Thursday 14 April 2016

OGAM - Atalanta the Huntress

"This Atalanta was exposed by her father, because he desired male children; and a she-bear came often and gave her suck, till hunters found her and brought her up among themselves. Grown to womanhood, Atalanta kept herself a virgin, and hunting in the wilderness she remained always under arms."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 9. 2

As well as the dryads in the previous post, I also recently ordered a Shadowforge 'Amazonia' gladiator. It would appear that I have a bit of a female archer fetish for my OGAM force, as along with this athletic lady, I have Artemis as one of my gods, a female centaur archer legend, and plan on getting a unit of Amazon archers when I find models with the right Skythian look.

I thought I would use this figure for Atalanta, the Arkadian princess, huntress, and occasional Argonaught. Exposed by her father at birth, she was suckled by a she-bear before being found and raised by hunters. She sailed on the Argo with Jason, defeated Achilles' father in a wrestling match, was the first to wound the Kalydonian Boar, and only agreed to marry a man who could beat her in a race. All in all, a tough little cookie. I will use her as a Legend in Of Gods and Mortals:

Atalanta (90 points)

Q3 C3
Forester, Free Disengage, Shooter (Long), Good Shot

As a huntress, I wanted to give her a pretty muted look, keeping the pallet restricted to browns, accentuated by white for her diadem and trappings. Not a bad wee figure, for all that she is a fairly simple sculpt. The painted up quite nicely and, if I do say so myself, the camera does not really do her much justice.

OGAM dryads - NSFW

... you know, it's amazing how many more hits a post generates if it has those four letters in it - NSFW. The internet, eh?

Dryad by Devi-Eurynome

So, with only a little further-ado, here are the latest additions to my Of Gods and Mortals forces, a unit of four dryads. Dryads count as mortal units in the game, and are, on the face of it, rather rubbish. With a combat factor of 1, they can expect to be beaten up by most other mortals, not to mention legends or gods. 

But, and it is a shapely but, these leaf-clad lovelies suffer no penalties in wooded terrain and are also pretty cheap. I have found in my previous games that I do not to use my mortal units very much. I previously only had two - hypaspists and satyr archers - and they tend to just sit around invoking most of the time, either to grant my god more power, or to bring the god back after they have taken a smiting.

At only 40 points for the unit (out of the recommended 900 point budget), I figured I might like to try some dryads out. They can just be popped on the table, in a wood out of the way somewhere, and invoke to their heart's content, freeing up my more combat-capable mortals to fight.

The models are all from Shadowforge. I already had the one second from the left, which was painted up about five or six years ago. The other three are a recent purchase, painted up this week. I don't think the older paint job stands out too much. From a distance, the flock colours are (for me) the biggest difference. On closer inspection, it's clear that the single model was painted as a character and has a bit more care taken with highlighting etc, but on the whole I think they work well as a unit.

Wednesday 13 April 2016

Pansies vs stunties on the high seas!

Zac and Dan have posted another playtest game of the fantasy expansion for Galleys & Galleons over at Pile of Dice. Can steam-powered ironclads crush the swift elves, or will the seabed be littered with bearded corpses? Click HERE to find out how they got on in the grudge match of the ages, elves verses dwarves

Irregular Wars Hollanders vs Portuguese

Doc Phalanx has just posted a nice little AAR of his most recent Irregular Wars game, pitching the brave Hollanders against the tricksy Portuguese. Find out how he got on HERE.

Friday 8 April 2016

Chaos in the Cayos - A Galleys & Galleons engaging engagement

Over in Hong Kong, Bertie has just posted up a totally engrossing multiplayer game report for Galleys & Galleons, making use of several of the rules from the forthcoming expansion.

1670: The Three Tunns Tavern, Port Royal Jamaica.

“QUIET! You Blaggards!”

The hard vowels of Sir Henry Morgan’s Cardiff accent did not so much cut through the drunken babble of the assembled pirates, as hack through it with a rasping, but none too sharp, blade. But it did catch the attention.

“Now listen up… this be the plan.”

“As ye all know it’s not been good pickin’s for the Brethren o’ late. Victims o’ our own success I say we is.  We been so successful with our depredations that now the Dons are reinforcing the Armada de la Guardia de la Carrera de las Indias, bringing in ships from as far away as Acapulco an’ Flanders I reckons. There be no way we can take the main silver fleet on, not with our small, light vessels up agin them mighty galleons. No way. But, me hearties, there be a way…”

Wednesday 6 April 2016

A shower of arrows and clash of steel - ADG War of the Roses

The second of the weekend's games of L'Art de a Guerre saw my Yorkists go head to head with Brett's Lancastrians in a 200 point War of the Roses arrow-fest. I am afraid that my camera work was even poorer than usual on the night, but it gets to int across I hope, even if it does not justify the paintwork.

My Yorkists were defending this time against a Lancs assault. My left ward was composed of two groups, consisting of militia longbowmen on the far left and then retinue bow supported by retinue bill. My centre ward had elite foot knights supported by retinue bowmen, and both heavy and light artillery and two units of currour heavy cavalry. On my right were more foot knights and retinue bowmen supported by some handgunners. My lord-commander commanded the centre and both sub lords were unreliable (something I insist on doing with my WotR and Anglo-Irish armies to reflect the skulduggery). 

I'm not exactly sure of the make up of the Lancastrians, but they must have had a shortage of powder as all they could manage was a single light artillery piece. They did, however, out horse me quite significantly to begin with until some of their knights dismounted during deployment.

Milord Yellowonblue with his militia archers and retinue.

Milord Blackonyellow with his retinue and handgunners.

The Lancastrian lines. Their strongest ward was on their right, opposite my weak left flank. Their weakest ward was their left, composed mostly of mediocre militia units.

The game opened with the boom of my heavy artillery on the top of the hill at my centre. She kept up fire throughout the game with variable success.

As the dice would have it, my right ward proved to be unreliable and refused to follow the plan, allowing Brett to hold back his weak flank and push forward with the rest of his army. The two centre wards got involved in a pretty bloody shoot out.

Here you can see the wide birth being given to my unreliable ward by Brett's northern militias. His border prickers are heading off to see how they can help with the battle raging in the distance.

In the centre, it looked like I was taking the lead at the beginning, but then my luck turned and I soon saw my retinue archers routing, leaving my foot knights to go it alone.

On my left, the Lancastrian commander led his retinue straight into (and through) my militia and retinue. My flank crumbling before his combination of elite long bow and foot knights.

Finally, Milord Blueonred reminded Milord Blackonyellow that an ancestor had once saved the other's ancestors life (or somesuch) and my right ward sprung into action at last, heading straight forward to disperse the northern militias.

As my left dissolves, my right tears holes into their foemen, the guns of the handgunners roaring to life.

... but the damage of the initial hesitancy on the right was already done. Milord Blueonred joined with his retinue of foot knights and marched slowly into the hail of arrows. It was that or stand and be shot while the Lancastrian right rolled up my left flank.

All the while, the Lancs. border horse had turned around and were circling round my right flank, chasing the handgunners back into a marshland, all the time recieving their fire with grim resolve.

Now I thought, if you want them you donkey-wallopers, you come into the marsh and take them. 

Unfortunately, it turns out that the northern horse didn't really want my handgunners at all. They did an about face and charged straight into the rear of my victorious right flank retinue, easily winning the melee. Back in the centre, the Lancastrian right had made it to the top of the hill in my centre, capturing my guns and threatening both my camp and the rear of the few foot knights I had left still fighting. This brought me now to breaking point. I'm sorry to say, the Lancastrians were still far from their own.

It was fascinating playing two such similar armies against each other. Generally we play with wildly different armies but here of course were were themed very much around foot knights and longbowmen. The War of the Roses army list in ADG is nicely nuanced though, and we were still able to have distinctive forces, for all the core was the same.

A highly enjoyable game, but a bad start for the House of York. Next time Lancaster. Next time.

Galleys & Galleons - more fantasy playtesting

News from the front: a few more playtesting games were posted online recently that are well worth checking out.

At the Wandering View, Tom got his family involved with a great scenario which saw the conventional ships of Lord Ramsbottom racing against time and the dastardly luce-pulp fleet of El Supremo to rescue a stranded Lady Chatterbox. Check it out HERE.

Meanwhile, Zac and Dan had another meeting, this time seeing an undead fleet taking on an eastern fleet with gun turret toting mercenaries. You can read about their misdeeds HERE.

Like the wind off the desert - ADG Early Arabs vs Triumviral Romans

I enjoyed a couple of very enjoyable games of L'Art de la Guerre over the weekend. The first was a small 100 point warm up match helping us to remember the rules. I ran Early Arabs, an army that I've never tried before and which was completely out of my comfort zone. Every unit in my army could shoot, and the only units which couldn't evade were two units of LMI bowmen.

We diced properly for attacker/defender etc and it turned out that I was the attacker, raiding into the plains east of Antioch no doubt. The photo above shows the starting setup. I had two skirmishing LI units on the left, then a group of four javelineers and the bowmen. Beyond them, three camelry units with bows and on the far right, three light cavalry units with javelins.

My foeman, Brettius, also took a new army running Romans from the triumviral period. His eyes shone whith discomfort and excitement in equal measure as he deployed two units of thureophoroi/medium spear on his right (opposite my light horse), then two units of Gallic medium cavalry, three legionary units/heavy swordsmen, an elephant and some light artillery.

In the opening rounds, I pushed forward on both flanks, my light Bedouin light cavalry peppering the thureophoroi with javelins, usually hitting their shields rather than bodies unfortunately. Off camera to the left, my Arab skirmishers were quickly making their way through a plantation to take the Roman artillery on the flank,

My centre was only slightly slower than my flanks, moving forward to star firing arrows into the dreaded legions of Rome. Slowly, the Romans started the lose cohesion, and it looked like the Arab shooting would bring me a swift victory. In the background, the Gallic horse rode backwards and forwards trying to decide the best course of action.

Having easily removed the Roman artillery, my javelineers and skirmishers turned their attention to the elephant. It was important for me to destroy the mighty beasts as quickly as possible as the Roman heavy foot had made contact with my soft and delicate centre and the Gallic horse were starting to bear down on me. In the shot above you can see the elephant has just been routed. We have turned the base around, but not yet rolled for the rampage. As it turned out, the damned things rampaged back over my troops causing a cohesion loss.

From the highs of my early lead and having taken care of the artillery and elephant, my fortunes plummeted. The heavy swordsmen of the legions love nothing more than LMI infantry and that was all I had to face them. Some timely rallying on Brettius' part also stopped him losing his thureophoroi, and that more or less lost me the game. 

By the time we stopped rolling the dice, he was one point away from breaking, and I was spot on the money, breaking off and fleeing without having reached my target of Antioch. An enjoyable and close game using new troop types for both of us. I have LMI javelineers in most of my armies, but have yet to learn how to use them. What I do know is that they will not stand too long when faced by heavy swordsmen.