17 November 2017

Ice Trolls!

Earlier this year during the painting challenge, I painted up some lovely 90s vintage sculpts of Ice Trolls. I just loved these guys and their characterful faces. So much so that I have now painted up another 8 to bring the collection to an even dozen.

A nasty looking bunch to having bearing down upon you and so much fun to paint.
I'm looking forward to unleashing them on the table soon!

12 November 2017

Little Wars Canberra

A few of the club lads climbed into the car today for a road trip to Little Wars Canberra (about 3 hrs each way).  A small show in only its third year, it was nonetheless very welcoming and most enjoyable. Unlike most Australian Cons, this one deliberately has no tournaments or competitive gaming and only participation games (more akin to my experience at Fall In actually).  A great setup that I hope continues to grow in the future.

Great to catch up with Bish of Tiny Tanks (http://tinytanks3mm.blogspot.com.au) who was putting on a game with...well, tiny tanks!, Chris of the Moruya Marauders (http://moruya-marauders.blogspot.com.au) who I havent seen for ages, and talented sculptor Mike Broadbent

Also fantastic to see the ever smiling Nic from Eureka Miniatires (https://eurekamin.com.au) and Drew from Slave2Gaming (http://www.slave2gaming.com).  Bought lots of goodies from each.  Loot confession later (maybe) - here is the eye candy
Striking looking Weird WW1 range in 15mm by Slave2Gaming 

Eureka's "Mad" Maximillion's saloon car - more to follow on that note...

Some of the games:
Command & Colours Ancients with models - great stuff!

Trail Ape's most impressive Hougamont Game using Sharpe Practice 2

An awesome table setup indeed!
Large scale ACW game 

We even got to roll some dice - the four us us participated in a fun and quickly tourney with some homegrown rules.  Great setup with fast furious action!

The boys roll off

The Black Knight Always Triumphs!
Blood and Plunder!

Bish's wonderful looking 6mm Modern game in progress - Fist Full of TOWs III
Bish in Action!

Spanish American War battlewagons in Line ahead formation

Whats a boys' day out without an adult beverage?

Great day out - thanks again to Slowpainter John (http://slowp8nter.blogspot.com.au) for driving!

10 November 2017

Kings of War: First Game

My Battle Line is formed
Played my first KoW game this week under the tutelage of club buddy Marty.  We played a big 2 v2 game on my new textured Cigar Battle Mat.  I used my Riders of Doom Dragon Rampant army to build a force for the similarly themed Varangur faction.
John with his wonderfully massive legion of skaven ratkin
The games' afoot!
I found the KoW rules very quick to pickup, though its old style I-go-U-go was hard to get used to again after a long time of not using it!  Its clearly a game about manoeuvre and getting into the right position before engaging.  Refreshingly, it also rewards the use of reserves.
Lines clash!
Disclaimer: This was the first time I've played a "rank and flank" style fantasy game

Dave's lovely new Dwarves in action
The battle in full swing
Overall I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to exploring the system's intricacies more.

07 November 2017

Centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution

Lenin - the Man, The Myth, The Poster
Welcome to the Revolution Comrades! 100 Years ago today the Bolshevik Guards (directed by one V.I. Lenin) stormed the Winter Palace to topple the post Romanov Interim Government. Good job mobilising the masses and standing up to a really crap regime! 
1930s Soviet propaganda re-enactment of the storming of the Winter Palace
Of course, it tailed off a bit with the subsequent Civil War and the less said about those Soviet Chaps the better (though they were pretty handy Allies against those angry Germans). Dasvidanya Tovarish!

Comrade Kitty, because the internet breaks if you dont post enough cat pictures.

31 October 2017

The Centenary of the Battle of Beersheba

Today is the centennary of the Battle of Beersheba, fought in Syria during the Great War.  In this action the British Egypt Expeditionary Force, comprised on a range of British and Imperial troops (including Australians and New Zealanders) under the command of General Edmund Allenby advanced along a broad front in an engagement known as the Third Battle of Gaza.  As part of this multi-day action, the remnants of the Turkish Yildrim Army Group fell back upon the town of Beersheba.

The Turks were entrenched in the city, which was favoured by some excellent defensive terrain. The Allied Army isolated and encircled the city, but was engaged with other Turkish forces.  As the only available unit, the 4th Australian Light Horse Brigade (comprising the 4th and 12th Light Horse Regiments) was ordered to take the city and eliminate the nascent threat to the Allied rear.

Having to close open ground (under artillery fire) quickly and with a requirement to finish the action prior to nightfall, the decision was made for the mounted infantry to attack, uncharacteristically, on horseback.  Issued neither sword or sabre for such a task, the Lighthorsemen unfixed their bayonets and used them instead. It was a high risk attack hastily undertaken against a larger defending force.
With speed and momentum, the Lighthorseman were able to advance under the Turk guns and carry the position, taking over 1000 prisoners.

This engagement opened a flanking manoeuvre around the Gazala line, enabling the broader offensive to capture Jerusalem some 6 weeks later.  It is a much celebrated action in Australian Military annals.


29 October 2017

Scenario and Campaign Update: Haresburg Held!

Ducks Defeated! Haresburg Held! In a very closely fought battle, the Mallardian raiders were thrown out of the Hopsland border city. The Defenders held their own and inflicted savage casualties on the Duck forces, though the latter did take substantial booty with them. Will this reversal of Duck fortunes be reflected across the frontier or is this just a local set back? Only time will tell...
In the quiet pre dawn at Haresburg...
Unwanted Guests on the doorstep
Dwarf Bezerkers lead the forlorn hope

And enter the killing ground at the gatehouse. Even those glorious red beards could not save them...
2 burned objectives later...

The Rabbit relief force rides forth!
Followed by the Duck extraction team

In the end the raiding force burned 2 of the 4 objectives but were wiped out on return.  Their relief force did make contact though and some made it off the table despite the heavy horse units trying o block heir escape. It came down to the wire, but the defenders where up by 1 VP at game end to claim a pyrrhic victory, but a Victory nonetheless!

Here is the scenario:

Hopping Mad at Haresburg

An escalating Dragon Rampant scenario for 4 players.

Situation: The Mallardian Spring Offensive has caught the enemy off guard, capturing much of the frontier zone.  The Army of the One True Duck is now encroaching upon the Hoplandian homeland and outlying towns.  But with supplies of fresh underwear and Oil of Uhlan dwindling, Prince Arr l’Orange is having trouble controlling his adventurous
Royal Army of the One True Duck.

Phase 1 
While the Army bypassed South of the walled town of Haresburg, a number of Troll Mercenaries in Duck employment decided to boost their pay with additional loot, and a number of the Army’s units joined them to destroy effigies of the false Rabbit God.  The Hoplandian garrison must now defend the town, while the Duck forces seek to loot (and burn, obviously - there must always be burning) four objectives around the town.

Phase 2
Meanwhile, Prince Arr l’Orange is furious at the unauthorised fun and decreed that anyone participating in the pillage should leave the town within the hour. However, his delivery of this order through interpretive dance was not well received so he personally leads a body of his horsemen to cease the mayhem and hang the ringleaders (and confiscate the loot, naturally).

Simultaneously, the Commander of the Rabbit army’s flank guard ses the smoke haze above the walled town and rides to investigate and destroy any raiders in the area.

Table setup
The table represents the approaches to, and parts of the walled town of Haresburg. The table to played lengthwise, split into two halves by a curtain wall. The southern approaches to the town should be cleared with scattered areas of light cover, crop fields and hedges but no major obstacles. Place a road leading to the curtain wall gatehouse.

The town wall runs East-West across the width of the table and has two access points to the city; the gatehouse, and a 6-8inch breached section of the wall (its been undermined by all those warrens). The gate is open (traitors…) and is clear terrain to move through, while the wall breach counts as
rough terrain (so both parties attack and defend on 5+ and with armour 2).Inside Haresburg there should be a number of buildings setup along street lines; moderately crowded but with enough space to manoeuvre units. Designate four objectives inside the town in separate and prominent buildings (Guild Hall, Church etc)

Forces– two initial and two relief forces. Each operates independently and has a warlord. Once one or more relief force arrives, player sequence is determined by random card draw.

Attackers: Royal Army of the One True Duck
Phase 1 - Duck Raiders. 36 points. To simulate their unexpected approach to the city, they can deploy up to 12 inches from the Haresburg city wall.

Phase 2 - Duck relief force. 24 points, all mounted forces (including warbeasts). Enter via Special Rule in the SE corner of the table

Defenders: Scions of the White Rabbit
Phase 1 - Rabbit Garrison Defenders. 24 points. One unit may start at the city wall. The remainder deploy on the northern edge inside Haresburg. May take up to one war machine (heavy missile with weighty projectiles)

Phase 2 - Rabbit relief force. 32 points, all mounted forces (including warbeasts). Enter via Special Rule on the SW corner of the table

This is a game of two halves with changing objectives and shifting initiative.

The initial Duck force is trying destroy the 4 objectives (see special rules on how to set an objective alight). The initial Rabbit force is to defend the town and prevent this.

The aim of the Rabbit relief force is to prevent more of the town being destroyed and stop the Ducks from escaping. The Duck relief force is to stop the unsanctioned attack and aid the escape of the remaining Duck forces.

Special Rules

Setting alight an Objective. A unit can capture objective but setting it alight through the following procedure (taken from Lion Rampant)
- A unit must start its activation in contact with the objective
- instead of move, attack etc, the activation is to “Fire the Building!” and is successful on a 8+ if above full strength and 9+ if below half strength . Commander rerolls do not apply
- If successful: the fire catches, cannot be extinguished and objective becomes impassable.
- If unsuccessful: the unit enjoyably spends its turn drinking wine, eating some cheese and catching some rays.
More than one unit can attempt to fire the same obstacle in a turn.

Stop the looting!
The Duck looters will cease if the Duck relief force can place one of its units into contact with one of the initial Duck raider units. The Prince’s cease and desist order will then be relayed and all Duck raiders can then begin to withdraw from the table.

Arrival of the Relief Forces
Once an objective has been set alight, each player rolls separately each turn to see if their relief force arrives. This occurs on 9+ on two dice for the first turn, 7+ the second, 4+ on the third and then automatically. Entry points are detailed in the Forces section.

To move onto the board, each unit must successfully make a move activation. This means that they cant charge directly into combat from off table. If a unit fails this activation test, it will automatically enter on the relief force’s next turn.

Victory Conditions
Score Glory as follows (plus any boasts)

Attackers (Royal Army of the One True Duck);
3 points per objective burned
3 points if the relief force manage to cease the destruction.
1 point per unit to escape.
2 points per enemy leader slain

Defenders (Scions of the White Rabbit);
2 points per objective unharmed.
3 points if they stop the Duck Force from leaving.
1 point per enemy unit destroyed.
2 points per enemy leader slain

Note: This scenario is factually based; during Henry VIII’s march to Therouanne in his 1513 campaign, Landsknechts in his pay attacked and looted the city of Ardres (which was paying Henry protection money) and were followed by some of the English in Henry's army. The Hapsburg Netherlands Garrison held out as best they could, until a furious Henry personally led a body of heavy cavalry to the city, hung the ringleaders and restored order.

Many thanks Stuart!

25 October 2017

Campaign Update: Mallardians Advance Strongly!

The Ducks flew home from their winter retreat early to take the Rabbits by surprise in their Spring Offensive. The fiercely contested Ticklecock bridge was eventually taken and a commanding position on Nutter's Knoll protects their southern flank. It wasn't all the Duck's way though and the heavily forested Scratchley Bottom is a no man's land filled with bones picked clean by Dragons. 

As the Mallardians advance toward the Hopslandian frontier town of Haresburg, the continuing action will no doubt be thick!

(Additional Dragon Rampant scenarios from the Spring Offensive will be published shortly)

22 October 2017

Hobby Catch-up

I've been getting a bit of painting done over the last few weeks and realise that I haven't posted it here at the blog.  A few highlights:

Fireforge resin markers - for use with a range in games as battered/shock etc.  I'm really thrilled with the way they have come out, and abandoned my sepia wash idea to keep them bright and striking.
As inspiration, I looked up the 14th Century German Manuscript Wappenrolle, which has a great record of shields and heraldry (thanks for the suggestion Alan).  All of my markers are reproductions of the designs seen there - even the chicken!

And to expand my Riders of Doom themed Army in Dragon Rampant, I have added the inspiringly named 'Green Regiment'. In the non-campaigning season these strapping lads are popular street entertainers renowned for interpretative dance performances including “The Eviseration of Bogfriar’s Abbey”, “Blood Party at Netherwallop” and the unforgettable “The Nightmare of Knacker’s Hole”

As the most attractive member of the troupe, the bearded Ginger is the Green Regiment's Commander (and choreographer)
 Plastic GW Chaos Marauder figures
"We need a bigger warbeast!"