16 March 2018

SAGA: Retreat-Irish vs Saxons

Wow.........two games in one week, I am on a real roll!

Last night myself at Adam got together for a game of SAGA at the Hobby Bunker. There is no question that we both enjoy this ruleset and Adam got to field his newly painted Irish Warband. He really did a great job on them. The game was also a bit of an occasion as this will be our last game of SAGA, as our next game will be played using SAGA2. I am looking forward to this as I believe it the re-write will be a significant streamlining of the rules.

I had planned to field a Moslem Warband but for a couple of reasons I decided against it. I am one unit short to make 6 points so it was going to be a little difficult and SAGA2 is going to result in a significant rewrite of the battleboards. 

Thus I decided to go with a warband from the Aetius and Arthur supplement which is SAGA2 compliant. I have played both the Romans and the Britons from this book and wanted to do something different. After a quick look through I decided to go with the Saxons. I am by nature a defensive player and the Saxons are an aggressive warband so I felt it would be a good warband to try to get out of my comfort zone.

We picked the Retreat scenario from the A&A supplement which we had played once before. The last time Adam was the attacker and won the game, so it was felt only reasonable that I should attack.

Adam went with a Standard Warlord as well as 2 Curraigh derived from a 2 units of Hearthguard. He also went with 4 Warrior units, one being some Irish Wolfhounds for his 6 points. 

I went with the Hengist and Horsa 1 point warlord upgrade as well as 4 units of warriors and 1 unit of levy for my 6 points.
The starting positions. essentially the defenders are set up in a narrow 6" band in the middle of the terrain and have to escape off the board to the farground. The attackers set up in a 6" strip on their table edge but may also put up to 2 units on the defenders table edge. The defenders start the game with 1 fatigue per unit and any attacker on the defenders edge starts with 2 fatigue. It is a good scenario which is a lot of fun. Victory is given to the player who gains the most points. Points are gained by the defender from their figures off the table edge as well as from the opposing figures killed. The attackers gains points from opposing  figures killed. As you can see I placed by levy bowmen on the defenders table edge (right farground)
The attack starts, the game is only 6 turns so alacrity in advance is required.
Irish Warriors and the Wolfhounds and a Curraigh being tracked by the Saxon Warriors with Horsa leading the way.  They were all successful with minimal loss in escaping.
The Irish were less successful on the other end, I was able to quickly take down a unit of warriors and decimate a unit of Hearthguard and the Warlord's Pride resulted in the Irish Warlord being forced to engage Hengist and losing.
The last unit of Irish escaping off the board.
The Irish had all escaped by turn 5, but despite an abysmal Turn 4 SAGA dice throw where I got 6 Common Dice, I was able to eke out a victory with a 21 to 17 point victory for the Saxons. 

It is not often I win against Adam, so I have to say I was happy with my choice of Warband. The Saxons have an interesting BattleBoard, so I think you will see them again.

14 March 2018

GdA: Battle of Maida

Last Sunday myself and Iannick got in another game of Général d'Ármee at Iannick's house in Montréal. It was Iannick's second game and my fifth. It had been almost 3 months since either of us had played so the rules were a little rusty but aside from a minor misinterpretation of the skirmishing rules and a mess up of one charge involving multiple units, we actually did very well. We brought the game to conclusion in 5 hours which is not bad.

We decided to do a smallish battle based on the Battle of Maida, with 5 brigades of British and 4 of French. I have always felt Maida was a nice nice battle to test a divisional level ruleset as essentially the armies were about even in manpower and had all three armed branches present. The terrain is as below, we did not factor in the roads as in GdA they have no real effect. The trees and the Lamato River were treated as rough terrain.
At Maida there were Polish and Swiss troops in the French OB and some Corsicans and Sicilians fighting for the British. We made some substitutions and the OB was below.
I will not bother to write up a formal battle report, but I did take some snaps and will highlight some of the action in the captions.
British KGL advancing in line with some Caçadores up front.
The French defenders, the British had the initiative.
The British appear to be advancing in Attack Column.
The Portuguese.
The French left flank.
Skirmishers were heavily in play throughout the game.
Two large British units advancing in AC.
The Portuguese advance
The French centre is broken.

We gave victory to the British (Iannick), once the centre was broken there was no real way the French could recover. We both enjoyed our game, it is a good ruleset.

10 March 2018

AHPCVIII Tenth Submission: More Folklore!

Nine more figures from Folklore: The Affliction box set. I have only 5 more left to paint. I have again gone with bright colours. They are nice figures to paint aside from the faces as on some of the figures the sculpting of the faces is quite soft.

I am experimenting with a black backdrop here. It is a real challenge, as to keep the background black, I have to crank down the exposure and have to avoid using a lot of light. I am using my iPhone as oddly enough I find the quality better than my fancy camera and I can edit the photo to a certain degree on my phone. I also like the airdrop feature. I am having some problems with the lighting as you can see the left most figure in the bottom photo is a little washed out.

I like a white back drop as I find it easier to get the exposure correct, but my last submission to the challenge this year really will require a black backdrop so it is good to get some practice in. If any one has any advice to give I would appreciate it.

Moon Priests and Stregas

Some Vampires


Well the Challenge is over in 2 weeks, I am hoping to have two more submissions. The final submission is completely painted but not yet photographed and written about. I also have another group almost painted that I hope to get in next Wednesday. Check it out at Analogue Hobbies.

08 March 2018

AHPCVIII Fifth Submission: Folklore-The Affliction

I missed posting these figures that I painted in early January for the Challenge.

Not much done in the last week or so, but the post holiday season quiet is finally settling in and I have a few days off. I presently have 2 projects on the painting table. Here is the first, 5 miniatures from Greenbriar Games Folklore-The Affliction. This was a kickstarter that I backed a couple of years ago. I received the two large gaming boxes last summer, there must of been around 100 figures in total for this cooperative fantasy tabletop boardgame. You can read more about it on my blog.

I feel the figures are quite nice and I am enjoying painting them, they are a sort of mixture of hard and semi-hard plastic as well as the occasional resin figure. It has been liberating to paint some figures without any, shall we say, guidelines. I hope to paint some more before the challenge ends.

Dark Oak's
Mad Druid
Night Stalkers

04 March 2018

AHPCVIII Ninth Submission:AB Miniatures

These troops have been sitting primed on the painting table for over 2 years, time to get them done. Aside from a unit of British Foot Artillery this is it for the AB Miniatures' lead pile. They are nice to paint but it is always a challenge I think to do less than 28mm Napoleonics. I like how they came out. I have 3 batteries of French Artillery that should be enough to play games at the scale I am interested. These chappies will be fielded as Artillerie à Pied although I have to say that the differentiation between French foot and horse artillery uniforms sometimes escapes me.

24 February 2018

AHPCVIII Eighth Submission-Revenants

Missed making a submission last week; I have been working on a new project but I was able to get another unit of SAGA Revenants done, so something to go with. 

I have used a different method of painting than I had previously, as can be seen

I have another 12 figures to go which came in the original box set. I may do these in a completely different style, but I suspect they will not surface until next year's challenge.

02 February 2018

Rommel at the Hobby Bunker

Last Saturday, the gaming club at the local hobby store had a game day. It was a pretty low key event, I think there were 6 games set up. Two of the games called for multiple players, one set in the Sudan and one set in WWI, both being played with a ruleset called Trench Wars. Pretty simple mechanics, but fun enough, I think I finally understand what a beer and pretzels game means! 

There were 4 other games I believe, one them being a Rommel game that I set up with a Tunisian Campaign scenario. I was able to entice 2 players to the game and thus I was able to act as a gamemaster. To the ruleset's credit, this was a very easy task as I had only occasion to refer to the book once in reference to being flanked.

Neither of the players had played Rommel or any Honour games in the past and they picked up the mechanics of the game quite quickly. But what did they think? Well I suspect one player would not play again and the other may play again. They both criticized the combat grid as being a little complicated but I have to say we played around 12 turns in 90 minutes at which time the Axis player declared victory. I find every gamer different in what they want from a game, so it is a bit hard to say much beyond that.

The game did give me confidence though in hosting and game-mastering at club and conference meetings. As I have before lamented though, it is unfortunate that I am having difficulty finding players in the local community who are interested in the same games as I. Keep plugging away I suppose.

Here are a few photos.

General game set up, with the initial Axis advance to the right. The Americans are defending 4  objectives in the mountains as well as to the left. The Axis started at the edge of the terrain on the right.
The rear most US Objective, defended by a Priest!
Most of the action took place at this gap in the mountains, we can see that the Axis have just captured this objective.

31 January 2018

AHPCVIII:Seventh Submission-CinC US Vehicles

Not a whole lot of painting done this week but I did get some more US models done for Rommel. I am hoping to put on a Rommel game this weekend, this will be our first mid-war battle so I needed some US forces. First up in the Tunisian campaign will be an encounter during the battle for the Kasserine Pass. I hate painting infantry so I will substitute in some British for the 9 bases of US motorised infantry I need. Did need some tanks and armoured infantry so here we go. All these models are from PFC CinC and are quite nice.
6 bases of Armoured Infantry in M3 Halftracks
3 bases of M3 tank Hunters equipped with 75mm guns 
A Base of Shermans and one of Stuarts
105mm Howitzer Base

And finally some Italian Tanks
M14/41 Tanks

I think we have 40 Vehicles and 2 guns. I have done well over 100 bases for Rommel now so have built up a bit of a collection. I really need to stop and polyurethane these models and bases. Once this is done I plan to attach some scrub brush to dress up the bases.......well that is the plan anyway!

28 January 2018

Rommel: Operation Battle Ax, Day 3

Last week myself and Adam got to carry on our Operation Battle Ax mini-campaign.  If you will remember from our first game, the Brits successfully captured the Halfaya Pass but had lost Sidi Omar. The Axis lost 10 companies, while the Allies lost 6 companies as you can see below.

Here is the terrain as it was set up for day 3. I actually changed the victory conditions adding that in addition to below the Axis had to re-capture Halfaya Pass to achieve complete victory.

So I think a bit of a challenge for the British, but at the same time the Axis have a significantly diminished force with which to re-capture Halfaya Pass. Otherwise it would be a marginal Axis victory. 
Some early combat

Initial Axis plan was to retake Fort Capuzzo which they lost on day 1 one of the battle.
The 11th Indian Brigade pounded Sollum throughout the game.
British attempting to retake Sidi Omar
British take Sollum
At this point darkness fell and the game was over. The British had been successful in retaking Sidi Omar and holding the Halfaya Pass which the Axis were never able to an attempt a re-capture. The Axis were able to take Fort Capuzzo. So a Marginal Axis Victory. You can see Adam's AR and more photos on his blog.

It was quite a fun game and the scenario worked well. I hope to expand the scenario into a mini-campaign for all 3 days of the battle. It did appear to work well for the ruleset.