Saturday, 26 July 2014

Star Wars Pod Racing in 6mm

One can always find something to whet the appetite at Stroud's markets on a Saturday such as herb infused olive oil, chilli and paprika sausages, pepper crusted goats cheese and ..err... 6mm Pod Racing.

Shaun of dreamholme scenics has a stall opposite Costas where he sells jewelry, resin terrain, Games Workshop bits and pieces and various other things. He usually has a small game going on - cowboys, zombies, ww2 etc. This week it was 6mm Pod Racing. 

The previous week he had downloaded a set of Pod Racing rules and, because he has way too much spare time, knocked up several Pod Racers using GW 40k weapons, back packs etc over the week.

I had a quick try and managed to hammer my pod into a canyon wall. We are going to give it a go at the club on Monday night

Nice one Shaun!

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Tribal Mongol Warfare using BFE2

My favourite pre-gunpowder army is the Mongols. Several years ago for my fiftieth birthday I decided to indulge myself. I got my mate Shaun to paint a 15mm army based on the Fields of Glory list using Museum Miniatures figures - in my opinion the best 15mm Mongols on the market.
I entered them in the Plymouth 2010 15mm Fields of Glory tournament and won it. I've never played with them since for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I couldn't find any decent opponents - not players but armies - either the opposition gets pulled out of line out piecemeal and destroyed which is historical or it sits in a well defended corner which is understandable.
Secondly I never really enjoyed playing with the various commercial Ancients rule-sets available.

A few months ago I watched Mongol and thought why not do inter-tribal warfare between the Mongols rather than look for other opponents.
As for rules we have been using our variant of the 19th Century colonial ruleset Battles For Empire 2 (BFE2) to fight Romans against Ancient British and Romans against Blemmye so I might as well see what happens when two tribes go to war.

The Berkeley Vale club motto is "Try every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing" so it was easy to rope them into a couple of test games.
I split the army into two equal tribes each of

  • 1 Commander
  • 2 Leaders
  • 1 Shaman
  • 2 Elite Massed Horse units
  • 3 Massed Horse units
  • 8 Light Horse units
Each tribe had 6 cards to which they could allocate between 0 and 6 units to simulate hidden movement and deception. The forces allocated to a card would be placed on the table when they were spotted at 24". Cards used the Massed Horse movement rate
The first game was played on a 12 x 4 table which gave us plenty of room for flanking but not enough depth to exploit the card movements so we were in hand to hand very early on in the game. 

We didn't make many tweaks to the standard BFE2 rules

In melee give Massed Horse a  +1 vs Light Horse

The Shaman would could one of the following per turn in exchange for a hit - they have 8 hits
  • remove D3 casualties from a unit
  • allow a UCC reroll
  • add an extra 6" to a  unit's movement
  • add +1 to a unit's combat factor
The game went badly for our tribe due to shoddy deployment by me and rubbish dice rolling by our side and we were soon paying homage to the enemy's Khan 

We tinkered with the factors a bit more. Movement rates were reduced for Massed Horse, the Steady Chargers +1 was dropped as it was assumed both sides would charge / counter charge and the Shaman's abilities were limited to removing casualties and giving a UCC reroll. Finally Light Horse and Shaman only had 4 lives instead of 8 

We played the second game on a 8 by 6 table which gave a lot more manoeuvrability. The reduction in Light Horse lives made us use them in a harassing role instead of head-on charges. The game was finely balanced until a run of bad dice rolls by the Opposition saw them lose units via the UCC and good dice rolls by us when rolling to kill a leader. Eventually all three of their leaders were either dead or wounded and with 8 of their 13 units destroyed we called it a day
Our glorious leader Shaun also died on the battlefield sadly leaving me as the new Khan.

Post game discussion raised the issue of shooting and Light Horse so we tweaked the factors again to remove the -1 penalty for Light Horse shooting on the move and added a -1 penalty for shooting at Light Horse.We have yet to test these out 
If I had the time and money and willpower I would get a load more Mongols to enable Light Horse unit to formation change to Massed Horse units and vice versa
It was great getting the Mongols out on the table after such a long time and BFE2 proved once more that it can be (ab)used  for more than just Colonial warfare.

The BFE Variant can be found in the files section at the BFE Yahoo group