Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Lunchtime Hunts

I set up some Palaeo Diet on my lunchbreak, and ran a couple of hunts.

In the first a group of three hunters (Axe, Spear and Bow) were after some big birds who were grazing in a wood near a stream.

The skittish animals needed to be staked carefully. Axe went into the woods to flush out the one there, whilst Bow and Spear teamed up; Bow would shoot at one and drive it towards Spear for rapid dispatch.

Bow startled the birds with his shot, but nothing more and the animals fled towards Spear.

Spear also managed to miss the target, and the bird turned on him!

Meanwhile the other birds milled around in confusion.

The noise attracted some Outfolk hunters, who were looking to steal whatever kills my party made.

Eventually Bow and Spear managed to wound a couple of the birds, and the two hunters now tried to finish them off. Axe continued to blunder around in the woods.

The birds started to flee towards the table edge. If they got away the hunt would fail.

Spear intercepted them, and finished off one of the wounded ones. In response two of the birds attacked him. 

The birds were getting dangerously close to the edge now.

Fortunately the hunters managed to split one off from the group and bring it down, to give them the two kills they needed. The Outfolk seemed content to watch.

I set up a second game with different terrain, fewer Outfolk, one extra spear-armed hunter and three mammoths instead of the birds.

The hunters spread out to try an break up the mammoth group and isolate one of them, but one of them became enraged almost immediately, attacked a spear-armed hunter and wounded him.

Axe wounded the mammoth as did Bow, but Axe got wounded in return.

All this activity had brought the Outfolk close to the hunt.

The watched as the very angry mammoth killed Axe. 

And then killed one of the spear-armed hunters.

Amazingly it was Bow who killed the mammoth, with a critical hit to its vitals.

But the Outfolk were still hanging around - I don't count a hunt as successful until there are no predators within one Long of any kills, and the Outfolk count as predators.

The hunters tried to scare them off with shouts and wild gestures, and this caused a couple to back off (especially after Bow wounded one as well), but one was bolder than the rest and ran into the attack.

The Outfolk hunter wounded Spear, but then went after Bow, wounding him too. His friends watched and edged closer.

With two of my hunters dead and two wounded I felt that I couldn't really take on the Outfolk, and had to abandon the kill to them

So this second hunt was a total disaster. But that happens sometimes. And it all made for an entertaining lunchbreak.

Monday, 20 March 2023

More WW1 Naval

We played Broadside: Empires of Steel again on Thursday, with Ralph running what turned out to be an ambitiously large scenario for six players featuring escorted German battleships trying to break through converging British forces to bombard the English coast. We had twelve ships on each side.

A mistake in the reading of the scenario setup saw the Germans come in from a different corner than the one hey were supposed to, pushing the ships of both sides into a fight along one edge of the table instead of more to the middle.

The British battlecruisers got in some excellent early hits on their German counterparts, badly damaging a couple.

British battlecruisers, as yet untroubled by German fire.

I didn't get any pictures after these one. A lot more fire was exchanged but with six people, most of whom were unfamiliar with the game, things took longer to resolve than we hoped and we had to finish before things really got going.

You can read more about the game in my post from earlier this year.

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Nottomans 2

OK, so it's taken me over a week, but today I finished off the regular infantry for the Risk figure 'Turks' to oppose my GNW Russians and Swedes. I've just done four units for now; with the addition of some irregular infantry units, artillery and, of course, regular and irregular cavalry I'll have enough units for a decent Portable Wargame, One Hour Wargame or even small game of Black Powder.

So here they are.

And a shot from behind the lines as they advance towards some outnumbered Russians.

Now whether my next Paint Every Day project will be the irregular foot I don't know. I'll certainly be saving the cavalry until last because (i) they need a bit of conversion work I haven't figured out how to do yet and (ii) I don't like painting cavalry.

Wednesday, 15 March 2023

The Gloomy Hill Of Uncle Vanya

I threw together a quick game of 'Rebels & Patriots' yesterday. Although I've got the rules and have played a few games at our club, it's not a game I've ever really set up at home, and playing games at home is really how I cement a set of rules into my head.

I used my GNW Swedes and Russian, and played the first scenario in the book, where the two sides are battling for control of a hill in the centre of the table.

Both forces were 24 points. The Russians had three units of Line Infantry and two of Shock Cavalry, whilst the Swedes were fielding two units of Shock Infantry and two small units of Aggressive Shock Cavalry. So the Swedes very much had an attackingly force whilst the Russians had teh advantage of numbers.

As with most games the battle opened with a cavalry action on the flank. The Swedes charged, but their Aggressive advantage didn't give them as much of an edge as expected.

Both units fell back, but the level of casualties on the much smaller Swedish unit saw them disordered.

Things hotted up as both sides approached the hill. The Russians opened fire, putting a few hits on the Swedish infantry.

As often happens in this scenario, both sides lurked out of sight of each other on opposite sides of teh hill, waiting for the other to make the first move and expose themselves to fire.

In the centre both sides' foot exchanged fire, whilst the cavalry reorganised on the flank.

On the hill the Swedes advanced, hoping to survive the first round of incoming fire from the Russians and then sweep them away with a devastating charge. The Russian volleys shattered the Swedes, who routed.

The unit lost on the hill contained the Swedish leader, so the whole Swedish force had to test morale. Most of the units ended up disordered. Despite this, Swedish fire routed one of the Russian cavalry units (the big gap in the middle of the picture), allowing the two small Swedish units a chance to take on the surviving Russian one. 

The Russians charged the disordered and damaged Swedish cavalry, destroying it.

The second Swedish foot unit was routed by musketry.

This left one Swedish cavalry unit, that was quickly routed off the table.

The Russians won a decisive victory.

The Russian musketry was devastating, whilst the Swedes never really got a chance to exploit their more aggressive close-range attacks. Making their cavalry units small probably didn't help either; I might have to rethink their force a little. And maybe more terrain and cover would have helped; there was little chance to organise an approach that wasn't going to get shot down.

However the game, although short, got me a feel for the mechanisms again, and I may set up another at some stage.

Monday, 13 March 2023


Over the past couple of years you may have picked up that I've been playing the occasional WWII naval game, but haven't really mentioned what the rules were. Well, I can now reveal that we were playing - or playtesting - Nimitz, the new set of rules from the prolific Sam Mustafa.

On Thursday we had our first 'proper' game, using our shiny new playtester copies of the game. I can't remember which action we were playing - it was based on something historical where the Japanese were trying to supply troops on shore using destroyers, and the Americans were trying to stop them.

Here's teh setup. The Japanese have three cruisers in the centre and three destroyers to the right. The destroyers have to get to the top-left of the picture. On the left are the Americans - four cruisers and six destroyers

I was running the Japanese cruisers and it was obvious from the start that we had a tough job on our hands. The action was a night, which kind of helped us, but once teh Americans closed such that they could shoot at us despite the darkness, we had to fire back, lighting up our ships to counter fire.

We destroyed one American cruiser with torpedoes, but lost one of ours to a pile of gunnery. This broke up my cruiser formation as well.

The American destroyers swarmed us.

Over several turns our cruisers were battered, and, unfortunately, our destroyers were sunk one after the other.

So no win for the Japanese, but to be honest I didn't expect one.

Nimitz is fast, fun and simple. Not a set of rules for rivet-counters, certainly, which is probably why I kind of like them. They only deal with gunnery actions. If you want planes and carrier actions then you play the campaign rules which (in fact) make up the vast majority of the book. And which I haven't read yet.

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