Saturday 28 August 2021

Kings of War: International Campaign

This weekend Mantic games are running an international campaign with players encouraged to have a game (or more) and then upload the results. These games are a chance for the community to shape the future lore of the game and of course to play some games.

We took a break from our current Deadzone games to fight out a battle on the Empyrean (angelic) plane with Mr T taking charge of the Kingdoms of Men and I fielded the Undead. The battle was played using the Halpi's Rift extra rules and even though we'd played a campaign with them before we still ended up forgetting most of the extra rules, I blame that on our advanced years. We fielded 2000 points a side.

The KoM went with
3 * Regiments of Knights
2 * Troops of Mounted Scouts
1 * Giant
1 * Troop Berserkers
1 * Regiment of Pikes
1 * Horde Pole-arms
2 * Wizards
1 * General on Winged Beast
1 * The Captain

The Undead went with
1 * Horde Skeleton Spearmen
2 * Hordes Zombie Trolls
2 * Troops Wraiths
2 * Troops Revenant Cav
1 * Regiment Revenant Cav
1 * Goreblight
2 * Revenant Kings
1 * Necromancer
1 * Vampire on Undead Pegasus

The scenario was Invade in which the victor is the player with the greatest unit strength over the halfway line at the end of the game. We both opted for a narrow setup so the action was sure to be intense and that proved to be the case. 

The KoM moved first and having made a mistake with moving my Revenant Cav on T1 they promptly got charged on T2. Mr T made a mistake in not charging the second Mounted Scout Troop into the Wraiths in their front which would hurt him after the Knights didn't roll so well and failed to rout the Revenant Cav.

On the Undead turn 2 I was able to pile the Skeleton Spearmen into the flank of the Knights and take them off, had the Wraiths been pinned in place then this wouldn't have happened.

On the right of the battle the two line met with the Pole-arms holding against 2 Hordes of Zombie Trolls
but being wavered in the process.

One of those Hordes was then removed by a unit of Knights.

Back on the left in Undead T3 the Skeletons got another flank charge (60 dice is gonna hurt) and stabilised the flank.

On the right the remaining Zombie Troll unit put more wounds on the Pole-arms and wavered them again, the Revenant King also put a wound on the Knights but it wasn't enough to stop them killing him in the next turn.

Turn 4 saw the KoM do a little more damage but the Undead picked up enough units to leave them with a very low unit strength, as the night was wearing on the KoM then conceded the field to the Undead.

We'd not played Kings of War for a little but as always it's a fun game, in fact Mr T even mentioned being motivated to get back to painting his Abyssal Dwarfs, only time will tell if that bears any fruit or not.

Friday 20 August 2021

Napoleonic's: French Fusiliers

After a gap of probably 30 years, maybe more, I've started back into one of the first periods I must have played as a youngster. At the age of 48 it may be too late for me to start collecting and painting the 1000's of models you need for an army to do the age of the big battalions proud so I'm dipping my toe in with a skirmish level game.

After looking around for a set of rules I've settled (for the moment) on Shakos & Bayonets which is the Napoleonic expansion book for Muskets & Tomahawks 2 by Studio Tomahawk.

Like their very playable SAGA game you get a book with the base rules in and then Universe books to cover the individual conflicts. The Universe books contain the army lists and troop details as well as any extra period specific equipment and rules. I've not played the rules yet so cannot say anything about them but having had a flick through they look much more crunchy than the SAGA rules.

In order to get myself started on the path back into Napoleonic's I had thought about doing something from the central/eastern European theatres of 1809 or 1812 with Bavarians who have a lovely corn flower blue uniform, sadly the plastic Victrix models aren't yet released. I also have no terrain for that theatre but do have plenty of Spanish style buildings from Blood & Plunder so I opted to go for the war in Spain first of all.

Having purchased a fair few boxes of Perry British and French I've started with the French Fusiliers and will leave the Grenadiers, Voltigeurs and Hussars for a little later. The Hussars in particular are famous for their fancy uniforms so will no doubt tax my eye sight and steadiness of hand.
The Fusilier was the basic French line infantry man and I've painted mine with a orange pompon of the 3rd Company. The French don't seem to have used different facing colours for different regiments so all the Fusiliers had red facings.

Shakos & Bayonets uses D10 with the numbers ranging from zero - nine with rolls needing to equal or exceed the target to succeed. So the lower your target the better you are at a task, with our Fusilier we can see they have around a 30% to hit with their muskets, which presumably is pretty average. The cost of 10 points a model is also presumably pretty average but I'm sure these things will become clear as I paint up different troop types and play some games.

So that's the first eight men off the production line and I have another 16 Fusiliers and then some officer types to paint up before I start on the more elite troops.

Saturday 14 August 2021

League of Infamy: Grand Larceny

This week I finished up the last of the League of Infamy villains and with them the whole set of models that came with the game and a few extra ones as well.

Firstly we have The Mother Infernal who is a fallen Abbess of the Basilean church. We saw a similar villain in the Drowned Secrets book by Ben Stoddard so whilst a rare event the turning of a once holy Abbess isn't a complete unknown. The Mother Infernal has an equal number of attack dice for melee and ranged but her War-pick gives her a chance to ignore armour in melee so that would seem to be her best fighting spot. She also has a nice re-roll a dice mechanic that can help smooth out a bad roll for her or a fellow villain.

Alaia used to be a Kraken hunter until her ship was wrecked and she was forced to take up alternate employment, as a Naiad she come from a neutral faction so is used to looking out for her own best interests. Much stronger at range than in melee she wants to stay out of trouble and shoot the enemy away, she has a chance to be able to drag enemies out of position with her harpoon though she probably wants to drag them into a waiting melee villain rather than into melee range of herself.

Barthamus's path to becoming a necromancer was set when his family was murdered and the League recognised the usefulness of having a master of the dead on their roster. He has a powerful ranged attack but also the ability to raise a recently slain defender to fight for him. He does need to stay close to the action to recharge his spells so will want to be careful about his positioning during raids.

Lat up we have Blaine, Mantic's interdimensional traveller who appears in all their games. He probably shouldn't be used in the game as he tends to be very powerful in any game in which he appears. It is nice to have the model for him and he could even appear to give the villains a bit of a slap as a bonus boss.

With all the villains complete I grouped them up for a bit of a team photo, it also shows the wide range of villains available to be chosen from. As I said before the villains cover the full range of archtypes so no matter if you prefer, tanking, DPS or support you should have someone you can pick. Without playing it's hard to know if you need to cover all the bases in order to be successful on a raid but I expect you can get through them without taking a 'one of each' approach.

I also gathered all the models together from the game and took a couple of big group shots as well. Considering the Kickstarter edition was only £140 you get a lot of models considering how many books, maps, & tokens also come in the set.

As we've just started playing some D&D it's probably going to be a while before these hit the table but hopefully we can play at some point and get the models out on the table.

Sunday 8 August 2021

League of Infamy: Yo Ho Ho

 ...And a bottle of rum. 

Our first couple of Villains have the same background, Ogre pirates. Mantic have said in the past that they won't be producing an Ogre fleet for Armada so we must assume that Ogre ships are pretty rare. The Bo'sun was recruited to the League when he was found aboard a Twilight Kin slaver ship and he seems to have risen through the ranks to become Captain. Reasonably fast with a couple of interesting interactions with furniture The Bo'sun should be able to get around the table easily and his Cutlass allows him to take on groups of defenders without penalty.

Bhetee is another Ogre and part of The Bo'sun's crew, he comes armed with the Howling Lute and takes on a Bard like role if recruited. As well as buffing villains and de-buffing defenders Bhetee can put out some decent ranged damage with the option for some AOE effects as well. He does feed the Keep Master an extra alarm token each round but then he is a rock and roller so that is only to be expected.

Chitter Twitchtail escaped from the Abyssal Dwarf slave pits at the same time as Sharpclaw, and he plays the sneaky thief to Sharpclaw's rampaging brute. He likes to attack from range and fellow villains should be aware that if he gets behind them he is likely to steal something from them. Chitter probably wants to hand around at the back and profit from the work of the other villains.

Gharka the Rowdy and her mawpup come as a pair, so whoever picks this villain gets an extra model to control. Gharka herself is an Orc fighter so wants to get up close and personal with the defenders, she has the chance to cause bonus damage on a critical hit (each dice has one critical hit side). She can also command her mawpup to either use her spare actions or use one of two free actions, attack or heel/heal. As the mawpup can carry an item and earns Infamy for Gharka this should give her a wide area of control on the board.

Lastly we have Odur / The Beast, again you get two models for this villain but only one of them can be in play at a time. You start the raid as Odur, mild mannered healer type (possibly former janitor) who takes reduced Infamy for killing defenders. Each turn you have a chance to turn into The Beast by rolling two orange dice (max score of 3) and add his current damage, you need 10+ to turn. As you can see you need at least 4 damage to have a chance to turn so Odur needs to put himself in danger to unleash The Beast. The Beast needs to stay in the thick of the fight to avoid turning back into Odur and concentrates almost entirely on killing, it also has a self heal mechanic.
Playing Odur / The Beast will take some skill and finesse as you need to be Odur to loot items but he won't last long unless The Beast can be brought forth. He's probably someone the defenders won't like when he's angry.