Wednesday 21 March 2018

Everything is going according to my plan...

...not to have any plans!
That's right, new metal toys have arrived, and I'm going down a new rabbit hole... or Badger burrow... or something.
Next month Osprey are releasing a rulebook called Burrows and Badgers which utilises the wonderful miniatures made by Oathsworn. These are anthropomorphic animals, fighting bitter wars in the Kingdom of Northymbra (which looks suspiciously like Northumbria) with a skirmish ruleset that includes a detailed progressive campaign system.
Needless to say, as soon as I discovered Oathsworn and the B&B rules, I was hooked. Warbands are between 6 and 10 models, so not a difficult force to paint and collect, and Mike was hooked as easily as I was. Between us we bought two starter forces, and they arrived yesterday. With in 5 hours i had painted the first 2 figures.
A Shrew-zerker and Warrior Sparrow. Both are classified as small animals.

I'm no used to lipped bases, so I will probably touch these up with some drybrushing.

I love the tartan on the sparrow, and green will be my warband themed colour.
So who else is in my fighting menagerie?
Photographed in the raw, seconds after opening.
 My warband is led by a Wildcat, backed up by a Squirrel mage, a Mole mercenary, a Mouse skirmisher, and of course the above painted Shrew-zerker and Sparrow Warrior.
These really are beautiful figures
Mike's troupe is led by an Otter mercenary, and his followers include a Fennic fox, Weasel rogue, Rabbit archer, Mouse knight and Black Rat mage. I've said I'll paint these guys for him so we can get into some gaming when the rules arrive next month.

It is amazing how something so completely different can be so inspiring.

Mike and I also used the airbrush in the weekend to prep his Team Yankee Brits, and he is finishing those off as I type. I've also offered to paint his infantry to get them on the table in the next couple of weeks, so they are coming up alongside Craig's Soviet Heavy Weapons, which took a back seat last night when the Oathsworn minis turned up! The aim is to have 4 painted Team Yankee forces by the 15 April when Craig is scheduled to come up for a mini tournament. This also means that we need to have a working bee over Easter to get John's US troops ready.

Finally, this arrived a couple of weeks ago:
Note the smoke alarm - I had to uninstall it due to all the burning T-72s from the last game of team Yankee.

These are the Peninsular War armies that replace the Seven Years War collections. The more I read about Songs of Drums and Shakos Large Battles, the more I am certain that they are right rules for me. But as you can see, it will be a little while before I have forces ready to test them out.

Busy times. Hopefully it means some more photos of painted goodies soon.


Sunday 18 March 2018

Bundeswehr is go!

So I've had my head down for a while trying to punch out Team Yankee forces for myself and Craig. but the first results are in and they are wunderbar!

The West Germans are my Team Yankee army. Ever since a kid growing up in the 80s I've had a weakness for Leopards, Gepards, Marders and Tornadoes (still to be bought unfortunately). And now here they are on the tabletop, 100 points of West German superiority preparing to blunt the Soviet invasion of 1985.

Anyway, enough talk - you want to see the models!
Compulsory family picture! Some of the Leopards don't want to be in the photo - just like all family portraits really.

My commander - leading the advance!

Leopard platoon - the most expensive tanks in Team Yankee. I can't wait to see if they are worth their price.

The infantry. A pitifully small group, but hopefully enough to have an influence

Gepards! And the PAHs. My box of Kamfgruppe Muller had no decals, so the helicopters are unadorned unfortunately.

Jaguars! I was a bit cold on these guys to begin with, but they really are great little models.

And the Luchs scout troop. At 100 points I can only take one of these, but I may eventually paint the other two when I get the Tornadoes and need to consider options.
With any luck, this time next week I'll have the last of Craig's Soviets finished and be able to put on another parade for you! I only have the heavy weapons team to paint, but this is still 54 figures, which is the equivalent of a DBA army. We'll see how we go...


Saturday 10 March 2018

More fun for the Hun

After their disastrous showing in their first game I decided to take the Huns out for a second crack at the Eastern Patrician Romans last night. This time I was a little more thoughtful in my deployment, utilizing the lessons from the previous night.
The Hunnic hordes deploy facing the Romans.

First moves - light cavalry skirmish on the flank. And the first PIP dice sees the plough out of play again.

First blood goes once more to the Roman archers, taking down a Light Horse with a 6-1 opposed roll.

Mean while the Roman lines angle themselves to allow the general to enter the fray against the warbands

Closing the door on their left flank, the Huns take their first ever kill - a Roman Light Horse element.

In response the Clibinarii charge the offending Huns, but merely recoil them.

Warband clash with blades supported by Gepids, while the Hunnic left deploys for a telling overlap on the remaining Roman Light Horse.

Down goes the second Roman Light Horse, and on the other flank warband kill their blade targets. But elsewhere things are not as good. Blades manage to destroy the Gepid knights who end up overlapped on 2 sides. The resulting dice roll is once more a 6-1, and the Attila is forced to send his element into the gap. The Hun Psiloi is also destroyed by the Roman bows, again with a bad 5-1 roll. 
Having pursued through the Roman lines the Hunnic warband is exposed to a flanking and rear attack. 
There is only one outcome for this. The Huns lose their last elements and can-not make up the deficit elsewhere on the field. 
 Game over, but a much closer battle this time. To be fair, the Huns had some rotten luck with key dice rolls. Rolling 1s against 6s is never good. Had just one of those rolls gone the other way, who knows what may have happened.
One constant has been the very impressive shooting of the Roman bows. They have been a major contributor in both battles, taking out 2 Hunnic elements this game. Losing the psiloi also effectively isolated the warband and allowed it to be surrounded and destroyed.
I feel yet another game is needed.
The causalty list. The loss of the two warband elements at hte end of the game makes it look nowhere near as close as it was.

Friday 9 March 2018

Being given the Hun-around.

Yesterday afternoon I completed the bases on my brand spanking new Hunnic DBA army, so last night I took the opportunity to take them out on the table against an Eastern Patrician Roman army. This list is Attila's army, and I have to confess, I'm not exactly sure how to approach an army with so much light horse in it.

Attila himself, and to his right, some Gepid knights for a bit of extra power hitting.

The Romans were defenders (only just though), and deployed first, with Auxilia in the woods, blade and bow in the centre, heavy knights and light horse on the flanks and knights in reserve. The Huns deployed in two groups, one with all of the warband and the other with all of the heavier mounted.

First PIP die is not a 1, so the ploughed fields are removed.

The Romans advance in an oblique manner while the Huns send forward their light troops on the right and their warband in the centre.

The Hunnic lights face off against the Auxilia and the newly advanced Roman line. They are in bow range but that shouldn't be a problem really.

Ooops. It appears that it is - the first Hun element is forced to flee, but can't pass through its supporting comrade and is destroyed (I think I've played this right). First blood to Rome.

The warband barrels into the blades hoping for a quick kill and supported by the Hun general, but it is a draw. The rest of the warband pulls back out of the Clibinarii Zone of Control (ZoC), and the light horse advance to create their own ZoC.

On the right the Hun Light Horse is recoiled shooting again.

Combats are happening all along the line now. The Gepids repositin themselves in the centre.

And now a knight battle extends the combat.

The Huns lose another Light Horse on the left.
Attila is pushed back, while the rest of the Roman line looks solid as a rock.

The door is closed on the Hunnic Psiloi as combat rages everywhere.
But while the psiloi win against the odds the supporting light cavalry are forced to flee.

Things are coming to a head - the Roman blades have killed a warband, and pursue into it's supporting element.

The Roman Auxilia advance and destroy the Hunnic psiloi, and with that the Huns are forced to abandon the field.

The Hunnic casualties from the game.
 I really hadn't expected Attila to be so soundly defeated. 4-0 is quite a drubbing, but I have to admit to not really knowing what to do with so many Light Horse against so many knights. And the Hun deployment wasn't good, because the Gepids soon realised that charging the bows opposite them was potentially suicidal. In the next game I will probably also split the warband apart from each other, as they ended up facing knights which wasn't a desirable outcome either.

Two questions arose for me around support. Does a supporting element die when it's friends to the front are destroyed, and does a fleeing element that can't interpenetrate explode if it has to flee through its supporters. Both questions for Fanaticus I think. I read the recoiling and fleeing rules and interpenetration rules a few times, and I think I have done it correctly.

The Hunnic army, smarting from its recent defeat.

The Patrician Romans, who are intended to be able to morph into Late Romans as well.

Thursday 8 March 2018

First run of Team Yankee

In the middle of April we are planning to have a mini-tournament of Team Yankee with myself, Mike, John and Craig who will be coming up from Hastings. The plan is that our armies will be painted by then, fingers crossed, and we can really get to know the rules. In anticipation, Mike and I decided to play a small 'quick mission' with 60 points. I took the Soviets that I've painted for Craig, and Mike took his Brits in their 'night camouflage'.

Mike rolled up himself as the attacker and deployed in one corner. I lined the opposite edge.

A nifty line of T-72s supported by Shilkas and Carnations sat on the right flank.

Another group of four tanks was on the left flank. The objective can just be seen in the unoccupied quarter of the table.

Mike took advantage of the cover in his deployment zone

Which availed him naught when my Hinds turned up and got a clear shot. My T-72s on the right also did a good job of burning a Chieftain and killing some Scorpions.

In mike's turn the Chieftains advanced out of the smoke that the Carnations had laid, and took out one T-72 and the Battalion Commander's T-72. The only bright spot ws the 6 hits that the Rapiers got on the Hinds - they saved them all!

Then we did something wrong. Mike moved his Lynx helicopters and shot up the T-72s from the rear - except he can't move and fire with them in the same turn. They have to be halted to shoot. It probably did make some difference in the end, but it is all part of learning.

The next Soviet turn saw the Scorpions taken care of and one Lynx shot down by the Shilkas, but then Mike got his revenge with the Rapiers. If only I'd had the Hinds for one more turn... At least they managed to drop their infantry on the objective before being downed!

Mike starts moving his Chieftains to contest the objective, and there just aren't enough infantry to hold on.

The T-72s had manned the treeline with some good moments, but by this stage they were well and truly beaten. The infantry were destroyed by the Chieftains assaulting them and the Brits took the game.
It took 3 hours to play this 'quick' mission, but that involved pizza, rulebooks and banter, so it was OK to take it slowly. The rules proved to be bloody and enjoyable, and very simple, really. I think the only rules we got wrong was the use of the helicopters, but we know now and have a good idea of the Helicopter special rules. I'm looking forward to the next game - I might even have my Germans ready by then for a 'blue on blue' game!