Thursday 26 May 2022

Bronze Age Midgard Playtest AAR

Keen to play test James Morris's Midgard rules again and get my Bronze Age figures on table, Chris agreed to help me organise a game at Steve's,

It is only a small collection so we would be pushing the boundaries at the lower end of what the rules can handle but we managed to scrape together enough figures for a very small game.
We would play "None shall pass" with defenders holding two passing points on an obstacle gaining a win if they held both points at the end of the game. The attackers had 2/3 the strength of the defenders.

I ahve a shaman with my force and Steve has a witch, both spend a point to cast the omens, I roll a six and the Omens are excellent adding 2 points of reputation tomy pot, Steve rolls a one, oh dear "Are you sure you wish to fight today my lord?" 1 reputation point is removed.
As the game is heroic the individual characters play an important part and the gaining or losing of reputation one of the key elements of the game. Once one side has lost all their reputation they flee the field.
So as Attacker goes first Steve pushed forward with nearly every unit moving twice to get to grips as quickly as possible. My skirmishers all lined the steep impassable beck to be able to shoot at Steves figures as they tried to concentrate on the two crossing points.

As Heroism was the order of the day and I hadnt noticed a change James had made to the rules for Hero's I decided to try surprise Steve by charging out of the crossing points with my Chariots and Horse and two of my three heros. This lead our Chariots into an immediate confrontation. Unfortunately this did not go well with my Chariot unit being destroyed and my isolated Hero taken out of the game. I remembered a previous game where an isolated Hero was allowed to ride around causing havoc even after his unit had been wiped out. Made complete sense for James to change this I just wished I had noticed.

With the forces being so small my reputation was immediatly in trouble. Oh dear!

Steves turn again and his two units of light horse leap forward to pounce on my one that has been left exposed, my error is obvious now but the die is cast.

Steves forces all go forward as quickly as they can except the chariots who are pulled out to take a break.

Whilst Steve has the advantage initially that he is charging and is also supported he has not noticed that Balor of the Evil Eye is leading my Cavalry unit. One of his traits nullifies the supporting units which are the only way to create saving throws, he also adds 4 extra fighting dice to the melee.

We are pretty much coming to grips right along the line with showers of spear and arrow back and forth, mostly ineffectual.

Despite the odds in my favour I only just beat Steve, he is pushed back through the unit behind and I follow up.
On the left its now my turn and my elite Warriors charge through the ford to engage Steves Warriors, My Chieftain is with them and issues a challenge to the enemy Hero as both sides close on each other.

At this point Chris bursts out laughing "Thats the Dagda" I have mistakenly issued a challenge to a level 4 Hero with my level 2 Chieftain. We keep markers next to the leaders so they can spend their might points, 4 for a level 4, I hadnt noticed Steve spending his so the Dagda only had one marker and I mistakenly thought that meant he was a level 1.

Imagining my Cheiftains gulping down his adams apple as he realised who had challenged we went into battle.
I quickly decided I would not challenge him to a duel to the death and thus may escape alive, having spent most of his might points Steve added the one remaining to his 4 for being level four I had 2 might points unspent so tart off with 4 dice against Steves 5. I get lucky and win.

Steve losses 2 points and we go straight into second round of melee, this time its 4 dice against my 2.

Steve rolls 4 1's and 2's, I get double six and Chris is laughing even harder, the Dagda is dead and a handful of reputation points are removed from Steves goblet (A plastic pot really).

At this point Steve is at zero and I am at -1 but we have one further combat to go with our Elite Warriors having at each other. 

We are on equal numbers of dice, Steves troops have the Brutal bonus with their double handed axes so they hit on 4's rather than 5's, however with shields on their backs their armour is reduced by one. As I am charging I get a bonus and also hit on 4's, the dice are rolled and I manage to push back Steves Warriors, the extra points of reputation take me into plus figures and the end of the turn sees Steves reputation pot empty.

The attackers have lost and stream away in disaray, no doubt dis-heartened by the death of the Dagda.

 A short bloody and amusing game, I hope to add more figures to make this work a little better and we are already discussing using this for an Arthurian vs Picts game where we have a lot more figures to hand.

Overall I continue to be impressed by these rules. Fun, different and definately an heroic feel. I am already thinking about the best way to re-base the current collection to fit better with Midgard.

Great fun, we will do it again soon.

Sunday 22 May 2022

Workbench update, more 40mm Peninsular

So getting back into the painting over the bank holiday weekend.

These three French Ligne give me a group of 8 with yellow pom poms and enough for a formation of 3 groups of 8 so 24 figures.

The two marching figures came out very well, the drummer a bit less so, one of the very few castings in the range I am not keen on, that said I couldnt do a good job on the painting despite re-painting after the first attempt, I may hide him in the second row, shh dont tell anyone!

With the Ligne well underway I wanted some Light Infantry Skirmishers so here are the first of the Legere, firstly this officer, he came out OK the face seems a bit clumsy, definately my painting rather than the casting in this case.

Most of these Legere figures have come out well, I am pleased with the left hand two here, although I realised later that the centre figure needed white metal shako badge and chin straps, the right hand figure is ok, but not quite as nice.

These figures were all bought second hand built but not painted from the late great Ian Smith, the centre figure has a different set of arms attached to give him a totally different look to the original figure. Ian did some fantastic conversions.

So once these are based we are ready for the first game, onwards and upwards.

Sunday 8 May 2022

Live Free or Die second Playtest

After a week off we were back for another AWI game and another shot at the Live Free or Die rules.

This time I would be British alongside Steve with Chris C and Chris F commanding the Americans.

Steve commanded one Brigade on the hill in the centre of the table whilst I marched a second on to reinforce him. The Americans had three brigades advancing to drive us off. On my far left we also had a troop of light dragoons.
The troops on both sides were of varying quality so we could see what impact this had on the game. The advance brigade having both top level troops and Militia, whilst mine had British regulars and Hessians.
Steve new trees were ready, I reckon these will be ideal for 40mm Lol.
Steve also provided sustenance in the form of Tea, cakes and biscuits all very civilised especially for the British players.
The advance brigade consisting of the 71st highlanders, Tory militia and a gun.
Opposite the the best of the Americans 3 battalions of very good continentals.
In the centre 3 regiments of Militia, although the two veteran militia were every bit as good as some of the continentals.
The big trees are on hex bases for another of Steves projects, I measured the gap between base and leaves is 60mm so perfect for the 40mm Spanish, not that it was on Steves mind when he made them but happy days.
Marching on in march column increases movement, the disadvantage being to change formation adds a DMZ.
Initially the ranged fire consists of an artillery duel, as the patriots close the gun doubles firing dice and starts to add casualties, with a base taken off of the hunting shirt troops before they have reached musketry range.
Three moves in and a number of volleys, the first American battalion is pushed back bbut twith the fire of two battalions concentrated on it so is the battalion of highlanders. Elsewhere the Americans are unpleasantly surprised to find a third brigade of British marching on to reinforce the defenders.
The British and Hessians have formed a line to recieve the Americans but the Yanks have wisely slowed their advance with the cavalry poised on their open flank.
Move four and the brigade of grenadiers and lights are pushing forward to fill the left flank of the British line.
The skirmishers from both units spend most of the game ineffectually firing at long range at each other with the odd DMZ added now and again. 

On our right the colonials have closed to short range and both sides are knocking lumps out of each in a sustained firefight with the British just getting the edge.

To the left Steve is pushing me to bayonet charge, its the big advantage the British regulars have and we have rolled enough command points to spend the four we need. Against my better judgement I throw caution to the wind and the Grenadiers storm forward. Chris rolls a brilliant defensive fire but I still go in. Chris's defensive dice are also good and both units are forced to take a morale test and fail retiring one full move to lick their wounds.  

Undettered next go I throw the lights forward, again amongst the best troops on table, another fabulous rll on defensive fire and melee and the lights are seen off with the Americans baring their arses at the retreating British. Charging is really not workign out so far. Poor dice on my part with great dice from Chris for the most part though I think.

As Chris F decides to pull back the New Jersey troops that saw off my lights charge to cover the retreat of the brigade. Closing fire sees these guys off before they can even close however.
My Grenadiers try again and despite more good dice from Chris his continentals are forced to retreat.

The 33rd now weigh in and charge the skirmishers, easier against unformed troops and these are quickly seen off.
There is plenty left in the game with the rebel Militia almost untouched and yet to get involved, I think Chris was reluctant to take them near the fighting due to how brittle they can be. The Patriots have been forced to retire across most of the line and are in marginally worse state than the British.

However Chris feels the Americans have shot their bolt and its late, I certainly wont argue with him, the British are lucky to pull a narrow victory from the game.

Another enjoyable game, I wonder if we need to organise a game with a bit more time to really see it through to conclusion. Another game of this soon I hope.