Sunday, December 25, 2011

It was the night before Christmas, and zombies were everywhere....

On December 23rd we played our traditional last gaming night at the club. 9 Players had joined to execute some last-minute missions in a zombie-infested Raccoon City before the military closed up the city completely. In the course of the game they found out why quarantaine was a good idea in the first place!

The players each had a secret mission, like rescuing a group of kids or tracking down a postman carrying the formula for the Zombie Virus in his bag. These mission targets were hidden on the table. The kids had hidden in an abandoned school bus and the postman was actually one of the zombies! To spice things up, most players had a conflicting mission with which to thwart at least one other player!

Gradually, as the players moved deeper into Raccoon City, the clues (and the conflicting missions) were unveiled with a bloody battle as a result with players shooting at each other, as if being chased by zombies wasn´t bad ebough by itself!

Eventually Bart´s last survivor guided the school kids off the table and was pronounced winner of the game, as well as Hero Of The Day!

The School Bus 

The Kids

As I was the GM, I only had time to snap a few pictures before the game demanded all my attention, but fortunately players took pictures as well so here is even more photographic material:


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Battle of Leuthen

Today we played the Battle of Leuthen (december 5th 1757) using the Black Powder rules and Owen´s magnificent Seven Year War armies. On the snowy plains of Leuthen the Prussian and Austrian armies clashed in the perfect example of the oblique attack.

 Above an Austrian ponders his position while another one takes aerial photographs of the battlefield. In the center the church of Leuthen can be seen, flanked above and below by the Austrian lines, who have formed up to oppose the Prussians coming in from the left. This was a mere feint however and the main Prussian army is actually advancing from the lower part of the picture, facing only the Austrian left wing.

The  village of Leuthen

 Austrian grenadiers

 Here the Prussian line forms up on the extreme left flank of the completely outmaneuvered Austrians, who now had to choose between defending their position or falling back on Leuthen as soon as possible.
 The mill in the Austrian center.
The Austrian left wing refuses to respond to commands and motionlessly watches the advancing Prussians. Folkert and I thought Ol´ Frederick´s plan still seemed sound so we simply repeated it, driving full speed towards Leuthen.  
The Wurttemberg regiments caught the full force of the Prussian attack, murderous volley followed by devastating bayonet attack, and were obliterated.

Chaos and disorder among the Bavarians.

 A fierce firefight and combat ensued between the Prussian line and the Bavarian regiments. In the Austrian center Italians tried their utmost NOT to get stuck in and Austrians hurried towards a spectacular cavalry battle.

The Bavarians brushed aside, a few Austrian cavalry units desperately try to stem the tide. Opposite the Austrian center the Prussian  left wing is pushed back by Austrian cavalry (top of the picture) but it is too little, too late....

The triumphant Prussians advance, breaking the final units of the Austrian left wing. Their center too far away to participate in the battle, the Austrians break and clear the field.

This is probably the first time I ever played a historical battle using the exact same battle plan as the historial commander with the exact same historical result!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Witchfinder General: a Review

When first seeing the fluff on the new Witchfinder General rules I was immediately intrigued. The combination of dark northern European folklore and 16th-17th century wargaming caught my attention instantly with images of foggy cemetaries, mouldy churches and cuirassed pikemen fending off howling werewolves. So I was a sucker for this ruleset at first glance. As fate would have it, I was able to pick them up at Crisis in Antwerp a few weeks later.

WG deals with battling the supernatural evil in 17th century England. Pikemen and musketeers aid witchhunters in their strife against vampires, witches and their human and non-human followers. Among these are the Barguest, the mythical hellhound of English moors and Noctelinger, a kind of ghoul. Humans on both sides fight with musket, pike and edged weapon. If you ever needed another use for your Border reiver figures or an excuse to buy a box of Warlord Pike & Shot plastics, this set is it!

For your money you get a 108 page softcover book with b/w and colour illustrations, mostly pictures of miniatures. Even the examples are usually photographed miniatures. While still a matter of taste, I found them well painted and -presented and actually quite inspirational.

The text is pleasantly spaced single-column and uses bold type to indicate key words and phrases. The book layout seems logical and well thought-out. It has an interactive IGO-UGO system which is explained in a traditional sequence of turn sequence, moving, firing and combat (“Fisticuffs”) and then on to special rules like pikemen, “on guard” (a type of overwatch), skills, troop types and terrain effects. Occasionally one comes upon something not yet explained but reading one usually encounters them soon enough. Fortunately attention has been given to the traditional circumstances of battling werewolves and the like and Gloomy Condition rules are provided for fog and night.  

All this results in a fairly straightforward ruleset that encompasses most things you´d want from it (there are rules for cavalry and cannon as well as for flying witches!) and will probably still function well if you leave everything out except moving, shooting and fighting. I will most likely leave some things out since all the different movement modifiers seem a bit complex to me, but who knows?

It is mostly skirmish “scale”  but besides individual figures units can be given orders as well so pike & shot formations can actually be played as such. The book ends with 6 scenarios to be played separately or as a campaign. Games contain as little as 12 figures or as much as 30 figures per side. Markers are used to keep track of reloading, morale and such things. I am not generally a fan of cluttering your table with markers, so we´ll see how needed these really are...

A downside is that the rules contain a number of tables and no Quick Reference Sheet is provided in the book. There is a main rules summary page that can be photocopied but one memorizes these rules quickly while all the modifiers will require a lot of leafing through the book the first few games. However a PDF version is available as a download on the site as is a PDF with markers .

All in all I am looking forward to my first game and am happily converting some old LOTR Wargs into Barguests. To be continued!

Witchfinder General: days of revelation
Eric Barnes
Dashing Dice Games 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dystopian Wars terrain

Since a very enjoyable amphibious game some weeks ago I played with the idea to make some custom terrain for just such a scenario. Finally finding some time I came up with this:

 The overall layout of the island inspired by some episode of "Coast" ;o)  The beaches (sand-coloured bits) offer possibilities for an amphibious landing. Fir forests and high ground enable cover and reach for the defenders.

 Some small sub-islands were added to create some more interesting possibilities for using the terrain for cover.

 The harbour and the highlands. Note the fir trees.

The low point and the airfield that makes the island strategically important.

Detail of the heavy bunker with twin heavy gun turrets placed on the highest point of the island. I used the spare energy turrets that came with the Covenant dreadnought moored offshore on the picture below.

Detail of the airstrip.

Detail of the harbour and its subterranean shelters and warehouses with the heavy bunker in the background and a smaller AAA bunker on the rocky point to the right. A moored cruiser for scale.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Covenant of Antarctica Dreadnought

My Covenant dreadnought, the terror of my enemies and the paragon of destructive naval power is finally finished. With thanks to Spartan Games who were kind enough to provide me with a spare bridge when that part turned out to be missing.

Note the Covenant of Antarctica flag on the stern. I equipped all my capital ships with flags because they just didn´t have that Victorian feel without pompous banners!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pulp Adventure native cannibal

A while ago someone stated that the Wargames Factory Zulus were no  good for making Pulp Adventure natives. I said I´d prove him wrong and here is my attempt!

The great warrior Boboti of the Wabapi tribe, ready to defend Skull Island against film crews and other insidious threats!

Finished my Dystopian Wars fleet!

After going on a mad painting spree this weekend I finished my entire DW Covenant of Antarctica fleet. Well, except the Dreadnought since a part was missing and while Spartan games was kind enough to promise to mail me a replacement, it hasn´t arrived yet. Still, without further ado:

The mysterious Callymachus Time Dilation Orb!

Aristotle class battleship with two Galen escorts

Pericles class Carrier with robot drone CAP . I have 3 squadrons of 5 drone stands and a single recon drone.

Plato class cruiser: 3 of these make up a squadron

Plutarch destroyers. Five of these make up a squadron.

One of my two Ptolemy bombers

One of my two Icarus medium flyers.

A Diogenes class frigate.

And the entire fleet!

I can´t wait to try them out in a game.....

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Border Reivers at Ducosim

Today we played a Border Reiver game based on GASLIGHT rules on the Ducosim game convention in Amersfoort. We managed three games before my voice and feet gave out (ouch) in which bands of Elliots, Musgraves, Armstrongs and Irvines slaughtered each other for a fine herd of cattle. Crivens! Chased on occassion by the Warden´s Hot Trod to spice up the game a little. Below are pictures of the table, players and figures involved.

Greatest Reiver of all turned out to be little Lucas, who won the game three times in a row!

Great thanks to Folkert and Luc for lending me their figures and terrain and to Folkert for helping me all day!

The table 

 The Hot Trod
 Git me thees chicks, Angus!
 The Price: prime Lowland beef
 Warlord´s magnificent moss trooper model

The Musgraves, one of the four Clans