22 June 2016

A good week of gaming

Delighted to report that this has been a good week or so of hobby time for me. It started with a Dragon Rampart game between Slowpainter John's fantastic Chronopia Orcs and Dux's Saracens, now sporting a beautiful set of flying carpets and a kickass Djinn throwing spells everywhere.

I hadn't seen this game in action but quite liked the tweaks made to Lion Rampant to give it the fantasy twist without overdoing it.  If you aren'tt aware of it, there is a good online review here.

I oohed and ached over John's Saracen orcs sufficiently frequently that Dux invited me and the Orcs to go get a room.  The visuals that brought forth means that I will be taking out a civil action against that miscreant for gameplace bullying.

John's Orcs ganging up on Dux's Djinn
Then on Wed night at the Club we started our SAGA campaign.  Slow painter John's Anglo Saxons held off his Anglo-Dane enemy for a draw while taking quite a chunk out of the enemy retinue.
John again rolling a statistically unfeasible number of sixes to slay more hearth guard with...the supply cart!

Due and I were both defending this turn and avoided any undue attention, so we took the opportunity to play Match 3 of our Jugula Campaign.  Having only been in illegal arenas thus far, it was good this time to make an appearance in a Provincial arena and  have a good purse up for grabs.  With my prized Provocator out with an injury from the last match, I took on a rookies Scissor into my Ludus Caeruleus to boost numbers.  Dux's Lupi Invicti sported his usual retinue, including the juggernaught Crupellarius.
The fight is on! The crowd go wild!

I managed to wound Dux's Murmillo and Secutor quickly but he rapidly struck back equally hard against my Thraex and Murmillo.  Shortly thereafter we finished off a wounded opponent each - the next gladiator to drop an opponent would claim victory.
This pic of my Thraex falling to Dux's Crupillarious is blurry as I was crying
I was then fortunate to pull a series of attacks which battered through the defences of Dux's wounded Secutor and thus I claimed the win and a very decent amount of coin.  As an interesting sidetone, it appears rather rare to have a combatant die in Jugula - the emphasis is on entertainment, not killing.  After 3 games we have yet to see a death.

A fun and game and much quicker than our last bout too - we set ourselves a 1 hr time limit and finished with about a minute to go, so it worked well.
Dux's secutor falls to my Murmillo's blade - Victory to Ludus Caeruleus!
Last weekend also I finally got some pigment onto my FIW Ranger units (I bought the Northstar British Wilderness Force at Fall In last year).  I am happy with how they are coming along and hope to have them finished soon - pics to follow

11 June 2016

Introducing callsign JUMPER

The lesser known but no less enthusiastic Tartan Squadron took to the skies again this week, this time in Canberra on a flying visit.  The highlight was Comrade James earning the callsign JUMPER after he bravely took his Y-Wing immediately to hyperspace after escorting the freighter off the board, leaving his wingman to be destroyed by the raft of TIE fighters closing in...

Nice one Comrade!

05 June 2016

Day Bolt Action Tourney

Miserable weekend weather cancelled the kids' sporting events and provided the perfect opportunity to visit a local games club with Slowp8nter John instead!

The games club "Company of Dice" was playing a mega Bolt Action campaign to commemorate this week being 6 June.

13 Missions were played over two sessions, with an overall Commander on both sides, allocating players to tasks.

Morning games being beach landing/areo drop focused, and the afternoon ones being focused in the bocage and approaches to Caen.  To be honest we dropped in for socials not gaming so here is some of the eye candy that was on display, including a lot of lovely scratch built terrain:

I really liked this lovely scratchbuilt entrenchment position terrain

And I loved the use of .22 rim fire casings as shock markers too! Might have to steal that idea...

This was a really beautifully painted late war German platoon I spied (the painter said he used a toothpick to do the camo dots)

A wonderful scenario set around a large bridge feature in the centre of the table:

This lovely table was painstakingly put together with many, many Hirst arts blocks and topped off with a range of 4 Ground buildings

And made a great spot for some mechanised 'cat and mouse' games with big cats:

And these just took my fancy!

31 May 2016

"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today" - a Century on

Today is the centenary of the Battle of Jutland.  A hundred years on there still remains controversy and divided opinion on the battle and how it was it fought (and not fought).  On one hand the dashing and but potentially reckless Beatty..

On the other hand the staid and risk aware (or risk averse?) Admiral Jellicoe, who was the only man on either side who could lose the war in an afternoon

Pretty sure I wrote 10,000 words on the subject once at Staff College...

Want to know more? Then go read these highly recommended and fascinating accounts of the naval race and the lead up and conduct of the largest fleet engagement of WW1.

19 May 2016

Jugula Campaign commences

Match time at the Arena!
Alan and I kicked off our Jugula campaign a week or two ago, pitting my Ludus Caeruleus (see here) against his Ludus Lupi Invicti.  We started with a double header match, both in illegal pit arenas but thats where a poor Lanista has to earn his stripes to get his fighters some experience and progress to contest bigger prizes.
The gladiators advance

Our first match was an interesting one as we really got into the rules - such a myriad of tactical choices with the card system.  Its hard to avoid analysis paralysis at times
Rux's Retiarius falls - first blood to my provocatur Barbus Magnificus
 With 6 choices for each card but only one card to play, we found that deep analysis and reaction means that the game can bog down in decision making
Barbus spins around and takes down Dux's Threax without missing a beat
I think we need to build in some kind of time limit to keep that issue at bay, because otherwise I think its a really rich system

Isolated, Dux's second last Gladiator is cornered...
...and nobly falls in combat!  Victory to me (which is very rare against Dux I might add)
Our second game was more balanced and Dux was more careful to avoid my being able to divide and conquer.

My Murillo Noctis was corned by a Crupilarius and Thraex - and only escaped through a lucky run of cards

The match became a bit of a slog but we learned a lot of about the nuances of the game
Vengeance for the first game - Barbus Magnificus falls (Dux's thumbs down sign!)
The second match as called on time and declared a draw with 3 wound equivalents apiece.

So our treasuries have grown a little larger and we look forward to the next matches!

06 May 2016

May the Fourth be with us!

Take that Imperial Scum!
What better way to celebrate Star Wars day this week then by running some introductory games of X-Wing with the Lads at Odin's Night Games Club.   2 of the guys had played before and 2 were newbies but all were new to the fantastic co-op campaign rules Heroes of the Arturi Cluster - by far my favourite way of playing this game (and thanks again to Miles for introducing MAGNET and I to it!)
Rookie Pilots = Rookie manoeuvring!
You've heard of Red, Gold, Green and Rogue Squadrons but these adventurous Rookies were determined to give to the Galactic Empire by forming Tartan Squadron (dibs on not painting their ships).  Sadly missing callsigns MAGNET and TEACHER for their first forays, the determined lads  climbed into their ships to strike a blow for freedom, harmony and Tusken land rights.

With appropriate thematic music blaring form my phone, the first mission was Rescue Rebel Operatives and together the lads managed to escort the triple HWK-290 off with just 2 hull points left.

With that win in hand, Tartan Squadron proceeded onto the Disable Sensor Net scenario where swarms of TIE fighters appeared from nowhere.  With lots of "Its a Trap!" echoing around the table, the dogfight was on.  Eventually, the sensors were all destroyed and the lads all jumped to hyperspace to go for well earned beverages.

The Biggs Darklighter memorial Commendation for best on ground went to Dave with his 6 (mostly stolen) kills for the night.  Well done Ace! He has now been allocated the callsign THIEF.

THIEF captures imagery and yet another (stolen) Victim!
Everyone had a good time = Win!
 No doubt you will hear more from Tartan Squadron in due course - like it or not!