Saturday, February 23, 2013

Crossing the 200,000 Mark!

It has been very busy at school over the past couple of weeks, and hobby output has been suffering. However, this week my humble blog passed a significant milestone with 200,000 page views. Thanks so much to everyone who visits and comments on the blog - it means a lot to me.

This week also saw the first experiment at the school club with Battle Group Kursk. Basically we just chucked some units on the table to start getting a hang of the turn sequence and how combat works. It is initially a bit confusing remembering the sequence for different types of fire (area fire, AP etc), especially when excited 13 year olds are queued up to ask me arcane questions about SAGA. We started getting the hang of it though, and I can see that this is going to be one of my favourite games. We have a SAGA tournament coming up in a couple of weeks, but for next term the focus will shift a bit to Project Kursk, with plans afoot for making terrain boards and some communal assembly line painting sessions.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

School Team on Tour

On Sunday I took five boys from the school club out to The Hall of Heroes at Campbelltown, on the fringes of Sydney's urban sprawl, to take part in a SAGA tournament. The risk assessment forms were enormous fun to fill out, as always. I refer to this group as the school Representative Historical Wargaming Club, and am working on being able to present reports in assembly based on the sort of cliches that rugby reports are noted for.

There were 12 competitors in the tournament in total, so we made up half the field. I brought along my Welsh. We played three scenarios using 6 point warbands - Clash of Warlords, Sacred Ground and the Escort. Fortune did not shine on me, being destroyed in the first game by one of the boys from school with his damn unstoppable 12 figure unit of Breton hearthguard.

Round 1 with those damn Bretons
In the second game I fought Normans, and if the scenario had gone for the proper 8 turns I reckon I would have pulled off a win, but when the time ran out I was well behind on points.
Steve the Norman plots my doom
Round three found me attacking an Anglo-Saxon convoy of sheep, women and beer. I was all over this one, using my mounted hearthguard with effect to get in amongst his baggage and capture the sheep. The beer proved a tough nut to crack, and proved my undoing (as so often in life). The beer fought me off for a couple of turns and then we were out of time, so a draw. The beer prevented me getting hold of the women, which is something of a life lesson.

Despite my lacklustre performance, the School Representative Team crushed all opposition, with boys from the club coming first, second, fourth and fifth! Quite a brilliant achievement, especially since they were playing against much more experienced adults. The winner found himself the proud owner of a new Strathclyde Welsh starter warband to paint up, along with a handsome trophy.

The boys were great throughout the day, the competition as always was good spirited and friendly, and I have nothing but praise for the chaps at Hall of Heroes.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Battle approaches...

On Sunday I'm off to a SAGA tournament at the Hall of Heroes in Sydney's west, and I've even managed to turn it into an excursion for the school wargaming club, with five vicious young warlords joining me for the day (my comitatus? retinue?) Sunday is also the Duchess' birthday, which shows what a magnificent, understanding and supportive woman she is.

I'm going to use my Welsh for the Tournament, and painted up an extra figure this week to act as a mounted standard bearer, in case I feel like adding a war banner to one of my units, using hte special rules introduced in the Raven's Shadow Saga supplement. The figure is from Westwind, with a LBMS banner and handpainted shield.

I must admit that my morale is not high as I approach this Tournament, largely because I have either offended the dice gods or perhaps more likely have played a couple of games recently with cursed dice. To demonstrate:

The week before last I had a game of Saga at school with one of the boys. I launched a cunning attack on one of his units in which I only needed to roll 3s to hit, and was rolling 10 dice. This is what I rolled.

In response, my opponent was rolling 9 dice and needed 6s to hit, Here's his roll:

I played another game this week using the same dice with a similar result. I will never use those dice again, and if they didn't belong to one of the boys would introduce them to an angle grinder. Tomorrow night, I plan to give my own dice a stern talking to, offering them a bath in a bowl of beer if they at least obey the laws of probability on Sunday, which doesn't honestly seem too much to ask, and reminding of them of the meanings of the verbs 'to die' and 'to dice' should they betray me. So my morale is not high, but I take some comfort in my performance using the rifle simulator at Cadets this afternoon. A single shot, standing, and here's the result:

Heh heh heh. The old Dux has still got it.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Project Kursk Part 9: Soviet Artillery

The latest minis to roll off the assembly line for the Battlegroup Kursk Project are 8 Soviet guns. These are all from Plastic Soldier Company, made from one box each of their 45mm AT guns and ZiS 2/3 guns. All up, we have here three ZiS 3 76mm field guns, a 57mm ZiS 2 anti tank gun, three 45mm M1942 AT guns and a 76mm infantry gun.

I've also finished three prepared positions that can accommodate any of the guns. I wrote up a work-in-progress post about these bases here.