Tony F has an update on one of his To-Do list projects, completing his Scouring of the Shire hobbits which were started last year:
This only involved 12 figures, eight of which were already part-painted, so it wasn’t much of task, but it’s done at last. The final four figures were the hero hobbits, Pippin, Nine-fingered Frodo (yes, his tiny left index finger is missing), Sam and Merry, all on ponies (I already have foot versions). Pippin and Merry are wearing their uniforms as Heroes of Gondor and Rohan respectively.
In wild celebration I then went off and painted some elves – Elrond Half-Elven and his sons Elladan and Elrohir (who don’t get a look-in at all in the films, but in the book were present at the climactic battle at the Black Gate). Master Elrond in his Last Alliance armour is a really nice figure – I’m not quite so sold on the poses of the two junior elves, who are a bit two-dimensional, but the sculpting is nice.
A hard land needs a hard lord, Uhtred Beornson is such a lord. Having inherited the settlement of Elmslac and surrounding lands from his father, a prosperous land and renown great hall has attracted many fearsome retainers to bolster Uhtred’s household since the great battle at Stamford. But with the disaster down South and the loss of great King Harold the relentless march of the hated Normans, burning and savage destruction of the land, signals the time for noble warriors to muster to Uhtred’s banner as the Bastard himself resides in York.
From the town of La Roche-Guyon in the bishopric of Rouen a young man of noble birth and manner was sent to Rome to be tutored in the finer arts of manliness and Godliness. It was during these formative years that he attained a Noble Mien and the favour of God’s representatives in the Holy See. On his return from the grandeur that was Rome he sought neither property nor wealth but the honour of being a Godly man, such a reputation being worth more than gold and land. He set sail from Normandy with his supporters to the island realm across the narrow sea to seek glory for God and to bring any heathens (and any who needed correction) to the true faith. His name – John Le Roche.
I am Andraes Vilhelmsson, son of Vilhelm Vilhelmsson, son of Vilhelm Johanesson, loyal liegeman of our late King Harold Godwinson.
For many years I have honed the craft of war-leader, as I honed the edge of my great axe, in the service of our beloved King, winning many victories in his name and gathering many of the finest warriors in the land to my household.
I live to avenge Harold’s death at the hands of that upstart Duke of Normandy, Guillaume the bastard and his henchmen.
And if the curse of Norman boots trampling our land and traditions was not enough we must suffer the deprivations of bands of barbarian Welsh and Gaels raiding our farms and hamlets.
Owain the Cantankerous, son of Owain ap Gruffyd, son of Owain the Red who saw angels, son of Madoc ap Llewelyn, son of Llewelyn Maredudd is a bondsman of Bishop Dyfan of Bangor.
Owain is the chief of Melynbryn village which has been in his family for five generations. Under King Gruffyd the family prospered. However, after Gruffyd was killed by earl Godwinson, Owain’s family fell on hard times and lost a lot of their land and inheritance to the English.
Things barely improved with the arrival of the Normans. With the establishment of the earldom of Chester the kingdom of Gwynedd has come under frequent raids.
This has left Owain angry and bitter. Bitter with the English who stole his family’s money, and bitter with the Normans who continue to plunder his lands.
We’ve been playing Saga at MWS for some years now.
When the Age of the Wolf campaign pack came out we decided that we had to give it a go. So we have 6 players in the campaign, as follows:
Tony Gibbs – Normans
Jeremey Claridge – Anglo-Danes
Stephen Tucker – Welsh
Andy King – Anglo-Danes
John Le Roche – Normans
John Lambert – Norse Gaels
With that selection of armies it looked about right for England in the immediate post-Conquest period, so that’s the background behind the campaign.
Each warlord will write a piece about their warband, and as the campaign progresses we’ll also post tales of their exploits – and I’m sure you’ll get two different stories from battling leaders. You can use the SAGA:Age of the Wolf category on the blog to follow the campaign.
It also goes without saying that we’ll post lots of pictures. If you have any questions then don’t hesitate to ask.
The bodies of many a sailor now reside in Davey Jones’ locker.
In our game of Fighting Sail we had a fleet of pirate ships, sailing under a French letter of marque, led by Mark ‘Black Ned the Nobbler’ Harris and Bob ‘The Scourge’ Collman harassing the British colony of the Regency Isles somewhere in the Caribbean. Coming to the colonist’s rescue were two flotillas of British ships under the command of Tony ‘Admiral Dalrymple’ Gibbs and Stephen ‘Barely Able Seaman’ Tucker.
This was the first time any of us had played Fighting Sail. It falls very much in the ‘game’ category rather than ‘simulation’ and for a non-naval man such as myself that is a positive boon.
It’s a very simple game. Good navigation rules (according to Mark, and he’s the club’s naval man) and bloody and brutal cannon rules.
In our game the privateers came out from the islands and confronted the British. The British fleet had larger vessels and engaged the pirates with cannons. The privateers steadily swung their ships around, but not before Bob accidentally engaged one of his own ships with a broadside.
In the end it would be a British victory – those damned pirate dogs turning sail and making off to whatever rum-soaked hole it is they came from.
Fighting Sail proved to be a very enjoyable game. If you want to have fun, want to feel like you are playing a sailing game, but not of a mind of having to know how to actually sail a ship to be able to play a game then it I’m sure you would also enjoy it.
Danor Jax had only ever wanted a quiet life. He had reluctantly joined the Imperial Information Office largely because it was steady work and they let him do what he loved, working with data streams. His had been a quiet life monitoring the equipment at the communications relay station and operating the cryptographic decoders when the need arose. That all ended when Darth Vader made a surprise visit to the station. Watching his senior officer being choked and then thrown into a bulkhead using the force should have made Danor cower out of fear. But that day something in Danor snapped, the Empire and all it stood for came into sharp focus and he knew he had to do something about it. As soon as the dark lord had departed Danor downloaded and decoded as much Imperial data from the streams as his AJ^6 headgear would accept and ran away to find the rebels.
The trip to Tatooine had been long and arduous but when Danor finally made contact with a Rebel agent he was elated. The agent had slipped away to arrange for Danor to be picked up and his data downloaded. Danor sat quietly in a cantina in Mos Eisley trying to avoid being noticed when a rough looking Rodian approached him. It turned out that his absence had been noted and with his access to sensitive data streams the Empire had started a manhunt. The Rodian promptly marched Danor at blaster point out of the cantina and along to his ship.
Having made contact, indicated the enormous value of Danor’s information and arranged for him to be collected, the Rebel agent was returning to the cantina and spotted the Rodian and Danor leaving. With too many Sandtroopers around to allow him to intervene, the agent contacted the approaching Rebel ships and told them the situation as the Rodian’s ship blasted off.
Wedge Antilles easily spotted the bounty hunter’s Firespray-31 on his X-Wing’s scopes but he also saw the orbiting Gozanti-class cruiser and its four TIE fighters. Forming up with his accompanying Y-Wing Wedge sent Biggs Darklighter and his X-Wing with Roark Garnet’s HWK-290 on a different course, avoiding the Gozanti but coming around to cut off the other routes of escape.
When Gozanti’s captain was informed of the appearance of the X-Wings he ordered it out of orbit on a course to intercept the bounty hunter and for the TIE pilots to scramble their ships.
Wedge and his wingman swung around to intercept the TIE fighters whilst Biggs and Roark moved to intercept the bounty hunter.
The Rodian spotted the HWK-290 and X-Wing approaching and veered to the right. Meanwhile two TIE fighters had detached from the cruiser and were speeding toward the rear of Biggs and Roark. Fortunately Roark had equipped the HWK-290 with an ion cannon turret which was a surprise to the pilot of one of the TIEs when all his systems shutdown and he began to drift.
The remaining two TIE fighters had also detached and made straight for Wedge and the Y-Wing with the laser turrets on the Gozanti also blasting away at them for good measure.
So two dogfights ensued with TIE fighters trying to outmanoeuvre the rebel craft. Unfortunately the less agile HWK-290 came under some heavy fire and with his shields down and having taken some heavy damage Roark had to withdraw. The loss of the ion cannon was a serious blow to the rebels but with a barrage of fire they dispatched two of the TIE fighters and gained the upper hand.
Unfortunately, the wily bounty hunter had slipped through both dogfights and with the rebel ships too busy to intervene, managed to dock with the Gozanti to transfer his rebel captive.
With this dire turn of events, there was only one option for the rebels, to attack the cruiser itself!
The three rebel ships made multiple runs as the cruiser and despite the heavy laser fire from its turrets managed to land several good hits.
With the prisoner transfer complete and sensing the increasing panic of the Imperials the bounty hunter cut his negotiations short, rushed back to his ship and released the docking clamps.
The remaining TIE fighters were desperately trying to protect their mothership but Biggs downed one of them and the other was damaged by Wedge. With Gozanti’s shields down, the Y-Wing making another run at the aft section with its proton torpedoes and did some serious damage.
Whilst the rebel ships focussed on the cruiser the Rodian made the jump to light speed and his next assignment.
His ship rapidly coming apart at the seams the cruiser’s Captain offered to trade his prisoner for safe passage and the rebels accepted.
Danor was saved and the battered X-Wings and Y-Wing jumped away to safety.
It be that this Saturday we’re weighing anchor and making for the high seas with a game of Fighting Sail.
If you be an old salty sea-dog, or maybe a scurvy land-lubber who wishes to take to the seas, then get ye-self down to Maidstone Wargames Society this weekend and we’ll put ye to work swabbing the decks, pumping the bilges, and fetching powder!
Welcome to the website of Maidstone Wargames Society.
We are a small, friendly, society covering a range of periods; Ancients through Medieval, Napoleonic, ACW, 20th Century; on land, at sea, or in the air. We also regularly venture into deep space or to worlds of fantasy.
We are a pretty cosmopolitan bunch and anyone interested in other periods would be most welcome. There is usually at least one game open to any member at each meeting.
We meet from 10.00 to 17.00, on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, at a new venue, Linton Village Hall, Linton Hill (A229), Maidstone. For further information please phone club secretary Brian Simons on (0780) 3009504, or you can contact him via e-mail. More detailed information can be found here.