Sunday, 28 April 2013

Average Joes 2013: On The Match To Deeside

Yes its time once again for an Average Joes outing, and with the yearly Deeside Defenders tournament about to commence its time for this years team:

May I introduce a team with style, verve and fur.  A team quicker than an American upon hearing the words “free burgers!”  A team lead by a man wearing the worlds most dashing cloak and sporting award winning hair.  Indeed it is a team which was separated from immortal Deeside title-winning glory by a last minute disaster of bad luck, a very bad hair day, and a truck load of Norsemen (and Dave Winters superior tactics - ahem).

I give you: Average Joes, the skaven speed daemons!

Storm Vermin ‘La Fleur’         Block               90,000g
Storm Vermin ‘ Tank’             Block               90,000g
Throwing Rat  ‘Murdock’        Pass, Sure Hands       70,000g
Gutter Runner             ‘Cotton McKnight’       Dodge             80,000g
Gutter Runner             ‘Pepper Brooks’          Dodge             80,000g
Gutter Runner             ‘The Rat’                      Dodge             80,000g
Line Rat                       ‘Dodge’                        Block               50,000g
Line Rat                       ‘Dive’               Block               50,000g
Line Rat                       ‘Duck’              Block               50,000g
Line Rat                       ‘Dip’                 No Skill            50,000g
Line Rat                       Justin               No Skill            50,000g
Line Rat                       Dwight             No Skill            50,000g
Line Rat                       The Lone Rat              No Skill            50,000g

Fan Factor = 2 x 10,000 = 20,000
Re-rolls = 2 x 60,000 = 120,000g
Cheerleader = 1 x 10,000
Assistant Coach = 1 x 10,000
Head Coach = Lord Derek Tiberius Flasheart

I know, hardly original but its entertaining, and it tends to get past group stages, if only I could actually win a knockout match as well!  And here is this years groups and layout, I've pulled out of the bag (literially) group 2, which sees Pete and David as my first opponents.

Bloodbowl Groups and Games for 2013
Group 1

Group 2

1. Paddy

7. Rick

2. Big Si

8. Pete D

3. Dafydd D

9. Dave Mc

4. Phil

10. William

5. Dave W

11. James

6. Ian S
12. David A

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Scenery, also known as What A Lot Of Trees

With the prospect of a mouth-watering English Civil War game on the Sunday at Gauntlet we're currently in the midst of debating which scenery to use, and it occurred to me that I hadn't a list or picture of my rather large collection of trees.  I know.  Oh how exciting this has become.  They may not get used because they are primarily fir trees not matching much of Cheshire (but excellent for the Ardennes and Bavarian forests), but this gives an idea of how many, as well as the lovely wooden shapes, several hills, a bridge, and a graveyard that needs a lick or many of paint.  As well as the fields in the background there are a number of 'broken' trees in need of a fix, and half painted musketeers scattered around to show scale.

The count of trees in good condition being:
83 Pines
18 Rounded thingies
3 More impressive rounded thingies in a clump.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Pike & Shotte Siege - The Swedish Attack Chester

With Michaels gardening leave in full swing he left his hoe and hotfooted it over to Wrexham for a meeting of minds in the first ever Pike & Shotte siege!  We ‘borrowed’ some extra rules from the Worcester battle report in the Pike & Shotte book, with my Royalist foote (4 foote regiments under Lord Flasheart) defending against the entire Swedish army commanded by the fearsome Gustavus Adolphus - fielding no less than 8 pieces of ordinance to batter at the walls of the city of Chester (yes, I had staked it for the campaign).  The only bright spot for the beleaguered Royalists being the incoming relief column of horse; 4 regiments of gallopers and two of dragoons led by Brigadier Wolfe.  Victory conditions where for the attackers to get 3 unshaken units inside the walls inside 10 turns. Each part of the walls counted as a building, and could take 10+1D6 hits from artillery before collapsing and creating a breach.

The Battle:

I had garrisoned the city walls by placing my musketeers in the towers (out of reach of ladders), and the pikemen on the walls and gateway.  I also kept a block of pike and some musketeers back behind the walls to act as a fire brigade if any area looked threatened.  Michaels artillery advanced and opened up, with the wall sections on each side of the gatehouse being the targets.  A regiment of Swedish foote was supposed to support each assault when the wall came down, but both seemed quite unwilling to move.  The bulk of the Swedes infantry, three full regiments of foote, set off on an outflanking manoeuvre, trying to get round the shorter side of the city walls where no pikemen awaited them at the top of the walls, just musketeers without support. 

The initial setup.

The bulk of the Swedish foote.

The Royalists positions.

The Swedish pike and dragoons passing a cottage with a distracting looking wench....

Unpainted but in charge - the Royalist chairman and board debate issues next to the supply train and minister.

Sadly (for the Swedes) this advance turned into a farce rapidly, with the constricting terrain of some woods and hedgerows ruining any semblance of a formation, and a consistent failure of their commander to be able to give orders!  Luckily for them that the Royalists had very little in the way of firepower to make them pay for forming a conga line!  Lord Flasheart, lurking around behind the gatehouse, decided things were not moving fast enough, and seeing an opportunity to sweep away the unsupported Swedish musketeers from in front of the gatehouse (the Swedes pike block was far away at the back of the board having a nice conversation with a ‘wench’ of dubious morals) he sent out the King’s Guard. The redcoated pikemen crashed into the musketeers, only to be halted by the hedgerow defences.  It didn’t take long for more Swedish musketeers to hit one flank, while some cavalry were unleashed on the other, and the King’s Guard understandable perished while Flasheart quickly shut the gate again!

The Swedish infantry begin their conga.

Flashearts daring move - sending out the King's Guard before shutting the door quickly when it all goes wrong!

 More important events were happening behind them however, as the Swedes guns finally brought down a section of the city walls.  Its defenders – Hopton’s pike – reformed in the breach, only to receive the same treatment from the nearly cannon, and disintegrate.  The Swedish conga had also finally shaken itself out into a formation of sorts, and, throwing its ladders up against the wall on the side of the city, they began their assault.  The Royalist musketeers   proved to be made of stern stuff however, and their attack failed to gain the battlements.  In the centre at the gatehouse another Flasheart farce saw the gatehouse be left unguarded as a series of orders for the redeployment of men to guard the breach to its left went wrong!  The Swedish yellow coats were swiftly up on their ladders, only for the King’s Guard musketeers to throw them back by weight of numbers before they could open the gate, and secure the battlements once more.

The wall comes down!

Time was running out for the Swedes, and no more so than when the Royalist re-enforcements arrived, streaming onto the battlefield and wiping out the Swedes artillery before charging onwards into their cavalry.  The Royalists had also managed to get another block of pike (Stradlings this time) into the breach, and with only cavalry available the Swedes were unable to take the breach.  Elsewhere the wall to the right of the gatehouse had held – although very badly damaged the Swedish artillery had rolled badly towards the end, and then rolled a fair number of double 1’s, taking it out of the fight.  The Royalist musketeers held the gatehouse and had thrown back the Swedish main assault on the side of the city once more, and time was up.  A victory for the Royalists with no Swedish troops having gained access to the city, and only some musketeers managing to reach the top of the walls.

The bulk of the Swedish foote finally make it into contact, but are unable to defeat Talbots whitecoats.

The Royalists horse arrive and charge.

Last gasp at the gatehouse, but the day is lost for the Swedes.

The Royalists Attack

Having played one more than the required 10 turns, we decided to switch it round and have the Royalists attack instead.  The Swedes kindly lent them their 8 cannon, which the Royalists supplemented with another Saker and a mortar to compensate for their fewer numbers (1 less foot regiment than the Swedes used).

The Battle:

I placed one small brigade of foote (Talbots – whitecoats) on the side of the city to try and force a way over the walls, while the bulk of the army formed two columns of attack.  The first to the left of the windmill was to assault a breach in the walls created to the left of the gatehouse.  The second to the right of the windmill was to assault the gateway itself – supposedly an easier target for my cannon to batter down than a wall.  The horse awaited at the back for the Swedish mounted re-enforcement column to appear in its random location.  Michael followed my setup – pike on the walls and muskets in the towers, with some reserves.

The initial setup, Talbots brigade in the white in the foreground.

The central attack column.

Talbots ill-fated, and failure of an attack.

The first clash came on my left, where Talbots foot reached the walls swiftly and began to climb, only to suffer a calamitous defeat and have their pike scattered!  The rest of the brigade was reduced to ineffectively trading fire with the Swedes musketeers for the remains of the battle.  My focus on taking down the walls however, brought more joy, with a breach being swiftly created to the left of the gatehouse, and the pikemen guarding it suffering casualties from the falling rock.  My hopes of a swift assault and victory were ruined however, by some very poor command rolls which saw my troops not move for a number of turns!  The cannon pounded the enemy in the breach, but elsewhere also seemed incapable of hitting the city gate where the rest of the army waited.

The Swedish wall collapses.

Flasheart screams for the assault to begin, but no Royalist will be first into the breach.

To compound matters the Swedish horse arrived, and launched itself into the back of my army, scattering much of my own horse and artillery.  No joy was to be had on my right either, where the gate finally fell, and the King’s Guard pike charged in, scattering the enemy pike and gaining the city, before coming to grief itself in the Swedish counter attack.  Their support, Stradlings foote, had abandoned the gate and headed for some walls which Michael had temporarily abandoned to re-enforce the gatehouse, only to re-occupy just in time, and the assault failed.

The Swedish horse arrive.

Lord Flasheart, victory slipping away, seized the initiative and shouted ‘Follow Me!’ to a regiment of horse and succeeded in clearing the breach, only to find the Swedes had more pike and muskets behind it, and the rest of his army was disintegrating under the hammer blows inflicted by their horse.  The day was lost and he retreated – Victory to the Swedes.

The Royalist attack stalled.


Whether attacking, defending, winning or losing, it was all very good fun!  Attacking the castle appears more difficult than defending it; making sure your cannon don’t have their lines of sight block by your foote moving up, allocating enough men to each hoped for breach, waiting for the re-enforcements to arrive!  Michaels horse certainly did a bit better than mine, helped by cuirassiers and hitting the main body of the Royalist army straight away.  I did a bit better than Michael because I had learnt from a couple of his mistakes, and was more focused with my attacks and artillery, and my foote didn’t have to try and redeploy to the side of the castle.  With the varying angles of hedgerows etc we were very loose with formations rather than enforce the rules on it exactly, which actually looked quite good when a group of horse charged down a lane, or a cluster of infantry assaulted the walls, one of the joys of Pike & Shotte being it has a much lower competitive nature and you can just ‘wing it’ without unbalancing it.  Finally a note about the number of vehicles which appear in the pictures – the bio-titan was hard at work for most of the day!

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Ricks Great English Civil War Painting Quest - Part 1

With the aim of having all of my Royalists painted for a big ECW bash on the weekend of Gauntlet (6/7th July) I thought I'd take stock, make a list of what needs doing, and how long I've got to get it done.  So firstly the list of the unpainted/unfinished models:

32 x cavalry men (and their nags of course)
40 x Talbots regiment of foote (24 muskets and 16 pike)
28 x Dragoons (16 on foot and 12 on horse)
13 x supply train
9 x command models
6 x pigs & farmer & tavern owner

All in all 128 models.  Crap.  And now 82 days to paint them in.  So thats an average of just over a model and a half a day.  Double crap.  Perhaps this wasn't such a good idea.  Luckily some are already partly painted, and only around 35 are totally without undercoat.  Maybe the revised target should be to finish most of the army!  Plus it doesn't include the two collapsed fortress wall pieces I need for the scenario I was thinking of.  This could be fun.