Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Hasty Gathering

Another year ending and what have I done?

Well I haven't finished any of my expanded Elastolin armies but after long but periodic internal debate I called closure and forced myself to make a "final" decision which is to base them permanently rather than either sticking with the trial magnetic bases which just didn't feel satisfying or going back to single figure skirmish games and that has allowed me to finally make some progress.


Elastolin Romans repainted to better fit the image in my head.
A few shields left to finish.
Occasionally I feel like I should have an urge to  do more semi-roleplaying skirmish Prince Michael games but to be honest the ones I've done were more fun to write up than to play and the stories were basically built around the bare events of the game after the fact rather than having been part of the game as "should" have happened with a talented GM and a group of players.  It would be as easy to add the narrative to a Gathering of Hosts game.

More than any other period, my views on what Ancient Warriors should look like were formed early and deep. This illustration is from the Living World of History which I got for Christmas 1964 when I was 9.


That done I was planning on finishing any repainting and conversion work before basing but I was stalled and REALLY wanted to play and not with figures half stuck on scraps on cardboard. More than that, I'm not going to do complete repaints on any figures. Just some touch ups to help them all look like they belong and I can do that on the based figures since they aren't in tight formations. So, I gathered what cut bases I had, organized the Romans into units with similar shield shape and design, glued, sawdusted and applied a base coat of green. Over the winter I'll finish the last couple of stands which need conversion and painting from scratch and do the various touch ups but at least I have a basic force for small games.

The last Roman Hosting: 5x2 infantry, 1x2 archers, 1x2 Light Cavalry, 1x2 Heavy Cavalry, 1x2 Artillery. There are 2 Generals, 1 with the Heavy Cavalry, 1+ Eagle with an infantry unit.
Hmm could use some barbarian light infantry perhaps.

Now, the plan was/is 1 stand is a unit and no grid but......... it just so happened that the figures divided nicely into groups of 2x4 man bases each forming a distinct, recognizable   unit which just happens to fit the new 6" grid. Hmmm. This may take some thought  and experimentation.

A Barbarian Horde to follow.

Happy 2017 to all the oh so patient and amazingly persistent readers of the sporadic GofH blog!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Redirecting of Hosts

It has become clear to me that the proposed effort to stage a joint 25mm massed fantasy battle at a convention is unlikely to come about in the near future. However, I like some aspects of where the proposed game has led the Gathering of Hosts rules and I am going to continue developing them  to suit myself with an eye for using them  with both my historical 16th Century and my Medieval/Fantasy armies. In effect they will become a new, improved, broader version of the Rough Wooing rules.

I somehow manage to delete all copies of the original photo on all platforms so here's an alternate view.

I intend to keep each stand as a unit but to once again have explicit multistand formations and to  focus a little more on the role of commanders.

With all that in mind I have a game on the table but I'm not ready to get rolling dice as I try to picture how the game should feel and how the rules will need to be shaped to deliver that whether played solo, one on one or as a multiplayer game.

So far there have been a number of "Aha!" moments followed by "oh not quite right". That in itself is a sign of progress though.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

E pluribus unum sagittariis (or something like that)

I don't like cutting up original, unbroken, Elastolins but have been  able to acquire a number of unpainted kits over the years. Having finally acquired 2 Roman cavalrymen and a reason to use them I set to work.

Unfortunately, what with the recent doubling of my Hunnic forces and having recently read Simon MacDowell's book on Chalons, I suddenly decided that I needed a Roman horse archer unit. I did have one of the relatively civilised, armoured, Hun Horse Archer kits  that could work with a head swap but the rest of the Hun kits were all the wilder sort and besides, I'll need every Hun I can get my hands on. I only had a few foot archer kits left, one of them being an archer firing down from a tower, great for siege dioramas but.....

Ok so its not really out of many, more like out of two. New figure on left. Component figures on the right, well other copies of the component figures at least. 
At first I had been expecting to cut both figures at the waist but the cavalry man splits diagonally along the  shoulder belt while the archer is a one piece body with two separate arms. I decided it would be better to do arm swaps. (The archer will reappear one day.) The anatomy is so well done on the Elastolin figures that its often hard to just drop arms or bodies on as things like which way the weight is shifted for balance and the tilt of shoulders will be wrong. I was anticipating a fair amount of work to adjust things but I lucked in. I didn't want an archer firing into the dirt and anyway the angle on the joint between the kits was all wrong for that but as I fiddled with the bits trying to find a good pose, the shoulders just sort of fell into place with the archer holding his bow at a slant. It looked good to me and only required minimal fitting.  I meant to hang a shield from his saddle bow but....oh well.

Since one of the game requirements for Rob's project was single stand units and since that's how my 16thC lads are organised, I have decided to stick with it, so, two units of comic book Roman cavalry, one of them being horse archers. One of the original requirements from Rob was single stand units since he has a few rare figures that can't muster enough for two bases but which he wishes to include. Its the same with my Elastolins and is how the 16th Century Rough Wooing project was done. So here are two "units" of Roman cavalry on temporary bases.

Surprising how hard it was to resist shading and detailing but I even left three of the horses unpainted to try and keep a suggestion of the original toy and comic book origins. The original weren't this glossy but it'll fade and  does suggest "toy". 
Next...hmm.. siege tower? more Romans? Huns on foot? "Barbarian" heavy cavalry? hmmm

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Whaddiyah Get When You Cross A...

Work is now well under way on organizing, painting and basing my 4cm Elastolin Romans. First up, they needed a mounted General to command in the field.

Comes Imonsey Magnus and Tribune Jehanus  

I didn't actually have one, or even a spare cavalryman but I did have 2 commanders on foot and a very Heroic Horse from one of my Norman knights. A bit of scrounging turned up a volunteer Saxon knight to provide legs. Not bad but the pointing thing was, well, ok, but then I noticed that his scabbard was empty. Right! A few minutes later I had a spare Elastolin arm with sword from, well, I'm  not sure which kit it was from, I don't seem to be missing one. A little chopping, gluing  (gotta love hard plastic), pinning, puttying and painting and  tada! It belatedly occurred to me that it might have been useful to paint him to match my commander on foot so that I could have had foot and mounted versions of the character like I do for the Prince. Oh well. I'm intending the Romans for massed battles anyway.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Re-Gathering of Hosts

When a month went by without me being able to talk myself into playing another game or even painting or basing any figures for this high priority project I knew I had a problem. I decided to review my objectives and revisit the rules once again since I really wasn't sure where they were headed. Uncertainty is the death of enthusiasm.



Inside the walls of Nulpartium the anxious garrison watches a vital convoy under assault.

The primary goal was something new which would be suitable for a convention setting where there would be 6 or 8 players, each with up to a dozen units, who would be given a 5 minute briefing and a QRS and then thrown into battle. Past experience tells me that this can work, even with novice gamers, if the rules are simple and clear. A quick review confirmed my suspicion that I had been wandering away from straight forward.

A secondary goal was to develop something that a gamer in the 70's might have cobbled together bssed on published rules with the provisio that it had to work with single unit stands regardless of the number of figures. That pretty much left me working with Morschauser's Shock Period rules despite my own experience back then all being WRG and Featherstone. I'm sure there are other possible sources of inspiration but I'd as soon work with what I am already familiar with.

The last couple of drafts had wandered so far from Morschauser's rules that the inspiration was no longer recognizable. I got out my copy and started over.


A replay of the ol' wagon train. Romans under attack by Germanic allies of the Huns.
The first thing I did was to review the very bloody melee rules to look at the odds and whether converting the both die result to a tie would help or if there was at least a way to use his factors and simplicity. I managed the last two by turning the melee rating into the number of dice to be rolled and using his shooting dice scores for melee as well.

Next I ditched all the excess fidgety bits I had added about formations and low level tactics. I also ditched the new sequence of play and went back to move and/or shoot on your turn with a joint melee phase at the end. I kept the initiative roll since I like it and it goes back at least as far as Featherstone.
Just when all looked bleak with Barbarians amidst the Bullocks, the Tribune sacrificed himself to save the last wagon. By a freak of the dice the Barbarian chieftain was slain on the farside of the hill at the same time. When the dust settled both armies were shaken and could no longer shoot or attack. Only the city garrison was unaffected, including the unit of cavalry which had ridden out to save the convoy. One cart has been ransacked, another was abandoned when the driver panicked but can now be rescued while the 3rd was indeed saved by the Tribune since the Huns, who were about to slay the driver and pillage it, also panicked when their Chieftain fell.
The end result of this was a cracking little Wagon Train game that had me on the edge of my seat  until the whole thing was upturned and reversed at the last minute. I am stoked now to get back to painting and basing and to play some more games.

The Version 7 draft is now posted click here  or use the link to the left.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Lost in Time

Alas a busy week including a long weekend away has driven the details of rules and the last game out of my head.

The Barbarians deployed 6 companies of lightly armoured infantry trained in shieldwall and shock tactics, 2 companies of archers and a company of light shock cavalry.  Two of the infantry stands contained a commander. Off table were 3 companies of  heavy shock cavalry inc General and 6 stands of horde archers.


The Midlish force fielded 4 stands on pikemen, 3 of swordsmen, 2 archers and 3 knights, 2 on armoured horses. Apart from the Earl there were 2 infantry captains.


The shieldwalls proved tough opposition for the knights and for the pikemen but eventually they were broken just as the barbarian reinforcements arrived. The combination of cavalry and archers proved too much for the swordsmen who were a bit down on their luck. By turn 6 the Midlish held the objective and were braced for the counter attack.

<Please insert mental picture of one of the photos I was sure that I had taken of the 2nd half.>

The horse archers began by riding around taking pot shots while the Barbarian knights moved into position but given the short amount of time remaining, and the shortage of space, the horse archers needed some extra luck to do more than weaken the enemy and eventually one group got caught when evading and another group evaded off the table and out of the battle. The final charge by the Barbarian knights supported by the horse archers came close to breaking the Midlish knights but not close enough and the Barbarian morale collapsed with the death of their General.

There will be more of these games ahead in the next few months. Some with magic, some with walls and siege engines, some big and some small but hopefully with increasingly better presentation with names, background stories, terrain and bases.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Roughing It

I don't have time for a full post but after some thought on where I want this 40mm Elastolin fantasy campaign and the rules to go, I started borrowing ideas from Rough Wooing and replayed the game with slightly different troops.
No monsters or magic this time around.


So far so good. More sometime in the next week.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Oh Dem Bones

Yesterday I decided that I needed a day to chill so I gave notice and retired to my room. I wanted to do a bit work on some figures or terrain but I also wanted to play a quick, simple game. It didn't take long to  decide that a fantasy game using some of the Elastolin 40's would fit my mood best despite the makeshift state of those armies.

Flipping through Thomas's One Hour Wargame I selected Number 27: Disordered Defence. Despite being inspired by Shiloh it takes place on an empty table apart from a crossroad as objective. I added some low hills and then scattered a few bits of vegetation around with the result looking rather like an arid uninhabited plain on the North-Eastern frontier of the Midlands. The caravan trails didn't meet at the right spot so I cast my eyes about for a suitable marker. Last year, my friend Lawrence, who made the Balloons for me, bought himself a 3d printer. He brought some samples to a group game last fall and I couldn't resist asking for one of the enlarged orange plastic dragon skull keyring tags (OK probably considered a Dinosaur skull by most). At the time I wasn't sure exactly how I would fit it in but it looked like it had potential. Yesterday I decided that with a lick of paint it would look just the thing for an objective marker in the desolate wastelands of the frontier.
Stand-To for man and monster as dawn and the enemy approach.
(the lighting was too dark on one side and too light on the other for the poor smartphone to handle)
I had wanted to delay playing more games with the Elastolin's until I got them sorted and based with names and back stories established and so on but the need was great so I persisted.  I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it but I am yet again looking at my table as I contemplate renovations to take advantage of changes in life. One attractive alternative that arose last year but wasn't practical then was to have a smaller permanent table with a larger surface for full games. It is practical now so the question is whether to keep the existing table with an option to expand temporarily to 6'x5' or go down to a more convenient 4'x4' with a 4'x6' extension. To test the 4'x4' I walled off the last foot of table and expanded the 3'x3' OHW map to fit a 4'x4' area. On the suggested 3'x3' table. two of my 60mm stands fit within lower end of the 4" to 6"  unit frontage recommended by Thomas giving me at most 12 units. On the larger table 3 stands fit with the upper end adjusted for a larger table allowing me 18 units and a bit more depth to the game. The armies themselves are planned to be about 36 stands for full scenarios. Since I was using adjoc forces assembled from various armies I didn't have enough clearly marked command stands so did not use the optional command rules.

The situation then was this. The Great King of the East (TBD) has sent a force of wild barbarians (name?) backed by fierce lizard men (name?) to seize the famous skull of the dragon Pryntahd, a creature of ancient myth and legend. Attached to the skull is a large golden ring said to have once held a magical ruby which, if restored, would bring the dragon back to life and obedience. Getting wind of the Great King's plan, the King of the Midlands has sent the Earl of Belmont to drive off the intruders.

On table, the Barbarian Earl Helgin has deployed his force carelessly while he awaits the arrival of the Wizard. 3 companies of tribesmen hold an insignificant rise to his front left, 2 companies of archers and his single company of horsemen hold the front right while his bodyguard and the lizardmen camp back by the skull itself.  He expects the Wizard to arrive soon with 6 companies of horse archers, a company of Crabhan and Blaug the Terrible.

The Earl, almost as thoughtlessly diced for his deployment and placed 6 companies on his left, 2 each of swordsmen, bows and handgunners, a cannon and 2 stands of pikemen in the centre (one freshly painted)  and himself with 3 companies of knights on the right.  

(Note I included the Wizard (name TBD) and the Enchantress as I was thinking of including some magic but ended up with my hands full and they defaulted to mere window dressing)

I started off with the rules as used for the Atilla game in April. Three turns in and it was clear that the combination of scenario, units chosen and rules was not working for me. Since I liked the forces chosen I decided to revisit the rules, something I'll cover in a separate post. I reset and all went well except that almost all of the few crappy pictures that I did take got accidentally deleted.

The game began with an unprecedented successful bombardment of the Lizardmen by the artillery. If you want a dull, predictable solo game, don't rely on dice!  The 2 on 1 assault by the Midlish left had some tense moments but those dice interfered again and eventually the barbarian right was cleared away with the loss of only one Midlish stand. On the right the Knights stormed up the hill into the barbarian shieldwall. In the aborted game they had obliterated it without breaking a sweat, this time there was plenty of blood spilled before the shieldwall was dispersed.  The fight between the Lizardmen and pikemen was fierce and it was only the casualties carried over from the bombardment that tipped the day in favour of the Midlands. Helgin did his best to hold the Skull by himself (well, with his hearthguard actually) but was surrounded and shot down. So far, so good. Then the 2nd wave appeared.

The mid-point of the game. Helgin was disposed of as the reinforcements appeared. Now the Midlanders brace for the counter attack.

The horse archers were down right annoying and scary. On the Midland left, there were enough foot archers to make it an even fight but on the right there was nothing to answer them with and no one fast enough to catch them. Nothing to do but endure and be thankful for armour, or die. 

At last, in the centre, came Blaug and the Crabhen. Poor Blaug his tummy is larger than his wings so he only got to hop at heavy cavalry speed and I didn't give him the aerial target benefit. I did let him breathe fire and have lots of melee dice and top endurance. He just couldn't bring himself to hurt people though, or remember to cover his tummy when shot at. The scenario as most OHW scenarios calls for armies to fight to the last man but old habits die hard and I called the game when Blaug rolled over on his back and the Eastern hordes hit their normal breakpoint. 

(I did go back this evening and play out the last few turns but neither side was destroyed and the Midlanders still held the objective so nothing was changed.

As Blaug sinks to the ground the Evil, nameless, Wizard arises to confront the Enchantress. They exchange dramatic words then, realizing spells were not in play, the Wizard vanished in a puff of smoke and the game was over. 


My next post will include comments on the respective strengths and weaknesses of the two competing turn sequences and on the revised combat system which draws inspiration from my new 19th Century rules as well (hopefully)  as pictures of a refight using the move, move, all shoot, all melee sequence with the revised melee table.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Coming Soon

Another tweak to GofH, another test game.
This bit didn't actually happen.
Battle report and discussion tomorrow (I hope).

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Blaug The Terrible


With eyes blazing, nostrils smoking, it is ...Blaug The Terrible! Terror of the toy shelf! 
uhh what? Oh! I see, Blaug the Terrible Blue Vinyl Toy Dragon. 
Yeah, try as he might Blaug is never going to be anything other than a repainted vinyl cartoon toy dragon with a pot belly and vestigial wings but what the heck. He's one of the few toys I have ever been given by my wife, I think it was meant 1/2 as a joke but.... anyway I felt the need for a dragon option and figured that twelve years of lurking on the shelf was enough.  At least he looks better in green than he did in bright blue with yellow and orange highlights with a tiny red tongue sticking out. Probably meant to be fire but it was hard to tell for sure.

HA! ooh! Hehe Hey Guys! Stop! That tickles!
(4cm Elastolin figures)

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Hun is at the Bridge

OK its not Monday but you never know when the plague will hit. Today I am able to sit up again and feel like I might live out the week after all.

Once again I find myself apologizing for the quality of the photos. Neither the added light, cleaning the lens, trying to get the tripod at a usable height nor playing with settings helped. Seems unlikely that the camera would forget how it used to do it so it must be me or the environment. Back to the drawing board. Luckily a score or more of poor and unusable digital photos cost nothing but time and helpfully they will at least give some sense of the flow of the game.

Given the toy soldier level of accuracy of the Elastolin 4cm figures and the variety of periods represented I was tempted to set the game in a fantasy setting but will settle for a Comic Book Gaul while resisting the temptation to do the footwork to turn this into a Prince Michael scenario. There are essentially 4 armies involved including the allies on either side. This represents just over 1/2 the total available for the final battle.


Somewhere around Turn 6 The Barbarian allies  have arrived and an advance party of Huns has crossed the river and forced the Romans to redeploy unit after unit away from the bridge to block them.  Casualties from missile fire have been fairly high. The little strips of road on the river indicate fords.   

Defending. The Romans. Under the Overall General Aentithus:  6 heavy infantry, 2 archers, 1 light shock cavalry. Off table Allied reinforcements under their Captain: Deeahdeer. 5 units of heavy shock cavalry (knights). The Romans stopped at the farm and after collecting taxes inquired about fords along the river and were told there were none.

Attacking. The Huns under King Akala: 3 elite light cavalry horse archers, 3 horse archers and 3 allied light shock cavalry under their very minor and forgettable chieftain. Off table was a body of Barbarian Allies (Vikings mostly)  under their Captain said to be the reknown Helgin himself, along with 8 shock light infantry and 2 archer units. Not having inside info the Huns were allowed to search for fords one base width at a time with a 5,6 indicating a fordable spot. Apparently the river was low because they found more than they could use.


Cue dramatic music and some caustic comments by the farmer's wife. (A Prince August viking homecast and the only non-Elastolin on the table) as the Cavalry rides on to the rescue. Sort of. 
Once the Romans had been drawn left the Huns suddenly rode farther to their left to outflank the bridge guard leaving the allied light cavalry to pin them until the Barbarian Horde could wade the river and engage. Of course if these hadn't kept failing their out of command roll a different approach might have been used. 

The Romans were having to scramble and counter march with their poor cavalry pelting from flank to flank several times but their allies rolled low and arrived in the nick of time. The Barbarians had to rush their attack, leaving a few units behind in the river to follow at best speed while the formed battleline attacked. 

Moments before the big clash. 
The infantry battle was epic with much carnage and with reserves well needed to pulg the gaps that appeared. The heavy cavalry charge was somewhat less epic and between arrows and melee the lighter enemy did more damage than they took. The charge of the 2nd group to arrive went slightly better but with 12 of 15 turns played I wasn't sure that the Romans could hold out until the end let alone drive the Huns back over the river. 

Since they were losing the arrow battle across the river on the other flank the Romans advanced a unit of heavy infantry across the river to force the horse archers back. The light cavalry were moved up to support them against the threat of encirclement but it felt like a risky move. 

Then it happened. The allied Barbarian chief went down!
While the cavalry struggled, the Roman infantry in their armour pushed forward hacking at the barbarians and eventually the barbarian chieftain's bodyguard went down. This called for a morale check of all of his followers within reach. six units. One warband rolled a 5 and stood, one archer rolled a 3 and fellback in good order, and four, (count'em: four!) units rolled 1's or 2's and fled the field in despair at the fall of their hero.  This put the Hun army at 1 less than its break point and a general advance on the next turn took them over it.

The world was saved for another week at least!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

A New Host Gathers

This post is largely a repeat of today's post on my Battle Game of the Month blog. For those who don't follow that blog, I recently took delivery of a big box full of veteran ancient and medieval Elastolin 4cm figures. Enough figures that I can pursue a Gathering of Hosts fantasy campaign using them. Today I played a test game.
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Somewhere in Gaul a detachment of Roman frontier infantry found themselves rousted from their nice warm quarters and marched off to a bridge which stood in between the walled city of Nulpartium and a Gathering Horde of Barbarians.
A Horde of Huns approaches at a mad gallop. Elastolin 4cm Huns. 
Since I was thinking about rules anyway and Rob and I still haven't had time to discuss more detail on what is wanted for the planned co-hosted fantasy massed battle game tentatively scheduled for Fall In, I opened the box. Recent games crossed with this week's putterings led me to make one big change and some small ones. The big change was to go back to a more Featherstonian play sequence with initiative then A moves, B moves, both shoot and both melee. The small change was largely a matter of adjusting combat details to make them less fussy after the last set of games. The updated minimalist rules summary can be found here. (click)
More Elastolin 4cm figures, Romans this time. Both pictures are a mix of my existing collection and some of the new-to-me veterans. Any multiple bases are temporary. Still stymied by the continuing fuzzies but looks like some of the battle shots may be better.
That's it for today. A brief battle report of the overall best Gathering of Hosts game yet will appear on the Gathering of Hosts blog tomorrow. Then, win or lose, the Huns will move on to the siege of Nulpartium.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Here We Go Gathering in March

A new, simpler, more fun, version of Gathering of Hosts wargame rules (click) has been posted.  The MAgic, heroes etc hasn't been added back in yet, just the basic human stuff.

A mini report of the play test which was a trifling, by the skin of their teeth, English, victory snatched from defeat, might appear on Battle Game of the Month. 
The English by guile......

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Greenest Warriors in Almost 40 Years

Actually, it might be more than 40 years since I painted my one unit of Minifig ME armored goblins with bow and spear. However, I'm finally mature enough again to paint imaginary green guys to go with my imaginary human warriors.
 These are Prince August homecast Orcs
 I suspect that if I work at it, I might be able to coax a tiny bit more facial definition from the mold. When I was painting them  I noticed that one archer seems to be a tiny bit crisper about the face than his clone mates.

I thought these were bound for the Northern Federation but it's perhaps more likely that they were recruited by the Great King.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Revisiting Rules Requirements

Last week Rob and I finally managed to coordinate a chat about our fantasy massed battle project aimed at a convention game later this year (if all goes well). We appear to be in sync about the goal and about not being particularly happy about how the current rules draft fits the aim.

 
Dragon's Eye view of a test setup. The Midlish infantry hold a gap against a much larger Turanian army. 

The basic requirements are that:
- each 60mm wide base  is a "unit" and that there must be no firm connection between the number of figures and what it is,
- it has to also accomodate individual characters (heroes, magicians etc) in addition to characters which are part of a base,
- it has to be quick to learn (as in minutes) and quick to play esp in a multi-player convention setting,
- record keeping and tracking things like whether or not a unit moved has to be minimal due to the convention setting,
- as far as possible mechanisms should be ones that were in use by wargamers by the 1970's.


While I was pondering old school techniques and trying not to copy newer rule systems it occurred to me that I have to think more about fantasy novel battle descriptions from books available during the 70's and less about historical research. Oh! Not one of my strong points really, some refresher reading needed probably, and of course it would be best to pick just one reference but that's not an option either.  I need to be more universal in approach.

We started off with a Morchauser base because of the stand=unit concept but I am now leaning heavily towards Featherstonian saving throws and some sort of combat result beyond  "dead or not dead", possibly a push back or morale throw for a group of units. I also want to tame missile fire a bit though saving throws might help there.  I'd also like to incorporate Featherstone's roll for 1st move system but I've come to realize that that really benefits from mutual shooting and melee phases.

Then there is the whole monsters and magic aspect and trying to keep the agreed upon bits of that. Work, work, work...........
And here comes the cavalry!

So no battle report or decisions, just having fun trying to sort an ongoing muddle.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year, Old Figures, Rejuvenated Plan

Its a good thing I played that little game last week. There was a lot right, or going in what I thought was the right direction, and yet, there was also something wrong. The obvious course of action was to rush ahead, change everything and see how that felt but I put the brakes on.

I had been so sure that I was on the right course last year that the matter needed thought. So, I fiddled for a few days with minor rules bits and how they affected the feel of the game and of the armies, and I looked at the miniatures and pondered their stories, both real and fictional. After playing with rules for a bit I realized that I had come back to a place where to get the battle to feel right I needed to start grouping stands into temporary multi-unit formations which in turn meant more miniatures per army. I was also seeing that I needed more troop definitions and group morale rules and ....well, from there it was all off course. (Heading sort of DBM vs original HOTT if you will) This is the third time this decade I have started out to do a campaign involving a number very small medieval/ancient/fantasy armies and twice, almost thrice, have ended up working towards two largish armies designed for pitched battles and then wandered off to do something different.

Having a bunch of small forces for small games is not a new idea but despite various forays, for me it is an as yet unrealized goal and largely an unknown country that I have been slowly exploring. It is also something that seems to grow in appeal with each toe dipped.

 All of which is a long winded way of saying I'm back on track, 5 "kingdoms", small armies of no more than 24 stands/elements with rules designed for quick games averaging 12-18 units and several characters whose roles in the game will grow as I find my feet. Should I feel the need for bigger battles taking up more time and space then I can always field alliances. Since part of the fun will be discovering the backstory, part of the plan for this blog is to add a page for each kingdom looking at its background as well as its army. So a bit of painting, a bit of writing and at least 12 games over the year.

It also means another couple of hundred surplus painted 25's who don't fit into the desired setting to my satisfaction will be discharged and hopefully sold even as I paint new units.