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.

Monday 11 August 2014

Wargaming Overload!

So I've been in my new (temporary) home for six weeks now and still no new posts so what's going on? Well I've been suffering from gaming overload. The gaming scene is very active up here and it's possible to game seven nights a week plus most afternoons and weekends. So with me being retired and having suffered a dearth of gaming for the past year or so I've been pigging out at every opportunity. This hasn't left me with much time to blog. So here's a quick update on what I've been doing.

Most of my gaming has been X-Wing with some Star Trek Attack Wing thrown in for good measure.

I resisted X-Wing for a long time but I'm well and truly hooked now. I started out playing Imperials because I used to love flying the Tie fighter in the old X-Wing vs Tie Fighter PC game.

I added a Tie-Advanced and Slave-1 to the two Tie Fighters from the starter box because Darth Vader and Boba Fett 'nuff said. I played around with pilots and loadouts to get a feel of the game and then settled on a build I was happy with and played that for quite a few games until I learnt how to use them effectively. As there are quite a few Imperial players locally I decided to branch out and get some Rebels. Also because Imp vs Imp games take forever with their low attack dice and high defence. I decided to buy two B-Wings, a Z-95 and another X-wing after I read about a build using B-wings that sounded interesting. As it turned out not the best bit of planning I've ever done. I've done ok using two B-wings, an X-wing and the Z-95. But the B-wings don't really suit my type of play with them so lacking in manoeuvrability. But they do have one saving grace that I found out by accident, Autoblasters. This is a 5 point, range 1, Cannon upgrade and any normal damage can't be cancelled with defence dice, couple this with Ten Numb's pilot ability which prevents 1 critical from being cancelled makes it deadly at close range. (Old news for experienced players no doubt)

As I said I found this out by accident. I was playing a newbie who only had enough ships to make a 60 pt game. So to give him an easy win to encourage him to get into the game I decided to take a B-wing and just load it with the most expensive options I could and then add a cheap, easy to kill, Z-95 to round out the build. I thought this would be so crappy he'd have no trouble beating me. To cut a long story short, three attacks from the B-wing three dead Imperials and game over in no time. Luckily there were three of us playing that night so I lent him my now super B-wing and let him have a 100pt game with Vince.  He did get a couple of kills with it and had a much closer game so hopefully I didn't put him off!

I've also invested in Star Trek Attack Wing. I bought the starter set and subsequently added a Borg sphere. Like a lot of people I was put off by reports of the poorly painted ships but I was pleasantly surprised. Yes, the Enterprise is so so but the Romulan warbird is quite nice and some of the Dominion ships are as good as X-Wing. But what I really like is the extra level of complexity you get with all the abilities and upgrades. Its based on X-wing but, tactically, it plays very differently. Sadly I'm struggling to get anyone to play as they're happy with X-Wing. But, strangely for me as I hate tournaments, I have entered an organised play event at my local club which takes place on the 17th. I'll let you know how I get on.

That's hardly scratched the surface of what I've been up to, so I'll post more updates each day this week. Hopefully that will get me back in the swing of updating things regularly.

Thursday 26 June 2014

What I'd like to play in the coming months

With my move finally taking place next Monday I should be getting back to gaming next week after a break of about six months. So more for myself than anything else I've created a list of games and systems I want to play over the coming months. The most recent addition to the list is the new Sword & Spear ancients rules. They sound like they're fun to play and have some interesting ideas. So being a rules junkie I had to buy them (the fact that they're only £6 for the PDF helped).

Sword & Spear - Ancients 15 or 28mm (Have various armies, painted & unpainted)
Impetus - Ancients 15 or 28mm (Have various armies, painted & unpainted)
Dux Bellorum - 10 or 15 or 28mm (Have various painted figs I can proxy)
Ronin - Samurai Skirmish 20mm (Have both sides and painted)
Mayhem - Fantasy any scale (Have 2 10mm armies painted plus some painted 28mm)
Maurice - 18C 10 or 28mm (Have 2 10mm armies both unpainted)
Napoleon at War - Napoleonic 15mm (Have French & British painted. But short a few units)
Longstreet - ACW 10mm (Have 2 armies both unpainted)
All Quiet on the Martian Front - 15mm (Have 2 armies from the KS both unpainted)
Chain of Command - WW2 15 or 20 or 28mm (Have 20mm Germans & Brits painted. But short a few figs. Also have some painted 28mm Russians and a ton of painted 15mm FoW stuff)
Battlegroup: Fall of the Reich - 20mm WW2 (Have some Germans & Brits painted. But short a few units)
Dust Warfare/Tactics - WWW2 28mm (Have masses of US and Germans)
Deadzone - scifi skirmish 28mm (Have 4 or 5 factions all unpainted)
X-Wing - Starter box
Dropzone Commander - Scfi 10mm (Have both sides and painted)
Battletech Alpha Strike - (Have enough painted for a small game)

Android Netrunner - Boardgame
Heroes of Normandie - Boardgame
Lords of War - Card game

Don't have but would like to try:
Malifaux 2e - 28mm (Have a ton of models for various factions but not the new rules/cards)
Dux Britanniarum - 28mm (have some painted and unpainted 28mm figs I can use)
Full Thrust - Space combat
Wild West skirmish of some sort not sure on the best rules.

That's a long list but I've probably forgotten some things. At least unpacking (when I get round to it) will be like Xmas.

Saturday 14 June 2014

Star Wars X-Wing for 'free' and an update on my move.

Things are finally coming together with my house move. I'd hoped to be all sorted out April/May time but I had a bit of a health scare which has put things back a couple of months (don't you just love getting old!). So I'm going to be renting somewhere now until I find a place to buy. That means a lot of my gaming stuff will be in storage so I'm currently trying to sort out what to take with me.

I have a bunch of things I want to play like the 'Heroes of Normandie' board game stuff I got from the Kickstarter which has just arrived and the X-Wing miniatures game.

I'd resisted X-Wing for ages as I thought it was expensive for what you got. But I kept reading batreps and it did sound fun and the clincher was that I found I could get the starter set free, well sort of.

Most people in the UK will know that Tesco have a reward scheme that gives you Clubcard points every time you shop. Normally I save these up all year and use the vouchers to buy scifi/fantasy books from Tesco Direct books as a Xmas present to myself. Last year I noticed that they had the 'Force on Force' rulebook available and I used some of my points to get it. So when the urge to splurge on X-Wing reared its head again I checked out Tesco Direct to see if they had it and they did! A quick check on my points total showed I had more than enough to buy the game and a couple of days later it arrived.

There's a lot more to the game than I'd thought and I've had fun playing it solo using an excellent AI opponent that I found online. I think the starter box is great value (especially as it cost me nothing) but the booster packs do seem expensive although you don't need many models to play a standard 100pt game. (Like wargamers will ever resist buying everything that comes out for a game!)

I'm off up to the frozen north next week to check out some rental properties and I'm planning on popping in to the local wargames club to say Hi and check out the local gaming scene at the same time. Hopefully I'll be back gaming and posting regularly sometime in July.

Monday 10 March 2014

Another Tempting Kickstarter!

Although I'm still busy with getting ready to sell my house I do find time to keep up with what's new in the wargaming world. It was on one of these forays that I came across this Kickstarter called 'Warbands & Legions'. It's described as 'A counter based game of massed tabletop combat from biblical times to the dark ages.'

I've always been a sucker for ancients and this looks quite interesting. The art style will probably put some people off but I quite like it. The basic game only costs £30 inc p&p and for that you get the following:

Which looks to be a pretty good deal. I'm already thinking of adding the New Kingdom Egyptians army to a pledge. I haven't actually committed to the project yet as I'd like to see more on how the rules work and more on the campaign system thats mentioned.  The other benefit is that its due for delivery in April 2014 (although 'Kickstarter' times can be variable to say the least). If I do pledge I'll let you know.

Saturday 8 February 2014

A quick update

Sorry I haven't posted in a while but real life has gotten in the way of gaming. I've been up and down to the north east a few times in the past month or so to help out my sister. I won't go into details but it looks like I'm going to have to move back up north to help her out.

So this means I'm going to have to sell my house. Which means I'm going to have to do all the jobs I've been putting off for years to get it ready for selling. It also means all my wargaming stuff and a bunch of other junk is going to have to go into storage while I redecorate and sell the house. So that means no wargaming for me for a while.

What free time I've had I've spent playing 'Star Trek Online'. Like lots of gamers I also love mmo's and computer games and I've been getting my gaming fix via the computer.

I'd tried it at launch and a couple of times since, as its free to play, but it had never grabbed me. Now however I'm hooked. Its simple to get into but has lots of depth and cool features so why not give it a try.

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