Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Bolt Action goes Weird…

With Halloween approaching Warlord Games have produced some rules to allow you to incorporate some of their Weird World War II miniatures into games of Bolt Action. I think this is a great idea and I may be tempted into buying some figures to try these out.


At Halloween the barrier between the world of the dead and living is at its thinnest. Even at this time it is rare for spirits to be able to crossover, but when many souls are crossing over one way some can slip back too. Soldiers do their best to avoid action at this time, it is hard enough to fight against the enemy, even harder to fight against former friends. These are some simple rules for playing Bolt Action during these dark nights.

Sometimes they come back…

Select your armies and mission exactly as in the Bolt Action rulebook. In addition for 20 points a British Army may upgrade one of their HQ characters to Major Terntadust; for 30 points a German Army may upgrade any of their characters (Lieutenant, Major or Captain) to Vamphyrs. Their rules remain the same as in the army lists for the level they’ve been purchased at but they gain the additional special rules below. The Wulfen-SS replace a Flamethrower team and cost 50 points for a regular unit, 80 points for experienced.
The game plays as usual until the first casualty is inflicted. Every time a model is removed immediately roll a d6. On a 4+ then the owner of the wounded unit places a zombie within 7” of the squad. If it is the last model in a unit (including single model units) then instead place d3 Zombies. If it is possible the zombies must be placed in coherency with another unit of zombies to create a large unit. If a new unit of zombies is formed then place a different colour dice in the turn-bag.


The rules for zombies are pretty straightforward. They are treated as any other unit except they are immune to pinning.
Zombies move when their counter/dice is drawn from the turn-bag. The player who last took an action chooses which zombie unit gets the action. The only action they can take is they will run 2d6”. This will be in a random direction unless there is a non-zombie unit within 12” in which case they head towards them.
When a zombie unit is destroyed DO NOT remove a dice from the turn bag. Once each zombie unit has taken an action then they may receive a further action. The player who last took an action chooses which zombie unit gets the extra action.

Major Terntadust

Major Ternadust has long been the head of the secret British Army Division against paranormal activities. Prime Minister Winston Churchill ordered his ministers to create a secret division in the British army to combat the recent reports of supernatural creatures in the German lines.

Zombies may not come within 9” of Major Ternatadust. Any that try to do so instantly stop 9” away. If zombies are within 9” of Major Terntadust at the start of their action then they run 2d6” directly away from Major Terntadust. Casualties removed within 9” of Major Terntadust do not create additional zombies.


Hitler’s secret division has long been researching the powers of the occult and how to harness the powers of Darkness, to use against the allied forces.
Vamphyrs can control zombies that begin their action within 12” of them. Instead of rolling for the direction the Vamphyrs can choose the direction. The distance is still randomly rolled.

The Wulfen SS

The great weakness of Hitler’s Occult Forces is the Vhampyr’s inability to go out in daylight. To overcome this weakness the mountains and forests of Germany were scoured and the shock troops of the Wulfen-SS were formed.
This unit consists of a werewolf stormtrooper from the Wulfen-SS, ready to rend the enemies of the Third Reich limb-from-limb, accompanied by a wulfen ‘minder’ to keep them in line. The minder is treated as standard infantry armed with a pistol.

The Werewolf has the following special rules:

Making the fur fly – The werewolf has the Tough Fighters special rule.

Only Silver can stop it! – The werewolf ignores the first two casualty rolls assigned to it in each phase although exceptional damage will affect it as normal.

Rampage! – Should the minder be killed the Werewolf will go berserk! Remove all the pinning counters immediately. The Werewolf will now always receives a Run order when activated (this automatically succeeds). It will charge the nearest enemy unit but if no enemies are in charge range it will instead charge the nearest friendly unit. If there is no unit within 12” then it will instead run towards the nearest enemy unit.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Malifaux Release Schedule

Wyrd have just announced their release schedule for the last quarter of the year. There's some good stuff in there but all the pre-Gencon hype got me wanting the figures then. Sadly the 'want' has gone away now and I doubt I'll be buying any of them. Although the new box sets do look tempting. Anyway on with the details.

  • October

    WYR4057Mr. Graves$ 11.00
    WYR4056Dark Debts Box Set$ 40.00
    WYR4058Mr. Tannen$ 11.00
    WYR3053Rail Golem$ 35.00

    Rail Golem

    WYR3052Rail Crew Box Set$ 35.00
    WYR5072Oiran (3pk)$ 21.00
    WYR3059Willie$ 16.00
    WYR1046Avatar HoffmanTBA

    Rail Crew

    Willie, The Demolitionist

    WYR2062Izamu$ 11.00
    WYR8001The Thunder Box Set$ 35.00
    WYR1058Guild Riflemen$ 21.00
    WYR4060Beckoners (2pk)$ 16.00
    WYR8002Ten Thunders Archers (3pk)$ 21.00

    No picture for the Guild Riflemen or any word on probable UK prices though.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Bolt Action: Lucky Find

I wanted to add some armour to my Soviet Bolt Action (BA) force but didn't want to pay £20-£30 for a kit then have to go through the hassle of assembling and painting it. So a comment on the WWPD BA forum about using Corgi 1/50 diecast models got me thinking. After a bit of searching on Google I found that Corgi did a Churchill tank with 5th Guards Division markings which would be perfect.

I had a look on eBay and found they were going for about £25 plus postage. A bit pricey but no assembly or painting. However I did a search on Google shopping in case a retailer had one cheaper, and that's when I got lucky. I found a shop selling one for £11.50. After a quick phone call to check it was definitely in stock I placed my order and it arrived a couple of days later.

I was a bit worried about it being too big at 1/50 but it looks great with my PSC Russians. So that's my 1000pt Soviet force finished. Total cost £35 for the infantry/guns from PSC and £15 for the Churchill. Not bad for a 1000pt force.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Not As A Good Deal As I Thought

I posted earlier about The Plastic Soldier Company's 28mm Soviet 'megadeal' of 57 infantry, 4 maxims (2 firing and 2 moving), 2 x 50mm mortars, 2 x 82mm mortars, 4 x anti tank rifles, 1 x 45mm anti tank gun and 1 x 76mm infantry gun all for £35. I felt it was such a good deal for Bolt Action that I placed an order.

However when I sat down to actually build a list I realised it wasn't as a good deal for Bolt Action as I'd thought. The problem lies with the Force Selection Rules on p.124. Basically although you can have a maximum of five infantry squads with two Officers you are limited to a maximum of one for all the other troop types. For example you can have

0-1   Tank, Tank Destroyer, Anti-aircraft vehicle or Self-propelled Artillery

So you can't field an AA vehicle and a tank in the same force. So I'm ok with the infantry in the megadeal but I have problems with the rest.

The megadeal contains four anti tank rifles but the most I can ever use is one. The same applies to the four Maxim machine guns. I can have either one 50mm mortar or 82mm mortar but not both in the same force so that's two spare that I can never use. The guns are ok but again it's either/or as I can't use both in the same force.

A force list from the megadeal would look something like this:

2 x Officer with 2 riflemen
4 x 11 man infantry squads with lmg's
1 x Medic
1 x Sniper team
1 x Maxim team
1 x Anti tank rifle team
1 x Mortar team (either 50mm or 82mm)
1 x Gun team (either 45mm ATG or 76mm infantry gun)

So I'm going to have three anti tank rifles, three Maxim's, one 50mm mortar and one 82mm mortar that I'll never be able to use. It's not the end of the world but if I'd realised that before I placed the order I probably wouldn't have ordered it as it's not as good a deal as I'd thought. Well we live and learn. (unless we're wargamers)

Friday, 14 September 2012

Quick Review: Bolt Action Rules

My copy of Bolt Action arrived yesterday so, as promised, here's a quick overview of what I think about them.

First up I was impressed with the quality of the book itself. It's a thick hardback book that will stand up to wear and tear well. The content is well laid out and easy to follow with lots of the usual Osprey pictures along with photos of well painted figures in action situations. Being old I particularly liked the fact that the font used is clear and of a good size making it easy to read. Although there is no index there is a good table of contents which makes finding what you want fairly easy. The rules include six scenarios (but I would expect more to appear soon either fan made or official) and points values for some British, U.S., Russian and German units. I deliberately didn't say army lists because that's not what they are. It's more of a 40K approach with all forces having to have a Lieutenant and two infantry squads which you can add to, but you are mostly limited to just one unit of each type e.g. one sniper, one tank. So this means you're not going to be facing a force with loads of armour or flamethrowers. There is still plenty of scope for variation though not least in the quality of troops you choose to take and any special rules that may apply.

The most impressive thing I can say about these rules is that I read them through in one sitting. Normally my brain gives up after reading a few pages of rules but this wasn't the case here. Everything is explained simply and follows a logical progression. There are no 'walls of text' to put you off. They introduce the basic infantry game completely and then move on to the additions needed by things like vehicles and air strikes. This means you can quickly grasp the basics before adding in complications.

I haven't had a chance to play a game yet so my comments here are based on my impressions of how things will play on the table. There's no pre-measuring which you may or may not like. It's a D6 based game with rolls to hit and then kill (although there are exceptions to this) but it has some nice extra mechanisms like the 'lucky shot'. Normally when you've killed a figure the defender gets to pick which model you've killed. But if you roll a six on a damage roll you get to roll it again and if you get a second six you get to pick which model is killed. So you can pick off the officer or the guy with the bazooka etc. The same mechanism can be applied to hitting. If you need more than six to hit after modifiers have been applied you roll anyway and any sixes can be rolled again with second sixes being counted as hits.

The other mechanism of note is the order sequence. Each turn a coloured marker/dice is put in a container for each of the units in play (say green for Brits and grey for Germans). Then one of these is drawn out randomly to indicate which side can give an order to one of it's units. Once that order is completed the next marker/dice is drawn and so on until all the markers have been drawn. Then the process is repeated for the next turn. I'm not sure I like the idea of this mechanism. You could get a situation where your opponent gets all his markers drawn before you get to give orders to any of your units. Of course all your units would then activate but by then they may have been destroyed or had lots of pinned markers placed on them making it impossible to do what you planned. For me it negates any planning and adds a large luck element to the game. But I'll have to try it out to see if it's as bad as I fear.

This brings me on to 'Pinning' which is one of the key mechanisms of the game. Basically damage taken adds pinned markers to a unit. The more pinned markers it has the harder it becomes for it to obey orders and it also reduces the effectiveness of shooting. There are ways to remove pinned markers and judicious use of officers can help mitigated their effect. But you'll probably spend a lot of time think about how to get pinned markers onto your opponents units and how to remove them from yours.

For me all of this fits very well with the scope of the game. It's a game of infantry squads with you as the shave-tail lieutenant trying to keep your guys alive while trying to achieve your objective.

So my first impressions are very favourable. I think at £17.50 from Amazon it's great value and I'm looking forward to my first game next Thursday (I'll be posting up my thoughts and a batrep soon after). I'm tempted to say they're a simple set of rules but that would do them an injustice. Better to say that they are not overly complex. More a set of rules to play a game set during WW2 than a set of WW2 wargames rules. By that I mean there aren't loads of tables for all the different weapons plotted against all the possible armour thicknesses etc. instead the focus has been placed on a fun game that requires a depth of thought while still remembering that this is a game not a simulation.

P.S. I listened to all the sensible comments about going with 20mm and agreed with them all. But I've still ordered a load of 28mm Russians because I'm an idiot and they were very shiny. :-)

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Bolt Action Rules On Their Way At Last

Just had an e-mail from Amazon saying that my copy of the Bolt Action rules have been dispatched. Now all I have to do is decide on what scale I'm going to use. I want to use 28mm but the only other player at the club wants to get some use out of all his 20mm stuff. I could still go 28mm but it would mean that I'd have to buy two forces and I'm not sure I want to commit to that amount of expenditure on a game I've yet to actually play.

I could play with Matt's 20mm stuff to see if the game is as good as I expect before I make a decision.  But I've got the urge to get painting. When I have a deadline to aim for I always get more painting done as it focuses my mind and I've been slacking off lately as I have painted troops for the games I usually play.

When the rules arrive I'll do a quick post on my first impressions which will shortly be followed by a couple of batreps as I already have games booked.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Dux Bellorum: First Games

Following on from my first look at Dux Bellorum, which can be found here, Monday night saw my first games with the new Dux Bellorum rules. I hadn't managed to finish painting up two Dark Age forces in time so I proxied some 15mm figures I use for Impetus. This meant that I had to pick armies that would fit with the figures I had available. I went with a Late Roman army vs a Romano-British army at 27 points giving us room to use the special rules or buy extra Leadership Points (LP). The lists are shown below.

Romano-British 27pts
General with Foot Companions
Ordinary Shieldwall x 5
Mounted Skirmishers
Foot Skirmishers x 2

Late Roman 27pts
General with Mounted Companions
Noble Riders
Ordinary Riders
Ordinary Shieldwall x 3
Mounted Skirmishers

Here's a photo of the initial layout. I was the defender and selected a couple of hills as my terrain choices.

Here's a close-up of my Samurai pretending to be Late Romans.

And my Arab Conquest figures pretending to be Romano-British.

I got so caught up in playing and trying to explain the rules to Matt that I forgot to take any more photos.

The rules recommend a 32 pt game but we decided to not bother spending our spare points on the special rules to keep things simple in our first games. We also decided not to use any of the scenarios that come with the game and just had a couple of knock down drag out fights. Although some of the scenarios do look interesting.

So onto the game. First thing to say is that we both had fun and managed to get in two games despite having to flick through the rulebook all the time to answer queries. Next thing to say is that the rulebook could be set out better. It was tricky to find some rules as they weren't where I expected to find them. But these are minor niggles and after a few games you'll have the rules sorted and won't need to refer to the them.

So how did it play? Well the Leadership Points (LP) mechanism worked as well as I thought it would. Having to plan out how to use your LP added a nice tactical extra dimension to the game. Having your LP reduced each time you lose a unit also makes it much harder to work out where you use them as the game progresses. The surprise for me was the effect of the Bravery rolls. Before you can move a unit it has to pass a Bravery test. Situations where a unit had defeated an opponent but taken losses and failed a bravery roll to charge into a fresh unit felt right. We could imagine a unit of knackered warriors saying 'hang on a sec, lets get our breath back first before we go charging off again'.

We did find that the Late Roman cavalry proved decisive in each game. Their speed and manoeuvrability meant they could easily get flank and rear attacks on the infantry which made all the difference. Also melees tended to develop into very messy affairs with units coming in at all angles. Missile attacks could be very effective but we found it difficult to keep the skirmishers alive as what LP we had were needed elsewhere.

The move sequence takes some getting used to (Attackers Skirmishers then Defenders Sk, A's Mounted then D's Mounted, A's Foot then D's Foot) as well as firing coming before moving. This can be a pain for archers as they can't move if they fired, unlike javelin armed troops.

Good value
Quick to learn and play
Tactical depth
Interesting game mechanisms

Poorly laid out rules
Limited range of forces (Arthurian Period)

I'm sure we got loads of things wrong in the games we played but these aren't tournament rules and lend themselves to the inclusion of 'house rules'. So when we weren't sure about something we made up a 'rule' and got on with having fun. I'll happily play Dux Bellorum again, hopefully with painted period figures next time, and I have no qualms about recommending the rules to anyone. Buy them play a game or two and have fun after all that's what wargaming is supposed to be about!

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

28mm Figures for Bolt Action

I've finally succumbed and ordered the Bolt Action rules from Amazon. So while I'm waiting for them to arrive I'm trying to sort out what figures to buy. The first place I looked was Warlord Games of course and they have some nice figures, mostly metal but also some plastic. Being a cheapskate I wanted to spend as little as possible to get up and running (although if I like the rules I can see lots of armies in my future). I remembered that Wargames Factory did some cheaper plastic Germans and US Infantry boxes so checked them out.  They only do one box of infantry for each nation though. But the price is good at £14.95 for 30 figures. But I'd have to buy mortars bazookas etc elsewhere.

I'd more or less decided on going with US Marines, probably using the Wargames Factory figures then I noticed that one of my favourite companies The Plastic Soldier Company now do 28mm plastic Soviet figures with support options.

A quick visit to their site later and I think I've found my army. They do a 'megadeal' of  57 infantry, 4 maxims (2 firing and 2 moving), 2 x 50mm mortars, 2 x 82mm mortars, 4 x anti tank rifles, 1 x 45mm anti tank gun and 1 x 76mm infantry gun all for £35. Now that's a bargain! The only downside going with plastic is that you have to spend time assembling the figures which is always a pain but at that price I think it's worth it.

Hopefully that megadeal will give me all the troops I'll need for an army. There's one possible problem though, the other guy at the club, Matt, who's buying the rules is going 20mm as he has shedloads of figures already. I could use some of his stuff but I fancy doing Bolt Action in 28mm as 20mm is too near 15mm which is what I use for FoW and I don't think it would look different enough for me. Hopefully I can convince some of the others at the club to give it a go with their old SoTR or AT 43 figures or maybe I'll just have to buy some Germans as an opposing force.

Monday, 3 September 2012

Bolt Action

I've been good lately and in the last six weeks I've only spent £8.99 on wargames stuff. So my urge to buy to more shiny toys is gathering pace. Added to yesterdays mix is Bolt Action the new 28mm WW2 rules from Warlord Games.

As I do my WW2 gaming with FoW I hadn't paid much attention to Bolt Action. I reasoned that it would be pointless to redo the same thing in another scale. But after reading a few reviews I can see that it's really a skirmish game with 30-40 figures a side, not the same as FoW at all.

Part of my mind is trying to rationalise buying the rules by saying that they're 30% off on Amazon at the moment so it's a great deal. Plus I can mix and match figures for Dust Tactics/Warfare, Incursion, Secrets of the Third Reich as well as Bolt Action. This would give me a force that could be used in a range of games so it's a bargain really!

The other thing on my mind is that they're supposed to be easy to pick up and a number of pople have said that 40K gamers like them. So I'm thinking that it may be a way to get more people playing historical games and wean them off GW into proper gaming ;-)

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Things On The Horizon

I've been pretty good lately and not bought any new toys. But there's a few things calling to me and I may yet succumb! First up are the War and Conquest ancient rules. I saw them when they were released but was put off by the cover art which looked a bit naff to me.

Then I saw a review of them and got interested. I started having a look at some batreps and was impressed by what I read. They have some nice mechanisms, particularly the use of stragegic intervention points (SIP's) which adds a nice level of tactical complexity to the game. You can take a look at a review here and a pdf batrep here if you're interested. I'm not sure if I'll actually buy these as it's rare that I get a game of ancients as it is with Impetus. So it might be another purchase that just ends up sitting on the shelf unused.

The next thing I've been looking at is Dust Tactics/Warfare. I like the idea of Weird WWII and would have got into Secrets of the Third Reich but no one plays it any more at my club. Then Craig over at 'Frozen Gamer AK' did a review of Dust Warfare that peeked my interest. I like some of the models but I'm not keen on the American walkers, plus it's not cheap to get into on spec. If I can't get anyone interested in playing it could end up being stuck on the shelf as well. I'm currently looking at buying Dust Tactics as it seems like the best deal for the figures, especially as they can also be used for Dust Warfare. But it's out of stock at the moment so I don't know when or if I'll actually take the plunge.

Last up is the new Malifaux stuff released at Gencon. I think I'll be buying the new book and probably one or two new crews. I certainly want to have a look at the Ten Thunders and possibly the Rail Crew. I may add in a few other models for variety like the Rail Golem which also looks cool. As these will be the first plastics from Wyrd I'll be interested to see how they look.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Quick Review: Dux Bellorum

I've just got my copy of the Dux Bellorum: Arthurian Warfare (DB) rules which were released on Monday so I've decided to give them a quick review. I haven't played a full game yet but I've had a good look through the rules and they look interesting. (Update: my first AAR's can be found here) The Dark Ages seem to be a popular period at the moment what with Saga, Dux Britannium and now these rules. 

The DB rules are for smaller sized armies than FoG, roughly equivalent in size to Basic Impetus or DBA. The recommended army size is 32pts. Unit types range in cost between 5pts and 1pt for each base of figures. But you can also spend pts on buying special abilities like 'Mead' which gets your troops boozed up, increasing their Aggression (how hard they hit) but reduces their Cohesion (meaning they will break quicker). Of course there's nothing to stop you playing with larger armies.

The rules are well laid out and interspersed with the typical Osprey illustrations. There's the usual background followed by basing information before you get to the actual rules which cover 25 pages. You also get army lists and scenarios making up the book's 64 pages. You can use any scale figures you want with the rules and you don't have to rebase figures as long as you and you opponent use the same basing system. All measuring is done in base widths (BW) so the game will easily scale to match whatever figures you plan on using.

Combat is pretty straightforward. You get one D6 for each point of Aggression your troop type has (adjusted by a few modifiers like charging) and you have to equal or beat the opponents Protection rating to inflict a casualty. Each casualty you take reduces your Cohesion by 1. When a units Cohesion rating reaches 0 it routs. What makes the rules interesting for me though is the use of Leadership Points (LP). Each army starts the game with 6 LP although you can spend army points on buying more. These LP are allocated to units each turn and can be used for things like increasing the number dice rolled in a combat, negating a hit, to stop an impetuous unit charging out of control, and even to interrupt your opponents turn to allow one of your units to move etc. You can allocate up to 3 LP to a unit each turn but you don't have to specify how they are going to be used. With armies having on average about 9-10 units you have to think hard about where and how you are going to use your 6 LP. Also every time you lose a unit you also lose an LP.

The LP concept is what sold me on the rules. I like the extra level of tactical thought it adds to the game. You can see the system in action in this playthrough of the first turn of a game by the author of the rules.

As a bonus I'm hoping that I can get the Saga players at the club to buy a few more figures and move them into DB so I have plenty of opponents. The only slight disappointment I had with the rules was that I got them confused with Dux Britannium and expected them to have a built in easy run campaign, not the rule's fault of course.

I like what I've seen so far and this should get me finishing off painting the 28mm Saxons & Vikings I've had waiting on my table the last six months. But the best thing about the rules though is the price. (You can buy them from Amazon here). When you consider their production values and compare them to other rulesets which come in at about £25 they're a bargain.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

"20 Questions"

Never one to let a bandwagon pass by without jumping on it here's my answers to Ray & Fran's twenty questions.

1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?
Ancients, mainly because of the variety. I get bored easily playing with the same army all the time and ancients gives you hundreds of armies to choose from.

2. Next period, money no object?
I alreay have figures waiting to be painted for Renaissance, WSS, Napoleonics and ACW so my future periods are covered. But with money no object I suppose I could buy painted figures and I think I would go for WSS because I want to use the 'Maurice' rules.

3. Favourite 5 films?
I'm not really a film buff so I don't have a list of favourite films, but here's a few I liked.
'Leon' -  brilliant performance from a young Natalie Portman
'House of Flying Daggers' - this one represents my love of Kung Fu movies.
'Two Week's Notice' - this one represents my love of RomComs.
'Shrek' - The later films were rubbish though.
'Bullitt' - Just for the engine sounds in the famous chase sequence.

4. Favourite 5 TV series?
Again very difficult so many series I could list.
Red Dwarf - Quality British comedy
Blackadder II - the best series of the bunch.
Deep Space 9 - My favourite Star Trek series
The West Wing - Quality American TV (Also check out 'The Newsroom' if you haven't already)
A Town Called Eureka - Although the last two series weren't as good as the early ones.

5. Favourite book and author?
This is almost impossible as I have hundreds of books and love reading. But my favourite authors include David Gemmel, L.E. Modesitt and David Weber. Favourite book would have to be the Belisarius series by Eric Flint & David Drake.

6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Napoleon, no contest.

7. Favourite Wargames rules?
There's a few that I'm dabbling with that look interesting like Maurice, Lasalle, Dux Bellorum and War & Conquest. But I'd have to say Malifaux for their original elements and gameplay. (Although more of a skirmish game than a wargame)

8. Favourite Sport and team?
This has to be watching rather than taking part, so it's football and Newcastle United.

9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
It would have to be to answer questions like how did they build the Pyramids/Stonehenge/Incan cities/Nazca lines etc.

10. Last meal on Death Row?
Lean roast beef with gravy, yorkshire pudding and chips followed by Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough ice cream.

11. Fantasy relationship and why?
Morena Baccarin, because she's stunningly beautiful and was in Stargate & Firefly.

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
James Stewart

13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
Captain America

14. Favourite Military quote?
"Know yourself and know your enemy and you will never be defeated" - Sun Tzu

15. Historical destination to visit?
Chichen Itza or Machu Pichu

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Selling all my stuff when I quit years ago.

17. Favourite Fantasy job?
I'm retired, trust me it's better than any job! But if I had to choose it would be England Football manager.

18. Favourite Song Top 5?
Don't really have any favourite songs, but here's a few I like.
My Funny Valentine - Big Muff
Foolish - Ashanti
Heaven - Emilie Sande
Callas went away - Enigma
Unfinished Sympathy - Massive Attack

19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
Running a DBA campaign for Headingley Wargames club in Leeds.

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
People who spend ages trying to reverse into a parking spots in cark parks! Just park nose first, the gap you will then be reversing into to get out is much wider!!!

Here's the list if you want a go:
1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?
2. Next period, money no object?
3. Favourite 5 films?
4. Favourite 5 TV series?
5. Favourite book and author?
6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
7. Favourite Wargames rules?
8. Favourite Sport and team?
9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
10. Last meal on Death Row?
11. Fantasy relationship and why?
12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
14. Favourite Military quote?
15. Historical destination to visit?
16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
17. Favourite Fantasy job?
18. Favourite Song Top 5?
19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Games I'd Forgotten: Cosmic Encounter

I was reading through a few blog posts yesterday when I came across a mention of a board game called Cosmic Encounter. It rang a bell with me so I Googled it and sure enough I found this picture which brought it all back to me.

As the name suggests players represent alien races that are seeking to spread themselves onto five foreign worlds. To accomplish this, they make challenges against other players and enlist the aid of interested parties. But alien powers, which are unique to each race, give players ways to bend or outright break some of the rules in the game. There's another game of the same name available now from Fantasy Flight Games which is a more modern remake of the original. 

Some of the games different races

A game in progress

I remember playing this lots back in the late 70's it was great fun but simple to play with lots of opportunities for backstabbing. Sadly yet another game I wish I'd kept now. I may look at buying the new version but it's rare that I get a chance to play a board game with three or four others. So I'm not sure I want to invest £40+ on a game i may hardly get a chance to play.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Malifaux: More Gencon Previews

First up, is the all plastic Hanging Trees box set. This Special Edition features a Hanging Tree, which stands a little over five inches tall, and includes both Eric and Nathan hanging around after a hard day. Also included are two smaller trees, along with bodies, which can be used as alternative Hanged models.

WYR2059 - Hanging Trees -  $80.00 

Next is Miss Terious, a female Death Marshal. Miss Terious is the $100 Special Edition miniature for this year. For all orders of $100 or more placed at Gencon either at the booth or online, this miniature will be included in your order for FREE.

Last is a “perks” miniature for Henchmen, Santana Ortega. This miniature will be made available initially only to Henchmen. After a bit of time, Santana may be made available to the public by way of tournaments, prize support, etc. Which is a pain as it's a great model and one I'd love to own.

They've also announced some more Ten Thunders models. I really like the look of these and will be definitely getting some. Looks like the Gencon releases are going to get me spending large sums of cash and get me playing Malifaux again. If you've never tried Malifaux give it a go if you get the chance. It's a great game with lots of tactical depth and subtlety, not to mention the great looking models.

WYR5078 - Oiran (3 pack) -  $21.00 

WYR8001 - The Thunder Box Set -  $35.00

WYR8002 - Ten Thunders Archers (3 pack) -  $21.00 

WYR8003 - Yamaziko -  $11.00 

Friday, 3 August 2012

Change to Posting Schedule

For various reasons I'm not getting much time to game or paint at the moment. So not having much to write about means I'm going to stop posting every day for a while. Hopefully normal service will be resumed soon.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

First Game of Muskets & Tomahawks

I had my first game of Muskets & Tomahawks (M & T) on Monday night. For those of you not familiar with it M & T is a skirmish game set in the French & Indian wars period. It's made by the same people who did Saga but apart from the number of figures it uses there's no similarity between the two games.

I used Graham's British while he used his Indians. The game uses a points system to allow you to build your force to suit your style of play. I think we were playing 200pts a side. The terrain layout is shown below.

The terrain layout

We did use missions but not sub-plots (whatever they are). My mission was to scout his two quarters of the table and get back to my baseline. While Graham had to burn down the church and farm on my left.

The basic game mechanics are simple. Each unit has a number that you roll against to hit, kill after a hit or save in melee. Some units have special rules that can modify these numbers as can terrain.

I set up my two British units to cover the church and farm on my left with the intent of holding them. While my Indians were on my right with the aim of using their better speed to do the scouting. Activating units is different in M & T, each unit and each officer has a card which is added to a deck. The deck is shuffled and then the top card is flipped over indicating what unit type and nationality can activate. I had three units and an officer while Graham had four units and an officer.  When a card is flipped all of the units of that type and nationality can activate. This method of activating means that if you have say four units of the same type you could flip their card four times in a row. Meaning that you could activate all matching units four times in a row before your opponent could activate once. Of course the opposite is true and after you have activated you opponent still gets to activate. It's different and makes any kind of tactical planning a bit of a lottery.

Anyway on to the game. I moved my Brits forward into defensive positions to await the enemy while my Indians ran forward. My Indians morale was poor (as was my dice) and they kept falling back from enemy fire, ultimately running away completely. My Brits used their firing skills to inflict lots of hits but couldn't convert them in to kills (again bad dice rolls) also when I did manage a kill Graham's supposedly fragile Indians didn't fall back.

Graham's Indians quickly managed to fire the church while another unit massacred my left flank Brit's in melee. All his Indians then converged on my centre unit who did their best managing to kill a number of Indian's with shooting and in melee. But sadly the enemy's superior numbers and my bad dice rolling told and they were wiped out.

So what did I think of the game? It's interesting, but for me the card based activation makes it too random. I'd play it again but I won't be buying the rules or any figures. Here's some pictures from the game.

My British regulars advance to defend the church

My Indians getting ready to scout

In prepared positions getting ready to blast the heathens.

My Indians encounter two of Graham's units

Graham's bloodthirsty Indians rush forward to engage my British

Gallant defensive volleys do not deter the savages

My troops can only watch as the heathens burn down the
church while using it for cover

The gallant survivors try to hold on

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