Monday, 21 January 2013

25SS Malifaux on Vassal

I don't know about you but there are many things that I like about living in the country, but when the snow decides to come down you are pretty much trapped in the house until a nice plough comes along.  This is especially true when you have a rear wheel drive car thats about as much use in the snow as a pair of rollerskates. On the plus side though, it does mean that your significant other doesn't make you go shopping or clear out the garage, which meant that I was able to get a couple of games of Malifaux in over Vassal this weekend.

I have a tournament coming up next month at Tabletop Nation so thought I would get a couple of practice games in.  As this event is aimed at new players it has some interesting crew creation rules.  Basically you get a starter box, a totem, a blister and if you can summon, an extra summoning blister.  Games will be 25SS

For reasons that I'm not entirely sure of, I've decided to take Rasputina with the Essence of Power, but haven't nailed down my blister choice, so I used these games to try out a couple of things.

First game was against @leebattrick and his Dreamer Crew.  Strategy was Shared Reconnoiter and I took the straight boxed set (so 3 Gamin and an Ice Golem)  Rasputina proved to be an absolute beast, lobbing Decembers Curse out with abandon and pretty much destroying Lees crew singled handed.  However Chompy survived on one wound and did what Chompy does killing Raspy and denying me Bodyguard.  Game ended up 3-2 to Lee.

The Golem didn't do very much other than get killed, though I did learn about his excellent defensive trigger, well worth cheating a tome in for.

Second game was against and his Pandora crew.  This time we played destroy evidence.  Now in this game I broke the crew hiring rules as I didn't realise that you were constrained by the physical models you get in the box - I assumed that they were just defining the models you could take - and took 4 Ice Gamin with a Silent One.  Sorry Mark.  It turned into a very tough game that ended 1-0 to Mark (he got the neutral evidence marker)  Silent one was pretty decent, but I was hampered badly in this game with speed.  The Raspy crew is just so slow :(

So that leaves me with trying a Blessed or going outside the Cult of December meme and taking something like a Mechanical Rider.  Need some more practice I guess, got plenty of time to decide.

Now I previously talked about playing Maifaux on Vassel and I have to say that with practice it does become a lot more intuative - especially once you learn the control keys.  Movement was a lot easier this time and now I know how to kill models and leave counters automatically etc. the games flowed a lot better.  I still find estimating ranges exceptionally difficult, in fact in both games we sort of came to the decision to effectively play with pre measuring, using the handy auras as the measures.  Perhaps some sort of scale measure down the sides of the map would help with that?

Niggles aside though, it was a much better experience and I'm looking forward to getting some more games in - but its not as good as playing a real game :)

Thursday, 17 January 2013

Historical Babysteps

So last time I got to talking about how I was slowly being drawn back into the world of historical gaming, firstly by SAGA and then larger games via War and Conquest.  Since then my W&C rulebook arrived - a very nice piece of work it is as well and I've decided what force I wanted to play.

Originally i thought about expanding up my existing Anglo Saxon warband into a full army, but the problem with that is I know I will never ever get it painted.  There is only so many times I can paint 'warrior with spear' after all. So I needed something that would offer slightly more variety in figure choices, as well as satisfy that painting urge.   After spending some time going through the various historical manufacturers websites I had a decision - Early Crusades.

I've always wanted to paint an army with a decent amount of horses in it and given that the figures could double up as Normans in SAGA this seemed like a good job.  I had a quick discussion with some friends who know about this sort of thing and they both pointed me in the direction of the Perry Miniatures website, so off I went.

Of course just dropping the cash to buy a 2000 pt army wasn't going to happen - need to sell some of my older WHFB stuff first - but I could make a start and pick up enough figures to do a 6pt SAGA warband.  This would enable me to paint some up and perfect techniques without thinking that I had masses of figures left to do before I had something playable.

So I ended up by 12 Cavalry, 16 spearmen and 12 unarmoured archers which will enable me to field 3pts of Hearthguard (mounted of course) 2 pts of warriors (probably split 12-4) and a pt of levies.  I also bought the command pack shown in the picture above and some casualty figures to use as fatigue markers.

Now I just need to wait for my Renedra order to show up with all the bases and I can at least get them based and undercoated. I should be having a game with them in a week or so at a new club that I am attending so I need to get them all assembled at least by then.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Call of Historicals

No this isn't going to be a post about what it was like to game when I was younger while H G Wells was writing his set of rules for playing with toy soldiers - true fact - but is instead about how the hobby often takes you on circular journeys.

Many moons ago GW set up a subsidiary to produce historical games using the familiar warhammer ruleset.  Warhammer Ancient Battles as it was know was a pretty big hit, with many warhammer players branching into historical's for the first time - myself included.  In fact I got so involved that my name appears in some of the early supplements in that infamous 'thanks to' section, and unlike Conrad, my name was spelt correctly :)  However WAB was not without its issues, not least the slow release of supplements for periods that I wanted to game in, and when I moved to America my interest in it died.  I ended up selling my Early Imperial Roman army (never sell figures if you can avoid it) and thought that my flirtation with that type of gaming was done.

However I still read a lot of historical fiction (Bernard Cornwall et al.) and when Saga was released I dallied with the idea of picking up a warband, though a lack of opponents meant that it remained just an idea.  Still it was a good one, get some historical gaming in, in a period that I am particularly interested in - the Dark Ages - and not have to many figures to paint up, maybe 30 all in all.

As always in life things change and I now find myself in a place with lots of historical opponents, many of them who are already playing Saga, so I took the plunge and picked up the rules and a warband.  Still as I said, not that big a painting commitment - and to be fair, they are still all unpainted at the moment.

Then War and Conquest came along!

Written by Rob Broom, founder of the Warhammer Players Society (so basically creator of the independant tournament scene in the UK) ex GW Historical Head Honcho, this is a set of ancients rules that whilst owing a lot to the ground work set by WAB, ploughs its own furrow to create a really fun set of rules.  And that fun set of rules, coupled with the fact that a few of my really good friends are playing it, has dragged me back into the world of large battle historical gaming.  All I need now is an army.

So last night I spent far to much time going around the historical miniature companies websites looking at ancients figures and thinking, mmm I really wouldn't mind painting a roman / greek / viking / crusader army.

Its the mid 90's once again :)