Only three more Wednesdays before Christmas and we have another eclectic mix.
We start with some more contenders in our Retro painting challenge. Above are the miniatures I got in the challenge, some chaos warriors getting ready for some very bright colours and an imperial guard heavy weapon.
Marcus also has an old GW miniature to paint in the form of an Eldar Wraithlord.
And sticking with the theme Stephen has made progress on his Space Marine and Chaos thug.
Now we move onto Mark J and some more Judge Dredd miniatures, this time some more judges.
And the start of a Pat Wagon.
Looking forward to seeing that painted up. We’ll see you next week.
Let’s get straight into this weeks eclectic mix. First up we have Mark J’s WW2 Brits ready for action.
They are followed by Phil’s collection of tiny 1/1000th buildings from Brigade Models. My guess is these are for next years society show game!
Now we move onto David P and the start of some Russian Cuirassiers.
Now we move on to, well I’m not entirely sure so I’ll let Marcus describe it in his own words “conversion of an old GZG recon pod with underslung cannon (a GZG Phalon starship) on an organic, retractable mount”
Tony F continues to assemble his Stargrave crew, apparently these are numbers 8 and 9, so just one more to go.
And lastly for this week Peter M has another of his expanding fleet of scratch built cloud ships. Just a few more crew to add to this one.
We kept it small, with 500 point retinues, which meant we got three games in.
What’s nice about Barons’ War is the scenario content – there’s 15 different scenarios with 12 different deployment options. Which makes 180 different combinations. That’s not bad, eh?
We chose scenarios and deployments randomly.
First up was #10 ‘Hidden Treasures’ with Deployment Map 3 (both opposite each other in the traditional way).
In this scenario each player places 3 objectives. When a player controls an objective you roll a D6 and on a 6 you’ve found the treasure (all other objectives are then removed) and the winner is the one who has possession at the end of Turn 5.
Tony was using a mixed force of knights, sergeants, spearmen, and crossbowmen. He won initiative and, since he started in control of one of the objectives, rolled a dice and…nope, no treasure. This was the first time Tony had played Barons’ War, and it had been a while since I played, so it was very much a ‘get to know the rules’ game. He advanced his sergeants and his spearmen (being led by a sergeant commander).
My retinue was made up predominantly of outlaws. My archers also started in control of one of the objectives (in a cabbage patch) so I rolled a D6 and…I got a 6! The treasure was mine, now all I had to do was hold on to it for the rest of the game.
Both my archers and Tony’s crossbows were behind fences and hedges, and at long range to each other, so we stayed put and exchanged a bit of missile fire – the odd casualty but essentially harassment fire. I also engaged Tony’s knights with my archers as he moved into the centre. The rest of our units got stuck in with the melees and by the end of turn 5 the treasure was still in the hands of my outlaws, so game 1 went to me.
Second game was #6 ‘Tear It Down’ with Deployment Map 11 (in a kind of wedge shape).
In this scenario the two players again placed 3 objectives each but the idea was that you had to burn your opponent’s objective by being in control of them. The first player to burn all their opponent’s objectives is the winner.
I was unlucky enough to get the red deployment zone, Tony got the blue zone.
This one went a bit catastrophic for me. In fact, the game lasted no more than 30 minutes (and could have been over sooner than that if I’d conceded sooner!).
Again, Tony won initiative and his opening action was to shoot with his crossbowmen at a unit of my outlaws. It was long range and they caused a couple of casualties, meaning I had to make a Morale roll. Which I seriously fluffed and the outlaws went Broken and had to make a move away. Problem was, I’d deployed them quite close to the table edge, and so they routed off table having done exactly chuff all! Realising that my whole right flank, and probably centre, was now compromised (and I had two of my objectives there) I had to hurriedly plug the gap. So I moved my knights around to delay Tony. He then charged my knights with his sergeants, which is fair enough (if he hadn’t charged me I was going to charge him). However, in Barons’ War if you roll a 10 it’s counted as a critical hit which can only be defended with a 10. My four knights got hit by four 10s! And I didn’t roll a single 10 for defence, which meant…off go the knights!
Truth is, that was pretty much the end of the game (my outlaw commander took control, so I could technically fight on but knew it was no hope). However, I just couldn’t let him win 3-0, so we played another turn and the other unit of outlaws then set fire to one of his objectives. At that point I conceded – at least I got one of his!
The third, and final deciding, game was #1 ‘Behind Enemy Lines’ with Deployment Map 4 (lined up opposite each other on short edges).
In this scenario players place 1 objective each and the winner is the one who controls both objectives.
We both began by moving units up by Running, to make up the ground. Things slowed down once we got near each other as we tried to out manoeuvre each other. Both Tony’s crossbows and my archers were on the same flank. I decided to move my archers into the yard of an inn so they could use the fences for cover. These archers were led by an outlaw commander (a veteran, dispossessed, young nobleman – you know what I was thinking!) who used his multiple actions to order the archers to keep firing. They peppered Tony’s crossbowmen who promptly routed off the field. Good – I needed to get rid of them. This opened up the way to Tony’s objective and if I could get my archers there I would win.
Meanwhile, in the middle, Tony’s sergeant, led by his sergeant commander, engaged more of my outlaws and Broke them. And on the other flank I left my knights in control of my objective, with some spearmen hiding in the woods. Similarly, Tony was advancing on them with his knights and spearmen.
Next turn my archers double-timed to get to Tony’s objective. Realising how exposed the objective was he’d moved some sergeants up to take control of the objective, meaning I would have to fight for it after all. Well, I say ‘fight’ but what I intended to do was shoot more arrows at him.
‘Intended’ is the important word there, because Tony won initiative next turn and, quite rightly, charged my archers with his sergeants. Fair enough, I expected that. But it went bad. A couple of casualties and, like the knights in the previous game, I rolled really badly for their morale, meaning they had to fall back. But, again, like the outlaws in the previous game, they were too close to the table edge and the flee move had them off the field!
The game was decided in the fight for my objective. My knights were finally surrounded by Tony’s knights and spearmen. I counter-charged his knights and killed two of them! That took the smile off his face. But I was surrounded and every time I had to fall back I had nowhere to go, which meant I took an extra casualty. That quickly mounted up.
Battle number eight in our campaign was the little known Hedgeley Moor. Again this was another of those battles that in reality didn’t amount to much and saw one side flee the field after a brief melee. The setup for this battle was a straight forward open plain. We went with 800 points each side for this particular battle. The Lancastrians were commanded by Stephen as Somerset supported by Andy as Baron Ros. I commanded the Yorkists as the rightful King Edward IV and Eric joined us for the first time in the campaign. Their didn’t appear to be any other lords on the Yorkist side so I gave Eric the banners of Lord Falconberg.
With the Yorkists sitting on 5 victories to the Lancastrian’s 1 and only 6 more battles to go in the campaign this was crunch time for Lord Somerset’s ambitions.
Battle of Hedgeley Moor
Both sides drew up their armies in the normal fashion. But a surprise came from Stephen by again fielding a strong force of cavalry. I don’t know if this was part of still trying to exercise the demons given the poor showing of the Lancastrian mounted nobility in many of the previous battles, but their they were taking to the field again.
Stephen placed the mounted men at arms in the centre of his line while I placed my cavalry on the far left of the Yorkist flank, while Eric did the same with his lone unit of cavalry out on the right.
Winning initiative I advanced my army across the field. The line of cavalry in the centre facing my archers gave me no choice but to try and get some shots in as quickly as possible. If I waited for the cavalry I ran the risk of not getting a shot off before they arrived.
Out on the Yorkist left flank I decided to try and goad Andy’s forces into action and to draw his attention away from the centre. Using a bonus dice for some extra movement the Currours set off across the field.
Eric got his force on the move and after a brief word of advice from me, sent his cavalry off to capture the hill on the right and start to threaten the Lancastrian left flank.
Eric rolled well for the first activation dice and was able to move up his entire front line of archers.
Much to my surprise the Lancastrian cavalry remained in place and so I risked moving my archers further away from the my infantry units, in trying to get some shots in on the cavalry. I gave my Crossbows a bonus dice to increase their movement rate and get into a firing position for next turn.
Having shown my hand Stephen decided to no longer wait and got his cavalry on the move. This meant initiative was going to be a crucial for the next turn. Either the Yorkists would get their shots off or the Lancastrian cavalry would charge in.
Thankfully the Yorkists won the initiative and so I made sure my archers would get an attack in. The crossbows went first and through poor marksmanship failed to score any hits and so I feared the worst when the cavalry charged in. Luckily the Lancastrians matched the crossbows lack of skill when it came to the melee with neither side managing to wound the other. With more cavalry approaching I went all out with more bonus dice but only managed a single wound against the mounted men at arms poised to charge.
Eric began an archery duel with Stephens forces while still managing to bring up some men at arms in support. The Lancastrians wary of the cavalry on the hill sent some billmen to secure their flank.
Having managed not to get ridden down by the cavalry on the first charge I quickly repositioned some of my uncommitted archers to fire at the cavalry that had not charged. The hasty volley wasn’t as effective as I’d hoped.
Seeing my archers engaged with the cavalry Andy began to move his own archers to threaten the Yorkist cavalry out on the left .
My archers were being worn down by the cavalry and a good use of some bonus dice saw the Yorkist frontline crumble.
After a few optimistic turns in which my archers managed to first blunt the Lancastrian charge and then hold their own in the following melee, they finally broke leaving a large gap. The crossbows also fell giving the Lancastrians the chance to plunge deeper into the Yorkists ranks and split the force in half.
With Andy’s archers on the move I went back to my original plan and got the Yorkist cavalry moving again. Seeing the cavalry move Andy seized the chance and gave his hand gunners a bunch of bonus dice to rake the Currours as they rode passed. Unfortunately they missed spectacularly.
But I wasn’t prepared to ignore the threat and so I charged the hand gunners with my spearmen. Little did I expect the gunners to be better at hand to hand combat than actually shooting. After a brief exchange and much to their embarrassment the spearmen were destroyed.
Meanwhile on the other side of the battlefield Eric was putting everyone else to shame, the Yorkists were winning the archery duel and his men at arms had got to within charging distance of the remaining Lancastrian archers.
The situation in the middle was still in the balance but the Lancastrian cavalry had failed to exploit the gaps. Two of the four mounted men at arms units had been destroyed, but only after taking out more of the Yorkist archers. But the value difference in those units had pushed the Lancastrians to their first break point.
With their morale lowered Eric pushed the advantage he had on the Lancastrian left flank. The Currours were holding but had failed to sweep the billmen aside. But the men at arms had dispatched the archers and were advancing on the remaining billmen.
In the centre I managed to get some militia billmen up to plug the gap, they were immediately charged by the Lancastrian cavalry but in a strange twist of fate both sides wiped each other out. Again this proved costly for the Lancastrians and when more Yorkist billmen destroyed the remaining cavalry unit it pushed the Lancastrians to their second break point.
With the Lancastrians a spent force Eric continued to press the fight with his cavalry and billmen, unfortunately both were fought to a draw with the Lancastrians saving a bit of pride.
For a straight fight this battle had a few crucial moments. I was surprised by the Lancastrian block of cavalry in the centre of the line. This was a real danger and despite the Yorkist archers not shooting the cavalry down as they charged, because they managed to hold against the initial contact, it gave time for the infantry to be brought up in support.
The Yorkist cavalry on their left flank achieved very little throughout the battle and so it was a blessing the Lancastrians did not pressure the Yorkist forces on that side. On the other side of the battlefield Eric’s first command could not have gone better. Despite not doing as well with his cavalry as hoped he only lost one unit of archers in the whole battle. This would play a pivotal role as the casualties from the centre brought the Yorkists within one point of their first break point.
The campaign is now 6-1 to the Yorkists with 6 battles remaining. It’s not impossible but the Lancastrians are really going to have to produce something special at the battle of Hexham.
1 Unit of Militia Billmen (4 points)
4 Units of Longbows (12 points)
1 Unit of Crossbows (3 points)
2 Units of Currours (8 points)
1 Unit of Spearmen (3 points) Total loses 30 points (Army break point 46)
4 Units of Mounted Men at Arms (16 points)
3 Units of Billmen (12 points)
5 Units of Longbows (15 points) Total loses 43 points (Army break point 38)