Monday, 2 October 2023

Battletech - St Ives Compact - 1st St Ives Lancers

The First St Ives Lancers are an Elite unit of the Capellan Confederation Armed Forces, that also briefly served under St Ives Compact Military Command during the 4th Succession war, when the Compact seceded against the Confederation, also allying themselves with the Federated Commonwealth to stop the CCAF from retaking their planets. In 3060 what was termed by most as a civil war, broke out between the Compact and the Confederation resulting in the Compact being absorbed back into the Confederation.

I have painted my units and will use them as they were in the 4th Succession War - independent from the Capellans!

1st St Ives Lancers

Saturday, 9 September 2023

Battletech - Clan Ghost Bear


Clan Ghost Bear

Powerful Clansmen, Clan Ghost Bear is one of the original twenty Clans founded by Nicholas Kerensky and one of the four original Clans to participate in the Clan Invasion of the Inner Sphere in 3050. Following the Clan's defeat at the Battle of Tukayyid, their philosophy changed towards becoming Wardens and since then the Clan has moved wholesale into the Inner Sphere where they renamed their realm the Ghost Bear Dominion.

Wednesday, 23 August 2023

Battletech - Draconis Combine - 2nd Sword of Light


Representing the Pillar of Steel, or the Military, in Combine society, the Second Sword of Light was one of the most prestigious units in the DCMS. The elite Second took part in some of the most notable Combine military actions.

All Sword of Light Regiments use a flat red paint scheme in the field and on parade. The Second use a Steel coloured Kurita crest to denote their regiment, painted on each Battlemech's left shoulder. The symbol of the regimental division, a blazing sword, appeared on every 'Mech's right leg.

   Draconis Combine Mustered Soldiery, 2nd Sword of Light Battlemech's

Wednesday, 14 June 2023

Burrows and Badgers - The Brocktower Raids

Our wargames club has recently started a small ongoing campaign for Burrows and Badgers. With no real set schedule, each player is open to arrange games with other players as they wish, with no more than two games being played against the same player before then playing another participant. So with my newly created Royalist warband, Duke Otto Sternjaw and his Brocktower Chevaliers I set up my first game against my friend Nic and his Freebeasts, The Greytail Scavengers, led by his Ornery Wildcat Sydney Greytail.

The two warbands


 Duke Otto Sternjaw (Bulldog)                                                                                                                 Ser Geralt Longshanks (Hare)                                                                                                                   Ser Kennith Shadforth (Border Terrier)                                                                                                   Ser Cornelius Stoutwhiskers (Mouse)                                                                                                   Robyn Locksley (Mouse)


 Sydney Greytail (Wildcat)                                                                                                                     Esme Rosepetal (Hare)                                                                                                                               Ruffus (Pug)                                                                                                                                               Fran (Ferret)                                                                                                                                       Harriet Softpad (Mouse)

Game 1 - Take and Hold - Marshland Ruins south of the Brocktower.

The scenario rolled for our first game was Take and Hold and we set up the table to represent the old ruins in the marshlands south of Brocktower.

Both sides would gain Victory points for controlling each Large Ruin at the end of the game, I would also gain pennies for my secondary objective (Scavenger Hunt) if I could carryout a successful search action against the ruins.

Turn 1 saw both sides vying for position and making their way towards the nearest ruins for each side.

Turn 2 and with the opposing factions being slightly closer, the opposing archers starting loosing of a few arrows - Harriet let fly against Kennith, who was taking cover in the larged walled ruin but the arrow pinged off the stonework.

Robyn in return took aim and had a shot against Sydney but the range wasn't ideal and it flew wide of its mark.

Duke Otto advancing on the Freebeast Rogues was suddenly blasted by a bolt of Lightning from Esme's staff but it failed to cause any damage against the Hulking Bulldog.

Fran, sneaking up on Robyn chucked a throwing knife but again this resulted in a miss.

Turn 3 and now the forces drew nearer. Geralt charged over the wall and swung his sword hitting Sydney causing a few wounds.

Esme again called down the lightning and fried Cornelius, severely wounding the Mouse Knight. Duke Otto charged into Sydney who reeling from Geralts strike was duly felled by a might blow from Otto's mace. 

Turn 4 with the Scavengers seeing their Feline leader deftly crushed by Duke Otto they felt that consolidating their gains was better than carrying on the fight, that was after however when Fran had taken out Ser Cornelius with a knife strike.

So with both sides ceasing conflict to gain their objectives the bragging rights went more to the Royalists for taking out the Scavengers leader, even though Ser Cornelius was left with a damaged hand. 

However after clearing the field and not finding anything (failed all my search rolls during the game for my secondary objective) news filtered through that Sydney Greytail wasn't as finished as it was thought and he was claiming revenge on the Chevaliers.

Game 2 - Surprise Attack - Brocktower Farmstead

Due to Nics rolls during the campaign steps, he got to pick the scenario and who would be attacker and defender for our second game. To keep it narrative, and the fact The Greytails wanted revenge, Nic chose Surprise Attack, ambushing the Chevaliers on their way back to Brocktower Castle.

So at an outlying farmstead where the Royalists had laid up over night the Freebeasts struck.

Rolling for my secondary objective I gained Assassinate. This was fluff for the narrative as after thinking I had removed the Rogue leader I could now make sure of it.

As defender I had to roll to see if any of my force would be starting on the table and who would arrive later in the battle. My rolls were terrible and I only started with Robyn the archer, perched on a rooftop as lookout.

Turn 1 seeing the Scavengers sneak towards the farmstead Robyn leaps from his elevated position and manages to dash into range so he can take a quick shot against Fran. Breathing heavily the shot is rushed and flies wildly across the field. 

Harriet in response, coolly notches an arrow and fires at Robyn hitting him right in the chest. Bleeding heavily Robyn is suddenly blasted by lightning from Esme, that's Robyn out of the fight, poor, poor Robyn!

Turn 2 Duke Otto arrives hearing the scream of Robyn as he's fried. With a huge roar he charges Harriet and crushes the tiny mouse with one crushing blow of his mace. Ser Kennith also enters the fray and attacks Esme, wounding the Hare witch severely.

In return the Terrier Knight is attacked from behind by Ruffus the Pug! Ser Cornelius joins his Knightly friends and finishes off Esme, putting the witch out of action.

Turn 3 results in a wild three way fur-ball with Ruffus, Cornelius and Kennith trading multiple blows. Geralt who has been skirting the flanks of the Scavengers and with a mighty swing of his sword, dispatches the Wildcat rogue.

Turn 4 seeing their leader again struck down the rest of the Greytail Scavengers route from the field. Their ambush foiled and their reputation as dangerous beasts shattered in Brocktower and the surrounding regions.

Two excellent fun games, the second slightly harsher on Nic's warband but in the campaign step it wasn't as bad as the battle made out.

Burrows and Badgers is a fantastic skirmish game with amazing Anthropomorphic miniatures. If you haven't tried it or got any of the miniatures I highly recommend you do.

Monday, 5 June 2023

UK Games Expo 2023

Well it looks like the last few years of Covid is well and truly over (or ignored) as this years UK Games Expo was absolutely jam packed with exhibitors, traders, cos players etc. 

I was working as a games demonstrator again this year, and again I had the privilege to be working for Ares Games - the last few years I have had the same gig and its testament to how well Roberto, Fabio and Christoph at Ares thinks I and the rest of the crew do that they keep requesting the same people to demo for them.

Last year it was recorded that over 35000 people had attended, but this years figures blew that out of the water - it is estimated that the weekend saw over 50000 attendees, with the organisers even considering stopping people from attending on the Saturday due to the high numbers (and H&S Fire regulations).

I really enjoy the UK Games Expo and its one of the only places I go that no one cares if you differ from the norm - everyone is accepted with no judgement -all walks of life from small children and their families to the old and bold of the hobby, race, nationality, creed, background, gender etc everything and anything goes and is celebrated without a demeaning glance, comment or objection.

All are here for the same thing, celebrate the hobby and have fun.

The photos below show the main reason I love attending this convention - friends! the amount of people that came over to see me and get friends selfies as well as the chances I got to wander the halls and meet up with people who couldn't get over to me, it is seriously humbling to know how many people from all walks of life I have in my life.

On Ares stand we demo'd a number of games ranging from a Massive Quartermaster General 1914 game on the central tables to new published games, Orcanomics, Ensemble, Cangaceiros and the Rich and the Good as wells as the War of the Ring card game.

As per last year, on the Sunday we ran a massive multiplayer Wings of Glory dogfight with around 26 players, with prizes doled out constantly by Roberto to those who shot down planes as well as monetary vouchers for those shot down (this certainly helped to clear the stock on the shelves after the event as people flocked to spend their vouchers) 

I don't know this one blokes name but Kudos to the gent who over hearing a young lad was a voucher short of buying a plane model duly handed over one of his.

Highlights of the show, seeing so many wonderful people and catching up with the boys and girls from the No Rolls Barred YouTube channel.

An amazing three days and next years event cant come quick enough.

The Crowds


Around the Show

Wings of Glory mass Dogfight







The Ares Crew

Back Row L-R
Lawrence, Chris, Chris, Tim, Roger, Craig, Alex, Ed
Front Row L-R
Chris, Aggie, Carl, Roberto, Hannah, Fabio, Christoph

The Haul