Saturday, 13 January 2018

Hello 2018 ~ A Game of Dropfleet Commander

After being aborted three times in the last months of 2017, we finally got to play another game of Dropfleet Comander. My opponent Peter and I decided after our last game, to play some consecutive games in order to cement the rules firmly in our collective craniums. Alas, this was not to be, due to family issues that cropped up, one after the other.

I was beginning to think our game was cursed.

But the first week back at the club (NWA) for 2018 and we finally got the game played.

I decided to try my Shaltari for the second time. They proved to be a pretty tough opponent first time around but could they do it again or would the UCM see them off?

We just played a standard scenario again using the starter sets.

The UCM (United Colonies of Mankind) got the initiative on all the card draws and chose to make my Shaltari deploy first.



 My cunning plan was for my eastern (right) battle group to clear the way and swing around to the center. My center battle group would fight in that area and support the Mothership & void gates.



Meanwhile, the Mothership and voidgates would to go for the center and the western (left) clusters and then reach out to the east (right) and drop some ground assets there in the final turn of the game.


There was no fighting during the first turn and the only shooting in the second turn came from my Topaz Frigates in the center after they active scanned the Berlin Cruiser and managed to inflict a single hit.


The UCM carrier launched some bombers at the Shaltari mothership but due to the distance they didn't strike in this turn.


In the eastern skies the Shaltari battle group led by an Amber class cruiser came up against the mighty UCM heavy cruiser Moscow at the start of turn 3. Shots were exchanged with the Moscow receiving minor damage.



The Moscow, then forced it's way past the frigates and took aim at my Amber cruiser inflicting several hits resulting in three damage points.


By the end of turn two I had landed troops in the western cluster, and with no UCM present I felt I would be able to claim the cluster when the time came. In the center both sides were now contesting the that cluster but I was coming off second best after the UCM ground forces destroyed one of my assets.

In the previous turn, because I needed to stop my mother ship, I had to call a Station Holding special order. This caused a minor energy spike making it easier to target. The two UCM Toulouse frigates took advantage of this and zoomed into the attack. The mother ship took some minor damage but was otherwise okay.

In it's turn the mothership destroyed one of the frigates after the Berlin took out one of the Topaz frigates. The bombing run on the mothership also inflicted a hit and the damage was beginning to mount.


As I planned the Amber led battle group made a course change and by-passing the Moscow, made for the center. The Amber also let loose a broadside and added further damage to the UCM heavy ship.


The Shaltari mothership was now under heavy attack from the remaining Toulouse frigate and the  Berlin, which was itself under attack from my Obsidian heavy cruiser. The damage on the mothership was over half and a roll on the Critical Systems chart was insignificant - Loss of comms. But is still had a minor energy spike.

In the previous turn, thinking to get my void gates moving, I made a silly mistake and moved them far less than they were able and now they were bogged down in the atmosphere. The UCM New Orleans dropships, on the other hand, did exactly what I intended to do. But they did the maneuver properly and headed to the eastern cluster.


Having been out maneuvered the Moscow moved straight ahead and seeing the mothership all lit up like a Christmas tree called a Weapons Free special order and opened fire. The result being two normal hits (both saved) and 6 critical hits.

The mothership was doomed and a roll on the Critical hit table (I can't remember the right name) resulted in a Disruption Vortex (I think that's what it's called). The worst result.

The table before the mothership exploded...

And after the mothership exploded...

The mothership was vaporized. The remaining Toulouse frigate was vaporized, the Berlin was destroyed. A voidgate was obliterated and the Obsidian heavy cruiser was badly damaged.


The last turn and the UCM dropships moved into position over the eastern cluster ready to drop their troops at the end of the turn. The rest of their battle group was gone so little else happened.


The Amber battle group moved and the Jade class frigates took some shots at the UCM carrier with little effect. The Amber, again took aim at the Moscow and inflicted enough damage to take it below half it's hull points. The resulting rolls on the Critical Systems chart resulted in a fire on board. Not enough to take it down.

Alas...

The Moscow again called Weapons Free and took aim at the Obsidian. The result was identical to the previous one two hits and 6 critical hits, and the heavy cruiser fell into the atmosphere as total wreck.

There was nothing more the Shaltari could do with two little void gates and no troops available now that the mothership was gone.



So the game was lost but out of the chaos the one positive light was that my fast maneuvering Amber battle group remained on the table in its entirety with only minimal damage.


And the hero of the game was undoubtedly Peter's Moscow Heavy Cruiser. It achieved, in one single broadside what the Berlin and its frigates had been trying for three turns. And even when it was burning, "like an attack ship off the shoulder of Orion," it managed to pulverize a heavy cruiser.


Conclusion...

A great game with some overly dramatic results. For most of the game the damage and casualties were pretty minimal until the big UCM heavy got it's weapon systems firing on all cylinders.

We really need to play more games and start to use larger fleets to get some more tactical options working. Hopefully the "Curse of 2017" is over and we can get more games in this year and really sink our teeth into it.


Saturday, 30 December 2017

Farewell 2017

To end the year I finished my Diadochi fleet.

It now consists of 30 vessels: 15 triremes, 12 quadremes (or 5's depending on what I need), 2 hepteres and an Octeres as my purple outfitted, flagship. The fleet may grow in the future but for now it's about as large as I want it (it also fits perfectly into a fantastic little box).

I also re-based some Cretan Archers that I've had for a while. They were mounted 3 figures on four, 40x40mm base but I changed them to two figures onto 6 20x40mm bases. The reason for this is because I'm looking to base my figures for Mortem et Gloriam.

I like the look of this game and I've ordered a copy of the rules. The re-basing is because I'll need to remove bases as casualties and it won't make any difference for other rules, which all use the same 40mm frontage basing. If it means less markers on the table then I'm all for that.

Cheers, good folk and see you next in 2018!



You may notice that I'm tempting the wrath of Poseidon with my 
flagship lacking eyes to ward off the evil creatures of the deep.







Thursday, 21 December 2017

Antigonid Peltastoi

Another day where I've made two posts...

This time it is my first unit of Peltasts for my Antigonid Successors. Some may say: "These suckers ain't no peltasts!" But they are. The Antigonid army had a rather large corps of elite phalangites called Peltasts (or Peltastoi). They were named for the small bronze shield (called a pelta) that they carried.

These troops are part of the same corps as the Agema that I painted last month. Like that unit they could also be equipped with the shorter (dory) spear but I chose to give these fellows pikes.

One thing bothers me with these troops and one of the other pike block that I painted...
The first unit of phalangites I made as 24 figures but the other ones I've done since I've done as 18 figures.

I like the larger units but it takes longer to paint them. The 18 figure units are large enough for Sword and Spear and other games based on DBA basing, but I'd also like to use them for Hail Caesar which looks better with larger units.

Cost isn't an issue. I can get as many figures as I need with no problems. It's painting time that is the issue. Even though I'm painting these guys pretty fast I know that a time will come when I get sick of painting them and I want to be finished before that time arrives. So less to paint is a good thing.

But big units just look so, damned good!

That's my problem.




Wednesday, 20 December 2017

A Couple More Super Guys

Another short post...

I've had these figures sitting around for a while and decided to finish them. I did them in very basic colours because, as far as I'm concerned, that's how super heroes should look.

They'll become extras for my super team The European Union. They are:

 The German dynamo: Autobahn.

The mind bending Spanish Fly.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Gotta Love Purple

A quick post:

I painted up a couple of commanders for my Successors. I actually started the mounted guys a few weeks back but got stuck on the saddle cloths. Because my pc is on the bottom floor and my painting area is upstairs, I kept forgetting to check out some leopard skin for reference. But I finally remembered last night.

And here they are:


Friday, 8 December 2017

A Bloody Affair ~ Lion Rampant

Greetings folks, after not playing Lion Rampant for quite some time I played a couple of games at NWA last night against Lorne G. I think Lorne's troops were Franks (I may be wrong) but mine were,most definitely, Normans.

My Normans are pretty limited & consisted of a unit of mounted men-at-arms, foot men-at-arms, foot sergeants, mounted sergeants and crossbows. My opponent had more units but they tended to be of lesser quality.

We rolled for a random scenario: "Hold on Tight" - In which a central piece of terrain is fought over, the first player to hold it for 5 turns (non-consecutive) is the winner. We selected a low hill and by the time one of us managed to accumulate 5 turns/points there were very few troops left on the table.

I don't know the name of Lorne's commander. He had a red shield & cape, so I shall name him: Woger... Woger the Wed. Would he be a match for the brave Norman Comes Richarde la Tête? (That's Richard "Dick" Head to us common folk)

We rolled for our Leader Skills: Woger the Wed rolled Great Leader! (his unit could move/attack/shoot/ & rally without having to roll any dice). Richarde la Tête rolled: Commanding (re-roll one move/attack/shoot per turn).

Opening Proceedings...

So, the protagonists deployed and set out to win this valuable piece of ground in the center of the table.


Richarde and his knights are deployed on the far left behind his trusty crossbowmen.


"Advance, men and the hill will be ours!"

The Frankish array looks like a tough nut to crack.


Woger the Wed, in the Frankish center with a troop of mounted sergeants.


The first couple of turns involved both of us trying to get our troops moving into position. As is usual with Lion Rampant, this can be difficult if the dice are against you. Initially the dice were with Richarde la Tête and not really favoring Woger. But things balanced out in short order.

The first casualty was inflicted on a unit of Frankish yeomen, who lost one of their number to a well placed crossbow bolt. Some of Woger's bidowers on the Norman right moved into some woods and took aim the a unit of foot sergeants to no effect.

The Fight Begins...

After the initial maneuvering and desultory missile fire the first unit to gain the hill were my brave foot knights (after having to trudge through some woods which they mistakenly thought they could just waltz through easily).

At the same time the Norman infantry assaulted the skirmishers who were shooting from the woods. They only killed one but that was enough to drive them back.

On the other side of the table a second group of bidowers moved into another wood with the idea of luring my impetuous knight into charging them with their Wild Charge rule. This called for a detour because Count Richarde isn't a total meat-head. 

Said Count Richarde: "This way men, through this other wood where we shall 
become bogged down and stuck for a couple of turns."
Note: Count Richarde has Papal; Banner - for when times get tough!

And so, Woger the Wed reacted to all of this Norman chicanery and told his cowardly archers to unleash a volley at the brave knights on the hill. Who, when poor of Otto took an arrow in the eye bravely ran back down the hill to safety.


More arrows flew from the skirmishers which killed one of my mounted sergeants. To which they said: "Enough of this merde. Thou has giveneth us a gutfull." ... So they charged into the cowardly archers and drove them back but lost another two men in the process. Maybe those archers were not so cowardly after all.


The Norman infantry tried to charge the biddowers in the woods again but were themselves, driven back by a well aimed volley as the bidowers evaded.

Back in the center, the Norman foot knights once again advanced to take possession of the all-important hill.

Only to be driven off once again (bravely I might add) by Woger and his mounted sergeants. This time another two of their fellows fell and made their way to their heavenly rest.
The Dual...

Finally Richarde la Tête, brave knight of Normandy, emerged from the woods and lead his men towards Woger the Wed. (He, of somewhat dubious ancestry.)

"Come thee forth and meeteth me in mortal combat," cried the Wed one named Woger. And Richarde, seeing that his troops were somewhat disturbed by his hesitation, replied: "Oh buggereth thee with a broomstick."

And so, charging up the hill to meet the Wed Woger, a duel was fought. 

And bravely, with great courage and skill, did Richarde get cut to pieces like a well cured sausage.

"Alas! Alakaday! Richard's gone and got his head cut off and our re-roll has gone with him," cried his men. And many courage tests did follow.

In vengeance for the loss of their re-roll, the the Norman foot knights did charge back up the hill, killing Woger's remaining companions and driving him off.


"There he is," said the crossbowmen lets shoot him down. And they tried but they all missed.


The End is Nigh...

Woger the Wed, he of  somewhat dubious ancestry, fell back and took shelter with some mounted sergeants. These very same troops charge the hill and attacked the foot knights, killing two of them but were reduced to half their numbers and were themselves throw back off the hill.

Frankish yeomen now assaulted Sir Bonzo de Baguette, the last remaining foot knight and cut him down. But at least he took some of them with him. Woger the Wed once again rode forth and shouted: "The hill is mine, again!"



Meanwhile, while all this was happening, my mounted sergeants were charging everyone in sight and did a pretty good job of driving off the archers and yeomen, whilst my mounted men-at-arms did bugger-all except sit there and get shot.

So the brave sergeants, did bravely ride forth, up the hill and bravely did they plunge their lances into Woger's back in a brave show of the bravest bravery.


So endeth Woger the Wed.

And, in the next turn, these guys too.

I don't remember what happened to my Mounted knights. I think they had enough and ran away (bravely). My mounted sergeants took one too many shots from the bidowers and also fled the field.

In the final turns my foot sergeants (who had been trying to fight the bidowers) took the hill and gained the last remaining points needed to win the game. The only troops left were these, my crossbows and those pesky bidowers.

T'was a bloody affair.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It was a really good game. Thank you to my opponent, Lorne.
The tables turned and turned again and it was only in the last couple of turns that victory was determined. Alas neither of our heroes lived to tell their tale.

We had time for another bout but that's another story.