IMPETVS!! Friday, Nov 27 2009 

It’s here!

Came in the mail last night, with Extra Impetus 1 and 2 and my first copy of Dadi e Piombo.

The rules do look very good, a clear step up from Basic Impetus. The background and army lists in the expansions look great. The lists alone are a huge improvement on Basic Impetus.

Production values are good, especially in the magazine. Beautiful pictures of great looking figures and games.

More later.


Doctor Faust’s Painting Tips Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

Great list of painting tips here at Doctor Faust’s Painting Clinic.

I particularly like this one:

I have a good method for pinning.  Hold the joint together as you wish it to stay.  Then, using a fine marker, draw four lines (evenly spaced) across the joint.  Then, on each piece, connect the four marks and drill where “X” marks the spot.  Works every time.  You really can’t screw this one up.

– Brad Grinstead

I also like the approach of just gluing the parts together, then drilling through to pin.

– Dan

Wargaming with kids Tuesday, Nov 24 2009 

I feel like I should feel guilty about this:

My son with wargames miniatures.

Knights and dragons. It doesn't get much better!

But I rather like the fact that Max is fascinated by my Warmaster figs.

His older sister is even more interested, especially in painting. Long may it last… once she develops her skills a bit more!

Primer on painting Monday, Nov 23 2009 

There’s a good primer on painting (that’s a painting joke… not a good one) that you can find over at Painting101.

While you are at it, check out this fun battle report.

Timely, given that Franaine and I plan to play a Roman action with Basic Impetus next. (Or full IMPETVS if the mailman is quick about it.)

– Dan

Basic Impetus game 4 Sunday, Nov 22 2009 

We played game four of the Chaos incursion last night. Franaine took the Empire and I took the Chaos. Again, the Chaos were the Vikings from the BI lists and the Empire were Frederick II Swabians.

We rolled for attacker, which Franaine won with his +3 for cavalry (and way better rolling… which held most of the game for initiative as well… but not for his attacks).

How I wish I had painted those bases now

I set up four hills in a line. He removed one and I set up all my force on them.  I couldn’t quite fit them in, so the skirmishers and berserkers were on the flat ground on the centre left. Franaine then set up with crossbows on his right, followed by his militia (Warmaster halberdiers). The knights were all on his left.

The Empire advanced at the speed of the infantry, while I formed shield wall and my skirmisher and berserker began to sidestep across the front of my lines. I was hoping to get them into action against infantry, but they just couldn’t move fast enough.

Franaine eventually got his archers into range, but couldn’t hit a thing. He gamely charged two knights at the centre of my line, but fell short both times, leaving disordered knights a few centimeters from my line.

This let my skirmishers fire away and my berserkers charge the knights, rather uselessly. I also tried to charge a knight from the left-most hill, but didn’t roll high enough. This left the two damaged knight units looking at four heavy infantry in shield wall, who stood ready to repulse an attack. Franaine’s third knight unit thundered up the hill on the right, but the combat locked with no winner.

Miniatures game, showing cavalry and Vikings.

Only the heavy cav were left on the field.

At this point I decided to advance my left wing, who proceded to butcher the crossbow and halberds in front of them over the next three turns.  This destroyed the Empire left, breaking the army.

Next up, Franaine and I are going to do a 28 mm Roman vs Barbarian match up. So I’ll be madly cutting bases this week.

Warhammer Fantasy first games Friday, Nov 20 2009 

The first game that Franaine and I played was Bretonnians vs Chaos Undivided. I was a little leery of making a fool of myself, since I hadn’t played much. F had been playing since the 80s.

Well, it was a massacre. He had masses of infantry from 20-some years of collecting. They looked great, but they broke, fled and died every time a Bretonnian lance hit them.  He was left planning “Roman checkerboard” formations for future games. Meanwhile, I left thinking how desperately I had to clean up the bases of my figs. They all looked different and some were awful. Especially the sand painted Goblin Green ones!

Well, we never did have a refight and I still haven’t fixed those bases.

Instead, we got stuck into a pile of games, starting with ‘the Revenge of Franaine’.

Game number two was an even worse massacre. Franaine brought his Dwarves, with guns, guns, guns. I think one of my knights (not units!) got into contact with a gun crew.  Those that didn’t die on the charge, broke and fled. And then rallied so they could go back and die on the second attempt.

My peasant bowmen managed to inflict a handful of casualties. Ironic, because Franaine decided that the backstory to the game was that the Dwarves, honourable beings that they are, had decided the sorry treatment of Bretonnia’s peasants was cause for the war.

He has a very cinematic view of wargaming and the backstories are very important to him. As are good paint jobs and scenery. And, of course, a rules system like Warhammer often delivers big swings in fortune, with lots of surprises and oddities.

I have to say, I agree with him.

Cheap terrain for cow towns Friday, Nov 20 2009 

Scene for an Old West skirmish wargame.

It's quiet -- too quiet -- as the stage coach heads into town.

This picture shows what can be done to make very serviceable terrain, very cheaply.

Franaine set up this table for a “Legends of the Old West” game. The buildings are just corrugated cardboard boxes, painted with some doors and windows cut into them. The box flaps fold to make a roof and you can open them easily to put figs inside.

Leave one flap standing up on the front for the facade that so many frontier buildings had.

Legends of the Old West Thursday, Nov 19 2009 

Cowboy wargame "Legends of the Old West"


I’m not a big fan of GW’s Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game*, which is a little odd. Because I do like Legends of the Old West, which is reportedly based on LOTR.

Legends of the Old West is great for skirmish games. Neat mechanics, nothing fancy but it works. But the system really shines once you add the campaign system on. It lets to take a gang of cowboys, outlaws, or law abiding citizens through linked scenarios, buying equipment and adding/losing gang members as you go.

And it just works great.

We’ve had a ton of fun with it.

* And what’s with calling LOTR a “Strategy Battle Game”?

WAB Romans vs Picts Wednesday, Nov 18 2009 

I’ve posted a set of pictures from a 2000 pt Warhammer Ancients Battle, featuring 28 mm Romans being overrun by filthy bad guys (and girls).  Looks great as a slideshow and there are comments describing what is going on in the picture descriptions.

Here’s the link:

Isn’t that link just beautiful?

Franaine’s collection is incredible and he actually paints! Not just paints well, but paints often!  (I have to figure out how to sneak some of my figs into his production line.)

– Dan

Basic Impetus Game Three: The Battle of Gapwood Farm Tuesday, Nov 17 2009 

In this, the battle of Gapwood Farm, half of the Vikings (Chaos Warmaster figs on Impetus-sized sabots) were drawn up in shieldwall on a hill next to a farm between two woods. The other half were in a relief column deployed on a corner of the board and would have to wait a few turns before marching to the rescue.

The Imperials advanced with their knights in the centre, screened by skirmishers, and flanked by halberds and crossbow.This time the skirmish screens played little role, inflicting no hits at all.

The first knight thundered in from the Imperial left, charging through their own skirmishers (a neat rule), and crashed into a unit of bondi (marauders). A long battle then ensued with the knights pushing back the bondi, then pursuing into the unit of bondi beside. Because the knights came in at an angle, the marauders didn’t have a unit in support during the combat, even though they were side by side. Because of successive retreat rolls, the bondi would fight, then retreat, then the knights would contact the second unit. They fought the second unit, it retreated and they advanced into the first unit again. And so it went until, at the end, the depleted knights had destroyed one unit and left the other with just a single VBU.

At this point, the Odalsbondi at the Chaos left wheeled forward, hoping to take the next unit of Empire knights in the flank as they charged up the hill. The Empire’s knights (with General) duly thundered up the hill, smashing the Viking skirmishers but rolling a two for pursuit, which left them standing right in front of two fresh units — berserkers to the front and the Odalsbondi that had just wheeled up.

The third knight moved up behind the others and the rest of the Imperials advanced along the line. The Chaos relief force finally began moving on turn four, so marched on the Imperial left.

The Chaos Gods smiled up on their minions, giving them the initiative. The Odalsbondi charged the knights, defeating them but unable to pursue enough to stay in contact. They shortly found themselves charged by halberds and pushed slowly back up the hill. The last remaining bondi turned to face the last of the knights, who wheeled ponderously toward them atop the hill, while the other knights rallied.

At this point, things were looking very precarious for the forces of Chaos. The Gods favoured them with another initiative victory, though, allowing the remaining Marauder (bondi) to move out of the knights charge arc (though becoming disordered). The tense standoff continued another turn, as the reinforcements marched ever nearer.

Then the knights and halberds thundered in to finish off all of the Vikings on the hill in a series of close battles, carving themselves a crushingly convincing victory.

The aftermath

This was the first game where I realized that impetus zero units cannot charge — so skirmishers facing each other just throw verbal taunts until something heavier wipes them out. This is not to say that skirmishers are any less useful, but it does change the way you need to use them a bit.

The shieldwalls didn’t hold as well as in the first couple of games, even defending a hill. Just luck of the draw this time, I suppose.

I really enjoy how ponderous movement is. Several times units that would have gotten in easy flank charges in Warmaster were left fighting frontally instead. However, the slow movement means that any relief forces have to show up quickly (or need some other special rule) if they are ever to get into combat.

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