Thursday, 31 January 2013

Dux again

Initial Saxon positions
Monday night is wargames night and, yet again, I faced Nathan's Saxon horde in the ongoing Dux Britanniarum campaign. The mission was a raid on a church, with the church being as far away from the Saxon entry point as was possible.  The dice were on my side, at least initially.

Oswald gathered his men about him as he outlined the plan to his followers.  A full 30 warriors, along with 4 bowmen, answered his call and he would seize the treasure of the Britons holy hall today.  "I will take the Gedridht with a single unit of Geoguth, commanded by Aella, in support.  Aelfwald will take the remaining Geoguth and loot the building.  You bowmen just annoy the enemy when they arrive." 

The Saxons had 3 turns of movement before any Britons would arrive.  This got them half way up the table, heading straight for the church.  Oswald on the left, then Aelfwald and Aella on the right.

The Britons arrive to spoil the Saxon plan
 Constantine, Warlord of the cities of Sabrina, heard the alarms.  He gathered his troops and set off to intercept the raiders.  Every month his lands were attacked, although so far he had managed to beat of every attack.  As he led his men forward, he dispatched the archers to scout out the land and find the enemy.

The Britons arrived at the start of turn 4.  That is, one unit did.  To keep the army together, I sent the archers on first, keeping everybody else back.  The Saxons advanced, with 12 elite foot and 6 warriors facing the gap between the church and village, while the remaining 12 warriors headed for the church.  Turn 5 and the rest of the Britons arrived.  Constantine led the best of his force (6 elites and 12 warriors) in a shieldwall facing the Saxons, while the levies split up, 6 in the village and 12 behind the church.  The archers and the new skirmishers milled about facing the Saxon line, but didn't do much.

Saxons ready themselves as the Britons arrive

 Oswald swore as he say the Britons appear from behind the orchard and, already, gather themselves into the accursed shieldwall.  "Thats no way for men to fight" he muttered as he loped forward.  Suddenly a hail of javelins and arrows hit his formation.  "FORWARD" he shouted and lead his men in a sudden charge against the archers.  As they ran, he saw the shieldwall suddenly start forward.  As his men paused, panting for breath, the close order Britons smashed into them.  Spears darted forward, axes and swords were swung and shields were splintered, but not a single man fell on either side.  A pause in the battle, then another surge and, suddenly, Saxon warriors were falling.  A few Britons died, but more Saxons fell and, with a howl of dismay, Oswald was driven back with his men.

The Saxon elites attempted to charge the Britons archers, but came up just short. (hehehe)  The archers and skirmishers then moved aside and the shieldwall advanced.  I didn't expect it to reach the Saxons, but it did.  After 2 rounds of melee, not one kill was made.  The Saxons solitary kill was negated by the shieldwall but lots of shock was spread about.  The Britons faired better as they had 3 units in the fight, while the Saxons were pushed back by excess shock with the shieldwall following up.  The Saxon lord card came up and the battle started again, but this time the swords swung true and men began to fall.  The shieldwall again saved the Britons and the Saxons were driven back 6" with 7 shock per unit and gaps appearing in the line.
Less Saxons than before.

Constantine steadied his line, then ordered the archers and skirmishers forward again.  Arrows and javelins fell all around Oswald, but no Saxon fell.  Suddenly a roar sounded and more Saxons charged from the left.  A quick order and the shieldwall smartly stepped back.  All those hours training paid off as the Saxon charge fell short.  Then the shieldwall stepped forth again and more Saxons fell.

British skirmishers get around the flank
The Saxon elites were driven back, although all that saved the Britons from a messy defeat was the shieldwall.  As it was Oswald and his men were forced back 6", only to come under a hail of skirmisher fire and arrows.  Then Aelfwald diverted from the church and charged at the shieldwall, ready to take advantage of its shock markers.  A quick evade card was played and the shieldwall stepped back, only to rally and charge the new Saxons.

A closer view of the Saxons,  Lots of shock!

Oswald watched and raged as more of his men fell before that damned shieldwall. He cursed as he watched Aelfwald stagger back from a wicked sword blow and watched in disbelief as his warriors broke and ran.  Even as this happened the enemies skirmishers were getting around behind him and more javelins fell on his men.

The breaking of the Saxon warriors spelt the end of the battle as Oswald decided discretion was the better part of valour.  Losses were not too high, 7 for the Britons and 12 for the Saxons.  At the end the British won by 3, gaining a bit of loot, a new priest and regaining all their losses.  Nathan will have a month to lick his wounds, then return to the raiders lifestyle. One thing he has learnt is to stay away from frontal charges against shieldwalls, unless he has the right cards in his hand.  He was unfortunate in the location of the church and the fact that the Britons came on right behind it.

It is now June in the first year of our campaign.  The only Saxon doing well is Colin who has won his 2 battles, gained a unit of skirmishers and has a Princes Chest in his treasury.  Nathan has lost 2 battles but gained with a free raid so now has a Tribunes Tribute in his treasury.  Zob has lost both battles and gained nothing.  He needs a good result in July or he may be in trouble with his liege lord.  The Britons have had mixed results too.  Andy has won 1 and lost 1, with a Tribunes Tribute in his cash boxes.  I have won 3, gaining skirmishers and holding a Patricians Purse.  Panjo has only had 1 battle, but got thumped by Colin.  He has a Thiefs Horde and needs to fight soon to gain some money.

At the moment the Saxons are losing more than they win, but they gain money each time a Briton fights and doesn't thrash the opponent.  Two of the three Saxon players have gained by getting free raids in while the Britons muster new troops to replace losses.  Basically, its all in the balance.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Penarth, purchases and other such things.

Yesterday I went to Crusade up in Penarth, along with Pingu, Gus and Nathan.  For once we had no hold ups and left on time.  One quick(ish) run up the motorway and we arrived in sunny Cardiff.  Yes it was sunny, which makes a change to how I remember Wales from my youth.  Quickish is because Nathan has a tracker device fitted to his work car and he gets a slapped wrist for going over the speed limit.  hehehe

We got to the show, paid our £4 to get in and off we went.  As usual, Crusade is a nice show and we all had a good few hours of browsing and spending.  My purchases were not too numerous but I did wander a bit off my list.  The shopping list had some Peter Pig AWI figures from Wargame Emporium, a 4ground cart and baggage loads and some 4ground 15mm fences from Colonel Bill and some 15mm livestock from Magister Militum.  Purchases were all the above plus some Conquest 28mm Norman knights from Dave Thomas, some Coat d'Arms horse colours from someone and some brushes from em4.  So I didn't stray too far, but there were a few other things that were close to being bought.

Nathan bought a Games Workshop green mat and some FoW figures on the bring and buy.  Gus had 50 packs of Peter Pig ACW for the forthcoming Longstreet rules, some 4ground fences and some Coat d'Arms paints as well.  Pingu bought some Vixen Zombies by Wargames Factory, some Coat d'Arms paints, some carts and loads and other stuff that I can't remember.  All in all we did pretty well and everybody came away happy.

Highlight of the day for me was meeting Rich Clarke of the Too Fat Lardies and getting to see his new rules being tested.  Chain of Command looks like a cracking set for small skirmish actions.  The pre-game sequence is quick and works well at getting your troops close to the opposition so the action is on right from the start.  The dice rolling system for command initiative is excellent.  Pingu managed to get 3 turns in a row, which had it looking a bit dicey for a while for Nathans Germans, but then Nathan came back and slapped the Brits about a bit, winning the game.   They both enjoyed playing it, I would of had a go but was feeling pretty sick by then and left it to the little and large duo.  They will definitely be on the shopping list when they come out.  I will now have to get some 25mm WW2 figures, like I had and recently sold on ebay as I wasn't doing 25mm WW2 anymore! 

On the way back the usual happened.
Pingu went to sleep.  Poor old fella was worn out by the end of the day, apparently its what happens to gentlemen of his vintage!

 Anyway, all in all it was a damn good day.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was nice to have a day out with the lads.

Roll on the next one.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Dux Non-Battle, Empire and other such stuff.

Last night was supposed to be the next battle in the ongoing Dux campaign.  Colin's Saxon Raiders were set to face off against Andy's Romano-British.  The table was all set up with a nice Church to be raided by the Saxons.  Colin came on and got 3 moves before the defenders would arrive,  Colin promptly rolled 36" for their move, which got them to the church before any defenders appeared.  Andy then got 2 units to arrive, while Colin searched the Church for loot with 2 units.  Each unit rolls 1D6 to search, needing a 6 to find the cash.  Two successful searches are required to find enough loot to make the raid worthwhile.  Colin rolled two dice.....two 6's in turn 4 and the Saxons were off again, heading for the safety of the border.  Andy never got anywhere near him so it was the quickest and least bloody game of Dux we have ever had.  Colin won by 2, giving him more cash and, as both sides failed to lose a single figure, they are all available for the next turns campaigning.

I am facing off against Nathan next week, who I scraped a 1 point win against last time.  Wish me luck folks as he is out for revenge.

While the Dux game went on downstairs, the rest of us piled into Lorraine's kitchen, seized control of the table, kettle and biscuit tin and had a game of Empires of the Ancient World.  Most of us enjoyed it, with one exception.  As they say, you can't please all the people all the time. Anyway, its a good game involving military, trade and diplomatic facets.  I managed to win by having more trade points than anybody else, which gave me lots of victory points.  I was aided by Nathan, Gus, Panjo and Zob all fighting each other every turn. 

Saturday is a lads day out to Penarth, which is in Welsh Wales, for the first wargames show of the year, Crusade.  I am looking forward to it, as I only got to one show last year.  A few purchases will not doubt occur, but the main point is just the day out with the lads.  A slight hiccup has arisen though.  Nathan, who was driving us up in his big new car, has had a slight accident with a van who, cleverly, decided not to stop when Nathan did and ran into the back of him at a roundabout.  Nathan seems to be ok, but the car may well end up off the road for the weekend.  If so, then we will all have to climb into our Citroen and drag ourselves up to the show.  Obviously, this is all dependant on the weather not getting any worse. 

Well, off now to feel sick downstairs while watching Dredd on dvd.  Hope the dice roll in your favour, unless your Nathan!  ;-)

Friday, 18 January 2013

BG Kursk and more painting

Force on Force game
In my last post I forgot to mention the games played at the Devon Wargames gathering.  Two games were run, 25mm Force on Force and 15mm Battlegroup Kursk.  The Force on Force game looked quite bloody, with Americans taking on local militia types I think.  I can't tell you much about it as I partook of the Kursk game.  Russians and Germans in a meeting engagement.

BG Kursk table
The Germans had 3 PzIV, 1 PzIII flampanzer, 3 Tigers, 2 Grenadier platoons, 1 HQ, 1 AA halftrack, a radio vehicle, 3 armoured cars, a recon platoon in Sd250s and lots of artillery.  This gave them 7 recon units and 3 timed barrages plus a timed Fw190 attack and 2 priority barrages.

The Russians had 2 Infantry platoons with attached howitzers, 45mm AT guns, HMGs and either AA MG or AT Rifle.  They also had 2 76mm AT guns, 10 T-34s, 3 T-70s, HQ, NKVD officer and 2 priority barrages.  No recon was included, at all.  This lack turned out to heavily influence the game as the Germans promptly secured 3 objectives and out scouted the Russians, giving them 4 morale counters before the game had even started.  We got the artillery wrong, which slowed the Russian advance a lot, but we still had a good game.  Lessons learnt were that you always need some recon, especially in a meeting engagement, German barrages are cheap, Russian barrages are nasty, T-70s are tough little beggars, German armoured cars aren't and Nathan will always take Tiger tanks if he can (but I already knew that).  I don't think its worth taking attached guns with Russian infantry if you are moving, much better to have more support or additional tanks.

Painting wise I have been pretty productive so far this year.  I have finished another 32 15mm figures, taking my total to 143 so far this year, which isn't bad for the 18th of January.  That doesn't include the 25mm figures and buildings either.  Next on the list are some 15mm Dutch-Belgian cavalry, the first of six units of 16 will be going on the painting sticks tomorrow.

Tonight I shall mostly be playing World of Tanks, so watch out for Grass_Hopper in his mighty MS-1 of DOOM!

Keep rolling those dice and I'll catch you next week.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Dux (again), painting and random thoughts

Monday night was Dux night as the peaceful land of the Britons was, yet again, raided by the Saxons.  Zob brought his Saxons to my land and thought to raid a village.  My Britons arrived and fought him off with very few losses on my part.  The game was rife with bad dice rolls, in combat for Zob and movement for me.  This meant that he initiated all the fights as I could never catch him, but I won all the fights as he couldn't hit.  The end result saw the Saxons morale break and they all legged it, leaving behind 16 dead Saxons and all the loot.  The Britons lost a total of 4 men and I won by 12!  The table only goes up to a win by 7, so I have gained a unit of javelinmen and am ready to fight again next month.  Zob will take 2 months to get his men back, so he isn't raiding next month.  Colin and Nathan had free raids as Andy and Panjo were mustering troops after heavy losses in their first battles. So far the campaign is going well, with Colin raiding Andy and Nathan raiding me next month.

Painting is still going on, with Napoleonic Prussians and AWI Indians finished, but more Napoleonics going on tomorrow.  Not bad though, over 100 15mm figures done so far, along with some 25mm figures and buildings.  I have just placed another order with those nice people at Warbases, this time for some round trays with 1p holes in them, some 30x30mm bases for Maurice and some 25mm Palisades from their AWI range.  These will be used as the wall around my Dark Ages village in case the Saxons come raiding.

Wargames show season is nearly here again, with Crusade in Penarth opening its doors on the 26th.  Four of the Monday night gang are going up, with pennies in their hot little hands to pass to assorted traders.  I will be after some 15mm fences, possibly some more AWI figures and maybe a cart or two for Dux.  Apart from that, anything shiny and new will probably end up in my bag.  I am hoping to see a few friends at the show, so if you are going say hello.  I'm the ugly, over-weight, bearded bloke.  Yes, that doesn't narrow it down much does it.  :)

Well, back to the grind.  Keep rolling those dice folks.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Quick update

Despite still being sick, this year is off to a good start.  Sunday morning saw the arrival of the newest member of the family.  My son and his girlfriend finally delivered a grand daughter, Kyla Mary-Anne, born at 0.23am on January 6th and weighing a healthy 8lb 15oz. 

So painting and gaming took a hit at the weekend, but I am back on track now.  Forgive me if I got distracted.  :)

I did game on Monday night, we played Pandemic four times and lost every time.  We got close on one of them, but the others we were no where near saving the planet.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Warbases Buildings for Dux

 Despite feeling like s***e all week I have managed to do a bit of wargame related stuff.  I am in the middle of painting some 15mm US Engineers for a chap up country and I have painted and roofed 4 Warbases buildings for the Dark Ages games we are playing.  The buildings are cheap, but they do come up nice with a little bit of work.  I do mean a little bit too, these were painted with Crown matchpot paints (yes, the stuff you paint your walls with at home) and roofed with bits of a towel (courtesy of Mrs Welsh Wargamer). 
Tall Hut

 The large tall hut is fairly big (4.5"long x3,5"wide x3"high) with a single door. 

Lower Hut
The lower hut is a bit narrower and lower but still pretty big (4.5"x2.5"x2.5") and also has a single door.

Small Hut
The small hut has nice wood trim which the others lack and is smaller (3.75"x2.25"x2.5").  The roof overhang is much larger on this one though, increasing the width to 3.5".  Again, it also has a single door.

Last but not least is a watchtower.  A small, 2 storey tower this comes with 2 doors and a raised walkway all around the tower, giving a better view of the dastardly Saxon raiders.  A lovely model, the only quibble I had was the lack of detail on the walkway.  Some sort of planking pattern would have been nice.  Luckily my mate Panjo has a Wood Burning Iron set, which is basically a soldering iron with various ends to burn wood and leather.  A quick practice on a scrap bit of wood and voila, some planking.  Its not brilliant, but it does the job.

All the roofs come off, so you can put figures inside while gaming.
The roofing is made out of towel, cut from an old hand towel.  Each roof is made up of 3 pieces, 2 sides and a central section.  The sides were cut larger than the roof their covered, then soaked in a watered down pva and black paint mix.  Again, cheap emulsion from B&Q was used.  Ring it out as much as you can and then place it on the roof.  I coated the roof in pva first to ensure the fit.  Do both sides so the top is level with the roof, but the sides and bottom overhang.  I squashed and squidged it about with my fingers, but I have read of people combing it.  One thing is to ensure the "grain" of the towel is going down the slope.  I also curved it round under the edge of the roof a bit.  Do the same with the center strip, which covers up the top edges nicely.  Again, I squashed it down so it blended in with the sides. Then leave it for at least 12 hours, preferably 24.

After it has dried, trim with scissors.  I leave a little bit over the edge of the roof, where it curls around and covers the mdf edge.  Then dry brush it with various shades of brown until you are happy with it.  I also gave it a bit of brown ink in patches coming down from the center ridge. 

So there you are.  4 buildings which cost £18 to buy and I spent about £4 on paint.  The towel and pva I had already.  I like them and they will see the heavy tread of Saxon raiders soon.

I am off now as I feel like crap again today.  Keep smiling folks, its not all bad.  Keep rolling those dice.