Blog discription

What will you find here? Ramblings from an aging gamer-miniature painter. When I first started out in this hobby computers were in their infancy and finding other gamers could only be done by going to conventions or as in my case bumping into somebody who happened to see me reading "Panzer Leader" on the school bus. Look how far we have come! The internet has allowed our small community to be able to connect on a level I never dreamed of when I was but a small lad. What I do hope you will find here is something interesting from one wargamer/miniature painter to another. I paint miniatures somewhat decently, so I will be posting some pictures of my work, and perhaps a review or two of games and/or miniatures. Most of all this is just about having fun and anything I post here is meant to be for that reason.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Samurai Throw down (Saga gaming)

As I mentioned in another post (Old Geezer Saga Club day), last weekend (Sept 16th) we had a mini Saga Tournament. The very next day my good friend Skip and I played Saga Samurai all day. Skip and I have been working on the Armies these past few months to get ready for this special day of gaming just between us. In past days we have played Samurai DBA and the sort, along with Saki and then having something sushi to eat. I mean if your going to game Samurai you gotta go all in right!

Well this day was planned no different. We were to game then go to one of my favorite places that just happens to be called the "Sushi House". It's all about theme;)

So while we started painting our armies we based our building of them off a site called kurpfalz-feldherren a website in Germany that a fellow put together with what looked like some cool battle boards. I had my very good friend in the UK (he's German working there) translate them for me and off we were to the races. We found the boards to be a good starting point, and a few translation problems that I simply used commonsense to overcome, but just as a disclaimer these boards aren't necessarily balanced and both Skip and I already are going to modify some of the abilities to make them give more of a period feel (1540 on wards).

Now I wanted to do the Takeda board he had designed but I was unable to get the Cavalry figures I wanted in time to be able to get project done on time. So I used his vanilla Samurai board, while my friend did his Oda battle board. Here are some photos of the two boards we used (remember we plan on making some minor changes to them after having seen how they played).

Skip was having some special decals made up for us to place on blank white dice, but we didn't get it done in time so I had to use the number symbols. These will change once we complete the dice project, which I understand Skip finished just yesterday. So when I get the images I will be able to use my art program to plug them in instead of these numbers. For those of you who are now Saga players, these battle boards are used to give your troops orders in a you go, I go format. You generate so many Saga dice but can not roll more than six dice to place on your board to start. Special abilities will let you roll more but you can never have more than eight. So I hope that helps you when you look at the Battle Boards above.

So our very first battle was fought using the scenario "Battle at the Ford". This was selected because of my interest in Takea's battles at Kawanakajima which I have included a link for your further reading pleasure.

Our forces selected where as follows:

Kevin's vanilla Samurai
1 X Samurai point (4 X Hearthguard models mounted as one unit)
5 X Ashigaru/Ronin points (40 X Warriors made into five units of 8 models each armed as follows 2 X Yari, 2 X Bow, 1 X Teppo (Arquebus).

Skip's Oda
1 X Warlord
1 X Samurai points (4 X Hearthguard models made into 1 unit)
5 X Ashigaru/Ronin (40 X Warriors made into five units of 8 models each armed as follows 3 X mixed weapons, 1 X Bow, and 1 X Teppo (Arquebus)

At the Ford closet to Skip's Oda he placed 2 X mixed weapons of Ashigaru, 1 X bow Ashigaru, 1 X Samurai, and his Warlord. At the Ford furthest he placed his Teppo and his other mixed weapon unit.

At the Ford location furthest from Skip, closer to me I placed a unit of Yari, Teppo, and bowmen. At the Ford further from me/closer to Skip I placed my Warlord, Yari, bowmen, and my mounted Hearthguard.

[And here is the Grand view of the entire battlefield below.]

The game began with Skip pushing across across the Ford on his right and taking a defensive stance at the Ford to his left. On my turn of one I pushed across the Ford to my right and got right into his face so I can bring the rest of my troops across and advanced to meet him on my left.

[See below with camera on my side of the field facing Skip's Oda]

On my turn of two I popped his Ashigaru mixed weapon unit back across the ford and tried shooting down his bowmen that where now pinned with my bowmen with no success. Throughout this entire game Skip rolled very well for his saves and hits, and of course mine were quite the opposite. Using up most of my command dice to do this my poor Teppo unit on my right stayed well back from where it was truly needed.

[Situation at end of two]

From here on out, it was simply a battle of attrition. Skip's Oda Battle Board has some great abilities (kind of like Byzantine Battle Board) and he was able to always out number me in dice and I basically was attrition-ed done to make it a mute point to continue. Though it was frustrating for me, I still had fun. So it was on to our second battle!

For this battle we played "Champions of God", and I thought this was a good scenario to follow ford as instead of two condensed avenues of approach, you could spread the field.

The order of battle was the same except for Skip changing out one unit of Ashigaru mixed weapon unit of 8 figures for another point of Samurai (hearthguard) and combining it with his other point to have an eight man Samurai unit. 

[Below a view of the setup]

As you can see Skip deployed his Teppo, and Bow unit in the center, and his Ashigaru mixed weapons units and Samurai on the flanks. He then promptly moved up his bow unit in range of all three of my missile troops and I promptly shot them to pieces. This was an EXCELLENT start for me! I started to advance on my left flank with the idea of refusing my right but I didn't have quite enough Saga die and he walked into my bow armed unit on my right flank in the woods with his Samurai and with the support of his Ashigaru mixed weapon unit wiped them out. He then executed a skillful retreat on his right as I pressed him with my left.
[Below the situation as described above]

Boy I thought to myself I have him in my pocket now and then...... I waited one turn to bring up the rest of my troops thinking I could execute a combined coup de gras. He jumped into that rocky ground you see right behind his troops thus giving them hardcover and the time he needed to untangle his Samurai in the woods behind my lines to bring them back to support his other troops. 

Once more Skip had the luck of the Irish with him and the bastard (love intended) isn't even Irish!!!! His skillful tossing of the dice and my waiting one turn to long, was my undoing. 

Just a little frustrating, but my own fault, but again it was still a blast. Plus it helped Skip drive 13 hours back to his home in Georgia. When you drive that long with a smile on your face, I hope it hurts to do so now Skip!!!!

Afterwards we had a nice dinner, talked about our glories and defeats at the Saga table, but more importantly we spent time together as friends.

Cheers all

Thursday, September 21, 2017

The Old Geezer Saga Club

This past Saturday (Sept 16th) the Old Geezer Saga club got together for a 6 point mini tournament. My very good and long time friend Skip drove 13 and a half hours from Georgia just to game with us!!! Well in truth he was coming to see his nephew's new baby and we used that as an excuse to get together and do some hardcore Saga gaming. Let me introduce you to the Old Geezer boys....
From left to right, Mark "The Merciless", Rob "The Luckless", Skip "Torok the Terrible" (nickname based off his Steppe Nomad army), Kevin "Old one Eye", Dave "The wise one", and Harv "The Faithful".

Our day started at 10 AM and we played three scenarios. Each scenario was to have a two hour time limit, and counting breaks in between, only supposed to last until 6 PM. We ran over by an hour and a half.... hmmm I gotta fix that next year. The three games played in this order where "Champions of God", "God will recognize his", and finally "The Challenge" (not realizing the special rules and victory conditions had changed for the better!).

I should not have, but somehow, ole Skippy used Jedi mind tricks on me to get me to play the Mutatawwja. One should never play in a tournament environment never having played the army before, I know that, I've told him that, but somehow he got me to jump on the "this is a cool army board train".

The armies involved were as follows:

Vikings - Harv
Pagan Rus - Skip
Normans - Rob
Welsh - Dave
Irish - Mark
Mutatawwja (which should have been my Franks) - me

My first battle using the Mutatawwja was a learning experience. I had my Army setup as follows:

Warlord (was a Priest, the Enlightened one, definitely not a fighter)

3 points of Warriors (made into four six man units)
2 points of Hearthguard (four man Camels, four man horse)
1 point of Naffata (one given to each warrior unit)

Now this setup works, I think really well against Cavalry armies, but against foot I would ditch the mounts and go with foot Hearthguard. Rob had his Normans all mounted except for 1 unit of foot bows. His army was made of the following:

1 point of Levy bow (used as a 12 man unit)
5 points of Warriors ( 2 X 10 mounted Warriors, 2 X 8 mounted Warriors, and 1 X 4 mounted Warrior)

The Mutatawwja are a fun army to play, you have to be really thoughtful about when to sacrifice a model, like pace yourself. Having the Enlightened one really helped give me that combo dice ability punch, and the Naffata were instrumental in causing fatigue on an enemy unit that I could then follow up smacking with a different warrior unit and using that fatigue to my advantage. The Camels were just awesome against his horse. I walked up with a naffata unit, caused a hit on an eight man mounted warrior unit which placed three fatigue on him, and then smacked him with my Camels. If was glorious! But in the end I got a little greedy and lost my camels and my units were whittled down and I had used way to many sacrifices so ended up being defeated by Rob's Normans.

What I took away from the game was some good lessons learned and I used those to my advantage in the next two games. If you're looking for that "fun factor" army the Mutatawwja are for you. If you're thinking of taking them to a tournament I would highly recommend playing them quite a lot and against many different opponents to learn them really well. If you go to a large tournment there will be a higher likely hood of more experienced players there and you will get your butt handed to you most likely with these boys, BUT, it will be gloriously fun!!!!

I'll show a few pictures here, and would love to share more about the battles but my friends notes where like reading doctors notes (unreadable scrawl) so I'll just post a few pictures and tell you how they finished below..

[above the Champions of God scenario]

[above God will recognize his]

I am sad to say that after a full day of gaming and lot's of questions, and trying to be a good host, I was completely worn out by the end of the day and completely forgot to take photos of our last game "The Challange".

The final results are as follows:

1st Place = Mark's Irish (and until the next tournament we all have to call him "The Boss".... sadly)

2nd Place = Skip's Pagan Rus 

3rd Place = Harv's Vikings (and a great job for only his third time playing!)

4th Place = Kevin's Mutatawwja (I just know I would have won playing the Franks;))

5th Place = Dave's Welsh (Dave had a grand time and learned alot, but more importantly this is his first army he completely painted for a gaming system in like 20 years, and they look great to boot!!!)

6th Place = Rob's Norman's (Rob is a great guy and a good player but somehow always finishes last, now you know why he is called the luckless;))

Top slaughter points honor's went to Harv who tied with Dave with 61 points. Well done gentleman. 

In all we had a grand time, and we ate, drank, and gamed. What more could a gamer ask for!


Thursday, September 14, 2017

Samurai Saga warband complete!

Today I finished my last group of Ashigaru archers for my 6 point Samurai Saga list. Just in time for my friend coming up from Georgia to game with me this weekend, though I do have some other units I need to add to give me some different options, it's good enough to hit the table.

Saturday I am running a local six player Saga tournament at my home, and then on Sunday I will be gaming one on one with my long time friend and his Samurai warband he just recently completed as well. I of course will try and post an AAR of all the action later in the following week.

Here are a couple of pictures of the two 8 man warrior units that complete the basic building blocks of the army.

[Above the first of two units]

[Above the second of two units]

As always thanks for looking.


Tuesday, September 5, 2017

KATO KIYOMASA: Samurai Warlord unit for Saga

I selected the Perry miniatures model Kato Kiyomasa as my Warlord and although he has nothing to do with my Takeda list (Takeda figure was out of stock) I love the giant hat and decided to use him. Another reason I picked him is because he was a pretty awesome General and soldier during Hideyoshi ill-fated Imjin War.

William Scott Wilson describes Katō Kiyomasa thus: "He was a military man first and last, outlawing even the recitation of poetry, putting the martial arts above all else. His precepts show the single-mindedness and Spartan attitudes of the man, [they] demonstrate emphatically that the warrior's first duty in the early 17th century was simply to 'grasp the sword and die'. Contemporary accounts of Katō describe him as awe-inspiring, yet not unfriendly, and a natural leader of men."

Nuff said, he was one bad ass dude, so I hope I did him justice with my latest work.

Skip you might as well throw in the towel now because....

Kato is so deadly in fact, that his enemies would be blind from overexposure to pure awesomeness!!!!