Saturday, 23 August 2014

Tor Gamings Relics New Faction Preview - The Ridend

In battle the Ridend Barons stalk the fields, directing the brave Ridendean warriors onward into the thick of the fighting. Each accompanied by two of their most loyal Men-at-arms, one bearing the Ridend Barons own personal Coat of Arms and the other acting as musician/signaller, each baron is an inspiring sight to behold. Such divine oaths of loyalty are commanded by the Ridend Barons that those who swear to serve them will not hesitate to march head on into certain doom if they should be ordered to do so.

*Taken from the Tor Gaming Site* Tor Gaming have been previewing some new faction concept art recently and have writen a little about how they got to their Goblin based faction.

Every faction in Relics is based on traditional fantasy armies. The Vaettir are Elves, the Britanans are Humans, Orcnar are Orcs and the Nuem are Dwarves. But when they embark on a new race they take a traditional fantasy race and completely twist it.

The twists are designed to draw inspiration from sources that are close to Gav Moorcroft's heart but also twists the reasoning behind the race existing. The traditional style (in general, not a rule of thumb) for Orcs to be the aggressors who are spreading war and suffering everywhere; the Humans are the race who are fighting against the darkness whilst the Elves are the mysterious race of noble pointy eared snobs. Dwarves, well they love their songs and honour are stripped away and changed so, these races are twisted into something that isn’t traditional for them.

In Relics, the Vaettir (Elves) are the ones to blame for the state of the world. The Nuem (dwarves) love pain and suffering. The Orcnar (Orcs) are the hard done by and the human are the aggressors.
But on top of that they look at ways to change their look to make them stand out. The Vaettir are elemental, no surprise there. But Gav takes a lot of inspiration from what he loves the most.

In my opinion I think you have to be blind not to spot where the inspirations for a lot of the Relics look and feel come from but just in case you haven’t figured it out yet alot of inspiration from the likes of Guillermo Del Toro, Tim Burton, Jim Henson, Brian Froud and to some extent Clive Barker.

History plays a big part and you can see this coming through in the Britanans (Georgian England) and the Ridend (Medieval Europe).

The major inspiration for the Ridend from two places only:
  • Brian Froud and the Labyrinth film.
  • Medieval Europe
It’s not hard to see the Froud inspiration, but the Ridend are not 100% inspired by his work. When Gav started working on the Ridend he wanted them to be medieval and wanted them to be honourable and pretty much ‘non-goblin’ like. So they got proper plate armour and no rag-tag look. He also ‘standardised’ the Ridend themselves with ‘beak’ noses and what not to have them feel more cohesive as a group. Add the posture of Frouds stuff and especially the goblin mounts in Labyrinth, but again slightly changed they now are more colourful and feathered…. WAR CHICKENS!!!!!

Christian Schwager has done a fantastic job on the concept art and I look forward to getting this faction to Relics (Its a great game)

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

DUST Tactics starter game

My friend Callum recently aquired a load of DUST Tactics models, rules and accessories and was asking around for some one to try it out.

I had the first starter set by Fantasy Flight tucked away in a cupboard and have not played DUST for donkeys years so said I would have him round my house for a kitchen table bash.

Now I am not sure what it is about DUST Tactics but its a game that seems to never have hit it off fully in the UK, but the few games I played I have enjoyed it.

Anyway Callum arrived, we set the board up and let rip. Callum took the Axis and I had the Allies.

Axis Army

Lara (Sniper Hero)
Angela (Armoured Hero)
Tank Killers Unit
Ghosts (Scout Unit)
Command Unit
Stormtrooper Unit
Hans (Walker with Rockets)
Lothar (Nebelwerfer Walker)
Heinrich (Quad Gun Walker)
Ludwig (Big Gun Walker)

Allied Army
Bazooka Joe (Hero)
The Chef (Hero)
Gunners Unit
Recon Scout Unit
Tank Busters Unit
Command Unit
Honey (Phaser Light Walker)
Wildfire (Quad Gun Light Walker)
Pounder (Heavy Gun Walker)
Hotdog (Flamer Walker)

The game was set up with minimal scenery and cover tiles as we both went through the rules slow time to get a good grip of the game (the rules have changed slightly since the first edition - the small dots on the board tiles are now no longer used to mark LOS etc)

Units start of the board and come on in on the first turn they are activated. Its an Igo Ugo system and soon we both had our forces on the table and were knocking lumps out of each other. Little by little though my Allies gained the upper hand as Callums Axis Walkers were hitting me hard but my defence was just that little bit spawnier!!

With some excellent use of my Tank Busters and using my Command Actions to recall eliminated units I got the other hand and quickly destroyed the Axis army.

Overall a very fun game and I look forward to getting some extra units giving different force options.


Sunday, 10 August 2014

Sugar Factory Skirmish - Across the Dead Earth Multi-Gang Fight

"Sit down and listen well, im going to tell you of a battle I saw which was hard fought between four different gangs. Two gangs were serious rivals and local to the area and the other two were infamous across the dead earth."

Adam's Family had been to the Fens as Reggie had heard his mother was ill and wanted to visit, whilst he was catching up and helping his siblings run the wind farm Adam had taken the rest to Tat & Ly an old sugar factory on the outskirts of the Ipswich rad wastes.

Dogging their steps had been the State's IAO squad led by the Sadistic Jester. They had been following the Family for over 3 weeks and were looking for the best chance to take them. Now with Adam occupied in looking for any loot that might be around the old factory Jester was about to take his chance - unfortunately he walked right into a rival encounter between two local gangs. The Marsh Harriers were defending their territory from the Quality Streets who are a local gang around the Ipswich area, that have set up shop around an old ruined sweet shop on the outskirts of the ruins.

The Marsh Harriers are direct descendants from the first survivors of the PLW (Post Last War) They have grown up and control the network of underground shelters built around the central council district of Ipswich. They have access to some high powered weaponry and environment suits which allow them to operate in the radiated wastes longer than less protected gangs.
                                    State – Jester, Siwoc, Skelch and Squint played by Nick A
                                  Family – Adam, Ezra, Drexyl and Skylar played by myself
                      Marsh Harriers – Damphair, Bloat, Eagle Eye and Skipper played by Callum
                  Quality Streets – Cadbury, Nestle, Thornton and Rowntree played by Nick S
Turn 1.
Skelch and Cadbury make a move towards the nearest located loot. Drexyl stumbles as he activates a hidden tripwire which slows down his advance. Ezra sprints forward towards an area covered with large bushes and collects some loot whilst Damphair slyly collects a loot which was overlooked by the Family. Adam moves forward but misjudges the range whilst trying to shoot Damphair and also tries to order Drexyl a bit further forward but the Family Marksman must have fluff in his ears as he doesn’t respond.
The States Captain, Jester moves and orders Squint to shoot Drexyl the range is just too far. The Marsh Harriers, left alone in the opening exchanges all slowly advance towards the Sugar factory. Skylar runs and takes a  position of cover amongst a large stake of old crates.
Turn 2.
The State get the drop on the other gangs and push forward. Damphair moves away from Adam who is threatening him and orders Eagle Eye but the order is miss-communicated and the sniper does nothing. Adam moves and orders Drexyl to shoot Squint but Drexyl has a senior moment and forgets he is out of range. Jester collects a piece of loot and scoots into cover and orders Squint to move forward to engage Drexyl.
Cadbury moves and opens up on the Marsh Harriers but misses his shot whilst another gang member collects some loot. Eagle Eye takes a shot at Cadbury but it looks like the rifle jams, no Eagle Eye thinks he can clear it easily but the Best Laid Plans all go awry and the rifle is jammed after all.
Drexyl moves and shoots Squint but the States operatives Body Armour absorbs the shot. Ezra scoots back to the Family’s deployment area with some loot and Squint returns fire on Drexyl. The States superior ammunition is more reliable and Drexyl is Knocked Down.
Skylar pops up from her crates and shoots at Squint but misses, she then throws her grenade which lands perfectly at Squints feet and explodes, engulfing Squint in a large explosion. The smoke and debris clears and its unbelievable – Squint is unharmed and still standing!!
Turn 3.
Adams ignores Damphairs movements and shifts to support his gang and shoots Squint but the State Soldier soaks up the weak shotgun rounds. Cadbury banks his loot and gets ready to return to the fight. Jester orders Siwoc into the fight and then banks his loot. Eagle Eye clears his previous jam and shoots Rowntree knocking the flamethrower toting maniac over.
Drexyl tries to get to his feet but is too woosy. Siwoc moves to the sugar factory and manages to collect some more loot and then takes a shot at Adam, who being tough as old boots shrugs it off.
Skylar dashes forward and engages Siwoc in hand to hand manages to wound him, but on closer inspection its just a Flesh Wound and the pair remain locked in combat. Squint lets rip at short range at Adam who manages to either evade or soak up the hail of fire. Ezra dashes forward to heal Ezra whilst Skelch takes a pot shot at Adam but misses.
Skipper silently and stealthily has evaded all antagonists and deftly managed to infiltrate the sugar factory looking for more loot. Nestle and Thornton move across to cover the knocked over Rowntree and threaten the State operatives.
 Turn 4.
Bloat enters the fray and opens up on the Family with his LMG but although hits are scored, do damage is sustained. Rowntree recovers with the timely use of a StimPac and flames Skelch, scorching the Sharpshooter and knocking him down. Siwoc disengages from Skylar and runs away with his loot. Skylar ignores him and moves to engage Squint instead. The combat is drawn and they stay lock in combat. Jester moves to shoot Rowntree but his SMG jams. Adam moves forward and shoots Skelch lying on the ground; the State member is peppered with shot and taken Out Of Action.
Squint disengages from Skylar and shoots her point blank Knocking her Down. Ezra helps Drexyl to his feet and Damphair finally banks the loot he was carrying. Drezyl shoots at Squint and finally takes the near invincible State Trooper Down but not Out.
Skipper deftly moves through the ruins but the sun is setting quickly and dark clouds are blocking out the remaining light.
All the gangs decide that they are happy with the spoils already collected and strategically withdraw from the area and further conflict.
At the end of the game the loot counters were checked to see what value they were and who had won.
Nick S        - 25 points
Nick A       - 15 points
Callum       - 10 points
Carl (Me)   - 25 points + 5points as I had take a State member Out of Action.
I won but it was extreamly close.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Britain at War - WW1 100th Anniversary Commemorations

The shot that changed the world rang out on a sunny summer's morning in Southeastern Europe. No one knew then that the assassin's bullet would spell the death not just of an Austrian aristocrat but the entire global order, with four empires and millions of lives lost in a conflict on a scale never before seen.

Exactly 100 years ago (4th August 1914) we (the British) entered the First World War after Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian empire, and his wife, Sophie, were shot at close range by a young Serbian nationalist on the streets of Sarajevo on the 28th June 1914. The assassination set off a chain reaction that, barely a month later, culminated in a continent at war.

What many thought would be a brief, even heroic, conflict metastasized into a four-year nightmare that engulfed dozens more nations, including the United States, redrew the map of Europe and introduced the world to new horrors such as chemical weapons and shell shock.

In such a cataclysm there are no winners, many say, and it's fruitless to seek logic, meaning or justification in soldiers asphyxiating in gas attacks, or waves of men charging over the tops of trenches only to be mowed down by machine-gun fire within seconds.

With this in mind we should now remember those sacrifices, where countless soldiers fell on the muddy fields of Flanders amongst others.

The French President Francois Hollande will dedicate a memorial in November inscribed with the names of all 600,000 troops who perished in northern France during World War I, regardless of which side they fought on.

The First World War was the war that was supposed to end all wars, it swept away whole dynasties. The Russian Revolution ushered in the world's first communist state; a defeated Germany witnessed the birth of the Weimar Republic. The Ottoman Empire was broken into pieces, and the map of the
Middle East was redrawn as well.
Islamic militants tore down border posts along the frontier between Iraq and Syria, a line drawn after the Turkish empire was dismembered. The central question for Iraqis is whether their country, defined by those borders, can survive.

The nation of Yugoslavia, and a fragile hope, emerged from the rubble. But that fell apart violently, too, in the Balkan wars of the 1990s, which gave the world the brutal euphemism of "ethnic cleansing."

One hundred years ago, the butchery began, and so many lives disappeared, We must at least try for a moment to avoid such a big catastrophe in the future."

In the going down of the sun and in the morning, We Will Remember Them.