Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Army Showcase - The Knights of the Round table

You've probably seen enough of these figures to last you a lifetime over the past couple of days, but I thought an army showcase was in order.

Back in 2002, a fellow wargamer was downsizing his collection, and gave me an unpainted Peter Pig pre-made HOTT army - The Knights of the Round Table. I started painting them, lost the impetus and stored them away. They emigrated with me in 2008, and stayed in storage until, the other week, I realised I needed a new HOTT army for my 6x6 Challenge project, dug them out, and finished them.

The army is:

1 x Hero General (Arthur)
1 x Hero (Lancelot)
1 x Magician (Merlin)
4 x Knights
2 x Blades
Optional: 1 x Paladin (Sir Galahad)

Here's Arthur

And most of the knights.

Lancelot and Galahad, plus some friends.


And the knights on foot.

That's it really. Lovely figures, of course. Peter Pig rarely disappoints, and they're a joy to paint.

On a totally unrelated note, one of my followers said hello to my son at the 2017 ACRA awards in Melbourne this weekend. Hi there, whoever you are. It's nice to know that my celebrity and his overlap in some small way.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

We're Knights of the Round Table

With a new HOTT army on the gaming table, I found time this evening to have a couple of quick games using it. Opening up boxes, my Orcs were the first that came to hand - a mix of hordes, riders and beasts, led by a Nazgul knight and featuring some behemoth trolls.

The Knights of the Round Table consisted of: Hero general (Arthur), Hero (Lancelot), Magician (Merlin), 4 x Knights (Of The Round Table), 2 x Blades (Knights on foot).

In the first game they attacked (sorry about the dodgy pictures; I'm still getting to grips with my new phone camera).

The knights look spectacular. All that heraldry is why I stalled on the painting, but it was worth the effort.

The Orc hordes, looking very, very dark.

The knights pushed forward eagerly, towards the enemy wolf-rider.

Meanwhile the knights on foot engaged the allied wargs.

The two armies met in the centre.

Lancelot destroyed the trolls.

This left the Nazgul exposed, and he dies in single combat with Arthur, thus defeating the Orc army.

This was rather a quick game. A win in their debut game, it's true, but a rather easy victory.

I set the armies up again. The Orcs defended once more, and went with one fewer wood and an extra hill.

Arthur's nights advanced cautiously.

The Nazgul ordered a small redeployment, putting himself in the front line with his wolf-riders in support.

One element of wolf-riders was set across the front of the army to the other flank. Arthur pushed his troops forward more quickly to trap it ...

... but ran out of PIPs, and caught caught isolated from the rest of the army.

Lancelot on the end of the line faced the trolls once more. But this time they were supported by wargs and Lancelot was killed.

Meanwhile the knights supporting Arthur forged forward into the main Orc army, leaving Arthur dangerously exposed.

Merlin to the rescue - he quickly drove off the trolls.

The knights pushed too far forward and were surrounded and destroyed.

On the other flank the remaining knights pushed forward against the Nazgul and wolf-riders, with mixed success.

Merlin found himself best by more wargs ...

... and killed.

Arthur withdrew to the safety of a hill, whilst the rest of his army pressed forward once more.

But more of his knights ended up surrounded, and were wiped out, breaking his army.

A win for the Orcs. As is often the case with HOTT, Arthur was caught short in terms of PIPs at the key moment, but the army's small size also counted against it, with the Orcs able to pin elements with hordes and then attack elsewhere.

Since this is a new army, I am able to count these games as one of my 6x6 Challenge entries.

6x6 - Game 1.5

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love, Murder and Knights

Catherine has been designing another of her murder mysteries over the past couple of weeks, and tried it out on us yesterday. I don't have any pictures, and obviously won't reveal too many details, since she plans to market it at some stage, but basically we all played pet cats living in a suburban street investigating the death of one of their number. It was as bonkers as it sounds, but great fun and kept everyone engaged and entertained for a few hours. As well as grossed out by the special cat-themed nibbles she'd provided for us.

Anyway, we played a game of Love Letter: Premium Edition afterwards; this is the version which has extra cards to expand it to between five and eight players. The dynamics are different to the basic two- to four-player game (more rounds end in a comparison of cards rather than last man standing), but it's still very entertaining.

Despite all this entertainment I still found time at home to do the basing on my Arthurian HOTT army, which is now completed and ready for its first game. Here's a quick picture. I'm sure there will be more to follow.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Maurice Campaign - The Conclusion

I was a latecomer to the club's Maurice campaign, and last night was only my third game. But some others were playing their sixth, (maybe seventh) game, and were close to accumulating enough points to clinch a win if they played well in this session. So there was everything to play for as six of us settled down for an evening of 18th century warfare.

I used my Swedes again, an army design I realise was flawed from the start, with too many elite troops, and not enough regulars, leaving me sadly depleted and outnumbered after the first battle wiped out my quality and left me with no replacement quantity.

For the first time I defended, against Caesar's British.

I established a strong position behind a stone wall, whilst my cavalry operated on the left, opposite that of the British

The objective.

Basically the battle was a tight little cavalry action on my left flank, with Caesar's irregular light horse ...

... pushing through the wood ...

... into my rear ...

... where I charged and routed some of them ...

... before being attacked in turn.

There was lots of charging and counter-charging, and we both depleted our hands a couple of times during the wild melees.

The British gained the upper hand, and marched their infantry into position to exploit the possible opening on the flank.

But when the last Swedish cavalry unit broke, the army broke with it. The infantry never engaged, and only one Swedish stand even fired a shot.

The British infantry looked magnificent, but never even dropped out of column.

So that was a win for the British, and a third straight loss for the Swedes.

On the other tables, John P's Prussians faced Peter's Austrians ...

... whilst Daniel's Russians opposed Gary's Ottomans.

Prussians vs Austrians.

Ottomans vs Russians

Fierce fighting saw the Austrians defeat the Prussians.

And the Russians held stoically against an Ottoman attack, eventually breaking it.

Peter's win as the Austrians basically gave him a campaign win (he was a couple of points short, but really only had to just turn up for the next game, so we gave him the win anyway). Everyone was pleased with how the campaign had played out over the past few months. Even I had a great time, despite my shocking defeats. When we start a new campaign I'll be looking at starting with fewer elite units, so I can have more troops overall. And I might invest in some irregular cavalry as well; a few allied Cossacks wouldn't go amiss I reckon.

(Nice shiny photos courtesy of my new phone; I've retired my old iPhone 4S at last).
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