Sunday, 26 January 2014

Progress—I have made some

So, despite being absolutely, horrendously, violently—and I do mean violently—sick during the middle of the week, I have managed to get a bit more painting done on my Spartans. I even have pictures.

Terribly shadowed phone camera pictures.

But, pictures, right? :P

So, there's now 4 battlegroups needing flesh highlights, and 3 needing basing. That same battlegroup of Perioikoi still needs varnishing. The Thracians and the Spartan Cav are now the only unpainted battlegroups. With three weeks left until battlecry, I think I might just be able to get some terrain painted as well, which will be a big bonus for all involved.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Lakadaemonia Suffers—Oracles Blamed

Yeah, not a great showing at gaming today. Not at all. When the terrain is in your favour, you have good deployment, and (fairly) good tactics, you should have at least an even chance of winning.

In an ideal world, that's true.

Today, however, I was plagued by terrible rolling in both games, while my opponents (Rob & Mark) rolled ridiculously well. Rob couldn't fail a single test (and was rolling like a demon with the re-rolls), and Mark went on Kingslayer on my commanders. Not fun.

That said, the games were well played, and the clash of battle lines was epic (especially Mark's "I can fit 8 BG's of Armoured Offensive Spear in 600 pts" force).

Now some people say its only bad gamers that blame the dice, but that's simply untrue. There are days, weeks even, when you can't roll a 6 to save your life. And there are also days when you simply can't roll under a 5.

Also, why do I blame the dice?
Two examples. First, I rolled 12 dice against Mark's 14. I get 1 hit (on a 5+). He gets 11 (on 4+).
Same game. I have 11, against Mark's 12. I get 3 hits. Mark gets 8.

And that was the theme for most of the game honestly. Not the best day ever. But, there's more painting to be done, and more gaming eventually (next week we're all going to be on holiday).

I think may sack Delphi and steal all their luck first though…

Friday, 17 January 2014

Bronzed Flesh…

After applying said colour across my whole FoG force (barring Thracians—who will have darker flesh—and cav, who are only undercoated) I think I'm going to wind up dreaming in bronzed flesh tonight. Maybe not a bad thing.

Innuendo aside, it means four more battlegroups are that much closer to being finished, and the day's not even over yet. Next big colour will be VGC Khaki, for bases, followed by a drybrush of VMC Pale Sand.

And even with all the battlegroups I'm making progress on, I've still get to touch the terrain. I think the airbrush will be coming out this evening to rectify that. It'll just be a khaki base, then a mist coat (or maybe a drybrush) of plae sand for highlights. If I can keep the painting streak going, might even be able to get some colour on the trees, pale sand + ghost grey for the conifers, and desert yellow + khaki (or maybe desert tan) for the olive trees.

I haven't built or painted anything Infinity related for a long time now. That's going to be my reward at the halfway point, to build the Iguana TAG I got for Christmas to start my Qapu Khalqi force. But for now, it's all FoG in preparation for Battlecry.

And speaking of said tourney, as long as I don't come dead last (or second-last) I'll consider it a win. Well, it'll probably be a win anyway just for the number of games we'll play and the people we'll meet. And the other, much better painted armies we'll see. Which reminds me—I need a new camera before then.

Late breaking edit: Well, that would have a worked a whole lot better had my airbrush not packed a sad halfway through painting the terrain. I have narrowed it down to either the nozzle ring, or the nozzle itself, despite having given everything a thorough cleaning, one of those two pieces is impeding airflow somehow when fully tightened.

I'll fix it after gaming tomorrow hopefully.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Painting & Tourneys

So, slowly but surely my painting is moving along. I have 1 battlegroup of Perioikoi just shy of completely finished (still need varnishing & basing). The second Perioikoi battlegroup needs a brown ink wash, skin highlights, shield highlights, then varnishing and basing.

The second Spartan battlegroup requires the same, but first I have to paint the spears and speartips, then do any touch-ups necessary.

The two javelinmen battlegroups, along with the Phokian hoplites now need their flesh painted, then the above stages as well.

Thracians need a lot of love. They've only got a basecoat of brown, plus their shields in a more wooden brown.

Cavalry are still only primed black. I plan to simply airbrush them khaki, drybrush/wash the horses for colour, then treat them the same way I treat my foot battlegroups.

All going well, they should be finished in time for the Battlecry 2014 tourney. The deadline for a tourney is always a great way to kick your painting up a gear. This will also be the first battlecry I've attended in a long time, and the first I've ever played FoG in.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Club Day

So, Saturday the 11th was the first club day of the year, with all the regulars showing up, and even Garth making his way down.

Almost everyone else was involved in the huge, and frankly awesome Napoleonics game that took up half the hall. The left myself and Garth to break out our FoG armies and set to it. I was using my Spartans once more. Garth had Later Seleucids.

The first battle went terribly for me, with his large blocks of pike running roughshod over basically everything, and me failing death rolls and cohesion tests left right and center. Except for that one unit of die-hards, obviously led by king Leonidas.

(There would be a nice pictorial battle report like the last post, but my camera has a wee technical issue—it's dead.)

The second game went badly from the off, my battleline practically shattered by turn 3, and I was almost ready to call it at that point—but that's not a proper game, so I stuck with it. It still ended badly for me (I hate Pike), but it was a bloody fight for the Seleucids. Final score was me losing at 9 AP of damage, while having inflicted 6/10 AP of damage on Garth's army.

With the Helots' non-participation in both battles, and again in the previous battle against Will's Romans, I have decided to trade them off for something far more useful. It also cost me 2 Javelinmen bases, but I now have 4 Cavalry bases—okay, so it's only Light Spear (read: crap), but against the right targets, they'll do fine.

They'll do even better when they manage to circle around large, slow, evil blocks of Pike intent on taking my precious Spartans to pieces…

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Sunday Gaming

So, another week over, another Sunday full of toy soldiers smashing each other to bits via complex interactions between dice, tape measures and rulebooks. Today's game of the day was FoG, pitting my "slowly gaining some colour" Spartans against Will's "Look, he finally painted the camp" Romans.

Terrain set up proved to be terrible for me, with two enclosed fields (Rough) and an open field (Uneven) covering most of my deployment area.

This being rather a bad sign for my predominantly Heavy Foot (terrain intensely-disliking) army, I tried to make the best of a bad situation with a somewhat divided deployment.

My camp sat in a handy enclosed field, protected by the ever-present and mostly useless mob of Helots. Javelinmen were then deployed to screen my advance. Will's Velites were deployed to face off against my Javelinmen. The Thracians (Medium foot, and thus lovers of terrain) were placed in the second enclosed field, with my allied Phokian Hoplites placed on their right flank, in clear terrain.

Will matched this by placing his own medium foot opposite mine, and his light horse (fast moving skirmishers) on my right flank, forcing me to put something there to block them doing an end run to sack my camp. Thus a unit of Perioikoi magically sprung up among the corn rows. In the center the first block of Spartans went down. Will then placed his Legionnaires opposite my Spartans. The second unit of Spartans went down next to the first, and the second unit of Perioikoi on the left flank. Will's third unit of Legionnaires went slightly towards my left flank, while his cavalry were deployed in the rear, possibly waiting on a breakthrough by a stronger unit.

Having lost pre-battle initiative, I was forced to move first. Thus, pretty much everything moved. The Perioikoi on the left, the Spartan battle line (a collection of 2 or more battlegroups led by a commander) in the center, and the Phokian Hoplites on the right all performed double moves, an ability granted by them having commanders present in their battlegroups/battleline.

Everything else except the Helots moved forwards, the Javelinmen getting right up in the Velites faces. Being close is important, as Javelins only have a range of 2".

 What followed was the most impressively effective shooting I have seen from Javelins. Ever. With each Javelinmen battlegroup Disrupting the cohesion of each Velite battlegroup it was facing off against. The smaller Javelinmen battlegroup also managed to cause a casualty (as will rolled a 1 for his Death Check, anything higher would have saved).

Will also shot back with his Velites (who have javelins), but failed to cause enough hits to do any damage. This is one of the cool little features of FoG. When you shoot, both sides shoot, no matter who's turn it is.

Will's first movement phase was much like mine, with everything pressing forward. His Velites however, concerned with the number of flying pointy sticks heading their way, decided to leg it and save their strength for later, when hopefully my forces would be rather more battered.

His light horse turned to the right, and headed straight for the edge, going for an outflanking run around my Disordered (unhappy because they're stuck in terrain) Perioikoi.

As there was only ineffective shooting from me, and no combats to be fought, it passed back to my turn. Once again, everything that could advanced, barring the Javelinmen on the left flank, who had no desire to be in the middle of a pointy stick vs pointy sword battle.

On the right flank, much the same thing was going on. The Perioikoi moved just far enough to extricate themselves from the field, while the Thracians moved only enough to stay inside the field.
 Will's second turn saw a lot of charges declared. Three battlegroups of Legionnaires hit home against two battlegroups of Spartans. Commanders were committed on both sides, upgrading the abilities of the units they were in.
 Here Will's medium foot declared a charge against my Javelinmen. However, as Skirmishers, Javelinmen are able to Evade a charge, falling back rapidly through nearby friendly battlegroups if necessary. When this happens both sides roll a D6 to see if they get to add or subtract distance from their charge/evade.

As my Javelinmen successfully evaded, Will's medium foot crashed into my Thracian battlegroup.
 In the ensuing impact Phase buckets of dice were rolled, with Will at a '+' PoA (Point of Advantage) for every Battlegroup. This meant he needed 4's to hit, while I needed 5's or better. Both of us were upgraded to Elite status by our commanders (allowing us to re-roll 1's and 2's).

The final result was an overall draw between the Spartans and the Legionnaires, with a large number of Death Checks all around. Will failed 1 roll. On a 1. Needing a 2+ to save.
Then we have this load of muppets. Eight dice each. 2 Hits each. A perfect draw, and no death checks. so much for those plans.

Things start to get interesting in the Melee phase of Will's turn. Combat in FoG is divided into three distinct phases: Impact, Shooting, and Melee. Impact depicts the ferocious charge, shooting represents the hurling, firing, or otherwise launching of sharpened sticks towards unengaged enemies, and Melee represents the swirl of close combat.

In this combat I now have an advantage, because my Offensive Spear ability cancels the Legionnaire's Skilled Sword ability provided my battlegroups are not Disrupted/Disordered in any way.

Our armour level is equal, meaning no one gets a PoA for that. That leaves me on a '+' PoA. Many dice are rolled, hits are inflicted, and Will once again passes all his Cohesion tests. The rolls 1's and 2's for his Death Checks. I start to see a trend forming.

Now the ineptitude of our medium foot comes to the fore. Will has a '+' here, his Offensive Spear ability cancelling my Sword ability. Despite this, we both manage to get 4 hits.

And because the terrible rolling continues, we both lose a base in the ensuing Death Check.
 In my Impact phase I declare a charge with the Phokians against Will's Cavalry. I know from past experience that horses do not like large men with pointy sticks running at them.
 On the left flank my Perioikoi battlegroup declares a charge against the end battlegroup of Legionnaires. We decided to conform in Impact, due to it not being a legal Flank Charge.

In the end, nothing happens, with us both causing 1 hit on 2 dice.
Will's cavalry are onto my tricks though, the riders managing to cut down a base of Hoplites, but not managing to disrupt them.

The plan is not working quite as expected.
 In the ensuing Melee phase, however, the Hoplites wave their pointy sticks effectively enough to break up the cavalry's formation to some degree, dropping the to Disrupted.
 The carnage in the center continues, with the central Legionnaire battlegroup taking a severe pounding and losing another base.

The combat between the muppets (medium foot) in the middle leads me to question, what, exactly, both battlegroups are doing. And also if they're on the same payroll.
 Will's turn just moves directly to the melee phase. Subtlety and manoeuvre have their place, but it's not here.

Instead, my Spartans continue to wail on the Legionnaires, and they attempt to to the same to me. It doesn't quite go to plan for Will. (The yellow dice are reminders of number of hits, the black dice are Cohesion Tests, all passed, in fact.)

And then Will's old nemesis, the Death Check, betrays him once more. The right end takes a hit.
 The left end takes a hit.
The center takes a hit. As this reduced the battlegroup to 2 bases it Auto-Breaks, being reduced to ineffective rabble at that point. Due to a friendly battlegroup breaking within 3" of them, both of the other battlegroups have to take a Cohesion Test for seeing this.

The left hand group of Legionnaires fail their test, wondering if they've prayed to the correct gods fro victory on this day.
 Will's Cavalry take a pounding, losing one of their number (one was lost earlier but I wasn't tracking that fight as closely as the carnage in the center).

They also get forced down another grade on the cohesion ladder, dropping to Fragmented. Now they're losing half their dice and suffering a huge -2 penalty to future Cohesion Tests.

In the middle, Will's muppets finally get the better of mine, forcing them down not one, but two grades. Straight from Steady to Fragged. It's not looking good for these guys as they suffer another casualty.

 My turn also proceeds directly to the Melee phase. I lost track of the number of turns some time ago. At any rate, things seem to be going well for me at this point. I've caused 3 AP (Broke a Battlegroup) to Will's 1 (Fragged a Battlegroup).

It gets better when the combined efforts of my Spartans an Perioikoi on the left flank force a very difficult Death Check on the already battere Legionnaire battlegroup. Will rolls a 1, and another battlegroup breaks.

At the other end of the same battleline, the Spartans with my commander engaged (I assume it's probably Leonidas at this point) kill off another base of Legionnaires, and drop them to Disrupted.
Having Broken their foe, the Spartans and Perioikoi pursue, moving at a respectable pace.
 In the following turn a familiar story plays out. The final Legionnaire battlegroup autobreaks after taking six hits (which causes an automatic death). I'm now up to 6 AP. I'm also feeling a little bad for Will by now.

But not that much. He did this to me the last time we played FoG. (It really was just as Lop-sided)
 By some miracle, my Thracian muppets manage to win a combat. While Fragmented. At a '-' PoA. Adding insult to injury will fails the Cohesion test for his medium foot.
 The final battle is here. I only get three hits, but against none in reply three is as good as thirty. Will rolls his Cohesion Test, and fails by 1 point.

I've now caused 8 AP of damage to Will's army, breaking their will to fight further, and thus, they rout. The Spartans have won the day with a nearly bloodless victory. (Well for them. Plenty of Romans lost terminal amounts of blood.)

We shake hands, tidy up, and move on to the next game. I'm sure a rematch is in order here though. A closer game would be a lot more fun.

Friday, 3 January 2014

So, this is FoG, or Field of Glory for those who think I'm talking about the weather with terrible grammar. It's a 15mm regiment type wargame. It's a historical game, so quite a far cry from Infinity, but it has a highly enjoyable and entertaining combat system.

These are my Spartans. It's only taken me 6 months to get this far. Just another 8 battlegroups to go before Battlecry '14 at the end of February.

 Close up on the Enomotarchos, or unit leader. This has no in game effect, he just looks cool.
The red outline is the rest of the army. As you can see, it's partially painted, but still has a long way to go for a lot of the battlegroups.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

So, as a new year's resolution, I plan to update this blog more often. And not just with Infinity either. Expect some Field of Glory, Dropzone Commander, Dreadball and Wild West as well. And terrain. Probably lots of terrain.

For now, some more interesting ideas thrown at a MAS building.

Bandua Advertising (Heresy! )

Using thick paper as a rug
Fringing the edges actually took some time, even done roughly.

Carpet (Thin fabric w/print)
Also with weathering powder. A bit much near the door, but I'm going to fray that section anyway… and some of the rest of the "carpet" as well.

Toothpicks and embroidery… 
why is everyone looking at me like that?