Sunday 28 December 2008

Furness Warlords

A little bit of history on one of the clubs that preceded the Furness Wargamers. This gaming club existed for a few years in the late 80s and early 90s and had quite a migratory existence. It started off as a semi-breakaway from the Penisular Wargames Society, apparently due to the number of junior players spoiling things there.

There was a large number of sixth formers involved in this group at the start and this was my entry point to the club having never been to the Peninsulars despite having friends that did. Of course the number of students eventually dwindled as we went on to university etc. but the club maintained a reasonable number of members into the 90s.

Initially based upstairs at the Red Cross Shop in Duke Street it lasted here for about a year. I had the unofficial role of doorman, having to run down the stairs whenever the doorbell rang to open the backdoor. With two reasonably sized rooms and a storage area on the 2nd floor, this was possibly the best place the club was ever at. At this time the games played was almost an equal split of Wargames, Boardgames and RPGs, with everyone doing a bit of everything.

It then moved quite a distance to the then recently renovated Holbeck Community Centre near Crofters, but local residents complained about the noise (I'm not joking! The buildings are now shut permanently, Holbeck Community being an oxymoron.) Then back to town and Storey Square, home of the Amateur Operatics, and rat infested. The club initially starting off in the Main Hall but then eventually relegated into the basement. Probably the strangest incident to happen there was when we entered the building one day to find the place decked out with swastikas. Fortunately it was just the singers preparing the scenery for a production of Cabaret and nothing more sinister!

And this is where the club stayed, heading more and more to the boardgame\cardgame side of things and dwindling in members till it folded. I had gone to live down in Bolton while doing a postgrad course, and by the time I returned the club was no more. That effectivly ended my involvement with 'club' gaming for a number of years.

The final legacy of the Warlords was the chipboard 'tabletops', that the Furness Wargamers managed to somehow inherit, but which were left behind at the Railway Club when we moved to the Baptists.

Wednesday 24 December 2008

Up Pompeii

Only a short session at the club before we broke up until the New Year. This was 'Old' Alans finally regular visit before he moves down south and he brought along a number of games (The other Alan decided not to play because he didn't want to learn any new rules)

Condottiere: The original version with the long cards, and not the Fantasy Flight 'tweaked' version. A first run through for all of us. An enjoyably game which is easy to get your head around once you learn what the different type of cards do.

Downfall of Pompeii: Another one straight out of the wrapper. No Frankie Howerd piece in this not too historical game of human sacrifice and molten lava. Rules took a bit of examining, but it played remarkably quickly once people got into the (lava) flow of things.

Monday 22 December 2008

Gothic Horror

An ancients game at Matt's using the Fields of Glory rules. Set in the Eastern Roman Empire prior to the battle of Adrianopole in the Gothic War.

Fritigern's Goths vs the Roman governors, Lupicinus and Maximus, with the Barbarians having the overwhelming weight of numbers. The armies were not points based so no idea who had the advantage if any. The Romans certainly weren't first rate troops. Very few units were good enough to qualify for re-rolls.

The town to be defended. A haven of peace and slaves in the Danube region.
From Goth-Roman

The initial deployment. The Romans refused the left as that is where their weakest units were deployed. The idea being that the weak point is closest to where the reinforcements were due to appear.

The Romans push their right forward. Since this was their best units they needed to make contact with the enemy A.S.A.P. The Goths themselves were only tentativly moving forward (Trying to reach optimum charge range). The Roman skirmishers had already withdrawn on the left.

Both Leaders join in the front rank of the fight to try and break the stalemate. Leadership death rolls come close but no fatalities.

Maximus and his cavalry finally arrive. (during turn 3 but took a lot longer to get anywhere)

The Goths left flank finally breaks and the pursuit catches them. Fritigern is removed as his unit eventually get wiped out.

Due to a number of snake-eyes the Goth Right also collapsed due to a rather weak cavalry charge. The Cavalry continues to pursue the broken Goths to make room for a flanking maneuver from the new units pushing up. Both Goth flanks are now gone.

The Goth centre manages to punch a hole through but the cavalry arrives just in time.

Finally what remains of the centre comes under extreme pressure.

And rather than carry on the massacre the game ends.

Sunday 21 December 2008

Gaming Galore

Had boardgames session on Saturday, to commiserate Ray on his forthcoming birthday, and we managed to get a surprising number of games completed.

Formula De: A quick two lap race around the Imola track, two cars each for six in total. A fast but high wear circuit if your unlucky. No crashes but a totally trashed car managed to cross the line. The new version of this is now out under the title Formula D, but not sure about it as it includes gimmicky street racing with characters, unlike the pure racing game which has a simplicity of play. Also I'm not sure that that the previous race track expansions are going to be re-released.

Metro: A Eurogame nominally about building underground railways, but really a longest pipes win game. Actually nicely aggressive for a Euro. Managed a couple of games of this.

Sequence: Another old classic. Poker meets Connect 4. In one of the games we came within a couple of rounds of a stalemate (something I've only ever seen once before.)

Cityscape: Wooden block placement game where you have to guess the final 'skyline' to earn points. Closest game of the evening ending in a two way draw with third close behind.

Friday 19 December 2008

War in the eRepublik

eRepublik is now officially out of Beta and at v1. This also means that the war module that had been tested as then disabled is now back online and the two big power blocks in the game (ATLANTIS and PEACE) can get back to fisticuffs. Following historic tradition, this involves invading France.

The way war works is, in my opinion, and that of a few others, deeply flawed, and favours uber-Rambos burning gold (and therefore real-life money) to heal up and purchase all-important weapons. Given that Gold can be transferred between players this leads to one-man armies. The number of fights you can participate in is governed by your Wellness and with each fight knocking some off. But with gold purchased wellness packs you can heal more and so fight more fights, getting more experience, and level up and fight better.

Add to this that there are 'bugs' still in the system, and some people have accused the admins of favouritism to the French in this regards, as these bugs, such as not having hospitals enabled, only seem to affect the British. I think its actually just bad luck, but some sort of acknowledgement and refund to people who have used gold\money on a lost cause would have been good.

I'm also not too happy with Britain's military structure as it seems detached from the countries actual military history. The Royal Navy has been set up for newbies in the Reserves and uses Army ranks. The other section of the Reserves is the Royal Guards (the only Royal Guardsmen I know of had a minor hit in the 60s with 'Snoopy vs the Red Baron'), Lieutenants out rank Majors, and organisation, in general, seems pretty limp. This isn't the fault of the game or its designers, but of the eUK's government who have set up the 'armed forces' as a meta-structure on top of the game.

Also, as the war continues, Jingo-ism is starting to creep in with bad taste insults flying in from elements on both sides. It's sort of a strange situation in that I want things to be more real but not that close to real life that the nasty stuff gets carried over.

Thursday 18 December 2008

NationStates vs NationStates2

So NationStates2 has finally entered public beta, and I've finally been able to create and log in to my reserved nation (but only after a bit of hassle with the game crashing repeatedly under the setup procedure) and have been actively playing for a couple of weeks now.

v2 just does not seem to be a natural progression from the original. It's almost as if someone had seen the original game and decided to do a slightly different version of it. Given that it is done by a different set of developers this is probably the case.

Its now more of a Sim than a political parody, with resources and trade between Nations, and the rankings lists, one of my favourite parts of the original, seems to of been downgraded and also has become more serious, with things such as GDP and Birth rates being ranked rather than the old 'Furniture Restoration' style rankings that exists in v1. Also to get full features requires 'donations' to purchase 'Jennifers' that you use to enable features. Obviously the onscreen Google ads (that advertise rival games!) does not earn the company enough; whereas the original can cope with a few banner ads.

NationStates2 has lost the fun factor that NationStates had. If they had expanded on that rather than add the Sim elements then it would be a better game. My last hope for it is that the Nations from the original alliance on v1 can get organised enough to reconstitute it on one of the worlds of v2. Unlike v1 the nations are split over different worlds and, apart from a one off transfer, the only way to travel between them is to burn some money!

Unfortunately NS2 is hitting the numbers on v1 as members of the alliance has nearly halved in the last few months. So someone out there must like v2. I just hope they don't pull the plug on v1 too soon.

Wednesday 17 December 2008

New Junta

A new version of an old classic, Junta was wheeled out on Tuesday as Alan L had turned up, being a gamer from a long time ago, when the Furness Warlords played out of the (now defunct) Red Cross Shop in Duke Street at the end of the 1980's. 

The original version being one of the most played games there. This is a new edition of the game and they seemed to have changed a few of the names of the cards\locations and the rules are no more clearer now than in the original version. Only one coup occurred during the game and that was a success for the rebels. So only the two presidents throughout. 

The coup started in the traditional manner with the 'ceremonial bombardment of the Presidential Palace' by the Gunboat. This was in support of the students and radicals who had appeared in the streets and who managed to give the police a bashing when they decided to respond. The coup ended with the Rebels in direct control of three of the five areas. We decided not to shoot the (former) president but went for Alan and his stash of money - his decision to sit on the fence during the coup backfiring. ¶

Thursday 4 December 2008

Swedes Again

More disorganisation at the club so once again Svea Rike came out. This time with five players, the max the game can take.

This time it was brutal with revolt and plague cards flying around right from the start and wars galore, including a Russian wipe out of the Finnish territories, effectively taking Colin out of the game, and two consecutive tax cards wiping out Martins horde of gold.

I managed a minor comeback after being forced to become middle-class halfway through the game after losing the last of my fiefs due to a disastrous battle. My existing resources\mines managed to generate enough coinage to allow me to eventually get some land back.

That battle was certainly a shock defeat as both Dave S and I had armies that could hit on 5 or less due to a arms race between us as we both bought any military resource cards that appeared.

Matt ended up winning the game with 7 points after basically not attracting any attention to himself.

There was a minor cock up during the game when the 3rd Era cards were put in play instead of the proper 2nd Era cards, this wasn't noticed for a couple of turns and some retro card accounting needed to take affect.


Also at the club Phil was trying out the Warmachine rules by Privateer Press. Also a couple of games of Warhammer Fantasy were played. And the Great Pendragon campaign heads slowly towards its conclusion.

Thursday 27 November 2008


People were thin on the ground at the club again this Tuesday.

Ended up playing a couple of games of Humans!!! by Twilight Creations, the sequel\companion game to Zombies!!! Have scanned through the rules (which are available as online pdf) but this was the first play proper.

The rules are slightly more complex than in Z!!! but not difficult once you get your head around the capture rules. These could of done with a little bit of rewording to reinforce the fact that Humans who can't escape are instantly captured and infected; this could of saved a bit of unnecessary dice and card action. There is also some room for confusion in the naming of the infection value and the capture cards. This is cleared up in the FAQ available for the game. We did not have this on hand and things may of turned out slightly different.

The game plays out faster than Z!!! as well, with two games being completed despite the first being a 'learn as you go' affair. This might of been down to only having three players but the town layout seems more compact, and once you've got a few infections on the go you can easily start herding the humans into dead ends (pun intended). In both games there was one person who trailed behind badly due to luck of the dice and just not getting started with the infections.

Have not tried a Humans vs Zombies game yet, it would probably require at least four players to make it interesting.

Saturday 22 November 2008

Rapid Swedes

No games arranged at the club due to missing campaign organisers, so the old fallback of Svea Rike came out again.

This was a very rapid game, over within 1½ hours. Only a few wars occurred, two of them caused directly by a player (me) in order to remove some all powerful merchants from Poland (Martin plays blockade runner, we win war, I get bonus point for doing so, then I play repeat turn, finally removing the merchants.)

Sort of got lucky with the cards having drawn the two Tax cards early on, add to that a number of Tax events occurring instead of wars and the merchants ended up having a hard time of it despite rolling in it for much of the game. Not much land bought so board was quite sparse other than the crowd of merchants clustered in Russia and Poland.

Concentrating on resources netted me 15 points at games end, Dave S also got 15 but only because he had hidden his money from taxation, Martin and Colin trailed in with about 9 points each, Martin in particular took a battering toward the end with deaths of personalities and theft of resource cards.


Also going on in the club was the usual Warhammer Fantasy games and Matt and Phil getting their heads round Flames of War. This WW2 game and its range of 15mm figures has become quite popular but is posibly past its peak, which makes this belated first outing at the club even more surprising. Given the speed of Svea Rike they soon had a group of spectators to annoy them.

The decision is still pending on these rules as Phil used cursed dice (3+ needed, 1,2,2,2; followed by 3+, 1,1,1,2) so the result (Brits walkover Germans) was probably not indicative of the game itself.

Friday 14 November 2008

Rubber Cannonballs!

Martin brought along his newly revamped A-D rules; and promptly dropped them on the floor, It's at times like these that using page numbers come in useful. Maybe he will include them next time.

The Dutch start with the weathergauge and take advantage of it. One section of the English comes to a standstill as they turn into the wind.

The Dutch fireships head directly towards the English but some luck gunnery from the opposition takes out both fireships boats, leaving the crews without a method of escape. With the boats gone the only thing they could do was run away\get in the way.

From Anglo Dutch

Soon the battle is split into two distinct engagements, both moving away from each other. One was moving downwind, the other across the wind. This required the hex mats to be shifted a number of times.

Due to a couple of Dutch ships getting tied up with the retreating fireships, the English outnumber (and out-gun) the Dutch, but the Dutch still have the Wind with them and start maneuvering off the table to get away before the majority of the English ships can bring their guns to bear. Meanwhile, downwind, a couple of English ships get surrounded and pounded by the second Dutch force.

The ability of a critical hit to switch locations, from hull to rigging and vice versa, on a roll of 3 or 11, did lead to the strangest event of the evening when a cannonball fired at the hull first rebounded into the rigging, before dropping to the hull and then bouncing back up to finally damage the masts.

Saturday 8 November 2008

Hard Plastic Nappies!

No we're not on about sprog care, but the latest batch of hard plastic figures that are currently en vogue (and which apparently can cause apoplexy in certain people, 'Plastics? For Wargames? No, No, No...')

Vitrix have announced a new line of 4 Napoleonic era boxes, 2 for the Peninsula and 2 for Waterloo era. Plus more are on their way.

This follows the lead from the Perry brothers and their Napoleonics (an extension to their own existing lead-based line).

Add to that the Perrys trailblazing Civil War plastics sets, posibly the first non-Games Workshop set of hard plastics in general distribution.

These hard plastics cover the mid-ground between Metal minis and soft plastic (i.e. Airfix) in the price range. Metals can be cheap but only when bulk ordered, hence certain manufacturers running purchase clubs.

It's interesting that this relatively new and small field has already got start up companies directly competing against each other. Wargames Factory is releasing sets that support Fields of Glory, first being Romans (Late Rebublic but Early Imperial are also on the way) and Celts, but they have also released 'Zulu' era British. Warlord Games are also doing Romans (Early Imperial) and Celts.

Unlike lead figures that can be turned out in small batches on demand, Hard Plastics are expensive unless done in bulk. But the molds used are metal and so long lasting making re-issues not as probmatic as molds for lead which are pliable and deteriorate with usage. I can well imagine a future consolidation of production into two or three companies, with the molds becoming the key asset.

Update: For a comparison of Perrys Plastic vs Metal...

legatus wargames armies

Friday 31 October 2008

Urban Dead Set

From Urban Dead News

Latest News - 28th October 2008
With the launch of Charlie Brooker's Dead Set on E4 and 4DVD, the Borehamwood outbreak is now open to Urban Dead players, with permanent zombification, fast zombies and a battle for the Big Brother house. The map will remain open for four weeks.

The login page has also turned bright red with some horrid wallpaper background.

Not seen the series yet, but hope to catch it on E4 when its shown this weekend. With it being from Charlie Brooker it's probably either going to be funny or totally condescending to its viewers.

Hope this one turns out better than the Diary of the Dead promo tie-in. That failed initially due to the permanent take-down rule for both zombies and humans and the fact that the Map of Monroeville was too big. The modifications then tilted it into a Zombie\Player Killer heaven. In fact more survivors were probably killed by other survivors than Zombies. Monroeville being based on the real-life Monroeville stateside, famous for being the location for 'the mall'.

In the main Map, our survivor group is planing a bit of 'Trick or Treat' for our local neighbourhood. Normally on Halloween in Malton things get a little different, with shops suddenly having sweets available to loot, and Zombies the ability to knock on doors!

Also according to the spellchecker: Nearest match to zombification is syllabification; which could do with exactly that.

Thursday 30 October 2008

Aleutian Campaign Takes Wing

A small GQ3 WW2 campaign has got under way based on an hypothetical attempt by the Japanese to reinforce\relieve their bases in the Aleutian Islands from American attack.

View Larger Map

Referee: Dave M.
Japanese: Martin (C-in-C), Jack, Tel.
Hot-dog Munchers: Matt (C-in-C), Colin, Alan.

The first set of hidden map moves have been completed, and, as I'm not totally daft, I'm not going to say what our sides moves were! Basically the first day (of three) is now over with no surface engagements and only a brief air-battle over a U.S. base to worry about.


With some time left to burn at the end of a night a quick(ish) game of Wings of War took place, a DH4 and a Snipe vs an Albatros DVa and a Fokker DVII.

Using the altitude rules complicated things a bit and the table was probably too big an area to play on as well. Would probably of been fine with more planes.

In the end the allies managed to scrape the win, shooting the DVIII down and forcing the Albatros off board. Little did the Germans know just how close both allied planes were to going down, one more 2+ damage card each could of done it.

Also news of Series 3 minis; now supposedly being released sometime in November. Hopefully not too late else things are going to get caught up in the Xmas mail surge.

Saturday 25 October 2008

Japanese vs the Rest of the World (nearly)

An historic scenario in more than one sense.

Battle of the Java Sea - A mid war, Pacific naval battle (which have been played a few times before at the club using various rule sets.)

This game also heralded the suprise return of Jack, who's not been seen at the club for a few years.

From GQ3

At the start things don't look too good for the Japanese with only the solitary squadron vs the combined fleet of Brits\Aussies\Dutch and Yanks, but things should soon improve with the rest scheduled to come on soon after.

The Brits split off from the main group, heading to starboard with the Exeter in the lead. Their destroyer screen was eventually reduced from three ships to one, but they did manage to get their torpedoes off and sink a Japanese destroyer.

The main body of the Japanese arrive and actually make good use of some spotter planes to do some long range gunning. The Dutch also had a spotter available but failed to lauch it in time.

Waves of torpedoes are crossing each other as the Japanese fire off their long lances as the British try to close to the effective range of their own torps. Formations become difficult to maintain as damaged ships start to slow down.

Soon ships are exploding everywhere, particularly the lead destroyers.

Things ended up much bloodier than the historic outcome, with torpedoes from both side causing havoc, In GQ3 they do seem very powerful. But the final result was the same with the allies taking a pounding with a number of their ships disengaging due to excessive damage.

In other news, Martin has announced on the Shipwreck Yahoo Group that he plans on developing a new edition of the rules with the assistance of the group members.

Tuesday 21 October 2008

England Expects (A Good Game)

This has come as a bit of a surprise. Warhammer Historical have chosen the anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar to announce their forthcoming game Warhammer:Trafalgar.

Further details from the designer posted on the 'Legends of the Old West' Yahoo Group (of all places!)

Posted by: "Mark Latham"
Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:24 pm
To answer some of the questions I've received so far:

This game is a completely original rules set, designed for fast-play fleet actions and more detailed small actions. While I've tried to stay very faithful to the tactics and history of the Age of Sail, it's not a slow-paced simulation - there are lots of games out there already that offer this option, so I didn't want to duplicate the same principles. The sailing phase is, not surprisingly, the most in-depth part of the game - manoeuvring was the most important part of any battle between sailing ships!

It has quite a detailed campaign in the book, based on the Campaign of Trafalgar (obviously), with historical fleet rosters for all the battles. The basic campaign system can readily be ported across into a campaign of your own devising. There are six standalone scenarios too, for pick up games of any size.

The book is packed with ship schematics and rosters - every type of vessel I could pack into the book is present, and each ship has an individual roster sheet (a bit like Man O War), with tick-boxes for damage, etc.

I'm really proud of the hobby section - for the first time I can think of, naval wargamers will have access to a painting and rigging guide that uses close-up, step-by-step photography. Plus a scenery guide too!

Finally, the game is nothing to do with Legends of the High Seas - it's standalone, but I have spoken to Tim Kulinski about a possible link-up in the future, so perhaps the Trafalgar rules could be used for fleet actions in a larger campaign, while the LOTHS rules could be used for skirmishing... it's up to the players, I guess.

That's all for now - I don't want to blow my designer's notes! Feel free to post comments on the warhammer historical blog, too :)

Thanks for your interest,


Fingers crossed that it'll be a good one.

Wednesday 15 October 2008

Hobnobbing with the Mechwarriors

It was almost a mass no-show at the Furness Wargamers, with a number of regulars missing and only a handful of games running. Fortunately Martin turned up eventually, bringing his Battletech stuff with him. Strangely enough the bloke who wanted to see what the game was all about (he's had some gaming stuff handed down to him) was one of those MIA.

Having nothing better to do we rolled up some Mechwarrior characters, and a right odd bunch they've turned out to be. Given that they reside in classic era (3025) Steiner space that's probably appropriate. Everybody I know who's played the game thinks that Battletech went pear-shaped with the Clans. No chance of them psychos interfering as Martin's stuff predates their introduction and is firmly Succession War era (and his rulesbooks are almost antiques!).

Using the age old method of naming things after the first thing you see... My character is Norbert McVitie, pilot of a 50 ton Trebuchet Mech called 'Hobnob'. He has newly transfered to the 32nd Lyran Guards, on Solaris, from the 5th Lyran Regulars, where he conducted his apprenticeship, The rest of the PCs in the lance consists of a T-Bolt and a Catapult Mk2 piloted by Marcus Vine, who's also been transferred in but from the rather more posher 11th Lyran Guards, and he actually appears to of had some education.

Hopefully we'll get to play a few mech battles with this crew in the future and get a bit of a campaign going. A raid into Kurita or Marik Space looks to be in the offing for starters.

Friday 10 October 2008

Ding! Ding!.. BOOM! (or not)

A title in honour of Colin's observation that it only seems to be the British who ring a bell before letting the big guns off, as in the movie 'Battle of the River Plate'

A General Quarters 3 scenario based in an undisclosed part of the Pacific. Despite the scenario being U.S. vs Japan that did not stop us from going Ding! Ding! before rolling the D12s.

The opposing fleets, both consisting of two task forces, faced off against each other but with the added hindrance of a couple of islands mysteriously appearing in the ocean after deployment. (Graeme had finished some more islands that he intends using for Uncharted Seas)

The Japanese had deployed in line astern but turned slightly towards the enemy.

The U.S. had to turn/slow pretty sharpish to avoid the risk of running aground on the islands, preferring instead to run the risk of hitting their own ships. The main TF split, the Battleships staying behind the islands while detaching its destroyer screen towards the main enemy TF.

From Furness Wargamers

As the U.S. realigned and turned full circle the Japs kept their big guns in line but sent their smaller task force at full speed around the islands. (They could do this due to their shallower draft, the artificial constraints of table play stopping the U.S. from going round them by going off the table)

Rather than set the guns against like for like ships, most shots were sent towards targets lower down the food chain, the Japanese destryers in the main group getting a couple of nasty salvos off the U.S. Cruseirs. The 3 U.S. Battleships concentrated on the force coming around the island and managed to hurt and slow down the cruisers.

With a wave of torpedoes coming from Dave S's main Japanese force evasive maneuvers were needed from the U.S. to avoid not just the torps but their own ships.

With Colin's destroyer screen surviving their head-on charge towards the torpedoes, but his Battleships taking a few hits from the ones directed at them, the game was declared over.

Everybody agreed that the rules worked OK and there is talk of a possible short campaign based in the Aleutians.

Also of interest was the conversation on NavyField an online WW2 naval game that an increasing number of locals are playing.

Saturday 4 October 2008

LOTR - Status Report

Have received a status report from Dave M including details of the casualties (but not the point values!). I have added the percentages.

A quick update on how the campoon is going at the moment.

Scores on the doors are Goodies 8 wins, Baddies 7 wins (with one game outstanding). At the moment Goodies are 1 point up.

Using a figure scale of 1:20

Elves of Lorien began the war with 1480 Warriors, they have lost 580 little fairies. (39% casulties)
The Rohirrim had 2120 and have lost 100 Brave Warriors. (5%)
Southern Gondor began with 2120 and have lost 120 Chaps (6%)
Gondor, Minas Tirith set off with 2100 and have lost 640. (30%)

Isengard began with 3600 and have lost 980 little Uruks (27%)
Mordor started with 4460 and have taken 1000 casualties (22%)
Dol Guldur had 3200 and have lost 660 (21%)
Harad had 2700 and have taken 1160 casualties (43%)

What the above does not include is the amount of horse\warg flesh left littering the battlefields. A number of high value and\or mobile units have bitten the dust.

Thursday 2 October 2008

LOTR - Round 5

The battle between Mordor and Gondor was a bit of a shambles with zombies probably being more aware than the two commanders, both of whom were feeling like death due to assorted ailments, and neither of them 100% sure of the rules.

Numerous mistakes were made in combat resolution including a major one that should of tilted the result Gondors way. Leaders were dieing all over the place. The Mouth of Sauron got stomped trying to reinforce a Orcish Warband, but then the Gondorian command group and attached cavalry got flanked and wiped out. The Trolls managed to bounce off a Gondorian Shieldwall defending\hiding in a village. The Gondorian Archers managed to do considerable damage (partially due to a misreading of the massed archery rules) before being hit by a couple of warbands. Fortunately for them they managed to do a good rout and escaped OK.

A Mordor victory but in a very unsatisfactory manner.

Meanwhile at Helms Deep the pesky elves managed to pull off a surprise victory against the forces of Saruman after hiding behind a apparently invulnerable hedge.

Still one more battle to do in the round as the forces of Dol Guldur (defeated in the last round) have a rematch against the Rohirrim.

Saturday 27 September 2008

NationStates vs ERepublik

For few years now I've been playing NationStates, a very primitive game but entertaining (but also very repetitive). A few months ago the news came out that NationStates2 was on it's way and in a beta state, so I signed on for it. At the moment I've not been selected to trial it but it is suppose to be coming online proper in the near future.

I've also signed up for the beta release of eRepublik, which initially appears to be from the same school of simulations but is very different in outlook and I'm not sure that I am enjoying it too much. Being a simulation of this world rather than an imaginary one has tied things closely into the real-life situations. Things have apparently gone so far that ePakistan has been described by the developers as a military dictatorship, despite the aim of the game\simulation to be 'western' style democratic government, and the first thing to happen when war was introduced was eIsrael being wiped out by an eTurkey invasion.

I will continue to play it in the hope that things will change once it goes live (Scheduled for early October) but I'm not sure how things will pan out.

The element of 'Gold' purchase, which the developers intend to finance the game with, is also a big negative, especially at the 'exchange rate' that is currently set. There is only a restricted supply of political appointments and as the user base expands there is little chance that Joe Bloggs will get that power. Especially as sock puppets and off site invasions appear common. I'm not sure that a game where the only thing that happens is you working in a factory is going to have much traction in the online community.

I can only hope that NationStates2 is better than this and without the overt racism. Information is only now filtering out of the play testing and it sounds like there is going to be a number of different 'worlds' and the potential for conflict between nations. This would be a big departure from the current setup.

With NationStates things aren't personal, despite the fact that it sort of encourages extremism due to the mixture of tongue in cheek policy selections and the satiric responses. My Nation currently hovers between being a Psychotic Dictatorship and being a Corrupt one! but importantly I'm not actually griefing anyone else by being so.

Wednesday 24 September 2008

Pass the Dutchie...

...on the larboard side!

Martin has once more rejigged his prototype rules for the naval warfare of the Anglo-Dutch Wars.

10 ships a side and a mixture of warships and armed merchantmen plus a fireship each.

From Anglo Dutch

The English gained the advantage of the Weatherguage and move into position. Sending the fireship ahead to try and disrupt the Dutch's formation.

The Dutch try to close with the English to negate the more effective English cannons and to bring their own shorter ranged guns to bear.

Both Fireships actually made contact with target vessels and managed to tangle with the opposing ships. The English managed to blow the Dutch fireship out of the water but not before it had set fire to the ship. The fate of the English fireship was quite different...

With the ships boat destroyed normally the flaming of the ship would not happen as no captain would be foolish enough to torch a ship without some means of escape. Unfortunately the next thing to happen was the captain getting hit with a cannonball (a frequent occurance in this paticular game!) and the rules for that is that the crew continues with the previous orders i.e. Torch the ship! Soon both ships are ablaze and crews heading overboard.

The fate of the Dutch ship approaching the conflagration above was just as dramatic as a direct hit on its powder store leading to a massive explosion and an absence of the ship.

With the Dutch morale wiltering and almost an entire squadron gone the Dutch called it a day.

This game was played just a bit too late for 'International Talk Like A Pirate Day'

Pics from this and other playtests...

Tuesday 23 September 2008

End of Season

This week was the end of the Battrick regular season, the First Class and One-Day seasons are now over.

Some how I've managed to get 4th place in the one day league despite predicting a relegation fight at the start of the season, and have all managed to get promoted in First Class, moving from division 5 up to 4. Playing at Div 4 level in both leagues is going to make things hard next season.

Unfortunately it looks like we have got a camper in my OD division as, despite dominating the division, he has thrown the last few games to ensure that he does not auto-promote and instead gets a throwable playoff match. I'm sort of hoping some quality teams come into into the division next season just to make life hard for him.

There is only the knockout stages of the 20-20 cup to play for and most people rate it as as 'Mickey Mouse' cup anyway. And possibly detrimental to the teams well being in the following season due to the fitness hits, which can get large as its almost mandatory to use the 'Go For It' setting. I've managed to win the first couple of games in the KO but will go out next round, and I'm not sad to see the back of it.

Wednesday 17 September 2008

LOTR - Round 4

Another Breakthrough encounter as Colin's Ithilien troops attempt to get through Tel's forces of Mordor. Given the ratio of points was heavly in favour of the hordes of Mordor a breakthrough was always a big ask. The Ithiliens went for a high risk strategy of charging their knights along with all their leaders straight ahead and hope that the fragile morale of the Orc warbands caused a rout.

Unfortunately (for the Gondorians) a sliding door maneuver lead to the cavalry's intended targets being replaced by a row of four Olog-Hai (Trolls) and the fear inducing Mouth of Sauron and his command team. All or nothing for both sides!

The crash didn't go well for the Knights despite being armed with throwing spears and getting a re-roll of all initial fails. Armour played a vital role as the Trolls made a number of 5+ saves. At the end of the combat it was 3 knights lost verses 1 scratched Troll, and the horses bounce back as the Trolls pursue behind ready to charge in their next turn.

The Trolls charge into the cavalry's rear and pushes\routs them through their own shieldwall which then receives the charge proper. Due to the fear effect the infantry are forced to make a morale check to receive and fail. Since they have no re-rolls due to all the leaders\standards being with the routing troops they rout but not fast enough and are then pursued and destroyed. This forces morale checks on nearby troops which causes a domino effect along the Gondorian line. Only the archers on his flank remained unaffected.

This is in fact near the end position after round 2, when Colin announced that he'll be withdrawing his one unbroken unit next turn, and I agreed that I was in no real position to chase and catch any of his other units.

My attempt at trying to flank his forces with the Warg Riders and some quick marching Uruks never had the chance to come to fruition.

The other battle of the night came to an almost as abrupt end when the Elves luck\arrows finally ran out and they were caught and thrashed by the forces of Saruman. By turn 3 it was all over, and the absent fairy queen will probably be furious when news reaches her\him.

Given that the final battle was in the middle of nowhere we ended by doing the map moves for round 5. The elves are now up against the wall at Helms Deep, while the army of Gondor is now being pursued by the forces of Sauron to Osiligath from Minas Tirith. The Haradrim have a slight problem as their Oliphant appears to have got bogged down in rough terrain, but at least it will give them time to recover.

Wednesday 10 September 2008

Swedes rule the World

Another game of Svea Rike. Started off as a five player but then got reduced to four halfway through, this didn't really affect the game much though. In contrast with the last game that we played a couple of weeks ago this was very high scoring. Matt won on 17 status, Me next on 15, Martin 3rd with 12 and Alan trailing behind with 5.

All wars Sweden fought were comprehensively won, leading to lots of booty being dished out (and three status point from war based event wars). All fiefs ended up in play leading to a scramble for sets of Culture Cards towards the end. Taxation was the most common event on the History cards but none of the killer 50% tax event cards came out.

Svea Rike - Red Period

Also playing on another table was a game of Great War, once again based in Mesopotamia, with some Turks defending some trenches and a village from a British\Colonial assault. Some turncoat Arabs apparently didn't do the Turks much good, and neither did some accurately placed allied artillery.

Great War - Trench Assault

The club was a bit short of members with not many of the 40Kers turning up this time, Holiday season once again kicking in.

Finally, At the end of the night, we got round to doing the map moves for the LotR campaign, leaving us with three battles pending for the next round.

Wednesday 3 September 2008

More Great War

Another game of Great War, but this time a more open battle, set in Mesopotamia, and with a single objective: seize the ruins. No limit was placed on the number of turns so that it could take up the entire night (the table was also bigger than 6x4 so the extra turns would be needed). Reinforcements were also available based on die roll. The Turks have been strengthen with the presence of some German Jaegers and Cavalry, The British with an Armoured Car and a very large wooden crate with 'water tank' stenciled on the side.

Dave M. : Referee and troop provider.
Dave S. and Tel : Central Powers.
Colin and Co : Allied.

The Germans advance! Jaegers in the Centre and cavalry on both flanks. The infantry objective: To capture and hold the ruins in the centre of the table. The cavalry objective: Charge!

The initial British force. Note the Armoured Car in the Centre. The nearest units (platoon and MG) took the brunt of the Cavalry charge. Due to both the Infantry and MG moving the cavalry managed to charge in without receiving any serious fire. The Cavalry command section took out the MG before getting shot to pieces the next turn, the accompanying cavalry troop ending up in a similar situation, knocking the enemy platoon below five figures but dropping below five themselves. (These were the first close assaults we had done in either game, we reran the combat after getting things wrong the first time, and I think we also got it wrong the second as well, utilising the 'fix bayonets' as a modifier rather than an extra die each.)

Both sides attempt to take the strategically valuable hill on the Germans left flank. The Germans managed to get the MG onto the hill and pin down the British unit visible on the hill. The British assault against it fails despite damaging the crew badly, and leaves the hill open for the Turkish reinforcements that were making their way onto the field. If the cavalry had not taken out the British MG earlier then the situation would probably of been reversed. The Armoured Car in the distance was now effectively out of commission after having its MG destroyed. Prior to this it had caused real problems, almost single handedly taking out the other cavalry troop.

The Central Powers managed to claim the victory by re-taking the ruins. The British never managed to get any troops into them but had cleared out the German force that had originally seized them. The British never managed to get their tank into action and got minimal service from their light mortars due to some terrible reinforcement rolls, unlike the Central Powers who got access to the Turk reinforcements almost immediately (but did miss out on the available light artillery till too late in the day).

Breaking News: Rumour has it that the British may be getting some mounted reinforcements from the Bengal district of the sub-continent.

Saturday 30 August 2008

New Toys

Got some new toys from Infinity Games


Humans!!! is the separate, stand alone, follow up to Zombies!!! It can be combined with the original to do a really big game. Strangely the Zombie PCs in Humans!!! are more detailed than the 'Shotgun Men' in Zombies!!! This paragraph is starting to get overloaded with !!!'s!

For some reason the figures in this set are slightly larger than those in Zombies!!! Partially due to the thicker bases, but they are at least the same size or greater than the hero 'shotgun guys'

I'll have to see about doing a tailored combined scenario for Halloween. But I think the Z v H rules that come with Humans!!! might need a bit of a tweak.

The Great War

Decided to get these rules just so I can check them out again. Will also be useful if Dave M starts a campaign up. Will not be combining it with the above (despite of movies such as Deathwatch). Not sure what the statline for WW1 Zombie Cheerleaders would be!

Wednesday 27 August 2008


Due to the hall being booked for other things we were all forced to share the room upstairs. Pros: Comfy Chairs, Cons: Too crowded. Given the restricted space, boardgames was the order of the day. The roleplayers were happy to lounge and one group of 40Kers found some room on the landing.

Svea Rike, a game that Martin managed to buy while in Sweden years ago, has become a bit of a club favourite often being wheeled out when nothing else has been arranged.

A well balanced game of the often over looked Swedish Empire. It always seem to go down to the wire, and although a bit of luck is needed the malicious playing of event cards tend to even out. Once you get your head round the English translation of the rules it's a very simple game to pick up.

The game ended up as a low scoring three way tie between Martin, Colin and I, on 3 points each, probably a record low score. The other 2 lads finished with 2 and 1 points each. Martin failing to earn the bonus point off a resource card that could of snatched him the game.

Martin had concentrated on resources, gaining 2 points from his collection of 4. Colin was busy building a coin mountain via trade with Russia, safe in the knowledge that the taxation cards had been played earlier, but at risk from a war with Russia. I was trying to get back into the game via resources after seeing almost all my large collection of fiefs disappear due to war (and there was a lot of war in this game, more than normal, and we lost a number of them and so most of out fiefs. I did manage to get a point for helping defeat the Polish.)

One fun example of the use of event cards was when Someone acquired a 'Queen' resource card, which was promptly stolen using an event card and then immediately stolen back with another. I then intervened and played the Plague event, which killed poor Queeny despite of her heroic rescue.

To finish the night off we then played a couple of rounds of Car Wars, the Card Game. This plays quickly to start with but does bog down when you get down to two cars left. I was wiped out quickly in the first, but managed to hold out and win the second.

Wednesday 20 August 2008

Wooden Captains and Iron Balls

A heavily modified tabletop variant of Wooden Ships and Iron Men. And played on a square grid rather than hexes and what appears to be more detailed ships than the Avalon Hill original.

Honourable French Republicans: Colin and Tel.
Guilliame Tell

Perfidious Rosbifs: Matt and Martin.
HMS Dreadnought
HMS Swiftsure
HMS Caeser
HMS Amazon

The first thing I did as commander of my vessel was to order the last letter of the ships name be painted over; Guilliame Tel is much more appropriate! This 80 gun 3rd Rate (Crack crew) made up my section along with the Heureux, a 74 gun 3rd Rate (Average crew).

End Turn 1 - The Lines Approach

At the start the French managed to gain a small advantage by getting the Weathergauge. (Wind is blowing from bottom left to top right). The green crewed French flagship gets first blood as it hits the leading British ship, the Caeser, and kills its Captain. Ships from both sides then start trading blows.

An already badly damaged french 3rd Rate (Timoleon) is about to get fouled with its British equivalent with terminal consequences. The British are later forced to tack as they turn to face\chase the French. The Heureux (in foreground below) managing to get a bow rake against the already chipped Caeser as it turns.

The Amazon gets its self isolated and end up getting fouled, pounded and stern raked by the remaining three french ships. The Dreadnought finally gets into a position to shoot but get a bow rake for trying to do so. The other English ships go to Full Sail to catch up.

Start of Penultimate Turn

And then it ends; with the second of Colin's Ships heading into deep trouble (the Dreadnought lining up a bow rake), but with one British Ship (HMS Amazon) now totally crewless and dead in the water, and both my relatively undamaged ships ready to scarper.

The British might of got the better of the battle but ended up with a depleted command staff as no less than three British ships had their Captains removed by cannon balls (3 sets of double 3s).

Battletech meets Aeronef!

Yours in a White Wine Sauce!: Leviathan - a new VSF game

Catalyst Games, The current developers\keepers of Battletech are working on a floating battleships game! It all sounds very familiar. Given the 'history' of VSF games it'll be interesting to see if they can do things different from Space1889\EtherFlyers and Aeronef\Land Ironclads.

Other news from GenCon includes sightings of the prototype series 3 Wings of War minis. Apparently WotC had a low profile there, probably due to the embarrassment caused by the parent company, Hasbro, messing around with Cluedo. What next? Changing DnD so it's more like a computer game? Oh, hold on...

Wednesday 13 August 2008

LOTR - Round 3

Army of Ithilien vs Army of Harad

The forces of Harad bite off more than they can chew as the near full strength force of Ithilien descended upon them in a pitch battle.

The left flank was fairly static with a Harad Warband advancing and forcing a standoff, as the main force of Haradrim Archers tried some long distance shooting to weaken the opposition. A late charge from the warband saw off the rival unit which had moved closer after a failed charge declaration.

In the centre the Oliphant was enjoying itself as it first faced a charge from the Gondorian command crew. The loss of a Gondorian commander to the combined might of the beast and some charging archers, and the routing of both the leader (also wounded) and standard bearer caused minor problems to the Gondorians, where as the charge of the newly free Mumakil and the Harad Leaders into some spearmen was more serious.

The Orcs on the right flank faced a pounding from the Gondorian Cavalry, who had already successfully seen of the screening force of Haradrim Horse Archers, with one of the Orc units breaking in the final turn.

Despite punching above their weight relative to the two forces strengths, the Haradrim had to concede defeat.

Meanwhile... If you go down to the woods today...

Army of the White Hand vs Elves of Lorien

The sneaky elves were up to their dirty tricks again this time ambushing the forces of Saruman. The confusion was enough to cause the orcs to panic in what quickly became a one sided battle. The Elven casualties amounted to one dead and another who died but got better. (i.e. made the replacement roll.)

Sunday 10 August 2008

Agincourt 06 Game

A St. George's Day special, held upstairs at the Duke of Edinburgh.

King Henry the Tel's weak force was given the task of holding off the French.

A game played under Warmaster Ancients rules (despite it being medieval).

The 'plucky' english managed to hold the position despite the French penertrating the line (after tripping over themselves).

Thursday 7 August 2008

Wars (Great and Silly)

Was in observer mode at wargames on Tuesday to witness a game of Warhammer Great War. First full game for all the participants; as the Turks lead by Matt and Alan took on the entrenched Australians of Dave S. The Army Lists being made up based on the early war lists in the main rules (The proper rules for the theatre are suppose to be coming from Warhammer Historical some time in the future).

The rules, terrain and troops were supplied by Dave M. The minis were 20mm plastic. Airfix for Aussies, HaT for Turks, and looked good at a distance despite the desert uniforms not being the most colourful.

Australian Lines

The Aussies had a limited amount of trenching and wire and set up the MGs and sole Artillery piece on the flanks.
Turks Advance

The Turks advanced en mass but were slowed down by the rough terrain. Both Turkish MGs and Artillery set up against the same flank and managed to eventually clear both Aussie MGs.
Turks take the flank

Despite numerous rules checks the game played remarkably quickly and everyone involved agreed that the system played well

- - - - - -

Also playing was a game of Tankwreck, a 'trial' scenario by its author Martin. This involved the forces of Iraq, lead by the Minister of Truth 'Comical' Baldi, invading Sweden. Despite having a well drilled force of Volvo's Sweden fell to the Iraqis after a gallant, but ultimately futile, head on assault against the Iraqi armour.

Swedes in the Woods

Volvos Advance

Wednesday 6 August 2008

New Wings

The new Wings of War Booster packs, Dogfight and Immelmann, finally turned up at the Post Office on Monday after failure to deliver on Saturday.

It looks like the RAF SEa from the Dogfight booster is going to be one of the favourite allied planes to play as its as fast as a SPAD XIII but more maneuverable. I'm hopeful that it'll appear in Series 4 of the miniatures, and would like it to include one of the night fighter colour schemes just to give the allies a bit of colour for a change. That is still in the far future as we are still waiting for Series 3 to be released and also the box set for the bombers.

The early war planes from the Immelmann pack also make an interesting addition to the game as they seem closely matched against each other. They are still totally outclassed by the later planes but, given the nature of the random damage, still have a chance. It would be interesting to find out of a single SE5a could take out a couple of Fokker E.IIIs. If playing altitude rules then the SE5a would be almost impossible to pin down as its climb rate and altitude ceiling is far greater than the poor Eindecker. (But still not as good as the Siemens D.IV that also appear in Dogfight!)

Tuesday 5 August 2008

Phalanx 07 Game

Our trip down to Phalanx in St Helen's. Martin dipped into club funds to pay the entry fee. Was too late to hire a mini-bus so the group convoyed by car.

Despite invites in the past this was the first time the club set up an exhibition game with Alan and Matt's Romans and Celts.. Some how the table managed to win a couple of prizes!

Shame we never got organised to put something on this year (08). I did go down on my own and met up with others down there.

Once again a report by Alan appears on the Classical Hack site.

And a summary of the show and some ugly mug shots from the organisers themselves.

Saturday 2 August 2008

Xmas 07 Game

With the unfortunate loss of the Photo Gallery on the Furness Wargamers website I'm going to try and reconstitute what photos I can find onto this Blog via Picasa over the next few weeks.

Held at the Abbey Baptists over Christmas in part to make up for the loss of the regular game nights. Terrain and Minis by Alan and Matt. Rules were Classical Hack. Photos care of Martin.

The whisky swilling barbarians once again have a crack at Hadrian's Wall by setting a rather blatant trap.

For a more detailed report by Alan check out the following...

Friday 1 August 2008

Four Elves...

...walk into a bar. And the barkeeper says 'is this some type of joke?'

Dragonlance finally kicked off on Wednesday with the obligatory party meet up in the local drinking hole (somewhere in post Dragon War northern Ergoth). Usual banter with annoying landlord and even more annoying singing Gnome and his magical musical mandolin. Even worse Igrane joined in the resultant karaoke. He's got a good singing voice but despite enquires he's remaining very elusive about his own background.

Looks like we're one down in the party already as we've not heard a word from the newbie, Lawrence. Since he never joined the party proper we don't even get the chance to loot the body.

Could soon be two down as my cleric has already been dropped down to negative in the first combat with Goblins. The green creatures seem to be running some sort of sting operation with the suspected assistance of the Gnome. First he spreads rumours of attacks on neighbouring villages by a Dragon, then the Goblins use some mechanical contrivance to pretend to be the thing approaching, scaring the villagers off, and leaving the place empty to be looted at leisure.

The party is slowly turning the battle round despite being split up at the start of combat. Solaris the Mages' luck held up as he managed to avoid repeated attacks against him until Igrane could move in and assist him. Azacel, who had spent the night in a tree outside the Inn, ditched trying to shoot the Goblins at range thru the heavy morning fog to move in for some close-up work.

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.