Wednesday 30 April 2014

Skirmish at Twitcher's Frollic - an ECW AAR

My good gaming buddies Adam and Curt have agreed to play an English Civil War campaign with me via email. The lads are playing the part of Parliament with Adam as Southern commander and Curt as Northern commander. I'm playing the part of the Royalists (both commands). The actual battles will fought on my table top according the orders drafted by the lads. In some cases a real opponent here will act as the local Parliament commander and in some cases I'll run them as a solo opponent. I've set up an ongoing campaign page that will detail the current map and list past actions.

Over the weekend we played out the first scenario of the campaign - Skirmish at Twitcher's Frollic - an action near Reading with Parliament orders provided by Adam. You can download the full scenario including maps, forces, etc by clicking on the link.

Here are the starting positions and orders (Parliament in red, Royalist in blue).

Summary of the action
The Royalists went first and advanced smartly on all fronts, followed immediately by Parliament. Turn two was much the same with the Royalist forces reaching the crossroads first with their commanded shotte thanks to the first move. Royalist horse was sent to each flank to try and force some indecision regards the single Parliament horse. By turn three a line had formed along the road NW-SE with both sides facing off and a musketry duel began.

From that point on the lack of quality troops really came through on both sides. Royalist horse was constantly rebuffed by Parliament foot and failed every single break test losing over half their number to musket fire and pike. In the centre Royalist shotte delivered a hail of withering fire almost wiping out the Parliament horse with a single volley causing a major issue.

Each side continue to grind the other down although Parliament losses were slightly higher each turn. Eventually something had to give and the Parliament centre began to falter. The final insult occurred when the Parliament falconet misfired and exploded killing all crew whilst having not managed to fire once to effect. 

This made it very hard for Parliament to take the crossroads and although they were numerically in the ascendancy. With Parliament having no horse left and almost no ammunition on both sides the battle ended when night fell. The Royalists held the crossroads albeit tenuously and so recorded a narrow win in the first battle of the campaign.

Some shots of the action

The two forces clash

View from the Royalist side

View from the Parliament side

Almost over...

Next up Curt gets to have his first go at command. Can he turn things around for Parliament? Stay tuned...


Thursday 24 April 2014

It's our 4th Birthday!

Nothing says "birthday" like dodgy clip art, Comic Sans and the Ogre of Europe!

According to the calender today is the blog's 4th birthday. Seems like only yesterday we were screaming and crapping in our pants. Oh, hold on, that WAS yesterday. Regardless, we've now turned 4 and continue to display all the childish behaviours we should have grown out of years ago. Long may it continue!

We'll forgo any form of official celebrations and the obligatory giveaway (silence at the back!) as we're rapidly approaching the 100K posts [that's HITS you idiot - Ed] milestone so we'll do something substantial when that occurs.


Saturday 19 April 2014

Paint Table Saturday

Now that planning has started for our big Napoleonic bash in June I've decided I need to get my finger out and paint some of the entire division of Saxons I've had stashed away. The first unit took 4 hours so it looks good for getting all 144 of the buggers knocked over in time.

One down, five to go...

Five more in the queue and some sneaky ECW dragoons that made a break for the brushes

And that's it... Happy Easter folks!


Friday 18 April 2014

Dogs of War vs. Kemmler's Undead Army of the Cairns

Given recent demands by the great unwashed masses for more after action reports I decided to do the right thing. Autumn blessed us with glorious weather today and I already had the table set up on the deck when Russ arrived for a game of Warhammer Fantasy Battle.

I've been itching to give Kemmler's boys a run out since I finished them and who better to pit them against than the equally fluffy Dogs of War? The forces, at 2150 points per side, were as follows:

Dogs of War under General Russ

  • Lucrezzia Belladonna
  • Captain
  • Paymaster
  • 16 x Paymaster's Bodyguard
  • 5 x Knights
  • 5 x Knights
  • 5 x Light Cavalry
  • 24 x Pikemen
  • 10 x Crossbowmen
  • 10 x Duellists
  • 24 x Cursed Company
  • 1 x Cannon
Kemmler's Undead under General Millsy

  • Heinrich Kemmler, the Lichemaster
  • Krell, King of Wights
  • Barrow Wight on Chariot
  • 24 x Skeletons
  • 10 x Unquiet Horsemen
  • 3 x Simulacra
  • 3 x Simulacra
  • 15 x Barrow Guardians
  • 1 x Winged Nightmare

Since the Undead had not been run before we kept it to a simple meeting engagement to assess Kemmler's powers and see if he was a game breaker. Make sure you click for larger images...


Dogs of War to the North - Kemmler's Undead to the South

Dogs of War in all their glory

Fearsome Undead arrayed for battle

Turn 1
Russ won the toss and elected to bat. He marched pretty much everything forward and fired his cannon to small effect killing a skeleton warrior. I also marched forward and then tried a spell which Russ attempted to dispel. He miscast his dispel wounding his general, something that was to become an ongoing theme.

Turn 2
Russ continued to advance and tried a spell of his own which Kemmler successfully dealt with. He also misfired his cannon. In response I also continued to advance and hit him with another spell killing a couple of Paymaster's Guards which he also miscast against. This time it was even worse - a free spell for me and another wound plus a loss of level for Lucrezzia Belladonna!

Turn 3
Russ continued his advance albeit more cautiously, trying to jockey for a chance to charge first. He couldn't get it to work though and I charged my Unquiet Horsemen and Barrow Wight Chariot into the Cursed Company, right alongside one of my units of Simulacra and Krell into his Pikemen. Kemmler successfully cast another spell and two more Paymaster's Guards died. For the third time in a row Russ miscast his dispel leaving me thinking it was all going according to plan.

However, Richter commanding the Cursed Company began the second theme of the day - an ongoing string of successful challenges which eventually killed my Unquiet Horsemen's commander and my Barrow Wight before also wounding Krell. Coupled with some appalling attack rolls by me and Russ was back in the game.

Cursed Company? Ha! Cursed dice!

Turn 4
At this point Russ decided (with good reason!) that Kemmler needed to be dealt with and attempted (unsuccessfully?!?) to kill him with a spell. In response I charged everything that wasn't into combat forward and soon we had a battle right across the line with my troops getting the upper hand everywhere apart from against the Cursed Company. The Pikemen broke and ran never to return and Lucrezzia Belladonna was killed with another spell by Kemmler, leaving me with total air superiority of the magical kind.

Turn 5
Russ bravely fought on and killed a few troops across the line without causing any real damage of note. I decided I'd had enough and set my Winged Nightmare on his Paymaster to devastating effect, killing him outright in one combat. Chaos ensued as Russ failed all but one of his panic tests and his army collapsed leaving me in command of the field.

And so it ended, a comprehensive victory for Kemmler and the Undead, due in large part to Russ and his abiding love for miscast dispel rolls. I'd like to say I outplayed him but I think his dice did far more damage than I ever did. Ironically, Kemmler didn't seem over powerful as his spells were only indirectly effective due to all the miscast dispel rolls.

Regardless of the result, we had a great time and the usual good natured spirit that pervades all my games against Russ was present once again. Great fun and we'll certainly be doing this again sooner rather than later.


Sunday 13 April 2014

Paint Table Saturday a.k.a. Evan Gets Me Cross...

Evan did an absolutely bang-up job with a Celtic Cross he bought from Ainsty Castings. At the time I didn't know he'd bought TWO with the intention of bestowing the other on me as a gift at a future date.

When I mentioned I was going to buy one and started asking questions this backed the poor bugger into a corner and he was forced to reveal his (very slightly) nefarious plan. Anyway, one thing lead to another and the next thing I was in possession of my own copy. And here she is...

Yes, you're seeing double. It's just taken a while...

I'm pretty pleased with it, if not with the photography. Evan's effort is much nicer but then he invested a lot more time than me too.

Before I nip off hello to maximex, Destiny, Steve63 and Mark Stanton. Welcome aboard!


Sacred Ground - Vikings vs. Anglo-Danes SAGA AAR

I didn't go to Salute this weekend. This is not so much a case of I didn't want to go (I did), couldn't find the time (I could have), didn't want to go on my own (I'm sure I could have found or at least rented a friend) or that I didn't know where it was on (I did). My problem stemmed from one single, yet quite significant problem...

Rather than dwell on that I went to Nug's place and played a game of SAGA instead...

Prior to this we were just one game of the way through our five game mini-campaign. Nug and his Vikings had won the first one narrowly, beating my Anglo-Danes in a pretty much stand up fight. We both suffered a few casualties that carried through into the second game and which were to prove influential.

The second game was the Sacred Ground scenario with the Vikings as attackers having been victorious in game one. You can see the setup below and please excuse the crappy phone photos...

View from the Anglo-Danish side

Nug's Vikings comprised a Warlord, 4 x Berserkers, 4 x Hearthguard and four lots of 8 x Warriors. He was missing a four warriors and a single Hearthguard as casualties. My Anglo-Danes comprised a Warlord, 4 x Hearthguard, two lots or 4 x Hearthguard with Dane-axes, two lots of 8 x Warriors and 12 x Levies with bows. I was missing a warrior, a levy and two Hearthguard with Dane-axes.

Viking right

Viking left

Anglo-Danish left

Anglo-Danish right

The idea with Sacred Ground is to accrue points for occupying each of the three terrain features. Nug's Vikings went first and immediately occupied the wood on their right. He held back on his left. My response was to occupy the field also on my right and make a play for the central hill.

Keep off our land you long haired gits!

The next few turns consisted of the two sides slogging away attempting to overcome the other by weight of numbers. Neither side really had the upper hand until two things started to come into play - my Anglo-Danish Hearthguard got whittled down and eventually killed off, having started smaller to begin with. Nug also deliberately avoided my Levies, who without and special rules and no SAGA dice are looking more and more rubbish by the day. I rapidly ran out of SAGA dice altogether and eventually was overcome.

We're not dead, we just can't stand up on this sodding slope...

The final insult was rolling up casualties to carry over into the third game. I managed to roll three snake-eyes on three dice (feck!), meaning almost half my Dane-axe Hearthguard will be staying in and drunkenly throwing axes at blonde barmaids up against a wall or some such. Nug also knocked off half his Viking Berserkers so that may ease my worries a little. Or not. Can't help but think I may be 3-0 down pretty soon...

There Adam, an AAR. Happy now? :-)


Thursday 10 April 2014

Nothing happening but plenty going on...

Things are in an odd sort of holding pattern here at Millsy Towers. I'm working on a pile of different projects which are all at various stages that aren't really blogworthy in and of themselves. However, I felt bound to make some sort of blogging effort to keep things ticking over and ensure people don't think I've sunk in a pit of post-Painting Challenge despair.

Painting Challenge
Speaking of the 4th Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, Curt has started posting the various final prize rounds. I'm very pleased to be able to report I managed a double honourable mention for the Challenger's Choice Award and also took out top spot for the People's Choice Award. If you cast a vote my way for either you have my heartfelt appreciation! Some eye candy...

Challenger's Choice honourable mention - 2,500pts of Warhammer Undead goodness

Challenger's Choice honourable mention  AND People's Choice top spot - Ney with the Reargaurd in 1812

ECW Campaign
On another note, I've spent some time recently preparing to run a not-so-solo ECW campaign using a combination of various rule sets. The plan is to have the campaign level fun shared between myself as Royalists and my wonderful internet gaming buddies Adam and Curt (yes, THAT one) running Parliament.

All the strategic campaign level stuff will be done with a modified set of Warhammer ECW campaign rules, all three of us playing a part. The lads and I will work out a number of table-top battle scenarios per campaign year and they will supply orders for the Parliament forces. I'll then fight them out at Chez Millsy playing my side in person and Parliament by "remote control" (this is the solo bit). For the tabletop rules I'll use Clarence Henderson's popular Victory Without Quarter.

It should all be jolly good fun and I'll be blogging about the progress as we go...

Some terrain
Finally, I'm about 3/4 of the way through assembling and painting a Celtic stone cross for use in Dark Age and other period games. It's the same one Evan did such a wonderful job with here.

And that's it for now...

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