My View

My View

Saturday, 15 October 2016

SKELP 2016.

I have been to Skelp 2016, Angus Wargames Club's annual show. The show had an enforced hiatus last year, as the venue, the Reid Hall in Forfar, was being refurbished. It was a dreich, wet day, as myself, David and his two sons set out. We arrived just before opening time. After dropping off things to sell on the bring and buy, and painting competitions we had a look around the show.

David and the boys had a go at the 'Custer's Last Stand' participation game, run by Jed and the rest of the Leuchars Veterans. This was also at Carronade and Claymore earlier in the year.
David and sons playing Custer's Last Stand, by The Leuchars Veterans.
Another view of the game.

The monastrey where the French are trying to move supplies to. To escape the English raiders.
The French peasants try to remove food and animals to the safety of the monastery, to keep them safe from the English

The French troops attempt to hold off the English.
A convoy of supplies can be seen en route to the monastery.

Another view of the monastery.
Kirriemuir Wargames Club ran a demonstration/participation game using Lion Rampant rules. The scenario saw an English raiding force trying to find supplies and a way across the Meuse. The French peasants were trying to rescue the supplies from a farm and move them to a monastery while the men at arms held off the English.

The Geek Room ran a Warzone participation game.

A view of the hall.
Falkirk and District Wargames Club ran a novel Blood Eagle participation game based around longships. 
South East Scotland Wargames Club put on a Samurai demonstration game. 
                                 Some of the entries in the painting competition.
David's AVP figures, which earned him 2nd place in the open competition.

Matthew's winning Iron Man figure. 

The Bring and Buy was reasonable, with quite a few tempting potential purchases. I largely managed to resist. I got all the items that were on my list and made a bit of cash on the bring and buy, to balance the books.

The show is not really big enough to spend a whole day at it. We were tied, due to b&b and painting competitions, to staying to the end. The weather put paid to going for a walk to fill time. That said, there was plenty of time for a good chinwag with the traders and exhibitors. A good day all in all.

Sunday, 18 September 2016


This Wednesday's game saw Derek's Demons having to break into a guarded building to steal a dangerous piece of treasure. The Demons, of course, attacked at night. 
Initial deployment. A flying demon has managed to avoid the guards in the surrounding area and stands at the door of the inn, where the artefact is stored.
The flying demon is joined by an ape and a hopping vampire. A SWAT trooper and a veteran cop are on the scene.
The ape works to pry loose the artifact,while the cops and the supernatural investigator close in. 

The Taoist Sorcerer fires a fireball at the investigator and two SWAT troopers, killing the troopers and recoiling the investigator, who used his acrobat trait to jump clear.
The ape frees the artefact and starts to make his way off the table. The other demons prepare to run interference.
The investigator attempts to exorcise the flying demon and get through to the ape, but he loses the melee and is recoiled.

A flying demon is taken out by a SWAT trooper. Note the zombie that has appeared, attracted by the concentration of supernatural power.

With the investigator at bay, the veteran cop and SWAT trooper pursue the ape.

The ape manages to evade it's pursuers and escapes, protected by the sorcerer and three cultists.

The flying demon attacks the SWAT trooper, who is distracted by the sight of  the zombie greedily feasting on one of his colleagues.
This was a fairly quick game. Derek managed to get his protagonist, the sorcerer, to make an early breakthrough by making a hole in my cordon. The scenario dictated that my team was spread out, therefore vulnerable to such an attack. My protagonist failed to take full advantage of the activation dice failures as he kept failing his rolls! This left him standing around for long periods, the first time this has happened in any of the games we have played. Still, the game told another good filmic story.

Friday, 16 September 2016


Our last Wednesday game saw my Cops take on David's newly put together Yakuza. The scenario was 'Challenge' the location was the city streets (in monsoon conditions, again!).

David's Yakuza protagonist was thirsting for revenge after my Supernatural Investigator had helped the cops exorcise some of his demon allies.

The opening stages of the game. My investigator is looking a little isolated away from his Cop escort.
The cops rush to protect their ward, as the Yakuza forces draw close.
On the other flank, no Yakuza in sight.
My veteran cop bruiser gets in the way of the Yakuza protagonist. My protagonist has been disarmed after being shot at.

The Yakuza manages to avoid the bruiser and leaps on the investigator. After a battle lasting several game turns, he was victorious, first by humbling and then knocking out my protagonist. 
The narrative quality of the game is really exciting. The action concentrates on the protagonists as they benefit from failed activation rolls from others. Even though I lost, I enjoyed the game. Just like watching a movie!

Monday, 12 September 2016


A couple of Thursdays back saw me introduce Rick to 'Tanks'. I used my collection of Axis & Allies Miniatures, since I have moved on my 15mm collection , and only have the starter models in 15mm, and my 10mm buildings and trees to give the terrain a more 3D look. 

To start, we did the ' Barkmann's Corner' scenario.

The game set up.
Early moves. Barkmann's panther scores a hit on one of the Shermans.
The Panther takes a critical hit, in return reducing it's attack dice to 2. 
The Panther is engaged by both Shermans. 
The Panther and Sherman both hit each other. The Sherman takes a hit and is destroyed.
The Panther destroys the second Sherman.
The game was very familiar, the mechanics being based on the likes of X-Wing and Star Trek: Attack Wing, and played well enough. At times it was too similar to those games as there was something 'not right' about tanks haring about like fighters, trying to get the best shot. This was probably due to their being no infantry or anti tank threat in the game. We decided to see how the game would play with a number of tanks on each side. I took the Germans, Rick the Russians. We played with no upgrades or crew.

The Germans and Russians move to contact.
View from the German lines.
Hits scored on the German forces.
Russian fire takes out the German PzIVs.
Although the Germans lost heavily, it was an entertaining game. The greater number of tanks meant we were a bit cagey with our movement and positioning. It is a useful game to throw on at short notice or as a filler. Interesting to see if the game gets any expansions other than tanks.

Sunday, 14 August 2016


Having seen a review and a play through of the game in a recent Wargames Illustrated, and knowing it was based on similar mechanisms to X-Wing and Wings of Glory, I was intrigued. After vacillating all day during Claymore,it was a last minute decision to buy the game.

On the Saturday evening, still inspired by attendance at Claymore, we decided to try out the game. With no access to our gaming kit, and no glue, we had to make do with models that Neil could find as proxies.

The starter set comes with three 15mm kits to allow two Shermans and a Panther to be be built and used in the provided scenarios. There are cards for a selection of common Allied, German and Russian tanks, These show the initiative, attack dice, defence dice and damage capacity. A central plank of the game is the measurement arrow. This determines how far a tank moves; the angle of turns; short range and distance between terrain during set up.

For the first game, we decided just to do tank on tank without the crew and upgrades cards. I took a Sherman, which the Pershing stands proxy for and Neil took a Stug III. The terrain was laid in initiative order.
First move of the first trial game. The Pershing represents a Sherman, the Stug, a Stug!
There is no pre-planning of moves. Each tank can move none, one or two arrow lengths. This effects your chances of hitting or being hit. Movement is measured from the front of the tank, in any direction, to the base of the arrow, which also measures the angle for any turns.
Cat and mouse during the first game.
Lowest initiative moves first. Highest initiative fires first. The firing tank rolls their attack dice. Hits are scored on 4,5,6. A 6 is a critical hit. The defending tank rolls their defence dice, plus additional dice for movement of the firer and the target. Hits are cancelled on a 4 or 5 (shooters choice) and six (target's choice). Any uncancelled hits score one damage. Uncancelled critical hits mean the target draws a card and applies the effect and any damage.
An example of a critical hit. In this case, no damage but damage to optics, which means two less attack die.

The first game ended up very cat and mouse. The Stug had the highest initiative, so moved second and fired first. However, as the Stug has a limited traverse, the Sherman was mostly able to avoid being hit. In the end, we abandoned the game as a stalemate.
First move of the second game. The two Shermans close on the Panther.
For the second game, we played a version of the Barkmann's Corner scenario. We used the full rules and each side had a total of 50 points to choose their tank, crew and upgrades.
The Panther hides in the wood as the leading Sherman makes use of an upgrade that allows an extra movement to close the range.
The two Shermans combine fire on the Panther.
Two critical hits destroy one Sherman.
A close range duel ends with the destruction of the Second Sherman.
The crew and upgrades added a new dimension to the game. Some of the crew and upgrade cards are constant and others can be discarded to enhance a move or a shot or to cancel damage or an effect. This gives a touch of fog of war that makes for an interesting game. As an introduction, the two games we played whetted my apatite to try bigger games with more models. That will have to be in 20mm, as I have moved on my 15mm collection. This should be easy, as I can use models I have with all the cards in the starter set.