Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Miniature collections

A fortnight ago my girlfriend and I moved into a flat double the size of our previous one. With all the space now available we decided to make a hobby room where we could both have the available area for our hobbies - Julie like scrapping and making cards.

This means that I for the first time have enough shelf space to actually put my minis on display, so after this was done I took some pictures. Only problem is that my SAGA The Crescent and the Cross minis will be placed on a shelf roughly two meters up. I have been painting the Arab side of the Crusades and I am almost done.

Anyway here are some pictures of my two main collections - Empire of the Dead and Napoleonics 1812 - Retreat from Moscow.

 1812 - Retreat from Moscow - The Grande Armée

1812 - Retreat from Moscow - The Russians

Empire of the Dead -  Wulfen Jaegers, Zombies, Lycaons

Empire of the Dead -  Nosferatu, Detectives and Gentlemen

Empire of the Dead -  Brotherhood, Supernatural Branch, Bedlam Brotherhood

Empire of the Dead -  John Brown, Jack the Ripper, Civilians, Thugs

Thursday, June 25, 2015

EotD - Wulfen Jaegers vs. Gentlemen's Club

Empire of the Dead was back on the agenda Wednesday evening as my friend Chris had requested that we started playing again. My own appetite for Empire of the Dead had taken a dive with the disappointing Requiem PDF. While there is lots of new information in the PDF, the finished product was incomplete. The obvious and numerous mistakes, both text and rules wise, left me very disappointed. The official Empire of the Dead Facebook group has however compiled the input from the community and sent to Westwind, so hopefully they will deliver the product we all want.

Back to Wednesday's game. This was the first time that the London Station would actually have a train as part of the terrain! The train I found in our local toy store and while it more suitable for the 1940-50s, I still like that the board has a train on it.

Chris - true to form - chose to use the Gentlemen's Club faction, and had a President and 5 Members, armed with Repeating Rifles and Heavy Pistols. I chose one of my favourite factions the Wulfen Jaegers with a President (Half armor, Heavy Pistol, Knife), Vice President (Half armor, Heavy Pistol, Knife), Member (Heavy Pistol, Knife), Member (Hunting Rifle, Knife), 2 x Members (Shotgun, Knife).

We rolled up the Fracas scenario, and set up our forces.

Chris is a cautious player and normally get into good positions and lets the enemy come to him. He makes good use of Watch & Shoot. I'm more reckless and have to remind myself that using Hide and Cover is better than an all out attack.

As usual the first round was all about movement, and so was the second. Chris managed to get two shots of, giving my President a Wound, and making a near impossible shot killing one of my members. This would prove to be all the killing Chris would do in this game.

In the following rounds my jaegers were unbeatable. They put one member on Down and Chris then rolled a 10 in the following Maintenance Phase. My member with the Hunting Rifle proved especially ruthless with his shooting and by the end of the game he had shot and killed 3 Gentlemen. My President killed the Gentlemen President in melee, and with one of Chris' members failing his Bravado check, the Gentlemen's Club was down to one member. In the last round of the game he was slain in melee by one of my jaegers.

Usually I don't win when we play, but this was a total annihilation of the Gentlemen's Club. My dice roll were incredible and on more than one occasion I was able to roll 10s after 10s. Chris on the other hand could not hit anything.

We both enjoyed the game, but having played 1812 Retreat from Moscow and reading the Across the Dead Earth and SAGA The Crescent and the Cross rules during the past month I find the rules inferior to the other. And I find myself thinking that the Across the Dead Earth rules might also fit with the setting of Empire of the Dead. Empire of the Dead is however easy to grab and play and with 30+ games under my belt the game flows easily. I have also discovered that for me miniature wargaming is more about seeing fully painted minis on a well made thematic board than tactics. So the rules come second for me, which is not how it has always been.  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

1812 Retreat from Moscow - battle report

Two weeks ago my girlfriend and I moved into a larger flat, so gaming had been put on hold for a couple of weeks. Yesterday evening saw me taking advantage of our new huge dining table for another game of 1812 Retreat from Moscow.

My opponent was once again Michael playing the Russians. Previously we have rolled for both scenarios and side plots, but this time I decided on both for each side and came up with a small background story as well.

The French retreat is feeling the immense strain of the scorched earth tactics of the Russians. Supplies are running low and the rearguard led by Marshall Ney is forced to send out patrols for foraging. The Russians, led by Marshall Platov, however have become aware of this and their jaegers and Cossacks will do everything they can to prevent the supplies from ending up in French hands. Ney knows that he must try to limit the number of casualties his troops take, but the need for supplies is critical. Platov has an agenda of his own, one which he thinks fits well with his mission. His hatred of the French is great and he has his heart set out on sending Frenchmen to their death by his own sword.


Marshal Ney (Regular French Officer)

24 Regulars split in 3 units of 8

12 Voltigeurs split in 2 units of 6

6 Light Cavalry

Scenario: Foraging - 3 supply markers are placed 16" away from the French deployment zone and at least 10" apart. The French must bring back all three markers to their own deployment zone in order to get the supplies and fulfil the mission.

Side Plot: Fight another battle - In order to successfully fulfil this side plot, the French Morale Card must not be brought into play, meaning that the French cannot take 50% casualties.


Marshal Platov (Elite Cossack Cavalry Officer)

8 Cossack Cavalry split in 2 units of 4 (Elite)

8 Cossack Infantry (Elite)

Russian Jaeger Officer (Elite)

16 Jaegers split in two units of 8 (Elite, Marksman)

Scenario: Engagement - Inflict casualties to 2/3 of the French forces.

Side Plot: A hateful heart - Officer must kill 6 Frenchmen (those killed in melee count double)

The Game
I decided to split my deployment across a rather large area of my deployment zone, hoping not to get caught in to much crossfire as I knew Michael would try and get into good firing positions around each supply marker.

Michael split his forces into a group of jaegers and one of Cossacks.

The first turn was all about movement as we got closer. Both sides did take casualties though when the Event 1 card was played. I had determined before the game began that the Event 1 card would be Temperature Drops, a nasty one where each unit when next activated has to roll a dice. A roll of 1-3 will inflict a casualty, non-elite French forces has an added penalty of -1, meaning that only a 5 or 6 will save a unit from taking casualties. Despite this the Russians were hit harder than the French, taking 4 casualties, while the French took 3.

When the second turn came we were already in a position where shooting would become possible as the turn progressed. If was first to get a Regular unit into a shooting position, targeting a unit of jaegers. They were however in good cover so I would need to roll 6s on both the to hit and the to kill roll - which did not happen. As the turn progressed the Cossack cavalry managed to charge into one of my Voltigeur units with the usual devastating effect. My close by Regular unit in firing line, was unable to kill any as I rolled incredibly bad. This was the turning point as the Cossack Cavalry and Marshal Platov charged the Regular unit, who despite brave resistance was completely destroyed.

In a fit of madness I charged Marshal Ney into the Russian Jaeger Officer, hoping to strike a blow against the jaegers. After several blows Ney fell as well.

At the end of turn 2 I had lost 21 of my 42 men and the Morale Card would be added to the deck. We decided to play on despite me having lost the opportunity to succeed in my mission. The game would come to an end shortly thereafter anyway as the first card to be played in turn 3 was the Morale Card. So when two of my units failed Michael had successfully completed his mission and side plot. Another defeat for the French.

The game flows very nicely. I must admit that I prefer to have a set scenario rather than rolling one - then again I like the background stuff, while Michael really does not care about it.
So far I have been unable to beat Michael, and I think I need to have a different approach. Michael usually tries to make as many of his units Elite, so that they will benefit from the Forward Boys! card and to better resist Reaction tests. I on the other hand go for quantity over quality and throw my units forward. Cavalry is devastating and once again the lance-armed Cossacks were decisive, while I once again failed to get any use out of Light Cavalry before they were shot down by a jaeger firing line.

So for my next game I will go for more quality and play a more patient game.