“Champagne! In victory one deserves it, in defeat one needs it” - Napoleon
I was the attacker and Brian was therefore the defender. This scenario gave me 2D6 of support points and I was pleased when I rolled 9. This gave me a lot of options but I really liked the idea of an extra squad of infantry, and for five points I could have a squad of regular Panzergrenadiers with a Junior Leader, which meant two teams with MG42s. Impossible to resist! That left we with four points, which meant that I'd be taking along a FOO for an off-table 8cm mortar battery.
I wouldn't know what Brian had as support, but his -3 force rating did give him seven points.
Anyway, on with the battle. Brian's deployment zone was inside this village clustered around a road junction.
I was able to move my Patrol Markers from the opposite table edge to the village, and also from my left-hand side edge.
Brian clustered his Jump-Off Points in the centre of the village. I realised that to win I'd have to get his troops out of the buildings. Hopefully the 8cm mortars would help with that.
My JoPs were in the rolling wooded country. This, I hoped would allow my troops to get close without being shot at, assuming they could actually deploy, because the Soviet "Wrath of the gods" was remarkably efficient at stopping me get anything on the table. I fixed that as soon as I had a CoC dice, which I used to end the turn. After that, I quickly got my squads moving.
It didn't take long to find out what Brian's support choices were; a minefield, which was placed to his right-hard end of the village and a KV-1 tank. Luckily, I had a Panzerschreck team in my platoon HQ, plus a Panzerfaust in each of my three regular squads. I hoped that would be enough to take on the beast, if required.
I had a squad on my left moving tactically through the rough ground, which offered light cover.
I had the Panzergrenadier squad on my right. I wanted to get them into a position where they were threatening the Soviet right flank. Unhappily, the were spotted by the KV-1 on overwatch and a round of HE caused some shock.
I'd have to do something about that tank. Luckily, my FOO managed to call down some mortar fire, which only shocked the Soviets in the church, but it did cause the tank commander to pull back from his position in the village. Unhappily, Brian played a CoC dice, which ended the turn and canceled the barrage.
Elsewhere , I moved my left-hand squad quickly through the rough, but they took fire from a Soviet squad in one of the houses, which cause casualties and shock. Not good. However, they had already inflicted some shock and casualties on the squad firing at them, so it wasn't a disaster.
Rashly perhaps, I sent another squad running across the open ground towards the house full of Bolsheviks, which also contained the Senior Leader and once they were within 4" engaged them in some hand-to-hand combat. This proved to be extremely bloody, virtually wiping out my squad and sending them back whence they had come. However, despite winning the combat in terms of kills, the Russians were wiped out, apart from one man and the Junior and Senior leaders, who were both wounded and had more shock that figures, forcing them to flee the field. Russian Force Morale absolutely plummeted from this one combat.
You can see the decimated squad on the left of this picture, with the red Pinned marker. My FOO was able to eventually call in more mortar fire, this time calling in a ranging shot, the puffs of smoke showing where the barrage would fall on the battery's next activation. In the meanwhile, Brian sent the squad in the church out across the road and into hand-to-hand combat with my central squad, hiding behind the house opposite.
This was another nasty combat, but worse for Brian, who lost the fight and ended up with a wounded JL. His force morale was now down to a precarious One. Unluckily for him, the FOO called in the barrage and as a result the JL was killed and his morale was down to Zero.
So, a pretty convincing victory for the Germans, without the Panzergrenadiers ever getting to pour MG42 fire into the Soviets (they spent most of the game lurking in a coppice on my right flank) and the battle being decided predominantly by mortar fire and two bouts of hand-to-hand combat, rather than shooting.
I think that it was helpful to have four squads available, because it allowed me to threat both of the Russian flanks while also being able to push forward in the centre, which is where the decisive action took place.
I began to deploy my treasure hunters, led by my Elementalist.
Elsewhere, Andy began to cast fog spells, ostensibly to protect his band from long range attacks, but also to gain experience points.
My wizard cast Wall, closing off one of Owen's lines of advance, giving my Thief protection from his crossbows. Note that I was now able to use my new walls for this game.
That Fog was spreading. This was helpful to me.
My Apprentice successfully cast Raise Zombie. She was now accompanied by a shambling and fairly useless Undead Thing.
Owen's gang began to advance, but soon became involved in a skirmish with Richard's band.
Andy's Frogs began to move up behind the Fog barrier.
Things were hotting up in the treasure enclosure and both Owen and I had people ready to grab some loot.
I also managed to cast a second Wall, blocking off Owen's Thief and Warhound from attacking my Thief and making off with the treasure.
Due to a Random Encounter generated by picking up a treasure item, a Large Construct appeared elsewhere on the table (we used a scatter dice plus a D20 for distance from the treasure). Not nice.
The Construct (actually my Bad Squiddo Golem from the My Last Sunrise gothic horror range) attacked my Thug, who heroically defeated the monster with an attack score of 20.
The treasure-grabbing action was serious now. Both my Treasure Hunter and Infantryman were grabbing some treasure action, and my Man-At-Arms was also close to picking up a casket.
One of Richard's Knights was beset by Beastly Things while his friends were engaged with fisticuffs with Andy's Frogs.
Unhappily, my Man-At-Arms was killed off by crossbow fire, but overall I was pretty happy, because I ended up with four treasure items.
In the post-game reckoning, no one in my band was killed and I did rather well with Experience, Gold Coins, Scrolls and Grimoires. As a result, my Wizard has advanced to Level 7 and made spell-casting a bit easier.
I've also improved my Inn with the purchase of a Kennel, so expect to see some canine action next time around.
As Annie says on her Facebook page;
The Maze of Malcor Nickstarter IS NOW LIVE - and excellent news for you all - you can join in the pre-order program through Bad Squiddo Games - woohoo!
This is the extra monsters and encounters from the book, as well as PLASTIC FEMALE SOLDIERS, more troop and wizard types (female!) and some fancy token things.
What does this mean?Basically you just buy it like any normal pre-order system. It will ship early December. The "starter" element is that the more people join in, the more freebies you get on top of what you've bought.
Will Bad Squiddo totals count towards this total?
Yep, every penny of Malcor bucks will be counted up weekly and sent to North Star to add their counter.
Why Bad Squiddo though?
Because we're cool! You get to support North Star, Osprey AND Bad Squiddo if you come through us. Also, as the leading company in Believable Female Miniatures, you can add even more to your new female Frostgrave force while you are here.
So I can add anything else from the shop at the same time?
Hells yes, do it!
Any other questions - go for it.
To find out more, and to order some terrific toys, just go HERE
I've already succumbed and ordered the lot, because it all looks so good I didn't want to miss out on anything.
Anyway, that was where I started and now I have three completed figures. Skalmöld the Valkyrie, Thorrun (for Frostgrave) and Fenrir. First, here is Thorrun. I wanted to keep her looking quite sombre to fit in with the general theme of my Frostgrave warband. I will be using her as a Knight, or maybe as a Woman-At-Arms. I really like her fox fur collar.
Next, here is Fenrir, who is a very Big Bad Wolf indeed. No huffing and puffing required by this guy. He'll just knock your house down with a few swipes of his paws, and as for the Three Little Pigs, well, what can I say? Those guys are clearly just going to be snacks.
And finally, Skalmöld the Valkyrie, clearly a woman who is not to be messed with, as the chap currently missing his head found out.
As I have said before, these Bad Squiddo Shieldmaiden figures are absolutely fantastic; lovely crisp detail, virtually no flash and really lovely to paint.
As people who have read the blog before, I am working on expanding my original Saga Late Roman warband into an army for Sword and Spear, the Great Escape Games ruleset.
Anyway, I wanted to have more armoured Roman foot troops, so I decided to use the Gripping Beast plastic Saxon Thegns figures as Late Romans. This was pretty much just a matter of head swaps and using Roman shields because, when it comes down to it there really isn't a lot to choose between one 28mm early mediaeval body in a tunic and a chainmail shirt and another one. To be honest, even a headswap isn't always necessary.
Here are eight armoured infantry, mounted on a single 12cm x 6 cm base for Sword and Spear. Annoyingly, I didn't notice the blue paint on one of the faces until after I'd taken the photo, but I've fixed the figure now. These are a mixture of armoured Roman bodies and Saxon ones. I really don't see any problem with these at all. Absolute uniformity was never a thing for the Romans, as I've discussed before.
Next are two command stands for my S&S army. These are all Saxon thegn figures, but Romanised with helmets and shields, except for one, who has a Saxon head, which looks fine to me, seeing as it is just another variant on the conical Spangenhelm shape so common in later Roman armies. I liked the idea of using the cloaks which come on the Saxon command sprue for my Roman leaders.
Both of these command groups are standing in front of walls I've made for Frostgrave. My Elementalist wizard has the "Wall" spell, which allows her to create a 6" x 3" wall within 12" of her. These are a lot better than using random bits of card, or even just a line of dice on the table.
All the shield transfers and the image on the vexillum are from LBMS.
Next, some distinctly martial pieces, including a sword in a stone for aspiring Once And Future Kings to have a go at;
Various scatter pieces, including a treasure map for a lost treasure island, and a crown on a cushion on the bedside table. Surely we've all got one of those at home?
Finally, more scatter, useful for hiding behind when the sound of "Fee Fi Fo Fum" starts echoing around the place.
These were all pretty straightforward to paint. A case of spray undercoat, touch up with paint where necessary, paint in the metallic bits, dry-brush and ink to bring out the textures. Quite nice pieces, and very useful.
By the by, when I was in Ravenna, somewhere I totally recommend visiting, I had a look around the Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra, the House of Stone Carpets. The stone carpets are, of course mosaic floors. These date from between the 1st and 6th centuries CE, and for the purposes of this comment, I want to show you these two. The upper one is the Dance of The Seasons and the lower one a representation of the Good Shepherd, a pagan image which was adopted by early Christians to represent Christ. The thing I want to point out is the tunic decoration. In both mosaics, you can see decorations (e.g. disc-shaped patches and shoulder markings) on the tunics which are often claimed to be "military" in wargaming and re-enactment circles, but which were actually commonly used by everyone across the empire of Late Antiquity and the Early Mediaeval period. It is more likely that soldiers adopted what was a common style rather than the reverse, but perhaps we shall never know definitively. It does seem unlikely, though, that a representation of Christ as Good Shepherd would be shown wearing an item of military appearance.