Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Bringing the table to life

I have managed to get the board up and running. I was keen to see the new battle mat (urban ruins from deep cut studios) with some terrain in place. I had a good go through the garage and I actually have very little terrain, something to sort out in the near future I feel. However ....

I have a few craters that I painted up some time ago and the trusty collection of oil tank and associated barrels. Then there are a few lines of sandbags and a metal outpost dug into some earth.

Plane wreak
I have a crashed plane, from one of the starter box sets if I remember correctly, and a wreaked building  which was constructed by the Dark Templar. Also a few hills and trees.

Hills and trench line with pillar box
Finally I added a trench line with pillar box and another couple of hills and trees.

I have alway liked the crashed plane. I have painted some small details here and there and they stand out when playing.

This building has been the centre piece for many of our games. It is good because it significantly breaks line of sight and it has firing platforms at height making it a good location to place some heavy weapons.

I have realised that despite playing Orgs for many many years I have never made any Ork terrain. I will just had to rectify that! I feel a new project coming on. Two or three Ork pieces would give our games a very different feel.

Anyway the battle mat looks good and I can't wait to get a game on it.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

New playing surface - Urban Ruins!

I have been playing war games for about 30 years, at this stage. My first board was a painted sheet of hardboard and the dice bounced around on it with a loud clipped sound. After a short time I invested in a length of green baize which was a big improvement as this softened and quietened the dice rolling. This has been my playing surface for all that time. It is nearing the end of its life really.

I have had my eye on the 'mouse mat' type material. I really like the feel of it. No creases, rolls up neatly for storage and feels so good.

My most recent visit to Awdry Towers inspired me. The Congo board set-up was just spectacular and was completed by the swamp playing mat. I just couldn't resist anymore and paid Deep Cut Studios a visit. They have a good range, worth a look see. I really liked the look of the Urban Ruins mat and so I parted with some money. Excitement levels high!

Urban Ruins
It has arrived and it is spectacular. I just think that playing on it will be amazing.


I have my three 'objective' tokens prepared and ready for use. The first is called 'retrieving the comms module' the second is 'weapons cache' and the final one is just simply 'bombz'.

I have even been getting the dice used to the surface.

Ork dice roll

Yip indeed, an Ork table with Ork dice and an Ork dice roll. This is going to go soooooo well!

Sunday, 6 August 2017

A trip back in time

A day spent at Awdry Towers took us deep into the jungle. It was a completely immersive experience. Never has so much work gone into the preparation for a days gaming. The board, the models, the ideas it was simply amazing!! We were playing something completely new and as such we brought no models or dice or anything, just turn up and play. The game - CONGO - and it was a blast.

The Game
First off it is worth taking a look at Michaels blog to really get a look at the models we were using. They are simply stunning! This was complemented by amazing and bespoke terrain features and all played out on a neoprene battle mat of jungle design. Stunning. Just look at the skull rock below. There are vines and pots and dead bodies and.... The bits box at Awdry Towers is exceptional.

Terrain features
The central idea is that a 'white man' caravan is trudging through the jungle exploring as they go. They come across a giant ape and want to capture it. The natives have other ideas and set about the new comers.
Stunning detail
The models made the whole experience truly believable. I mean the chap above looks like he could walk across the table on his own.

The giant ape
The game mechanics are unique, at least they were for me. There is a combination of tokens, dice and cards. Easy to pick up and like anything it has layers once you get into it. It was a hugely enjoyable day and we got a couple of games in. One of the things I liked about it was when rolling the dice  all you needed was 5+ to be successful. The nice thing was that you could use D6, D8 and D10's in combination depending on the the skill of the character. No complicated tables. A really neat dynamic.

Ambushed by a spider
The pieces of terrain could be 'explored'. Basically when you go into the terrain different things could happen. This was cool and brought an 'edge' to the game. Michael had models for all the potential creatures that might be encountered. Really good fun.

Warthog attacks
We also had a handful of cards with different actions. For each round you selected three to play and discarded the others. Then the cards are played in order. This was a good mechanic because it made you think about what you wanted to happen and select the cards that would help you most. The difficult thing was actually making it happen in the game.

Restless natives
I had one of the best days ever when it came to dice rolling. I mean I was on fire!! I played the natives in the first game and pretty soon figured out that it was like playing Orks. So I thought that I would throw myself into it and thrash these funny looking white people. I went on the attack looking to overwhelm and just kept up the onslaught. I got myself into position and pounced. Everyone attacking at the same time. I giggled and taunted my way through the morning making loads and loads of 5+ rolls. At one point 8 5+ saves on D6 in a row! It is the Ork way!! It was amazing and I spanked the opposition and crowed my way through lunch, as you do.

Pygmy King - The Victorious
A magnificent day at Awdry Towers and a big thank you to Michael for hosting, and doing such a great job with both the models and the scenery. Well done sir!

Friday, 4 August 2017


We have noticed that there are a lot of objectives needed for the new 40k. A trip to the bits box got the juices going and I give you Gobbo the artist.

After the recent battle some of the Da Boyz returned to scene to pick over the remains. They luckily came across some unused bombz.

Da Bombz
With no Trukk Da Boyz decided to hide the bomb and hastily threw a shelter together that would hide the loot.

Da Hideout
Da bombz were quickly tucked away.

Hidden Stash
At this point Gobbo the grot came ambling up and so he was left in charge of the bombz until Da Boyz could find some transport.

No-one mentioned that this was a hide away. Gobbo thought it would be a good idea to make the place easy to find and so....

Gobbo the artist
painted a big Bombz sign on the side of the hide away. I sure hope that Da Boyz get back there quickly or someone else might just see that sign and then there will be trouble!

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

The green tide cometh!

Warhammer 40k, 8th Edition. I have decided that there is no point comparing it to previous editions. It is a new game with new rules and making backward looking comparisons is just a waste of time. Like any new game it takes a while to settle into its routine and once the basics have become natural you can begin to have fun with the combinations made possible by the new playing mechanics.

Last night we played our second game of 8th edition. This time we played battle forged armies and set the limit at 1000points. We used the command points for the first time and rolled on the table for mission and deployment style. My Orks v's the Dark Templar Marine salamanders. We played on a 4X4 table.

I kept my play style very simple and went with the 'green tide' Ork style. I just wanted to 'feel my way' into the game. We were strict with ourselves and followed the phasing very deliberately. This went really well and gave us structure.

1000 point Ork Army
I had 100 models on the table to the Dark Templars 24. He was intimidated for sure. I didn't take Ghazghkull nor did I take any Warbosses. I wanted to save them for another day. I did take a Painboy, Boss Zagstruck, Nob with Warbanner and my leader for the night a Weirdboy. I didn't take Da Jump again something for the future I took the more conservative Warpath instead. I just wanted to see how the boyz would do.

I had: -

30 boyz, nob with PK
30 boyz, nob with PK
15 boyz, nob with PK
20 stormboys, nob with PK

All this meant I did not have to remember lots of different Ork rules. I could settle into the game ruleset. This gave me a battalion detachment and 3 command points on top of the 3 you have as standard. I could have easily tweaked the list to also have a second battalion but again I kept it basic for this game.

Ork Set-up
I set the boyz up with a declined flank so leaving the left side clear.

The marines set-up in the middle of the board opposite. We alternated one squad at a time.

Marines set-up
The Dread was separated off to the left. This was done deliberately to take away landing areas from my Stormboyz. Good move DT.

I had the first turn and I advanced the green tide. The first thing to note here is that characters move separately and as such have to be rolled for separately so there can be some disconnect. This can be a problem if the boyz get away in front because you really want the buffs from the characters. I will need to think about this for the future. I think that greater care is needed in the set-up to make this unlikely. I had the characters behind the boyz, and the boyz were keen.

I went for it and brought in the Stormboyz on the left hand side 'declined' flank.

Stormboyz arrive
What a sweet sight. I advanced them and lost a couple guys doing that but this improved my charge chances. The charge was successful and I was in. I went for the 'first blood' victory point and completely destroyed the 6 man veteran squad before spreading out to entangle the other troops.

It felt great!

However there are lessons to learn. The Boss is not part of the squad and has to be rolled for separately. I had him attack a different target, the Razorback. This was a mistake and I nearly lost him. In future I would declare the charge against two units and this would give him protection. I would also put him against troops.

I also note that everyone gets an extra attack if there are more than 20 models so in future I will always take a larger unit that can afford to lose a few guys and still retain this advantage. Probably take the full 30.

Positioning before and after the 3" secondary move is really essential so that everyone gets tied up. I am going to have to really think about this. I was lucky in that I did tie up all the units but I very nearly didn't succeed in this aim.

Stormboyz in action
Had the Boss gone against the marines and had I got 20 additional attacks because the squad was the right size I could have been much more devastating. I declared all the boyz against the six man squad and could have killed 12 marines with the result, a waste. I should have split the attacks and taken the additional overwatch. There are real lessons to learn here.

I could support this chaos with some Kommando's or indeed some fast attack buggies or ..... there are options and many of them to consider but it would to great to feel some more help arriving before the boyz finally make it.

The boyz arrive
And make it they did! They were buffed by the Warbanner and the Weirdboy's Warpath giving +1 attack and +1 to hit. I didn't get them all into the action I would guess at least 10 - 15 had no attacks and this was just a big mistake. They get 2 attacks normal ,+1 for the choppa, +1 for Warpath, that's four and the PK was in the wrong place - idiot - and both the nob with Warbanner and the Wierdboy had fallen behind and could'n't charge and the Painboy had been mugged because of the same problem. Just silly stuff. But missing out on 40 attacks and not getting the characters in was crazy. Note to self - learn from this experience.

Anyway - I missed the opportunity to smash all before me. Too many errors in both set-up and tactics. The marines held on and in the end the only two people left on the field were both the marine characters.

I was delighted for the Dark Templar. He fought stoutly and just inched his way into the winning position. It was a great night and the game is definitely fun to play. Congrats to the DT and my Wierdboy will be getting a yellow streak on his cloak to remember his actions on this night ;-)