Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Friday 30 November 2012

Saga Action with Rich

On Tuesday Rich and I played a game of Saga at Maunsfield Games. Rich had not played before so I lent him a four point Anglo-Danish list with a Warlord, two units of four Huscarles and two units of eight Ceorls. I used my Vikings and had my Warlord, two units of four Hirdmen and two units of eight Bondi.

We settled down to play the game and explain the rules to Rich. In the first game it went too and fro for six turns until I was left with my Warlord and three Bondi, while Rich had his Warlord, one Huscarle and one Ceorl. Then he managed to duff up my Warlord on the last turn.

In the second game I surged forwards using the Viking ability to shed fatigue and launched the majority of my force at the center of his army, fluffed my attacks and had lost my Warlord by turn three.

I'm going to stop teaching newbies how to play Saga it's getting far too depressing :-)

Next Tuesday we are playing again, I think there should be at least four of us and I may get to play somebody who is not a newbies so may stand a chance of winning.

Bondi prepare to clear the Ceorles from the village.

Saxon Warlords and his Huscarles.

Bondi and Hirdmen are urged forwards by their Warlord.

Viking Warlord about to go down!

Saturday 24 November 2012

Classical Hail Caesar Bash

I've been working away quite a bit and have not had much gaming opportunity the last few months. I did play in the rather spiffing 'Games of the Gods' WAB event at Halifax with my Late Republican Romans but only took a couple of pictures so have not done a blog update.

So for my first battle report in about a month, yesterday evening at Maunsfield Gaming Quinon, James, Daz, Adie and myself set down to a good old game of Hail Caesar, Quint would bring his Greeks, James his Macedonians and myself my extensive Punic Wars collection of Republican Romans, Carthaginians and Gauls.

Myself and Adie would command the Romans:

General CV8
2 x Hastati (Cl 6, Su 6, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 5+ St 6, Drilled, Pilum)

2 x Principes (Cl 7, Su 7, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+ St 6, Drilled, Pilum)

2 x Triarii (Cl 7, Su 7, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+ St 6, Drilled, Stubborn, Long Spears)
2 x Velites (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg -, Mo- St 4)
1 x Lg Italians (Cl 8, Su 8, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 5+ St 8)
1 x Slingers (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg 2, Mo- St 4)

General CV8
2 Equites (Cl 8, Su 5, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 6+, St 6, Eager)

General CV8
2 x Hastati (Cl 6, Su 6, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 5+ St 6, Drilled, Pilum)
2 x Principes (Cl 7, Su 7, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+ St 6, Drilled, Pilum)
2 x Triarii (Cl 7, Su 7, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+ St 6, Drilled, Stubborn, Long Spears)
2 x Velites (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg -, Mo- St 4)

General CV8
3 x Gauls (Cl 9, Su 7, Sh 3, Lg -, Mo5+, St 8, Wild Fighters)
1 x Slingers (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg 2, Mo- St 4)

The Roman battle-line
Adie would command the first two and myself the second two. The Carthaginain alliance comprised three commands, Quinton had the center

Daz, Quint and James - feel free to add your own captions
General CV8
1 x Spartan (Cl 7, Su 7, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+ St 6, Drilled, Stubborn, Long Spears, Phalanx)
4 x Hoplites (Cl 6, Su 6, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 5+ St 6, Long Spears, Phalanx)
3 x Numidians (Cl 5, Su 3, Sh 2, Lg -, Mo 6+, St 4, Feigned Flight, Phalanx)
1 x Javelins (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg -, Mo- St 4)
1 x Elephant  (Cl 4, Su 4, Sh 3, Lg -, Mo4+ St 6, Elephant)

Daz had the right

General CV8
1 x Gallic Cavalry (Cl 8, Su 5, Sh 3, Lg -, Mo 5+, St 6)
2 x Gauls (Cl 9, Su 7, Sh 3, Lg -, Mo5+, St 8, Wild Fighters)
1 x Scutarii (Cl 9, Su 7, Sh 3, Lg -, Mo5+, St 8, Pilum)
1 x Slingers (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg 2, Mo- St 4)
1 x Javelins (Cl 3, Su 2, Sh 2, Lg -, Mo- St 4)

My Gauls under the command of Daz

James had the left

General CV8
1 x Hypaspists (Cl 7, Su 7, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+ St 6, Drilled, Stubborn, Long Spears, Phalanx)
4 x Phalangites (Cl 6, Su 6, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 5+ St 6, Pike, Phalanx)
The Carthaginan Alliance, Macedonians in the foreground
1 x Companions (Cl 9, Su 6, Sh 3/0, Lg -, Mo 4+, St 6, Kontos)

Our small units were about 9 infantry or 5 cavalry, the mediums were 12 to 18 infantry or 6 to 10 cavalry and the large units were bigger, typically about 24 to 30 infantry.

The Carthaginian alliance won the roll off to move first, the Gauls advanced on their left and the Numidians ranged out in front. The foot in the center and left were rather sluggish. The first couple of turns only saw the Velites exchanging desultry skirmishing fire with the Numidians.

Numidians range out in front
The two armies approach
Bored with the skirmishing I moved my Velites out of the way and ordered a charge, my Legion crashed into the Hoplites in the center.

Vive L' Republique - sorry wrong time-frame
Things did not go well, in the left hand combat I won, but not by enough to overhaul the Phalanx advantage. On the right things did not go so well. I lost the combat by one and took my Break Test....

A bloody three!!!
So the Hastati were removed and the supporting Principes heading to the rear. In the next round my remaining Hastati fought well but were also forced to retire.

The Gauls were rushing up to support the flank of my Legion, but Daz was quick to counter-attack with his own troops, the Scutarii smashed into the flank of one of my warbands who fought well and only lost the combat by two pints, time to roll that break test gain. A bloody two this time!!! Take off another unit.

On our right Adie skillfully pushed back the elephant with his Italian Spearmen and then threw his two units of Equites at the Companions. Now we had hobbled the Equites rather by changing them from a 5+ save to a 6+ save to make them very brittle. Adie threw his dice and managed to get two unsaved hits on the Companions. James was a great big Jessie, rather than rolling the dice himself he called over Daz who is reknowned for his luck - nine attacks hitting on a three - eight hits - Adie only makes two saves and the Equites are trounced and broken, the Companions follow up into the supporting unit and obliterate them too. That's us Romans a division down.

Not to be downhearted, we launch the remains of my Legion and Adies Legion into the Carthaginains and Macedonians.

The Romans commit in the center
The unsupported Principes fight against the supported Spartans and win Combat by three! Indeed, the Spartans go thundering back, unfortunately in a re-run of our earlier fights, the Principes to their right lose combat by one and we throw another double one, that unit is destroyed too.

That is three combats in a row where we lose by one and don't throw higher than a three!

In order to protect the flank of the attack in the centre, my Gauls attack the Scutarii and beat them up but they hold.

Gauls against Scutarii

Well that is pretty much it, with the Principes in the centre broken that is a second broken division, our army is now shattered.

To hear the crowing from one player on the Carthaginian side you would thought they were Alexander of Macedon incarnate rather than a great big Jessie who is scared to roll his own dice :-)

The battle lines engage
The Romans, Numidians, Italians, Gauls, Spanish and Elephants are mine, the Hoplites are Quintons and the Macedonians are James

Saturday 10 November 2012

Maelstrom - things become a lot clearer

This is the statement from the Maelstrom Games web site:


Maelstrom Games Ltd. has ceased trading and will enter liquidation at some point over the next few months. 

A creditor of Maelstrom Games Ltd., Wayland Games Ltd., issued a Statutory Demand under section 123(1)(a) or 221(1)(a) of the Insolvency Act, 1986 on the 17th of October, 2012 for £99,773.61 plus costs of issuing and serving the demand. 

This debt was purchased from Simple Miniature Games by Wayland Games Ltd on the 1st of October, 2012 and payment of this debt was demanded in full by Wayland Games after seven days had elapsed. Unfortunately, Maelstrom Games Ltd. could not pay Wayland Games Ltd. this debt in full within those seven days. 

Previous to the debt purchase, Maelstrom Games Ltd. was servicing the debt owed to Simple Miniature Games at the rate of £500 per working day, claimed by the creditor when convenient for him by charging a credit card owned by Maelstrom Games Ltd., which had been occurring since mid-June and continued to late September, the last payment being taken on the 25th. Maelstrom Games Ltd. did not cancel these payments and were not aware that this debt was being transferred. 

Maelstrom Games Ltd. offered to pay the debt purchased by Wayland Games Ltd. in the same manner as it had paid Simple Miniature Games, but this was not taken up by Wayland Games Ltd. 

Maelstrom Games Ltd. can only apologise to those customers whose orders have not been fulfilled as it is now impossible for Maelstrom Games Ltd. to fulfil them, excepting those for Mierce Miniatures products (fulfilled by Mierce Miniatures in November) and Battlefront Miniatures products (fulfilled by Maelstrom Games in partnership with Battlefront Miniatures and Maunsfeld Gaming in November), all of which will be sent by Maelstrom Games Ltd. Other customer orders for certain ranges may be fulfilled in the future and any customers whose orders can be fulfilled will be contacted by Maelstrom Games in due course. 

All creditors will be issued the relevant notices by the assigned Insolvency Practitioner when Maelstrom Games Ltd. enters liquidation.

In response to this, Wayland Games have posted this statement

All I can say is that the Wayland Game statement seems to be a self serving crock of shit and I will endeavour to support  the Eye of the Storm and I have not purchased anything from Wayland Games in the past I will ensure that this continues to be the case.

Monday 5 November 2012

Was this my last game at Maelstrom Games?

I was just writing up my latest post about the Saga game I had with Ian and Phil and got to wondering if this was to be my last game at Maelstrom Games.

They seem to have shut down and re-emerged under the name 'The Eye of the Storm", same venue, same staff, etc.

About four weeks ago I placed an order for two boxes of Perry Miniatures French Napoleonic cavalry with a great 30% off discount voucher. The items were shown as being "In stock" and the order showed as "Packing".

A day or so later the order changed to "Processing" and the items now show as "Not in stock". I popped down to Maelstrom on the Sunday when we were running the El Cid campaign day and was assured that the mix up would be sorted and they would be in stock on Thursday.

On the Thursday I was told that, they were not in but try again next Tuesday again on Tuesday, no order for me. By this time I had seen the "buyer beware" buzz on the usual wargames sites so sent an email to cancel the order, no response was received, and now the Maelstrom site is down and they are not responding to phone calls. An email to say "Tough Shit" you took a gamble and lost your cash would at least be something, but the silence from that quarter is deafening.

I know that it is only about £25.00 but it seems that many other gamers are in the same situation and I am not sure I want to continue to give my cash and support until they at least come out with a statement of some kind. I am working away for a couple of weeks, will they even be there when I next get a chance to go to the venue?

Saga Feast for Crows Introductory Game

A week last Thursday I put on a Saga game for Ian an Phil. Ian has had a couple of games of Saga, but Phil had not played and was keen to try it out.

I took along my Christian Spanish (to use as Normans), my Early Saxon Kingdoms (to use as Anglo-Danish) and my Vikings (intended to be used as Vikings). Although he has not played yet, Phil was well kitted out, he has purchased a copy of Saga, a copy of Northern Fury, a set of Viking dice and a boxed set of Jomsvikings.

Phil asked if he could use my Vikings as Jomsvikings, well why not. Ian elected to use the Saxons as Anglo-Danish and I took the Normans. As there were three of us we would play the Feast for Crows scenario.

The warbands were:
Myself - Normans, Warlord, three units of Mounted Knights, one unit of Sergeants with Crossbow.
Ian - Anglo Danish, Warlord, two units of Huscarles, two units of Ceorls
Phil - Jomsvikings, Warlord, two units of Hirdmen, two units of Bondi

I'll leave you to add your own caption! There may be a small prize.
Ian formed his Anglo-Danish into a tight formation behind a field and Phil advanced half his troops towards them and put the other half of his troops and his Warlord into a wood near my troops.

After an initial disastrous couple of activations for shooting, my Sergeants with Crossbows came good and accounted for a good number of the Bondi in the woods. Ian was on fire though, he corralled his troops well and was able to repulse most attacks by both mine and Phils troops. Apart from the desultory shooting, I never got to grip with the Jomsvikings near me as they skulked in the woods. A couple of concerted charges by the Knights bounced off the Anglo-Danish shield wall as did the furious charges of the Jomsvikings.

When we counted up who had killed what at the end, Ian came out a clear winner 

All in all it was a great introduction for Phil and I'm pretty sure he wants to have another go at it - I'd hope so after all that out-lay he made.

This was the first time we had played the Jomsvikings and they did not seem to powerful, as we were playing the multi-player scenario every time Phil used one of his 'let me do this or my fury builds up' we rolled a dice to see who made the choice. 

Here are some shoddy pictures from the game taken with my, hopefully, soon to be replaced camera.

All the figures are from my collection and were painted by myself and the majority of the terrain is from my collection.

Anglo-Danes top left, Jomsvikings top right, Normans down below.

Early Saxons masquerading as their Anglo-Danish G-G-G-G-G-G-Great-Grandsons

The Normans tussle with some porkers

Jomsvikings and Anglo-Danes about to clash

Jomsvikings hide out in the woods.
Tit-bit: The Vikings / Jomsvikings are from an as yet unreleased range that the owner kindly sent me enough samples to paint up a warband from. Watch this space as I have a few articles to post when the release is announced.

Dux Britanniarum Figure

I put the finishing touches to the Arthur freebie that came with Dux Britanniarum. I must admit that I'm not all that keen on this figure. The casting seems to lack detail and the fellow is tiny when put next to my existing "Age of Arthur" collection.

Sunday 4 November 2012

Saga Vikings for Lee

I have been trying this year to reduce the lead mountain and am going at it quite well so far in 2012 I have purchased 198 28mm figures and have painted 382 28mm figures, I have not kept count of the stuff in other scales, but I think I have quite a positive balance for the year.

Any how, I was doing really really well at clearing the lead mountain, having just finished those Christian Spanish when Lee came round with a load of Gripping Beast Almohavids that he bought and has done nothing with. Did I want to buy them - well they were tempting but I was having a moratorium on starting new projects.

I did not want to buy them, so Lee was going to go off to eBay with them. I had a though, a few years ago Lee had given me a load of Dark Ages figures that he had bought and was never going to paint - do you see a pattern here? I would paint him a Saga war-band in exchange for those Almohavids. 

Looking at the figures I had, there were a lot of lovely Artizan Designs Vikings in the mix so I based the majority of the warband on these filling in with other figures where needed. 

So far I have painted four points up, a Warlord, two units of four Hirdmen and two units of eight Bondi. I'll do another unit of Hirdmen and a unit of Bondi over the next few weeks.

These are all done in my standard base-coat, sepia wash, couple of highlights method.

Here is a lot of shots of the work so far, apologies about the poor photography, a new camera is on the list of things to get.

Four point Saga Viking Warband





I tool a whole load of images, here are some shots of each unit each at a different angle.

Another North Sea Engagement

Steve and I had another game of WWI Naval Thunder at Maelstrom Games a week last Thursday. Unfortunately, it was a couple of weeks ago I have lost the notes of all the ships involved so this may be a bit sketchy.

This time I would play the Germans and Steve would play the Royal Navy. The scenario was that a squadron of four German Battle Cruisers escorted by a squadron of four German Light Cruisers were returning to home ports when they encounter a flotilla of Royal Navy destroyers at maximum visibility (24").

The Light Cruisers immediately increase speed and chase after the destroyers, who also turn and try to disengage. Chasing the destroyers the Light Cruisers encounter a squadron of three ancient Armoured Cruisers, completely out gunned and out-ranged by these Royal Navy ships the Light Cruiser squadron executes a turn to port and increases the range, eventually getting out of range, but not before one of the Light Cruisers has taken severe hull damage.

Now it is the turn of the German Battle Cruisers to pound the British Armoured cruisers, but the fire is not so effective, knowing that is it only a matter of time before the Armoured Cruisers are pounded to bits, Steve also disengages these and out of the mist a squadron of four old pre-Dreadnoughts appear. With a surfeit of targets the Battle Cruisers start to engage the ancient Battleships allowing the Armoured Cruisers to re-engage and add their weight of fire. The German Light Cruisers wisely stay out of the way as they would add nothing to the engagement

The superior fire-power of the German Battle Cruisers is telling and for little damage to themselves the old pre-Dreadnoughts are soon in a right old state. However, all is not lost for the Royal Navy, the Destroyer Flotilla rejoins the engagement and launches as salvo of torpedoes at the Battle Cruisers, the lead Battle-Cruiser, Seydlitz, is badly hit in the engine room and her speed is reduced drastically.

It was time to end the game, as the German player, what was to be done, should we risk more damage to the Battle Cruisers from the emboldened destroyers and continue the engagement or should we disengage and leave Seydlitz to her fate.

The forces were:

4 Battle Cruisers, one was severely damaged, the other three took light damage
4 Light Cruisers, one was severely damaged

Royal Navy:
1 Destroyer Flotilla, lightly damaged
3 Armoured Cruisers, one severely damaged, one heavily damaged
4 Pre-Dreadnoughts, three severely damaged, one heavily damaged

Apologies for the state of the photographs, there seems to be a blur on my lens and I stopped taken shortly into the game .

German Cruiser Blucher

German Cruiser Dresden

German Battle Cruiser Squadron

German Light Cruiser Squadron

The two German Squadrons

The Light Cruisers encounter the Destroyers

Royal Navy Destroyer Flotilla

Royal Navy Armoured Cruisers

The German Light Cruisers turn to disengage