Friday, 28 October 2011

RAID!!!! 27th October 2011 (or 1690-ish)

The latest in our test games for "Cutlass" was a faster flowing affair than our previous scuffles. Bradford John (6 feet plus of long-haired, bearded Yorkshireman), Sporty Becky (5 feet plus, long-haired, unbearded, almost twelve years old, second child of G) and yours truly entered from various points of the table, intent on getting to the central house to loot it. In our way stood Nephew Nick's (6 feet plus of short-haired, bearded South Staffordshireman) crew, dotted around the table on sentry duty (not that you would know it as they could not see a thing......)

I mosied up to sentry number one and shot him, he ran, so I ran him through! Sentry number two followed soon after, but the musketeer in the ruined shack was of sterner stuff and put up a longer fight against two of Monkey Pete's (i.e. my) crewmen. But the alarm had been raised by sentry one before he died, so the game was on!

Becky (Monsieur de Fense de Fumay) ignored everyone and marched straight up to the house, past all the sentries and my sluggish landlubbers, opened the back door and went in to search for loot. If she had remembered to light a candle, she might have found some too, but six turns later, the gold came to light at last, not before John had wiped out all bar one of the remaining sentries and had reached the house himself and I had moved round the back, shooting at de Fense de Fumay's crew on the way, and set fire to the place!!!

Out ran de Fense de Fumay and a henchman and Monkey Pete chased off after him, but not before an encounter with Captain John, who had sneaked up and tried to harm poor, innocent Pete. Pete did the only thing he could and stepped over Captain John's body.........

With both John and Nick out of the game, Monkey Pete caught up with de Fense de Fumay and took him down, but the Frenchman's crew had caught up too and a bloody buckling of swashes swung back and forth. Tired and in need of a shot or two of "victuals", the Frenchies and Monkey Pete's finest agreed to split the loot and call it a day.

Huzzah for fair play and honesty!!!!! And who said "crime doesn't pay???? With John bemoaning the "family gang up", we packed up and left for the night. Don't mess with Don G! Or Monkey Pete!!!

Familiarity and better clarity of the rules following rereads and play testing meant this game flowed more quickly than before, even with Becky being a new player and not at all used to wargames. They will get more outings in the near future as we try more of the printed scenarios from the book and, no doubt, a few of our own.

The major plus point for me??? Monkey Pete can hit a bull's botty with a banjo, unlike his (late)predecessor.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

PIRATES (Aaaarrrggghhh!!!!)

All good crews get a flag

Monkey Pete digging around in the dunes

Two of Monkey Pete's finest have spotted something - treasure or a native girl (you decide)

The Barbary Corsairs, possibly on a slave raid in deepest Cornwall

"you put your right arm up, your right arm down..."

Big Yousuf glowers for the camera

Cap'n Morgan, who is as blind as a bat given his last outing with the gun at Stafford Games on 13th October, seems to have got lucky nevertheless

Purser Barclay asks Roger for some help with the accounting

Monsieur le Sieur de Fense de Fumay, his first mate and current squeeze all looking menacing

Allez maintenant vous Cochons!!!

"Zut alors! Je voudrais le nouveau armoire, je pense"

I love pirate games in the (Spanish?) Main. What better chance does one have to let rip with entendres, general bad behaviour, deviancy, skullduggery and other nefarious traits without risk of imprisonment? So far, however, we have tried out just two sets of rules, namely Legends of the High Seas (LOTHS) and Cutlass. For my money, I prefer LOTHS.
Cutlass has some good bits and give a good game, but I have reservations about the multi-moving bit based on initiative (I reckon there will be a tendency to ignore the lesser figures and the heroes will get too much of the game) and I think it is a slower game than LOTHS, harder to track and not quite "it" for me. LOTHS has its quirks, as with any Wrahammer system IMO (don't get me started on how gross spear users can be), and career progression can be a bit rapid and potentially over-powering, but it is simpler than Cutlass and, I think quicker. You pays your money, I guess..........Or more likely, robs it from some lackey of the local Governor, end up with a price on your head and spend the next few years touring sundry, sweaty, malaria-riddled holes before dying in a brawl brought on by your tongue, made loose by your dependency on vast quantities of rum. Either that, or you fall foul of the law and spend a few hours in a dank cell before they walk you out to the gallows.....

It is a great shame that Hollywood spent so much time making Westerns and so little on pirates. Then again, it is no doubt so much easier to drive out to some part of Arizona or New Mexico, knock up a few wooden shacks and a saloon, roll a few balls of tumble weed about and race a few horses around to create more dust than it is to fly to the Caribbean, build a galleon or two and blow up half an island with various barrels of powder. But Western gunfight scenarios translate pretty well to pirates and both genres are ideal for multi-player outings, so pirates will be here to stay in the G armoury.
In any case, I have just painted up another 20, with a few more (and a ship!!!!) still to come. That makes 62 and counting, surely enough for a jolly decent, multi-player, massed punch up in some far off dive.....................

Tuesday, 18 October 2011


There are so many Ancients rules sets around that I think it is a major deterrent to anyone starting out to actually game this period. I started when God was a lad (OK, maybe in his late teens) with WRG 6th Edition and, though I never mastered them, at least cut my teeth with them. They were my first real rules, not ones I had copied out of a book (I didn't know it was illegal then! I was only a kid!!!), but I so savoured that first win - I used someone's Seleucids against a Trajanic Roman army in a club competition and fielded all the wierd stuff. I can still remember my scythed chariots crashing into a legion and an auxiliary cohort and then rolling +4. 101 casualties I believe, and two routing Roman units....

Then, after a short hiatus when we all decided we hated WRG 7th, came the DBA/ DBM sets. They took off in a big way, but, looking back, left no sense of feeling, just that you had taken part in at best a chess game and at worst some sort of mathemetical experiment.

Then came WAB. Quirky, sometimes downright odd, often frustrating, but accessible, familiar, colourful, with a few sample army lists to get you going and I was back in the room (so long as a strict recreation of history was not what was required). They are still my favourite set, especially in their latest incarnation, warts and all. I have sniffed at Crusader, passed up Impetus and Warmaster and left Clash of Empires in my lunchbox so far, should I get peckish, but WAB still comes out top of my ancients menu.

I can live with the quirks and go with the fun. Thus, my Indians and my Medievals are all based to WAB and I am unashamed to say I am a WABBER (or whatever they call themselves in polite society).


Two more images from the army that never won.....


The first image!!!!! Ancient Indian general on elephant, painted by me, Vendel Miniatures castings and based to Warhammer Ancient Battles (WAB). I have so far proven utterly hopeless with my Ancient Indian army, losing on all three of its outings so far, twice to Persians (too many bows for my pachyderm posse) and once to Macedonians. I am sure there is a knack with this army and, when I discover it, I expect to do a lot better. Could it be front ranks with spear and shield? Could it be more chariots? Fewer elephants? Melee rather than missile infantry? I will let you know when I do!

By the way, this Luddite has just put a piccy up for viewing!!!!!

(On my home page rather than in "Ancients"....)

PHOTOS and other nonsense

Now, call me a Luddite if you will (I won't mind, as it is somewhat true), but I promised pictures when I started this blog. I even spent a few moments taking some during last week's Stafford Gamers pirate encounter and, again, before work this morning. I have even uploaded them to my computer and they rest happily in my folders as I type.


Where is a nephew or two when you need him? YOU SHALL HAVE PICTURES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Just as soon as I have worked out the techno bit....)

Monday, 17 October 2011

Pirate game, 15/10/11

Ever had one of those days when you couldn't hit a bull's botty with a banjo???

15th October at Stafford Games - four pirate crews all after treasure being chaperoned by one of their number in a hedged, barn area. I shot, shot some more, melted down the local church roof to provide more bullets, shot a lot more and whole enemy pirate!

And my photos look all yellowish as the light in the gamesroom is not great. I will post what I have, but, like the classic school report - "could do better". (Both the pirates and my photography).

Time to lose Cap'n Morgan on a desert island somewhere and draft in Dutchy van Drijver and his trusty first mate, Wim Unwigger, latterly of the dodgier areas of far off Rotterdam.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

On The First Day Of Blogmas...

Hello to anyone who has happened across my ramblings, whether by accident or design. I am a middle-aged Luddite who has decided to go technical and share a few thoughts, pictures, ideas and other stuff about my main passions in life after my family, namely wargaming and military history, and their physical manifestation - WARGAMES FIGURES!!!!!!!!!!!

I buy too many, I paint too few, I have been doing it for years and I love the entirety of the subject so much that I can cover pretty much something or other from 500BC to 1970's, with fantasy and sci-fi thrown in. I guess I should make the date range from 500BC to 40000AD.........

I will add the aforementioned thoughts, pictures and so on, and, when I get the chance (like tonight at Stafford Games perhaps, depending on how the pirate game goes.....), a report or two about my escapades in the world of miniature warfare.

It is 13th October, 2011, a day passing unnoticed, I suspect, in the world at large. But it is also the day I started to blog.