Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Summer Of Hobby

With my return from Ireland imminent, I'm looking ahead to see what I want to accomplish over the summer before schoolwork once again overtakes my hobby time.

(And, yes, I admit that I'm padding for time here. I want to stay in the habit of updating my blog, 'lest I stop and never get the momentum to start again.)

Let's see. With most of my British finished, I'm looking to polishing them off with just a few more tanks. Then it's on to my Germans, which I have plenty of - a dozen or so tanks, a couple infantry platoons, and a few support platoons. Maybe even get cases for everything

I'll also want to work on my terrain - more buildings that I can actually place infantry into, some fields, and re-working my hedgerows with some stronger glue.

Obviously, I want to get the starter warband I picked up (and the Anglo-Danish warband I'm planning on getting). From there, it's either increase those to 6 points each, or pick up either the Welsh or Norman (probably Norman) starters to expand what I can demo/play with.

I still have those miniatures from my 150th Anniversary edition of Battle Cry to finish up. The Union has its cavalry and Generals finished (or close to finish) and has its infantry and artillery primed. I want to finish those, and then move onto the Confederates. A fully painted boardgame would be pretty cool to have.

Ah. Now here's the rub. While I have a number of 15mm figures to use with This Very Ground, I've actually found out that others would wish to play 28mm with the Muskets and Tomahawks ruleset (by Tomahawk Studios, the same group that produced Saga). I'm partially thinking about putting my TVG project on the backburner (and the minis into storage) and just splurging to get the ruleset/cards and the British/French starters (I've been told that there are Indian players to spare). That means painting

In other news, I picked up a couple new items before I leave Dublin:

Unfortunately, the guys at Gamers World couldn't get an Anglo-Danish starter warband in before I had to leave, so I'll have to grab that when I get back to the States. However, I did pick up a box of PSC's M5 Halftracks, so this'll add to my British FoW collection (something else to paint!) and allow me to field some mechanized infantry in support of my tanks. 

Also, if you're ever in the Dublin area, definitely stop by. It's a fantastic shop with friendly staff and a plethora of gaming goodness.

So that's that! It'll be interesting to see what I can accomplish by the end of August.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Vikings on the Brain

I have a confession to make.

I tend to... obsess a bit over new things.

It was a couple days ago that I realized I was doing it again. The facts add up, when you think about it. Purchasing the first season of Vikings in HD from iTunes, and then getting Wardruna's Yggdrasil album the next day (fantastic music, by the way. Perfect ambient tunes to hike around Ireland with).

That culminated today when I went 'round to Gamers World on my walk by from the center where I'm taking classes in Dublin. I had forgotten my charger cord for my netbook, and the weather was nice enough (i.e., not raining too much) that I decided the 40-minute walk back to the apartment wasn't out of the question.

I took a look at what they had for Saga, and in a moment of clarity/weakness, I picked up a Vikings 4 point warband and Anglo-Danish dice.

Now, for those of you who already play Saga, or at least are familiar with the rules, yes, I know I got the wrong dice for the Vikings battleboard. Which is why I also took the liberty of asking to have the Anglo-Danish warband and a set of Viking dice be special ordered (provided they can arrive within the two weeks before I return to the States).

So, when I get back, I'll have two relatively equal warbands to put together and paint, and them play some games!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Demo Games - SAGA AAR

As I mentioned last week, I'm here in Dublin for a study abroad program. I met up with Greg (quozl on several forums) after conversing with him over several emails, and he brought a pair of warbands for Saga to demo the game for me.

Both games were fought with the same scenario, which places a river down the center of the table separating the two players' warbands. There are only two places where the river can be crossed (which you'll see in the pictures).

My plan was to basically rush forward. Greg's Irish were a 'shoot-and-scoot' faction, as he explained it to me, with everything except the wolfhounds carrying javelins. While this makes relatively fragile in combat, Greg quickly demonstrated that getting into axe and sword distance of the Irish would be a gaunlet of flying pointy sticks.

With a 3-action combination on the Battleboard, the Irish javelins went from flying pointy sticks to being flying pointy sticks with heatseeking capabilities and exploding armor piercing tips.

The above is just such an example. The group of warriors crossing the river started at 8 strong, and and was reduced by have in a single turn. Of course, terrible dice rolling on my part didn't help at all.

The left flank was the first to fall, with my warriors and Hearthguard falling to sustained javelin attacks and with the jaws of wolfhounds clenched around their throats.

The right side didn't fair much better. The Irish Cuiradh (mini-warlords) and a unit of warriors did the same to my Warlord and his men as the Irish did to the vikings on the left. At the end it was a desperate charge by the Warlord that ended the game, with him falling victim to the Irish and looking like a giant pin-cushion. 

Greg asked if I was up for a second game, and I definitely was. So we reset the table and switched factions.

Wanting to try and copy Greg's tactics (the best sort of flattery) I placed a forest on his right which would allow me to throw javelins via my Battleboard (simulating the sneaky Irish fighting from rough terrain). Greg, on the other hand, found quite a powerful combination of actions that allowed his vikings to fly across the table - I'll be remembering that for sure!

I screwed up my deployment by placing my Irish within the Viking's movement range in the very first turn. Luckily I had screened my Hearthguard unit with my wolfhounds, which took the brunt of the initial Viking charge. Most of the action took place on my right, with the two Curaidhs and a unit of Warriors holding down the left (and being very important in the end!

The fighting on the right was fierce, with Greg slamming his vikings repeatedly into my own warriors. I wasn't as cunning as Greg was when he had the Irish, and so the Vikings tore apart my large Hearthguard unit and left only my warlord and a single dog. The dog didn't last long, and neither did my Warlord.

Incredibly, Greg had managed to save every single one of his units with just a single model in each, so he still had all 6 of his Saga dice in play. With only two Curaidhs and a unit of Warriors, I could only manage 3. Luckily, the Curaidhs could make a action for free on their own, so I could manage with two Saga dice for actions.

With the victory conditions for the game being the number of men you had gotten over the river, I realized with a quick count that if I could kill off the warriors awaiting on the opposite side of the river I could tie Greg's current score. I took a gamble and situated my Saga dice so I could effect some decent ranged combat.

With some lucky dice rolling, I managed to kill off the remaining vikings on the opposite side of the river. Greg and I decided to call the game at that point - I still had enough Dice and warriors left that if I holed up in the rough terrain of the woods Greg would have a tough time dislodging me, and I wasn't about to run up to the remaining Viking warlord and his surviving warriors to try and knock them out, lest they severely mess up my own few remaining troops.

And that was my first two games of Saga! I think I'm hooked - I'm already looking at picking up the Viking and Anglo-Danish starter warbands for myself...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Painting Update - FIW

I finally managed to finish up the full units worth of militia-type infantry for TVG, which means that with a few Indians to sprinkle in on both sides I'll have a decent amount of painted minis to have a game with.

They certainly are more colorful than their British counterparts. 

Sorry about the lack of 'pose' pictures like in the other post. I'll try to get them when I'm back in the states.

Oh, hang on, did I mention that I was spending 6 weeks in Dublin? Huh. Yeah, well, that's happening, so I'm going to try and keep posting while I'm here. I've managed to find Gamers World, the only independent game store in the city (and oddly located no less than a black away from the only Games Workshop location as well), and I've managed to set up a demo game of Saga with one of the locals. Expect that next week.

Also, I've only just realized that 4Ground came out with a set of North American settler cabins in 15mm. Pretty convenient, and they're nice looking to boot! Looks like I won't need their Russian cabins as substitutes, then.