Sunday, August 23, 2009

Another Battle, and a Blog enhancement

Well, George and I met again on the field of Battle with my two complete MK/HotT Armies, Orcs and Elves. I didn't have a camera, so this are courtesy of George, and we missed the opening deployment.

George was defending, a swamp he took from us in the last battle. His Knights and Riders deployed left flank, and his Shooters, Blades and Magician on right.

I pulled my Troll Artillery and replaced them with a Troll Warband, who served as my General as he was easy to spot. I formed a mass Battle line near the center with Shooters on both wings.

George had deployed plenty of terrain, with bad going two corners and center, a hill on my side left and a lake on his left.

His mounted units moved behind the lake and waited for a chance to hit my flanks. My line was going to prove to be too long as I tried to get passed the lake and I would eventually get muddled up in the Woods in the center.

One reason George deployed terrain so liberally is to force me into areas I would encounter his lurkers, Elvish archers. We had some rules questions when we got that far. Lurker deployment says lurkers must deploy with a front edge in close combat contact with an enemy that has just entered the terrain feature. The pictures below are staged a bit, as we recreated the event of Lurker first deployment.

His Bound came up, and his first pip was to bring on one lurker on my left. Pretend for a moment that the second lurker is not there. My understanding is that my unit then has to turn to face and he then spent another pip to deploy his second lurker on my new right flank. As seen in the second picture.

I got lucky rolls and managed to drive off the primary attacker, which left the flanking lurker deployed. Can someone tell me if we did this wrong?

The lurkers worked really well to bust up my groups and I spent a lot of pips over the next few turns trying to straighten out my lines. George redeployed the lurkers often (actually we were in error there as we didn't realize the cost for redeployment is incremental.. just one of the errors that we now know we committed.)
On Georges right flank my other shooters appear over the crest of the Hill. In retrospect, I am kinda wishing I had deployed all my shooters to one side and marched my warband down my left flank en-mass. Maybe next time..

The next pic is of his lurkers harrassing my shooters as they try to take control of the woods. I drove them off again, and managed to destroy one by breaking off two units of War band and attacking them from the rear.
But now my shooters were in the way of my Warband, who were fragmented and this was going to create problems that kept me from getting a good solid attack going. You can also see the battle field from the opposite direction in the one pic. George is a much better general than I am. He is patient. His troops hardly moved once he had them deployed. This was partially because he rolled a lot of low rolls, but, partially because he is better at defending. War band probably suits me.

I am having trouble with the editor, and pictures, so I am going to give the rest of the battle by narration only, as best as I recall it. The knights attacked my shooters who had moved to protect my right flank from the knights. This proved a stalemate, in large part because of error number two. His first attack was soundly repulsed despite the fact that he caught me in open ground. This surprised us both, but, ok, the shooters peppered the knights with in coming and drove them back before they hit. This emboldened me, so I sallied forth and focused all my fire on one knight. He recoiled, and then advanced to hit us, out in the open. Somehow I missed that this should destroy the shooters, and both sides just kept bouncing off one another.

Over on the other flank, I finally managed to get my warband in a row again and marched on his shooters. I was doing pretty well, pushing them back and subsequently his magician, until I lost the warband leading the way for my general. The way this happened was that George was using his Magician to drop magic on my general, and managed to force him to recoil, which left the front unit unsupported. Now my General was out on his own. Sporadic successes with other warband, and subsequent follow-ups left my line all akimbo again. Eventually a concentration of distant shooting and Magic forced my general into a retreat that caused him to trip over his own unit. From their I conceeded, as we had already stayed long enough for George to get a parking ticket.

There are more pics over at George's Flicker stream.

I have also added a gadget to the blog to keep me on track. The MK/HotT project is in red, as it is my current focus.

Alright, getting sore wrists. More later, I hope.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


OK, over on Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog he was talking about statistics and the tendency to lose ground in the never ending battle between the unpainted lead and the painter. Now Tim is both more talented and more productive than I am. His blog is updated regularly with pretty pictures of both newly painted and based figures, and actual game sessions. The later often made even more beautiful by his lovely spouse, who actually humors him and plays. I am cheating and using prepaints, and I am not getting anywhere near the same levels of production or, obviously, quality. But one trait we share is a tendency to be distracted by


distracted by opportunities to buy new shiny bits of metal. With his level of productivity he can probably be forgiven. He may one day catch up, and, if not, he will certainly increase his range of playable games. I, on the other hand, probably need an intervention.

To illustrate:
I am an avid thrift store shopper. 1 I have made great progress, and I mostly do not buy things I have no immediate use for, unless they seem unusually cool. I passed up a copy of Tumbl'in Dice at the local Good will the other day. I pat myself


myself on the back. But, did you know there is a goodwill online. Addicts like me do. And it isn't like the things that sell there are necessarily thrifty. I mostly look at games. Last week Toledo Goodwill put up piles and piles of lead. Sold in X lb lots, mostly. Very little detail on what the lead was. But a box of War Gods of Ægyptus Asar stood out, and attracted my attention. On my foremost back burner, I have a dream of creating a decent set of Tekumel minis. Asar from this line make pretty good proxies for casual gaurds etc. And in another lot I found some Foundry Numidians. They could make good lower paid gaurds. And there were some Castle Parts from MageKnight. Ok, I figured if I could get these cheap, I would be doing OK. Buying them all would lower per unit shipping, and I would have a good set of generics for Tekumel Skirmish. I put a note in my calendar to look up the prices on the closing day.

Yesterday was closing day. Now, there were a lot of potentially great lots to be had on this sale. Most were simply listed by weight. A couple appeared to be 2 pounds of Greeks, of such. One lot was 7.5 pounds of - I think the phrase was Miniatures for a Rollplaying game. In the description they alluded that they "Might" be 40FnordK. Now I don't have any hankering to play 40FnordK, but 7.5 pounds of lead is a lot of figs. They were sitting around 20


bucks. I had just bought a bag of OG pirates (I hadn't mentioned that indiscretion before, had I? Pretend I didn't now..) and the 30 or so in the bag were less than a pound.

So first I bid on the Asar. I take the lead for about 12 bucks. That is more than I usually like to pay, but far less than the Asar (a 10 pack) normally sell for, and there is also a 10 pack of their Greeks (Spartans?). OK, feeling lucky, I bid on the Numdians, and take the lead there. There are 5 blisters, with a fairly dense number of figs in each. Currently Foundry sells the Numdians in a 70 fig army pack


army pack, so I could tell what their standard packing ratio was. I figure I should get about 40. Price 17 bucks. That seems a good deal. So, I go for the towers.. and take the lead bid at 5. Coolness. I start pushing my luck. I bid on some others, but can't take the lead. I start feeling skunked. I bid on the 7.5 pounds of maybe 40FnordK, cause it is cheap cheap cheap


And I get a lead on that. Then some competitor comes along and outbids me. Now it is personal. Mind you, I don't really care about 40FnordK. But they are still cheap. Thrift disorder starts in, and I start looking for a better deal on a bunch of lead amongst these auctions, but it is hard to beat the 7.5 lbs of uncut Pb sitting out there. I bid on an Oriental Terraform Bridge, and take the lead at 10. OK, not terrible. I have a beautiful array of Samurai waiting for a place to play. This will go well with that, and can proxy into Tekumel nicely. I also take the lead in a lot of 1 lb of what I think are gladiators. GLADIATORS... I hadn't even been considering GLADIATORS. ( I justify it now. Gladiators might, possibly be proxied into a Hirilakte Arena. (this is a key indicator of my compulsion, I think. I hear Alcoholics use this kind of rationalization.) Still Gladiators could be fun, and I am ahead at 11 bucks. The Pb is coursing through me. But there are 10 minutes to wait. The bidding high won't last through that kind of


temptation. I have time to place another bid. I go back and look at the Mega pile. It is a suitcase full of heroin to a dime bag junkie. I think the competition was at 32 bucks. What the hell, I will bid up a bit, and see. Most likely he has a proxy bid much higher. I bid 35. He doesn't. I am in the lead. Mind you I could care less about 40FnordK. And I have no idea what army, or armies, these bad boys come from. They are lead, my need is lead. It may ruin my home, my family, perhaps my job. But it is lead, and it is cheap.

So, about 100 dollars later (shipped), I have a pile of new lead on the way. The real irony; the Asar, my primary target, the thing that got me started in all this, fell victim to a more disciplined sniper during my lead lust 40FnordK shame. I still got the Numidians.. some Gladiators, some towers, a bridge and who knows for what besotted purpose 7.5 pounds of 40FnordK.2

1 Thrift store shopper is just a polite way of saying clinical hoarder.
2. Maybe. they could be something quite different. Won't know for a few days.