Tuesday, 22 February 2022

Saga Age of Magic

“In a land of myth, and a time of magic…”

Yes, good chum Orange Dave has lured me in to trying out Age of Magic.

I’ve played a lot of Saga (first edition) over the years mainly with Saxons, Vikings and Normans, so I’m familiar with the basic game mechanics although second edition is obviously going to be a bit different.

My plan for this gaming year is to get a few projects finished, so this “new” project might seem at odds with that aim. However, I’ve had most of these figures for ages, only the big fellow was a recent purchase. These are some of my favourite Foundry figures and I’m really looking forward to painting them.

Here’s my force primed and ready for painting.

A unit of 8 elite warriors (Hearthguard, 2 points)

Two units of 12 warriors (3 points)

A unit of 12 archers & slingers (Levy, 1 point)

The Wicker Man... or 'Alan' is I like to call him. (Monster, Titan, 1 point) He’s from Crooked Dice games (here) and is beautifully cast in good quality resin.

A War Mammoth! (Monster, Behemoth, 1 point) You can usually only field one monster but it's nice to have options. Kindly gifted to me by good chum Colin.

My force will need a “Sacred Ground” terrain piece so I’ve cobbled together some items from the bits box. The spot marked X will be occupied by a rather war-like female Celt warrior from Colonel Bill’s Belt Fed range. I’ll also add some weapons and other grisly trophies such as severed heads on poles, etc.

I've also picked up these resin standing stones from Nigel at The Square (FB link). He attends quite a few shows on the circuit and his stall is well worth perusing, great quality at amazing prices, plus a range of scales catered for.

I have a small unit of Celt Noble cavalry and a chariot too, so if the game proves to be as good as I hope then I have some options for varying or expanding the force.

My Romans are basically done, although a few cavalry need finishing off so might swap them for a Roman themed monster? Some sort of mythical beast (whilst possibly more Greek than Roman) would be suitable.

I need to source a more “wizard-y” looking figure than the bearded chap on a horse? A Germanic Shaman-lady might do the trick.

The theme here is the Conquest of Gaul & Britannia but with Monsters, Myth and Magic! Oh, and extra points to anyone who recognised the source of the opening line of this post 😎

Wednesday, 16 February 2022

Orange Dave’s Saga Cairn

As readers will know I occasionally blog about Orange Dave’s modelling exploits, mainly because he’s too busy dealing with groupies, fans and signature-seekers, etc. Here's some of his recent work. It's a faction specific terrain feature for use with Undead in Saga Age of Magic.

I think the basic idea is that units within a certain range of this feature get to re-animate fallen warriors? Or perhaps magic is more effective? I'm not really sure, lol! Anyway, I thought Dave was joking when he sent me this picture. But there is a base under those stones.

Ah, now with added skellies.

Here's a couple more pics.

Thanks for looking 😎

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Crete Campaign: Game Three

After some post-game-two refreshments we got right on with game three, "Probe among the Olive Groves" (we also threw in a nice little vineyard for good measure). Here's the original map from the KgvL PSC.

For our game, the FJs deploy along the North Eastern edge whilst the Australians advance along the road from the South West. Some of the hedges were replaced with low stone walls but we agreed the same level of cover. The field at the 'top' was replaced with a vineyard. Dave had also made a splendid sunken lane stone wall feature so that helped remind us to treat the lane from the fork to the edge of the buildings as having restricted visibility and improved cover.

Dave kindly reset the scenery and I have to say we were quite pleased with how our combined scenic efforts looked. As I mentioned before, my pics were not really good enough to use, but here’s a couple of pics of the ‘prototype’ battlefield that Dave and I used to figure out what extras we might need.

The red dice represent the trees, etc that Dave was bringing. He also brought some more walls and vines, but hopefully you get the idea.

If memory serves then Dave got a few extra chaps from the scattered drop, but these only really helped offset the chaps he had lost contesting the hill in game two. The patrol phase went quite well for the Germans as they held my JOPs back to the olive grove and next to the monument where the road forks. I’d really hoped to get further forward but crafty manoeuvring by Dave saw him get the upper hand!

My supports were a Matilda, a MkVI, a section and an adjutant to help keep things moving. Dave had a tripod MG34 and an AT rifle. My plan was to try to keep him distracted with the armour whilst my lads made a dash for the line. But those plans had to change when I saw Dave’s deployment and associated lines of sight. The tanks became my focus but I knew the MkVI was vulnerable.

Here we can see Allied armour pushing forward at speed! But those buildings hid a pesky Pzb38 AT rifle so the brave little MkVI pressed on with some trepidation.


I had hoped to use the Matilda as some sort of cover for the MkVI but the random movement distances meant that the Matilda often rumbled too far ahead. Dave’s AT rifle proved very troublesome and in all fairness he should have stopped the MkVI several times, but the dice gods were Australian that day. The crew almost bailed out at one point, then damage slowed it to a crawl.

The following pic shows Dave’s lovely sunken lane wall feature, in front of and to the Matilda’s left. The angle of the pic slightly hides the effect but it’s a fab piece that really captures the idea!

Here we see some FJs infiltrating through the buildings and adjoining woods. When they could draw a bead on my brave Aussies, they proved quite deadly.

I was able to bring my lads on quite quickly across a broad front, and with the tanks leading the central advance, the pressure on the FJs was relentless. That said, they pushed forward too and the middle part of the game saw them inflict a lot of shock on the Allies. I began to wonder if this table would take a second ‘go’ too.

However, despite some fine heroics by Dave’s lads, the Aussies would not be held back.

A concerted push on the German right flank saw an FJ squad in the stables forced to retreat as the Matilda and a section led by the platoon sergeant pushed towards the baseline.

The few battered, shocked Germans in the farm buildings could only look on as the Allies thundered past to claim a hard fought victory. Another fantastic game! Dave’s lads took a bit of a beating in this battle but he gets a fresh platoon for the next game, “Olive Oil Factory on the Flank”. Due to other commitments game four isn’t scheduled until the end of the month.

Sunday, 6 February 2022

Platinum Jubilee

Congratulations to your Majesty on the occasion of your Platinum Jubilee!

An absolute legend 😎 It’s all flag waving and red-white-and-blue here at the table today!

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Crete Campaign: Game Two

Friday morning dawned bright and early so Dave and I planned to get a couple more games of Crete campaign completed. After the first battle my Aussies were now ‘as keen as mustard’ to give Jerry ‘what for’. Luckily for the Allies some heavy support was now available in the shape of a Matilda. Historically these were stationed near the airfields, but remember, our campaign is a 'what-if' based on the theme of better coordinated and more aggressive Allied counter-attacks. Before we set to, Dave rolled to see if any more of his men reported for duty after the scattered drop but alas for him they did not. Including the men lost or missing after the first battle, he was now fielding just over 50% of his total forces. However, having seen how much firepower even his depleted squads could manage to throw out, I knew I'd have to be extra careful to avoid unnecessary casualties.

Early in the battle the Australians bring on the Matilda! There's also a 2" mortar team but they quickly ceased shooting smoke as Dave's FJs began exploiting the smoke for cover. The cheek of it eh?

Before I go any further I should point out that a technical malfunction resulted in all the rest of my photos of games 2 and 3 getting munged, but thankfully Dave's FJ camera team were able to take a few shots.

Below we can see the tank beginning it's menacing advance (rumble .. rumble .. clank .. squeak) from the German point of view. The light mortar team has switched from smoke to use one of its few HE rounds to great effect. The FJ squad advancing to the edge of the vines got one right on the nose! The JL was wounded and knocked down.

On the other flank a small FJ LMG team have deployed in an entrenched position waiting for the Allied infantry to advance in support of the tank.

FJs take advantage of a double turn to begin a rapid advance to capture the foremost Allied JOP before the Aussies can muster.

And they make it! However, Dave had to use his Chain of Command dice in order to get there before I deployed any troops. Thankfully his second CoC dice was a few points away from being usable so he wouldn't be able to end the turn and claim the JOP … for a while.

In that pic you can see I have troops deploying from my nearby supporting JOP and I manage to bring on more, plus advance the tank so that it could use its own machine gun too. The result was a decisive blow against the FJ squad around the JOP and it was forced to retreat in some disarray!

By now German morale was dropping and the Australians still had a complete section in reserve. So Dave sounded the retreat and his men faded back in to the olive groves and vineyards. Again the butcher's bill was fairly light on both sides, a handful of fallen each plus one German Junior Leader wounded.

A couple of points to note about the Campaign Rules:
1. We decided to improve the chances of the remaining FJs turning up by one 'pip' per game after the first as it just seemed a bit more fair and fun.
2. The PzII will not be available until game 7 (not 6 as we published before) so the Germans will have to delay the Allies at least twice.

We played game three straight after but that's for another blog post. Happy gaming!