Saturday, June 16, 2018

Lions Rampant and some cultists

Bruce was back in town so I swung by Tuesday night for a quick game. Bruce hauled out some 15mm Lions Rampant and ran a scenario I hadn't played. 

The Sheriff of Nottingham had lured Robin Hood into a trap. Robin set up on the far side of the table and had to escape off either of the near corners. The Sheriff had to split his forces, with some mid-table, some on the escape baseline (foreground), and some appearing behind Robin on turn 2 (assuming they activate).

Robin came up the right side of the table, shooting the Sherrif's men to pieces! But then the Sheriff's force showed up behind and rode down a bunch of peasants.

Things got confusing after that with the Sheriff's knights accounting for most of the kills, despite being badly wounded and charging into bad terrain (OVER AND OVER AGAIN!)

In the end, we figured Robin would have gotten two units off the board, meaning a 6-2 win for the Sheriff. Notably, both the Sheriff and Robin were casualties early on in the game!

Some bad weather also meant I got some painting down. I finished dup three 28mm cultists as well as four columns (Reaper) that I picked up at Red Claw last week.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Memoir 44 at the club

I hosted a game of Memoir 44 at the club this past week. The first game saw me battle Scott. In the second game, Scott switched sides and Dan took a poke at him. The scenario was from the Memoir campaign book and was early-war.

Hannut-Merdorp was the first big tank battle (1500 tanks altogether). I pulled out some 1/7-scale figs to populate the scenario but somehow short the French a tank unit during the first game.

The figures are a mix of plastics and metals, including some of the recent Zvezda stuff and a healthy amount of Esci, Revell and Matchbox.

I use figure removal for causality tracking, leaving the biggest base on to the end.  The main German bases below are Zvezda while the single figs are Esci, I think.

The Germans attacked the French left while the French chipped away on the right. The Germans on the left made some initial gains, isolating the French units in the towns.

But then there was an armoured assault by the French and Germans were routed. Combined with a bunch of small wins on the right side of the table, the French won 6-3.

Game two saw the French at full strength and the battle started on the right side of the table. The French cleaned house here and then turned the German line for another 6-3 (I think) win.

Thanks again to Red Claw for hosting us and to Scott and Dan for playing. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Pikeman's lament in Saskatoon

Work took me to Saskatchewan last week and offered me a chance to drop in and see my friend Tim Brown. Tim agreed to put on a game and pushed through illness to finish painting up the troops!

Scenario was attacker catches the defender sleeping in pre-dawn raid and tries to burn the buildings. I had a great set of activations on Turn 1 and everyone moved forward. Unfortunately for me, Tim's dice were amazing and all of his units woke up and deployed and he picked up some special figures.

My two mounted units then charged his rabble and beat them bloody.

The pride of Saskatoon measuring to see if he has enough room to retreat!

Another shot of my only moment of glory in the game as the first unit evaporates and the second unit is charged.

Tim responded by vaporizing one of my shooter elements (my morale dice were terrible all night).

About this point, I made my only major tactical error and tried to burn the tents before activating other units. This was a harder roll than activation and I lost initiative. I did get to study Tim's amazing plaids while he plotted my doom.

Then this happened and my dudes took a thrashing against the formed pike. I did eventually get this unit (which put me close to winning) but Tim routed other units as my morale dice continued to blow.

I think the picture below was pretty close to the end.  The formed pike unit on the left got run down and then my horse turned on Tim's command (middle of town).

I charged, took casualties, he retreated, and then I had to follow up and got slaughtered! Game over!

Thanks to Tim for a fun game of Pikeman's Lament. He mentioned a new SYW version of these rules due out for Xmas so I'm eyeing up rebasing my 1/72-scale War of 1812 figures as singletons.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Freeman's Farm in 54mm

Taylor dropped by Thursday night for a quick game of C&C Tricorne and I selected the Freeman's Farm scenario based on the troops I had painted up (need to paint more cannon!)

Basically there are two lines that start within musket range and a tonne of trees.

The British look more powerful, with cannon in the middle, grenadiers on the right and Hessians on the left. The rebels have a concerning amount of militia in the middle of their line.

Our game saw a lot of action on the American left. After some shooting, the Americans were driven back.

So I reformed a refusal in the hope of winning elsewhere before the British grenadiers could get to me.

There was then a serious tussle in the middle and some inspired card play by Taylor. This was followed by shite rolling by me and three units of militia routed in one round! This left me with lots of room to maneuver in the centre... .

At this point it was 6-0 for the British (more bad rout rolls) and the game ended at 7 so it was time to take some risks. So I rushed a unit forward with a general attached and just started meleeing my way through his line (the Liberty or Union flag is my hero unit).

Suddenly, it was 6-5 for the British and I was back in it!

The battle on the left disintegrated into a swirling fight among the trees.

Taylor then advanced his grenadiers and regulars on the left and it became a desperate right between a small number of units. I was all set to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat but crapped out and lost a unit during a battle back!

A well fought 7-5 win for the British. Good lord, do militia suck!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Monsters and cultists

I pushed out a few more Heroclix repaints this week. There are two snake-like creatures plus a giant or demon of some kind. These will work fine for a Buffy scenario.

A few weeks back, I did a "my junk for your junk" trade with Chris and I ended up with a box of Empire Flagellants.

I thought these would serve as useful cultists for pulp games so commenced building (sigh) and painting. Nice sculpts with lots of motion.

They scale pretty well with 28mm Heroclix. I originally had these on square GW bases but decided they would look better on clear discs.

I quite like the fire and whips and skull theme. These are not a slick at the Northstar cultists that Terry has (which are sweet and pulpier) and these are all men, but they will do for now.

I have a bunch more of these on the painting table so they will likely comprise production for th next few weeks.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Some May the Fourth Pulp Alley

I ran a Star Wars-themed game of Pulp Alley for May the 4th at the club this week. Scott has most recently seen a Star Trek episode (TOS no less) so got to choose gangs first. He picked Planet of the Apes. Craig selected Buffy and the Scooby Gang. Chen picked Klingons. And that left Richard with Han Solo and friends.

Players got points for killing figures, solving minor plot points (which revealed NPCs), and for capturing and escorting their NPC off the board (e.g., Klingons had to capture a Romulan). The setting was the stockyard section of Sunnydale and The One's manipulation of time and space to brought our gangs together.

The Apes quickly ran towards a plot point which set of a flurry of dashing about. (Plot points were tribbles). By the end of the first turn, each side was firmly on the board.

Which is about when the Zeds started crawling out of the sewers (in lieu of a major plot point). This was a surprise to everyone.

The Zeds moved at the end of each subsequent turn (with additional reinforcements appear out of each manhole) towards the nearest figure and seeking to brawl. The players had quite surprisingly bad rolls for zombie entry (everyone rolled maximum zombies for several turns--I almost ran out of zombies!) and great roles when playing the zombies against other players.

Several figures got trapped battling (and basically farming) zombies. For example,  Chen's Uwan spent the entire game calming dispatching the undead in this spot

Scott had a similar experience with Cornelius being essentially taken out of play by endless Zeds. Craig used Buffy to farm Zeds and earn points. I suspect next time there would be more running from the Zeds rather than getting trapped.

The Apes eventually solved a plot point to reveal the Romulan that the Klingon's needed. Scott immediately wanted to kill her. I hadn't thought about such a blood-thirst strategy but went with it. Scott and Chen then battled over the Romulan for much of the rest of the game.

The Scooby gang had a tonne of trouble with their plot point. Xander blew himself up. Willow eventually solved it to reveal the droids needed by Han Solo.

The north side of the board continued to be inundated by Zeds. Han Solo discovered the Ape general by solving a plot point and quickly dispatched him (so blood thirsty!). Uwan killed more Zeds.

Solo and Chewy made a move on the droids with a rebel trooper hitting Willow with fire. Chen quipped "Your archaic religion is no match for a blaster."

This was, sadly, the high water mark for the Star Wars gang as the zombies washed over them shortly afterwards ("ummm, Chewy...").

We called the game at the end of Turn 6. Chen narrowly won on points but was also the only player to recover his objective and be heading towards the exitd. Scott and Craig were close behind in points. The Zombie mechanic was a good idea but slightly over-powered: one Zed per manhole per turn would have been fine.

Thanks to the players for their good humour. I was so happy I remembered almost everything. I left Luna Lovejoy's wand as the initiative marker at home so we McGyverized a solution (a box of paper clips). Thanks also to Red Claw for hosting us.