Monday, April 24, 2017

Skirmish Saturday

We met up at Guardian Games on Saturday to play some pick-up games of SAGA and to try out Pikeman's Lament.  First up was a SAGA game of Danes vs. Crusaders. I was trying to run Harold Godwinson with my Danes and was experimenting with a strategy of using him as a strong point in a larger line, with 12 warriors and 12 levy on each flank of him and his brothers (which are treated as a hearthguard unit). The idea is to basically stand still and load up defensive abilities, and use the levy archers to shoot at the enemy until they feel compelled to attack.

Of course the scenario card we drew was for the defender (me) to deploy in the middle and be attacked on all sides until I was killed to the man!  I deployed in a rectangle shape since I had no idea from which side the Crusaders were coming, so my defensive line strategy was out the window.

What then followed was some of the laughably worst dice rolling by me ever. My Danes made a point to miss as many hits and saves as possible and models were removed in droves. In the first assault I lost uphands at least 20 figures. SAGA dice were similarly unfriendly (one rare the whole game!) so I was playing with partial to no board support.  Still, I was able to push the game to the fifth turn which was how many turns the Crusaders had to wipe the Danes out.

Up next was a trial run of Pikeman's Lament. Time was running late, so we just ran the generic "Ga Pa" straightforward fight scenario. Right off the bat, I noticed that, with the exception of the lone regimental gun, every unit enjoyed a 5+ (on a 2d6) roll to activate to move, but that the roll to shoot, even for generic musketeers, was 7+. I noticed this before but did not realize how it would affect game play. This really gave the game this curious frenetic energy where units can move very aggressively but will then completely stall out and not open fire at each other.

In this game the poor dice rolling epidemic continued. I have rarely been bitten by this bug, so I figured it was time to pay up for all the friendly results the dice have granted me so far.  Jokes about me needing to find a game where you need to roll a lot of 1s and 2s followed.

In the end I was left with a single musketeer unit, all his friends having fled the field. I caused one single opposing unit to break, and another fled on account of a bungled command roll, Woof!

Monday, April 10, 2017

US Colored Troops 1863

Took two days to paint up this unit of Union infantry (just block painted in above photo).  These are Armies in Plastic Iron Brigade figures with the heads exacto-knifed off and replaced with metal heads from All the Kings Men.  I'll admit that before they're painted, the juxtaposition of the silvery lead head on the bright blue plastic body makes you think "uh oh what I have I done, this is not going to look good..."  But once you've applied your primer of choice, it's difficult to tell you've made any change at all.  Generally, AKTM heads seem to be a good fit (the best fit, possibly?) on AIP figures.

The Union Brigade set has a nice set of poses, with more "firing line" and "tenaciously advancing" poses and less "charging and close combat" poses than other sets. I've based them three-to-a-base (a 3" square of basswood) like I recently did with my entire colonial collection.

I could see myself painting up ACW armies for play with the AKTM rules, but I think I'd end up head swapping another 60-72 figures to do so for a Union army alone (and I have plenty of other things on the painting que), so for the time being these fellows will be shelf queens awaiting further additions...