Sunday, 30 December 2018

Mrs Sprinks, Legend.

   So today I turned 40, and my wife decided she would mark the occasion with the perfect birthday prezzie:


  Good ol' Space Crusade, one of the three games produced by Games workshop and MB games at the turn of the 90s (when i was just the right age for them). This versions not mint (but pretty tidy) but as far as im concerned its a box of mid life crisis the whole family can get fact me and the Sprinklings sprinted down stairs to get it out and set it up:

 One Space hulk, ready for raiding!.

And i found out what you call a collective of Space Orcs.....

........A conga of Orcs! (who knew?).

If your not sure what im babbling about check this piece of nineties bobbins for an idea:


     This may be featuring in future blog posts, i can feel it in me water!.......

......Anyway, till next time.......

Friday, 28 December 2018

I'll 'ave an hours worth me ol' china!.

     Over Christmas i have mostly been working on my pike and shotte fantasy rules and messing around with the Eliza Doolittle of wargaming that is:
One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas

   For those that may not know the book offers some very simple mechanics to run games in most historic eras from ancient to ww2. It also is stuffed to the gills with simple yet great scenarios you can use for any era. Its a great resource for playing quick hassle free games and is fantastic as an introduction to the hobby. However it really comes into its own as a starting point for an era, giving basic rules and 4 unit types just begging to be fleshed out and adapted in small and subtle ways to bring out a little more flavor and character.
    To this end i have been playing around with the Medieval rules to create an set of rules for the kids to campaign with over the holidays. The adaptations to the rules i have come up with are as follows:

(Note, you will need a copy of the book for these to make sense!).

     The rules in the book are used 'as is' with the following small changes, where the new rules contradict the old the new rules apply.

    The 4 troop types are still used, in addition an extra type is added: Light Cavalry. This works in exactly the same way as Cavalry from the Dark Ages rules.

    Shooting: Archers no longer get +2 to shooting rolls.

    The turn sequence is changed, the Troop Removal phase is replaced with the morale phase which follows the rules below:
        All units that have taken damage this turn test their morale. This is done by rolling 2d6. Knights and Men at Arms add 2 to the roll, Leve -2 from the roll. If the total is the same or greater than number of hits the unit has taken so far the unit holds and remains in play, if the total is lower than the units total hits so far it has routed and is removed. 

Generating forces is handled differently. They are still rolled at random using the tables below. An army consists of 7 units rolled at random. 

      To generate an army follow these rules:
  1: Each player chooses which table they roll on first, they then roll 1d6 and compare the result on the table, this is the number of that type of unit that has mustered for battle.

 2: the player then rolls 1d6 to pick the next table using the numbers in the top left of each table (e,g if you roll a 4 you get Leve). Once you have the table roll 1d6 to see how many of that type have answered your call.
    Once you have rolled on a table you may not roll on it again. If you roll a 6 for the type of table you are to roll on you may pick any table you have yet to use.

3: Once you have 7 units your army is mustered and ready for battle. You may not have more than 7 units. If your final roll puts you over this number reduce the number of that type of unit accordingly.

  As i said above This has been done so the Sprinklings can have a campaign to play during the hols that will work as an intro to gaming and hopefully be fun too!. The campaign is set in a faux medieval setting (so far with no name) and involves the ruling houses of an island presumably off the coast of a larger kingdom who have set out to conquer the place!. The Houses of Loaf, Wolffe and Zeppelin ( ruled by the lords Peter, Stephano and Theodore respectively) have been held in check by several agreements and treaties but these have been cast aside, each lord claiming this is due to 'creative differences'!.

    The workings of the campaign have been almost totally nicked from Peter over at the rather bloody good Grid based Wargaming-but not always, i lifted the idea of a map divided into areas, each player being allowed to pick an area to fight over with one opponent of their choosing. A battle is fought using a scenario from One Hour Wargame and the winner claims the area. Once all the areas are claimed (and if the enthusiasm is still there) the houses will then challenge each other for areas and try to take over the map!.


  Speaking of which the first game has been fought!

    House Wolffe Vs House Loaf (scenario 2)

 The ever moving Lord Loaf inspects his troops!

His army consists of : 3 men at arms, 2 knights, 1 light horse, 1 leve.

Lord Wolffe hovers over his line of battle!.

He rolled: 2 knights, 3 men at arms and 2 archers.

  The scenario gave us one hill in the Wolffe deployment zone and a cross roads in lord Loafs, both had to be held to secure victory.

Note: The colours on the bases match the colours of the houses flag on the map. Each unit type has a different pattern to make it easy to identify them in battle.

 I will not give a full report, just a few pictures and a summary:

The action begins as both sets of knights have at it!!!!

Things also get tasty in the center as lord wolffe charges off the hill to head off the advancing enemy.

The knights of house Loaf are victorious at the crossroads! (huzzah!!)

The battle for the hill is in the balance!

The Hand of Lord Wolffe is everywhere!!

 Archers are assaulted by men at arms on the hill!. 
But they rout the enemy and hold the hill for house Wolffe!.

 The end of the game!, House Loaf holds the crossroads and contests the hill, a minor victory for them and one area claimed!.
Not that the noble lord would gloat of course!.

  That was lots of fun and the Sprinklings are eager for the next game!. I'm counting that as a success!.

......'till next time........

Sunday, 16 December 2018

The Battle of Phelt-Underfoote

    'He stared through the morning mist at the generic enemy force arrayed before him, those Fossestershire dogs, they dare to meet us in open battle!. Well, he thought i will soon put paid to that notion. I shall give them such a test, such a lesson in the rules of warfare that they shall return north from whence they marched knowing once and for all how warfare should work. He strode to the crest of 'booksundercloth' hill to get a closer look at the foe. Yes he thought to himself, soon they will understand the system, scenario or no they will know how strong the rules of war truly are!. 'Sargent!' he barked over his shoulder, 'Fetch the ruler and the dice, its time to give these dogs what for!!'.

     As you may have gathered from the paragraph of bollocks above i have played another test game of my much changed rules for the 'absolutely not the thirty years English civil wars of religion' period i have been tinkering with. The result so far is designed to be simple and quick to play as gaming time is very limited at the mo but still retaining a tactical edge and most importantly being really FUN to play!!. The system is not unlike my Blood,guts and rampant hex system, just missing the hex board and with more 'period' (i use that term loosely) features such as troops having to reload as an action and running the risk of being out of ammo for example.

   For this game i decided not to link it to the ongoing campaign (just in case the rules were crap!) and thew together two armies from my newly re-re-re-based forces (now on single stands per unit) for a generic dust up!. I placed a basic lay out on the table, deployed and got stuck in!. So without further prattle we (thats myself and the ever present Wronghammer plastic re-enactment society) present to you:

(a scenario-less dust up of dice, minis and the spirit of lineemupfornoapparentreason gaming!!!)

The view from Booksundercloth hill of the battlefield.

The armies of Fossestershire (to the north on grey/white bases) and Crivenshire (southwards on blue/white) array for no apparent reason!. Note the smaller playing area for these rules.

 The Fossestershire right of Irregulars and K.E.S riders
Over on the left is the strike force of Knights and the dreaded Wazzockshire Red riders on their giant carnivorous and rather grumpy goats!. Skirmishers lurk near the woods.

 For their part Crivenshire form a strong center of Kings Regulars flanked by sponsored Irregulars, Jarkin royal guards stand in reserve.

cannon stand watch on Booksundercloth hill screened by skirmishers.
The battle begins as the Fossestershire irregulars advance toward the Crivenshire guns, who waste little time firing a volley of lead across their ranks as the Skirmishers advance to take the scrub to the flank!.

The rest of the Fossestershire force advances using the tree line for cover.

A detachment of irregulars are ordered to stem the advance!.

 The Crivenshire skirmishers in the scrub are targeted by the Fossestershire irregulars who pepper them with close range musket fire!.

Forcing the skirmishers to flee the field!.

 On the other side of the field the Red riders slam into the irregulars who are too surprised to get off a volley before they close!, the Jarkin move up in support of their smaller kin.
The K.E.S rider squadron fly over the trees to attack the Royal Regulars, who stand in the face of the charge.

The same cant be said for the Irregulars who beat an orderly retreat from the rabid goats!.

 As the irregulars of both sides engage in a bitter fire fight the cannons roar!.
Sending one enemy unit running in panic!.

 On the Crivenshire left the Jarkin charge the Fossestershire knights!
 Only for the Reds to plunge into their flank!.

The combined onslaught proving too much for the Royal troops who turn and run!.

 Things are going better in the center for the forces of Crivenshire as the Regulars repel the K.E.S. riders.
Which causes the last unit of irregulars to panic and flee!.

 The Crivenshire center has done its job!

However so has the strike force on the Fossestershire left while skirmishers still lurk in the woods unnoticed!.

The skirmishers prove their worth with a volley from the trees sending the regulars running!.
The remaining Crivenshire forces form up in a defensive position but their nerve breaks!. They throw down their weapons and surrender before the inevitable charge hits home.

   So a victory for the north!, but thats not really the point of all this. I am finally at a point where the rules are feeling right. Nice and simple, combat is never a foregone conclusion even if some troops excel at it and the pike and shot troops have to weigh up the odds between sniping at a distance or advancing to close range under fire where their shooting is far more deadly. Add to that the fact that they have to reload the turn after firing the need for that 'optimal' volley adds another tactical edge. The game also has an army nerve system so at any point an army may quit the field if things go badly for them.

All in all i'm a happy little camper!........'till next time!.

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Almost sort of a progress report....

  I have been a busy bunny as of late, but none of it leading to any solid 'bloggable' stuff, hence the relative quiet around these parts. So to rectify this and to give me the momentum to push me on a bit i thought i would list what i've been tinkering and twatting about with.

1) I have been writing bits and bobs for my 'nottheenglishcivilwar' fantasy faffings, having played the latest battle in the campaign i have decided to re-jigg some of the mechanics to make it far more fun as the game in question being a three sided effort ended up as a bit of a grind as the sides hit several bottle necks on the table, leading me to shelve it as a write up and redo some rules ready to play it again.

2) I have also been playing about with Neil Thomas' One Hour Wargames:

  'That's the ones officer!'

 I was looking for a base set of rules for casual games with the Sprinklings so have slightly modified the Medieval rules within (added a moral system and an extra troop type, will be detailed in another post sometime). Having several forces worth of medieval minis loafing about i set to knocking up a couple of forces to give them a whirl. I have to say the simplicity of the rules do allow for some satisfying quick games and the 30 scenarios in the book give plenty of extra depth without cramming the game full of rules to keep on top of. I think i will be building a third army and campaigning with the boys over the Christmas hols if they are up for it. 

......Also i have been rather taken with the basing style and smaller forces/gaming area used in these rules so may be re-basing my forces.......AGAIN!!!!. 

3) As i have several forces to build from my existing minis and lots of re-basing to do as well as rules to write and campaign games to play and write up its only natural for my brain to be contemplating my next project!, hey i'm a wargamer, we do this to ourselves!. The ideas that have grabbed me the most so far are:

Yep this is still rattling around the ol' noggin!

Ash's battle with the Dead would make a fantastic set of scenarios and as i have mentioned before the minis in the worlds greatest scale would be pretty easy to put together, Medieval blokes are piled high in my 'jobless' mini pile and the Dark Alliance army of the dead are tailor made for the task

The siege would be great to play out and you could play several games as a 'what if' campaign in the same setting.

b) I have been taken by the idea of doing some 19th century steam punk type stuff, 
Maybe some of this (Emhar Prussians)

Maybe these (Waterloo 1815 Anglo-Egyptian)

or even some of these! (HaT British)

They would need the likes of airships, Clockwork walkers, Land trains and....wait for it......

(The above are from Ironclad miniatures, clicking on their name will take you to a page full of their steam bases goodies!.

  A setting like this would be great as a kind of colonial campaign with various nations scrabbling for control of the final unclaimed and unmapped landmass they have available to them (that happens to be full of hostile locals and fauna to add to the fun!). Perhaps they are sick of rebuilding cities after their many conflicts and have a kind of government level 'gentleman's agreement' to settle their issues on the only continent that they don't have to worry about maintaining!. It would be cool to collect and game with armies of steam stuff, cavalry, riflemen and artillery chock full of daring do!.

c) I also fancy doing some slightly more generic fantasy (big monsters and dragons, witches and wizards etc). I am toying with a more 'grubby' type of setting, more towards the dark ages rather than the polished high medieval fantasy you see so often.

 Imagine a shield wall full of this lot!.

  So it would be armies of shield walls and warbands, skirmishing slingers and small amounts of  knights in battered armour fighting orcs, undead and other fantasy stuff with as many big monsters as you can fit on the table!!

For example (god bless Reaper bones!)

Would also be a great excuse to get hold of some of these....

  I could always combine settings b) and c) to do a kind of doomed expedition to a new world with a few armies from a mock dark age in the new world. You would have sort of Saxons and Vikings and the like facing off against amazons, Incas, Mayans etc with all kinds of fun creatures involved!.

Try and tell me this mini is not great i dare ya!.

  So thats about it for now, my head is empty of its clogging hobby based mess and you get to come to this point in the post and wonder why exactly you bothered reading this far!. Hopefully next time i will have some game reports or other more interesting bits to post......

......'till then......