Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hordes of the Things

Well over twenty years ago I bought the HotT rules.  Last Wednesday night at the NWS I finally got a game.  My opponent was Mark B and the figures were from Simon C's collection and featured some old Minifig castings.

My dwarven bear riders take on the paladin while my behemoth (the two dudes in the horned hats, one of whom looks like they are swinging a dead cat) takes on the hero (yes, that is a scantily glad female on an armoured camel, it what it takes to be a hero I guess).

Whoops. The joys of using a camera phone... I had taken the following photo of the battle, but it had been lost in translation from phone to email to desktop to photo editor to blogspot.  But here it is now and for obvious reasons. 
My bear riders take on the Paladin while their general goes all, eh, unhairy-chested at us.

I'd already lost one rider when my guys got lucky and out rolled the paladin.  The behemoth then moved over to take out the knights who had previously taken out some of my blades.  I was learning the quick kills at this stage and had been very lucky with my placements.

At two all it is time for my magician general to do his stuff.

The army the magician had conjured up seemed to be short on armour, not to mention basic clothing.  The enemy look like inverted metallic icecream cones.  I'm not sure my shooters are going to be able to do much - best hide in the bad going.

Then there was a series of ones and twos rolled for command pips which basically saw a bit of a stand-off.  My opponent had brought over some knights from his left flank and was preparing to renew his attack.

My plan had been to attack on my left, but that had stalled.  A good command roll however had me moving hordes of skellies up on my opponent's flank.

While there was still some fighting on my left, nothing came of it (phew - the factors were not in my favour).  However on my right, the skellies caused the enemy blades to show their flank to my shooters who got lucky and shortly after my magician put in the killing blow.  Easy when you realise this is just like playing DBA.

Now my problem is I want a fantasy army of my own.  I have some figures, some partially clothed, eh painted as well.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Generaux vs HMS Defence

To day Mark W and I had a quick game of Sails of Glory (it took around 2 hours).  He took charge of HMS Defence while I sailed into the fray on my remodelled Generaux.

We commenced on a head on course and both got in limited broadsides.  I got the better of the exchange, inflicting significant mast damage on HMS Defence.

Then it all went to poop!  
I was unable to get my ship around and end up being taken aback while HMS Defence, after making some mast repairs, crept up and racked my stern.  Double shot!  This ended up being a death trap and it happened again with even worse results.

Stunning victory.

My revised basing looked good and played well.  the detailing on the masts, yards and sails also sets the ship apart so I now must complete the exercise on my other three ships. 

I have also discovered Sails of Glory should not be unknowingly confused with Glory Sailing (The Gay  & Lesbian Organisation for Racing and Yachting).  I assume Ares did their market research.

Saturday, May 24, 2014


Last Wednesday at the NWS I took Stephen's new (as in purchased that day) Spad (an S VII) up along with my old Spad XIII to take on a nimble white Fokker and a yellow Albatross in a game of Wings of Glory.

My Spad has a shot as it comes into range of the Fokker.

We took damage but luckily the Fokker's guns jammed or the silver Spad would have been in trouble.

The new Spad gets in some shots and the Albatross catches fire.

The highly maneuverable Fokker turns its attention back to my Spad.

I'm in trouble as smoke billows from my plane.

With well over half damage I ran for safety, my retreat covered by the new Fokker.

Success!  It must have been using incendiaries as the Fokker catches fire too.

However, reality does not quiet match the pictures.  Both German planes were able to extinguish their flames with surprisingly little damage.  The new Spad had by now taken over half damage and chose discretion, diving and heading for friendly lines.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Sails of Glory - Magnetic Isles

Last Wednesday at the club I umpired a Sails of Glory game between Stephen N (commanding the French) and Mark B (the British), two ships aside.  I only took the one photo:

My pimped up French ship about to deliver one of the winning broadsides.

I finally finished painting the masts and yards as well as adding a wash to the sails.  I am very happy with the result.  The next challenge was to come up with an alternative base.  The only course of action was for the peg to go...

My depegged Sails of Glory ship (Genereaux/Aquilon) sailing into the harbour at Vernazza.

Back on its plinth.

Off the plinth.

Secret weapon.

Steel paper added to the plinth under the information card.

Mounted on alternative base.  The wind direction marks have been only painted for beating and running (in white rather than the card's orange).

The ship stays in place through use of some steel paper on the alternative base.

Using fire marker as a template as well.  Just centre on main mast.  Cuts down on clutter on the base and looks effective too.

Sitting Ducks

I was to have had a game yesterday, but it had to be postponed, so I thought I would try the solitaire scenario: Sitting Ducks. 

"Cannards assis" the French commander of the 74 gun Aquilon cried, when, in company with the frigate Courageuse, heading south in a strong westerly, he spotted the British 3rd rate HMS Defence and frigate HMS Meleager sitting at anchor, sheltering in the Isles Magnétique.

Trying to gain an advantage the French ships turned down wind in an attempt to get around to the rear of the British, to perform the "râteau arrière".

"Sacre bleu!"
The wind drops and with reduced sails the Courageuse runs into the rear of the Aquilon.  The damage is serious.  The Aquilon loses crew, rudder and a mast, while the Courageuse loses crew, rudder and suffers hull damage.  

Running repairs commence and after a wobbly bit of sailing the Aquilon regains its mizzen mast.  The Courageuse is busy repairing hull damage...

"Watch out for the reef" signals the Aquilon. 

But the Courageuse takes too long translating the signal and crashes on to the reef.  Just to make things worse, and to give the British something to do apart from laughing, it is right under the British guns and suffers two murderous broadsides, raking the Courageuse through the bow.

The Courageuse starts taking on water, but this is of little concern as it is firmly stuck on the reef.

"Argh!"  The Captain of the Aquilon finds his ship heading to another reef.  
Meanwhile the British reload...

But there is no need, the Aquilon runs aground as well.  It is stuck fast in the face of the guns of the HMS Meleager.  The French captain wisely strikes his colours and curses the allure of the Magnetic Islands.

I hadn't expected the scenario to be so difficult, but realise my problem was in thinking the ships were moving about twice as fast as they actually were and as a result turning too soon.  The wind dropping and reducing and then raising sail also helped confuse things as well as not being sure when a ship would be reaching or beating. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Pyrrhos versus the Romans

Today Mark W and I played a game of Field of Glory.  This time I botched up some extra pike blocks and ran Pyrrhic against Mark's historical Romans.

From the Pyrrhic left looking back across their lines.

From the Pyrrhic left looking towards the Romans who were quick to seize an enclosed field.

From the Roman right showing the Pyrrhic centre emerging from a village.

Action starts on the Pyrrhic right when their light cavalry charge two small units of Roman skirmishers who thought they would stand.

The Pyrrhic javelinmen sent to clear the enclosed field get nervous after coming under fire.

Pyrrhos hurries up his troops.  

The Pyrrhic light cavalry have some excellent dice rolls, their Roman opponents distinctly less than excellent.  Some elite Romans come to grips with the Xystophoroi. 

And we are into the field!  It is messy going, but left flank of the pikes is now secured.

The Romans have gone on  along flank attack on their right.  Some Pyrrhic archers are their to hold them up supported by some heavy cavalry.

And hold them up they did, although they were lucky (for a long time...)

Enclosed field has been captured, but the Greek Hoplites covering the flank of the pikes are still a bit disordered.

The elephants don't hold back and race ahead to squish the Romans.

After at least three charges the Xystophoroi's superior dice rolling has the Roman elites whittled down.

With both flanks secure the pikes close for the kill.  The hoplites on their left want in on the action rush forward (even though they were told to hold back).

The Roman camp is invested.  Spare Pyrrhic troops are redeployed to the right.  
The elephants and pikes are fully engaged.

On the left the archers and the heavy cavalry hold the Roman's attention.  In the background the Romans can be seen to have engaged the Hoplites covering the pike's left.

The Hoplites are destroyed!
The Romans crash into the now unsecured pike block's flank.

The Romans come to grips with the Pyrrhic heavy cavalry at about the same time as the Roman cavalry finally caught the Pyrrhic archers.

It just gets worse for the the two left hand units of pikes who both break and flee with next to no fighting, but they must have known that Pyrrhos, with the capture of the Roman camp had won the battle.  

It was something like a 13 to 6 outcome, but regardless it was very entertaining, especially seeing the Roman units trying to out do themselves in who could throw the worst dice.  Took around four hours.  Nearly all my troop had their new movement trays, although they are still being completed with the addition of steel paper to hold every one in formation.