Monthly Archives: July 2011

Brigadier 38 rules for Very British Civil War

Got this little book some time ago, but as usual it took me some time to get around to reviewing it. I have a weak spot for anything connected with Very British Civil War and whereas our small team uses modified Warhammer the Great War rules I thought “why not!”.

It is small A5 format book with 28 pages, all in full colour. Cost is 11 pounds and whilst it might sound bit expensive for such a small thing, Solway Crafts is a very small company that is totally worth supporting  and I gladly spent the money on getting it.  Layout is very nice and easy to read and there are plenty of great photos of VBCW miniatures and some great illustrations as well.

OK, now the rules itself. Subtitle says “jolly sporting wargames rules for 1938 a Very British Civil War” and it is really a fitting description. All book is full of “jolly British” spirit from the beginning till the end.

This set allows us to play battles on a bigger level, up to a Brigade with commanders giving orders to whole sections of your forces rather than each unit doing separate thing. In that respect it seems like the Brigadier 38 game would be totally different from ones we had with Warhammer the Great War.

There are different orders you can give to units and each set of orders has its allocated point cost, with points allocated to your commander every turn for him to spend. Quite interesting solution. There is surprisingly a lot of detail in such a small book (print is pretty small though so that partly explains it) and quite few of them are very innovative, at least to me- for example fthe fact that you need to spot units first before you can fire at them with your tanks or guns!

Other interesting feature is possibility of customizing your troops with different skills (each with its own point value and in case of Time for Tea ability it actually decreases cost of the unit) such as Shock Troops, Fanatics, Hopeless Courage amongst the others. Cost of your units also depens on their quality with three categories of Green, Trained and Veteran being in place.

Haven’t played the game with these yet but it definitely looks interesting and I thouroughly recommend the rulebook to every VBCW fan!

S.

You can order it at:

http://solwaycraftsandminiatures.webs.com

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Filed under Reviews, Very British Civil War, Wargaming Rules

Miniature Wargames magazine offers free PDFs!

Just heard the news that Miniature Wargames magazine is offering their latest issues for free in PDF format. Not the usual thing to post on my website, but I thought it is good to share that info.

Free issues can be found here:

http://www.exacteditions.com/exact/browse/443/1286

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Storm of Magic

New supplement for Warhammer Fantasy Battle is out and after talking to Peter we decided that Brighton Warlord will purchase a copy. I already managed to read it nearly completely (yes, I am a very fast reader 😉  )

PRICE

Is 30 quid too much for 152 page hardback book in full colour? In my opinion definitely yes but then again, it is Games Workshop we are talking about so no surprise here. If I would be want to buy this book for myself personally, that price would put me off for sure.

CONTENT

I was quite concerned about the content of the book when I have seen that one of the authors is Matt Ward. Lets just say that I don’t hold writing skills of that gentleman in high esteem (especially after latest fail that Grey Knights codex was), both ruleswise and fluffwise. Other author of the book is Jeremy Vetock though so I thought that there is some hope 😉

Ok, so what do we get in the book? Basically it is a set of alternative rules for WHB, with use of powerful magic and monsters and game itself heavily concentrated on magical structures called fulcrums. You still use normal army building rules for Storm of Magic games, but add 25% for summoned monsters, pacts and potent magical items.

As the title of the supplement suggests, magic plays a massive role in the game here. For a start we roll 4D6 for each magic phase and there can be up to 24 dice used every turn!  Also evey turn you swing an arrow on special table included in the book to see which colour of magic is ascendant, which in turn affects how easy you can cast spells etc. Quite interesting idea.

All wizards apart from their chose spells also know so called Cantrips (few very simple spells that are quite easy to cast such as Magic Duel or Unbind Monster).  There are also Cataclysmic Spells for each of the magic lores that each wizard knows automatically. They are divided into three types (Presence, Equilibrum and Dominance) and you can cast them depending on how many magical Fulcrums you and your opponent control as each type has certain conditions attached to it. Spells are quite interesting and of course quite devastating as well (or being very potent help for your troops in case of augment spells). There is no irresistible force for Cataclysmic spells, however double 6 still means miscast so they will be harder to cast. There is one spell known to all wizards, called “Seven Secret Sigils of Summoning” that is just absolutely ridiculous- it basically allows you to summon between 150 and 300 points of troops from ANY army book and have them under your control. I do feel Matt Wards hand here 😉 Now I do understand that GW is about making money, but this is really, really stupid idea and the “fluff” explanation about wizards creating portals and sucking in armies to serve them is frankly completely retarded.I don’t see many people using that bit down the local club to be honest.

Another interesting thing to mention is that whilst Fulcrums make casting spells easier, miscasting  them is much more dangerous as well, as you have to roll on separate miscast table (and then on a normal one after that!) with some very hillarious effects on it 😉   Dwarf players do not worry- Runesmiths count as Wizards whilst on top of Fulcrums and they are also allowed to use special Ancient Runes instead of having access to Cataclysmic spells.

Next thing in the book is Mythical Artefacts- extrmely powerful magical items (quite expensive as well) that you can buy with your extra 25% allowance. Again I think they are ridiculously overpowered and I am sure in local club games we will be skipping that bit alltogether.  Matt Ward, was it you? 🙂

Finally we get to monsters. You can use up to 2 units of them (with big monsters counting as unit each) withing your 25% points allowance, more if you have a Grand Army. Monsters bought in that category cannot be joined or ridden by any characters however lots of them can buy extra upgrades, which are often not available to them in normal army books. We have a massive selection of big and small monsters available for us to choose from. Again fluff wise I think they should have been certain restrictions on who can use what- I really can’t see Wood Elves actually summoning and binding Plague Toads for example and Skaven army with Great Eagles would just look ridiculous. However with a bit of common sense you get nice selection of gribblies, some of them old, some of them new (my personal favourite is a Bonegrinder Giant). Not all of them are great and few I can’t see making appearances too often as they are overpriced for what they do. Others (Fenbeasts!) I can see being used much more.  Of course this is another opportunity for GW to flog people some monsters that they would normally don’t buy for their armies, but hey, why not ? 🙂  For this occasion some really nice plastic sets were made and seeing them in the shop yesterday I have to say they are really impressive for most part.

Last main thing we can do with our 25% allowance is to get a pact with one of the three forces: Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings and Demons. Again whilst certain armies should have no problem entering such pact, can we really see High Elves entering pact with Demons of Chaos? Some fluffy restrictions would be nice, but again witha bit of common sense you should be ok (providing everybody in your gaming envirenment has a common sense- if you keep seeing High Elf player summoning hordes of Khorne then you know not play with that person again 😉 )

There are couple of extra scenarios (they sound fun) and extra rules for mystical terrain as you would expect 😉

I have yet to play it, but I think it can be roughly described as a WHB equivalent of Apocalypse in 40k.

Would I recommend the book? Its really not bad, although certain things that I mentioned were totally ridiculous and ruined otherwise good impression I had of this book. 6.5-7/10 that is my opinion so if you got spare 30 quid you might want to add another pretty book to your collection (or even better, order it from for example Malestrom and get it cheaper 😉 ) . It is definitely a good thing to have in a gaming club and with bit of tweaking and house rules it sounds like it can give you interesting game.

S.

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Cold War Commander review

I should have done this review long time ago, when I first got CWC in my hands and had a first game. But better late than never, so here we go 🙂

Book had been published in 2009 by Specialist Military Publishing and is currently out of print. But do not despair, you can still get a copy at print-on-demand website lulu.com . If I remember correctly I paid around 18 pounds with postage included. Only difference between Lulu copy and original one is that there are no colour pictures in print-on-demand one and cover is just brown shiny paper with Cold War Commander written on it ( looks very nice actually and I am a big fan of minimalistic designs 😉 ). There are 140 pages mostly filled with rules, army lists and few last pages have advertisements of relevant companies selling miniatures and scenery that can be used for CWC games.

SCALE

CWC rules are set for 6mm games, but games can be played with models from 2mm to 28 mm scales with appropiate adjustments of distances/ranges as described in the rulebook.

 

RULES

Personally I can just say that I love them. Game is complex enough not to be boring, but its also not overtly complicated and you can learn the rules pretty quickly. Game mechanis is heavily inspired by Warmaster with commanders having to issue orders to their brigades for them to do anything more complicated and having negative modifiers to rolls for each subsequent order issued, distance and other factors. Game in general is “You go, I go” type, but everybody has things to do and even if its not your turn, you will not be bored with great rule called “opportunity fire” where you can fire at units moving in your arc of sight of firing at you. It does make it much more dynamic game rather than just waiting for your opponent to finish and rolling your armour saves.

Without describing every little rule there is place in a game for engineers, aircraft and artillery strikes (both scheduled and called by observers/HQ and its also worth noting that you can purchase special amunition for aircraft, making it even more interesting), recce, ambushes, field defences … and few more. Some of this rules are optional (such as nightfighting, weather etc.)  and you can include them if you both agree.

Before you begin the game you roll on a special table to see whether points allowed for each army will be somehow adjusted (to simulate both armies not being exactly matching-if you are lucky you can end up even with 25% more points for your army!) which is something I really like as well. There are 3 different types of deployment (static, mobile and flank) and some are not always available  depending on which scenario you are playing.

One other thing worth mentioning is that there are 4 different tactical doctrines and each army follows one of them (rigid, normal, flexible, guerilla) all of them with their good and bad points.

Book offers 16 different scenarios for games so really you will not be bored very quickly 😉

 

ARMY LISTS

There is a multitude of army lists available in the book- pretty much every  bigger conflict starting from France-Viet Minh in 1948 up to First Gulf War  is covered in the book. Apart from the conflicts we also get lists for different NATO and Warsaw Pact armies in case you want to do campaign based on “what if” NATO-Warsaw Pact war plus if you go to http://www.coldwar-commander.com you can find extra lists that haven’t been included in the book (such as Russian VDV Paratroopers list which I play personally).

 

I am sure I haven’t covered many aspects of this excellent rulebook, but hopefully I gavee you good glimpse of it. I play many different games and read many different wargaming rules and I can honestly say CWC is one of the best I have ever seen.

S.

To get it go to http://www.lulu.com

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WIP Grot Skouts

Another unit I have been using with my Blood Axe list based on amazing fan codex from The Waaagh forum- Grot Skouts. As the name (and the clan they belong to) suggests, they are not just normal gretchin. They have short range sniper weapons, stealth skill and also grotzooka team! Obviously apart from it being very useful unit in the game, it is also fantastic modelling and converting opportunity. Below nearly finished product, now I only need to apply shading (perhaps with QuickShade).  Once I finish it completely I will take more detailed pictures .

What do you think?

S.

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