Thursday, 24 October 2019

Plumbing the Heights

I've been experimenting with a gyrocopter combat game. I've had most of these models hanging around for ages from when I played Wings of War with them, so I thought I would try to make some new rules.

I tried to make altitude an important part of the rules, and I find that in other dogfight games I've played altitude is usually an optional extra that is tacked on, and often not that satisfying. One of the reasons for this is probably the practical difficulty in getting a decent altitude representation on the table.

So I went to B&Q and got a load of 40mm floplast pipes. I've weighted the bases and magnetised the tops, and used different lengths of pipe for filling. This has worked surprisingly well and has turned out remarkably stable (these gyrocopters are notoriously fragile in any case). I have 6 effective altitudes atm which is more than I was expecting, and I reckon I could still get a couple more (if I buy another pipe) and it would remain sufficiently stable.

The game is also shaping up well, and is the sort of fun free-for-all combat game you might expect with gyrocopters.


Sunday, 20 October 2019

BIG Saga AoM 2

Played in my second Saga AoM tournament at Bristol Independent Gaming. The first one is here. I wasn't too impressed with my Underearth battleboard and previous games had not gone well, so I was expecting to suffer some heavy defeats. I made some last minute decisions with my warband and decided to keep my melee infantry as Warriors and field a Behemoth and a Sorceror.

2* 9 Warriors with Firearms
2* 9 Warriors
3 Creatures Bipeds
1 Behemoth

I chose Slowed Time, Strengthen, and Erosion from the spell book. Slowed Time to try to get off an extra Firearms attack, coz they can be pretty devastating at close range but are hard to fire twice. Strengthen was just a defensive buff, and Erosion I brought, just in case I had to face Rich's Wild warband, which I knew would be there.

Again there were a load of well-painted armies from a decent range of factions. Out of 8 warbands there were 2 Undead, 2 Wild, 2 Kingdoms, 1 Horde, and 1 Underearth. As expected, the Undead did well.

First game I faced Jim's excellently painted horde. He smashed into me, as you would expect the Horde to do but I managed to mostly withstand the War Chariot and Berserker charges, which were his main weapons, and counter with my melee warriors. I definitely got the best of the dice and ended up with the win. I still didn't feel I had found any real play or coordination in my board and just relied on luck.

The second game I played Ben's Undead, which was the exact same warband I had played in the last tournament. I had not been looking forward to this, and didn't think I had much going for me against Undead. Istm, you need to hit the skeleton units hard with a tank unit,which my Kingdoms Hearthguard were perfect for, but my Underearth don't really have.

To my surprise, though, my board coordination worked great, I managed to sync my spells much better, and I was winning all the way through. Crucially, I got one of the 12 warrior skeleton units down to a single figure, but just wasn't able to knock off that final piece. I knew that that would come back to haunt me and on the final turn Ben's Skeleton wave finally broke and I lost three complete units in a single turn. I lost the game but was much happier with my board.

The final game, as predicted, I ended up playing Rich's Wild dark elves. They were a bit different to the last list that defeated me. He now fielded 12 mounted warriors with composite bows. This game went ok for me, as I piled my Ogres through the centre and supported them with Tenacity.

But the key to the battle was his mounted warriors, running up and pinging me and then using his Retreat activation/reaction to stop me hitting him back. It took me three turns to sort of encircle him, and I was confident I would be able to cut him off, but he cunningly 'retreated' the wrong way and grabbed my Objective marker, instead. As it happened, I did catch up with them and got some more luck in the melee, and managed to win the game by a single, probably undeserved, point.

So another great fun tournament, with three very close games that could have all gone either way. I'm very pleased with how my warband did considering how awful I felt it would do. I was thinking this would be its last appearance, but I might actually play with it again. I'm looking forward to the next BIG tournament, where I will probably field a different warband, maybe my Horde.

Saturday, 19 October 2019

Saga: Underearth 2

Did some more pirate themed stuff for my Underearth Saga faction. The pirate ogres and the dwarfs are from Macrocosm, and the octopus is from the local toy shop. Not really sure how to rationalise the octopus as a land creature, but it was an emergency last-minute addition to the warband (as a Behemoth).

I have changed the make-up of my warband quite a bit after getting beat last week. I have turned my melee warriors into levies, added the monster, and am thinking about dropping my sorceror for an extra unit of firearms.

I also made a couple of holes to use as the Underearth's Sacred Ground: Underground Network.

Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Saga: Masters of the Underearth

Have done eight points of Underearth for Saga AoM, with a pirate theme. I played against these a few weeks ago and decided I wanted my own Underearth faction, though they don't seem that easy to use, and don't really have a lot of brute force.

I had some GW and Black Scorpion dwarfs already painted, and found some more, then added some Ral Partha ones. I have done 3 points of 8 warriors with firearms, 2 lots of 8 normal warriors, 2 destruction teams, an Alchemist, and a Sorceror (and a warlord of course), a mobile war machine and a flying war machine. I plan on getting a couple of more pirate-y themed destruction teams (rather than the flame cannons).

I feel like this force has too much shooting and probably too many small units that I might have trouble activating, so I'm planning on getting 2 or 3 Creatures (the Underearth board has a bit of help for Creatures), and then dumping one of the firearms units, and the Alchemist, and maybe the tank, and seeing how that works.