Friday, 20 April 2012

Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End v.1.5

After many months of play testing, I am delighted to announce the official release of Irregular Wars: Conflict at the world’s End version 1.5.

Irregular Wars: Conflict at the world’s End v.1.5 offers a revised and expanded set of Renaissance rules (focused on the period c.1519 to 1641) to recreate the historically based struggles on your tabletop. For those not too familiar with the period, the rules cover the reigns of Queen Elizabeth, Montezuma and Ivan the Terrible. Irregular Wars: Conflict at the world’s End provides rules and army lists for engagements set around the fringe of the European world – Tudor Britain and Ireland, the major European colonial powers, and the peoples of the New World, the East Indies and the Eurasian steppe.

The basic rules of version 1.5 have retained the fun and fast mechanisms found in the original game. Rather than focusing on the minutiae of individual casualties and armour based saving throws, the core game mechanic is based on the resolve of individual companies given their changing situation as the game progresses. When a company’s resolve drops too much, it ceases to function as a tactical unit and is removed from play, regardless of actual casualties.

However, version 1.5 has a few changes that will result in a better game.
* Amended battle lists change the in-game performance of several company types such as reiters and armed mobs.
* Nine new nationalities and factions including Coureur des Bois, East Africans and Ming Chinese.
* New scenario rules for set piece actions, raids on villages and livestock, ambushes and breakthroughs.
* Minimum numbers of troops prevents poor recruitment dice from completely ruining your game.
* New mishaps can befall your companies and mess up your carefully laid deployment before the game even begins.
*The core rules document is now formatted as an A5 pdf booklet. The smaller page size is ideal for ebook readers and tablets as well as traditional hard copies.

I hope that these changes will been seen as advantageous to the game and look forward to hearing feedback from the community. The purchase price for the complete rules pdf bundle for new players – core rules, army lists, chance cards, example diagrams and quick reference sheet – remains £6.00 (UK and EU) or £5.00 (rest of the world). However, if you have previously purchased a copy of the rules from Vexillia Ltd, you are entitled to buy version 1.5 at the reduced rate of £1.20 (UK and EU) or £1.00 (rest of the world) - details at the Vexillia webstore.

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Friday the 13th - Last night of the Proms


Last night, Friday the 13th, saw my last outing to the Southern Battle Games wargames club in Sydney. It was a great night, if a little sad, and my dice rolling turned out ok for a change and I went out with a bang.

I got three games in for the evening:
1) My Arkadian warband for SBH took on some Greek hoplites supported by Medusa. Medusa's quick kill ability and long range shooting was a little intimidating, but we were playing the 'difficult ground' scenario, and the woods were most definitely on my side with two hoplites being swallowed up by the trees. Pan's terror causing charges broke up the enemy line while Daphne the dryad entangled them and the satyr archers picked them off one by one. 

2) I played my first game of SAGA against the unofficial SAGA Minister of Popular Enlightenment, Alanus Dux Homunculorum. Alan is always a great sport and I suspect he went a little light on me. I fielded 4 points of Vikings (all hearthguard) against his 4 points of Welsh (2 points of hearthguard including mounted and the rest warriors). It was a basic 'kill the warlord' scenario which I managed in the second turn. All over quite quickly. I still haven't made my mind up about SAGA. I like the concepts. I think I like the battle board system. I know I certainly don't want to have to paint a minimum of 50 28mm figures in order to make up opposing forces. But it is a bit of fun. Maybe that is my issue with it, it's a bit of fun dressed up as something quite serious and I find it a little hard to get my head around it.

3) Speaking of things serious, my last battle was the first outing of the Heroes of Hedgerow - my furry creatures warband for SBH. It was a 'treasure hunt' scenario in which my band of fuzzy brothers stood up to, and saw off, an equally furry band of surprisingly tough mouselings from Shirefield. My chaps took advantage of their faster movement to find the treasure first and then the bulk of the band set upon the mice while Pyrrho to polecat used his free disengage skill to slip off with the prize. Another fun game and the third win of the night. Makes a nice change.

I'd like to say thank you to all the Southern Battle Gamers for many, many good games over the last few years and wish them all the best for the future!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Would the real King Arthur please stand up....?

Graham Chapman - perhaps the most ernest Arthur of them all.
The rules engine which drives Song of Blades and Heroes by Ganesha Games has been successfully developed for use in all manner of contexts – from giant Japanese inspired pulp monsters and teddy bears to Napoleonic or modern period skirmishes. However, In my mind, one of the simplest and most elegant transitions was the creation of Song of Arthur and Merlin (SAM)written by the master of Arthurian wargaming, Daniel Mersey, originally as a SBH supplement, but now as a stand alone game.

The game provides all the rules and contexts for you to wargame struggles and skirmishes in Arthurian Britain. Which ever Arthurian Britain you choose. SAM includes campaigns and special rules for you whether you prefer the traditional shiny, chivalric Arthur of Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur and John Boorman’s Excalibur, the more traditional mythical Arthur of the Mabinogian and other Welsh sagas and poems, or the reformist modern tendency to show Arthur as a reluctant leader in a gritty post-Roman world.

Inspired by the historical (or at least pseudo-historical) Arthurs of Gildas, Sutcliff, Tranter, Cornwall and McCormack,[1] as well as a couple of recent movies which I adore and others seem to loathe),[2] I just haven't been able to pass up the prospect of building and running warbands for the historical setting – perhaps supplemented by a few concepts from the Welsh king setting and scenarios.

Earlier this year I won some credit with the 10mm miniature manufacturer Pendraken. As well as using it to set up my new painting desk after the ‘big move’, I figures I’d sneak a few packs from their late Roman range into my order. Thus germinated my new mini-project - SAM in 10mm.

I mean, I already had a Stonehenge of the right scale, so why not....?

It also means that I have had to seek out 10mm Saxons and 10mm Irish, both sourced from Magister Militum.

Here's the outline of the four 300 point warbands that I plan to do up (formatted for the SBH warband builder). They shouldn't take too long to paint, even at my painfully slow rate. Once they're all done, I'll probably look at expanding them to 500 points each.

;Equites Samaratum
Artorius Magister Equitum;100;3;4;true;Combat Master,Fearless,Heavy Armor,Mounted,Running Blow;;
Bedwyr;64;3;3;false;Heavy Armor,Mounted,Running Blow;;
Cei;64;3;3;false;Heavy Armor,Mounted,Running Blow;;
Drystan;70;3;3;false;Heavy Armor,Mounted,Sharpshooter,Shooter: Long;;

;British Milites
Flavius Constans;85;2;3;true;Group Fighter,Leader,Shieldwall;;
Pedyt;22;3;2;false;Shieldwall;;
Pedyt;22;3;2;false;Shieldwall;;
Pedyt;22;3;2;false;Shieldwall;;
Pedyt;22;3;2;false;Shieldwall;;
Pedyt;22;3;2;false;Shieldwall;;
Archer;34;3;2;false;Shooter: Long;;
Archer;34;3;2;false;Shooter: Long;;
Archer;34;3;2;false;Shooter: Long;;

;Children of Cú Chulainn
Iseult the Cat;70;2;2;true;Assassin,Forester;;
Dubhdarra the Aged;30;3;0;true;Forester,Short Move,Terror;;
Irish warrior;40;2;2;false;Forester,Savage;;
Irish warrior;40;2;2;false;Forester,Savage;;
Irish warrior;40;2;2;false;Forester,Savage;;
Irish warrior;40;2;2;false;Forester,Savage;;
Irish warrior;40;2;2;false;Forester,Savage;;

;Sea Folk
Thegn Æthelwulf;96;3;3;true;Leader,Steadfast,Tough;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;
Saxon;29;4;3;false;Shieldwall,Steadfast;;

It's still a few weeks before we fly and it will be a fair bit longer before I can sit down and paint any of my new 10mm beauties, but for now I thought I'd just post a little inspiration for the project.
____________________
[1] The following come highly, highly recommended:
Sword at Sunset by Rosemary Sutcliff
Druid Sacrifice by Nigel Tranter
The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwall:
i) The Winter King
ii) Enemy of God
iii) Excalibur
The Albion Trilogy by  by Patrick McCormack: (I only just discovered that the first volume which I enjoyed greatly was part of a series which I shall have to chase up)
i) Albion: The Last Companion
ii) Albion: The White Phantom
iii) Albion: The Lame Dancer (this volume was never published but is available as a pdf HERE)
[2] The 2004 movie, King Arthur directed by Antoine Fuqua starring Clive Owen and Keira Knightly and the 2006 movie, Tristan and Isolde directed by Kevin Reynolds starring the lovely Sophia Myles and James Franco.


Boorman's Excalibur in all its shiny splendor!



The grittier, more Clive Owenish 2004 King Arthur in which every shot was like a postcard.

video






Tristan and Isolde - not strictly starring Arthur, but with the benefit of the lovely Ms Myles who even lets me forgive the fact that they locate Dunluce (best Renaissance castle ever) on the spot later to become Dublin!?


Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Irregular Wars version 1.5 is coming

After much playtesting, drafting and proofing, the countdown has begun for the official release of Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End version 1.5 on the 20th April.

* Amended battle lists change the in-game performance of several company types such as reiters and armed mobs.
* Nine new nationalities and factions including Coureur des Bois, East Africans and Ming Chinese.
* New scenario rules for set piece actions, raids on villages and livestock, ambushes and breakthroughs.
* Minimum numbers of troops prevents poor recruitment dice from completely ruining your game.
* New mishaps can befall your companies and mess up your carefully laid deployment before the game even begins.
*The core rules document is now formatted as an A5 pdf booklet. The smaller page size is ideal for ebook readers and tablets as well as traditional hard copies.