Friday, July 13, 2018

Pottering around the edges

With the recent household shift, I've only just got back to some painting and modelling. It has all felt a little like 'pottering around the edges'. I have managed to finish what I hope will be the aerial hero for the newest HotT army, Weird World War 1 British.

I use a terrain concept on the base in order to lift the plane (a 1/72nd scale Sopwith Camel) up off the table. This is purely for the purpose of playability to allow other troops to be able to but against the base without interference form the model itself. I know I could have used a smaller scale plane, but I really like these 1/72nd scale beauties, and they match the flyers and aerial heroes that Andy has used in his matching WWW1 German army.

And it just seemed right that a Sopwith Camel (sans pilot, you should note.. that's a bit spooky!!) should be an aerial hero. Now for some foot troops.... mwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Attaque a l'outrance August 1914

With the new war games room set up and christened with some fun Wings of Glory, it seemed like a good time to get down to some serious business. Keith, Andy, Jim and I managed to get together for a Great War Spearhead game.

The scene is eastern France in the opening days of the war in August 1914. French and German forces are advancing towards each other in some of the more heavily wooded terrain in the region. I wasn't able to replicate any specific terrain from any of the scenario booklets, so set up something like the sorts of terrain shown on the maps, and we pitched a division each of French and Germans against each other, with no Corp supports.

The game was played using 6mm figures, mostly from Irregular Miniatures. The buildings are mostly Hovels 6mm, with some smaller home made buildings representing village sectors

The French advance from the right, the Germans form the left
The French plan
The French plan concentrated on the left. The plan revolved around a central thrust towards the woods that dominated the centre, supported with a single regiment on the right to take the bridge over the river (one of the game objectives). A regiment was to advance on the left and sit as reserve between the regiment taking the village on the French left, and the regiment conducting a flank attack (scheduled to arrive turn 4). The plan anticipated a German hook on this left flank, but continuing towards the village on the French left. This was where the French attack was to come seriously unstuck.

German divisional cavalry advance

The French left

The German cavalry reach the village that was their objective

Overview at this stage in the game.

The German cavalry dismounted and took up position in and around the village on the German right/French left. 
The German right had reached the end of its command arrow, and stopped at the centre of the table. This proved the undoing of the French plan, as this was the arrival point for the French flank march, which had been set on the belief that the Germans would continue this advance and hook around to the village nearest the French advance. The French flank attack was set to catch this force in its rear.

In the meantime the action in the centre occupied most of the game. A single French regiment had rushed forward to get into the woods, but two German regiments had beaten them to it. They stumbled into each other and the fight began.

The firefight begins

The Germans close assault a single French company, taking advantage of the cover given by the forest

The French take heavy casualties

Having spotted enemy infantry, the French right flank regiment begins to push troops across the river in an effort to get on the German left flank.

Heavy fighting in the central forest

Heavy fire is taken and given by both sides. French 'soixante quinze' begin to bring fire down on German troops just outside the forest

After being delayed several turns, the French flank march arrives, but is displaced closer to the French base line as there are enemy infantry within 300mm of their arrival point (a scenario generation system rule)

The flanking French regiment takes heavy casualties from German infantry who are well supported by deployed batteries of 77mm field guns

Image result for France 1914 French dead
We imagine this when we think of the French advances of 1914 ... attaque a l'outrance'

Sadly the reality was much as it was on the table. I resisted posting any historical photos here.

The French regiment in the central forest is worn down

The fighting in the forest reaches a crescendo, with heavy fire and may troops suppressed

And the French flanking regiment is decimated, caught advancing in the open

The French regiment fails its second morale check (having passed the first, obviously) and falls back

Only two MMG detachments remain of the French that forced their way into the forest. The remainder of the regiment sits back.

The German left flank takes fire, but too little, too late. 
The French advance has been seriously blunted. There is little option but for the French forces to withdraw.

This was our first GWSH game in some time. For Jim it was his first game, a game well fought, a plan well devised. The action in the wood played out very much as one would read in the regimental histories, and the advance across the open ground by the French flank march .. well, what can I say? It certainly reflected the French casualties in those opening weeks of the war.

This all reflects some of the many reasons I like Great War Spearhead so much. The outcomes continue to mirror the evidence one finds in the regimental histories of French and German forces.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Orcs ahoy...

Beneath the towering cliffs of Escalia sit 'The Reapers', two towering rocky outcrops that stand proud of the ocean's surface by some 60 metres. The Reapers have been the grave of many an over confident sailor, and many a careful sailor too.

It was towards the Reapers that an Orc fleet sailed, seeking out the fleet of the humans, the ships of old Escalia.

This was the first game in the recently re-established games room, set up last week after our shift into our new home. For a laugh we (Andy, Adrian and I) decided we'd have a game of 'Uncharted Seas', a fantasy games system that we hadn't touched for quite a few years.
The ships are terrain are Andy's handiwork.

Approaching fleets. The humans started up wind of the orcs, and it wasn't just because of the orc stench.

Orc cruisers

The Escalian capital ship, fantasy equivalent of a napoleonic first rater

Escalian frigates

And the Orc first rater

Orc 'frigates'

Ramming action

Escalian capital ship sen between 'The Reapers'

Remnants of theOrc fleet escaping
My mismanagement meant the Orc fleet was decimated, with just one cruiser escaping. A damned fine piece of fun to christen the new room.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Glorious 1st of June

In the midst of what at times is a slightly insane work schedule, I grabbed at Keith's invitation to play  a little 'Sails of Glory', it being the Glorious 1st of June and all. Adrian and I commanded four British 3rd raters, while Jon and Keith commanded respectively Spanish and French 3rd raters.

My crowning glory in the midst of my incompetence was raking the lead Spanish 3rd rater with double shot.  No battle report, but just a couple of cool photos.

Spanish and British ships in what might have seemed a slightly ungentlemanly melee. We chose not to board each other, a good call for me as the lead Spanish ship sank.

Just a great opportunity for some laughs and a lot of fun.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Wham bam ...

After our recent house shift (to the more rural Lincoln 'township' or village 15 minutes from Christchurch) four weeks ago, I have been craving some games. Delays in completion and correction of defects has delayed the unpacking, and the set up of the games room. However one advantage of HotT (at 24 points anyway) is that you can play a game on the dining room table (assuming you can find the cloth, rules and armies, which took a little time).

So Andy came round with his new Weird World War 1 German army, and we played two games.

The first was against my 'Lost Worlds' army.

The armies face off ...

Turn 1 I roll a 6, and decide to take the chance and bring the Ape God on early...
However .. you guessed it, next turn.. a '1' .. and the God decides not to favour the humans with his presence

Andy pushes his aerial hero across the Lost Worlds lines

And attacks the magician general form the rear
The game was over in four turns... a victory to the Germans.
Second game - I choose the forces of Chaos (Terry, notice my self control in not choosing the spiders....).

Again we face off ...

My turn 2, I roll a 6 and decide to deploy both dragons on board

Andy again pushes his aerial hero general into my rear. However the Chaos hero general attacks him - Andy wasn't expecting that

The Chaos hero general wins the combat, and  .. game over
Second game over in four turns. Well, we had a great yarn during the evening. A shame neither game developed into anything more interesting, but it doesn't matter.. we had a great evening with a whisky followed with coffee.

Definitely a case of wham bam, thank you....

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A new evil arises

Andy unveiled his latest HotT army.. Weird World War 1... a mix of weirdness that is a testimony to imagination. Albatross flyers - fair enough. But .. ghost hordes (the countless dead of WW1 returning again, and again, and again), and zombie blades and shooters: German infantry in gas masks.

And they launched straight into a spider horde. Evil vs evil .. whoaaa. This was a standard 24 point battle.

Spider Hordes flanking a spider behemoth (general) and two heroes)

German ghost hordes advance ahead of blades and hooters

Albatross flyers

And a behemoth flanked the main German line

The forces close

Flyers swoop in behind the spider line (or should that be swarm?)

Sadly Andy forgot that heroes can attack flyers, and that's what the two spider heroes di

One flyer down

Two flyers down, and the hordes clash

The German ghost hordes get the better of the spider hordes

Having disposed of the German flyers, the heroes decide to swing around towards the German flank

Meanwhile the German behemoth smacks into the hordes on the other flank

One horde bites the dust

The spider hordes on the other flank are retreating

German zombie shooters

It's ugly ...

And on the other flank - still ugly

The spider hordes swarm over the behemoth

While the spider heroes bide their time

Spider horde casualties are 'reborn'.. and swarm forward again

The behemoth is overwhelmed

The spider hordes re-assert themselves on the spider left

The spider heroes hit the German zombie shooters

German casualties galore
But it's all over for the Germans - casualties are too great, and victory goes to the spider hordes.

We then played  a second game, again 24 points .. this time I took another unholy piece of evil.. the Undead. Being slightly confused, I took Spiderman as a God with the Undead... oh well ... still  a legal army, just lost the flavour a little,

Spiderman arrived and got into combat with the German behemoth

This time Andy took the DVa as an aerial hero - he smacked into the undead behemoth

The Undead magician (necromancer if you prefer) was desperately trying to cast spells from behind

The battery on my phone died before the battle finished. The germans managed a great victory against the Undead... Spiderman the God disappeared, and the aerial hero carved through the Undead line... nasty stuff.

But two great games with a great new army. I have to say that a British equivalent is on the painting table as I type.