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Friday, 19 January 2018

Tyranny of Dragons (Hoard of The Dragon Queen) Act 1 Scene 1 Part 2 - I...do...not...do...Lightning!

***SPOILERS AWARE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING PLAYING THIS ADVENTURE!!!***

We left our heroes inside the keep at Greenest, recovering from their rescue of the villagers in the Temple (well half of them). After a short rest they were ready to emerge to the news that it appeared the cultists were attempting to set fire tot he towns mill. As the towns primary food source it was imperative this was dealt with.

Despite having being hinted at that there were no dwarven cultists, Ulla continued to try to deceive kobold groups around the town that they were with them. This (surprisingly) didn't work and they were forced to fight. This unnecessary distraction delayed them so that reinforcements may have arrived at the mill!

They sneaked up towards the mill and took cover behind a fence. After a while of viewing the mill - it appeared as if the 4 cultists on guard were making a show of lighting the building - setting fire to hay and outbuildings. As such our party managed to isolate one of the cultists on his rounds and managed to defeat them fairly quickly. However they (thanks to an appalling stealth roll on my part) managed to notice that there were multiple occupants of the mill.

These 3 Guards and 3 Cultists attacked the party and it looked ominous. Ulla had take multiple hits, and Phanny was looking hurt. Fortunately at that moment, a monk who'd been hiding across the way decided to assist - launching his spear into a guard and following it up with a flurry of blows. This interjection was enough for the party to defeat their enemies and defend the mill until reinforcements arrived to relieve them.

Dawn was now approaching as our adventurers made a final climb up the keep's walls. The cultists gathered their caravan of loot up and Langdedrosa - a blue half-dragon approached a dragon with a band of cultists dragging a young family behind him. Offering to release the family as long as someone faced him, Ulla was persuaded to face him. After one strike of his axe simply bounced off the scales of his enemy - Ulla was knocked out with a blast of lightning which nearly killed him outright from Langdedrosa's breath attack.

With this the cultists left (releasing the family) and Ulla was restored by the town's healers and was given 2 potions of healing.

And with that they reached Level 2!

***SPOILERS OVER***

We also managed to get in a game of Ticket to Ride - bit rusty but as with all European games it was close and I really didn't know who was going to win especially not myself coming from behind to win on longest route!

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Tyranny of Dragons (Hoard of The Dragon Queen) Act 1 Scene 1 Part 1 - Cultists, Cultists Everywhere





Image result for hoard of the dragon queen
So I persuaded JT and HanDan to give DnD a go (well JT has played before but this was HanDan's first go).  JT portrayed a Dwarven Paladin (who had been abandoned at a young age to live with the wolves!), the Han part of Handan played a Half-Elf Rogue (with very little memory of anything which had happened previously) and Dan was a High Elf Wizard (with comparatively little backstory - yet).

***SPOILERS AWARE FOR THOSE CONSIDERING PLAYING THIS ADVENTURE!!!***

Having run through the basic concepts, we entered the adventure with the party approaching the quiet town of Greenest. Unfortunately for our brave adventurers the town wasn't as quiet as advertised as a large Blue Dragon crackled with electrical energy in the skies overhead as cultists looted and burnt the buildings that they were approaching.

Sneaking into town they came across a family being chased by a group of kobolds. Being relativity inexperienced in real life combat, they took some hits before being able to dispatch the creatures. The parents of this family - Cuth and Linan - advised them to head for the keep.

Image result for greenest
Map courtesy of Heart of The Realms
On the way there the party defeated a bunch of cultists as stole their cloaks. This allowed them to pass the last obstacle on they way to the keep - unfortunately as they left the cloaks on as they approached the gates, they were nearly skewered by the town guard before managing to persuade them of their intentions.

Tarbaw Nighthill, the governor of Greenest, advised the party of the situation; the keep seemed secure but the cultists were looting and burning the town with the remaining citizens who hadn't escaped to the keep in imminent danger.

The gates were sealed shut now so the party had to make their way out through an old escape tunnel. A swarm of rats was scared off and upon exiting the tunnel they were able to persuade a cultist leader to come over a rise (sending away the rest of his party through the magic of nat 20s) and mugged him (gaining a deed to a piece of land just north of Waterdeep). Taking him back they were able to interrogate him into informing them that the cultists were raising a great hoard for Tiamat - unfortunately they then failed to remember from their learnings who Tiamat was - well that is a tale for another day I guess.

At this moment a crack of thunder signaled that the Blue Dragon was attacking, racing up to the rampant, our party arrived just in time to see a lightning bolt strike the wall and throw many of the defenders into the air. Realizing that they had no hope against this monstrosity they pulled the wounded down and reported again to the Governor. He advised that many of the citizens had barricaded themselves into the town's temple - could our heroes help?

Well having defeating the guards at the back door they broke into the temple and were unable to persuade the townsfolk to calm down from the frenzy they had got into. However they received assistance from the priest and evacuated everyone shortly before the cultists smashed down the door. Our heroes persuaded the cultists that they were with them before scarpering off after the refugees.

In one final bloody battle they cut a path through one final bunch of cultists (including saving Wisdom saving throws on multiple occasions to save against Command) and escaped to the Keep. And there we left it.

***SPOILERS OVER***

Sorry if that is all a bit garbled but I wanted to make sure I had a synopsis in a safe place. I hope to get better at the writing out as I do it more. 

On a side note I also am looking at painting plans for 2018. At the moment I am considering 52 bases in the year - we'll see.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Five Tribes

Another game night with HanDan and this time they provided (really have converted them). Five Tribes is a game with multiple ways to score points and a genuine uncertainty as to the eventual winner. Initially it is a bit overwhelming with the various things that can be done and I seriously messed up my first turn through misunderstanding but hey-ho. Its happened the other way round plenty of times.
Having missed out on getting the genie (which gives you the opportunity to get more genies) I went for a strategy getting as many resources as possible. Again I misunderstood as I thought you couldn't get points beyond your first set. But hey-ho despite all this I got a semi respectable score and I can agree that it is a fun game which doesn't last too long.
My 8 Different Resources
The quality of everything is top notch and is comparable to the other Days of Wonder games we own (Ticket to Ride).

Also confirmed details for when we are playing D&D with us playing Hoard of the Dragon Queen. As such we shall have:

DB as a High Elf Wizard
JT as a Dwarf Paladin
HH as a Half-Elf Rogue

My back up character for when shit gets real is a Tiefling Monk armed with a Yari Spear.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Everything That's Happened

I've more models to show including the Prussian Army of Frederick the Great as well as a few more Frostgrave minis. These will be on here soon along with the below village tiles when completed.

In the meanwhile I haven't played many wargames but myself and JT have a got a new boardgame couple in HanDan. Been playing a few goodies which we haven't been able to just between us such as Battlestar Galactica - bit of a brain spin for JT. Game of Thrones as gone down well and the mechanics are good - only issue is that by trying to stay true to the books/series - its made an uneven game.

Finally last night we had a quick run through of Lobositz - removing a few models and shrinking the battlefield. AE played Austrians and DB assisted me running the Prussians. It was like hitting my head against a brick wall - sunken roads are really powerful and Alex just kept subbing units in whenever I caused a minor breakthrough. The historical set up shouldn't be so bad as I'd shrunk the battlefield significantly which allowed the Austrians to gather tight and be a very difficult force to break.

One query I have for anyone who's done V&B for Seven Years War - is most cavalry supposed to be Linear or massed - they seemed really weak last night - other than the Austrian Horse Grenadiers who destroyed everything in front of them.

To come, more pictures, hopefully a game of Rommel next week and some more board game adventures!

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Last 2 Weeks

I've been back to Lancaster Wargames Club again these last two weeks and played a couple of new rule sets (Exciting!!).
Overview of board
Last week I joined in a 6 player game of Dracula's America. Set in the post American Civil War USA,the basic rules are basically Wild West (we didn't play any undead etc). I'm not sure but it did not seem massively deadly and almost impossible to actually get an outright kill. However I think this may have been due to a misunderstanding with regards save rolls. (We were saving with fails being per hit rather than the amount below the save value).
Left Flank - Nutter running across the street - survived and ran back.
With a lot of these games (this one included) there is an error in the set up of terrain - no one wants to cross the "valley of death" (or street as in this example). So it almost just becomes dice wars.
Having said that the card mechanic by which you drew 4 cards for a turn then bid with your cards for where you were to go in the turn had a good blend of luck and game theory.

This week myself and AE played our first game of Rommel. (Unfortunately I forgot my camera so no pictures). So we felt we could judge the rules correctly we played a scenario which was half based off the Breakthrough mission and a Spearkrieg game we played a few year ago over the Battle of Prokhorovka. Scaled down we played 1st SS Panzer Grenadiers against 52nd Guards Rifle Division.

The game worked well with the Germans having to peel a way through the defensive lines (reinforced by the "Workers to the Front" event. Maybe I wasn't sufficiently aggressive early doors (new game syndrome) and it took a while to get through. Eventually a whole appeared and I was able to widen it out. By turn 15 the aggressive use of Recce, Armour and Armoured Infantry allowed me to take an objective where we called it.

Things we learned:
  • Tactics and defences really help to reduce casualties; in reverse the fact that my entire force was motorised meant I could evade to reduce hits against myself. As ops dice disappear and attacks are going in by brute force, combat becomes more deadly.
  • If you can lure an attack onto yourself and pinning attack has already been used and surprise attack isn't in effect then withdraw is a really good way to make your opponent burn and waste ops dice.
  • Recce units with their free scout turns are really useful (even with a 50% success rate). I had a full battalion of recce as the Germans formed their Recce units as fighting battalions which really helped.
  • Always plan for the worst. I attacked a single infantry company with one remaining hit in the open with 3 stands. Missed and I hadn't left enough space to retreat. Up until this point these were my only units destroyed.
  • Attacking across the narrow part of the table is grim.
  • All in all the rules are simple whilst giving a seemingly historical result. Could be really interesting to battle the whole campaign although we discussed it and think we'll go for an ops sheet per division. The ebb and flow of resetting etc could be absorbing as the various attacking divisions have to pause at different times.
As a side piece I also based Schy'yrk. I'm going to do the rest of Gronne Flamme like this to complete my raiding party for Frostgrave.
Schy'yrk

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Austrian Army at Lobositz

So a year plus in the making; my Austrian Army is finished! (I've run out of static grass at the moment or the Prussians would be finished too). Before I begin - making both armies from scratch for a battle by yourself is a big ask (especially alongside Family, Work and American Football).
Austrian Army ready to go
I decided to keep it simple on the bases - I had had thought of trees, fences etc but I figured that they'd look better by selves (Exception may be the Grenzers). All in all I'm really pleased with how its worked out.
The force is divided into 3 blocks of infantry, a cavalry division (which can be split in 2 between division and corps commanders) as well as an unusual formation in the advanced guard. On the defensive (which I assume it will be at Lobositz) its going to be a hard nut to crack.
FM v Browne and Grenzers
I decided to identify my command levels by bases size as well as number of figures. So the the CiC has a large base and 4 figures. I'll also have the data strips attached to the back edge of the units.
Advanced Guard
This really is an unusual formation and it feels like a weird use of some of the forces available - that is half the artillery and half the grenadiers! Backed up by a mix of cavalry, it will be interesting to see how this operates in Volley and Bayonet.
Lacy's Infantry
This is the first of the blocks of Infantry - a manageable size with artillery to back it up. The divisional commanders are just the 2 figures.
Kollowrat's Infantry Corps
This feels like a big block of a force with 10 stands of Infantry. It is a good job that the infantry all have dedicated guns because otherwise they would be awfully exposed. The Corps commander at he front (you may have guessed) has 3 figures.
Luchesse's Cavalry Corps
Its described as a corps but its made up of 1 division. I'm not sure if this will be kept as a mass or split in 2 between corps and division commander.

Sorry about picture quality - was just excited to get these up. May well retake these outside when get a chance.

For those interested in how I based these;
  1. Glue to bases in formation
  2. Polyfilla (cheap equivalent) around stands to smooth into bases, add weight as well as texture.
  3. Paint base brown
  4. Stickle paint green onto base - good opportunity to cover any spots you've missed/paint has been absorbed by plaster. Be warned you will ruin a brush doing this.
  5. Dry brush a cream/bone colour over bases.
  6. Static grass.
Nice and simple and I think gives a good result. Soon to come; the Prussians as well as a game report on Rommel at end of month.





Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Oh So Close

So I genuinely am making progress and I have now just got 3 stands of cavalry left, as well as about 5 command bases. I've even cut the bases for the town sectors. Pictures will be available soon...

Also news about Morecambe Bay Storm, we finished the season 5-4-1, I've got to admit I was out injured for the last few games and in our play-off quarter final we lost to an excellent team in the Shropshire Revolution. All in all an excellent season and we hope to bounce back even stronger next year (albeit I personally need a lot of work still doing on my shoulder). If you want to give it a go then we have a rookie day on the 8th October - come try it out.

In other news I have also got arriving soon Flashpoint: Fire Rescue. This was recently on Tabletop (although they didn't seem to last very long?). SO I'll review this and show you pictures in action.

Finally (in this fast paced piece) I am also looking to buy Rommel by Sam Mustafa when it is released. I already have a good amount of 10mm WW2 models and if it works it could be possible to build up to some of the huge battles of WW2 including Operation Market Garden, Leningrad, D-Day or the Bulge! Already looking at a grid marked battlemat (although unsure which sized squares to buy).