Saturday, 5 October 2019

Dragon Rampant Memorial Game 2019

We held our annual Dragon Rampant Memorial Game at Tring Wargames Club on Friday, in tribute to the club members we have sadly lost.

As always it was an example of utter chaos! Voodoo necromancer, experimental scientist and utter nutter, Doctor RR, had stolen all the kingdoms gold and created an army of monsters to protect it. All the various factions have joined together to destroy the recreant and reclaim their cash. However, in any alliance there are underlying tensions, each player was secret assigned a "Blood Enemy" for whom he had a particular loathing.
Victory points were awarded for each treasure token reclaimed, for attacking the blood enemy and for each of Doctor RR's, or your blood enemy's units destroyed as a result of your actions.
I cannot attempt to describe a narrative of the game, suffice to say much confusion and back-stabbing was the order of the day!

 My Damned demon leads my advance, followed by a unit of great swordsmen.

 My elite unit of axemen cover the flank.

 A unit of Doctor RR's beastmen await the advance.

 Bill's wizard and apprentice are screened by his light riders.

 Henry's Necromancer  advances through a magical fog.

 Summoning a unit of skeletal archers.

 Keiron's Badlands Army advance in the centre, his shooters taking to the high ground to get a better view.
 A giant wolf prepares to defend it's master's treasure.

 Bill's spearmen clash with a unit of beastmen.

 Martin's dragon unleashes flame on a giant wolf.

 Losing to Bill's spearmen, the battered beastmen fall back.

 Keiron's ratmen charge forward.

Henry's elite foot martial mummies advance.

Despite having failed to achieve any Victory Points for almost the entire game, I managed to come out on top in the final two moves! I attacked my blood enemy and routed one of his units, killed one of Doctor RR's monstrous creations and grabbed a treasure token at the last minute. 4 VPs was the winning score.

A lot of fun was had by all, our departed friends would have loved it!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Sword and Spear - 10mm Wars of the Roses game

We gave Sword and Spear another outing with our Wars of the Roses armies at the last club night. We have played these rules a few times, but I'm still not convinced with then for this period. I've previously enjoyed them for games with Dark Age shieldwall armies and Roman era games, so we will persevere. I think we need to try a couple of tweaks to better reflect Bill and Bow units and see how they go.

The battlefield was an open valley with hills and wooded areas on either edge.
Mark and Henry set up the Yorkists with their mercenary pike block in the centre of the line, with their Irish kerns on one flank and mercenary handgunners, backed by border horse, on the other.
I decided on a bit of a gamble and split my Lancastrian force, intending to take the high ground on either flank.  On each flank I put bowmen on the far end of my line with the melee troops closer to the centre of the table. If I took the hills I could hope the advantage of the ground would help be beat of their attacks, or if I had the opportunity I could envelope one (or both) of their flanks.

On Mark's flank my archers quickly took possession of the hill while my handgunners into the wood in front of it. Mark countered by moving his handgunners up block them, but that brought them into range of one of my longbow units, who rolled a 6 for activation (which I used to add a bonus to their shooting) and cut the handgunners down. His line now look a bit exposed so he brought the border horse forward to screen his flank.

On Henry's flank the hill was farther away so my longbowmen plodded forward onto the lower slopes. The Yorkist main line didn't do anything much for the first few turns of the game. Henry was reluctant to advance until he had secured the hill on his flank and Mark didn't want to advance unsupported. I wasn't sure why, my deployment meant I was effective fighting two separate battles on the flanks, The gap between my troops was for too much for me to have reinforced the flank facing Mark, even if Henry had decided to retire! As it was, their inactivity allowed me to concentrate on my flanking maneuvers.

Henry decided to contest the hill with his Irish kerns and moved them forward, reaching the top of the hill first. However light infantry with javelins against longbows wasn't going to end well...and it didn't. One kern unit routed straight away from the arrow storm. The other did get close enough to inflict one hit on a longbow unit before it to was blasted away. Henry now brought his reserve unit of mounted men-at-arms up but my longbowmen planted stakes and stood back, making rude hand gestures. He decided a frontal charge probably wasn't worth it, so pulled them back again, out of range.  This allowed me to take control of the hill, from where I could pepper his infantry with bowfire if they decided to advance against my melee troops after all.  In the next turn Henry decided to strike before my archers had time to set their stakes and charged up the hill with his knights in very shiny armour. He hoped the lance charge would smash the unit on the end of my line and give his infantry the opportunity to advance unmolested. \Even with the advantage of ground I was not in a good position, but the dice gods smiled upon me and the charge failed, with equal casualties on both sides. This was the opportunity my border horse were waiting for as they were hanging around behind the line of bowmen and they charged the end of the knights line in turn. It was enough to send the knights over the edge and the unit routed. Henry now pivoted the end of his line to face the bowmen on the hill.

On Mark's flank I had positioned two longbow units to be able to shoot at his flanking unit, whilst the handgunners moved around their flank.  The light horse were quickly cut down by the archers and I moved on to his next unit in the line. Seeing his line slowly crumble didn't appeal, so Mark decided to charge forward (at last), detaching a longbow unit to prevent his line being flanked. It didn't help, now under fire from 3 units, the flank guard soon gave way. As the Yorkists advanced their archers concentrated on my men-at-arms in the centre of my melee line, who took a couple of hits before the lines clashed. In the melee Mark concentrated his attacks on the men-at-arms, hoping to break them and isolate the billmen on either side. Overall he inflicted more hits than he took in the melee, but my line held and I now had archers behind the Yorkist flank. My next activation roll was just what I needed, two 6's and two 5's! I was able to charge a unit of archers into the flank of Mark's end unit, the maneuvre another unit of archers aside, allowed a clear charge for my reserve heavy cavalry to hit the same end unit. Under the successive hammer blow the unit routed.

By now the Yorkist pikemen in the centre had started to move across to support Mark's attack, but it was two late. In the next round of combat, as I rolled up his line, two more units routed and the Yorkist army reached break point!

No so many pictures this game, I'm not sure what was wrong, but several came out blurred this time.

The Yorkist Line

The Lancastrian Left Flank

The Lancastrian Right Flank

Kerns and Knights face off against my longbowmen

Yorkist losses at the end of turn 2

Yorkist losses at the end of turn 4 (sorry no pictures of the Lancastrian losses, I didn't lose a single unit in the game)

Other games on that night.

Warhammer 40K

WW2 Chain of Command, somewhere in the Far East

And a blast from the past, Man O'War

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Gunfight In The Snow

I'd arranged to host a 6-player gunfight game at club this week, so I decided on a change from the normal Wild West game and set it on the Canadian border during Prohibition.

“Frenchie” Le Rus has been running moonshine across the border for the last 12 months or so, but now he has heard that “Lumberjack” Watson is trying to muscle into his patch. Word is that “Lumberjack” is doing a deal with a bunch of Yanks at a deserted farm near the border, so “Frenchie” is going to crash the party and teach that Angie a lesson!

“Lumberjack” Watson has met up with Tony "No Nose” Calzonne to sell two truckloads if finest moonshine at a deserted farm on the border (at least it’s deserted now, after the owner was “persuaded” to take a vacation for a couple of days). 

An informer has offered details of a illicit liquor deal going down, so Sgts Smith and Miller of the RCMP have been tasked with catching the criminals. To prevent then escaping across the border, Sgt O'Grady from the Chicago PD will move in from the south and support the Mounties. 

At the farm everything was going well until a lookout spotted men moving in from all sides………..
and then all hell broke loose!

The cast:
Frenchie's gang

Lumberjack's gang

Tony No Nose's gang

Sgt Miller's patrol

Sgt Smith's patrol

Sgt O'Grady and CPD's finest

The players got Victory Points for escaping or capturing a truckload of booze, killing/arresting a particular gang leader (or in Tony's case, if he escaped). Law enforcement players would also share VPs for any unattended trucks at the end of the game. Law enforcent players lost a VP for every casualty, gangsters lost 2 VPs for each character (partners or henchmen) lost, they could always hire more minions.

The start of the game. Sgt Miller is coming in from the left, Sgt Smith from the right. Tony "No Nose" and his boys are by the house in the middle of the table and Frenchie's gang are in the big barn. Lumberjack and Sgt O'Grady are out of shot, entering from the near and far edges respectively.

Things started bloody around the barn, two of Frenchie's men came out shooting and each downed a Mountie, but only inflicted light wounds so they would be up and back in the fight next turn. The return fire was deadly and both of Frenchie's minions would be dead by the end of the turn.

Meanwhile Lumberjack and his gang move in on the trucks.

No Nose seemed to forget his objectives completely and rushed onto the nearby rocky hill to take on Sgt Smith in a firefight. They took down a Mountie, but Tony was wounded by the return fire.

Sgt O'Grady had drawn the short straw and was the farthest away from the action by the bridge. As none of the criminals showed and sign of making a break for the border, he decided to lead his men forward to get stuck in.

As the Chicago police caught up, they spotted Tony "No Nose" on the hill. Their orders said to bring Tony in for trial, but as he was responsible for the death of several CPD officers, O'Grady wasn't fussed about the trial. The police lined the fence and poured fire into Tony's men on the hill. Tony was hit again, but only a slight wound this time.

Sgt Miller split his patrol to advance on the barn from both sides. Frenchie tried to make a run for it from the back of the barn before he got surrounded, but the minion he sent to grab a truck was shot down and he found himself in a crossfire between the Mounties and Lumberjack's men.

O'Grady's men keep up the hail of lead on Tony, who tries to make a break for it but is cut down.

Both one of Sgt Miller's men and one of Lumberjack's minions climb into the cabs of the two trucks and drive them off. Lumberjack's man heads for the edge of the table, but the Mountie just parks up in a safer place and returns to the fight. This decision will have an important effect on the final results!

Over by the barn Frenchie and his junior partner are pinned down. They knock Lumberjack off his feet, but with no serious damage, and kill one of his minions, but Frenchie is wounded by a Mountie and finished off by Lumberjack's henchman.

The forces of the law now move in and riddle the shack Lumberjack has taken cover in, wounding the boss man. Leaving one of his men to provide cover, Lumberjack and his junior partner get out the back door and run after the departing truck. Tony's junior partner and henchman also make a run for it, the junior partner escapes but the henchman is dropped, wounded, then jumped on and handcuffed by one of the CPD officers. Both Frenchie's junior partner and henchman are  down and wounded and easily scooped up by Sgt Miller's Mounties as Lumberjack and his truckload of booze disappears into the distance.

The final situation.
Frenchie (Me) -6VPs
Tony "No Nose" (James) -4VPs
Sgt Smith (Colin) 0VPs
Sgt Miller (Bill) 0VPs
Sgt O'Grady (Martin) +7VPs
Lumberjack (Mark) +13VPs

If Bill had left one of his Mounties in that truck he would have gained an extra 8VPs and the other law enforcement players would have been 2VPs less.

Saturday, 1 June 2019

Cruel Seas Convoy Game

A chance to try our my house rules for Cruel Seas at club this week. A German convoy commanded by Mark, escorted by 3 little Kriegfischkutters, is jumped by two groups of British MTBs (Henry and myself). Help is at hand for the convoy, a Type 24 torpedo boat is steaming up and, as they are close to shore, there is a possibility for air support turning up.

Three Vosper Mark IIs waiting with engines off....

 ......for the prey to arrive!

Two Mark IIs launch their forward tubes whilst the third breaks off.

The convoy move forward into the torpedoes path and a Kriegfischkutter peels off to engage Henry's Vosper Mark Is which are trying to flank them.

 Now in front of the convoy the third Mark II launches his first fish.

From the British captain's point of view.

At the end of the turn Mark (the German player) rolled for availability of air support and got a 1, success, an aircraft would enter the table in the next turn. Rolling again for what aircraft was available and he got a JU87 Stuka, which he promptly used to dive bomb the Vosper Mark IIs. All three boats were within 20cm of the Stuka so threw up a barrage of flak.

A lucky hit with a twin 20mm and I rolled three 6's for damage, BOOM! the plane nose dived into the sea just in front of the Vosper.

Enter the cavalry, the Type 24 Torpedo Boat to the rescue, but it's first salvo missed!

My first torpedo finds it's target....

....BOOM! The damage wasn't enough to sink the merchant, but I scored 3 critical hits using our new rules. I got a double engine hit (taking it to 1/3 speed), additional structural damage and then a Crippled result. This meant another engine hit (so the ship couldn't move), a rudder hit (random direction if  she could have moved) and taking on water (extra 3d6 damage every turn). This last was enough to sent the ship to the bottom, but rolling a 6 meant that the wreckage would remain in place for 3 turns.

Coming round the other side of the island, one of the Mark I's looks like it's torpedoes are on target.

A bit of frantic manoeuvring by the German ships lets the merchant avoid the torps, but one catches the's a dud!

But avoiding Henry's torpedoes and missing ramming the sinking ship put the merchant in the path of one of my torpedoes, and it was a BOOM!

Looking good for the British, we had lost two MTBs (one of Henry's Mark I's went down to a crossfire from the three Kriegfishkutters) but sunk the two merchants and I had a boat with two torpedoes left lining up on it. But at this point the Type 24 sank that MTBs with a direct hit from a 4" gun.

There were still a lot of fish in the water, including two that Henry had chucked in the direction of the |Type 24 to try and put it off. Another torpedo hit the tanker, but failed to go off and another of Henry's boats went down. We decided to call it a day and head for home, both my surviving boats got off the table but Henry's last boat was riddled by the Type 24 and finished off by a Kriegfischkutter (with a 35mm and a twin or quad 20mm these little boats have quite a punch!).

The final insult and luckiest move of the game, was when Mark somehow managed to turn the Type 24 in between the two torpedoes coming at it! We had to check twice with laser pointers to be sure, but somehow he'd managed it.

We called it a draw, two merchants for 4 Vospers wasn't a good exchange. We had all had a lot of fun and laughs and agreed that the new torpedo rules worked mush better (when they hit). Henry had really bad luck with his fish, all three that had lined up with a target had either missed or was a dud!

Other games on that night;

A 40K game with the Space marines fielding an impressive bit of kit.

And a 4-player Chain of Command game set in Burma.