Friday, 18 July 2014

Great Ganesha! Multiplayer fun had by all.

Last night I was greatly delighted to play two very enjoyable four player games. (un)Fortunatley, I had so much fun that only a very few in-focus photos were taken of the games - all the guphawing makes my hands shake and I can't take photos...

The first round was a 900 point a side game of Mighty Monsters and Samurai Robot Battle Royale which saw the humans of the European Empire take on three kaiju who were holidaying in a distopian future Paris. 

It didn't end up going well at all for the imperial forces. The infantry and their air support were all either fumigated to death by one enormous fishy-poison cloud from Dagon (fishman kaiju), or else suffered from his oh-so-acidic spit. I.R.N. Mech was finished off by a well aimed punch from a rather crippled Mantis, and the Goliath tank and Grendal (furry kaiju) more or less exploded each other to extinction. There was much close range bombarding from the tank which caused a lot of damage to everything in the vicinity including itself, its friends, the kaiju and buildings.

The second game was a four player Song of Blades and Heroes battle to the death, pitting a warband of nasty Greek myth inspired creatures, satyrs, Greek gods and furry critters against each other.

We were using a phenomenal scuplted gaming table which was a real pleasure. Here, Apollo gets ready to go head-to-head with the minotaur.  

Amid much laughter (hence the blurry photo), the heroes of Wyldewood advance to join the fray.

Bypassing the melee between the nasty creatures and the two gods, the furry critters embarked on an all out assault on the satyrs across the bridge. It started badly when statistical differences left individual critters exposed (like our dashing polecat friend above). Later on, a beaver-mole partnership would see several satyrs slain before Pan, the satyr's hero, joined the fray and finished off the furry ones.

The last couple of turns saw a duel between Pan and a witch which ended with a badly wounded Pan eating off her face... But oh such a good game.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Song of Shadows and Dust reviewed by Play Unplugged (and used for gladiator game!)

A couple of nice (unsolicited!) surprises this week:

I saw that Tim in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has been playing gladiatorial bouts with his kids using Song of Shadows and Dust. Check out how he got on HERE.

Tim has also just posted his first AAR for a regular game between a weavers guild and some local militiamen. Check it out HERE.

In slightly unrelated news, I have also just read a great review of the game by Scott Pyle over at Play Unplugged. 

"Ganesha Games has been producing outstanding, fast-playing skirmish battle games since the release of its now classic Song of Blades and Heroes (SoBaH) more than ten years ago. Since then, this versatile, D6-based rules engine has been bent to many different genres. In Songs of Shadows and Dust (SSD) author Nicholas Wright takes his turn, adapting SoBaH to first century BC Roman gang fighting. These battles resulted from political feuding between rival factions of the time, and often included bloody street brawls where gangs of toughs hired by either side fought it out..."

Check out the full review HERE

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Irregular Wars 2nd edition chance cards

I have been testing out an online customised card deck maker to make a deck of chance cards in Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End (2nd ed). I like the way these look in the preview shots and have ordered a trial pack to see if they live up to expectations.

Below are just a sample of the 52 cards in the deck. Now I just have to play a little game I like to call 'waiting for the postman'.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Gearing up for more Mighty Monsters!

Having had a longer-than-wanted break since my last bout of Mighty Monsters and Samurai Robots Battle Royale, I'm gearing up for another bash. Such a fun game! Here are the various monsters, mechs and army units that I now have ready. Each monster (vel sim.) is based on 300 points, allowing me to easily pick and choose between running 300, 600 or 900 points per side.

The forces of humanity - European Empire and an Independent mech

I.R.N. Mech
Imperial Response Group
Goliath IV

Chaotic Kaiju

10mm Irish for Dux Bellorum

Having recently finished a Romano-British army for Dan Mersey's Dux Bellorum, I'm happy to now present their opponents - the wild Irish of the Ulaid (the early Medieval kingdom covering much of Counties Antrim and Down.

This is a compact, but relatively brittle, army in game terms and consists of a unit of warrior companions (complete with the king's favourite hound and giant champion), and four units of noble warriors. That's it. Five units for 25 points, leaving me 7 points for strategies and extra leadership points. 

Warrior companions. The king and the warriors with swords are Irish elite warriors from Magister Militum; the hound is from the Eureka Minitures' woodland pack; the champion is a Baueda Viking; the spearmen are Pendraken Welsh spearmen and the lovely warrioress is Pendraken's 'Keira'.

The noble warriors are made up of the same packs as the companions, a mix of Pendraken, Eureka and Magister Militum. I decided that each base would have ten figures on them, roughly Magister Militum elite warriors and the other packs mixed to make up the remainder.

Like Dan, the author of Dux Bellorum, I have misgivings about having designated 'wardog' units in wargames. That said, they are allowed in the rules as a 'strategy', and I have the figures, so why not. Hounds from Eureka.

Monks from Pendraken. The kneeling chaps are from the Norse range, the walking 'pilgrims' are from the Medieval range. These are another 'strategy' which my Irish may like to take. Alternatively, my Romano-British army can also field them.

These sheep are from Irregular Miniatures. They are classed as 15mm but are tiny at that scale. At 10mm the adult sheep almost come up to the warrior's belts. Another 'strategy' available to the Irish in Dux Bellorum is the use of stampeding livestock. So be it.

Monday, 16 June 2014

10mm Romano-British for Dux Bellorum

I really like games that can deliver discrete, definable and achievable goals when it comes to building your armies. That is one huge tick in the box for Dan Mersey's Dux Bellorum. I am yet to play a game but the rules read very well and it looks to be a very enjoyable game. 

Army lists in Dux Bellorum are defined , but loosely and allow for a lot of flexibility in the forces you raise. Generally you are looking at between five and ten units, plus  up to three strategies - strategies might be unique unit types like monks or wardogs, or they could represent unit upgrades etc. My starter army lists, as I may have mentioned before, were driven by the models I already had at hand, either painted or in the lead pile. 

We will be playing our games based in the north of Britain (c. AD 500) to permit Picts, Saxons, Irish, Welsh and Romano-Brits all to have a go. Here is my Romano-British army, sans strategies. It stands at 29 points, allowing me three points to spend on a strategy of my choosing during any given battle. Nominally it is the war-host of Rheged, the British kingdom straddling the Solway and taking in the regions of Cumbria, Dumfries and Galloway (perhaps). In AD 500, that might (or might not... I love this period) make my commander king Meirchion Gul - Meirchion the Lean.

I will be using this unit of Sarmatian-esque equites as my mounted companions.

These are two units of noble riders, the experienced warrior caste of Rheged.

The local Rheged infantry consist of a shieldwall muster and a body of archers.

The infantry is supplemented by two shieldwalls of foederati - fierce Germanic mercenaries. The unit on the right - fully equipped in chainmail, swords and the odd wolf skin - will be used as a noble shieldwall; at least to begin with. The other unit will be an ordinary shieldwall. I have stuck with a red colour theme with this army, except for the foederati whom I have themed in blue. This way they can form the basis of a future Saxon army, should the need arise.

The army assembled; and to top it all off, at the back is a small hamlet for them to raid or defend (as the notion takes them).

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End 2nd ed. progress report

I realise that I have been unusually quiet for the past month. In part, that is because I've been busy with work and have had a number of nights working late, meaning that I have less time in my weekends to sneak off and paint/play games. In part, it is because June is now a pretty sad month in our family and everything grinds to a bit of a halt.

Having said that, over the last while I have managed to make a little progress on the 2nd edition of my Irregular Wars rules. However, I've not really discussed any of the changes or progress. To give a bit of a taste of where we are at, I have included a contents list giving a rundown of everything as it stands below. The old phase system has been streamlined to make the basic rules easier and faster, impetuous companies now have a more realistic random movement system, there are now more optional actions for units within their lord's command radius, and every rule is more fully explained than before. To date there are also now 45 different army lists (those in red have not yet been written).

The rules are written, most of the army lists are done, Doc Phalanx is working on diagrams and it's really just the scenario variants Any comments or queries are certainly welcome!

1. Introduction                                            
1.1 Design concepts                                    
1.2 Game scale                                             
1.3 Basing conventions                               
1.4 Table size                                                           
1.5 Playing equipment                               
1.6 Company rosters                                   
1.7 The commanding lord                         
1.8 Resolve                                                   
Ø  Wavering companies
Ø  Scattering

2. Setting up                                                
2.1 Determining armies                              
Ø  Small actions or big battles?
2.2 Determine attacker and defender       
2.3 Terrain and visibility                           
2.4 Chance cards                                          
2.5 Army recruitment                                 
Example recruitment
2.6 Standard deployment                          
2.7 Scenarios                                                
Ø  Punitive raid
Ø  Ambush
Ø  Reive and retrieve
Ø  Breakthrough
Ø  Assaulting the walls
2.8 Disease and mishaps                            

3. Playing the game                                    
3.1 Turn sequence                                       
3.2 Shot phase                                              
Ø  Shooting ranges
Ø  Shooting
Ø  Effects of terrain on line of sight
Ø  Risks to the lord
Ø  Smoke markers
3.3 Action phase                                          
Ø  Rolling for initiative
Ø  Command range
Ø  Impetuous actions
Ø  Controlled actions
Ø  Moving into melee
Ø  Movement modifiers
Ø  Hidden units and ambushes
Ø  Interpenetration
Ø  Disengaging from melee
Ø  Reloading
Ø  Rallying
Ø  Cursing
3.4 Melee phase                                           
Ø  Melee mechanism
Ø  Winning a melee
Ø  Risks to the lord
Ø  Pursuing scattered, wavering or disengaging foes

4. Special rules                                            
Ø  Archaic missiles, Bolas, Caracole, Charge +1, Charge +2, Charge +3, Charge +4, Dragoons, Elusive, Exotic mounts, Grenades, Heavy ordinance, Light ordinance, Long spears, loose, Natives, Pikes, Pious, Pole-arms, Reivers, Reliable, Savage, Targeteers, Unreliable, Wagon, Wild
5. Army lists                                                 
Ø  Royal English, Northern English, English adventurers, Lowland Scots, Highland Scots, Mere Irish, Spanish expeditionary force, Conquistadors, Colonial Spanish, Colonial Portuguese, French adventurers, Coureurs de bois, Hollanders, Swedish, Imperialist, Polish-Lithuanian Union, Muscovites, Cossacks, Ottoman, Steppe Khanate, Arabian, Safavids, Moghul, East Indies sultanate, Eastern pirates, Ming Chinese, Manchurian, Joseon Korean, Japanese shogunate, Ikkō Ikki, North African, East African, Songhai, Tribal African, Caribbean Indians, Amazonia Indians, Mesoamerican, Chinantecs, Inca, Mapuche, Desert Indians, Mississippians, Woodland Indians, Pacific Islanders

Quick reference sheets

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Dux Bellorum foederati shieldwalls

Continuing on my slow plod towards raising a couple of Dux Bellorum armies, here are a couple of shots of my Germanic foedarati shieldwalls that will bulk out my Romano-British infantry. Although my Romano-Brits will have an overall red colour scheme, I have made these guys blue to a) distinguish them as 'different' from their comrades, and b) in case I decide to do a fully fledged Saxon army in the future, they will provide me with a core.

The shieldwall on the right is my SAM Anglian warband rebased. All figures are Pendraken from their Late Roman range and include figures from both the Saxon militia and Roman militia packs, led by characters from the Arthurian personalities pack. One Saxon has had his spear replaced by a boar standard. I will used them as a regular shieldwall.

The shieldwall on the right is made up principally of Pendraken Norse figures and include a mix of berserkers, bondi and hirdmen. The command are made up of a late Roman officer converted to hold a severed head, a late Roman standard bearer (standard inspired by the Sutton Hoo stag sceptre), and the same character from the Arthurian personalities pack who leads the other shieldwall, accept with a bit of conversion work. Riding along the back of this unit is a Saxon priestess - really a converted sorceress riding a unicorn by Eureka. I'll use this unit as a noble shiledwall.
Sutton Hoo whetstone 'sceptre'
Sutton Hoo. Lookin' atcha!