A few weeks ago, we had a game of 40K, my Grey Knights against Mr Steinbergs close combat Chaos Nurgle horde.
We played one of the missions, with the Grey Knights defending a settlement. This was not an ideal mission for a small elite force as they could not maneuver much and use their strengths, they were going to have to stand there and take it.
Putting units into cover seems like a good idea, but in the current rules, heavily armoured models don’t really need cover.
The Grey Knights would have to rely on a good few shooting rounds before they get assaulted, there were plenty of targets, but it was difficult to reduce their numbers as these Nurgle chaps sure are resilient!
Terminators in cover still get whittled down quickly with Smite, when there are only five models in a unit, Smite hurts.
And the Chaos horde keeps coming.
On foot or by wings.
Having to hold the center of the settlement was a real pain as my favourite tactic for the Grey Knights to to teleport around keeping out of trouble until it is time to strike.
The Autocannon armed Dreadnought sure can deal out some punishment, I reckon I should just field ten of these.
Most of my Grey Knight units usually make great use of the Gate Of Infinity psychic power, but in this game there was not much teleporting going on.
In the end, a couple of units did relocate, but the end was nigh. Having my nice newly painted Grand Master Voldus killed with one six wound Smite was the last straw.
The Grey Knights will have their revenge on another field of battle!
Mr Steinberg and I had an excellent game of Steam Wars recently, it was the first outing for his Martians. It seemed appropriate that I field a force of British Empire infantry to repel the incursion.
The majority of the British infantry used in this mission were basic troopers with a few heavy infantry thrown in to counter the Martian Tripods. I also used for the first time the small boxy gunbots shown above (who failed to activate the first time I tried to use them).
The Martian force is a great mix of models brought together into one list. The idea is that the Cephalopods are the masters utilising various mechanical constructs and a horde of Sanwar Slaves.
Although the British did not have any vehicles, each of the infantry units were equipped with special weapon of one sort or another.
The heavy British infantry concentrated firepower on a tripod and were able to knock one out quite quickly. The rest were not going to be as easy.
One of my favourite British units is the Treadbike Cavalry armed with the twin Light Machine Guns, I rarely leave home without them.
We also got to use some new MDF status counters, being double sided, it is easy to see the counter against a unit and it is easy to pick them up at the end of each turn.
Meanwhile, the Martian Robots and Cephalopods concentrated their firepower on the heavy British Infantry unit and quickly reduced them from three to one…
The other two tripods, although both taking damage, were making some progress.
For robot models we have introduced an optional ability so that if one is destroyed, it can become a crawling torso without ranged weapons, but can still fight in melee. Mr Steinberg had the models so why not!
This game also saw the first use of the Arctech Powers, a sort of steampunk techo magik. Nothing too powerful, in fact in the first three turns, my bath-chair riding Technomage failed to successfully project an Arctech Power.
Not sure these small Gunbots are going to do much to the tripod…
The mission we played had the Martians trying to get half their force off a table edge, but with most of the models on foot, it was going to be a tall order. But a very enjoyable game all the same.
Last night was my first attempt at Gaslands, yet another Osprey rulebook in their ever expanding range.
The initial impression is good, once you get over the number of counters and dice required to record a vehicles Gear, Damage and Hazard status, it plays quite quickly.
The start is pretty chaotic with all the vehicles bunched together, in fact in this game, most of the action seemed to take place around the first Gate which is not very far from the starting line.
I used two buggy’s and a heavily armoured and armed truck, the idea was for the buggy’s to race ahead and the truck to cause carnage behind. So obviously the buggy’s never got in front of the truck and the cunning pre-race strategy went straight out the window.
I like the game, this could well be one we come back to on a regular basis, we will have a rematch in a few weeks and should get to try out the Sponsor rules.
These vehicles are from Aberrant Games and are unmodified, my next Gaslands task will be to convert some Hot Wheels cars with some 40K Epic and Flames Of War accessories
We had a game with what should be the final final version of the Steam Wars rules. It has only taken eighteen months to get to this stage, which is not bad for a part time project I guess.
I got to use my new TT Combat crane and a new warehouse in a factory setting complete with some very freshly painted roads.
For this game, my Prussian Scrunts faced off against the Mr Steinberg’s US Navy including several flying contraptions. We went with plenty of flying machines to really see how the game played with lots of air power.
The largest of the US Navy Skyships was this formidable frigate complete with Aether-thrusters to keep it majestically floating above the battlefield.
At ground level, we had some exciting battles with each side grabbing the advantage at different stages. The US Navy tentacle armed divers demolished a Prussian infantry unit before being demolished themselves by a Prussian Assault unit. The ebb and flow of melee is fickle thing.
The Prussian Zeppelin was carrying a unit of infantry that were going rappel into action at an opportune moment, but it never quite arrived. In the end, they deployed into the center of the complex and took up a defensive position. I may have to look at giving the Zeppelin a speed boost.
The Prussian Scout Zeppelins each took a flank and moved up a fast as possible bringing their twin-link HMG’s down on any units in range. They did not get to use their bombs as much as I would have thought.
The US Navy infantry in their best whites occupied the Aeroneff landing station and hung onto it for the duration. But whatever you do, don’t ask Mr Steinberg about the four 1’s he rolled…
The Prussian Abhumans (Bob Olley’s Orgyns from many years ago) had a very bad day and got themselves surrounded by Rocketeers deployed from the US Navy Skyship and a unit of infantry.
Over all, I am really pleased with the way the rules have turned out, it could not have been done without Mr Steinberg’s and Joken’s massive help in play testing over the last year or so. In that time we have refined rules here and there to create a game that plays the way we want it to play.
And finally, thanks to Matt Lyon for creating the truly brilliant Steam Wars logo, it is as if he knew just what I was looking for.
So that’s it, apart from wanting to add some more images, the Steam Wars rules are done, done I say!
So although I can post the rules anytime, I still need to write up the force creation rules and release a rather complicated spreadsheet.
In a recent game of Steam Wars, I tried out my flying bomb rules. The idea here is that it fires in a units first activation and the bomb is positioned halfway to a target point. The opposing forces then may have a chance to shoot it down, or at least move away from the target point. In the following turn the flying bomb comes screaming down and blows up with spectacular results.
Originally it was designed to be an anti vehicle weapon, but it has devastating effects on infantry so its strength has been reduced a bit, which of course means it does not hurt vehicles as much.
We had a go at Dragon Rampant for the first time week and I have to say I like the game. It is a simple set of rules, always a good thing when we seem to jump from one game system to another on a regularly basis. Another reason to like it is due to the fact that it is another Osprey book at a very reasonable price point.
The rules are based around single models to small units and it is up to you to decide how many models are in a unit. A typical unit has a strength value of 12, which is also the total number of wounds that the unit has. So you can have one big scary model with 12 strength and wounds, or 12 basic warriors, or 4 big models or any combination you can think of, as they all have 12 strength and wounds. It makes no difference to how the unit behaves, other than the space it actually takes up on the table.
The model profiles are generic enough that you can pick any models in your fantasy collection and make an army from them. Our first bash was with my Rackham Orcs against Mr Steinbergs human Knights. Units are divided into a number of classifications such as Light Foot, Heavy Foot, Light Riders and Heavy Riders and depending on their weapons, armour, move and how good they are at combat.
Each player activates (or attempts to) all of his units before play switches to his opponent. Each unit has one action per turn and it must make a test to perform the action, if it fails, the players turn is over. We had two turns where neither of us activated a unit, I failed my first activation and the Knights failed their first activation.
The rules really are very simple but make for plenty scope of what to do with a unit, especially as you may not get to activate all our your units each turn.
The game was enjoyable and we are already eyeing up alternative forces that will slot into Dragon Rampant very nicely. I have a collection of forest types somewhere that should be sufficient for a small 24 point warband. I can also start thinking about using all my other Rackham models like my recently painted Tir-Na-Bor Dwarfs, the Devourers and the as-yet-unfinished Mid-Nor Chaos Dwarfs, which may encourage me to actually get some more painted.
In yet amother Steam Wars game, the British went up against the as yet countryless Navy and their new skimmer ship.
One day I will get the rules posted here, especially now that they are pretty well sorted. Some new situations come up most games, but we have all been playing with toy soldiers for many, many many years, we usually find a nice resolution. I have been trying to keep the main rules to four pages and then have some extra bits for setup and abilities. So far so good.
The theatre of operations was Mr Steinbergs townscape with plenty of buildings for the troops to utilise as cover.
We picked 1000 points again, it seems to be enough units to get a good mix of models and enough on the table for a game lasting a few hours.
The Ironclad Medium tank provides great cover for following infantry.
As usual, there was a three bike unit of LMG Treadbikes, these have so far been in every British force I have fielded.
The Navy had some new artillery to call upon including a heavy canon with a tractor to quickly move it around.
Unarmed transports do not count towards the vehicle limit when constructing a force, this means it is easy enough to include a few extra vehicles to ferry troops around to critical locations.
Above shows the Treadbikes and a Machine Gun equipped armoured car ready to advance.
The Rivet Mortar is an indirect artillery weapon able to sit back and lob shells across a great range.
It did not take long for the first British tank to brew up, although it still makes for great cover for the following troops.
The advancing British Iron Man unit came under attack from Navy infantry but the heavy armour of the British held up well.
Only a few of the British Commando unit made it to the artillery unit and engaged them in melee.
More Navy infantry attacked the Treadbikes but their great speed allowed them to accelerate away from the combat.
The Ramshackle Brass Coffin armed with a Heavy Machine Gun turret provided the Navy with plenty of support fire.
Ironclad vehicles on both sides faced off for quite some time. We really need to pick some other colours for each side!
The Navy do look mighty well turned out in their crisp whites.
The British force called up some air support in the shape of an Armorcast Steam Plane, a Gnatt MK1. This was the first outing for an aircraft in Steam Wars and the flying rules worked well.
The British Rocket Launcher stayed well back in its own deployment zone and rained two indirect blast attacks every turn.
There was plenty of terrain for the infantry to use all the way across the table.
With this and the other games played recently, the rules are just about finished. I had to do a bit of a rewrite to the spreadsheet that calculates the army lists and the guys have been busy updating their army lists!