Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Ghost Archipelago: First Impressions

Earlier this month I played in a Ghost Archipelago game at my LGS.  We had previously run a Frostgrave campaign there so we were all interested to see how the new game played.  Mechanically, it is very similar but the strategies seemed to be very different.

The table for our first game of Ghost Archipelago
Our initial Frostgrave games were very lethal due to ranged attacks.  Archers and crossbowmen were the bane of all of the warbands.  After having a few wizards and apprentices turned into pin cushions, we all started keeping our wizards in the back as the grunts pressed forward.  After all, its far easier to replace some random mook rather than scrap the whole warband to a lucky arrow shot.

"Let charge in there and bash some heads!"
Ghost Archipelago does mitigate this some by limiting the number of specialists you can field in your crew so you won't see a full band of archers on the table across from you but even just facing four can be intimidating enough.  To nip the problem in the bud, I chose a Storm Warden and gave her Call Storm which drastically reduces line of sight once it gets into play.  This does hamper my own force as well but honestly I'm okay with that.  Having actually played a game, this does seem like it helps but even the mechanics of the game seem to have been tweaked to encourage players to get in each others faces much more than in Frostgrave.  In fact my Heritor even led one of the charges across the table, joining a combat against one of the other Heritors and then killing the Warden single handedly.

Oh look! There's one of my crew members drowning!  Maybe you should get out of the water?
The table itself is also now a threat as deep water not only slows you down but can kill you as well.  Yay for drowning!  To pass a swimming test, you need to pass a Will check of 5 at the start of the minis turn.  Should be simple, right?  Except this is modified by any armor they are wearing, equipment they are carrying, and if they are carrying a treasure chest.  What seems like a simple check can get very "dicey" (it had to be said).

Overall, I really liked the changes that have come about for Ghost Archipelago and I'm really looking forward to getting in some more games.  We are currently scheduled to play the first Saturday of each month playing the Lost Colossus campaign.  I don't know much about this particular campaign but I'm helping build some of the key pieces of terrain and it has been a blast.  I should have it done within the next week so I'll try to get some pics posted of it before the game.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

From The Workbench... Adventurers and ARVs!

While I haven't been able to make much more headway with my Wrath of Kings minis, I've still managed to squeeze in a little bit of hobby over the past week.  In particular I ordered some minis from Reaper for the family to use in the D&D game we are part of.

Rather than go with the cheaper option of Bones, I decided that I really wanted to paint some metal so I splurged on our actual characters.  So far I've gotten paint onto two of them, the animal companion for my wife's ranger and my bard mini.

They're not quite done as I still need to paint my bard's bow but I'm really liking how they have turned out, especially the mountain lion.  Wasn't sure if I would be able to get the color right but I had some old bubonic brown from GW that really fit the bill.
I've also been toying with adding an ARV to my US force for Konflikt 47 but I've been at a loss for what to use.  While there is the M32 listed in Resurgence (based on the Sherman for those like myself who didn't know), I was looking for something that I could just use as a tractor to fill in some points.  I asked the Konflikt FB group and they had a great suggestion.
Based on an M3 Stuart that I had lying around, I took the towing assembly from a Mater tow truck from Cars and then cobbled together a pintle mounted MMG using the base of the turret assembly.  Since this is just supposed to be a soft skinned tractor I really wanted it to have more of a cobbled together look.  I might try to put someone sitting up on the ring manning the MMG but for now this will work.  Just need to make time to get some paint on it.

Hopefully I will be able to start getting in more hobby soon because we are in the process of buying a house!  Huzzah!!!  While I won't be able to have my own mancave, we will have a game room which in some ways sounds even more awesome.  Having a whole room where we can have friends over to play games?  Heck yeah!  Even better is a space where I can play more games with my family, something that has become a serious challenge over the last year.  Time is always a premium but lack of space has definitely been a factor as well so it will be nice to be able to address at least one of those problems.  Next I just need to make a time machine and I'll be all set.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wrath of Kings: House Goritsi

Of the four armies that I picked up, the one I've focused on the most has been the House Goritsi.  For those unfamiliar with the game, House Goritsi is all about vampires and werewolves, with some humans thrown in for light snacks as well.  This is the one faction that I didn't purchase the starter box for because I honestly wasn't a big fan of the vampire minis.  They've started to grow on me some but for now I decided to focus on the Skorza (aka the werewolves) and Ravenscar mercenaries (aka the humans or lunch).
Skorza skirmishers (minus one) with their two leaders in the front
Anyone familiar with Confrontation will recognize the style of the Skorza since CMON has several sculptors from Rackham working for them.  Forming the bulk of the Goritsi army are the Skorza skirmishers which are massive werewolves.  As I mentioned, I had first grabbed these minis to use for K47 but they are huge!
The massive shield breaker compared to the average human
In Wrath of Kings they count as elite troops which means that each one of them counts as two toward your force construction so with just the basic box of minis I have the equivalent of 12 troop choices and two leaders which is the minimum for a patrol game, the smallest of the game formats.
To round the list out a little more, I grabbed a box of the Ravenscar mercs which comes with 12 troops and two leaders.  Just these two boxes give me a good variety for force selection right out of the gate and is the same number of troops and leaders that all of the starter boxes come with.  A bit odd for a miniatures game but it's definitely a nice change.  This really is a game that you can buy the starter and literally have a most of an army right from the get go. 

Ravenscar mercs with their leader front and center
In addition to leaders and troops, there are also specialists to help round out the army (a pair of which are also included in the starters).  The basic specialists for Goritsi are more Skorza (huzzah!!!) but this time they take the shape of an agile fighter called a scourge and a massive brute called a shield breaker.
Skorza scourge on the left and shield breaker on the right
This army is smaller in number than some of the other factions due to the skirmishers being elite troops but even with their relatively small numbers they look really intimidating.  Life is hectic as ever and I don't have enough time for gaming but I'm working on assembling another army (House Teknes) so that we can try getting this to the table and give the game a try.  Fingers crossed, that will happen in the next week or two.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Suddenly the Wrath of Kings Started Raging

Months ago I had picked up some House Shael Han miniatures for Wrath of Kings though I'll admit that I had no intention of playing the game.  In fact I was going to use them for a Chinese themed force for In Her Majesty's Name but I never got around to pursuing it any further, largely because of the bases.  I had no idea that the bases that come with all the Wrath of Kings stuff are hollowed out for a base insert so they just wound up sitting in their boxes.
Fast forward to the end of last year, I ordered some of the House Goritzi Skorza to try modding into Shrekwuflen for Konflikt 47.  Well, once those came I saw just how big they were, especially compared to the normal minis in Konflikt so these joined the Shael Han force collecting dust.
Then around the beginning of January, I noticed the House Teknes starter set on Amazon for more than half off and it got me thinking "Maybe I should pick some of them up?"  I pulled the trigger and mentioned the game to my daughter who said she wouldn't mind giving it a try.  So I had the starter for Teknes and the same number of troops for Shael Han but she loves wolves and so I know she'd want to play Goritzi...  and off to Amazon I went again.
Long story short, I'm now the proud owner of four of the five starter armies available for Wrath of Kings.  I haven't been able to play the game yet but I've been steadily working my way through assembling the minis and I have been pleasantly surprised.  They go together very easily and have really good detail on them.  Even so I must admit that painting them is not high on my list right now but I might some day.  In the meantime I just want to play the game and then I'll go from there.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Holy Rollers for Bolt Action

Earlier this month I took part in the 2nd annual Bass and Curry Bolt Action tournament at my LGS, Greenhouse Games. Since I've only ever played Konflikt 47 (and even then not much of it), I thought this would be an interesting event and give me a chance to get my head around the original game... not to mention it was part of a trade I made for a ridiculous number of painted US minis.

I'd been to the store often enough that I thought I had a good idea what they could field for terrain but I was really impressed by the six tables they laid out for the event.

From the Far East...

...to the snow fields of Russia...

...to the hedgerows of Western Europe, there was a great range of terrain types fight over.  Unfortunately luck of the draw meant that no one wound up playing on the snow board but all of the other boards had at least one game on them.

For this event, I threw together a list using Easyarmy.com which is a great resource for both Bolt Action and Konflikt 47 amongst other games.  I must admit that I had no idea what to expect so I went with a list that I was hoping would be able to effectively deal with a good range of different opponents.

Mobility was going to be the name of my game since I knew that the tournament would feature two different scenarios, breakout and sectors. By fielding two 6 man veteran squads, I could load both of them into my M3 to taxi them around quickly and provide some fire support. Next were two jeeps, one to carry my Chaplain (hence the Holy Rollers) and the other for my 2nd Lieutenant. Finally I put in a Sherman with a heavy AT gun and pintle mounted MMG. I felt like this was the riskiest part of the list since this put all my AT capabiliy into one unit but I was hoping it's armor would be enough to keep it alive.
For my first game I was paired off against Cameron, one of the various Soviet hordes at the event on the hill table.  I believe that the other lists fielded at least some cavalry but he decided to go with lots of troops, and a T-34.
This was an intense but fun game as things really went back and forth between the two armies.  The T-34 got my fully loaded M3 in its sights early in the game but my veteran soldiers were able to withstand even its withering hail of machine gun fire.  I thought my Sherman was doomed shortly after that as an inexperienced mob of tank hunters charged it but the dice gods were kind; not only did it survive unscathed but it was able to decimate the unit the following turn as I opened up with all the machine guns!  Ultimately we fought each other to a draw by victory conditions but Cameron scraped out the win based on casualties.
My second game was against my friend Chad with his dastardly Germans fighting on the hedgerow table!  In contrast to Cameron's list, Chad was fielding two platoons in his 750 point list with each platoon containing two minimum squads, an officer, a Panzer I, and a motorcycle with sidecar.  Just to round things out he also threw in a Hanomag as well.  This meant that not only was I facing 15 Panzerfausts but also seven medium machine guns and four light machine guns!  Talk about a pinning machine!
This game was a lot of fun with things really swinging back and forth through most of it.  In the end, Chad was able to get one of his Panzerfaust toting squads into point blank and blasted the Sherman apart.  At that point I didn't have a chance since both of his Panzer Is were still on the table and I'd already lost more than half of my meager infantry but even so it was a great way to wrap up the day. 
This tournament was a lot of fun and I'm really glad that Chad talked me into going.  While I think I still prefer the tweaks that were made for the Konflikt 47 rules set, it was good to be able to take part in this event with the rules still being familiar enough that I could get in a couple of good games.  That said, I do want to get back to the Greenhouse soon to push around some more Konflikt.  I just can't help it; I love the big, stompy robots!