Saturday, April 16, 2016

Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures - Updating a Classic



Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures has recently returned to the Two Hour Wargames line up as a straight reissue of the original game. So just what is in the book?

Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures or simply WHAA moving forward, is your key to adventure in the sprawling fantasy world of Talomir. Inside you will find rules for small and larger skirmishes, dungeon crawls, and even mass battles. Your adventures will take you to some fifteen countries where you will encounter friends and foes - mostly foes - from thirty-one army lists.

As if that were not enough the rules provide a complete adventure generation system including random enemy forces (PEF's in game parlance), a lair generator for when you bring the fight to your foes, and an AI, or Artificial Intelligence, that breathes life, or in some cases un-life, into your non-player enemies. All you have to do is roll the dice.

In fact this was the first Two Hour Wargame to introduce PEF's and AI, making it our first truly solo and co-op play friendly game.

So with all of that between the covers what's not to like? The layout and presentation!

Back in 2008 when the game was first released, THW's was in a state of transition from  cult publisher of unique and innovative rules with old school charm, to the more professional and streamlined presentation of today's games. 

In terms of both presentation and mechanics, WHAA, is showing its age but still has plenty to offer.

With that in mind it is my intention to re-visit the rules and updated them significantly. I've no idea if THW will publish a new edition but I think they should. There is a great system in here that just needs a lick of paint and a bit of organization. In any event I will try to get the updated mechanics into the hands of verified purchasers of the current version if all else fails.

First up is a  simple open air encounter to try out my new take on the Adventurer combat mechanics.


Altengard knight, Sir Adelbert is out patrolling the countryside for marauders.  Sir Adelbert is a Rep 5 knight with heavy amour , acompanied by his bannerman, also a Rep 5 knight, and four mercenary, unaroured horse crossbowmen, each Rep 4.



Heading towards a distant dust cloud they have come upon a party of  8 orc riders out for a bit of a pillage. The riders are Rep 5, unarmoured, and have the Terror trait.

 

The orcs immediately closed on our hero, but were unable to come to grips on the first turn.


The crossbowman let fly and one orc dropped from his mount and one retired.


Sir Adelbert ordered a charge, but his men hesitated, clearly not sure of their chances.


For their part the orcs feinted a charge hoping to rout the humans by the mere threat of a charge.


In this they were unsuccessful and the orcs retired to regroup for another go.


The humans followed up at a stately pace, firing as they came. No losses resulted but one orc was goaded into a charge. Sir Adelbert took up the challenge and met the foe head on.


The combat was inconclusive and both opponents remained locked in combat.


Perhaps encouraged or even shamed,by their comrades display the rest of the orcs charged!


This time two bolts found their marks and the orcs now found themselves out numbered, six to five. Which was just as well considering that the mounted crossbowmen were individually no match for the terrifying orcs.


Both knights won their combats, and two mercenaries lost theirs. The remaining two mercenaries managed not to be killed by the orc facing them.


Another volley of bolts saw one orc down. Victory seemed near at hand with only two orcs left to face five humans.


The mercenaries moved to the flanks to try another round of shooting to no avail. 
Sir Adelbert and his bannerman charged and put down the last two orcs.\


After the battle any still living orcs were dispatched and the wounded mercenaries seen to.
Both would live but were to severely wounded to stay in the field and the party retired.

There you have it. Just a first blush at the update, but it went well.

Thanks for stopping by and look forward to more reports as the updating progresses.

Sir Adelbert is an Old Glory figure and his band are all Citadel figures painted by the author.
The orcs are from Alternative Armies and painted by their fabulous in house studio.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Latest Troopship from Scotland

A lot going on here so I must keep this brief, 

Received a huge box of figures from Alternative Armies yesterday most painted and based to their usual high standard. Some few in bare metal per my request.

Here they are, in not too scenic a display I fear:


Six HRE gun crew. These are Pudagroan dogs painted in the manner of the HRE (Holy Rottweiler Empire). There are also four light and two trois barrel guns that may be seen in some of the other photos.

For those of you unaware of this line, AA's dogs are THE DOG's, and the Pudagroan line takes the canine art to a new high. Highly recommend for those looking for Gentledog Warriors.


Twenty mad orcs on mad boars. Pure old school goodness.


Matching orc boar chariot with two versions of an orc lord. One to ride in the chariot and one dismounted to fight on foot.


Ten Toadaroni light cavalry on Hippos, with one additional officer. . Or as I like to think of them...."hippomobile". I will get my hat.

This is part of my effort to bring my existing cavalry units up from 10 to 21 figure strength.


The crowning glory. King Bonnio or in my world the Emperor of the HRE, here inspecting the sixty curiassiers of the heavy cavalry arm.


And finally a bit of housekeeping. Additional standard bearers to allow the Grenadier Guards, the 24th Hobgob Foot, The Cold Sceamers, the Black Watchit, and Strathcarnage and Killmore Highlanders field both a Kyng's and Regimental Colour. Also there is a piper for the Black Watchit.

There you have it. A fine group of figures.

Next up, hopefully, will be some new rules for Warrior Armies: Armies and Adventures. This is one is a favorite among those I have developed and its re-release in it's original form gives me a chance to write what I would have done differently and what tweaks I do apply to my games.

Until next time.

Thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Border Raid with The Wargame Part II


First off my apologies for the delay in providing this report of the action. First it was the Easter Holiday and then....receipt of Charles Grant's "Napoleonic Wargaming" left me a bit distracted.

In a good way. You see I have never really enjoyed the fire combat system in "The Wargame". Could not put my finger on it, but something just didn't click with me.

"Napoleonic Wargaming" has a firing system that makes perfect sense to me and so this game was played using those rules bolted onto "The Wargame".

In particular the Napoleonic game has a nice scheme for light infantry fire that, IMO or course, is more representative of that arm's strengths and weaknesses. Even more applicable in The Wargame given that light infantry tactics were in their infancy during the 1700's.

Now on to the game!


The Ottermen cavalry rushed forward trying to catch the dog stragglers before they could make the safety of the redoubt..


On the right a band of swords otters appeared from the valley.


Using a dice driven variable move sequence, present in neither Grant book...


...it was a close run thing indeed.


The dog piquet gaining shelter...


...with not a moment to spare.


The Otterman gnoll riders took a few hits as they thundered past.


Do gnolls "thunder" or do they "pad"? Opinions welcome in the comments section!


At this point the first Imperial and Royal reinforcements arrived from the left. A squadron of dashing hussars.


They promptly tore into the closest band of Ottermen.


Boldly sabreing left and right they set the Otterman band to flight.


Meanwhile the gnoll riders, having veered away from the earthwork, reformed on the right.


Things were not looking well for the Othari host.


A second squadron of hussars appeared on the left of the field and immediately engaged the gnoll riders.


At the same time, and while the otter right was in turmoil, the swordsotters assaulted the earthworks.


The dogs let off a disappointingly desultory volley as the otters closed. The dogs must have been too excited after seeing off the gnollriders.

However they doggedly repulsed the otters in paw to paw combat. 


On the left the hussars rode down their target...


...while on the right, the newly arrive hussars were put to flight!


The gnoll riders gleefully pursing them off the table.


The victorious hussars withdrew to regroup.


As did the swordsotters.

With their cavalry off in wild pursuit, and with more than one third of their infantry hors de combat, the Otterman withdrew back across the border.


The light dogs had done their job of acting the trip wire beautifully.
The hussars had mixed results of course, but the raid was certainly blunted.
It now remains to hunt down those gnoll riding otters who are marauding through Imperial territory.

That's all for now. Do hope you enjoyed the thing.

All figures were painted by Alternative Armies' painting staff.
The earthworks are from Paul's Modelling Workshop.
The terrain tiles are from Old Glory.
The trees and rough ground from The Terrain Guy.
The ruined building and tents are from Games Workshop.
The wagon is from Dwarven Forge.
The dodgy signal fire has been converted from a nice set by Fat Dragon Games
The rocks are from the backyard!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Border Raid with The Wargame

Borders are a wonderful source of inspiration for skirmish gaming. In some cases its hard enough for two opposing parties just to agree on exactly where one land ends and another begins.

Even well agreed upon borders need be no obstacle to a determined plunderer. Indeed in some cases such a border can be a positive boon. Witness the cross border forays of the Apache, Comanche, and other tribes into and from the US and Mexico. Once back across the border the raider is, if not safe, at least well protected by opposing national sovereignty and pride.

Sometimes these cross border raids take place with the knowledge, or even backing with plausible deniability, of one of the sovereign states involved.

And such is our case here: an Otterman lashkar has decided to raid a camp of Holy Rottweiler Empire grenz.


The dawn greeted the doggie piquet with the site of robed otters approaching en masse.  The scouts dutifully held their post until the signal fire was well and truly alight and then legged it for the redoubt post haste.


Sleeping dogs were roused from their tents as the bugler sounded the alarm. The detachment commander barked orders! The redoubt must be held until relieved.


In the distance, Omar-abd-Fisher Pasha led the advance.

This game will use Charles Grant's The Wargame rules. I recently developed a set of solo rules written by George Anderson for the Advanced Tobruk board game, and will be using those rules to control the otters.

I will control the dogs.

At scenario start I am well outnumbered with two musket armed and one sword armed unit of foot backed by a unit of gnoll riders, 40 figthing Ottermen in all versus my 12 light infantry.

Hopefully the signal fire will soon bring relief in the form of the rest of the light infantry, 12 more dogs, and two squadrons of hussars, a total of 10 horse.

Will they arrive in time?

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Fortress Assault Historical Fiction Style: An Encounter for 95th

Fortress Assault

 Saragossa, Almeida, Badajoz. The Peninsular War saw its fair share of daring assaults and dogged defenses.
The guns have been sited. The breach has been declared practicable, and the storming parties formed.
The two Encounters that follow allow your 95th player character to experience the terror and exultation of assaulting a breached fortress wall.
Both Encounters share the same table layout and terrain rules.

Table Layout



Terrain Features

Terrain

·         The board is divided into nine sections. 
·         The wall runs along the line between sections 1/4, 2/5, 3/6, splitting the table in two, two thirds of the way in.
·         The breach is in the wall section between sections 2 and 5. A breach about 3 inches wide is sufficient but of course use whatever terrain you have available.
·         If you do not have a model wall, a strip of card 3” wide will do to mark the wall in 2d. Either cut out a breach or mark it with crayon/pencil/marker.
·         In sections one and three there is a stairway leading from inside the fortress to the top of the wall (the parapet).
·         Beyond the breach, inside the fortress will be a section of barricade. This obstacle would have been hastily placed by the defenders once the wall had been breached.
·         The rest of the table south of the wall (sections 4-9) is empty of terrain but considered torn up and debris strewn.
·         You may place a few houses on the north side of the wall or leave that area open as you choose.

Terrain Effects on Movement

·         Movement along the parapet counts as clear terrain.
·         Movement from the wall to ground level is not allowed except via the breach or the stairs.
·         A figure may move through the breach at a double the normal movement costs. That is to say that a figure moving through a 3 inch deep breach would spend 6 inches of its move.
·         A figure may move from the breach onto the top of the wall on either side at a cost of 4” of movement. The same applies to moving from the wall to the breach.
·         It costs 4” of movement to climb or go down the stairs.
·         No figures in the breach or outside the fortress may fast move. No Mounted figures may move on the wall, the breach, nor across the broken ground in sections 4-9.
·         The barricade costs 4” to cross.

Terrain Effects on Combat

·         The wall blocks line of sight from sections 1-3, to and from the rest of the table..
·         A figure on the wall is in cover from any shots coming from sections 4-9.
·         A figure on the wall is not in cover from any shots coming from sections 1-3 or the breach.
·         The breach does not provide any cover but does block line of sight between section 2 and 5.
·         A figure in the breach may be seen from both section 2 and 5.
·         The barricade provides cover to any figure providing the shooter is not adjacent to it.


Forlorn Hope

In this Encounter, you have volunteered to lead the first assault team into the breach. Success will result in great renown and favor. However death or maiming is a more probable outcome. At least no one can fault you for failure.

Objective

·         You must seize control of the breach and adjacent wall sections. You may count this mission a success if at least one of your figures makes it onto the wall and remains there for a entire turn neither OD or Out of the Fight. We presume that follow up assault forces will arrive to exploit your advantage.
·         Play continues until you succeed or concede defeat…or when you have no figures left with which to attempt success.
·         If your character fulfils the objective you may automatically increase Rep by 1 up to a value of 6 maximum. There is no need to roll for this increase.
·         If your side fulfils the objective but your character does not, you may still roll for Rep increase even if your character was rendered Out of the Fight for his or her efforts.
·         An officer or NCO character who survives a successful encounter will also be promoted one level in rank. Although this may have no effect on play it does allow you a more impressive title J

Forces

·         Your group can be as big or as small as you desire. Ten or so figures ought to do.
·         The enemy forces will be based upon the type of game and Encounter you are playing.

Deployment

·         You will enter the board through sections 7, 8, or 9. 
·         The first PEF is automatically resolved as enemy and placed on the walls. This party will number half, rounded up, of your storming party.  These are the Sentries.
·         The second PEF is deployed behind the barricade.
·         Roll to deploy the third PEF by halving the score of 1d6. The PEF will start in section 1, 2, or 3.

Special Instructions

·         Your group enters the table through section 7, 8, 9, or any combination of those sections if you choose to split your group.
·         After you have entered the table, place the PEFs.
·         Night:  The Forlorn Hope sets off just before first light. Treat this game as taking place at night.
·         Alertness: Each time the defending side activates roll 3d6.
·         If the result of this roll is equal to or more than the distance from any sentry to any member of the Forlorn Hope, the defenders have been alerted to the party’s approach.
·          If the result is less than the distance in inches from any sentry to any member of the Forlorn Hope, the defending troops do not activate this turn.
·         Once the defender is alerted there is no need to keep rolling  the 3d6.
·         Cacrass: Was a form of illumination used during this period. The turn following the turn in which the defenders were been alerted, sections 4-9 are treated as illuminated and figures in those sections may be seen as if the game takes place in daylight.
·         Sentries: When a breach had been effected and an assault appeared imminent it was common practice for sentries to have a number of loaded muskets on the wall nearby. This saved considerable time between shots as the sentry did not need to reload so long as another loaded musket was available.
·         Each time a sentry fires roll 1d6. If the result of the roll is less than the current turn number do not place a “fired” marker by the sentry. The sentry is free to fire again when next called on or allowed to.
·         If the dir roll is equal to or exceeds the current turn number, place a “fired” marker by the figure as usual. This sentry has used up his supply of loaded muskets and must abide by the standard rules for firing muzzle loaders for the rest of the encounter.
·         Fougasse: Once a breach was effected the defender would lace the ground approaching the breach with the forerunner of today’s land mines. These mines, called Fougasse, required someone to set them off at the right time and were not automatically triggered.
·         At the end of each turn in which assaulting figures are present in section 5 roll 1d6.
·         If the result is one, or the result is greater than the number of assaulting figures in section 5 there is no effect.
·         If the result is less than the number of assaulting figures in section 5, a fougasse explodes.
·         The fougasse uses a Blast Circle of 5”. (CRFV pg. 20).
·         Center the blast circle in such a way that it covers the maximum possible assaulting figures.
·         Each figure then roll for damage as if hit by an impact 3 weapon.
·         There is no limit to the number of fougasse that may be expended during the encounter so try not to linger in section 5!

Into the Breach

The Forlorn Hope has been repulsed. Now it’s the turn of your storming party. At least you don’t have to worry about fougasse anymore.

Objective

·         You must seize control of the breach and adjacent wall sections. You may count this mission a success if at least one of your figures makes it onto the wall and remains there for a entire turn neither OD or Out of the Fight. We presume that follow up assault forces will arrive to exploit your advantage.
·         Play continues until you succeed or concede defeat…or when you have no figures left with which to attempt success.
·         If your side fulfils the objective, you may still roll for Rep increase even if your character was rendered Out of the Fight for his or her efforts.

Forces

·         Your group can be as big or as small as you desire. Ten or so figures ought to do.
·         The enemy forces will be based upon the type of game and Encounter you are playing.

Deployment

·         You will enter the board through sections 7, 8, or 9. 
·         The first PEF is automatically resolved as enemy and placed on the walls. Go to How Many Enemy, and place that many on the wall.
·         The second PEF is deployed behind the barricade.
·         Roll to deploy the third PEF by halving the score of 1d6. The PEF will start in section 1, 2, or 3.

Special Instructions

·         Your group enters the table through section 7, 8, 9, or any combination of those sections if you choose to split your group.
·         After you have entered the table, place the PEFs.
·         Daylight:  This encounter takes place in daylight.

But What About…

These two Encounters have been abstracted quite a bit to give the feel of an episode of historical fiction. There is quite a lot of factors that played into the success or failure of an assault. For that matter the assault would be undertaken by hundreds, rather than tens, or as in our case ten men. Cannon would roar, Mortar bombs would fall from the sky, and as often as not rockets would streak through the sky. The powder smoke would be thick and cloying. The  men on wall would hurl grenades, caltrops, even masonry at the men making for the breach. At the same time as this drama was occurring, other storming parties would assault other parts of the defenses. These other parties might be intended simply to distract and confuse the defenders or represent a full on attempt to conquer the fortress via other breaches in by escalade…an assault by ladder.

We may presume all of this is going on while your character is fighting the very personal sort of encounter represented here, oblivious to the carnage and mayhem elsewhere on the field. 

Finally, this post  shows the rules in action.

Hope you enjoy them!

Bob