Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Field Day

Huzzah!  I no longer have any study; unless I've fluffed majorly the Masters is finished.  Back to having free time and all the benefits that come with it!
So one of the first things this permitted me to do, was to finish off another little terrain project for my gaming club.  I decided the club needed a little bit of extra 10-15mm terrain, specifically some fields.  Rather than make loose hedgerow, I opted for fixed fields; scenically they look better overall and they are less likely to get lost in the bottom of a storage box, come to less harm in general in fact.

A  fair range
 Honestly, can you not see what they are made from?  For shame if not, anyone who doesn't recognise a 'green dish scrub' when they see one is probably eating dinner off paper plates regularly.  Process wise it was really simple.  I'll summarise thus:

  1. Slice the scrub into regular sections, these were 25mm wide and a 100mm long.   For taller hedgerow you may want to cut it a little wider; 30-35mm.
  2. Apply Evostick or hot glue to one half of one side of scrub strip, fold over to create a double thickness section with a rounded top.  place a book or similar on top to hold in place whilst this dries.  Repeat for all sections.
  3. Cut out sections of wood for bases.  Draw layout of hedgerows on boards.  You may want to ensure fields contain enough space for your favoured units in the design process.
  4. Skim the whole base with a universal DIY filler, using a a scrap of strong card.  Into this surface scrape clean the line for the hedgerow, leaving the gaps for gateways untouched.  You can also scrape in indications of ploughing as I have.
  5. Once that dries (probably overnight), fix the hedges in place with a hot glue gun.  If you wish you can add gateposts or bits of fencing with scraps of wood.  The hedge will be flexible enough to form corners readily.  Trim any rogue strands away at this stage.

15mm Austrians for scale
Painting was pretty easy too, with basically chocolate brown as a base for everything other than the hedgerow itself which wasn't base-coated at all, its' natural green was fine and any bleed of brown on the base of it was not an issue.  Then it was a case of dry-brushing lighter and lighter browns to the ground and woodwork, and greens to the hedgerows.  Finally a little scatter was added to break up the appearance.

Given the cheap materials and the simple approach, I'm really happy with how these came out.

Sunday, May 07, 2017

The most one sided game I ever had!

This may also be the shortest battle report I write.

One of my long-time opponents, Ross, is moving to Eire soon (lucky guy); and had been badgering me for a game of Kings of War: Historical for the longest time.  No small reason being that he has a fledgling Mongolian army he wanted to field.  Bare plastic, but you have to start somewhere eh?

I was happy to face them, even though I knew I didn't exactly have a historical opponent, and that they would be a very difficult opponent.  In the end the best enemy I could offer was a version of the Holy Roman Empire, essentially a German army.  I decided on bringing a reasonable chunk of firepower, but it would prove of little value.

As it turned out I was facing unit after unit of mobile machine guns, aka, Mongolian Horse Archer regiments.

 What followed deployment can scarcely be called a battle.  The Mongols advanced into bow-shot and unleashed a storm of arrows on first my artillery, obliterating it before it could fire a shot.  In the next turn the Mongols decimated my crossbows and bowmen, and my one unit of knights without loss.

At the same time they retired in front of my pike blocks, permitting them time to deal with them once my ranged offense was destroyed.

I conceded on turn three.  There was no point continuing; I had no ranged attacks left and only a handful of light cavalry able to even keep up with the enemy.  It was clear my force was finished and their best bet was to retreat.

Ross lost no units at all, heck, I barely inflicted any damage on him.  On my part some 50% of my force was gone before I yielded.

I have to say that the horse archer units in KoW:H are completely f***ing broken; they fire the same distance as foot, and some units don't suffer movement penalties, and count as skirmishers so can shoot anywhere.  But the worst is that unlike any other shooting unit, they double their ranged attacks when scaled up to a regiment; infantry only gain about 25% more attacks in the same situation.  Sure, this matches how non-shooting cavalry are structured, but for mounted archers it does not work; they are simply too effective.

Anyway, rant over, and I hope you may learn from my experience!  It remained a good natured game, and I will miss Ross as an opponent when he does finally go!

(BTW: We used my own terrain for a change, I think I need to upgrade those woodland templates, the trees really show them up...)

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Hastinge in Ireland - Part the Second: Baggage Train

Two months* passed, the weather and the belligerent Irish kept Lord Hastinge holed up in the largest local village he had made his base.  All the Irish under O'Reagan need do was keep piquets to watch the gates to know his business, and business was poor, for suppliers were slight and his men wanted for much.

With spring weather and an improvement in the seas and roadways there was a hope of getting a convoy of vital supplies through.  With an adequate escort there was a chance for Hastinge to break a de-facto seige of his force and return to a more active stance.

But O'Reagan would be aware of his every move.  Nevertheless horsemen were able to communicate with a supply train and additional forces made their way north to relieve Hastinge and his men.

Part of the wagon train advances
 The English were able to advance their wagons for many miles without incident, but as they closed on 'home', O'Reagan's men began to appear in numbers.  A retinue of knights advanced to clear the ground before the wagon train, whilst substantial infantry forces acted as their entourage.

The Knights dash off
 Of course the urge to engage and gain glory soon resulted in the knights leaving the convoy far behind.

Irish axemen would prove rash adversaries
 A band of axe armed warriors attempted to draw the knights into a scrub of woodland on the fringe of a farm, but instead were caught in the open and soon retired to the trees.  The knights followed and despite the difficulty of the ground, pursued the tribal rabble to the finish.

Other issues may arise
 A mixture of skirmishing kerns and tribesmen were by this point harassing the convoy and normal order was momentarily lost.  However the English axes and Bills were enough to hold the Irish at arms length.

 The English knights began to flank the Irish, who had stationed their own men at arms squarely on the road.  A series of charges against these more heavily armed foes thinned the horsemen until they finally broke away.

Run away!
 However this had bought the main convoy time to outrun the warriors behind them and get close to the relative safety of Hastinge's hold.  Some of the wagons made it through the Irish lines, though others would fail at the final gasp.

So close...
A handful of wagons got through, but most of the infantry were able to fight past at the sacrifice of their supplies.  Hastinge would find himself reinforced, but in a parlous situation regarding his supplies.


From a Glory standpoint it was another victory for the Irish.  And so for the next battle the initiative will be with O'Reagan.  The English were able to make their opponents run before them, but not able to achieve a great degree of harm.  At the end of part two of the campaign therefore the results now stand at:

Ireland: 6     England: 0

*Actually, two WHOLE years!