Monday, 10 February 2020

Hungarian 4th (Von Vecsey/Hessen Homburg) Hussars - writ small

I've been much distracted, but have finally managed to get another unit painted for my Bataille Empire Austrian corp. Unlike the large lumbering unit of Bohemian landwehr I painted last, this time I went with a plucky, punchy little unit of Hungarian hussars to join my vanguard division. I ensured a historically accurate order of battle for my division by asking my family which uniforms they liked best. The result - the 4th hussars, AKA the most colourful unit they could find! The figures are Baccus 6mm, and they are simply splendid! 

Saturday, 8 February 2020

Snatch-and-run with Palaeo Diet: Pulp

My wee lad and I got in a quick game of Palaeo Diet: Pulp this weekend, using my 15mm sci-fi collections. We played a variant of a scenario that will appear in the book (due very soon) - re-skinned of course for a more space operatic look.

The transporter dropped the Imperial fire-team in a open landing space in the vicinity of a space pirate safe holdout. The team consisted of a commander with a pistol, two troopers with SMGs, and a sniper with a rifle.

The target of their snatch-and-run mission was a droid containing valuable intel that had fallen into the pirates' hands. It was guarded by a mystic space wizard and a variety of space scum and villainy.

The stage was set, and the dice were rolled. 

The two SMG-armed troopers opted to move straight towards the centre of the board, where they engaged in a brutal fire-fight with two pirates. On of the troopers was almost immediately gunned down, while only one of the pirates took a hit.

The commander and sniper managed to scale the flanking building and fired down from the rooftop. One of the pirates was dropped, while his wounded companion started to back away. After exchanging shots with the other SMG-armed trooper, the wounded pirate was killed, but the trooper took a wound himself.

With support from the sniper on the roof, the commander and wounded trooper pushed forward. What was supposed to be a routine extraction mission was getting messy. A lumbering hairy pirate tried to stop their advance, but despite firing several shots with his shotgun, failed to mark the Imperials before being killed himself.

From round the corner of the building, another pirate started to blaze away with her shotgun. This time, the commander took two consecutive hits and fell to the ground. The sniper was also hit by one of her shots, but managed to place a hit on her in return and she was finished off by the wounded trooper.

All of the bloodshed had caused the other pirates to fall back away from the droid. The sniper risked a dash forward, activated the droid, and then started to withdraw. However, the space wizard watched the sniper's bold move incredulously, and summoned another of his minions (a power-claw armed space dwarf!) who emerged from a doorway right next to the sniper.

Preferring discretion to valour - and the high chance of becoming a statistic - the sniper legged it. Both the sniper and the trooper, wounded as they were, managed to get back to the extraction point with the droid and were airlifted off-world. 

The mission was technically a success, but someone will now have to write a couple of letters to the parents of the two Imperials left behind.

I need more chariot based puns - more 6mm Bronze Age L'Art de la Guerre

At the start of the month, Andrew and I met up with Tim for another Egyptian-Minoan grudge match.  This time, Timhotep commanded one of Andrewhotep's Egyptian divisions - all the while whispering foul suggestions in the guileless Pharaoh's ear.

The two forces lined up across a vast open plain, only a single gentle hill and a few fields offering any sort of distraction. As the defender, the Minoans plonked their army between one of the fields and the hill. On the left was the heavy spearmen division, curiously missing a couple of their light infantry screen (hidden in ambush in the field). The center was composed of the heavy chariot division, with their medium spear supports on their right, and beyond the medium spear was a tiny allied Myrmidon division. Opposite the heavy spearmen, pharaoh deployed six units of Egyptian chariots in two groups, the Egyptian centre consisted of all of the Sea Peoples Pharaoh could scrape off the beach, while opposite the Myrmidons was a vast array of Egyptian medium foot - a mixture of bow, axemen, and spearmen.

The armies closed as quickly as their dared - the Minoans hoping to maximise the damage against Sea People's swordsmen with a chariot charge as soon as possible; the Egyptians seeking to use their much faster flanks to carry out encircling maneuvres. Happily, the ambush markers in the fields to either flank prevented any immediate threat to the Minoan flanks.

As the outermost Egyptian chariot division approached the field on the Minoan left, the ambush of Cretan slingers was sprung. Safe among the furrows, the slingers were more than ready for a shoot out with the bow-armed chariots. What could possibly go wrong?

In the centre, the lines kept closing. The Minoan skirmishers were having a bit of an off day, but the match ups still looked promising. Andrewhotep has discovered that my force marching his heavy impetuous swordsmen twice in turn one, but only moving his medium impetuous swordsmen once, he can get them to line up again at the end of turn two presuming both groups move once... He likes his lines. I would have rathered he was a bit more disorganised.

The massed Egyptian infantry discovered that the threat of an ambush in the fields to their front was as empty as a pharaoh's tomb a year after burial. They surged into the fields and were charged instead by the brave Myrmidons. The Myrmidon medium swordsmen had all the trimmings - impact, armour, elite - but there weren't a whole lot of them.

The centres crunched together. Faced with the heavy Minoan chariots, the Sea Peoples swordsmen, even the medium swordsmen, put on their angry faces and raised their shields. The great wave of destruction failed to materialise, and the chariot charge was stalled. The Minoan skirmishers managed to do a little damage to the Egyptian chariots in front of the spearwall, but the canny charioteers refused to charge home and instead exchanged insults and the occasional arrow with the doughty Minoan spearmen.

Over in the ambush field, the Egyptian chariots redeployed from column into line and were comfortably getting the better of the Minoan slingers.

The Egyptian infantry began to engulf the Myrmidon command wholesale. The Myrmidons were only supposed to hold them up for a turn or two while the heavy chariots destroyed the Egyptian centre. While the centres continued to grind into each other, the Myrmidons felt the heat.

Slowly, but ever so surely, the Egyptian numbers began to bear and the Myrmidon flank was turned.
In the centre, far from being crushed under hoof, the Sea Peoples division was tearing holes in the Egyptian line. A heavy chariot unit and a block of heavy spearmen were routed, and despite the Minoan's being able to attack the pursuing units of Sea People's in the flank, it was cold comfort.

The Minoan spearwall surged forward and charged the Egyptian chariots, whose arrows were starting to bite. The chariotry evaded, but the charge achieved little beyond a temporary respite from arrows. In the centre, the battle between the heavy chariots and the Sea Peoples began to go in favour of the Minoans. Cracks were forming in the Egyptian line and the flood of cranky Minoans was waitng to push through.

In the end, it was all a bit too little, too late. The Egyptians were mauled, but the Minoan lines were ripped to pieces. The battle ended with a pretty decisive Egyptian victory with the Minoans at 25/25 breakpoints, and the Egyptians hovering somewhere around 17/23. Well played gentlemen. Well played.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

10mm giant and goblin hero

After some time in the concept stage, the fantasy version of Irregular Wars, (working title: Fantastic Battles) got its first table top test last month. I ran a small goblin army against a smaller, meaner force of evil dwarves. The basic tenants of the game work well - more anon - but getting the nuances right will take a bit more testing. To add a bit of punch to my goblins in future games, I decided to magic-up for reinforcements from my bits box.

My goblins already have a giant lending a helping hand, but why have just one giant when you can have two? Like his compatriot, this giant is actually a prehistoric hunter from Blind Beggar Miniatures to whom I added eyelids, a captive and a horse (lunch and dinner?), and bulked out some of the furs. He'll do nicely as a 10mm giant and greatly assist the wee green chaps on their outings.

In order to make up a new goblin hero (I didn't want to buy a whole pack of  30-odd 10mm goblins for just one figure), I took a knife to a Magister Militum dark elf assassin. The elf lost his legs at the knees and received some splendid curly-toed toes in their place. I then made a little hooked nose and chin to give more character to the face, and added wee pointy ears pointing out of the cloak - just in case there was any doubt about what kind of creature he was. I have to say, I am super pleased with the result!