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!  



I did manage to smuggle Hornet Leader into my holiday luggage, necessitating some drastic decisions when it came to making room for holiday apparel. Some of my tropical-print shirts didn't make the sift. Not a bad thing really, and a great relief to the wife! A full review of this solitaire game is in the blog review queue.

Whilst I was away playing Hornet Commander in exotic climes, The Great War from the Plastic Soldier Company was delivered. I've only managed to have a quick look at the rules and a rummage in the box, but I'm keen to get a game. So again it's in the review queue.

My regular gaming buddy, Sam Pate, has also been suffering the usual July distractions but he did highlight Galleys and Galleons from Ganesha Games, the home of my favourite Songs of... rules-sets. So of course I had to order a copy. Looks like there will be some nautical action in the months to come.

With that in mind, it didn't take too much persuasion to pick up Sails of Glory from Ares games, the home of Wings of Glory which I've been experimenting with recently. Another two recent rulebook additions to the 'awaiting attention' pile in the Battleshed are the Lion Rampant, for a spot of medieval gaming and Frostgrave because apparently I need more magic in my life!

Age of Sigmar was tested, as per my previous post, and as mentioned there, this has at least inspired me to dig out my 7th and 8th edition rules. I prefer the 7th edition, partly out of familiarity and also there is less emphasis on the use of Magic. Not that I'm adverse to using magic;  well, my SoBH Dwarf warband is, but that's another matter! Plans are afoot for hosting a large'ish WHF battle in the coming months, hopefully involving my brother-in-law's Vampire Count army. My Empire troops are old adversaries with that deviant and broken(!) army. 

This week, hopefully as signs of our gaming schedule starting to get back on track, Sam came over the Battleshed for a taste of Wings of Glory. As it was his first game we used a single plane each - the Fokker Dr.I Kirschstein and the Elwood Sopwith Camel - both new arrivals in my Wings of Glory hanger.

We used the Standard rules initially for a straight-on dog-fight. Sam, being the wily and experienced gamer that he is, having no difficulty testing the mettle of my Sopwith from the outset! Indeed, given the amount of Damage cards he was piling up I was starting to think his plane was made from some secret experimental super-material! Which is my only excuse for the defeat of my Sopwith.

For the second game we again used the Standard rules but added in the advanced Altitude rules to make things even more interesting. I've been keen to try the altitude rules, having omitted them for the first few experimental games.

They made for an even more tense and drawn-out game of out-manoeuvre. It's a simple mechanic but greatly enhances the simulation. The aircraft models come with four stand pins that can be combined to represent different levels of altitude, up to a maximum of four. Each manoeuvre deck comes with a climb and dive card which are played the same as the regular cards. However each plane has its own climb rate, (in this case 2 for the Fokker and 3 for the Sopwith), which means that the Spowith, for example, has to play 3 climb cards before it reaches the next altitude level!

There are accompanying LoS and targeting rules for combatants at differing levels, but these are pretty straightforward.  With the altitude rules in play it truly started to feel like a good old dog-fight. Which the Sopwith lost. Again.


Fokker Dr.I Kirschstein, Von Richthofen Fokker Dr.I, Albatros D.Va


Elwood Sopwith Camel, Harvey/ Waight Bristol F.2B Fighter, Spad XIII

Saturday 1st August will see me at my third trade show of the year, this time at Claymore 2015 in Edinburgh. As always I'm looking forward to meeting up with some regular faces on the local gaming circuit and especially the chance to meet Craig Cartmel of In Her Majesty’s Name who's running a participation game! I'm also resigned to the fact that I'll go with best intentions to stick to my planned, but ultimately forlorn, purchase list - and actually come away with a bag full of un-planned shinys!

So, actual gaming-wise, a meagre month but I'm sure things will ramp up soon enough. I've got a back-log of painting and terrain modelling to do, including scenery for our In Her Majesty's Name campaign, (no Gordon, we've not forgotten!), which has had a faltering start so far.

And I'm still to start on the Hail Caesar Roman army that has been patiently sitting, feeling very neglected, in the Battleshed! More than enough here to keep me busy for years! Maybe I should just go back to video-gaming...