29 May, 2014

Lead Painters' League - Season 8 concluding

You have a few days to vote in the final round of the Lead Painters' League and if anything, the quality has increased as time has gone by.

As before I'm not picking out my favourite pieces, but I'm hoping to highlight a few match-ups which are (or ought to be) very close - the theme this final round is 'The War to end all Wars'.

Hedjaz Railway vs. Turkish machine-gun wagon, Hejaz railway, 1916

WW1 German Pilots vs. The Dog Carts of War

Welcome to Tannenberg vs. WW1 Turks

Well done all!

18 May, 2014

The Mauritius Command

It may interest some of you to hear that the BBC has a radio dramatisation of Patrick O'Brian's Mauritius Command.

For whatever reason that August organisation makes them available for only seven days (and not for download at all). Listen to the first of three now (there's only two days left for this one!)
Quite as you might expect the urge to wargame the campaign has struck me!
A combined affair of Kiss Me Hardy and C&C Napoleonics.

I have begun my research...

13 May, 2014


Most tragic of all was the quick capture of the “frozen berths”, in order for their family to receive a stipend for generations some volunteered for “extended PDF duties” and went into hypersleep to await a crisis. The PDF on rotation put up fierce resistance but after two months regular army resistance ceased. It fell on guerrilla cells hiding in the industrial wasteland of the capital and in the barren “Ironies”. Vast fields of alien grass cultivated for off-world export, but of no nutritional to local wildlife.

This is the story of one such band.

The story starts with the two heroes having been just brought out of hypersleep two years on to fight each other in a duel for the amusement of a group of chaos marauders. These have been tasked by their overlords with rounding up the remainder of the population into camps and fighting the rebels. Our two heroes find themselves disorientated, confused, in an arena holding a sword and  facing each other. Suddenly in the distance the sound of heavy gunfire erupts and all hell breaks loose…

High walkways overlook the ad-hoc arena which has been set up by the Chaos marauders. Members of the gang are fixated on the action below as Grak Zekka, renowned pistol fighter (known for his iron constitution, sheer determination and brusque manner) squares off against Bruul Stranga the fierce close-in fighter (whose ritual scarring and tattoos celebrating his various deeds adorn his body).
Across the river, an unheralded Valkyrie dropship lands, disgorging a squad of planetary defence troopers 
Taking advantage of the marauders' dismay Grak and Bruul help each other climb the wall and seek to keep out of the view of the defenders - they're still just armed with swords
The troopers engage the marauders on the walkways, keeping their heads down while giving the second group a chance to outflank the defences
They start taking fire themselves and take cover behind some rocks. They spot two marauders across the river from the main compound who must be guarding something
Grak and Bruul encounter those two marauders, with Bruul taking the lead with his sword
Spotted nearby, is a hideous Chaos monument which gives the PDF troopers pause as they pass
One unfortunate marauder, running from one side of the complex to another along the walkway slips and falls to the ground  (ultimately drowning in the stream)
Bruul still fights from the river against the two marauders, but Grak has backed him up and they win out. One surviving marauder runs for it
The troopers have finally gotten to the scene and as the second marauder runs, he's shot down by the leading trooper
Grak enters the bunker the two marauders were guarding, which has a deep shaft going down 
The troopers take cover behind a defensive structure and suppress the remaining marauders nearby before heading down the shaft - which leads back to the landing zone the Valkyrie is idling at
Having picked up some extra equipment from the PDF, Grak and Bruul resolve to raid the facility for heavier weaponry in an attempt to fight back!

06 May, 2014

Bad Day for the Alliance

It would seem that many of you played something on the 4th May to celebrate Star Wars. I did similar, though not actually by design! One of our local boardgames group dropped over with his X-Wing...

We played two quick pick-up games, just setting up ~equal numbers of points and having at it! Not my usual approach to wargames, but it was fun.

First game was two X-Wings (including Luke Skywalker) taking on my four TIE Fighters.
Despite the rebels' sweeping move to target the two TIE Fighters on their left, virtually crippling one of them, all four of the TIEs were able to concentrate on Skywalker's wingman, shearing away his shields before destroying Bigg's X-Wing. 

A real furball erupted as the remaining three TIEs struggled to out-turn the lone X-Wing and keep him in their sights. Unfortunately for them they all ended up being too close to each other to be effective and Skywalker made it through the gauntlet.
Hedging their bets the TIEs broke off in different directions to cover the X-Wing's next pass, but some skilled manoeuvring by one of the TIE pilots put paid to the idea that this Skywalker was anything more than a gifted pilot!
We changed the setup this time, swapping out two of the TIEs for Boba Fett and Skywalker's X-Wing for Solo's Millennium Falcon.

Leaving the Falcon out on its flank, all three Empire ships target Wedge who is obliterated in short order! Solo manages to use the Falcon's arc to great effect, whilst staying out of danger from most of the time.
After pinging Slave-1's shields a few times and destroying a TIE Fighter with some unerring marksmanship, Solo finally runs out of space and starts to take damage, though wiping out the other TIE Fighter
With the Falcon's cockpit taking critical damage, Fett finally has the upper hand, and destroys the Falcon (before hobbling off with a single hull point left!)
A nice game, will be getting in a few more games of it I think, but maybe not one that tempts me enough to start collecting it...

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