I continue my slow work to develop for myself a good selection of terrain. This time I have gone old school. I remember when I started gaming <cough> 30+ years ago sponge/mosses were used quite a bit on the table top. I don’t see it much any more though. So when I wanted to created some bush scatter terrain I thought about this and it still does work. I had a pack of moss/sponge in the deep recesses of my to do collection, so decided I would use them. After some glue etc that means you can see the results below. I now have 16 scatter terrain bushes – oh and a 40mm base for scale.
I have not painted them – they are green and will work for what I need. Yes I am sure I could paint them but that’s more work than I wan to put into something I will not use that often. They are a size which means I can use them for 28 or 15mm gaming. Although in theory ok for 10 or 6mm gaming they are starting to get a little big for those smaller scales. Still this is a cheap way to get some scatter terrain.
You can also see that I have based and glued these to simple wooden tabs for stability. Those actually came from a craft pack and most are tear drop shaped – which are perfect for this use. I can use these for everything from lush Northern climbs to deep Mediterranean or Middle Eastern/African battles.
So there we are. Nothing clever really and definitely old school terrain. However, these are still useful for table top games.
OK so I’m continuing the 10mm ACW stuff with this post. I should have done a photo with all the bases completed in this blog but I have not. So you will have to see them in sets. That is because I have to total of 56 (yes really) bases in this single post. I have to say this reminds me of the x-wing joke below, and yes I may be guilty of this as well in that game…
The first set of photo’s are of 20 bases. You can see all these I have done with just a few figures and plenty of terrain, maybe too much. But this ensures that bases like these are not confused with the ‘normal’ infantry bases of formed units.
The next is a second set, which are more of the same but this time there are just 16 bases. I put these here as much as to separate the 2 pictures of 20 bases as anything.All the figures these are mostly wearing blues dark reds and greens so do not show up that well in the photo’s. I guess I have seen too many Cowboy movies to have them in bright colours.
These will allow me to do pretty much all the large skirmish gaming that I want in the period. Now just to start to get some gaming done with them. That’s the challenge per say – getting them on the table these days.
Lastly, I have another 20 bases. I have done the ground cover as more green than in traditional dusty cowboy movies, but these do match up well with the other ACW bases I have and so they work. Also to be fair I think the dusty cowboy movies are more myth than reality. Yes it was dusty but you need grass etc for animals to live on so the west is greener than many movies show.
You can see I have a few bases with a single fig on them – they can be the leader of units if I have to differentiate those bases etc. For most games I will use these like the others as I do not think it matters but why not do this just in case. In total these bases mean I have enough dismounted figures for all the mounted ones I have shown in the previous few weeks though.
I ‘found’ the DVD set of HBO’s Deadwood series while tidying this weekend. I never did watch it all so maybe it is a good time to stick in the TV and watch it. The problem with this scale of models is although great for the overall effect they do not provide a great character set for individual figures/commanders.
So this week we played another ‘learning game’ of ADLG v4. So I though I would do a quick write up of the game, There were three of us and so I GM’ed and took pictures while the other two guys played. The game featured a Free Companies army – shown below. Critically, this had2 elements of heavy impact cavalry and then three of elite heavy knights (on the left of the picture below). In the center was a command of longbow and crossbowmen – with an Heavy Art element as well. On the right was a mixed command with some light foot and mostly men-at-arms. That command also had a couple of foot knights. So overall that command was hard nut to crack as well. That means overall this is not a huge force but a tough one, and one without many weak elements.
Their opponents were a bunch of late period Vikings. These are made up from my Dark Age figures and a list I put together. This force was mostly made up of heavy foot – all with missile support. About half of them were Hurscals who had 2 handed weapons and were elite as well. The center command included a couple of bow elements and a berserker (impetuous medium foot). The right hand side command (as seen below) was made up of 6 elements of impetuous medium foot – which did not have missile support. So they were ‘faster but squishier’ part of the arm, but were also set up on the side of the table with the most terrain. Each command had one or two elements of light foot. There was not a horse to be seen on this side of the table though – their ships must be just off table I guess,
We rolled for setup and terrain and the Free Companies were the attacker and wanted as little terrain as possible. Meanwhile the Vikings as the defenders went for the most. In the end the most of the terrain was around the edges and there was a nice open area in the center of the table for the battle.
The first move had the Free Company make a general but steady advance across the board. In response the Vikings also moved forward – making sure their central command stayed out of range of the Heavy Art. Their Medium Foot expanded out into the terrain and moved forward with the archer light foot moving even further forward. So it looked like the Viking were refusing one flank and pushing forward with their Medium foot through terrain.
This triggered more action from the Free Company mounted command. To ensure that the were not going to be flanked, that single command group separated. The knights swung in more to the center of the table, and the heavy cavalry turned to hold the flank. At the same time some of the longbowmen from the central command also had started to move in this direction. I guess this was to provide some ranged support and extra numbers if nothing else. There was a slow movement of the other free company command toward the line of Viking foot. It seemed neither side seemed to have that much interest in closing quickly with their heavy foot. But the Viking did move forward a little to the point that the Viking light foot in the center was now in range of the heavy Artillery.
The free companies light foot from their foot command had closed up though and started to be a pain shooting the Vikings. In fact had caused a disruption on one of the Viking foot (first blood to the Free Company). The longbowmen had also moved a little forward so they could start to shoot as well. The Viking bowmen and light foot started to fire back at the Longbowmen and the Viking line kinked a little with their refused flank still not moving at this point.
In response to the Free Company splitting their mounted wing, the Viking impetuous medium foot wheeled to put them a little more in line with the cavalry they were facing. They were limited by poor command rolls in doing anything too complex. At this point everything looked in the balance but the initiative of movement was with the Free Company.
On the left the Viking heavy foot line charged the Free Company skirmishers and forced them to flee. They charged by the free (a spontaneous charge to save command pips) but the light foot decided to flee as separate elements not a group, and so as you may expect they escaped the charge but were split up. The Vikings all stoped after moving the minimum for their charge.
Meanwhile, the Viking light foot from that command had skirted around the edge of the free company battle line and started to take potshots at them from the flank- causing 1 disruption to the heavy foot men at arms on the end of the line.
In the center the Viking bows had got into a shooting match with the Free Company longbows. The longbow advantages were not really helpful vs the bowmen and they started to loose that shooting duel being outnumbered. The Heavy Artillery and a supporting crossbow unit were being distracted by a unit of Viking skirmishers. That looked decidedly to the Free Companies advantage and the light troops were basically acting as a screen at this point. The knights continued to move into the center of the table to choose their own point of attack (queue some Shark attack music for that movement).
On the right side the two Free Company cavalry decided to take on the medium foot and charged in. With their impact ability they did a great work on one of the Viking medium foot (furious charge kicking in) but the other, the with Viking commander in the fight, held on the first impact. Not the perfect result but not bad for the Free Company.
In the center the Free Company crossbows charged the annoying Viking light foot which kept avoiding their shots to get rid of them. The dice went in their favor and they managed to catch the evaders and run them down. They then decided to pursue into the Viking bows. This was a bold move as they were quite forward of their main battle lines now. This combat would not be resolved until the next turn – the Vikings move.
Unfortunately, for the Free Company crossbowmen they did not realize there was enough space for the Viking berserkers to come up on the other side of the combat. So that put them in a very bad position and so in that next combat round they were destroyed by the Vikings. So that did not work out well for them.
Meanwhile the Free Company knights were close enough now charged in against the non elite Viking heavy foot. They did well and won two out of the three combats – but now they were there for the slog. The cavalry vs. the medium foot combat had become a slugging match as well and now without their impact bonus the fight had been evened up by the Vikings.
On the side where the foot forces faced each other they slowly continued to move towards each other. The Viking light foot took on a unit of Free Company handgunners who had come through to stop them on the flank. The Viking javelin armed troops though dispatched the handgunners with ease. Unfortunately, for the Vikings the combat of the elite knights vs the heavy foot was swinging more to the knights favor though. Elite and heavy armour is a tough nut to crack.
Over in the medium foot vs. cavalry, the Vikings has brought that back to even honors now. A lack of pips on both sides meant that there was not too much movement from the other elements on this side. Thinking about it, I’m not sure if we did the impetuous foot right here. I’m not sure whether the two end units should have impetuously moved on their own towards the center… Back to the rule book for more reading I think.
Finally the foot lines continue to get close but neither side seemed that focused on getting engaged still. With a poor die roll a second light foot element from the Free Company did deal with the Viking Javelin light foot threat. The Viking line extended beyond the Free Companies but the Free Company had the advantage of quality. The archery duel continued though with the 2 viking bowmen slowly damaging the Longbowmen. But straight bow combat is a long and slow way of killing opponents in this game.
The Free Companies Knights in the end destroyed the heavy foot. We did the next bit wrong and had the Viking Beserkers stupidly and imperiously attack the knights. That is an exception so they did not have to do the charge, But it would just have saved them for a turn. It did not end well for them anyway.
By now it was close to time for the game (and the store closing), but finally the foot lines clashed. The rolls went about even. The Vikings did ok – but it has to be said that the quality and advantages of the foot knights did shine out. It would have been interesting to see this fight work out but I suspect the Vikings may have won out in the end here, but only just.
Time was called at that point. Looking at the numbers the game officially was a draw but the Vikings were definitely the ones with the most deaths and disrupted troops. They also were the ones who looked in the worse position, with the Free Company knights in a position to start turning flanks of their troops while their medium foot was still dealing with the last cavalry.
Overall, everyone had fun and I think we are starting to get the rules down – I need to read the impetuous troops and in fact go through the whole rules again. Also, I think the Viking list I created likely need a little tweaking. The command that matched up with the Free Company foot Knights likely would have been helped with a couple of medium foot to do flank attacks. So maybe spreading those units around vs. having them all in a single command may have been better. The heavy art seemed to have more impact that it looks as well – with the Vikings staying out of its range for the most part, allowing the Free Company a lot more space to move than might have happened otherwise.
Still it’s good that the game has loads of depth on both list creation and how tactics in the game which I like.
A couple of weeks ago I showed the generic cowboy/settler 10mm cavalry I had completed – just check back if you missed it. Here I have a different set of figures, which are very specifically Confederates. There are 23 bases to be precise. They are all in their grey and butternut so it would not be that hard to confuse them though. All the models are from Pendraken and so go into my collection of ACW figs for general use.
You can see they have several command stands with flags. That said again I have made a base with just a single figure as well so that can be a commander if needed. The flags are generic Confederate cavalry pendants from the war scaled down and printed out. They do start to get small and fiddly at this scale as the cavalry pendants were not large.
Massed cavalry charges etc are not likely in the period, but still for raids it’s good to have enough figures to play good sized games with <cough> Erm, well maybe I went over board with the figures but as I have them now I might as well paint them…
Some research may be needed for larger ACW raids but if I want to put on demo games I certainly have the figures I need. Terrain may be more of a challenge but that can be sorted. I do need to dig out some of the ACW rules to start really planning a game. My problem is I can get a project going, have great plans and even get the painting done but but rarely get the big games on the table. At least I enjoy the painting.
So there we are, another set of toys ready for the table. Note we have started gaming again a little in person now so you never know a bigger game may be a possibility, but there are rules for gatherings and obviously people are still concerned about getting together at times.
So, here is something that I have been doing – a few rats! These are the Spitclaw gang from Underworlds. Yes these have been waiting for paint for some time, as they are now out of the meta/standard play cycle in the GW Underworlds Shadespire game. That will not stop our little group using them though. I also wanted to get these done and more importantly I really like how they came out – the full set are shown below.
These models come with sculpted bases which I really like. You can see them here from the top in the second photo. The grey of the stone seemed to work really well with these models and give a real underworld feel to them but still stay on the light side. I tend to paint ‘dark’ too much I think and so I tried to keep these in a light tone. I plan on using these with a few additions as either a pulp ally gang (you will see the force list at the bottom of this post) or maybe the start of a warcry force, but that will depend on if I can get some bases which somewhat match these. I have loads of Skaven models to work on, so that is not the issue.
I tried to keep the same basic pallet for all the figures in the gang. That allows them all to obviously be in the same faction. For this group the key colours are grey, brown and dark red. As with many of. my models the colour scheme is not super bright and shiny but as mentioned I tried to avoid having them too dark. I just can’t see bright and shiny Skaven happening. I am really please with how this model came out though.
The leader of the group is Stritch Spiteclaw. This is a very action packed model and shows him aggressively moving. Maybe that is not such a very Skaven thing to do – unless he is really just running away…But as with many of these small groups the leader model really does stand out.
The next model is Krrk the almost-trusted – what a great Skaven name! He is the No.2 in the gang and I guess thats why he is almost trusted. Again I kept with the colour scheme I had for the gang but this time I shaded the metals with a purple. That was just to give him a different look than the others. It took me a while to figure out that he had a couple of rats in his shoulder but I tried to do them in a way that they stood out without clashing too much.
The next model is called the Lurking Skaven and I like him a lot. Another action pose and this time I downplayed the red, just giving him enough to be part of the gang.
Next is a model call the Hungering Skaven. With his flail he looks very dangerous. I also wanted to ensure that he did not look like the greatest warrior. So the for metal on this guy I tried to go with a rusty look. I tried to give it a look of lack of care – and be different from the metal armour on the other models. After all the mode is a the gang member with the limited resources and not the best equipment.
Lastly is the Festering Skaven. Those names are from GW of course. Again a gang member who is not doing well. So I tried a slightly different look to his armour – again to ensure that is not the greatest and not new. He is the only model without any red. Instead I went for a faded grey with a lot of dirt. I think it worked quite well really.
These were painted with a mixture of contrast and normal paints with some washes as well. Overall I am quite happy how they have come out. Looking at the pictures maybe I could have been a little tighter with the red on a couple of the eye’s but in real life those are hard to spot. I may good and touch them up though. It’s interesting how putting the pictures together I see more flaws than when I am painting them. <sigh> Still, overall I really like how these have come out.
Below are some stats for using these models for Pulp Ally as a fantasy gang – this is just built using the standard V2 build rules. They are not going to be the best at fighting – but have ranged shooting vs some of the other gangs I have built. The keen senses background perk seems to fit better the rat model than some others I thought about.
I am late posting this week but here are another set of models that I completed a little while ago. In total there are a 31 bases of 10mm cavalry. These are a major increase in the number of mounted figures I have available for the American Civil War period. These can be used for the confederate mounted forces/raiders who were involved in a lot of the smaller fights and battles of the ACW. These can also be used for more generic larger cowboy or the Wild West period games. So pony wars and other things.
These may also be valid to use for such as the the Boer war, although I have no specific plans for gaming that at this point. These troops are generally in fairly dull colours. I did that as the standard person of the period did not have access to nice bright threads/materials. That was especially true of the typical settler in the American west/ or the general confederate raider would not have been in the splashiest clothing colours. So it seemed to fit with what I will use them for.
Above are the close up shots of 9 bases of these troops and below are 10 bases. You can likely see I did do some with different coloured feathers/markers in their hats, but as a non uniform force and a bunch of raiders I wanted that homespun look to them. I even did that down to the hats which are a general mixture.
The rest – 12 more bases, are in shown in detail below. You should be able to click on any of these images to see a larger picture if you want to. I hope to use these for some smaller scale games. I have always wanted to some games based in the Kansas–Missouri border, which was I believe especially hot for guerrilla activity around the war. They could also work for the bleeding Kansas period games, which is slightly before the civil war. In either case the pro-slavery “bushwhackers” can fight the anti-slavery “Jayhawkers”. Those names alone allow for some fun force creation stories if nothing else. This is defiantly more of a small scale war style and this is also the time of the range wars as as well as the traditional civil war period these will find use for different periods.
You may notice I have done a few bases with just 1 figure vs the standard 2 on most bases. Those can be leaders of units as required because such forces would not really have had flags or other items to differentiate such people in the field. So there we are more toys ready for the table in ACW games. Even though these are 10mm they should allow for a variety of games.
We have played a couple of games of Clash of Spears recently, so I thought I would do one of my mini-reviews and game play blog posts on this rules set. In summary Clash! is a large skirmish style game. So basically the level of SAGA or Infamy. You typically get 30 to 50 figs (28mm) on a side and play a scenario. So it’s not a large battle but also not really a skirmish game, so a big scuffle or some such… The base game is set in the Rise of Rome/the Punic wars – so the time of the Roman Republic and the fall of the Greek states. They have just released a second book with army lists for the Fall of the Republic and early Roman Empire periods. Work is ongoing for a Japanese version and Dark ages as well I gather from their facebook.
The game is more focused on pick up or balanced tournament style games than say Infamy Infamy which is more story/campaign based. So overall you can say that style it compares very well to SAGA and likely is a rival to that. You can easily make a set of linked games if you like but there are no set rules for that in the base game. It is a game which is typically aimed at 28mm figs as well – all the pictures are of that scale in the rules (and they are pretty rules). Now that’s all fine but I have been using the rules with 15mm’s and it seems to work equally well with those. I use one DBx base for a single 28mm figure. All other rules stay the same. In fact the authors note they think each 28mm fig represents between 2 and 4 real people, so in some ways this may better reflect visually the actual planned scale of the game!
The rules focus on command and fatigue, so do give a bit of a feeling of a Too Fat Lardy game even though it is not. There are also no ‘super powers’ or other weirdness which you get in the SAGA games. Commanders are strong fighters but not supermen either. A commanders main function are to get the normal guys doing what you want vs. being a one man army. All these aspects mean this game has much more of a historical feel than say SAGA, which I like but has much more of mythical fantasy style to it.
The game has setup rules, which work ok although in some ways I would like the option of a bit more terrain on the table. Thats an easy tweak though if desired. Below is the setup we started with in our game where the Gauls were raiding an Iberian tribes area. We played a simple control the area game – you can see the two objective markers below. I was in charge of the Iberian tribes, trying to stop the invading Gauls.
An interesting aspect of these rules is the unit deployment is done in a hidden manner. You have markers for each unit plus some dummies and move those till they get ‘locked’ by being seen by your opponents troops. This is very reminiscent of the chain of command patrol phase in some ways. It allows for some bluffing and tactical moves. For example on this game I knew my Iberians liked the woods and hills and really wanted to do more open order move and shoot type attacks vs.the Gauls who are a little more proficient in close order fighting. So, I tried to get units into the woods on the left and right on the table to spread out the fight. In the end this was helped by the Gauls trying a tactic of massing their troops between the hills. That would give them a very powerful force but concentrated in one area.
In this stage each turn a player can make 2 moves of units markers (each move is 4″) which are not locked. This alternates and in daylight game means the units start roughly 18 to 24 inches between them. However, depending on the armour of a unit the more moved it makes at this stage the more it will start the game fatigued…So there is a cost for moving heavy troops too far, but we have found sometimes that is worth it to get into a good position.
In the end of that phase the counters ended as below, You can see the red Gaul markers all on one side of the board. The dice we used to mark the number of moved they have made.
Once every counter is locked in place they are replaced with the units – alternating between players. The dummies are shown for what they are etc. The unit can be anywhere around the replaced marker. One figure just has to be where the marker locked – and no figure closer to the enemy than that. So below you can see the initial deployment of our forces. As I had hoped the Iberians had caught the Gauls and were in the process of surrounding them. The gaul force was deployed between the 2 hills as they wanted. My forces were split as you can see with some on the left and some on the right of the woods. But each had a commander sort of got what they wanted but I doubt that we would have started like this in a more traditional deployment method. So that was good/different.
Below are the Gauls – you will see these in close up detail in the coming weeks as I have just finished painting these figs and will be showing them soon. The Gauls had 3 commanders (the round bases) vs the Iberians having 2 but theirs were a little more skilled. The red dice show the fatigue (1 to 6) on a unit.
In Clash players alternate in having one commander spends an action point to activate a unit. If that has no fatigue it activates and can do up to 3 actions in a turn. If it has a fatigue then it needs to pass a dice test to see if it will do the command or the unit just decides to ignore the commander and rest a bit (reducing their fatigue by one instead). If a unit will do something, then they can do up to 3 actions in a turn. Some actions generate fatigue (such as fighting) and the more actions a unit does the more fatigue it can generate as well, It sounds complicated but there are a couple of tables for this and it becomes quite easy to understand after a turn or two.
A complexity to this is that after the 1st action of an activated unit, an opposing player can try to interrupt and try to get one of their commanders to order a unit to do a single action. This always requires a test to do. But this allows units to react to others and means a unit can react to others actions after their first action – for example allowing skirmishers to run away or throwing spears at opposing troops who come to close. The other interesting concept is that although a unit can only do 3 actions per turn, it can activate more than once in a turn. So for example a unit may move. Then stop and the opposing player activates a unit. Then the first player may move the unit again (or interrupt the opposing player using it) as long as a unit has actions left. This second (or even third) activation needs another command point and a potential test to do something. So command point management becomes important too. Lastly, if a unit does not use all 3 actions in a turn, then at the end of the turn the unused actions are automatically used to reduce a units fatigue.
This all gives the player an interesting choice dynamic of actions vs. reactions all while managing the command points available and fatigue on units. For example below you can see the end of the first turn of move for the Gauls. Some units moved further and added fatigue, while the back too just failed to take commands and move at all! Maybe the fearsome Iberians in the woods ahead had already started to win the metal battle!
Below you can see the larger picture at the end of the first turn of movement, with the Iberians moving up and spreading out. Close order which helps some troops like the Gauls heavier troops. It is when their bases are all touching and a close unit. Open order is where there is a little space between the bases. Close order troops with the right skills get defense bonuses but they move slower in that formation as well.
Over on the hill the skirmishers on both sides had started exchanging shots in the first turn. One of the things we have found with this set of rules is that although not super deadly, missile fire can and will cause casualties, Shooting at close range, especially with throwing spears can be quite telling though especially on smaller units. The longer range fire is not as deadly but still is not something to ignore. I believe this reflects the smaller scale of the conflicts vs the typical big battle ancient game where missiles are annoying but will cause few casualties.
An example of the of the interaction and activation and faigue happened at the start of the next turn. A warband of Gauls has used a couple of activations for movement in the previous turn and had a single fatigue as you can see below. But at the end of the turn their spare action removed that fatigue meaning they were fresh vs. they could have moved closer but would have started the next turn more fatigued.
The next turn the same Gauls activated first and moved forward towards the Iberian javelin armed skirmishers (the 5 bases of 2 figs per base above). But the Gauls had to do a second action to successfully throw their throwing spears at the javeliners/or charge into combat. The Iberian javelin armed skirmishers successfully interrupted and moved back out of range before that happened.
That gave the warband a choice – stop now or push on with their attack but risk getting isolated. They decided to continue and moved forward and threw their spears at the Iberian javelinmen. This killed a couple of the javelinmen bases. I told you close ranged throwing combat can be quite deadly – with five warband figs/bases using throwing spears killed two of the javelinmen.
They then rearmed their throwing spears as a third action. That left them with 3 actions and 2 fatigue. They could not activate again and I likely would have moved them back vs rearming their spears. Would that be the right decision as it left them with no actions and right in front of my troops…
In the Iberian activation which happened next, the veterans Iberian with a commander attached charged those aggressive Gauls. They were close (so they could throw spears), which meant they were close enough to be charged with a single action. As this was the Iberian units first action the Gauls could not react to this. But they had also made 3 actions so they could not even if they had wanted to. In hand to hand combat as a defender if you have actions you can do things in clash as well. Another decision point for the player in a game. You can either try to just hold and take the attack, actively defend to reduce hits or aggressively fight back at the attackers and try to kill them. To me that’s another nice decision point for players.
This time all the Gauls could just hold as they had no actions left. That did not play out well for them as the Iberians with their commander also in the fight wiped them out to a man. After this the Iberians then retreated back to their starting position. So the Gauls just pushed too far forward (well maybe were tempted forward) and they were destroyed for it.
After that fight the forces on this left side just moved closer with no one moving any units too aggressively that turn. The Gauls after their initial refusal to move were starting to get lined up now though, with their two big hard units in the centre of their line.
Also in the centre of the table I had pushed two Iberian units up and had claimed both objectives. I also had started to use the Iberian troops against the Gauls skirmishes on the hill. They were my focus now to win the game. Could I clear the hill and turn the Gauls flank, My idea was to try to delay and even draw the main Gaul line forward on the left by using throwing spears etc without engaging them in melee. If I could force them to do multiple moves to get to fight then I could hopefully pick them off piecemeal like I did that first unit. You can see the overall table developing below. So far the Iberians were on top of the situation.
The next turn the Iberian warband who had suffered some long range missile casualties charged the slingers who had been targeting them. Unfortunately, for the slingers at the end of the previous turn I had moved them up to within 4” and thrown spears at them. So the slingers could not react to this charge. The slingers had activated first but I had been lucky and avoided casualties when they activated and shot. But they had not done another action – choosing to wait and see what happened. So my spearman – who had not rearmed (the big white token showed they were without their throwing spears) charged in to melee with them.
In this case the slingers fought well and I killed one Iberian while they lost 2 of their own. I had taken their fatigue up to 4 and so likely should have tried that attack again but did not, thinking that caution was best. But 1 more fatigue would have driven the skirmishers from the table as more than twice the number of figures in fatigue on a unit run makes it flee the table.
Instead I held them in place – to act as a target for the archers which of course they were. The Gaul archers made pin cushions on them… Maybe I should have charged the slingers to get them out of the way but I had not and it was too late now, as the Iberians were dead.
That though had sort of played into my plans. I moved my slingers up and with 2 shots they cleared out the archers on the hill. Again close range missile work vs. unarmored troops can be deadly. This left the hill open for my other more melee focused units to start to move up as well. Those Iberian spearmen had died so I had several more numerous and fresh units now able to come in on the flank of the Gauls.
Over on the other flank my javelin men continued to harass the Gauls and they succeeded in tempting another gaul warband a little too forward and I managed to again attack and wipe it out. The javelin unit was down to a single base now but they had done their work well.
The Gauls were still in the fight at the end of that turn and could not fail the force morale check to run away, because of their makeup. However, things did not look good for them. The next turn things continued as they had – going from bad to worse. The Iberians kept up their missile and charge tactics when they could and a 3rd Gaul warband fell the those tactics tricks on the left flank. With some amazing save rolls from me I still had not lost a figure from the unit that had fought 3 opponents either. On the other flank a unit finally took out the last of the Gaul’s slingers. The Gauls were running out of troops. My commander was moving up the Iberian reverses.
In the end though it did not matter as with just the 2 solid and most powerful Gaul units the Gauls decided withdrew at the end of that turn. So overall the spearing throw and mobility of the Iberians plus moving around the flank had turned the game decisively in their favor. The Iberians had focused on the weaker Gaul units on the flanks and avoided the tougher ones.
As for the opinion of the game, I like it. So far the rules feels quite like a lardy game as I mentioned but it is more focused on a pick up and fight type style encounter which is common in ancient gaming. For me the interesting mechanic is the mixture of actions and fatigue that is the core item in the game. That trade off makes for lots of tactical choices and decision points. The command points and rolls for activation which are also part of that is another aspect. This ensures that even the best laid plans or ideas sometimes fail. All this makes for a fairly simple execution of a complex area in the game rules. It’s not simplistic but has a lot of decision points and player control without being total control which is what I like in games. This does take some getting used to though and so there really are tactics in the game which I think players have to learn.
Added to that, the commanders do have some punch as fighters so are better than the usual commander but are not supermen as seen in say SAGA. To that point all the abilities of troops are historical and not super powers like in SAGA. So the whole feel of the game is historical vs. mythical in feel. I have not tried too many different troop types but overall the army lists seem flexible and the on line tool for building forces (created by a fan) is also very good.
I have to add that the deployment ‘pre-game’ is interesting and really does make for a slightly different setup than in typical games. I also like that the rules really worked with 15mm DBx basing without issue. As you see in the pictures I hope this felt much more like a small battle than a scuffle of a few figs by using these. I really like how it looks for that. Sort of between a big game and real skirmish stuff with 15mm figs.
The only two negatives I have so far are first that with tracking the command points, fatigue and action for each unit the table does get a few tokens/markers on it. The throwing spears needing rearming is another token we used. So this can get a little messy etc. The second is that at times the book is laid out in a way which caused me to do a lot of flicking around – until I got the rules right in my head. A few things are in odd places for my mind and took some digging. It’s not DBA or anything crazy and maybe it’s the way my mind works for some things. Note, the book reads really well and is clear just the ordering of chapters etc made me jump around a bit, The reference sheet is ok but a more comprehensive one would help/reduce that – but the risk with that of course is that they can get too big and unusable. Both those are minor points really and will not stop me playing the game again.
As a last point there are a limited set of scenarios. There are 5 or so in the book but having more of those is always good – especially in smaller scale games like this. Maybe having some more raiding style and/or with more terrain or doing things like raiding locations would be good. There is one cattle raid game but more of that type of thing would have been nice. Now I know trying to make balanced generic scenarios is very hard so this is understandable. It is also fairly easy to create scenario’s oneself when you get to know a system but that thought came to my mind when reading the rules.
Overall though I have been impressed with these rules and will want to play them again – with the different periods they cover as well. So if you like the SAGA scale games but want a more historical feel game then Clash of Spears is worth a look.
For those of you in the UK Warhammer World is somewhere which is accessible – maybe not with ease depending on where you are in the UK, but you can get there. For us colonials that’s is not the case. So as I was in the UK this weekend and passing Nottingham on my travels, I decided to take a slight detour and investigate the GW HQ – which they call Warhammer World for this of you who did not know. That means you guys get a ‘bonus blog entry’ on this.
Now I am not the greatest GW fan, but at the same time I enjoy some of their games. Like most people in the war gaming hobby I have known the background and their games for a long time. I do use a decent amount of their paints and washes etc. So why not take a look.
The place is a group of buildings which includes a factory etc so that was interesting to start with. The factory is not open to the public though. This first thing I will say is that they had some very nice displays as you walk in the main building. Below are a couple of samples.
The place is fairly impressive, with a decent gaming area and a good retail space. In the US and Canada I have seen stores with larger areas for both, but for the UK it’s a good size. When I was there an Age of Sigmar competition going on – with some nice looking armies on lots of tables.
They have lots of the Forgeworld figs on display. I was impressed with many of those. 40k is not really my thing but I have to say they did have a nice set of big and unusual models around . Here are a few sample shots. There were many more of these types of thing.
A nice thing was they had I think most/all GW models to be purchased. With planning you can also pick up forge world models there. So if you are looking for something then you likely can get it here with just a little planning. I bought a couple of things – nothing crazy though. The items were things I was thinking of getting anyway, oh and a white dwarf mag. But I could not really not comeback without buying something after all.
I will close the post by saying that they had a fun set of painted armies and displays around. I’ll show sample set of photos below. I am not sure if these are customer or in house painted mini’s I did not have a huge amount of time to spend reading labels etc but overall it was worth a quick stop over in my opinion anyway.
So a simple one this time… I have had the kallistra non hex terrain for some time (see here for them: https://www.kallistra.co.uk/?page=14). I bought them just before lockdown and decided that I really needed to get them finished and use them out. You can buy these flocked but I decided to buy them plain and then do that myself. Thus the title of the post. That way they would more match the boards/fabric I use as a tabletop as well as the basing I do. I will say it was also cheaper, well I am a gamer after all.
With some games we have been playing recently again at my house I wanted to get these plastic hills/lakes etc finished so I could use them. Now they are and below you can see them all – with a 40x20mm base for scale on the pictures. In the end I like how they have come out.
There is no variation in the design at each hill size and I have 4 small hills – these will be good for general games and especially ADLG/DBA etc.
I also have 2 medium sized hills. These are ok for larger hills and as you can see the models seem to hold onto the flocking well. So no sliding down the side which was a concern for me. That was one concern I had especially with trying the non flocked hills.
I also just have a single large hill. Overall, I tried to do the flocking so it will work for a variety of settings. I just used white glue and very fine flock. I am sure that they may ware a little with use as well but so far they seem to be holding up ok. The hills themselves are just formed from moulded hollow plastic so are very light but seem sturdy enough for gaming. All the same, I would not want a person to lean and put all their weight on them though.
I also had ordered a couple of small hills with escarpments. Some grey paint and highlights has got those done as you can see below. Overall again I can’t really complain. I should have got a medium and large version of these. Maybe soon if I expand my collection of them,
Lastly, I also go a pack of their lakes. I did those at the same time – but obviously I needed to paint the water. So a coat of white gesso for undercoat and then a couple of different blues and the lakes are done. It’s always a nice day for a battle, so I did them nice a blue. That is rather than the typical Northern Europe lake which would be a much darker shade.
Overall I’m quite happy how these have come out. They were not hugely expensive and are a great alternative to styrofoam hills. They store easily, especially as the are hollow so multiple slot into each other. They are light as well which helps. I may at some point even order a few more. We will see on that as it depends if I really need more. But at this point I know these will get a lot of use in my home gaming. They already have…
I have shown a lot of Dark age models in the past year or so, but these are slightly different than the typical fighting units. There are two different types of odd models here. First I have four more 40mm square bases with civilian models on them. They can be used as ambush markers or just natives in the local area. They can also be raiders returning with loot.
They could also be locals trying to escape such raiders hauling the few goods they could gather while trying to escape. They could at a push even be hordes/levy troops but I am not sure on that as for one thing the bases are the wrong size for true levy in mots of the rules I use. I must admit I was quite happy how these came out and was tempted to but more bushes etc on the bases but in the end left them sa just grass.
The basing is the same as I have used previously, so I am sure they will find a use in some game or other. They may well even work for first crusaders on the move, as I suspect many of those armies were nothing more than a horde most of the time. The soil is a little too dark for that really but I doubt anyone will complain too much.
The second set of models are a group of 4 warhounds. I based these on cavalry sized bases and although not really used in many historical big battle games they again can be used in smaller ones. Some rules such as SAGA and Dux Bellorum have specific units for dogs so these can be used in those rules without a problem. In others I can always use them as cavalry if I really want.
I have a few more dogs on order from other manufactures – as I liked these and wanted at least 2 if not 4 more bases of dogs. These will work for quite late into the medieval period as the dog handlers are wearing pretty generic clothing and dogs do not really change.
The models are from splintered light, if anyone wants to know, while I think most of the general people above are from PeterPig.
So there we are a few more models for the Dark Age forces. Believe it or not this is the last set of Dark Age models I’ll be showing for a while, as I have started on the next 15mm project – Gauls. So I am going back a little in time, although it another horde of troops army. Although if the dogs come then I may paint those up to complete that unit.