In Cardiff, we have Firestorm Games as the centre of mortal combat. The hall of the slain has been replaced by a wonderful burger bar and our hall is a former motorcycle showroom by the famous Cardiff City ground. Our Dice Stud heroes meet regularly in Freya’s honour on a Friday and tonight was a wonderful display of Dark Age miniature toy warfare.
The SAGA battle board is an absolute delight. My recommendation is to always have “Loki” covered. If your opponent wants to use an ability or burn a fatigue then the Vikings gain two attack dice each time! “Frigg” and “Heimdall gain you three and five attack dice respectively. The result of beserkers with such a combination is truly awesome!
Asgard allows you to remove a fatigue and charge as fresh as a daisy. I’m not quite sure that this is an appropriate description for a charging Viking host but you get the picture!
A great night and a great board. You must try Vikings ; they are truly awesome!
Thoughts and comments are needed urgently! The first proposition is to organise Virtus as a one day but three game 28mm L’art de la Guerre competition. Firestorm Games can accommodate us on the 18th December. We would need to decide on the era( s).
Andrew Whitby has already commented;
“there are several competitions in November, , at least two, Brixham and Warfare, both of which will attract a lot of the competition circuit players. Three games needs a very strict and tight timetable. As to a theme, how about the green section of the rules, covers arabs, Byzantine, hairy german armies , Vikings and some of the eastern ones which should allow a reasonable spread of armies. Brixham is pre knight, warfare is knights!
With regards to Godendag, the date offered is the 22nd and 23rd January. We are proposing 15mm doubles L’art de la Guerre. Kevin Johnson commented that 300 points would get more than enough troops on the table. We could maybe run to 325 points if we go Medieval.
– I know of one definite and one possible competition both in early February. The Plymouth club have yet to make a decision, Del says there is a meeting “soon” to decide. If it runs, and we can attract enough players, it is likely to be the first weekend of February. The second weekend of February is Beachead in Bournemouth which I suspect will attract most of the London based players, maybe to the detriment of PAW which really means early Jan for Godendag.
Theme for PAW if it runs is pre alexander, no pike, no elephants, no far eastern armies, not seen a period for Beachead)
I’ve just got in touch with the other system leaders and would really like to get moving on forming up arrangements by the early part of next week.
I’ve always spent far too much time on You-tube and Twitter- face. Anti- social media has robbed me of so many hours. It started with music , transitioned through YouTube talks and most recently has arrived at what I call the hobby personality blogs.
Atom Smasher and Tabletop Minions will always have a special place in my heart. He will sometimes venture into the historical area but his wider hobby vision is far reaching. One of the most endearing aspects is that you actually get to see his face and not just the widely gesticulating hands of other gaming sites.
Atom has expanded to different media but it’s his Saturday morning show that has broken new ground I think. It’s only usually Atom talking to camera for sometimes a few hours but he has mastered the genre.
Tony Aguilar’s De Bellis Antiquitatis site has been required viewing for years but I’ve got to really like his drop in painting sessions. Tony sits painting and responds to viewers’ comments. The format has so much potential and engenders a real sense that you know the host.
I think Eons is great. Now edging to twenty five episodes, it is such an upbeat tonic to other more self important sites. The team are so prolific and it is this that I hope to emulate. I don’t think the world is ready to see me talk to camera but the intention is to post here on the blog on a daily basis and start to film weekend and tournament games.
So until tomorrow! Keep scaling the lead pile and fighting the Grey (plastic)!
According to the original conception, the family is neither a naturalistic nor a sentimental unity, but an essentially heroic unity. It is known that the ancient denomination of pater derives from a term which designated the leader, the king. The unity of the family already for this reason appeared therefore as that of a group of beings joined in virile manner around a lord, who to their eyes appeared invested with a brute power, but also with a majestic dignity, such as to arouse veneration and fidelity.
My pater was out in the car park. Our bearer of the sacred family flame had eaten too much and was intent on upsetting those diners in window seats. It had been one of those family occasions that everyone would rather forget. Whilst most grandmothers might show some interest in their grandchildren, my own dear mater needed to recount her misadventures with the Sky remote for what seemed an hour. She may have been given a new television for free but that doesn’t mean she can be grateful.
I wonder how many gamers become gamers because their families are, well, how do I put it, a bit of a let down? When the head of the household can’t move off the sofa , you may well think that an alternate universe is preferable! The wonderful thing about such a role model is that the “other world” has to be better than the real. As my father finished his visit to the vomitarium it was time to leave. with the bill paid by yours truly, another birthday was over.
God I’m glad I have a hobby! The younger generation may call it their “ safe space” but, it’s more than that. You may see wargamers as emotionally stunted but if tonight’s festivities are what can be expected when families meet, I think I’ll stay in my own heroic unity thank you very much!
Please feel free to attach your own happy family memories that led you to being a hobby nut below!
Turning and turning in the widening gyre The falcon cannot hear the falconer; Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world, The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned; The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.
W. B. Yeats
Twenty years separate the two images but one could be forgiven for thinking that nothing had changed in the intervening time. Whilst the West has torn itself apart with what pronoun/ toilet to use, those who know exactly which gender they are, divide up their “spoils.” Whilst the West has tortured itself over its History, those with worse records divide up the map. Those who have no children, or backbone, are told by children, that their cars must go and their boilers must be replaced.
What a mad week! Twenty years of nation building and the President decides that it wasn’t that vital anyhow and we can run off. Poor old Britain decided that they really should leave but we must get the pets home before our local supporters! And France is arguing if it’s military need to work more than eleven hours a day! I wish I hadn’t turned the television on….
I love being in the hills. It was hard work this year but sometimes you need a break. The castles on the Beacons way are still as intriguing as ever, the lakes as mysterious but the hills are definately harder work…
Little did I realise what was happening in the World where modern day hill dwellers were about to put the clock back in Central Asia.
Whilst the news is bad for female students and those who believe the promises of politicians, we here in Cardiff are blessed with the Grand Opening of Firestorm Games.
Join me tomorrow for in depth analysis of my first defeat! Keep reading for the ambitious plans of Cardiff Dice Studz! What ( else) could possibly go wrong?
The best day out for any Dice Stud must surely be the visit to a friendly competition in a great venue. Like Vikings of old, we descended on the Lindisfarne of a MacDonalds. We were “ a Viking’ and it felt good……
B.I.G. is shortly to be moving so we did intend in setting fire to the car in true Viking style but the car was Steve’s mum and wasn’t insured. Richard Keenan, puts on these Ironman events quite regularly to spread the SAGA faith and advertise the wonderful Gripping Beast mini ranges.
What’s a middle aged man to do on a Sunday? Mow the lawn? Woodwork? Football on the Telly? For the Dice Studz, the answer can only be wargaming. The focus of our efforts was of course Thornbury Leisure Centre “ the cradle of dreams!”……..
And then the climax of the day! Rome against Bedouin! Steel versus horse flesh. Or rather the gentlemen against the wargames ogre of the Western marshes.
Well …. my first face to face L’art de la Guerre 28mm competition gaming in over 18 months, courtesy of Keith McGlynn*, was enjoyed on Sunday at the Thornbury IPMS show.
We managed three games of one hundred points LadG, to the new v.4 rules & lists with 28mm armies. There was a good range of armies:
2 x later HYW English; a Samurai; Thracian; Ancient German; Mongol; Scythian, Bedouin Dynasties, Beja, Classical Indian; Ancient Brit; Late Roman and I am sure I have forgotten a few others.
I took my Nikephorian Byzantines – consisting of:
1 x Competent General
4 x Tagmatic HC – lance & 1/2bow (the new v.4 designation)
1 x Pechenga LC bow
1 x Competent General
3 x Skoutatoi – HF mixed spear & bow
1 x Menaulatoi – MF swordsmen with polearm (a new addition to the lists & a new weapon category)
1 x Psiloi LI javelins
1 x LI fire-syphon (a new addition to the lists & a new weapon category)
and a standard unfortified camp (with an army BP:11)
My ‘theory’ had been to ensure that every unit could shoot and aside from the Menaulatoi (which I might have been better replacing with Peltastoi – Javelinmen – with hindsight) everything had a missile weapon of some sort.
Game 1) verses Beja (bloody impetuous camels!) …. this was a disaster of a game. My opponent won the initiative and chose to attack me (in the Plains) – his army is a mix of elite MC, LC impact, impetuous camels and then a host of MF swordsmen & LF javelins or bows.
If I could have got my HC opposite his foot & my foot opposite his mounted troops I might have stood a chance, but it was not to be.
On the restricted 100ap playing area, there is nowhere to run or manoeuvre and my mounted division was ridden over by the camels and elite MC/LC impact combo rather quickly. I also lost a general in melee (I don’t normally put generals into combat!!!) which sealed my fate. My infantry scored some good shooting hits but the enemy MF swordsmen kept out of combat. So I lost in 3 game-turns – a credible 7-11. The 4 impetuous camels are the business against other mounted troops, and the 2 additional MC elite gave him overlaps and are adequate in melee if required to fight frontally.
Game 2) verses a Bedouin Dynasties (commanded by Keith). I’d look at this army myself – as the combo of good quality HC impact elite, plus 3 LC impact and a MF infantry block consisting of a mix of Daylami elite MF impact swordsmen and Sudanese MF mixed spear bow gives you some flexibility and good quality fighting troops.
Again, I lost the initiative and was attacked in the Plains (NB: it appears that in the 100ap game winning the initiative is critical, as is opting to attack – as with only 2 commands and a lack of space to maneuver and limited time to redeploy, you need to be facing the right troops against the right opponents from the outset). Keith deployed his cavalry wing against my cavalry and his infantry v my infantry (the smart way to do things). I deployed back on my base line (to buy me some time) and to use the terrain in an attempt to funnel his cavalry to reduce the risks to my flanks from his 3 LC impact.
I initially had the advantage in the missile exchange with the infantry, but once the Bedouin infantry got stuck in things went pear-shaped quickly. The Menaulatoi went down & routed on impact (a 1-6 dice roll didnt help) to a charge from the Daylami with an engaged general, which then caught my LF fire-syphons in the rear as they attempted, unsuccessfully to evade (a schoolboy error). The Sudanese & Skoutatoi exchanged shooting and casualties pretty much equally. In the cavalry melee, my Pechenga LC had disintegrated on impact by a unit of Bedouin LC and in the protracted melee, despite my numbers & armour, and a good impact result against another of those pesky LC impact; in the end Keith’s dice and his elite status prevailed and I broke.
I think the result was 8 (or maybe 9) – 11.
Game 3) Ancient German – this is an interesting army in that it was fielded as a the MF impetuous option with a Strategist commander. My opponent, who’d been reasonably successful in his previous games had opted for a command of all MF and a command of all MC elite, with a fortified camp. This time I won the initiative and the German defended in Forest. Woods are not great for me, as most of my troops get penalised for shooting in or out of them. However, the terrain ‘gods’ were kind to me and most of the terrain fell on the flanks with only a Gully in the centre. I had the edge on deployment and so deployed my mounted wing against the MF and my Foot against the German cavalry (perfect). My opponent has placed an Ambush in the gully and so I sent the Pechenga to investigate. There were a couple of German MF lurking in it, which promptly charged out to try & catch the Pechenga (who evaded successfully). This left those MF exposed to a charge, in the open, by my Tagmatic HC – which dealt with them in short order (HC impact, with overlaps catching MF swordsmen in the open, is a receipt for disaster for the MF). However, the disaster was compounded as the German commander had brought up the rest of the MF division right behind the ambushing units, which spread havoc by routing back through their ranks. There then occurred a stalemate, as the MF division would not leave the Gully and the Tagmatic HC would not charge into it, but the Tagmatic HC had the advantage of being able to rain arrows down on the MF. However, with a Strategist general in command, there were plenty of German PIPs to attempt to rally these off.
On the other flank, the German MC played cat & mouse trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid the Scutatoi archery and the Byzantine LF had a disastrous encounter with some German LF javelins in a wood. In the end, the Pechenga managed to get into the enemy’s rear &catch a unit of German LF in the rear destroying them, and the luck of the German general ran out on dicing-off the archery casualties.
So a victory 14-4 (my only losses were my 2 LF). I think my opponent should probably have taken the risk to try and come out of the gully, as he had an overlap. Or maybe risked throwing his MC elite into my HF Scoutatoi, which would have fought as Mediocre in the melee. But both were not the best options.
So lots of good learnings … I suspect my good final victory might have placed me about mid-table in the rankings.
I like the Nikephorians – they have flexibility and the missiles can give you an advantage (sometimes). The new list have pulled their teeth slightly – the new 1/2 bow category (which is a realistic interpretation) is not so good as the v.3 list, but it makes the army more affordable.
I think I could do with maybe another LC to aid my scouting points and I will also replace the Menaulatoi next time (maybe with some Armenian MF spearmen), as they ended up not really doing what I had intended them to to do, which was to protect my flanks in terrain. I am also not sure about the LF fire-syphon – it is a gimmick and as it has to get within 1UD to shoot it is not very effective. But I had an extra 1point to use up.
I like the 100ap format – it gives a really fast and usually decisive game. It also allows some armies that wont work at 200ap to be used.
Looking at the way that other players were playing, Berkeley tends to play with distinctive commands (generally all Foot or all Cavalry) – Clevedon does similar. Some of the other players (Birmingham & SLWG) play with mixed commands – but I am not sure how that worked in the rankings.
Thanks for Keith for putting it on. It was a good reintroduction to table-top gaming.
It would be good to see the list of armies and the scores. ( next post ; Editor)