A random series of articles on war gaming in 40K, FOW and other systems. The headings are, WiP; Conversions and models in various states of assembly. PiP; Paint works on various models. Mission Critical; scenarios or missions to bring a bit of a twist to a normal game. MiA; rules for units and characters that could/should/might appear in a game. Dig In; How to guides on making various types of terrain for different game systems. Sit Rep; Battle reports and after action reports on games played

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sit Rep (40K); 40K at NWG 2010

So the dust has started to settle and the results are up on rankingHQ. How did Gorey's first 40K, and Ireland's first Forgeworld friendly event, go?

Wargamesfactory great coats make their debut (and the squad gets wiped out)

What went right;
The Craic
Hard to quantify, mercurial to capture I think the craic at NWG was awesome. I have been to nearly every event this year and NWG was one of the ones I laughed the most at. I'm not sure if it was because I was ref’ing therefore checking to see how folks were doing or if the fact all the players had travelled and so were stuck in the venue for the weekend. Everybody seemed keen to game I had little or no rules queries, none that lasted longer a minute.

Free stuff
I liked the idea of free gaming aids to players. The original idea was one of the 6" templates that Gale Force Nine offer but with the NWG logo printed on the sides. Time and budget hit that on the head.  The vehicle wreck markers are pretty cool, useful and hopefully when people use them they will remember the fun they had at NWG.

Strangely enough the world did not end when FW made its first appearance at an event.  In fact it was a rather timid entry with only two players opting to bring FW, the rest when with their tried and test lists. If it doesn't ruin the game should it still be banned? I don't think so, better for players have an excuse to use their cool models as intended then be told they are not allowed.

The bounty hunter and challenges
I like the idea of a bounty hunter prize offered for whoever beats the highest ranking player attending its a small gesture that adds a bit of fun to proceedings if its cost me a pint that’s fine.  The challenges were not part of the original plan. Jan suggested it when he was after the bounty hunter prize I thought it was brilliant idea. I think next year I would like to allow challenges for round one.  It’s a random round i.e. I don't particularly care who plays who and if I can make two players happy on the first round things are off to a good start.

Mark Frew's assualt terminator squad is considerably larger than a standard terminator assualt squad.
The venue
The hotel hall with bar is a big plus and it distinguishes NWG from a college run con.  That said it comes with an increased priced tag.  I would love to figure a way to separate the quality and price link. I know the Northern Waster piggy back their events in a rugby club and get to use the hall at a lower cost there must be something similar down south. That said how much extra would people be willing to pay for a cool location (in the US they have an event in a disused WWII aircraft carrier I would pay top dollar for that).

Paul (right) wonders why he did not take any blast weapons agnaist Jan's horde o' orcs

Areas for improvement;
I need to work on the comms.  I like the idea of having all the relevant details on a single source like the W-ired forum. The down side not all the players may frequent the forum some may miss posts. I'm not sure how many players were aware of a post on W-ired for feedback asking how many rounds they would like to play using random rather than Swiss so they could avoid club mates in the early stages. Most votes went for 2-3 rounds, I picked two to be on the safe side but this should have been communicated better.

Being a one man show sucks. If Mike T had not have covered Saturday morning or the players less easy going things could have gone bad.  The ref/ringer is a no winner role. As a ringer you are being distracted by rules queries and generally looking around to make sure everything is going okay, in effect frequently interrupting your opponent's game.  As a ref you are under pressure to get a quick fix for everything since you have an opponent sitting around waiting for you to return to the table. I'm not keen on giving a player a bye to the next round he has paid his money so is entitled to his five games. Next time I think there will be a couple more refs floating about. 

I wonder if there is way to do the pairings better, keep it Swiss chess but try to incorporate a don't play club mates/past opponents offset.  Swiss chess is based on a win/lose model it doesn't do draws or see a sliding scale for results.  I wonder how far players can move up and down the scale without affecting the quality of the game. I think that is up to the players to decide.
IG face of aganist Bruce's Tau.
The highlights;
A couple of things will stick in my mind from NWG,
·                     Jan's mind games on Paul the night before their table one game.
·                     Gary offering to concede his final round game if his opponent could take out his Inquisitor lord.
·                     Kevin's perplexed look when Ralph's Nightbringer started to eat into his lines.
·                     John's shout for joy when his cauestus finally survived its frist, and only, game.
·                     Bruce's Tau text book deep strike defence against David's Daemons.
·                     Shane's tortured look when he realised he forgot to charge in a Black Templers squad into combat against an Orc mob in round five.
·                     Scott and Rowan's show down after spending the night before slagging each other.
·                     Patrick's look of anguish when his deep striking Land Raider suffered a second deep strike mishap taking 600+ points of units howling into the warp.
Gary (right) issues his challenge.

Rowan gets his frist ever win angaist Scott's tau.

Thanks to Paul, luke,Jan, Ralph, Gary, Shane, Rowan, Jonny, Kevin, John, Scott, Bruce, Alan, Mark, Patrick, David, Jason, Kieran, Mike and Nigel.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mission Critical (FOW); Norvo bridge

Norov;  Somewhere on the Eastern Front in 1944

Design note: this game was drafted to introduce a new player to the rules for recon units in FOW

Kampgruppe O'Donnell is once more into the fray, this time they have been ordered to secure the Norov bridge. Without any tank support the grenadiers must rely on armoured reconnaissance units to clear the path.

The Protagonists;
Kampgruppe O'Donnell
Reconnaissance force
Armoured car platoon (1 sd Kfz 223+2 sdKfz 222)
Armoured car platoon (2 sdKfz 231)

Main force
Company HQ (panzerfaust+jeep)
Aufklarang platoon (3 squads with HMG on motorbikes)
Aufklarang platoon (3 squads with HMG in trucks)
Motorised heavy platoon (2 HMG squads* and a mortar squad in trucks)
AA platoon (2 sdKfz10/5)
Pioneer platoon (3 sections in trucks)
*One of the HMG squads has been attached to the Aufklarang platoons

The Russians
Reconnaissance force
1st light armoured car platoon (4 BA-64 2 with anti rifles)
2nd  light armoured car platoon (4 BA-64 2 with anti rifles)

Main force
battalion HQ (in jeeps with attached DshK AA platoon)
1st Motostrekolky company (2 platoons+1 HMG in trucks)
2nd Motostrekolky company (2 platoons+1 HMG in trucks)
5th Mortar company (2 platoons in trucks)
2nd Sapper company (1 platoon in trucks)

See map.
Neither side starts the game with any forces in play.  Roll to decide who goes first.
The Reconnaissance forces start in reserve. The Russians enter from point A while the Germans enter from point B. The main forces are in delayed reserve.  Randomly determine which units arrive.


Special rules
There are no special rules for this mission

Victory conditions;

The first side to capture and hold the Norvo bridge with a combat platoon (Motostrekolky for the Russians and Aufklarang for the Germans is the winner). The game last for 6 turns starting from when the last combat platoon from both sides arrives after which it is declared a draw.

Below are some of the random, out of sequence but looking good, in game photos of the Norvo battle.

German advance on Norvo.
While to the east russian recon advances on the same objective.
Russian advanced viewed from Norvo bridge
Russian main body arrives
Russian recon clashes with German AA platoon while trying to cut the german road to Norvo
While the second platoon comes under fire from the German recon platoon.
1st Motostrekolky deploys to cpature the bridge
2nd armoured car platoon is destroyed by german fire.
1st armoured car platoon fianlly destroys the AA platoon protecting the german road into Norvo
And then goes after the motorbike Aufklarang platoon
Russian and German forces start to get serious around the village.
With the German recon platoon just holding on to the last building.
The corn feild beside the german road become a vechicle wreck yard with both sides vechicles burning in it
View from Norov bridge as the Russians try to take the village.
The last remaining russian armoured car finally works its way in to the German rear.
Under pressure the German recon platoons finally clear the village of russian forces. To bad neither side had any remaining scoring units :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

WIP/PIP; Guard reinforcements

At last, after year since wargames factory asked if I wanted alternative imperial guard models, they have finally arrived and are ready to go. For nearly the same price as the GW imperial guard squad I get eighteen dudes in three different poses with attachable arms and heads. The poses and heads are good if somewhat limited, the weapons are a bit crap (imo).

The bodies are clipped and cleaned.
GW guard arms and Pig iron heads were posed with blu tac to get some idea of what poses could be done.
Because there was a limited number of poses in some case the bodies were cut off at the waist and repositioned.
Once happy with the overall pose the arms and heads were glued in in some case green stuff was used to fill in gaps,
Micro art backs packs and GW and micro art belt accessorise were added to give the models a veteran look.

As painting challenge the plan was to paint the new recruits to match the existing guard army ie green and tan but in the style of certain renaissance painter (there is a small prize if someone actually figures out who).

The models were base coated AP bestial brown.
The great coats were painted V olive drab.
The belts and boots were painted G bestial brown.
The armour, guns were painted V russian green.
The Back pack was apinted V khaki.
The masks were painted GW snakebiteleather
The lens were painted V luffewaffe uniforms.
The models were given a coat of army medium tone then varnished.
The lens were then painted GW 'ard coat.

AP= army painter
GW= games workshop
V= Vallejo