Saturday, 12 January 2019

Hordes of the Things Tournament

Our Hordes of the Things tournament will be on Sunday 20th January, details here:

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.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

This Sunday will be the IPMS show at Thornbury Leisure Centre. The club will be running a club display, a Bring and Buy, a participation game of What a Tanker! and a wargames painting competition.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Killer Mushrooms from Outer Space

Some mushrooms you can eat, some will poison you, and some, apparently will bash you over the head with a giant axe.

This is a 200 point game of Alien Squad Leader at the local club
Richard’s army are Alien Tribal Mercenaries which include a mix of high tech aliens and low tech primitives.

 Having acquired masses of mushroom men made by Dungeon Worlds at the Legionary show at Exeter last month he created an army with in no time. He maxed out on Alien Tribal Warriors who have the Big and Tough rule giving them +1 in melee and allowing them to completely ignore their first hit. We tried an alternative rule this time, giving them a 4th hit but having them still react (flee) and count as wounded.

My army was an human imperial strike force. Power armour infantry, armoured personnel carriers upgraded with heavy weapons and light vehicles. I had 3 infantry upgraded to commanders, 2 with heavy weapons, and nearly everything with aiming devices.
The human imperial Strike Force has the option to always be the attacker but I opted not to use this when I rolled defender on the dice. I could get more advantage by setting up the terrain, choosing as little cover as possible, since I want to shoot and he wants to charge. The scenario rolled was Meeting Engagement where most units start of table and have to move on using commands.

With 3 full commanders and 2 primitive commanders, and using group moves, Richard was able to get his whole army on in the first turn. I opened a second entry point on my right flank but couldn’t get everything in place before the horde were rushing towards me.

On my left I had light vehicles. I aimed to dance around the wide open flank, probably moving each turn to avoid being charged. However, a hit or two from Richards APCs and a few failed commands left them barely out of the deployment zone when they were charged and destroyed.

I tried to keep my units at the magic distance of being in shooting range but out of charge range and always shooting at the units in a position to charge me next turn. I gave up on his armoured vehicles after a few shots as they were harder to hit and damage. I’d accept the hits for those few units and concentrate on the infantry. 

As it turned out most of the hits I suffered came from those two APCs, their superior energy weapons making them more of a threat. His 3 Imperial Soldier (commander) units which also had superior energy weapons spent the whole game shooting at my 2 stands on a little hill with no effect.

The waves kept coming and being beaten back but eventually combats started from the left and hits started piling up. My units on the hill survived about 6 turns in melee taking only a single hit between them. There was a point where I seemed to be on course to win. 

I needed every unit firing so couldn’t hide my commanders away and with no cover they were prime targets for the APCs, firing over the mushrooms from hills. When all my commanders were gone it was over in a couple of turns. Needing 7+ on two dice, made harder still by hits and pinned markers I hardly got any orders off, so only my (unpinned) units in range for free reactions could do anything.

When my army reached it’s break point I had inflicted a massive 76 wounds on the enemy but only destroyed 4 stands, just look at all those hit counters. A good game.