Three games in June

Hello MoDers,

I cannot believe that July is already upon us. June was quite a busy month for me, and I did not get around to typing up a blog. I have mainly been spending a lot of my spare time with my family, so not really had the chance to hobby. I did get a few games however.

Game wise, I played three times using different gaming systems. The first was a ‘Kings of War’ style ‘Triumph & Treachery’. I played a game of this in May, so when the opportunity came up to give it another go, I jumped at it. ‘T&T’ has a strange mechanic with the random turns, decision changing cards, and the fact that you are allowed to build pacts with opposing players. In both of the games I have tried I fell victim twice to this final factor, yet somehow it enabled me to win both games. My attitude with both games was to just throw my units into any fray available, and hope for the best. Though risky it is a strategy that can gain a lot of coin, and it is the person with the most coins at the end that wins the game.

For the game in June I took my Rhordians, and went against Orcs and Varangur. In the first round my Duke tar-pitted the left flank by getting charged by an Orc Boss and some Boar Boyz , and surviving for 3 rounds. This freed up the rest of my army to tackle any Varangur that approached on the right. My artillery was not overly effective, luckily some melee combat did go my way, with my Halfling Knights sacrificing themselves to slow the enemy enough for the foot troops to form an effective position. The Greenskins had a long standoff against the Blood crazed humans, both sides opting to target any missile they had at my Halflings. When round 4 came about, the Varangur and Orc clashed in a grinding press of muscle and steel, in the end the stubborn orcs refused to give any ground, but it was not enough for them to gain victory. The objective of this game was to gain control of a magical tower, at the same time that the mighty forces clashed, my Halfling mage dashed through the gated entrance and claimed any magic held within, a sneaky victory, but a good one.

My second game the following week was a regular ‘Kings of War’. Having spent the day decorating the kitchen, I was quite tired, with no real mood for playing strategically. I decided to put a mobile Elf army together and see what happens. My opponent on the other hand is a very tactical player and had hoped for someone that would offer a challenge for his Orcs, I let him down on this point played recklessly, without a care for my troops or the outcome. There was an extra twist to the game itself, as we needed to choose a scenario. Normally I love these, as they add a difference to the game, making one think about each action rather than going hell for leather as one might in a pitch battle. On this day however it just added my confusion, I went against my pre planned set up, one thing led to another, and the Orcs carried the day butchering my elves and stealing all the loot. By the end of the battle I was down to two wizards. Strangely though; I was quite happy with the result.

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For the last of my June games I went back to ‘Warhammer Fantasy 8th ed’. My opponent for this game had been asking to have a go at the old game for some time. I was happy to oblige. I went with my High Elves, a similar list to the week before as I did not have time to re-pack. He brought his Warriors of Chaos. I set up with cavalry on one flank and infantry with artillery on the other. The game started well with plenty of charging and combat on both sides. However I seriously under estimated the power and toughness of the chaos troops, and although I struck first on most occasions, scoring many a hit, I could not wound them for toffee. By round five my entire army had been routed as the forces of chaos claimed victory. I did enjoy re-visiting this games system, but after a year and a half of ‘Kings of War’ the rules are a bit clunky, compared to the more basic, free flowing ones provided by ‘Mantic’.

Four have fun in Chelters…

I had the recent opportunity to take a trip down to Cheltenham to visit my older brother Daniel and his wife and child (Ruth and Oscar). Daniel and Oscar both enjoy a bit of fantasy gaming, and have a small collection of Warhammer Fantasy figures. I had toyed with the idea of taking a small force of Dwarfs from my collection to put their armies to the test in a three way skirmish. However I remembered that I have been trying out some alternatives to Warhammer, and decided to carry something that is quite a bit lighter, but still loads of fun; Lord of War.

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In my earlier posts I have spoken about this card based skirmish game, as I have backed the kickstarter campaigns that they have launched to get the game of the ground, and make improvements. There are currently three box sets that feature six races Dwarfs, Orcs, Elves, Lizardmen, Templars and Undead. There are also some booster sets and other accoutrements that assist with and enhance game place, such as the foam battle mat. The basic rules to the game are really easy to pick up; and as you improve the advanced rules and boosters sets come into play, maintaining the enjoyment of the game.

On my first day in Cheltenham; Daniel took me to a local pub called ‘The Sandford Park Ale House,’ which an excellent establishment, that serves a wide variety of beers crafted around the UK and beyond, they also serve some really tasty food; specialising in a great selection of cheeses. They are also wheel chair friendly which is good for Daniel. We found a free table, ordered our first round and I cracked out the card, I had opted to take my ‘Templars Vs Undead’ card to the pub as they are in plastic card protectors and I did want any errant spills damaging my game. I read the rules to Daniel, and then showed him how to play, as I had been shown by the ‘Black Box Games’ team that were at SALUTE this year. After three pints of ale, a large plate of cheese and a bowl of chips, we had played about four games in three hours. We used both races twice each, and I beat Daniel each time, although I have to admit having played on two occasions previously, I had a bit of an advantage.

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When we returned to Daniel’s home, Oscar was back from school; Ruth was cooking up a roast pork meal, the smell of which had me salivating when we entered the door. Daniel went for a rest, and I offered Oscar a couple of games with the ‘Dwarfs Vs Orcs’ pack, we got one and a half games in before Ruth wanted to serve up, I won the first but the unfinished game was declared a draw as we had both eliminated 10 cards including two characters. Oscar enjoyed the game so much he wanted to go and buy a set on our way to the coach station the following evening.

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The next day Oscar showed me his largely unpainted figure collection, he has some lovely rare metals in there, finds at local auctions apparently. I suggested that we could do some painting that morning, and upped the stakes by challenging Daniel, Ruth and Oscar to a speed paint session. We all chose a figure we wanted to paint, I set up the table, and after Daniel finished having a natter with our Mum on SKYPE, the hours painting session started. As usual with these things the time flew by, Oscar finished his figure (A High Elf Sea Guard) before the time limit ended, while the three oldies were left wanting more time.

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In all I though good efforts were made by everyone taking part. We all had a look at the figures and discussed them, and then it came down to me to pass judgement. Daniel came 4th with his Wood Elf Scout, Oscar was awarded 3rd place for his High Elf, Both Ruth and I had that little extra detail on our figures that made them stand out. However, given that I have more painting experience, and was judging; I declared that Ruth had won with her Chaos Warrior. So my Orc (Whom I had decided was a Chaos Orc) took 2nd place.

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So I had a fantastic weekend visiting family, and got some hobby time in too.

I’ve had some really nice beers since my last post, the dark ales I drank at the ‘Sandford’ were beautiful, but my pick of the most recent ones has to be:

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A nice strong dark ale, perfect for a slow drink whilst you paint you figures, but at 6% make sure you don’t imbibe too many.