Saturday, December 26, 2015

Chariot Racing

This year the Berkeley Vale club went for 2 Christmas games, firstly we tried a large Frostgrave, quite adventurous (see what I did there) with 8 players for our first game and good fun was had by all. Our second game was Chariot Racing and below is a brief write-up and pictures.

I've been looking to do a fun fast paced chariot game for some time and came across these rules recently - Fast Shuffle Combat Chariots. It uses 2 or 3 decks of  standard playing cards to generate initiative, movement and combat, so luck does play a part. I'd like to say it also means the luck evened out over time, but we are gamers and we all know that Lady Luck is fickle and has no greater joy than ensuring the luck is very uneven.

They are easy to learn (Walt the author regularly uses them at conventions), bloody and fast. Perfect for an evening's entertainment.

One of our group happened to have a sheet that was used for 28mm Circus Maximus and with the lanes 60mm wide it was perfect. The horror was he'd nearly offloaded it 12 months ago as he'd not used it for ages!!

Lane 1 Stuart Clarke with his lovely 2 part chariot, all the leather work done too!
Lane 2 was our very own Wargames Personality Mr Dave Manley with a Seleucid number in lovely pastel blue.
Lane 3 had Dave Pike with the Roman entry
Lane 4 Steve Price (myself) with the Chaos Demons
Lane 5 Shaun Mutton with the Gobling King, the chariot still reeking of fresh varnish, literally.
Lane 6 Was a no show after being arrested for odd betting patterns.
Lane 7 David Nicolas with a second Seleucid entry
Lane 8 Andy Unwin with an Ancient British number driven by Boadicca's better looking younger sister.

Full view of the track.

Mounts straining at the leash.

And they are off! Up to the first corner and Shaun's Gobling King goes wide and takes the lead at the first corner.

We even had dolphins to mark the laps!
After that it all got very exciting and I forgot to take regular pics.

Stuart and Dave M take it tight but survive.

Andy has taken a massive lead and Lady Luck not only blessed him, but had his babies and moved in with him!!!

Steve and Dave P languish at the back of the pack, I say pack... that suggests there were others near us. There weren't.

Andy sitting pretty in the lead.

Dave M works out the likely hood of the Steve's Chaos Demon chariot ramming him... Do ursine animals defecate in arboreal areas?

The Shaun's Goblin King is speared by Steve's Chaos Demon. It was a mercy, the Goblin chariot was a wreck and the driver having been dragged for most of the 2nd lap looked like Robbie Williams in Rock DJ video.

Dave N sneaks past the outside of the Steve &Shaun show

Andy coming out of the penultimate bend and about to lap yet another chariot. Dave P and Stuart tried to catch up on this corner and both got wasted !!

Arms aloft in victory Andy's protégé, Boudicca's better looking younger sister crosses the finish line after 3 laps. Not long after the last 2 surviving chariots limped home. The other 4 were wrecks.
So, great fun. Thanks to Walt for sharing the rules and his support with  few queries and thanks to my fellow racers for their company. It was a hoot. More in the New Year.
I'd transcribe Andy's victory speech and Thank You List here but I think there's not enough space left on the blog servers.
Steve Price.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Warband - This time it's personal

Dave  popped over last night for another evening's wargaming: Dwarves vs Dragonmen once more.
This time we decided to do a scenario so as to avoid standard Dwarven Battlelayout v1 (tm). So we rolled and got Grudge Match... Deploy armies and terrain as standard. Great. The only difference being the respective commanders got power-ups but could lose control and go impetuous on their own. Game could be won by routing the enemy general with yours, or 50% ap loss as normal.
Mind you our respective armies have been at it for months now so personal grudge match with the enemy leader seems logical :-)
We picked terrain,  yes...I took my mine and mountain fortress.  They look great, sue me. Dave put some rough his side left, my mountain fortress just beside it. Dave then placed a wood centre in my deployment area.
Dragonmen sighted!
Blimey! He's tall!!
Those Dwarven cannoneers, so damned mercenary.
Important safety tip for all enemies of Dwarves... Terrain in my deployment area doesn't upset Dwarven Standard Battlelayout,  we just anchor on it and protect our flank. Especially when I close off that flank with impassable terrain.
Right chaps, everyone comfortable and safe?
Right, you two sit on this cart and hold these bronze barrels. What do you mean recoil?
So we got a glass of wine and settled to play. Dave cast of and group moved... Or tried to and failed. And here was an important lesson for us all...
Grudge Match makes commanders impetuous.  Group moves cannot receive extra motivation, so if you fail then your comnander is of on his own! Oops.
Cue Dave's general running towards my line. "BOOOOOOM!" went the Dwarven guns. Oh how we laughed. The general survived but was very pale for the rest of the game.
Follow me men!... Err... anyone?
Oooh look! Shall I shoot Sir?
Whilst Dave rearranged his army the Dwarves remained nailed to the ground,  it worked for Wellington so who am I to argue. Dave's arty (indentured Dwarves) moved forward only to be blown to bits when counter battery fire hit their powder supply.
Are you sure this is safe?
Open fire! All weapons! Bring back the cannoneer bodies
And so perish all turncoat artillery
Eventually Dave's giant and knight units mounted a strong attack on my left. Table edge penalties hurt and soon the Dwarves were losing morale, but equally kicking tge knights. The giant seemed mildly irritated by small creatures hacking its toes with play axes.
Over on my right Dave's infantry surged forward to take on my missle troops in the woods. But they withered under a hail of crossbow bolts. One unit made it into contact but on 1 morale it did not last long.
In the centre Dave faired better, his powerul archer with normal archer support took a heavy toll on Dwarven morale, quickly knocking 2 units to 2 morale. I managed to pull them out the line lest they routed.
Dave was now losing units fast, in the final 2 turns we both list control of officers but I recovered mine, Dave's was once more stranded in line of my guns...  They roared once more and the Dragonmen general fled the field.
Get the ram to turn right a bit...
With that his army broke and the Dwarves broke out the flatbread to celebrate another glorious win. Dwarves kick butt, and in our group have yet to lose. They've come close but the paperwork wasn't handed in on time so it doesn't count :-)
Dave's army is almost looking dangerous now :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Hostilities Between The Dwarves and Dragonmen Escalate

Dave came by Thursday night for some more Warband. He used the Dragonmen again but with the mage left at home and a dragon in the ranks with some aerial knights as support.

I had my Dwarves but dropped the gunline, I opting instead for all warriors bar 1 sole artillery piece; I had 9 units, the largest Dwarven army fielded so far. I was traditional about my terrain placing the impassable Dwarven mountain on my left and the gold mine right centre. Dave placed a large wood along side my mountain extending into the board centre, he also placed a central hill in his deployment area.
The opposing armies lined up
My plan was to get up close and see how the dwarves manage in a proper stand up fight. Plus I was worried about the dragon so wanted to get on with it.

Hmmm.... This one could be tricky
Protect the Mine!
I started brightly, my right flank rushing to move around the mine. My centre advancing,  I had no left flank. Dave responded in kind. Early missile exchange saw a flaw in my plan as my artillery got too close and became a pin cushion...
Kinked lines in Warband!! The horror.
Dave cleverly angles his archers to be in range of my artillery but out of my artillery arc...
Dwarves stack the centre.
These odds look good to me and would let me turn his flank.
My motivation dice then went badly wrong as I struggled to extricate the artillery from trouble... So much so Dave had time to land the dragon behind it.  Artillry vs dragon only ends with a dead dragon in the movies,  in real wargaming the arty becomes matchwood.
Thank God Dwarves have Resolute otherwise that could get messy.
Get off our Mine!!
Dragonmen archers feel brave.
Flying dragon knights swoop in and a bunfight breaks out.
Fortune favours the bold so I went for gold and I charged in where possible. My CPs dried up for a while so I relied on Dwarven resilience whilst our armies exchanged hits. 
Dwarves charge the archers but the dragon swoops in behind them.
The dwarves get close and personal on the right
Flying dragon knights bounce for hits but save them all, not so the poor dwarf unit.
Mayhem in the centre as archers recoil but the dragon snacks on dwarves. 2 Dwarven units dropped to low morale but cling on. Sadly they fell soon after to make for a nervous last couple of turns.
Slow work on the right as dragonmen warriors stand fast.
The dwarven King sends the reserves into the rear of the dragon and enters the fray himself to relieve the pressure on the left.
Pesky dragonmen are still holding up my right.
The flying dragonknights recoil again and finaly start to drop in morale. Because they are flyers my warriors that were facing them can ignore the restricted move rules and spin round to face their ground opponents. The unit in the foreground waits ready to protect the flank.
Dwarves are so resilient, they are taking hits but not falling back is worth its weight in gold. Dragonmen warriors and archers are routed leaving their general exposed for me to charge. The dragon itself is gradually taking damage... but look at those blue dice... 8 CPs just in the nick of time!! Guess who's getting a melee CP boost?
To take pressure off the general the last dragonmen archer charges the rear of the dwarven warriors
Woohoo!! The dragon is destroyed, only saving 2 of the four hits it took, but more dwarves fell soon after to make for a nervous last couple of turns. 
The flying dragon knights decide to try for the easier kill picking on the unit with only 1 morale left. By this  time I needed any one unit to win and had 2 that I could take down, Dave needed 2 units to win and I too had 2 that could be lost.
Buoyed with success against the dragon the dwarves follow up charge into more warriors.
So much for trying to take down the general, my unit is destroyed but my flank move around the mine finally gets into place and hits an enemy archer in the rear.
Just when you need CPs Dave's dice ran out and I got plenty. I took the required enemy unit and Dave could not dish out enough hits to force any routs. Dave's army broke at 3 points over the 250 required (of 500ap armies). I was on about 155 lost.
We are still alive!! And kicked the enemy unit too!! The fat lady breaks into song!!
That's the first time we have actually completed a game with a proper result. We started just before 8pm and were done 10.30pm. Neither had a mage so that helped plus we both moved quickly, and once all units were engaged the movement phases were very quick.

It was also a great fun game for those reasons with Dave having the upper hand at first then me as Resolute and Shieldwall gradually paid off.