Wednesday, 6 June 2018

War of the Nine Realms - Wotan Games


Last Sunday I attended the 2018 UK Games Expo and had a rather splendid day out. During which I got to collect my copy of the new board game - War of the 9 Realms - from Wotan Games that I pledged for on Kickstarter. As with most Kickstarters this over ran slightly but not so much that it was annoying or an inconvenience.

War of the 9 Realms is a hex tile based tactical skirmish game based on the Realms of Norse Mythology with each realm  comprising of different races/factions containing unique characters and their wondrous abilities. The game allows you to pit these factions against each other in a bid to claim total victory over the Realms so that the victor can reshape the World to their own designs.
Each Realm has a choice of Heroic or Epic play styles that focus on either raw power or tactical advantage. 

Heroic has simple abilities but is harder hitting. Epic adds advanced abilities and lore based content.
So what do you get with the game. It comes in a very nice sturdy box with some fantastic artwork on the cover depicting the warring factions. This artwork also wraps around the sides of the box. 

The rear of the box is unfortunately not as well presented. There is a brief description of the factions, a small illustration showing some of the contents in the box and the usual number of players, amount of time it should take to play info. It has no list of actual contents and although the brief on the factions is a nice read it does not actually give you the blurb what the game is about. I talked to Wotan and they are understandably a bit miffed on these omissions. Which I was informed would hopefully be rectified in further print runs.


Overall though a nicely illustrated sturdy box.

So what do you actually get inside the box. The game runs on twelve sided dice for combat and you get 10 of these as well as four activation counters, for movement and combat which go on the activation trackers of each of the four Faction cards. A slim but well laid out and illustrated rule-book. A deck of fate cards which give extra abilities when your characters act and a stack of thick punch-boards containing the hex tiles, character standees and various tokens. 




All very well printed and should hold up to long term vigorous play. You also get enough plastic bases to mount each realms nine individual card stock figures. 

The Rule book. Again as mentioned, is slim but packs a lot in. Very nicely laid out with easy to understand rule mechanics and nicely illustrated with artwork and examples of game play and board design.



Dice, Plastic Stands and Activation counters. The dice are black, with white inlay numbers and come in a hessian drawstring bag although I believe the retail version will not have the bag. Plastic stands are well plastic and the card character standees fit snugly into them. The activation counters are about a centimetre high, wood and in a hex shape. They fit nicely on the activation pool tracker on the faction cards.


Fate Card deck. Again nice sturdy playing card size and thickness, well illustrated and easily understandable with regards to the printed abilities.


The Punch-boards. Eight punch-boards, good thickness to give a longevity to the terrain tiles and various character cards and tokens. Also includes the blood cauldron (bottom right) this is the victory point tracker mechanism, whoever fills up the cauldron first wins. All extremely well printed and illustrated. The faction character standee cards are beautifully illustrated and colour coordinated so you can see who is in each faction. This is a nice way of distinguishing the factions as the cards do not have any faction symbols.


The Factions. As you can see from the picture, the illustrations on the units and characters is lovely. There are four factions: The Aesir (Norse Gods), The Dark Elves, The Norsemen (Vikings of Midgard) and the Jotunheim (Ice Giants/Trolls). Each faction has a leader, four characters and a unit of four troops.


So that's a review of whats in War of the 9 Realms and a slight overview of the game. Overall the game is listed as being balanced to mix Heroic and Epic styles together, giving even more playability options. I look forward to getting this game on the table soon and having a good run through.

Very pleased with what I pledged for and received.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Happy Star Wars Day



Hope everyone has a great Star Wars day. I will be immersing myself in the Original Trilogy. 





Monday, 23 April 2018

Chain of Command - First Game

Chain of Command game
11th Armoured Division vs 9th SS-Panzer Division 'Hohenstaufen'

My local wargames club hosted an open gaming day on Sunday and I managed to finally get my first game of Chain of Command with Simon.  As some of you might have seen in previous posts, I have been slowly painting up a British Infantry Force plus some support choices for Chain of Command and I was chuffed to be finally getting them on the table.

Simon organised the table and the scenario (Patrol) Simon was using his Panzer Grenadier Platoon with an attached StuG Assault gun. So with the difference in Platoon ratings I took my British Infantry Platoon with a Sherman Tank, Universal Carrier and an extra PIAT team. This was going to be a teaching me the rules/training game etc so the way the Platoon ratings worked wasn't technically 100%

So onto the game.

Lt Tommykins leading 2nd Platoon, C Company, 4th KSLI on a roving patrol has come across a walled farmstead just outside Le Valtru, thinking this will make an ideal lay up area for further Brigade reconnaissance, he orders his sections to advance cautiously just in case old Jerry is about. unfortunately for ol' Tommykins, an element of Panzer Grenadier Regiment 20 from the Hohenstaufen Division is already in the area and looking at making the farm its billet.

We started the game by advancing our Patrol markers trying to gain decent advantage to deploy our Jump off Points. Once every Patrol marker was locked down we worked out the best places and deployed our Jump off Points. The Germans took advantage of a field covered in haystacks and directly behind the farm houses, whilst my British would advance through the cornfields and right flank of the farm.

With the Grenadiers already closer to the farm a section was spotted creeping along the hedgerow at the rear of the buildings, Lt Tommykins ordered Cpl Beckett and his section to counter them on the right flank. The Bren team and Beckett dashed towards a hedge and opened up on the creeping Krauts managing to kill the leading Grenadier.

As this was happening a StuG and more Grenadiers entered the haystack filled field and took up position.  Bugger thought Tommykins, a quick radio call saw a Sherman brought up in support, but its shot whistled over the top of the StuG.

Sgt Atkins moves up to the section near the farm and ordered the rifle team into the house just as a hail of MG42 fire guns down most of the Bren team. Seeing these troops fall he popped a smoke grenade hoping to cover the Bren team survivors.

The Germans MG42's let rip against the Bren team and Cpl Beckett falls riddled with bullets. Lt Tommykins deploys Cpl Smiths section and they advance through the cornfield.

The StuG hardly noticing the shot from the Sherman rumbles across the field and takes up a commanding position overwatching the crossroads. This would seriously hinder the KSLI sections.

MG42's chatter away and finally wipe out the last member of the Bren team just as a resounding roar comes from the StuG - fortunately the round pings off the front armour of the Sherman.

The Sherman fires in reply but again although the round hits it doesn't penetrate the thick frontal armour. Tommykins ordered his last section in and Cpl Jones ordered his men to open fire at the opposite Panzer Grenadiers managing to kill one and causing shock to the others.

Just then a Bren Carrierr comes whizzing onto the right flank and opens up on the Grenadiers who get caught in the open trying to sneak around the back of the buildings. Cpl Jones rapid fires through the hedges at the opposing Germans and the Grenadiers are seriously shocked.

Again the Sherman hits the StuG but fails to damage it. Sgt Atkins now upstairs with the rifle team fire on the MG 42 team behind the opposite walls and manage to wound the Panzer Grenadier Leutnant.

On the right the Bren Carrier continues to sweep the Grenadiers with fire, dropping a couple. Tommykins losing faith in the Sherman sends Pte Harrison with his PIAT up and he fires a round at the StuG, this sends the StuG reversing backwards over its own troops causing tank shock!

However more and more Panzer Grenadiers are in the hedges an their constant LMG fire wipe out Jones section, rout Harrison who scarpers sharpish like and a Panzerschreck ambushed the Sherman, shocking the crew.


With the loss of Jones, and Smiths section too far on the left flank to be effective, Lt Tommykins concentrates his orders on the right. Sgt Atkins and his riflemen cause a few more casualties and the Bren Carrier wipes out the rest of the Grenadiers but the sudden huge explosion ripping though the air and the burning smoke cloud over the remains of the Sherman forces the British to pull back with the Germans in possession of the farm.

Absolutely loved playing this game (don't mind losing) as I now know how my force can work and what I need to work on. I knew my infantry couldn't go head to head in a fire fight with all those MG42's - it even said that in the back of the rule book, but with some bad command dice rolls not allowing my to deploy what I wanted when I wanted enabled Simon to rush his StuG into a commanding overwatch position, which seriously hampered my deployment. I could have gone more heavy on the right as I had the advantage their but time was against us and I was more interested in getting the mechanics and rules understood.

Great game, cant wait to get more in.

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Salute 2018 - The Loot Post

The obligatory, look what I spent my hard earned sheckles at Salute on. Wasn't the biggest shopping list this year and for once I didn't succumb to terrain shinyitis (no more room to store it) as I have already forked out an insane amount on Gangs of Rome scenery. Although now thinking about it I need 15mm terrain to go with all my Tanks - Argh!!!!

Last year saw a lot of Feudal Japanese/Samurai type purchases. This year however was mostly Tanks, Walking Dead and Animals with swords.

Anyway this is my haul for this year.

A large amount of Walking Dead additions which I needed to complete my collection.
 

Troll Trader were doing a great deal on Tanks. Rude not to grab a batch. 

 
More Tanks. This time from Plastic Soldier Company as well as decals. 


Spitfyre from Hysterical Games. Orcs on Dragons!
 

Battlefront Churchill Sprues. More Tanks basically.
 

Bob Cordery's book. 

 
Burrows and Badgers from Oathsworn Miniatures. Anthropomorphic goodness. 

 
Dice, because who doesn't need more dice? Salute mug (freebie) and event miniature.

 

Salute 2018

Another year another Salute. Every year I go I swear the show changes a little way somehow. This year the first change was the ludicrously expensive parking in Excel (my fault as I forgot to try and book a Just Park near by which is lots cheaper, although it's a 10 min walk from the venue and no ease of nipping down to offload your loot in the car)

Another change for the better though was no queuing! I had bought a ticket but on arriving I managed to snag a trader/press wristband so after collecting my goodie bag for the free mini at 8 o'clock I just waltzed straight on in. Awesome a whole two extra hours to buy and pick up all my goodies on the shopping list and catch up with friends on trader stands and games tables.
 
This year Salute was also hosting the theme of WW1 and the standout for me was the replica WW1 British Tank. A cracking addition to the show and great to see. Also back as usual were the Stormtroopers from 501st. These guys are great (I love Stormtroopers) and seeing them all round the massive Star Wars Legion table at 4Ground was brilliant.

On the downside though, the lighting. This year it was abysmal. Also I personally thought the number of club games was found lacking but more companies were putting on their own demo games. That's not to say that the effort that went into some of the games was lacking. There were some amazing tables with miniatures and terrain that some of us gamers can only look on in awe and dream of emulating. 

With all this extra time I would have, seeing as I had completed my purchases, I would be able to enjoy a multitude of games - this never seems to happen though. Time just seems to vanish at Salute. I managed maybe half dozen games, the best being What a Tanker participation game run by TooFatLardies. Great moment of one shot one kill with my Panther Tank on a Churchill. Also the RAF Wargames Association ran a great Tank Game using Lego type tanks battling over a toy strune playmat. 

The annual Bloggers meet took place at 12:30 this year and again it's great to meet everyone, especially stalwarts like Ray, Big Lee, Postie and Tamsin. A big bonus was a nice meeting with Bob Cordery who has written a book on the Spanish Civil War. This is a period I'm interested in and Bob was incredibly kind in offering a copy of his book. Now these were 1st print runs with a few page issues but never the less a nice gesture. 

A few extra games and the occasional shiny purchase rounded out the afternoon before 5 o'clock came too quickly. 

Apart from the bad lighting, incredible hard floor which doesn't usually bother me but this year left me aching and a few minor issues about people with massive backpacks it's nice to see Salute growing every year. It's the biggest show in the UK and as another blogger has stated seems more like an Expo than a Wargames show like some of the smaller shows, more women and children seem to attend as well and that can only be a good thing for our hobby in my opinion. 

I for one am looking forward to next year.

WW1 Tank
 

 


 
The Tables