Monday, 30 September 2013

Derby Wargames Show 2013

I like many others recently returned from Donnington Park after attending the Derby wargames show. This year was completely different for me as I usually have attended the Derby show whilst participating in Westwinds, Secrets of the Third Reich tournament. Unfortuntely this year after being back in Lancashire to attend my wifes Uncles funeral I only got to turn up on the Sunday.

Also this year was probably the first time I have been to any show where I had no shopping list and no real intention of buying anything (that is except for a few 4Grounds Anglo Dane Hovels for my youngest son's Vikings)

Talking of which, my little minion was in tow and we were both looking at joining in a few good games.

We arrived really early (no traffic on the M1!!) and had to queue till 10am. Queue I here you Derby? well yes according to the lady at the door this year new rules meant they couldnt let people in before time, except traders, except demo gamers, except display gamers, except tournament players etc....

Anyway a rather relaxed day was had by both myself and my minion and I managed to catch up with a few old friends taking part in the Secrets tournament, saw Tamsin from Wargaming Girl fame but didnt get to chat and actually got to miss nearly the majority of bloggers that were at the show! ah well never mind.

My minion and I had a cracking game of Empire of the Dead which saw my minions Sherlock and Watson trapping Jack the Ripper in a narrow alley and pumelling the knife weilding maniac to the ground (top dice rolling from the minion)

Next up was a game of Dead Mans Hand, I really like this Wild West skirmish game and its a real good quick uncomplicated game. I ended up on the side with the Desperadoes and the minion took Cowboys. I completely ran foul of my son's amazing dice rolling and after a few turns his aiming repeater armed Cowboys had decimated my poor Desperadoes!

Hawk Wargames was next and I have already blogged posts about this amazing sci-fi skirmish game but wanted the young one to have a quick demo. In no time at all he had swooped his dropships in, destoyed the enemy anti-air, massacred the opposing infantry, collected the objective and retired from the combat area. Young un was on a roll.

After perusing all the trade stands and seriously tried to spend some money but to no avail we sat down for a game of Wings of Glory (WW1 style) the minion stepped into the cockpit of an Albatross DVa whilst I took off in a Sopwith Camel. A right old fur ball of a dogfight erupted with Camels trailing smoke across the skies before plumeting to the ground whilst Albatross's scooted about hardly noticing the damage they were sustaining. But then the tables turned, I managed to get onto my minions six and sent the dastardly hun flaming to the ground (start one 11yr old huff haha) then proceeded to blast the remaining Albatross out of the blue.

All in all a very enjoyable day out, my minion was on top form and was extreamly good and polite and enjoyed the whole day. Everyone we met and all those that hosted games were friendly and very very easy to game with so a big thanks to them.

Looking forward to next year but will probably be back on the tournament scene then.

I didnt really go on a major photo spree but below are just a few of the games/tables that caught my eye.

Yom Kippur War

Modern day Battle of Trafalger Square
Dystopian Wars

Saturday, 28 September 2013

BloodBowl Match Karond Kar Oblivion vs Har Ganeth Heartbreakers

Welcome again BloodBowl fans and here is the second outing for the Karond Kar Oblivion. This match was against another experienced Dark Elf team the Har Ganeth Heatbreakers. The Heartbreakers had previously played a full season and were full of Blodging Blitzers, a couple of very nasty Witch Elves and some very solid Line eleves. It was going to be a tough game.

So the Oblivion, bouyant after humiliating the Marauders in their first game, enter the arena with the weather fair and an even mix of fans for both teams filling the stands. The Oblivion have also brought along the Star Player Hubris Rakarth to even the odds slightly.

The teams set up and the Heartbreakers kick, the fans cheer loudly and the Heartbreakers take a Reroll. The Oblivion start their drive and knock into the opposition. a few Heartbreakers go down but no sever injuries are caused. The ball is collected and protected in a well practiced cage. The Heartbreakers very agile blitzer tries dodging through the Oblivions line but fails and hits the deck with a loud smack. Oblivion take the initiative and a lineman gets a good hit on an opposing blitzer and Kills him!!! the Heartbreakers Apothacary certain that he was not really dead tries to revive him but alas, yes he is DEAD!

The rest of the Oblivion team protect the ball carrier and Hubris blitzes a Heartbreaker Lineman but the opposite player is made off stern stuff and holds his ground. The Heartbreakers get a good blitz on the Oblivions ball carrier who has ended up not as protected as he thought. The Runner goes down and the ball scatters free to the advantage of the Heartbreakers. They collect the ball and its thrown for a short pass to a waiting blitzer. The Oblivion slam into them KO'ing a few but unable to catch the opposing blitzer, who skips across the line to score TOUCHDOWN 0-1.
The Oblivion seething at being turned over receive the ball from the Heartbreakers kick, after it bounces off the field. The Runner makes a dart down the sideline and soon ends up in a crush of Heartbreakers. The ball is managed to be passed long and the Oblivion go on a hitting spree, although the opposition are hit hard no CAS are caused. Hubris blitzes and causes a hole. a few more Heartbreakers are KO'd and the Oblivion manage to get in and score TOUCHDOWN 1-1!!

The second half kicks off and the Heartbreakers have managed to recover the majority of their KO'd players. The ball is kicked and the weather threatens to turn to finally stays nice. The Heartbreakers blitz done the line and end up KO'ing an Oblivion lineman. Oblivion respond and try to trap the Heartbreakers on the sidelines. The heartbreakers blitz again down the line and then pull off a short pass to a blitzer who sprints to the line. The Oblivion try and crowd the ball carrier but the Heartbreakers player is just to agile and dances away to score TOUCHDOWN 1-2!!!

The Heartbreakers kick and the ball lands right near the line of scrimmage and the Ref is bribed to look the other way if any fouls are committed. The Oblivion now make a move through the centre with Hubris KO'ing a Witch Elf. Hubris then gets a hit on a blitzer which puts the opposing player in the way of a rampaging Oblivion blitzer and the Heartbreakers player goes down CAS'd. There is now a direct line opened up towards the endzone and the Oblivion ball carrier makes off with a dash. Heartbreakers try and chase him down and their star blitzer gets the closest but ends up KO'ing himself.
Oblivion put the hurt on a few opposing players and then get into the endzone to draw the match TOUCHDOWN 2-2!!

A very tough backwards and forwards game. The Heartbreakers were lucky with the way the ball bounded after they blitzed the ball carrier in the first half but Oblivion worked well to come back and score so quickly. I really though my mate Dave who was playing the Heartbreakers would stall in the second half to win 2-1 but he left me enough turns to get back into the game.

I now have a very fast but fragile Skaven team in the next game. Must catch and kill them damn Gutter Runners before they run riot.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Dropzone Commander - PHR

As some of you might have noticed, my projects list seems to be expanding exponentionally with new additions. One of these is the fantastic 10mm Sci-Fi game Dropzone Commander.

Initally I was not going to buy into this game due to what I conceived were high costs for the resin miniatures so I waited. I am glad i did as they have now released the new 1.1 rules book and a cracking card terrain set which includes ground tiles and buildings (pretty much an essential for the game)

As well as this Hawk Wargames who produce Dropzone are releasing a brand new plastic starter set at the end of this month which will include 2 complete starter armies. See here for my post/review of the set.

So onto the main point of this post. I am starting a Post Republic force, these guys will usually always be outnumbered, but considering they are bad arse Cyborgs with mech walkers (albeit slower than most) they are still more than a match for the other factions.

I began with a PHR starter box and have added 2 x Triton dropships, 4 x Janus Scout walkers, Athena Strike Fighter, 2 x Odin Type 2 walkers, 2 x Zeus command walkers and an extra Neptune Dropship.

Everything has been fully magnetised for cool factor. This is not really necessary but being able to plonk a Dropship on the table with the tanks and walkers actually attached is awesome.

PHR Force
Ready to drop

Saturday, 14 September 2013

BloodBowl Match Karond Kar Oblivion vs Asguard Marauders

Hello sports fans and welcome to the first match of a brand new season. I'm your resident match commentator Trip Dover and tonight I have our first report. The Oldworld Conference has kicked off and we see a new Dark Elf team the Karond Kar Oblivion take on veteran Norse team the Asguard Marauders.

You might remember the Marauders from last season as they were suitable mauled by the awesomely monsterous Undead team Atrocity Exhibition (my team from last season, if you read my past posts)

Its perfect weather in the Marauders stadium and the Oblivion are visiting this freezing wasteland for the first time. The Oblivion being the underdogs have managed to bring with them a freelance Apothacary and best of all the Star Player Hubris Rakarth has turned up for them. The Norse have won the toss but have elected to kick, hoping I imagine that if the Dark Elves score quickly they can get an equalizer before half time. We will have to see....but what we do want to see is carnage!!

The teams set up and the ball is booted. The Oblivion catch the Marauders with a quick snap and a Blitzer slams into one of the Norsemen's Ulfenwerner and Badly Hurts him straight from the get go. The Oblivion collect the ball and gradually grind into the Marauders.

Another Blitz and OUCH there goes a Marauders Thrower out the game Badly Hurt. Seething a Marauders lineman tries to smash a Dark Elf Linemen but the hurt rebounds and he is Badly Hurt, the Marauders are 3 men down and we are only a third of the way through the half.

The Oblivion have time now to move the ball quicker and start to single out Marauders players for special attention. The Marauders spare Thrower is Badly Hurt on a startling Blitz and a Lineman is KO'd that hard by Hubris it looks like it could be sometime till he recovers.

The Marauders in desperation try a risky Blitz with a frenzied Berserker but he gets crushed between two Oblivion players and goes of Badl Hurt. Looks like one of the Oblivion players is grinning maliciously there as he enjoys the experience.

Right at the end of the half now and Oblivions Runner skips into the endzone to score TOUCHDOWN!!! 1-0

Second half now and the Marauders are struggling due to injuries and some of the KO'd Norse failing to recover. Not many left to mount a decent offence. The Oblivion kick high and the Marauders collect the ball easily and surge forward managing to KO a Dark Elf Lineman. The Dark Elves have the numbers though and mount a very successful defence, trapping the Norse against the far touchline. the Marauders last Ulfenwerner slams and dodges his way from the the edge of the pitch between a pack of Dark Elves and pulls of a fantastic Blitz smashing a Lineman to the ground.

The play is getting completely bogged down though with Oblivion players crowding around the remaining Norsemen. The Marauders ball carrier tries to dodge out of the pack and make a break but is Blitzed in return by Hubris Rakarth and slammed of the pitch. The screaming fans hurl the ball back which ends up half way across the pitch.

A Oblivion Lineman charges off and manages to reach, collect and then pull of a long pass with the ball to a waiting Blitzer who promptly sprints off towards the endzone. The Oblivion now in complete control have their Blitzers moving and passing the ball with ease and soon score again TOUCHDOWN!!! 2-0

The teams set up again and the Oblivion kick but its near the end of the game and the Marauders have no chance to rectify the huge upset we have seen here. The Oblivion end the match outright winners and have seriously embarrassed a very experienced team.

Lets see if this fledgling but very well managed Dark Elf team can keep it up especially as their next match is against another experience Dark Elf team.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

New HDWSBBL BloodBowl League starts

The new annual HDSWBBL Bloodbowl league has now commenced and this year I am starting with a brand new Dark Elf Team called the Karond Kar Oblivion.

Last season I won the league with my hideously monsterous Undead team - Atrocity Exhibition, but this year I decided to go with a starting team. Its going to be hard going this season as we see quite a few old teams returning. There is a Vampire team that I narrowly beat in the final last season as well as two Chaos teams that have been running for about 3 seasons. Add to these returning Norse and a few others.

But on the flip side we are also seeing an influx of brand new teams that dont usually show up. we have 2 starting Halfling teams and a couple of Slann.

This is my whole Dark Elf team (not what I will be starting with though)

Blitzers and Witch Elves

 Head Coach, Apocathary and Cheerleaders

LineElves and a Runner

My starting team for the league is going to be:
  • 1 x Runner
  • 4 x Blitzers
  • 6 x Linemen
  • 2 x Rerolls
Hopefully the Runner will get enough Star Player Points from the first game to give him Leader for that extra ReRoll and the winnings (I hope) will purchase an Apothacary.

So here is to the new season and lets hope I can send all my opponents to Oblivion!!!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Donald Featherstone 1918-2013

It is with a great sadness that I write this post. Donald Featherstone a leading military history expert and well know as the father of modern wargaming, passed away yesterday 3rd September 2013.

I started wargaming at a very early age thanks to the influence of my grandfather who served in the 5th Division during World War 2 as a Battery Sgt Maj with the Royal Artillery in an Anti Tank unit, serving in Syria then through North Africa, Sicily and Italy. Finally ending the war in France then Germany as a stabilisation force.

As I was growing up my Grandad had a friend he had served with, who then worked for Airfix and supplied a certain young wide eyed boy (me!) with copious amounts of brightly coloured toy soldiers. To go with these I was bought a wide range of books to allow me and my Grandad to recreate battles in history across the kitchen table using an old Subutteo cloth upside down with books underneath to add contours and matchboxes for buildings.

I remember being utterly engrossed reading the books and Donald Featherstone has been a constant influence to me thoughout the years in not only wargaming but military history as a whole.

I have been extreamly lucky to have met and spoken to him a few times over the years at book signings and seminars and his books are always a constant in my library.

Below are a few of my favourite titles.