Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Gong Con 2012 - We Made The Paper

Gong Con 2012 made the local paper, with a focus on the HOTT game and a great picture to go with it:

(OK, my favourite bit is that all of the figures in the picture are from Games Workshop, but being used for a game that isn't theirs :) )

Monday, 30 July 2012

Gong Con 2012 - Final Pictures

Caesar has sent me a few more pictures of this weekend's con at Wollongong University.

Firstly the mighty Unkillable Troll - surround on three sides ...

... it pushed back all its foes!

The troll managed to put on a good show in just about every game we played.

The second set are pictures from a game Caesar and John played on the second day - a Victorian alternate history set-up, featuring the Kelly Gang holding a village against the Zulu army of King Shaka.

Caesar writes:

"The Zulus deployed their Warband (black shields) 'left horn' along the road approach to the town as their Blade 'loins' (red shields) and Shooter 'right horn', supported by Hordes (white shields), marched to occupy the heights. The Kelly Gang main body, consisting of Shooters, Warband and a Hero general advanced into the town, with Dlade (troopers) and Hero (Mulga Bill) coming down the road to cover the flank against the Zulu 'loins'. 

It wasn’t looking favourable for the all-foot Zulu impi against two Heroes, until Ned Kelly rolled a one in bad going against the Zulu Warband (with flank support) roll of  six. A quick game with only one casualty emphasising the old adage, “Don’t put your egg general in a Hero basket”. Long live Shaka!"

The Kelly Gang reinforcements:

Zulus deploying off the road and into the attack:

Zulus to the south-west. Thousands of them:

Caesar also takes issue with my previous write-ups, for "the bit where an otherwise superb general was unfairly slandered for a record loss in one turn." So let it be a matter of record that I played six games of HOTT over the weekend, and was on the winning side in only one of them.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Gong Con 2012 - Second Day: HOTT!

On Day Two of Gong Con 2012 we decided to play smaller, non-scenario, games of HOTT, allowing us to either showcase the game to people watching, or to teach people how to play.

We set out yesterday's Minas Tirith game for people to see, or play if they really wanted to. We also laid out various HOTT armies, from 6mm to 25mm, so that people could see the range of possibilities - these ranged from the purely historical, to traditional fantasy to sci-fi.

Several games were played during the course of the day. I mostly took pictures of my own, of course.

We started with a 48AP game, in 25mm - Dark Elves faced an alliance of Other Elves and Centaurs:

We bespelled their Hero early on, but he came back and attacked our stronghold. Failed to take it though.

Centaurs charge the Dark Elf line.

Geoff ponders his next move.

The Elf Hero is attacked by Dark Elf Riders.

Here he is in close-up.

The Dark Elf Magician general is isolated and flanked.

BAM! Game Over.

The Dark Elves flee.

I then played a 24AP game in 15mm, using a couple of my Barsoomian armies. Green Martians defended against an attack by the city of Manator.

Lots of thoats in the centre.

The Red Martians got the worse of it though. They lost.

Caesar took some younger players through a game using Star Wars armies. We didn't have a suitable board for the Battle of Hoth, though.

Finally I used Daleks against UNIT.

They advanced.

They even got a shot at The Brigadier with the killer Special Weapons Dalek.

But, ultimately, the Brigadier prevailed.

We then went outside to watch one of the highlights of the Con - Quidditch.

Wollongong University has one of Australia's Quidditch teams, and they put on a show, drafting up Con attendees to make up numbers.

Basically people ran around with brooms, throwing balls at each other. It looked totally silly, and a lot of fun.

Aside from our HOTT, and the Quidditch, Gong Con offered board and role-playing games, as well as anime and film screenings. There's no getting away from the fact that attendance and registration for some events could have been better, but this was the Gamers Guild's first con, and it has provided a solid foundation for future events of this nature. Well done, and thank you, to everyone involved in organising it, promoting it and running things on the day; we certainly enjoyed the opportunity to showcase our group to the wider community and entertain other people at the same time.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Gong Con 2012 - First Day: The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

This weekend is Gong Con, a new event staged by the Wollongong University Gamer's Guild. The Guild cover a wide range of gamers - role-players, board-gamers and miniature wargamers and, as regular readers of this blog know, the Gong Garage Gamers attached themselves to it earlier this year in order to gain more exposure for the group and because it's a better venue.

When Gong Con was announced it seemed obvious to us to participate, and it was a chance to showcase some miniature wargaming. We had various grand plans, and had hoped to stage a few different games over the two days, but we're a small group of gamers with limited time and resources, so we went with what we know - 'Hordes of the Things'.

For the first day we decided to pull out a game we played a couple of years ago - a HOTT game based loosely on the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Effectively a 48AP Gondorian army faces a 48AP Mordor army, but there are complications - Gondor's Rohan allies are riding to the sound of battle, but it's not known when they will turn up, whilst Mordor's army is split in two, with a small force of Gondorians holding a vital river-crossing at Osgiliath.

Here's the table from one end. That's the River Anduin, with the ruins of Osgiliath on it. The bridge isn't there at the start, but Mordor can build it by spending PIPs. Beyond the river is Minas Tirith on the hill:

The table from behind Minas Tirith:

Armies deployed. The Gondorians have Gandalf (a Paladin), two Spears, two Shooters and six Blades. Off tale behind them are the reinforcements from Rohan - a hero general (Theoden), two Knights and two Riders. Mordor's army consists of two Warband (one a general), two Shooters, a Behemoth, six Hordes and an Aerial Hero (Nazgul):

The battle at Osgiliath. A second Mordor army is trying to link up with the first - a Hero general (the Witch King), a Behemoth, three Riders, two Shooters and six Hordes. Defending Osgiliath are a Spear general (Faramir), another Spear and four Shooters:

Minas Tirith. This resin model is the lid from a jewellery box that came with the special edition DVD of the third Peter Jackson LotR film. Minas Tirith acts as the general for the Gondorian army deployed in front of it:

We had a few minor special rules - Gandalf and the Nazgul got a free PIP with which they could move themselves or a group they were with, and Mordor could build a bridge over the river, linking the two halves of the road together. the river crossong speed was increased to reflect Mordor's use of boats (and to offset the fact that the river is quite wide for a HOTT game). The troops from Rohan rolled PIPs each turn, but didn't appear until their accumulated total was 20 or more.

Victory was purely through destroying half of the enemy AP - killing a general was inconvenient, but not fatal, whilst Minas Tirith, although classed as a stronghold, just counted as lost AP for Gondor (albeit a lot). This ensured that the game didn't end in a 'sudden death' - a useful way to play it with new people.

We played three games during the day, the idea being that people attending the Con could take part or just watch - it was really a combined demonstration/participation game. We had a few takers when it came to playing, but members of our group took part as well, offering advice and support to help the newbies along.

I didn't keep a detailed account of each game, so here are some pictures taken through the day.

Early in the first game, and already there's a big hole in Mordor's line:

A troll finds himself pinned between Gandalf and Theoden. Rising to the occasion he proceeded to kill Gandalf, having already destroyed three Gondorian elements earlier in the battle. As trolls go, he was pretty awesome:

The Rohirrim:

Orc hordes return to the battle along the road to Osgiliath:

Gondorian swordsmen face the Witch King:

Warg riders attempt to slow down the Rohan advance:

Halfway through the second game of the day:

Rohirrim are attacked by a Nazgul:

Led by Gandalf and Theoden the forces of Rohan appear to save the day again:

One of the cast of thousands. HOTT Yahoo group regulars should note: Not Green:

Mordor prepares to cross the river again:

And does so in style:

The battle before Minas Tirith. Note the uncharacteristic (for a wargamer) deployment of a reserve on the hill:

Theoden takes down the troll:

Caesar's finest moment, as he gets 14AP of Mordor's troops destroyed in one bound, including his general:

We played three games - the first went to Mordor, whilst the other two were won by Gondor. This was a reverse of our test games which saw Mordor victorious in all but one.

A big hurrah for John, who designed the scenario, made the terrain and did most of the troops as well. Caesar did some of the bases, whilst I just provided a troll and put together the playsheets and information sheets.

We were photographed by the local paper, and filmed by both local television and the university's own TV station. I think we got plenty of exposure.

Tomorrow we will be running and playing a selection of normal 24AP HOTT games, using a variety of armies designed to showcase the scope of the game.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

A Message From Mordor

Troll Say ...

... Smash Puny Gondor!

Yes, we've been testing our Gong Con game again.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Army Showcase - The Hounds Of Hollywood

Those that know me will know I'm not a fan of 'silly' HOTT armies - the ones that are just a random concept translated into HOTT troop types. Fortunately many of them never make it to the table, but from time to time 'Hordes Of The Things I Found In My Pocket' make it onto the table. I grit my teeth, and only play against it if I have to.

My wife, however, does have a tendency to come up with off-the-wall ideas. She has fielded an army based on the nursery rhyme 'Sing A Song of Sixpence' for example. And her Vicars and Tarts force featured edible, jam tart, Hordes. And the cast of 'Father Ted'. I kid you not.

In 2007 the theme for the Burton HOTT competition was 'At The Movies'. I went for an army based around Alex Cox's film 'Walker', Catherine went for something more ... unusual.

She decided to do an 'army' featuring famous (and not so famous) dogs from films.

My contribution was to help her source the figures, as well as advice on painting and doing the bases, but the rest of it was her own work. Oh, I think it was me that built the stronghold.

And the best part of it? She came within a die roll of winning the tournament, winning her first three games and narrowly losing the fourth to an army based on Buster Keaton's 'The General' (all painted in black and white, of course.)

Anyway, here's the army:

1 x Hero General (Rin Tin Tin)
1 x Hero (Lassie)
1 x Paladin (Greyfriars Bobby)
6 x Beasts (Various Hounds Of Hollywood - see below)

The Hero/Paladin combination is a popular and powerful one, although supporting it with six Beasts was fairly high risk as they are a fairly fragile troop type. It's an army that can win big very quickly, or die horribly, bit by bit.

On to the individual elements. Rin Tin Tin is the Hero general:

Lassie is the other Hero. She is from the 2005 film version, and accompanied by Toots. It was a toss-up between Lassie and Rin Tin Tin to be the general, but Rin Tin Tin has greater military experience.

The loyal Greyfriars Bobby is a Paladin.

On to the Beasts. First up are the title stars of  Disney's 'Lady and the Tramp'.

Then Rowf and Snitter from 'The Plague Dogs'

Here's Merlin and Tag from 'The Belstone Fox', plus some other foxhounds.

The Hound of the Baskervilles needs no introduction.

The army would not be complete without Pongo and Perdita from '101 Dalmatians', plus a few puppies, of course.

A cat appears on this element, which features Luath, Bodger and Tao from 'The Incredible Journey'.

On to the stronghold. The stronghold is a hill ...

... with an old mine-shaft.

 But wait, what's that cry?

Oh no! Timmy is trapped in the Old Mine Shaft!

Quick Lassie! Go get help!


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