Friday, 30 December 2016

Wings of Glory Rules and Accessories Pack

I was given a £25 Amazon voucher as a leaving present from work before the holidays, so I've blown it on a Wings of Glory rules and accessories pack. This will update my existing Wings of War collection and allow me to cross reference my existing rulebooks with the new, improved version. I don't think much has actually changed but there are some new rules and some slight modifications, so it is handy to have them all in one place. It's a decent pack as well, stuffed full of cards, counters, scenarios and other goodies. I might even find time for a game tomorrow!

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Atlantic Fleet: Battle of the River Plate

I've played several of the historical scenarios from Atlantic Fleet menu but this one is my favourite so far. I've only managed to sink the Graf Spee on one out of three attempts, as in the other two I lost HMS Exeter to plunging gunfire, leaving HMS Ajax and Achilles popping away against the pocket battleship to little effect.

The key to taking out this monster is to narrow the range at full speed ad straight ahead, with the occasional zig zag to confuse the enemy, until the 8'' guns on Exeter can really do some damage. If you are lucky, you can hit the steering, the propulsion or a gun turret, which allows you to scoot about in a blind spot with the light cruisers and split the Graf Spee's fire with your superior numbers.

I haven't yet managed to get close enough to launch torpedoes but I suspect that would be a real game changer for the British. A great little scenario and worth a few replays. I've also been playing around with the Sinking Courageous scenario, which is great fun and pretty difficult for the Royal Navy, especially if U-29 gets right up close to the carrier before launching her torpedoes.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Atlantic Fleet: Battle of the Denmark Strait

I splashed out on the full version of Atlantic Fleet this evening and have just re-fought the Battle of the Denmark Strait. This time the Royal Navy scored a total victory over the Kriegsmarine, with the Prinz Eugen battered into a burning wreck by HMS Hood, which managed to repair some heavy damage inflicted by the combined guns of German warships. 

The Bismarck then received the full broadside firepower of HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Hood, losing her A and B Turrets, propulsion and steering. This meant she was pretty much dead in the water and a sitting duck for the British.  I enjoyed this scenario a lot and will be playing some more over the next few days. Great game!

Atlantic Fleet Lite

I've been playing this over the holidays. I'm not a big fan of digital games but this one is great and an improvement on Pacific Fleet. Good gameplay, great graphics and some decent historical scenarios in the Lite version to wet your whistle. I think I might even splash out on the full version.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Le Chasseur X Wing

I was in a branch of FNAC today, which is like the French version of Waterstones, when I spotted a Star Wars display including some X Wing Miniatures. I decided to add another X Wing to the collection, even though all the cards are in French. This makes very little difference to the usefulness of the set, as I have plenty of alternative cards to use. 

I think I may also use this one as the basis of a re-paint but only with some subtle changes in the colour scheme rather than a total over painting of the model. I've read some helpful online tutorials on re-painting X Wing Miniatures, so there should be no problem giving it a try. I'm not bad at painting 1/285th scale aircraft from scratch, so this should be a piece of cake?

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Wings of Glory Forum

I've been out of the loop with this great little game ever since it changed from Wings of War to its current incarnation as Wings of Glory, with its rather unfortunate acronym. I never really understood why they changed the title, as the original name seemed fine to me?

Anyway, I have played the original many times, although never got round to using the balloon rules or altitude system. I really enjoyed the simplicity of the basic game and the sprog loves it too, especially as he regularly blasts me out of the sky.

I'm a big WW1 fan so the WW2 version never really appealed to me, being more than catered for in this respect by Bag the Hun. However, my original WoW boxed sets have also been gathering dust of late, so I need something to give me a kick start.

To remedy this lack of gaming, I thought it would be a good idea to sign up to the very active Aerodrome forum. I also have some plans up my sleeve that require a more in-depth look at ground strafing, parachutes and clocks...all very interesting and the sort of thing that the forum can help to hammer out!

Tally Ho!

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Rogue One

I went to see this with the boys this afternoon and, although the dialogue was in French, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The plot was a bit tricky to decipher at times and it took a while to get going, but the ending was brilliant! If you haven't seen it I won't spoil the surprise but it's well worth a trip to the cinema and much better than the last retread.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Battlecars Rebooted

There are some outstanding updated and cleaned up rules, sheets and counters for the classic GW boardgame Battlecars available to download from the excellent Esoteric Order of Gamers site, which would fully equip you to have a go at this great Beer and Pretzels game for the price of a printer cartridge, some A4 card and a laminator:

It's well worth a look and you'll find plenty of other classic easy to play games there too. 

Saturday, 26 November 2016


In an effort to prize the sprog away from his computer games this morning, I set up a quick replay of the old GW game Battlecars, using the original game components and some customised car sheets that I created  a few years ago. This is always a very enjoyable game to play and usually results in a pretty spectacular end for one or more of the vehicles. I set up an industrial zone with some oil spills and smoke from power plants drifting across the board. In the end, the action was fought in the middle of the board, so these didn't make much of a difference to the outcome.

The two cars started in opposing corners, drove towards each other at high speed, firing missiles as they accelerated then rammed each other head on at speed 7, resulting in massive ram damage in Turn 3 of the game. They disengaged and then proceeded to hammer each other at close range, with my driver coming off very much the worse for wear, as the engine and front weapon pods were smashed to scrap metal. I managed to pull off a 3 point turn to bring my flamethrowers to bear but, with some very poor dice rolls did little damage, unlike the sprog who proceeded to blow my car to smithereens.

It didn't last very long but it was a fun game and we'll be taking it on holiday in a few weeks time as the sprog was suitably enthused and wants a re-match! 

Wednesday, 16 November 2016


I was down in Southampton this afternoon for an interview so popped into Forbidden Planet on the way back to the railway station. I hadn't been in there for years so was pleased to find a fair selection of games including what I was looking for, some more X Wing models. I bought a second B Wing to add to my collection but also splashed out on a copy of Zombies!!! as it's a classic Beer and Pretzels game but one that I haven't actually played before, believe it or not.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Table Air Combat U-2LSh

This is the latest addition to the Table Air Combat flight line and a really interesting one too. There are five scenarios included and, as you'd expect, they include a ground attack mission for the famous Night Witches - as well as other scenarios for artillery spotting, interdiction and partisan re-supply. I wasn't expecting this one but I'm really pleased that it's been added to the available aircraft, where it will fit in really well alongside the existing mid-war Soviet and German planes. Excellent! I really should have another game of this soon, as it's a cracking little system and great fun to play.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

More X Wing Planets

I spotted these illuminated multicolour plastic globes in Homebase today in the sale shelves, so grabbed the two that were left to use as planets for my X Wing games and for other deep space miniatures rules like Full Thrust or Starmada. They are slightly smaller than the moon that I found the other day but they look really good together. I now need some asteroids and space junk to navigate around!

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

X Wing Planet Prop

I found this glow in the dark illuminated plastic moon model in the local shops today. It only cost four quid and there were quite a stack of them on a stocking filler display in the Co-op down the road, so I grabbed one to use for X Wing. I may get a couple more, repaint them and use them as line of sight blocking asteroid terrain, even though they're a bit on the small side for planets Good find! 

Thursday, 20 October 2016


I have a week of holiday coming up so will be packing some board games for the inevitable rainy days. I'm planning to take Tank on Tank: Eastfront and Airfix Battles to start with but will probably chuck in a couple of other games as well. If I can, I'm going to see if I can get hold of a copy of Escape from Colditz too, as it is being released this week. I'm hoping to repeat my very enjoyable summer of beer and pretzels wargaming, which I thoroughly enjoyed, even though it's only going to be a few days rather than a few weeks this time round. Yippee!

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Table Air Combat Yak 7

A new addition to the Table Air Combat range of aircraft is available at Wargame Vault, in the shape of the Soviet Yak 1/7/9. This set can be used for all three variants of the Yak fighter, which seems a bit ambitious given their different performance characteristics but there you go. An iconic aircraft and a welcome addition to the Russian Front, although an Il2 and a La5 would also be really cool.

Monday, 26 September 2016

The Battle of Little Wootton

The sprog missed out on the game of Samurai Blades yesterday, so I set up a game of Cry Havoc for him after school today, using a scenario from Additional Scenarios Book One - The Battle of Little Wootton. This involved two rival knghts and their retainers trying to recruit some revolting peasants from the local village for a pitched battle, which can be played out in the second half of the scenario.

I took on the role of Sir James, accompanied by a sergeant and crossbowman, while the lad was represented by Sir Thomas, a sergeant and a shortbowman. We approached the village from opposite ends and proceeded to persuade the pungent residents to join our respective sides. This was achieved by standing within three hexes of them for a whole turn then rolling a D10 to see how they reacted.


Sir James started out quite well and managed to pick up a couple of the filthy yokels straight away, whilst Sir Thomas struggled to persuade them of the virtues of his cause, perhaps because he parked his trusty steed on top of their geraniums. However, things started to go downhill fast once the two rival gangs bumped into one another in the middle of the village street.

The bowman in Sir Thomas' faction managed to wipe out two of Sir James peasants and his crossbowman in quick succession, whilst Sir James' sergeant lost the gift of the gab and failed miserably to win over any replacements. He was instead surrounded by no less than four opponents and hacked to bits. This left Sir James cut off by the mob in the street, so he decided that discretion was the better part of valour and legged it.

In the end Sir James left empty handed and with his entire force wiped out, whilst Sir Thomas rode away with a seven strong gang of smelly peasants and only some minor injuries. I did manage to wound the annoyingly talented shortbowman but this was too late to make any real difference to the outcome. This was another cracking game and we both had a great time, despite the one sided outcome, so I'll be playing Cry Havoc again soon.

Oi...get off my land!

(and I've also found my old box of Viking I'll be giving that a dust off soon too!)

Airfix Battles First Impressions

I gave in and ordered a copy of Airfix Battles a couple of weeks ago but only just got round to opening the box for a quick rummage over the weekend. On first impressions it looks pretty good, with a sturdy box, robust well-printed counters and a well laid out set of rule and scenario booklets. I'm disappointed by the cards, however, which are a bit on the gaudy side of technicolour and feature generic artwork for the units involved.

I would have thought that, with the extensive range of box art in the Airfix back catalogue, that Modiphius could have designed more appropriate and varied artwork for their cards. A good example would be the Axis Veteran cards which feature the art from the 1/32nd scale German Fallschirmjager  box set but could have used the artwork from the 1/32nd scale multi-pose German Infantry box set instead, which would be far less specific and perhaps more appropriate?

It's just a minor grumble but seems even more obvious with the AFV cards. Anyway, I have some holiday time in a few weeks and will be off to North Wales to climb some mountains, visit castles and enjoy the scenery but, if the weather is as unpredictable as usual, I will definitely be getting some indoor time for wargaming. I'll pack Airfix Battles as one of my boardgames for the trip, so will be able to actually try out the game there and then.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Night of the Ninja

I had a cracking solo game of Samurai Blades this afternoon, as the sprog had homework and guitar practice to do so was 'hors de combat'. The scenario was 'Night of the Ninja' in which a team of five of the eponymous assassins attempt to infiltrate the night time camp of a rebel daimyo on the orders of the shogun in order to bump him off. The defenders consist of the traitorous daimyo, Misakado, his five samurai bodyguard and three naginata armed ashigaru retainers.

The ninja are to all intents and purposes invisible unless they enter an illuminated hex next to a lantern, try to kill a defender and fail or extinguish a lantern using their shuriken. The defenders cannot take any actions until the alarm is raised as a result of one of these events occurring, which means that the first three or four turns of the game consisted of the ninjas sneaking up to the village. The river was the only major obstacle to their approach but they were able to wade across in two places without being detected.

The first casualty of the night was the samurai Kiyomari, who was killed by a well aimed shuriken thrown by the ninja Tokimasa whilst he was stealthily fording the river. This went undetected by the  defenders, which allowed the other ninja team of Matsuo and Yorikasa to make a silent approach to one of the village huts, the one in which Misakado was sleeping, although this wasn't known until Yorikasa peered through the window. In the scenario, Misakado is undressed so must put his armour back on in order to defend himself.

One of the ashigaru, Shinkuro, was standing right behind this window so the alarm went off and the defenders began to rush toward the hut to protect their lord. Misakado started to get dressed at this point, as he was in his underpants and really didn't fancy being bumped off without his armour on. Yorikasa now found himself surrounded and was wounded by one of the other ashigaru, Yoshitaka, as he had nowhere to retreat to after combat. Things were looking a bit sticky for the ninja but not for long!

However, the defenders now found themselves facing five slighty irate tooled up ninjas, who in true ninja stylee started to whizz shuriken in several directions followed by some fancy swordplay. This left both Shinkuro and Yoshitaka very much dead, followed by the their fellow ashigaru, Masatsura, and the samurai Yoshimitsu, who were both badly wounded. The samurai fought back but didn't manage to inflict even a scratch on either Yorikasa or Matsuo, whilst the other ninja team swiftly approached unseen from the flank.

In the final bloodbath, the ninjas launched a well coordinated surprise attack from behind, bursting through the door of the hut to cut down Lord Misakado, just as he laced up the last bit of his armour, and to take out Yoshimitsu in a hail of shuriken. Meanwhile, outside in the dark the ninja team of Matsuo and Masazumi finished off everyone else with well aimed razor sharp poisoned darts, while the wounded Yorikasa made his escape round the back of the building. With no one left alive from Lord Misakado's retinue, the ninjas disappeared into the night as silently as they arrived.

What a great scenario! I've played it many times before but a long time ago, so it was really good fun to dust off this classic for a re-play. I will definitely be playing some more games of Samurai Blades and Cry Havoc over the next few weeks, when I get the time. It's a shame it is out of print but you can download all of the rules, counters and maps from the Cry Havoc Fan website if you want to give it a try. It's a bit old school but none the worse for that, so I like it!

Samurai Blades

This is one of my all time favourite games, together with Cry Havoc, but I haven't played it for ages despite being pestered by the sprog who absolutely loves it. I thought I'd dig it out of the cupboard today and get a game up and running as a change from Tank on Tank, which has been my game of choice recently. I think we'll have a go at the assassination 'Night of the Ninja' scenario which is one of the best ones in the scenario book, especially as you get to creep about in the dark using shuriken to extinguish lanterns, whilst trying to find the samurai lord to kill while he frantically attempts to get dressed. Brilliant!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Tank on Tank Expansions

I spotted these two up and coming expansion packs for Tank on Tank over on the Lock n' Load website yesterday. There's no further information that I can find about them but it looks like additional maps, counters and scenarios would be included? I'm hoping Defenders of the Rhine will feature some late war British and Commonwealth units but who knows? The Red Storm in the Valley looks like a mid-war expansion judging by the T34/76 on the box cover but again I'm just guessing. I'm looking forward to finding out more, including when they'll be available and how I can get hold of a copy of both expansion packs over here in the UK?