Saturday 29 January 2022

Carnevale: The Game & Rashaar

 Venice, 1795

A great catastrophe has engulfed the world. While civilisations fall and empires collapse, a single mote of brightness shines from the darkness.
Serenissima, the Floating City, Queen of the Adriatic. In these benighted times the once powerful state of Venice returns to its pomp and glory. From across the globe traders, politicians and peasants alike are drawn to the City of Canals to make a fortune, or seek it. Rising from the waves that sunk most of Europe, the Venetians are poised once again to command the destiny of distant nations.
Merchants work their deals by day while riotous masquerades resound from the palaces of the nobility. Visitors astound at the marvels of artisans that ply their wares from the canal sides and piazzas. Fishermen haul in their boats and the citizens go about their business with forced laughs and strained smiles.
For Venice is not as shining a jewel as it may first seem. Not unearned is its other title - the City of Masks.
At night the baleful gleam of the Rent in the Sky defies any sleep. The music of the masqueratas grows loud and close as the celebrations take a sinister and bloody turn. Fleeing this depravity one might seek sanctuary in the quieter quarters. In darkened alleys the pad of a foot and scrape of metal on leather can signal quick demise. A tittering laugh or a fleeting shadow stalks the unwary, and here even the lap of the unquiet canal waters betrays an even deadlier threat.
The canals run red.
This is Carnevale.

Having played and enjoyed Deadzone so much I've been on the look-out for a fantasy game which embodies the cinematic feel of the game and includes terrain as a 'third' player. Just before Christmas I spotted Carnevale and having read up about it and listened to the Monsters Behinds the Masks podcast it sounded list a game that could fit the bill. The game is made by TT Combat who are a UK company and they look to be supporting it really well going forwards with a new expansion about to be released soon. Gameplay wise the start set promises: 
An emphasis on running, jumping, scaling walls, leaping across rooftops and then jumping onto your opponents from above, the game offers a unique setting with rules designed from the water up to complement the city of Venice. Throwing enemies off buildings and drowning them in the canals is only the start; with dozens of scenarios to play, this narrative skirmish game will keep you slipping your mask on night after night to take control of Venice and uncover the secrets of the Rent in the Sky. 

This sounded just what I was after and so I purchased the larger of the two starter sets and a few extra bits to start off with. The starter box is jam packed full of goodies and well worth it's price with the rule book alone being 240 pages of high quality goodness full to the brim with lore and scenarios. The rules themselves seem pretty streamline with as promised mechanics for jumping between buildings and water based combat. You also get two starter gangs and thick cardboard playing tiles and buildings, more than enough to get straight into a game. TT Combat have a large MDF department as well as a resin team so they produce terrain for the game if/when you want to upgrade and some people have built some amazing looking tables to play on and plenty of examples can be found on the Facebook group. 

Something to Aspire To

TT Combat also supply the rules for free and have an on-line gang builder so you can plan out your team and print off the cards. So lots of stuff to read and use and a good variety of factions to get into. The starter box comes with two factions the first of which is the Rashaar, these are described as:
The Rashaar are a race of creatures from beyond the pale. They are an ancient race, older than the realms of mankind by millennia. The creatures are undoubtedly linked to the emergence of the Rent in the Sky and their occupation of Venice is no mere coincidence. However their emergence pre-dates the great catastrophe, the City of Canals by dozens of years and on the Earth by many thousands.
For generations there have been tales of monsters in the sea. Giant sea creatures living beneath the waves that could eat ships and their crews whole. Even older still are the stories of cities beneath the waves, drowned by catastrophes in the past. Cities such as Atlantis with streets paved of gold, buildings of smooth marble and statues of strange aquatic creatures. Cities destroyed or sunk by God himself as punishment for the decadent splendour.

What this gives you is a mixture of monsters, fish-men, slaves and adherents of the Church of Dagon. The Church acts as a front for the Rashaar and lures in slaves and fanatics to do the bidding of the leaders of the faction.


Each gang needs to have one leader and then can recruit from Heroes & Henchmen, you cannot include more Heroes than you have Henchmen. The Heroes tend to be more powerful than Henchmen so this helps with keeping the forces somewhat balanced. The Rashaar like to mix magic in with the monsters so their leader is the Magi-Rashaar who can wield magic to bolster allies or strike down foes. Having not played yet I can't comment on the stats on the cards but bigger must mean better!

Along with some magic comes the monsters and the Hero monster is the Raadru, who's a big ole walking fish. The base size is important as you get a bonus for being on a bigger base than your opponent for throwing / drowning them. The Rashaar generally like to be in the water and aren't keen on climbing up buildings so they probably don't stray far from the canals. One thing I have spotted in the rules is an ability which lets swimmers dive so they can move 8" on their next turn, pretty good considering the Raadru moves on 3" on land.


You also get two Hench-monsters in the shape of Lesser Ugdru, they haven't released the normal or greater version yet. Again these look to be happier splashing around in the canals and getting up close to the enemy. Apart from the Magi the starter doesn't include any other shooting for the Rashaar and as far as I can see all their ranged attacks are magic based.

Lesser Ugdru

Lastly we have the slaves who probably aren't much use as fighters but one look at their special rules tells you why they have been brought along. It's probably best not to tell them they are lunch, but they may already know that.


That's all the Rashaar in the starter set and the other faction is The Guild, these are the traders and thieves of Venice who have banded together to face down the various foes now in the city.

Saturday 22 January 2022

Deadzone: Death from Above

A little while back I went to a local wargames table-top sale and picked up a box of Eisenkern Panzerjager by Wargames Atlantic. I didn't have anything specific in mind for them other than to use them in Deadzone but mainly I just liked the look of the models. 
Having completed the Napoleonic's I got the box out of the pile and decided to see what strike team they could be used for. After a bit of a look I decided they could be used for a GCPS Ranger based team so order a couple of extra bits from Anvil Industries and got started.

The extra bits where used to make up the mortar and the drone to represent the special ability of the Ranger Lieutenant to guide in mortar fire, it also adds a little theatre to the leaders base.

Ranger Lt.

A 200 point list would look something like this with plenty of Rangers backed up by a mortar. What makes the Rangers special is the Aerial Deployment rule which allows them to drop onto the battlefield rather than deploy in the normal deployment areas stipulated by the scenario.

What this means is that the enemy would only be able to see the mortar on the table when they deploy their troops and the Rangers get to deploy afterwards. This is of course a big advantage and the penalty for this is both an extra points cost but also an increase in the Victory Points awarded to your opponent when they kill a Ranger. Strike Teams generally come in around the 20 VP's mark but the Ranger list comes in at 27 points.


Five Rangers with Rifle and one with Flamer

Rangers with Thermal Mines (Banzaii!)

Rangers with Thermal Rifle

Rangers with Sniper Rifle

I did play a game with the list last week against Mr T who was trying out his Forge Fathers for the first time and the ability to land almost on top of the objectives in turn 1 is a massive boost with the bonus of getting your models up high early on in a game that rewards height when shooting being the cherry on the cake.
We also played another game this week with my Asterians being roughly handled by the Forge Fathers who won the day.

Saturday 15 January 2022

Napoleonic's: The 2nd & The 13th

To round out the Shakos & Bayonets forces I've painted up fourteen cavalry for each side.

As before the models are painted up based on units from the Battle of Albuera

The 2nd Hussars take the field for the French with their dashing brown uniforms. I've modelled them as members of the elite company so they have the fancy hats with plumes! This is in keeping with my general rule of making the most of the spectacle that Napoleonic's can offer.

In gaming terms the light cavalry can zip around the battle field with a base move of 10" (compared to 4" of most infantry). They are equipped with carbine, pistol, & sabre so are very versatile in the actions they can undertake. I could not find any penalty for shooting from horseback so apart from the slightly lower range of carbines they are as effective at shooting as their foot counter-parts. S&B does include rules for dismounting cavalry during the game so if you could find (or make) dismounted hussars then you could use them.

With 14 models painted up I have enough for two units and a cavalry officer.

For the British the 13th Light Dragoons take the field against the French. As only one British light cavalry unit was at the battle this made the choice easy.

In game terms they are exactly the same as the French Hussars apart from the Impetuous special rule. This is to reflect the fact that the British cavalry had control issues. The rule itself basically means that if the units activates and it could charge a unit numerically weaker (or running away) than itself then it must. So you will want to be careful in your positioning or your opponent could lure you into a rash charge.

The blue tunics and Tarleton helmets with buff facings mean these chaps present the quintessential picture of a British cavalryman of this era. no doubt they will be quite the sight as they disappear off into the distance!

It will be interesting to see how they perform on the table once I get some more games in.

Sunday 9 January 2022

Napoleonic's: First Battle

No Deadzone this week but I did manage to get my first game of Shakos & Bayonets in when Stu popped over for his fourth game of the festive period. This was the first game I'd played in a while as the festivities and Covid disrupted the normal playing schedule.

As this was our first time with the rules I went with a couple of small forces so we could get used to the game. 

Grenadier Officer (veteran) - 26 points
Light Officer (scout & musket) - 28 points
Grenadiers (8) * 2 - 184 points
Voltigeurs (6) (veteran, sharpshooter) - 128 points
366 points

Line Officer - 25 points
Guerrilla Officer - 25 points
Line Infantry (8) * 2 - 176 points
Guerrilla Infantry (8) * 2 - 134 points
360 points

As outlined over on the Cirencester Wargames blog the rules use a combined deck of activation cards with each player taking it in turns to either play a card or use command points to take a special action. The type of card used to activate a unit is determined by it's type so for instance the Guerrilla's use the Irregular cards and the Grenadiers the Line card. Each side has it's own coloured cards for each unit type so you only ever activate one side's set of units at a time. 

The fact that your opponent could play one of your activation cards (this will certainly happen multiple times during a game) and then you could use command points to activate the unit again mean that you could seize the initiative pretty quickly if the cards fall your way. But each side & unit type only has a certain number of activation cards (generally 3 or 4) so the units will run out of steam at some point. In the activation desk are three Clock cards and once the third of these are drawn the discard pile is re-shuffled so it's likely that some unit types won't see all their cards in one 'round'. Rounds aren't really the right word for this as the game continues in one long stream of activations until the end of the game. 

The books don't come with many scenario's but the ones that are included have the game end when the red clock card (there are also two green ones) is drawn for the 5th time. This means the length of the game is pretty variable but is likely to be longer the more different troop types you have.

The game itself moved along at a good pace with the spotting rules that I thought could slow it down not proving to do so and units caught in the open under close range (<12") musket fire dying reasonably quickly. One unusual feature of the game is that it uses a D10 as counting from zero to nine when normally the 0 side is a ten. So this tempers the normal excitement on seeing that 0 come up.

In the game itself the French got the early activations and got into some good positions with one unit of British Line being roughly handled by some Voltigeurs. The Guerrilla's made a name for themselves when one unit forced a Grenadier unit to flee after taking heavy casualties in two rounds of fire. 

The game ended with the second British Line unit charging in to the Voltigeurs to exact some revenge for their fallen comrades but with the French closest to the wagon.

So all in all it was an interesting game and it was good to get Stu over and the models out onto the table. With the rules not including many scenarios I will need to get my thinking cap on to see what I can think up.

Sunday 2 January 2022

Napoleonic's: Anglo-Spanish Foot

Quick post this week to show the completed Anglo-Spanish foot for Shakos & Bayonets. Having completed all the centre company infantry I painted up a few leaders for the army.

So we have a drummer, Guerrilla leader, light infantry leader, grenadier leader and two centre company leaders. Leaders having a base cost of 25 points means you won't be fielding many in a force, unless you want to skip having many bodies on the field of battle.

With the infantry now completed for both sides the forces are ready to have a battle whilst the cavalry is painted up. First up will be the British Light Dragoons and then the French Hussars.