Monday, 16 October 2017

Duchy of Cheddar 2, vile skeletal hordes 0

Way back in 2011-2012 I put together a force of late 17th century ratmen - the army of the Grand Duchy of Cheddar. They won me a couple of prizes in the Pendraken painting competition, and I led them to one glorious game of Hordes of the Things. Then I moved country, and found a deficit in 15mm HotT players. Unable to part with the wee furry beggars, they have lived in their box ever since. That is, until this weekend, when they returned to service in my first ever game of Kings of War.

It seems that while I have been distracted with my 6mm Minoans, some of the lads have been exploring 10mm fantasy ranges and experimenting with Kings of War. I happily took the opportunity to be shown the ropes, and the chance to get my ratties back on the table. Turns out I already have around 1600 points worth of forces (we used the Dwarf list). My foes, once more, turned out to be skeletons. Fousands of 'em.

I was more concerned with learning the rules and readjusting, so I didn't keep a very good account of the battle itself unfortunately.

 My rat dragoons savage some skeletal cavalry.

A skeletal horde charges Roquefort's Guard regiment. In the background, the Ducal Dirigible floats along. We stated it up as a flying magic user.
The steamtank/behemoth takes on some more skellie horsemen .

My fairly conservative tactics involved holding the line and shooting. The undead tactics involved a steady is macabre advance, with a few units surging forward thanks to necromantic magic.

Although I was taking a few hits, my stand and shoot approach was taking its toll on the skellies.

At the end of turn seven we agreed that the day had gone the way of the rats. Cheddar had lost three troops of shot and a gun battery, while the undead had lost a bone giant, a horde and two regiments of skeletons, two troops of horse, one troop of archers and a catapult.

My overall thoughts? 

Pros: KoW gives a pretty decent game, it is certainly fast, easy enough to pick up after a couple of turns, and allowed me to put a favourite and underutilised army on the table.

Cons: None really. After only one game I can't really say that many things stood out as 'wrong' with the rules as such. However, KoW is so very different to the large battle games I normally enjoy so much and it is those differences that I really noticed. There is no command and control friction and it seems to use an unnecessarily vast number of dice. I used to think Hail Caesar was guilty of this, but KoW is in a whole different league. In one particularly savage charge (my wolf riders against the undead artillery piece) I was required to roll 76 attack dice. Suffice to say I didn't, and we just removed the catapult.

Would I play again? I have already statted up my army properly (using the Kingdom of Men list) and am preparing to put in a small Pendraken order to flesh out my Cheddar forces, so I suppose I will. 😎

We finished the evening with a wee game of Cousins' War, from Surprised Stare Games. Great little game in which the unfortunate Lancastrians came out ahead at the end of turn five.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

6mm Mycenaean cavalry? Sure, why not...

Late Helladic horsemen, from Kelder (2012) fig.4
The Mycenaean army list (no.30) in L'Art de la Guerre allows for a single unit of mediocre cavalry. I've always felt a bit iffy about the use of cavalry in Bronze Age in general, and among the Aegean states in particular, but then I thought, "What the hell, they are permitted, they are mediocre (so hardly a game breaker), so why not?" ... and of course, there is also THIS from Kelder.

So for my 6mm Minoan army, where to start? I thought that Rapier Miniature's new Assyrian cavalry (above) may well fit the bill, so I ordered a pack along with my small Sea Peoples/Myrmidon order. Unfortunately, the Assyrian cavalry have bows and quivers on their backs, so I abandoned the idea.

Late Minoan horseman, from Kelder (2012) fig.8
For a few days anyway. Then I got to tinkering. If I could cover up the bow and quiver, the Assyrians still might work. I played around with a few different ideas until I decided that I could carve away most of the bow etc and cover the mangled remains with a small shield. There is some evidence to suggest that the unusual Mycenaean cavalry may have carried shields, so that seemed to work for me.

So what I've ended up with, are these wee chaps. I appropriated the shields from some unused Sea Peoples javelineers, and to make the unit fit in better with the Myrmidon command, also did a few head swaps to have a few figures in the unit wearing the Sea Peoples headdress.

Of course it also leaves me with these poor headless, armless corpses... never mind.

And here is the result, the most mediocre Myrmidons ever to grace a table top. I'm pretty please with the way they turned out, but - given my penchant for excellent cavalry - I'm not sure that these particular lads will impress on the table top.

In related news, I had a parcel waiting waiting for me when I got home. I guess it's time to start the heavy lifting and paint one or two Minoan spearmen.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Ludi Hetairoi - The games have begun

The first three gladiatorial bouts have been played by Edu and co. over at Hetairoi Wargames. For those that missed it, the rules were posted HERE. In the first bout, Hilarinus took on a bear. The blow by blow account using Blood, Sweat and Cheers can be read HERE.

The second bout used Palaeo Diet: Eat or Be Eaten to simulate Mamertinus' brave struggle with two tigers. The full account can be read HERE.

The third bout returned to Blood, Sweat and Cheers (with a minor tweak to allow ponies) to play out the clash between Maternus and Habilis. You can find the full report for that game HERE.

Stay tuned to the Hetairoi Wargame blog, as there are plenty more bouts to come!

Monday, 9 October 2017

ADG 6mm Cycladic Islanders/Myrmidons

Here is the first fifth of my L'Art de la Guerre 6mm Minoan army. This is a small command of allied Myrmidons (I am conceptualising them as Cycladic Islanders) to support my main battle line of heavy spearmen, archers and chariots. All figures are from Rapier Miniatures.

My Islander commander (embedded in an elite unit of light chariots) is based on the chariots from the  Rapier Trojan range, with a Seleukid scythed chariot driver as the general, and a Sea Peoples wagon driver as the warrior in the second chariot.

The elite medium swordsmen are all from the Rapier Sea Peoples range, a mix of swordsmen and javelineers. 

The skirmishing archers are a mix of Sea Peoples archers from the ox wagons, with helmeted archers from the Rapier Trojan range.