Monday, September 27, 2010

FOG solo

Having enjoyed FOG on Saturday I thought I would try another solo test with the rules using Gallic versus Mid Republican Roman 800pts armies. Noted a few things I got wrong on Saturday (mostly minor). With bigger game on 6' x 4' table FOG has a very linear look (no depth/reserves compared to Dbmm) as besides a few support units its hard to keep second line as Routing into and bursting through is a potential problem and of course being out flanked. Not that solo is great way to try out tactics as such. Rules are pretty tight despite being all over the show in book. Once you find a rule its fairly straight forward to utilise and understand (cannot always say that with Dbmm even in version 2). Lots of dice rolling (not necessarily a bad thing of itself) and I still miss the inertia of DBX Pip system and stuff like weather. Generals feel more like unit leaders rather than in command of wings or battles. Terrain placement defies any plan unlike Dbmm (hard to strike a balance between too much and too little terrain I fear). I would however happily play the system for friendlies against those who dislike Dbmm. Enjoyable enough but not as satisfying as Dbmm (more a light lunch than full dinner). Strangely I found FogR a better proposition.

Legions and Warbands clash

Chariots take on Spanish Scutarii (first blood went to chariots who killed a base at impact but then lost melee and their general and failed 3 tests to Rout !)

Support line of Warband (one of whom was burst through and Disrupted then hit by pursuing Legions and Routed)

Gauls did have some success Fragmenting a Legion and indeed Routing a Superior Legion with Gaestati. Roman allied cavalry visible Routing top left after thumping by another Chariot unit.

Hugely ineffective Gallic LF bows (not a single Cohesion test caused on Extraordinarii despite several volleys)

Taking the 'long view'

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Galatians in the FOG

Saturday now and FOG Ancients competition at Ulster Wargames Club. Three very fun games played against three nice bloke opponents. Two losing draws, against Selecuids and Romans (very narrowly !) and a thumping by Carthaginians. Terrain placement in this game is a farce but did not detract from experience. Dice rolls from sublime to ridiculous. Very few rule queries arose (practice game last week really helped) and usual suspects regarding situations with number of bases involved in Impact Combats and my ongoing confusion with non-straightfoward conforms. Didn't come last either which was a bonus.

Must confess felt a tad guilty enjoying this so much and was spotted by a couple of visiting DBMMers !! :-)

iPhone photos so lacking a bit of clarity

Against Selecuids

A pretty Carthaginian army

Men against boys (Xyston Romans) !!

More big children having fun (trust me they are, appearances can deceive !) with their toys

More Conflict Of Heroes

Friday evening and another run out with Conflict Of Heroes against my Dad, played two firefights from Awakening The Bear and a large Tankfest from Storms Of Steel. Great stuff again and further rules learnt. Only major mistake we made was with Close Combats in that we misread rules to allow a Close Combat to occur for one Action Point rather than counting it as a full Fire Action. Will know for next time. Only downside to these games are large amount of table space required as large maps and displays, a minor criticism.

The Gap from Awakening The Bear

Germans going airbourne :-)

The 'Tankfest'

Panzers deployed in wheatfields

FOG R first trial

Had a try out of the FOGr rules on Friday using my Thirty Years War German Catholic versus Stephens Sewdish both roughly circa 1631. Overall a rather pleasent experience as we felt there were nice differences between the various Tercios (I used 2 Early and 1 Late versions) and the Swedish Pike & Shot Brigades. Artillery was decent but not overpowered. Pistol Currassier seem a bit tame (at least compared to DBR PiS equivalents). Musketry was fine and Commanded Shot (when used within a group/Division of Cavalier types) are very good and tough to take on. New Divisional group movement was fine and we both liked the new deployment rules which force Heavy Infantry into centre and Mounted mainly to wings. No drilled or undrilled differentiations now. We were a bit slow having to check stuff in rules (still all over the show as per FOG Ancients) and especially looking for stuff that isn't there such as dicing to prevent shock charging. Break-offs now voluntary. Shooting hits more dangerous as Death Rolls from shooting don't get any plus modifiers against firearms. No doubt we got things wrong but we certainly liked the game. Biggest bug bear is the terrain generation system which is just arbitrary as it is in Ancients set. One new terrain type is Obstructions which allow section of hedging or walls to be chosen. Looking forward to having another go.

Imperial Tercios (2 Early Tercios and a Later Tercio to the right)

Imperial left with Kurrassier and Medium guns

Swedish Cavaliers with Commanded Shot and Finns (on the far left)

Swedish deployment (Swedish Brigades in centre)

Imperial deployment

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Galatians on parade

Galatian starter army for Field Of Glory competition at Ulster Wargames Society this coming Saturday (using Rise Of Rome book lists and compatible enemies). Bit of a diversion for a died in the wool DBMM player but if needs must. Only 8 battlegroups and with all lacking armour I suspect they will struggle greatly against Romans but at least they are Heavy Impact Foot and Superior and Chariots are quite effective in FOG (as dont count armour POAs). We shall see...................................

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Conflict Of Heroes: Awakening The Bear arrived today. Another high quality product, I got it second hand but it is in mint condition and includes the extra Marsh board.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Storm Of Steel gameplay first impressions

Played first two scenarios (again oops I mean Firefights) tonight with my Dad having read through first two rule sections. Rather impressed that we managed to play (the albeit small and managable) first couple of firefights. The rules are fairly straightforward especially the mechanisms of Actions, Firing, Moving with the counters and QRS containing all relevant info. Several checks in rules that we were doing this correctly but nothing drastically wrong. The straightforward mechanics are somewhat deceiving though as regards playing the game well and effectively. The interaction of Action Points, Command Action Points and Card Play combined with the myriad added interactions of Multiple Activations, Group Actions, Group Opportunity Fire leads to a deeper set of tactical possibilities than first meets the eye. Not that our tactics were in any way stunning as we tried out a few things just to see how they went. One big lesson was that stacking units in a single hex (no limit in game) is potentially very dangerous !! In Firefight 2 my Dad had a stack of 2 PzGrenadier squads which he group activated and moved into a wood hex out of enemy LOS but which were then Spent, however an Ivan Inf squad activated and with a nice 'Move 2 hexes Free' card was able to sneak into the woods behind and adjacent to the Hun stack and then proceed to decimate them with a +3 firepower bonus (for adjacent) and the fact that each unit in a stack is attacked with separate rolls. My Dad had no Action Cards or Cmd Action Points left to thwart this (we were unaware of the presence or effect of the +2 extra hex move card). We both felt this was a very nice game system that was easy to learn but would take a bit of mastering. Of course lots of options and kit still to learn and experience but initial impression very favourable.

Original game 'Awakening The Bear' purchased via Board Game Geek marketplace on foot of this (HMV will kill me if ie when she finds out !!)  

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A thing of rare beauty

Conflict Of Heroes: Storm Of Steel arrived today and after opening the weighty package I was very pleasantly surprised by the sheer quality of the game components they are simply beautiful (especially for a WWII game) in particular the boards and counters (if only Squad Leader looked like this !!). The counters in particular have a lovely heft with excellent tactile feel and are about 1" square and nice and thick (bit like myself). Brief read of slim and colourful rule booklet and it seems an elegant and playable system and nice to see some solo play rules included for several scenarios (sorry firefights). I think I am going to enjoy this. So impressed I am for ordering its pre-cursor Awakening The Bear

Couple pics of game on my table.

Firefight booklet and an Action Card

Initial firefight set-up

Close up of a Panzer Grenadier Squad counter

Some Ivan counters

The colourful rule booklet

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Field Of Glory

Played a small game (using starter armies on smaller board) of Field Of Glory Ancients last night with old mate Keith at his friend Roberts' abode. Preparation for a small competition on Saturday 25th (I am free for once) at local club. I used Galatians versus Keith's Seleucids and actually managed to win !! maybe I have been playing with wrong rule set !!
Was surprised how much of the rules I recalled although of course greatly helped by having two blokes who play every week using FOG. I did however manage to point out a mistake they were making with stepping forward into contact.
Second game between Keith and Robert was different affair as Seleucids faced off against Parthians with lots of horse archers units. I still dislike how light horse/steppe armies are treated in FOG (an exercise in frustration in many ways) but its a design choice of course.
Overall I found FOG to be enjoyable my only real problems being understanding how to conform in certain circumstances and oddities of some charge/evade interactions.
I still prefer DBMM as a fuller more exciting game but I think I am less adverse to FOG than I was before and good pre-cursor to using FOG Renaissance I hope.
No pictures as I forget camera/phone......d'oh.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Conflict Of Heroes: Storms of Steel! Kursk 1943

Just ordered this online after being reccomended and reading several rather favourable reviews !! Expensive but looks good. When I will get to play it is another question !!

Monday, September 13, 2010

More painting

Twenty Tibetan Cataphracts (for DBMM as ally of 1 Ally General and 5 KnX) painted and new Basetex type stuff used (obtained from local model shop) a brownish colour as one uses what one has and it will need some 'dolling up' with greens etc but it seems fine and was easy to apply.

Ordered several (!!) Rennaisance packs from Essex to beef up my current stuff for FOGR which will hopefully arrive this week to give me a further painting challenge

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Newly painted figures (its been a while..........)

After a long hiatus (close to a year) I have gotten the painting bug again and have over last couple of weeks painted up a few figures. Strictly wargaming 'standard' as my skills are not that great but the wee blokes look great en mass rather than in posing mode.
Hoping to get through a ton of unpainted lead I have accumulated in last two visits to Warfare show (planning another jaunt this November) not to mention the further tonnage hidden away for years (I have some 6mm ACW I bought for 1st edition Johnny Reb some 20 years ago still languishing in a box !!). 15-20 figures at a time of varied types seems to be keeping me interested. Gone I think are the days of painting a whole army in one long batch. As can be seen in photo below I still use Humbrol enamels primarily but do have a few acrylics. Purchased my first Vallejo acrylics and these I really like. I don't, and never have, used any sort of primer/undercoat (burn the heretic) and find the Vallejo are mostly capable of covering bare metal.

Dismounted Knights
Foot knights again

Eight bases of Dailami for my Sassanids (iAxS or rBdF)

Dailami again

Two extra cannon for FOGRen 30 Years War German Catholic

Two extra bases of Dragoons

Four bases of Commanded Shot (4 to a base rather than my normal 3)

Currently in production Tibetan cataphracts
I have way too many projects ongoing !! if only im my head