Paul and James came to play Squarebashing. Scrivs has documented it here –
Being at the release party of Age of Sigmar at Warhammer World was too good an opportunity to miss. So booking an ealry table for a bit of 40K action in the morning we headed off to Lenton.
First thing , the rumours were true and the Space Marine and Aquila has been usurped by a ’Sigmarine’.
A quick précis of our 40K game. We had just painted up the tomb blades as that Logan could field a Reclamation legion. However, as we were only playing 650 (to get a 120 min game in ) he didn’t want to use the immortals and opted to use lychguard.
That drop in reanimation protocols tipped the balance. I’d knocked up Ultramarines with Tigurius and devastator Centurions and 2 tactical units with Grav guns too. The Ultramarines normally had a torrid time against the Necrons so I beefed them up a bit. But perhaps a bit to much. So with Tigurius getting Invisibility (not hard) then invisible Centurions pounded out the fire.
Pretty much a whitewash …. So just goes to show that even with points you have to consider what level to aim the game at! (more on this later)
So after the obligatory lunch at Bugman we pressed on to the Age of Sigmar demos.
“For you Lurz ze war is over.. relegated to scaring small children exiting the washroom”
Unless you have been living in a hole then you know what the Age of Sigmar is, and the nerd rage that this has generated. I tried to take an objective view of the whole situation. I’ve being playing Warhammer Fantasy battle since 1983, and every edition (to a greater or lesser extent). I admit it has come as rather a shock to see the old world ended. Its heritage in engrained in my psyche after 30 years.
“The games being played of AoS (non GW demo), looked neither skirmish or ‘just a mash up’. Also the standard or presentation looked markedly higher, with all the big kits out on display”
However the demos flowed pretty well. I thought it was going to be a hard sell, but after 10 minutes I picked it up. It not hard … it very lite. But do you know what ? it was actually quite fun! Lets put aside balance and all that sort of stuff , the games there were the starter boxes and are probably balanced. But there was a situational tactical element to it. The sequence of activation and pile in choices meant something. The magic is toned down and the monsters are toned down .. I cab see how big units are not going to be effective with the bravery test (which can double up your casualties).
So there you have it, I enjoyed it! Not enough to buy the box (and it they can’t sell it to me – then they might be in trouble! ). The aesthetic might not suit me , or the fluff might be nonsense. But the game seems to work in a beer and pretzels sense. Not the convoluted WFB charge baiting or hero hammer (guff) … and I can see it not suiting all, but I can see it really making a difference to their entry level target market. So I can see it being successful. Maybe not with ubergamers, but kids and old (wise) gamers for sure.
We played 2 starter box games , in about 2 hours. Fun has had by all, and our opponents shook our hand at the end !
I did speak to various folk – it seemed staffers were touting for opinion – and as a wargaming face who am I to remain silent 😉 The whole balance thing did come up (no points – all that stuff) … and I think we need to wait for the next – big – book just out on pre release now, as that has all the ‘battle plans’.. as I understand it a cross between a dataslate and scenario generator. They expect maturity in the gaming fraternity to be able to deal with the games that they want to play. The framework is very loose, and thy want to give as many options for people to play as possible. Have they read Black Powder I wonder 🙂
“Logan with his new Space Wolf T-shirt”
While we were there the new exhibition centre was open. So we checked it out. I was looking forward to seeing all the old models , but when I saw them I was a bit disappointed as I’ve got them all! However the new exhibits were stunning .. So here are some selected photos.
The day just raced by and it was soon 6pm and time to leave – great day 🙂
Stoke Challenge is a small competition only event, with FoG:R, DBMM and Saga. Being local, my arm was twisted to participate , despite trying to cut back on FoG:R this year. I picked Japanese for no other reason than an army had made its way into my possession.
The army was (650pt)
The Runners and riders
So actually a good set for the Japanese with a lot of bow based armies.
Game 1 Ray with Qing Chinese.
Not a good matchup for the Chinese. These dastardly fellows are designed and drive away nomadic horsemen (and rather anachronistically, in a quirk of the rules European pike and shot!). Though of armoured warrior swordsmen would not appeal. The game was straight up Ray has ½ a dozen big bow blocks with regimental guns, and a couple of old school armoured bow cavalry. The Japanese just matched the bow frontage. I had had offered up a couple of end units up as bait to allow the warriors to arrive en-masse.
Everything went reasonable well. The shooting had little effect , as expected, and there was about 2’of troops in melee in about turn 4. The impact had swung in favour of the Chinese. Having a regimental gun and light spear , meant that the spearmen were slightly trumped, and a few units did disrupt. However in the ensuing melee being armoured with a sword against unarmoured with no sword meant that the butchery work could being (rolling 3+s , re-rolling 1s vs rolling 5+ not re-rolling – that is how we like it)
Rays army caved in. But the detail had meant that he did nibble off a too many end units , so the Japanese didn’t escape unscathed.
The Hatamoto offered up to protect the flank. they died in all three games
Score was 16-9 to the Japanese
Game 2 Keith with Western Sudanese
It was looking like this was going to be a day for the glory of the Shogun. More unarmoured warriors to deal with. These big bow armies can catch the ‘typical’ western Pike and Shot armies out because they are voluminous and can win an attrition war. However, this is trumped by another ‘behind the time’ genre where they haven’t realised that gun powder isn’t the way forward. Keith was actually worse off that Ray , as his troops didn’t have the regimental guns or the light spear. I thought I’d follow the same plan as before offering up a couple of sacrificial units on the ends to delay while the main event sorted itself out.
This worked out pretty much as planned. Even Keith’s mounted wing of Tuareg camels didn’t face charging armoured spear frontally. So they tried to sneak their way around. There was one section where his guard bow and armoured spear (but average) tried to make a stand. But even where we were on par, the Japanese had more luck, and prevailed quickly. When the main body of samurai contacted the Sudanese archers it was quick work.
Score was 21-4 to the Japanese
Game 3 Steve with Later Swede.
So sitting on top with 40 point , the next closest was Steve with 35. It was a good lead , but I would need a win to guarantee the competition. A less favourable matchup for me. Salvo foot with regimental guns, with impact cavalry. My only hope was to swamp them with numbers. Steve had obviously had this in his plan , so rather than picking all the usual superior units has selected an army of entirely average troops (not often seen in the modern game). Consequently his army was bigger than mine, so I’d have to hope that my superiors would be able to grind it out. This is not unreasonable as the average pike and shot BGs are brittle. If I could hold on and try to get a protracted melee then it might pan out ok. It wasn’t going to plan though. Our centres closed and the salvo with regimental guns soon started to pay. The impact was brutal. Being at a — POA meant that the warrior had some painful tests to make, and many disrupted and lost bases (some even losing 2 bases on first contact).
After that it was rather unfavourable. The fight settled down to who could throw the most 4’s. But losing a 3rd of bases for being disrupted, and having lost bases, meant that my opponent would be throwing twice as many dice. Even re-rolling 1’s & 2s, after committing the generals to the front rank to try and fight my way out of the situation, meant that it was unlikely that I would win. However, average troops being just that I did start having a bit of luck. One BG of samurai had rallied and defeated their opponents and then crashed into the supporting cavalry behind. After surviving another horrible impact the spears actually put the average cavalry to flight . One the other flanks some Japanese archers had put some dragoons to flight and then lucked out against a pike and shot unit next to them. So both sides were haemorrhaging units. The Swede would win just by sticking to the plan, there were plenty more units that were lined up. The Samurai could win but finding those points would be more tricky as the favourable match ups we few and far between.
The battle group score teetered perilously for both sides with a point to spare. The Japanese has lost 9 out of 10 , and the Swedes 10 out of 11.
The deciding factor came down to a fight where samurai had broken a units of pike and shot who were routing, behind which lay the Swedish guns. Capturing those would secure the game (and the competition). However, being warrior meant that I would either have to break contact with the routers and then make a rallying test out that the swedes would pass through and I could capture them that way. This was not to be. The swedes had obviously had lead lined boots. They rolls three 1s for the route moves moving only a grand total of 3” out of an average of 9”. The warriors being more speedy could then never lose contact. So even a cheeky shot with 2 archers who were about 1” away from the guns (who were disrupted) could fragment (and win that way). But it was not to be. The swedes hovered up the 2nd line Ashigaru and won the day.
The score was 9-16 to the Swedes.
This left me on 49. Steve scored a total of 51 to secure 2nd. But Dene leap frogged us all to 52 after a masterclass of cohesion tests against Bob.
Not a good day at the office for Bob’s Quing against Dene’s dice
Great games. I like the Japanese , simple and effective – great fun to play with.