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Elemental Kings Event

Sunday the 11th September was a day of fantasy gaming at Stockport’s Element Games…

100 minutes per game.

Game 1: Pillage

Game 2: Push

Game 3: Control

Game 4: Dominate

The Day…

It was a great tournament with a mix of player abilities (phew!) with me being completely new. 26 players. Round 1 was random draw, after that it was swiss pairing.

Game 1 (v James’ Salamanders): A turf war with similar forces. Not really knowing what I should do I just lined up as we had some 6 tokens spread out across both sides of the table. You win by controlling more than the enemy at the end of the game. My opponent soon got to grips and pushed in against my troops near a token meaning he would have an extra one if he just consolidated. By the end he controlled two, the others were contested or uncontested. I just didn’t have anything left that could grab control of two objectives. Ah well.

Game 2 (v Sean’s Abyssal Dwarfs) – A really good use of stand-in models and a joy to play against. The aim here was to grab and push three tokens into the other players table half as I recall. All three were in the centre part of the table . Similar problem to game 1. I didn’t think I was doing too bad, but still got beat up. My list was a bit soft and not using it well showed (the long line v. the enemy picking a point to concentrate on). At one point Sean advised using massed shooting at one of his hordes which did kill it. Sadly, the units used got mauled badly over the next couple of turns and soon I had nothing left to fill the gap in the line. Classic use of force where it was needed to break a thinner enemy line. Mauled again!

Somewhere around lunchtime the back banner snapped off my Clan Lord on the Fire Drake – oh well. It really needs a metal banner pole.

Game 3 (v Steve’s Undead – elite force) – Lots of nicely done elite level undead here. I wasn’t really watching the enemy line up too closely and went for the march in and attack strategy. Wrong! I moved my line up and got rear charged by flyers. Crushing defeat by flyer led forces as everything was killed to a Salamander. Nice elite undead army.

Game 4 –  (v Hal’s Nature) – Lovely scratchbuild and converted army. I didn’t over extend my line (but still bit too long) and didn’t push forward too far so managed to get a better game in against a force with a couple of fluffy flyers in it. He did use front arcs well to stop me getting some charges in and I just seemed to crumble on my left flank then was worked to across the table. In the end he got the big kills on turn 6. However, we rolled a turn 7 and then he really got my points off me as I was forced to sit and wait for it or rush in and try to score some damage. In the end I came off worse and my Clan Lord on his Fire Drake was turned to minute steak. We misread the scenario (Dominate). I had about 400 point left but it was on one side of the centre line. The goal is to be within 12 inch of the table centre not centre line. I took about 600 points off him so did better than previous games, but the scenario gave me nothing for being too far from the centre. Our mistake, my loss otherwise I would have got a couple more tournament points!

Four good opponents in my games. All finished within the time (100 mins per game).

Game 1: I lost 19-1

Game 2: I lost 18-2

Game 3: – I lost 20-0

Game 4: I lost 18-2

Got 4 points for painting so my score was 9 out of possible 84.

Surprise, I got 26th out of 26 and won the wooden spoon and a small prize (thanks guys).

Game 1:

game 2

Game 3:

Game 4:

Additional army pics…

Congratulations to Chris Walsh on the Best Painted award – well deserved.

Summary.

I realized at the end my 5 units of Hunters were fluffy and died easily. 500 points invested in these was too much. I had to use the models I had but would not use these again.

Advice from a noob after the above….

Don’t spread out too much! You need weight of numbers and the ability to block rear and flank chargers.If your line is too thin it will be broken and then your force will crumble from enfilading attacks.

Use complimentary units to buff and support (magic is good for bane chanting, healing and surging more so than direct damage IMO).

Make sure you check the Arc of Sight of yours and enemy units as that detrmines whether charges can happen.

If you do get hit in the front and flank in one turn of combat even your hardest units can be killed in that turn. I was taking around 95 or 100 attack dice against an Ankylodon at one point which took some 16 points of damage and couldn’t make the snake eyes Nerve test even on a re-roll.

Don’t get too confident in your Defence 6 creatures. Even a modest unit can reduce that to 5 or even 4 with Crushing Strength and Thunderous Charge.

Go back to the rules and check where you are not sure.

Read the mission rules and work out how to deploy and get in a position to win – don’t go all over the table!

Look at where the other player is deploying his units and respond appropriately.

Practice tactics and combat before events !! Check out the Vassal Engine HERE as you can get a Kow module for it.

Always paint your forces to a tabletop standard and base them as you might be penalised for Tournament points.

Edit: The TO Darren has made a lovely post on the Mantic Forum. You can see it HERE. His pictures are HERE.

 

 

New Kings of War Army – ready for Battle

I have just finished my army for todays (in about 8 hours time) Elemental Kings event at Element Games, Stockport.

I may need a little luck as I only have one game under my belt and definitely no KoW tournament experience.

The quickest army to get finished were my part painted Warhammer Lizardmen, hence they became KoW Salamanders, 2000 points.

A Clan Lord on Fire Drake, a Herald on Raptor mount, 2 regiments of Kaisenor Lancers, 2 Ankylodon battle platforms, 2 Salamander Prime Regiments and 5 troops of Ghekottah Hunters with blowpipes. Add in some ensorcelled armour for the hero and a Brew of Strength for a cavalry unit and that’s it.

No idea if it is good or bad… ah well, I really need the experience.

salamnder-army-in-a-box-5salamnder-army-in-a-box-4salamnder-army-in-a-box-1salamnder-army-in-a-box-2

 

Flames of War – two AAR’s – 1420 points Late War

I played a couple of games of Flames of War a few weeks ago at the newly revamped Element Games North West Gaming Centre.

Game 1 – My British 11th Armoured v Germans

I got to face off against Hammy in a Free For All. I took the table edge that allowed him to put his 88mm guns in the centre on a hill and overlook his objectives. Bit silly of me I guess. After that I placed my infantry platoons one on each objectives and backed them up with the tank platoons.

I tried to move in on his left flank objective and used my tanks to whittle down his platoons. I managed to kill a couple of his defending platoons.

Hammy used ranged gunfire to try to kill and bail my tanks and eventually made a move with his panthers across to my left flank. I managed to take out one panther somehow.

In a war of attrition Hammy killed a couple of my platoons and we ended up with a few British infantry teams slogging it out with a couple of panthers over the objective. Somehow the panthers all died but I failed a last man standing and the objective was left wide open but with only distant German infantry to try to take it.

As we were running out of time and no one had a great advantage in terms of taking an objective in the next two turns we called it a Draw but with some two/three platoons a piece dead it was not a great day for collecting VP’S! Fun little game that dusted off my models after months on the shelf (and surprise that the tanks didn’t go down to 88m guns as quickly as I suspected they would).

Game 2 – my Germans v Dan’s Allied 9th Lancer tanks (6 platoons and 4 platoons respectively).

The German Grenadierkompanie 352 from the Fortress Italy book was Confident Veteran. I took 2 platoons of rifle MG’s, 2 PAK40’s, 4xPanzer 4 H, 3 x StuH, 3 recon cars (223/222’s) and limited Stuka air support. The Allies had two tank platoons, recon and an infantry platoon plus limited air support as I recall.

Mission: cannot remember – it was lengthwise so Pincer I think. I defended and placed an objective to the back right. Stupid move that may well have cost me the game. Dan placed his objective front and left to make a quick grab. I used infantry to defend that objective. My Panzer 4’s were in Ambush (or immediate ambush…?)

I should have put my objective in the centre with the PAk40’s to provide support for the attack to my left flank. I always think of the right move after the game. Deployment is my main Achilles heel I am sure.

Dan ignored my further away PAK protected objective with the 2iC in favour of an all out attack on his nearer objective. He used air to neutralise my air and recon for taking off GtG. His tanks tried to soften my infantry up then he launched an assault that killed off about half my infantry. I sprang my tank ambush behind the  hill near the objective and used it to reinforce the defenders. The Germans managed to beat back the attack with infantry and panzers at a small loss. The Allied infantry platoon collapsed and was lost. At that point it looked like I might just win this fight.

Then the Allied tanks came in and I decided to bring my newly arrived StuH’s on from the side and take side shots at the approaching Allied tanks. Guess what, I roll 3 one’s and whiff. In return the StuH’s are slaughtered next turn (I forgot stormtrooper but it would not have helped as cover was too far away). I lost the StuH’s in one turn of Allied firing.

At that point I was on the back foot. I brought on infantry reserves to try to counter the tanks but they were machine-gunned down in their first turn i recall.

Finally my recon cars came on to hide behind the hill as the Allied tanks rumbled on. Dan’s air support hit a couple of 222’s but somehow only bailed one.

My PAK40’s did nothing all game as the enemy kept away from them.

Finally, my Panzer 4’s and recon cars were killed and my company broke. A 5-2 to Dan I think. Fun game but I should have done better in deployment and could well have won.

 

The Eagle has landed (almost)….

One other mini project I did work on for an evening recently… a model Space 1999 Eagle Transporter. These re-makes of 1970’s kits are easy to build and look great as scenery for 20 or even 28mm gaming figures.

I now have a companion to my old 1970’s model kit – that one has seen some damage (the landing pads are easily snapped off when you are a kid or careless adult).

The only thing to watch for is not to let the glue go around the outside of the passenger module as it can discolour the plastic a little (the module joins from two halves lengthwise).

The last thing to do for me was to spray the model black to match the older one I have for a possible RPG scenario. Otherwise you can use the decals supplied to embellish the kit.

 

Summer Update – Flames, AoF & Kings of War

Well, it’s been a while…my first update for some time. I have been pretty busy but found time to either blog a bit or actually get on and get some armies built and painted.

Early April saw a family trip to York and a walk round the town, walls and museums. Excellent place to spend a couple of days. As it was a Roman and a Viking settlement there’s a lot of history. Sadly, the Yorvik museum and York Dungeon was closed as it had flooded a few months earlier.

Way back in mid-April I took my son and his friends paintballing. It was good to get out but the journey to the centre was a nightmare of off-road pot-holed track before arriving at a quagmire of a wooded area. At times it was impossible to walk let alone run over a number of the combat arenas. Still, it got the cobwebs well and truly blown away!

Back in early June the family went to the UK Games Expo at the NEC. I didn’t really take any pics this year. The main venue is now a large arena / hall and not the hotel setting of previous years. TO be honest, I didn’t like it. Far too much to try to see and in a random fashion and without the cosiness of the hotel rooms and corridors. I guess the show has now grown too big and commercial for my liking.

I chose to build and start painting and blog later. Glad I did as I have got quite a bit done.

First, Flames of War. Since Corrivalry 2016 I wanted to get a German force completed. In a way I now have two forces. A Stug Batterie and a Grenadier Company. Nice and simple and based around the plastic  starter set. I added some more battlefront StuG’s (and the StuH variant) along with a heavy platoon (HMGs and 81mm mortars) and four Wespe’s (I know – expensive for what they are – I just love them). I also added in a platoon of three plastic SdKfz222’s as a recon unit (one was slightly modified to be a 223 radio car complete with broom bristle antennae (I don’t like the metal ‘radiator’ piping aerial on the battlefront 223 model).

Then I noticed the box of Mantic Kings of War Undead sitting at the side of my desk and instead of getting the decals on the German tanks I started building a 2000 point Undead force for KoW. I added the contents of the Undead Elite Army

I needed to get some more Plastic KoW Undead (they are cheap points wise which is a mixed blessing) and so bought the 2 player set that has the rulebook and some Dwarfs in it as well. Guess what? The Dwarfs were built as an “interrupt mode” between Undead batches and expanded out to include TWO units of Giant Badger Riders for another 2K points army. The Brock cavalry are soooo nice and at 26 Attack dice for 10 they can really throw out some hurt.

The Kings of War rule set just seems to streamline the game and make Fantasy a joy again. (having used some Dwarfs and my old GW Goblins to play against my son (and lost to him).

Finally, I built some more 6mm brigades for ACW “Altar of Feedom“. They aren’t finished yet but when they are I will be able to run most of the game battles and the new Vicksburg Campaign.

I still need to finish off the woods I built last year. They are made from black foamboard with mixed clump foliage glued on top. the underneath needs to have more steady supports. The clump foliage also needs more glue as some of it tends to come off when you are gaming and moving scenery.

There was also some resin railway to base up for AoF too. It’s pretty brittle and must have a solid base of some sort. I gave the resin a clean in soapy water then let it air dry before gluing it to the bases with a grab adhesive from a cartridge gun.

Once these last items are painted I then need to tidy up the game table area and then I can run an AoF battle – the brigades are all labelled up.

It’s here – Altar of Freedom’s first campaign supplement!

The first supplement for this 6mm ACW game is here.

I will be reviewing it shortly. But first, go and check it out on the 6mmacw website!

http://www.6mmacw.com/vicksburg-campaign-aar.html

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© 2016 by Greg Wagman All Rights Reserved

Altar of Freedom – 1st Bull Run – 2nd Test game

Here is the second game of First Manassas / 1st Bull Run.

Using the lessons learned from game one I made some changes.

First up I laid the scenery more carefully (you should be able to see the differences if you check the link to the first AAR). It does make a difference to deployment as the Union can only set up in a limited area, whereas the Confederates can set up anywhere south of the Bull Run river.

The main difference is that the hills under the table cover are gone. I just didn’t like them. Too big and making too many creases.

So with the table re-adjusted, the battle plans were changed a bit.

Johnston still set up to the west of the table using his cavalry to cover the Sudley area.

Beauregard had almost all his force covering the same crossing as last time – shortest route north to Centreville (!) His artillery supporting to the left of his flank.

For the Union, the main difference was the use of Hunter’s division to make a flank attack to cross Sudley Ford in the northwest.

Heintzelman would keep the approach from the west covered along with Hunter’s artillery and one infantry brigade.

Tyler and Miles’s divisions were used to defend the south of Centreville, but this time as a more coherent line.

The Map / table….

AoF v2 1st Bull Run (30)

Turn 1

Hunters’ cavalry move to the Sudley ford followed through the woods by supporting infantry.

Johnston sends two brigades over the Bull Run toward Heintzelman.

Beauregard crosses the Bull Run south of Centreville and intends to punch through the main Union lines with men and cannon. Union lines are disrupted but no severely.

Turn 2

Hunter’s cavalry push on to the ford.

Johnston has sent reinforcing infantry to Sudley to help stop the flank attack.

Jackson’s strong brigade pushes on in toward Heintzelman’s larger force (not sure how it got so close to the artillery without being affected by ZOC…?)

Heintzelman responds by shifting his force to stand-off against Jackson.

Somewhere a tired Union brigade is broken and goes to its HQ to rally.

Beauregard personally supervises the pushing of his right flank forward into the woods to outflank the Union lines (End of Turn adjustments are very useful and Beauregard has no choice but to save points for this action).

Turn 3

Jackson’s infantry brigade pull back to a newly formed Confederate line under Johnston’s watchful gaze. Union artillery is pretty disrupted with Heintzelman appearing to be on the defensive at this point.

The action at Sudley ford is vicious. Palmers cavalry attack Stuarts cavalry. The Union push back the defenders but now face a slightly surprised Bartow whose weak infantry are also pushed back. This leaves the two cavalry units now facing off again. The action swings back and forth but Palmer, without support is finally beaten back and the Confederates re-take the Bull Run crossing.

When the lines are drawn, Johnston and Heintzelman appear to have reached a stand-off in the centre of the table.

Beauregard pushes his attack and brings in his right flank infantry to bear down on the thin Union line.

Somewhere in the fighting, Jones’ strong infantry brigade are broken and at the end of the turn they rout from the table despite Beauregard’s presence.

Heintzelman’s rearguard are now close to the Union HQ on the edge of Centreville.

Turn 4

While the fighting goes on nearer Centreville, Sudley is again the centre of attention.

Hunter’s infantry brigade reach the ford and quickly force back Bartow’s weaker infantry who eventually decide to fall back toward their Divisional HQ.

Turn 5

The action is fierce in the centre ground this turn.

Beauregard orders Longstreet’s brigade to push the Union flank and does so in a series of combats that roll back waves of Union troops, tiring them as they fall back further toward Centreville.

Hunter and Tyler both lose their artillery this turn, a fearful blow.

Stuarts cavalry fall back from Sudley toward Johnston’s position. The Unions forces at Sudley are now over the river but a long way from their main force.

Beauregard pushes his infantry relentlessly across the river and toward the weakening Union centre.

Turn 6

Heintzelman moves to support the defence against the oncoming Confederates of Johnston’s force.

Jackson’s infantry have been successful in rolling back Unions forces over the last couple of hours but are now tired and taking the back seat by supporting other brigades.

Hunter loses Porters infantry when they break to sustained attack, weakening Heintzelman further.

Beauregard sends two rested infantry brigades (Longstreet and Bonham) through the woods to support Johnston’s attack on Heintzelman (these are pushed further along in end of turn adjustments).

Tyler and Miles remaining forces are now backed up to the town limits of Centreville.

The situation is looking grim for the Union who are on the edge of a major defeat.

(apologies for poor pictures here – the phone camera just isn’t making it this game).

Turn 7

Longstreet and Bonham’s forces move out of the woods to surprise Heintzelmans division. Making capital from this, Johnston withdraws back to the river to try to steady his tired troops and keep the crossing safe from the outflanking Union forces behind them.

Hunter’s cavalry and infantry move in on Johnston’s HQ, but so far from support there is little they can do but manoeuvre in the hope of finding a weakness and keeping Confederate forces pinned to this side of the river and away from Heintzelman.

Turn 8

Johnston keeps a rearguard to protect his HQ while sending the rest of his force forward to support Longstreet and Bonham’s attack on Heintzelman.

Beauregard himself has now joined his troops and supports them from the front line, the need for caution less now his other troops are pushing into Tyler and Miles’s lines.

The Union line near Centreville collapses with more breaking troops. The Confederates capture the Union HQ’ and the broken troops flee the field. To add insult to injury, McDowell is captured too.

Palmer’s cavalry and supporting infantry will have a long trek home as they are stranded on the wrong side of the Bull Run with a lot of Confederates around…

End of Game…

Less than half of the Union forces now remain on the table and with no General. A solid victory for the Confederate forces.

Final centre position and a look at the casualties racked up….

Summary

After two games, it seems pretty clear the Union have the harder game here.

Three key reasons I see are:

McDowell: with a weak General (and only one) commanding four divisions that he cannot give equal priority points to the Union commander has a hard time trying to move all his forces or to get control of the Turn Clock.

The Confederates have only two large divisions, and a general with each one. Both are able to move their forces, even if Beauregard has to use end of turn adjustments to do this. Beauregard’s forces may be slow but it is a large force.

Strong infantry: There are some five strong confederate infantry brigades that can really steamroller the Union forces. The only way of really stopping these is artillery, if the Union can get to shoot at canister range at them. Otherwise, they just seem to roll through the weaker troops of Heintzelman and Tyler.

Starting positions: the Confederates can start anywhere next to the river and can hold all the fords and bridges if they want. crossing the river can be done in one turn.

The Union start in a  limited deployment area and have to move to fill out their lines or to get to the river. This seems to put them on the defensive. To add to this, they need to protect Centreville. The Confederates could give up their side of the river and recapture it later if they wanted without the same morale and political effects of having a Town sacked or captured.

All in, the Union need to work hard to find a strategy that can win the game or even stand-off.

A fun game and some very hard fighting. The only rule that might have been forgotten at one point was Zone of Control but it wouldn’t have made a difference in that case.

–END–