Monday, November 28, 2016

Caruthers demands enquiry!!

The smell of battle, the smell of death, sloughed across the fields. The stench of blood lingered cloyingly in Winstanley's nostrils as he grudgingly placed one foot in front of the other. There a knot of blue and red clad bodies piled high and surrounded by a circle of semi naked bodies, their strange markings standing stark against the dead white flesh. A little further on whisps of smoke drifted up from the twisted and tangled remains of Lord Chelting's once glorious flying machine. Lord Chelting himself stooped over the wreckage, picking and prodding.

A tear marked its path down his blackened face. And where now the glorious, pompous yet endearing General Caruthers, last seen standing defiantly amongst the few survivors of his brave headquarters guard as the hideous flying saucer descended upon them for the third time?

A voice rose from the still of the scene. "Over here Sir". He raised his head towards the sound, a blue coated arm beckoning repeatedly. He quickened his pace, a reluctant viewer of what would undoubtedly be yet more despair.

There, beneath another all too familiar mound of bodies lay a form he recognised. Backs bent and hands pulled, eager to uncover the body of their leader, their hero, their idol.

"Gently there damn it all" a voice commanded. Winstanley bent towards the inert form, reaching his hand to cradle the head, when the eyes flicked open. "Get the bastards" the voice squawked. Winstanley's heart leapt, startled yet joyous to hear the voice.

"Sir, you are alive".
"Of course I am, damn your eyes Winstanly. Do ya think I'd bally well be talking to you if I weren't?" and the familiar huff whistled through his nostrils.

The day had begun in usual fashion, with breakfast. Even on campaign it always began with breakfast. Caruthers had issued his orders for the day, adamant that the hell fire and brimstone breathing half naked heathen extremists and their damnable magicians would be sent back to the fires of hell from which they had so obviously come.

The armies line up, Andy's Egyptians on the left, the British VSF on the right.

The battle lines advanced, and Lord Chelting in his wondrous machine took to the skies, swooping towards the enemy battle line, supported by one of the army's small flyers.

Meanwhile Caruthers held centre stage, advancing with his two glorious steam robots.
Caruthers urged his air force forward, and his two airboats joined Lord Chelting as they penetrated behind the enemy line.

The Egyptian aerial hero in his magical saucer came forward to challenge the threat behind his army's lines.

In the meantime Caruthers brought forward his glorious lancers, their flank protected by some of his mounted infantry riders.
 Pressure mounted on the Egyptian left, and the air battle behind the lines began in earnest.

Air battle begins in the upper left of the photo

Chelting's supporting flyer is destroyed, and Chelting is recoiled. he over flies the threat and the airboats come in in support

The airboats join the attack

Meanwhile Caruthers begins to make headway in the centre

A gap opens up in the centre of the Egyptian line

Lord Chelting comes back into the fray after one of his two airboats is destroyed

Only to fall victim to the aerial hero himself.

The tussle in the centre continues

And now Caruthers' airforce is supplemented with the arrival of his newest addition, a gleaming mechanical dragon

Meanwhile on Caruthers' right his lancers charge into action  against an Egyptian hero and a behemoth supported by archers

The dragon swops into attack the rear of an Egyptian wizard

And is defeated. The crew, afraid to lose their wonderful machine, given the pride with which Caruthers greeted their arrival, flee the battlefield for fear of losing their stripes (and their back pay)

The Egyptian aerial hero and small flyer attack the rear of Caruthers' line

And one of the wonderful steam robots crashes to the ground, letting off a hideous stream of steam

The aerial hero then attacks Caruthers himself from front and rear. In this case the archer unit attacking from the front was relatively easily repulsed.

On the right the knights, supported by Winstanley (hero) clean up the Egyptian left.

and Caruthers continues to make progress in the centre

Caruthers is then attacked by the aerial hero again.. and 
O... M.... G.. Caruthers is last seen fighting valiantly against  overwhelming odds  ... is all lost? And the centre is demoralised at the loss of their commander in chief.

Winstanley, seeing his idol fall to the aerial hero, swings around and charges furiously into the exposed flank of the Egyptian centre. he hacks, and slashes, calling forth other units to support him as he fights across the battle field to save his own hero.

The British left is also now making progress

And volleys of artillery fire ring out, bringing down more Egyptians.
Finally the Egyptian army breaks as the centre command becomes demoralised itself, and the day belongs to the British.

This was our second Big battle HotT game, with Andy's now near complete Egyptian army tackling my Victorian Science Fiction army. Andy had opted for an unusual deployment, putting most of his army into one large command that held the centre., He wanted to ensure that he always had sufficient pips to move his aerial hero (his CnC). On his left was a small command with his behemoths. This one was however held up by bad terrain.

Andy's big command theory almost worked. However just as he demoralised my centre command I managed to demoralise his largest command and so when added to his other losses meant that he had lost over half of his army, and more points than me. This was one of the two disadvantages of his big command theory. Interestingly the fact that he had one PIP die for the largest command (of course) wasn't as much of a problem as I would have thought.

This was yet another awesome game, and I have to say that despite the technical win, it was really an honourable draw.

That said, Caruthers is demanding an enquiry into the performance of his 'air force' with the loss of Chelting's wondrous machine (aerial hero) a flyer and one of the two airboats.

Watch out for more Big battle HotT action.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Another quick reno job

Another bit of renovation, a quick one this time.. some archers that were first painted in 1976 (whew, really?). These come from the old Airfix Robin Hood set, and were painted as levy archers/foot for the original Hun army. They will do for DBA with the Huns, HotT as shooters for the barbarians, and Kings of War as archers for the Kingdoms of Men (the same Barbarians or Huns/cavalry/knights.

The received a touch up on the original block painting, a wash, a few quick highlights and new scenic'ing of the bases, with static grass applied.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Austro-Hungarian HMGs

Painting output is pretty paltry at the moment, but I have finally managed a little more.. ten HMG bases for the 20mm WW1 Austro-Hungarian army.

The figures and guns come from the Irregular Miniatures range. The AH army has never been complete. These M]HMGs make the necessary numbers for all of the scenarios in Shawn Taylor's 'Summer Harvest' scenario book, featuring scenarios from the easter front 1914.

There's a bit of a shortage of Hat AH infantry in town at the moment, but Andy has come to the rescue and has a box for me. I'll pick this up over the weekend. This should allow the AH army to expand to a suitable scenario size.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Big Battle Hordes of the Things

The omens were muddled, the messages unclear. There before them stood a human enemy, but also those already dead, and above them mysterious machines that spun and flew like birds. What devilish hell was this that the Gods had concocted and thrown at the victorious barbarian armies?

This was our first full three command Big Battle HotT battle. Andy commanded semi historical Egyptians, accompanied by wondrous flying machines and the skeletal remains of those already fead, perhaps transported through the mysterious star gate. The army included a hero, two magicians, and three behemoths.

This was my first outing with the Barbarian/Hunnic hordes complete with 2 trolls and 2 mammoths (all behemoths), a hero and a mix of warband, riders and knights. The troops were also hoping that they might be blessed with the support of their glorious Tree God.

The armies face off, the barbarians on the left, the Egyptians on the right

The Egyptian hero flanked by two magicians, holding Andy's left flank

Archers in front, and the behemoths behind. Andy's deployment here unfortunately meant that he was unable to use the power of the behemoths.

Chariot knights and blades deployed in front of Andy's Stargate ( with parts fresh from the 3D printer and still awaiting a paint job)

Throg the troll supporting the warband deployed in the barbarian centre

The barbarian deployment had riders on the right supported by some knights and a mammoth behenmoth

The centre was held by warband supported by two trolls and hero CnC

The barbarian left was held by knights supported by a second mammoth behemoth. This flank looked pretty dangerous

The first clash on the barbarian left

The behemoth destroyed the enemy general (mounted in a chariot)

The barbarian left flank saw some 'argy bargy between knights and blades

The centres close

In a lucky round of combat the Egyptian chariots are destroyed

The centres clash in what was to be an epic struggle. The trolls are recoiled in combat

Meanwhile the barbarian riders close in around the magicians and general holding the Egyptian left

The Egyptian CnC (aerial hero) supported by two flyers had over flown the barbarian centre and began an attack on the rear of the warbands.

On the left more blades fall to the barbarian knights

In a decisive round of comat the Egyptian left wing command is demoralised as the general and two magicians are destroyed by the enveloping barbarian attack

In the centre the epic struggle continues

Starved of pips the barbarian left ins unable to have any decisive impact on the struggle in the centre

The Egyptian flyers are now in amongst the warband.. the outcome isn't pretty for the warband

Smaller actions continue of the left

And still the titanic struggle in the centre continues

The left has only desultory action

The two hero CnCs clash, and their first round of combat is drawn

Things start heating up on the left again

But those two CnCs are adamant they will see an end to this battle

They draw the combat, and the result is an odd number - both are destroyed

What does this mean?
The last round of combat demoralised the Barbarian centre but at this point both sides had lost their CnC, AND the Egyptians has lost more elements than the barbarians.

Victory had gone to the Barbarians, but only 'by a whisker'. And never a sign of the blessings of the Gods that they had been promised in the omens.

So that was our first Big Battle HotT, and what a game. We both felt that this was a much more enjoyable game than the traditional 24 point HotT (even though we both enjoy those games too). The flavour and feel of the game were totally different. The command challenges were more interesting without being excessively demanding.

We'll be playing more.

And did I mention that there were beer, coffee and sausages rolls?