Thursday, April 17, 2014

Dark Age Kings of War game 2 (Lots of photos)

We decided that rather than play our next game of Vikings vs Anglo-Saxons at home we would head down to the Club on a Sunday arvo and try the forces on a proper 6x4 table. So once again I faced the young Viking Warlord Princess. Forces exactly the same as last time.

This time I lined up the nasty Berserkers for some shooting pain as a priority. One unit hung on til the end of the game and I said at the time "I am sure it had wounds on it from shooting earlier?". After reviewing the photo evidence I was right. Likely would have made them leave the table by end game but that's the way it goes sometimes. :)

It was a great game and the extra room made the game feel better. At one end we placed some swamps and the other with woods and a building but we crept a wood section towards the centre.
Without adding up any points differences I am sure the game ended in a draw this time. It played out over 12 turns and in Kings of War you roll at the end of turn 12 to see if you get another turn. It wasn't to be and the sun must have set and the bruised remainders withdrew to plastic boxes to be transported home again. 

Happy kid who wants to DESTROY my forces with her heathens.
Move forward. Slinger between the woods get some wounds on some Berserkers.
Swamp end view. Anglo-saxon hero about to destroy a small unit of viking bowmen.
Forest end view.
Nice knowing ya. Flank charge from a horde on Anglo-Saxon slingers! Chance of survival = very, very, very low.
Turn 4 at the swamp end. 6 wounds already on my Anglo-Saxon unit. Doesn't bode well for the future.
(Princess Viking Warlord figure on the white horse with blue and white shield.)
Mad Viking priest cops a wound from the slingers in the swamp. It just made him crazier.
Mad Monks unit didn't last long when attacked by a Viking General. 
Despite the presence of an Army Standard on horseback the Anglo-Saxon horde in the middle goes bye bye!
Taken from the forest end.
Viking Bowmen unit eventually gets taken out at the swampy end.
Two Anglo Saxon hordes charge a Viking Horde. The Viking Horde holds and they bounce off.
Meanwhile in the forest at the back steadily march another Viking horde.
Viking General charges a Standard at top.
Turn 8 and drama in the swampy fen zone.
Viking Shield Wall horde rotates on the vacant spot left by an Anglo-Saxon unit they destroyed.
Berserkers give the slingers the old chop-chop in a swamp.
Rear attack from a Viking General = Triple his attacks. Extra ouch on an already red dice heavy Anglo-Saxon horde!
They couldn't take any more so are removed from the table.
Anglo-Saxon Priest and Army Standard urge the Foot Guard to fight on.
Priest has a handy Heal ability. Helps shake off a wound.
Mighty heroes clash then bounce off each other trading blows.
W = Wavering. Not a permanent condition but indicates a unit was very close to being removed.
All over. The End! A draw this tine.
Great game and a fun time. Looking back on these pics makes me keen to try it all again.
Might have to have another read of the rules though.
We managed to find some red 20 sided dice at Comics NT recently so they will come in handy for the hordes that have big number of wounds on them in the future.  
Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

1st Dark Age game thoughts and images

After making these army rosters here I managed to get two games to trial how these forces will play using the Kings of War rules. I did make some minor changes to the options beforehand though.

The small units of Berserkers I decided to use 'Blade Dancers' costs and stats from the 'Twilight Kins' options (Evil Elves). This unit has low armour but a high number of attack dice. It sounded like a good fit for battle crazed loons. They also have higher base movement.

Missile units I replaced with 'Scouts' from the Elves options (good elves in this case). This options gives them two special rules. 'Vanguard', which gives them a before turn 1 move and, 'Nimble' lets the unit rotate without a movement penalty. This unit also moves a fraction faster than regular Humans.

My thoughts where that it would create a little more variety in player tactics with the Missile units a bit more flexible in movement like a skirmish style unit perhaps should be and the Berserkers being a little different to regular Human infantry.

My opposing player was my daughter who is ten years old and is a fast learner. She took me by surprise when she put her Elite Viking horde behind a forest. The first game we played in an evening at home and the table was about a foot short on the sides and ends. Around halfway through the household Mum joined us and was initially just observing but then slowly started to join in and help The Kid. She had good dice rolling and because of that probably did not need any help. As a testament to the game The Mum enjoyed the game and started asking more and more questions about movement and so on. When I explained how important a flank charge (double attack dice) and a rear charge (triple attack dice) light bulbs seemed to go off in her head. We all enjoyed ourselves and a lot of after game chatter took place.

What we learned...The Berserker units are very powerful when they strike. It would be wise to deploy slingers opposite them at the start of the game. They more than make up for the Anglo-Saxons having more people in the army (small toy people that is).

Deployment. Berserkers at the far end on the left (Vikings).
After Anglo-Saxon turn 1 moves. Vanguard move means Viking Bowmen have moved forward but soon got removed.
Crunch!
Even the local Monks want some heathen blood spilled! 
Look out for those Berserkers!
Total chaos!

Desperate attempt to get some wounds on a Berserker Unit by an Anglo-Saxon general.
A priest watches as carnage takes place.
Another Anglo-Saxon horde about to leave the battle. Look at all those red dice! Youch!
Even though this Viking unit was attacked from four sides it still would not die!
All over for the Anglo-Saxon forces. A Viking victory! 
We had a another game a week later and I will post that soon.
Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Sword and Scimitar Novel Review

I saw this historically based novel on sale at a local bookshop so added it to my reading stash. I am glad I did as it is an absolute ripper of a novel. I really enjoyed this read and it hooked me in right from the start. The main focus of the action in this book is the siege of Malta in 1565 with the Ottoman Empire trying to takeover the strategically based Island. The main character however is Sir Thomas. A Knight of the Order of St John. An order that by this period is much diminished.
I am not widely read on this period of conflict and a novel like this is a great way to learn and to find myself getting a point of view of the conflict even though it is a fictional one. It is a typically bloody and brutal account from Simon Scarrow the same bloke who writes the Macro and Cato series of books.
For a wargamer the book and conflict offers a lot of ideas for gaming. Despite the siege an aspect of warfare during that conflict was ship to ship and fleet vs fleet. A variety of gaming scales could cover this. Coastal raiding possibly 28mm skirmish style is another.
Visually the Ottoman Empire perhaps give the gamer a nice range of colours to use on miniatures and tactically the period has a range of weapons to see action on a table. Being part of the Black Powder age canons etc play their parts but armoured warriors are still to be found.
However though this book really does revolve around the critical conflict of Malta holding out for an extended period and as we know from history (not really a spoiler alert here) the Ottoman forces lost that one. You don't get a point of view from the besiegers in this book. But that probably adds to the role they play as an overwhelmingly superior sized force that pound the walls into oblivion.

Anyways I enjoyed the book.

Cheers from Brendon