Thursday, 26 April 2012

Game Night with Luke, 25th April

I headed over to Luke's and we played a little Hammerin' Iron Naval. I played the confederates again and Luke took the Union with plenty of Ironclads while I favoured smaller ram ships. It started well for the south as USS Benton suffered a mishap before it arrived on table and was already damaged and failed to bring the damage under control until it was rammed and sunk by USS Manasas. Meanwhile heavy fire from a usefully placed fort was causing issues for the remainder of the Union fleet, while the Confederate rams prepared to pounce from behind it.

In the end with two Cairo class sunk and the rest of the fleet severely battered, despite the loss of a few Confederate ships it was a decisive Southern victory. I am really enjoying these rules and must get my ships painted!

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Salute 2012

Salute is always worth a visit. It is by far the biggest show in the UK and it is always great to meet gamers from across Europe and often even further afield. Traders bring new releases and works in progress for some sneak peaks and a bargain is always to be had. For the club it was the debut of our 2012 game. This has been a pet project for Rick and Steve D and they did us proud with Brave little Belgium. A stunning set of scenery, really well presented, with nice Figures. With our new display board and fancy tee-shirts we are starting to look like we might know what we are doing!

Above: The club members in our fetching yellow shirts, look out for us at a show near you soon, Below: Reserves move up through the Belgium town

Above: Refugees flee the German advance, Below: The Belgium lines

Above: The German lines, Below: Belgium forward lines

Above: Illuminated by its street lights the Belgium town appears to be aflame, Below: The Belgium town

Above: Belgium's favourite journalist and his dog, Below: Vitrix 54mm game using their new plastics

Below: More of the Vitrix Game

There were a number of good games this year, although many were closer to static displays than actual games. I didn't see anything that particularly excited me on the trade stands, but I wasn't looking too closely, as I was after pre-orders from PSC for making a DAK force. More on this to come.

Club Night 20th April

It was AGM night so most of the evening was taken up with talking and planning for next years show. Fortunately nothing was too controversial so we got through it reasonably quickly. Although most members headed off home after the AGM as it was Salute the next day Luke and I stayed on to play a game of Wizards of the Coast Star Wars Battles

This is a very simple set of rules on a square grid, where you can either move backwards/ forwards or left/ right. Despite the limited movement the rules actually play quite nicely. A simple damage system with stat cards that get flipped to the damaged side after a certain level and a nice command point system for getting bonuses it played quite well. Luke as usual had dreadful dice rolls so the Empire crushed the Rebellion (as is right and proper!). I believe there are some modifications to these rules that don't use the grid for some free movement. As Luke is getting loads more of the ships for the classic Star Wars era we will quite probably give these a go.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Crawley MRC Show (Pic Heavy)

Dad and I made another model railway related trip, this time to Crawley Model Railway clubs show held in Horsham. This is a lovely little local show, with good trade support and some really high quality layouts.

Layout 1: 0 gauge, 1943, Stodmarsh. A nice WW2 layout with lots of Dad army stuff going on.

Layout 2: S4 Scale. Bodmin. A super accurate scale model, really nicely presented.

Layout 3: 4mm, Treporro. A really good minimum space layout. A tiny space used but no compromise on quality.

Layout 4: 2mm, Post-war, Siege Street. A nice unusual tram layout

Layout 5: OO gauge, 1950-60, Sutton. A good, well presented layout.

Layout 6: OO gauge (fine scale), 1950-60, Wellbridge. A typical oval layout, but with some nice scenery, especially the viaduct.

Layout 7: O gauge, East Dean. A good looking layout, presented in an unusual format, in that it was end to end, but curved through 90 degrees around you, so you could stand and see the whole layout in one glance and follow locos along the line.

Layout 8: O-16.5 Gauge, Bridport Town. A lovely little narrow gauge layout with beautiful scenery and rilling stock and lots of little details and still managed to get a decent amount of running going on.

Layout 9: OO gauge, Lulworth Camp. A nice layout with a military twist.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Club Night 6th April

After reading a review over at Anatoli's Blog for the new multi-period skirmish rules Brink of Battle, I purchased them, and with the 54mm figures given to me by Mike, Luke and I gave them a run through. They are very simple in concept, everything is opposed D10 roll with added stat, but there is some nice subtlety in the way they actually play. I took some 2nd New Hampshire continentals and Luke took a force of Erbprinz Fusiliers.
We played three scenarios with our little forces playing each scenario in the rulebook once and used the campaign rules to link our games together and add a bit of fun. The game played really well and was great fun. We quickly had the rules memorised and could concentrate on playing the game which I always think is really important. It was pretty much even by the end of the evening with the Fusiliers just edging it with 2 wins.

Both sides had taken some casualties and this is something I am a bit concerned about as once a soldier gets a hit but is not wounded (the rules call this stunned), he loses cover bonus and is really easy to hit a second time and take out of the game. However I should quantify this by saying we marked the figures rather than lying them down. Also I think we were light on terrain. Luke also found a nasty combo that I am sharing so you can use and lose friends quickly! He had a marksman at +3 (the maximum bonus) and high combat and an officer with inspiring presence. This meant he could fire with a big plus to his dice, and then use his inspiring presence to reactivate the marksman and fire him again. Nasty!

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Game night with Luke 29th March

Luke was able to pop in before a night shift again and so we set up the terrain and tried Helldorado again, this time with customised forces. Luke again took the Westerners but tried out using some Doppelsöldners to accompany his arquebusers. I used the Daemons and used Tsilla (just because I love the figure) and the Daemon of Flesh, but stuck to a few basic Daemons that I know how to work and the Succubus after her supreme performance last time.

My biggest disappointment was the Daemon of Flesh, who has 8 Life Points, and at the start of its activation can heal up to 8 Life Points. Unfortunately Luke picked up on this and peppered it with gun fire, and aided by some good dice rolling blew it apart before it even was able to regenerate.

In the centre the Doppelsöldners were proving tough, but I discovered one of Tsillas spells ignore armour and this proved to be their downfall. Overall I managed to snatch victory as it was an occupy territory scenario and while Luke had caused my problems by keeping his men in small groups for mutual support, this meant that as the last turn arrived he could not spread out enough and with Tsilla ability to fly and grab an extra territory meant victory was assured for the Daemons.

London Festival of Railway Modelling (Pic Heavy)

My Dad and I made our (almost) annual trip to the London Festival of Railway Modelling at the beautiful Alexander Palace. Long before I was a wargamer I made model railways with my Dad and I still have a love for Steam Locomotives and stunning scenery. I always enjoy these days (and not just for some Father-Son time) as they are usually very inspirational and you can pick up all sorts of ideas and useful bits of terrain.

This year I picked up some flock and tiny trees for the 1/600th ACW Naval, some palm trees for Africa and some HoN3 track (which is 12mm gauge) and so exactly right for 15mm. I took a bunch of photos and will let then talk for themselves with a short commentary om the layout so you know what you are looking at.

Layout 1: O gauge, 1920's, Helmthwaite and Chapel Lane. A superb industrial building

Layout 2: Unknown European layout. Not normally my thing, but the overhead lines were an amazing piece of modelling.

Layout 3: P4 Gauge, 1883, Burntisland. A magnificent layout and probably one of the best in the show. I was mostly taken by the ships and see effect, but the whole layout was an accurate recreation, wit a great accompanying display showing shots of the actual location that you could easily match to the layout.

Layout 4: O gauge, 1900-1910 Milwall goods and Arnold lane. Picked for the magnificent industrial building, I always really like these as if I ever went back to railway modelling this is what I would like on my layout!

Layout 5: EM Gauge, 1907, Leighton Buzzard. The layout of the late Rev. Peter Denny, one of the pioneers of the hobby, some of this layout dated back to 1947. Other than a few issues with the fiddle yard the layout still runs well.

Layout 6: EM Gauge, 1945-1948, Liverpool Lime Street. Amazingly a private layout rather than a club layout. The work on the main station canopy was particularly noticeable. One to keep an eye on over the next few years as it develops.

Layout 7: S gauge, East Lynn and Nunstnation. Just pretty!

Layout 8: On30 Gauge, 1930s, Purgatory peak (AFAIR). Nice industrial stuff again!

Layout 9: Z gauge, Nevermore. Notable for the fact though there is lots of Z gauge European stuff there is none for British lines, so all the stock and locos is scratch-built.

Layout 10: EM Gauge, 1920's Westcliffe, Dorest. A piece of stunning scenic modelling.

Layout 11: 0-16.5 Gauge, 19 December 1938, Hayesden. I have seen this layout before, but it is so unusual and beautifully done I had to take some pictures.

Layout 12: 0 Gauge, 1950-60, Willowbrook March. A nice little good layout with lots of shunting going on.