Posts Tagged ‘Wargames’

Sharpen the Sickle! Scarecrows in the Malverns

Posted on February 23rd, 2015 under . Posted by

Deep in the heart of Malvern Hills along the Herefordshire/Worcestershire border lies Witches Wood. An area of ill-repute, ancient stones and treacherous undergrowth, Witches Wood is shunned by the superstitious locals who say it is the haunt of ghosts, devils and more recently, the abode of King Twiggy and his legion of living scarecrows.

The militia of the Malvern Hills Conservators have learned that a consignment of arms, bound for the Royalists in Hereford, has gone missing in the area, and rumour has it that it is being stored in Witches Wood by persons unknown. Being a practical bunch, the MHC have been asked to retrieve the crates, ghosts be damned!

Missing weapons cache

For the first time in ages I was able to invite Giles over for a skirmish game using the Brink of Battle rules – once again with a 500 points force apiece. For a change I decided to field a ‘horde’ of Twiggy Mommet rural protesters, who, fed up with the civil war raging through the countryside, have captured the aforementioned arms cache.

My horde of protesters

Fielding a horde gives you larger numbers of low-quality troops, which is useful when casualties start to mount up and rout checks need to be taken, but they are less handy in combat. Plus you need enough action tokens to make full use of them all. With this in mind I gave their commander almost legendary stats, and the ‘Master Tactician’ trait, which gave me extra action tokens each round, alongside the mandatory ‘Commander’ trait. I could thus activate almost all of the models without having figures standing idle. He had obviously been rummaging through the arms cache as he had an SMG and extra ammo in case of those pesky weapon jams.

I also had a veteran with decent stats and the ‘Commander’ trait, allowing me some flexibility in command and giving me a backup leader should the commander get wounded. The rest of the horde had lower level stats and were armed with a mix of rifles, shotguns and improvised weapons. Being dressed as spooky scarecrows, I gave each figure the ‘Savage Aspect’ trait, which gave them a much-needed advantage when charging into close combat (something the scythe wielding protesters would have to do to avoid being shot up).

Witches Wood and environs

My daughter helped me to dress the table to represent the edge of Witches Wood (designated ‘area terrain’ and thus providing concealment but also difficult terrain). Her assistance did come at a cost, for, lacking any livestock models, she insisted I rectify this with some of her toy rabbits – giant bunnies obviously being a speciality of Malvern Hills farmers!

‘Cattle’ enclosure

And so the game began, with Giles’ usual team of MHC militia – well armed, well trained but at a numerical disadvantage – splitting up into three teams and bravely advancing into Witches Wood.

MHC militia advance…

My scarecrow horde also split into three, with the commander and chums making straight for the crates while the others advanced on the flanks. The going was slow due to the undergrowth, but both sides benefited from the concealment this offered.

…as do the scarecrows

Both sides exchanged fire. A scarecrow was wounded on my left flank, causing his mate to fail a panic test. After seeing his pal fall, he turned tail and fled. However the situation was quickly redressed, with MHC militiamen also succumbing to blasts from the scarecrow’s shotguns both on the flanks and in the centre.

Fighting on the flank – note the use of old pennies as action tokens!

With the woodland reducing visibility, the MHC were unable to make use of their longer range rifles and with smaller numbers, they soon hit the 25% casualties required to force a rout check. Alas the dice weren’t in Giles’ favour and the roll failed, causing the MHC to withdraw rather than take any more casualties in the close confines of Witches Wood.

One more victim for the scarecrows!

Plenty of time then for another game! We left the table pretty much the same as before (giant rabbits and all) but this time opened up the wood a little bit with an elevated clearing in the middle. We also changed the axis of advance from the wide edges of the table to moving along the length.

Same table, but with a more open wood

This time we both elected to split our forces in two – one team making for the wood while the other took to the open flank. My commander and those scarecrows with firearms headed for the hill on this flank, while those armed only with improvised weapons, supported by the second in command, sought the cover of the wood.

Mayhem on the flank

As the flanking party reached the hill they received fire from the MHC, similarly advancing along the flank and taking cover in some rough ground beyond the rabbit cattle enclosure. Although one scarecrow was downed, the others held their nerve, returning fire from their vantage point on the hill and bagging two of the three MHC militiamen.

Scarecrows begin their flanking move

While the other MHC chap withdrew, this team descended the hill and into the woodland to outflank the MHC there, who with numbers once again beginning to count against them, lay in wait for the other scarecrows to emerge into the clearing.

Scarecrows come under fire

Despite the cover afforded by the undergrowth, these scarecrows had to reveal themselves sometime, and with the field a little more open, were soon succumbing to MHC rifle fire. A series of poor panic tests saw some scarecrows fleeing from their fallen comrades, leaving only a small number to grapple with the MHC.

Flanking manoeuvre fails thanks to some long-range shooting

With the advance in the wood contained, the MHC were free to turn their fire onto the flanking party, who duly took casualties, including the scarecrow commander, felled by a long-range shot from the remaining MHC militiaman who had withdrawn from the flank earlier and was skulking behind the ‘cattle’ enclosure. The commander’s loss was keenly felt, as his high CMD (command) rating was of great advantage during rout tests and the like. His surviving companion wobbled before bravely continuing to advance, but was soon dispatched by MHC fire.

Casualties mount and scarecrows flee

In the clearing the remaining scarecrows struggled to get within pitchfork-thrusting distance of the MHC firing line, but eventually close combat was achieved. Initially the scary-looking but poorly trained and poorly armed scarecrows had the better of it, but they were no match for the MHC with their rifles and bayonets.

Close combat

By now both sides had taken over 25% casualties but this time it was I who failed – my poor dice roll compounded by the large modifier Giles was able to add to his opposing roll due to the number of wounded in the scarecrow ranks. The scarecrows threw in the towel and withdrew, with honours even after two great games!

Big Dog Support for MOUT Force

Posted on February 20th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

So I am not posting pix of the previous two game nights because my D10s are traitorous little plastic polyhedrals. It’s as if they instinctively know to roll the exact opposite of whatever target number I need in a particular situation. *5 or less? How’s three 10s hit ya? Muwahahahahahha* Bastards have left my forces … Continue reading

Painting WIP: Two headed Troll Sculpt

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

So, I’m getting through loads of stuff paintwise, that needs doing, and this has been put off for ages. This is of course, my own two headed troll sculpt thats been waiting for a long time. You’ll have to excuse the shadow on many of these pics due to the lack of natural light and […]

Draxxon Army: Draxxon Power Armor

Posted on February 11th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

I’ve added another addition to my own draxx army, this time its a repurposed Zoids mini-diorama model done in matching colours to my draxx forces. This model I got for a song off ebay quite a while ago. It’s not one of the expensive model kits, nor the old ones from yesteryear, this one is […]

The Next Big Game – Briefings

Posted on February 10th, 2015 under . Posted by

With the next Herefordshire VBCW Big Game coming next month, I thought it might be interesting to show you the initial briefing that I send to prospective players.

Hi gents,

Regarding the next VBCW big game – Saturday 14th March 2015 – the usual stuff first…

Cost – TBC (approx. £10-15 per head depending on catering costs) – Includes hall hire and catering (see below)

Venue – Burley Gate Village Hall –

Start/finish time – Start approx 10am, finish no later than 6pm (usually way before then)

Food – Catering will be provided. Depending on how things go you will may asked to choose 2 items from the menu in a future email. Please let me know if you have any dietary requirements.

Rules – ‘Went The Day Well?’ platoon level rules – Don’t worry if you haven’t played these rules before as there will be plenty of players willing to show you the ropes. I will also send a quick reference sheet on request.

Force composition – Please use the attached Platoon Generator guide to build your platoon. Please speak up if you do not have any/enough figures as collectively we should have enough to help you out. We’re pretty flexible with the guide, so please let me know if you have any issues.

Terrain – We should have enough terrain, and will hopefully be dressing the tables the night before (please refrain from adding bits without our say-so). You are however welcome to bring bits along as I’m sure we’ll need extra stuff on the day.

Players – Here’s a list of players who have definitely confirmed attendance, their faction and the battlefield I’ve pencilled you in on. Please let me know if you have any issues, or if I’ve missed anyone out.


(Snipped for privacy)
Please get together, nominate an overall commander for each faction, and by all means discuss your battle plans. Faction briefings will be emailed soon.

Please also let me know if you’d rather be known by your real name as opposed to your forum username, and vice-versa.

Curry! Please let me know if you’re up for the post-game curry (usually ordered for 7pm) at Giles’ house down the road. If you want to stay for the curry, here’s a link for the menu – please let me know if you’re staying, and your menu choice ASAP.

And now, the story so far…


An alliance of Anglican League, Welsh Nationalist and Socialist forces has pushed across the Welsh border to capture the important railway junction at Eardisley, and occupy a strong position to take the strategic Titley Junction – all part of their grand plan to take control of the Hay-Presteigne line and link it up to the Golden Valley Railway, much of which lies under the control of Sir Gilbert. For his part Sir Gilbert has attempted to chasten rival landowners in neighbouring Longtown for daring to oppose his expansionist plans.


However, far from putting the local government forces on the back foot, this advance has galvanised them into action: sending squads of loyal men to secure any neutral parishes along the westbound railway routes from Hereford and Leominster. Those border parishes that were under the sway of the Landowners’ Protection Association have also taken action; realising that banding together for mutual protection is not enough, the local gentry from Longtown to Clifford have declared their estates for the government and the King.


As the forces loyal to the King gather momentum, the anti-government coalition must now brace themselves for the inevitable counterattack. However in addition to weathering the storm there is still scope for an offensive – if the rebels can take the Royalist parish of Dorstone and the river crossing at Bredwardine they will not only cut off the newly declared Royalist border region, but also complete their mastery of the Golden Valley Railway.


The Royalists and BUF remain strong, with reinforcements and supplies coming in from government depots outside the county. The BUF still has scores to settle while the Royalists are also keen to get back on top, buoyed by growing local support from those fearful of a belligerent Wales.


On the other hand the Anglican League has yet to carve out a stable supply route and relies on an increasingly expansionist Nationalist Wales. Their uneasy bedfellows the Socialists at least now have their foot in the door, awarded somewhat begrudgingly by their allies, but will not be content with languishing in an isolated spot in the back of beyond. Sir Gilbert now has Royalists in his back yard and Socialists peering over the fence, but securing Dorstone, the final piece in his jigsaw, will solve all his problems.


Thus the scene is set for more battles along the border…


Looking forward to a good day’s gaming!

There you have it!
At the time of writing there are still some spare places, so if you fancy a trip to the ‘shire then please let me know :-)

Laois Masters

Posted on February 10th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

I mentioned last week that I am attending a tournament at the end of the year called the Laois Masters. This will be its third year to be run. I can’t guess what effect ninth edition will have on the format but the current composition rules are interes…

Troll Tribe: Old School Grenadier War Troll.

Posted on February 5th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

I’ve been turning my hand back to painting up stuff from my lead pile of late, and thought it was about time to start up another unit. Since this old Fantasy Warriors Troll was already undercoated and pre prepared, I thought I might as well get around to it. My trolls are a mixed bunch, […]

The Star Wars-Games Workshop Mashup? Is there any truth to the rumour?

Posted on February 4th, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

If you haven’t been living in a cave on Dagobah for the last year or so, you’ll know that Disney/Lucasfilm movie machine is now kicked into gear. The Force Awakens (also known as Episode VII) is set for a 15th of December 2015 release at the cinemas. Great news for Star Wars fans, eager to […]

Draxxon now available from Wargames Supply Dump!

Posted on February 3rd, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Just quickly to let you know, the Draxxon figures are now available from Wargames Supply Dump if your interested in getting hold of some. Check them out here. Let me know what you think! Enjoy!   Related articles Terrain Workshop: WIP 15mm Industrial Zone Weird 15mm Games I should run: Zombies On The Buses… Grinning […]

More Savages

Posted on February 3rd, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

Here is the progress on my bunch of Savage Orcs. These are slow to paint and it is going to be at least two more months to get them done. The flesh is the problem and a complete lack of time to paint. I am getting an hour late in the evening maybe two …

One Months Tally

Posted on February 2nd, 2015 under , . Posted by

I am going to try and keep a tally of what I have painted this year. Time seems to fly by and little progress is made, a tally won’t keep me motivated but it will indicate how lazy I have been. Unusually I have an aim for hr I want done by the end of t…

Crowdfunding Spotlight: Archiminima Structura Kickstarter

Posted on February 1st, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

It’s been ages since I had a look at some KS stuff, so since I happen to be here, quiet and alone, it did give me chance to have a look at whats doing the crowdfunding rounds that would be of interest. This is one that seems to have slipped the net, not too much […]

Wargaming Aspirations for 2015 (better late than never…)

Posted on February 1st, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

It’s not often that I have the time or concentration lately to consider my gaming aspirations for the new year ahead. Still, there are shed loads of random ideas knocking around in my skull, that may or may not come to fruition in the next 12 months, one can still dream on. I thought I’d […]

Wargames Supply Dump get set to release the Draxxon!

Posted on January 31st, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

So I’m here briefly to talk about the Draxxion sculpts I sold on a while ago to Roger at Wargames Supply Dump. I’ve not had much time for the net lately, trying rather to get back on track with stuff, mostly painting and planning designs and such. Roger kindly sent me some finished castings of […]

Winter Storm Brushwork, pt. 1

Posted on January 31st, 2015 under , , , , , , , . Posted by

Managed to paint up a couple figs between shoveling shifts. Things are just getting back online here. (Having spent three years in Nova Scotia, it is painfully obvious Mass. town officials don’t do snow removal all that well.) Here is the latest brushwork: two Infinity figs. I still don’t do them justice, but I think … Continue reading

Wargames Factory Skeleton Warriors Review

Posted on January 31st, 2015 under , , , , , , . Posted by

I decided that for my undead army I needed to have a large selection of skeletons and there has always been a large selection of undead miniatures out there.  To fill out my ranks I opted for Wargames Factory Skeleton Warriors.  This kit is all plastic and each box has the bits to create 30 […]

Ranked Attack + Forward Kommander + VASSAL = WIN!

Posted on January 29th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

I’ve been a fan and advocate for using VASSAL to play WMH for years. The only slightly painful bit of using VASSAL is the selecting of models to make up your army. I’ve always found it to be a slow … Continue reading

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Book Recommendation: The Last Battle by Stephen Harding

Posted on January 27th, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

I’ve not been playing as many games as I’d hoped recently. I have, however, been pretty active preparing stuff for the WTC and reading some interesting books. A book I’d like to recommend, for anyone with an interest in WWII, … Continue reading

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Savage Orcs: old vs. new

Posted on January 26th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

I thought I might show you my previous painting attempts on these Savage Orcs. Guess which one is the old one? I painted them fairly simply over ten years ago. The skin was something like a Scorpion Green(GW) base coat, then an ink wash and finally a d…

First Pair of Savage Orcs

Posted on January 19th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

Savage Orcs are next on the list to get painted. I bought these when I lived in England many years ago. There was a good second hand shop for miniatures where you could get some really great deals. A lot of my students paltry income was spent there on …

Night Goblins finished?

Posted on January 15th, 2015 under , , , . Posted by

Finally these sixty models are done. It was quite a slog towards the end but I managed to push through. I have refrained from finishing the bases as I may have to put them on round ones all too soon. Hopefully that doesn’t come to pass, it would just f…

Warmachine: Cygnar vs Farrow

Posted on January 14th, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

There has been somewhat of a resurgence in popularity of Warmachine and Hordes at my local game store. This has given me a chance to play my first games since the Mark 2 rules came out a few years ago. So far I have been able to play about 3 games with…

Malidays: Game 2 – Slaughter in Chastity

Posted on January 6th, 2015 under , , , , . Posted by

Belinda was a loss, that was for sure. Seamus was going to miss her animated, if mostly silent, conversational style. Mind you, not so much that he was willing to risk a run-in with the Nephilim in the woods to … Continue reading

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New Year’s Resolution, done

Posted on January 3rd, 2015 under , , , , , . Posted by

I did it – cleaned my game room that is; every corner, crevice, nook and cranny. On the table, under the table, beside the painting table… I went through every box, bag, envelope then sorted and labelled all of it. Took two days. New wire shelves from IKEA to hold it all tidily. So that’s … Continue reading

2014 Wargames Audit

Posted on January 3rd, 2015 under , , , , , , , , , , . Posted by

Here we are at the start of a New Year and time for another ‘Wargames Audit‘ to assess how I’m getting on with my various gaming and hobby activities. 2013 was a very good year and as you’ll see below … Continue reading

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