My View

My View

Monday, 29 July 2013


Finally! I have had this book on pre-order from Amazon since it was first listed. Three times my pre-order was cancelled, but I persevered. It arrived today, and is well worth the wait!

I have just had a quick look through. It looks very comprehensive. If you are a wargamer of a certain age (ahem!) this will appeal to you. I would hope that what libraries are left will hold this book to inspire a new generation of wargamers.

Once I have had a closer look, I will give you my thoughts.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Wednesday Game: Songs of Blades and Heroes.

After a three week break, our Wednesday group reconvened. The game of choice for the next few months is Songs of Blades and Heroes by Ganesha games.

We have been looking for a fantasy skirmish game that does not tie us to particular range of figures. In the past we have found that having selected a set of rules, the length of time it takes to source and paint up the required figures leads to a loss of enthusiasm and unfinished products.

The Songs range of rules do not require a specific range of figures and will allow us to use our eclectic extensive collections of figures.

SOB&H is designed to be scenario based. But to get our head aroubd the rules, we decided on a free for all with 300 pt warbands.

The initial terrain set up. David had found an inn model that he had built some years ago for Mordheim. In the end, it did not play any part in the game, but was nice to look at and may feature in future games.

The basic engine of SOB&H is based on rolling d6 against a figures quality stat. Rolling equal or greater to quality means a pass: a pass means you can take an action. For each figure you can throw up to three dice. If you pass, great, three actions. You continue activating your figures till you roll two failures, the turn then passes to your opponent. It takes an action to move or make an attack (some attacks take up two actions). Magic is treated in the same way as combat. Your wizard must anounce if casting a spell. If three fails are rolled while casting a spell, magic ability is lost for the rest of the game.

The three forces: Del's Dirz; David's Barbarians and my Elves. I cobbled together a force from my D&D miniatures plastic figures.

A few pictures to give a flavour of the game. A notable event was Del's wizard losing his magic as he threw three fails (three 1s!),

Another notable event was the death of my hero at the hands of David's. This was a gruesome kill which meant all my remaining figures needed to take a morale test. Two failed, and ran off the table, ending my involvement. David and Del fought themselves to a standstill.

All in all a good first game which allowed us to use most rules. We will not play to many free for alls as this game will be much better if it is scenario driven.

I am working on an Orc warband. This will not be ready for the next game, so I will have to improvise.

Rick, if you are reading this on your travels: Happy Birthday!

The Wolverine.

No gaming on Thursday. Rick's on holiday and Aidan is not available. A good opportunity to go and see The Wolverine.

The film starts in 1945 and Logan rescues a Yashida, a Japanese soldier who has shown relative kindness, from the effects of the atom bomb dropped on Nagasaki.This scene owes more to artistic licence than physics, but is the only practical way to deal with the subject in the context of a film.

Years later as a reward Yashida, now the richest businessman in Japan, offers to make Logan mortal again, to allow him death and peace. What follows is a plot of conspiracy and counter conspiracy with Logan caught in the middle, trying to protect Yashida's granddaughter and nominated heiress.

Logan has his powers inhibited, so he can be hurt and feel pain. So he cannot be as gung ho as normal. There are lots of great action scenes that play on this fact. Look out for Viper, another mutant. Logan is forced to run, until he finds out the reason for his loss of powers. Once he has his powers back, he then has to rescue the granddaughter. There are lots more combat scenes before the  final confrontation with the Silver Samurai.

This is a really good film which extends the reach of the X-Men franchise. My only gripe is that I think it is about 15 minutes too long.

It is worth waiting two minutes into the credits as there is a meeting with two old friends which sets up the next X-Men film.

Saturday, 20 July 2013

The World's End.

In the lead up to going to see this film, I re-watched Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (The first two films in the Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy) for both the pleasure of viewing and to remind myself of the in-jokes and continuing themes to look out for.

The film tells the story of a group of friends who return to their home town after 20 years. They are there to attempt to complete a 12 pub crawl, which they failed to do as teenagers. During the crawl, they discover that the town has been taken over by robots.

Fearful of the secret of their discovery of the secret being discovered, they carry on the crawl, with the aim of escaping once they have finished. The result is a rip roaring action comedy with lots of laugh out loud moments and many quiet laughs when the in-jokes and genre send ups are recognised.

My favourite aspect of the series is how they have taken different film genres and set them in unlikely locations. This film is no different. The Pub Fu scenes are hilarious! There are nods to films such as Invasion of the Body Snatchers and other alien films.

One aspect that I found poignant was the coming together of friends to celebrate an anniversary and the feeling of what could, and should have been. I am going through that at the moment, as I and many schoolfriends are reaching the big 5-0 (some have already!).

I also liked the way that the pub names reflected the characters found and the action taking place.This was also reflected in the choice of song from the soundtrack. The soundtrack is wonderful and evokes the 90s. This is not my memorable decade (that would be the 80s) but there are many tunes that bring back memories.

All in all a wonderful film! It will not be to everyone's taste, but I liked it!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Charity Shop Find.

Yesterday, whilst in my LFGS (Plan 9, Rosemount Viaduct, Aberdeen), my good friend Del pointed me in the direction of the Sailor's Society charity shop, as they had some Warzone figures for sale.

I popped in and had a look at what they had. although I was tempted by the plastic Imperial figures at £5 for 10 (although I already have about 60 of them in various stages of construction and painting), I was drawn to this:

Picked up for £20, my first look tells me that there are 20 painted Space Marines, 18 Orks and 32 Gretchin. Hopefully, I will get some time to have a proper sort out, but, apart from the figures, it looks like a near complete set.

I have ideas about what to do with it, but these will depend on how complete the set is.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Short busy week.

Thanks to the local Aberdeen Monday holiday, this was a short working week. As ever, five days work still has to be fitted into four. This left me tired in the evenings. The hot balmy nights here made it difficult to sleep, making things worse. With David on Holiday, there was no Wednesday game.

 On Thursday, Rick ran the Bessarabian Nights II scenario from Combat Commander: Resistance. I reprised my role as the Germans and Aidan took the Partisans, with Rick guiding Aidan on the rules.

Needless to say, the game swung back and fore, with one memorable sequence of initiative swopping, before I won by 3 VP on sudden death.

As it is a two player don't get enough chance to play this wonderful game. One of the disadvantages of a group of three.  

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Pacific Rim.

I had been looking forward to this film since seeing the teaser trailers months ago. I took the opportunity to see it in 3D today.

The film sees Earth threatened, not by invaders from outer space, but by large monsters that emerge at regular intervals from an undersea fault. All the nations come together to build large Mecha to take on these monsters.

This is a film inspired by the 1950s films of Ishiro Honda and Ray Harryhausen, as evidenced by the post credit tribute. An action film, with state of the art effects and the obvious influence of Del Torro. There are lulls for the setting up of the plot, and from my perspective, these spoilt the flow of the film. Despite this, it is an enjoyable film, although I am not sure you really need to see it in 3D.

The combat scenes are spectacular.

Giant monsters, Giant Mecha, a Del Torro film, What's not to like!

There are no post credit sequences, although there is a short sequence with Ron Pearlman just after the executive producer credits, before the cast credits.

Battletech and Mechwarrior players will be inspired. As I have moved mine on, I'll have to get out the MonsterPocalypse!

Weekend Game.

As well as having regular Thursday night games, we have weekend games when the opportunity arises, two or three times a year. These weekend games have ranged from three games over two days in three different houses, through two or three games in a day, to one large game.

A couple of weeks ago, we had the chance of a Saturday of gaming. Unfortunately, Aidan thought a family wedding was more important! That left just me and Rick. We decided to do a 28mm VBCW game on Rick's 6 x 4 four set up, using the same figures as the recent VBCW game at mine. We would top off the day by doing two Combat Commander scenarios.

Aerial view of the games table. The Scottish Republic forces enter from the top left. This was taken during the game. All photos are courtesy of Rick (I left my camera at home).

The scenario involved a Republic patrol stopping and questioning a tramp. He reported strange goings on at a nearby 'foreign gentleman's' house. At this point Rick gave me some options around whether to wait for back up or go now and whether I was going to approach cross country or along the road.

I decided to approach cross country and meet my back-up after asessing the information. The patrol appeared on the table and almost immediately came across some defended buildings with some kind of activity with trucks. Moving on to the high ground to get a better view, they encounter and defeat a BUF machine gun which would have been in ambush position had I approached along the road.

This set off a hornet's nest, with BUF troops at the nearby roadblock returning fire, as did the men with the trucks. This drove the patrol back off the hill. They turned their attention to the courtyard and the trucks, Following a firefight and an assault, the courtyard was taken, but the two trucks had been loaded and moved off.

By this time,the back up, in the form of a small light tank and a section of territorials in trucks appeared. They overwhelmed the troops at the roadblock, although one brave soul attempted to close assault the tanks. The trucks take a cross country route to avoid the tank.

His attack on the tank unsuccessful, the last BUF survivor is captured and led away. The tank has worked around the road block. It opens fire on the one remaining truck, the other having been stopped by infantry fire. There must have been something combustible in the back as the truck exploded!

This was a really enjoyable game. Rick ran the scenario with more than a hint of roleplay. For another view of the game see
This game took four hours and was very relaxing. We used Fubar rules.

The two Combat Commander scenarios played were Sea Devils, the German attack on the Grain Elevator at Stalingrad, with the arrival of Russian naval infantry. In a wonderfully tense and back and forth game, so typical of this wonderful game, The Germans overan my hard pressed Russians to take an instant victory by holding the three objective hexes in the Grain Elevator. Here is an AAR from BoardgameGeek that someone else did for this scenario, to give you an idea of what was involved .

We also played Bessarabian Nights II. This was an anti partisan scenario from the original game, but updated for the Resistance battlepack and rules. The Partisans won this one too!

All in all we both had a good day. A very welcome change to my routine. Roll on the next one!

Monday, 8 July 2013

Now You See Me.

Now You See Me was my first film for a couple of weeks. Today was the Aberdeen local holiday, so I decided to go and see this film. I am really glad I did!

There is a lot going on in the film, so I will try to avoid spoilers. The story centres on a group of illusionists, the Four Horsemen. It briefly shows how they came together after each receives a card from a mystery benefactor.
Moving on a year finds them staging massive illusions, one of which involves robbing a bank in Paris whilst in Las Vegas. They are funded by a multi-millionaire, played by Michael Caine, and pursued by an ex magician, played by Morgan Freeman, who is out to debunk their act.

The FBI are caught up in a game of cat and mouse trying to catch them out.The Horsemen always seem to be well ahead of the game, making the authorities look stupid with some hilarious set pieces.

There is a lot of sleight of hand in the plot that keeps you off balance. I worked out the reason for the revenge, but not who was taking it. Lots of spiritual/mythical background adds to the depth of the film, which will reward more than one viewing.

This is a film that starts out as a good old revenge film, but there is so much more to it!

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Treading Water. TGFT!

Despite having a good week on the work and social emotional level, life is so busy that I feel like I am treading water. Weeks are passing too quickly. Thank goodness for Thursday, and the escape of gaming!

The last Thursday game was at Aidan's. To showcase his 28mm KV2, he had chosen a variation on the 'Top secret' scenario. A KV2 had broken down during trials in Manchuria. The objective was to rescue vital parts. The Russians, so they could get the tank back in action and the Japanese, to pass the info on to their German allies.

We managed to play this scenario twice in the evening. I took the Russians, Rick the Japanese. The forces were two squads plus support elements each.

As forces were deployed as if from reserve, the Japanese were lucky with their rolls and got most of their units on. The Russians managed to get one section and a couple of support units on. Both sides ran units to try and get to the cover round about the bridge. The sides met at the house beside the bridge.

The Russian ATR team spot a nasty surprise in the shape of a Chi-Ha!

A few good die rolls in the second turn meant that the second Russian squad (of naval troops) managed to get into the line just as the first japanese squad assaulted. They were wiped out, but the Russian observer was cut down by the Katana wielding Japanese officer.

The second Japanese squad charged in against the Naval troops and were also wiped out. This allowed the Russians to win the first game.

The second game was similar in that both sides raced for the cover in the middle. The close combat was replaced by keen firefights. The Russians managed to get to the tank, but were shot off it. The Chi-Ha came forward to clear the house by the river. Japanese win.

This is only our second and third tilts at Bolt Action! Most of the mechanisms are similar to FUBAR, but not all. This may have caused a bit of confusion in the first game, particularly around close combat. Despite the problems, these seem set to become the rules we use for 28mm WW2.