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Thursday, 30 May 2013

No rest for the wicked!

Pressure of work and domestics have curtailed my usual gaming week. I was not able to get to the games night on Wednesday. This was a real blow as one of our former Wednesdayites, Mike,  had briefly escaped his exile in Durham. I did manage to see him for a few minutes today at our FLGS, Plan 9,  which is just around the corner from my work.

Thursday was restricted to a last minute game of Combat Commander Pacific: a repeat of the Operation Cherry Blossom Scenario D, with the sides reversed from two weeks ago.

                                The perfect combination of a place of work and wargaming!

Alas, although I will be on leave for the next two weeks, the first week I will be involved in organising a charity event to raise funds for a minibus for my mother's care home. Time to myself will be at a premium!

Monday, 27 May 2013

Thursday Game: Experimental Fubar.

My Thursday group have been searching for a common set of rules to use with our figure games. We have been using FUBAR for several periods. A few weeks ago, Rick ran a game using FUBAR principles, Hexon and Warmaster figures. There were difficulties with the melee/close combat system, so after some tweaking, this was another test game. I took th Mountain Indian army facing Aidan's Macedonian.

The initial setup and a general's eye view. I don't intend giving a blow by blow account, but will add some photos for flavour.

Early moves. My intention was to draw the Macedonians into my centre, where I could use my archers to disrupt the pikes enough to unleash my elephants. Note the dice, these are important. One dice per unit was rolled (different colours for different classes of unit). Dice that exceeded the activation number were allocated as desired. This meant that there was some restriction to the godlike ability of players to move as they desire each turn. Also dice were lost as units took losses, making an army less flexible and adding morale, after a fashion.
A General's eye view of the Macedonian attack.
First clash: an overview of the combat. We were using DBA factors for combat. The Macedonian attack was repelled. The hill on the Indian left was attacked. After a hard fight, the Indians were forced off the hill and fell back towards the centre.
The Macedonians rushed forward and finally beat the Indians quite easily!
All in all, an interesting game and a valuable test of the rules. We will discuss the outcome and, no doubt, agree some changes.

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Wednesday Night 40K Bash.

Our Wednesday game this week was David's Tau versus Del's Eldar. The scenario rolled up was exactly the same as last week's : capture and control, with spearhead deployment.

The initial deployment. The Tau are defending the Derrick end of the table. The derrick is available from .

Early turns. The Kroot are devastated in a firefight.
The Howling Banshees and Wraithguard destroy the remaining Kroot and a Fire Warrior squad.

A flank attack by Piranhas hit the Eldar hard. Out of shot, the Eldar Striking Scorpions have deep struck into the rear of the Tau deployment zone, taking out the Hammerhead and the Fire Warriors squad at the derrick.
After dispatching the Piranhas, the remaining Wraithguard head to support the Striking Scorpions, who are under attack from the Tau commander. The centre of the table is pretty empty of figures now.
The Crisis Battlesuits sneak towards the Guardians, to try to deny the objective to the Eldar.
This result, for the Tau commander trying to hit the Striking Scorpions, sums up David's dice throwing for the night!

The clash between the Crisis Suits and the Guardians. And the aftermath! This meant the game ended in a draw because neither side had troops, which were the counting units for holding the objectives.

The end state. Two Wraithguard and the Farseer are all that remain of a 1000pt Eldar force. One Krootox, the commander and three Crisis Suits are all that remain of the Tau. A very bloody and hard fought draw.

Hopefully the next game will be my Necrons against the Tau.



The last week has been a bit of a mixture. I will concentrate on the lighter side here.

Friday and Saturday night were social occasions where I met up with old friends and colleagues. On Friday a member of my team at work retired. It was a great opportunity to catch up with retired colleagues. On Saturday, I took in the Champions League final in the Abergeldie (my local) with my old friend Phil. After the game we watched a great set from CODA, a boy/girl duo who performed covers of songs in an alternative style.

Film wise, I took in The Great Gatsby last week and Epic yesterday, both in 3D.

The Great Gatsby was one of the texts I did in English in my schooldays, so I was familliar with the story. Having seen other Baz Luhrman films, I had some fears about how this film would turn out. These were unfounded. The film moved along at a cracking pace with the music from JZ and his mrs, Beyonce, complementing the action and, I think, trying to link the past to the present. Modern songs had a 20s treatment and 20s songs were played in a modern stylee. All in all a good film. The 3D did add quite a bit, but watching in 2D will not really effect your experience.

Epic is an animation. A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag-tag group of characters in order to save their world -- and ours.

This film is a bit like Avatar meets Lord of the Rings with elements of Star Wars. Although it is a U film, it is perhaps a bit too dark for really young kids: at least three families had to leave early due to their screaming and crying offspring. It is about relationships: a father and daughter and ours with the environment. In 3D, the film was spectacular, particularly the battle scenes. Animated films seem to take to 3D better than live action. Cristoph Waltz gives a good voice performance as Mandrake, in what is a better film than I expected.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Taking Stock!

As always after attending a wargames show, I like to take stock and decide where I am gaming wise. This time, I did not fall in to the 'oh shiny!' trap and get sucked into a new period or set of rules, in fact for the first time I can remember, I did not buy any rules, supplements or books at a show!

Before Carronade, I had made a list of planned purchases, with a list of three or four alternatives. I managed to stick to that. The one unplanned purchase, as mentioned in a previous post was from the flea market:

                                                     VBCW vehicles and figures.

Most of these are Musketeer Miniatures. I already had some of their figures, but not in a game ready state. I now have a core of figures ready to game with and I don't need to spend any more money on this period.

I am now focusing on getting games played. I have decided that I will not be painting any more ancient and Napoleonic 15mm figures. My aged eyes are not up to it, and I am enjoying playing games with 28mm figures at the moment.

The Wednesday group game on 15 May saw my Necrons take on David's Tau. We did the capture and control mission with spearhead deployment. We use 40K 5th edition, 1000pts. My Necrons got off to a wonderful start, destroying three units for the loss of one. The Tau struck back, and when the game ended, it was declared a very bloody draw. I forgot my camera, so no pictures.

Thursday 16 May saw a last minute change of plan. Aidan was working late so it was not practical for him to host. I hosted and put on the Operation Cherry Blossom scenario from Combat Commander Pacific.

This is a great game from GMT. Think a combination of Squad Leader with Piquet's card driven system and you have an idea of the game. Rick took the role of the invading US Marines and Aidan the stolid Japanese. By the time Aidan conceded, it looked more likely that the US were going to triumph. We will play the scenario again sometime.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Carronade 2013.

Carronade is the Falkirk District Wargames Club annual show. It has been on the go for about 5 or 6 years now. I have managed to attend all the shows from the start. It has developed into, arguably Scotland's biggest wargames show.

This year, I travelled down with David from We had booked a table for the first two hours of the 'flea market' style bring and buy. I prefer this style of selling as it is easier for you to make deals and you don't have to wait around at the end of the day to get your money or goods returned. I had taken along a selection of redundant projects that I priced to sell. I managed to move on all but one of them through being flexible in my dealings. And I picked up a great selection of VBCW figures and vehicles. Overall, I made a small profit.

Our show really didn't start till after lunch. After making a few planned purchases from 4A Figures and Crooked Dice, I had a tour around the tables.

Bathgate Wargames Club always do great participation games. This one was no exception, with giant ants invading a small American town. Sadly, this is the only photo that was of good enough quality to show.
Border Reiver did a nice 'Wild Geese' game.
I liked this VBCW game, with DEATH stalking the battlefield! It was part of the Scottish Civil War.Using 'Went the Day Well?' rules.
Another VBCW game. I think by the Gentleman's Wargames Parlour.

 Two views of 'A Picnic on Skull Island. A Back of Beyond style game.

Da Battle For Orc's Drift.

Some random games to give you a flavour of what was available.

The Leuchars crew always come up with innovative participation games. Here the players each have three aircraft with which to attack the USS Essex, if they can avoid the Flak! If they lose all three aircraft, they get one more aircraft to mount a Kamikaze attack with. I didn't get to play it, but Rick and Aidan did. Before each game, the players prayed to the emperor at the shrine, drank a toast in Saki (fizzy water!), then put on their bandana!

I am hoping that they will be at some of the other Scottish shows so that I can play.

Apart from my planned purchases, I picked up some terrain and accessories, mostly from Ainsty and Kallistra.

One of the better Carronades!
Almost forgot Oldmeldrum and the Battle of Bantry Bay.

Saturday, 18 May 2013


Not posted for a while. Busy time on the work and domestic front. I have still been able to fulfil my gaming commitments and go to the cinema though, just not had time to catch up.

As far as films go, on the Mayday holiday weekend, I caught another two films apart from We Are Northern Lights. Brief reviews only as these are out of the Cinema now.

The Place Beyond The Pines was a film I didn't think I would get round to seeing in the cinema. It follows the story of two generations of two families and how one event connects them. No detailed review here, it will be worth a watch on DVD, but I thought it was about 20 minutes too long.

Dead Man Down sees Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace in revenge thriller with a difference. I had seen Farrell in London Boulevard on TV the night before so was in the mood for a good thriller. I was not disappointed!  Hidden identities, car chases, playing both sides against the middle are all here in an at times bloody film.

Took 1000 pts of Necrons to my Wednesday games group on the 8th, but we ended up chatting and playing Cthulu Fluxx about 8 times instead.

The Thursday group was more productive on the 9th though. We had a Fubar game to allow Rick to try out rules for IEDs and artillery. I forgot my camera, so have to rely on Ricks AAR on the Forge of War forum .

My next post will cover my trip to Carronade 2013 at Falkirk.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

We Are Northern Lights.

Going to see this film was a last minute decision, as the showing time was just as I finished work on Friday. I had seen the trailers and was intrigued.

The film is the result of a project that was part of the Year of creative Scotland 2012. Over 50,000 people sent  video contributions and the judging panel selected what went into the film. The project asked  What Can You See?, What Do You Wish You Had Seen?, What Would You Like To See?

The resultant hour and a half is full of an eclectic mix of clips of contemporary Scotland. There are a few themes and characters that knit the film together, but there are some wonderful sequences and some sequences that are left field. It is described as a documentary, but it is more a work of art. In the dark of the cinema, it is easy to concentrate on the themes and downright beauty of some of the scenes. This was a very relaxing way to spend a couple of hours after a long hard week at work. If you want to look under the Tartan and Shortbread image of Scotland, this is the film for you.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Thursday Game: Encounter on Cedex.

Our Thursday Game this week was a FUBAR Sci Fi scenario.

Planet Cedex hosts a processing plant, supplied by local mines, of a vital ingredient in weapons and fuel production. It was invaded by and is controlled by the Imperium. The Coalition of Free Planets have organised an attack by a speacial unit of aerospace fighters. They have arranged for the indigenous irregular forces to attack the AAA units to reduce losses. Following a tip off, the Imperial forces know that the irregulars will be attacking and have set ambushes. The scenario represents one of many attacks.

The irregular forces consisted of two squads of green troops, with veteran officers, and two regular squads. The local resitance commander was also present with his veteran command squad.

The imperial forces were one green garrison squad. There was also a regular and veteran squad starting concealed.

                                           The irregulars advance towards their objective.

                                          A concealed Imperial squad springs the ambush.

                        Many go to ground. How many are casualties? How many are cowering?
Cutting the wire.

The irregulars manage to clear the ruined church, with the aid of a flamethrower from the command squad.

The AAA engages an attacking craft. What is the APC up to?

The second concealed Imperial squad opens fire with devastating effect!

The previously unengaged garrison squad pours fire into the irregulars. In the foreground, the AAA gun has disengaged.

The ambushers were hit by the fire of two squads but managed to put down some figures from one of the squads.

The irregulars were held up by the garrison squad in the building. At this point the irregulars were recalled as the raid had been completed.

The irregular forces retreat, the mission ended. The Imperial squad has taken casualties, though most of those put down were only cowering.

The irregulars had to take the AAA out by turn 8, but failed, mainly because of poor activation rolls and deadly fire from the ambushing squad. The raid went in, but was only moderately sucessful. The reason the APC was involved will stay secret, and may be revealed in future scenarios.

The rules used were FUBAR with local adjustments. When a hit is scored, the figure is knocked down. The next time the unit activates, the result is diced for. The figure can be dead, stays down wounded/cowering or gets back up.

The simple fast game allows a degree of narative gaming, where the results of die rolls can be explained in terms of what might have happened in reality.

Another view of this game can be found here .

The inspiration for the scenario came from seeing Mosquito Squadron last Saturday. The use of effects and flying scenes from 633 Squadron reminded me of the film and the German ambushes of the resistance. Yes Rick, that's why the Airstrike used the codeword Volcano!

The result of this scenario will feed into the next one. There are lots of strange Fauna to meet on Cedex!