Friday, 15 June 2018

May Progress

Oh dear... as recounted in the Nottingham Loot post, this month took a heavy hit on the miniatures purchased. As well as that trip I succumbed to some Roman purchasing early in the month.
  • 24 French Light Infantry (actually finished in April but I forgot to include them!)
  • 1 Nephilim Jet Fighter (WH40K Dark Angel flyer)
  • 11 Celtic Warriors (28mm)
  • 120 6mm Napoleonic Russian Infantry
  • 60 Roman legionnaires
  • 20 Roman Praetorian Guard
  • 20 Roman Veterans
  • 24 Roman Auxiliaries
  • 3 Roman Auxiliary Command
  • 40 Celtic Warriors
  • 10 Celtic cavalry
  • 8 Celtic archers
  • 4 Roman Generals
  • 3 Celtic Generals
  • 6 ME109s
  • 6 Spitfires
  • 3 Primaris Marines
  • 1 Tech Priest (WH40K Mechanicum)
  • 10 Skitarri Rangers
  • 2 Warglaives
  • 5 Lychguard (WH40K Necrons)
  • 5 Immortals
  • 3 Canoptek Wraiths
  • 1 Cryptek
  • 1 Aeldari Gateway

Monthly: -79
Yearly: -31

Friday, 8 June 2018

Nottingham Loot

Recent trip to Nottingham led me to the HQ store of Warlord Games. Had some interesting chat with the staff there and of course succumbed to a slight spend:

  • Celtic cavalry
  • Celtic archers blister
  • Celtic chieftains blister
  • Roman general (who in now way looks like Russell Crowe in Gladiator - honest)
  • Roman generals
  • Roman auxiliary command
  • Blood Red Skies - an impulse buy backed up by some interesting reviews I'd read on the internet. I have an idea for this, more when I actually get round to it!
  • Wargames Illustrated - don't always buy this these days but noticed a BLB article!
I was also given a  miniature of a crusader for visiting the store.
I allowed my credit card an evening to recover and then wandered over to Warhammer World (those of a historical disposition may want to look away now).

  • Forgebane - self contained WH40K set with loads of cool Mechanicum models
  • Some Primaris Reavers... no can't explain that one other than I like the skull motif helmets
  • Aeldari web gate - it's scenery, you can't have too much scenery!
  • A selection of paint - this is actually for my Romans and Celts!
Now all I have to do is explain this to the better half, on reflection perhaps I should have brought her back more than a mug...

...or maybe not blogged about it publicly!

Friday, 1 June 2018

Star Wars Armada

I know this has been out for a while but that's me, always late to the party, provided of course I actually get an invite. But enough social woes, I'm a wargamer I should be pleased with what I get, right?

Anyway, I purchased Armada about a year ago along with a few extra ships and only managed to get round to breaking the seal on the box last week, so it was a surprise to actually get a game in (first of the year!).

The scenario was simple as this was a learning process and taken straight from the book using the ships supplied by the core set. So for the Imperials there was a nifty Star Destroyer identical to the one in the opening sequence of the original film plus a half dozen TIE fighter squadrons. The rebels had a corvette and a Nebulon class cruiser, again familiar to watchers of the original trilogy, and four X-wing squadrons.

The setup was on a three foot square table with the opposing forces facing each other.

Turn 1
Not much happened in a very long round apart from a lot of page turning to find out how everything worked. The rules were split into two booklets Learn to Play and a Rules Reference. I admired the intention, get players up and running as quickly as possible but the split was annoying sometimes having to reference two or three pages to work out what was supposed to happen. There was the odd contradiction too which presumably Fantasy Flight, the manufacturer, must have known about as there was a clarification on contradictions between the two booklets!

Anyway after much flicking, pondering and scratching of noggins the fleets advanced.
A ponderous advance

Turn 2
This took even longer as we worked out what we had done wrong in the previous round and had to handle the first round of shooting. This was actually straight forward enough utilising some of the now familiar custom D8s that come with this and other Fantasy Flight products. The Star Destroyer's frontal batteries quickly knocked out the front shields of the Nebulon cruiser.

Some shooting!

Turn 3
The one turn where everything seemed to be in range. The corvette started the action off by taking out two (of three) of the Star Destroyer's shields. In response the Imperial ship blasted the corvette with it's port batteries nicking the rear shields of the rebel vessel. It then unleashed more attacks on the Nebulon, doing actual hull damage and a critical hit on the ship's shield generators.

Then the fighters clashed and all I can say is I wouldn't want to be a TIE fighter pilot. Those X-wings were mean taking down two squadrons of TIEs almost immediately. There was some response from the Imperials with an X-wing squadron being obliterated but if I had been in that navy (and with my accent that would be likely) I would have been hyper-spacing out of there!

This turned out to be the height of the battle

Turns 4-6
The issue now was that everybody had to turn and this took time (especially for the Star Destroyer). There was also the question of the table size for the Imperial ship there was a real danger that it would fall of the edge of the universe.
Turn, turn, turn...

The fighters continued to engage and the TIEs even managed to get in a few shots at the Nebulon cruiser.

Unfortunately the hiatus also allowed those ships that were damaged to recover shields which in effect meant that, apart for the dwindling fighter forces - which had had minimal impact on the capital ships - everything recovered.
Fighters still engaged

The game was supposed to conclude at the end of turn six but with no clear result a couple of further turns were agreed.

Turns 7-8
Finally two of the capital ships get back in range
The corvette and Star Destroyer passed each other but were unable to dent each others shields and the game petered out to a draw.
But damage is minimal

It might not sound like it but I actually enjoyed this and it definitely had that Star Wars feel (I was told off repeatedly for humming the Imperial March). I have a feeling that we were not applying the damage rules properly and that may have caused the issue. A bigger playing area and a better appreciation of the ships in play would also help. A re-read of the rules, especially now that I'm aware of the areas causing me confusion is also in order.

Sunday, 27 May 2018

April Progress

This is the calm before the storm - at least as far as buying is concerned! Next week sees a trip to Nottingham... carnage will ensue (of a plastic die rolling kind).

  • 1 Chaos Defiler - nasty spiky chaos Warhammer 40K model
  • 1 Grey Knight - to help take on nasty spiky chaos thing
Bought: 0

Monthly: +2
Yearly: +48

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Nostalgia - Avalon Hill's Napoleon's Battles

My parents' cavernous loft* is often the source of half forgotten wonders of yesteryear and recently I rediscovered a battered copy of Avalon Hill's Napoleon's Battles from way back in 1989.

This was the second set of Napoleonic rules that I purchased, the first being To The Sound of the Guns (which I'm sure is concealed under a box or a bag somewhere).

Unusually it tried to be a complete game and even came with a scenario book which included design notes and a guide to collecting and painting miniatures which I have discovered contains a wealth of detail including army strengths and limber colours.

The game booklets
There was even stats for less fashionable players such as Sweden and the Ottoman Empire.

Stat card and game summary
Die cut counters which could represent armies and some 2D terrain was also supplied.

Selection of counters, terrain and templates
I recall I only played two games of the rules and don't remember much of them. The first was a scenario from the book which used the counters to portray a fictitious battle in 1794 between a French and Prussian force. The second was a battle I made up on the hoof based around my collection of 1/72nd scale Esci Napoleonics. The British won but that might have been more down to me favouring the home side and a burgeoning relationship with all things Sharpe.

Looking at the books now, what strikes me most is the typeset of the rule set; it's very close making it difficult to read and reference (to be fair this was the norm for Avalon Hill - I own several other games - and that period).

The contents and first page

This was not a cheap product at the time but when compared to something modern like the excellent War of Three Kings (BLB 3) it is easy to see how far the quality and production of wargames rules has improved in the thirty or so years since Napoleon's Battles was made**. I could probably produce something better than Napoleon's Battles with it's grainy pictures and numbered paragraphs on my laptop with very little effort (and it's five years old!).

Close up of the type
Will I play it again? Perhaps, but I would need to read that rule set and although it is only 34 pages that's probably 94 in modern terms! The temptation is high though, it's not called nostalgia for nothing and I now have the armies to do it justice.

*a misleading term it has windows and central heating as well as being of a size where you can comfortably practice your pitching if golf is your thing, Would I like to get a wargames table up there

**sorry did I just type THIRTY years - what have I been doing for that time. Think I need a lie down somewhere shady, maybe with something cool and comforting to get over that.

Sunday, 29 April 2018

Finally... The French Light Infantry March!

A few weeks ago I mentioned in passing that there was a load of 28mm Perry Napoleonic French sitting on the table waiting to be based. They'd been waiting a while.
Two years in fact.
Well the  guilt must have got to me!

The regiment
They are supposed to represent the 13th regiment and I did have a lovely GMB flag ready to complete the eagle bearer.

But, it was too big and the glue on the pole too resolute to make an adjustment! So this regiment have left their precious colour in the depot and just brought the pole. Apparently not too uncommon in reality due to the expense of replacing them.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

February and March 2018 Progress

Well the year's production has got a bit better mostly due to the bulk qualities of 6mm and finding some troops that had been hanging about just waiting to be finished off.

Bought: 0

Monthly: +68
Yearly: +46