Monday, 11 December 2017

40K Spiker Plants

The iconic piece of 40K scenery.


Fabricated from polystyreme balls and eggs, cocktail sticks and warbases bases



Splendidly retro and a bit foolish.
Rather like their maker.



Thursday, 7 December 2017

Compagnie Franches de la Marine

Some months ago the members of the Sherwood, Hucknall and Ilkeston Team decided as one to assemble forces for the French and Indian war. Our rules of choice to be Muskets and Tomahawks.

Steve immediately painted up some plastic Perry AWI models to use as redcoats. General Ballroom and I take great pleasure in telling him they're the wrong period.

At the same time I purchased the models I needed but knew I had to finish the Late Romans for Peterborough.

Now, decks clear I have begun work.

I shall be playing the French and so began with the Warlord (Conquest Miniatures) Compagnie Franches de la Marine.

Ten including a couple of characters seemed a good start.










Truth to tell I'm not a fan of the models.
They're "characterful".
Not in an "oh my god, my eyes, my beautiful eyes" sense of characterful like, for instance the Tiger miniatures Afghans, but the faces are a bit cartoony and the sizes and proportions seem to me to vary quite considerably.

Anyway they're done now, bar basing which I'll do for the whole force at the same time.
Next up some Crusader Woodland Indians I reckon.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

40K Templars v Orks

The Gaming Heir has started back on a 40k trip.
This has involved buying some of the new Taller Marines (tm).
It also involved a game.
He devised a scenario that largely ensured my footslogging Orks had to trudge the length of a 6' table into the teeth of fire from a Land Raider Crusader and some Devastator Centurions before High Marshall Helbrecht debused to wipe out the remains.




Next time we'll play one of the book scenarios.

In entirely unrelated news I am assembling a Gorkanaut (or possibly a Morkanaut) and a Kill-o-Zap gun for my Orks.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Cambrai +100 a Square Bashing game

On the 100th anniversary of the start of the battle of Cambrai Simon and I were hosted by James for another game of Square Bashing.
James had set up the terrain and we just had to provide the plucky Tommies and their armoured support.
Sadly some of the armoured support I purchased for the occasion met a fearful fate due to an unfortunate "mistaking the packaging for rubbish" incident, so I only had two to go with Simon's four.
Still a little fiddling with a "depletion" type roll to represent tanks breaking down on the way to the front meant I could field them as under-strength units.

The battle was (very) loosely based on 71st Division, supported by H battalion tanks attacking toward Ribencourt. Basically a simple "storm the trench lines scenario.

Here's the images (though James' lighting has played havoc with the white balance so some are a little weirdly coloured).
(And yes, we know the battlefield colour is probably more reminiscent of the fighting at Passchendale 100 years ago, rather than the greener fields of Cambrai but I think even James balked at the idea of making a whole new mat for a one-off game)



















The attack started well with the initial British barrages driving many Germans from the trenches. However Simon and I then discovered out "inner Lord Melchetts" and launched a headlong assault without sufficient softening up. Which went quite badly.
Fortunately stiff British pluck and a second go at the trench-line saw a tank or two break through whilst regulars overcame German conscripts at the end of the section.

So we declared a narrow British infantry (a far cry from the heroic advances of the real Cambrai attackers) and are now planning another game in the Christmas holidays - hopefully allowing us more time for gaming.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Age of Arthur WAB Day. Game Three

After a brief pause for some very tasty WAB Cake (thanks Mrs Mike) it was back to the campaign.

I led a team review noting significant LFL conquest upswings across the team (barring the actual leadership).
Then we split the scenarios and went off to war!

Unfortunately when we arrived at war we discovered several of us were due to play people we'd already played, so conquest plans were torn up and rearranged with different people fighting and all was well.

As an upside it turned out I'd be playing Andy McTaggart who I know well from our Gododdin games from a few years go and who is always a good guy to play soldiers with.

This time he was fielding Saxons, though thankfully without the fearsome and legendary Colyn of Romsford leading them.


As part of the scenario switcheroo I had inherited a small unit of static priests who would pray for my soul and grant minor miracles.
Those familiar with the state of my soul may imagine that these chaps would really be earning their wafers and communion wine.

I advanced my commitatus up the main road


Whilst laying a cunning and almost invisible trap for the Saxons.


Sadly my slingers were ambushed in the woods by some Duguth. Things looked bad.

Ambrosius dropped anchor on the main road.


Divine Intervention! The slingers (with the aid of fierce prayer) hung in the fight.


And eventually Hallelujah! Hallelujah! chased off the Saxon tough guys.


Then they machine-gunned shot them down with slings as they ran.

Over on the left my cunning trap was sprung. However the Saxons were handing it out good and propper and only a little more prayer kept them clinging on.
A rear charge by Duguth looked bad, but actually made it easier for me to rack up kills.


In the end time was against us. The Saxons had failed (just) to break my left flank - though I was all out of God Tokens by the end.

We sort of tallied up and agreed I maybe had a minor victory, but actually we'd just had a splendid game and one more turn way well have tipped it for Andy.

I do like playing games against Andy, I should do it more often.

With that the day was at an end.

Andy Hawes gathered us together to hear the cheering (and mildly surprising) news that my modern Kingship skills had resulted in a victory for the Ambrosius faction. Huzzah!
Instead of tea and medals the generous sponsors of Footsore miniatures gave all the winners a free Guinevere model. Very nice, thanks chaps.

there were also prizes (again generously supplied by Footsore) of blisters of soldiers for the best general - Mr James Morris. Bloke who writes book in surprisingly good at game shocker.
The general in most need of a new tactical manual also received a generous Footsore prize - I'll not name him to avoid blushes, but his name rhymes with Wike Mittacker.

And so we made our way home. On the way back we discussed more soldiers, the joy of WAB and James' Wargaming Nemesis.

Massive thanks to Andy and the rest of the Peterborough massive and to Footsore for the sponsorship.

Here's to the next WAB day - I wonder if Steve and I should organise one...

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Age of Arthur WAB Day. Game Two

After a refreshing (just the two pints) lunch and tasty burger punctuated by an idea for a 'Wargaming and Swearing' podcast featuring me and Steve and another discussion of James' Wargaming Nemesis it was back to the St John's Ambulance gaming hall for round two.

But first as king I ran year end reviews and goal setting appraisals for my team. And handed out new scenarios.

I would be playing Carl in the Caravan scenario. I'd be trying to get three carts off the table edge and he'd be trying to stop me.

I have played this scenario many times as both attacker and defender using Saxons (of many varieties) and Arabs (of an Almoravid variety) and I'm not sure that I've ever won.
Would this be the first time for me to triumph in this scenario?

Spoiler alert: No

I deployed in a solid line and discovered that the Saxons in the form of Carl had, (rather unsportingly I thought) bought along some cavalry - which were deployed (again rather unsportingly from where I was standing) in perfect position to run around the end of my line and capture the entire caravan with nothing much I could do about it.
I reflected on the plentiful advice I'd received, not least from the book's author, about how Age of Arthur cavalry were bobbins on dobbins and I shouldn't have any in my army no matter how pretty the models. And I sighed a gentle sigh.

Not many pictures of this game. Can't think why. I did have two pints at lunchtime so needed a few trips to the loo (it's an age thing).

I also, for some reason can't remember too much about the game at all other than Carl's horsemen ran past my archers and captured some loot whilst some of his Saxons ran through my archers and did likewise.
He'd recaptured the lot by the end of turn two.

So I went on the offensive a bit and set about battering some youths


And then a failed Warband test saw some Duguth unwisely charge my Commitatus and general and whatnot


However troops were in behind me


And eventually the returning horsemen helped make a sandwich of me.


A very jolly game. The fact that I have no grasp of the scenario had no impact on things and Carl was a pleasure to play against.
So that's played two, lost two. Just the kind of kingship England needs.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Age of Arthur WAB Day. Game One

And so the day finally dawned - WAB day in Peterborough!
I collected Steve and then we headed over to James' for a bacon butty (and to collect James) before heading down the mighty A1 to Peterborough (past the drive through Sex Shop south of Grantham which engendered a short and diverting chat about Yorkies and Rampant Rabbits)
Along the way we discussed various topics including  wargaming projects (Crete, more Dark Ages) rules (WAB great, others not so much) the part played by Steve in the downfall of WAB and James' Hobby Nemesis.
Despite being almost blinded by the sun for most of the journey I managed to get us (and our soldiers) into the St Johns Ambulance hall where the Peterborough club has their home. We were greeted by Andy, Mike and the rest of the chaps and found our way into the hall.
And then went back downstairs again to get our first generous gift from the sponsors of the day Footsore Miniatures who gave every player a blister of soldiers (lovely Saxon characters) and a rather jolly metal shieldwall token.

Then on to the gaming! We were divided into factions and it was announced that in the free and fair elections I'd been pulled from the hat elected as King Ambrosius, rightful heir to the throne threatened by usurper Vortigern (boo!).
As a result I was to divvy up the scenarios between my men and lead them to glory. I wanted to work up a Powerpoint and set some challenging year on year targets for the team, but in the end just asked who fancied fighting what.

That over with I led Team Ambrosius back to the hall and discovered I was to face Vortigern himself in a battle to finish nearer an ancient Roman fishtank ornament temple.

Kim (Vortigern - booo!) also had a Late Roman army. Also made up of Footsore miniatures models. However he had some sneaky Saxon allies holding his right flank.
I went with a unit of milites on the left to counter the Saxons, hoping shieldwall and a Decurio would tip things in my favour and plumped the Commitatus unit closest to the temple.

 The battle line of Ambrosius

 Pedyt await their fate 

As we both had quite defensive armies things started quite cagily. I advanced and then formed shieldwall. My archers had a shot or two and began whittling the milites. And my slingers ran forward and winged an enemy slinger. The archers also grabbed themselves a mysterious and ancient Arthurian artifact - now all they had to do was hold on to it.


In return Kim's slingers pinged enough of my unit to make them run away. They were the last unit I'd finished painting and this was their first battle so inevitable, really. They never came back.

For the next turn or two Kim's army crept closer I stayed in shieldwall and arrows bounced off both sides. I did however push the Pedyt up in an attempt to drive off the annoying slingers.
At this point Kim advanced and placed a rather tempting flank that the Bishop decided to bash!

 In nomine Patris et Filli et...stick 'em lads!

I wasn't expecting too much of the move - they're only Pedyt but well, a flank's a flank.

 General in the flank! Thing be getting serious

The Pedyt duly chased off the milites and then crashed into another flank. At which point Vortigern himself got involved.

The battlelines all got a bit confused at this point (such is the way of WAB)

 Some of these men may be fleeing

The Saxons, finally had had enough, failed a warband test and charged.
 Right, lets dooo this!

Sadly for the Pedyt Vortigern's help had arrived and they were caught from behind.

 Oh dear

Face off

At this point I forgot to take any more pictures.
Which is perhaps just as well.
Over on my left the Saxons were chased off and cut down. However the inevitable death of my Pedyt had a disastrous effect on my battle line as the famous WAB "panic bomb" saw a unit of milites and a unit of archers both turn and flee, never to return!
Without the milites to support I was unable to take advantage of Vortigern's confusion in the centre and the game drew to a close with Kim having four or five units close to the temple to my two.
A minor defeat to start the event.

A good fun game with an interesting scenario - and one I had in the bag until panic in turn five completely flipped the table. But that's how WAB goes (and one of the reasons I love it).
Kim was fun to play against with a very jolly looking army - splendid start to the day.