Wednesday 26 May 2010

New scenario - The Master Gunner

Hello all, this is a new scenario that I was hoping to try out the next time we go warmastering. 
It should provide a fun and close drama with plenty of bloodshedding in an effort to secure the services of a very unenthusiastic Master Gunner.

EDIT: So we actually got around to play this scenario and it worked excellent with all sides ahving great fun. The opinion of the players was that the MG's force should be even larger than I suggested. We were playing two 2000p armies with less than 500 points of MG. This force (spread out to defend two sides) should perhaps be larger - maybe even in the 750 range, although this might be too much but I will let you guys decide on that and please let me know if you play the scenario and any comments!
Going to battle without a Master Gunner may be a bad idea...

The Master Gunner

This scenario features a fictive encounter between two enemy forces both of whom seek to enlist the aid of a mastery gunner in their upcoming war. Maybe his assistance is needed for a particular important siege or the bombardment of a city. In any case both sides wish to enlist the gunner while making absolutely sure the other side fails in their quest. Unfortunately the gunner in question wishes no part in the upcoming war and has decided to forcefully make his point clear.

Special rules:
Both sides deploy as normal after the Master Gunner (MG) and his small contingent of black powder troops have been deployed in their allocated space.
The MG's force will move, fire etc in their own turn which takes place immediately after the second player has finished his turn.
The MG will remain stationary as long as possible and will order his troops to fire at the closest enemy units, irrespective of which opposing force they are a part of.
If a player moves an infantry unit into contact with the MG it is considered to have "persuaded" the MG to join their cause. From then on the MG is attached to this unit and cannot give any orders but will move together with the infantry unit. If this unit is in any way destroyed or evades their enemy the MG will see his chance to avoid capture and is placed in the spot where the destruction or evade took place. If this happens in combat a victorious infantry unit may in turn take control of the MG.
The MG's force should be a subordinate officer (the MG himself) and a small contingent aimed at both sides. I am planning a handgunner unit, an Organ Gun and a cannon battery deployed on a hill facing directly towards both sides -but maybe a square of handgunners with an organ gun at each corner with the MG in the middle would look more suitably desperate :-). In any case there shouldn't be too many points of MG defence - the object is for the two main armies to fight over the guy - not for him to blast them away (although that would be fun...). For our game (2x2000p) I guess somewhere in the neighbourhood of 3-400 points of defenders should provide for an interesting speed bump.

Ending the game:
The battle ends if a) one side is wiped out or surrenders, b) if night falls and the game has to end or c) if one side manages to move the MG of the table.
If option a or c ends the game it is considered a major victory for the side in question.
If option b then the position of the MG and who is in control of him is the decisive factor – if he is closest to one side and that side ahs control of him it is a minor victory for that side but if he is nearest one side and controlled by the other the game is a draw.
No break points are calculated for this battle and as such no force can break (including the MG's) – both sides have been threatened with severe punishments should they fail to return with the MG. Of course the casualties should be calculated on each side to ensure the correct victory dance is performed but these points (and the dance) have no influence on who won the game – it is the MG who is the object of the game.

Suggested Map:

The MG and his "bodyguards" deploy on the central hill while the opposing forces start on the North and South edges as normal. (Map made with Battlechronicler). The exact composition of the terrain does not matter as the players should focus on wiping out the opposition and capturing the MG as quickly as possible - both cavalry and backup infantry should dominate this battle.
Spin offs:
If part of a campaign then the side who won this battle should be allowed a further bonus – maybe a reroll of one cannon per turn or maybe access to cannons in case they are not normally allowed such fine weapons of war. But maybe the MG decides at some point during the battle that he should disappear in the general confusion or maybe he even decides to point his guns towards his "liberators"…

Best regards,

Wednesday 19 May 2010

Empire Handgunners - 10mm Games Workshop

Hello all,
My first foray into 10mm was when Games Workshop presented us 28mm gamers with the brand new and exciting world of "God's own scale" (10mm of course!) with the game of Warmaster. As my friends persuaded me to try this new and weird game I bought a few of the models from their Empire line - believing that I would never be able to paint such ridicoulously small minis. 
As the years passed and my friends forgot about this game I continued thinking of how much better the rules and games were than the "herohammering" of Warhammer and as the shops began desperately trying to unload their Warmaster minis I bought these whenever I saw a great offering. Many of these - for some unknown reason - seemed to be the Empire Handgunners of which I have amassed quite a few units.
They were eventually painted (and I found out how painting 10mm is quicker and actually easier than 28mm) and are great minis - full of detail and with many different poses.
The following bucketload of photos are some of these units - five to be precise. They are each painted in the main army's colours of white and red, with each unit having a subtle (alright maybe not so subtle) colour code to differentiate them from the other regiments. 
Today they mainly see action as different types of missile units (last appearance was as massed ranks of Yorkian longbow archers in the battle against Cathago and the evil Teutonians).

Anyways, hope someone out there enjoyed seeing them :-).

Best regards,

Tuesday 11 May 2010

King of the Hill - 10mm / 6mm terrain for Warmaster

Hello all!
One of the few things that our gaming table really needs are more hills. Some of the old ones I made are too steep on the edges to allow units to stand on them without sliding down - which is very annoying.
So I've made some more (and larger) during the spare time available the last months. 
One of which (the one below) has a secretive hill burrow made by that cheap and reliable company called Irregular Miniatures. It is part of their 6mm range which I use because of the ridicoulous low pricing and as I think the scale looks better alongside 10mm miniatures. 
It might interfere with the armies moving across it but I just couldn't resist using it on one of the hills, and the result is fairly nice - adding a bit of detail to some otherwise very flat and uniform hills.

The unpainted burrow can be seen here alongside some wooden gateways from the same company and one of the - still - unpainted section of wall.

 My son partaking in a creative session :-)

The cut hill shapes, cut from thin mdf.

The hills after the contours have been made with wall sparcle and the first layer of green paint applied.

Finished, after a fair bit of grass has been applied. They look very flat in these pictures but there is actually a fair gradient to them but I couldn't go overboard or the units would be floating down their sides once again.

Hope you like them - very cheap and quick hills ready for Warmaster games :-).
Best regards,

Wednesday 5 May 2010

2000p Warmaster Battle Report - Teutonic Order and Carthago against House of York

Hello all!
It is with great pleasure that I present a new and bloody Warmaster Battle Report - with pictures and maps to prove our tactical brilliance (or lack thereof)!

This report is fairly long and a brief disposition might be in order - I'll list the armies first with a few of my own comments on my choices for the House of York. Afterwards the six turns we managed to fight will be detailed along with pictures and maps which were made in the brilliant and free program called BattleChronicler. Try it and be amazed! Finally there will be a brief after report on what went according to plan and what I would change for the next time.
I really hope you enjoy it - remember that all pictures and maps are clickable which will allow viewing them in more detail - and as always any comments are appreciated immensely.

2000p of The Black Teutonians of Wales and Carthaginian Allies vs. The House of York
A while ago we finally got around to playing another battle using the brilliant Warmaster Ancient / Medieval rules. This time it was 2000 points of House of York pitted against the coalition of evil a.k.a. the lost Teutonians from Wales and the timetravelling Carthaginian Army searching for revenge on behalf of their once beautiful city.
The Armies:

The Black Teutonians - Commanded by Uffe:
General Grand Master Tristan de Caernafon, 125p
2x Brother Knights (of Brecon Hills and of the Virgin Lake), 145p
1x Crusader Knights (of the Blessed Virgin), 135p
2x Light Horse (of the Grail and of the Cross), 70p
3x Crossbowmen (Archers from Mull, Islay and Skye), 55p
2x Spearmen with pavisse (Freemen of Cardiff and the Hungry Horses), 60p
2x Subject infantry (Footsoldiers of the Left and Right), 20p

The Carthago Allies - Commanded by Per:
General Hannibal, 150p
Leader, 80p
2x Heavy Cavalry, 110p
1x Light Cavalry, 60p
1x Veteran Infantry, 60p
2x Infantry, 45p
8x Warband, 25p
2x Skirmishing Infantry, 30p
2x Skirmishing Cavalry, 40p
Total: 2015p with a break point of 13

The House of York - Commanded by Kasper
General Melchett, 125p
Lord Darling, 80p
Lord Blackadder, 80p
2x Mounted Men-at-Arms, 135p
2x Currours, 110p
2x Hobilars, 60p
2x Organ Guns, 50p
8x Irish Mercenaries, 35p
3x Shire Bill, 45p
4x Shire Bill with stakes, 50p
7x Shire Longbow, 45p
2x Longbow Skirmishers, 35p
Total: 1995 points and a break point of 15.

I have fielded the Yorkian army once before and was amazed at the amount of bow fire it can produce relatively cheaply thanks to the special Longbow rule. This along with access to quality knights and the (according to my take on the game) essential cheap warband units of cheap Irish mercenaries makes it an almost perfect army. Yes thelongbow units will crumble under any kind of concentrated attack but that could be said of all infantry and these will harass the enemy beforehand and due to the Combined Arms rule take out quite a few of the attackers before vanishing.
My army selection is evidence of my belief in this - a solid core of longbow units with pikemen bodyguards with two full brigades of sacrificial warbands to harass the enemy and secure or block up the flanks. To deliver the deathblow of any enemy within range I chose a full brigade of heavy knights which should be able to kill anything they get to charge. 
To round the army of theres a few skirmishing units - mainly to counter any similar enemy troop types and if possible to make sure the ongbows get to shoot at what I want them to and not some cheap skirmishing infantry unit pushed in front of the enemy shock troops. Finally I chose two Organ Guns - mainly because they look so vicious and I hope they can secure a flank on their own - which would make them worth their points.


The deployment (done in secret on a few preprinted maps) was pretty straight forward for the combined armies. The Teutonian cavalry (rightly feared by all) was on their flank with infantry in the middle - a set up more or less mirrored by the Carthagian. The armies more or less covered the entire available space.
I had tried to be a bit sneaky in my setup of the Yorkian forces - a surrendered flank or whatever the correct terminology is - with longbows in the center and a brigade of Irish on each flank to molest anything that got within range while the Organ guns would cover the gap between the two villages and the cavalry was ready to counter attack anything worthwhile.
I must admit I had gambled a bit on the Teutonians being on the other side and trying to eliminate as many Cathaginian infantry units before the evil cavalry turned up but alas. This also meant all my Billmen with stakes were on the wrong side of the table.
The field of battle as viewed from the bottom left corner of the Yorkian line of battle

Coalition of Evil - Turn 1 
While the Teutonians waited for their allies to prove their allegiance (read: only managed one order before losing it) most of the Cathaginians surged forwards with skirmishers covering the center (and occupying the village) the main part of their flank advancing.
The House of York - Turn 1

The Yorkian force had obviously been rehearsing their opening moves weeks in advance of the invasion. The right flank moved forwards at double pace securing the village and the gap between it and the nearby hills. On the other flank the Hobilars moved forward seeking easier prey than the heavy knights of the Black Teutonians while the infantry brigades moved forward behind them preparing their bows as they went. Only the centre waited for a more opportune time to deploy.
I didnt like the odds of the Hobilars pitted against the "real knights" and wanted them to harass the Carthagian light cavalry in the centre. Apart from the six infantry units not moving in the centre all was looking fairly bright at this time...
The Yorkian Hobilars surge forwards
The situation after the first turn - death and destruction awaits

Coalition of Evil - Turn 2
The Teutonians - now confident that their African allies would do their part - spurred their horses and rode forward encouraging the infantry brigades to reach the hills from which they could release their crossbows into the Yorkian masses. Unseen by all the Subject Infantry - pressed into service by their evil overlords - took cover in a nearby forrest, wanting no part in the forthcoming bloody battle.
The African advance was less coherent with only the cavalry moving forward - the main force starting a flanking manoeuvre to catch the Yorkian infantry in the flank. The skirmishing cavalry in the centre moved forward in an effort to protect the stalled infantry brigades.

Hannibal - atop a strange looking rock - urges his troops forward

The House of York - Turn 2

Once again Lord Blackadder and his distinguished colleagues (yes, even lord Darling) manoeuvred their troops according to the master plan. From the left flank the Irish sought cover behind a hill shielding them from the advancing cavalry. The central brigades of Longbows moved forward redressing their lines into a formidable firing position. On the right two brigades moved forward to take advantage of the split African troops and prepared to unleash hell in the form of arrows and cannonballs. 
Behind all this the Cavalry Brigades, led by General Melchett himself, rapidly redeployed to the right flank in order to stop the flanking African cavalry (and definitely not because they were intimidated by the superior Teutonian cavalry). Only the Hobilars failed to do their job, refusing to move from the hilly country, which left them were exposed to the advancing Teutonians.
At this point I was prepared to surrender the right flank to the Teutonians - the best would be if they charged the Irish and spent a few turns destroying them - hopefully that would give me enough time to kill the split African forces. The failure of the Hobilars to move was disastrous - they could have advanced towards the soft targets in front of them and instead was left inside the initiative range for the hostile Light Cavalry. Oh and yes - I had completely forgotten that Organ Guns cannot move and fire - which diminished the effect of the firestorm in the centre. But at least both Skirmishing units were driven back, one taking a casualty on the way.

Coalition of Evil - Turn 3
A very eventful third turn was begun by the Light Cavalry charging the Hobilars - easily destroying one of the units (due to the extreme range they had failed to contact both and the combat brought them behind the line of the other - saving it from destruction). They tried to fall back but were left stranded in the middle of the field. Behind them the main Cavalry brigade moved slowly forwards creeping around the large hill. The infantry in the centre secured their firing base on top of the hills.
The African leader ordered his sacrificial warband brigade to charge into the Bill and Bow while Hannibal himself seemed confused as just how he should counter the redeployed Yorkian Cavalry. Not liking the odds he sent a single Heavy Cavalry unit forwards - perhaps to lure the enemy closer.
The fight between the warbands and the Bill men was short and bloody - killing the main part of a warband unit and a single stand of Bill before the warband was pushed back.
The Hobilars are cut down by the much more gifted Teutonian Light Horses

I believe this was the turning point of the battle - by not charging with the cavalry on both flanks the coalition surrendered initiative to the Yorkians. Perhaps the combined flank charges (if successful) would have slaughtered my entire flanks - making the firing positions of the Bowmen decidedly risky and won them the battle - maybe :-). As it were the two charges were not that successful, leaving both charges within bowrange of several thousand angry British Longbowmen - which is never a good thing!
The African Warbands charge the waiting combined units of Billmen and Longbowmen
While the infantry clash, the knights of York redeploy towards the African cavalry

The House of York - Turn 3

The Yorkian left flank - having received orders to sell themselves as costly as possible - dug in. The Irish managed to move onto the hill, right in the side of the Teutonian Brotherknights gaining valuable defensive positions and disrupting the entire Teutonian chain of command by showing their arses to the holy Brothers. The Bowmen unleashed their arrows slaughtering most of the foolish Light Horses milling around in front of them, sending the survivors stampeding back to their camp. The Hobilars had wisely decided to redeploy backwards to avoid their brother units less desirable fate.
On the right carnage erupted. In the centre the charges of a full brigade of mad Irish supported by a unit of Currours slaughtered the African unarmoured Warbands in front of them while the Longbows and Organ Guns cut down hundreds more from the back ranks.
The screams of the infantry was drowned by the frightened horses on the extreme right as three full units of heavily armoured knights crashed into the Heavy Cavalry of Carthago. All that was left was a bloody field but the Yorkian knights were far from sated and advanced full force into the remaining enemy cavalry. Another unit of Heavy Cavalry was destroyed and the Light Cavalry behind them was pushed back having taken heavy casualties. The Yorkian forces had suffered lightly, with a single stand suffered from both the Currours and one of the Men-at-Arms unit.

The infantry clashes in the center

The result of this turns combat really was disastrous for the Coalition of Evil - most of the warbands in the centre were dispersed and stopped being a threat. And the loss of the entire African cavalry force against a few Yorkian stand were very satisfying. In the first charge I rolled a billion die and there was never any doubt as to the result. With a bit of luck the result left the Yorkian cavalry just within sight of the remaining enemy and the following advance was successful as well. The only problem was that the cavalry had taken enough damage and been dispersed enough to be hard to command in the future.
Hundreds of Yorkian knights massacre the African Cavalry
 Thats a lot of dice from one attack alone!
The Yorkian knights advance into the remaining enemy cavalry
Leaving only a few Light Cavalry Africans remaining

Coalition of Evil - Turn 4
Shocked by the screams from their allies and the Irish insults the Teutonian force was completely disrupted and failed to advance in any way.
Nor were many advances made by the African forces but quite a few tactical retreats were performed to get out of the angry York army. The only advance was the main infantry in the center who moved into the dense forrest where they were surprised to find evidence of nearby enemy infantry.
The ongoing combat in the centre was won by the Irish units, one of which advanced into the skirmishing infantry in the village, managing to wipe out one unit before finally dying, having sated their bloodlust.
Mad Irish charge forwards into the entrenched African skirmishers

The House of York - Turn 4

Exhausted from the previous rounds of manouvering and fighting most elements of the Yorkian army stood still. On the left flank a few mad Irish saw an opportunity to wreak even more havoc and charged downhill into the flank of the Brotherknights and managed to drag a few of the holy brothers to their death before retreating back into their defensive positions on the hill, having caused both mayhem and confusion among the Teutonian Cavalry.
On the right the adventourous Currours charged and destroyed the remaining Light Cavalry unit while the Irish in the forrest evade a bit further into the woods, away from the advancing African infantry.
Coalition of Evil - Turn 5
With most of their flank threatened and units having taken damage the Coalition stood still - their leaders failing to order anyone forward, except the infantry in the forrest which advanced a bit further to try and oust the Irish in front of them.

The House of York - Turn 5
Having rested a bit the entire infantry line was ordered forward - establishing a line of archers that filled half the battlefield. These unleashed their lethal projectiles causing knights and spearmen across the Teutonian armies front to drop dead, leaving most units confused and dazed as to what happened.
The Currours tried a daring flank charge on the African warbands but were pushed back with heavy losses, without having succeeded in anything.

Coalition of Evil - Turn 6
Maddened by the death of their brothers the Teutonian Cavalry decided that now was the time to charge. The Brother Knights ignored the Irish insults and charged into the leftmost bowmen, crashing through them with few casualties while leaving a pile of dead infantry men in their wake. The Crusading knights tried the same but saw the skirmishers in front of them retreat just beyond their range, already reloading their longbows. The other Brotherknight unit failed to reach their intended target leaving them stranded as well.
Too little, too late?

The House of York - Turn 6

The last turn saw the destruction of the Bow and Bill to the Brotherknights, although they managed to kill a few of their opponents. As the sun finally set on the bloody field the last arrows were released from the Yorkian line, again causing many Teutonians to tumble from their saddles or drop dead on the bloody hill.

End of Battle Positions
Coalition of Evil:
Teutonic Order: ½ Brother Knights, ½ Brother Knights, ½ Light Horse: 180p / 1,5
Carthago: 2x Heavy Cavalry, 1x Light Cavalry, 3x Warband, 1x Skirmishing Infantry: 395p / 6
Total: 575 and 7,5 towards their Breakpoint of 13

The House of York:
1x Hobilars, ½x Currours, 1x Longbow, 1½x Billmen, 1½ Irish
Total: 285 and 5,5 towards a Breakpoint of 15

Post Mortem Comments and Victory Points
I believe the battle was won by the Coalitions failure to charge in round three whereby they lost initiative. The charge that destroyed the African Cavalry removed any threats on that side, leaving the Yorkians free to round up the stragglers. The Teutonian Cavalry were hampered by the Irish, bad deployment (I would have put them in the centre to guarantee suitable targets) and a continous barrage of arrows that caused a few casualties each turnwith the odd confusion here and there. If they had been more aggressive in their charges they would have destroyed my entire line of bowmen easily - but that would have left the command structure too thinly spread with only a single leader, whereby the infantry would have been on their own.
The Africans did what they could but once the cavalry fight was over they were defeated - but if the flank attack had been pushed more aggressively they could have rounded up the entire flank with ease.
As for my own troops the loss of the Hobilars was foolish as were the last attack of the Currours. The stakes never had an effect, facing the wrong troops, and the Organ Guns were difinitively not suited for the aggressive role I forced them into by advancing into the gap between the two coalition armies. And I believe this was one of the main issues, the Coalition centre was weak and undefended, leaving my units free to shoot down the remaining units. So a lucky delaying flank with the Irish, an aggressive flankcharge into the Carthagian Cavalry and a centre that could do what it pleased (which was to shoot as many arrows as possible) won the day for the Yorkian forces.
Best moment of the game, for me, was difinitively the knights charge - how often do one get to throw 42 die in a single attack? Brilliant :-).

Anyways, I really hope you enjoyed reading about the carnage!

Best regards,

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