Friday 24 April 2015

Mason's Guild for Guildball

     The second team I bought as part of my Guildball kickstarter pledge was the Mason's guild, unlike the Fisherman's guild that had been partially sculpted at the time and they had a solid idea of what each player was going to look like, the Mason's were a shot in the dark. The one model they had sculpted, however, was the team captain, and I have to say I went for this team almost purely on the strength of that single sculpt.
     The masons guild's style of play, doesn't rely on overwhelming strength, or speed, or defense, but in having a team who are in sync with each, they each have skills that increase the stats or another specific player, so when your team is fresh they are spectacular, but as you lose players, your team quickly becomes sub standard.

mason's guild guildball team painted
The full team

guildball masons honour marbles painted
 Honour and Marbles

guildball masons brick mallet painted
 Brick and Mallet

guildball masons harmony flint painted
 Harmony and Flint

guildball goal ball guild game painted ltd ed kickstarter
 Another goal and ball.

      I still have the two union team players I got free as part of my pledge, only held up by the fact I genuinely don't know how one of them is supposed to be stuck to the base, true story. Then I need to get a game or two in at some point.
     Oh and the guys who are behind guildball are going to be at Salute tomorrow, with a ltd edition version of Kraken (see last post) and an extra player for each team . . .

I hope to see as many of you as I can at Salute tomorrow.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Fishermen's Guild for Guildball

      I know the posts have been thick as fast in the build up to Salute but the process of clearing my desk is starting to achieve a result. 
      Guildball was a kickstarter I got into last summer and last Saturday it finally arrived in the post. Guildball is a fantasy football game designed to be played on a 3 by 3 pitch, but unlike any other fantasy football game I have seen, it has no grid and allows scenery, so it can be played in the middle of a town, or in a proper field. The teams are formed from the mercantile guilds of the country the game is set in rather than the normal different races idea that other games tend to use, which means stat wise most players are fairly similar, but somehow because each team focuses on a different style of play, each team plays in a completely different way. The game also has two different ways of winning, a normal game is played until one side hits 8 or 12 points, depending on how big a game you are playing, points can be earned either by taking out the opponent's players ( 2 points a player) or by scoring goals (4 points a goal).

     The kickstarter reward I went in for was the whole game set up and two teams, the plan being I all I would need was a second person willing to learn the game and I would everything I needed to play from the get go. The two teams I picked were the Fisherman's guild and the Mason's guild, I'll talk about the Masons more when I get them painted up.
     The Fishermen's style of play is all about scoring goals by being fast and dodging out of combat, rather than actively taking opponents players out. The fishermen are just about the only team who could quite possibly score multiple times in a single turn if the game goes their way. Most of them have long weapons so they can avoid being locked in close combat and none of them have particularity good armour, so really can't afford to let their opponent's grind them down.

fishermen's guild ball guildball
 The basic team, plus mascot, goal and ball.

shark salt fishermen's guild ball guildball
 Shark - Team Captain & Salt - Team Mascot

kraken greyscales guildball guild fishermen's ball
Kraken & Greyscales

angel siren fishermen's guild ball guildball
 Angel & Siren

guildball goal ball guild ball exclusive kickstarter
 Ball and goal

guildball rulebook guild ball rule book kit
 Rule book, tokens, dice and templates.

      If you are heading to Salute I recommend having a look at the Guildball demo game and especially the figures, I have played the demo once and absolutely loved it. Now, back to painting, hopefully I can get the Mason's done before Salute, then I can concentrate on getting some games in once I get back.

Thanks for reading

Friday 17 April 2015

Is an army ever really finished?

     It's time for that age old question again; Is an army ever really finished? At the end of the last Lion's Rampant post I did, I triumphantly stated that I had completed the 24 points I needed to have a full army and that I could finally tick another project off of my list, job done. And then I played a few games, which made me do some thinking, but as most of that thinking involved mounted troops, and I hate painting horses (not sure why, but I do), I managed to hold off, until more thinking lead to more shopping and more toys turning up in the post.
      My Baratheon battle line has suffered in games from one main problem, for the way we play my line is too wide, and the 3 inch between units rule exacerbates this problem even more. Either my two big crossbowmen units can't shoot as they are behind the line, or they are the line and the combat troops can't get through to help. So here was my plan; replace out a unit of crossbowmen, which can be brutal or a complete waste of points depending on the situation, and the little biddowers unit, with a second foot men at arms.

lion rampant combat monsters unit crusader miniatures

      I went for the double handed weapons set for this unit, partly to make the units look different and partly I like the narrative of my noble's private bodyguard being more about protecting him, while the other unit pro-actively charge forward to do some real damage. Again the models are from the Crusader Miniatures range.

lion's rampant men at arms foot paint colour banner

      This last bit was just something that caught my eye. While waiting during the stages where I had done a wash over my men at arms, I looked over a sprue that I had bought for a different project and saw it had some bits on that I hadn't noticed before, pottery bits. As I am slowly trying to build up my collection of small scenery details, mostly crates and waggons etc, I figured this would look good on a table or on top of a pile of something, a really quick paint job later and I am really impressed with the result.

28mm pottery scenery wargames wargaming

Thanks for reading, and hope to see you all at Salute next weekend if I don't post anything before hand.

Monday 13 April 2015

A busy weekend

      This is going to be another post in what will probably be a series of completely out of sync stand alone posts while I clear my desk and finish projects before the target destroyer that is Salute.
      One of my new year's resolutions was to get into Bolt Action, and after going 3 months into the year I thought it about time I did something about it. So here's my solution; enter a Bolt Action tournament. Working out a 1000 point army was easy enough with a bit of fiddling about, I already have 3 full squads of infantry and an officer, so the heavy lifting has already been done. I figured if I go to the tournament, that's 3 games under my belt, plus what ever practise I can get in before hand and what ever games I get in afterwards after meeting a new group of players.
      So I have been going through my lead pile and puling out anything that looks remotely WW2 German and buying the odd thing that looked interesting. This has lead to these two new units of my Bolt Action army. A medium mortar and a squad of Grenadiers armed with assault rifles, both of which fill gaps in my force selection chart. The grenadiers are the squad I am the most pleased with, I really wanted a unit of veterans, but I didn't want to just add a squad of S.S. as far as I am aware (feel free to comment at the bottom if I am wrong) German infantry platoons didn't tend to get random squads of S.S. attached to them, as far as I understand, you had a platoon of S.S. or a platoon of normal infantry. So step in the grenadiers, re-equipped normal infantry that I am fairly sure I could argue their inclusion into my army without too much grief.

warlord games medium german mortar crew

ww2 german medium mortar colours

ww2 german grenadier warlord games

         In a break from painting I spent Saturday down at Wayland Games, I knew they were running a Guild Ball demo day, and as my Guild Ball kickstarter teams had turned up that morning it felt like fate. After playing their demo using the fishermen (one of my two teams) and winning in two turns, I felt like the day was off to a great start. Then I ended taking part in the new D&D Attack Wing tournament league and coming second with a borrowed team of two dragons, much as I really don't want to get into another collectable game, I am worried that I really liked the changes Wizkids have made to the core rules from the Star Trek version that I already regularly play.

d&d attack wing silver gold dragon

dragon with a gun

    The only tarnish to my day was getting a parking ticket while in what I (and the staff) had always assumed was a customer car park. That comes out of my Salute pocket money.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday 1 April 2015

The Last March Of The Ents

"My business is with Isengard tonight. With a rock and stone. Rarum-rum! Come my friends. The Ents are going to war. It is likely that we go to our doom. The last march of the Ents".

      As I promised in my Look at the trees, they're moving! post, here is the battle report of the Last March of the Ents;

      The scenario is Treebeard and 3 ents vs 500 points of Isengard forces. The good side wins if they destroy all 3 of the Isengard mining structures, the evil side wins if they kill all the ents before they destroy all of the structures. If Treebeard is killed all the good side can do is draw. To make it more interesting any evil warriors that get killed have a chance of being recycled on a 4+.

The 4 Ents
        The board was set up and ready to go before my regular LotR opponent (Matt) even got round as the scenario is very specific on how the set up is done. The 3 structures are 12 inches apart on a 2 by 4ft board, with random rocky terrain mixed in to stop it being too flat. The orcs are all set up around the structures, while the ents have to set up along one short edge of the board.

     The first turn of shooting saw some truly amazing shooting by the orc archers, with two wounds being caused on Treebeard himself. With only 3 wounds at his best, this was a potentially game changing turn of shooting, as keeping Treebeard alive was Matt's most important objective.

     After an early thrown rock from Treebeard and then the rest of the ents going into the first structure on-mass, it was quickly one down, two to go.

      At this point I decided the best thing I could do was bundle every orc I had into what ever target I could, easier said than done having to pass a courage test every time I wanted to charge. The ents higher fight value really was their biggest asset, a roll of a 6 was an automatic win, then killing anything but a captain on a 3+ meant that if they won the combat I generally lost at least a couple of orcs to each ent a turn.

      After what seemed like an eternity of drawn out combats the ents started to find they had space appearing around them, they had lost one of their number to achieve this but that was a small price to pay for a bit of breathing room.

     With so few orcs, each courage test to charge become even more important, I really didn't want to feed orcs to an angry ent piece meal, but every ent not in combat was throwing rocks at the second structure and this eventually took it's tole as it collapsed under the barrage.

      Down to a handful of remaining orcs, one structure remaining and 3 ents to kill, the game didn't look good for me. The only plus side was treebeard only had the single wound left, but as he was being kept hidden right at the back of the board, it was a fact I just couldn't capitalise on.

     Using the same tactic I had used to kill a ent earlier on in the game, I put every orc I had into the closest ent and, with some really lucky dice rolls, managed to take its last two wounds, killing it before it could hurt the last structure. It didn't work anywhere near as well when I tried it on the last normal ent, as I lost really valuable orcs.

     In the end the last normal ent won a couple of combats and was able to push through my remaining orcs and onto the last structure, which it took out in one monumental turn of combat. Winning the ents a much deserved win.

     Some interesting stats from the course of the game;
- the ents killed 68 orcs, with 28 of those orcs coming back again,
- 8 wounds were caused to the ents, 3 from shooting, 2 from archers in combat and 3 from two captains. Considering my force was about 40 orcs strong, and only 8 of those were archers this is a hugely disproportionate amount of wounds.

     So yeah, I came so close at the start of the game, almost killing Treebeard, but it all started to go wrong quite quickly. I think next time I am going to do a lot more ebay scouring and get myself a load more normal orcs, and lose all the shields from the ones that have them to save some points for more orcs.
     What made it worse, was this was the first of a hat-trick of wins for Matt that day. All I can say is I hate wizards. . .

Thanks for reading this marathon post. Normal service will resume.