Tuesday 20 March 2012

Heroes of Hedgerow

Introducing my new SBH warband made up from miniatures from Splintered Light.These chaps stand about 20mm tall, so working on the assumption that hedgehogs etc aren't generally human-sized, they are more than suitable to go up against my other 28mm warbands.

The  Heroes  of  Hedgerow

The creatures of Hedgerow are not known for their martial traditions, but even the humblest of creatures may act like heroes... under the right circumstances.





Håkon the Hedgehog
Points: 96
Special rules: heavy armour, hero, leader

Pyrrho the Polecat
Points: 38
Special rules: acrobat, free disengage, savage

Jack Rabbit
Points: 44
Special rules: long move, shooter: short

Bors the Beaver
Points: 42
Special rules: amphibious, tailslap

Malachy Mole
Points: 28
Special rules: burrowing

Knut the Squirrel
Points: 46
Special rules: clinging, forester, shooter: long

Battle Honours


Håkon the Hedgehog 
Pyrrho the Polecat 
Jack Rabbit 
Bors the Beaver 
Malachy Mole 
Knut the Squirrel 

Saturday 17 March 2012

Ayatollah of Gorgonzola

Watching my son shove the third piece of pasta in blue cheese sauce up his nose, I start to get the tingling feeling down the back of my neck - perhaps he is the Ayatollah of Gorgonzola...

Sunday 11 March 2012

Irregular State of the Nation

I am not prone to writing virtual diary entries (blogs I believe they are called... crazy...), but I thought it was time for a combined arms account of my wargaming projects as they stand.

1) Irregular Wars: Conflict at the Worlds End - new edition on its way
The revised edition of Irregular Wars is currently being formatted and proofed over at Vexillia Ltd. Keep an eye out in the next couple of weeks for a full release announcement and details of the changes. In short, these include a better system for scenario generation including Cattle raids and ambushes, and  24.3% more battle lists!

2) The 2012 Pendraken Painting Competition
The judges have come out of their symposium, the votes have been tallied. The decisions are final, and I have been asked to leave the tribal... hold on a second. I've just hopped on a tangent. The results of the Pendraken painting competition have been announced with some very favourable results for yours truly (HERE and to a lesser extent, here). I entered my HotT Duchy of Cheddar rats into two categories and placed both! I really was flabbergasted by the results as there were some truly lovely pieces there for the judges to choose from. A big thanks to Leon, the rest of the Pendraken crew, the judges and all the other entries for a lovely showcase of 10mm artwork (and the prizes!).
Winner - Best Vehicle
2nd Place - 'Anything Goes' Open Category

3) The Heroes of Hedgerow gather - New SBH warband using Splintered Light Miniatures
I have just received the 'Druid's Children - Faithful' set from Splintered light so that I could start putting together one or more (it'll be more) warbands for SBH to replace the rats from Cheddar. Dave McBride from Splintered Light was happy enough to accommodate my request to swap out the badger figure for a beaver and, by golly, I'm glad he did. I have a week or so with no paid work coming up - I do have a lot of admin jobs to do - but the rest of the gang will be painted up soon I hope (along with the last of my Irregular Wars Spanish). Here is just a taster.
Bors the Beaver

4) Moving o'er the waters
I'm feeling the need to do lots of painting and posting this month because we have just put our home up for sale in Australia and will be relocating in the UK as soon as the sale goes through - initially to my in-law's in Belfast, and then somewhere else.... As part of the big move, all of my miniatures, terrain, rules etc will have to go by sea and will be out of reach for several months. Then I will have to find a new wargaming community to roll dice with. Lots of excitement and just a little trepidation for the months ahead!

Monday 5 March 2012

New minions to skulk in the shadows or light up your swamp.

Recently arrived from across the waters, I'm pleased to present two new SBH characters to round out two of my warbands (a fourth warband to replace the transfer of the Cheddar rats is in the post - insha'allah). The Battle Honours page has been updated.

Joining the boys from Ballybogside, Milik is a púca (phooka), a shape-shifting Irish goblin and trickster. Often appearing as a black horse, goat or rabbit, Milik's favoured form is a black cat. Her role in the militia is to scout ahead in the shadows and disrupt enemy movements by distracting them. 
Q:2 C:1 distract, free disengage, stealth (58 points)

To the north, a Will o' the Wisp has come to do the bidding of Sycorax, the tundra shaman. Will o' the wisps  are ethereal lights which traditionally drew travelers at night to their deaths across bogs and moorlands. I'm testing out drain special rule to reflect the wisp's  incorporeal  nature. He can't knock an enemy back, but he can tire them out.
Q:3 C:3 artificial, drain, flying (72 points)

Southern Battle Gamers DBA Historical Competition 2012 - March (results)

A year ago, at the SBG DBA Historical comp, I managed (through little fault of my own) to be declared the Imperator (HERE) and got my name on a plaque. This year I wasn't quite so lucky - or skilled -  and managed a measly two draws and three losses... This Imperator has certainly misplaced his mojo. Well done to Martin for bringing home the proverbial bacon and ensuring that none of the previous winners got their name on the plaque a second time.

I lead Alexander's Macedonians to their Paionian doom....

My Early Samurai stall the Koreans to a draw.

An Athenian expeditionary force is crushed in Thrace.

A reprise in which I led the Paionian defence against Macedonia - and drew.

Another Paionian/Macedonian reprise in which I
managed to scrape defeat from the jaws of victory

An unexpected discovery this time round is that most people have a secret fear of psiloi. Both playing a psiloi army and having also ten elements of psiloi surging towards their lines. Personally I'm fond of the wee beggars, but I found my opponents fairly timid. I tended to lose though, so perhaps there was wisdom in the timidity.

Saturday 3 March 2012

More Irregular play testing (and a 3 for 3 result!)

That's right, we tested out three of the new scenarios of Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End last night - and I continue to be hampered by the author's curse. Three games, three losses. Not entirely discouraging though as we nutted out a few more little issues with the scenarios and had many laughs in the process. My thanks to Steve Webb at the Southern Battle Gamers (here) for once again teaching me how to play the game.

First up we played the 'punitive raid' scenario. The aim of the game is for the attacker to burn down as many of the opponents buildings as possible in the allocated time. As the Irish attacker, it was up to me to try to send the English home to their smelly queen. Unfortunately we didn't quite balance the game properly and the village was deployed during deployment rather than during terrain placement (a very silly oversight).

As a result, the English naturally deployed in such a way as to block my approach. My chances were further hampered when I rolled atrociously for disease and mishaps before the first turn and ended up with a sick battle, scattered through some captains being impatient and others late...
Initial deployment showing the scattered Irish line.
The English lord and his demi-lancers were also impetuous - the game
started with the English lord and the Irish redshanks already in a melee.
As the game progressed, it became clear that  the poor Irish stood little chance. I did manage to draw his line beyond the protection of the village walls, and in a fairly rash decision, sent two unengaged companies of kern on a wild outflanking maneuver.
As the kern outflank the English left, they pass out of command range.
One manages to head for the village but the other runs for the hills.
The English heavy horse finally break through the Irish right and
sweep behind the remaining companies of gallowglass.
The remaining kern make it into the village, but the rest
of the Irish battle are surrounded and scattered.


The second game was 'reive and retrieve' in which the vile indigenies tried to steal my honest Dutch sheep. The Dutch were outnumbered (not for the first time) but the game looked to be a close one. We only had a single flock of sheep (something which won't happen again) who started between the two lines. As part of the disease and mishap roles, the native priest was bought off by the Duth agents and left the battle field. Not a bad way to start the game.
Initial deployments - the Hollanders have late halberdiers and impatient shot.
Sir Not-appearing-in-this-game-'cause-he-was-bought-off.
Opening volleys go well for the Hollanders who scatter some warriors
causing a ripple of lost resolve through the Caribbean line.
The Dutch rujters forget themselves and charge into the amorphous Caribbean lines... again.
The rujters are swamped and scatter - Indian scouts pinch the sheep and pass
through their own lines which close like an amoeba behind them - thus victory
was assured for the swine.


The third game was 'ambush'. The English were doing the ambushing and so decided that minimal terrain would be required. Honestly, who ambushes on flat terrain...?
The ambush is sprung!
The English planters open fire as the Irish scramble for a better position.
The English (through good luck mostly) manage to close their jaws on the main Irish battle.
The last of the Irish resistance crumbles in the face of overwhelming odds.
All in all, a series of fun battles in which I was most undeniably bested. The new scenarios do appear to work well on the whole. We believe that with a tiny bit more tweaking, the raiding scenarios will work well. The ambush seems to be pretty good already. Stay tuned for more... but don't hold your breath the whole time....