Sunday, December 29, 2019

Empires at War Cowboy Buildings - pictoral review

In the quest to find SOMETHING I did this year I remembered I assembled these buildings a bought. Small victories! They come from Empires at War  as a set. The price seemed right and they shipped quickly. The buildings were mostly simple to assemble but there were one or two parts of the instructions that were fairly difficult to parse out......previous experience assembling mdf terrain is an asset.

I haven't bothered to put in the doors for most of the buildings. I think my biggest critique is the orangey tone to the 'wood' on the side. If probably doesn't come through on the internet/these pictures well but it's a bit too orange for my taste. Not a serious problem really, but a niggling minor complaint.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Napoleonic French Young Guard & Guard (Empress) Dragoons

I realized as I was working on my New Year post that I don't have any (*ANY!*) pictures of stuff I painted this year. Mostly I haven't painted much, the stuff I have done was mostly prep, or partially complete. I did finish a whack of napoleonics for Enfilade back in May that I never documented. I hope that means I finished other stuff but didn't take photos, but who knows...

These figures were part of a mystery lot I got off TMP that were aggressively priced. Conveniently they ended up being a mix of elite and regular line. The elites I peeled off to use as young guard, mixing in the last 20 figs from a victrix box of guard (the previous 40 parceled out to old and middle guard).

I only needed 4 units (~10 men each) for the convention game, but I decided to make 6 bases to future proof my young guard for other campaigns.

I had most of the other figs I needed but was short some empress dragoons (guard dragoons). I already had a box of perry french dragoons but the saddle furniture and braid is different so I attempted a conversion with green stuff putty and some suture material for the braid.

 I wasn't super pleased with the result...looking closely you can see that the 'scales' at the front of the saddle furniture and a bit too variable, and that the 'lay' of the braid loops is a bit too flouncy. I was under the gun and it meets the 2 foot table top standard so good enough.
It also helped with the excess number of dragoons I'd probably otherwise have.

Monday, December 16, 2019

Carnevale: Game 2

Garret and I managed to align our complicated schedules to get another game in on his wonderful venice table. This time we used the two gangs/forces that hadn't been played yet: the physicians (run the asylums and use the lunatics as 'batteries' to cast spells do superhuman things, and the ....ummmm......nobles (can't remember the name). They seem to table moderately competent fighters across the board with a few standouts.

The objective of the scenario was to hold some VP points at the end of the game (within 3 inches) while trying to finish off our 'agenda' cards (a random deck of strange actions to do). The objectives made anyone near them shoot and fight better (giving an extra reroll on one of the handful of dice you throw for most actions). It made fights in the proximity just that much more lethal. More pics after the jump....

Monday, September 2, 2019

General du Corp: Vitoria - pt 3: D'Erlons second line of defense

This is a continuation of the battle of Vitoria (pt 1 and pt 2). The French have found themselves under an assault by a large coalition army across most, if not all, of the crossing of the river they have encamped behind. In addition, a enemy force has appeared on a flank on the same side of the river. Their supreme commander, the installed monarch Joseph Bonaparte, is busy partying and ignoring the battle and the all important baggage train will not move until Joseph is startled into action (by a corp morale failure).

Gazan has managed to delay 50% of the attackers for long enough for D'Erlon to set up a second line of defense just beyond the hills.

To the right we see D'Erlon contesting the crossing to the North and thereby holding Gazans right flank. In the bottom and bottom right troops from Gazan and Rielle are moving to establish the second line. 

A clear view of the gap that has developed between the front line (left just off picture) and the second line (right across hill). D'Erlon trades space for time as he falls back on his defensive line. Clever positioning of his artillery costs von Picton heavy casualties  and makes him unwilling to pursue closely/agressively.

A full table image we can see the second line in the centre. A large mass of troops in the upper left is where the coalition has been snarled up by an aggressive cavalry defense/local counterattack by Gazan.

Lower right Rielle is scrapping for the village that dominates the 3rd major crossing. Shortly Grahamski, his opponent, will dominate the road leading down right (North East) with a cannon, thereby closing the main retreat route of the french.

Joseph Bonaparte remains unmoving in the village to the lower left with the baggage train (2 of 3 wagons visible).

Sunday, August 25, 2019

General du Corp Vitoria - pt 2: Rielle, battle for the line of supply

This continues from part 1.

The french, under attack by a massive coalition force, start falling back East to a second line of defence. Gazan acts as a rear guard (part 1), while D'Erlon contests a river crossing in the North and sets up the fallback defense. Joseph Bonaparte parties and ignores what's happening. Rielle, cognizant of the multiple crossings threatening the main line of supply (and retreat!) retrogrades to try and hold these crossings (currently unthreatened) and screen the baggage train with the King.

In our picture to the right we can see the main line of supply to the bottom right. An alternative line extends down left (which penalizes the French should they withdraw along it). At the crossroads is the baggage train, Josephs troops, and the party house.

Due North/Right of the Royal party is the first crossing and village that Rielle is concerned about (a second line exists down the main supply right [off picture bottom right]). Rielle can be seen as the first mass of troops roughly in the centre.

 Rielle is a bit challenged with his available command points and large command, so about half surge East (to the right) to get the crossing asap. Of note, his one artillery piece starts advancing towards the crook of the river to cover the village and bridge. This will prove crucial later. The troops Rielle is too busy to move end up standing around for a long period of the battle and, indeed, will become useful later.

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Carnevale: 1st game

One of the local gamers, Garret, back the Carnevale Kickstarter. In the lead up to getting his goodies he industriously prepared a water table with clever magnetic cobble stoned blocks for a great looking modular table. Part of his goodies included Venetian inspired laser cut mdf from ttcombat with some sort of matboard detailing.

I ended up getting to see the whole effect this week when he invited me over to be the opposing player in his first game. We skipped the 'learn how to play' scenarios which are super basic (scenario 1: learn to move!) and jumped into a scenario where we both want to grab a token in the middle. Gangs start *VERY* close so the mayhem kicked in right away.

I played some fishmen/Cthulhu-esque gangers with slaves that my fishmen can eat to heal. Garret played some sailor/gondolier plus angry townsfolk.  Gangs seem to run 6 to 10 figs, and have a fun specific style (there are 4 factions). The rules have some specific actions that seem thematic with rules for aquatic movement (i.e. most people are bad at it but the fishmen do it well), drowning (something you typically try and do to others), grappling (which does no damage [except for falls!] but allow you to toss your enemies into bad spots), and jumping (possibly you move too fast, but it's fun to hop off railings, mooring poles, and up buildings like some sort of anime character).

Ranged combat is pretty limited and there are some spells as well. There are some consumable traits (will and command) which allow you to boost rolls at a critical time. You end up with close ranged mayhem and some tough decisions about order of moves and where to stand (models are not allowed to move through each other, friend OR foe).

One of the funnest part was a massive card deck of 'agenda cards'. These gave you strange objectives to achieve (attempt to drown 3 different models, kill the enemy leader, jump at least X inches with 1 model using 3 actions in 1 turn, etc). When you do so you gain victory points and a new card. It can result in you engaging in strange or sub-optimal tactical behaviour in order to set up an agenda to benefit your chances of winning the victory point game.

We'll be taking the rules out for another spin sometime (we are both pretty busy and don't get to wargame much) to rectify some of our mistakes and try out the 2 factions we didn't play this time.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

General Du Corp: Vitoria - Pt 1: Gazan's rear guard

The annual GdC game dropped in Vancouver recently and I was again fortunate enough to attend. Doug (dots of paint blog) hosted a great looking game with multiple commands for the gamers who traveled as far as Portland to attend. Due to some late drop outs the under studies needed to take over, so the role of "Spanish, British, and Portugese" will be played by "Prussians and Russians". As traditional, Doug set up a historical battle, left some details in the dark, and watched to see how closely to history we would, or would not, end up.

Vitoria sees a large collection of French hiding behind a hook of a river turn. Joseph Bonaparte, monarch of Spain (imposed) fails to offer much in the way of direction until the army starts collapsing, and only then will begin to withdraw his baggage train of valuable. Massive guerilla activity means the Allies don't have a clue where the hammer is about to fall, so the french (myself and Kevin) end up setting up blind.

That's a sizeable baggage train to evacuate as our primary objective
In the picture above, we see North is to the left. In the bottom we have Cole/Colesky ready to cross the river against Gazan. Behind Gazan is D'Erlonfacing a northern crossing. Further in the distance is Rielle (positioned between two other crossings), and furthest is Joseph....too busy partying in the Royal way to do anything until a corp fails a morale check.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Enfilade 2019 pt 4 - picture dump

My enfilade gaming was cut short by a vicious bit of sickness. I suddenly felt like I'd been hit by a truck, archy, feverish, sore throat. I ended up skipping the evening session and fell asleep till the am (with a brief sortie to retrieve my figs from the convention). The illness made the trip back north with the family pretty delightful too. It's not a vacation if you don't get sick at some point I suppose...

Picture dump after the jump....

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Enfilade 2019 pt 3 Saturday Afternoon - Battle of Hoth (Airwar C21)

Saturday afternoon (second block) I joined in with the Battle of Hoth (how it should have been). This was an "air combat" game using airwar C21. I see this ruleset come up for conventions fairly frequently but I have never played. It seems fairly quick to play, easy to pick up, but I can't comment on how 'realistic' it is.

I was on the rebel side attempting to guard the ion cannon and powerplant for long enough for the transports to get away. Our assets included a line of turrets (fairly short range and poor accuracy), some ground troops (to get shot at by storm troopers), 4 y wings, and maybe 6-8 xwings. By the strange randomness of conventions one fellow (Victor maybe?) and myself ended up with our 2 y wings on the left flank flying directly at the imperials, while the balance of the rebels swing across the table diagonally from the right, creating a bit of a flanking furball when they arrived.

The imperials needed to blow up the power plant and ion cannon OR capture the base with their storm troopers. They had a fairly huge host of empire bombers (4-6?), 2 tyderian shuttles with storm trooper squads, and a few tie fighter escorts (4+).

The GM had done a good job setting us up with cheat sheets and tracking records. The rules seem pretty easy. Unfortunately with the noise, a bit of ambiguity of the cheat sheets, and a pretty light touch on explaining rules up front there was some confusion about how shooting worked. This didn't end up mattering too much before we figured it out, but it did affect how the rebels used their missiles.

Turns out that gunfire does 1 points of damage per hit, whereas a missile hit does 1d10. The Y wing pilots all largely ended up cooking off their missiles ASAP believing they were in flying coffins and it was better to have used them then not. The GM kept shaking his head about why we'd use them on lower value targets like the escorts. We were thinking "my guns do 2d10 damage, why wouldn't I use the weaker missiles".....ooops.

I feel quite bad for one of the empire flyers who was flying a couple of the tie fighters who was tabled *very quickly* as 'missiles away!' and the thought that we'd be better off chewing up the bombers once the screen was gone. He walked away obviously irritated and I can't blame him at all.
As we figured out how guns actually worked we discovered our turrets were barely a speed bump and the tie bombers (with a ton of missiles that only attacked ground targets) were destroying them left and right.

The rebels managed to down a shuttle, forced the other to drop their stormtroopers early, and cut the empire bombers down to 2. Alas two bombers with bays full of 10 missiles each did short work on our infrastructure. *BOOM*

Well played imperials, well played.

Interestingly the GM noted this was the first time the imperials actually won. The big difference being they usually spread their forces across the table or on two corners. This time they were concentrated on one flank (far from our own heavy flank), and we simply couldn't do enough damage in time with the target rich environment. Clever play rather than simple luck on this one.

I'd be willing to try airwar C21 again to get a better sense of it. It'd be good to hear from those who play more air games as I've only played CY6 (and Cy6 jet age) and it's definitely a more crunchy realistic system (with the resulting increase in playtime/decrease in flyers required).

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Enfilade 2019 pt 2 Saturday Morning - Battle for Dresden GdC

Saturday Morning has the big battle of napoleonics that Doug organizes every year. There is a pretty usual roster of guys who agree to paint parts of the OOB in order to guarantee a spot at the game. There's usually another 2-6 commands for those who haven't painted a force. This year Ian and Craig (?? I'm gapping on his name) BoB were late to arrive and didn't have a game to play so they took over the Russians and Prussians facing my forces on the french left flank.

Dresden sees the allies trapping a large french army and preparing to crush it with numbers. Suddenly Napoleon shows up and throws the allied command into indecision about whether to attack or not (the plan to attack everywhere that Napoleon wasn't had been agreed upon earlier). It sounds as though the attack went in as there wasn't enough time/organization to stop it.....but the allies held back a huge amount of their forces. Good for ensuring a french victory historically.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Enfilade 2019 pt 1 Friday - Cruel Seas

A rare shot of this years painting
My life so far this year has been consumed with a growing infant, multiple sicknesses (most probably arriving from the illness skunkworks that is daycare, and some requiring antibiotics). I was also prepping a large contingent of french for Dougs (dots of paint) annual big naps battle at enfilade. True to form, most of us were finishing the figs at the last moment. I was not the worst, but I finished flocking 20 minutes prior to the drop dead time for loading the car. I still haven't taken the glamour photos that will document the real work.

The addition of the wife and 20 month infant slowed the trip dramatically so I missed the early afternoon session and arrived for the evening session having checked in and loaded up on groceries.

I was booked to play 'cruel seas' a fairly new offering from Warlord games. I hadn't realized it had only been out since December. My side took the German S boats against 3 British freighters and a armed trawler and a host of small escorts. It was a flank chase and there was opportunity for lots of torpedos flying across the table and, my word, ships can suddenly disappear under fire (one of my boats was hit by two hits by 3inch artillery pieces on the freighters....under 5% chance (my attacker rolling two 1's to hit). All I could do was laugh hilariously as my ship took a crit, caught fire (1 roll of 6 on a d6 for a diesel boat) and disappeared just as it had closed the distance to fire.

The figures are beautiful, and the rules were.....okay. Hilariously there was a steady stream of folks dropping by to check the game out who all voiced their dislike for the rules. It sounds as though the two key problems are: 1 - rushed into production there was insufficient playtesting and balance and the hardcopy rules have been revised into uselessness already. 2 - ships turn based on their speed. Moving faster gives MORE moves (i.e. flank speed = 3 turns, slow = 1). A slow boat (like a cargo ship) can crank in HUGE turns over a short distance compared to a 'highly maneuverable' fast boat which has it's turns happen over a much longer range. While not much of a problem in this scenario I can see it was an obvious issue. Pretty easy to fix though.....

I only managed 2 pics of the cruel seas game. I think there was a fair amout of 'not that interesting to photo' going on. Picture dump of other games in the same time slot to follow.....

A 2 page home brew tank system. It seemed to play pretty fast and was pretty bloody. Great convention fare. I wished I'd had more time to peruse the rules. 

The host put on a great post apoc game last year. I forget the rule set, but the presence of the ufo suggests a 'historically inspired' scenario.

Indians vs colonists in North America. Musket era. Not sure the ruleset. Looked pretty. 

Fair number of big napoleonic battles. 

Good number of star wars inspired games over the weekend. Pod racing on a nice looking board. 

Doug's "retreat from Moscow" game. I think the Russians were rule directed and endlessly cycled on while the french attempted to escape of the board.....maybe with some treasure/rations/supplies? 

Dougs earlier writeup of the playtesting sounded pretty hilarious as the french engaged in some friendly fire at least once. I doubt it happened at the convention but I will admit to hoping for lightning to strike again.