We ended up spending three night near Gloucester, then moved to the coast and spent a couple of nights in the Myall Lakes National Park. But frankly you just want to hear about the games, and won't be at all interested in the scenery and the dolphins.
Here's some scenery anyway. I only really got chance to set up figures on one day, and this was the setting, on the banks of the Manning River near Woko National Park.
I wanted to try out some more of the gridded Epic 40K game I've been playing recently, so took some Bad Moonz Orks and Space Marines with me. I set up a game using one of the One Hour Wargames scenarios - Scenarion 7 - Flank Attack (2)
And here it is. In the distance you can see Catherine fishing. She didn't catch anything.
Back to the scenario. This saw the Orks defending a hill-line against a Space marine attack. However the Marines had worked their way onto the Orks' flank, leaving a small holding force to the front, and were poised to deliver a mighty blow!
I haven't got the army lists and special abilities to hand, so I'll stick them in another post. I ran the game on a 6 x 6 grid, with twelve units per side and six activations allowed.
The Marines attacked vigorously along the ridge, mostly against the Ork Boyz stationed there. The ridge was made up of six squares and I rules that there must be at least one unit in each square. My Ork Defence had Boyz on the end just to hold it and then the better quality stuff further along, to mount a counter-attack. A more interesting approach, with hindsight, would been to have randomly distributed the Orks, to reflect their lack of preparation.
Anyway, the Orks organised a counter-attack. Beyond the ridge their tanks and a Stomper prevented a flanking move by the Marine Land-raiders, whilst in the centre the Ork Battle-Fortress, carrying the mighty Warlord himself, was poised to dive in where needed. Both armies had psykers - the Marine Librarian can be see top-right, whilst the Orks' Weirdboy Battletower is out of shot to the left. I'd not tried psykers before.
Later in the game ...
The Marines had secured a foothold on the end of the ridge, but their flanking move had come unstuck in the face of the Ork war-machines. The Warlord and the Battle-Fortress had been thrown in against the Marines at one end, and were slaughtering the Imperium's finest. In the foreground the Marines' commander was moving into the action.
Soon the Marine commander was left to face the greenskins on his own. He didn't last long.
And that was it - game over, and a convincing Ork victory.
I had lots of special abilities in play, and had trouble keeping track of some of them, so it took me a couple of hours to play. I will need to tweak a few of them. I tried allowing psykers an indirect attack, but found that it was far too powerful, so I'll probably drop it. As they stand they have a decent direct attack, but risk taking damage themselves. That's probably good enough to make them different from other troops.
The ridge was a funny area of terrain to fight over. The effect of hills in the gridded rules is that they conceal units; they can't be engaged by ranged attacks except those that are counter-attacks. This essentially means that the battle became a long series of close-assaults, as once both armies were ensconced on the ridge they couldn't shoot at each other. Annoyingly both armies had units with ranged attack special abilities, so I didn't get a chance to try those out as much as I'd have liked.
I considered a second game, but whilst I'd enjoyed the first I wasn't sure I was up for the mental effort of keeping track of everything. So I moved my table to a new bit of shade, and set up a game of Epic 40K HOTT instead - I had enough units to form two 24AP armies, found a measuring stick marked in inches in my box of stuff, and have the rules in my head. I even had a totally un-40K castle I could use as a stronghold.
The armies were
1 x Blade General (Commander)
4 x Blades (Marines)
3 x Knights (Land Raiders)
1 x Hero (Chaplain)
1 x Rider (Land Speeders)
1 x Warband (Legion of the Damned)
1 x Behemoth General (Warboss in Battle Fortress)
1 x Behemoth (Stomper)
4 x Hordes (Boyz)
1 x Warband (Madboyz)
1 x Magician (Weirdboy Battletower)
1 x Warband (Nobz)
2 x Knights (Tankz)
The Orks defended in the first game, with the Marines attacking on either side of a ruined city.
The Ork war-machines counter-attacked en masse. The Weirdboy was flanked, but saw off his opponents, and then ensorcelled the Marines' Chaplain ...
... who promptly escaped the Ork fortress, and captured it.
Moral: If you are the defender, never ensorcel an enemy Hero unless it wins you the game outright.
The second game saw the battlefield dominated by even more ruins, as the Orks defended again.
Again the war-machines attacked en masse, whilst the hordes of Boyz tried to delay the Marines' vehicles.
Disaster! The Marines lost their commander.
But their losses at that stage were lower than those suffered by the Orks, and the Marines kept fighting. Even returning all of their lost Hordes couldn't stop the accumulation of Ork casualties as the Imperium doggedly fought to another victory.
That was it for miniatures during my break. A few days later we played some games of Exploding Kittens in a restaurant, but I took no photos. They were both excellent games, though. The first ended with one card in the draw pile and two of us desperately trying to avoid taking it (because, of course, it had to be an Exploding Kitten). The second game ended less than halfway through the deck after most of the Kittens cropped up in a tight group causing mayhem, explosions and much merriment.
Now I must go, and edit the photo of the dolphins ...