26 April 2019

Outremer - first game and thoughts

My small Military Order warband (using Steve's lovely GB models).
A mounted Knight, mounted Sgt, Foot Sergeant and a Crossbowman
Outremer: Faith and Blood is a skirmish  game that was released by Osprey as part of their "blue book" series a year or so ago, though it seems to have generated less fanfare than some of their other titles.

https://ospreypublishing.com/outremer-faith-and-blood

Players can select from Crusader/Frank, Military Order or Saracen forces. In additional to the tactical rules, it is an RPG lite style progressive campaign system, set in the early Crusader era - not unlike Necromunda, Frostgrave or Mordheim. Figures progress along a range of skill trees, accumulating loot, equipment, wounds and traits along the way.

This week we sat down at the club for a quick 2 v 2 game to try out some of the mechanics, with two Military Orders facing off against two Saracen warbands.

My warband moves up to observe the approaching Saracens
Mechanics wise, the game uses a full range of dice types from d4 upwards, which is a system I inherently like though it really only suits smaller games like this.  Outremer also uses a card mechanic to randomly activate individual figures.

We quickly added in an end of turn card (aka Tiffen card from Too Fat Lardies Games) which added another element of friction and which worked well.
This didn't end well for Saracen foot slogger...
The game plays straightforwardly, though a QRS is needed as we found some of the target rolls are a little buried in the rules.  Combat uses an opposed die roll mechanism which keeps both sides engaged is rather decisive once joined, and while good armour and strong faith (aka Morale) can tilt the odds in your favour, nobody is immune to injury.  Long range crossbow fire and compound bows can also really ruin your day (and leave you quickly without your beloved warhorse).

My crossbowman was taken down by this cheeky Saracen, though he got his comeuppance in the following turn
I'm know we didn't get everything right but the system was broadly intuitive after a few turns - a fun game that we will be returning to as I think the real value is in progressing your characters across multiple battles.

If you are interested in this game check the author Jamie Gordon's Outremer blog here:  http://outremerfaithandblood.blogspot.com

And the game's Facebook page is here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/162855534382686/

22 April 2019

A couple of Fields for the tabletop

I invested a bit of Easter Hobby time to build a couple of additions to my terrain collection: a corn field and a vegetable patch. A bit of fun with Slowpainter John on a sunny Autumn afternoon trying some new techniques and then a few days to finish them off.
I spaced the rows so I can fit a 28mm figure in between them - a small compromise between realism and playability


Both are mounted on mdf coasters using DAS clay to build up the plant beds. Stone wall and fencing are Renedra products (actually the small stones are leftovers from this project here), and all the plants are commercial products.



They are deliberately period agnostic so as to be useful for all sorts of gaming, but our FIW collection in particular.

17 April 2019

DAK Army "completed"

Over the past two years (and two Analogue Hobby Painting Challenges) I have been building a 15mm Afrika Korps force, principally for use with Battlegroup Tobruk and Battlegroup Torch.  Well its finally finished so I thought it was high time for some group shots of the force.

Its been a fun slow grow project (though it wasn't intended to be quite so slow grow) and I particularly enjoyed finding and using all the early war vehicles and their variants which saw such great use in the desert.
Recon ACs, Pz I, II, III, IV and IV Specials

I'm really pleased with how the battered yet cohesive colours give this the look of a worn, veteran force.  Models are a thorough mix of Forged in Battle, Battlefront and PSC.
Big Guns!
The only thing yet to come is a certain captured Matilda tank, which continues to elude capture (doesn't it Alan!)

DAK Infantry with Truck, Hanomag and Motorcycle options

What Army is complete without a storage solution?
Though what army is really complete... ever!

07 April 2019

Battle of Troy

Battle before the Walls of Troy - Greeks attacking on the left, Trojans sally forth on the right
Awesome day at club mate Gav's this weekend (the day of Salute in fact) with a big 3 v 3 game on the plains before the gates of Troy.  We used his fantastic array of Bronze Age minis with some a home made adjustments to Lion Rampant, and much thematic mayhem was added through Homeric heroes, each with their own Missions - Achilles was after Hector, Menelaus was after Paris etc. 
Whom do you favour this day oh Mighty Apollo?

My forces arrayed on the Trojan left flank
Each player had about a 50 point warband so that was a lot of figures on the table - an impressive array of Redoubt, Foundry, Black Tree Design and Eureka Miniatures.
Mayhem and Glory in the centre around the Temple of Apollo and the sacred grove
And the game was played under the imposing wall of Troy itself (all resin), with the strange, large wooden Horse making an appearance also...
Gorgeously painted Myrmidons move up to attack the Temple of Apollo

King Menelaus of Sparta vanquishes Prince Paris
In the end the Greeks carried the day overall, with Menaleus punishing Paris for stealing his wife, and Achilles vanishing Hector for slaying Patroclus, and thus the Trojans retired to their city defences. But what was that large wooden Horse left upon the field???...
In the centre of the field Achilles slays Hector, after which the fight went out of the Trojan Army.
A fantastic game - lots of fun and cheering throughout (especially during the Achilles-Hector duelling). Thanks for the great camaraderie and hospitality chaps! It also got my juices flowing for my upcoming Mortal Gods project...