I have evenually got around to creating a blog!

The main topic will be Wargaming.
That includes all kinds of conflict based games such as miniatures based and boardgames. Historical, fantasy and
science fiction may all make an appearance.
Sometimes the "real world" may interfere with this blog and cause non-gaming related posts. Apologies in advance.

DISCLAIMER:- This blog is a work of fiction. The people, places and products depicted are imaginary and bear no resemblance to real people, places or products either living or dead.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Gaming at last.

A year ago I was lucky enough to get "Hold the Line" a boardgame of the American Revolutionary War.
I enjoyed this game so much that I tried to get the "French & Indian War" expansion. Although readily available over in the US the P&P was ridiculous and the game was unavailable in the UK.
Two weeks ago a copy turned up on ebay.
The expansion contains only five battles but many more are freely available online (I have found an extra seven scenarios so far). Over last weekend myself and eldest sprog Glynn played two games of "Fort Duquesne" sometimes more commonly known as "Braddocks Defeat".
 Braddock led his men into an ambush by French and Indian forces. Braddock himself was killed and his troops routed.
In both our refights (we swapped sides for the second play), Braddock managed to fall back and rally his troops. Under my control he established a good defensive position which was too strong for the French to attack. Glynn was very aggressive and sent Braddock forward with the Grenadiers in bayonet charges to drive back the ambush. Two very different tactics that both brought victory against the historic result.
I was a bit worried about these results so I decided to replay the game solo. This time I played the French forces with a lot more "Bravado". Braddock was killed early and without his ability to "Rally" the British column was driven back and destroyed. The photo shows the endgame.
This third refight was much more historical in its result. If the French can kill or even neutralise Braddock early in the game it becomes much harder for the British player to command his troops.
Very much looking forward to more battles of this game.

Persians 20mm plastics.

Last up from the painting table, 20mm plastic Persian army.

After the C&C Epic games at Declans, I have been looking forward to more ancients.
"Lost Battles" is waiting for Xmas morning and will be something to bring to the next game night.
I believe Arthur also has a Persian army which should let us put on a massive "Gaugamela" refight.

Next up.

I have also finished a squad of Grey Knight Terminators for Space Hulk.
These are plastic figures which are a bit easier to paint than metals. They will be great for the games but do not have the same heft as metals although much more resilient.
              This should prompt me to get a game of Space Hulk over the holiday period.

Slapping paint on.

I have been busy painting and as usual getting bogged down with multiple projects
instead of finishing one before starting another.
On the plus side, I have just finished three of these projects and have time to post some results.

First up and just for fun,

"Alexander & Bucephalus"
54mm figure from "El Viejo Dragon" This has been lying around in a drawer for years. I enjoyed building and painting this so might try more in the future.

Saturday, 3 December 2011

New game club

Friday 2nd December saw the first meeting of a new gaming club.
"Loaded Dice" is based in the Dooneen Center just outside the village of Tempo.
For the first meeting we had eight members. Not bad for first night but we need to expand.

I played a game of "Hold the Line" American War of Independence. We played the "Long Island" scenario when the American forces have to fall back from strong defensive positions before being outflanked.
Dave was commanding the evil British army. Its was Daves first game of HtL and first time looking at this scenario but he still quickly grasped the situation and threw his Light Infantry and Grenadiers at the rebels.

 Due to an aggressive attack throughout the game, The British kept the pressure on and denied the Rebels any chance to disengage. Victory to Dave! A very close game with only a single point/unit difference at the end.

Meanwhile, at another table, Marshal Neigh (Steve) has betrayed his French masters to join the forces of Wellington in another refight of "Waterloo". Glynn was commanding for Bonepart.

This game also came down to a single victory banner. Hougemont, La Haye Saint and Papelotte all changed hands several times during the battle. In the end Steve claimed the victory. (Such a rare event ha!)

On yet another table, the world was reduced to molten slag.

And then "Ca$h n Guns" was played
The evening descended into murder, backstabbing (or shooting) and general skullduggery.
Mike earned the nickname "Chiken liver" by collecting all the "Shame" markers.
Glynn showed his aptitude for patricide and Ross collected bulletwounds.
Pete  "roleplayed" with his hoodie up.
This game is great fun played in the right spirit. We had multiple games to end the evening. All of them a real blast.

So the first night of Loaded Dice was a terrific start. Jan Friday 13th is the next meeting. We need to increase numbers and all types of games are welcome.
You can check our yahoo group here  http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/loadeddice/

Napoleons Triumph

Napoleons Triumph is a boardgame based on the battle of Austerlitz.
The French army led by Napoleon defeated a larger allied force of Austrians
and Russians.
I have spent two game sessions teaching and learning this game.
Two opponents are now ready for battle. Declan and Steve. Now its just a matter of getting the
time to play.

                            A pic of the board setup almost ready to go!
                            The French get to detach a few units at the game start.

Saturday, 19 November 2011

"Give me night or give me Blucher" ........Wellington

After a couple of weeks without a game, Steve and I got around to playing C&C Napoleonics.
We only had the battle of Waterloo left to fight. Having kept a running total of victory points
as a basic "campaign" system, we went into this battle with a two point advantage to the French (Steve).
In preperation for the game Steve had actually visited and walked the battlefield, he brought home some
                                                     "Mines bigger than yours!!!"

With the board set up, plenty of coffee and french bravado the battle got underway.
The first few turns consisted of artillery fire from both armies. The allied fire was less effective and the French managed to advance their right flank to threaten Papelotte. Their center manouevred and massed for attack.
                                              "Papelotte under attack"
Under pressure the allied light infantry abandoned Papelotte and fell back. The French advanced into the position and put the allied left flank under General Perponcher under threat.
                                                "Perponcher under pressure"
With the left flank in difficulty, Wellington desperately need to divert Napoleons attention.
Scanning the battlefield, he spotted an opportunity on the right. A scribbled note is despatched to General Hill.
Although French troops had massed for an assault on Hougemont they had not yet advanced. They were thrown into dissarray as the allied troops abandoned their defensive positions and attacked!
Whats the French word for "Retreat"?

Back over on the allied right the French attacked continued.
Supported by cavalry and the Guard artillery the infantry charged Perponchers ridge and threw back the allies. The "Young Guard" marched bravely with colours waving and the band playing "Alouette".
They had taken the high ground but suffered terribly for it. A counterattack by the allies threw them back down the slope.
Over on the French left the trouble continued. The British Light Infantry and Grenadier Guards and been supported by Dutch line and the Scots Greys heavy cavalry.
A heroic charge by D'Erlons cuirassiers destroyed the cavalry while Reille led a desperate charge towards Hougemont and cut the Dutch to pieces.
                                          "Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious
                                                                  is to die daily "........Napoleon
 But even this was not enough. The British destroyed Reille and his troops, then charged the French center. This was enough to break the French morale and start the long retreat!
                                                      "Up, Guards and at'em"......Wellington

"It has been a damned nice thing, the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life"...Wellington
The smoke of battle clears and victory banners are counted. 8-4 in favour of the allies.
The campaign total is  French 69  Allies 71.
An incredibly close result after 15 battles. All of them hard fought and bitterly contested.

                                           "A picture is worth a thousand words"......Napoleon
                                         " By God! I don't think it would have been done
                                                       if I had not been there"

The "Command & Colors" game has a lot going for it. Simple, fast and fun, but on reflection it is definately more of a game than a "Simulation". For example, The British attack out of Hougemont was the winning move in our game. In reality the French had plenty more troops in this area which would have made this a suicidal idea. I think this makes the result a case of playing the "Game" rather than the "Battle". For historical battles (or at least historical results) more "house rules" need to be applied.
As  it stands, I really enjoyed all these games and I am looking forward to the next one. I have the game "Napoleons Triumph" to try next. It seems to be a very different prospect in its complexity.

Meanwhile, Steve and his military advisor "General Millie" have things to do
                                         " A' quelle heure part le bus au St Helena ?"

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Gone a bit quiet around here.

Oh dear !  Weeks without a post. Unfortunately also weeks without a game.
here is some movement behind the scenes.

The boardgame version of "Lost Battles" is on the way to this address.
40 ancient battles are included. The boardgame is perfect for travel and evenings when time is an issue.
The rules are written in such a way to fully support use of miniatures without having to rebase.
So I am considering prepping my 20mm plastic Persians. just base colours and a coat of "army painter"

I am currently painting up some more Grey Knight Terminators for Space Hulk.
Photos will follow when ready.

In the meantime, here is a pic of a 10mm Wargame. Played around 5 years ago with Warmaster ancients rules.

A Roman Legion is ambushed and wiped out by hordes of barbarians. Boo!

That will have to do for now, hope to have more interesting news soon!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Quatre Bras

Saturday evening I wandered down the hill to Steve's (Marshal Neigh) with C&C Napoleonics tucked under my arm.
Only two battles left to play, we had thought to finish them both. Things did not work out that way...

After the obligatory chorus of "La Marsielles", assorted trash talking and pouring of beers (French beer in honour of the occasion) we set up the battle of Quatre Bras.

Initial view from Allied position.

After many experiences with the French artillery and Neighs dice rolling, I decided to fall back from the central area of high ground. I still think this was a sound plan but as it happened my despicable opponent had been forming a cunning plan.
With some minor skirmishes developing on both flanks the French launched a massive assault towards Quatre Bras. The Dutch contingent of the allied army collapsed under the pressure.
With victory conditions of nine banners, this put the French on 8points.
Neigh was on the verge of a heroic victory.
At this critical point the allies had to throw everything into an attempt to retake the town.
Cue the Grenadier Guards. Cold hard steel and raw courage, they charged into the town and in a vicious street to street battle ejected the frogs!
All Steve could say.... "Whats French for Merde?"
Although it took another few turns for the allies to gain the last victory banner that they needed to win, the French had expended their reserves of valour and had no way back into the game.
Final score 7-9 Allied victory.

This battle was the hardest fought yet! With no obvious mistakes by either side, it took us three hours to reach the deciding points. Absolutely terrific stuff that leaves us both anxious to play the last game, Waterloo. A two point advantage to the French should make it exciting.
Steve is off to visit some World War one battlefields in Belgium for a week. During this trip he is going to Waterloo for a day. So our battle will have to wait. Hopefully he will see the battlefield and realise that history cannot be denied.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

With your shield, or on it !

Tuesday evening was the continuation of our "Gears of War" campaign. Ross,Peter, Gareth and myself prepared to defeat the locust horde... except it didn't work out that way.
Game one was close, very very close. Peter actually managed to get his mitts on the WMD we needed to take out the beserker but we were over-run before he could use it.

For the second game we set up the "Horde" scenario, the players must survive wave after wave of enemy attacks.
In a dazzling display of ineptitude, we crashed out in only a couple of turns. Shooting did not work and in melee we just got splattered. It was over in minutes. Time to call it a night!

Which brings me back to the title of this post, we definately came back "on", rather than "with" our shields.  While I still enjoy this game, I wonder how many game nights players can continue to struggle through the same scenarios. We have limited opportunities to play and lots more scenarios (and other games) to get through.
So when do we give up on this one?  Perhaps skip this scenario or take a break and try a different game for a while?   
Come on COGs whats your opinion? 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Battle of Raphia 217BC

On Saturday night a horde of gamers descended on the townland of Dooneen to refight the battle of Raphia.
The evening was organised and hosted by Declan, and attended by Dave, Mike, Arthur,Peter, Ross (official photographer),myself and my two eldest sprogs, Glynn and Rhodri.(names have been changed to protect the innocent)
The rules used to decide the battle were Command & Colors Ancients Epic.
This ruleset allowed us to fight the battle twice in one evening, both times to a very close and exciting finish. Its also worth pointing out that both battles had a result almost exactly "Historically accurate".Four players per side and a referee to keep things moving.
Initial Deployment from the Seleucid view.
The battle of Raphia was fought in 217BC between the armies of Antiochus III (Seleucids) and Ptolemy IV (Ptolemaic). For this refight we used 20mm plastic figures from the collections of Arthur, Declan and myself. Some figures may not have been historically correct but the games looked great.
As in many "classic" ancient battles, both armies attacked strongly on their right flank and a final descision was reached by the clash of infantry in the center.
In both our refights the armies attacked strongly on their right flanks and refused or defended on the left. Both games were won by the Ptolemiacs. The first game had only a 2 or 3 point difference and the second game was decided by a single point.
A few moments:-
"Ptolemy" Pete swears to win or die fighting.

Ross confirms how much sugar in his tea.(possibly)
Seleucid pre-battle huddle.
Ptolemaics on left, view from their right flank.
Ptolemaic right flank advances.
The two games lasted four and a half hours, considering the teabreaks, smokebreaks and high level of chat and trashtalking, thats pretty good going. The Command & Colors system worked very well for the games. A few times "Command" cards were difficult to get and of course periods of terrible dice rolling afflicted both sides but thats all part of the experience and helps to simulate the Fog of War.

Many Thanks to Declan for hosting and I'm sure that everyone is looking forward to the next one.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Horde mode.

Tuesday nights meeting had to be cancelled due to illness (Get well soon Ross).
So, Glynn (eldest sprog) and myself attempted the "Horde" scenario for "Gears of War".
This scenario throws wave after wave of Locust attackers against the COG defenders.
Playing on the easiest difficulty setting, the game was still very much a "touch and go" situation for
most of the scenario. A couple of lucky weapon finds kept us in with a chance.
We just managed to win.
The game took 3 hours to play (its a big scenario), and was pretty exciting for the duration.
Cannot wait to try the next difficulty setting! Still have lots of the basic story scenarios still to play.
Wave six, lots of baddies!
As you can see, the figures have had a paintjob. Base colours and a coat of "Army Painter", great result for very little effort.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Hangover

Had a big night on the tiles on Saturday.
Tallulah seems to have overdone it!

C&C Napoleonics.

Over the last few months  Steve and I have been working our way through the C&C Napoleonics scenario book.  We have kept a tally of victory banners (In the Book of Grudges) with Steve playing as the French.
Sadly this Bonepartist lackey has built up a massive lead and was 19 points ahead with only 5 games to play. Today the battles continued...
1st up Salamanca the right flank
In this game both British flanks advanced and destroyed the French forces for little loss. 6-1 to Wellington.
Next the battle of Garcia Hernandez. British cavalry catch and destroy a French rearguard. 6-0 in victory banners.
Finally we played "Combat at Aire" and yet again the redcoats took the glory. 6-2
So a complete change of fortune and we go into the last two battles with the French lead reduced to 4 points.
"Guerre,sanguin guerre!"
If he had any hair under that beret, it would fall out in shame!

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Back to the games!

Time to return to the real reason for this blog,  Games.
In particular, my all time favourite game of any type.
Space Hulk.
 Since the first release in 89 I have loved this game.
I still have the 96 edition and two copies of the latest and probably last 09 edition.
Although this is a two player game I have trawled the web and found some homebrewed solo rules.
I have adapted and playtested some of these and now have a card driven system for the genestealers.
Not perfect but getting there.
Also working on rules for Grey Knights versus demon scenarios.
In the near future I will post links to some of the best Space Hulk stuff.
For now a few pics...
Terminator Chaplain Bob.

It's getting crowded around here.

A big welcome to Declan.
Declan introduced me to this:-
Still not sure if I should Thank him or sue him.
It is a great game but requires a lot of concentration. Played three times and always ended up with a headache.

Declan loves his sports and especially football, so just for you...

OK its the wrong kind of football, hope this makes up for it...

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

"Build it and they will come"

A big welcome to the first blog follower,  Dave.
Dave is one of my gaming buddies and is planning to get over for some C&C Epic soon.

I know you are into trees, Dave, so here is some plant porn just for you.
If you look close the trunk has been carved to depict various animals.

Victory and defeat in one evening.

At around 8pm Ross, Peter and Gareth, three of my imaginary buddies, turned up at the gaming garage.
Ready to kick ass and take names, we threw down the "Gears of War" boardgame and prepared to tackle the first scenario "Emergence".
The plan is to advance through locust territory to find and seal a spawn point, the "Emergence" hole in the title.
 Armed with a plan, an attitude and some big guns, the four of us ripped through the enemy positions and closed in on the objective. Except for Ross who playing as "Cole Train" had expended his ammo early and spent the rest of the battle sneaking around the rear taking potshots with a pistol. Gareth provided cover fire while Peter and I charged the objective guns blazing and grenades blasting.
One accurate and lucky grenade toss later and the emergence hole was sealed.
The locust then launched a vicious counterattack. A wave of enemy knocked down "Baird" (me) and went after the other COGs. Last thing I remember was Peter "Roadie running" into the distance!
But the three guys managed to ride out the attack and eventually killed the last of the locust.
Well deserved victory in the first round.

We decided to try "China Shop" the second scenario.  This has the COG players being chased by a huge beserker. Blind, it charges towards the sound of the players weapons and smashes anything in its path. The scenario requires you to "guide" the beserker and use it to smash through blocked areas of the map.
We started well enough but not having played this scenario before, we did not have a plan. This very quickly left us spread out and unable to support each other. The game ended with all COGs bleeding out, swarmed with locust and squished beneath the beserker.
Back to the drawing board.
We plan to play again next week.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

The Girls!

In preparation for this blog I have spent a bit of time playing with my camera.
Although my miniature collection has been reduced to a mere fraction of what it once was,
some figures have survived the pogroms and been found lurking in the darkest corners of the cabinets.
Here is the core of a "Necromunda" gang.
Left to right they are,
Big Gay Al, Bertha, Two Tubes and Nibblet.
I have discovered another dozen that need painting.
They may even get it!

Tonights game

The Locust horde have mounted an offensive all along the Western boundries.
4 elite COG troopers are going to counterattack and attempt to seal an "Emergence" hole.

This game has been hitting the table a lot. Based on the popular videogames, this is a full-on slaughterfest. Report to follow.