Sunday, 13 May 2018

Games Night!

Friday's game night we were playing Chosen Men. Not historically accurate but it was my British vs my friends Irish rebels in a meeting engagement at a bridge in an abandoned village.

The battlefield

We were learning the rules so we were probably going to get a few things wrong. We deployed our forces on the table edge.

My British are in the bottom of the picture, the Irish rebels in the top
My British
The Irish Rebels

I won the first intiative roll  and started the battle. Each unit has a TAC value this is how many actions your unit can do (different actions cost different TAC, Fire is 1, on the double move 2 etc ).

British Light Infantry advancing

My light infantry advanced across the open field area.
The Irish Cavalry trotted out from their deployment area.  Next up were my line infantry.

Line Infantry form up

They formed a line formation ( to take advantage of 2 rank fire rule) and set off toward the bridge.
My Rifles on the right flank moved forward to the side of the light infantry.
The Irish cavalry moved towards the bridge having the same idea as the British.

Irish advance

My right flank squad of rifles fired taking out the officer in charge of a unit (normally you can't do this but Rifles have crackshot which means you can). The Light Infantry are charged by the Irish cavalry!

Caught in the open!!
Desperate fight!
The survivors of the charge flee but are cut down

Now I thought I could weather a charge with a 10 man unit. .....turns out I was wrong! !  Cavalry in Chosen Men are devastating in a charge!!! They charged my light infantry and after a brief fight my infantry lost the battle and fled. Unfortunately the cavalry ran the infantry unit down!
In the centre ground my line infantry made ready to launch a volley into the side of the advancing Cavalry as they went over the bridge .

Make ready!!

My rifle squad on the left flank sneaked around an abandoned house and engaged some irish troops on the other side of the river

Sneaking around the building
The Irish cavalry come across the bridge and the line infantry loose a volley of musket fire

The Irish cavalry charged across the bridge and through a hail of musket fire and slammed into my colonel and his aide de camps.

My colonel is in trouble!
The charge took out the aide de camps leaving the colonel!

The cavalry crashed into my colonel killing his aide de camps leaving him to fight alone. Unfortunately he lost and fled where he was ran down.
Back on the right flank the surviving cavalry charged the riflemen.

A swirling melee!

Again the cavalry's devastating charge against infantry ment the destruction of my riflemen. The initiative wasn't mine so the cavalry that had destroyed my colonel managed to charge line infantry while they were in line formation!!! (Check out the episdoe Sharpes Waterloo for why this is bad ha ha ha) my unit immediately became broken which means their melee value drops to 1 which is not good.

Cavalry charge into my line infantry!

The cavalry won the melee and my unit leaving a few survivors.

The survivors fight back

My surviving models fought back but could not do anything and fled but crucially this time they put ran the cavalry! In the recovery phase they ralliedand turned and faced the cavalry.

They could only to rally and make a last stand

Using the TAC value of my surviving captain I managed to fire at the cavalry bringing them all down to one wound and put my troops in hold which means they can fire at moving enemy or charging enemy.

But the Irish cavalry were wise to this and held back and fired with their carbines causing a casualty. Next turn came round they charged. Their initial blows left just the captain standing who with his melee weapons potentially could take the fight with some very good rolls as all the cavalry were on 1 wound but alas no he took one down but was forced to flee and was run down.

All this happened in the final turn. I was only left with my rifles on the left flank who were covered from the cavalry by an building and had been dueling with some irish soldiers on the other side of the river.

The rifles in the shadows

The game ended with a decisive Irish Victory. Had the game continued I could have holed my rifles up in the house and forced the Irish to flush me out but it would still be a loss . What I failed to mention (mainly as I couldn't remember the exact details) was how well my rifles performed at taking out enemy leaders. Their crack shot skill negates the normal procedure that ncos and officer die last and if your independent officer is within 6" of another un it he can't be targeted but the stars of the battle were the cavalry by far. Their charge was utterly devastating.  They have  a skill called devastating charge which adds D6 hits to their total before you even add their own stats and they always strike first so leave units utterly shattered before they can hit back.  Counters to this. Well my own cavalry is the easiest option but make better use of terrain and pay more attention to who has initiative the next turn so I can get my hits in first. 
Great game overall !

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Amera Plastic Waterfall

Last week I finished up the Amera plastic waterfall and river sections I had bought (pick yours up here ) during the Easter break.

Ready for priming
All sprayed ready for painting

After a wash in warm soapy water they were ready and primed as you can see above. 

Next up was to do the rocks surrounding the waterfall. This I applied a technique I learned a long time ago from Likes APS ( click  here for video). It's basically doing dark grey and then  dry brushing on progressively light greys and finishing with a touch of white to finish.

Got a basic paint on now

The sites of the river sections had sand glued to it before painting green. Also painted the river but blue. I didn't plan on using a water effect as I'm not so confident at using it.
Once the paint dried the blue  appeared to start to flake and break up.


After seeking advice on Lukes APS terrain group it seemed I would have to scrape off the blue and start again and instead of using kids craft paint I should try acrylic paint. Luckily I had some blue acrylic paint left over from painting my sons room (animals on the wall). Now I'm an impatient painter so I thought instead of scraping off the blue I would try first to paint the acrylic over the flakeing paint. I did peel the worst bits off before hand. 

This seemed to work and the bumps caused by the flakeing added to the water feel. Now I needed to add an effect to the waterfall to give the impression of flowing water.
I checked the Amera plastic website as next to the products they put examples of those same products painted. The waterfall example had white dry brushed it looked like onto the blue to give the impression of flowing water. So I tried to replicate it, I hope you think so to

I think it looks ok

Last of all was to add a gloss to the water to give it a bit of a shine.

I think it looks good. Can't wait to try them on the battle field.

Have a great day folks

Saturday, 28 April 2018

95th Rifles

This week I've been working on the 95th Rifles from Warlord for my Chosen Men force. They are lovely sculpts. I think I did them ok. 

On the bases

First up was to stick them on bases. They don't come with bases in the box this I believe is because of the variety of ways people made Napoleonic stuff. I wanted square bases in case I decided to get them in line formation. Some of the models are laying down so they've had to have rectangle bases.

Got the base green done.  Not the historically correct colour but hey it's all I have and it looks ok. Next up I added all the other base colours. I made a mistake of doing the whole box so this took longer as I did 14 greens then 14 Brown's.  I need to remember to break them into groups of 4 or 5 as I find it harder to paint on large numbers.

Major has a few more details on.

The models have little details on that my talents just aremt good enough to pick out so I always aim for the 3ft rule.

Love a good flocking

Flocked and based painted next.

All done and I think they look ok. Will have to get a photo of all my Napoleonic forces up soon.

Thursday, 26 April 2018

Dice Tray

For a while I've fancied getting a dice tray. My kids (two boys 2 and 4) love to watch my wargaming and are desperate to 'help' throw the dice.  Except they throw dice with a lot of gusto! So random models and  pieces of scenery get hit or the dice end up under the table. Now I don't wanna put them off playing by saying no all the time so I thought a dice tray would help out.
Now I've seen some on eBay for around £12 but I've also seen on the net that it's cheaper to make your own. While we were at the Range I scoped out what i would need.
1. A tray of some kind. General consensus in internet is a photo frame.
2. Some thing to deaden the roll of the dice. Internet said cork.
3. Something to line the tray to make it look nice. Clothe etc

I gathered a photo frame, couldn't find cork so bought some kids craft foam paper type stuff and some felt to line it.  Total spend a little over £4.
First off take the back off the photo frame and take out the display picture and glass.  Oh and important point! Choose a frame where you can take the glass out!! I didn't so I had to smash it so all the bits fell out. 
Then I took the backing off the photo frame and glued two sheets of craft foam to it to absorb the dice impacts.

Foam was cut to fit the backing of the photo frame

Next I took the felt and wrapped it around the backing and pushed it into place and secured it using the photo frames tabs (For the more talented people I'm sure you could attach the Felt on on the inside of the photo frame with out taking the back off).

Once the felt was wrapped around the backing and secured I trimmed the rest off

And that's it! All completed

All done

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

RKStudios talking about Contamination their New Game

My go to online store RKStudiostore has created their own game. Contamination, an  apocalyptic game set in a world being ravaged by a virus.  I really like the look of this. So I contacted Terence  from RKStudio and we had a chat about the new game.

M: How did RKStudios store start and how long as it been going?

T: RK Studio Store started from our desire to see online retailing done the way we thought it should be – with physical stock held ready to ship so you don’t wait months for your order and with great customer service. We have always wanted to run an independent retailer so decided to do it at last!
RK Studio Store has been running for a little over 2 years now, we started trading in April 2016. Our range of stock held here has increased massively and we’ve added the Special Order system so you can order in anything we don’t have in stock, or where you want 30 boxes and we only hold 2!

M: Where did the idea for Contamination come from?

Contamination came out of discussions we had after playing several other apocalypse games, both miniature games and computer games. We discussed writing an unofficial update for one of the games we already played to make it do the things we wanted before deciding to ‘simply’ write the game we wanted to play. Contamination is that game.

M: Can you briefly describe the game. What is in your mind it's unique selling point? What size table would you need?

T: Contamination is an apocalyptic wargame set during an apocalypse rather than after it. It is what we call an ‘open world’ game in the same sense as some popular computer games, with your characters able to do anything you would want to do in the real world. In my mind this is the unique selling point of Contamination. Want to vault over that fence, spin round and shoot that Contaminated in the head? OK, the rules let you do it! Want to hide in that wheelie bin? OK! Jump off that building? OK! 
We’ve got a lot planned for Contamination with the first expansion coming out before Christmas this year. One thing we wanted to make sure of with Contamination was that there were as few as possible ‘compulsory’ purchases. As gamers we know how annoying this is so we didn’t want to do it! The only thing you need is the main rulebook and we don’t intend to make any of the expansions compulsory to keep playing the game. We’ll also be releasing more scenarios for free on the website along with the tokens and intro rules already on there.
The size of table for contamination isn’t fixed and different scenarios will use different sizes, We have been using the new Micra Matz for our games which are just under 3’ wide and 4’ long, designed to fit on a dining room table.
M:  Are there any factions in the game or is it all completely player made?  I've read that there are around 1300 character combinations. How is this achieved?

T: There are over 1300 possible crew types in Contamination just using the main rulebook. We use a system of perks and flaws to allow you to personalise your crew and add massive replayability to the game. When you start a game you can pick one perk and one flaw from the charts in the rulebook. Each perk is a positive trait for everyone in your crew showing what type of people they are. Each flaw is a negative trait showing what they aren’t so good at. There are 36 perks and 36 flaws in the rulebook for a total of 1296 combinations (of you include weapon selections the combinations go past 300k!) and we’ve included the ability to randomly select them if you can’t choose or want the extra challenge.
An example of a perk is ‘the doctor’ which upgrades one of your crew to a medic who can heal the other members of your crew who are within 3’’, on a roll of 5+. One of the flaws is ‘Mummy?’, meaning your models will always engage lone Contaminated in melee if possible. A lot of the perks and flaws use rules from the main rulebook that aren’t in the intro rules, however these two should work fine if you want to add them to the free intro pack.
There are factions in the background of Contamination to help with the immersion of the game. So if you want your crew to be part of The Burnings, then choose the perks and flaws you think they could have. This will also help when you are running campaigns to make the moral choices more ‘real’ and give a better sense of ‘right and wrong’…. We’ll leave it up to you to decide who is in the right!

M: On the website you mention about the game being open world and players being able to do anything. Was this what you envisioned all along or did it come in game development?

T: This was the main reason we wrote Contamination. We always felt that some games were too limited and wouldn’t allow us to do the cool things we could imagine, so we wrote a game that does. This is what makes Contamination special, if you can imagine it you can do it.

M:  In the free rules, 'infected' are mentioned. How do you feel they add to the game?

T: Infected are living people who have been unlucky enough to become infected with a world ending virus. We’ve got a section of graphic novel in the rulebook explaining the background behind Contamination. The important thing with the infected is that they are not dead and are not zombies. These are living people who are simply very ill and looking for help, comfort, or the essentials of remaining alive.
In the game the infected are a type of environmental hazard as they not only fight the survivors for resources, they also carry the infection which you can catch in game. In campaign play this means that without adequate medical care this model will only be available for another couple of games before someone puts them out of their misery, or turns them out of your home, as they are simply too dangerous to have around.
This mechanic leads to some interesting games where who has won is debateable. Is it better to have captured three resources and got half your crew infected, or is it better to only get one but still be free of the virus? Also, during the game they can be baited and effectively used as a weapon by either side, this is very dangerous as more and more of them turn up, but it can be a game winning tactic.

M: How long would you expect a game to last?

T: This is a difficult one! Games will be of varying length depending on the size of your crews, the scenario being played and the experience of the players. When you are playing a new game it is bound to be slower. Not a great answer I know, but this really is ‘how long is a piece of string!’. We’ve already thought of some quick play scenarios designed for your lunch break but haven’t got any of these ready to share yet!

M:  Will players be able to run their own campaigns?

T: Yes! The whole game was written with campaigns in mind so this isn’t a tack on feature and the full rules for this are in the main rulebook. During a game of contamination you are fighting over supplies to keep your crew alive. In campaign play this is essential, as it allows you to equip your people with new stuff you’ve found, and upgrade their living conditions to allow them more comfort or just a hot meal. The resource card deck up on pre-order is designed to add to the possible types of item collected during a game and I’ll send over some PDFs of the cards so you can put them with this article. We intend to release more of these over time and each expansion will come with a new card pack to show the types of things you are likely to find in that area.

M: I've pre ordered the rulebook. What else will be available on release?

T: Great to hear you’re getting a copy yourself. Knowing people want to play the game we love is the best part about releasing Contamination. After three months of work and over 2000 hours it’s good to know that people enjoy our game.
As well as the main rulebook we are also releasing the resource card deck and the first two Micra Matz gaming mats. Finally you’ve got the roster pads to allow you to easily record your crew’s stats.
Everyone is going to get half a pack of free roster pads with their rulebook as we’ve hit our first target for book sales. We are hoping to get enough sales in this last few days to add some more freebies but we’ll see how it goes!

M: I believe the pre-order for the game rulebook is still active till the end of April. If pre ordered, when will the rulebook be received by backers?

T: The pre-order is running till 28th April and backers will receive their orders by the end of May.
We will be sending the books to the printers with the names of all our backers to be printed in the front, this will happen within a few days of the pre-order ending. The printers estimate we should get the books by 21st May so with everything going well you’ll get your books somewhere towards the end of May. If there is any delay at all we will be in touch with everyone who has ordered, by email , to let you all know what is going on.

Well there you go. I'm quite excited about what this game has to offer. Thanks again to Terence for talking to me and sending over the images of some resource cards and images from the rulebook itself. 
Need to start looking at what models I could use now.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Games night part 2 Gaslands

Next on the games night menu was Gaslands. A new game yet to be played by us. We are in the process of making some vehicles (See blog here) so it was a rough learning the rules game tonight. We set up a death race. Sort of a figure of  8 track weapons not activated till gate one has been passed . My opponents team was Rutherford and had 2 jeep type cars one with a ram the other with rockets.  I had team Idris. A buggy with a caltrop dropper and a performance car with mini gun and oil dropper. 

Gentleman start your engines!

My friend rolled pole position and it was Go! Go! Go! (Except I realised my team was over 50 cans so I dropped one of my buggies after it activated)

The cars speed away from the start line

We got the hang of using templates really quickly (Thanks to previous x wing games), we didn't have any shift dice so we used a dice maker app. I definatly would have preferred skid dice as there is no substitute for the real think.  So on the cards will be some templates and dice. 
The shift dice mechanic works great giving you some great and tough options to choose from.

2 vehicles get a good lead

My performance car and opponents ram car raced ahead.  My buggy was hampered at the start so ended up behind with the rocket armed opponent.  The Rutherford ram truck made it through gate 1 activating weapons!!
The 2 lead vehicles screeched around the corner after gate 1. The performance car saw an opportunity and drove into the Rutherford vehicle!

T-bone smash !!

The Rutherford truck evaded the one hit I managed to cause. 
*Note here we got the rules wrong. My opponents has the ability to choose to smash me back or evade where we assumed he could just evade.

My performance car got in front and dropped an oil slick

Oil dropped!

My opponent  picked a template and bam! The vehicle ploughed through the oil slick  (acquiring 2 hazards ).
Meanwhile at the back the Rutherford rocket armed vehicle was behind my buggy shooting rockets.  One gear phase I lost 3 of 6 hull points the next gear phase my buggy was blown apart! !!


My performance car was flying now and got a good lead on followed by the ram equipped Rutherford.

Performance car is flying!

My opponent for his next template choose I have to say chosr amazingly well.  Check out below picture

Inches from disastor!! Precision driving!
Winner winner Chicken Dinner!

My performance car crossed the line to take the race win.

Great little fun game.  Next time we will use driver perks a bit more, now we are a bit more up on the rules. Games plays nice and simple once you get the hang of it. I would definatly recommend this game!
Thanks for reading guys. Here's a cheeky plug for my blogs Facebook page.  Go on you know you want to.
Trials of a Casual Wargamer  

Have great day folks! !