Sunday 25 June 2017

Three more Frostgrave soldiers

This (finally) completes the soldiers I had assembled many moons ago for my own Frostgrave warband.

A pair of thugs and a crossbowman.

Though now I actually look at what I've painted I've not got a thief for this warband and also have a knight and a tracker that were never part of my original plans. Mission creep or something.

I'll do a group shot once they've all been snowed.

I also painted up some barrels...

...for soldiers to hide behind

Saturday 24 June 2017

Crooked Dice Gorilla

I bought this beautiful, big (that's a 40mm base he's hanging over the edges of) beastie at Partizan and (by my standards) have painted him up pretty quickly.
Though TBF it's not exactly the most taxing of paint-jobs.

What's invisible and smells like bananas?

I've been after a decent gorilla model for a while for Jimland/Tombogo adventures and although this one is actually clearly a giant ape, rather than a 28mm scale silverback he looks the part and was a bargain at only £8.

Sunday 18 June 2017

40K 8th Ed. First Game

In all my years of playing Games Workshop games (well over 30) never have I ever queued outside a GW shop on release day.
Until this year.
The Gaming Heir was particularly keen to be at Warhammer World when it opened to secure himself a copy of the new Imperial Codex so he could find out how hard High Marshall Helbrecht and the Emperor's Champion were in the new rules.
So we queued up, grabbed a copy of the Codex and a couple of copies of the hand-out version of the rules and he was sat down reading by five past ten.
Then we went home,

Stephen had also acquired various 40K goodies so was in touch to see if we fancied a game, so GH and I ventured over to the Hucknall Palais des Jeux for a quick run through to get us all familiar with the game.

In the end I played against the Gaming Heir while Steve frantically flicked back and forth through various publications.
The new rules allow you to pick forces to a broad rather than individually costed limit. So a unit of ten Ork boys is 5 points regardless of whether you take nobs or heavy weapons, making the unit 20 strong adds 4 points. A single Deffkopta is 5 points and it costs an additional 8 points to make the unit 3 strong.

The chap at WW in the morning had said 75 power level was a good size for a game, so we went with 50 as we were bedding in. This gave us forces at around the 700 point mark under the previous version of the rules.

Then we played the game using the basic All Out War scenario from the pamphlet.

Burny Boyz holdin a objective

The (randomly generated) object of the exercise was to hold objectives. There were 4 and you had a point for each one you held at the end of a turn So we started by holding two each.
The the Marines (who were somehow the underdogs) went first.

Klanky Kans

Beardy Gaming Heir had taken a Land Raider Crusader containing non other than High Marshall Helbrecht and some mates.
I was pretty sure I had nothing that could deal with them, so sent my Deff Dredd and Killa Kanz to test the behemoth out.

Gruzzkup and da Ladz

Freshly painted jump pack marines duly bounded across the field and attacked the Burna boys.
And here came our first rules question.
Models on overwatch need sixes to hit. But burnas don't roll to hit - they just do D3 automatic hits.
So we scratched heads and then decided D3 automatic S4 hits wasn't really going to do much anyway, so we went with that. 3 hits, 1 wound and a save later we decided that was fine.
However given you can take units of 10 Burna Boyz....

Coo-er! Bouncy tinny ladz!

The assault marines then killed all the Orks before they could fight back (Chargers on one side go first, then, when all charging units have fought the attacking player picks a unit to fight with and only then do you start alternating. I expect there's considerable tactical nuance and decision making to be had in working out the optimum order. So I'll never be any good at that.

Right, letgs get dem bikez!

As I'd now lost an objective I sent some boys from their Trukk to reclaim it. Meanwhile my Warboss secured the other one and drove off some bikers (who seemed quite frisky, firing two boltguns (plus rapid fire if close enough) as well as any other weapons they're holding (apart from pistols).
They did a fair bit of damage, but then Gruzzkup and the lads demonstrated that Orks are, if anything, even better in hand to hand than they were.

Da Boyz havin a pop where da Burnaz failed

There's a bike in there somewhere!

On it grindz

However over on the opposite side of the table the Land Raider was proving every bit as tough as I'd feared. You've more chance of wounding it than before, but it has 16 wounds and a 2+ save. And I just didn't have the tools.
Then the doors opened, Helbrecht came out and everyone died.

By this stage I was running out of green bodies and sent Gruzzkup and the boys on a Waaagh powered charge toward the Marines sitting on the nearest objective.
As you can't actually add characters to units he first of all out paced the rest of the lads, and then was targeted by lots of firepower. So he arrived with but a single wound remaining, killed a Marine or two and then took a chainsword to the face and died.

Gruzzakup to da Rescue!

This left me with only a Trukk left alive and the Black Templars in control of the field.

So, how was new 40K?
In truth, although some things have been streamlined it didn't feel a lot different to the previous version of 40K.
Moving, Running and shooting is pretty much the same as it was (though some values have changed and vehicles are much easier to work out).
Fighting is very similar, though less fussy.
The ability to wound anything made vehicles and walkers feel more vulnerable - right up until you realised how many hits you were going to have to do.

Now, bear in mind that I'm very much a casual gamer who just like to throw down pretty soldiers, drink beer and roll dice.
I'm sure for the Tournament/Points Match playing types there's all sorts of synergies and stratagems to exploit.
But as I find that the least interesting aspect of the game I'm left feeling that it's a bit quicker (at the moment) and clearer (mostly) than 40K, but really not that much of a leap.
I also suspect that as the Codexes and datasheets get released and more and more special rules and chrome get piled on it'll soon start to bloat back up to its previous size.
I liked the Power Level approach - much quicker an easier for a simpleton (though now doubt ripe for abuse by the kind of people who shouldn't be playing Power Level games and should instead be doing pure points match).
And the big rulebook looks good - I may crack and get that just to explore all the additional scenarios and things in Narrative play.
So a qualified success for me.

But it remains a game for children, deviants and accountants.

Thursday 8 June 2017

Congo - Gorillalalalalala

Once more the Sherwood, Hucknall & Ilkeston Team returned to the steamy jungles of deepest darkest Africa for some more Congo gaming.
Our columns remained rigidly as in previous games  - General Ballroom is painting some stuff but his mind wanders, butterfly like, from project to project - but what's not to enjoy about a rigid column, I say.
This time the noble, upstanding slavers were in a race against the perfidious, double-dealing European desperados to unearth the ancient treasures of somewhere or other (Steve and I were too busy poking fun at General B and drinking beer to hear much of what was said). The nub of the gist was that there was a clearing in the middle with an objective in it.

And so the game began

 The disco dancing defenders of the treasure

 Warriors with Diplomat (who carries on his shoulder a Siamese cat)

One of my warrior groups pushed into the jungle and disturbed whatever the collective term for Gorillas (a nest? a clump? some?) is. Fortunately by breaking wind loudly they drove them off and could enter unscathed.

 Ain't no Gorillas in here no more.

The craven and cowardly explorers decided to pepper the disco dancing guardians with shot. Which seemed harsh.
 One down...

 Rather deadly employees of the craven and cowardly Europeans

My second group of explorers stumbled into a second patch of jungle and disturbed a singular, but altogether angrier gorilla of their own.

 Where's Attenborough when you need him?

Having weakened the disco dancing defenders the Explorers, cowardly and craven and ignoble as they are, sent in some warriors to attack. Who discovered the guardians were better being shot at than fought.

So the Sikhs started shooting again

By this time my column had moved into position to cover the clearing, which rather turned it into a killing zone...

Sporadic fighting broke out

Followed up by lots and lots of shooting

The Europeans continued to hurl their warrior allies at the proud, noble slavers, but they were beaten off.

The noble and brave Arab slavers decided discretion was the better part of not being mown down and so declined to enter the sacred killing ground clearing.

The Sikhs continued to pour fire at anything that moved

Whilst the Diplomat ensured his warriors dealt with the rival troops.

With that the game drew to a close.
The vile ignoble Europeans had won by the simple means of slaughtering the disco dancing guardians of the treasure.
I should have made more effort to kill the gorilla, which would have made the game a bit closer
As it was, it rapidly turned into an African stand-off  with neither of us keen to brave the D6 saves of the clearing under the powerful guns of our opponents.

Good fun and the board and soldiers look splendid

Tuesday 6 June 2017

More Frostgrave soldiers

Two more.
A thug and whatever a thug gets called when he gets himself a shield.

Nearly finished the warband now. A crossbowman and maybe another thug or two to go.

Monday 5 June 2017

Frozen pond

Tom's Toy Soldiers Towers has recently been a hive of DIY activity during which I even laid some simple self adhesive floor tiles.
Looking at the leftover bits I was struck by the notion that I could find a use for them and so....tadah! a simple frozen pond. For unwary Frostgrave explorers to slip over on.

I cut a rough pond shape out of one leftover piece of pale blue tile.
The tile has a slightly shiny surface and isn't a consistent blue, varying to almost white in places, so i's ideal for a frozen water surface.
Then I cut our a second slightly larger piece (that didn't have such a useful pattern on it) and sandwiched the two together, which was dead easy as they're self adhesive so they stuck like a really sticky substance sticks to things (if only there was some sort of common metaphor for situations like that).
Then I PVA'd some sand to the edges (you do need PVA the self adhesive isn't sticky enough to hold it down on its own) and then I painted it.

Hapless thug added for scale

I might make some more now.

Friday 2 June 2017

A return to Congo!

Back to the Ilko Gaming Hut where General Ballroom once more hosted Steve and I for a game of Congo.

In this scenario Creamy Beatrix from our previous adventure was relaxing in a tent, where she was helping the Sikhs uncoil their turbans whilst the rest of the party went exploring and foraging.
Little did they suspect that the Evil Emir and his Diplomat (who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat) were sneaking through the undergrowth intent on re-capturing the fair Beatrix.

The European column had left some Askari in the camp

The Sikhs left Beatrix in the tent for some fresh air.

Bwhahahaha, Behold the head of my column!

The Zanzibaris sneaked toward the camp and took aim... the Askari. Who shot back.

Attracting the explorer's attention and hastening their return

The Sikhs, refreshed after all that turban winding took aim and blew away some natives!

The firefight continued across the camp.

The explorers prepared to give fire

Meanwhile on the far side of camp my diplomat found himself assaulted by natives.

The fighting was grim

But the diplomat made it away.

The noise had stirred up the local fauna and a lion fancied snacking on a Sikh.

The explorers and the Emir exchanged fire in the jungle.

The Emir's Zanzibaris began to take fire from the Sikhs (who were now lion free, though in possession of a very nice rug)

However the Zanzibari's had snatched Creamy Beatrix and hustled her away  to "safety"

This was a good fun evening.
It's odd, Steve loves the game mechanics but doesn't like the setting. I like the setting, but am not so keen on the game.
However we're happy enough to play and Geenral B.'s models and table are lovely to play on