the walkway.
A Security Team of 7 men armed with lasguns and laspistols.
A Cyborg with powerfist and Grenade Launcher.
These would all start on the table, the security team patrolling.
In Reserve he had Captain Coruscant's Cataphracts- A Captain with Thunderhammer and plasma pistol, wearing power armour, and 4 combat squads of 5 Cataphracts, Variously armed with Lascannon, flamer and heavy plasma guns. These would arrive just off table and move on after the alarm was sounded.

Ali took command of Lord Rubix and his raiders.
These consisted of a Lord,  14 warriors and 4 Destroyers.

I would Gamesmaster.

Ali's task was to get as close as possible without being spotted by Daves patrols or the alarm going off. In hindsight I may have made this a little too easy as Dave managed to raise the alarm almost immediately! He then had to get into the research station and search it (without getting killed) , find the Cube and escape off the table! Simple eh? To be honest I didn't think he'd find it difficult, Necrons have a beefy statline!

 Opening moves; the Necrons try and use the ruined city to cover their advance but
Trooper Drek spots them instantly and sounds the alarm, and is immediately killed! 

The Destroyers head for the station, the now active Cyborg and Security team respond.

The Field of Battle with the Cataphracts arriving at the far end beyond the Research Station.
Most of the Security team are dead, though the AA guns atop the station have taken a heavy toll
on the Necron Destroyers.
The Catphracts Advance!

But the Necrons are closing in!

With the AA guns knocked out the Destroyers head for the Objective.
Landing on the Parking Platform they dismount and smash their way in. Unfortunately
once inside they get lost- One falls down an elevator shaft and other manages to get into
the Xenos enclosures where its is promptly eaten by an Ambull.
Despite the Combat Cyborg's efforts the Necrons mop up the remaining
 Security Troopers with little difficulty.
Both sides advance to the Station and the Necrons split up- Some fight their way in while
Lord Rubix and his Warriors hold back the Cataphracts!
Lord Rubix prepares to run "DiePunyMortalDie.Exe" but repeated whacks from a thunder
hammer turned this into a "Fatal Error" and he promptly crashed... 

More Necrons surge into the Research Station and take up the search. One
 ends up in a Trash Compactor but 1000010 01101111 01100010 finds the cube and
they head for the exit!

With Necron casualties mounting time is running out- The Destroyers on the landing pad were
out of action so two warriors hotwired the parked Skycar to take the cube to safety . Their fellow
 Warriors provided covering fire as they sped off, gunning down Captain Coruscant!

Only seconds after takeoff they are hit by a stray plasma bolt and the Skycar
goes out of control wedging itself in the side of a ruined building. 01000010 01101111 01100010
and 01010011 01110100 01110101 dive clear
They climb down and sprint for the table edge but around the Research Station the
Cataphracts firepower proves too much and another Warrior falls. Unable to resist the call of ancient
 technosorcery the remaining Warriors phase out!
01000010 01101111 01100010  jumped clear and managed to land on the walkway, and rolled for cover. Not a moment too soon as the primitive SkyCar exploded behind him. 01010011 01110100 01110101 must have bought it, he thought, but stood up to see 01010011 01110100 01110101 stood on the walkway, looking slightly battered, but the living metal already repairing itself. Clutching the Cube they leaped down and climbed through the rubble to safety. Nearly there, thought 01000010 01101111 01100010, just a few more yards till we've cleared their Teleport Jammers. Catching his foot on a tangle of ancient wiring he went down, the Cube falling from his grasp, metal fingers questing for it, and as he felt the irresistible call of the Tomb from half a galaxy away the searching became more desperate. He forced himself to reach it, his fingers brushing its surface, and then closing through it as they lost their physical form, the panic rising as he scrabbled for it as it faded from view. The cube lay there amidst the ruins of a long forgotten civilization, the breeze gently covering it with dust and vegetation, and there, with  its six brightly coloured sides untarnished by the millenia, it lies still.

This must have been one of the greatest games I've ever had the pleasure of taking part in. Partly the scenario worked pretty well, and partly it developed its own narrative as it went; the Necrons were so close to victory being only a single move from safety when they Phased out! Partly its down to the models and Scenery which all looked the part, and of course the atmosphere of being with two old friends, beer and music was just great!

In future I'd make some changes- Make the Necrons harder to spot in the Sentry phase at the start, and make sure they bring scarabs to disrupt the Cataphracts shooting- Their disruption field would have been very useful! 

Beer consumed was Stella Artois Cidre and Marstons EPA.
Music Provided by Two Steps from Hell (The Battlecry, Invincible and Skyworld albums) . 
Ankles were duly nudged by Bella.
Scenery Chewing provided by Monty
Inquisitorial forces from Em4 Miniatures
Necrons from Citadel. 
After Action vittles from Kash22. I had the Blue Buffalo...

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Into the Underhive, Gauntlet, and other stories.

Alas, I havn't had much painting time since my last post. Well thats not quite true- I've done rather a lot of painting. Mostly on my house though. Still managed to squeeze in some figures though. I was a little miffed at not being able to go to Phalanx (st Helens) this year so I treated myself to some figures online instead, and picked up 6 boxes of em4 plastics for less than £15 and free postage. Mostly these were the space rangers, allowing me to put together a small force. Also included were a box of little space ships and some Mechs which I assume were intended for games like Battle Tech. No idea what what to do with them yet but I quite like them, though the mechs don't go together brilliantly.

Here are the finished rangers- Or Captain Corusants Cataphracts as I've been calling them.
Enough for a 1000 point game in 2nd ed 40- a Tac squad with Lascannon and Flamer, and Dev squad with 4 heavy plasma guns. Camo scheme used is that of the Royal Scots Greys in Italy during ww2. Tempted to get another 1/48 Sherman tank for support in that camo too ( I have one but I would want one to scifiificate!) Due to the lack of variety in the rangers set I did a couple of conversions. Its ok for the big heavy weapons, but I got the flamer from my bits box. The captain got his arm moved ( a fairly major task- that plastic is bloody thick!) a head swap, and a large mace from the bits box as well.  Hopefully we'll get to see how they perform on the table soon!

As the title suggested Necromunda has been high on the agenda this month. My new gang, the Laserburn Boys, has been painted and bloodied! Mostly built from 3 boxes of EM4 gangers plus things from the bits box, I'm sorry to say I consider this set the worst of  the EM4 plastics but they still scrub up ok with some effort. I replaced all the pistols with proper laspistols as they seemed deformed, though the rifles/carbines are better. The knifes were replaced as well for the same reason. With only 5 figures (with little interchangeability between them) head swaps were a must, though I was surprised to find myself with very few female heads, so some  mods to their hair-do's and a varied paint pallet was used to mix things up a little. Anyway, heres a pic-

They fought their first gang fight against a Cawdor mob last week, and got shot to pieces in their efforts to close to melee!  Boro Gyn (dark hair, back right with the lasrifle) got torn apart by a heavy stubber with the opening shot, Caram (Juve with green hair) went down at the same time, and 3 other gangers were down in short order. The laserburn boys didn't even get to hit anyone back, bottling it at the start of turn 3. And not doing any damage to a gang with a lower gang rating meant almost no Xp was collected!  Oh well.

This was just one of a string of defeats that has afflicted me this month.  It all started in FOW. We are currently fighting the Market Garden campaign, and my Armoured Recce opened the ball by charging headlong into a mass of German tanks. Things went well to start with , my Cromwells outflanking and burning 7 Panthers for minimal losses. This rather surprised the huns, who fell back on their Stug-like assault guns behind. Onwards the Cromwells charged, scenting imminent victory; the German CO was dead and another platoon killed would have forced a company morale check. The speed of the cruisers helped 15 of my tanks get within close range of the enemy's side armour- 15 shots at 3's to hit , no saves possible and destroying on 3+. Average dice should have killed more tanks than the Germans had remaining. Alas, a flurry of 1's and 2's later and they hadn't even been hit! There was no such issues with the return fire though, and only my CO was still standing when the smoke cleared..only to fail the Company Morale moments later! From certain victory to utter defeat in a single shooting phase.
A subsequent FOW game went no better, this time facing an infantry company with a whole regiment of AT guns attached. Rather predictably this was all over in just a few turns.  However light is on the horizon. 

Back to 40k the following week with Peribon Krate and the Trevuntular Grenadiers continuing their campaign against a Khornate incursion. Having carved their a bloody path through quite a lot of the blood go's followers they appear to have attracted the attention of the Chaos commander. Unfortunately this turned out to be a Daemon Prince, and the Grenadiers simply hadn't brought firepower sufficient to the task of banishing him. His Mortal lackeys were cut down with relative ease, by a Hellhound dispatched to support the Grenadiers, burning Minotaurs and Chaos Knights alike. Most of the lesser Daemons fell to the well directed las-volleys of the Grenadiers but the Heavy Weapons failed to make their mark against their larger cousin, as he tore the grenadiers apart in melee. A small cottage and its grounds provided only a temporary redoubt; with casualties mounting, and Commissar Tachikowa unable to remember which pocket he'd put his Stasis Grenade in, Peribon Krate ordered the retreat and reported the Daemon Princes presence to Headquarters. This will need some specialist attention!

With 4 defeats in a row it was time for the big one - Gauntlet!

This is the Deeside Defenders annual event, a whole weekend of gaming! I'd only be there for a day- a few of us normally take the opportunity to run a really big game, and Rick had cooked up a Pike and Shotte Scenario- the Swedish invasion of England! We only managed to get 7 of our normal group together for this but this still resulted in around 2000 figures on the table.
We set up a 20 foot long table and were allowed to set up 6 brigades each (both sides having 12), with reserves arriving at randomly chosen points along the table edge. Both sides had different objectives; for the English it was capture the Farms (presumably to fortify them as strong points), for the Swedes it was simple- they scored points for getting within 12" of the English table edge. Looked pretty tricky for the English- we were rather hugely outnumbered. Whilst my 5 Parliamentarian Brigades were full strength 5 of the 7 Royalist brigades only consisted of a single regiment of Pike and Shotte! The 12 Swedish Brigades by were all at least equal to our biggest brigades. On top of that, the Swedish were using the rules from the new Warlord games supplement Devils Playground- They're pretty superhuman at the best of times but were also commanded by a General that allowed all their guns to fire twice a turn, turning their 40 guns into 80! Our own artillery consisted of a mere 7 guns by comparison.  
Deployment was a bit wierd. Each side was allowed to deploy two brigades halfway across the table, the other 4 had to hang back. The Swedes deployed first but would also get first turn. Due to our shortage of numbers therefore we placed the English thusly- A large Parliamentarian Brigade (Essex's) and a large Royalist Brigade as far forward as possible and just left of centre, with the slightly weaker Royalists digging in around the farm there. Threee of the single regiment brigades were deployed in the town on our extreme Right, with Ruperts Brigade of Horse to provide some support

The Swedes to the Left, English to the Right with the left hand of the English
 line closest to camera in the centre of table. 

The understrength Royalists fortify Little Pontefract, and Ruperts
 strong Horse formations form up in support.

The Swedish Centre. With so many Guns in their line and so few English troops
we were unable to deploy anything to oppose them. This left a huge gap in our lines and nothing
between the Swedish hordes and their objective.
The English Centre. Essex's Parliamentarians on the left have and  the Royalists
dug in around the farm. The English were too few to cover the rest of the left flank.
The Swedes have already surrounded the central farm house and with nothing to
oppose them in the centre are attacking from two sides. Essex orders his men forward to try
and relieve pressure on the Farm. Only one regiment obeys and succeeds in overrunning a
 gun despite the  "Double Shott" rule!

Swedish reinforcements arrive behind Windmill Hill . Essex urges his troops forward and
they comply, but are now facing 3 brigades!
Polish Mercenaries in English pay arrive on the extreme left and secure an
objective, and there they remain.
Fighting below Windmill Hill intensifies- a fourth Swedish brigade has arrived
but Essex urges his troops on regardless! The English have overrun several guns
and even managed to drive back the leading Swedish units, causing major congestion issues!
The Swedish Centre, with no enemy to the front, had amused itself with outflanking the two
English enclaves, whilst their mass of guns took long range pot shots at Ruperts immobile Horse. When Fairfax's
squadrons  arrived they found themselves in a large open area with guns facing them on all sides! With no other option they charged, and the "Double Shotte" guns did dreadful work, cutting down swathes of cavalrymen. But the Swedes didn't have it all their own way- due to the number of dice rolled for each shot misfires were inevitable and 4 guns blew up!

The Royalists around the central farm were in trouble with heavy casualties and Swedish units threatening
to lap around behind their position. To make things worse the mass of Swedes around
Windmill Hill had managed to punch through a gap between the Royalists and Essex's Brigades. Help came in the form of a large Brigade of Parliamentarian infantry who had marched from the far left flank, and Cromwell himself, whose Ironsides drove back the marauding Swedish Horse and plugged the gap!

The endgame- The English have stabilised their line- The Royalists around the farm are more secure, as the mass
of Parliamentarian units hits the Swedish line at one end. The traffic jams around Windmill Hill have enabled Essex, now supported by Cromwell, to bottle up no fewer than 5 Swedish brigades! The Poles managed to get a bit of skirmishing in on the far left, but still held the farm. Fairfax and Ruperts respective Cavalry Squadrons were falling back, shattered by Swedish Guns,  but the Swedes infantry were still stalled by the three Royalist Regiments holding Little Pontefract. 
At this point time was called and our GM Rick counted up the points. The English had held 2 of their Objectives. The Swedish, (despite the undefended four foot long gap in our centre!) had failed to get a single unit near our table edge. More points were added for Broken Brigades and the English claimed the Victory, 23 to 13!

An excellent and enjoyable game, and well done to Rick for masterminding it. It was made all the better by a sweet Victory over a more powerful opponent! All players agreed afterwards that something needed to be done about the "Double Shotte" rule. The English players felt the equivalent of 80 guns was a bit much when we were already so out numbered and only had 7 of our own. The Swedish players felt the firepower was fine, but that the increased tendency to explode was not realistic!
How did we manage a victory? Dogged defence by the Royalists at the central farm and around Little Pontefract, combined with the Earl of Essex leading his brigade right into the attack at the exact position where 5 Swedish Brigades were constricted by Windmill Hill and the river and unable to bring their superior numbers to bear. The resulting traffic jam took them the whole game to sort out, and the English made the most of this, pressing the attack to constrict the Swedes further.

Now I suppose we just have to see what happens between the surviving Royalists and Parliamentarians...

Thank you and good night!

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

'Ere be Dragons!

Well A dragon anyway.

Picked him up at the local Wilko's for about £1.50 .  With the flash removed (mostly) and a bit of paint he scrubs up well.

I've also finished off the 5 plastic troopers from Em4. They scrub up pretty well too, and though the detail is a little soft in places I think they're not bad for 51p each! I've performed some weapon swaps to 40k them up a bit. I have no idea what to use them for at the moment- they strike me as more like a security team or police unit (SWAT or something like that ) rather than any sort of army unit, due to the pistol to rifle ratio. I believe that a separate set of rifles is available, but this seems to be automatic rifles rather than Laser rifles (which to me look more like Phaser Rifles anyway!) 

This weeks game was, as predicted, Ghurkas V Bersaglieri, 2000points, Free for all.
 Both armies were Infantry heavy with minimal armour, though The Ghurkas brought many of the friends in the Royal Artillery, whilst the Italians came with their usual horde of smaller guns. These they abandoned to dash across the battlefield towards the nearest objective whilst the big guns covered them. The Armour skirmished on the flanks, the Semovente 75s coming off worse  on their flank, though the m14's managed to destroy the three shermans facing them, before moving to support the infantry. A chunk was taken out of the Ghurkas line as  platoon fled and the Bersaglieri pressed forward and pushed back the nearest supporting units, though not by enough to hold the objective. The Ghurkas never really pushed forward, untill far to late in the day and lost three platoons to my one, but alas Mark was running late so weren't able to fight to a finish, with a draw declared.   Didn't get many good pics but heres a couple....

Ak47 Republic next time I believe. nice one.