Saturday, October 18, 2014

Lion Rampant - First Game

Several of us met at the Game Matrix in Tacoma today for some Lion Rampant games. It was the first time for most of us, but we all seemed to enjoy the rules even though we may have not gotten everything exactly right. For one thing, in the game I played we initially had not correctly done the Courage tests. We didn't count the casualties cumulatively when figuring out the tests - that is, we only subtracted casualties caused in each turn when working out the Courage test result. At first this seemed very harsh and made for units to be destroyed quite quickly, but it does seem correct for the overall flavor of fast-paced game.

My buddy Adrian and I used the Bloodbath scenario as it is the most straight forward. I only got off a few pictures as I was referring to the rule book throughout the game to ensure we were on track.
My Early-HRE foot serjeants receiving an attack by English MAA. The foot serjeants are good at defense - although in this case they'd have been even better off in Schiltron, but they had just moved out off the woods in their previous turn.
The same unit of HRE foot serjeants in the previous turn  in cover from English archers.
The HRE crossbowmen only got to take out a few of the English before they failed their Courage test after receiving casualties from English bow fire.
One of two HRE mounted MAA units - with the Archbishop of Cologne as the retinue leader. Both mounted MAA units failed multiple movement activations early in the game. After eventually passing their movement activation this unit put the English right to flight.
The mounted MAA unit on the HRE right eventually passed movement activation to move up and attack an English foot MAA unit. They did very well in their attack and practically destroyed the English foot MAA unit. However, due to consecutive bad Courage tests, enough HRE units left the table to give the English an edge for victory.
Pat's Byzantinnes facing Old Bob's French
Wes' knights taking fire from Scott's bidowers.
For the most part I have no trouble with the rules as they are. Some of the players did have issues with the 3" between units rule though. I believe they are in the spirit of the rules being kept to small unit actions. It appears that no more than two units (one per side) can be in a close combat at any given time. Although there is the possibility of a unit being attacked by two different units in a given turn - separately of course. I like the size of units and the assignment of hits to casualty per type of unit. I'm looking forward to playing out the other scenarios - as well as adding more terrain. We did use the minimum suggested - one piece per quarter. Overall I like these rules and I think they should appeal to a lot of the community for various reasons - not the least of which is the price of the rules (clearly written and nicely illustrated at that), as well as the relatively modest amount of figures required. Unless of course you want to run 4 units of Serfs!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

SAGA Refresher Training

A good turn out today at the Game Matrix for some SAGA refresher training. Actually, it's been so long since I last played it, it was like learning new rules again. And to be honest, I had only played it a few times before - over two years ago. Luckily, a very experienced player showed up and provided some timely instruction. I lost both of my games against my buddy Bruce's Jomsvikings (he used Dwarfs to intimidate me even more). They kept getting full of Wrath, so it was inevitable. Plus I impetuously used my Warlord where he was killed in melee in both games. Several other players showed up too, but I was too busy to notice most of their games.
A unit of my Crusader Warriors in melee with a Jomsviking Hearthguard unit.
A unit of Crusader Warriors with crossbows facing off Jomsvikings including their Warlord
The Crusader Warlord advancing
One of the other SAGA games today - Scott M.'s Byzantines vs. Adrian's Normans
It was quite a good session - particularly as I got two games in quicker than a single WAB game. And this with the serious learning curve going on. That all said, I'm looking forward to getting started on Lion Rampant!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Retinue for Lion Rampant

Just got my copy of the rules today. I've only leafed through it briefly, but I must say I am very impressed. There is a lot of eye-candy - of figures, rules schematics and artwork from Ospreys. Oh, and the $14.00 USD price cannot be beat.
In anticipation of the rules, I cobbled together a retinue using existing figures from my Early-HRE WAB army. The retinue pictured is composed of two units of mounted men-at-arms, two  units of foot serjeants, and a unit each of archers and crossbowmen.
The funny thing is a bunch of us are meeting tomorrow to play SAGA. I don't think these two rules will conflict with gaming, but more likely compliment each other. Anyway, I can't wait to get started playing Lion Rampant.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Warlord Games Auxilia - Ready to Help

Here they are based three-figures per 40mm squares. This is the basing for the modified version of Hail Caesar I've been using. It not only stretches the number of units a bit, but allows for easier basing. And once the battle begins no one seems to notice, or care, about how many figures are on a base.
And as far as these figures go, ranking them up for something like WAB would be pretty difficult thanks to their dynamic poses.
 I went ahead and re-based the Spanish Scutarii too. These were painted a couple of years ago - one of the first projects using the Minwax stain.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Warlord Games EIR Auxilia - WIP +1

Here they are - less their shields - with a fresh brushing of Minwax Tudor Satin stain.
These guys painted up with no problem. Wish I picked up the other box that was for sale at the bring and buy last week.
The mail took the staining well; I guess I was a bit too vigorous with the brushing as I broke one of the spears.
The image below shows them block painted prior to the staining. I noticed only after applying the stain that I forgot to paint their wrist bands, as well as the bandage over the eye on some of them.
I plan to paint the shield either a pale blue or green.

Warlord Games EIR Auxiliaries for the Cantabrian War - WIP

Picked this box up at the bring and buy at last week's game day at Fort Steilacoom. Couldn't pass up on the price, and always wanted some Auxilia to complement the Legionaries. Anyway, here is the start of the 24 figures - which consist of four poses and some separate arms. The set doesn't come with a command, but does come with water-slide decals that go over shields painted in whatever color you chose. The shields are left off and remain on sprues for ease of painting. The heads, arms and spears are ready for production line assembly.
The figures will be part of a Battle of Las Rabas scenario set during the Cantabrian War of Augustus Caesar. Granted both contingents will have a slightly anachronistic look - Romans in lorica segmentata, and nekid Gauls and Spanish Scutarii doubling as Cantabrians.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Passing of Allen Curtis - Author of Hannibal and the Punic Wars (WAB)

Many of you may have already seen this announced on various internet sites, including TMP. I found out this morning when visiting the Wargames, Soldiers and Strategies site where Guy Bowers posted an announcement.
Although I never met Allen in person, I became acquainted with him about a decade ago when I first visited TMP. We communicated on that site, as well as off line too. We discovered that we had been assigned to the same Army installation at the same time way back when. This was in 1980 when I was going through Basic Training at Fort Knox, KY. He had been a company commander in a sister company at the very same time. He was friends with the CO of my company - and they had stayed in touch over the years too. I considered Allen a buddy too.

Anyway, I just felt that Allen's contributions to the hobby should be recognized; even in a very small way here. He will be sorely missed.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

SAGA Crescent & the Cross Crusader Warband

Okay, these aren't newly painted figures, but I just rebased them for use as a 1st Crusades Warband. They are on parade awaiting the arrival of their Warlord - just ordered from Black Tree Designs. This 6 Point Warband consists of two Mounted units of Hearthguards, one each Warrior unit of Mounted, Crossbows and Bows; and finally a Mounted unit of Mercenary Warriors.
All of the figures are from Crusader - appropriately enough - except for the the crossbowmen which are Old Glory. The shields have LBMS transfers.
They were originally part of a WAB army, and used extensively in the past. It's nice to have them out of the barracks in anticipation of some SAGA battles.
The last time I played SAGA was a couple of years ago - and had used an all foot Viking Warband. I recall being soundly defeated by a Norman Warband with troops similar to what this Crusader force is. Looking forward to seeing how these guys perform.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fix Bayonets! Game Day at Historic Fort Steilacoom

Attended the annual game day today at Historic Fort Steilacoom. One of the NHMGS members is on the preservation society at the fort so we get to use Quarters Number 2 for gaming.
Quarters Number 2, Fort Steilacoom.
The main room at the start of the first period. The WW1 Bolt Action game in the foreground.
I ran a WW1 game using Bolt Action. The scenario had both French and Germans advancing upon an abandoned village. Whichever side occupied more of the village won - in today's game it was a French victory.
Early on, German Storm Troopers take on French Trench Fighters in hand-to-hand. The Germans were eventually defeated - losing their best assault troops, including a flame thrower team.
The Germans tried very had to retain their real estate; even trying out the newly invented A7V tank to no avail.
 Other games during the morning, first, period:
28mm Venus, Space 1889: Dale Mickel and Scott Murphy
"The Eviction", 28mm, Louisiana Game: Kevin Smyth
“Swedes and Cossacks” 15mm, Fire and Sword: Owen
25mm, SAGA: Sven and Daryl
Regrettably, I failed to get a shot of a Napoleonics game using Garde du Corps being played in another room. I also had to leave after lunch and didn't get shots of the afternoon games. It was a nice gathering, and nice to see member of our group in such a nice setting. For the record, the players for my game all had a great time and want me to run it at our annual big convention next year. I had planned to do this, and their positive feedback confirms it.

ADDENDUM: Below are copies of the QRS's for the Bolt Action WW1 Game.
Note: the QRS has the game ending after Turn 6, but the game played so fast, we actually played about 12 turns. I changed the end of the game to a time limit, not an amount of turns. Something which will work better at the convention with blocked times (as this event also was).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Hinchliffe Models Taisho - Done

Here he is - with his strung bow, offset for riding on horseback.
He's quite a heavy beast - almost afraid his weight may break the glass shelf of the display cabinet.
Here he is with a 28mm T.A.G. Samurai in similar armor.
He was a nice change up from 28mm figures, but I'm ready to get back to them now - Bolt Action and Saga are on the menu for this Saturday at a game day.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hinchliffe Models Taisho - WIP +3

In the home stretch - only need to do the weapons - bow, quiver and sword/scabbard; oh, and the large knot for the back of the armor.
I got lazy and failed to paint the inside of the shoulder armor.
The dragon fly motif was a favorite for samurai as it was believed to never back up - that is, retreat.
A large knot will go on the back of the cuirass.
During the Heian period, kote - or sleeve armor, was usually only worn on the left, bow holding arm.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WAB Medieval Campaign Day

Not the biggest turn out for our monthly WAB Medieval Campaign Day at the Game Matrix, but we did have some good games - in fact, I won an overwhelming victory with my Early-HRE army over my buddy Adrian's feared English longbow-heavy army.

The HRE knights' 2+ armor save coming in very handy in defeating two of Adrian's longbow units in HTH combat - even after taking heavy arrow fire.
The HRE knights engaging the first of two English longbow units in HTH

The remaining HRE knights about to take out a second English longbow unit in HTH - in spite of charging through stakes. Actually, the knights, including the Army General, failed all of their attacks, and it was the warhorses that caused the English casualties.
The HRE left flank was well supported by allied Hungarian Szekeler Expert Cavalry. Their Parthian Shot capability never allowing the English Hobilars to even be a threat.
The Szekeler cav rode up to the rough terrain, fired and moved back to safety for every one of the six turns. The Militia bowmen on the hill never did any damage to the English foot knights. Although the HRE light bolt thrower did very well - taking out six knights in two turns.
The picture below has Old Bob's Normans facing off against Ron's Normans - Ron won this game.
Old Bob's Normans charging Ron's Normans in the distance
As Pat was the odd-numbered player, he went against Ron's Normans next. Ron won this second game too.
Finally, I picked up a copy of Saga's Crescent and the Cross from Pat - he in turn had picked it up at his recent trip to Germany to attend the WAB GT there. He got the book from the author Alex Buchel, who also attended the tournament venue. I hope to use my Normans as Crusaders at a Saga game day in November. Haven't played Saga since 2012, but looking forward to getting some games in soon.