Thursday 30 April 2020

Ambush at Keepitta Way

 Another game report....i know, i'm as amazed as you guys!. But first:

Lets all have some noisy punk shall we?.

I decided to give the new rules another try but this time to use them for a narrative scenario. While i was setting up Sprinkling three: the revenge stuck his head around the corner with the immortal phrase 'Daddy can i play?'. Ah i thought, an excuse to introduce him to the wonderful world of narrative gaming! (since he kicked my behind last time!). So yes, yes he could indeed play. We had loads of fun developing characters and a story as the game went on, not playing one side to win but playing both sides to see what happens. It was great and judging by his ideas and reaction to the game i think he might fancy another go. But enough blathering from me, On with the story!.

AN AMBUSH AT KEEPITTA WAY, or the timely interception of Lord Nesway Coddestrappe.

Lord Arbour was sweating, panic written large on his face. He hated dealing with this class of 'people', he hated the thought of the noose more.'So you see my problem Sir, and the need for haste' he asked the grim faced scarred individuals seated across the vast polished oak table. 'If that report reaches the King my goose and the geese of my whole estate will be well and truly plucked, stuffed and burnt to a bloody crisp!' he finished, dabbing his sodden silk handkerchief across his face for the upteenth time since lord Coddestrappe, the kings auditeer had left that morning. The large grey haired man in the middle of the three sat opposite exhaled loudly and relaxed in his chair with his arms folded. 'We can help' he boomed, 'But you will need to understand this service wont come cheep'. 'Yes yes' replied Arbour 'we need to hurry this along they will be miles from here by now'. 'Thats why i insist on the gold package for this particular task. I assume you want no one left alive?' He gestured to the young man at his left who grabbed a slate and started to write notes and figures. 'You also need to get the job done before they can get to the castle. You need this to be done with no evidence to link this to you and you need a 'report' is it?' he looked to Arbour for conformation 'Yes, a tax audit he called it' the Lord replied. 'And you want that brought back here not burned or destroyed in the battle?'. 'Yes i wont rest until it is in my hand'. 'Right well that will be extra...with manpower required, wear and tear on the horses, upkeep of weapons, miles covered and an assurance of our silence that will be....oh....he looked at the slate that was now filled with a dizzying amount of figures...say with a this day discount its one thousand gold coins. In advance'. Lord Arbour turned a special shade of purple 'A THOUSAND GOLD PIECES....ONE THOUSAND ARE YOU...' he trailed off as the two younger men flanking the grizzled mercenary bristled and made to stand up with malice of forethought. 'I mean...its a little outside the figure i was thinking' he finished meekly. 'Thats fine sir' laughed the older man in an alarmingly friendly manor 'there will always be room for negotiation'. Lord Arbour relaxed 'oh good, how about..' 'fifteen hundred' interrupted the mercenary. 'wha..fift..err..wha...' stumbled Arbour. 'It was a thousand a moment ago'. 'Yes sir that was our introductory offer, that has expired and now we are on to the normal pricing plan'. He smiled at Arbour with a shark like grin. 'Arbour began sweating again. Well cant we negotiate downwards?, is'nt that how it works?' 'The young man with the slate lent over to the older man a whispered in his ear, the older mans grin widened. 'Always room for movement sir, always room'. he stated in a calm manor 'for example it has been brought to my attention that we are being asked to deal with a royal agent...the errr...auditeer you called him, thats an extra five hundred and now we have more ground to make up as they are further away than when we started this meeting so we need to chuck in another two hundred for that'. Lord Arbour sprang to his feet 'Now you just look here my good man, i am employing you to..' The mercenary also stood and leaned towards Arbour, his knuckles planted on the table. ''You are employing us to murder an entire party of royal troops and a royal official and to make sure it never gets back to you correct?' he demanded through gritted teeth. Arbour cowered before him 'yes' he managed. 'And we are the only men close enough beside your own, who you cant use in case they bollocks it up and let survivors get back to the king that can get to the target within the time am i right?'. 'Well yes' managed Arbour. 'And we know all about your plan to kill this Auditeer and cover up your years of tax avoidance and can just as well take your miserable hide to the palace and claim whatever bounty the King deems your sorry sniveling behind to be worth'. The mercenary let the last statement hang in the air before he continued 'so that will be an even four thousand in advance if you please sir'. He spat on his hand and offered it to Arbour who had now turned white and shrunk into his chair. He spat weakly on his own hand and slowly gripped the offered hand. 'With of course five hundred extra for admin costs, pleasure doing business with you sir, just leave it to us, we will leave not a single witness or my names not C.C.Bathion'.

 The battle takes place along the secluded road of Keepitta Way, Lord Nesway Coddestrappe, high Auditeer of the king is making his way back to the castle having gone through the records of the Arbour estate with a fine tooth comb and found some very interesting evidence of tax avoidance. Little does he know that the infamous Black Rats mercenary company (royal tax operative interception task force) lay in ambush....

A nice tranquil picture of the royal tax auditeer and his company of royal bodyguards making their way along the road ay Keepitta Way. Suddenly the trap is sprung!.

 From the rear of the line skirmishers burst forth from the trees arrows flying!.

 The dread mercenary captain C.C Bathion leads his knights and horsemen on the attack.

Bow armed mercs block the road to close the trap!.

 Royal horse archers spring into action, sniping from the saddle at a group of brigands.

Wiping them out to a man!.

 Further up the road at the head of the column the horse charge headlong at the emerging crossbows.

While a force is dispatched to intercept the charge of the ambushing horse.

 At the rear of the royal position the horse archers continue to snipe at the skirmishers, who loose their cool and charge headlong into combat!.

 Operation 'contain the ambushing horsemen' begins as it all kicks off!.

But more mercenary horsemen enter from the opposite side, was the first attack just a rouse?.

 The charge of the Black Rats lancers breaks the royal foot.

 While the giant has more luck in forcing the enemy horse to retire.

However the royal line of defense has been broken and the Black rats form up for the charge!.

 The royal troops prepare to face the charge, will they stand?.

 The first charge hits home...

Followed by the rest of the horse roaring in!.

 Lord Coddestrappe sees a chance to turn the tide and charges into a distracted C.C.Bathion!.

 The effects of the charge begin to be felt as the royal foot break.

 And the royal taxation office foot Knights retire to lick their wounds.

 Leading to a massed mele kicking off lead by the forces leaders!.

 Who will loose their nerve first?.

 Victory!, Lord Coddestrappe turns to run and is cut down by the evil Bathion!.

Sprinkling three: The revenge gives his opinion of the game.

 Well that was fun, the story really came through while we played and both of us had fun trying to roll play the opposing forces. The rules also kept things nice and smooth, one thing that stood out is that Sprinkling three: the revenge remembered most of them from last time out which is one of my 'design objectives' (to coin a very wanky phrase) well and truly met, which is to make them quick to learn. Will we be doing this again?, i think so, he is even taking about setting up his own game with his troops (he always comes and begs any spare minis i may have left over from various projects) which sounds like fun......

....'till next time..... 

Sunday 26 April 2020

Bloke-Giant, Giant-Bloke

Just a quickie to show off what I managed to slap paint on between occupying the Sprinklings. But first:

It feels like a Ramones day!.

I thought I might add to my 12mm forces today by using some of my 1:72 minis. 'But Sprinks' they are much to big next to 12mm figures' I hear you cry...and you are as right as ever. But, as Dr P.P. Dolvinsononon states in his seminal tome 'Creatures Wilde and wired, a study into the downright mental mistakes of the almighty' (that I just made up):

' What is this odd beast known as the Demi-Giant?, ' tis best described as what happens when Giants and humans get royally pissed up together'.

So taking his word for it I knock out these:

 A unit of Demi-Giants for each of my medieval fantasy human forces.

 Giant, Demi-Giants, Blokes.

A scrap.  When will they learn!.

I think they came out ok, they certainly add more flavour to the setting if nothing else. I wonder if i could get away with doing an army of them?......

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

Friday 24 April 2020

Am I smarter than an 8 year old?

It's been a beautiful sunny day here in that deepest, darkest West country and with little to do during the lock down I decided to set up a quick game to try out the new rules again. Then Sprinkling three: the revenge popped in to see what I was up to.' Ooh daddy, can I play?' he asked innocently. 'Of course' I replied thinking this was a great opportunity to try out the simple nature of the rules, you know, to see if Sprinkling 3: the revenge picks them up quickly or if he finds the whole thing too much. But before I go into that:

Let's all have a classic.

It's worth pointing out that the sight that greeted Sprinkling 3:the revenge was this:

I know my set up is less than pro level ( and that's being pretty generous) but there is something wonderful about being greeted by the sight of a table set up, deployed and ready to go. So I gave him the choice of forces and we got down to it.
He picked the ' army of darkness' (his words, good lad!):

Leaving me with the human defenders:

So the question is can I beat an 8 year old using a set of rules I wrote myself? a word, nope!

  Below are some pictures that tell the sorry tale of my forces unpicking at the hands of a boy 33 years my junior!.

 It started with my crossbows running when some skeletons looked at them funny....

Clemont Flatley my Giant was meant to charge in and pulverize his specter Phil, that went not so well....

 My right flank being turned into a killing ground!!.....

My knights failing yet again to make headway!.....

 The plan was to hit his center hard while defending the right....not the best decision in hindsight as i have designed the undead to be hard to dislodge, not very powerful in combat but not likely to die anytime soon....

A portrait of my leaders in peril!...

While still his center held!....

 While his Githounds went through the defenders on the right like buzz saws!!.....

A Giant, very much outnumbered!....

 As was the case to my rear too!....

One final sad piicture of my 'shock troops' retiring to lick their wounds!.

I have to say the game was a really great laugh and for his age the lad played very well. He hit me with a classic flank attack and ignored the temptation to send troops into the stalemate in the center. The rules were easy for him to pick up, he got the turn sequence and combat procedure down after the first turn and felt confident in moving and activating his troops. The 'pips' system gave both of us plenty to think about and leveled the playing field rather well. So a hearty well done to my youngest, a game very much enjoyed. I still think it was down to my masterful deployment mind....

Thursday 23 April 2020

The battle of Stuffitt Holme

It's been bloody ages since I wrote a proper battle report. I have been doing rather a lot of painting since the summer and the number of games played has suffered because of this. I have however been working on some rules for element based armies and have been playing test games. I decided to do another one with my 6mm armies this morning and post it on here, however on review the pictures were pretty crappy as the light in the gaming area was not great at that time of the morning. When I noticed it improve I decided to have a change of pace and get out my larger game board and break out the 12mm figures. The narrative largely wrote itself as I put down the terrain. But first:

Noisy ladies.

(Or the ungentlemanly guzumping of Lord Loafe)

  'Its a bit of a fixer upper to be sure my boy but just look at 'er will you, good ground for miles, a river running past an' plenty a' trees for buildin'. You can't go wrong. Whatta you say son, a castle fit for your beloved?'. Lord Peter Loafe beamed at his first born son Peter Junior, arms outstretched  dramatically towards the sketch of the ruin of Stuffitt Holme on the desk before them. 'Aye father, it's a beautiful pile an' smack bang between the territories of us an' 'er family.  Replied Peter Junior 'but' he continued 'will it be enough for the dowry?'. Lord Loaf put an arm around his sons shoulder 'Something you need to understand son is the way it works'. 'Works Dad?, what Dad?'. 'It Son, the unsaid, the unexplainable...thing, the Order of...err...stuff'. The young man looked puzzled. 'IT' Lord Loafe continued...the unspoken...errrm..what do they call it... political position, social standings...that sort of thing. You see, we are richer than 'er lot an' we got more land but they got the mines at Tweekin Caverns an' all that good farm land out east. If we can come together as two 'ouses we will become more powerful than even that Jovi and t'hed lot over the valley. The dowry is more symbolic, a gesture to show we are serious an I want you an' 'er...ah...'. 'Megan' interjected Peter the younger. 'Of house Adeath'. 'Thats right son that's right, well I was going to get you to fixed up wi' a tidy 'ome befittin' of the name Loafe anyway and if I put it as the dowry it gets that done too, I already put down the deposit so let's send word to Lord Adeath an' set a date!. As he finished his speech an arrow flew through the window, narrowly missing both of them and thudding into the heavy wooden door behind them. 'Ah son, mails 'ere'. Lord Loafe strode over to the arrow and removed the letter attached to it. 'Its from the agents,  sabre, sabre and Clodde. Probably confirmation of my deposit'. He unfurled the parchment. 'Now let's see...blah blah monies...blah...drivel...non refundable yes yes...drivel blah blah blah....... ANOTHER INTERESTED PARTY!!..... COMPLETED IN FULL!!' Lord Loafe turned a violent crimson 'LORD BLOODY RONALD JOVI!!!!.... THAT TOTAL BASTARD!!, THE CHEEK O' THE MAN!!....AND IT SAYS HES TAKEN OWNERSHIP WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT!!. Lord Loafe ripped the letter in two. 'RIGHT SON, TIME TO LEARN ABOUT THAT POLITICS, ROUND UP THE TROOPS, GET ONTO THAT LORD ADEATH.....WHATS HIS NAME.....THEODORE OR SOMETHING, HE'LL WANT TO GET IN ON THIS. TIME FOR AN ' OUSE CALL!!.

The battle takes place before the ruins of Stuffitt Holme. The vile curr Lord Ronald of house Jovi has snatched ownership of the ruin from under the nose of his long time rival Lord Peter of house Loafe, wanting it as a starter home for his son Donald of house Jovi (and to prevent the potential  alliance between house Loafe and house Adeath). However not known for his easy going type attitude Lord Loafe is heading right for them seeking a bit more than an explanation!....

The field of battle. The ruins are in the top left corner. The river Drippage runs along the bottom of the field (which is impassable unless using the bridge).

The army of House Jovi bar the way into the castle (left to right: Cellwin the Giant, Lord Ronald Jovi, Foot Knights, 2 units of men at arms)

 His son and heir Donald leads the troops anchoring the right against the river (l/r: Mounted bowmen, crossbowmen, Lord Donald, More crossbows, Leve mob).

 Units of mounted bowmen and mounted men at arms are ready to strike on the far left. Lord Jovi let out a sneer as the forces of house Loafe entered the field. 'Donald, have you sent messages to Lord T'head?, i trust hes on his way?'

 Entering with the parping of horns, the stamping of marching step and a loud 'OI, THATS MY BLOODY CASTLE' came the forces of house Loafe. (l/r)Crossbows, 2 units of men at arms, Lord Peter Loafe jnr, 'Titchy' Keith the giant, Retainers with halberds, more men at arms and more crossbows).

 Over on the right Lord Peter snr leads his household Knights.

 Two units of mounted men at arms deployed on the road ready to charge!.

On the far bank of the river some scouts lurk ready to distract and annoy the defenders.


The battle about to ruddy well kick the flip off!!.

 I'm testing my new rules for this game. I wont go into the details and mechanics of them for this report, i would rather stick to the narrative. I will say that one of the things i am playing with is the use of 'pips' for activating (think hott) but giving 1d6 worth per commander in the force (these forces have 2 each). The players roll pips then put the dice to the side. when activating they activate one unit per pip but must take turns picking a dice and resolving that number of units actions. The opposing player then uses one of his dice. Play passes back and forth using each dice at a time making the decision of how many pips to use before play passes to the opponent crucial. You could end up needing to charge with three units in one part of the field but wanting to hold back with 2 elsewhere to react to your opponents moves but having rolls of 6 and 2 meaning you can charge but have to also activate the other units or hold back where you need to but not being able to charge!. Its been fun so far and creates a fog of war effect with players having to make tough decisions not just on a unit by unit basis but also on a command level. Also i have been giving some unit types actions they can attempt during the opponents turn such as archers firing at moving units, skirmishers sniping and running away, cavalry counter charging and a few other bits, meaning even if you dont get enough pips to activate all your units you can still use them to disrupt your opponents actions.

 Anyway enough about the boring stuff......

Lord Loafe orders the advance!

Arrows fly across the river as the mounted bowmen and skirmishers engage each other.

 The House Jovi mounted men at arms crashed into the counter charging house Loafe knights, Lord Loafe wasted no time in throwing himself into the fray!. Meanwhile some house Loaf crossbows shot at the opposing battleline ....

Sending som men at arms scurrying from the battlefield!!.

Around the field charging troops clashed...

With House Jovi gaining the upper hand!.

Although the Knights of house Loafe sent the enemy running for the exits!.

All across the field troops clashed in a mighty scrum of blades and (presumably) flying limbs!.

With House Jovi getting the best of it!. Then over the din of battle came the sound of thundering hooves and blaring horns. 'Ah, that must be Lord T'head, right on time' sniggered Lord Jovi as he lopped the head of a hapless house Loafe soldier. 'NOT BLOODY LIKELY' bellowed Lord Loafe. 'ITS...

'OUSE ADEATH, NOT A MOMENT TOO SOON!!' The forces of house Adeath thundered onto the field, ready to aid the plight of House Loafe! (Top of picture: two units of men at arms and two units of archers, bottom: Two units of mounted men at arms lead by Lord Theodore Adeath)

Lord Jovi ordered his available troops to cut off the new arrivals 'Where the hell is Lord T'hed!!'

Meanwhile in the shadow of the castle...

House Loafe started to gain the upper hand!.

 A shaken Lord Jovi slunk into the cover of some trees to take stock of the situation.

Meanwhile Lord Loafe jnr charged Lord Donald Jovi. 'Oi, this is meant to be my bloody starter 'ome!'.

While all this was unfolding more thundering hooves and hunting horns could be heard approaching!

Enter House T'head! (l/r: Skirmishers, crossbows, 2 men at arms, Lord Maurice of House T'head, 2 units of mounted men at arms and a unit of Knights). 'Finally, any chance of a hand?' quipped lord Jovi sarcastically.

 House T'head sprung into action, first failing to destroy the Knights of house Loaf....

Then coming second in an archery duel with house Adeath!.

While his newly arrived ally failed to make an impact Lord Jovi found himself surrounded by an angry rival Lord and his household troops!.

Which ended very badly for the now ex-lord!!.

The situation at the end of the battle. With the loss of their lord and their forces taking a right pasting House Jovi threw down their weapons and surrendered. The field, the day and the ruins of Stuffitt Holme belonged to House Loafe and House Adeath!!.

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