Really Big Warhammer Fantasy Battle Saturday, Aug 28 2010 

WFB 8th edition, Good vs Evil, nearly 15,000 points!  Given 25 years of collecting, you too can achieve this!

Click on the picture to go to a slideshow on Picasa, which I swear I will never use again as it has got to be the most unintuitive, clunky way of handling pictures ever devised by evil imps bent on the destruction of human mental health.  Just when you think Google is poised to run everything, they prove that they too can SUCK at something!

Warhammer 8th edition: 15,000 points

And it seems equally clear that I need to figure out how to turn off’s automatically generated, possibly related posts, which are faff.

Lovely Vintage ECW Battle Report Saturday, Jul 31 2010 

This is a lovely account of a table top English Civil War battle from 1977, on Vintage Wargames.

Off to do a Basic Baroque game tonight, armed with two bottles of Sea Dog.

Happy Gaming,


Why I like Impetus Tuesday, Jul 20 2010 

One of the reasons is the amazing level of support on the impetus and yahoo forums that you get from Lorenzo (the game’s designer) and others.

This message was posted on the Yahoo group recently:

Just like to say a big ‘Thank you’ Lorenzo, from all at our group who appreciate the time and effort you put into answering the questions on this forum – and answering so quickly! It must be particularly taxing for you when answering questions that would be easily answered with a closer read of the rules by the questioner. We,ve also noticed (and discussed at club) that you never put the questioner down. Not sure if my patience would be that good!

Your enthusiasm remains an inspiration. Hope we get the chance to meet you at Derby.

Please keep up the good work.

I have to say, I wholeheartedly agree!

– Dan

Warmaster rebased for Basic Impetus Fantasticus Friday, May 28 2010 

Been a week — put my back out then got a miserable cold or flu. I’ve gotten nothing done in a week, but maybe I can manage to post a picture.

10 mm figures for Impetus and Warmaster

Warmaster and Impetus Fantasticus miniatures on my workbench.

This picture shows Warmaster and Battle of Five Armies units. In the front are 3 Warmaster Troll Slayers, based for Impetus. I’ve left them on the Warmaster stands, but glued them to a sabot. The sabot is 80mm x 40 mm, plastic sheet from a modelling store. I think it is 1.8 mm thick — thick enough not to be floppy, but thin enough to cut with a paper guillotine. I’ve just used Crazy glue to attach, since I can easily pop the stands off if/when I go back to Warmaster. Each sabot holds four Warmaster stands.

Note that I’ve based my Trollslayers with a single strip per stand for Warmaster. I used to think it was blasphemous, but played against some guys who based their missile troops with just a single line per stand. It actually looks way better! And your dollar goes twice as far, an important consideration when dealing with the filthy moneygrubbers behind Games Workshop. Missile troops, special troops and light infantry look good this way. Heavy infantry and mobs look better with two strips (12 figs) per stand in Warmaster.

Behind the Troll Slayers are BoFA goblins and Warg Riders, as well as a unit of Wolf Riders from Warmaster. All are still based for BoFa and Warmaster.

Happy Gaming,


Ambush Alley: Contractor Trouble Monday, May 24 2010 

In the end, we didn’t try Force on Force as Franaine didn’t have enough terrain. So we tried the introductory scenario for Ambush Alley, Contractor Trouble.

As always, Franaine put together an incredible table. And, as always, my camera skills just don’t do it justice:

Wargames table set up for Ambush Alley

Somewhere in Mogadishu, I think.

The scenario starts with two wounded contractors (of the Halliburton or Blackwater variety, not Mike Holmes) hunkered down next to their broken-down pickup. Hard to see them in the photo, but you can see the pick up.  Two fireteams of Marines are sent to extricate them and tons of local militia think otherwise.

Ambush Alley is a neat game, I have to say. Very fluid, lots of shooting, quite cinematic. My PDF of Force on Force is 155 pages, somehow. But the game is pretty straightforward once you get into it.

One of the neat concepts is ‘Out of Contact Movement’, which lets unseen groups of bad guys move anywhere on the table until they are in line of sight of the good guys.

Here we have Somalis sneaking up behind the Marines:

picture of wargames scenario

We'll show you who owns Mogadishu!

How’d the game go?  Well, frustrating for me. Combined with a lack of sleep, the frustration made Dan a less than ideal opponent. “Bitchy” might be a good word. My troops were soon surrounded and seemed unable to cause many casualties, while Franaine’s Somalis kept pouring onto the table. So much so that we ran out of Somalis to bring on.

It was only in reviewing the rules that I discovered the problem: I wasn’t returning fire in reaction to attacks by the Somali irregulars — little wonder I was being so thoroughly outgunned!  I’d started off doing it right, but then we somehow lost track.

Nice to know the problem was me, not the game.  I’m now quite looking forward to trying it again.

This week’s beer was another Phillips product — Springbok. Lighter than the Double Barrel and not so much to my taste. Not bad, but not my new fave either.

Warhammer Ancients: Picts vs Saxons Sunday, Feb 14 2010 

Had a great game last night.. but forgot my camera, dammit.

I took the Picts, just because they had a chariot. I hate chariots in the various Warhammer rules sets.  They are just too mobile and powerful and enduring. Can’t see why anyone stopped using them in the real world if they were so effective.  Anyway, I decided I’d rather not face any.

The matchup was interesting: two highly mobile, light infantry armies.  A bit to our surprise, it turned into a meat grinder.


I won the initiative and move both my wings forward, leaving my centre screened by skirmishing bows. They drew first blood but didn’t manage much else. They did, however, force me to keep a unit in reserve behind them.  Having a reserve is coming in very helpful now that I am forcing myself to do it.

Franaine’s Saxons had a good deal more skirmishers and most also had the Saxon buckler rule: any ones in your to hit roll can be rerolled. Cool rule.

Franaine moved his javelin armed troops up close, prompting me to charge in the second turn. On my right, the Picts routed the skirmishers to their front, overran them and carried on into a second unit of skirmishers. They’d die quickly on turn three, leaving Franaine wondering about how short a game it was going to be.  Particularly since my warhounds on the left and nobles in the centre charged his skirmishing bows in the Saxon centre, making  short work of them and then slamming into the Saxon’s behind.

I made two critical mistakes at this point.  First, I forgot how stupidly easy it is to get flank charges in when playing Warhammer. I wheeled my nobles slightly before they charged, making sure they only contacted one Pictish unit when they blew through the bows. This meant they got flank charged in Franaine’s turn. Second, I threw the hounds into the battle.

Predictably, I came off worst in the ensuing melee.  I failed the resulting morale check, but passed admirably on a reroll allowed by the battle standard. On my right, the victorious unit reformed to face the Saxon centre. On my left, Franaine’s warriors charge my unit. Again, I lost the combat, lost the morale check, but passed the reroll.

In my next turn, I had my bows fall back and my chariot-borne general take up a position between my reserve unit and my unit on the right. Again, my nobles lost the combat, failed their morale check and then passed the reroll. But Franaine took out the hounds and began lapping around the nobles. In the combat on the left, I managed to squeak a tie.  In his turn, my nobles again lost, failed the leadership test, but passed the reroll. And the unit on my left lost, failed the morale check, and passed the reroll.

However, a time of reckoning was at hand!  I had the general and two fresh units to charge into the melees. The two units could charge the Saxons who had flanked my nobles hitting them in the rear. And my general could charge the flank of the unit that was fighting on my left. Even though it was dumb to do so. But it seemed so suitably Dark Age. So, I charge the general in, then charged my unit from the right wing… and that blocked the last unit from being able to charge. Why oh why did I have to throw the general in?

At this point, I was still quite hopeful for a crushing victory. Just to be safe though, I did the combat with the general first. I didn’t want to lose the other combat and have the Saxons pursue into the general. My general, I have to say, had great STATS. Four attacks, skookum WS, four hits… no wounds.  Damnit!  I should have been able to turn the tide of that melee! Instead, we tied.

In the big combat in the centre, I rolled for the awe inspiring rear charge. I think I managed to kill one guy. Things were starting to get a little fuzzy.* When the dust settled, Frainaine won the combat. My nobles tested, failed, but passed on the reroll. My fresh unit that charged the Saxon rear tested and failed, then rerolled and failed. And broke.  AAAAAAARRRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!


All of a sudden things weren’t working right.

In the next round, my General put on an other prodigious display of hit generation, followed by no wounds. By this time, we were both giggling like little girls. To top it all off, Franaine remembered to have his general challenge the hero with the nobles. Over two rounds, the flower of Pictish chivalry was cut down. The rest of the Pictish nobility died around him… stubbornly refusing to break.

The victorious Saxon general charged over the bodies of the noble Pictish nobles and charged the flank of my General. My guy died like a man, quickly and quietly.

The other Saxon unit from the centre reformed to face my reserve, while my broken unit rallied and reformed.  I charged his front and flank and he broke quite satisfyingly at the bottom of the sixth.

The battle came to a very fitting end, a drunken draw with me having four big units left but no general. He had a victorious general, but only two unrouted units (both tougher than mine). The exhausted participants yelled insults at each other, but didn’t have any more fight in them.

All in all, a good game that looked like it was going to be a massacre at the beginning. My initial dispositions were good and it showed in the early stages. But then I made mistake after mistake. If it hadn’t been for my nobles proving unbreakable, I’d have lost for sure.

Happy Gaming!

*We often like to have a drink with our game, though never enough to get drunk — we’ve both got young kids. Last night, though we had a whiskey each while we thawed out the beer that I’d forgotten about in the freezer. We opened the oversized bottle of “Old Cellar Dweller” barleywine style ale and poured ourselves a couple glasses. Then two more. Then we realized that the beer tasted so strong because of the 12% alcohol. Oh lordy.  We wrapped up the game at 11:30, but I had to walk the drink off to be cold sober before getting behind the wheel. It was 1:30 when I got to bed.

Wars of the Roses Saturday, Jan 9 2010 

Last week’s game got me interested in the Wars of the Roses, a period I’ve never known much about.

Warhammergrimace has done a great post listing a bunch of references to get you started.  I’m currently reading J. R. Landner’s “The Wars of the Roses”, which is described on the page.

He also has a post on painting winter schemes on minis, which reminded me what a great site Brushthralls is.

– Dan

Wargaming with kids Tuesday, Jan 5 2010 

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!

Basic Impetus, great game Saturday, Jan 2 2010 

I’ve gotten a bit of gaming in this holiday season. The best by far was a matchup of Tudor lists from the late Wars of the Roses period.  Man, what a great game!

We played using the free Basic Impetus ruleset. I’ve bought Impetvs, but Franaine and I are bears of very little brain and haven’t gotten around to tackling them. (Though they do look great.) In addition, they have super pictures of mostly 28 mm Black Tree Design miniatures. This got Franaine champing at the bit for more figs… and he discovered BTD is having a 50% off sale.

Being somewhat more restrained than him, I resisted the urge.

But that last game was SO good, that I immediately rushed home to fill out the ranks of my Bretonnians with some historical minis…. 152 dollars worth! Mostly crossbow, dismounted knights and spearmen.  Still debating a few bases worth of pike, though time is running out for the sale price.

I’ll get some pics and write up a battle report shortly. No, seriously.

– Dan

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.

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