Thursday, May 19, 2016

Troopship from England!

"The world under heaven, after a long period of division. tends to unite; after a long period of union tends to divide. This has been so since antiquity."

-Luo Guanzhong, Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Although not a common topic in western wargaming, I have been increasingly drawn into Chinese history. English language references with of any great detail are sparse though, so I opted to trust DBA!

Liu Bei and leads his cavalry.
Enter Ian Kay of Irregular Miniatures!

Ian very kindly provided me with two painted DBA armies and some extras. Those of you in the know already know that Irregular have a tremendous range of figures ranging form 54mm down to 2mm. It is really quite astonishing.

Shu knights led by Zhao Yun, one of Liu Bei's "Five Tiger Generals".
The figures are "true 25's" and are a bit smallish next to more modern 28mm figures. It's mostly noticeable when it comes to horses, but some may find this off-putting. Not a problem for me as they currently make up both sides and I don't mind the difference compared to the 80's era Citadel and Alternative Armies figures they will be mixing with in their adventures.

Shu Spearmen

As an added plus the infantry fit just find on Warhammer Human Standard 20mm square bases!!!

What Dark Age Chinese army would be complete without serried rows of dour crossbowmen?
The order was processed quickly, painted to a fine standard, and...Ian being unsatisfied with one of the castings he planned to use as too early for the period, up and sculpted a new figure to suit.

Shu Auxiliaries and Swordsmen

I  have based these figures individually. This allows for their use in element based games with the movement trays shown, or as is more likely in individual figure games.

Shu Light Horse
I intend to use them with Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures as I continue to update that title.

Shu Engine and Psiloi
I've only shown the Shu army here. The Wei army is pretty much identical both in look and composition. This was a deliberate choice on my part. As in the War of the Roses, during the Three Kingdoms period warlords and their retinue changed sides with sometimes confusing frequency. This is a boon for me as the entire force can be fielded as a single army as needed.

On a final note although I  have based these fellows I have yet to flock them. Too busy with the long delayed Winged Man conversions to get to flocking them now:

15mm.co.uk Balrog, re-purposed for 25mm gaming.
More on that anon.

As for Irregular Armies I give Ian a big thumbs up, and a warm thank you!
All in all I am very satisfied with Ian's services and look forward to purchasing more in the future.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Reviewing the Troops

Recently I've embarked on a project to make sure that all of my Great Britorcn battalions have two standards, both the Kyng's Colour and a Regimental Colour. For the Orcs this was no problem as in fact each battalion already had both. No the trouble lay not in Albion but in Joccia and Taffsea. These battalions are sold with one standard, er... standard. Although come to think on it now, the Guards, needed  second standard as well.

Many of the orc battalions carry standards designed by the good folk at Alternative Armies. For my regiments, the standards are often designed by manipulating an image of one of the "official" standards.

Here now are some photos:





The colour parties of 14 regiments of Greate Britorcn line battalions , ranged by seniority from the 1st Foote Guards on the viewer's left to the as yet unnumbered Toad Hall Fencibles on the left.
>Nine orc, three rat, one hobgoblin, and one weasel battalion all ready to take on the Elven menace. Depending on theatre and time these are brigaded with Al-Garvey goblins, Brewswicke Dwarves, Hunvarian dogs, apes and rabbits of the United Provinzes of Fruit and Veg, units of the Kyng's Giant Legion, or goblin, halfling, and otter sepoys of the HEIC.
Not pictured are the light infantry battalions, horse, and guns.



The HobGobs of Harleck, renowned for their fighting both in Aegypt and Haflingland. The origins of their motto, "Faaaasends of 'Em" is lost to the vagaries of time.



The South Morder Regiment, one time unhappy home of Riekard Sharke. Their motto, I dare not repeat here.



The Strathcarnage and Killmore have a chequered history. During the Mammothite Rebellion they were raised by the supporters of Wee Woolly Prince Charlie. In more tranquil times they were taken into the Albion Line in recognition of their fine fighting skills. Their Mammoth Badge and motto "Aye Sae!" are said to represent their ties to "The King Under the Glacier"



>The Eyes in Gourds, motto: "Come and have a go if you think you're hard enough!".



The BlackWatchit: Motto: "We'll be Coming, We'll be Coming Down the Road" is apparently a reference to this "Tartan Army" being always ready for a Barmy.



The Coldscreamers' Motto "Tha Kyng's Awrite Lads!" hearkens back to their role in putting down the Mammothite Rebellion, where their loyalty to the House of Hunvaria was never in question.



The Toad Hall Fencible Legion, raised by, and at the expense of, Sir Hector Toad, has been taken into the line by a cost conscious Parlement. Their motto is that of the Toad family: "Semper Buffo!"..."Always Toad".

As always, thanks for stopping by!





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!