Sunday 30 October 2022

Firefight: A New Project

After completing all the models for Bardsung is was looking around for my next project and my initial thought had been to go with 10mm Napoleonic and whilst I enjoyed painting up the models I hadn't been able to settle on a set of rules that would allow us to complete a game in an evening. I had however heard about Firefight, a large scale skirmish sci-fi game by Mantic games written by Andy Sharp who also wrote Deadzone v3. Making use of alternating activations and Mantic's trademark streamline rules it promises quick and engaging games. It also has the benefit of allowing us to use our Deadzone models as a core of a large force. Model count looks to be in 40-50 figure range depending on the faction with a tank or flyer as well to spice the action up. As is often the way Mantic have released a free set of the rules to entice players in. From the seven factions currently available in Firefight I've chose to build up the Forge Fathers and Veer-myn. The Forge Fathers was an easy choice as I've already painted up a fair few for Mr T and so he already has an attachment to the belligerent little devils. The Veer-myn are my current favourite Deadzone faction and I like the scheme I've painted them in so that was also an easy pick.

Whilst I wait for the starter sets to turn up I dug through the models I have on hand to see if I could bulk out existing units and looking and the army lists I noticed Mr T would need another 4 militia to make a unit. Fortunately I still had some of the old metal GW Squats left so I've picked out another 4 to add into the existing ranks to make up the numbers.

I've not studied the rules very much yet but these chaps are the cheapest FFer unit they get so no doubt good for unlocking some more expensive Specialist options, I did notice that the cheapest Veer-myn 10 rat unit was only 75 points so the space Dwarfs are likely to be outnumbered by the space Rats .

I'd also picked up a single sprue of 10 Abyssal Dwarfs at a show at some point and decided that the blunderbuss wielding version could no doubt be used in Firefight as well. Looking through the list I noticed the Rekkhyrr who are armed with short range area of effect weapons, so these chaps looked the part for them.

No doubt these Dwarfs are descendants of the brave/foolhardy souls who used to clear patches of firedamp in the early mines by flinging something flammable into pockets of the deadly gas. Now they deploy their naphtha-launchers to break-up the formations of enemies attempting to get in close to the Forge Father lines.

This feels like a good start to the new project and allows me to use up models I already had, which is always a bonus.

Of course a new game often means a new set of scenery and this one is no different. Again I've reused some pieces I already had that hadn't really found their way onto the table and I've also ordered in a few new bits to make up a table themed around a reddish Martian type colony. I've mostly been slapping paint & PVA on the area terrain pieces so far, but have a few more exciting pieces planned as well.

Sunday 23 October 2022

Napoleonic's: Heart of the Inferno

Over the last couple of weeks we've played out the Heart of the Inferno scenario for the Shakos & Bayonets book. This sees one side attacking and the other defending in the context of a larger battle. The scenario includes extra rules to make it feel part of a larger engagement but as they played such a small part of the initial game we dropped them for the second one. The main meat of the scenario are two objective tables which mean the attacker and defender each have their own objectives. The key to winning is to achieve your goals whilst thwarting the plans of the opposing commander.

The French went with the same force for both games with a elite force being spearheaded by a large unit of extra fighty Hussars. 

1 x Voltigeur Officer + Scout trait 27 pts
1 x Grenadier Officer + Veteran trait 26 pts
1 Hussar Officer + Mounted & Swordsman trait 29pts
1 x unit of 10 Fusiliers 100pts
1 x unit of 5 Voltigeurs 43pts
1 x unit of 5 Voltigeurs 43pts
1 x unit of 10 Grenadiers 116pts
1 x unit of 9 Grenadiers 104 pts
1 x unit of 8 Hussars + Grizzled (veteran) & Panache (swordsman) trait 109pts

In the first game the British called up Spanish allies and went with an all infantry force that would mostly move quickly through difficult terrain.

1 * Centre Company Officer 26 points
3 * 8 Centre Company 264 points
2 unit as Grenadiers 20 points

1 * Guerilla Leader         25 points
1*6 & 1*7 Maquisards 113 points

1 * Light Officer 27 points
2 * 6 Light Infantry (Sharpshooter)124 points

For the scenario I rolled 'You've been forgotten' which meant I had no orders, the base order then was to keep at least 50% of my force alive. The French rolled Blockade so they needed to keep me from getting a 1/3 of my force within 24" of their base edge.

As this game was two weeks ago I can't really recall exactly what happened, I do remember that my Lights where very deadly and seemed to be killing 2 - 3 Frenchmen each time they shot. I managed to see off the cavalry with shooting from the Spanish so they played little part in the battle.

With my right performing a holding action my left managed to push forwards well into French territory.

With time pressing on and the British having overwhelmed the French right we called it a British win.

For the second game I was the Defender and we both rolled objective control scenarios. This mean that a total of five objectives where placed in my half of the table for the forces to fight over.

I also changed up my forces to go with an all British list, heavy on line infantry.

2 * Centre Company Officer                   54 points
2 * 9 Centre Inf         198 points
2 * 8 Grenadiers         196 points

1 * Light Officer         27 points
2 * 6 Light Infantry (Sharpshooter)        124 points

This game started with the French pushing forwards across the line and their Hussars launching a charge into the British centre. This wiped out one unit of light infantry and roughly handled and centre company unit before being whittled down.

The French infantry however had stalled and preferred trading long range fire with the British rather than closing in with cold steel.

On the French right they did make a push for the village towards the twin objectives being held by the British.

After a melee and some accurate British fire the French Grenadiers who had pushed on where driven back leaving the British in control of the objectives.

The game ended with the British on control of all but one objective so again they carried the day.

In the end we didn't get through a second shuffle of the activation deck in either evening so I think we need to reduce the points down from 600 to around 400/450 to get more turns in during the evening. Despite that we did manage to get to the point when a winner was clear.

Sunday 16 October 2022

Deadzone: Rattus rattus

Time for some bonus Veer-myn! I bought these with my prize money from the UK Deadzone Championship to add into my Strike Team. These add a few new options to my team building exercise and would allow me to field four rat swarms with the ones I already own.

First out of the trap is The Piper, I already own one of these but wanted to paint one to fit the scheme of the rest of the team. On his own he's not amazing for 34 points but when you factor in the cost of the two rat swarms he starts with, at 6 points he's an absolute bargain. Sit him on a safe objective and keep refreshing the rat swarms and he will soon pay for himself.

The rat swarms themselves are quick and have a reasonable number of hit points, so they are best used to throw into your enemies lines to give them a threat they have to deal with. You won't be beating a decent melee opponent but you can keep them tied up for a while. Also good for throwing on objectives at the start of a game as you know even if lost they can be replaced.

We then have a couple of Rumbler weapons platforms. Six points cheaper than the Tunnel Runner it comes with a choice of two weapons. It's not as fast as the Tunnel Runner and also lacks the armour but you do get a choice of a couple of bigger guns. The guns detach so can be swapped around allowing me to field both of them as the same variant if I like.

The superheavy ray gun variant gives a long range attack in a list that generally lacks long range weapons. AP2 is nice but won't worry something like an Iron Ancestor but it's Firing Platform rule means it throws base 4 dice to shoot rather than the normal 3. 

Secondly we have the superheavy chem thrower, which acts as a massive flamethrower. It Burns! is always nice to have as it has the potential to make models miss their activations, adding AP2 to that means it's a real danger to armoured models on the initial shot as well. It's range of 5 is also 3 cubes more than the standard man/rat-packed flamethrowers.

I do like painting these Deadzone models so will be doing more in the near future.

Saturday 15 October 2022

Bardsung: The Great Evil

No epic adventure is complete without a final showdown against a seemingly unbeatable enemy, and Bardsung is no different.

The Greater Demon is the last of the Bardsung models I had left to paint and it's a big old model, a fitting finale to the project.

As you can see from the pictures it's a massive model and certainly took some time to get painted up. One can only wonder at the terrible ordeal it must be for the adventurers to face down such an imposing foe. 

Sunday 9 October 2022

Napoleonic's: The Escort

This weeks game was one of the scenarios from the Shakos & Bayonets book which involved one side escorting a wagon train across the table. We rolled off for the defender and I took the honour of being the escort whilst Mr T and his French tried to stop me. I'd drawn up the lists beforehand with the aim of seeing what size game we could realistically complete in one night. 600 points feels like it could be a good points value to go for and once we are more familiar with the rules we should get to a conclusion in a night I think.

Both sides fielded a good combined armed force with the men of the 28th being joined by some local Spanish fighters and a strong contingent from the 13th Light Dragoons.

1 * Centre Company Officer 26 points
3 * 8 Centre Company 264 points
1 unit as Grenadiers 10 points

1 * Guerilla Leader         25 points
2 * 8 Maquisards 134 points   

1 * Light Cav Officer 27 points
2 * 6 Light Dragoons 106 points 

                592 points

The French fielded a more elite force with plenty of veterans (which helps with morale and melee) and some sharpshooting Voltigeurs.

1 * Fusilier Officer Grenadier 26 points
1 * 8 Fusiliers 3rd Company 80 points
2 * 8 Grenadiers 184 points

1 * Voltigeur Office with Musket 28 points
2 * 6 Voltigeurs Sharpshooters 114 points

1 * Hussar Officer         27 points
2 * 6 Hussar Veteran 138 points

        597 points

Initially I massed my Spaniards & Grenadiers against the French lights in the hope that they could knock them out of action early on which worked to a certain extent with some decent firing inflicting casualties and forcing them back. 

The wagon and it's escorts moved up but a rapid advance of the French cavalry and line troops pinned them on the road with no way to move forwards or sideways.

But the French opted to split their cavalry and one unit perished after charging a unit of the 13th who gave way but wiped them out on the counter-charge. The other moved into the centre and twice charged the British Grenadiers but where twice repulsed.

It's fair to say that cavalry don't have a massive advantage against infantry so they probably want to pin units in place with the threat of a charge whilst the infantry weaken them with fire before being committed. The Veteran special rule allows you to reroll 0's in melee for attack and defence as well as 0's for morale tests, so it's pretty much worth taking all the time I think, if you can.

With the Hussars seen off the British wagons veered off the road and with the escorts taking the odd pot-shot they started to make some progress.

That was as far as we managed to get in the evening but with the way open for the British to escape the table it was very much a winning-draw for the 28th and it's allies.