Friday, June 10, 2016

Thunderous orc horde

Finally.... indeed a thunderous orc horde with the completion of my latest orc'ish additions for the HotT army. Arrrr there be orc chariots. These are old Airfix Ancient British chariots with the addition of the female orc'ish warriors from the Dark Alliance box of Orc warriors.

The flyer finally based.. pondering its deployments as either an aerial hero, because its technology is so far in advance of the rest of the orcs, or as a flyer, or... even as a fire belching dragon

And an orc hero .. a fiery female warrior standing atop a great rock, with a two warrior bodyguard

The orc horde, the central body is warband. If the flyer counts as an aerial hero, then that's 36 points sitting right there.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Dashed barbarians .. the impudence of them. Caruthers at his finest

It had been a long winter. For Major general Caruthers it had seemed to be interminably long, stuck at home on the estate awaiting the call from Horseguards. The dark dreary winter days had dragged, and the brandy stocks had taken some punishment. Finally however there had been the clatter of hooves up the long gravel driveway between the leafless oaks, the horses' breath steaming in the cold air as a rider in red jacket and blue breaches had clambered stiffly from his horse. The slide of leather soles on stone steps preceded the rap of the heavy brass knocker on the front door of the manor; the call to duty.

Barbarians. Barbarians, no less. Barbarians that needed to be taught a lesson for their impudence in thinking that they could stand against Queen and Empire. "Dashed impudence, nothing less I tell you, dashed confounded impudence" he had yelled as another brandy balloon hurtled across the room to shatter against the blackened brickwork of the fireplace sending a thousand cruel cutting shards of glass to scatter across the well worn tiger skin rug. It had taken great restraint to ensure that the balloon was empty before being launched on its path towards the fireplace.

So Caruthers had gathered his forces, asking for, nay demanding, that he be accompanied by his favourite nephew Lieutenant Winstanley. And so while Caruthers kept overall command of the forces sent to subdue the usurper, he gave command of the lancers and their supports to his heroic nephew.

Andy and Adrian commanded the barbarian forces, a combination of Andy's Spartacan revolt army, and a semi-historical early German army mostly warband with a Tree Ent behemoth. This was our first bigger battle HotT army, with 48 army points per side.

The forces set for their clash, barbarians on the left, Caruthers glorious host on the right.
 Caruthers deployed Winstanley on his right, with the lancers (Knights) supported by his Yeomanry cavalry (Riders) and several units of marksmen (Shooters), He also had that fine example of the Queen's technological best, HMSS Schmuck the wondrous steam robot in support. Winstanley rushed his troops forward with the impetuosity of youth, intent upon smashing the opposing barbarians with the lancers.
Winstanley on the right, with his lancers in his centre.
Caruthers had however had a heavy night in the mess the night before, and sat dazed in a semi alcoholic fog as he tried to make sense of the battlefield on the left. That is, I threw four '1's for movement pips for the left wing in the first five turns of the game, so the wing with two fliers and a magician was unable to do very much of anything, ceding the initiative to Adrian who opposed the wing with Spartacus and his revolt army.

Caruthers left. Dr Morgenstein and his magical contraption (magician) can be seen to the rear of Caruthers main infantry line (blade)

Early combats on the right where the German warband bounced the first charges of the lancers

On the left Caruthers mind slowly cleared and he began to push forward, although his artillery came under attack from barbarian riders and ravaging beasts

Finally the lancers went in and carved a large hole in the barbarian warband line

The riders bounced back from the artillery gun line

The tree Ent behemoth was defeated by none other than our hero Lt Winstanley

On the left Adrian pushed his gladiators (blade) forward

More attacks and the barbarian left flank is demoralised by Winstanley's persistent pressure

Caruthers is still largely static trying to get things sorted (i.e. too few PIPs). The gladiators approach

The Germans are trying desperately to hold the remnants of the command

Slaves no less ... slaves (hordes) I tell you .. destroy HMSS Schmuck. The mighty steel and steam behemoth topples into the forest

On the left the pressure builds. The aerial hero Lord Chelting of Cheam attackes the barbarian beasts as only a hero would, and destroys the fearsome fiends
 Finally with some slightly better PIPs the Lord Chelting of Cheam (the aerial hero) moves across to assist Caruthers and his men

And builds .. Lord Chelting and his amazing airship can just be seen on the right

The tension is high, a unit of Caruthers finest is destroyed by the gladiators, supported by no less than Spartacus himself, and Caruthers' own unit is forced to recoil. Spartacus sees the magician and his contraption and is bent on their destruction
 Winstanley rushes across to support Caruthers, and orders his lancers to join him

The lancers start to shift across to the left, leaving shooters and riders to hold the few remaining Germans

Finally Dr Morgenstein, that clever scientist fellow, gets his wicked machine working and the air fills with magical energy. Spartacus disappears from beneath the very eyes of his troops.

With Spartacus gone Caruthers and Winstanley rush into combat against the remaining gladiators, supported by Lord Chelting, and the barbarian army is broken.

Just in the nick of time, Dr Morgenstein

Whew.. what a battle. This is only the second or third bigger battle HotT game I've played and it was very different to the single 24 army point games (as you'd hope and expect).

The VSF left was hamstrung by the lack of movement PIPs for the first 5 turns (although I did overlook the extra PIP that the CnC effectively gets). The action on the right was a close run thing, as I'd got it into my head that the knights would attack foot with a factor of 4. I nearly came unstuck on realising that it is only a factor of 3 against foot. However there was nothing to be done but 'grasp the nettle' as they say, and get stuck in.

Andy and Adrian's two forces were disadvantaged as they only had one of the more powerful bases each (a hero in Spartacus, and the tree Ent behemoth for the early Germans). I think Andy will work on this to balance his forces with some additional 4 AP elements.

We all enjoyed this outing, and plan plenty more larger games.

Forcing the Uvarova

The vastness and the difficulty of the terrain through the Caucasus meant that by 1915 there were still avenues to be explored if victory wa...