Saturday 30 December 2023

Christmas Sellswords and Spellslingers

Sorry for the silence for the last four years, folks. Life just got very busy. I have barely managed any wargaming though I have been dealing with my lead pile - mostly painting it but also selling off the spares on eBay in preparation for my retirement and downsizing to a smaller home. Hopefully I will now have more time to focus on the hobby.
Any way, enough of the excuses; on with the preamble.

Last Christmas, one of my sons and I played the first scenario in the Sellswords and Spellslingers "Last Stand at Mistham" campaign. It was touch and go with some seriously poor dice throwing again but we just about managed to rescue the village chief's eldest daughter from the goblin's prison. The only problem was that we enjoyed ourselve so much much, we both forgot to take any photos so I didn't stick up a post. 

This Christmas we played the second scenario and we did take some photos though not particularly good ones, sorry!

Having rescued the lady Minai from the prison (at the bottom of the picture below), our two warbands (my son's five on the left and my four on the right) had to either carry her or accompany her to the opposite board  edge.

To start with, all we had to face were two small hordes of goblins, two individual goblins and two orc brutes. We were very lucky with our dice throwing when it came to positioning them so our warriors could pick up a good head of steam before the fight began.

The board.
If she was left on her own, because of her frail state, she would go wandering off in a random direction so we decided the best approach was to throw her over our shoulder. Foolishly, we initially chose my son's short guy to do the carrying. He was a slow mover already (move of 3") so went down to 2". My swordsman soon took over.

Minai accompanied by swordsman, archer and short guy

Our lucky dicing throwing continued. Plenty of 20's and very few <8's. When reinforcements appeared, they arrived to our rear and,  moving no faster than us, very few of them caught up with us.

An ogre and goblin horde desperately trying to catch up with the escaping heroes

A bear appeared (random event) also to our rear, moved onto the board, attacked the nearest figure (a goblin) and then charged straight of it again, never to be seen again. 

Near the end of the game two wolf riders appeared (didn't have any mounted wolf figures so will have to drop an order to Pendraken before the price increase), but even with their speed they couldn't catch up with us.

Not surprsingly, we managed to get Minai back to her village without out too much difficuly. Only my barbarian failed to make it off the board.

My barbarian gets taken out by an Orc Brute
All in all, a very enjoyable game with much laughter over the ridiculous amount of luck we had with our dice-rolling. We're looking forward to Christmas 2024 when we'll take on a scouting expedition in the third scenario. In the meantime, I'll have to play a few solo scenarios. Playing once a year leaves me rather rather rusty with the rules and I'm sure that we got a few things wrong but it was fun and that's the main point.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Five Parsecs from Home

Sorry for being so quiet for so long. I have been doing stuff - mostly painting and modelling.
I managed to have another game of Sellswords and Spellslingers over the Christmas - this time as a co-operative game with my son. As it was his first game, we played "Through the Badlands" again. I decided that it was even more fun with two players.
Like last time, we did manage to escape the pursuing Orcs. Well, almost, just as my son's last figure was about to make his escape off the board, he was ambushed and killed. All my figures and the rest of his looked on helplessly from the safety of making it off the board - very dramatic - a bit like the Bridge of Khazad-Dum. Flee, you fools!
Unfortunately, we were enjoying ourselves so much that we forgot to take any pictures. 
I'm gradually increasing my numbers of 10mm fantasy figures both for skirmish gaming using S&S and larger-scale conflicts using Mayhem. And I'll start selling off my 15mm fantasy armies (see elsewhere on this blog if you're interested in any of them). This is all in an effort to convince my wife that I'm downsizing in preparation for retirement!

Meanwhile I have also been building up my 15mm scifi stuff and have actually managed to have a game of Five Parsecs from Home which was great fun!

I've decided to devote this blog just to the fantasy stuff and create a new blog (Tanaquil Standpoint) for the Five Parsecs campaign.


Friday 8 June 2018

The End of the Journey

Close to the northern border, it looks as though the little band of heroes will reach safety or will they?

Move 9
Rodmar - more dice throwing- 2, 2 and 3. Reinforcements - two Orc Warriors appeared from the right flank. Monster Frenzy - all the Orcs homed in on the player characters. Even the Green Troll, though still too far away to be aware of them, managed to start travelling towards the heroes. Wandering Monster - yet another Orc Bruit appeared on the left flank. This is getting scary.

Jusius - 10, 12 and 13. He rushed towards escape.

Aldun - 14. He followed Jusius.

Oswyn - 16. So did he.

The End of Move 9 - Tension is growing!
Move 10
Rodmar - 2 and 9. Monster Frenzy - the Orc Brute closed in on him and attacked but again got beaten back - 1Hp. Horde Activates - the groups of five and two Orcs moved closer still. With dice throwing like this they could still catch the heroes.

Aldun - 9, 12 and 20. That's better! He attacked thr Orc Brute but took a wound -1Hp. He tried again and again was hit but managed to block it with his shield at last. He used the last two activations for further attacks and at last struck home, killing the Orc Brute.

Jusius - 1. Oh, come on! Reinforcements - another 5 Orc Warriors appeared. This time on the northern edge but fortunately a little way to the right of the band.

Oswyn - 18. He breathed a sigh of relief and rushed off the board.

End of Move 10 - Closing in

Move 11
Rodmar - 9 and 17. He searched the Orc Brute's body, finding 8 Sp, and then escaped.

Aldun - 4, 17. Monster Activates - the Green Troll moved round the bush but was still too far from the heroes to cause a problem. Aldun moved off the board.

Jurius - 10 and 11. And finally all of the band were off the board.

The end!

The Final Scene - the heroes gone but plenty of foes still on scene.

There you have it - the game over- and I haven't had as much fun on my own for a long, long time. There was real tension building as the game progressed and more enemy appeared. I think I was lucky that the Green Troll started off stuck in a corner and so didn't cause any problems. Perhaps that is why Andrea has a different way of deploying.

Next posting I'll do the Post Battle and Campaign Activities.


The Journey Through the Badlands Continues

So we left three of our heroes going like the clappers up the board while the fourth is being left behind single-handedly having fought off an Orc Brute.

Move 3
Oswyn - again trying to rejoin his friends, rolls 3 dice - 1, 11 and 12. Trap - fortunately in this scenario, this card only applies in the northern half of the board so he can ignore it. He moves twice and almost catches up with them.

Aldun - 3. Scenario Event - Oswyn spots something interesting on the next Orc Brute.

Jusius - 3. Ambush - an Orc Warrior springs out of a bush right beside Rodmar who rolls a 15, battering him with his staff. Don't mess with a druid with a hangover!

Rodmar - 17. Moves on muttering to himself.

End of Move 3 - So far so good. Oswyn is getting closer to the rest of the band and no one has been harmed.
Move 4
Oswyn - 4, 4 and 18. Monster Activates - the Orc Brute moves closer but doesn't reach the warband. Wandering Monster - another Orc Brute appears on the northern edge. Oswyn gets closer to the others.
Aldun - 9 and 17. He increases the distance between himself and Oswyn and reaches the next Orc Brute but doesn't have an activation left to fight him.

Rodmar - 11 and 14. Angry because of Aldun's recklessness and his hangover, he charges the Orc Brute and attacks him - 2. Whoops, he takes a hit from it.

Jusius - 16. He continues to scuttle after Aldun.

The End of Move Four - the first wound to our heroes!

Move 5
Aldun - 7 and 9. He tries to attack the Orc Brute but Loss of Balance and falls down. The Brute gets a Free Hack and inflicts 1Hp. He manages to stand up with his successful activation.

Rodmar - 2, 5 and 9. Reinforcements arrive - just one Orc Warrior appears at the southern edge. Ambush - another Orc Warrior jumps out at him from the bush and gets despatched just as quickly. He moves on, deciding to lay off the drink in future.

Oswyn - 9, 13 and 17. He shot at the Orc and killed him with a 20. Oswyn moved on and then shot at the Orc Brute who came into view but he missed him

Jusius - 11 and 19. He moved to join Aldun and Rodmar and struck the Orc Brue with his dagger and scored a hit.

The End of Move 5 - the heroes are beginning to leave quite a trail of carnage behind them.

Move 6
Aldun in base contact with the Orc Brute decides to go in for the kill and throws three dice - 7, 16 and 16. Loaded - it has twice the amount of treasure on it. He attacks the Brute with the two activations and, aided by Rodmar's presence, gets two hits. The Brute is dead.

Jusius - 7 and 1. Manna Flux again. Who cares - he can't use any magic following his disaster in the first move. Things Could Get Worse - it's now raining. -2 for Oswyn's archery.

Rodmar - 12 and 16. He searches the corpse of the Orc Brute - 6Sp and then moves forward.

Oswyn - 20, 5 and 17. I decided to use the 20 critical activation bonus to cancel the 5 and Oswyn finally managed to join up with the others.

The End of Move 6 - Another Orc Brute Killed and the band back together
Move 7
Aldun - 3, 7 and 15. That'll Come In Handy - they spot a jewel worth 11Sp under the nearby bush but the Orc Brute behind the bush suddenly appears round the corner. Horde Activates - there were no hordes on the board and nothing that could form one. Aldun moved on.

Jusius - 8, 10 and 16. He moved to the dead Orc Brute, searched it (6 Sp) and caught up with Aldun.

Rodmar - 2, 5 and 7. Ambush - another Orc Warrior jumps out of the bush and attacks him but again Rodmar swats him with his staff. This is becoming a habit. Wandering Monster - another Orc Brute appears. Fortunately he arrives at the far side of the southern board edge well away from the warband. They're at Our Back - 5 Orc Warriors appear. Again they are some distance from the heroes.

Oswyn - 2, 11 and 19. Horde Activates - the 5 Orcs start their long journey towards their prey. Despite the rain, he takes two shots at the Orc Brute and hits he both times and kills him.

The End of Move 7 - Things are beginning to heat up a bit
Move 8
Rodmar - 12, 14 and 18. He moved to the bush and picked up the jewel; then he searched the corpse for 4Sp and then moved on again. Escape seemed close hand.

Jusius - 1, 3 and 4. Oh dear! Horde Activates - those five Orcs moved closer. Loss of Balance - but he managed to make his DL throw. That's a Big One - the Orc Brute to their front has an extra 1Hp.

Aldun - 3, 9 and 16. Manna Flux again! He moved on.

Oswyn - 2, 10 and 10. Things Could Get Worse. The rain stopped. Oswyn rushed forward to keep up with ohers.

End of Move 8 - The foe is moving in!
I'll leave it there for this evening. The final installment should come tomorrow hopefully.

Fun with Sellswords & Spellslingers or How Hard Can it be to Roll an Eight!?!

No, I haven't been abducted, imprisoned or otherwise hidden away. I've been busy painting up some of my lead mountain - both 10mm fantasy and 15mm scifi - and spending money on a variety of sets of rules. 

And I may finally have found my Holy Grail for fantasy skirmish rules - Sellswords & Spellslingers by Ganesha Games. I have always appreciated Andrea Sfiligoi ideas but I think that he has really excelled himself with this set. I won't spend any time decribing them - there are several others who have already commented favourably on them. See, for example, John's thoughts, The Raft or Argonor.

But this morning I managed to have my first game, playing solo and will give a blow-by blow account which should give you a good idea of how it works. This is going to take more than one posting but here goes.

So firstly, here's my initial warband, all 10mm Pendraken Miniatures:
From Left to Right, Oswyn Strong Arrm, Jurius Flamewielder, Rodmar Oaksoul and Aldun Swiftblade
Oswyn - Archer - 10Xp
Archery Level 1 (6Xp)
Strong Level 1 (4Xp)
Armed with a Strongbow (Damage 2) and Dagger (Damage 1)
Jurius - Magic User - 17Xp
Spellcaster (20Xp)
Spell - Fireball (5Xp)
Negative Trait - Weak (-8Xp)
Armed with Dagger (Damage 1)
Rodmar - Druid - 13Xp
Fighter: Staff Level 1 (5Xp)
Healer Level 1 (2Xp)
Tough (6Xp)
Forrester (3Xp)
Negative Trait - Heavy Drinker (-3Xp)
Aldun - Swordsman - 20Xp
Fighter: Sword Level 2 (10Xp)
Armour Level 1 (6Xp)
Shield Level 1 (4Xp)

Like probably all wargamers, I had a little tinker with the rules but nothing too drastic.

The rules suggest a board of 36" by 36" with a normal move of 4" for 28mm figures and suggests that for 15mm and below, the board should be 60cms by 60cms and the numbers are given simply regarded as centimetres instead.  However, that would mean that a 28mm figure could theoretically traverse the board in nine moves while a 15mm figure would take fifteen moves. I, therefore, decided to say that 1" for 28mm figures is 1.5cms for 15mm figures.

Also random deployment is done by rolling d6 x d6 but, as other players have identified, this tends to lead to foes or terrain being placed centrally. Instead, as my board is 60cms x 60cms  I used a d6 to decide the tens and a d10 to decide the units for each axis.

Like others, I decided to plump for the first scenario in the rulebook - Through the Badlands - where the characters have to cross from one side of a rather bushy board to the other confronted initially only by one Green Troll and four Brute Orcs and the potential of a trap or two laid in the northern half of the board. 

And the characters only needed to roll 8+ on 1-3 d20 activation dice apart from Rodmar who needed to throw 9+ due to a bad hangover following a heavy drinking session at the Duck and Dragon the night before.

Easy, right?!

I used the above method to randomely place the bushes and then the Troll (fortunately right in the top left corner) and four Orc Brutes (one right at the top centre, two in open ground in the northern half and one on the right flank behind a bush). 

The Initial Set Up with the Warband at the Southern Edge
Move One
So I decided to move Aldun first and threw two dice - 5 and 20. I could have used the 20 (critical success) to cancel out the 5 but decided to risk it and drew the Monster Frenzy card - all foes move. So that was a good start! Fortunately none were within charge reach but they all got a little closer...all apart from the Troll who just wandered around. Aldun then moved on.

Oswyn - 1 and 13. Mana Flux - an equal chance to increase or reduce Jusius' chances at casting magic. I rolled a 5 so chances have improved by +2. Oswyn decided to shoot at the Orc Brute on the right flank and succeeded - 2 damage.

Jusius - 8, 8 ans 20. He decided to launch a fireball at the Orc Brute to well and truly finish him off so I rolled and got a 1 - a critical failure. Jusius can not cast magic for the rest of the scenario so that Mana Flux +2 came in handy! Now all put harmless, Jusius decided to use the rest of his activations to catch up with Aldun so that he had some protection.

Rodmar - 9 and 17. He also moved to catch up with Aldun and Jusius.

The End of Move 1 - Oswyn pauses to take a potshot at the advancing Orc Brute on the right while the others leg it! Meanwhile the rest of the Orcs draw nearer.
Move 2
Oswyn - I decide to roll three to enable him to catch up with the others but 1, 3 and 19. Tread on a Scorpion - fortunatley he rolls above the necessary DL10 and so managed to squash the creature without being poisoned. Then Monster Attack - the Orc Brute charges Oswyn, who decides to have a go at an Opportunity Shot - 7 and misses! The Orc Brute is on him and attacks - 16. Thankfully Oswyn even with his little dagger manages to finish the wounded Brute off. He uses his successful roll to search the Brute and finds 9Sp.

Aldun - 8 and 20 and, ignoring the desperate combat going on behind him, decides to continue towards the horizon with two moves.

Rodmar - 12 and 16. He follows suit.

Jusius - 12 and 15 - is no better.

The End of Move 2 - Oswyn may be a little richer but his friends seem to be deserting him.
Well, that's enough for the first post. I'll get more of the report done later.

Friday 1 January 2016

My First Game of the Year!

Looking back at this blog, the last actual game I played was 2nd January 2015 - that is terrible. Last year was way too busy or I spent far too muh time prevaricating. It certainly doesn't help that my main opponent (Son Number 2) now lives in Knutsford - 160 mile away.

Well we finally had another game of Mayhem - Mintaurs versus Fish People.
Sorry about the poor quality photos - new phone rather than my camera. I resort to the latter from now on.

The Fish People Army
Here we have the fish people. The general is the octopus at the rear - rather slow but with a pretty high command dice because he can dirrect eight units at a time.
On the right flank, are the People Spearmen supported by a Fish Giant and on the left flank are Fish People Swordsmen, one unit of which is elite. In the centre is a Fish Hero.

Minotaur Left Flank

 The Minotaurs were pretty basic - just eight units of Minotaurs, one of which was elite. 
The left flank had a hero supporting its rear. 
The right flank had a unit of wolves in front and the general at the rear.

Minotaur Right Flank
Having not played for a year, we were both a bit rusty so I dare say we got things wrong but we had fun so everything was good.

Basically, my Minotaurs advanced on the Fish People and slaughtered them.The Giant Fish did manage to knobble my elite minotaurs but that was it and I'm afraid that I was too good at throwing straight 1's.

One spear unit and two swordsmen already wiped out and due to some really poor dice throwing the Fish Giant is rather left out in the cold.

Finally the Giant Fish tries to get close enough to lob a rock or two but to no avail. The swordsmen are wiped out and the Fish People Army breaks.

Let's hope I manage another gam before 2017!
And in the meantime, I hope you all have a wonderful 2016.

Saturday 13 June 2015

Very Impressed!

A variety of stuff
I ordered some figures from Peter Pig at 9.14am yesterday and before 10.00am today they were delivered. Well done, Peter Pig and Royal Mail!
And in case you're wondering, I'm off on another tangent - hoping to convert them into post-apocalyptic figures for After the Horseman by Two Hour Wargames.
Now it will probably take months (years?) to convert and paint them!