Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Campaign reboot - and then there were 3

The "First Contact" battle that was posted was meant to be the first battle in a new Dwarves vs Beastmen Songs Of Blades and Heroes campaign. But a mutual friend, Paul, had expressed an interest in the playing the game, so was invited in. As we only meet every fortnight this did leave us the quandary of how to play a campaign with 3 players, but we've decided to have a go at running a series of 3 way battles and see how it gets on. We are social gamers after all!

Now some of the scenarios in the "Songs of Deeds and Glory" campaign are not compatible with a multiplayer battle, so I've been looking at adapting or changing them so that we still have a random table to roll on. Still using the table from Songs of Deeds and Glory I've made a few alterations (in red):

Scenario Table (Roll Two Dice)
Dice RollScenario Played 
2Ambush - Presplit each force into 2 groups, each group must be at least a third of the warband points total. Instead of 2 counters per figure just have 3 counters per side. One Dummy, Two real. As per Ambush instructions. Player gets to choose which warband segment is revealed if it is not the dummy 
3Treasure Hunt 
4Place of Power 
5On Difficult Ground 
6Seize the flag. Each warband has a home base with a "flag". First warband to seize and carry anothers flag off their table edge wins. Mounted figures can't carry flags. Flag carriers fight as per standard bearers. 
7Burn Them Out. - Still to be finalised
8Assassination - All figures are numbered. Each player randomly selects (and secretly notes) one figure in each opposing warband. Winner is the player who has killed the most of their appointed secret targets. In a tie, point victory point per 20pts killed forces. If an opposition force kills your target - tough! - you can't claim for it. 
9Seize the High Ground
10Accidental Meeting - Set up a per ambush, except that players don't know which counters represent which force. Players can position counters as per rulebook scenario. In 3 player each player can position one of their own and one from each of the other two forces. Must be more than long from another counter. Pre-split the forces with one force being as close as possible to a third of the warband size. WHen counter activates roll a die. 1 or 2, false alarm; 3 or 4 smaller group; 5 or 6 larger group 
11Take the Land 
12Holdout : organise armies as per rules. 3 VP for routing/killing an initial force before reinforcements arrive. Otherwise 1VP per 20pts 

Monday, 27 February 2012

10mm Painting Comp Entry

Here's my first (rather optimistically indicating there may be a late second one) entry to the Pendraken 2012 Painting Competition. The standard of painting really makes a mockery of the scale. I'm not expecting to win anything, but am using the comp as a bit of motivation to get some painted. My ratmen, however, may be a bit too late to get finished in time, but I will get them done at least...

Friday, 24 February 2012

First Contact

Battlefield: Hill Land
Weather: Strong Wind
Scenario: Burn 'em Out
Defender: Johan's Beast Herd


Valgen Maest's Dwarf Warband

Valgen Maest- Dwarf Commander (Sword, Shield, Chainmail).
Points: 95, Quality 2+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Leader, Fearless.
Falster Vonlyr - Elite Warrior (Heavy weapon & Shield)
Points: 46, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Short Move, Steadfast, Fearless
Harthic Urduum - Warrior (Hand weapon & shield)
Points: 34, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Short Move
Ovthur Whurdar - Crossbowman (Chainmail, crossbow)
Points: 24, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Short Move, Medium Shooter
Rangar Doomquarrier: Gunner (Blunderbuss)
Points: 41, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Short Move, Short Shooter, Blast
Glanthur Harfik - Cavalry (riding a bear)
Points: 52, Quality 3+, Combat 4, Special Rules: Mounted.

Johan's Beast Herd

Johan Tierpfleger - Human Leader
Points: 60, Quality 3+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Leader

Torgor (Beastman 1)
Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
Kragos (Beastman 2)
Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
Arax (Beastman 3)
Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
Sidern (Beastman 4)
Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Forester, Savage
Jamwar (Young Minotaur)
Points: , Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Dashing, Savage
XertonJamwar (Centaur Archer)
Points: 75, Quality 4+, Combat 3, Special Rules: Big, Savage, Long Move, Long Shooter


The beastmen had a hut in the center of the board. The dwarves were to simply burn it down (which took one action) with one of the 3 torch bearers (marked in setup photo).

The Young Minotaur heads down to meet 2 of the torch bearers whilst the Dwarf cavalry flanks round the back to menace.

The young minotaur only manages to knock down a foe, whilst the bear rider continues to harry.The ranged beastman centaur comes down to try and ward off an Elite Dwarf.

Left and right, the dwarves close in to the outlying beasts

The beastmen try to seize the advantage, either outnumbering the foe, or engaging the torch bearers.

 The beastman finally takes out a torch bearer. Meanwhile the Young Minotaur has paid his earlier lone charge out to the dwarves and they march on towards their objective. To protect them, the bear rider come up the hill and engages with a defending beastman.

The bear cavalry gruesomely kills a beastman causing half the defending hilltop force (including the leader) to flee. The remaining dwarves use the new-found space to get a torchbearer to the hut. The dwarf Elite Warrior tries to rub salt into the wounds, but only knocks back the centaur.

The beastmen desperately try to get a lin eon the torchbearer at the hut, but everyone is engaged or our of range. The Centaur uses its knocked back status to its advantage to get away from combat and back up the hill, but doesn't roll enough actions to get off a shot. The leader returns to the hill to boost any quality rolls and the final torchbearer at the foot of the hill is engaged to stop his movement and ranged fire. But all the dwarf player has to do is roll one activation for the dwarf at the hut and it's all over.

But MacSver gets a bit cocky and decides to play a bit more. The lure of his bear cavalry in range of the beastman leader with a leader bonus proves too much and he rolls 3 dice - DISASTER - 2 ones! The bear moves in base-to-base but his turn is over and the hut still stands. One more chance was what the centaur was waiting for. He charges into melee to take advatange of his big special rule and save the day, but battles poorly and is himself knocked over. With everyone else tied up in battle no-one can reach him. The torchbearer at the bottom of the hill is attacked but only knocked down, so the dwarves get a second bite at the cherry.

MacSver is a bit more canny on his activation rolls this turn. He still can't resist an attack on the leader though, but can only score a knock-back. He manages to stand his fallen dwarf back up before unleashing all his dice to torch the hut, which he manages.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

A Thong and a merry dance

The party face off against the marsh dwellers.
Note the system battle mat which shows the combat stance and
not the physical position of the character

The conclusion of the introductory One Ring adventure was played out last night, with much enjoyment all round again. We actually managed to have all the players round at the same time which was a bonus! The Party managed to blunder and flounder our way through the Mirkwood forest before being forcibly drawn toward the final showdown area, what appeared to be a dis-used temple.

It never seems to amaze me how we all manage to fail what seem to be the most mundane of dice rolling tests. One such episode of head-in-hands rolling left Paul, who has only played 3 RPG sessions in his life, wondering what to do as the rest of the party wandered trance-like into a fetid pond leaving him on his own in the hostile wilderness. It's certainly keeping our GM on his toes thinking of awful consequences as we roll the "Sauron" symbol with alarming regularity. Conversely we seem to roll the hallowed "Gandalf" symbol for completely improbable innocuous searches, leaving him with coming up with a suitable, but not game breaking results. A fine example of this is one of the dwarfs rather optimistically searching for a mythril shirt in a treasure pile of gold coins. The player rolled a Gandalf (which guarantees a success) and a six in his dice making it an extra-ordinary success. So the dwarf spied a glint of mithril in the pile, but far from being the mail shirt he was looking for I think it's suffice to say that the hobbit now has the best protected "crown jewels" in the land!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Necessary Evils

7:15 in the morning, basing my 16 behind schedule 10mm ratmen for priming tonight. Only a week to get them done before the closing time (and my deadline) in the Pendraken painting comp...

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Final Chain Reaction

Well, it's finally out. After years of tweaking and buggering about Ed from Two Hour Wargames has nailed his colours to the mast and released a final version of Chain Reaction that not only defines the basis of THW's Reaction system but will form the consistent basic system for all (or at least the lions share of) the Two Hour wargames titles. With no changes.

As most long suffering readers here will know I've made a conscious effort to get to grips with the Two Hour Wargames system. I actually had a copy of CR2.0 when you had to pay for it (imagine!), even though it was free and moved to version 3.0 before I'd ever played it (frugal lesson here - don't buy rules until you're ready to use them!). Arabian Squire and I have have had quite a few fun games over the past year or so with this basic free set.

Having a quick look through (without playtesting I must strain) there seem to be a few immediate changes from the previous Version 3.0

  • The "In Sight" test has changed (again!), although it looks simpler and the test table has been done away with. The rules have reverted back to the "everyone takes the test" of old, instead of just the inactive figure(s),  as was previously the case. As this is one of the most "complicated" and most used rules in the system this can only be a good thing. It'll be interesting to see how the uncontrolled actions from the test results play out compared to the old version, as this was always one of the fun parts of Chain Reaction.
  • Melee has changed a bit, although unless you are playing a side with no guns (bugs or werewolves for example) this is rarely used.
  • Shooting is pretty much the same.
  • There is a new "Cohesion Test" - think morale test.
  • The Non player force rules seem to be better explained/fleshed out.
Overall I'm looking forward to giving these a go. A change in "In Sight" test is always a bit of a challenge, but I'm hopeful that once played through a few times (as always) it'll start to stick.

So what are you waiting for, download it!

Sunday, 12 February 2012

VASA can you do?

Slightly ahead of schedule Arabiansquire and I broke out the Urban War starter sets I'd bought last year (and still not finshed constructing) and gave the game a bash. One of the reasons that I'd bought into the game was not only because of the wee lads interest, but because it seemed simple enough to play - no doubt a direct back-lash from the brain taxing play of Warmachine at the time!

Well I'm glad to say that after I'd re-read the quick start rules we managed play through a test encounter without too many problems at all and enjoyed the game. Good news.

I also made me start to think about painting up the starter set pieces .I had hoped to look at this a bit later in the year, but after just finishing painting up some 10mm I was looking for something a bit larger and eye relaxing as a break before my next 10mm batch. As a result I painted up a test VASA Suppressor:

For more of my own use than anyone elses, I primed in Halfords Grey Primer, armour pads and face mask were in Vallejo White, Boots and pieces in Miniature Paints Dark Grey and the Gun is black. The whole figure was given a wash in GW Devlan Mud and then the sections highlighted with their original colour (Mini Paints Mid Grey for the primer areas). The Vasa logo, buttons and breathing bottle have GW Red Gore on them.

Pretty quick (30 minutes-ish) as I don't want to spend to long on them to get them to table top use. Looks OK as well, so I think I'll roll out the scheme to the rest of the squad.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Duck! The Hobbit is Shooting

Most the RPGers came round to the hobby shed last night for Session 2 proper of "The One Ring" last.

**** SPOILER ALERT *****

We are playing the introductory adventure, so be aware some details may appear. This isn't an AAR though.

The party (2 Dwarves, and Elf and a Hobbit) have been given a quest to find a couple of Dwarves who have disappeared into the wilderness carrying an important artifact. We must track them down and return with the artifact. Starting in Dale we've wandered down and eventually found ourselves punting through the Long Marches and Northern Mirkwood. The system forces the players to look at their character skills and adopt different set roles in the traveling group, which is a nice change from the usual "marching order" which make the group feel like everyone has a role to play within the group, instead of the Elf or Ranger taking all the tests!

Combat was introduced in the first session, with the "to hit" targets on both sides being dictated by the aggressiveness to the fighting style rather than just a skill stat. We fought off some large tree spiders and were feeling pretty confident in the second session when a Troll lurched out of the marsh waters to devour us. I would like to say we duly dispatched it, but in truth the GM felt he needed to give an unsubtle tactical hint towards the end, as we had an unconscious Hobbit, an near exhausted Elf with a broken bow, an axe-less Dwarf and another near exhausted Dwarf. Once you add in the fact that the Elf is now corrupted by shadow after autopsy-ing the Troll(?), one of the main fighters only has a dagger left and, after a mix of words, a Hobbit has a reputation for fancy underwear, it's been an eventful night!

I fear for the party for when the GM starts to actually throw some serious challenges at us...

Saturday, 4 February 2012

10mm Paintng Competition

Sometimes painting motivational events come along at just the right time. Sometimes it's starting to play a game again, others a show on the horizon. In my rough production line of projects I'd loosely planned getting back to painting my 10mm dungeon figures after sorting out my Beastman warband was in my mind. I managed my beastmen on schedule (end January) and was thinking about my 10mm adventurers when an email came through from their manufacturer, Pendraken, announcing a painting competition, taking entries in February. Perfect timing then!

My painting really isn't up to competition standards, but as a bit of fun and a target to aim for I'd be daft to resist. I hope to at least get the extra dungeon adventurers pack done and finish off the dungeon extension box that I bought last May at Carronade. After that I may try my hand at making a couple of custom dungeon pieces (cavern walls and bridge for example) or have a go at the horde of ratmen I also have.

We'll see - adventurers first...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

The Beastman Warband

Managed to get the final figures finished for the miniature pool for my Songs of Blades campaign, so I'll just go over the creatures and stats. All profiles are from the rulebooks with the exception of the Beastmen   and the Young Minotaur, which had to be made up.

First Off the Beastmen Warriors:

Beastman Warrior (34pts): Q4+ C3
Special Rules: Forrester, Savage

And the rest:

Human Leader (60pts): Q3+ C3
Special Rules: Leader

Human Chaos Warrior (42pts): Q4+ C4
Special Rules: Mutant, Heavy Armour

Centaur Archer (76pts): Q3+ C3
Special Rules: Long Move, Shooter (Long), Big, Savage

Minotaur Warrior (52 pts): Q3+ C4
Special Rules: Big, Savage

Young Minotaur (34pts): Q4+ C3
Special Rules: Dashing, Savage

Harpy (48pts): Q4+ C2
Special Rules: Flying, Distract

As a note to those curious, the Beastmen Warriors are a mix of Games Workshop and Marauder (although I can't remember the manufacturer of the old beastman second from the left); the Harpies and Young Minotaur are D&D miniatures; the big Minotaur is Game Workshop; the Centaurs are Mage Knight and D&D; the Chaos Warrior is from Heroquest and the Human Leader is a Games Workshop Mordheim Possessed Magister.