Saturday, 2 February 2019

Hordes of the Things Tournament 2019

On the 20th January we held our annual Hordes of the Things tournament (Barn HotT).

Armies were 24 points and each player played 4 games. We only had six players this year.

I took Owain Glyndwr's Welsh Rebels:
1    Hero General (Owain Glyndwr) @4pts          4
3    Warband (Javelinmen) @2pts                         6
4    Shooters (Longbowmen) @2pts                      8
4    Hordes (Peasant Spearmen) @2pts                 4
2    Lurkers (Longbowment in ambush) @1pts     2

My first game was against John's Aliens. Despite appearances none of them are ariel, they are based on a Carolingian army template. I did my best to hold his Hero General in place with zones of control while shooting at it but to no avail. This was a win for John.

2nd game vs Steve's Elves. This army had 3 Magicians which made my Hero General very nervous. A combined magic attack early in the game could spell instant defeat.

 The infantry tried to hold a hill and were pushed back, the Hordes were dying and being replaced and marching back into the same combat, tying up the Magicians.

Owain Glyndwr ended up making flank attacks at the other end of the but my army broke, the final casualty being surrounded on three sides.

My third game was against Carol's Spaceships. This is the classic all ariel build used by the Puffins and the Weeping Angels, seen in tournaments (look at the January 2018 post on this blog to see the Puffins!). Ariel Hero General, Ariel Hero and 6 Flyers.

I was attacking, there was a river down the centre of the table, and I was lucky to get the board orientated so I didn't have to cross it. I deployed my whole army on the same side of the river as the enemy stronghold with a column of Hordes ready to tie up the inevitable attack from the side.

My General made a dash for the stronghold but was intercepted by an Ariel Hero and killed, ending the game. Having time to spare we played a friendly game and this time I won by destroying all six Flyers with my Shooters.

With so few players, and using the Swiss Chess format I ended up playing John for a 2nd time in the final round. Players have to stick to one army for the competition but given the circumstances we both brought out a spare army and played my Dwarves vs his Chess Pieces. The army naturally included Bishops as Clerics and Pawns as Hordes.

I gradually wore down his units and one of my Heroes made several attempts at the stronghold from the side, fleeing and then returning. The Dwarves were victorious

Brian is a new convert to HotT and borrowed Carol's Renaissance army featuring Leonardo Da Vinci's Turtle Tank.

Keith was the winner, with the number of Generals killed being the tie-breaker. His army were Pumkins.

Thanks to those who came to take part, thanks to Nick for running it.
Barn HotT 2020 will be the same time next year.

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Alien Squad Leader Tournament 2018

On December we held our annual Alien Squad Leader tournament at the club. Alien Squad Leader is a set of 15mm Science Fiction rules written by our own club member Alex Self.

'human' cultist army

heavy droid vs demonic servant

There were 8 players. We each played 3 games. The tables were pre-set with terrain and all games used the Pitched Battle scenario.

victorian imperial (ratment) vs 2nd global war allies

alien imperial army

I took my Mechanoid army consisting of Robot Infantry, Heavy Droids and Battle Mechs. They use a different command mechanism to other armies, having no commanders getting D6+2 commands per turn rather than rolling for each unit individually. However, they do still have to roll if they are damaged.

In my first game I faced Nick’s 2nd Global War Allies army. This featured lots of tanks, more than are allowed in other armies this size. However, some were unreliable and impetuous.

 I used the built-up area in the middle to cover my advance and my infantry assaulted the tanks that had moved into it. A Battle Mech moved up the flank late in the game finishing of a damaged tank form behind, before beating off attacks by infantry.

At the time limit several of Nick’s units were on their last hit, the army was close to it’s break point. However, the points difference was small, so it counted as a draw.

human imperial main battle tank

In my second game I played Alex Leitch’s Human Imperial army on the same table. Alex deployed only on the centre and my right. I advanced in the same manner as the first game but my units were taking hits as soon as they moved up to the edge and soon numerous units were reduced to a single hit.

I thought my army had broken because I’d forgotten that Mechanoid armies don’t break until they are reduced to one unit. Had I realised I would have fallen back to a second of cover which should have preserved a few units until the time limit was reached. 

'human' cultist assault transport
My third game was against Alex Self’s Alien Predatory War-host. The main units of this army are beasts, but with a 6+ armour save and not subject to the short command range of primitives, and some of them have guns.

 I deployed in the cover on my side and waited, hoping to catch them in the open as they tried to charge. 

On the right I moved one of my Battle Mechs across to a position where I could fire on the main threat. Alex’s three tanks faced off against a Battle mech and some infantry left on the right, advancing on, and then charging the Mech. I destroyed 2 and the other pulled back to fire into the main battle. 

His infantry massed on a hill ready to attack and I drove some off. 

They made repeated charges, making it harder for me to find anything to shoot back with but in the end they weren’t doing well enough in the melee. I moved some units into the open to shoot at his damaged units that had recoiled into the open and was able to push them to their break point

The winner of the tournament was Nick with his 2nd Global War Allies army

Monday, 19 November 2018


This Sunday (25th November) is Reveille, our convention.

Doors open at 10pm.

There will be a good number of demo and participation games.

Traders include Magister Militum, Reinforcements, History of Wargaming Project, Tabletop Gaming, Gloster Models, Pit Gaming, Instant Armies, Ham and Jam, Glenbrook Games, Great Escape Games, Ironclad Miniatures, Monarch Wargames, Area 51, Grubby Tanks and Warlord Games!

Friday, 12 October 2018

Sword and Spear Fantasy, Barbarians vs Elves

Last year a club member introduced us to Sword and Spear by Great Escape Games, followed by its fantasy variant. We played in 28mm and at least 4 of us got ourselves the rules and started building armies in 15mm which are now ready and getting some use.

My army was 1,200 points minus the hero (riding a pegasus) that was missing due to one of it's wings going missing, Carol's was more like 1,500 but she brought it down to a similar level by fielding fewer deeper units. This was the first time out for the Elves.

Carol's barbarians are from the Copplestone Castings 15mm Barbarica range (although they're more like 18mm tall). They are great sculpts and are like miniature versions of the 28mm ones he did for Grenadier long ago. Most of the barbarians units have either Impact or Powerful Attack, both of which cancel out my troops' armour in the right circumstances. The big units of infantry are harder to maneuver but have an extra attack dice and can take more damage.

My Elves are from Magister Militum, and are also quite tall for 15mm figures. There is very little variety which is ok for the regular types but not so good for the light stuff. The giant eagles are from Kalistra.They started out as a 24 point army for Hordes of the Things which I have expanded fourfold for these rules.  The spears and longbows are armoured and the knights are heavily armoured, this would be useful if the other side didn't have Impact and Powerful Attack on most of the units.

Each side has a general, two captains and two wizards. Wizards in these rules can boost other units with extra dice, range or movement, heal damage and make their own ranged attacks.

We both deployed with our infantry facing each other (on my left) and our cavalry facing each other (on my right). Having a smaller army I didn't want to defend too long a frontage so the plan was to move the foot onto the hill and stay there, and turn the cavalry to face outwards on the side.

I got onto the hill and repelled a series of charges. Using magic and moving my commanders back and forward I was able to keep rallying them and restoring them to full morale. Carol's wolves and a frenzied cave dwellers were destroyed and her giant was killed by longbow fire, so far so good.

When things started moving on the right my luck changed, my horse archers made little impact before being flattened by the barbarian cavalry.

My Knights moved forward and the eagles charged hoping to protect the rear, the eagles too were destroyed in the first combat. The Knights did dismally against barbarian infantry and trolls and were both destroyed.

Being inexperienced with the rules we were keeping things casual and hadn't kept track of  break points. At this point my army was probably close to breaking with my prestige units and three others gone but we carried on regardless

I had been using my activation dice defending on the hill and throwing on the right so I still hadn't brought my now unengaged left round to flank Carol's infantry. I belatedly moved some light foot and archers round to do some shooting and chased after some light foot. Now a horde was closing on my line and, having other enemies to the front my infantry couldn't redeploy to face them and there were a succession of fights where units were attacked on two sides with predictable results.

Unlike games like Warhammer, Warmaster or Kings of War you don't sit passively for long periods while your opponent completes their turn. Instead each turn is divided into phases and both players activate units in each phase assuming some of their dice come out of the bag. This keeps means there's never a dull moment.

Sunday, 2 September 2018


 This is the third game in a campaign at the local club Lincombe Barn Wargames Society

The scenario is home made. Two thirds of the treasure is in the circle in the centre. Spells cannot be cast into the circle or effect models within it. Whatever treasure remains in the circle at the end of the game is distributed according to how many models each player has within it.

 Carol's Wizard, below, is an Elementalist, mine is an Enchanter. I enchanted a couple of weapons as I advanced, but my spellcasting for much of the game was poor.
 Richard's Wizard was a Chronomancer, a wizard specialising in manipulating time. I was particularly wary of his Decay spell which turns weapons to dust and is very easy to cast. He sped up his troops by casting Fleet Feet on several of them.

 Andy's Wizard was a Witch (or Warlock) and was casting Fog all over the place to protect himself by blocking line of sight. There were 4 fog banks by the end of the game. My line of missile troops at the perimeter wall found themselves engulfed and unable to shoot. I moved them onto treasure grabbing duties.
 After taking out a frog person (Andy's band are frogs) with an arrow I rushed forward with my Men at Arms to grab it, unwisely as Andy had twice as many figures heading the same way. The giant frog represents a Bear, summoned with the Animal Companion spell.
 A squabble between two figures over a treasure soon escalated into a bloodbath involving half of Richard and Carol's fighters.
  I picked up a treasure and a Werewolf appeared nearby. Before it could attack my Apprentice hit it with the Grenade spell and reduced it to two wounds. My Archer moved round to shoot at it, failing and being charged by the wounded monster, but suffered no damage.
 Richard's Apprentice destroyed Carol's Wizard's weapon with the Decay spell and then his Knight took her out of the game in melee. The Wizard turned out to be fully recovered after the game.

 Andy used Summon Demon to put an Imp amongst my band but it was quickly killed by my Infantryman. Carole's Crossbowman moved through the mist to take out one of Andy's frogs.
 Carole picked up a treasure and a minor demon appeared, she sent another minion to help fight it.
 Monsters were popping up all over at this point, a giant spider appeared behind Andy's band.
Andy picked up a treasure and two wild dogs appeared which killed one of his people.
With time running out and another booking in the hall after us we finished on this turn, assuming all the treasure actually grabbed was taken off table safely. Unlike previous games using this scenario there was no unclaimed treasure left to be distributed. Each of us got three treasures. Frostgrave is always fun. We are actually playing it on the recommended playing area rather than using the whole table, which means we are into meaningful actions much quicker.