Thursday 29 September 2016

If you go down to the woods today...

... you're in for a big surprise. 

Accounts coming in from survivors tell of Mohawk war parties striking up and down the Ohio River country. The provincial government of New France had better beware, because the situation is about to get worse. Some reports even suggest that the Mohawk have been incited to this barbarity by the Anglais...

In a last spurt of painting before work gets busy again, I've managed to make a start on our French and Indian War project using Blue Moon's 15mm range. I'm still waiting on some smaller bases for my British regulars, so I focused initially on 12 my Mohawk warriors, and a British captain. All the Blue moon officers carry partizans which I thought a bit cumbersome for the woods of North America, so I cut this chap's down and replaced it with a tomahawk. Due the the wash/ink used on them, they are all still woefully shiny, but nothing a quick spray of matt varnish wont fix. I just need to buy some. Any wait for a dry day with low humidity. In Ireland. Coming into winter. Sigh.

This group is more than enough to start harrying the French in games of Song of Drums and Tomahawks, and a start towards a force for Sharp Practice 2. Not sure when I will get more done, but a nice little project for the winter. :)

Monday 26 September 2016

French Indian War - a painting preamble

Just a few bits and pieces of painting inspiration while I start looking into a new project that has fallen my way. I've agreed to put together some British and Indian forces for the French Indian War (North America's end of the Seven Years War - 1754-1763). Looks like we'll dabble in both Song of Drums and Tomahawks, and Sharp Practice 2.

Not entirely sure what I'm doing yet, but as the 27th (Inniskilling) regiment took part, and they are - sort of - the local regiment here, I thought I'd create an apocryphal company of the Skillings as the foundation of my force. The pictures below are all scoured from the net. Some are of re-enactors (obviously) and some of those are even re-enacting the 27th!

At some stage, I'll have to pop down to the regimental museum and have a look see. It might also to worth picking up this wee booklet too:
Available HERE

Thursday 22 September 2016

General update on activities and projects

As the days get shorter and the night draws in, I thought it would be a good time to stop for a moment and assess where I am at with various projects. It has dawned on me, over the last few months that, while it is far from a full time career, I might just be a designer/writer of wargaming rules. I never meant for it to happen, it just kind of... did. In order of publication, I can humbly hold up a portfolio comprising Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End (2011 - 2nd ed. 2014), Song of Shadows and Dust (2013), Galleys & Galleons (2015), and now Faustus Furius (2016). 

In case you missed my excitement in earlier posts, Faustus Furius has now also been translated into Italian (thanks to Massimo Moscarelli). Ganesha have been selling hard copies at conventions in Italy, and the pdf should soon be available from the Ganesha website. There is also a deck of turn order cards for the super-enthused which have been finalised and should soon be available via DriveThru Cards. These will be professionally printed versions of the cards provided in the book, along with a few others to allow players to have quasi-customised cards for their favourite teams.

I'm also very pleased to be able to say that the expansion for Galleys & Galleons Fayre Winds & Foul Tides - is finished and with Ganesha Games, waiting to be officially released shortly - after the end of the current Ganesha Kickstarter (Axe and Brimstone).

Satyrus the thraex striking a pose for his fans
Now, some of you may have noticed an increase in gladiatorially themed posts over the last couple of months. I was planning on just sitting back and resting on my laurels for a bit. But one of the laurel leaves was tickling me, and as I scratched away, I started making notes for a whole new game. A gladiator game. 

I wanted a system that was fast, easy to learn, cinematic, and viable for one-on-one duels. Thus was born Blood Sweat and Cheers. The game is a tactical, two-player, card and dice game. Cards are used to abstractly represent the different options available to a player’s gladiator during the ebb and flow of a gladiatorial bout, while dice are used to resolve interactions. The watching crowd interacts with the gladiators in the arena by rewarding showy attacks and spilt blood with favourable cheering which may in turn be utilised to buoy up a gladiator’s performance. 

The artwork is still being done, but using the black and white concept images I have started playing around with some designs for the cards which, I think, are working out quite nicely. The rules themselves are only two A4 pages long, and after their first game, players should be able to manage with just their gladiator's profile card in front of them along with their gladiator miniature, 1d6 and their hand of cards drawn from the play deck. Bouts between gladiators take between 5 and 20 minutes, depending on the gladiators involved, the cards drawn from the deck and the players' own choices.

The game does not use the familiar Ganesha core activation mechanic, but it will be published by Ganesha Games (look for it before Christmas this year!). When players buy the game, they will get a pack consisting of the play deck, 10 gladiator profile cards, two cards used to track the favour of the crowd, two action summary cards and the double-sided A4 rule sheet. Everything they need for one-on-one, bloody, sweaty action.

Saturday 17 September 2016

Faustus Furius - Fury Road

More news in from across the web - Paul Clarke has posted a blurb and a few photos of some recent Faustus Furius fun he's been having in a post apocalyptic near future. He writes:

"Circus Maximus.. In the World of Fire and Blood chariots are long since gone! the new Road Warriors entertain the crowds with blood and gore.. I've been trying out a new set of rules from Ganesha games.. Faustus Furius.. the game was designed for Chariot racing but the mechanics easily port over to vehicular racing.. In the Roman times they incited the mob.. In the World of Fire and Blood it's the undead!"

Thursday 15 September 2016

Faustus Furius in Bangkok


Damon Richardson recently hosted a game of Faustus Furius at Battlefield Bangkok in Malaysia. These are the photos he put up on FriendFace of the game. Even if you didn't want to know about the game - lets face it, of course you do - you have to marvel at the brush work on those 15mm Chinese chariots.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

You know you have arrived when...

... your rules are translated into another language. Rather delighted, so I was, to see Andrea from Ganesha Games posting this photo this morning.

Saturday 10 September 2016

L'Art de la Guerre - A New North Sea Empire?

After a bit of an unintended hiatus, we got another game of L'Art de la Guerre in this weekend. I'm afraid the lighting in the room wasn't really designed for the sort of photography I was attempting with the terribly poor phone camera I was using. Sorry. 

Regardless, to summarise, I wanted to try out my Kalmar Union army (Medieval Scandinavians). Now, looking to insert a link I see that I never actually posted the army up in detail. I might get to that eventually, but until such time, it looks a bit like this (except now has a tent in the camp):

My arch-ADLG-nemesis, Brett, fielded his War of the Roses Lancastrians and played the part of the defender. I reasoned that, seeing such an ineffectual king in Henry VI, my Danes had decided to try and restore then North Sea empire of Cnut. And the game was afoot!

The table was relatively open, with a road running through a village in the centre, another leading to a church area behind my deployment zone, and a river system along my right flank with a small wood. I deployed a mounted division of Danes and Norwegians (two units each of MC, HC and Heavy Knights) on my open left flank, Danes and German mercenary infantry in the centre, with the Swedish command on the right flank between the village and the river. The picture above shows my camp adjoining the church, and my centre and right divisions.
Brett posted a division of Northern militia bill and bow on his right (opposite my mounted division), his armoured foot-knights and elite retinue bow in the centre opposite my mercenaries, and a small mounted division consisting two units each of knights and HC opposite my Swedes.

The game opened with my army advancing along the entire front. The Swedes maneuvered to plug the gap between village and river, which allowed two of the mixed crossbow/polearm units of Allmoge to start wheeling towards the centre to lend support against the English royal retinue.

The English like-wise advanced, attempting to widen their line, especially on my left/his right where the Northern English militia were clumped together. Unfortunately for Brett, the Northerners obviously disliked or misunderstood their orders, as that command always seemed short of command points. They were still trying to deploy into a proper line when the flower of my Danish and Norwegian nobility led an impetuous and furious charge straight into them. 

My mounted division had taken a few hits from the English archers going in, but once engaged, some good rallying rolls saw their cohesion restored. In the centre, I sent a screen of light infantry crossbowmen and handgunners in front of my Obudshaer to soak up some arrows and weaken the retunue foot knights before what I expected would be a hard fought battle in the centre. As the English foot knights were soooo slow, I managed a good few hits before they charged and my light infantry scattered to evade.

Meanwhile, Brett's cavalry division had split in two with the knights impetuously charging into my Swedish trap (played impetuously, whilst not, technically being impetuous units), while the heavy cavalry sat back as a reserve.

At about the time the English knights charged into my Swedes, two other things happened. On my right, my mounted division completely destroyed the northern militia. Completely. As I understand it, not a family in Northumbria didn't mourn a kinsman after this battle. The mediocrity of the levy took its toll time and time again as the cavalry ground forward.

In the centre, Brett realised too late that LMI longbowmen are not allowed to charge enemy heavy infantry, and so his intermixed bow and foot knight division found itself attacking piece meal. An approach that I don't thnk either of us would recommend. Obviously, it didn't end well for unsupported units of knights against my wall of heavy swordsmen.

The last Englishmen to fall before their army scattered into the fells and dales, was a unit of knights. Hard pressed my my Swedish knights and their levy, the English nobles were also destroyed.

Both armies started with a break point of 22. At the end of the game I had lost a unit of Norwegian knights and a unit of light infantry crossbowmen, while my Danish knights had lost a cohesion point. Total number of accumulated breakpoints = 5. 

Poor Brett. Poor dear Brett. His total, by the end of that last turn, was 26 break points. He still had three units of elite bowmen unscathed, and his heavy cavalry units were still in reserve, but everything else was either lost outright or had lost some of its unit cohesion. 

It was really more of a slaughter than a battle. My army was better deployed by all accounts (Brett'll not intermix his bill and bow/Knights and bow like that again), but the dice gods were firmly, and uncharacteristically in my favour that night. My shooters (and I have a lot of them) hit slightly more often than they did not, my rallying attempts were almost all successful, and in melee my Scandinavians fought like the souls of their pagan forebears depended on it. 

All-in-all, a successful first run for my Scandis. The only question now, is can they hold on to their newly conquered lands in England. Will they be able to push south towards London, and will Henry VI (perhaps England's most ineffectual monarch) find the backbone to drive me back into the North Sea?