Battleshed Diaries

Sunday, 20 December 2015

A Battleshed year

It's that time of year again when gaming and modelling has to take a back seat for the annual ritual of forced bonhomie, tacky decorations, inane cards signed by the spider-helpers of unknown elderly relatives and insidious tunes assaulting seasonal dissidents like me from over-heated and over full retailers. Yes, it's the grand orgy of rampant consumerism that's become the so called Festive Season.
Bah...wait for it.......HUMBUG!

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Faustus Furius

Over the last couple of weeks I've had four teams of ancient charioteers going through their paces play-testing Faustus Furius, new Ancient chariot racing rules in development from Nic Wright over at Irregular Wars. And what devilishly good fun its been!

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The Ride of the Rohirrim

Last night, in the environs of Falkirk District, there was an epic battle between the Riders of Rohan and the evil forces of Harad, supported by three massive War Mûmakil - colossal war-beasts trained by the Mahud to trample their enemies into the dust!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Finding Common Ground in storm Desmond.

Today I drove north to Stirling, braving storm Desmond - or as these things used to be called, Winter. To a gaming venue I've long wanted to visit. Common Ground GamesRiding shotgun was my gaming buddy, Jamie, as we navigated a cross-country route trying to avoid anticipated congestion on the main central Scottish motorways. The famous Forth Road Bridge is closed until the New year for emergency repairs. But a winter storm and mayhem on the roads wasn't going to stop the gaming!

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

My Lord, the skirmishers were last seen entering the farm...

Following my habit of being at least a couple of years behind the rule set curve, I returned to Britain in the Dark Age recently. This time the period from the Roman withdrawal around 410 AD to the end of the 6th century, using a set of rules from the Too Fat Lardies stable, Dux Britanniarum.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Ancient chariot racing, anyone?

The paint is still drying on my Mitannian Mariyannu chariots.
Now say that three times, fast!
As is the paint on a couple of Hittite chariots.
Four ancient chariots? Yep, an unusual diversion for me!

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Targe 2015

I had a nice wee trip today to the lovely town of Kirriemuir for Targe 2015. It's the fourth wargames show I've attended this year and the first time at this event hosted by Kirriemuir Wargames Club. And the best bit was that I got a lift with Sam Pate and his lad, meaning I could ride shotgun and admire the beautiful, snow-covered hills and glens as we headed north.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Brisk business at the undertakers

A visit to the Old West town of Obsession recently. Well, a suburb anyway. A quick game of Dead Man's Hand was on the, um, cards. My Lawmen were tacking a whole bunch of horse rustling Outlaws. This new lot of hotshot Longriders were planning to raid the Livery on the outskirts of town.
Dead Man's Hand A Town Called Obsession

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Infinite Nano Burgers!

With some of my fellow gamers at my local club currently absorbed with Infinity, the subject of terrain often comes up. This system requires lots of cover, whether that is a cityscape, jungle, forest etc. So a gamer-huddle formed (you know what I mean!) when club member, Ian, brought along a couple of new buildings for use in a recent game.

It went something like this:

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Sunday, 1 November 2015

The Bonnie Mae rides again

Another epic game of Firefly at my local club this weekend. Similar to the recent game held in the Battleshed, it was another with all current expansions in play. However, this time there were six players (or pilots) enjoying the game over two days

As Livingston Battleground are lucky to have a both a Friday and Saturday morning sessions booked in the same room we can start a game on a Friday evening and happily, and securely, leave for resumption the next day - after a bacon butty in the canteen below. I assume vegetabalist options are available.

This was another immensely enjoyable game. Plenty of room - as posted previously, Firefly needs lots of card space! Six eager pilots, all but one of whom had played before. And we had a regular player acting as host and 'banker'. Plus intrigued onlookers!

You can imagine the banter! I've posted the merits of Firefly before.  Suffice to say, I came away with a huge, cheesy grin, mostly because I won!

Despite all the false allegiances, negotiations, back-stabbing and countless run-ins with Alliance and Reaver ships, I quietly set about the game objective - the pilot with the most unique Solid Contacts before the depletion of available 'Goal' tokens. 

My cunning plan was not to get embroiled with the inevitable pilot politics in the Core systems, competing amongst the most popular trading planets. It got real messy in there, with a cluster of rival pilots, including Alliance and Reaver complications. I did manage to acquire 'Vera' the sniper rifle though.

Instead, I upgraded the Bonnie Mae with an extra emergency burner (bought after short trip to Silverhold) and pocketed a couple of jobs way out in the Rim. Yes, there were Reaver risks, but as I'd made some early contacts in the central system I concluded the odds were better out there than being embroiled with the pilot scrum.

Firefly. A truly epic board game. Solo to 6 players.

 Did I mention I won?

A cigar chomping, HMG toting, Aquila Guard

After a week or so away, gaming has happily resumed in the Battleshed with another visit to Infinity.

This time though, my Pan Oceania Fusiliers had recruited some muscle in the form of a heavily armoured, gun-toting, cigar chomping HMG Aquila Guard. He even sported a fancy Multispectral Visor and allegedly exuded genetically modified testosterone at whim.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Too much stuff? A Victorian Warehouse could be the solution

The latest terrain piece to roll off the Battleshed production line is a Victorian warehouse from Sarissa Precision's Gaslamp Alley Victorian SF range.  See, I do sometimes apply a bit of paint!


Sunday, 18 October 2015

Journey to The Human Sphere

Another week, another new system!  This time I've been off down a worm hole 175 years in the future, travelling to another galaxy to compete with other human and alien factions for technology, resources and an excuse to deploy exotic weaponry from a huge futuristic arsenal. This is Infinity!

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Jail Break in the 'Verse!

There was an epic game of Firefly in the Battleshed on Sunday. A marathon four hour game with all the current expansions in play, including the latest, Kalidasa, which is the second Rim expansion (after Blue Sun) adding another new star system to the 'Verse. 

Monday, 12 October 2015

Clash of Celtiberians and Greek Hoplites

At last! My inaugural game of Hail Caesar. It's been almost a year since I ordered an Imperial Roman army from Warlord Games with high hopes of getting a legion onto the battlefield. 

However, for one reason or another, mostly to do with far too many competing gaming distractions (you know how it is!) my legion is still being formed up. The Emperor is not happy.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Massive sale at the Galactic dealership!

Last night I was engaging Imperial forces in a galaxy far, far away. I'd assembled a vast fleet of three Rebel Alliance ships to take on the Dark Side. Yes, it was time for X-Wing!

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Aliens in Bristol

Aliens have invaded Bristol! Yes, you heard me, Bristol. In the UK. Why? Maybe their ship was damaged. Lost navigation or something. Probably were originally planning to invade New York for the millionth time. You've got to feel for them. Bristol!

Anyway, if you really want to know why, then I suggest you head over to a new SF web series called Horizon. The first two episodes are already released with the remaining eight being made available daily at 8pm GMT.

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Backs to the Wall

My Scots SAGA war band were in action yesterday against the Anglo Saxons using a scenario called 'Backs to the Wall'

With a game arranged at my local club, I decided to have a rummage on the interweb for new scenario ideas and chanced upon The Tapestry where member Mike Wood had posted this interesting battle.

Friday, 2 October 2015

One hundred!

My 100th post! I was truly surprised when I noticed the post count as it really does not feel like I have submitted a hundred posts already. Admittedly, some of the earlier posts when I first started this blog were poached from my Battleshed Carnage Facebook group, so I initially felt a bit guilty claiming one hundred posts on this blog. But, dammit', I'm always being hard on myself and I did write them, regardless the forum, so I'm counting them!

Writing this blog was initially - and still is for the most part - a casual and fun aide memoir, sharing my activities and thoughts within our fascinating hobby. One thing writing this blog has achieved above all is re-awaken a latent interest in story writing and most importantly, helped develop the discipline to write regularly.

I've had a plethora of story and character ideas bubbling away over the last couple of years and latterly I've managed to filter out a couple of projects that I intend to run with, just to see where they go. No clues just yet!

Above all, a big thank you to all my readers and followers for taking valuable time to read this blog, especially with countless alternatives out there. Your interest is very much appreciated! Thank you.

Now, back to business...

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Foray into Felstad

Frostgrave. There has been quite a buzz around this new fantasy skirmish system within our hobby, not least because it's supported by a tantalizing range of miniatures from Osprey Publishing and a North Star Military Figures

Saturday, 26 September 2015

An axe to the kneecaps always levels a fight

Valgen's Lads - my veteran Songs of Blades and Heroes Dwarf warband - enjoyed a good bit of blade work today. They were up against a new Barbarian warband, Wulfs's Warriors, controlled by a member of my local club who wanted a re-introduction to the delights of this most elegant game.

Of course, I was delighted to assist, SoBH being my favourite fantasy skirmish system. As my opponent was looking for a refresher, we played the Standard Rules (400 points) but included the Reaction system from the recently published Advanced SoBH.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

There's no room for the Law in this town

Just a quick shout out for Jimboba who earned his first pair Dead Man's Hand spurs with a visit to the Battleshed yesterday. He was joined by my regular gaming buddy, Sam Pate, for a casual shootout in the streets of Obsession.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

A clearing full of barbarians!

It was a welcome return to Songs of Blades and Heroes in the Battleshed this week. 

It's been a few months since I last played my favourite fantasy skirmish system, with the veritable smorgasbord of alternative skirmish systems I'd just had to try in the intervening time. My regular gaming buddy and I, Sam Pate of Wee Blokes, set up a quick 400 point game using the new Advanced rules (ASOBH) from the Fightin' Fungi release.  

As neither of us have a painted our Fungi Fighters yet, it was an excuse for me to deploy my favourite warband instead - Dwarfs led by the old campaign leader, Valgen Maest.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

IHMN Campaign: A town called Obsession

The third battle of our continuing In Her Majesty's Name campaign.

After the retreat from Scorpion Hollow, Lord Curr's Company are next planning a desperate attempt to rescue the wolf-dog Dakota who's being restrained in a small south-western US river-side town by the name of Obsession. The Company also plan to foil a plan by one of the local deputies to trade a copy of the coded plans found attached to Dakota's collar.

For the complete campaign back story and to find out the story between battles I recommend you visit my campaign page before continuing.

But if you wish to just get straight to the battle report then read on...

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Really Fightin' Fungi

A whole bunch of mushrooms were pushed through my letterbox recently.

No, not some illicit dealings in fungi narcotics, this was the culmination of Ganesha game's recently successful 'Fightin' Fungi' Kickstarter.

The Advanced fantasy skirmish rules and miniatures based on Songs of Blades and Heroes.


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Epic encounter!

This week at my local club, Livingston Battleground, there was an epic 6-way massed battle between the Empire, Bretonnians and Dwarf forces facing off the Daemon Chaos hoards! 

With the simplified Age of Sigma rules such a large scale battle has now become easily feasible over a morning's club session.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Sir! Should we avoid that island...Sir?!

Following on from my recent play-test of Sails of Glory, there was some interest from my local club so I was happy to bring it along yesterday for some more sea-faring combat.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

You sunk my battleship!

This week in the Battleshed things got all nautical with my inaugural game of Sails of Glory - Napoleonic Wars.

Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Claymore 2015, a rusty robot and Deadwood Weekend

On Saturday just gone I made my annual pilgrimage to Claymore 2015 in Edinburgh. As ever, a well organised and attended wargames show organised by South East Scotland Wargames Club

With plenty of free parking at the venue - Granton Campus, Edinburgh College - and spread over two large calls with a varied mix of traders and demonstration games it's always a pleasure to visit.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Lofty musings

Last month, and tenuously gaming related, the hobby widow and I headed east to the next county over to attend the annual East Fortune Air show. How is this gaming related? Well, it has bi-planes. Age of Glory has bi-planes. That's my justification.

I've always had a passing interest in things aeronautical and love the idealistic romance and adventure of the early planes. I can't say I have any real knowledge of the subject, other than failing to land in numerous video game simulations from the ZX Spectrum onwards. Yes, "I'm old. Not obsolete."

Friday, 31 July 2015

July review

End of month round-up. Which will be short, as available gaming time in July is typically limited for me due to being forced (!) to go on holidays and various summer events. Although, when I say 'summer' that only accounts for my overseas trips, as summer has been playing hide n' seek with Scotland this year!  

Friday, 24 July 2015

The rules that divide us

Wel I'm back. After lots of travelling over the last few weeks, albeit mostly for pleasure, my wee gaming hiatus as finally come to an end with the recent controversial introduction of Age of Sigmar, a bookend to Games Workshop's Warhammer Fantasy system.

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Temporary gaming disruption

My reader, if I'm lucky, may have noticed I've been a bit quiet the last couple of weeks.

This is because I was away overseas on a family holiday. I arrived back today, but alas most gaming related activates are still on hold for at least another week, as I'll be travelling again in the next few days.  

It's that time of year, with the distractions of summer (for us in the northern hemisphere) impacting on gaming time.

I expect my normal mutterings to resume over the next month or so.  

Watch this space!

Friday, 26 June 2015

Wings Over Cambrai

With two shiny new aeroplanes finding a home in my Wings of Glory hanger, my second game of WWI aerial action took place yesterday using the 'sky boards' mentioned in my earlier post. This time I controlled the Alabtros D.Va and the Fokker DR.1, whilst my opponent controlled the Spad XIII and the formidable, two-seater Bristol F.28b Fighter.

This time we started out using the Standard Rules and consoles. As this was only our second game and we were having to multi-task with two new planes, we decided to forgo the optional rules such as Tailing and Aim and also left the Altitude Advanced rules for another time. This was all about familiarisation with the Standard rules and getting to grips with the aircraft.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Painting the sky

With my second game of Wings of Glory due to be played this week, I decided to whip up a suitable playing surface. As most of my games are ground based, I really don't have anything that could be distinctively 'aerial', so with time being short before the next game I've used my trusty (and relatively cheap) method of creating a gaming surface.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations

Another day, another purchase.  Still keeping with the aeronautical theme of late, I've ordered up the solitaire / team play game that that spans US naval aviation service life of the F/A-18 Hornet in the form of Hornet Leader: Carrier Air Operations, published by DVG
I've read a number of reviews for this game, which I understand is the progenitor of the X Leader series. As with Wings of Glory, I'm a late newcomer to these systems so I'll at least have a myriad of web sites and forums to refer to.

I'd  mentally bookmarked Hornet Leader upon reading reviews in various forums thinking that a relatively complex solitaire game is something I could get my teeth into where gaming opponents aren't readily available. After all, if I can play Civilisation on my laptop for a few hours, then why not try some old-school gaming?

Flicking through the July edition of Miniature Wargames, I found Brad Harmer's positive review of Hornet leader all the incentive I needed to dive in and finally pick up a decent solitaire game. With a bit of interweb searching and forum surfing, Board Game Extras now have my order.