Sunday 28 August 2022

Deadzone: UK Championship Preperation

On September 10/11th I will be in Nottingham at Mantic HQ to attend the UK Deadzone Championship. With places for up to 40 people this promises to be the largest ever Deadzone competition, so hopefully they manage to sell lots of tickets.

The event consists of eight games across two days with five games being played on the Saturday. Each player needs to bring two 200 point lists. Those lists could differ by as little as one model so in fact you could play essentially the same list for all eight games. I decided that I would take my Veer-myn and the GCPS as I like the paint job I did on both armies. I'm also please with the mortar and Riot Trooper conversions I did on the GCPS. Unfortunately as they are not Mantic the GCPS cannot be entered into the best painted competition, but the Veer-myn can.

In preparation for this Mr T and myself have taken a break from Carnevale and he's played some Deadzone games with me. So far we've managed one game for each of my lists and we have one final game planned for next Friday, plenty of practice!

For the Veer-myn I've gone with the following list:

1 * Master Creeper
4 * Stalker
2 * Nightmare
2 * Malignus with Heavy Ray Gun
1 * Malignus with Chem Spitter
2 * Creeper
1 * Tunnel Runner
13 Models, 18 VP's

Of the two lists I'm taking I think this is the stronger one with a good balance between shooting and melee and also plenty of Armour Piercing for taking down tough opponents. The fact that the majority of the list is move 2-3 (can move 2 or sprint 3 cubes on a 8 * 8 mat) means they should be able to grab objectives early and get scoring in turn 1. 

Early scoreboard pressure could make people panic a little and over-extend into a position they don't want to be in. Veer-myn are I think one of the stronger factions in the game so I expect them to be well represented in the tournament.

They don't tend to hand around on the table though and this game proved a bloody affair but my ability to score early on meant that I got ahead and Mr T couldn't quite catch up by the end of turn 5.

The GCPS list is:

1 * Ranger Lieutenant
5 * Corporation Veteran
1 * Corporation Veteran with Flamer
2 * Corporation Veteran with Thermal Rifle & Ammo
1 * Corporation Veteran with Sniper Rifle & AP ammo
2 * Riot Trooper
1 * Mortar Team

13 Models, 20 VP's

This list also has a decent number of bodies but is much more tilted towards ranged attacks than the rats. It has lots of units with 5+ for shooting & fighting but the basic Veteran has a WoF (1) weapon which allows 1 re-roll when shooting for a bit more reliability. For taking down armoured units it relies on the Thermal Rifles doing the job but the Flamer with it's It Burns! rule has the chance to make any unit miss an activation. The mortar and sniper with their long ranges offer some board control early on and the Lt can drop in anywhere on the board during T1 if I fancy risking her to grab an objective.

During the game I paired up each Riot Trooper with a Thermal Rifle Veteran as the  Trooper gives +1 armour to models in the same cube. This gave two hunter teams who are capable in melee as well as against armour, this could be the way to go in the competition.

In the game I again managed to get onto the objectives first but the Forge Fathers inflicted the greater early casualties. They made the most of their 4+ saves to weather some heavy firing from my troops.
The luck did however start to turn and I managed to build a healthy lead after a couple of turns via the objectives and taking out a few of Mr T's high value models. By the end of Turn 3 I had the 20 VP's required for victory.

So far it's been a good pre-season and I feel somewhat prepared for my first competition. Having not been to one before I'm not really sure of what to expect but it *should* be fun. The vibe from the Deadzone Facebook group is very friendly and relaxed so I'm sure it should be 8 good games across the weekend. I also know the two of the people who wrote the rules are playing so we shouldn't have much in the way of arguments over how things work. Though in fairness the beauty of DZ is that it's very light on the rules so you can play the game rather than the rules.

Saturday 20 August 2022

Shakos & Bayonets: The Wayward Cannoneers

Stu came over today from Cirencester for our second ever Shakos & Bayonets game with us swapping sides from last time, so I took control of the French.
The scenario was based around The Assault from the book with the defenders starting with a portion of their troops in a fortified position with support on the way and the attackers looking to overwhelm them. One immobile objective was placed in the village and four mobile objectives outside. As I'd just painted up the Spanish gun & crew these made ideal markers for these objectives. Victory Points would be scored for controlling the objectives with more points scored for the mobile ones if they could be escorted to within 9" of the gun.

I formulated two forces of around 500 points which is the recommended maximum for a 48" square playing area. This gave plenty of units per side and a good mixture of troop types.

1 * Centre Company Officer (phlegmatic) 25 points
2 * 10 Centre Company                 220 points
1 * 8 Centre Company                 88 points

1 * Rifles Officer with Rifle         29 points
2 * 5 Rifles                         106 points

1 * 8 13th Light Dragoons                 71 points

                                539 points

1 * Grenadier Officer         27 points
2 * 10 Fusiliers 3rd Company 200 points
1 * 8 Grenadiers Company         90 points

1 * Voltigeur Office with Musket         28 points
2 * 5 Voltigeurs Light Company 110 points

1 * 8 2nd Hussars                 79 points

                          534 points

The British started with 2 units and their Line officer holding the village and the French massed for an assault with both of their Fusilier units in line (and in range) in front of the village.

As we discovered in the first game we played the random card activation method used in S&B means that you can never be sure of when a unit might activate unless you spend command points. So the French had their fingers crossed that their Fusiliers would get into motion before the British could cause too much damage.

True to form the British shrugged off their initial Shaken state (they started the game this way and required a Rally test to recover) and managed two good shots against each of the French lines. This caused the French to become Shaken themselves and in one case retreat.

The French cavalry and Light Infantry cards had come out of the deck so both these elements advanced whilst the British pushed up their reinforcements. S&B uses D10 with a range of zero to nine, so this means the normal excitement of seeing a 0 (normally a 10) is quickly dampened as you realise you just rolled zero.

My Fusiliers did eventually get into the fight and managed a Volley against the units manning the walls of the village. They didn't cause many casualties but due to a couple of poor reaction roles the British abandoned the walls and fled into the square.

Unfortunately for the French just off screen at about this time the British Light Dragoons charged the Hussars who took 2 casualties, rolled a zero, and promptly routed from the table with the whole unit being removed. This left the French right rather hanging in the air.

The plucky French did keep pressing forwards for the walls but mostly via spending command points rather than using activation cards. Command points are generated when you play an enemy card from your hand and can then be spent instead of playing a card during your turn. A very handy one allows you to activate 2 units to move/charge with you paying more CP's the larger the units are.

Whilst the French pressed on the British Light Dragoons had taken one Spaniard to safety and then returned with the French Line troops once again waiting for their cards to come up. This allowed them to charge the Grenadiers. In the ensuing melee both sides suffered casualties and again the French (defenders take the morale test first) rolled very low and the Grenadiers routed from the table.

By this point the game was very much up for the French with their forces having reached the walls but not had the cards/stomach to cross it and take the fight to the British and whilst the Voltigeurs emptied a few saddles of Light Dragoons it was not enough to take victory for the Emperor. 

So another interesting game and considering we are very much still learning the rules we managed to play to a conclusion within 2 1/2 hours so I think around 500 points is a good size for our normal games.

Morale proved the downfall of the French with many more men lost through routing than enemy guns/sabres. But this is probably in line with historical battle outcomes as most men just ran away rather than fight to the death. We also made good use of Volley fire in this game to force morale tests, it probably helped that we both rolled pretty low on the resulting tests so that may have given a distorted view of their effectiveness. More games will help iron out that randomness curve and give a more balanced view.

Saturday 13 August 2022

Carenvale: Taking a Dip

Nothing nicer on a boiling hot day than to take a dip in some cooling water. Unless of course that water is home to a couple of Sirena who are out to drown you. I finally got hold of these models at Attack last month and painted them up. I'm not sure they are the best choice and you are unlikely to want to run two but they are great models so I wanted to add them to the collection.

In a faction centred around magic and monsters these ladies tick both those boxes and also have an advantage when trying to make Drown actions. This advantage is hampered by their low Attack score so they probably won't be rolling many dice in a Drown action.

One instance when you could run two Sirena would be if you fielded an all magic wielding force with the henchman slots being filled by Aglaope. TT Combat sell these in a 3 pack so that would be enough to fill out all the henchman slots you'd need, you could add a slave or two as well/instead. So perhaps one for a future purchase.

I also recently got some extra bases so could finally base up my second Harpy for the Strigoi, here she is ready to take to the skies.

And the last bit of painting to show is two more Bardsung models, an Oni with his big sword and one of the the machines from the lost levels.

Short and sweet this week as I need to go lie down in a cool spot!

Sunday 7 August 2022

Bardsung: More More Monsters

No game this week as Mr T has fled the country for (even) warmer climes, but I have been continuing work on the Bardsung monsters and have a decent part of the set now completed.

First up we have Cepid the Mycoid, I'm not sure many mushrooms have teeth but this one does.

The Wolf pack is pretty much as advertised, a nice quick one for contrast paints.

I think this one is a gelatinous cube, but I can't immediately find it's details.

The Crimson Hook was riding another giant spider, this one dispenses with that burden.

A giant brain with nasty looking hooked tentacles, the Grell is sure to haunt peoples sleep.

Again I can't find a name for this one, but I think it may be a basilisk. 

Ferrous Maw / rust monster, whatever it is you don't want it near your sword or metal armour.