Monday, 30 May 2016

Photo dump for V3

Scots, fouzands of 'em! Witches! Three of them!
Slightly less Vikings and Scottish / Norman cavalry. MANY Norman cavalries in the background.

Pooch's finger of God. Did not help his infantry who, while superior in motivation and VBU, were completely overwhelmed by the horde o' Scots TM

Normans thinking they have the best of their Northern cousins, the Vikings. Well there hardy Northmen from Orkney and Caithness laugh at the horse botherers. 
Angry Germans on Horses. Lots of them. And angry.
Zealots. Germans. Horses. Flags. White.
Soon to be covered in Scottish blood.

Sad Scottish cavalry wing trampled into the dust by angry zealots.

Scottish cavalry take revenge on light Welshmen and their sheep.

Horde o' Scots v Horde o' Welsh

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Normans on tour!

Over the weekend, 10 of us from the Hutt Club played a 350 point Impetus competition. You can read the full report from Triple T who (graciously) organized it here.

I was running my brave Normans which I finished recently. My list was:

Poor General
Mounted Milites
Mounted Milites
Mounted Milites
Mounted Bretons
Skirmishing Breton Javelinmen

Poor General
Mounted Milites
Mounted Milites
Mounted Crossbowmen
Skirmishing Breton Javelinmen

Poor General
Foot Knights
Flemish Infantry
Flemish Infantry
Flemish Infantry
Flemish Infantry
Skirmishing Archers

I also grabbed a couple of destiny rerolls, just in case!

So that was my list- what about everyone else? Well, they seemed to be either similar to me (Teutonic Order, or English Knights), filled with long spear (hoplites, scots, pikes) or with lots of shooting (welsh, mongols and turks). In short, it was going to be a tough weekend for the Normans...

So, with my two practice games having been completed against the English, it became clear that my Normans had successfully invaded England, and were now seeking further lands to conquer....

Game One: McBeth, with Scots
So, game time!

McBeth was running Scots, who were in turn led by McBeth. Which, is surprisingly not as complicated as it sounds.

His army was made up of people with pointy sticks and some Norman mercenaries who got a bit lost after we conquered the English. Clearly, our brave (brave) horsemen were just going to run over these peasants with sticks, claiming Scotland as our own.

The plan was simple:
Knights go on the left flank, infantry on the right. One command of knights stays on the left, the other goes to the right. Smashy smashy, choppy choppy, then we head off home for an ale.

The left flank, in the starting gates

The dastardly McBeth, and his equally dastardly Scots....
So, the game got off to a rip roaring start. We rolled to see who would get the first turn. Simon rolled a 12. On his Charismatic General. So that would add up to 16 then. For me to beat on 2d6. Good.

His second command roll was an 11.

His third command roll was a 10. To which I rolled a double 1, making my poor general, even poorer.

And that was basically sums up the dice for our game. In fact, of the 18 command rolls we contested. I won one. In fact, I even lost a command roll when I rolled a double six!

So, I definitely didn't have the initiative, but I did have a plan.

The cavalry surged forward

Meeting his cavalry head on (10 dice of charging knights vs light troops, that was no hits....)

Charging through and hitting the Vikings behind them
 While this was happening, the infantry battle started in earnest
Crossbowmen boldly taking on the enemy foot units.... It didn't go well for them.
And to be honest, the less said about the infantry battle the better. My spearmen weren't really up to much, their more numerous counterparts were much better at getting into proper ranks and smashing their way through.

So, back to the horses, how was that going?

Well, badly. My first cavalry command killed some light cavalry, and then decided that charging Vikings was just the done thing. Turns out they can go into Shieldwall. Which is really not that ideal for me, in that it meant my cavalry didn't get an impetus bonus, and proceeded to crumble like a dried biscuit.

But not to worry, William the Conquerer himself got involved!

He rode bravely up to the enemy Norman Knights, and reminded them that he was the one true king. They promptly changed sides, and were removed from the table. The Scots knights behind them got such a shock, that they were unprepared when William's knights charged into them, obliterating them from the field of battle. The remnants of the light horse behind them didn't stand a chance against a grumpy William, and promptly fell to the charging cavalry.

Back on the infantry side, the Norman spearmen were doing their best impression of a house of cards.

Back to the cavalry.

Having smashed the entire Scot Cavalry command single handedly, William proceeded to charge the Vikings, in the flank no less.

Shield wall this!
This glorious charge was cut short by Simon and his dice. One would say being attacked by TWO Norman knight units, one in the flank would be a bit of a problem for most people. Not so Simon and his dice.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1. Simon rolled a 1.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1. Simon rolled a 1.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1. Simon rolled a 3.

The Vikings had to make a cohesion test, with a target number of 1, or be finally destroyed from the game. Simon rolled a 1.

And at this point, my army packed up and went home. Mainly because Simon had killed all of it.

Result: Loss. Horrible, horrible loss. At least I killed his Cavalry.

Game Two: Pelarel, and the Welsh
So, after having lunch and thinking about it, the Normans decided that Scotland was too cold, and we didn't want it anyway.

Instead, we thought Wales might be nicer this time of year.

Pelarel's Welsh met us at the border, armed primarily with longbows and bad attitudes.

So, just like against the Scots, the Normans hatched a cunning plan....

Knights go on the left flank, infantry in the middle and knights on the right flank. Smashy smashy, choppy choppy, then we head off home for an ale.

Given that Pelarel had brought every Welshman from the local area, and they all seemed to have a longbow, this was going to be a game of whether the knights could smashy smashy, before they became pincushions.

The Norman batteline
The Norman traffic jam
And with that, we were off. The Normans all surged forward one move, not wanting to risk becoming disordered before getting shot at...

And the Welsh promptly shot at me. Luckily, the welsh were off the mark.

And then the Normans advanced again, my cunning plan of sending the skirmishers forward to attack his Longbowmen got promptly stopped by some opportunity charging Welsh cavalry.

Who I promptly charged right back.

The same unit from late in the game. This combat actually lasted 5 turns, with neither of us able to hurt each other. Sigh.
The left flank for me turned into a swirling melee, as my cavalry got pincushioned by archers, and then tried to charge and kill them (hint, it didn't go well).

Pictured: Worst combatants ever. My light cavalry with 1 VBU left. My heavy cavalry with 1 VBU left. His Welsh Cavalry with 3 VBU left. And no one could roll the 6 they needed to kill the other.

Luckily, the right flank was doing very well with the charging and the smashing, crunching their way through light infantry and longbowmen before ending up killing his camp.

But the clincher was when Pelarel's light infantry ran out to attack the advancing spearmen, the light infantry commander promptly got his head stuck onto a spear, which the rest of the command thought was a bit rough, so they went home, and would file a formal complaint in the morning.

And that meant the poor longbowmen were now facing some grumpy Norman infantry, who hadn't been softened up anywhere near enough for them to beat in hand to hand combat.

Result: A win! But mostly due to dice.

Game Three: Scotty and the Turks
Fresh from the conquest of the Welsh, William got to thinking of where to invade next. Deciding on somewhere warmer, and with the Crusades all the rage at the moment, he headed south, to the Middle East.

Where we encountered Scotty and his Turks. Scotty had a small army, made up of lots of elite units. They had harquebuses, composite bows and fancy hats. All things I was very jealous of.

Needless to say, I had a plan:

Knights go on the tight flank, infantry on the left. One command of knights stays on the right, the other goes to the left. Smashy smashy, choppy choppy, then we head off home for an ale.

Conveniently, I placed a hill right in front of my knights, in the hope that it would prevent me from being pincushioned before my Knights could charge.

This is the first move- Cavalry charge!

So, all that was left was to sound the horn, and start the charge. My infantry waddled forward, with the two cavalry commands surging up to the hill. Again, we kept ourselves to one move, not wanting to be disordered in front of all of that shooting.

And then I got shot.

Which, although annoying, didn't cause me any damage.

Buoyed on by this, the Normans charged again!

One of the knights in the lead command raced forward to charge some Azab archers, introducing them to the hooves on their warhorses. Having now broken a hole in the lines, they kept going until they reached another unit of Azab archers, where they promptly stuck and never moved again.

And this is how they ended the battle, doing what they loved... trampling peasants

Not wanting to be out done, the other Milites unit in that command got to charging too. First, there was some light horse. Then some other horse. And then, it had a good go at the camp!

As for the second knight command, they promptly got to charging too, rampaging around trying to destroy the enemy while not getting shot at.

Best way to not get shot at? Be in hand to hand combat
The skirmishing Javelinmen were incredibly annoying for Scotty, running round throwing sticks at things and then running away while the Knights charged in behind them.

As for the infantry command? We won't talk about them. See previous games where they have been a house of cards. Luckily, the Knights managed to punch through and do all the damage before the infantry folded!

Result: A win! Knights go smashy smashy!

And with that, my tournament was over. Tibby pulled out his magic scoring machine, and apparently I had done enough smashy smashy for second place!

But the real prize was that the Normans had now conquered Wales, and the Turks!

So all up, an excellent day playing games. The Normans worked well, I think if I was running the list again, I would try and squeeze in some more Cavalry, they were way more useful than the infantry were!

Still, damn glad I didn't have to face the eventual winner Tank Engine and his Mongols!

Assorted Musings
- Of the 9 Generals I had over the 3 games, 5 of them rolled double 1's to become incompetent
- Skirmishers fighting T in forests made for a weird situation where Pelarel's T couldn't shoot, and so just had to sit there getting javelined (which didn't kill them, they sat there until some Milites charged them in the side!
- Impetus looks amazing when everyone has a fully painted army
- Triple T's scoring system was only understood by him. Thousands of points? Now your just making numbers up
- I enjoyed watching McZ's Teutons stomping the Scots enormously
- Short Bow B skirmishers were not points well spent


Veni Vidi Vici, or, the travails of a Tank Engine.

Well, it turns out that the story V3 was the journey of an inexperienced player from this:

to this:

Tank Engine, a player whose interest in Impetus is cursory. Who bought a mere two boxes of plastic Mongols in order to field as inexpensive an army as possible. Tank Engine, Hail Caesar.

In summary, the day came off without a hitch. I was a teeeeeeeny bit worried about the excel spreadsheet I was using packing it in and reporting random scores, but lucky the DEV/TEST/UAT process worked alright this time. This is mostly because the alternative scoring system in the Advanced Impetus 1.7 update is...strange. From looking at it closely though I noticed that there was a good chance that in a 3-game format you'd have every chance that going into the final game pretty much anyone with at least one under their belt would be in contention.

And so it came to pass.

As the first round came to a close I noticed that Pelarel and Tank Engine were still playing down to the 5 minute warning, but I chose to enforce the time limit and made them call it as per "ze rulez" (he does his best nazi accent). This was a little unfair to Pelarel, who had Tank on the ropes, only needing 1VD to end him, but rules be rules, and many players where indicating they wanted to be away early, soooo... an 'Honour on the Field' result it was.

It turns out that this lead to an unexpected result.  The way the draw fell out, both Pelarel and Tank would have been playing each other in the 2nd round, so I had Pelarel (5th), play Pooch (7th), and Tank (6th) play Prinny (8th). This turned out to be advantageous to Pooch, who looks to have demolished Pelarel's longbows with knights, and Tank gained a tight victory over Prinny. 

This means both Tank and Pooch walked away with ~8000pts for the victory.  But... because in the first game Tank has gained an 'Honour in the Field' he had scored 3000 points, and Pooch had taken an 'Honourable Defeat' he only scored 2000. 

Going into the final game McZermof was sitting on two victories and 16,160 points, Tank was on 11,116 points, Pooch was on 10,130, Scotty was on 10,111 and Russell was on 10,100. The rest of us were languishing on <10,000pts.

Now by my reading this meant that any one of the top five could still take the game. It was feasible that if the top players mauled each badly enough Russell could have carried it.


But since I was the only one who understood the scoring they were all remarkably relaxed.

As it turned out, McZermofs seemingly unstoppable Teutons were ground to a halt by the Horsemen of the East, 8090 to 1010. And victory went to Tank Engine!

Overall I think the scoring system worked well. Short games can mean a lot of draws and inconclusive results, but the alternative system rewards pressing your opponent hard and trying to kill at least a 1/4 of their army. The limited number of games leaves the competition nicely open, and you're not looking at any one player streaking away.

Will have to see if there's an appetite for more next year.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

One more off the bucket list

It's been a long time that I've wanted to have a bash at painting one of those staples of the wargaming wish-list, Winged Hussars. It's just one of those classic armies, like Caesarian Romans, Fallshirmjager, or Burgundian Ordonnance.

All of which I have...

Anywho! With Veni Vedi Vici impending I finally finished them. Only one base of hussars, but at 45pts per base in a 350pt competition I wasn't going to get too much more. The later Polish list is an interesting one. Mostly bow-armed cavalry with a small contingent of German mercenaries and Polish harquebus. In other words, probably cack.

However! They do get a single base of Hungarian musket-armed troops. My objective is to get them close enough to some mounted to open up with 8 dice of shooting!

So, one of the great issues with playing against the Regiment is that they're pretty much great painters. There was a time when my opponents would field half-melted, morbidly obese dwarfs painted with a housebrush, but that time has ended. No longer do the armies of Tibby make such a favourable impression on the battlefield table. It can make it hard to sit through a game when your opponent is silently judging you.

The good news is! I read an article in the Jun 2016 Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy where the author pretty much lays out how he feels about the ongoing escalation of wargaming into competition-level painting and railway-diorama-level terrain. And I whole-heartedly agree. Don't get me wrong! I'm as impressed as the next guy by highly detailed and glossy terrain, the cinematic play it imposes on the game, and the thousands you outlaid to get it, but I just can't bring myself to put that much time into acquiring it myself.

What the article comes down to is enjoying what you've painted because you enjoy the game. The craft is only one of three legs of wargaming after all (the fluff, the craft, the game), but it seems like the endless rush to ever greater heights of flash on the table can get in the way of the other two.

And I guess that means we'd better lay out the army.
German pikes, I split the base up so that it can be used for Impetus Baroque as well. The next main 28mm project (after I finish the 1/285 Cold War and some 15mm Italians) is the army of Gustavus Adolphus. Yes, another classic historical force.

Next is the Hungarian Muskets in red - they're Old Glory figures and they're just horrible - and the Polish Arquebus in yellow. 

Then there is the war wagon. I aimed for a messy "whitewash" look for the wagon. I'm genuinely interested in seeing how it goes at the weekend. It's 4/0/B Various weapons, so... probably go down like a matchstick treehouse in each and every game!

And of course the Hussars. I got the lance pennants from Warlord Games and they're just plain ridiculously large. 

I guess we see how we go. I'll need to be extremely sneaky not to end up sitting somewhere near the bottom of the table considering that we're looking at a knight-heavy competition. But at least I'll be enjoying my own blocky, cartoony stylings.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Prinny Impetus Un-Freeze

Whoops, it has been a long gap between posts......stupid life getting in the way of toy soldiers :-)

I have not been up to much productive painting since my last post, though I have been quite active with my magpie ray-gun, getting the Regiment to play Bolt Action and Impetus.

A happy Prinny

So you would have seen in past posts that I have been working very slowly toward finishing a Feudal English Impetus army, and with V3 next weekend (how did it sneak up like that?) I have finally finished the army of goodness and happiness (not according to Mel Gibson though).

The idea was I wanted an army that was mostly horses, every time up to this army I had meant to do lots of Cav but always ended up getting foot troops.... But not this time, lots of compulsory knights means I get not much in foot. Though you will notice I do have three stands on Longbow and some rubbish spearmen.

It is mostly plastic Fireforge miniatures with some metal foot command, archers, Irish javlinmen and the C-in-C is from Curtly miniatures.

Playtest games so far have proved that I have created a rubbish army, but it looks cool so meh.... though with all of the Scottish and Welsh ancestry in the Regiment they might just be sticking it to the Sasanach.

So time for the pictures....

The Army

Command A

Command B

Command C

Another Picture of Command C

Not Quite Rubbish Spear

The Commanders


More Men-at-Arms

So onto V3 and glory...... or at least a few very fast games :-)

Prinny Out.

Monday, 16 May 2016


An army project two years in the making.

An insane search for a few suitable figures.

A fairly ridiculous number of flags.

This is the idiotic story of my Teutonic Order army for Impetus. Okay, it's not. Because that would actually be me describing how it sat on my desk for a year with me looking at the half complete army and then realising that I needed to get off my chuff and get the thing done. So between a productive Christmas break and a concerted effort where I used all my spare time to paint, this is the end result.

Instead, I'll just post a bunch of pictures.
Livonian Foot

Livonian Horse
There are lots of ranges of Teutonic Order out there in the world but no one makes anything that really leaps out as these Eastern European auxiliaries to the Order. So I've settled on some of Gripping Beasts' Slavic javelinmen and some of their First Crusade Turcopoles. The similar attire and shields worked for me and painted up in some neutral greens and greys, well they seem to work.

The Wedge
Because I'm super fond of these things. The fact that I could never get a list that I liked out of the old DBM Medieval German list always bugged me. All wedges, all the time.  So this list had the option for one so I took it. There is a change base that *should* be done for V3 and so I can always use a single base of German knights in future.
Teutonic Crossbow

Teutonic Spear
The Teutonic foot just looks cool. I love the guy in the front with the two-handed sword. Also, flags.

Teutonic Knechte and Turkopolen

Lance armed CL. Yes please. Crossbow armed CL? Dunno. Never used it before. I am not especially hopeful, lets say that. But it looks cool so who cares?
Teutonic Knights
The centrepiece of the army and the bit that, when I finally put the last coat of white on the last horse barding, I laid out all 15 knights, took a step back (because my painting is pants up close!) and was pleased that I got the look I was aiming for.

Is it perfect? Nope. Is it even a good army? Maybe. Am I happy? Yeah.

Looking forward to getting it on the table at V3 in a couple of weeks!

As for the annual project plan, well, this is the biggest project on it. As for the rest of it, I've finished the Elven wizgang for Frostgrave, I've rebased and completed my 6mm for TY (although I still haven't played a game) and I'm now working on one of the three Warmachine models I was definitely going to buy this year (although the number has gone up with the impending release of Mk III and the announcement of an Avatar of Menoth resculpt because I am so getting me one of those!)

Oh, and I started a bloody Bolt Action army. Bloody Prinny. Him and Dat Ape. The pair of them.