Saturday, September 28, 2013

Battle of Kirbekan - BFE v2 AAR Sept 2013

So with version 2 of BFE out we've been racking up the games. After a plea for Sudan scenarios on TMP I was pointed in the direction of Stuart Asquith's fine scenario book Warfare in Egypt and the Sudan. The first copy that arrived sadly was misprinted but Dave sent me a new one as soon as I told him and I was soon reading avidly.

For the regular Monday night game I selected the Battle of Kirbekan (Feb 1885 Sudan) but with an added gunboat since I knew the Dervish were unlikely to obligingly sit on the ridge. I gave the Dervish some artillery and cavalry to compensate since at the level we were playing the scenario suggested there would not be many.

Dave Manley took command of the gunboat along with Marines, Naval company and Gardner gun. I took the centre with a gun, 1 Egyptian company and 1 of the Staffs companies whilst Dave Pike had the other Staffs, 1 Scots, a gun and the cavalry. The Sudanese were played by Paul , Chris and Rodger.

British deploy more or less as per scenario (other than the gunboat of course) whilst the sneaky Dervish hide behind the ridge.

The gunboat (from Peter Pig) prepares to move up and flank the Dervish.

After a few opening salvos the British advance in the centre to enable a better view for the artillery.

Dave Pike matches the advance on my right tying up the Dervish Cavalry. Dave Manley's naval troops bring fire upon the Dervish right.

Dave Pike's position looks tight as the dervish fear coming over the hill.

So Dave decides to go get them... and that's where it all went wrong.

I deploy into line to protect the artillery as Paul's Dervish decide to move up the hill whilst Chris in the centre is racked with indecision.

Dave Pike's troop seem to have vanished apart from the Staffs in line and about to get hammered in the flank. I break off to go try and support them. It's not looking great and we are close to break point.

Meantime Dave Manley's crew do fine work rolling up Paul's flank and we inch closer to the Dervish break point.

But it's not enough and Dave Pike's last company gets massacred giving the Dervish victory. Sadly the official photographer was lost in the rush to get back on board the gunboat so there are no pictures of the final moments of the battle.

Another good game and we do seem to be getting the hang of these rules now.

Monday, September 16, 2013

HOTT Berkeley 2013

The Berkeley Vale annual HOTT Tournament was held on 14th & 15th September this year (2013) in  change from the usual first weekend in September due to a venue clash. I'd been worried too many might not make it but as it happened numbers were higher than 2012.
Below are some of the pictures I took and a bit of narrative.
We hold the event in the Skittle Alley at the Tudor Arms pub in Slimbridge. A nice pub with good and beer,  plus they offer accomodation for our overnighters as we are a 2 day event.

The Skittle Alley far end after just having set up the tables, each table is marked for a 15mm game and a 28mm game (more on this further down).

Other end of the skittle alley with the Coventry gang and Sharrock family warming up with a quick game of something.

The skittle alley is a great venue for our number as there's room to spread out and as per abow some areas to sit and relax. Not shown is the little alcove that's my 'office' where I set up the PC and printer to do all the admin to generate the pairings for each round. I use a Norwegian Swiss Chess program that allows you to set up tournaments as you like with different scoring and can prevent inter-club  games in the first few rounds if needed.

Round 1 gets under way. In the foreground is the pool army table. The tournament sustains both 15mm and 28mm scale by requiring people to bring two armies, one 'standing' and one 'pool' and they can be any combination of scale. The theory being enough people will bring enough of both scales to allow fair number of both armies so that all can be accomodated. In a round one player is elected by the pairing software to use their standing army and the other picks one from the pool to match the scale; they can use their own standing army instead if it happens to match scale and they want to.

This weekend we seemed to have a more 28mm games than normal but the alley was large enough to accomodate the games.

The Wolf Lords prepare to take on Skeletons.

Talking of wolves, the Sisterhood pack of Amy and Gemma Malcolm decided to join forces on day one. Amy ponders the move whilst Gemma (sporting suitable wolf scarf/headgear) salivates pondering her next victim (all will be explained later).

James Ewins asks Tony if he'd look after the kids later...

Richard Crawley's beautiful Dwarven Stronghold that doubles as a dice tower too.

More movement on the Wolf Lords vs skeletons game

Mike Shepherd seeks inspiration on how to beat the Moria Goblins.

Colin Evans ponders... again.

A traditional HOTT match as my Dwarves take on Tony Horobin and the Elves for control of the gold mine. I used 4 Blades (one a general), 3 shooters, 2 artillery and a Hero. Tony had 4 knights, a mage, 5 shooters (1 the general) and a flyer.

The eagle heads off to threaten my flank whilst both forces move forwards.

The cream of Elven chivalry line up opposite my artillery.

Oops. After that it went downhill very quickly for the Elves as Tony came out of the woods to force the issue...but shot at in woods get +2, and if you are shooting too it makes it messy for the shooters in the open at 5vs3 before the dice and then add in the artillery support... The dastradly Elven Mage did do for he Dwarven Hero but it was not enough.

My 2nd game vs Alan Millicheap and the Skeletons (6 Warbands, 2 Shooters, Anti-Paladin and Hero). The terrin made it awkward for my mainly good going troops but I banked on getting the Blades out of the rough quickly.

I moved to dog-leg position as I tried to protect my flank from the Hero and shooter support.

Alan tries to graddually shot my Hero backwards as his Warbands advance on my Blade line. As it happens I managing to break up the warband line with my artillery, and every time Alan wanted to charge all his broken up groups he got a '1' for pips so eventualy he went for gold and crashed in piecemeal but lucked out and his Warbands where toasted.

Some more shots of other games.

Steve Harris takes on Tim.

Mile begs the rest of the room to get him out of there whilst Dad James plays Keith's Pumpkins.

The Dwarven mine was keenly contested as this time the Fairy Folk decided to have a go at it (my pool table army of a Mid Summer Night's Dream - Oberon and Titania as mages, King of Athen spear general, Queen of the Amazons spear, Lysander and Demetrious plus brides as Warband, various wedding guests as Horde, Puck as lurker and Bottom (donkey) as Beast). Owen Webber was my opponent.

  Demetrius, Lysander and Bottom attack my flank and kick in the Dwarven shooters.

Oberon and Titania and faeries support the heads of state and the wedding party smash through my shooters. I ssend the hero and blade to support the remaining shooter in the rough.

The faeries are shot down as I try to slow the inexorable match on my Stronghold. Fortunately lack of pips prevents Puck from deploying and then it's too late.

The artillery belch once more and Titania is splashed to the four winds!! I back-peddle out of the rough. Owen sends inthe spears but it's against my blade general so a destroy is unlikely. Oberon is held off by the artillery and then he too finally understands the importance of the new form of warfare that is firearms....

Had to have a picture of Zardoz for TMP!!

After that I had camera issues or no time to take pics with admin to do.

The Saturday evening is devoted to board games or any other game people fancy running. We played some condotierre that Colin won and then I teamed up with Gemma to take on Benedict and Amy in a Pump Alley game. We lost the game according to strict scenario rules but as I explained to Gemma, we won the body count and that's all that reall matters! Thanks to Richard Crawley for organising that, great fun.

We then played the classic Werewolves of Miller's Hollow that I ran. Wasn't it funny that all 3 wolves were adjecent to each other and 2 were Malcolm and daughter Amy, the third being Alan Millicheap. Poor other daughter Gemma never stood a chance in round 1.  Much hilarity ensued the the wolves won the game. We played a second game in the village of Miller's Creek, Miller's Hollow having no villagers left.... This time Dad Gordon was a wolf again but other daughter Gemma was a wolf instead. Honest, I never fixed it. Hapilly forhte villagers they won and the vile werewolves were destroyed.

I did get one last picture: The eEnd of the final day as the packing up begins.
We had 23 players on the Saturday with 2 playing as a team, but on the sunday they asked to play seperately and we had 3 extra players and 2 had to drop out (1 for the day and the other at lunch), but the great thing about the software is it can cope and rather than give a Bye I have one of the players from the first game to finish have a game with the odd one out player. So a total of 25 players of the weekend wasn't too bad.
I had a blast running ti this year, each year I get more laissez-faire about it and it still runs so smoothly thanks to the generosity and good nature of the participants. I'd like to make a special thanks to Dreamholme Scenics for knocking up the lovely Tree-House memento, Jimmy Walton for the stunningly painted raffle prize ofsome Viking figures and to all the others who donated too.
Thanks to my opponents for the great games and I hope to see them all again next year on the 6th & 7th September 2014.
For the record the results were:
Best 15mm Army - Steve Harris with Wolf Lords
Best 28mm Army - Keith McGlynn with Pirates
Most Expedient Player (most General kills and or Stronghold captures) - Josh Jones
Best Placed Sisterhood (we have random prize every year) - Amy and Gemma Malcolm
Err.... and after 13 years I finally mananged to win my own tournament. Oops
PositionFirst NameLast NamePrimary TotalSecondary Total
21Mark andIan630
23The Walkleys 427