Saturday, 7 December 2019

Blood and Plunder Demonstration Games at Recon 2019

Chris and I travelled over the Pennines to put on a demonstration game of Blood and Plunder at Pudsey, near Leeds. Recon 2019 is run by Wakefield and District Wargamers https://wdwgamers.weebly.com/ and was quite a busy little event...

As per usual, Chris did the rules and demo's and I chatted about the ships (from Firelock Games https://www.firelockgames.com/ ), the figures (Firelock again, usually bought from https://www.gamingfigures.com/ ) and buildings, predominantly 4Ground https://www.4groundpublishing.co.uk/index.php?route=common/28mmhistorical )


The battlefield...


The busy harbour...


The full set up at the top of the stairs. Plenty of room and light...


My Cabalerrio's and Soldado's guard a Spanish building


The Bring and Buy was busy early on...


Chris and passers-by...


Chris engages with the public...


Explaining the mechanics...


The Iron Gate Scenery market stalls really set off the town (and provide some cover) https://www.irongatescenery.co.uk/ 

They were present at Recon, and got some of their camp fires and bedrolls for a diorama I've planned...


One of the new Spanish building from Things from the Basement range at 4Ground. Chris has a few more of these and he's doing a step-by-step guide to building them (hopefully coming early in the New Year). Have to say, they are excellent...

https://www.4groundpublishing.co.uk/indie-design/things-from-the-basement


Friday, 6 December 2019

A Song of Ice and Fire: Renly Baratheon v Roose Bolton

Raymond was keen to use his Baratheon's and opted for Renly in their first outing down at Justplay Games in Liverpool. https://justplaygames.uk/ It was another busy night at the store, but as always, Richie and the guys re-jigged table to ensure everyone was accommodated. There was some Star Wars: X Wing, Age of Sigmar and the new Avengers Crisis Protocol being played, which does look awesome...

But I digress, and I opted to take Roose Bolton leading a force with Boltons, Cleganes and Lannisters against Baratheons and a Mercenary unit.

We played a Game of Thrones at 40pts.

My force was as follows:

NCU's: Roose Bolton (C), Pycelle
Units: Knights of Casterly Rock, Pyromancers, 2 x Mountains Men including one with Brienne of Tarth, Bolton Cutthroats with Dreadfort Captain

Also, Jaime Lannister, Maimed Captive


I've had these two painted for ages, but this is their first outing


Raymond's Baratheons are as below:

NCU's: Tycho Nestoris, Alester Florent

Units: Baratheon Wardens, Baratheon Wardens with Renly Baratheon (C), Stag Knights (with Jaime attached and Master Warden), Baratheon Sentinels with Brienne and Stormcrow Mercenaries with a Master Warden.


The charismatic heir... The Baratheon figures are excellent!!!


My Brienne used her Knightly vow to target the Stag Knights with Jaime, while her alter ego for the Baratheons targeted Brienne's Mountains Men.

We set up with a palisade on my far left, a spiked fence mid-table in my half and a corpse pile and a Weirwood tree. I won the roll off and opted to take second activation.

The objectives were clustered centre, with one off to my left. We kept them blind until taken.

We also stuck to 1.4 rules, with exception of the new panic rules...

I set up Mountains  Men to take left, then Brienne's Mountain Men central beside right of centre Pyromancers, CutThroats and Knights on extreme right. Facing me, bunched centrally were (left to right as you look) Brienne and her Sentinels, Wardens, Stag Knights with Jaime, Renly and Wardens and then Stromcrows...

TURN 1


As per usual, Raymond's first activation was to get the extra cards. I then put Pycelle on the horse to move the Pyromancers up...


The Stag Knights activated and Jamie proved a handful and caused 3 casualties...


Alester Florent promptly healed them back up though...


Back to strength, and looking menacing!!!


I used Roose and put a few panic tokens on it...


Raymond kept his forces tightly bunched and limped forward under their heavy armour...


I swung a unit out left and swung the rest right to try and roll the flank. The Pyromancers took and objective that allowed an extra tactics card, while the Baratheons would heal D3 when they scored points of it...


TURN 2

With first activation, I threw my Knights into the Stormcrows, hitting 8 times despite the Baratheon Warden. Raymond saved 4, and the 4 casualties were saved by Renly's tactic card when they passed their morale. Talk about blunt my right hook!!!


Baratheon Brienne swept up my left, and I countered with my Mountains Men to threaten their flank (or so I thought), while I marched up the Cuthtroats to add weight to the attack. Stag Knights and Jaime advanced onto the centre objective, but took 3 wounds from Roose tactic card by spending a panic token, but saved Jaime's hits from unruly captive. The objective gave the scoring side a free move or retreat for a unit...


I took the bait and made a charge with Brienne for 10 attacks hitting on 2 + but didn't score much damage...


And the three wounds were healed again anyway. I had also taken the swords as Tycho had taken letters again, so my knights did score some wounds on the Stormcrows and also suffered some panic casualties...


A countercharge was used to get Renly into the Knights flanks but they were weakened by Pycelle


so the few hits were saved well...


End of turn 2


Looking busy in the centre, but I'd erred with Pyromancers and they were stuck out the way...


We then scored, and  the left flank objective gave me a weakened and vulnerable on opponents units. I also got an extra card in hand but this was cancelled by one controlled by the Baratheons. The Baratheons also got to heal D3 wounds (on Stag Knights) and gave Brienne's Wardens a free advance to threaten my Brienne's flank!!!


End of TURN 2. Baratheons 3 VP's, Lannisters 2 VP's


TURN 3

After much thought, with regard to taking swords or activating Stag Knights to block a flank assault on Renly, Raymond went with Brienne into Brienne's flank...


Charging  over the spikes did cause a few wounds, but with the Knightly vow, it hit hard!!!


I took the opportunity to repay the favour into Renly's flank with my Cutthroats, halving the unit strength. Baratheon Brienne then finished the job on my Mountains Men Brienne with the swords, moving down toward my Pyromancers. I had a nice Roose card, so used Roose to give out two panic tokens. When the Stag knights moved up, I played calculated cruelty, they took 3 wounds from expending the token by being in short range of my cutthroats, and then Jamie took a few more off. And they were now in range of my Pyromancers...


And with a flash of Wildfire, and the Hear me Roar card, the Stag Knights narrowly failed their morale and lost the remaining 4 men, freeing Maimed Jamie and giving me a chance...


Although, another counter charge into the Pyromancers flank would doubtless hurt...


With 8 hits incoming, my Pyromancers were in trouble. Until I rolled 4 6's.... And then passed the morale check!!!


I was behind but with first activation I felt I could pressure my right and hope my Pyromancers held up Brienne for a bit. I felt I needed to take the risk of bringing up my left Mountain Mens, leaving the objective they had been sat on. Tycho Nestoris also had been used to heal up Renly's unit which had been given a bit of a mauling!!!


At the end of turn 3, it was still tight with Baratheons on 6 VP's, Lannisters on 5 VP's...


TURN 4

I took the swords with Pycelle, weakening Brienne and her Wardens and attacked the remaining 7 men defending Renly with my cutthroats. I scored 3 wounds, and due to the vicious and flank, Renly failed his morale, taking a further 4 wounds and the charismatic heir fell...


That was a serious blow to the Baratheons, and Brienne and her weakened wardens were lacklustre again v the Pyromancers, and the other Wardens moved to take the central objective.


I dropped more green Wildfire into Brienne, killing 4, and despite her morale bonus, they failed narrowly (again) and Raymond rolled maximum wounds (again) wiping out another unit!!!


We both played cards, with my Pyromancers healing 4  with fealty to the crown, as the Wardnes "counter charged" into them!!


The Pyromancers took heavy casualties at last, but were still in the game!!!


My Knights attacked the Stormcrow Mercenaries, reducing the unit. When the Mercenaries struck back, I took a wound and passed morale, Lannister supremacy finishing of the Stormcrows when they failed another panic test. My Mountains Men moved up and completed a very lucky win for the Lannister forces...



End of TURN 4. Baratheons 6 VP's, Lannister 11 VP's



CONCLUSION

Well, despite having made error's in deployment and in early manouvering, I actually managed a win. I left my Mountains Men out of the fight and the numbers centrally were in Raymond's favour, especially with my Pyromancers languishing in the rear. When I got my Knights of Casterly Rock stuck in melee and lost Brienne and her unit, I thought I was going to be overrun with relative ease by the Hammer wielders!!! Then a few good cards, some very lucky dice (with my Pyromancers) and also some really bad dice from Raymond, the game turned on its head. At the end, we were both fairly flummoxed by not only the result, but the scale of the win... The new Morale rules are fair and though they may have looked skewed in my favour, it was more due to Raymond's ability to roll a D3 and always roll a 3.

Another great game, the Baratheon's are very tough and hard hitting, and had the game sewn up in my mind end of turn 2. Then, I got some lucky dice with my Pyromancers and my Knights also held up two units, while the cut-throats in the flank finally killed the man who would be King...




Friday, 22 November 2019

A Storm of Swords: Neutral Mercenaries besiege Lannisters 40pts

For a third Thursday in a row, managed to get a game in down at a bustling Justplay Games in Liverpool https://justplaygames.uk/ . Got to say thanks to Richie and the staff down there for accommodating everyone on a very busy night.

We'd decided to do one of the least played (and thereby least viewed scenarios), A Storm of Swords.

Raymond and I had opted for a 40pt match, with Raymond taking some of the new Stormcrows with Boltons but waiting to finalise and tweak his force dependent on whether he was defending or attacking. I took a single Lannister list that felt could attack as well as defend, and were all movement 5...


As it tunrs out, I won the roll off and opted to defend, as Raymond wanted to attack anyway (well, thats the way I recall it!!!)


 My force was from the Houses Lannister and Clegane.

NCU's: The High Sparrow (C) & Cersei Lannister

Units: 3 x Lannister Halberdiers, 2 x House Clegane Mountains Men, 1 x Lannister Crossbows



Raymond took Daario Nahaaris to lead his forces, with a unit each of the new Stormcrows units, Archers and Mercenaries with a Leutenant, aided by 2 x Bolton Cuthroats  and a unit of Flayed Men.
 For NCU's, Lord Varys assisted by Walder Frey.




A STORM OF CROWS SCENARIO

First time either of us had played it, and the special rules were very interesting.

Defender gets 3 Wall sections which can activate and "fire" arrows, or, if engaged drop rocks and tar. They have 6 wounds but no save, and need two wounds to lose one... IF a wall is destroyed, 5 VPs are gifted to the attacker. The Defender loses if the Attacker gets 10 pts as usual, if not, the Defender wins.

Also, only half units on, half off until turn 3 when they can effectively come on and outflank. And for terrain, all 4 pieces are set up by the defender, placing a palisade on my right with corpse pile central and two spiked barricades on left. I also got to use my Old Warhammer fortress again, which looked pretty good!!!

I set up the terrain to break up an attack, and set up Halberdiers guarding each section of wall.


For the attackers, well they set up 18" on and any unit destroyed can be re-deployed 18" on at the start of the next turn...


Additionally, both the attackers and defenders get 3 Siege cards. Mine were as below!!1


I got Raymond to take a picture of his, so I didn't know what to expect...



 TURN 1

As usual, first turns were not overly exciting but as I had first activation I took the horses to deny the extra movement to the Mercenary forces. In return, Varys took extra cards on the Letter, Cersei failed to hurt the Flayed Men with Crown and Walder took the money and caused a wound...


The first 4 activations...


No one was in range of the walls, but the Flayed Men advanced rapidly and got into position to hit my left flank...


It does actually look bad for the Lannisters at the end of turn 1...


 TURN 2

Well, we knew what was coming and I was kicking myself for advancing far enough to allow it (though I was trying to look at blocking avenues of attack. With critical blow and a card that allowed D3 extra hits (3), the vicious Flayed Men hit home in my flank with 12 hits...


Still, anyone who has ever suffered at the hands of my incredibly lucky dice will tell you how Raymond felt when I threw 7/12 five pus saves....


I lost the same amount to the -3 panic check, but there was no way I really should have survived that hit and I felt pretty good about it...


My first activation was to use the High Sparrow and send him out to "Parlay" rather than attack, stopping the Stormcrow Mercenaries from advancing and finishing of my Halberdiers...


Old Walder took the letters and gained more tactics cards, so Cersei opted for the moneybags to heal the depleted Halberdiers and allow them to attack considerably better...


As Raymond ponders more card shenanigans, I took a picture to remind myself of my incredible luck in still having a left flank....


And a close up of the new Stormcrow Archers led by a Stormcrow Leftenant, which are really nice


but not compared to these beauties!!! With an additional sculpt in there for the rank and file (4 rather than 3 differing), these models are the best I've seen for the game. Fine detail and variety, they look awesome and I'll probably get a second unit for myself...


When Raymond had finished, I played Wrath of Warrior to give my Halberdiers a 2+ to hit (my mistake, it should have been a 3+ but would still have got 5 rather than 7 hits. Raymond saved all but 2 anyway, then lost another wound to panic...


I had hoped to do better, but still had the arrows from the walls...


Raymond switched his attention to the centre, with the Bolton Cutthroats disorderly charging in, losing 4 men to the set for charge order...


However, the 3 wounds inflicted was nothing compared to the Stormcrow archers and the combination of two panic tests which left my centre unit on 3 men.


My right Halberdiers faired much better, but Walder negated their Set for charge order. The walls dropped a few Stormcrow Mercenaries with arrows.


I was spoilt for choice for arrows from the walls...


I thinned out the Boltons a bit


And my Halberdiers on the right, with help from Cersei and the corpse pile really hurt the Boltons on my right...


TURN 3

With first activation, I played my arrow stock to fire all 3 walls. They managed to drop a Flayed Man and also take out the Boltons on my right, while my own panic tests from firing into melee were all spectacularly passed!!!


My first activation was to bring on a unit of Cleganes Mountains Men (sallying forth) and as placement doesn't count as activation, charged the flank of the Flayed Men with 9 hits...


The Flayed Men lost 3 wounds to attacks, and 3 more to panic, just enough to destroy them...


Raymond followed up with his first activation and revealed The Long War Attackers card, forcing all my units when activated to pass a morlae check or become panicked. I went on to fail one, I think...


I brought on my crossbowmen on my right, and sent a volley into the Stormcrow Archers flank, halving their numbers...


Old Walder reduced my right halberdiers to a single man but I added the High Sparrow to try and keep them alive a little longer...


The view from the battlements as the attacking Mercenaries are thinned out...


The Stormcrow Mercenaries managed to fend off Cersei's negative influence when she took the Crown, after they'd charged the Halberdiers


END of Turn 3.

With the arrival of my flanking reinforcements, the attackers were kept well away from my walls, though my starting units of Halberdiers were heavily depleted.


TURN 4

Well apparently my troops were on half rations as Ramond played another Attackers card...


Old Walder activated to remove my left Mountains Mens abilities and whittle more Halberdiers down...


While playing Forced March to advance up the Cutthroats...


Its a nice card in this scenario...


And put my flank in real risk


Or rather it would have but I negated old Walder so left my Mountains Men with all their abilities...


I tried to clear out the middle with Cersei and failed while Varys stopped her influence and the Cutthroats charged into my Mountains Men who held quite firm...


I had the High Sparrow heal up my left Halberdiers, and influence them as they were locked in melee and needed the numbers...


As below, the unit was now well matched with the Mercenaries...


And my right flank was fairly safe for now...


The remaining Bolton Cutthroats rolled well and felled my central defenders...


But were felled by a flank charge by my last Halberdier from the right...


My left Halberdiers attacked the Stormcrows and allowed my centre unit to heal up with Fealty to the Crown...


I used this again when the Cutthroats were savaged by the Mountains Men...


The crossbowmen finished off the Stormcrow Archers and the walls remained intact with round 4 providing my forces with some reinforcements through a good hand and the right combination of cards and NCU's. Although the Flayed Men were back in play and up in my face!!!


TURN 5

With my forces engaged on the left, I played "Hold the Line" to boost both units.


However, I felt it prudent to activate my Mountains Men from the right to deny the Flayed Men a charge...


However, Raymond had some good dice and managed to fend off the worst of the attacks, taking the Swords to allow them to hit back...


With the benefit of Hold the Line, the Mountains Men wiped out the Bolton Cutthroats...


While the Stormcrow Mercenaries were also cut down by the Halberdiers, securing my left flank...


As Raymond moved up his new wave, my Crossbowmen reduced the ranks of the Flayed Men and the Halberdiers that had drifted from the right to the centre, charged the left flank of the Flayed Men, but didn't do anything...


The Crossbowmen had shifted back when they fired, so the Bolton Cutthroats marched up ready for next round...


End of Turn 5. Fair play to Raymond, he kept at it though reaching the walls was now realistically beyond him.


TURN 6

The Flayed Men got a free attackfrom the Swords, wiping out my Mountains Men, while I took Cersei and the Crown for first activation.


With Varys failing with his last token, Cersei influenced the Flayed Men, which coupled with Hear me Roar and the Corpse pile gave a massive negative. But they didn't break...


The Cutthroats charged the Crossbowmen, wiping them out in short order before advancing on the right wall.


It was the closest they'd gotten all game...


Having used the Arrows from the middle wall to finish off the Flayed Men, my few remaining Halberdiers tried to charge the Stormcrow Archers. But I failed and was reduced to a single man with the panic test.


Still, it felt good and looked good to cross the halfway line...


I also managed to score well with an arrow attack from the right hand wall thinning out the Cutthroats that had been so bold...


The Stormcrow Mercenaries finished off my Halberdiers and as the Mercenary wave advanced, my remaining two units fell back to their respective walls...


The game ended with the walls undamaged and the final wave of Mercenaries keeping their distance...


CONCLUSION

The game ended with Raymond's Mercenaries having scored 4 VP's from units killed. I can see why this scenario isn't allowed in Tournament play as its a tough nut to crack as the attacker. However, had the Flayed Men wiped out my left hand Halberdiers as they should have done at the start of turn 2, if may have been a lot closer.

Although the pictures fairly reflect the ebb and flow of the game, (including my 7/12 saves) I didn't take pictures of the three double sixes I rolled for panic tests, nor an eleven. The dice were heavily in my favour in this game and Raymond rarely matched them. Darrio Nahaaris's cards didn't get a run out until late in the game, so we didn't get a good look at him but the models as you have seen are awesome...

But again, thanks to Raymond for a great game, more so because he didn't give up when it was apparent he wasn't getting close to the walls. We will revisit this scenario again, with my forces as the attacker...