Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Battles of Westeros

A couple of days ago I received my copy of "Battles of Westeros" by Fantasy Flight Games, and I must say that I'm really looking forward to giving this game a try. It's similar to, but with significant differences from, games like Battlelore and Command and Colors as designed by Richard Borg. This one is basically a Medieval version, with a variety of command and control revisions, and also with enough setting specific elements that are meant to cater to fans of "The Song of Ice and Fire" series of books as authored by George Martin, and the HBO series, "A Game of Thrones". I'll post a more serious review once I get a chance to play, but for now, I can say that the rules appear to hit a sweet spot in between the fast play characteristics of a board game and the sometimes tedious but in-depth nature of a miniature wargame.

The playing pieces that are used to form the units of both House Lanister and House Stark are plastic miniatures that look to be fairly close to 15mm gaming figures. I was thinking of using a hexless modification with medieval era WRG based figures for this game (something I may still yet do), but the actual game components look nice enough that I'm instead planning to paint them up and otherwise play the game straight out of the box.

My first task will be to paint enough figures to fill out the ranks for the introductory scenario: "A Clash on the Kingsroad."  Below are some photos of the Stark figures, primed brown and dry-brushed white. These also show the figures in comparison with some 15mm ones.

Once I get each batch of Stark figures done, I'll post pictures here, and then it will be on to the Lanisters.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Norse-Irish Justin's

Had a game of Field of Glory again in Justin's gaming basement, and I brought 900 points of Norse-Irish to take on one of his Medieval German lists. I had a good time, and hopefully Field of Glory is going to survive the mess of the previously announced digital only version 2.0. Slitherine has now announced that there will be some form of a print release, but hopefully its done in a format that will also appeal to the general gaming public and not just the committed tournament crowd. some of the proposed changes appear that they significantly improve the game, and I'm very much looking forward to trying the new rules.

900 points was a very interesting point level for our game. The cheap Norse-Irish troops just about completely filled the table, and Justin was able to add a knight and lancer cavalry unit into his list. Although things started well for the bog wallowers, breaking a unit of mounted crossbow and a couple of spear armed infantry units, Justin allocated his knights and cavalry to a flank march with a field commander. Knowing these guys were going to enter the game at some point, I had to hold back my offensive spear Viking ally to counter them, and couldn't move them up to support the mass of heavy weapon wielding medium foot. Justin was finally able to charge his battle line of pike and spears into the center of my unprotected foot, and within a couple of turns broke through my center. Unfortunately for him, I had to call it a night because of an early day the next day, but he would have certainly gotten at least a narrow win. I don't think the Irish would have broken, because with 18 units, they probably wouldn't have lost nine before a reasonable time out. But the Irish would have sacked the German camp, and would have then dissolved back into their hills and marshes. Probably what would have been considered a historically successful result by the clans, and a fun night of Medieval gaming.

I'm still trying to come up with a way to satisfyingly play a barbarian foot army with FoG, and I think that in my next 900 point game, I may experiment with some Galatians.

Here are some photos of the game:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Skythian Centaurs

Real Life has been getting in the way big time this summer, and there's been virtually no time for any hobby activities at all. No gaming, and hardly any painting either. Now that summer is over, there's a little break in my schedule that should allow me to get back to painting, but until winter, weekends are going to be tough for gaming. What I need is a Friday night gaming club, since that's really the only convenient time I have to get out and roll the dice. Unfortunately, for most of my gaming friends, they seem to be in the opposite situation where they can game on the weekends, but Friday evenings are no good.

Anyway, I did finally manage to squeeze in enough time complete a unit of 18mm centaurs as manufactured by Eureka Miniatures. I really like these figures and almost anything else too in any period that Eureka makes in 15-18mm scale. I'm still not quite sure what I will do with them - seems that most local fantasy gamers want to exclusively play in 28mm scale, and the Ancient players who use 15mm usually do historical armies only. I may be devious sometime though, and slip these guys in as Skythian horse archer types - just like I did at an Ancients tournament recently with my Frost Giants acting as command stands in a Norse-Irish army.