Sunday, 18 September 2016

Mordheim Season 3 - Free at Last!

This week saw the fourth installment of the gripping cereal (no not Wheetabix) that is Mordheim Season 3, 'The Season of the Witch'.

The bands had gathered back at the smoldering ruins of what was once the town of Dalberz, intent on freeing (or dispatching, depending on which band was which) some adventurous prisoners rumoured to be left for dead within the town jail, following the recent rampage of Undead in the city, stripping the town of it's inhabitants.

Once again the Undead of Kev, the Skaven of Andy W, the Dwarves of Ian, the Marienburg Mercs of Dave, the Witch Hunters of Andy L and the newly appointed Protectorate of Sigmar were all present to lend a hand at freeing the poor souls and potentially adding (or not) to their warband numbers in the process.

It was noted that following the usual random deployment round the table, it was once again Dave's Marienburger's that kicked off the proceedings as was becoming usual too and the Merc's headed purposefully towards the Jail in the centre of the town, the rest of the bands followed suit but with slightly less alacrity and the Dwarves made more of a move towards the Skaven who in turn, dropped a gear and sprinted towards the town Jail too.

The town smolders, while a few brave souls
pick their way through the smoke and ruin
This proved to be the main event for the first part of the game with the Skaven launching everything they had at the Mercenaries who in turn all piled into the Jail and entered into a no hoplds barred punch up in the pokey. The Merc's first sprang the four of the cells, one of which held a Skaven Assassin, which they duly dispatched but didn't have time to do anything else as the Skaven piled into the building.

The Merc's occupy the Jail

The Dwarves continued their plodding move round to the rear of the Skaven and the Witch Hunters continued their equally cautious move through the ruins towards the Undead. Meanwhile, the Protectorate edged forward and were sniped at by a lone Dwarves archer type the wily short-ones had left to guard their rear. The Undead equally slow to move forward edged along in cover moving slowly in the direction of the Jail.

The Undead shuffle along in cover avoiding the
 Protectorate marksmen

The WH move slowly through the town
As the fierce melee continued within the Jail between the Merc's and the Skaven, the rest of the bands continued their approach and mid game things looked as if they might develop into a massive punch up in the middle of the table around the Jail.

The bands begin to converge, with a possible
 big barney in the middle looming
The Protectorate then veered away from the centre and moved towards the rear of the Dwarf line and the Protectorate Archers began to snipe at the back of the Dwarf group but only managed to stun or knock down their targets with the Warrior Priest and accompanying Templer's moving towards the Dwarf Rear Guard. 

Skaven and Merc's fight it out in the ruined Jail house
with the Dwarves waiting to pounce
Protectorate sniping at the Dwarves
The WH's still creeping through the ruins
Then with a flourish, the Skaven were gone having lost their rout test having taken the worst of it in close fighting within the Jail despite the newly recruited Rat Ogre getting in about it and the Merc's proving their mettle.

This changed the scenery of the game and the likely outlook. With Dave's Merc's on voluntary break tests after his battle with the Rat People but occupying the Jail in a pretty strong position and now possessing all the surviving prisoners, the four other bands changed tack. The Witch Hunters picked up a gear and moved with purpose towards the Undead and the Dwarvesm, robbed of the arch enemies the Skaven, about turned and now moved towards the Protectorate who were beginning to be annoying. The Undead who till now had only magically sniped at the Mercenaries if one of them showed face at the door of the Jail now moved towards the Jail in an attempt to rest the prisoners from the Mercenaries before they legged it.

The Undead approach the Jail
The battle in the western portion of the town between the Dwarves and the newbie Protectorate was fairly short but better than expected from the Protectorate point of view as they managed to stand for a couple of rounds shooting at the Dwarves as they approached and managed to take out one of the Stunties before the whole Dwarf team steamrollered in and the Warrior Priest and three of the henchmen were taken out in fairly short order. Minimising loses the Protectorate legged it.

The Witch Hunters emerge into the fray
One the eastern side, the Witch Hunters surprised the Undead before they pounced on the Mercenaries and launched their attack on the lead Undead ones and once again a fairly brief but telling melee erupted as the WH hounds and Flaggelants charged in and though little over all damage was done they focused their attacks on the Vampire and with a mass of attacks landing they put the stunned Vampire on the ground and then finished him off.

Protectorate still sniping at the Dwarves
The WH's pounce on the Undead
The Mercenaries, now apparently ignored loosed a few pot shots out the windows of the Jail at the passing Witch Hunters and seemed to be particularly accurate today and dropped a couple of their number. This was followed by them deciding that nothing more was to be gained and voluntarily left the building and the game with a passle of prisoners in tow to add to their number for the following game.

The fight back from the Undead and the casualties from the Merc's proved to be enough for the Witch Hunter's and they broke too but not before taking out a couple of Dregs from the Undead number.

Once again, the last two combatants were the Dwarves and the Undead and these two bands squared off in the ruins to the south of the Jail, but with the Vampre gone the heart wasn't in the Undead band (or indeed their hard hitter) and after an attempt to force a rout check failed and the casulties mounting the Undead called it a day leaving the Dwarves the victors of the field, bloody but unbowed but without any prisoners to add to their number.

Final fray, the Dwarves and Undead again beat each other up
Another good enjoyable game with lots of too-ing and fro-ing. The post game round out proved costly for the newbie Protectorate losing the three of their henchmen (but not the Priest mercifully) but the stonker of the story was the death of the Vampire leaving the Undead on a sticky wicket. They can re hire him but Kev will need to save his pennies for quite a while before he can afford to. The Merc's have now free use (for one game anyway) of the five Hirelings they freed and make them pretty tough stuff for the next round and the Witch Hunters and Skaven are getting to be a bit more of something to be reckoned with.

Next up for the Bands is a Raid, with the Dwarves to choose who they attack. Either a raid on the Necromancers Allies, the Witches Coven or are they going to move against one of the other Bands (either the Witch Hunters or the Undead) to reduce their capabilities for the forth coming battles.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Empire vs Vampire Counts - 6th Ed Warhammer

Last week, myself and John Muir had decided on organising a game for this weeks club night and with neither of us had anything particular in mind and we ran through a few options to see what peeked our fancy, and it was John, rather randomly for him, plucked out of the air the option of Warhammer, though with 6th Ed rules, being the latest version he had in his possession or indeed played. Myself, having liked the 6th more than it's proceeding versions a lot more (mainly because I had actually managed to win some games of 6th) thought this a splendid idea and we ventured into WHFB territory once more, the first time in yonks.

Both armies head purposefully towards each other

John went for his usual undead themed Vampire Counts and of course I led my Empire into the fray each with a 2000pt pitched battle, nothing fancy as both of us were a bit rusty on the rules to say the least.

We both picked things up again pretty quickly however, and other than me getting a few different edition rules in my head, things went pretty quickly all in all.

Apart from my atrociously bad deployment and putting my Great Cannon behind a hill and trees so that it only fired in the first round of the game, killing a solitary skeleton and my General and his accompanying knights never actually getting into combat, the Empire held it's own rather than crashing and burning as it would normally do against the Undead, though helped in a large dose by John's poor to terrible dice rolling and his miraculous ability to miscast spells in almost every round,

One thing I had forgotten though I remembered when it happened was that when defeated in combat and outnumbered by fear causing foes, your unit automatically breaks, and I remembered this when losing a combat by one and outnumbered by a couple I lost an entire unit of swordsmen and a Warrior Priest when pursued. I did have revenge though when for one my Greatswords actully chopped up John's nasty Knights right at the beginning with little loss and though by attrition, also managed to remove his unit of Wights with the Army Standard over about three, if not four rounds.

End Game and not much left on table when time beat us to the punch
As usual with these games, we were pipped at the post by time and at the end of the game John had his largely intact Skeleton units on the table and his ethereal General plus a handful of Zombies still chewing away at the Flagellants and I had my untouched General and Knights plus half the Greatswords, plus a unit of Archers and a Unit of Handgunner's who also hadn't managed to do very much either.

A very enjoyable and worthy trip down memory lane for the both of us and likely to be repeated event sometime in the near future.

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Chaos Wars - Trial Game

Earlier this week, myself and Andy W had a trial game of the 're-invented' Ral Partha Fantasy rules 'Chaos Wars'.

I had noted the existence of these rules somewhere on the blogosphere and of course checked them out when I saw that they were free for download.

With seven fairly chunky volumes available for download including Core Rules, Building Army Lists, Campaign Setting Details, Sample Army Lists, Personalities and such, there is quite a breadth of material produced for the rules.

I'm not completely au fait with the whole story behind the rules, but in short they are the set produced back in the Eighties by Ral Partha, but brought up to date by Iron Wind Miniatures who are now producing the Ral Partha miniatures lines and bringing these out under kick-starter waves.

We trialed a small game (meaning four or five units a side) using their 'low fantasy' setting, meaning small amounts of fantasy add-on's like beasts, heroes etc. and went through the mechanics of the rules which turned out OK though we did make a couple of mistakes in going through things on the first run as you often do, mainly giving heroes attached to units their full attack stats rather than merely adding to the unit stats, but all in all things appeared to be un-broken and worthy of further trials on a grander scale.

The basic mechanic of standard unit  sizes ala Lion/Dragon Rampant of 12 figures for infantry and 6 for cavalry being the basis of the game, and generally fairly similar in feel but with the addition of flank attacks etc. and some differences too. 

All in all, though I am not hugely a fan of the standard 'limited' unit size/element type rule sets, these do appear to give a good feel for this type of rule set and produced a fairly satisfacory quick play game and as such are definitely worthy of future attention.

You can check out the rules and the various supplements on the Ral Partha site.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Iskandria Once More...

This week I have been mainly playing...Urban War.

With no campaign games looming and a bit of a lull generally for the summer season, Kev and myself were looking for a game and we plumped for a game of these old favorites, spurred on by Kev's wish to put his very nice Forward Post terrain bit's from Antenociti's Workshop on the table. No problems there.

With a bit of a change in line up from our previous forays into Iskandria, I went with a squad of Viridian Marine's and Kev played his Koralon gribblies.

The game played out in a fairly typical manner. The first few rounds, the Marine's seemed to be unable to miss anything and the Koralon forces were depleted seemingly with ease and they approached their break point (50%) very quickly. Even by opening a portal and vallumping some gribblies including the big one, into the centre of the Marine's troops failed to make a dent in the troops lines as the Sergeant took out the first alien as it emerged from the portal much to everyone's surprise then succumbed to the onslaught but the next lowly Marine grunt then proceeded to dispatch the next alien with his knife and took a wound from the big nasty and held the centre by himself for several turns.

On the flank it was a similar story as the grunts seemed to have charmed lives and took another couple out in close combat and only losing one of their number in return.

The wheel turned however as it usually does, and with the Koralon forces making their first break test they dropped a gear and the Marine's started using rubber bullets, still hitting everything they aimed at but failing to wound anything. C'est La Guerre.

In fairly quick succession the marine's lost a further four, mainly on the right flank, and once reaching break point, failed their first test and broke.

Another close and enjoyable game, which is always nice.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Dux Britannnium Campaign - October 565 AD

Starting positions after deployment

This game was the last of the campaign year and probably the last game of the campaign for the Scots of Cenel Loarn, and this time they were out to raid their near neighbour's, Ian's Picts in Fib.

We randomly threw up (that sounds wrong, but you know what I mean) the Raid on the Church scenario and with the Scot's as the attackers and Pict's defending, the Scots coming on at one end of the table and with the randomly thrown position of the church half way on one side of the table and the Picts luckily (or unluckily as it turned out) randomly deployed on the same position as the church.

The Scots got a fairly low head start roll and only had the minimum two rounds of move before the game started properly.

The game was there after, extremely short lived. Two of the cavalry unit's squared off and fought each other to the withdrawal as a side show behind the church. The main event was the two bands of warriors lining up to the side of the church, four groups of Pict's and three groups of Scot's (though expanded by four warrior's due to previous game advance's). The Scot's got the charge in first as the order of the activation's came out and with a Carpe Diem card and a couple of extra cards charged in and with the same number of dice each in the first clash the Scots got a massive seven kills and a horribly huge number of shock points too, aided by the effects of the cards used.

The Pict's unsurprisingly broke, and with a second round of combat as they fled and were pursued by two of the Scots Warrior groups were practically destroyed and the Pict's were off the table being so close to the table edge to start taking with them their skirmishers who were caught in the Scot's pursuit. Game end with most of the Pict's off table by the end of the third round of gaming.

This bring's the campaign year to an end for the Scot's and with interest waning for the Dux B campaign, the end of the Campaign too.

I quite enjoy the rules to play, mechanic's wise but the randomness of the play/scenario's often has meant the games were often over before they began. A problem to be redressed by only playing pre-set 'designed' scenario's to balance out the games and make things much more interesting.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Steel Fist Knights & Men at Arms

Recently received these very nicely done knights from the Steel Fist Kick-starter recently run.

Sculpted by Oliver James they are all late Medieval or Renaissance period armoured Men at Arms. The Kick-starter had five sets to choose from (I picked up three of the five sets) and all were very nicely done. The standard Bearer is the add on it you choose three or more sets.

Mr James is looking to do another project which I believe may be mounted figures which if so, I will definitely stump up for.

Really looking forward to get these painted up.

Mordheim Season 3 - Further into the Woods

With the result of Round 2 being the Dwarves gaining the Witches treasure and getting to choose the Warband's ventured next, being Dwarves, Ian plumped to go after more loot rather than heading back to Dalberz and aiding the town now about to be under further attack from the Necromancers minions.

So, leaving the Town to it's ignominious fate, the bands headed further into the Drakwald Forest and hunted down the lair of another of the Coven of Witches which were allied with the Allek the Necromancer.

With the usual suspects all present, it was the usual random deployment with Dave's Marienburger's taking point and starting the turns, next up was Kev and his Vampire lead Undead, Andy W and his Skaven and my Protectorate of Sigmar at the head of the table, Andy L and his Witch Hunter's and finally Ian's Dwarves at the far end opposite the Marienburger's.

In the centre of the table, in amongst the wooded hills was an old woodsman's hut, now occupied by the Witch and her two Dire Wolf pets, waiting to hear the sound of advancing warbands and ready to make her escape.

The Marienburgers kicked proceedings off and advanced to take up a position on the hill to their front. The Undead politely nodding to their evil partners in crime the Skaven, agreed on a non-aggression pact, and began to move round the rear of the rat-pack towards their arch enemies, the Protectorate.

The Skaven i, with the main game objective of looting treasure in mind, made a bee-line foe the Witches hut with the Protectorate moving out at an angle to intercept them.

The Witch Hunters, who on deployment sat facing the Witch and her hounds made a fast advance straight at the Witch with the Dwarves spending a couple of rounds indecisively, first towards the Marienburgers and then changing course and heading round the flank of the Witch Hunters towards the Witches Hut and the oncoming Skaven.

Protectorate move towards the Skaven while the Vampire
crew circle round
The Witch on her first turn having immediately got someone within 10" of her hut made a bolt for freedom, and randomly determined, headed straight into the Witch Hunter's. For a round or so we thought the old woman and her two poodles were going to take the WH's to bit's, which would have been amusing but it was not to be, and Andy pulled out all the stops and took out the Witch and her Hounds gaining extra experience and a treasure token for his trouble.

Undead advance through the woods
The game naturally split into two halves with the targets now zero'd in. The Undead advanced quickly towards contact with the Protectorate and the Protectorate changed face to suit and the Skaven continued their dash for the prize on the southern half of the table. On the North the Marienburgers, Dwarves and Witch Hunters began skirting each other a maneuvering but the Dwarves and Witch Hunters also making a non-aggression pact danced round each other and the WH's headed purposefully towards the Marienburgers, their arch enemies leaving the Dwarves to move towards the on coming Skaven being their enemies.

The Skaven reach the hut and search furiously while the
Marienburger's survey the oncoming WH's
The initial clashes were then set with the each of the rival pairs heading for each other. The first to hit was the Undead and Protectorate pair up. With a volley of arrows coming at them as the Undead headed into contact, all failing to hit their mark, the Vampire and hounds charged in knocking a couple of the Sigmarite's to the ground. The Skaven sent a couple of giant rats into the Protectorate flank just to slow them down too.

The Undead (and a couple of Rats) charge the Protectorate
The Protectorate hit back was pretty much ineffectual mainly due to the fear causing enemy ability and with the Wardog's not managing to make contact with the zombies taking up the Undead rear, and an archer taking out one of the giant rats but otherwise not a scratch.

The Skaven reached the hut and a bit of a scrap ensued with the WH's rear as they in turn advanced on the Marienburger's splitting their force slightly.

The Witch Hunters split their attention between the Marienburger's
and the Skaven while the Dwarves slowly advance
The Undead next proceeded to pretty much take apart the Protectorate as the rest of their number piled in and at the end of the scrap over a round or two, the Vampire even managing to get his wound stealing spell off in the melee, one Undead had fallen at the end but only two of the Protectorate were still fighting and the Protectorate beat a very hasty retreat putting them out of the game.

Dwarves and Marienburger's mop up the Skaven
The Skaven were next to get a drubbing as the Witch Hunter's rear guard took a hand at dishing out punishment and the Dwarves arrived to add a fair whack to the proceedings. In pretty short order, the Skaven were down to only their Sorcerer who had jumped in to the Witches hut and just managing to give it a good search over the minimum two rounds before they broke to avoid loosing the Treasure they had picked up in the hut.

Dwarves beating up some Skaven
The next part of the proceedings involved the Witch Hunter's charging the Marienburger firing line uphill taking shots as they advanced though in good order. The charge, wehen it hit was not very effective with only one of the Marienburger number getting knocked down.

The hit back from the mercenaries was a bit more effective an a couple of the Witch Hunters went down. To much ribbing and cat calls the Witch Hunters on their next turn voluntarily routed not wanting to lose any of their number.

Marienburgers begin to venture down from their vantage point
And then there were three. The Undead continued their circuit of the field and began to move in on the Dwarves who consolidated their rankls and moved to meet them. Meanwhile the Marienburger's moved forward cautiously finally coming off their high point and seeing how the on coming fight would fair. 

Undead close on the Dwarves
The Undead spread out and attacked the Dwarves in two waves. Once again the fear causing played it's part and though Kev was unhappy about the toughness of the Dwarves and expected a beating up, the Vampire managed to cast his wound gaining spell once again and his forces dealt a fair beating to the Dwarves though not all his own way and dropped a couple of his number but not nearly as bad as he had feared. The Marienburger's from a safe distance lobbed arrows at anything that could be seen.

Ian realising there was little to gain from continuing the fight with the loot gone and all treasure tokens already hoovered up decided to beat a retreat from the field having dropped three of his number.

Dwarves caught between the advancing Marienburgers
and the Undead
The Marienburger's, largely untouched now headed away from the Undead main force and headed to the Undead deployment area where the Vampire had sent a couple of Zombies carting the treasure tokens they had picked up, in the hope of knicking them. The Vampire crew now head back from whence they had come to fight of the mercenaries..

Undead and Dwarves clash.
The last fight when it came was brief and bloody with the Merc's lining up once again and but failing to do much in the shooting phase and when the Undead hit the fear causing undead dropped a couple in the initial hit and the next round saw enough casualties for Dave to decide that enough was enough, giving the Undead their second victory.

A very different type of game this time with all the players playing it canny and looking to maximize gain and experience and much maneuvering and grand sweeps (almost Napoleonic in feel, with firing lines and all).

The post game round up produce a few loses for most, but the Protectorate, having lost their captain last time and his step-in having lost an arm now proceeded to get a disabling chest wound, the Templar also receiving a chest wound, the other Acolyte a leg wound and missing the next game, and ignominiously the Huntsman lost an eye and Crusader down too and little cash it look's like the High Priest of Sigmar is going to pension out this group and appoint another Sigmarite hit squad to see if they can do a bit better than the last.

With another 'evil side' victory, the bands now move back to 'civilised' parts and look to add some recruits to their cause by way of a prison break, while leaving the town of Dalberz to it's grizzly fate and it's inhabitants adding to the ranks of Allex the Necromancer's growing army.
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