zaterdag 25 mei 2019

The Campaign for Azmodov 7: Recce Phase

The skies burned as the Chaos forces arrived over Azmodov 7, and soon the drop pods where screaming down towards the surface.  On the ground, the forces of the Pax Arcadia rushed to the hotspots, where the first wave of heretics landed and started to look for landing points for their armies...

The first scenario of the mini campaign Nemesis and me are going to be playing for Future War Commader, the Recce Phase is the first of the Colonisation scenarios in the book, and the full fluff for our little campaign can be found HERE.

We settled on 1500 points for this first game, giving us not to big a force each.  I went for mobility mostly, as my force needs to reach table edges AND return to the deployment zone for victory points as a result.

Nemesis brought a large infantry post, who where split amongst it's two HQ's, while his CO brought along the armoured support.

And so the forces deployed on the purposefully rural area table, to represent that the recce phase started in rural outskirts of the planet...


Turn 1

I had the first turn, and used my orders to race my fast units to the sides of the tables in an angled trajectory, so that I can 'tap' both table edges at the same time if needed, and go for those points first.


But the Pax had set up an ambush, and this reulted in the loss of the first squad of bikes from my force as their heavy blasters blazed away.  One of my Land Raiders responded though by taking out an infantry unit in the return fire.

Soon, a Rhino reached the table edge, netting me the first point from the game.  Could I build up a lead before the Pax points where calculated at the end of the game?




The Pax forces started to arrive on the table with their Mobile deployment, meaning the race was on to try not only to reach, but also survive the return to the DZ...




Turn 2

With the heavy units of the Pax force all concentrated at the southern edge, suppression and opportunity fire where the name of the game down there.


On the eastern edge, an infantry force also arrived and started to move towards the table centre, to coordinate with the infantry brigade that had arrived north in the previous turn.


But with two more edges now reached, I got up to 3 points of the potentially 4 points to be able to be scored from the table edges.

Turn 3

The southern battle kept raging, and the Emperor`s Children slowly started their fall back to the DZ, in order to hopefully secure that area for the points. The same happened at the other side, with the assault marines falling back to the safer position in the woods.



Nemesis then rolled a serious blunder, resulting in his CO being stuck with a -2 command penalty for the next turn as well.  Over the whole game, he blundered a staggering three times (though he did get double orders twice as well, something I neither had for both accounts).


Turn 4

Time to call in the first of my 2 Orbital Bombardements, and a pin point barrage scattered a minimal 2 cm amongst his infantry squads on the southern edge.  It caused some casualties on his force, but not as much as I liked for an 8 attack per stand barrage...



My southern force was slowly being swamped and flooded, though the Land Raider there took no less then 3 turns to take out, making save after save...


Turn 5

The second orbital strike hit home, but as it was against armoured vehicles, it did not that much effect at all.


Unfortunatly, the Land Raider on the north side got supressed by smart missile opportunity fire, or he would have rolled into the DZ and won me the game.

A squad of marines bravely tries to hold their ground against the Pax armoured might coming up...


Turn 6

The last turn, and I knew I could at best draw.  My only chance to win the game would be if I get the Land Raider back in it's DZ, but it got suppressed once again after missing all it's shots on the Smart Missile infantry.  I then went to extreme gambles by trying to jump the assault marines to the last remaining edge to grab that fourth point and draw the game, but they stranded halfway...

Ironically, the Land Raider was subsequently destroyed by low infantry fire, those armoured bastions that stood in the way of the Pax forces for the whole game now failed me.  And al chances of a draw gone as now my jump marines where out the DZ and one stand survived the Pax onslaught with a few hits remaining...


So the scenario ended, with me scoring 3 VP's for tapping three edges, while Nemesis grabbed 4: 2 for the one edge I didn't reach; and 2 for destroying double the points of his own losses.

The Pax commander radioed in to the central command, to report that the scout patrol had been contained.  But they knew that some units had reached the edges of the area, and the chance existed that signals had been send to the ship in orbit.  So would the Heretics be back?  Undoubtly, but what would they have learned, and what and when would the assault be coming from... or be targeted at.

On the Painting Desk 95

Another week has gone by, and I managed to get some things finished this time round again.

May is turning out to be a very productive month after all...

For my Lord of the Rings, the Men of Numenor where completed, as well as a group of 13 Morannon Orcs.  And I finished a cat, which will be part of our demo game in september for MESBG.

This final week of the month, I`m going to be trying and do some odds and ends on the desk, but I don`t really daresay anything will get finished completely, maybe the Dead of Dunharrow...

vrijdag 24 mei 2019

Game of Thrones season 8

The final season!  The grand finale!  Episodes of more then an hour with a huge budget!  The stars where lining up for the greatest moment in television history, and the hype build in the two year hiatus of the series.


But did it deliver?  Because ever since the writers couldn't fall back on the sourcematerial from season 6 onwards, the quality has been dwindling down.

The short answer?  No, it didn't.   For me, season 8 was overhyped and underperforming, and after the weak seventh season really does shame to what was a fantastic series up to and including season 5.

And boy are my grievances long.  Take for a start the Battle of Winterfell.  It had been announced as the biggest battle in the history of TV AND cinematic fantasy battles.  Even putting aside it was horribly filmed (rain and nighttime is do-able, remember Helm's Deep), in which the best excuse they could offer was their visuals guy saying 'learn to tune your tv'... seriously, pompous prick?  The battle was by no means either big or impressive, and FULL of 'retardo moments' in planning.
The defences: horses before catapults before elite troops before barricades before the wall.  It would have been far more sensible to turn that around right... and the putting on fire of said barricades by Melissandre at the last moment; because the Walkers fear fire... they could have lightened them up hours before that...


No, the whole, seasons long build up to the terror that was the Night King was a big sof... and then we move to the even bigger battle, that off King's Landing.  Now, I for one WASN'T amazed by Dany going all Darth Vader on the city.  After all, in all her previous 'liberations', she coldheartily spilled lots of blood as well.  But that was a far off world and characters that we knew for 2 episodes tops, so we cheered.  But the battle is itself was... rubbish.

The week before, her second dragon got simply shot down (despite Martin stating in his books that a full grown dragon's scales are nigh impenerable) from miles away, while now a full frontal assault by Drogon reduced the fleet who just couldn't fire back.  Then we have the mighty Golden Company, hyped weeks in advance (ever since s7's finale) of being so good and mighty... and burned down in seconds.  Which brings us to the burning part.  Suddenly, Drogon could blow fire for almost an hour on end, burning down the armies and the city of King's Landing... so why weren't they toasting the zombie horde two weeks before... when they even had 2 dragons... instead of throwing lifes away?


And then the many, many unaswered questions.  Why didn nobody reveal Jon had a rightfull claim to the throne on the final episode.  Or how could he even have his head amidst the Unsullied, who killed all that even dared oppose their Queen, yet her killer can go to trial?  Sure, he comes away clean, returning to the Night's Watch (and so into Freefolk lands to start a new life apparantly), but WHY is there still a Night's Watch.  It's purpose is gone now that the North and the Freefolk are at peace, and the Walkers destroyed...

Craster's Babies?  Who WAS the Night King?  Bran suddenly becoming king, yet two weeks before stating he 'wants' nothing anymore and certainly not rulership, and sure he took it reluctantly, he knew it was coming as he saw the future...

But perhaps my final gripe was Arya and the Prophecies (you know, the one she would fae a green eyed enemy).  I would have changed the whole how Dany got killed sequence, with Arya attacking her, and being thrown back.  While Arya lies on the floor, Jon, torn between family and adopted family, makes his choise and stabs Dany through the heart... same result, more drama (sure, it reminds of Return of the Jedi, but it is only a brainspin).  And instead of Arya sailing away, her closing shots for me would be her returning to the Faceless Men temple to train further, now that she has suffered defeat...


No, this season wasn't good.  It left me with a bitter taste, one that has been brewing for me ever since the Hardhome episode at the end of season 5...

Still, hats off though to the actors, and the "concept" of the whole series.  the former performed admirably, and the series made fantasy a well accepted television niche, something Lord of the Rings did in theatres, and now has been done to the smallscreen.


And that is something GoT is righty credited for for all time...

donderdag 23 mei 2019

Form ranks, you maggots!

Bound to one day receive the charge of my Rohirrim, it's Morannon orcs this time.

While last time's basic Mordor orc is only good for average task, the slightly better Morannon orc was the one present at Pelennor Fields.

For this entry, I completed a batch of 13 of the warriors, mix and matching their wargear.  Once I paint up the movement trays for them (not that you need them in the game, but it looks so much better to line them up in your game cabinets) I will be "filling out" their numbers in multiples of eight.

The models now are relatively cheap to find everywhere, as they are in the current starter edition of the game, as are their Mordor orc companions due to the fact of, well, these guys just being better to build your battleline around.  It's not that there is much difference between them, but the differences are mostly "where they count" for an army that relies on numbers bound to be cut down by the swathes...

But for this bunch, I now have a core of 4 with shield, 6 with spear and 3 with shield and spear, good for a mighty boost of 107 points to my Mordor legion.


Now to paint some "inspiring" leadership for them, in the form of Gothmog...