Friday, 21 March 2014

Hougomont and Nassau defenders

The chateau of Hougomont is one of the famous landmarks of the Battle of Waterloo with its distinctive red brick construction and profile.   I have gone the paper-building route and so bought the Pireme Publication building.  While in 15mm scale it is still a large complex and had too large a footprint on the tabletop for my purposes so I have heavily modified the structure but still hoping to keep the essence of its look.

A battalion of Nassau troops were deployed to occupy the woods facing the French lines.  These and some other small contingents of British Guard light companies and Hanoverian skirmishers still amounted to no more than 1,100 but I wanted for game purposes to make Hougomont a tough nut for the French to crack  -- historically it was never taken -- so I will be using a full element of these troops along with the occupying element of British Guards.

The Nassau boys - the similar other element I painted, will be deployed on the right wing with Prince Bernard - are built out of the Perry plastic French skirmishers appropriately scraping off all the Bardin lapel details. The Grenadier fur caps are French hussar caps.  I will say in sotto voce that the red bag hanging from each should be on the left side but, "button counters", let's over look that ....

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bombing Ploesti

Finally got to another club's GameNight and participated in Andrew's bomber raid game based on the famous Allied raid on the Ploesti Oil Fields in Romania.  Famous in part due to the 'pink' planes painted in a pale desert scheme.  Andrew did a great job in painting the planes and creating the oil refineries and holding tanks. While the modeling was simple; for example, using small paint tubs turned upside down and painted gray, it did not take away from the excellent effect.

All the players controlled flights of three bombers while Andrew did the calculations for the flak.  He had a couple of ME109s painted and threatened us with them but did not use them in the game so it was running the flak and line up on your targets for the players.

The flak proved to be not that effective as only one plane was knocked down -- mine of course !!    [  proving again that I cannot get through any air game without being shot down !  ]

Points were added up and Glenn quietly bombed the **** out of the oil fields gaining the most, to the surprise of us noisier players  <grin>

The game was a playtest for Andrew who will put it on for the local 'Trumpeter Salute' convention in a month's time, and a lengthy post game chat had suggestions to simplify the rules and add German fighters for more "excitement" for the bomber crews.

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lord of the Rings. A four way battle with Trolls!

The boys seemed surprised when I showed up.  "Yeah, you did say you would show and good you did!" Francis the host exclaimed as a couple of the regulars bailed and with me, this four way game was possible.

First things first.  I have not read any of the Middle Earth  books, nor do I know much about the story, nor have I watched any  of the movies   --  probably the only person in the world?   Certainly within the crowd I know in the hobby anyway......   However LotR rule system is well known to the guys and they helped me through it by basically telling me what roll was needed and how many dice to throw. 

What was really interesting was the scenario as it was a token grab, with the winner with the most tokens each having a different amount, but could only be taken by the leader and off the table before his particular Lord of the Rings army melted away.  HOWEVER, two of these desirables could awake a big-ass troll which apparently is not desirable to be around.  On top of that, were the many winding rivers which cut through the battlefield. While there were bridges -- no problem to cross -- and fords -- roll for those too but  a 1 in 3 to only go half speed -- but to cross a river tempts a 1 in 3 chance of dying !!   AND on top of all THAT, was the 'so who goes first ' roll off.  If any players tied on this, a random events chart is consulted with good, bad and ugly results.  With players - example:  the oldest or the tallest - meeting out the targets and the other player rolling for hits/kills.  So some idea of the random chaos of each turn.
part of the contingent of Dwarves under my control
a Troll!
"if I duck and weave..."
From their impressive LotR collective collection, my 'shorties' wandering around to collect tokens - one of which is the white square in the distance.
close-up of the warriors under my control.  What another 6?!  I must admit I had quite a few during the game.
This photo shows some of the dilemmas we all had through out the game.  The green blobs are deadly, impassible swamps which thus restrict movement options and fighting options.  Both Kev's Gondor -top- and Francis' Goblins -bottom- both want the token but know the second troll has not be awoken. Take?  Not take? Let the other guy look, and then if not the Troll, try to steal the darn thing??

Overhead shot demonstrating the terrain broken up by the deadly rivers.  Ask Dave how deadly! 

Dave's warriors still fighting the first Troll - it being under my control for the entire game. He did manage to kill it but he also had the second Troll to deal with!  <grin>

...not my usual wargaming thing, but great fun.