Sunday, September 25, 2011

1/72 Macedonian DBA army

I rebased a bunch of 1/72 Macedonians for DBA (II/12), it is a mixture of Hat and Zvezda who both do some good figures for this period. Alexander himself leads on the right wing with some Thracians, Greeks are on the left, Macedonian pike form the core of the foot with some very useful light troops for support. With a catapult and an elephant it could easily morph into the Imperial version (II/15).

I also dug out enough plastics to put together a late Carthaginian army that I might do next (II/32).

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First game of SAGA

Awesome, what a great game! I'm still buzzing about it!

Kevin and I played our first game of Saga today, and it was a blast. Lots of tough decisions to make, very colourful, and fun. Everything I had hoped for, to be honest. I think this game has some real legs. What impresses me most is that it is actually innovative, it is not often that new ideas come up in games, but the board and custom dice activation mechanic here is new and really great. Adds both depth and colour to the gameplay in a way I have never seen before.

Our scenario was a Viking attack on an Anglo Danish settlement. I was the Anglo Danes, and to make a long sob story short, we got hammered. I rarely rolled above a 3, and the Vikings rolled over us like the horde of foul smelling, ruthless beasts they were. However, I think that technically speaking, I actually won the game because my Warlord (who was the last Anglo standing) would have been able to re-occupy one of the buildings at game end since the Viking forgot to track him down. But really, Kevin's vikings handed my ass to me.

Some pics, it really was superb. Kevin's awesome scenery didn't hurt much either. I am looking forward to a LOT of dark age gaming. This was the best game I have played in ages, no kidding.

And the newest addition to my home is a 4-foot high cat recreation center, must be nice...

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Victory without Quarter playtest

I ran out my ECW Auldearn game at the club this week. I gave the "Victory without Quarter" ruleset ( a run-through with some modifications after a dry run at home. The scenario pits a force of Covenanters under the command of Hurry versus Montrose's loyalists. Montrose must delay while reinforcements arrive from the rear, Hurry must advance as quickly as possible. There is no artillery and I didn't use any special/optional rules to keep things simple.

The battlefield looks something like this, with Auldearn at the left in this photo flanked by Castle Hill and with Garlic hill dominating the field to the right. Hurry advances from the right in this picture.

I made the following modifications.
- I allowed infantry and horse units to move at a double rate if they stayed outside of 12" of enemy units. I did this to speed up the movement to contact phases of the game, noting the the battlefield for this scenario is long (6').
- I allowed the general to issue a group order to units within 12", as long as all units did the same simple action (e.g. advance, fire) this enabled them to activate simulaneously. This speeded up things, but also allowed for some powerful combined actions.
- I removed all restrictions from charging. This however made no difference, since both sides chose to shoot  with their foot over melee throughout the game anyway!

Here we have Bob (Montrose) before the first card draw. MacColla's lifeguard sit on Garlic Hill.

The Covenanters clearly had the run of the early card draws, mainly since most of the Montrose units were still off board. Hurry was able to quicky take Garlic Hill and destroy the lifeguard with musketry, while the Monymore regiment tried to fall back to Castle Hill under pressure from the Covenanters:

The situation stabilized when Aboyne's dragoons moved onto Castle Hill and the powerful Irish Brigade took up position in Auldearn. The Gordon and Aboyne Horse slipped around the south flank with the Strathbogie and crossed the road to engage the Covenanters.

The Lord Chancellor and Findlater regiments push Monymore back to the treeline and eventually force them to route off the board edge through musket fire:

Then the tide turns when the dragoons held onto Castle Hill, followed by the Irish and Strathbogie counterattack on the regiments before Garlic Hill. The presence of Montrose gave this attack extra impetus by allowing for increased actions. Hurry was stretched too thin to manage both his attack on the dragoons and defend from the powerful Irish musketry:

The game ended with a very narrow victory for Montrose as the Covenanters reached their breakpoint first.

I think the guys enjoyed the flow of the game, there were a couple of wiggles to iron out however. I was unsure how to handle drawn melees, for example, and the group order mechanic was great for moving the game along (especially since this scenario features an important attacker traffic-jam) but was potentially too powerful in allowing units to combine fire on a single target. Neither side saw any point in engaging in melee since firing was less risky, so melee needs to perhaps be more decisive.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

More ECW, and it's all Greek to me...

Over the last week I completed one regiment of Parliament horse, this is more of the large lot of Warlord plastics that I obtained this summer and this regiment is done with heavy armour and mostly pistols, meant to be trotters in caracole:

I also rebased a bunch of 1/72 Greeks for a DBA army to play in our autumn campaign. This army I may either sell or loan out for somebody to use. I created enough elments to run it either as later hoplite Athenians or Mixed. It has a reasonable number of light troops and some mounted, so it will be reasonably competitive. Athenians have mounted elements and Ag 2 littoral, which I like, or Mixed have more light troop options plus Ag 1. Some fellas like low Ag.

I am split on whether to sell or loan it. I like the army- the mostly Zvezda figs are nice- but if I loan it out and it gets busted up I will be miffed. What do you reckon it would be worth? I will also be basing up a Macedonian/Successor army and a Classical Indian army.

Next up: still waiting for a big order picoarmor to arrive on the slow plane from the US....

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Bit of this, bit of that...

I completed a few models over the last week and on the long holiday weekend. I have been flipping between scales and projects, first I completed an old 1/76 Airfix Matilda II kit- my favourite all-time tank, the Queen of the Desert:

I also completed a 1/35 Universal Carrier that has been gathering dust in my drawer, it looks factory fresh with 3rd Canadian markings and a jovial looking crew:

But most of my time has gone into the first regiment of my new 28mm New Model Parliament army for ECW. They are meant to be Fairfax's regiment that was raised and fought in the north of England:

I am hoping to take delivery of 3mm picoarmour this week, and I just received the 2nd edition of Blitzkrieg Commander. I bought the print version offered by Lulu which is a good deal, nice quality paper and professionally bound for $20, arrived on my doorstep less than 1 week after ordering.