Raid on Rohan

Middle-Earth beckons again with another of Tony F’s photo galleries.

The next game in our series of Lord of the Rings games was a bit of a stop-gap as our ambitious plan to play the whole of the Scouring of the Shire campaign was put off fro a little while as we simply weren’t ready.

So instead, we played a raid by Orc forces on a small village in Rohan in search of food and other plunder. The Orcs had also become aware that the King’s niece, Eowyn, had stopped off on her journey to Edoras so saw it as an chance to strike a major blow against the Royal House of Rohan.

The village was defended by a small contingent of Warriors of Rohan, stiffened by Eowyn and her escort of Royal Guard. We had a few civilian figures milling around (borrowed from Stephen), with a simple mechanic that determined if they fought, froze or fled when confronted by an Orc.

The attacking Orc force included Uruks and Warg riders, with a strong force of infantry seeking to kill Eowyn and the riders concentrating on the hunt for food.

What the Orcs didn’t know is that Eomer had discovered the Orc’s plans and he was racing with a small band of riders to save his sister…

The initial stages of the game didn’t go well for the defenders, Warriors of Rohan are no match for determined Warg riders. The attackers push into the village in search of Eowyn started well, with a several of the Royal Guard being cut down. But the attack get stuck on a narrow road between hedges with no way out, and the Orcs were unable to push through to their target, who acquitted herself well with a sword. The arrival of Eomer turned things – it’s been a standing joke between Phil and myself that he has always been killed off early in every game he’s featured in, but this time he not only survived but cut a swathe through the Orcs and rescued his sister.

Slammed in the Middle

Tony F reports on a recent big game with lots and lots of tanks…

Back in October we ran a large game of Hammer’s Slammers:The Crucible involving eight players. It was an asymmetrical match-up, with the attacking forces mustering no fewer than six detachments of Slammers regiment tanks and combats cars attacking from two flanks, while the defence in the middle had a mix of armed rebel militia (albeit lots of them) and light armour in the form of local defence forces and two Wolverine mercenary detachments.

Despite the disparity in forces, the game was very close, being decided very late on when the defence finally collapsed and the Slammers were able to sweep away the last remnants.

There’s a full report on the Hammer’s Slammers website; here are some more photos taken by Andy King.

​Advertising Billboards

Stephen goes Mad Men

I was in the mood to make a few terrain pieces and since the more clutter the better for skirmish games, I thought I’d make some sci fi terrain. To help create an urban, post-apocalyptic, vibe I thought I’d make some advertising hoardings.

The first thing I did was a bit of Googling to find suitable images. I did struggle a bit to find futuristic looking adverts. Just typing in ‘sci fi adverts’ brought up a host of cinema billboards for films, but that wasn’t really what I was looking for. Nevertheless, after a bit of perseverance I find what I was looking for and printed them out.

Then to make the actual hoardings. I used a backing of thick plasticard. I cut this to the dimensions of the picture plus the edging I was going to add. This edging was also made from plasticard, and it was stuck around the…er…edge. I had some plain EM4 dice and I thought these would make an ideal control box on the rear. So that’s what that is. I also had quite a lot of box-section polystyrene extrusion from a previous project and I thought that would do for legs.

Since it would be quite a light model it was obvious it would need a hefty base to keep it anchored down, so it was all stuck on a 40mm diameter metal washer from Wilkos. I also sanded the edges to tidy it all up.

Painting was next. It was given an undercoat of Humbrol ‘Dark Earth’ spray.It was then dry-brushed a pale cream, and then a rough dry-brush of white (so it stayed looking dirty and grubby – this is post-apocalyptic, after all). I then gave it a bit of splotching with a terracotta colour for rust and dirt effects. I also thought I’d add a bit of graffiti on the back of some of them.

All that was left was to cut the advert out and glue it in place, and then flock the base.
There it is – an advertising hoarding all complete.

The War of the Dwarves and Orcs

Tony F delves once again into his archive of Middle Earth photos.

Following the defeat of Sauron’s minions in Osgiliath, Phil and I went several hundred years into the Middle Earth timeline, to the war between the Dwarves and Orcs in the latter part of the Third Age. Actually, the real reason was that I’d bought some shiny new Dwarf models from Forgeworld and wanted to use them…

We took a scenario from one of the Middle Earth sourcebooks, involving a force of dwarves defending a human village from marauding Orcs. This needed a bridge, so it was also a good excuse to finally paint up a really nice resin bridge, also from Forgeworld, that had been languishing in the loft for nigh on ten years.

Again, I don’t remember too many specific details of how the combat went, except that dwarves are hard – really hard. Only one of my new, heavily armoured, pike-wielding Iron Hills chaps was killed and they saw off a cave troll to boot. Even a normal dwarf warrior is a tough little bugger, so this was one game that the Orcs just weren’t going to win!

The Laird of the Western Isles

Last meeting we had a game of Saga based around control for the western isles of Scotland. Whoever came out victorious could crown their warlord the Laird of the Western Isles.

The idea was that we would play two games. Each player would keep the same warlord but could change army composition between games. We would be using warlord experience from the Book of Battles. Players were allowed to use warlords who already had previous experience. Players and their warlords were:

Jeremey – Uhtred Siggurdson (Viking)
Tony – Boe Vandradson (Norse Gael)
Eric – Sigvald Ironhelm (Viking)
Stephen – Siward Dunbar (Scots)

Each player would keep a running total of their victory points across both games. The player with the most at the end of the day would win.

The first scenario we played was the Battle Royale – all against all.

This was only the second time Eric had played Saga so he was naturally a bit cautious as he worked out how to use his Saga dice and the subtleties of the game and the use of the Battleboard.

Boe Vandradson leads his men from behind

Boe Vandradson had deployed his troops quite wide apart, threatening both Uhtred and Siward. The wise and wily Uhtred, a veteran of the battle of Lintonsfjord, had been equally cunning and had managed to get some of his bondi around the back of Boe’s axemen.

Siward Dunbar’s men deployed between some rocks, which the norse gaels had occupied and some woods, which were also home to some skulking norse gael hearthguard. The Scot’s archers went forward and showed Sigvald’s raiders what they were made off with a deadly flurry of arrows. Sigvald moved his men slowly forward, using some of his bondi as a spearhead to chase the norse gaels out of the rocky ground, presumably with the intent of occupying this himself so he could harry the Scots.

A steady, unspoken, truce existed between the Scots and norse gaels, who saw the vikings as the greater threat to their lands. How long this truce lasted is a moot point – eventually the norse gael hearthguard came out of the woods and charged the Scots archers!

Exhausted Scots archers after a hard day shooting vikings

Boe Vandradson showed his heritage by taking the fight to Uhtred and his men. This wouldn’t pay off though, as Boe was cut down by the vikings and had to be carried off the battlefield with grievous wounds.

At the end of the game the results were close but the winner had been Sigvald.

The second scenario we played was the team game. Since Eric had won the previous game then he could choose another warlord to swear fealty to Sigvald. He turned to his fellow Dane, Uhtred, and the two viking armies formed an alliance. This left the norse gaels and Sots to unite against the invaders.

Things moved a bit quicker this time. Uhtred had left his bondi back at their longboats to guard their plunder, with just him and his hirdmen to fight this time. Siward moved his archers forward again and they once more let fly at Sigvald’s troops. Sigvald was a little wiser this time so moved his troops up quickly to get into combat with the Scots sooner than later.

Scots and Vikings come to blows

Boe Vandradson, having recovered from his wounds from the previous encounter, kept up with his aggressive reputation and repeatedly charged into the fight, with his bodyguard doing all they could to keep up with him. Uhtred was happy with this and he and his hirdmen drew their blades and joined in with the fight.

Sigvald, exasperated at the casualties his men were taking from the Scots archers, acted rashly, and out of fury charged forward of his men toward the Scots. The archers were defeated and fell back but this left Sigvald out on his own. Seeing his chance, Siward took firm hold of his spear and charged the viking warlord. The last that was seen of Sigvald was him falling under Siward’s blows.

When finally the dust settled and the ravens had glutted themselves on the corpses it was time to see who would reign.

Victory had gone to the norse gaels. The lands had a new master – Laird Boe Vandradson of the Western Isles!

The game had been a close one. No one was trounced and no one had an easy time of it. We all had our bad dice rolls and we all had our good ones. How long Vandradson will keep his title as Laird remains to be seen.

The Siege of Osgiliath

Tony F returns us to Middle-Earth.

For the second of our Lord of the Rings games, we chose to depict a small part of the Siege of Osgiliath. Phil took on the task of creating some scenery for the game, and we both put together a 500 points force. Again, it’s too far back to remember too many details, but I do remember using Faramir’s Rangers as a pretty lethal sniper unit, there was one heck of a scrum around a tree inside a courtyard, and the final act of the game involved Phil’s leader, Gothmog, alone and surrounded.

The Road Goes Ever On

Webmaster Tony sorts through his photos and tries to get organised…

Since the Games Workshop Middle Earth rules first appeared to coincide with Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy (way back in 2001!), Phil and I have been amassing an ever-growing collection of figures. I don’t know about Phil, but I’m well over 1000 now (although I’d rather you didn’t ask how many were actually painted…). We used to play quite regularly – in fact, the very first game report on the then fledgling club website was a battle between Rohirrim and Uruk Hai. But as with all wargamers we moved onto something newer and shinier, and the figures had been gathering dust in our respective lofts for a while.

At a loose end two or three years ago, we decided to dig them out again and have a game. Since then we’ve been putting on a regular game at the club every six months or so, including one at the Open Day last year. The idea has been to do something different each time that required us to paint at least a handful of new figures. I’ve always taken plenty of photos but never seem to get around to writing them up, so now I’ve decided to sort through the hundreds of photos and put up a report for each game. Actually, they’ll be more of a photo gallery, the actual reports for each game will probably be quite brief since many of the details will have been forgotten!

The first of those games, in May 2016, was based on the capture and abduction of Merry and Pippin by Saruman’s Uruk Hai. In our game the Orcs are fleeing across the Open plains with their captives but are being tracked simultaneously by the Three Hunters (Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli) and a group of mounted Rohirrim.

Details are sketchy three years on, but from what I remember the three heroes made short work of a number of the Uruk Hai but the Rohirrim were held up by Orcs and the two Hobbits were spirited away by Warg riders, giving victory to the evil minions of Saruman. The photos of this game aren’t great, they were taken on an older phone – hopefully things will improve as the games go along…

The Road to Hel

Stephen slips toward the Underworld, accompanied by the strains of Chris Rea…

I’ve had Osprey’s Of Gods And Mortals for a long time now but it’s taken me an age to get together a warband for it.

Well, I did have one. I thought I’d go with the Norse because I have loads of dark ages stuff, so coming up with one warband was easy.

I just had to put together another.

To keep with the Norse theme I thought I’d go with Hel and her undead minions.

At last week’s SELWG there was a trader who had a stand with some of the Reaper Bones figures. I looked through them and found one called Svetlana The Ice Giant (or something like that) and I thought that would do.

This was my first Reaper Bones figure. I casually noticed it said ‘do not undercoat’ on the back. Wondering why that would be I did a quick Google and it seems that if you use solvent based materials on them they go all sticky.

They certainly are made of an odd material. It’s not the usual ‘hard’ plastic. Nor is it resin. Nor is it vinyl. Not sure what it is (they say it’s made from recycled material).

I gave it a good clean up first and then, wary of the stickiness issue, I used normal brush-on Humbrol acrylic to undercoat it.

Some of the spiky bits are a bit soft and flexible. And the detail is not the sharpest.

If I was to buy another Reaper Bones figure (and I’m sure I will) then I wouldn’t buy a normal ‘human-sized’ figure. I think for the larger pieces it’s OK, but for the smaller stuff I think it’s just a bit too rubbery.

Anyway, so Hel.

I decided she needed a sombre paint job, as befits the Goddess of the Underworld. I didn’t want to go with all over black because that would be too much. And she had to have glowing blue eyes, obviously.

For Hel’s brother, Fenrir, I used a GW wolf. Being GW it is a suitably big wolf figure as you would expect for Fenrir.

The zombies, skeletons, and undead berserkers are from Brigade’s Celtos range.

I used round shields to make them look like they’ve got Norse origins. I also did weapon swaps on the flesheaters/berserkers; again, to make them look more Norse. I have more of these figures to bulk out my Hel warband.

The only other thing I’d like to add is Hel’s other brother – the serpent Jormungandr.

Wandiwash India 1760

Seán takes us back to the 18th Century with some colonial action

We had a good day in India in 1760, Pete, Alan O, Tony G, Eric and myself so I wanted to say thank you for the game, though I was umpiring rather than playing. I think it worked well and we got speedy involvement from everyone because I had reworked the Principles of War rules to make them simultaneous.. It meant that with a big battle and about 100 units on the table one side wasn’t standing around for half an hour while the other made their move.

The Battle
It was a rare outing for my glamorous Moghul hordes and the rival East India companies of Britain and France.

Wandiwash was a relief battle. The town was invested by the French and their Indian allies and the British under Eyre Coote came to lift the siege. The French, under the Comte de Lally left 300 men to maintain the siege and came out to meet their rivals for power in India.

In the game I suggested that if the British, with their Indian allies, were to get three units to leave the table by the only road on the left flank of the French/Indian enemy and on their own right, it would be a good indication that they had won the battle. Unfortunately for them the British right flank, entirely consisting of unenthusiastic native forces with no disciplined East India Company sepoys or Brit regulars, melted as snow on a spring day before the wily tactics of the wicked Suraj ud Daulauh (of Black Hole of Calcutta fame). Meanwhile a sturdy advance on the left and centre led by those British company forces looked encouraging. There was only one fly in the ointment which was the growing risk of being outflanked by French company forces released from the left centre by the collapse of the British right – or rather the army of their untrustworthy ally Mir Jafar.

The Winners
There was no disastrous defeat but the near certainty that a message would arrive from Wandiwash saying the garrison had had to surrender was expected at any moment as the relief force faltered and failed to break through. So a win on points for the Comte – which went against the verdict of history.

The rules stood up well and simultaneous movement (which is how it used to be when I started wargaming in the 10th Century) sped up a big game very well. Some necessary amendments arose which I’ll incorporate. There was a request for a colonial battle with the same rules (adjusted for period) so I said I would bring another Moslem army into the field with a return of the 10mm Mahdists of the Sudan for another go at the Anglo-Egyptian imperialists in 1898. Who would like to be a desert sheikh or the model of a modern major general of models for that battle?

Trevor Pearless DBA Tournament 2019

Dave Sime reports on the recent DBA tournament (with statistical and photographic input from Andy).

We have a new DBA champion for 2019 – Paul Lymath – well done. However commiserations to Paul French who only just lost out, a very close finish.

A special thank you to Andy for bringing his PC and his Excel Tournament Package, relieved me from manually managing the scoring. Many thanks to the eight members who took part and enjoyed themselves. Special mention for Jack, who as a first time player acquitted himself very well, coming joint 4th.

Interestingly 6 of the 8 armies were Knight orientated or at least had a significant knight contingent. However the winning army (Paul L – Polybian Roman) and my army which came third (Chinese Southern Dynasties) are not Knight based armies. Knights, like Elephants, can be beaten !

Armies

David Si – Chinese Southern Dynasties (II 79b)
Paul L – Polybian Roman (II 33)
Jack – Medieval French (IV 64b)
Colin – Qara-Khitan (IV/15)
Mike – Free Company (IV 74)
Paul F – 100 Year War English (IV 62)
Andy – Norman (Italy) (III 51)
John La – Free Company (IV 74)

Round 1
David S 6-2 John La
Paul L 4-0 Andy
Jack 1-5 Paul F
Colin 1-5 Mike L

Round 2
John La 5-0 Mike L
Paul F 4-8 Colin
Andy 4-5 Jack
David S 0-5 Paul L

Round 3
Paul L 6-2 John La
Jack 1-5 David S
Colin 5-2 Andy
Mike L 1-6 Paul F

Round 4
John La 4-6 Paul F
Andy 0-5 Mike L
David S 4-2 Colin
Paul L 2-6 Jack

Round 5
Colin 2-6 John La
Mike L 2-6 Jack
Paul F 1-5 Paul L
Andy 1-5 David S

Final Table
1= Paul L – 22pts*
1= Paul F – 22*
3 David S – 20
4= John La – 19
4= Jack – 19
6 Colin – 18
7 Mike L – 13
8 Andy – 7

*Paul L declared winner as he beat Paul F in their game.