Wednesday 29 June 2016

Rheged to Historicon !

After working on the Lord of the Rings stuff for a while my mind has turned to the next project. i managed to pick up some bits at the show....partly I felt it was important to support those traders who had made the effort to come along to Penrith.

A slightly mixed bag, some 6mm buildings from Leven Minatures, these are for our developing (but not started yet) Normandy ww2 campaign. A mix of Normandy type houses and farm buildings so some flexibility. Some more Blitzkrieg Germans for operation Sealion, and then some more LOTR second hand stuff from the bring and buy. Oh and a fat monk bought by a friend 😀

I am currently working on creating more fields and hedges again with nor any in mind, however, my mind is currently over stimulated by the prospect of my coming jaunt to the USA. Having clearly 
been good in a previous life Mrs Dungeon has allowed me some free time and I am off to America to visit as many ACW battlefields as I can in two weeks taking in Historicon on the way 🤓. It seems slightly bizarre to go from possible the smallest to probably the largest Wargame convention in a couple of weeks !

Now I know I am lucky, and I know others will undoubtedly be jealous but my plan is to blog from the states on my adventure. I am genuinely worried that this might seem like crowing but I will try hard not to make it sound like that, and plan to use it more like a diary of the trip.

Saturday 25 June 2016

Find the Halfling (aka Battle for Amon Hen) : Phoenix Wargame Exhibition

Well I am back at home (I suspect I might be the closest resident gamer to the show?) now feeling pretty tired but happy. It feels like I have been preparing for quite a while and not been able to focus on anything else but luckily it all came together on the day. A couple of shots of the table and it set up in situ.

I think during the day I played 8 or 9 games, all I think well received and giving people a good feel for Dragon Rampant. Happy to have played a couple of games with youngsters as there is something at shows about encouraging the next generation of gamers. I didn't get an exact tally but the hobbits were well ahead (the game is biased this way deliberately) all the hero's except Aragorn died at some point. A couple of people managed to rescue all four Hobbits some only managed two. If you were at the show and played I hope you enjoyed it. I will certainly consider putting the game on again at another show ?

Of course I wasn't on my own but I didn't get a lot of time to look around. I picked up a couple of bits, well why wouldn't you, which I will blog up later here are the only other games I remembered to take a shot of.
28mm WW2
Lovely 40K
ACW inspiration for later in the year
The show seemed well received as a first event. Hopefully we'll be back next year....but what to do ?

Wednesday 22 June 2016

Find the Halfling : The Fellowship

On the final leg of preparation now, completed the fellowship last night, they were already painted but I have tidied them up, redone the bases etc.
I haven't been absolutely strict on the colours as the hobbits are a bit too drab and green in the film so I have added some variation. Just need one small piece of terrain and the canoes need painting.

Monday 20 June 2016

Viking Raid : Dragon Rampant

Following the same theme of practising Dragon Rampant and having spotted on somebody else's blog some really nice dark age figures I thought it would be nice to get as many of my collection on the table as I could. So Vikings vs Saxons, we played two slightly linked scenarios with a simple overall theme. Vikings invade steal Saxon women, Saxons not happy so they have a big battle to get them back ! This of course feels intuitively historically accurate ?

So we played the first scenario with about 2/3 of the units, and then brought everything onto the table for the final 'blood bath'. Scenario one required the Vikings who are already in the village to escape with the Saxon womenfolk back to their longboat.....the Saxons just have to stop them ! The Vikings started in the village and the Saxons split between the two other corners. I was hoping the Saxon light mounted troops which would give greater mobility and speed would prove decisive ?

This is after the first turn or so, Viking Jarl is encouraging his retinue down the hill as quickly as possible. The Saxons are attempting to harry them with javelins from the hit and run light cavalry. The boat seemed such a long way away 🤓
Closer shot of the Saxon settlement on the hill being sacked by Vikings.
Saxon infantry is now closing the net around the Vikings, but the Saxon cavalry in the distance has worryingly fled.
View from the other side, the womenfolk who are effectively carried by one unit can be seen at the bottom of the hill by the church. Looks like they have only taken the attractive women as some have been left behind in the village !
Fighting now all over the battlefield, the Jarl Odin and his son (the figure with the red shield) are cleverly using their 3" zone to protect the unit with the women, as both the Characters are elite infantry they will be difficult to defeat in combat.
Eventually the Saxons had to bite the bullet and attacked from all sides attempting to rescue their women but the Norsemen were too tough.
....and eventually the Vikings broke through. To add insult to injury as they made for the boats you can see Jarl Odin standing by the Saxon cross shouting insults at the remaining Saxons. Sensibility of my readers prevent me repeating what he is shouting !
So we reset with all our troops in a bloodbath battle, the Saxons seeking to push the invaders back into the sea. The Saxon battle line set up at the base of the village, this is probably the largest Dragon Rampant battle we have played with about ten units on each side. At this scale the 3" separation rule starts to become a problem.
Not sure what has happened to the colour in this shot from behind the Viking line.
The Saxon line makes a general advance.
Odin sends his lighter troops out through the woods on their right flank.
Both sides were slightly reluctant to engage full on with the risk of failed attack rolls, preferring to push forward one flank, this caused the two battle lines to turn sideways.
Eventually the powerful Viking heavy infantry on the right pushed the lighter Saxon troops back away from the church and whilst the Saxon cavalry was more effective in this battle pushing the Vikings away from the cross on the hill they just couldn't break the Norse line.
At this stage with Saxon numbers dwindling it became clear the Vikings had won and the Saxon women would be making their way across the North Sea  to keep Jarl Odin and his retinue warm at night ! 
A fun battle and it was great to get nearly all my Vikings and Saxons on the table with a simple rule set. I need to paint some more figures from the lead mountain.......

Saturday 18 June 2016

Dragon Rampant : LOTR

As way to remind myself and sharpen up on the rules for next week we have played a couple of larger LOTR battles (and a dark age battle) using Dragon Rampant. In the first battle we played a straight bloodbath Gondor vs Isengard. It also gave me the chance to use the new terrain as well.

Wargs attack from the top of the hill.
Overall battlefield
Gondors' finest prepare to charge the wargs
Saruman's evil horde advancing everywhere
Close up of the Wargs...cinematic ?
Archers attempt to fell the troll without much success
At this point with the troll now killed we called a halt a victory to the White Tower😀
Second scenario Gondor attempt to get across the battlefield
What is Boromir doing out in the open....
A double 1 ! this didn't happen in the film !

Fun games and just what I needed to refresh on the rules. Points wise this is about 55 points a side so roughly twice that suggested in the rule book, but the mechanics worked fine.

Thursday 16 June 2016

Find the Halfling : Terrain Update

A busy few days completing the terrain for the show at Rheged and I have managed to have my first full setup with the finished terrain.

It has worked out OK although overall it is a bit busier than I had planned and I have actually removed a couple of trees and ruins. The principle of the game is to introduce players to Dragon Rampant using LOTR figures in a scenario that takes no more than 45 minutes to play ! I want the game to be playable and fun. I will be playing as the Orcs which to some extent allows me to control the game. A few bits to finish off, finishing the fellowship, measuring sticks and stuff like that😀

Monday 13 June 2016

FInd the Halfling : terrain update

Two weeks now to the show at Rheged , check out Pheonix Lakeland Wargames Exhibition on Facebook. Preparation is going well a weekend interrupted by two extremes of cultural experience....but I managed to pretty much complete the terrain for the participation game.

Repainting some previous building ruins to match in, completing Amon Hen watch tower itself and finally my newly arrived fallen head statue. Happy with the results, the new hill is almost complete as well so will post a full completed table when I have finished the trees ! A bit of repainting and then lots of fiddly bits to finish off.

I am really enjoying the project and trying to stick to the rule that everything could be used for other games.

Saturday 11 June 2016

The Battle for Brampton :VBCW

Not much time recently to get on the blog but luckily this doesn't reflect activity in the Dungeon. Taking a break from 'Find the Halfling' preparation I thought it was about time to get some more VBCW on the table and I wanted to play a 'big battle', to test the mechanics and get a few things on the table which had been recently finished. So the Battle of Brampton took place bank holiday weekend.

Background - whilst the Royalist forces have been seeking to push west to the coast to cut off and isolate Albertine forces in and around the Solway they have had to pull reserves from across their areas of control. This has been observed by Scottish Republican Forces who although they have no formal alliance with the Albertines have seen this as a good opportunity to make a push towards Carlisle which they have always contended since Jacobite times should be Scottish.

Advance route of the Scottish Borders Army
Scottish troops comprise lowland regiments who have defected from the crown, AFV units with tanks taken from former Royalist Depots in Glasgow and Edinburgh and a strong contingent of local militia. These form the Scottish 'Borders Army' and occupy the isolated border region north of the old (now contested) English border. Rather than a direct assault on Carlisle the Scots have cut across country and attacked the small town of Brampton. Urgent messages have been sent back to Royalist command at Carlisle and all remaining Border Regiment troops have been rushed to block the advance.

(I set up the table almost as big as it will go, playing with four separate battlegroups, giving each commander an independent command. We had 5 objectives and played with bolt action rules. 32 dice in the bag !) ps I noticed after posting I should have checked the spelling better ! Not sure who the Rebulicans are ?
Starting positions
The battlefield represented a small portion of Brampton including Church and a small section of countryside.
Objectives marked
Not surprisingly with a battle this size I can run through every detail but I took some nice photos which roughly tell the story of the battle.

Royalist Border Regiment Infantry supported by Vickers Tanks move towards the farmhouse with an eye on the Pillbox objective. In the distance the war memorial is another objective but in very open ground.
With the farm secured Royalist contemplate crossing the road, whilst the Scots have already pushed a Matilda I into the corn field. In the distance the Carlisle Constabulary are making their way through the church yard.
A large contingent of Scottish Militia from various villages in the lowlands make towards the memorial but are sensibly reluctant to push into the open ground.
A vintage shot of the Church, currently held by Royalists. The Harraby Home Guard have moved into the bell tower but only have one lewis gun which is effective from longer range. The cross roads another objective is being approached by the Carlisle Volunteers but they come under attack from the sky !
At the East end of the village, Scottish lowland regular infantry supported by the Lochmaben Fire brigade work their way towards the main road.
All quiet on the main street, with only a single armoured car keeping watch.
The Royalist Vickers tanks are pushing forward but sadly neither tanks has enough firepower to knock each other out.
Lockerbie Local Defence Volunteers make a break for the memorial, are are immediate pinned down in the open !
Tank on Tank the Scots have somehow managed to find a pre-production Matilda II, this will be a good test as it faces up against the Royalists A9. 
Fierce fighting at the back of houses off the main street, as a unit of Borderers attempt to capture the phone box.
The Lockerbie Volunteers try and keep their heads down.

Scottish troops are now rushing across the main street using whatever cover they can find.
The Matilda II shows its effectiveness knocking out the A9 with a single direct hit.
The Scottish right flank is starting to crumble and the Royalist take advantage capturing the Pillbox on the edge of the village....but it isn't all over yet.

A local Shooting Party from one of the estates close to Carlisle are pushing the Scottish Militia love lost there !
Grab it ! the Scots have the phone box, but the Fire brigade are dangerously pinned in the main street.
Madness ? clearly enthused with the battle lowland infantry push past the objective to attack the armoured car directly.
The Scottish Tanks are using their firepower to push the Royalists back.
Scottish Militia artillery proves very ineffective even at fairly close range, recognising this the second Royalist Vickers tank breaks through the Church Yard fencing to try and keep the remaining Scottish Militia forces away from the war memorial.
Scottish Infantry working its way through the Pub garden and making for the cross-roads.

The Borderers are made of stern stuff and have gone in with the bayonet against the Scottish infantry knocking them back away from the phone box. The fire brigade look on in horror and are pinned down.

Scottish infantry make a break for the cross roads, under the watchful eye of the Matilda II tank commander.
This then was pretty much the end of the battle and it was time for tea. We had played 6 turns and despite a slow start both sides had taken a significant number of casualties. Only one objective was held by each side so a hard fought draw. Fun to play although I might change a few things next time.

As the sun set on the battlefield the Harraby Home Guard who remained in the bell tower for the whole battle take ineffective pot shots at the Scottish Gloster as it flies past.