Sunday, 24 May 2015

When I first joined the wargames club - 28mm Ancients

When I first joined the wargames club back in the Second Sheet Metal Age, when God's Dog was still a puppy, White Dwarf was in single figures and all that, there was really only one big game, the one that showed you were a serious wargamer - 25mm Ancients using WRG 5th or 6th Edition.

The armies were big and quite expensive, but the biggest and most obvious sign that you played was the big metal cantilever toolbox universally used to haul your troops around - like this, but bigger.

When full of 25mm white metal figures these weighed a ton, and you had to seriously weigh up (literally in some cases) the desirability of adding that unit of Hoplites to the army with the possibility of getting a hernia. This was particularly the case at the Hartlepool club where the games rooms were on the top floor and only accessible by a series of about a hundred narrow stairs.

Things have changed now of course. The arrival of cheap plastic figures from Perrys, Gripping Beast,  Wargames Factory, Warlord Games, Conquest, Agema and Victrix have made 28mm (scale creep) ancients gaming both cheap and portable.

So yesterday we had a great time playing Impetus at Waugh Games - half a dozen like minded souls just having a good time doing ancients like the old days. We had six players and a good selection of armies - A Republican Roman, Early Imperial Roman, Ancient Brit, Carthaginian, Selucid, and Mongol (there's always one)! We were playing 350 points which is the current competition standard. One interesting point was just how small the two Roman armies were - probably because they both went for a lot of A class legionary units.

So here in no particular order is some pics I shot between moves

Selucids vs ABs

ABs lining up

"The important thing about a pike is the unpleasant stuff happens a long way away" Selucid Pikemen ready to roll

Meanwhile the ABs camp is full of the usual pre fight activity

Mongols vs Republican Romans

OK there are not many of us but we are A Class and rock hard - and also very pretty - Republican Romans

Early Imperials advance against Carthaginians

Hanibal and his lads get stuck in - this ended badly for the EIR Auxilia

Oh look, bloody Mongols outflanking AGAIN

Selucids bracing for impact

EIRs doing the grinding thing they do so well

Republicans bouncing Mongols (the suspicious Cav on the end is a proxy Mongol)

and now the Mongols are in the rear - AGAIN


Sometimes having the longest stick is worth it

More bouncing Mongols

Selucids vs Republicans

EIRs and ABs

A road? Mongols try to get even farther onto the Carthaginian flank

EIRs grind towards the ABs

Selucid vs Republican Romans

EIRs vs ABs

EIR setup vs Carthaginians

Proper wargaming :-)

and here is an interesting thought - most of this was plastic, with the odd metal figure in there. You could probably buy a 350 point army using plastics for £60-£80. That's brilliant

Friday, 15 May 2015

Off to Triples

So I'm going to Sheffield tomorrow to attend Triples, a rather good wargames show.

I usually have some tournament or demo to run but this time, for various reasons, I'm just joining the hoi polloi and getting some meandering and shopping

The shopping list is the thing. I cant make my mind up, which is of course a disaster waiting to happen. I need to get some 15mm PaK 36s, and I want some "gribbly" bits of 15mm sci fi to jazz up some buildings - doors, roof vents etc, and maybe some 28mm Romano Brits to allow me to play Dux Brit

I suspect it will be the 15mm doors that will be my downfall, I will have to go to Ground Zero Games stall to get them, and John Tuffley is a wizard at getting my money.

Time will tell

Monday, 4 May 2015

For the love of cake

As I explained a few posts ago I bought a Dreadball team.

There is a nice young lady called Jenny who has opened a tea shop in our town. Unlike all the other tea shops I know, in addition to 30 different varieties of tea, some very nice scones, and some truly amazing home made cakes that will give you a heart attack just by looking at them, Jenny sells boardgames and gaming accessories, and opens the shop late once a week for a games night.

Anyway, Jenny has decide to run a Dreadball League in her shop, and made a damned attractive offer of a team for a tenner to anyone who wanted to play in the league. Give this gives me a new gaming opportunity, minimum cost, and ready access to cake, I succumbed. We played our first game last week and won, rather more through luck than judgement. 

Well worth a visit to Tea@Hart and very civilised  here is the Facebook Page

Did I mention the cake?

Sunday, 3 May 2015

I suppose the name should have warned me - Dropzone Commander Resistance Leviathan Hovercraft

Names are not a reliable indicator. Take this as an example

This is the Douglas TBD "Devastator" torpedo bomber of WW2 vintage. It was never really going to live up to the name - partly because US torpedos were generally awful at the time, but mostly because it was pretty crap. 41 attacked the Japanese fleet at Midway, only 6 survived and they achieved no hits. To be fair they were so easy to shoot down the Japanese fighters were all drawn down to the turkey shoot and the US dive-bombers got a free run in and changed the direction the war in the Pacific was heading. Incidentally the pic is of the cover of the Airix box - nostalgia strikes again :-)

So when I saw the Leviathan hovercraft from Hawk Wargames I was not immediately overawed. This is the stock shop pic and it doesn't give much of an impression of size

Sure it looks a bit bigger than this - the Kraken, which is the other hovercraft the Resistance use

Then I stuck one together, and frankly it is HUGE! Pictures say a thousand words etc so here is my latest addition after being stuck together, posed artistically with a Hannibal Heavy Tank, and a Kraken. I'll try and get a better lit shot later but this gives a reasonable impression of the size of the thing!

For such a big model it went together very well. The resin parts needed careful cleaning and trimming but the fit on the whole was pretty tight. I may use some Greenstuff on some of the joints, then again I may get away without it. Dry runs before assembly are the order of the day - particularly as if you want to have the ramps operate you need to fit one hinge, then the door, then the other hinge in that order as the ramp itself will not clip in (as I first thought). The lack of instructions is probably the only minor point against this model, and even then it is self evident what goes where just by looking at the box. There are 21 parts in the model - technically 25 as you get alternate weapon options of AA guns or rocket launchers and all of them were clean cast with no bubbles and minimal flash, but you do need to take care cleaning the areas where the pour hole or vent has been. Luckily the resin is easy to work with, a sharp knife and emery board (stolen from Mrs R) were enough. Detail is phenomenal, which is pretty much what we have come to expect from Hawk.

If there is a problem with the Leviathan, it's the price. as one will set you back £35 RRP, which is a reasonable chunk. I wouldn't get one if I were just starting out, but then again if you are starting out your Resistance army wont have either 24 Technicals or 12 Trucks to move around, so you wont need one. Actually that may be a fairly big restriction on the Leviathan, as most Resistance armies I have seen don't go for big truck or technical units, but rather prefer to use the more resilient ex military stuff.

Ok there is another problem too - at just about six inches wide you may find some streets too narrow to get the damned thing down! On the plus side the Leviathan offers Resistance players a great way to move a lot of otherwise vulnerable units at reasonable speed, and also comes with some pretty serious AA or artillery support functions too. Great model - can't wait to get it painted.