Sunday, 7 June 2015

Weekend roundup: A Feast For Crows and World War 1 aerial aces



Weekend roundup time, as I sit her with a nice glass of red and chilling after a good few hours hillwalking with my wife in the sunny, but windy, local Pentland hills . Which inevitably means that my long list of modelling and painting projects did not progress any further again this weekend. 

I expect I'm like most in our hobby, experiencing  fluctuating periods of enthusiasm and productivity when it comes to the more creative aspects of wargaming. With limited time, the opportunity to actually game always comes first with me. Which is why the Dompfaff seems to taking an ages to paint. I'm in the painting doldrums. I can understand why pre-painted gaming systems such as X-Wing are popular!  It will surely pass though, and I usually bounce back with a surge of painting and modelling. Which is just as well, as I've got lots to do for the In Her Majesty's Name campaign!


However, Saturday morning I was at my local club as usual for a 3-way, 4 point game of Saga. We used the special scenario, A Feast For Crows, multiplayer scenario where, after placing scenery it was a simple game of the highest Victory Points gained by killing your opponents fighters. But crucially in this scenario, the player's Orders phase is performed simultaneously and initiative is rolled at the start of each turn; anyone who's played Saga knows this adds a challenging dynamic to the player's Order planning!

I had my usual Scots, and my opponents with the Irish and Anglo Saxons. Three-way games always feel a bit awkward to me. From my experience one player often becomes the 'filler' in the sandwich. And it's usually me. And it was this game. Suffice to say the small Scots warband of three units, Hearthguard, warriors and archer levy saw both enemy contingents marching straight at them from the start.

I immediately went into defencive mode, the Scots abilities being particularly amenable to this style of play. Not that it did any good. With way too much dithering on my part, my units seemingly unsure where to position and which threat to face first, my archers were soon caught out by a small section of Irish mounted Hearthguard. It was a bloodbath.  And from there on it was all the Scots could do to contain the rampaging Irish, whilst the Scots warriors were desperately trying to keep out of range of an advancing Anglo Saxon archers on the other flank.

The only reprieve for the Scots was that the Irish and Anglo Saxons decided the Scots were practically a spent force after the Scots war chief went one-on-one with the Saxon war chief, and despite having the upper hand by not suffering any fatigue, still messed up and was taken out of the fight! So they last few turns concentrated on the Irish and Anglo Saxons battering each other to bits.
Eventually it was a close win for the Anglo Saxons, with the Irish only a couple of VPs behind. We'll not talk about the Scots!

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A few weeks ago, I very nearly had a demonstration game of Wings of Glory (Ares Games), the aerial combat game set during World War I and II.  I say nearly - it had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. However, intrigued, I have ordered up the WW1 starter set, 'Duel', which contains the iconic Fokker Dr.I and Sopwith Camel. This has nothing to do with these being pre-painted of course! I know very little about this series, so I'll report up my experience with this system in due course.

Right, that's it for now.