Sunday 27 March 2016

Find the Halfling : participation game ?

West Coast Gamers in Cumbria are looking to set up a Wargame show near Penrith at Rheged. My plan is to run a participation game. Based on the battle of Amon Hen from the Lord of the Rings. This is the beauty of Dragon Rampant as the plan is to create a game which plays through in about 30 minutes. The participants will play as the Fellowship whilst I will play as Lurtz and the Uruk hai each game. I have all the figures although I plan to tidy up the painting and I have a few extra Uruk's to paint as well.

We played our first three test games a week or so ago, with some 'mock up' terrain. The objective is of course to get the four hobbits to the boats whilst protecting them with the heros of the fellowship. All three test games worked well, were close and exciting.

I plan to improve the terrain significantly and will post more in the future including the special rules for each hero.

Now this was really just to test the iPad again..........practice makes perfect 💀

Ogres vs Dark Elves : Dragon Rampant

I have purchased a new iPad which partly explains the lack of blogging recently. I am also testing a new blogging tool as I want to ween myself of the laptop if I can. So this might be a real mess. Some pictures of a Dragon Rampant battle from a couple of weeks ago. I,m going to test out the features !


Here is the ogre tribe preparing for battle....a jolly bunch just looking for a good meal out.....(they are of course part of my chaos ogre army)

Moving across the table

The hydra charging across the table....

Apparently I can do lists as why do we love Ogres
  • They smell
  • They eat lots
  • They like squashing Dark Elves 😊
Ok they is a test and may be a real mess......can't seem to get the txt next to the photos either ! Just beyond my technical capacity.

Friday 25 March 2016

The Sultans Egg : IHMN


Carlisle Museum Special Display

After much acclaim across Europe a travelling display of precious artefacts and treasures from the exotic East will be visiting Carlisle for a short period. Excited members of the public will be able to see the treasures for a short period at Carlisle Museum as they make their way from London to Glasgow.

Khalid bin Barghash the Sultan of Zanzibar has loaned the treasures to the British museum as part of an ongoing exchange to improve relationships between the ruler of Zanzibar and Her Majesty’s Government.
Sultan Khalid bin Barghash

Principal amongst the treasures which will be on show to the public of Carlisle are a rare collection of golden statues collected by the Sultan and his ancestors from across the Far East. Greatest amongst these is a solid golden egg inlaid with jewels believed to have been made in Persia in 600BC and now know by collectors as the Sultan’s Egg. This spectacular item stands nearly the height of fully grown man.
The Sultans Giant Egg
The Director of the museum Dr John Macdonald told the Gazette “these are priceless treasures and this will be a rare opportunity to see them outside of Zanzibar, where they are normally held in the Sultans palace under heavy guard”. When asked about the potential need for extra security for such a display Dr Macdonald said he was supremely confident that the Museum could already provide the security needed.

Saturday 19 March 2016

A Norse Adventure : Dragon Rampant

Even further behind than normal on blogging and whilst the preparation for my Albanich game was taking place we were still playing a number of games, so I need to catch up.

A Norse Saga of fur and fury........

Somewhere in a small farming settlement the villagers gather for a Winter celebration. Many of the best looking ? village women have met to look for prospective husbands whilst the menfolk drink and practice their archery ?. In these wild times everybody knows you are never completely safe and they keep their weapons about them....there are worse things than other vikings in the forests !

The villagers enjoying the festivities
 The villagers wait expectantly for their guest of honour Jahl Ragnar to arrive. Suddenly there is a scream, not unusual during a feast but something is wrong. At the the edge of the village an unusual mist is moving across the ground as it gets closer more screams and shouts are raised the gods have brought beasts from the ancient forests to steal away the village maidens.  
Cloaked in mist a giant Mountain troll attacks the village
 The villagers huddle together to protect themselves but suddenly they realize they are surrounded and creatures are attacking from all directions.
A yeti and a cave troll appear.....who would be a viking !
 The villagers only hope is Jahl Ragnar and his armed men, hearing the screams his is rushing with all his might to the village but if they are not quick all they will find will be blood and destruction. (We played a Lion Rampant scenario pretty much straight from the book, both sides equal in points the women as the objective in the centre of the village can't this point it actually looked like the game was over !)
Jahl Ragnar urging his men to hurry forward
 Some of the villagers have fled, surrounded on all sides by fierce monsters, wolves and creatures, but Ragnar's men are made of sterner stuff and they were able, just to reach the village and charge the yeit before it ate the women or worse !
Hardy vikings hold the smelly yeti back....but for how long ?
 Ragnar needs to get as many of his troops into the village as possible.
Better armed troops are lagging behind.....close enough ?
 It almost seemed the creatures were being controlled by a greater mind and eventually it showed its face a horned creature the embodiment of Frey the Horned hunting God.

The village surrounded can Ragnar save them ?
 The game was surely up cowering in the centre of the village the good womenfolk await their ugly doom.
What goes through a Yeti's mind when it sees such lovely ladies ?
 But now Ragnar still unwounded has at last reached the village many of his men have given their lives to hold the creatures back, can he make the final difference ? He charges against the yeti creature and with an amazingly piece of real luck manages to bring it down with his double handed axe. 
Ragnar brings the yeti down
 But as he wipes the blood from his axe his attention has been diverted, a scream from behind alerts him to further dangers, already exhausted he staggers across getting the women to stand behind him. But now both the final Troll and the braying horned creature are also wounded.
Stand behind me !
 In his wounded state the troll proves too much for Ragnar who falls at the feet of the village women. But the Troll is also wounded and Ragnars' final unit are able to chase it off with spear and shield.
Charge for Jahl Ragnar !!!!!!!!
 The wolves are now also chased off and a final charge from Frey the horned beast is also pushed back.
With a ROAR the horned creature slinks back from the shield wall
This left the remaining unit at the centre of the village with the tired but very grateful womenfolk tending their wounds.

It was a great game very close right to the end even though it looked like it was all over after one turn. I will be blogging some more dragon rampant soon, but so far these battled have shown how flexible the rules are. 

Saturday 12 March 2016

The Battle of Thurstonfield : VBCW (Albanich 2016)

Royalist forces under the command of Sir Marmaduke Langdale have pushed westwards towards the village of Thurstonfield with a view to cutting a wedge from Carlisle to the Solway Coast this will hopefully isolate the Albertine forces currently north of the Solway and allow them to be eliminated piecemeal by Royalist supporters from Dumfries.

Marmaduke Langdale
Having carried out various feints further south and around Great Orton this is the main push to the coast and Langdale has amassed considerable heavy support for the attack. The Borderers are also supported by the Penrith Union of Fascists under Viscount Achibald Rackham the local Penrith MP.
Achibald Rackham
To counter this attack the Albertine forces are rushing as many troops and units as they can to the area. The Village itself is held by the Thurstonfield Volunteer Rifles supported by the Wigton Local Defence Volunteers and a unit of the West Cumberland Naval Artillery.
John Lambert VC
These mixed units under the command of John Lambert VC have blocked the main routes into the village but their only hope is for strong re-enforcements, these are on their way in the form of Scottish Troops from the St Andrews League under the direct command of Major Hamish Fraser.
Hamish Frazer
So the scene is set for a major assault by the Royalist forces on the village. This was played as our display game at Albanich 2016. The table is 4'8" wide and 7' long. We used Bolt Action Rules with our own dungeon rules for aircraft. We also used our own special events rules which occurs every time a unique white die is drawn from the bag. I want to say a big thanks to Steve who helped on the day, painted some of the troops and planes. Without him it wouldn't have happened :)

Battle of Thurstonfield
Albertine forces occupying the main street
 Although Albertine forces hold the village at the start Fascist Units have already moved onto the street. West Cumberland Firemen have also just arrived as support.

First re-enforcements arrive
 The first re-enforcements in the village are a strong unit of West Cumberland Miners with a newly fitted Renault 35 Tank. The Scots have also rushed their Matilda tanks forward to push the Fascists back.
Bitter fighting in the main street
 The first really tough fighting is in the main street where the Fascists attempted to drive towards the Albertine Roadblock, they come under strong automatic gunfire from the Matilda and the C9 armoured car.
Scots Infantry pulls into the village
 With a lucky hit to one of the Royalist Vickers tanks the attack on the Royalist right flank looked like it was going to stall then the Firemen were called away to a fire in the next village (random event !)
Aircraft from both sides in the air above the village
 Not wishing to face the heavy gunfire in the main street one of the fascist units has forced its way through the terraces hoping to outflank the defenders.

Scots attempting to regroup
 Whilst rallying the firemen the Albertines are able to bring an infantry unit to hold the dangerous outflanking move behind the village.

Did anybody notice I had called the pub the Pike and Shot ?
Renault 35 has now been disabled but is still firing
 Although pinned down on the right the Borderers regular infantry is pushing forward towards the cross roads, they are supported by both a Vickers and an A9 tank on the road.

Firemen have pulled themselves together and are back on the offensive
 Realising the main thrust is coming down the road the naval artillery manned by local Fishermen has been moved to cover the cross roads from outside the village shop.
Carlisle Constabulary pinned down
 In the main street the Matilda Tanks have killed or scared all the infantry away, advancing they have pinned the Carlisle constabulary who can't or won't progress.

Royalist Tanks surge towards the road block
 Eventually the Royalist tanks are close enough to charge the road block this forces the remaining Thurstonfield Volunteers to flee ! the way now seems open to the remaining Royalist forces until a Matilda Tank trundles forward to block their path.

Vickers tank charges through the road block...... but without support
The battle draws to a close
At this point we decided to call a halt. Although the Royalists have the advantage and have broken through into the village the Albertines have plenty to keep fighting with, as a demonstration game it didn't really matter. The assumption for further battles will be the Royalists now hold the village but lacked sufficient strength to push to the coast.

We had a great time at the show talked to loads of people and much to my embarrassment we won a prize for the game. Thanks to everybody who took the time to come and have a look, to chat and share so much positive feedback, thanks also to Simon and the organisers of the show, all being well we will back at Albanich 2017.

Our prize !

Friday 11 March 2016

Battle of Great Orton :VBCW

On the eve of the battle of Thurstonfield I need to catch up on dispatches from the front, (although I am getting a bit out of order with other games we have played). The Royalists having previously attacked at Crofton Hall and Micklethwaite have also pushed towards the village of Great Orton.

The Spring Offensive
Although strictly outside of Albetine territory they choose to contest the village rather than allow the Royalists to develop such a strong jump off point for any future moves. The two forces were equal in size, but for the first time the Royalists had managed to persuade the Penrith Fascists to give them air support.
Regular Infantry supported by the Carlisle Constabulary 
Albertine Gloster Gladiator looking for ground targets
Royalists capture the Post Office objective
 There were three key objectives to control the village the Post Office, the Grey Citroen parked in the middle of the village apparently owned by the local defence force commander and small wooded hill to the South of the village.
Fascist reserves make a foolhardy charge across the open street
 This was also the first battle where we implemented a random event generator. Very simply we have added a white dice to the bag every time it is drawn a random event occurs. I have written loads they range from the mildly annoying to positive and fun. But on this occasion it forced the Fascist reserve unit to charge the nearest enemy. Needless to say they were gunned down as they broke from cover into the street !
Local defence unit attempting to approach the Citroen
Supported by a Matilda I Tank St Andrews League push for the PO
King's Own Border Artillery 
 With three objectives to capture both forces are fairly strung out. The Royalist artillery have unlimbered to control the road through the village but find they have very little enemy to target.

King's Own Borderers make their way through back gardens
The Hill outside the village has already been taken by the Albertines
Hawker Fury overhead
Aircraft from both sides seek advantage overhead.
Albertines have forced the Borderers back out of the village
 Although the Albertines took control of the village itself and held the hill they were spread very thinly and there was a chance the Royalists could snatch the other objective. With his eye off the ball the Albertine commander didn't see the Vickers Tank coming up behind him and he was mown down by machine gun fire. You can just see him in the distance.
Daka Daka Daka .........!
 Eventually the Hawker Fury was able to catch up with the Gladiator and although we have fairly hard rules for plane to plane combat a lucky roll saw our first ever Air to Air kill in 28mm.

Albertines now controlling the village
Constabulary make a hasty retreat to look for criminals
 Hit by another random event the Carlisle Constabulary decided to chase off after a local Criminal rather than push forward into the village.

Borderers have the car at last
By the end of the battle it was a clear win to the Albertines with two of the three objectives in the bag. The Royalists would have to regroup and attack again.