Thursday 31 July 2008

Half Term Report

We at the half way point of the current Battrick season with the weeks break in both One-Day and First-Class leagues.

20-20 qualifying is in full swing and I should be able to top my group but may throw one of the games to conserve my players fitness for the second half of the season. I should still be able to qualify safely in 2nd place but it all depends on how other results pan out, I would want to risk falling down to 3rd. Given the lower level of a number of teams, I'll be playing my 2nd XI for a few games anyway.

Doing a lot better than expected in the One-Day league, my original target was to win 4 games so as to avoid automatic demotion from Division 4 and force a play-off. As it now stands I've got five wins at the halfway point! One win was lucky and another due to a mistake by my opponent in setting his team, but the morale boost should help in get the three further wins I need to secure my position.

First Class is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, despite only playing in Division 5. Currently leading the league but not convincingly. Re-promotion to Div 4 is by no means certain and the way things are scheduled will probably go down to the final game of the season.

Wednesday 30 July 2008

No one has ever escaped...

...From Stalag Lebenin.

The War of the Ring continues as the final game of the round took place.

This was a replay of the Dol Amroth breakout scenario but with slightly different terrain. And this time the forces of Harad had a fully loaded Oliphant.

Dol Amroth vs Army of Harad at Lebenin.

Full points breakout scenario (Dol Amroth to attempt breakout)

Harad deployed their Orcs and Skirmishers on the left with the hope of capturing the hill and farm house. The Mumakil was based in the centre so it could support either side. The Harad Warbands screened by Archers deployed in the centre-right and the Light Cavalry to the far right. This left the forces rather thinly spread but given the nature of the scenario there was not much option if all routes off board were to be covered.

The Knights deployed most of the ground troops against the Harad left probably hoping that the mounted knights could punch a hole against 'the Thin Harad Line' and allow the necessary two units and leader to escape.

A thrust failed to materialise against the Harad right flank, with Archers and Light Cavalry holding off the enemy at a distance as the respective Archers traded shots, and the infantry refusing to risk opening up their flanks to the Harad cavalry.

At this point the power of the Dark Lord was felt in full as the land was plunged into premature darkness. (The lights in the Hall failed! Good job there was still some daylight left else we would never of found the fuse box.)

Meanwhile the Mumakil entered first gear and advanced towards the left to try and disrupt the attack developing there. It never actually charged any unit but its Archers managed to cause enough discomfort to force a unit of militia to attack it. With the assistance of the Harad Leader it eventually managed to disintegrate the infantry (big tusks tend to do that sort of thing!).

On the centre-left the Knights launched a charge against the Harad Skirmishers who retreated into the farm to allow the cavalry to run into the Orcs Spears. The combination of Orcs and Archers some how managed to hold out against the cavalry, despite leaders being thrown into the thick of it in later turns. They held on grimly until the last turn when they finally broke leading to the Harad front, which had also taken a fair amount of archery damage, totally collapsing. But by then it was too late for Dol Amroth as once again none of their units could manage to exit the map by the end of turn six.

And so once more the forces of Dol Amroth are pushed back to their little island, with another rematch on the cards.

Given the fact that a number of players are going on holiday over the next few weeks there is a good chance Dave M may postpone the next round till everyone is back.

Monday 28 July 2008

Online Games I play

Other than the occasional game of Day of Defeat (a WW2 shoot'em up) I not a big player of online games and games such as WoW, Eve and LoTR online have never really appealed to me.

I prefer more primitive games that may not be nice lookers but do require a bit of thought. The current batch that I'm playing includes...

Battrick - Cricket Management game.

Signed up a couple of months after my friends did and have managed to put together a semi-respectable team.

Urban Dead - a game of zombies vs survivors in the fictional city of Malton.

Two characters in this game, one Human and one Zed. The zed was put on hold will I was playing in the Monroeville tie in for Romeros latest Zombie flick.

Popmundo - the music career game (formally known as Popomundo)

Read about the existence of the game on Battrick so decided to give it a go. Currently running a Blues Musician who's recently broke into the Blues top 200 rankings after a year playing the game. Strangely enough this also contains elements of Zombie hunting.

These games all have one thing in common and its the thing that makes me more likely to play this type of game than other more advanced online games. Its the fact that there is a limit to what you can do in in each game, there's only a minor advantage in spending hours on each game rather than minutes. And you can leave them for days on end without really damaging your position in the game world. They are also playable free of charge, but with optional payment to support the games you can get additional tools that make playing easier but still maintain the level playing field for payers and non-payers alike. No power ups involved.

I've recently finished a game of Travian, a game which does eat up more time than you would expect, and to get the most from this you do need to have a 'sitter' to enable for 24\7 coverage on your account else you can end up logging in and finding yourself destroyed. There's also the fact that the game has victory conditions, and eventually all your hours of work basically amount to nothing as the world resets and a new crowd of players enter. It has also started to feature a pay option, but this does directly effect game play - the ones who spend most get the advantage.

Further back in the past I was a player of the text based MUD Avalon RPG. Despite playing it regularly for a number of years I eventually quit as the background world, despite being remarkably well detailed was static, overall unchanging, even the in game politics didn't really allow for change. Basically all four cities just took turns in conquering each other, same with the Guilds. The 'modern' history could never match up with the background story and the world just became boring.

Saturday 26 July 2008

Napoleonics - part 2

Thursday meet to finish of the game from previous Sunday. The French are still assaulting the Portuguese town of Mirandela.

Map image

The French failed to rally their troops in the centre. Many of them having already taken damage in the previous encounter at Braganca and were not eager to face any more after the failure of the initial attacks. The cascade effect on morale roles left the French Centre and Right totally void of Infantry.

The Spanish holding the village still came under persistent fire from a French battery, but with the aid of some musket volleys and counter battery fire from the neighbouring guns on the left they managed to inflict enough damage to dislodge the guns and with it remove the last immediate threat to the centre. The one British unit in the area then advanced out into the open to try and threaten the battery that was causing grief against the British line. This had some success as the guns had to redeploy to face towards the threatening troops.

A stalemate occurred on the left flank. The French Cavalry, once they had removed the remnants of the FGL and Spanish cavalry, refused to take on the squares of the Portuguese and Spanish infantry. The squares had also moved onto the other side of the hill in order to gain protection from the late arriving Horse Artillery, leaving any potential attacks by the cavalry unsupported.

The forces on the allied right continued to trade fire as the French attempted to weaken the British line with both Artillery and sorties by the Polish Lancers. Eventually the French committed two columns to plough into the line. One targeted at the British infantry, the second at a gun battery. Some quick support allowed the line to hold and forced that column to retire. The other column was more successful and managed to rout the battery. This column was too isolated to press the attack and so next turn, along with the rest of the French forces, withdrew.

And so both forces broke off to lick their wounds, and the game wound down to a close.

Wednesday 23 July 2008

LOTR - Round 2

Two battles this round with a third yet to be played.

Army of Gondor vs Mordor at Osgiliath

A Last Stand scenario with Gondor the defenders. (750pts vs 2000pts, Colin vs 40ker)

Despite being surrounded and after losing one of the three defending units early one, the forces of Gondor (or at least their Leaders) went on the offensive leaving the safety of the village to rout isolated units. Mordor failed to make use of their archers, despite Gondor not having any themselves, keeping them at long range and firing into cover with minimal effect. The Gondorians achieve an unexpected win.

The Army of Mordor retreats to Ithilien.

Elves of Lorien vs Dol Guldur in the Wold

An Ambush by the Fairy Queen's pointy-eared sneaks. (1000pts vs 1500pts, Matt vs Dave M)

The first volley from the elves wiped out a unit straight away, but after the initial surprise it became a fluid battle with the more maneuverable forces of Dol Guldur just failing to launch a decisive cavalry charge before the end. The Pixies claimed the victory.

The Army of Dol Guldur retreats to the Fields of Celebrant.

The return breakout battle between Harad and Southern Gondor in the Lebenin has yet to take place.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Napoleonics - part 1

A game arranged by Matt for Sunday Morning\Afternoon. Unfortunately the guest of honour (Kieron the Guardsman) that the game was arranged for, failed to turn up. This might of been because of his map reading skills or possibly a hangover. The game went ahead anyway.

A brief campaign set in northern Portugal as the French forces attempt to force a way over\around the river Droubo to Oporto. The rule set is 'In the Grand Manner', which I thought I had played in the past but I can't remember ever playing this version of it.

View Larger Map

After an initial (and very brief) battle at Braganca where a small force of Spanish Infantry attempted an holding action against the three encroaching French Divisions, both forces started to congregate around the middle of the map, as the Allies leading forces fell back to link up with additional units moving up from Oporto.

The few units of Allied Cavalry deployed on the far left flank with the Portuguese Infantry inside them on the left. The Spanish stayed lurking in the cover of the village, with the British line infantry holding the right. Most of the French cavalry lined up against our left, but the elite Polish Lancers (you could tell they were elite by the way they were painted!) were set up against our right as shock troops. Also against the British was the major thrust of the French Infantry assault with a large density of columns waiting to advance and engage.

The KGL and Spanish cavalry some how managed to beat the odds and had caused enough disruption in the French cavalry to stop them from effectively supporting the Infantry advance in the left and centre, with only a single isolated column managing to contact, and rout, some artillery. A few columns tried to advance against the centre but were repulsed before contact. The was also a shocked as the Poles were temporarily repelled, but they still bought the time needed for the attack columns to move into charge range, and charge they did.

So things are balanced with the Portuguese and Spanish holding the left flank and centre with a partial lull as the French reorganise, but with the British under immediate pressure from the columns of the French crashing down onto the right.

At this point we called it a day, but agreed to carry on the fight next week.

Monday 21 July 2008

More Character and Characters

An unscheduled session this Sunday as people can't make the mid-week due to courses etc. We should be back to (ab)normal the following week.

The Dragonlance characters are being rounded out and the back history is slowly falling into place. Unfortunately one of us (the newbie) was missing and so that curtailed us from starting to game proper. It does look like the Kagonesti (Azacel Cyredeldith) is going to end up being my cleric's (Khoolmesh Elsith) 'manservant'.

Also a set of 3.5 edition characters were started to be generated for a proposed 'Ghostwalk' campaign that I'm scheduled to GM! This will be the first time that Johnny and Eg will have played 3rd Ed so it'll be interesting to find out what they think of it compared to 2nd. In a few decades we may get round to playing 4th Edition!

Given the current list of proposed characters things could get very weird. It's probably a good thing that in the Ghostwalk setting death is'nt terminal.

  • Half-Orc Barbarian
  • Dwarf Fighter
  • Human Rogue (wannabe Assassin)
  • Halfling Sorcerer

Thursday 17 July 2008

Back in the Role

For the first time in too many years I'm finally back Role-playing.

Johnny is DMing and the campaign is being set the game in the Dragonlance world of Krynn. We are going retro and playing with 2nd Ed. Dungeons and Dragons rules. This will be the first time I have played Dragonlance proper having mostly played in Greyhawk. Scott did do a pseudo-dragonlance setting once, and I'm versed in the background so playing there should be no problem.

The first session was just the usual rolling of characters, which was a lot slower than expected due to the amount of laughter and silly comments being made. Not surprising given the amount of history that the group needed to catch up on. A quick combat at the end so that the new guy got some idea how it works (And a reminder for the rest of us as to how THAC0 works!)

With five players as well as the DM hopefully there is a good chance that this group will last rather than peter out like previous groups have done.

List of Characters (no names yet, our brains were hurting by the end of the night.)

  • Kagonesti Warrior
  • Silvanesti Cleric - Order of the Stars (Mishakal)
  • Qualinesti Mage
  • Human Paladin - Knight of the Crown
  • Silvanesti Thief (shifty looking - is in fact a Irda)

An Elf dominated line up. Something tells me that the elves are going to be arguing a lot!

Wednesday 16 July 2008

LOTR - Round 1

Finally got under way last night with the first two rounds of strategic movement leading to a battle with the good guys managing to overcome the baddies as the forces of the Haradrim held their own against the evil knights of Dol Amroth (Its all a matter of perspective... guess which side I'm on!)

This was a breakthrough scenario with the forces of Southern Gondor from Dol Amroth trying to barge through the Army of Harad. Given the turn limit that was being played (5 turns) it was almost an impossibility that they could achieve it and so they tried for the overall win by trying to rout my forces, which are mostly warbands with the tendency to charge anything.

The main loss was the unit of Olog Hai routing after being charged by a unit of archers, these should of actually been a Mumakil, but instead some used-camel salesman had left an IOU and 4 trolls (i.e. someone forgot the figure).

Despite a brief scare towards the end when a number of morale roles had to be made, the brave Harad soldiers held on to earn the draw on the field, victory in the campaign, and, after the following strategic move, a rematch.

Tuesday 15 July 2008

Warhammer Ancients Lord of the Rings Campaign

A snappy title if ever there was one!

Furness Wargamers have started up a campaign based on a minor work of fiction called 'The Lord of the Rings'. Intended to be played four per side it looks like the teams may end up more flexible than expected with the coming holidays.

Making use of the figures from Games Workshops LotR battlegame, but using a variant of the Warhammer Ancients Rules that was available for download.

The following is extracts from the Campaign Crib Sheet.

The Map
The map is a stylised version of Middle-Earth, divided into areas, with lines showing valid movement routes.

Battle Scenarios - Standard from WAB book

The Goodies
1. Army of Rohan at Edoras (1500pts)
2. Army of Ithilien in Osgilarth (1500pts)
3. Army of Southern Gondor at Dol Amroth (1500pts)
4. Army of Elves in Lorien (1500pts)

1. Army of the White Hand, Isenguard (2000pts)
2. Army of Khamul, Dol Guldur (1500pts)
3. Army of the Witch King, Minas Morgul (2000pts)
4. Army of Harad in Near Harad (1500pts)