31 Aug 2017

Skirmish Rules

After playing a Song of Blades and Hero's I thought about implementing a set of rules that were fast play but allowed for factors to be entered into the combats that didn't overwhelm the results. The hard part was keeping it to favored six sided dice and making it free flowing. So first of all I considered throwing multiple dice but only counting the highest dice thrown.

Firstly gathering

4 Jul 2017

One for All!

Most gaming clubs have a split of larger battles and smaller skirmishes
taking place on their gaming tables.
Skirmish games have advantages. Less figure's, quicker games and often
a role playing element that you don't have in larger engagements. Where
you have, "so and so" did this. Or a hero emerges after winning five
combats while wounded. The role play aspect also allows humour and
personality onto the table. This is a good way of introducing members of
the role play gaming community to wargaming.

One for All is one of the best. With a handful of Cardinals Guards, who
would ever want to play the good guys is beyond me, your ready to go.
The scenery is what makes these games. Often the ad lib style of play
rewards imagination and creates a fun session.

Rather than go into in-depth details of game specifics below is a link to
Eureka's site where you can down load a free set of the rules and get an
idea of game play.


The great advantage is here you can collect both sides, have non-playing
characters and cool scenery without breaking the budget or taking up all
your painting time. And best of all every game can have a different scenario.

3 Jun 2017

Song of Blades and Heros

If your looking for a fun quick play skirmish game, Song of Blades and Hero's is easy to pickup for newcomers and allows gaming with limited resources. Basically you throw one to three dice for your troops, activation up to those number of actions. If you fail the turn moves to the next player.
Combats are reasonable simple both sides throwing one die modified by factors like multiple figures ganging up on a defender and whether the character has been knocked down in the previous melee. Mark arranged the three player game so that we diced for order of play each turn which gave a fair and random nature to the game.

My orc raiding party started in the middle of one board edge with the men on the left flank and skeletons on my right flank. I decided to split the command, as this would be suicidal, and carnage was our aim.

Marks army of undead approached singing, "knick knack paddy whack give a dog a bone" obviously Irish undead.
Men, boring men
A stray dog who after several minutes of discussion we settled on, "the dog" as a title.
After many years of inactivity my orc figures finally had a  chance to prove that they were worth more than a cameo with Sam the cat in a previous post.
Military songs about bones aren't a good idea when there is one around.
Time to slaughter the humans.
We are gonna kick arse, Azhug yells as he leads the attack.
I like necrophilia but I'd rather my partner had a bit of flesh for padding.
Seems that the humans take large posts into battle, odd custom.

Sadly Azhug is reduced to a red puddle and suddenly things aren't so rosey for Sunuguk and Ugghar. But we press on
On the right flank the bone people have a liking for ganging up on the orcs. While my strongest orc, "Harag" seems to be hanging back from combat.
Sunuguk joins Azhug as a red puddle and things are looking desperate for Ugghar.

The men realizing the undead are the biggest threat send half their force in what looks to be a temporary truce with their historical foes the orcs
Seems that the skeletons have capture the men ram.
The stray dog called, "The Dog" has  a passion for bone people and starts causing havoc.
Ugghar is being molested. Literally if they were trying to kill him he would be dead by now.
Grok goes down on one knee but somehow manages to avoid the sickle the nearest Skeleton is swinging at him.
Dramatic attacks from the men take down two skeletons in gruesome fashion. The remaining skeletons throw on the "witness gruesome death table" but only  smirk at their friends deaths.
Ugghar after knocking one human to the ground makes a run for it minus his underwear.
"The Dog" completes the massacre killing the remaining skeleton.
Things seem fairly well matched.
Another human goes down as Grok gets back to his feet and pokes his sword  into the warriors heart. Actually his back but that sounded cowardly.
Seems the Dog is bored with gnawing the dead. And attaches himself to the nearest mans leg and starts ******* *** (R18).

Harag the largest most fearsome and least clothed orc finally makes an appearance. He distracts one of the humans in a most lewd fashion while Grok stabs another human to death from behind. 
With the two prone men killed, one by Harag in obscene fashion and the other torn gruesomely to pieces by "the Dog". The remaining men decide to flee. Grok, Harag, Brurbagand and Ugghar decide not to waste the opportunity in front of them. And take, "The Dog" to the beach. No animals were hurt in the making of this blog. Tragically, "The Dog" was swept away by a large wave. At this time he is sadly still not been found.

31 May 2017

Saga Normans v Vikings

Mark brought along his nice Viking figures for me to use . In return I lent him my partially painted Normans which seemed like a fair swap. Reversing the armies gives you a nice understanding of the problems your own army imposes and their weaknesses. We set up on the first scenario in the book. One I favour for the Normans as it doesn't tie you to any objectives and relys solely on either killing the opposing warlord or going for a points decision.

Mark went with the almost obligatory unit of bow and added the crossbow. This caters to the missile advantages while the warriors with crossbow added a saga dice to the mix. He then maximized the Cavalry into two units of double sized heath guard which packs quite a punch. The only negative is he dropped one saga dice from his allotment.

I went with two units of warriors twelve strong shielding two smaller heathguard units. As I thought he may try to pick of the advancing units and withdrawal I also opted for one bow unit in a position to cut off his retreat.

Mark set up reasonable close to the middle of the board on my left flank. I felt the best option was to rush him and rely on the superior melee and fatigue options the Vikings so I set up as close to him as I could as I also had the first move.

Closing withing striking distance I also saved several key dice on the battle board that would allow me re rolls to gain eight saga dice for the next turn. Mark fired off his bow decimating one of the large units of warriors with six casualties. He then charged in his cavalry to mixed results. Taking out the remaining warriors but also suffering a few Heathguard as casualties.This added fatigue to most of my units but as Vikings this was easily countered. My counter charge wiped out his cavalry causing his crossbowmen to take a fatigue.

I went for broke realizing If I could take out his crossbows not only would it lower his saga dice to three but would also put a fatigue on his Warlord and remaining mounted Heathguard. I ended up having to do two separate attacks to take out the crossbows. This caused two problems. One after taking the initial casualties his remaining troops were two far away to cause fatigue once they were wiped out. Secondly it left my Warlord exposed and with only a couple of Warriors as protection Mark charged in with the final heathguard unit. 

My warlord was chopped to pieces. With hindsight a unit of berserkas instead of bows could have come in handy and would have enables a larger unit of heathguard, but with the mobility of the Normans that wasn't really an option. And a little bit of luck with the attack on the crossbows could have made everything much closer. An enjoyable game. Where on the way home in the car I could make out faint mocking taunts from my Normans  in the back seat.

27 Apr 2017

Online Wargame Campaigns, Club Tools

Two issues often come up with Wargaming clubs. One is communication within the club. The other is running campaigns with hidden movement. With the onset of online gaming useful sites are becoming available and here I will be discussing Discord and Roll20, two sites with plenty of use for gaming communities whatever the subjects they follow.

Firstly Discord. Its a browser based site that's fully supported. No downloading onto your computer. You just go to their site and login, fill in you email, site name and password and all you need then is an invite.

If you forget your log in, or log in from a different area it will give you the option of an email with a link to get back in.

From computer or smart phone you are now linked to boards that you can read messages, post reply's, share photo's, links and talk or text chat in real time. Or just make comments as you see fit.
It will also let you know who is logged in. So you can send a message that you can personally assign to them just by typing @ in front of their name.

Each club or group can have its own site all of which can be linked so you can see all the separate details or you can share one site and have control of different boards.This gives you the ability to set up "rooms" you can utilize for announcements, chat on specific topics and manage the club in a way that everyone can keep in touch and update each other.

Either you can be invited via an email. Or if a current member is logged in with someone who has signed up for Discord they can give them a friend request and pass them the link via a direct message.

 In the example Geoff is a current "friend" and "Miko" has been sent an invite. These are all managed through the top left "people" blue icon.

One of the best things about discord is you don't need to be computer savvy. If you don't know how to do something you cant just type a question in discussion and someone will often give you a fairly quick response.   Similar to text chat with your bank.

Ideal for the following

- Club Announcements and updates
- Organizing competitions and posting results / tables
- Discussing periods or general discussions
- Arranging games
- Buying and selling models
- Painting
- Campaigns with hidden movement*
- Somewhere to advertise via word of mouth the club.


*  Campaigns with hidden movement *

When people join the server they can be given roles. Those roles can be assigned access to private rooms. In the case of a campaign anyone with a role can have access to a room with maps, movement orders and discussion with their faction members. No one else except the campaign runner can access the rooms.

This is ideal where it is up to the players who now have a log in to be able to plan and discuss their campaign. The umpire now can simply log in see what moves are planned and redistribute game maps to each faction. These maps can just show visible information. Ideal for running campaigns and easing the umpires workload to a minimum.

By giving this person the "ALPHA" role, they can access both the Alpha channel as well as the voice channel

Each faction can be assigned their own rooms. At the end of the campaign these can be opened up so everyone can see what was going through their competitors minds. A nice way of recording a campaign for others to experience.

Maps and Counters for Campaigns.

We have somewhere to plan and organize the campaign but we don't have a map with moveable counters and objects to move. Bring in Roll20

Roll20 is designed for roleplaying games. But it can be utilized effectively to have maps that you can move units around and use for your campaigns.

Counters or objects are very flexible. They can be moved around independently on the map without being part of the map which they are on this is achieved by having three layers to the screen. The first layer can be used for the referee's notes and is only visible to the referee. The second layer is the background, this can have squares, hexes or just plain space. Any map can be drawn or downloaded and this remains unmovable.

The background can be anything, in the case above a church interior but literally anything can be used as a background. Size can also be adjusted to whatever s needed.

The third layer houses your unit counters and these are all separately movable. Great tool for campaign maps and counters. The site itself could be used to play online wargames of any sort that you can get counters for. In among the options are onscreen rulers, dice,and ways to record states to each unit. At some stage I intend to fight a game of impetvz online with my brother back in New Zealand to help him understand the rules.

31 Mar 2017

Saga Irish verse Normans

Six rounds of playing tag. Ended up setting up first, which in the context of the game didn't work well as I was unable to react to the massing of the Irish on one wing. Went for William the Conqueror and three units of warriors with bow. Two mounted units of warriors to counter any Irish units chasing out of the pack.

I knew the Irish can attack out of rough ground without having actual troops stationed there. What I didn't realize is they have a skirmish activation that puts up a wall to shield any bow shots which negated most of the strength I employed. Richard employed this screen in front of his entire force which in hand to hand combat had a stronger edge to it than my force.

So a game of cat and mouse employed with me trying to get an angle to pick off one of Richards figures and he trying to chase my retreating troops down. At the time I regretted moving second as this prevented an initial chance to inflict some damage on his skirmishes.

I had to do double moves and while I thought I had done enough to get an overlap in so that I could fire some of the troops. The second to last round ended up with saga dice I couldn't use. Guess this was justice for cowardice in the face of the enemy.

Having inherited the last move I threw excellent dice and planned a last dash with the mounted troops hoping to load up the dice and extract a winning blow by targeting his weak screen advancing in front of his army. What I didn't realize was I had to be withing six inches with his screen ability to attack. Richard must have laughed as I wasted the extra move maximizing  the attack dice to the point I was guaranteed victory. Somehow I feel the moral victory went to the Irish.Six rounds and not a combat dice anywhere to be seen.