Sunday, 31 January 2010

Club Night 29th January

After a week off gaming because work was so busy, Luke and I set up another FOW North Africa game, this time joined by Steve D (as you may notice we have lots of Steves at our club!). Again Luke took the British , with Steve assisting him, and I took the Italians. Our terrain was generated using the rulebook and did look quite barren, 2 empty zones, some salt marshes, scrub and rocks was all that broke the table. The British attempted a breakthrough with the Italians again defending. I set up my 88s out on one flank where they could enfilade any advance and still turn to cover the objectives. The Bersaglieri dug in around them, while the Semoventes concealed themselves in the scrub on my other flank.

A concentrated British force opposed me, motor infantry and Crusaders against my SP guns and Shermans and Grants against the rest of my force. With the first turn going to the attacker the British were determined not to suffer under my heavy guns as they had last time and all the 75mm armed tanks commenced semi-indirect fire against them, destroying both guns. Ont he other flank the infantry immediately disembarked form their trucks and dispersed into the scrub, while the 6-pounder armed Crusaders made short work of my Semoventes.

My surviving Semoventes fought back vainly against the Crusaders, while my 47mm AT guns managed to destroy some of the Grants and the remainder withdrew from the battle. However the Shermans were a much tougher proposition and began to advance on the Bersaglieri who had little that could effectively oppose them. On the other flank the Semoventes where destroyed, just as the first Carri platoon arrived and began to machine gun the British infantry with some highly effective fire.

The Bersaglieri where struggling after their guns where knocked out and the C-in-C's tank destroyed. A much tougher battle was occurring on the other flank as more Italian tanks arrived, with more British Crusaders arriving behind their flank. Both side maneuvered, and then stopped to fire, trying to concentrate heir fire on individual enemy platoons to break them.

AS turn 6 arrived the British had not taken an objective, and had lost two platoons with three more very close to going. If the Italians could destroy them they could still win the game However it was not to be, both sides inflicted more damage on the other, but not enough to force a company morale, and then the British armoured cars arrived and crept onto the objectives, and there was nothing the Italians could do to oppose them. A British victory, but a very hard earned one.

I enjoyed this game so much I forgot to take any pictures. The terrain again played a major part, despite its apparent bareness it was actually quite influential, and again the game arrived at turn 5, and into turn 6 when victory could be judged, balanced on a knife edge. I think I have t concede this one to the Commonwealth, but will be ready for them next time!

Monday, 25 January 2010

Citadel Spray Gun and Buildings

At the weekend I bought myself a citadel spray gun. Now I own an airbrush and am very happy with it, but it is a precision tool, and not great for priming or spraying large areas. As I found an adaptor for my compressor that would enable me to attach the small hose to it, I though it would be worth a go. I found the paint to the guided mix a bit think, and it did clog every now and then, but ultimately it is a pretty good tool. It is comfortable in the hand and the trigger is easier to use for prolonged spraying. I sprayed the buildings for the games with citadel foundation brown, and then a quick splash over with some brown ink and they already look quite good and are ready for dry-brushing and then detailing.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Club Night 15th January

With the snow finally clearing the club was active again, with a 'Hey you in Jail' western game, a POW Marlbourian, a 40k and Luke and I did a Flames or War desert with his new Italians. After setting up the table using the table in the main rules to generate the scenery and using some desert scenery Luke found he had from his 1/300th Arab-Israeli which we had both forgot about it was looking good already. Then we rolled the scenario and I found myself commanding the Italians on the defensive in a cauldron battle. I set up my Bersaglieri platoon in a circle formation around one of the centre ridges with the 88mms on the hill and the Semovente in immediate ambush. Luke set up his forces and having got the armoured cars and crusaders in the same are, added the Shermans when he had the choice and his HQ.

I started the first turn by deploying the Semovente and opening fire on the British. Good fire, especially from the 88mm that was able to target the Shermans destroyed a dingo armoured car, a crusader and a Sherman, and forced the other two Shermans to bail out. Even with the steady influence of the C-in-C directly behind them, the crew fled, abandoning their vehicles (see below). The British then advanced, using maximum speed to get within short range to sue their Tally Ho! skill to engage us at short range with maximum fire-power. The British forces where reinforced by the arrival of the Grant platoon that began to engage the 88s with semi indirect fire and destroy one of them.

The Bersaglieri 20mm cannon began to engage the Grants only to find their rounds would only harmlessly bounce off them. The surviving 88 also engaged the Grants and destroyed one of them, while the Semovente engaged and destroyed another of the crusaders. Again, ignoring higher ups (in the case the 2-in-C), the remained of this platoon fled. The Brits did not seem up for this engagement. However the commanders in their crusader where still keen and engaging the Italian lines at very short range by driving back and forth in front of them, while another crusader platoon arrived and moved forward and began to engage the enemy infantry, while the Grants saw to the last 88, freeing the British armour up to operate more freely. Despite this success the fox-holes of the Italians where protecting the infantry from most of the fire and they where still securely holding the objectives. The British infantry arrived and began to advance on the Grants left towards the most exposed objective, using the scrub-land for cover.

Now the Italian armour arrived (see below) and advanced on mass on the more open left flank with the aim of flanking the British and rolling the up while they where stalled on the Italian defences. Opposite them the crusader platoon swung to face them and another arrived from reserve and joined them and a typical desert tank battle seemed in the offing (see below). Rounds whistled between the wrecks of an earlier engagement and tanks began to brew up or be abandoned by their crew. One Italian platoon fled almost as quickly as they arrived, but where replaced by the third platoon of the company that had finally arrived. The it was the turn of a British tank platoon to flee.

Things where hanging in the balance. The tank battle could go either way, the British infantry where bringing their full weight against a small section of the Italian lines, although the fox-holes where protecting them from most of the fire, and the British commanders where driving recklessly directly through the middle of the Italian positions having destroyed the Semoventes. The Italian infantry was forced to redeploy to bring some fire to bear on the opposite numbers, but in doing so exposed themselves to HE fire from the Grants. Then the British cracked, machine gun fire caused heavy casualties on the infantry, and the final crusader platoon was destroyed, leaving the remaining British no choice but to retreat leaving the battered Italians victorious.

This is one of the most fun WW2 games I have played in a very long time, and I would happily play one again today, when I usually enjoy a bit of variety. The desert terrain looked good and seemed to affect the game in the right manner, and even using cotton wool the tanks looked brilliant leaving dust clouds behind them (see the photos above). Looking forward to the next game!

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Historicon '08

Maybe slightly late, but I have uploaded pictures of the game Mike and I ran at Historicon 08 here.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Beastmen and Blood Angels

This could be an expensive year for me. Games workshop newsletters came in over the weekend. The beastmen are up for pre-order, available on February 6th. I'll be getting the army book, but not sure about the rest as I already have plenty, although the razorgor looks good. I'm disappointed that they have put the Ungors back on 20mm square bases as I will know need to re-base them all for the second time which is very frustrating, I'm also not keen on them having bows, but it will be nice to have a complete army again which we have not had since Hordes of Chaos was discontinued.

And the next day I got a news letter confirming the rumour that the Blood Angels are coming in April. Now do I get my army all ready to go for the new Codex, or wait until there are lots of gorgeous new figures and upgrade packs...

Club Night 8th January

Since the snow meant that we were not going to get anywhere near the club hut, we decided rather than abandon our free Friday we would gather at Steve's and play a game anyway. Since we were limited on space we decided a board game was in order and as Luke owns loads he bought Starcraft from Fantasy Flight games. We love their games as the production quality is immense, the rules always really innovative and different, and most important, no matter which one we play it is always really close.

It took us a while to go through the rules and get the galaxy set up, but finally we where ready to play, with Steve and the staunch humans, Luke as the bugs out to consume everything and me as the mysterious psychic aliens whose tech was far in advance of everyone else's.

The first turn was quite tentative as we got the hang of the rules and worked out what was what. In the second turn things heated up a little as Luke tried to invade my outer planet. We then found how good my tech was as I through the gribbly aliens back.

The game then picked up pace as I regrouped and Steve landed on Luke's starting planet. AS I enhanced my armies they fought and Steve achieved a foothold. The next turn though saw us enter phase III of the game and suddenly the special victory condition game into play. Steve had to occupy the entirety of two planets and Luke has to have bases on three planets. I just had to ensure no one won before the end of the game, and then I won be default!

The orders phase was tense as every one planned their final moves. We could see Luke planning an invasion to achieve a base on the third planet, but I could do nothing about it as I could not reach that world. I had to rely on Steve to repel him. However, if Steve was successful he would be in control of two planets so I had to attack him to ensure he did not win either. I launched my invasion and gained a foot hold, which Steve vigorously counter-attacked. He was successful, but had taken heavy casualties. Did he have enough to repel Luke and his giant beasties? As we lined up the combats it looked close, and then Steve won the first skirmish, but it was not enough, the giant beastie won the second skirmish, and repelled Steve counter attack leaving Luke victorious.

In my initial review I thought Steve should have ignored me and dealt with Luke. If he stopped Luke winning he could try for victory himself next turn, rather than try for it all at once with an increased risk of failure. On further reflection I think that was more wishful thinking, he had to resist my invasion, and having seen how good my tech was earlier in the game I should have moved against Steve earlier and also against Luke. I took too much of a hold out till the end for victory approach, and then when I needed to stop the other I was in no position to prevent them achieving victory.

I really liked this game, it has some simple resource management, a clever combat system and really challenges you. I'd love to play it again with some more players.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Club Day 3rd January

After the Apocalypse game I needed to purge my Eldar by defeating the dark Eldar, so that is exactly what I did!

First game was an annihilation using the spearhead deployment. I took the first deployment, and tactically chose the table edge by the heater! I was very lucky with my opening salvoes as I immobilised both the Raiders despite the obscured shots. This meant that the forces than had to slog across the table toward my firing line. Combined with my jet bikes I was able to concentrate my fire and destroy the Dark Eldar in detail. The only unit destroyed was the Dire Avengers caught by the horrific Talos before the Avatar destroyed it. A decisive victory at 10 kills to 1.

The second game was a capture and control with a pitched battle deployment. This time the Dark Eldar deployed and went first and were able to use their Raiders effectively to get their Archon and his Incubus bodyguard and the Wyches into my lines. The Dire Avangers and large Guardian squad holding my objective where destroyed, but the second Guardian squad managed to bring the Incubus under fire, and Colin's bad luck held as he failed another leadership test and the Archon and the survivor fell back. The Wyches where chased off by the Avater and I managed to retake my objective.

On the other flank I bought all my jet bikes to bear on the Dark Eldar lines and destroyed the opposing jet bikes, Helions and with the assistance of the Striking Scorpions the Warrior squad holding the objective to achieve another victory, but much closer than the first game.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Club Night 1st January

Three of us gathered for chilly evening at the hut. Bob played the Union forces and Steve K the Confederates, while I umpired the battle of Olustree. I have uploaded this to the Black Powder Yahoo group if you are interested.

As the forces advanced on each other and began to deploy into line, it seemed to be a race to see who could get there last as they kept failing command rolls. Eventually the lines where deployed and engaged. The Union looked like it had the upper hand with weight of fire, but then a charge by the Confederate right swept away the Union line and they had no choice but to disengage and begin a retreat to Jacksonville.