30 September 2016

A field of Slaughterloo

A great excuse to put a LOT of lovely miniatures onto the table!
A really fun day last weekend, playing in a massed 6 player game of Slaughterloo, the fantasy Napoleonic game by Alternate Armies.  John and Dave from the club were kind enough to share their voluminous collection of miniatures, which they have been collecting for more years than they care to admit.  And despite having 6 Divisions on the field, they still had a lot of figs uncommitted to the battle!

The real gem of this game is the characterful miniatures.  Wonderfully sculpted in a cartoonish style, they are a lot of fun and the various special units rules add a wonderfully slapstick and fun layer to the game.  Orc Infantry, Dwarves, Elves, Dogs, and Frogs just to name a few, but my favourite were the undead Russian hordes.  I got to see a lot of them as my Allied Division went up against John's Undead Division on the left flank of the battlefield.

Orc Line Infantry

Orc Riflemen

John's Russian undead form into line to pour fire into my advancing Division 
Supported by flying undead Cavalry!

My stout Prussian Dwarves

My Dog Cuirassiers catch the undead flyers in the funk and destroy them utterly - bwahahah! 
My flank march arrives on the field to threaten John's left flank

The Dogs of War!
Wonderful Frogs in column of marsh!

My Division crashes into John's line, defeating it in detail and routing his Division - Huzzah!  Sadly our combined right flank and centre were then defeated in detail, but I take the morale victory instead :-)

Fantasy elements aside, Slaughterloo is quite a good and free flowing Napoleonic game.  More old school style with with more tables and modifiers, vice the more widespread "buckets of dice" many games have at the moment, it has a good and free flowing feel.   A hand of three replenishing command cards add a touch of variety, chaos and fun.

Thanks to John and Dave for a lot of fun and letting us play with their lovely figures.

18 September 2016

Humpty Dumpty

The rhyme was first printed in 1810 and became famous through Lewis Caroll's book, Alice Through the Looking Glass, where Humpty Dumpty is shown as a round egg. However, it is a very old rhyme and goes back much earlier than this. One theory is that 'Humpty Dumpty' goes back to the English Civil War and the 1648 Parliamentarian siege of Royalist held Colchester. 

The 15th century tower of the church known as 'St Mary's by the Wall' was part of the defences.  Reports indicate that on 15th June 1648 the church was strengthened against attack by putting a large cannon (named Humpty Dumpty) on the roof, manned by a master gunner known as 'One-Eyed Jack Thompson'. Fire from this commanding position apparently caused a lot of difficulty to Lord Fairfax's attacking force.  
The Church of St Mary's by the Wall in Colchester.  The repair work is clearly evident
The 15th century stone tower was incorporated into the 18th century brick rebuild

Thompson's success made many of the Roundheads fire onto the church roof and, sometime during the 14th or 15th of July, Thompson and his gun came tumbling down. The damaged cannon could not be raised again. This was one of a number of setbacks for the defender and, on 28 August 28th the Royalists lay down their weapons and opened the gates of Colchester to the Parliamentarians.

17 September 2016

A farewell game of BA 1st Edition

This week I was very excited to catch up with Comrade James to play a last hurrah game of 1st edition Bolt Action before the 2nd edition is released shortly.

I took my Brit Para force (which I painted up during Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge IV - see here) out of the box for the first time in over two years.  Slightly ironic given that my first game of Bolt Action was against Dux and his paras (which is resulted in an incredibly rare win over that wily fox - see here)
Cpl "Tommy" Atkins' No 1 section take up defensive positions in the ruins, determined to make Jerry pay dearly
We played the "Hold Until Relived" scenario and after winning the die roll off I decided to defend - thematic after I'd just watched A Bridge Too Far a week ago.  I placed a 10 man Para squad (with Bren gun) and a Medic in the ruins of the cathedral.  My first wave reinforcements were another para squad, Light Howitzer, another Squad and my sniper.  Waiting further in the wings were my third para Squad, 2LT, Forward Observer, and PIAT Team.  James took his German force with 3 Regular Squads, a vet Squad, MMG team, Oberleutnant, a Pz IV, Mdm Howitzer and a sniper.

Jerry starts to move up - a strong advance on my left flank.  The Panzer and Grenadier veterans have not yet appeared

My sniper comes on and starts a duel with his German counterpart.  He failed to hit anything.  In fact,  this sniper is remarkable in that he has never actually killed killed anyone despite being a veteran!
Cpl "Spider" Webb's second squad moves up to reinforce the paras in the cathedral
My Pack Howitzer is brought into action.  Actually, it didn't fire any HE at all, but 3 different smoke missions to screen the ruins in the centre.  This proved to be very effective in keeping the fire (and pins) off the Paras holding it.
Jerry gets ready to push hard on my left flank
Callsign MEDUSA rumbles onto the table via the road, pivots and rakes the German infantry with its MMGs
...only to have a Pz IV appear on its flank (a clever move by Comrade James, I didn't see it coming).  Luckily the optics were a bit off and the German gunner rolled a 1 or a 2 for 3 runs running!
MEDUSA pushed up to put the ruins between it and the Panzer and continued to support the Paras.  The Churchill is not a great tank, but this is what it was designed for and it does it well.
The Germans eventually got in close enough for close combat.  It was a bit ugly in there for awhile
"Defend the Cathedral"!  The ruins hanged hands twice.  In the end 2 German and 1 Para squads were destroyed but the position was retained by the Brits.
The Panzer IV snuck around some obstacles and MEDUSA took a tough shot through the hard cover - a Penetrating Hit!  The Panzer was knocked out and MEDUSA's crew celebrated their first ever tank kill
Followed shortly by taking out the German Command Car and embarked Platoon HQ (who were all KIA)
Time to Mop Up boys! - MEDUSA leads the Platoon reserve, Cpl "Squizzy" Taylor's No 3 Section, into the German rear to claim Victory.

A really fun game.  Great to catch up with James and formally say goodbye to BA 1st Edition

Thanks to Jolt Games in Canberra - a great venue to throw down for a game, with a great selection of tables of terrain ready for use.