28 August 2008

Historicon, Eureka

While walking through the open gaming area Saturday night, I did a double-take as I passed by a table with an in-progress game set up...

Teddy bears.

Wonderful figures, beautifully painted, and a great table set up for a game. I was in a rush, but stopped to get a few quick photos. They are apparently from Eureka Miniatures "Seven Years Picnic" range.


I've still got a few odds & ends from Historicon to post as time permits.

I'm also still getting in some games & taunts for the Marienburg campaign mentioned previously, though my horrible losing streak has become frustrating. I'll be heading out to Erie, PA for a small WFB tournament at a store this weekend.

Painting has been slow. I've finished a few odd figures, and have started working on some terrain. Almost finished those Burgundian pikemen, too.

15 August 2008

Crisis in Marienburg

I've been contributing to and trying to play in the Crisis in Marienburg campaign...


... being run by Warhammer-Empire.com

I'm looking for more local (Cleveland, OH) WFB opponents for some games, especially if you're interested in using the campaign lists or their allies. I'd also like to try a siege game as well as Man-o-War.

A shot from last week's game, in the marshes surrounding Marienburg...

For a full battle report: the original post at the forum.

12 August 2008

Historicon WAB Tournament (game 3)

Game 3: vs. Italian Condotta

My last game saw me near the bottom of the rankings for our division. My opponent was someone I recognized from my earlier years on the Historicon/Cold Wars tournaments, but had never played. Another good match-up, and another great looking army

Deployment ended up determining quite a bit of the game. We both played out 2000 point armies. From left to right in the photo he had knights (casa?), stradiots, two big pike units screened with skirmishers, and more knights.

From left to right I had a similar deployment as last game... crossbow with pavise, light gun, dismounted gendarmes, archers, pike, archers, skirmishing handgunners, household gendarmes and coustilliers.

In the first photo, I've already moved up and taken out the stradiots with missile fire.

The battlefield rotated counter-clockwise, as each of our main knight units broke through each others weaker flank. In the center, I ended up winning out mainly (in my opinion) because I had a numeric advantage that allowed me to swing in on the flanks. If his knights had turned in to the center and hit my dismountedgendarmes, it might have turned out differently. In fact, I originally had them facing left expecting just that.

So in the end my return to the NEWS/Lancaster WAB tournaments resulted in a 1-1-1 record and three enjoyable games. I was glad to see some enthusiasm and beautiful armies for the medeival division, and can't wait for next year. If I can pull it off, I may even try to make it to Cold Wars.

Historicon WAB Tournament (game 2)

Game 2: vs. Low Countries

I was pretty excited about facing off against this army. It's likely going to be my next AoC army, since it can be used equally as an opponent and ally for the Burgundians. I was hoping to play this match up since I first saw the army listed on the roster.

The scenario was a take & hold game, with the objective in the dead center. We had a nice open centered table for this. We both used our big 2250 lists for this game. My reasoning was more guys = more potential for holding an objective.

From left to right in the photo, my opponent had knights (mercenary?), skirmishing handgunners in the woods, light gun, two units of pike and one unit of planconier, with two units of skirmishers in front of them, followed by one more gun, another pike unit, and light gun #3. Behind the rightmost gun was a unit of sergants.

From left to right I had crossbowmen with pavise, set up at what I was estimating to be enough to shoot the handgunners while forcing them out of the woods to get me in range, my gun on the hill, archers (again, with the nad-and-a-half swords), pike, more archers, a big unit of dismounted gendarmes (I needed to fill points somehow!) coustilliers, gendarmes on the end, with skirmishing handgunners in front of them.

Our first few turns were somewhat mirrored, except for one vital detail. We both moved up on my right, held off and shot on the center and on my left. The big problem was two-fold. One, his shooting was more effective. Two, his more effective shooting set off a chain reaction of panic that saw my pike unit, general and army standard off the table by the second or third turn, and two further units panicking and running away, taking them out of the game for an extra turn or two.

That was a large part of the game. After that, I figured I had two choices, either conceede or try to inflict as much damage on him without hope of holding the objective. Maybe as a bonus I could at least deny it to him, but it would take a miracle for me to win.

I at least feel that put up a really good fight. My gendarmes easilly beat his light cav on the right, but did little else. In the center. My ordonnance archers fought a good fight and took out two of his formed units, though I lost one of mine in the process. As expected, though, he I coulnd't prevent him from taking the objective, which pretty much sealed the win for him. I feel good that I at least made him work for it.

Historicon WAB Tournament (Game 1)

Historicon '08

WAB Tournament - Medieval Division

It's been quite a few years (6? 7?) since I've played WAB at all, and about just as long since I've played at any public events. Since I've picked up again (both WAB and gaming in general), two medieval suppliments have come out for WAB. While I was exceited about this, since it's is a period I really enjoy more than any others, I was also a little nervous, since I didn't have any experience with the books/lists in the division.

I was rushing to paint figures to the very last day before leaving for Historicon, and I'm still beating myself up over brining a not-even-half-painted unit of pikemen to a tournament.

For the medieval division, we had to bring 3 army lists, one each of 1750, 2000, and 2250 points value. After being given the scenario and paired off with an opponent, we each had to secretly assign a list, using each one only once. For each game, everyone I spoke with (and played against) used the same sized list. I liked the idea, though, as I believe "even" battles can get boring, even in a tournament seting. (Especially since I'm not too hung up on the OMG MUST WIN aspect of tournaments.)

On with the games...

Game 1: vs. Ottoman Turks

I've been avoiding mentioning many names, since I'm not sure what the proper ettiquite is for writing about other people on the internets without their permission, however, I think I'll be OK statting that my first game was against none other than Rob Broom from Warhammer Historicals. He was using a beautifully painted loaner army of Ottoman Turks. I gave him (and the rest of my opponents) advance warning not to let me try sticking 7th ed. WFB rules into the game.

My fears of not knowing what to expect surfaced Game 1, since I don't have the Vlad book, and only know about the Ottomans in very general terms from history classes/books, but know nothing about them in WAB terms. I was hoping history wouldn't let me down, and in the end, it didn't.

From left to right I had... household gendarmes. Wait. Before going any further, I've got to admit, this was probably the dumbest thing I did all day. The thing in front and just slightly to the left of them was an impassible piece of impaled corpse terrain. I wanted to keep them "in reserve" but what ended up happening was they had nowhere to go. In addition to this, the general was in the unit, precisely where he shouldn't have been -- away from granting his LD to the rest of the army.

In front of the gendarmes were crossbowmen, then two units of ordonnance archers with hand-and-half swords flanking a unit of ordonnance pike. To their right were dismounted gendarmes, mounted coustilliers, and a light gun.

Both Rob and I used our 1750 list for this round, which was a meeting engagement scenario, in which we had to set our deployment order ahead of time.

I figured that since he was more lightly armoured and more manuvarable than I was, my best bet would be to stick close together, take as many missile shots as possible, and try to set up multiple threats for him as he approached. This was part of my thought process as I was deploying, so I set the cannon and coustilliers on the right just hoping that it would be enough to discourage anything from going around the woods on that side.

I concentrated on trying to panic his horse archers first, and had incredible luck doing so. However, right from the start, I was in trouble on my left. I just couldn't move my gendarmes quickly enough, and when I deployed the crossbow to get potential shots at troops on the hill, I also opened them up for the eventual cavalry charge from out of my own LOS.

One saving grace was that Rob also put his general out on the same flank. Although he got one unit of horse archers to rally, his Serbs panicked at their first (and only) missile casualties. This bought me some precious time.

I blew a combat vs. the janissaries with one unit of my archers, but to balance this out, I also panicked his elite cav unit (including general and army standard) at the end of the game.

It was a well played game, if somewhat unexciting. In the center, I was just too slow to press a charge against him (without a few more turns to the game) so I tried to make any of his potential charges seem like a really bad idea. So we ended up having a bit of a staring & shooting match, and ended with a draw.

Honestly, given another turn or two it could have been a totally different game. My gendarmes and coustilliers would have finally been in the game, his Serbs came back as well, and he most likely would have got his sphahis back as well. Some games just take longer than others. ;)

05 August 2008

Buckeye Battles Indy GT (last game)

Game 5: vs. Dwarves. Again. :D

I don't even remember the scenario on this one. I think it was just a pitched battle. So we square off...

He's got, from left to right, bolter, warriors, hammerers, bolter, crossbow, something in large numbers(warriors?), slayers, organ gun, thunderers, gyro, and an anvil along the back edge of the table, behind the hill.

From left o right, I've got... knights, handgunners, cannon & rocket, greatswords & company, cannon & rocket with handgunners in front all on the hill, swordsmen, spear, and just out of the photo, knights with pistoleers in front of them.

First pic shows some of his opening moves...

On the left, we both move quickly to cross the killing zone in the center. I'm running my knights at his bolter so that I can breath a little easier, and hopefully still have time to go on a rampage behind him. My handgunners walk down the hill so the artillery can fire, but manage to get pretty shot up, which is actually par for the tournament with the handgunners. As this is still a learning experience and I'm a bit of a new empire player, I've decided that handgunners just kind of suck.

Back to he action... In the center, I convince myself to hold back and try to blast off some ranks and/or get my cav into position. Sadly, his anvil and gyro keep my cav bottle-necked between the woods and the table edge. A blast of gyro steam sends a detachment fleeing.

This next part is kind of funny, from my point of view... I charge the gyro with a small archer detachment, he gets stuck pursuing into my spearmen, who in turn beat him in combat on his turn, then charge it and force it to flee off the table on my turn. My pistoleers get anvil-blasted to dust, but at least my knights can move. His bolter gets smashed by a cannon shot, so I turn my knights into his small unit of warriors instead. They flee. His hammerers charge my greatswords (and get counterchaged). I move a couple of archer detachments to the back of my deployment zone to discourage potential miner entry.

Miners appear anyway, and eventially I think they ran over a cannon on the hill. After winning several rounds of combat against the sttubborn hammerers without getting lucky and having them blow a break test, my greatswords fail theirs and get run down. The knights on the left chase the warriors across the center of the battlefield setting up the... center-right fustercluck. My swordsmen end up facing off against his warriors, without the support of their detachment because they've fled the slayers in order to trap them with the spear and knights. Surprisingly, I win combat and they run. I pursue, but fail to catch them. The slayers end up wiped out (I think?) by the end of the game. His larger unit of warriors rallies. In my final turn, I elect to charge the smaller unit instead, figuring that it's the easy VP, rather than a less certain battle frontally against warriors with two ranks. I win, run them down, and as a second surprise, the larger unit fails its panic test with no remaining turn to rally.

In the end it came down to a dwarf victory by under a hundred points. Due to a hectic VP counting phase in which everyone around the table was shouting out numbers, VPS, objectives, etc. we failed to include my capture of the dwarf warriors standard, which would have turned it to a draw. I'm a little bitter, even though I know they were only trying to help, as my record would have been 3-1-1 instead of 3-2-0, but it still wouldn't have changed my placing in the overall rankings. I also don't feel too bad about screwing up against this particular opponent, since it was one of the best/closest games (along with game 3 vs. TK) I had.


So, like I said, my record ended up 3-1-1. All 5 games were enjoyable, and all 5 opponents were excellent. I'd easily play any of them on a regular basis. In fact, my observation is that the whole tournament was generally good natured yet competitive.

In the end I got player's choice and second overall, the latter came as a bit of a surprise to me. The first place winner was way ahead of the rest of us, but it seems like there was a large group fighting closely for the next few slots. My final opponent scored best general. (He also got one of my two votes for sportsmanship.)

For prizes, I got to take home two selections from a table full of stuff. I picked up Gaulrach (sp?) the chaos dragon because I like the figure and have a sneaky conversion idea for him, and a box of fleshounds because after long years of playing horde armies, I'm contemplating playing something as totally different as possible, for a change. (Though in hindsight, I don't think it's going to be daemons.)

Buckeye Battles Indy GT (Part 3)

Buckeye Battles '08

Day 2

Game 4: vs Dwarves

Day two and I'm ready to go, with a respectable 2-1-0 record I'm fairly optomistic. When I see my next opponent is dwarves, I'm pretty pleased. I've probably got more experience against dwarves than any other army, and althtough they're usually not a pushover, I feel like I've got a decent chance, know their tricks, etc.

From left to right, he's got... slayers, bolter, hammerers and longbeards or ironbreakers (I forget which), thunderers, cannon, bolter, gyrocopter, crossbow, warriors and an organ gun.

Please note: no anvil. My opponent is a brave man, I give him piles of credit for not taking one.

From left to right, I had knights, swordsmen, spearmen, rocket & cannon, handgunners and more handgunners, cannon, pistoleers, knights, greatswords, rocket.

The two yellow circles mark where two objective markers were located (little gem things), for the take & hold type scenario.

The first pic is actually part way through turn 1. At this point his organ gun is already dead, his gyro is on my side of the table and wounded (to the left of the woods), and I've surged forward a bit, except on the right, where I was hiding from the artillery.

I make a move to nab the objective on the left, and isolate his slayers, who shouldn't be a threat, but will take a lot of effort to wipe out quickly. I figure if I can get rid of them, then I should be sold on that side. My handgunners get hosed by the gyro and his thunderers, but my pistoleers finish of the gyro.

Our artillery trades shots, as it does for most of the game.

His slayers don't take the bait and charge me, so I hold tight near the hill hoping to avoid his tin can stumpies, and maybe nail them with some lucky rocket & cannon shots. With the dwarf artillery partly neutralized, I start making my move on the right.

I finally lose patience on the left and charge my knights into his slayers to tie them up, and move my two big infantry blocks plus their detachments into position to accept some charges and sit on the objective. I surge forward ont he right, and his warriors crest the hill with no more artillery to fear anyway.

My knights eventually wear down and wipe out the slayers. The knights on the other side crash through the crossbow and set up to charge the remaining artillery. The greatswords manage to get a charge and detachment support against he warriors, breaking them and overrunning up the hill. On the left, things get a little hairy.

Heh heh... little... hairy... it's like a dwarf joke... but not terribly funny.

He charges, I have numbers and ranks on him. However, the incredible amount of death that elite dwarves quipped with rune encrusted thanes can put out, combined with the T4 and knight-like saves that prevent me from causing any wounds, totally overcomes all advantages I get with the detachment system. I break like a twig and flee. The only things that save me are outrunning the little stumpies, decent rally rolls, and the fact that I started with large numbers. I give up the objective and a standard, but my army remains intact. On the right, I move back down the hill to cuddle up with the other objective and end up with a win.

So I'm 3-1-0 and going into the last round, I'm fearing that I'm going to end up facing one of the many many daemon or VC armies....