Monday, 9 February 2015

Warhammer 40k Conquest LCG and gaming catch up.

It's been a while since I posted, not because I haven't been gaming, rather the opposite. One of the main aims of my move back home to Stockton on Tees was the prolific local gaming scene and I have been taking full advantage.

Beanie Games my FLGS is open Monday & Tuesday afternoons for gaming, 11am till 10pm Weds, Thurs & Fri and 10 til 5 Sat & Sun. Plus Middlesbrough Games Club is open Tues and Thurs nights and has an all day meeting on the first Saturday of every month. In addition Beanie regularly run tournaments for lots of games. And then there's clubs in Hartlepool and Darlington and a couple of other local FLGS's. So I'm spoilt for choice!

I've played a few board games like Zombiecide and Snowdonia, Battlore 2nd edition, which I love, and a couple of games of Golem Arcana which is great fun although it's been hard to find people who want to play; lots of X-wing; won a Star Wars Attack Wing tournament (I've no idea how); entered a Heroclix tournament (I have no idea why as I'd never played before); played a few games of Crescent & Cross which I like even though I hated Saga; played lots of the new version of Dust tabletop (which I love); a few games of Black Powder Napoleonics which much to my surprise I now quite like after years of hating it; I've played a few games of the new Infinity rules but there's lots to learn yet; I've got back into D&D with a great local group (every other Wednesday); bought yet more sets of rules which I haven't got round to playing yet. Thursday nights are for Android Netrunner, which I've been playing a lot; I've also played lots of other LCGs like Game of Thrones, Star Wars and most recently 40K Conquest.

So on to 40K Conquest. Beanie ran their first monthly store tournament on Friday night. There were 12 of us taking part which was a pretty good turnout. I'd had just two practice games beforehand but the friendly folks at the 40K Conquest Facebook page had helped me with my build. I'd decided to go with Dark Eldar with Eldar allies as shown below:

1x Packmaster Kith (Core Set)

Army Unit: (32)
4x Kith’s Khymeramasters (Core Set)
2x Altansar Rangers (Core Set)
2x Baleful Mandrake (Core Set)
1x Beasthunter Wyches (Core Set)
2x Biel-Tan Warp Spiders (Core Set)
2x Coliseum Fighters (Core Set)
3x Eldar Survivalist (Core Set)
2x Hellion Gang (Core Set)
2x Incubus Warrior (Core Set)
2x Kabalite Strike Force (Core Set)
1x Klaivex Warleader (The Scourge)
2x Murder of Razorwings (Core Set)
3x Shrouded Harlequin (Core Set)
1x Soaring Falcon (Core Set)
2x Sybarite Marksman (Core Set)
1x Syren Zythlex (Core Set)

Attachment: (5)
1x Agonizer of Bren (Core Set)
2x Bladed Lotus Rifle (The Scourge)
2x Suffering (Core Set)

Event: (9)
2x Pact of the Haemonculi (Core Set)
2x Archon’s Terror (Core Set)
3x Power from Pain (Core Set)
2x Raid (Core Set)

Support: (4)
1x Khymera Den (Core Set)
2x Altar of Torment (Core Set)
1x Archon’s Palace (The Howl of Blackmane)

I had no particular plan, I just hoped I wouldn't get my ass handed to me in every game! My first game was with another player new to the game who was using an Eldar deck with Dark Eldar allies. I managed to build up a decent force in my HQ while closing down his resources so had a fairly easy win.
My second game was very different. I played the eventual winner of the tournament who was also using DE/E. I got my ass handed to me! I could see I was going to lose after the first planet. He shut down my resources while completely outplaying me. Thankfully the game was over at the third planet to put an end to my misery.
The third game was also against DE/E but was much closer. My opponent was more experienced than me but I managed to keep things close until he played 'Calamity' and then capped the first planet with 'Syren Zythlex' which meant all the cards I could bring to the planet would be exhausted and he easily won the battle there to get the last planet he needed.
The last round was against Space Marines led by Cato Sicarius, I'm not sure if he had any allies. The planets fell in a weird order which meant we would have to go to the fifth planet for a win. This was a fairly close game with his big units against my more numerous small units. Judicious use of 'Archon's Terror' to rout key units plus 'Power from Pain' and 'Raid' gave me the edge for a win.

Overall I was pretty happy I went 2-0 and came 8th plus I learnt a lot. The Dark Eldar played like the fluff, causing opponents to groan in pain when I stole resources or routed units. There were a few Ragnar Blackmane builds going after warlord kills, as well as Chaos and Imperial Guard decks. So a good mix of decks. I'm looking forward to the next tournament.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wargaming Overload Part 3

In addition to the ACW and ancients games I mentioned yesterday I've also played some Napoleonics and WW2 games.

Having made a start on assembling two 15mm Napoleonics forces 18 months ago I decided it was time to finish them up and finally get a game using the 'Napoleon at War' rules. I'd made the decision to buy painted figures rather than paint my own for two reasons. Firstly it would be quicker and second my poor eyesight and shaky hands make painting all the detail on napoleonics almost impossible. eBay buys of painted French and British armies had given me the bulk of what I needed but I was still short a few cavalry and quite a few infantry battalions. So I ordered a bunch of painted units from Stonewall Figures who offer a good range at great prices. They arrived quickly and they were soon based up ready for our first game.

Back in Feb 2013 I had a look at some options for Napoleonics rules and settled on 'Napoleon at War'. They're pretty straightforward and easy to pick up and we got a game with about 8 battalions of foot, 4 regiments of cavalry and some artillery completed in about three hours. It was fun but there were a few things I didn't like, particularly that there's no point in attacking in column as you get no bonuses and you get fewer bases for shooting so you're better off attacking in line. It sort of struck me as a Napoleonic lite game. Fun, easy to pick up but not a particularly accurate simulation of Napoleonic warfare. I think I'll go back and have another look at FoG:Napoleonic.

Talking of not particularly accurate simulations I was persuaded to have another run out with Bolt Action. Time to dust off my 28mm Russians.

It was a 1000pt game and I was facing some Germans supported by a Jagdpanther (at least my Churchill had decent armour, although its pop gun six pounder had little chance of hurting the Jagdpanther) with the mission to recover some intel from the centre of a village. After some initial sparring for position the main action started with both sides trying to recover the intel only to be cut down by fire or wiped out by an assault. Time ran out with the intel still in the village but surrounded by a mass of German & Russian corpses. The result a draw.

I can see the attraction of Bolt Action but it just doesn't do it for me. Chain of Command is still my favourite small scale WW2 rule set.

Tomorrow, amongst other things, I'll be looking at my participation in, of all things, a Heroclix tournament!

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Wargaming Overload Part 2

I'd been looking forward to getting more figure gaming done after the move and I haven't been disappointed.

I've had a large 28mm ACW game using Black Powder which was fun but it confirmed my suspicions that Black powder isn't for me. It's great for getting large battles played out in an evening but the mechanics just don't appeal. I'm hoping that Longstreet will fulfil my ACW needs and I've taken the plunge and I'm getting two Pendraken 10mm armies professionally painted. I'll post some pictures of them once they're done.

Action on the left flank of the ACW game.

Although I've always enjoyed ACW, ancients is my first love. So I was really pleased to not only try out the full Impetus rules but also give Sword & Spear a go. I've played a few games of Basic Impetus and although I've had the full rules ages I've never been able to try them out. Luckily there's a few Impetus players locally so I've managed to play some games. The full rules are better than the Basic set but the combat is more or less the same. And that's the problem I have with them, for me the archery is just too powerful. There's a lot I like about the rules and I'd recommend giving them a try if you haven't already but they're not for me.

That brings me nicely onto Sword & Spear which has been generating quite a bit of buzz lately. The rules have lots of interesting mechanisms and require quite a bit of tactical thought which is a good thing. Plus the PDF is only £6.00 so you can't go wrong. The rules read quite well and it's quite easy to pick up the basics but there's a few wrinkles that you only noticed after playing. But that's no different from any ruleset, as you always get things wrong and miss things in your first few games. Overall I think they're a good set that can give you an enjoyable game and again I recommend giving them a try. But what I have found is that you concentrate on moving the individual units so much so that it feels a bit like you're moving chess pieces around a board rather than managing the massed ranks of an ancients battle. But I'm sure that many people will love these rules. Unfortunately my search for the perfect ancients rules goes on especially as we all know there's no such thing. I'm planning on going back to take another look at Dux Bellorum as I enjoyed the rules and I've found some variants to expand them into other eras. I particularly enjoyed reading about the Sumer to Sargon variant 'Warrior Kings'. At the bottom of the rather long page is an excellent AAR showing them in action.

Tomorrow I'll take a look my venture into Napoleonics using the 'Napoleon at War' rules.

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