Monday, 13 October 2014

Shh! Don't tell anyone I'm slipping over to the dark(er) side

Every so often every wargamer gets the urge. The urge to do something different. It may not be different to you the reader or that chap lurking over there in the corner of the internet but it is different to those who have the urge.

We have all had the urge at one time or another. Some resist and others dive in headfirst. Will any of us ever be the same?

I think the urge boils down to who you gaming with at the time. I've had it before and no doubt will get it again when something newer or with more shine comes along to burst the current bubble. And that bubble is science fiction gaming. There I have said it - well written it anyway.

It is all down to a new DDWG club member, Andy. He's been with us about a year and has quietly joined in many games and gradually introduced the club to Gruntz 15mm with his own games. And very nice they look too, as you can see below.

Gruntz 15mm game in progress at Devizes & District Wargames Group

So having visited Blast-Tastic the other week and and soaked up some of the 'pew, pew' atmosphere of sci-fi games the urge has grabbed me and some 15mm figures are winging their way to me this week.

It seems that I am not alone in the need to do something different as I stumbled on this blog:

As I mentioned this is not the first time the urge has grabbed me! Last time I was influenced by my good friend and fellow gamer Simon Phillips and that game was Space Hulk - the original version. Sadly Simon has passed on to the great gaming convention in the sky but his enthusiasm for all things sci-fi have obviously had a lasting effect on me.

This is where I paint, plot and scheme my games and armies. The 25 year old original
Spacehulk, Death Wing and Genestealer
are on top of the book case

Saturday, 4 October 2014

So many figures so little time

OK, so May to October is quite a gap.

Since Legionary I have played in two more Saga competitions - Gripping Beast's Grand Melee at Firestorm Games in Cardiff during June and an excellent day organised by Mid Somerset Wargamers at Wells, Somerset, in September. Despite all good intentions - and improving results with several and one win in a competition - I still have to get off the bottom of the competition table(s)!

I have used my Vikings in each competition. At Wells I made several mistakes - one was the choice of army composition and the second was playing the game one die short. I thought that first game was rough going!
The last stand of Eric the Pink (fighting yet more Welsh) in the Grand Melee

One of the most notable parts of my game against Normans in Wells.
Three Hearthguard fought of a 12 strong Norman unit of Hearthguard - some remarkable dice rolls all round!

Today I ventured over to Bristol to the new sci-fi show Blast-Tastic, staged by Michael Stockin of Angel Barracks. I would have liked to been able to stay longer but it is a busy weekend and I could only afford the time for a brief visit.
There were some great looking games and some notable traders present. Michael had worked hard to get his vision off the ground and to my eyes it worked well. Here's to next year.

DDWG AGM tomorrow so another busy day.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Legionary 2014 - what a SAGA.

I have often felt that the best way to learn a set of rules is to play them; not just as a Sunday afternoon experiment but by going the whole hog and entering a competition.

So yesterday, I found myself leaving home at 6.55am to drive to Exeter to play SAGA at the Legionary show staged by the Exmouth Wargames Club. Despite being a bank holiday weekend the A303 wasn't too bad and I made good time, arriving in around 2 hours from my home near to Devizes in Wiltshire.  With my newly painted Vikings ready for action it was appropriate that the podcast I decided to listen too was mostly about Vikings and the exhibition currently running at the British Museum.

It was a small competition with just six of us playing.

My first game was against a very kind opponent called David who was using Welsh. He was kind as he explained much about the game after  I had told him I have only ever played three games over a two year period, using a different army each time, and losing all of them.

So how would the Vikings do against Welsh? Not an force I knew anything much about and I'd not even looked at the SAGA  battle boards for anything other than Vikings or Normans before the weekend. Normans as that was an army I have painted and thought I'd use until I spotted that the battle board required many combinations of dice to get 'the good stuff' and as the competition was for a 4 point army I would only get six dice a turn. So a hasty painting of Vikings was called for.

Here are my Vikings (mostly berserkers in the shot) facing Welsh at the start of the game.

Athough I came second it was a good game. The Welsh javelin armed skirmishers did a fair bit of damage to me - especially from uphill. They 'taunted' my berserkers making them charge uphill and all but wiped them out!

My second game against Mike also found me facing Welsh - but with a different troop combination. As there were objectives in each game I decided to make a rush towards two fairly early on. This was a different tactic to my first game where I had opted to go past the objectives, eliminate the enemy and return to collect the spoils of war. As that failed it was time to try some thing new.

 So charging a sheep and a monk we rolled the die to see what would happen; a six in each case! This made the monk turn into a fighting bishop with good armour and five attacks - he killed three beserkers - and the sheep turned out to be an vicious ram killing a warrior.

It wasn't a good game for the Vikings. In one attack I rolled 16 dice needing 4 or above. A 50:50 roll you would think. No I got 12 come up with  1s, 2s and 3s.
 Needless to say I came second again!

My third and final game was against Franks. Two units of mounted Hearthguard and one unit of foot warriors. OK you ask where is the other point of troops? As it happens the mounted Hearthguard were 1.5 units each (6 figures each). This game was against Ralph who was really good at explaining things - especially as I haven't bought the supplement with the rather tricky Frankish battle board. Not that it would have helped if I had.

 Here come the mounted Hearthguard..

Well, in this game I came second once again. So after three more games I still have my 100% success rate of losing at SAGA unblemished.

Did it matter that I lost? No. It was great fun, I made some new friends and enjoyed playing something different.

What did I learn? LOTS! And the most important lesson is that Beserkers may best be left at home.

Finally, the rather nice buildings are produced by Adrian's Walls

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

New 28mm FIW figures from Forlorn Hope

I have received some really nice FIW figures from Forlorn Hope Games. There are Rangers and French Marines available - all with snowshoes.  Here is a view of one of the packs:
Now I need to find time away from the Dark Ages for painting!

Check out Forlorn Hope Games at

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Byzantine resurrection

Well they may be 40 years old but they are making a comeback! Bill Lamming Late Byzantines painted with Humbrol enamel paints back in the 1970s. I'm re-basing them for War & Conquest rules.

Here are the infantry so far.

 Byzantine cavalry.

And here are the first Viking unit for SAGA. There are some Conquest Games cavalry behind them and right at the back are some Gripping Beast Saxons.

Monday, 10 March 2014

A good day at DDWG yesterday

As far as club days go, DDWG has mixed fortunes. Meeting weekly numbers go up and down like a see-saw depending on who is available any particular Sunday afternoon.

Yesterday there were several games being played - and one almost played but one partner had gone see whilst the other had managed to saw. Maybe next week?

We had games of  Black Powder, 42mm British Bulldogs (a quick play WWII skirmish game for Home Guard Units -soon to be available for purchase) and Deadzone being played. Only the three games but hardly surprising as the club had run a day-long Full Thrust game on the day before. Nevertheless there were still 18 of us there.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Military Vehicles Partwork

Talking of Vietnam - which I was on the Meeples and Miniatures Facebook page - how many of you in the UK have spotted the Military Vehicles partwork that came out a week or so back? 
At a £1.99 introductory price for a magazine and 1/72 US Vietnam gun truck it seems like too good an offer to miss. OK I have one already, two on order and bought another three today :-)

The vehicle is diecast with plastic embellishments and ready painted. Next issue includes a Warrior IFV but the price goes up to £2.99. Even so it still makes the vehicles very cheap for gaming.
 Or you could just buy the vehicles direct from the supplier: Amercom Hobby - where you will find 1/72 helicopters too.