27 December 2015

Christmas eve gaming - Battle cry with miniatures

Kevin and I decided that we would have a little bit of entertainment during the day on Christmas Eve as a way to wind down. What better than to give Battle Cry a test run with the figures that I have been basing, We have enough based now to be able to run through on several scenarios from the base game and some of the fan based scenarios from http://www.commandsandcolors.net/battlecry/ . we chose to play 2 games using the 150th anniversary edition rules.

Game 1: Sharp´s Cornfield (Wilson´s Creek) - August 10, 1861
The terrain was set up as per the map, the creek was fordable for its entire length, and the crop fields would block line of sight and provide the occupier a defensive bonus as the attacker would lose a dice attacking units in them. Victory would be the first one to 6 banners.
Troops deployed for battle, at this point the Confederates had a small advantage in numbers. Union forces: 7 infantry units, 1 cavalry, 1 artillery and a single commander. Confederate forces: 7 infantry, 2 cavalry, 2 artillery and 2 commanders.
Kevin thought I was piss taking when reading the scenario notes and telling him we only had 3 command cards each.
 A view down the rebel lines,
 Things started of well with 3 or 4 turns played and the damned Yankees drew 1st blood as I lost the infantry unit that began exposed in the creek and my cavalry got sent packing with some retreat flags rolled against them.
 A couple more turns and I was again losing a unit and the union forces in the cornfields were pouring down a murderous rain of musket fire on any Rebs that tried to get forward.
 A few turns later it was getting rather desperate for the confederacy being pushed back and forced to bunch in the center. it was 4:0 to the union at this stage.
Despite the situation the Confederate forces continued the fight, claiming a few Yankee losses and pulling the score back to 4:3
The Union forces ground forward, but the Rebs just did not have enough to stop the advance with only one unit left at full strength all the rest reduced to either a single stand or two at most. though killing the union commander levelled things at 4:4.
Another push from the union forces and it was all over with a 6:4 victory to the Union. The scenario was tough to play, the limited number of command cards available to both sides in this game made it very tactical, and very hard to force control in any one zone of the battlefield.

We then decided to have another game.

Game 2: Dranesville, Virginia - December 20, 1861

The table was set out as per the map, and units deployed. Union Forces: 8 infantry, 1 cavalry, 1 artillery and 3 commanders. Confederate forces: 8 infantry, 2 cavalry, 1 artillery and 3 commanders. 5 command cards per side and victory would again be the first to 6 banners.
I had my 2 units of cavalry in a very exposed position on the right flank and very much within striking distance of the Union forces from the outset. Having seen just how fragile these are, plans were made to withdraw them to a safer distance.
 A view from the confederate side of the table as the infantry were squared off against each other.
 Thankfully I managed to get the cavalry out of the way but I was taking artillery fire on an exposed infantry unit, rendering it useless very early on.
 Kev rolled some great dice, throwing the rebel forces back. Forcing the left flank of the Reb lines to redeploy in the center. I needed to react fast to stem the tide.
 2:0 to the Union and they were pressing hard on the left flank while whittling down the troops in the center.
 The Confederate cavalry, charged across the table wiping out one unit and forcing the other one on the flank to seek shelter in the woods.
 2:1 to the union and it was a bit cat and mouse as I started to weaken several Union units and with the use of a short supply card forced the union Artillery off the hill, that had proven so deadly.
 We both fought hard and at 4:3 it could have been anyone's game, My cavalry had claimed 2 more victims but were hard pressed. My center made a brave dash into the town to try to claim a couple of easy points but they failed to hit home. I tried but could not get the right flank to move.

Another push by the Union forces and the game was over with a 6:3 victory... This was another good scenario and one that I highly recommend it is well balanced and requires a lot of thought to control.

I am certainly impressed with how the miniatures look replacing the games original unit markers, combined with using the hexon terrain system to replace the game board it has a proper wargame feel. All we need to do now is gather the few missing forces we need for both sides to get the full original game contents and all but the epic game scenarios will be open to us for play.

Thank you for stopping by, until next time

23 December 2015

More progress on Battle Cry conversion

I am having a break from work for a short spell until the festive holidays are over, this has given me some time to continue with the ACW project. In fact I have now based and flocked enough figures for myself and Kevin to have a game on Christmas eve. I will do a follow up report of the game after we have played.

So here is a run through of the Confederate forces amassed so far.

19 December 2015

I am back and have a new way forward for this blog..

I have been silent for a very long time, in truth out of choice as much as any other reason. However this has provided me with time to reflect on the important things in life more fully. Smaller things like this blog have needed some contemplation as to the future viability of maintaining it. It has been a hectic and often turbulent few months but thankfully stability has returned. I had considered deleting the blog but then it occurred to me that this would be a selfish act and from the comments I have received many people still actively read the blog and use parts of it for their own purposes. Which gave me a firm realisation that some of my work here had been appreciated even if only in a small way.

Therefore I reflected on what would be best going forward for the Greathall. After all most of my recent work can be seen in the other blog I contribute to with greater regularity Brigantes Studio, where you will find the collaborative works of Kev at the Cabin and Myself. So if you want to see what I am up to more regularly then please add that to your subscription list.

Now I don't have the time to devote as much attention to this blog as I have in the past, nor would I want too. If I did so, it would invariably mean the same material would be spread across two blogs instead.

My conclusion is that I can use this blog in a new way, hopefully one that will help people by sharing my experience and knowledge more. The posts wont be as regular but, they should have better content and provide inspiration or guidance to others when they land. So to kick it all off in a new purely hobby focused direction I have made my first You tube video, so please watch, enjoy the shaky hand control as I club fistedly use a video camera, oh and don't be too harsh about the cricket that seems to be making a lot of noise. Being technically inept I will work it out eventually through error and trial...

Well that's me for now folks

12 March 2015

EMP Games - Expedition Forces

While I may be back Gaming the painting is running at full tilt at Brigantes with lots of items that are needed for Salute by various Manufacturers.

So I have today updated the Brigantes Studio Blog with my latest work

so if Steampunk - sci fi is your bag then pop over and check these out.

11 March 2015

First run out with the new Kallistra Terrain

We decided that we would have a fictional Jacobite Rebellion game as the inaugural run and test of the new terrain. Now while we use Black Powder as our rule set of choice we have substantially play tested and changed the movement mechanics and now our brigades are activated by cards. This really eliminates the Igo Ugo system nicely and makes every game very random. You know you will get the chance to activate the brigade but when it will activate is another matter all together.

Some gamers should come with a health warning regarding the pure inability to roll a dice!
Although credit has to be given for consistency after 4 straight failed command rolls he went from the position in picture 1 too:

Having everything leap off the road in columns and running into a wood disordering half the brigade, but with the cavalry poised to repel the advancing English Yeomanry!

Or perhaps not as the brave lads were broken in short order and running off table.

Meanwhile on the other Flank I had to protect the Whiskey still.

Against Hordes of advancing English!
Yep as usual I drew them on, well I would have but Kev was struggling having got bottlenecked crossing the river and failing to move for a fair few turns.

 Though the English were pushing forward hard on the Lowlanders in the centre and once over the bridge came on mass
 Volleys were exchanged

 Even Ian had started to turn the tide on the left flank
 However the casualties were mounting on both sides
Before we knew it the toll bell rang the Jacobites would have to break camp and find solace in the bottle as the English were just too strong for us.

4 March 2015

Equipping the cabin with New Terrain

Oh its been a hard month of no gaming as we decided to invest in a whole new look for the table at the cabin. Biting the bullet we gathered together all the terrain boards and scenery and stuck the whole lot on Ebay. As regular readers will know I do all my painting in the Great Hall but once a week I head over to the Cabin for a spot of banter and gaming. Myself and Kevin have been looking at investing in the Kallistra Hexon system for a long time now, and this year we decided to commit and invest a whole chunk of change into this endeavour. We know this is not to everyones taste but it is our terrain of choice as we have great plans for the versatility of this system.

So having had a day to recover on Sunday it was up bright and early Monday morning for a trip to Kevs to sort the new terrain out and make it compatible with the cabins table size.

We started with laying down whole boards in a variety of ways to get the best fit, before starting to frame up the table edges and get a tight fit.

We choose the Triple 7 mix as we wanted a variety of landscape to work with and like the random earth patches.

Having chosen the best layout for us for tiles we began the task of cutting the ends to size.

Tiles marked ready to cut, the off cuts would also provide the infills we needed to fit at the opposite side of the table.

All cut in things were going well.

Opposite end completed. The only negative we had on opening all the boxes was the half hexes for the remaining sides had been cut for us unfortunately the wrong way for us to use them. So a quick phone call resolved this and we await the Royal Snail to arrive with the goods.

 Now it was time to play with the added extras we had bought, we have invested a substantial amount into roads streams and a variety of hills to complement the terrain.

we have been impressed by how this transforms the battleground and although the hex pattern can be seen once set out as a full table they dont stand out as much.

 We bought a few of these lakes but I have plans for these and they wont stay like that for very long.

It was not long before Kev started dribbling out of the corner of his mouth and the figure draws were opened for a look at how the minis would fit into the table.

That rare moment when Mr Howroyd is so deep in thought you can actually see those cogs engaging as he start planning a battle and what he could achieve if he had some luck with the dice.

Once again thank you for taking the time to stop over here and have a read.

2 March 2015

Hammerhead 2015

Saturday saw myself and Kev up early and heading off to Newark, we had a full run of goodies to drop off with various traders and wanted to get most of this completed before the show opened proper.

Kev took the new sculpts to Martin at warbases, where they were well received so hopefully coming soon there will be plenty of Victorian figures to add to the existing range and some rather fun characters to complement the vehicles in this range.

While Kev was doing that I took the chance to deliver the Man of War to Andy at Ainsty castings. I left a happy man as he was suitably impressed with the beasty and quickly made a space for it to sit on display for all to admire.

Then I had to traverse the entire Hall in order to catch up with Panzer Kaput to add a timely delivery of some spare outbuildings I had.
He was explaining the rules as to how the vikings had escaped and captured all the machine guns :D The table looked fantastic and he had clearly put an enormous effort into the demo game he was running. I actually had time for a good chat for a change and a hello to the stalwart that is Mrs PK, who tolerates all Petes shenanigans.

Next up it was chance to chase up John at Wargames emporium and obtain a heads up on the next phase of EMP games figures to be released, and confirm a few details of work in progress for them.
Dodgy picture but it was nice to see some more of my handy work in a display case, and also to be told they looked superb was an added bonus.

Then I had chance to catch up with Martin and Diane myself, and soon I was laden with some work which I shall enjoy in the frantic run up to Salute. I have a lot of bits to paint for that show now.

Then it was time to go shopping and have a good scout at the show, stupidly I forgot to take many more pictures as we went from stand to stand taking everything in. Visiting the well run table sales through out the day. I dont know how Kev does it but once again he beat me to an absolute bargain ( I really do have to stop getting distracted by pirates).

Before we knew it the day was almost over, which is proof positive of a well run show and a good one. There were plenty of games and they are all participation which really gets you involved in the hobby a little more if you choose to join in. There was everything from Fantasy to historical and more on offer. So many we only had time for a few visits. My only gripe about the whole show is it does need a couple more traders. I like to visit Magister Militum because they carry a wide and diverse range of goodies for gamers of all persuasions. A couple more historical Traders as well would be good to add. But I am being nit picky as I still enjoyed the day.

The only thing left for us to do was to pay up and collect a rather large order of terrain for the cabin before heading home for a well earned rest. The terrain will be featured in another post very soon.

Thanks for reading

24 February 2015

Ainsty Man of War - Completed

Well one believes he has surpassed himself this time, and yes I am blowing my own trumpet. However I do feel I have managed to pull this off to great effect. I thoroughly enjoyed this once I got stuck in and boy its a kit and a half to do but will look great on any table.

Hopefully the recipient will be equally happy with the result when I hand her over at Newark Show early Saturday morning.

Thanks for dropping by I am off to paint something a little less challenging for a while
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