Saturday, 16 June 2018

Lord and Lands - A 10mm near run thing

Sneaking in one last game before a travel induced break, we agreed to get our French and Indian Wars chaps out on the table for a spot of Sharp Practice 2.  Unfortunately, due to it being one of those weeks, the above photo was as far as we got with that game as the French and their allies were left at home and failed to arrive at the table. I'm going to count that as a British win...

Instead, we decided to have another game of Lord and Lands - The Hearthshire halfling militia taking on the night elf - skeletal alliance known as the League of Super Evil. Initial deployment shown above: night elves at the top, halflings at the bottom. Both armies were 1,200 points, each had a commander, a captain and a magic user. The halfling army was larger, but included six skirmishing units which meant it's breakpoint was 6. The smaller evil army had a breakpoint of 7.

The opening rounds saw the elves conducting wide sweeping maneuvers to left and right, while the halflings threw forward their skirmish screen, and sent the mounted yeomanry and their chicken-dragon to take on the elven dark riders.

We then discovered that night elf crossbowmen are murdering bastards as they obliterated the skirmishing goose-riders in front of them.  We actually played this wrong as we forgot to reduce the effect of the shooting over half range. Never mind, we'll call it a learning point.

Having lost their screen, the halfling militia were soon faced with a wall bronze-clad, of blue-skinned weirdos.

Over on the halfling right flank, the yeoman cavalry managed to pin the elven knights, while the cockatrice flew in and took them in the flank.  

On the far side, the halfling goose riders failed to evade a charge of giant spiders and were quickly gobbled up. In the centre, the militia and the night elf infantry 'clashed' with a distinctly stabby sound.

Having routed the knights, the cockatrice is stung in the bum by a giant scorpion. Some tree folk rush to the aid of the chicken-dragon, but while they crush the well armoured arachnid, they are too slow to stop the cockatrice being killed.

By this stage, the halfling archers and rangers had advanced into range of the skeletal horde, some of which surprises the archers with a rushed charge. Target practice suddenly became a desperate melee.

Back in the centre, the halfling militia - and their commander - are smitten. And not in a good way.

What happened to those beautiful clean battle lines? The halfling centre crumbles, but they have more luck against the friable skeletons.

The night elves advance... :(

Halfling's pop, and skeletons crumble as the game hangs in the balance. By this stage, each army was a single unit away from breaking.

Recklessly, the night elf warriors charged the catapults which fired one last closing volley. Can they do that? I'm not sure, but we said yes. And that was how the game ended. The warriors broke and ran, and their army's moral broke around them.

It was such a near run battle. The shot above shows the halfling casualties. We may have won, but at what cost? One more battle like that and Hearthshire would be completely depopulated!

Saturday, 9 June 2018

An update of sorts - everything is stalled thanks to 4AT :)

To paraphrase Helmuth von Moltke, "No plan survives contact with the enemy Andrea Sfiligoi." I had some splendid plans for my hobby time over the last few months, in a whole smatter of different scales. All have been stalled as I work away on a really nice little project for Ganesha Games. As a result, I have been posting much less than usual, as I've had much less to show off.

There are the 15mm Prussians for my c.1806 force for Sharp Practice 2. I have yet another group of jäger lined up, and a group of engineers led by an officer. Then there are my lovely, lovely, new ships; a handful of 1/600 ancient vessels which will be used for Galleys & Galleons, but for which I have been messing around with a few other ideas to do a much more detailed set of ancient naval rules. The concept is to run one galley per player and have a sort of galley-ballet. More of that anon.

There are also 6mm horse archers lined up that I need to be able to field Kushan, Kommagenean and Ituraean forces from my existing collections for L'Art de la Guerre and Hail Caesar. I also have a unit of 28mm Thracians lined up, and new god - Hermes - for my Of Gods and Mortals forces. All of these will be completed one day. But today is not that day.

Andrea at Ganesha and I were spoken a few times about doing a Greek themes version of his much acclaimed solo-dungeon-delving-pen-paper-and-dice game, Four Against Darkness, or 4AD. Well, it has come to pass, that it is coming to pass. I am currently working on 4AT - Four Against the Titans.

Olympos has fallen. War rages between the gods and the titans.
 The gods are on the back foot and Zeus himself, king of gods 
and men, has been defeated and imprisoned by the giant Typhon. 
It is up to the children of the gods – the result of so many 
promiscuous encounters with mortals – to take up the fight and 
forestall the destruction of Greece.

While 4AT leans heavily on Andrea’s original, it takes the players far from the subterranean depths and places them firmly in an open world of Greek mythology. The game can still be played with minimum space and equipment. You’ll need a pencil and eraser, three six-sided dice, this book and a sheet of paper. You control a party of four heroes who travel around Greece, aiding mankind against monsters, completing quests and, ultimately, attempting to free Zeus from captivity. Each step of the way, the heroes’ encounters are generated by dice rolls. 

You can play it solo or co-operatively, sharing the characters with friends. You could even play with two players, each controlling their own party, taking turns to resolve encounters, and racing each other to save Greece from destruction. The current schedule has us releasing the game in August, so if you have an interest, keep an eye out on the Ganesha pages - and here of course. 😏

Saturday, 26 May 2018

ADG - Who can I fight?

Knowing when to stop... nope, haven't read that chapter yet. I recently sat down to dwell over my 6mm ancient and medieval armies to work out which one I need to build next and it got me thinking, if I added a couple more units of one sort or another, I could morph my existing forces into new armies of the same period. You know, sort of a 'value adding' exercise.

Order duly placed for a few more packs, I sat down and listed historical enemies for the armies I can currently field without stretching too many button-counting friendships. Obviously there is a fair bit of overlap - my Seleukids, Arabs, Armenians, Kommagenians, Ituraeans can all fight the Parthians for example - but there are still quite a host of foes for my brave boys to smite. My armies are in bold, followed by their enemies.

30. Minoans
12. Libyan, 14. New Kingdom Egyptians, 20. Hittites, 22. Syria, Canaan and Ugarit, 24. Sea Peoples, 30. Mycenaean

42. Seleukids
41. Early Successor, 42. Seleukid, 43. Ptolemaic, 53. Republican Roman, 61. Hellenistic Greek, 63. Thracian, 67. Bithynian, 69. Kappadokian, 71. Armenian, 72. Galatian, 73. Pergamon, 74. Aramaean, 75. Early Arab, 76. Skythian, 79. Classical Indian, 102. Parthian, 103. Judaean Jewish, 104. Kommagene

44. Pyrrhic
41. Early Successor, 51. Campanian, Lucanian, Apulian and Bruttian, 52. Camillan Roman, 54. Early Carthaginian, 60. Classical Greek, 61. Hellenistic Greek, 62. Illyrian, 63, Thracian, 72 Galatian

47. Samnites (100 points)
47. Italian Tribe, 48. Etruscan, 49. Tullian Roman, 50. Syracusan, 51. Campanian, Lucanian, Apulian and Bruttian, 52. Camillan Roman, 54. Early Carthaginian, 60. Classical Greek

71. Armenian
42. Seleukid, 69. Kappadokian, 71. Armenian, 74 Aramaean, 82. Triumvirate Roman, 102. Parthian, 103. Judaean Jewish, 104. Kommagene, 105 Mithridatic

74. Ituraean
42. Seleukid, 43. Ptolemaic, 71. Armenian, 74 Aramaean, 75. Early Arab, 82. Triumvirate Roman, 102. Parthian, 103. Judaean Jewish

75. Early Arab (100 points)
42. Seleukid, 43. Ptolemaic, 71. Armenian, 74 Aramaean, 75. Early Arab, 82. Triumvirate Roman, 102. Parthian, 103. Judaean Jewish, 104. Kommagene

104. Kommagene
42. Seleukid, 69. Kappadokian, 71. Armenian, 72 Galatian, 73, Pergamon, 74 Aramaean, 75 Early Arab, 82. Triumvirate Roman, 84 Early Imperial Roman, 102. Parthian,

105. Mithridatic
63, Thracian, 67. Bithynian, 69. Kappadokian, 71 Armenian, 72 Galatian, 82. Triumvirate Roman

107. Kushan
79. Classical Indian, 81. Ch’iang and Ti, 102. Parthian, 107. Kushan, 117 Han Chinese

178. Anglo-Irish
177. Feudal Scots, 178. Anglo-Irish, 179. Scots Isles and Highlanders, 222. Medieval Scots, 223. Medieval Irish, 225. Hundred Years War English

225. Hundred Years War English
178. Anglo-Irish, 179. Scots Isles and Highlanders, 222. Medieval Scots, 223. Medieval Irish, 226. Hundred Years War French, 228. Medieval Spanish, 229. Navarrese, 231. Burgundian, 232. Low Countries, 233. Medieval Welsh

236. Yorkists
178. Anglo-Irish, 179. Scots Isles and Highlanders, 222. Medieval Scots, 223. Medieval Irish, 231. Burgundian, 232. Low Countries, 234. French Ordonnance, 235 Burgundian Ordonnance, 236. Wars of the Roses

Friday, 25 May 2018

OGAM - The Delphi Incident

In 279 BC, hordes of Celtic invaders swept down on the Greek world from the wilds of the north, destroying all before them. One branch of the invading army attacked the sacred oracle of Apollo at Delphi. According to ancient writers, the god Apollo appeared before the barbarians and put them to flight. This is the story of the Delphi incident...

This week I finally managed my first game of the month. It has just been one of those months... Jim popped up the mountain to visit and we reprised our old roles as Greek and Irish deities for a game of Of Gods and Mortals (Osprey Games). I took Apollo and a force of Greco-Macedonians defending the temple of Apollo, against his Irish, lead by Lugh of the Long Arm.

Apollo and his escort of centaur archers.

Lugh, supported by Queen Medb and the warriors of Connacht.

I had less-than-stealthily placed my Macedonian hypaspists on top of the hill to dominate the table. Jim won the initiative, activated his banshee and watched my face turn white. She saunted up behind my heavy infantry and let out a terrifying cry to cull the weak. In a moment, I lost three of my eight men in the unit. Lugh also immediately killed the hero Atalanta before she could so much as take a step! That first turn really set the tone for the evening.

As soon as I could, I used a reaction to get Herakles into combat to punish the banshee. He took her out with his first hammering blow, but by that stage, the damage was done to the hypaspists.

Apollo used his healing power to bring back one of the hypaspists, and put a plague on the Irish warriors of Connacht over by Lugh. Meanwhile, my hoplite shades and the hypaspists both charged into Medb. In a succession of tied combat rolls, my shades lost several of their number thanks to Medb's armour.

She was eventually beaten in the combat, but only enough to force a recoil. And then she charged the hypastists alone.

Meanwhile, Apollo started making his way over towards the action and Cú Chullainn snuck in behind him to attack the centaurs.

Here too, we drew two consecutive combat rolls and while I lost figures, the Irish hero's armour saved him.

What you can't see in this shot is Lugh throwing a spear and defeating Apollo, forcing him to quit the field. The centaurs failed one morale roll and retired further away from Cú Chullainn.

Lugh also managed to take down another of my shades, reducing the unit to a fairly useless three models.

And then Medb and my hypaspists had yet more drawn combats, killing three of my men in succession. I now had three units of mortals in play, none with more than three figures, meaning I couldn't invoke Apollo again and we called an end to the game. So, without engaging a single one of his mortal units, Jim had me well and truly beaten. Probably my most comprehensive (yet still enjoyable) defeat on record in any game.

Looking back on it though... I failed to remember to use Apollo's prophesy dice which could have saved him or Atalanta from Lugh's attacks, and, and this is really a pretty big AND, I forgot that my hypaspists were armoured, so their combats with Medb should have ended a couple of turns earlier, and with her death! These are the learning points we must take forward.

The moral of the story - don't believe everything written down by ancient historians!