Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's here! It's here!

I've been a big fan of both Black Powder and Hail Caesar since they came out. Both are simple, and played with the right group, a whole lotta fun. But, since they've come out, I've also been tinkering with them to work for pike and shot era. I've already playtested HC for Renaissance era, and it worked great. Also, ran an ECW game using BP, also to good results, but both were a little off.
Now it seems Warlord is releasing PIke and Shotte, a stand alone rules set to cover my favorite period, "big pointy sticks, inaccurate firearms and cavalry still wearing armor".
Based on the cover, the rules will cover Italian wars (yeah! Landsknects!) to early Lace Wars (9 Years War/ Grand Alliance)
Per-order now, comes out April 21st. Now, where to scrounge up $50....
UPDATE: Ordered!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Campaign, Round 1

Here ye, here ye! Here be the results of the first round of the Campaign for the Kingdom:
After his stunning victory over King Rutiger. Oswald, Baron of Ock takes the lead as main Claimant to the Throne. However, for his part in the battle Roderick gained much notoriety. This new found fame had his hangers-on whispering in his ear about his own tenuous claims to the throne.
Now, the stage is set set for another battle, as both sides seek new alliances.

Monday, March 26, 2012

RECRUITS this weekend

Hard to believe this is RECRUITs number 19. All the props go to Duane and his crew for all the hard work year after year.
If you are anywhere in the MidWest, this is a great con to make. Very kid friendly and cheap, kids and vets free, adults $5!
Yet again, I won't be putting a game on due to conflicting sports schedules. My daughter's volleyball team is ranked 27th out of 150 teams going into Regionals so I won't be missing that. GO HEAT!
Hope to see some of you there.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Campaign for Kingdom 2.0

The KIngdom has been in turmoil since Rutiger the Usurper took the throne. And so it was, that within a year of his coronation, Rutiger was already fighting for his crown.
Oswald, Baron of Ock, Lord of the North Marches, gathered a three of the other great houses against Rutiger. They met on the rolling countryside outside the capital.
The forces were about equal. The King had brought three of his closest allies, men who had been key in winning his crown. As the morning fog burned away, the forces face each other. Battle lines were crisp. Flags fluttered in the breeze. It was all very beautiful, really.
Then, a single horn cut the silence, and Rutiger's troops lurched forward. Across the field, Oswald's men did the same.
Both sides fought to keep their lines tight, but both had starts and stops. Some nobles stopped to allow their archers some play. Men fell.
It was finally in the center, where Rutiger and Oswald met. The king's men would get the worst of it. The center was not holding....
On the flanks, Royalists troops were beating back the rebels. It looked like it would be a close thing.
Then, the center gave. Rutiger's men fled the field. With their king retreating, the royalists retreated. In the confusion the king fell from his horse. Oswald's men captured him.
There, in within sight of his capital he fought his own uncle to take, Rutiger lost his head.
The king is dead. Long live King Oswald!
As usual, Flower of Chivalry gave us a great game. There was a lot more use of the Marcher Men (Welsh and Irish auxillaries really), They proved tough troops. I hope to add some light horse to the mix, and some fantasy elements. The campaign is off! Read more how the campaign works here.
Also, we had an extra treat. The National WW1 Museum (the biggest & best in the country) is sponsoring our local con RECRUITS. This weekend, the museum is letting RECRUITs host several games in the Museum's main hall. Among them will be a trench game that one of our group brought in to test last night.
As you can see very cool. Packed in nice little 2x4 carrying case.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The Battle of Blech

"Herein lies one eyewitness's account of the Battle of Blech, fought this day, the 14th of July 1703 in the kingdom of Unkerlant.
Twas a rainy night in Blech. Borogravian troops had bee spotted late in the evening entering the valley from the east. The army of the Arch Duchy of Volborg, commanded by General Wulfe, had spent the night in formation, lined south to north from Blech. Their far right flank, rested on the town itself.
When the rain ceased in the early morning, Borogravia was still arriving. It wasn't until late afternoon that the hostilities finally began. As a foreigner, in a very xenophobic kingdom, I was not allowed in either commander's tent. Instead, I watched, like many, from the walls of Blech. There, I was witness to a very bizarre ceremony. A party rode out from each side. There, a very animated discussion ensued. Something was tossed in the air, then both sides rode away. I was later to find out that they were discussing who would get the honor of the opening cannonade. As invader, Borogravia brought a ceremonial burnt sausage. This was then thrown in the air. Whichever side the sausage rolled toward, would get the honor.
A few moments later the canons of Volborg opened up.
From my perspective, the left flank of volborg was the farthest away. General Wulfe had massed his Dragoons. These sad louts were barely horsemen. Merely mounted infantry really, astride on poor nags. So it was to no one's surprise when the Borogravian Kuirassiers charged them, destroyed half the Dragoons and carried the position. They were not to stay though. The dragoons had merely been a screen to protect the deploying infantry. The dragoons fell back, revealing the Volborgan regulars, who delivered an almost point blank volley into the Borogravian heavy horse. The Kuirassiers fell back, never to play a part in the battle the rest of the day.
Closest to me the Volborgan Guards had deployed and awaited their equals on the other side. The Borogravian Guard led by the grenadiers and the vaunted Dutch Guards seemed to have trouble moving forward. Was it nerves or terrain? Regardless they spent most of the fight trying to get in position, under a constant rain of cannon balls.
Indeed, Volborgan artillery was proving to be particularly brutal and accurate. In the center, contingents from those counties and duchies conquered by Borogravia, called Traitor Legions by most in Unkerlant, were taking the brunt of it. Some regiments, like those from Graveholm managed to survive the onslaught only to be wiped out by infantry fire.
As the last of the day was waning, the infantry finally closed. General Wulfe could be seen under a hastily erected pavillion having an evening meal with his staff as his infantry collided with the Borogravians.
Both sides delivered brutal volleys at close range, but int eh end, the softening up by the cannons early had made the infantry clash a foregone conclusion.
Despite rallying attempts by Prince Ruprect himself, his troops left the field for the shelter of the forest beyond. By then, night had fell, and darkness quashed an attempts at pursuit.
Volborg had twarted another Borogravian invasion."
From: My Travels and Travales in Unkerlant by Dolpheus Thewd

The opening moves. As you can see, I have lots of minis to paint.
But, as it was St Pat's day, the fridge was well stocked.....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Battle Most Imminent

"I, Dolpheus Thewd, do once again take pen in hand, to give a right and true account of the current state of affairs in that most hidden of kingdoms, Unkerlant. Borogravia, led by that scoundrel Prince Ruprect, tried and failed to make gains into the Arch Duchy of Volborg. He tried another route by invading the county of Durmwald, a staunch ally of Volborg. 
General Wulfe, leading the Volborgan army, left the protection of the Duchy to come to Durmwald's aid.
Having crossed the country from my previous location on Zlobenia, I can state without a doubt once again that for what passes for a road in this miserable little country is appalling. My guide and I were forced on several occasions to change carriages as each one was wrecked over the course of our travels. My stomach aches from the limited and sometimes strange food of these people.
The county of Durmwald is bordered on three sides by either rivers or mountains, and as such has always been an isolated place inside what is an isolated country. It is filled with dark pines and lonely meadows. Durmwald is known for its oxen, and it's equally thick headed people. This is an unjust assessment as I found most Durmwalders by nature a serious, contemplative people unused to new ideas in their remote land. They are extremely loyal. Durmwald has long been an ally of neighboring Volborg. Where Volborg goes to war, so too does Durmwald.
As our latest carriage crested a rise into yet another valley a terrible smell hit us. My companion leaned over to say "Blech!"
"Yes, I know, the smell is awful", I said.
"No" he explained, and pointed to a small town next to a river below. "Blech".
Blech it turned out would be my home for next few days. Whereas the rest of Durmwald spends most of its time raising cattle, Blech is where those cattle end up. The tanning of hides, it turns out, involves a great deal of urine and feces. This has left the people of Blech, and their town, shunned by almost everybody. Personally, despite my guides assurances, I never got used to the smell.
The forces of Volborg had already gathered on the plains north of Blech. Fortunately for them, upwind. General Wulfe had gathered most of Volborg's forces to stop Borogravia. He cut a dashing figure on his white steed, a red coat amongst all the yellow uniforms of Volborg.
I was treated with the parade through town late in the afternoon, as Count Dietrich Von Durmwald himself led the vaunted Durmwald Grenadiers out to battle. There would be a fight, and soon it seemed. Borogravian troops were massing to the east."
A Durmwald Grenadier
From: My Travels and Travales in Unkerlant by Dolpheus Thewd, published just after his disappearance in 1714

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fantasy by GASLIGHT....

...or should that be Torchlight. I've been looking for a set of large scale skirmish Fantasy rules for a long time. I've got a lot of single fantasy minis lying around and my dream was to have a ruleset that let me have mixed units, big monsters, crazy contraptions, etc. I modified all kinds of rules with no luck.
Then, I saw on the HAWKS gaming group site (the guys behind one of my favs GASLIGHT) had played a fantasy game using gASLIGHT. Of course! It's been right underneath my nose all along.
I threw together some quickie stats based on what Lead Addict and I had. Made up some spells and put together what turned out to be a pretty fun game. We treated the big giants like vehicles. They had to "Start" (get motivated enough to fight), they had to sustain (stay interested) and generally lumber around causing mayhem. When they were hit we made up results based on the existing vehicle damage chart. Twice my Earth Elemental got the "Engine throttle locked" result. So we interpretted that as him going on a rampage, moving randomly.
A unit of knights on the flank were first blasted with a fire ball, then hit with a spell enforced morale check. They failed, leaving the filed, and the flank, open.
We thought up some great ideas for handling spells and undead.
Next step is making actually unit cards and adding fluff. Should be another nice distraction.
Sorry for lack of pictures. Most didn't come out.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

War comes to the KIngdom

A new Campaign for the Kingdom will begin soon. Rutiger has proven to be terrible king. Since winning the throne a few years ago, the Kingdom has fallen onto hard times. High taxes, border raids, and famine have brought unrest. Now the nobles line up to usurp the throne.
We'll be using the mapless campaign and rules we used in the previous campaign for the Kingdom. I'm trying out some restrictions on recruiting. Only certain nobles will be able to recruit certain troops. This will lead hopefully to alliances and backstabbing.
On another note, sorry for the lack of posts. A combination of brutal work schedules and spring sports practices has me not playing or painting. Stupid work. Stupid kids.
We did have a game last week, but I didn't take pictures as I was using stand in paper minis for pike and shot armies. We played "Victory without Quarter". It's a fun game. Not al lot of command and control, and some odd cav rules to wrap my head around, but other than that a solid, fun set of rules until Blackpowder Pike and Shote comes out.
Tonight: Fantasy by GASLIGHT....