Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Salute and two new periods

Yes! it's that time of the year again. Next friday we drive off to London for our yearly visit to Salute. I think it's the13th time I go. Always with the same two good friends Jacco and Rob, always the same simple schedule. Friday we get lost in a bar in London, Saturday we get lost at the traders stands at Salute and have few drinks at the Fox after. At that stage we are starting to realize what we bought and forgot to buy and things settle in. Time to recover and go for good food. Sunday morning we drive back and have breakfast at the same old road restaurant which name I alway forget. It's terrible but..it's tradition...
The only thing that is subject to change over these years is the Hotel. We can't get any closer than we are this year so that saves me some footsteps carrying stuff back to the Hotel during the day.

I will also be attending (if I'm not buying myself in another period at the time) and say hello to the rejects and fellow bloggers at around one o' clock. Details are here. I'm not sure if the Dutch chapter looks that smart though.

On to the new beginnings...

First on the list is a skirmish Mexican army. I've had an eye on these great miniatures from Boot Hill Miniatures for a while but with the group now moving to Mexico finally an opportunity to buy and paint them. I will collect a bunch of them @Salute but in the meantime I could paint the figures I already owned. I figured you can't get enough Mexican commanders. Not based yet as I'm not sure if I will use them in Vignettes or add some other characters to the base. I look forward to paint more of these. These are great, great sculpts.

Second one is an Early French army. I wanted to do this for ages but finally had the courage to buy the minis and make the master plan. I will start with 4 to 5 generic battalions (Marc, you do 2 as well:) who will serve as a base covering the late revolutionary period until 1806. I only need to make sure I can change the flags on the unit. Artillery is covered and I only need to find some suitable cavalry figures. With the base done I will expand to Egypt and other specific theatres. This will keep me busy for years to come presumably but the good news is I'm not in a hurry..

Last week I did some test figures and figured out the paints and tried every shortcut I could think of. I settled for this look (only need some more dirt) which I can do pretty quick for my doings. Now I need hundreds. Wish me luck.
Figures by Eureka, fantastic range and unmatched quality.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

First games of SAGA

OK, i believe the hype now...
Last week Rene (his report is here) visited and we played two bloody games of SAGA . We picked the first scenario and settled for 4 points each to get familiar with the rules.
We kept thing very simple for these games so I played a Viking war band with Warlord, 2 groups of Hearthguard, 1 group of Warriors and my favorite unit of Berserkers. Rene brought his Anglo Danish with Warlord, 2 Hearthguard and 2 Warriors.

The clashing Warlords:

The two games were very close with a win for both. It passed the most important and maybe only test from turn on going forward: having fun. It's not a wargame as I know it and at times it felt we were playing a board game with miniatures. That's just fine. I's a game and a very clever one.
You immediately notice the difference in the factions and the possibilities on the different battleboards provided with the rules.  In no time you start to plan your cunning tactics to find out the dice gods are betraying you or your opponent was just a step ahead of you.  Getting an Anglo Danish Warlord out of action for example is no simple task. He is so resilient the second game he survived 3 ferocious attacks by clever use of the Battleboard, sacrificing Hearthguard and defensive play. Until the Berserkers got their chance and finished it with a combined attack with the Warlord. No time for a nap in this game, you need to be aware and plan your actions continuously.

It's all over now for the poor guy... Berserkers!!!
The other thing I liked about the rules is that they are easy to learn and well explained. We both had read the book once but during the game we only had to pick up the rules in the beginning to find out we did the right thing. No rule discussion during the day and after the games we did not have any open rules questions which is remarkable for me.

The first scenario is good to learn the game but I'm eager to play the other scenarios and get more points on the table. I was bit worried once you know your battle board well enough it becomes much of the same but I'm sure the scenarios, using more points, unit composition and bad dice rolling will prove me wrong. I'm really trying to find anything I disliked but apart from the fact that from the 4 different battle boards they sent me 2 of the same, wich leaves me without a Norman board, I have nothing to complain. Game deserves a good review..

SAGA will be a great addition for our group. Easy quick setup, not 100's minis to paint to get involved, colourful period and games can be played and finished in an evening. I know the others here will like it as well and maybe this will be something for a campaign later on. I've been following the excellent blogs of
Dalauppror and Lokis Great Hall and they have some great campaign material for inspiration.

Some pictures, I've uploaded all pictures of the day here