Friday, 27 September 2013

Saga - The Welsh Vs. The Irish

A Saga punch-up, and a rare one at that because only two warbands were involved!  With Red’s Vikings backing out at the 11th hour we played a scenario or two that weren’t The Crows Feast.  My Welsh had to content themselves with trying to stop Luke’s Irish firstly from transporting goods to market, and secondly from sacking a village.

In the first attempt I didn’t do very well in The Escort scenario.  My cunning use of my 8-strong heathguard as a tactical column worked nicely in isolating and wiping out Lukes mounted heathguard in a hail of javelins, but I then failed to remember my own weakness to missile fire and my own horsemen went the same way against the Irish warriors.  In fact the only troops to survive to the end on each side were the two warlords and the levys, who picked on everyone else with their bows and slings.  My hearthguard killed off the warriors and tried the same javelin and charge trick on the Irish warlord, but he bulked up with Saga powers and I bounced off to be whittled down by the slings.  My warriors and warlord succeeded in stopping the other block of Irish heathguard, but at the cost of all of my warriors, and while my Warlord was triumphantly sacking a bunch of sheep (a big moment for him), the goats and the cart were heading in the opposite direction under cover of the Irish warlord and no amount of desperate welsh sprinting could catch them up – victory to Luke.

Trying to stop the escort, Welsh in the foreground, with the red-cloaks of the heathguard to the left.

The second scenario we went for was the Homeland one, and I ended up defending my three buildings with 4 points of troops against Lukes 6 points.  This was less entertaining because I ran out the victor rather easily; leaving us thinking that perhaps we’d missed something.  My 8 strong heathguard looked near invincible in their house while, with the enemy divided trying to take all the buildings, my Warlord and warriors sallied out to attack the Irish flank.  I lost one of the houses and the 8 warriors inside, but it cost Luke his mounted heathguard, his wolfhounds, and his big axe men, and his warlord was left alone to face my second bunch of 8 warriors who chopped him up and claimed victory for the Welsh.

Luke's Irish sneaking up on a house/

My warlord and warriors sally out.

Mounted Irish heathguard.

Bonus scenery - a sheperd and his flock, obviously glad not to be the objective of the Welsh warlord this time round.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Average Joes - Match Day 5

Average Joes 3 – 1 Blue Giants

 Average Joes notched their third victory in their last group stage match and a place in the quarter finals with a victory over human side the Blue Giants.  Any hopes that playing the humans would be a welcome relief after their battering at the hands of the Orc sides was swiftly dispelled, with the humans putting the boot in at every opportunity, and their suspiciously scaly ogre particularly guilty of some tasty tackling.  This was so effective that after starting the first half with 14 players the rats finished it with only 5 players on the pitch. 3 linerats were seriously injured and being administered to by ‘Joes apothecary – a shady looking character with some bells and a stick – and even rat ogre Shirley was left unconscious.  This was most probably karma after Shirley had made an awful mess of an excellent scoring opportunity, swinging and missing twice on an easy block to leave gutter runner Cotton McKnight out on a limb, and subsequently pushed into the crowd; the humans not missing a trick there!  The Blue Giants took advantage of their numbers to seize the ball after the crowd returned it, and dash down the pitch where not even a last ditch attempt by rat thrower Murdock was enough to stop them making it 1-0. 

This was the traditional game of two halves however.  The magic sponge (or bells and a stick) obviously worked wonders in the dressing room because Average Joes were able to field 11 players for the start of the second half.  Meanwhile the Blue Giants found their gloves has been tampered with, and their blocks were of much less effect.  A training ground set piece during the first drive saw the rats grab the equaliser; gutter runner The Rat making no mistake as he made a beeline for the endzone after his team had made the gap.  The Blue Giants had the ball back, but with rat ogre Shirley back on the pitch they lost it far too easily and once again found themselves playing catch-up to a gutter runner as Cotton made up for his first half crowd surfing action by slipping away and scoring number 2.  The humans seemed to lose heart at this hammer blow of 2 touchdowns in 5 ratty turns, but gamely played on with half of the second half remaining.  However the skaven side were now on song, and picked off the edges of the human cage until the ball carrier was exposed once more, this time to storm vermin Tank.  He slammed in a blitz, and the ball went loose to be picked up by The Rat, and handed off to Cotton to speed almost the length of half the pitch to make it safe at 3-1 and send the 15,000 ratty fans – more than twice the 7,000 humans – into raptures.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Saga - An Anglo-Danish & Welsh Alliance Vs The Vikings & Irish

After a while in the impenetrable darkness of the foam trays my Welsh came out for a fight using the Saga rules.  The plan was an introduction to Saga for Andy, and we also acquired Luke and Red.  Having played a basic ‘how-to’ introduction for Andy we set up again for a 2 vs 2 battle, where Andy’s Anglo-Danes (kindly lent by Luke) joined my Welsh in fighting Lukes Irish and Reds Vikings, a real mixed couple of alliances!  On the 4ft by 4ft battlefield the allying warbands were quite close together, but it still split into two separate fights, with Red’s Vikings going all out at my Welsh, and Lukes Irish looking to wrestle control of a crossroads and church from Andy.

The Danish-Welsh alliance had the best of the opening exchanges with Andys warriors and hearthguard wiping out Lukes larger hearthguard unit behind the church while my javalins cost Red his berserkers for the loss of a bunch of warriors, and another large Viking warrior unit was whittled down and then destroyed by my mounted warriors.  Luke gained some revenge on my horse with his nasty ‘shooting from cover’ saga ability, before Red’s warlord stepped amongst them and wiped them out.  In the process I isolated another Viking warrior unit, and reduced it too one exhausted man who would play no further part using my warlord and hearthguard before falling back to prevent a counter attack.

Lukes troops advanced down the road, warriors in front and hearthguard and warlord behind.  The warriors met the Danish warriors and came off worse, before the Irish hearthguard stepped in.  Then the Danes warlord and hearthguard attacked and wiped out the irish hearthguard, leaving Luke to mount a counterattack on the Danish warlord with his own warlord and a champion.  Sadly for the Irish this went horribly wrong and his warlord was slain.

This coincided with the Welsh victory on the Danes right, and an attack by the remaining Viking warriors was seen off by the Welsh hearthguard, before the Welsh warlord waded into the Viking warlord and defeated him.  A javelin in the back for the last Viking model – the exhausted warrior, and the Welsh, down to their last two models, were victorious.  With two warlords on the rampage the Irish didn’t follow the Viking example of ‘too the last man’ and retreated leaving the field to the Anglo-Danish/Welsh alliance.

An enjoyable game, and definitely time to get my Saga out more often!  We used 4pts per player to make it more manageable for Andy as a new player, but he picked up the rules swiftly and next time we could expand to 6pts (I felt lost without my levy).  I also setup the table to look nice rather than to the saga rules for scenery, which I always feel is better, and makes it feel more realistic even if it can give one side an advantage – not in this case however. 

The early stages - Welsh in the cottages garden waiting the Viking onslaught opposite.

The Vikings advancing.

The Irish hearthguard (yellow shields) get into trouble.
Closeup of the Welsh warlord about to wade in.

The Anglo-Danes await the Irish at the crossroads.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The American Civil War – An Odyssey in 6mm – Part 3

Update on the Union troop movements time, although it’s a small to tiny update because I haven’t done a lot of work on them this month.  After the initial burst of energy I was sidetracked by football manager (who isn’t) returning to a computer screen near me for the first time in 6-7 years, and by trees falling.  I did receive my order of sand and flock from Baccus however, and this pushed me on to test-base one of my infantry regiments. 

The initial results weren’t promising, when I tried painting the base colour of Vallejo Hull Red over the sand (which had been stuck on with PVA glue) the sand rucked up (is that a word?) and I could barely get any paint to stay.  I consulted someone with experience (Andy) who suggested dabbing on the paint – letting a very wet horde of it flow off the brush rather than brush it on as I normally do with larger models bases.  This worked much better, although seemed extravagant in terms of time and quantity of paint it took.  Once this was on I drybrushed the base a lighter brown (Vallejo Kharki Brown) to give it depth, then applied flock and finally flags before giving it all a coat of Army Painted matt varnish spray.

Overall I’m happy with the effect, the flags in particular (another Baccus purchase while in Sheffield earlier in the year) really finish the model, and I’m looking forward to doing more.  For a next move I’ve decided I don’t need to match the opposition in numbers to have a game, luckily because they’ve already 13+ infantry regiments alone, so I’m looking to finish the part painted one I have on the table at the moment, then do several command bases before moving onto massed basing.  When this is finished hopefully I’ll have 5 infantry regiments and 3 troops of horse supported by 2 cannon batteries.  Unfortunately I still have lots of work to do to get any skirmishers or dismounted infantry done, I need a new/sharper craft knife to separate the men from their strips before I can start that.  

The first foot regiment - flags denote a unit from Wisconsin, mainly because I've actually been there!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The SmAshes 2013 – A Brief Report Of A Dreadball Tournament

 Devised by the indomitable and frankly daft Laurent Blom, and with the catchy name of the ‘SmAshes’, this one day Dreadball tournament was played in a small room behind the Deeside bar, which was less dingy and dodgy than it initially sounds.  There was plenty of room for the 10 participants to stretch their legs, put out their figures and boards, and rail against the world on varying subjects, including lunch, the method of balls returning to play, and how many millions of creds an upgrade cost before they settled down to play. 

The Players & Their Teams:
Pete – The Lost (Locusts)
James – Greenskin Clobbaz (Marauders)
Adrian – Orcland Raiders (Marauders)
Chris – simply :) (Marauders)
Mark – Plague Bearers (Veer-myn)
Laurent – Gromril Giants (Forge Fathers)
Paddy – Blue Bronzed Blitzers (Corporation)
Ian - Veer-myn Foundation (Veer-myn)
Andy – Hollywood All-Stars (Corporation)
Rick (yours truly) – Carbis Bay Buccaneers (Corporation)

The Teams.

The Rules:

The tournament consisted of four rounds in a league format, with the result to be decided within the day.  3 points were available for a 7-0 wipeout victory, 2 points for a run-of-the-mill victory, and 1 for a draw.  Nothing for a defeat, unsurprisingly.  In the event of a draw of points at the top some counting of the number of 3 and 4 point strikes would be required.  The matchups were drawn randomly from, in the absence of a decent hat, a glasses case (very rock and roll), with any reoccurring matchups redrawn to ensure players only met once.

Round 1:

The first round saw two draws, and shock victories for the Hollywood All-Stars (who had only learnt the rules on the previous Thursday) and the Veer-myn Foundation (who hadn’t actually learnt any rules, but didn’t let this put them off).  The remaining 3 games were very close.

The Lost Vs Carbis Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Greenskin Clobbaz Vs J (0-0)
Blue Bronzed Blitzers Vs Gromril Giants (0-0)
Veery-myn Foundation Vs Orcland Raiders (3-0)
Hollywood All-Stars Vs Plague Bearers (6-0)

Round 2:

The first round had obviously broke the ice and scoring started in earnest, with no draws in round 2.  The ratmen of the Veer-myn Foundation were named for their tendency to provide the foundations for the league, but racked up another surprise victory against their marauder opponents.  Two teams very familiar with each other met in a grudge match as the Gromril Giants sought to put one over on their corporation rivals, but were heavily defeated.  Another grudge match saw the Plague Bearers defeat the Orcland Raiders, while, while the sole locust team went down to the other surprise package the Hollywood All-Stars. 

Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs Gromril Giants (7-0)
The Lost Vs Hollywood All-Stars (0-3)
Greenskin Clobbaz Vs Veer-myn Foundation (0-7)
Orcland Raiders Vs Plague Bearers (0-2)
Blue Bronzed Blitzers Vs J  (5-0)

Round 3:

A spot of lunch later and it was now or never time for those who’d had a poor morning.  The Carbis Bay Buccaneers and Hollywood All-Stars picked up where they had left off with 7-0 wipe outs, although the 'Buccaneers were lucky to do so before their opponents destroyed their entire team.  Elsewhere The Lost and the Gromril Giants both gained their first wins, and the Blue Bronzed Blitzers stepped away from the tanning booths long enough to hold Veer-myn Foundation to a draw.

Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs Plague Bearers (7-0)
Hollywood All-Stars Vs J (7-0)
Greenskin Clobbaz Vs The Lost (0-1)
Gromril Giants Vs Orcland Raiders (7-0)
Veer-myn Foundation Vs Blue Bronzed Blitzers (0-0)

Round 4:

With the results from round 3 in the possibilities were anything but clear, with the only certainty being that one of three teams would win the title.  The Carbis Bay Buccaneers led the table on 8 points, and played the Hollywood All-Stars (on 7 points) in a grandstand and voluntarily orchestrated finish.  The Veer-myn Foundation, on 6 points, waited in the wings hoping that a draw would enable them to sweep past.

In the event the ratmen lost to a Gromril Giants side grinding out the result.  Elsewhere The Lost fought hard to avoid defeat to the Blue Bronzed Blitzers but a final 4-point strike finished them off and the ‘Blitzers moved up to finish 3rd.  The marauder team known simply as J lost a close game 1-0 to fellow maurauder side Orcland Raiders, and the Plague Bearers rounded off a forgettable tournament for the Greenskin Clobbaz with a 7-0 wipeout.

The title deciding game lasted longer than the rest in this final round, and after the Hollywood All-Stars capitalised on an early mistake by the Corporation side they rarely looked back.  A trading of 3-point strikes took the score swiftly to 6-0, but the Carbis Bay Buccaneers fought back three times (from 6-0, 6-0 and 5-0), with their star striker Dirk Pitt scoring two 4-point strikes and a 3-point strike to bring it back to 1-0, before another unforced error on the last turn yielded the game, and the title to the Hollywood All-Stars.

Greenskin Clobbaz Vs Plague Bearers (0-7)
Orcland Raiders Vs J (1-0)
Blue Bronzed Blitzers Vs The Lost (7-0)
Veery-myn Foundation Vs Gromril Giants (0-1)
Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs Hollywood All-Stars (4-0)

The Final League Table:

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Hollywood All-Stars
Carbis Bay Buccaneers
Blue Bronzed Blitzers
Veer-myn Foundation
Gromril Giants
Plague Bearers
Orcland Raiders
The Lost
Greenskin Clobbaz

The Awards:
Tournament Champions – Andy Canham with his Hollywood All-Stars
Best Painted – Adrian with his Orcland Raiders

The Carbis Bay Buccaneers.

The Gromril Giants.

A CoSHH nightmare - The Plague Bearers.

The Champions - The Hollywood All-Stars (Brad Pitt included!)

The clear winners of the Best Painted Award - The Orcland Raiders.
Three of the Greenskin Clobbaz menacing a veer-myn.  
One of the surprise packages - the Veer-myn Foundation.  

A rare shot of a guard from the famously publicity shy Blue Bronzed Blitzers.
The teams once more, this time with trophys next to the winning sides.

The winners once again - the Hollywood All-Stars during the final presentation.

The sole Locust team; The Lost.

A team known only as a symbol -   :-)

The Tournament In Numbers
  • ·         Out of 20 matches a total of 7 ended in 7-0 wipeouts, three of which came in round 2.
  • ·         Only 2 teams avoided defeat; the winners Hollywood All-Stars, and the tough men of the Blue Bronzed Blitzers.
  • ·         The Corporation teams won the most points, with their three gaining 24, the two rat sides scoring 11, the single forge father getting 6, and the Locusts only just dropping below the three marauder teams; 2 vs 4.
  • ·         The Carbis Bay Buccaneers claimed the most 7-0 wipeouts with 2.
  • ·         If the tournament had been worked out on the post-lunch results the Gromril Giants would have come joint top; food obviously a factor.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Dreadball - The Carbis Bay Buccaneers!

I had a short and frank word with myself earlier this week, and decided that the name I had given my Dreadball Corporation team was, frankly, pants.  So pants I'm not even going to mention it.  So I’ve come up with one with much more originality, that sounds more interesting, and used the opportunity to plunder a couple of favourite pieces of fiction, although if anyone can guess BOTH I will be impressed….The owner remains the same, and with no further ado or guiding the lily, and with a colour photograph of the finished team and participants in this weeks Dreadball tournament, I give you……..

The Carbis Bay Buccaneers!

Their club owner is an eccentric mysterious individual of which little is known but much is rumoured, and is simply called Tiberius by his friends and team.  There is little record of his existence beyond 6 years ago, and he himself attributes his wealth to “a bit of adventuring”.

The Strikers: Dirk Pitt, ‘Mad Jack’ Dahlgren, Hector Barbossa, Jack Sparrow
The Jacks: Rudi Gunn, Will Turner, James Norrington, Joshamee Gibbs
The Guards: Al Giordino, ‘The Admiral’ James Sandecker

(Disclamer - This is a shocking photo which does not display the brilliance of my failings as a painter.  It will be replaced in due course).

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Work In Progress......August 2013

August has been a very slow month for painting.   As in shockingly slow.  I blame football manager, and football in general.  I finally got the push I needed to finish my Dreadball team, which included making the last two corporation models (nasty mould lines) and all 10 are now painted to go with my referee and ball.  The push came courtesy of the Dreadball tournament which will be played out this Saturday; I’m aiming for non-humiliation and a mid-table position, any higher and I’ll be ecstatic.  The sand and flock order from Baccus arrived for use with my ACW 6mm troops, and I put it too use test-basing an infantry regiment to reasonably good results.  I'm working on two short posts about my ACW and about my Dreadball team.

Coming up this month – there is currently nothing blocking my work on my 6mm Union regiments, so I suppose I’ll have to have a bash at getting them based for an actual small game on a table somewhere.  Managing that by the end of the month will be a good target.  Sold the final remains of the Wood Elves, some Dwarfs and some Khemri skeletons, but misjudged the postage to devastating effect so I may as well have paid the ebayer to take them off my hands.  Sad face.

Other questions that dominate life include; why am I getting so many views on this blog?  Confused.   Painted section includes 6 Dreadball players and a regiment of Union 6mm infantry, which I’m counting as ‘1’ per strip of 4 mini-men, I’m over 300!

Painted: 309

Purchased:  441