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

Frostgrave

 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 http://bristolwargaming.co.uk
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.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Table Top Sale

Sunday 20th May 2018



Every year, in May, the club runs a table-top sale. This is a car boot sale kind of event, with lots of different sellers and the chance to pick up bargains.

The sale will be at Lincombe Barn, Overndale Road, Downend, Bristol BS16 2RW on Sunday 20th May 2018.

The format will be similar to mainstream table top or car boot sale - we will supply the tables - you sell your own goods at prices set by yourself.

Charges are £10 per 6ft x 2ft table (approximate size). A maximum of 2 tables can be booked.

We anticipate having around 40 tables. They are offered on a first come, first served basis

This charge covers the table and entry for two people per table. If you wish to share a table between 3 people, then please enclose a further £4.00. (A maximum of 3 per table please).

Please note that only people with a sellers pass will be allowed in before the public opening time. The Barn will be open from 8:45am for sellers to set up their tables.

Although not planned this as a trade sale, wargames traders will be most welcome, especially if you wish to offer old or discontinued stock at cheap prices!

If people are interested in attending as a seller, please leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

If you just want to come along to browse and buy, all you need to do is turn up on the day.


Saturday, 21 April 2018

What a Tanker!


Today we tried, the new rules from Two Fat Lardies named,What a Tanker. Each player controls one, or a very few tanks. In fact, we had two groups playing, one with 15mm models and another with 28mm
Each tank has a ‘dashboard’ with it’s characteristics such as armour, gun value and any special attributes. Players roll command dice and each number on the dice allows the tank to carry out a different action (move, acquire target, aim, shoot and reload), sixes can be swapped to any value and used for other bonuses. This means some turns you won’t be able to do exactly what you want which we can put to confusion, panic or to the crew having the god like view of the battle players. Initiative is also rolled each turn so you can never be certain of anything.The dashboard places to put a token to keep track of having acquired a target, having aim, being loaded and being buttoned down.
Phil and Kev were the Germans with a Stug III each while Martin and I were Russians using 1941 T34s. Our tanks were designated as Fast which meant we could swap one command die of any value to a 1 for movement. The Stugs, as tank destroyers could similarly swap a dice to 2 for an Acquire Target action, having a low profile they also required an extra action for us to acquire them.
Game 1: I moved behind a wall as Phil moved out to see me. Although range is unlimited there were several obstacles between us, meaning he needed 3 acquisition actions to acquire the target. I darted behind a building and hid there for a turn or two until I got the right dice, just adjusting my turret so it would be in the right position when I moved. Phil started moving across to the group of buildings at the top of the table.
When I got the right dice I was able to move forward, acquire, aim, fire and then move again to reverse back to cover. Having hit the tank I rolled my six damage dice and Phil rolled his six armour dice to cancel them. I scored 3 unsaved hits resulting in the Stug being destroyed.
Meanwhile Martin moved up through the village keeping out of sight of Kev, through a wood and into the same compound as the enemy tank. Getting the initiative ahead of Kev he was able to move again and fire into the Stug’s side destroying it. Round one to the Russians.



Game 2: This time we played from the narrow ends of the table. I moved up into the village hoping to slip past the Stug opposite using my speed to stay out of the fire arc of its fixed gun. Phil was about to mount a hill from which I would have no hiding place so I disappeared into the trees. Kev’s tank which wasn’t in danger yet from Martin’ moved into the wood too, blowing me up on his second shot.
Kev then moved up to a wall for cover from Martin, but the T34 was able to rush behind him and hit him from behind, with no effect. The T34 then drove off and found itself caught between the two Stugs which destroyed it. Round two to the Germans.

Game 3: Martin had to leave and Nick took over a Russian tank. He had line of sight to Phil’s tank at the far end of the road and managed to kill it on the first activation. This wouldn’t make much of a game so Phil returned with a new tank the following turn, using a Panzer VI this time.
I advanced a bit and found Kev’s Stug advancing up the road could see me, but didn’t have the dice to make the most of it. I advanced to a hill for a hull down position and we exchanged shots for a few turns.
Kev moved into some cover and with equal cover and his better gun I decided the odds weren’t favourable and to move out of his line of sight, hoping to flank the Panzer VI which was facing off against Nick. I was taking damage from it meant losing command dice and putting them on the damage dice box on the dashboard. I moved around the wood to stay out of sight, stalling for time to roll sixes which allowed to recover the command dice. Phil moved through the wood to appear right next to my side. At this point Phil had to go and Carole took over.
Kev and Nick were now failing to engage from their respective farm enclosures with various obstacles in-between. Kev now broke off and moved to intercept me. I moved round the wood and up to a wall but Kev was able to hit me and destroy my tank. Nick returned to his original position and engaged Carole’s Panzer VI and she blew him up.


This game was a lot of fun. It was quick so you don’t feel let down if you get destroyed on the first hit, it doesn’t devolve into both sides finding a good spot and staying there and repeating the same shots turn after turn. It requires frequent decision making as you decide how to make use of the dice you roll.
Other players were playing a game using 28mm scale tanks, also playing the rules for the first time. I think if you are going to use big models you need a really big table or there isn’t enough room for manoeuvre.