Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Burrows and Badgers Tournament - Phoenix Gaming Club - Rushden

Last Saturday I attended the very first Burrows & Badgers Tournament in Rushden, run by the very accomplished Carl King and the Phoenix Gaming club. Arriving early I partook of some rather nice doughnuts and a mug of tea (available all day) and saw the amount of work that went into setting up some fantastic tables for our Warbands to contest over.

Considering this game is a small scale skirmish game designed by the very talented Micheal Lovejoy of Oathsworn miniatures and quite niche in that its not got the exposure of say Bolt Action/Kings of War etc a very healthy amount of participants turned up for the tournament including Micheal and his his lovely wife Jo. Added to this is the fact that attending this tournament were the most lady gamers I have seen at an event for quite sometime, which in our hobby in my opinion is a happy sight.

If anyone is not aware of Burrows & Badgers, it is an Anthropomorphic Skirmish game incorporating a various number of animal/reptile/avian species set in a Medievalist fantasy setting . See Burrows and Badgers

My Warband for the event consisted of the Crake Castle Cavaliers:

Badger Warrioress - Deagra Trufflehunter
Wildcat Warrior - Cornilius Spiteclaw
Toad Mage -Ponder Stibbons
Otter Zwiehander - Ruffgar Breakwater
Mouse Soldier - Templeton Twitch
Mole Soldier - Silas Gravelfeet
Mouse Ranger - Fletch Sharpeye

My Crake Castle Cavaliers

Game 1 vs Mike Strong and the Evil Eye (Wild Beast Rats)

Diamond in the Rough. Each Warband had two crystals that it set up after deployment in the opposite deployment area. The aim was to get your crystals off the board and possibly the enemies crystals as well. You could only get an enemy crystal once they had picked it up and you had defeated that character in melee combat.

Mike and I deployed and set everything up. With varying priority during turns Mike started to gain the upper hand with his Rats charging in and dual wielding hand weapons!

Quickly all my large Warband members started to fall. My Badger, Wildcat and Otter were summarily thumped along with my Mouse Soldier - Even with a few good healing spells cast by my Toad it couldn't save them.

However I had caused a bit of damage as well taking out a few large Rats along with his Rat Mage, with a sneak attack from my Mole who had tunnelled into a good position behind some ruins at the end of the first turn. A few good shots from my Mouse Ranger finished off the remaining Rats and I deftly collected my crystals with the Mole and scarpered off the board.

Even after defeating Mike's whole Warband and getting my Crystals, I didn't get his as he never got to pick them up. Toting up the points victory was mine.

Minor Win 4pts

Game 2 vs James Wilkinson and the Royalists (damn rebels really)

On 'Burrowed' Time. After alternately deploying this scenario saw us trying to get our models of the opponents table edge gaining points for doing so and getting double points if you got your most expensive model off.

Jack and I rolled for priority and started the game. I had a plan to try and rush my Badger straight off the table and hold his Warband with the rest of my force then get what was left off, trying to maximise points.

However a few bad rolls saw my Badger get ganged up on and it took a while but the poor thing finally went down heroically in a flurry of blows from the dastardly rebels.

My Warband were sent into a frenzy and cut into the rebels, hacking beast down left, right and centre. 

Fur flew everywhere and in the end of it I had only lost my Mouse Soldier along with the Badger.

The rest of the Warband exhausted with the massive martial display they had endured limped off the field in victory.

Minor Win 4pts

Game 3 vs Paul Wilkinson and more Royalist rebels

Stop 'Badgering' Me. Simple scenario. Take out the enemies highest point cost model. If this was by shooting or a spell you got the points equal to the model plus 50%. If it was done in melee you got double points. All other models defeated score points equal to their cost as per the other games.

Well what can I say about this game! Paul was my previous opponents Dad and his force ended up winning the best painted Warband. Apart from that the game ended up a complete standoff really. Both sides circled each other and got models into hidden/ambush positions. I was slightly outnumbered so wasn't going to commit and over reach my force, so took a defensive stance waiting for Paul to make a mistake. Unfortunately no mistake was forthcoming and the only real action came from our archers taking shots at each other which couldn't cause enough damage as our Mages threw out healing spells.

The only main combat came from Pauls Bat Assassin swooping in from its position by the large tower to try and draw out some of my force, but my Mole popped out of his tunnels and chopped him down before being dispatched himself being unsupported.

Time ran out and we shook hands on a very stalemated low point scoring game.

Draw 3 pts

Game 4 vs James and his Pantoufle Redeembers (Freebeasts) 

An Oath is Sworn. Straight forward kill everything in you path scenario.

Not taking anything away from the first 3 games but this was awesome. James really immersed himself in the RPG aspect of his Warband and I responded in kind. What transpired was a fantastic, hilarious, vocal game full of tense moments.

The game started with both sides gaining position. My force took a solid stance on the right hoping to take out his Mage and supporting Mouse. I quickly dashed my Badger and Otter on to the flank but James countered managing to get his Hound, Hedgehog and Fox into a position to surround my Wildcat.

Blows rained down on the Wildcat but his managed to shrug off damage time and time again. On the other side it was some serious Mouse on Mouse action, it didn't matter how many times I battered on James models they just would't go down.

Slowly though models started to drop. My Wildcat was over run and James Hare, Pantoufle massacred my Mole for daring to nearly wipe out his Toad. My Otter took out his Dormouse and desperately I threw my Toad Mage into the fight taking out his Mouse. Pantoufle went on the rampage and cut through my force but my Badger had go in his rear and finally silenced the pesky Toad. With James Fox finally going down under the heavy blow of a charging Zweihander Otter time was called. 
An absolute rip roaring game and at the end it was a Draw giving me 3 pts.

So the tournament ended and I had 14 Tournament Points which put me in 4th place -  technically joint 3rd but I just pipped on kill points, (the low scoring 3rd game didn't help)

Absolute awesome day, great game, great opponents and great atmosphere.

    Just some of the Warbands 

Mikes Evil Eye Rats
Jacks Rebels

Pauls Rebels

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.