Thursday, June 27, 2019

Arrggghhhh too many projects!

Okay, so I’m only slowly working though the lead and plastic pile, trying to work on
  • Vikings
  • Anglo-Danes
  • Gondor
  • Easterlings
  • Dwarves

Today some more reinforcements arrived from Northstar- another box each of Fireforge Medieval Russians, Oathmark Heavy Dwarf infantry, the new Victrix Vikings and some metal Crusader Norman infantry with axes (to be part of my Gondor army). So I really do need to start focusing on one or two projects rather than all at once!

Technically, though they all part of two projects- Operation Middle Earth and my ongoing 1066 project.

So what do I have on the go/am I trying to finish:

·         Finish 12x Heavy Cav (using the Gripping  Beast Goth cavalry). I have them made up and started painting them last night.
·         Heavy infantry- add 1 regiment each of Spears and hand weapon armed warriors for Kings of War using the newly arrived Fireforge Medieval Russians.

·         These have just arrived but they look lovely and can’t wait to get them on the table- 60x Victrix Vikings to add to the mix of my Viking forces- I think I need to do a couple of test bases…just because!

·         Finish off my danes axe armed unit(s) from Footsore/Gripping Beast/ Warlord Games which will be used as my Housecarls.

·         1x regiment of axe armed infantry using the Crusader Normans to add to my force to act as more elite infantry.

·         Complete a regiment of hand weapon and shield armed dwarves and also 2x stands of two handed weapon armed dwarves using the Oathmrk figures to give me three regiments in Kings of War or 6 units in Dragon Rampant

Anglo Danes
·         On the back burner just now but stll need another 2+ regiments (in kings of War terms)
Goblins Warg Riders
I bought some Goblin warg riders from

Other projects
·         Continue rebasing my figures- I’ve decided my cavalry bases are slightly to long and want to shorten them so need to rebase some stands.
·         Make some movement trays for the new units for use with Kings of War regiments.
     Finally, some shots of the new Victrix Viking sprues- the figures look damn nice and there are plenty of options!


Monday, June 24, 2019

New storage shed

With selling our house and downsizing I needed somewhere to store my terrain and gaming stuff. I've slowly started moving my gaming gear down to my bach but there too I am short of space as there is no garage or outdoor storage to speak of- and I've no spare room inside. To solve this problem I  bought a wooden kitset shed to keep my terrain and bits and pieces. The only problem is I needed to pick it up from near Oxford in North Canterbury (a 320km round trip and and then take it down to the bach, another 100km or so from home).

 The location is a tad challenging, my bach is down a steep hill and there wasn't much in the way of access to the only spot where the 3m by 3m shed would fit. We have a bit of a car parking area up the hill above where I wanted to put it  and the only way to the site was down a steep bank so we had to do a bit of clearing of shrubs to give us better access. 

The shed came as a flat pack which easily fitted onto my trailer and was ready to assemble.

The only spot I had for it was on one of my outdoor decks at the back of the bach and had no easy access down to it. 

Man (or in this case woman) handling the walls down the slope. My wife was press ganged into helping.

The walls go up- it has a sort of bunker look to it.
 Putting the roof on.
 The view from above.

Only the doors to go.

Completed- and I still have a wee bit of my deck to enjoy the late afternoon sun :)

And the view from inside over the countryside out towards the Southern Alps.

Putting my feet up after finishing.

Next stage to get all my terrain etc down to the bach :)


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Kings of War

While up in Christchurch for Andy's D-Day game the other week Martin was kind enough to put us up. Over the weekend we spent quite a bit of time discussing various rules and Martin mentioned that he was quite keen on Mantic Games Kings of war. Over the weekend I read the KoW Historical rules and quite liked what I saw and ended up buying myself a copy.

I've been looking for a fast play simple rules that doesn't tax the brain too much and am still searching for the holy grail. I've been tossing up between Dux Bellorum, Dragon Rampant and Hail Caesar as my go to rules, so was keen to see how KoW fared.

Over the past week or so Kent, Martin and I agreed to have a game at Kent's. I was up at Tekapo the last couple of days with my wife but popped back while Martin was nice enough to drive down from Christchurch for the day. I had planned to use the "Easterlings" force that I've been working on the past few weeks but alas left it down at the bach last weekend, grrrr. So instead I threw together a force of Black Numenoreans which I allied with Kent's Carthaginians to take on Martin's dwarves.

Kent hadn't seen the rules so I helped him sort out a list to run.

I'm going from memory here but Kent's 1000 pt Carthaginians consisted if:

  • General
  • Hero
  • Sacred Band
  • Med Cav
  • Nellie the Ellie
  • 2x Spears

My Black Numenoreans:

  • General
  • 1x Heavy Infantry regiment
  • 1x Warrior regiment
  • 1x Heavy Cavalry regiment
  • 2x Light Horse troops
  • Boris the Behomoth- beast of war

Martin's 2000 pt Dwarves were approximately:

  • General
  • Standard bearer
  • Stone priest
  • 6x Warrior Regiments
  • 1x Shieldbreaker horde
  • 2x Ironwatch Rifle Regiments
  • 2x crossbow troops
  • 1 Earth Elemental
  • 2x organ guns
  • 1x flame canon
Given the amount of shooting in the dwarves had I was expecting Kent and I to be slaughtered on our way across the board- basically I was expecting some of the old Warhammer defensive Dwarf list that blasted us to smithereens and was pleasantly surprised when that didn't happen. 

The game was a lot of fun. One of the strengths of this history light system was the fact that Martin ran his list from the standard Kings of War (fantasy) book while both Kent and my forces came from the Historical version of the ruleset and we were able to have a light heart fun game in which our forces were competitive.

A few pictures

Set up
 Martin's massed dwarves.

Turn 1. Boris and the light horse advance on our far left flank,

Kent studies his army list before figuring out what to do

I advance behind an archer screen while Kent double moves to get into contact.

Kent throws his cavalry forward in the centre while to the right Nellie decides its stomping time

A view from the other end of the table. 

Boris and the light cavalry trade blows with Martin's crossbows and thunder rifles.

Things hot up in the centre while Nellie has made short work of the dwarven warriors in front of her.

Boris the Behemoth and the Earth Elemental get stuck in.

The battle sways back and forward in the centre of the table.

The Black Numenorean heavy cavalry get stuck in.

The Black Numenorean cavalry punch through the dwarven line...

And swing in behind the shieldbreaker horde.

Having dealt with the elemental Boris attacks and eventually crushes the darf king.

End result?
Carnage on both sides but Kent and I came out on top. Nellie eventually died but boy dd she take a lot of stopping.

Well it certainly was a dice fest-  double dice when attacking from the flank, triple from the rear meant protecting flanks was important as was having reserves. As only the active player rolled dice was an interesting mechanic but helped ensured that the turns really flew along and the game was fast and furious.

Maybe not every historic gamers cup of tea but made for a light hearted and entertaining afternoon and at the end of the day that was all I was looking for so will definitely play it some more.


Monday, June 10, 2019

D Day 75th Anniversary battle

 Over the past weekend Kent and I headed up to Christchurch to take part in Andy Tucker’s Sword beach landing multiplayer game of FoW to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D Day landings. Andy and the other Christchurch gamers really put in a mammoth effort in getting the game together and countless hours of work in creating fortifications, terrain and making sure the whole event went off without a hitch. Having organised events myself I really appreciate the work that went in behind the scenes to make sure this game was a huge success, we even managed to get on the national news!

Anyway, Kent and I headed up on Friday afternoon. We were both running British lists, I had some commandos and Kent was taking a confident trained 3rd infantry division force- once we’d locate his army and borrowed it off Martin who was also gracious enough to host for the weekend.

It was a great game. On day one we landed and stormed the beaches. Re were six British players (me, Kent, Jonathan, Graham, Lionel and Jamie) vs three Germans (Andy, Thomas and Josh) so from the get go the Germans were seriously outnumbered but their fortifications, bunkers, HMG nests, sea walls , minefields and other defences mitigated this somewhat.

As the allies our objective was simple, storm the beach, overcome the beachfront defenes and push inland as quickly as we could before the Germans could counter attack.

My commandos landed at the far left end of the beach and used a lot of smoke (once my artillery support arrived) to neutralise strongpoints and avoid as much damage as I could as we struggled through the initial rows of fortifications. On my immediate right Kent’s confident trained infantry got badly chewed up but eventually made it over the seawall and took out the first line of fortifications and, with the help of Jonathan’s troops, spent a large part of the weekend clearing the very tough casino complex and nearby bunkers. Beside Kent Jonathan’s forces stormed over the wall and into Ouistreham and pushed inland, decimating his son Thomas’s defending forces in the process. On our far right Jamie, Lionel and Graham (our Wellington import for the weekend) also ground out a bloody toe hold and by the end of the day vs Josh and Thomas and by the end of the day on Saturday had too had overcome the beach defences and were starting to push inland in the face of fierce resistance.

Sunday morning we resumed the game which had found the allies firmly ensconced in Normandy- having cleared almost all of the first table of enemy though the flak tower in Ouistreham cotinued to hold out for most of the day- though Kent used smoke to neutralise its use as an observer platform. The beaches were reinforced with several armoured squadrons landing whose assistance was greatly appreciated. My commandos had dug in as they were were somewhat exposed to counter attack on the far left of the British front line but Jonathan and Kent soon moved armour and tank destroyers over to support and Jonathon’s other armour started to push out of Ouistreham and so outflank the next line of defences.

Day two turned into a major tank fest as the Germans counter attacked with several companies of panzer IVs, panzer grenadiers and other assets. As I said, Andy ended up commanding the entire German right flank vs Jonathan, Kent and I so did a sterling job trying to keep track of everything we were up to whilst still managing the overall game- ah the joys of higher command.  

The Germans had random reserves and luckily for my commandos most of the German armour ended up pushing against the British right flank and so for most of the day Lionel and Graham were hard pressed defending vs large amounts of massed German armour. As part of the game rules Andy had assigned possible air or naval support each turn and the British had 3 such units available (depending on dice rolls- which we tended to divvy up as one per pair of players). However, on day two we all gave all our artillery assets to Lionel and Graham as they needed everything they could to hold off Thomas and Josh. By late afternoon however the situation had improved considerably. Our AVRE Churchills were pretty hard for most of the German tanks to deal and were ably supported by numerous troops of Shermans and Cromwells so slowly but surely the balance swayed in our favour and in the end we blunted (aka destroyed) the German counter attack and the Germans were forced to withdraw inland.

Final result:  A very hard fought minor victory to the British.

It was a great game andI love games where the table is so big that artillery assets need to redeploy forward to get back in range of enemy forces, really adds another dimension to the game, and the result. It probably was close to reality in that the Germans faced overwhelming numbers and their counter attack, s in the real one od D Day stalled in the face of overwhelming numbers. In the actual battle the commandoes managed to link up with the paras at Pegasus bridge whilst the counter attack by the 21st panzer prevented a link up between Sword and Juno beaches.

Inspired to get back into gaming
Before the event I’d been a tad reluctant to take part. I’d not taken part in a Flames of War games for quite a long time but this game has once again inspired me both the play Flames (V3) and also rekindled my love of large multiplayer big battles- they can be a hell of a lot of fun.

Truth be told over the past few years I’ve really pulled back from organised gaming, comps and events like this and this year with everything else that’s been going on have had little motivation or interest in gaming in general. In fact more often than not this year Kent and I have postponed our scheduled games as a range of other things have cropped up to get in the way of our regular game. So long story short I wasn’t that keen to get involved and almost decided to pull out a couple of weeks ago. I had too much other real life stuff I was dealing with and really wasn’t that motivated to play so told Andy I wasn’t going to be able to make it but after a few messages between us I  changed my mind  tans in the end thought bugger it and went.

I am really glad I did go. Not only did Andy put on a fantastic weekend but the guys participating were a great bunch that really got into the spirit of the event. Andy not only ensured that everyone had fun but also bravely took command on the entire right flank of the German counter attack on day two and fought vs Kent, Jonathan single handedly so was a tad busy all day ensuring things ran smoothly whilst still trying his best to focus on the game. 

But for me, more important than the gaming was getting out and having a chance to catch up with Martin Wilkinson, Stephen Stout, Eric Juhl, Dave Dreaver and a few other old  lags, reminisce about the various Day of Days weekends we had ran, other events we’d gamed, the pros and cons of the various rulesets we were playing, and so had a great opportunity to just shoot the breeze and reconnect with a great community of gamers. It really was the pick up I needed so thanks Andy.

 A few pictures follow: