31 March 2023

Pulp Alley-The Serpent's Eye

Last Sunday myself Luis and David met up at the Abyss for a game of Pulp Alley. This was going to be the first 3 player game of Pulp Alley that I was going to play and I was curious how it would work. Luis set up a terrific terrain as usual and brought all the ancillary figures. I believe the scenario comes from Pulp Alley Expansion Tomb of the Serpent. It was really quite a good scenario and different than I had previously played.

This was not a cooperative game, so it was each man for himself. I brought my Order of the Dragon Tong league, while David played the Serpent Cult league. I am not sure what Luis league is called but I believe it is one of the main leagues from the rulebook. I am sure some of you will recognise the figures from below.

All 3 leagues are in pursuit of the Serpent Relic and the one who finds it achieves victory. It was an 8 turn game which is quite long for Pulp Alley but we had no problems finishing the game. The game is set in Casablanca, and the minor plot points were recognisable to me from the film of the same name. The premise of the scenario is that a thief has just stolen the Relic which is the major plot point and to find the thief you have to gain the the minor plot points to do so.Wandering about are both thieves and police so the game was a lot of fun. 

Unfortunately I took few photos and those I took we really not that useful in retrospect. But here we go anyway.
The basis
The terrain layout, I started in the SE, while while David started in the NE with Luis starting in the NW.
The thieves in yellow with the police in blue
The Serpent Cult
Luis's League
The Fat Man minor plot point

I am really sorry that these photos that I thought were cleverly took are absolutely useless to tell a story.
Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 7
Turn 8, the final battle was on the roof of the building markedly the dice.

Well if you can figure it out good on you. Generally both myself and David went for Luis league, mostly I think because of initial positioning. I lost a sidekick (I have 2) and one of my followers almost immediately. David had more success with the Serpent Cult (all sidekicks) but by the end of the game had lost at least 2 of them. Luis did lose some characters but was able to hold on and capture the the Relic and held on to it until the end of the game.

This was really a fun game and I definitely would play it again, thanks to Luis for putting it on.

29 March 2023

SAGA-A Story of Challenges-Irish vs Anglo Saxons


This past Friday myself and David (I will call him Korrigan doing ahead) got together for another game of SAGA. I wanted to get a bit more experience with the Anglo-Saxons so I played them again. This time rather than the Bretons, Korrigan played the Irish. I have encountered the Irish before (one of my friend Adam's favourite war bands) so I knew I had to watch out for the bushes!

Korrigan puts together excellent battle reports, so rather then trying to do one myself and will just link to his excellent report on his blog.

As you will see it was a great game. Rather than using the Chaos system to generate a battle we used one of the 10 scenario offered in the book. This was quite an interesting scenario as we had to generate our own challenges, but you will hear more about that by going to The Korrigan's Lair.

As a side note our next encounter will feature forces from the Age of Invasions rather than the Age of Vikings. Past that I know David is quite keen to get in some Age of Magic games, so lots to which look forward.

25 March 2023

Bridge over the Kuurtojoki-Chain of Command

This past Wednesday I had a virtual Chain of Command game. I have restarted work on my Winter War campaign and am starting to test some of the scenarios. I played with Tom who I believe is based in Northumberland, I met him through the Fangs of the Wolf campaign that Eero is putting on from Finland. he offered to playtest this scenario and I had a sense that he is quite an experienced player...which he certainly proved to be. I am also planning to present this game at the Huzzah gaming convention in Portland, ME in May of this year.

This is scenario 2 in my campaign and is based on the Going with a Bang scenario from the Blitzkrieg sourcebook. The scenario sees a Green Soviet Rifle Platoon advancing south towards Soumussalmi in early December 1939. A Finnish Regular Rifle Platoon has been tasked with blowing up a mobile kitchen and a bridge to slow the Soviet advance. Victory if the Finns blow both objectives or drive the Soviet FM to 0. The Soviets rolled up a 4, so they had 10 supports while the Finns had half. The Soviets did not have AFV's available this early in their advance


Finland FM 8 (5CD+Red Dice)

Regular Rifle Platoon with Demolition Team

Supports (5)
Pregame Barrage
Demolition Team
Molotovs for each of the 4 Squads

Soviet Union FM9 (4CD+Blue Dice)

Green Rifle Platoon from the 163rd 

Supports (10)
Wrath of the gods
Maxim MMG Team with 5 crew
Quad Maxim Team with Gaz truck and 5 crew


Photos will tell the story.....
The JOP's are circled, Tom (the Finns) definitely won this part of the game. I should note that we both had 12" of PM movement but the Soviet Daisy Chain was 12" while the Finns had 18".

Mobile Soup Kitchen, had a task roll of 6 to blow, a JOP is within deployment range.

Bridge had a task roll of 12, again as you can see there is a JOP within deployment range.

Unfortunately, the game became quite busy and I forgot to take photos but I will do my best.

I initially placed yellow Soviet squad in the forest to the left and a MMG team as well as another green Soviet squad and a SL in the centre forest. The Wrath of the gods definitely slowed down the Finns deployment, as they were only able to deploy their green SMG squad. I had also placed my blue Soviet squad in the forest on the far edge.
My MMG team got shot up before I could advance the green squad in support by the ......
......green Finnish SMG section that deployed within close range.

Many photos were not taken, but now I had my yellow squad blasting the Finnish green squad and had advanced my green squad towards the cabin. You will also notice that a Quad Maxim has advanced up the road to fire their 16d6 at the green Finnish squad who now has attached a SL. By now the FM on both sides was rapidly falling. It still appeared to anyone's game.
A lot had happened in the farground around the small cabin, the Finns had deployed a demo team who successfully set the charge in one go. I had deployed 2 squads on this flank and the Finns had deployed 2 as well. You can see one squad on the frozen pond, another squad had already been destroyed to protect the demo team, but the Soviets had paid as well having one of their green squad broken with a JL. Tom threw a treble 6 and the turned ended. I believe our FM was respectively 1 for the Soviets and 2 for the Finns. The Finnish demo team as been unable to set off the charge to blow the mobile kitchen and were retreating.....
.....but despite having just 2 CD left the Soviets were able to activate their SL who was in range of both the Gaz Truck and the squad in the woods. They blasted the Finnish squad, the SL was hit and wounded. A roll on the Morale Table resulted in a minus 2, the Finn's FM dropped to 0.
The Soviet blue squad advances to take the soup kitchen hoping there might be some hot food while the Soviet green squad with the Gaz truck advance to the Bridge over the Kuurtojoki. The route has been secured for the Soviet advance to Suomussalmi.

So a very close game indeed. I felt it went pretty well but the tasks would be quite difficult to achieve. Once the charge is set, in the Demo Rules as written it requires a CoC dice to set off the charges. We are now discussing some modifications to this.

Thanks very much to Tom for helping me play test the scenario. 

20 March 2023

Fire and Fury ACW


A week ago myself and Graham went to the Abyss to have an ACW game. This is the first time that I have played this ruleset, and the first ACW game that I have played for quite sometime. My go-to game for ACW is Pickett's Charge, a great game and easy to play if familiar with David Brown's other ruleset Général d'Àrmée. Thus I was quite curious about this ruleset. 

Graham put together the game from the tactical version of the ruleset. It was quite a small OB with 4-5 regiments per side. The scenario was from the rulebook and was based on the Battle of Ball's Bluff. It was interesting to me that the game mimics actual historical orders of battle, and because of this the size of each unit can vary widely. I played the Union and I had one unit with 16 stands and one unit with 6 stands. I was unsure how this would work, but it seemed to work well. It was also a small game on a 4x4' terrain. Anyway on to some photos.
The initial set up with the Union in the foreground
Graham's Confederates
A tiny 2 base cavalry unit
After one move
Advancing on the Union left flank
You would have thought that this charge would have went better for the Union.
Was able to drive the Confederates back
Moving on my right flank to protect against a cavalry charge
There is base removal in the game
Demonstration of asymmetric unit sizes
We played several turns and there was a clear Confederate Victory, the dismounted cavalry on the right caused me no end of trouble.

I quite enjoyed the game, and I felt mechanistically it was pretty simple. It's one weakness of course in my mind is that it is an IGO-UGO ruleset, but there is certainly some quick turns of fate but more based on the dice throw rather than the player. Pickett's Charge allows the player to make decisions when things go wrong with the Command Dice. With Pickett's Charge the player needs to have plans B, C and D when a brigade goes Hesitant. I am not so sure if Fire & Fury offers the same decision making, but of course I have only played one game. I hope to play others. 

Thanks to Graham setting up this demo of the rules.

18 March 2023


We played our first game of Infamy Infamy a little under 2 weeks ago. PY had just finished painting up some Romans, I believe he has had the Germanic Tribes painted for some time. Fantastic figures as usual on a very nice terrain. 
I played the Germanic Tribes while PY played the Romans. It has been some time since the game so I do not remember the exact composition of the units but I believe they were standard war bands taken from the book. I was the attacker which was a bit weird as the the layout was clearly rural (where I suppose the Romans would be the attackers). The scenario was generated according to the rules in the book, essentially the Germans were attacking the village and had to burn the crop fields. They were coming from the right in the above photo, while the Romans were coming from the left. A number of Ambush points were set up in the game from which I could deploy. I have to admit being a little confused by this process but I had not had an opportunity to have a look at the rulebook before the game. We each had 3-4 units of troops with several leaders. We had one group of missile troops each.
The main Roman group with 3 units and 2 leaders.
The Germans
The Romans coming into attack my Germans, I tried to split their targets by sending in a single unit of warriors. The green dice represent barbarian Fervour. 
Roman Slingers


Germanic archers and infantry

I was able to set the fields alight and get off the board, the victory conditions for attackers. So a Barbarian victory.

Well it was an interesting game, we made quite a few mistakes and I have to admit that I was a little surprised how different it was from Sharp Practice. On the surface, the rulesets appear quite similar but some of the mechanisms were quite different. I enjoyed the game but before I play the next I definitely ned to have a good look at the book and find a good QRS!

15 March 2023

Congo in Mesoamerica

Finally back to catching up with my blog posts from last week. Two more to go after this one.

My friend Luis has been working on a modification of the Congo ruleset for Mesoamerica. He has done a terrific job on putting together the stats and cards for modification. Graham has painted all the figures required for the game, so last Sunday last we gathered at Graham's for a game.

This was a two on two game with Jean-Jacques and Graham playing the Conquistadors while myself and Luis played the Aztecs. The details of the war bands are a little foggy now but I will post some photos. We each had two leaders and there was an Aztec priest in the middle of the table protected by Luis's warband. If I have it right each leader was worth a VP and if the Conquistadors killed the priest it was 10 points.
Here are my troops, the figures are absolutely beautiful. I had 3 groups with 2 leaders.
Jean-Jacques and Graham putting together their cunning plan to kill the Native Americans
Much of the battle of course centred around the centre of the table, here we have the hapless sacrifice about to be killed by the Teopixqui with the Spanish and their allies trying to stop him.
Of course if there are 14th Century Spanish, there is going to be a Priest. I was able to kill him. I suppose I will go to the underworld now. Those mounted Conquistadors will surely send me there.
The final battle, if I remember correctly Jean-Jacques snuck is troops around surprising the Teopixqui and killing him. The Aztecs were in pretty bad shape at the time.

Well this was a fun and beautiful game, we did lose but it was fun. Luis has really put together an excellent modification for Congo, which I suspect will become quite popular.