Friday 30 September 2016

White Dwarf Flashback!

I spend quite a lot of time on Twitter.
Ir's great for news and terrible puns.
Last night I was peacefully browsing my timeline when someone re-tweeted a chap called @Bishmeister  who was sharing old pics of White Dwarf from 13 years ago.
So I popped over to have a look at his profile and to my surprise landed almost immediately on this picture:

That's me on the left 13 years ago this month playing Border Patrol with Ben Ward. Ben I believe remains at GW to this day. Both of us have far less and far greyer hair than we did at the time this was taken, which given WD deadlines, would have been around 3 months before publication so July 2003ish.

I have no recollection of this, in fact I thought I'd generally remained clear of the pages of WD in all my time at GW, though I have a dim recollection of using my Easterlings in a WotR battle report to make up the numbers.

Saturday 24 September 2016

A diversion into the grimdark future...

Saturday afternoon and the kids wanted to play 40k. Possibly influenced by the fact that I'd just banned phones, consoles computers and television for the next four hours.

So we just threw down everything we had and played a game.
Although my army is the biggest in terms of numbers, it's the smallest in terms of points and effectiveness, so the boys like giving me the smack-down.

Anyway we played three turns I think and it was the usual mixture of unsubtlety, head scratching and page turning to find the rules and an overall feeling (for me at least) of nice models, terrible rules.

Still I think they had fun and as Saturday afternoons go, I've had far worse.

 The Ork horde assembles

 Eldar Rangers begin to lurk

 War walkers? Ulp!

 Templars on patrol

 The Avatar, with his Wraithlord chum

 Just hoverin' in the bushes maan!

 Da boyz take cover


 Come here. I got a huge hammer!

 Da boyz close in...' it all kicks off!

 The Orks see what they're up against

 Here they come!

 Avatar v Warboss - who will win? (Its the Avatar)

 The Fire Dragons get jumped

 More templars killin' more of da ladz

Avatar v Deff Dredd, who will win? (See previous answer)

Friday 23 September 2016

More Warhammer Orcs and Empire

General Ballroom is finding his regular manly wrestling sessions with Daniel the Second more tiring than he expected and so he needed a lie down in a darkened room this week, meaning Steve and I could crack on with playing proper Warhammer.

Again all a bit last minute, but I managed to locate the missing Orcy bits of the army and swapped some of them in for the Night Goblins. Steve had a tinker with his army list too (two wizards! knights! and I suspect a somewhat fiery banner...).
We rolled up the Watchtower battle which left both of us wanting to lose the initial roll-off as we only had some very rubbish 20 man units. In the end the Empire won and plonked a detachment of swordsmen in the tower. And we were off.

Or rather we weren't as animosity gripped the Greenskin side and only the boarboys got to move. Curse you Gork (or possibly Mork)!

The exception was the brave Nubinz on Muncha...

...which went about as well as expected.

The game, as this scenario always does, degenerated into a big pile up around the tower.

The trolls charged the halbardiers - assuming the Greatswords would have the flamey banner.
Not for nothing are trolls known for their stupidity. The halberds had the fiery stick.

 Ow, it's burny!

Meanwhile the Greatswords had occupied the tower. Leaving the original occupiers to their fate.
Their fate in this case to be charged by a scary giant and running away.

Clive chased the knights around for a bit.

The boarboys launched into the halberds. And, to both our surprises, did OK. Well, they didn't immediately break and flee.

The swordsmen picked on a poor defenceless spider

And the knights picked on poor, defenceless Clive.

Inevitably he fell sideways.

The knights caught the big Orc unit in the flank. But the green boys held.

However, time was running out and  the roll of a five meant the game finished on turn five with the Empire in control of the tower.

Another good fun game. This scenario can be a bit frustrating but it played out OK.
Animosity ruined my chances with two rounds where it completely thwarted my plans. But then that's the joy of playing with Orcs and Gobbos.

We are now semi seriously looking at the old Idol of Gork scenario pack...

Thursday 22 September 2016

First game of The Men Who Would Be Kings

In the far flung reaches of the province of Ilkestaan the wily and unpredictable Mukhtar al Babbij has been stirring up the natives. The 99th Humberside regiment, together with elements of the Royal Dilshad Rifles has been dispatched to the province with orders to bring Babbij to justice...

I've been excited about The Men Who Would Be Kings since Dan Mersey first announced it. It gave me an excuse to buy the rather lovely Artizan 2nd Afghan War range, and probably to indulge in some Carry on Up the Khyber nonsense.

I've been dutifully cranking out the models on and off all year, and on Friday I'd finished enough to be able to play a game, so I popped down to Northstar and returned with a copy of the game.

After a bit of reading over the weekend, and some terrain fettling this week I finally had some time this evening to set up a game.

I persuaded the smallest child to give me a hand, but as the rules include "Mr Babbage", a programmed set of instructions for solo play I decided to give them a try so that the child could go to bed/wander off when bored as the mood took him.

I picked an 18 point force of 3 regular infantry units for the British.
The Afghans had three units of rifle armed troops (irregular infantry) and two of sword toting Tribal Infantry. Although the Babbage rules suggest not using a scenario I decided to give the British an objective of getting half or more of their force into the village at the other end of the table to win.

And so we began with the small boy ordering the British about and me interpreting Babbage until he was summoned off to bed, when I took over the forces of Her Majesty and Babbage did the rest.

 The 99th Humberside Regiment enter the Hookinal valley

 The peacful native settlement of Shaarwyd

 Pathans pour down into the valley

 The Humbersiders stand firm...

 ...before unleashing a volley

 The Royal Dilshad Rifles are surprised!

 More natives break cover

 The Royal Dilshads make it safe to the village

 The Humbersiders give fire to the onrushing horde

 Too late the Pathan rfiles arrive

 The British line the walls of Shaarwyd

...and the Pathans fade back into the hillside

The game played very smoothly - I'm familiar with both Lion and Dragon Rampant and this uses a lot of the same engine (though with tweaks that add considerably to the game).
I only used the basic rules, so ignored the character traits, which will add considerably to future games and didn't use any special rules or theatre specific stuff. It all played very quickly and felt familiar. The pinning rules gave me a bit of pause, but I think I wrapped my head around them.

Mr Babbage I think needs a bit of work for the forces I have. It seemed weighted towards Tribal Infantry, when my force was predominantly shooters. As a result I wasn't able to get most of my force onto the table, and we never experienced hand to hand. I think next time I'll probably replace the dice roll with cards - one for each unit and a couple of blanks. Though I suppose I could have just swapped the order of shooters and irregulars around. Not really a criticism of the rules, its great there's a solo option in there and Dan's clear the whole thing is a toolkit - so I shall just tweak Babbage until I get it the way I want it.

Really looking forward to playing this with the Sherwood Hucknall and Ilkeston Team.

Great work Dan!