Friday 17 February 2017

Cave lions

The last core element for playtesting Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten is the pack predators. Here I have opted for a pride of four DeeZee large cats. They are sold as 'Jaguars, Leopards or Pumas', but given their size in relation to my wee hunters, I have painted them up (not very well I admit) as cave lions. The figures are very affordable and the sculpts aren't bad. 

In game terms, pack predators are highly strung beasts that are as likely to run away, or to lunge for the jugular. We are currently testing out a reaction that will see predators attack other beasts as well to keep the interactions dynamic. We'll see how it works.

Inniskilling Fusiliers command chappies and first blooding

I still have a couple of groups of eight fusiliers to do for my 'Skillings, but in preparation for a learning game of Sharp Practice 2 this week I have finished up my commanding officer, an ensign bearing the regimental colours, a drummer and a reverend. All are 15mm Blue Moon figures.

By the time I am done, my base force will be the better half of a company of the 27th Inniskillings along with a scouting party of a dozen Mohawk and a clutch of civilians. I know that, even then, it is unlikely that such a group would ever have had custody of the regimental colours, but... it'll look nice to occasionally pop it out on the table.


Below are a couple of photos from my introductory game of SP2. We only had small forces, three groups on my side, and four groups on the French-Indian side. This is not the place for a full review of the rules - I'd like to understand them better first - but it was a fun wee game in which Captain Hotspur gave the Frog a bloody nose and my bookish cultural attache to the Mohawk, Lieutenant FitzJames, engaged a noble savage in a duel and won!

 The dense woodlands of the American northeast are no match for the boys from Fermanagh.

Swift musketry decimates the French regulars.

FitzJames and his Mohawk bury the hatchet with their Francophilic opposites.

Monday 13 February 2017

Galleys & Galleons for Salamis (306 BC)

Keith Finn (of Orca Finn Basement) has just posted a report of his replay of the Diadochic battle of Salamis (the one off Cyprus in 306 BC, not the Persian Wars one). 

This looks to have been a fairly massive game with three players a side and a total of 25 galleys in play. The fleets were broken down as follows: 

Ships of the attacking Ptolemaic fleet:Left Fleet (Joel) - 1 Septereme (7er) Flagship, 3 Quadriremes
Center Fleet (Mike D) - 1 Decareme (10er) Flagship, 3 Quinqueremes
Right Fleet (Mike S) - 1 Septereme (7er) Flagship, 3 Quadriremes

Ships of the defending Antigonid fleet:Left Fleet (Keith) - 1 Septereme (7er) Flagship, 1 Quinquereme (5er), 2 Triremes (3er)
Center Fleet (Allen) - 1 Decareme (10er) Flagship, 3 Quinqueremes (5er)
Right Fleet (Pthomas) - 1 Quinquereme(5er) Flagship, 4 Triremes (3er) all Q3 with Skilled Oarsmen

The post is well worth reading, so if you haven't already seen it (HERE), do pop over and check it out!

Monday 6 February 2017

Song of Shadows and Dusk...

Over on the Song of Blades and Heroes Facebook group, Stefan has posted a few pictures of a recent game where he used Song of Shadows and Dust along with other rules borrowed from Fear and Faith to run a pulp game set during the War of 1812 (the one where the local lad from just down the road from me, Robert Ross, managed to burn down the White House). Below is Stefan's account of the game:

My gf and me started to play with Andrea's rules a few weeks ago. Was not that easy to get her into playing. Traumatized like most nerdy girls by an ex with 40k, she was sceptical about skirmish games... But she loves larp and pen and paper roleplay, so she gave it a try and found out that wargames really can be fun.

We played so far some games of Fear and Faith and SoBaH. Today was our first try on Song of Shadows and Dusk although in a Weird War of 1812 setting. So it's a Song of Crossover.

We did most of the game straight out of the book. It was noon, her (or better the snobby disgruntled english aristocrat's) objectives were "Keep the King's Peace" and mine (playing some colonial bandits) were "Looking for Trouble". The skirmish was fought in one of the states overrun by the redcoats early after the brits burned down the white house and brought their new steam tanks to bear. Some time before the intervention of the french at New Orleans and long before Horse Guards called for the Hellfire Club or Napoleon bringing the power of corsic witches to the battlefield. Long story short, just a few trouble makers how wanted to teach the new lords a lesson.

The Snobs
The bandits
Civilians ( Dogs use combined rules of poultry and mule)
The local a hothead, affiliate to a certain Lafitte, wanted to take the fight to the redcoats in hope of support of some of the locals. He even had a smart plan. Flank them on both sides and keep the more anonymous members of the warband in touch with the people to maybe turn some on their side.
Did not work out as planned... With his faithfull bodyguard, who had to leave Damascus because of his drinking habbits (my muslim flatmate says thats really, really haram) being a little bit slow because of a bad hangover, one of the henchmen discussing the best way to catch rabbits with an indian boy, and his lads with musket just hanging around, the wanna-be minuteman was a little bit worried, watching the steady approach of the disciplined lackeys of the british empire (we simply ignore the historical fact that the empire is a victorian thing).

But you dont get friends with french pirates, if you dont have a card up your sleeve. Declaring that it was his plan all along to lure the brits in a trap of false confidence, he took the fight to close quarters right in the middle of the village. The british so far did not even shoot in fear to hurt and bring up civilians against them (child miniatures are great to bring your girlfriend into a moral dilemma).

Last Man Standing
At first it looked like a stalemate with civilians nearby running way... until our young hero killed the aristocrat's dog in a not very pleasant way to watch. This lead to a chain reaction that was the end of the british rule in this part of the colonies.

Tja... �

Galleys & Galleons at the Stronghold

I have just been catching up on a little light blog reading over at The Stonghold (Rebuilt) blog. If you don't know it, go any have a look. There is a tonne of stuff relating to Hordes of the Things, as well as all manner of other games and gaming resources from all periods.

Recently there have been a lot of naval games posted using Galleys & Galleons and its expansion, Fayre Winds & Foul Tides. Below are a couple of pictures lifted from the most recent posts there, along with the links. There really is a lot of great content, so do go and visit.

The Arkansas on the Yazoo (American Civil War)

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Capt. Nemo vs the Kraken)

A weekend of different games (including this great looking match up between Laputans and Chinese)

Legend of the Shachihoko (Japanese fantasy - with Vikings!)

Henry Avery and the Mughals (late 17th century)

Friday 3 February 2017

Approximating prehistoric creatures

And so, quietly, step by step, I am drawn back into the mists of time, where the few peoples of the earth struggled to survive in a hostile environment, and when one bad dice roll could ruin your day. As Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten (PDEE) takes shape, so has my collection of prehistoric beasties. My current collection featured in the last playtesting post, although much of it was then only partially painted. 

So lets take a look at what I've put together. My hunters and mammoths are the original 20mm range from Flytrap Factory. I can't praise these models enough, although I was disappointed that their new prehistoric range, brought out as a Kickstarter last year, is scaled up to 28mm.

However, with the exception of one Flytrap cavie with a club, all the other 20mm hunters carry spears. PDEE will differentiate spear, club and bow class weapons, as well as fire carriers. I have previously converted a spearman to carry a flaming torch, but I have also carried out a quick weapon switcheroo on this chap, so I now have a bowman as well. The camera angle hides the curve of the bow, but it is there...

The flaw in my plan of using these little fellows for my games is that most prehistoric animals available are scaled to 15mm or 28mm, and these guys have a definite exaggerated look. So, the beasties below were the best approximations I could find to fit with both the scale, and the cartoonery (... that is a real word now ...). Our humble archer is in each shot for scale.

This hound is a Crocodile Games jackal from the Wargods of Aegyptus range. Hounds are half way between hunters and beasts in PDEE, they are activated like hunters, but failed activation rolls cause them to conduct certain actions - one failure and they move towards their master, two failures and they move towards the nearest beast, three failures and they start to howl.

My herd of ibex (ibexes? ibiquoi? ... I'm pretty sure it's like sheep and fish ... ibex can be singular or plural ... right?). Anyway, my ibex are significantly over-sized and very buff. It must be a result of drinking all that primordial soup. The figures are from Crocodile Games' Wargods of Aegyptus range, where they are intended to be attack rams of Khnum I think. I got them because of the exaggerated features and hoped they would be slightly shorter than they are. Never the less, they do the trick nicely as herd grazers.

This chap (or lady, I don't know, I respect its privacy) is a cave bear from D&D's old pre-painted plastic range. Re-based and repainted, s/he works perfectly both in terms of size and features, as a cave bear in PDEE. Cave bears are classed as 'great predators' in the game.As apex predators, they are the biggest nasties you are likely to meet. They are worried by little except fire, and lash out with fearsome savagery when confronted with hunters and other prey that come too close. They tend to be solitary figures and are best avoided if possible.

Now, I am just waiting on some pack predators and a club wielding hunter, and I will have representations of all of the key model types needed (at this stage).

Wednesday 1 February 2017

Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten

Below are a couple of early playtesting shots of Palaeo Diet: Eat or Be Eaten from last weekend. The games ran quite well with a few small issues raised. As a result, we have tweaked predator reactions to be more interactive with prey animals, and upped the aggression of giant predators like cave bears.

In the last shot here, the hunter failed to activate and his incompetent stealth caused both a mammoth and a cave bear to attack him. However, due to some very poor attack rolls, he came out unscathed... Never again. :)