Monday 27 August 2012

Wargames Factory WSS Artillery - final images

Remember a while back I knocked together some artillery for my imagi-nation? Wargames Factory WSS infantry, with arms, equipment and guns from a (slightly out of period) set of Victrix Napoleonic British Artillery.

I did kinda promise a picture of the finished result, so here we go:

Sunday 26 August 2012

Battle Report - 26 Aug 2012 - Pike and Shotte

It being a Bank Holiday Sunday, our club had an all-day gaming session. Four of us (your scribe, Carl, Gary and Andy) got together to fight a large ECW battle (a reenactment of the battle of Newbury), arranged by Carl and (barring about two units) using Gary's positively massive collection of 28mm ECW figures.

It was actually my (and Andy's) first game of Pike and Shotte, though we've both played one of more of its relations before. Carl and I took the Royalist forces, tasked with preventing Essex's forces from crossing the river at Newbury (in our right hand corner of the 12'x6' board).

The Royalist forces lined up with 6 battalia - three (a total of ten regiments) of cavalry under Rupert, and three of foot (three or four regiments each) under the King: something of the order of 500 figures, by my reckoning, and a similar size force on Parliament's side.

In short? The Royalist cavalry on the left flank (commanded by me, clearly not on form) were rash and foolish, and paid the price. In the fields in the centre and right it started to look like the Somme, with two long lines of infantry manning the hedges, and blazing away at each other from fairly close range. Eventually, the Royalist horse were driven from the field, and so much like in its real counterpart, Essex would have been able to break through to Newbury and thence to London. (Although, to be fair, we did capture Essex, which might well make the next stage of the campaign a bit more interesting.)

Without further ado... here are some pictures of about 1000 28mm figures to drool over. Huge thanks to Carl and Gary for providing the scenario and figures, and Andy for being, as ever, a fun opponent.

Saturday 25 August 2012

Neil Alden Armstrong - August 5, 1930 – August 25, 2012

"I believe every human has a finite number
 of heartbeats. I don't intend to waste any
of mine..."
It's rare I use this blog for non-gaming stuff, but I feel I must mark the passing of a true hero, and a man with whom, for what little it's worth, I shared a birthday.

The 12 men who set foot on the moon, and their crew mates and fellow astronauts, are to my mind some of the bravest, most unflappable, men this world has ever seen. They are my personal heroes, to a man.

Neil Armstrong was, by all accounts, the quietest of the lot about his achievements - he rarely spoke in public, he was among the last to authorise a biography. But if you read the accounts of the Apollo 11 landing, he displayed a level of calm and resolve that just beggar belief: he landed Eagle with (assuming Charlie Duke's callouts of remaining fuel were accurate) of the order of fifteen seconds of fuel remaining between him and Buzz Aldrin and a very un-cushioned impact with the lunar surface.
102:45:21 Aldrin: 30 feet, 2 1/2 down. (Garbled) shadow.
102:45:25 Aldrin: 4 forward. 4 forward. Drifting to the right a little. 20 feet, down a half.
102:45:31 Duke: 30 seconds
102:45:32 Aldrin: Drifting forward just a little bit; that's good. (Garbled) (Pause)
102:45:40 Aldrin: Contact Light.
102:45:43 Armstrong (on-board): Shutdown
102:45:44 Aldrin: Okay. Engine Stop.
102:45:45 Aldrin: ACA out of Detent.
102:45:46 Armstrong: Out of Detent. Auto.
102:45:47 Aldrin: Mode Control, both Auto. Descent Engine Command Override, Off. Engine Arm, Off. 413 is in.
102:45:57 Duke: We copy you down, Eagle.
102:45:58 Armstrong (on-board): Engine arm is off. (Pause) Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.
102:46:06 Duke: (Momentarily tongue-tied) Roger, Twan...(correcting himself) Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We're breathing again. Thanks a lot.
The world has lost a truly great man among great men. I only pray that some day soon there will be more who get to do what he did, and more.

Friday 24 August 2012

Kickstarter watch - Reaper Miniatures

Just when you thought the Sedition Wars Kickstarter was completely mental, along come Reaper Miniatures...

Over $2 MILLION raised, and the $100 pledge level has a very tasty selection of miniatures if you're into RPGs/fantasy rather than historical. Finishes at 11pm tomorrow, UK time. And I have to admit to being tempted.

Wargames Factory announce pre-painted 15mm figures

Just ran into a video from Gencon of an interview with the lovely Daisy Nanton, Wargames Factory's Director of Sales, featuring, among other things, their new pre-painted (yes, you read that right) 15mm WW2 Germans. I can't quite make out what she's saying at 02:30 on the video, but they're a combination of some kind of printing and a bit of hand painting, and will retail for $60 for a company of 84 figures, with British and Russians (and I hope Americans, since they have them in 28mm) to come.

Sounds... very interesting. If I'd known about these while one of our club was at Gencon, I'd have had him grab me a box! My one observation is that their field grey looks a bit more greenish than I'd go for, but I guess a suitable ink wash would both handle the shading and tint the colour a bit.

Thursday 23 August 2012

The Bayeux Tapestry

Just as an aside, these brief holiday postcards, for want of a better phrase, aren't in order of visit - we did Bayeux on the way across from Brittany to the Somme area - but in some vague thematic/related order of history.

So - Bayeux, then. Home of one of the most famous bits of embroidery in the world. Anne and I have been before, but it was mumble decades ago, and I don't remember much - I certainly am pretty sure the building it's stored in has been improved considerably since we saw it.

What can be said about it that hasn't been before? It's a stunning, quite stunning piece of work. The audio tour is new (to us), coming in both adult and kids versions (which James appreciated). Surprisingly, though, it translates very little of the Latin: fortunately my grade A O-level meant I was (still) more than equal to the task of most of it!

Beyond the tapestry there's a museum/display area with some fantastic models, including a cathedral being built which I'm sure was a bit of a reference to Pillars of the Earth. The other thing in there I did grab a picture of, was a text description of the dyes used and a few samples. Again, if you're a Dark Ages/Early Mediaeval gamer, this is useful!

I also left the shop with a 'Guillaume Le Conquerant' t-shirt with a portion of the tapestry art on it... of which more later.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Dux Britanniarum player notes

For those interested in Dux Britanniarum who aren't lucky enough to get the Mighty Dux to offer to come along to umpire, can I draw your attention to Rich's player notes on the Lard Island blog? Very useful set of hints, tips and clarifications. I think the two things I'd add to them are:
  1. the Yahoo! group is a great place for getting your questions answered - Rich is a regular poster, as are any number of other regular Dux Britanniarum players;
  2. point 2 is best summed up by a quote from the Wikpedia entry on IABSM which I have mentioned before:

"Most games on the market, in general, pre-suppose that you will be playing with reasonable people with whom you are at least quasi-friendly. IABSM takes this supposition and advances it even further. These are NOT tournament type games rules because frankly they rely on players being more concerned about having fun than winning a trophy."
Most problems and interpretations of things, like how many dice/pips to knock off for an obstacle or strange manoeuvre/action or whatever, in Dux Britanniarum can be solved by mutual consent and being reasonable human beings, even without an umpire :D

30,000 page views!

Sometime overnight, it looks like I passed 30,000 pageviews on here! A big thanks to all my readers, regular and irregular (or barbarian, if you're using an older set of WRG Ancients rules)... I seem to have got back into the swing of things since my vacation, so hopefully I'll keep up the present rate of posting for a while - I certainly have enough to keep me going well into September.

Tuesday 21 August 2012

Battle Report - 20 Aug 2012 - Dux Britanniarum

Another game of Dux Britanniarum, with AndyH (his report on the same battle is here) - this time with a special guest umpire and rules-explainer, the Mighty Dux himself, Richard Clarke of Too Fat Lardies. After Andy had posted some questions on the TFL Yahoo! group after our last game, Rich had generously offered to come up from St. Albans and umpire a game and get us generally straight on the rules - well... who are we to say no?

We re-rolled our leader characters, me having lost the paper on which I did so last time: the dice were clearly in capricious mood, as Andy, Lord Androsius, (at a loss for names) christened his third leader "Maximus", only to roll his stature as being somewhat height-challenged (and thus stuck with the name 'Maximus Minimus' from here on - Andy was muttering about buying a 20mm figure for him). Conversely, my second character was one Leofric the Drunkard, who, it has to be said, lived up to his name, and the third, one Ecgwine, was clearly a brattish younger son of some Saxon lord, who'd been sent off to learn how to be less of an ass under his less noble, but obviously far smarter, cousin Aelfric.

Andy's gorgeous terrain from his end
of the battlefield. We got to see rather
a lot of scenery for this battle!
The ford is front right.
Dicing for terrain, we threw several ties, resulting in a ridiculous amount of terrain - 5 large pieces and a river, and four small. This was evidently a very wooded part of Lincolnshire!

The dice for the raid scenario (after a bit of coercion - "no, we did that last time", "no, I don't have any wagons") came up with a village raid scenario. My objective, as the Saxon player, was to loot two buildings in the Romano-British village, by parking a unit there until they rolled a six. Andy's, unsurprisingly, was to stop me.

I didn't get much head start this time, only one turn's movement before Andy's lads showed up. Annoyingly for him, at the far end of the table from me.

"Right, ladsh. Letsh head for *hic*
th'... ford."
The first few turns were very fast paced, refreshingly so, with my hearthguard heading for the bridge and the village and good old Leofric the Drunkard making a slightly wavery beeline for the ford with three bands of warriors and Ecgwine in tow.

As this went on, I was quietly amassing a pretty decent hand of Fate cards, all bar a Carpe Diem card which took its own sweet time showing up - considering there are, IIRC, 6 in the deck of around 40 cards, I seemed to reject an awful lot before it turned up!

The hearthguard under Aelfric in
a bit of a log jam around the bridge.
The hearthguard eventually made it to the bridge about the same time Leofric got to the ford, and ... er.. "Hang on lads, need to... uh.. you know..." Evidently the flowing water was a bit much for the Drunkard's bladder control, as he rolled a four (on 3d6) for move, and wound up pretty much in the ford rather than across it.

Andy's troops negotiating the
village rockpile.
Meanwhile, Andy was trying to get his comanipulares to negotiate a pile of rocks some idiot had left on the outskirts of the village (probably left over from building the watchtower), so one unit of my hearthguard decided to pop into a nearby house and start turning the place over for loot.

Back at the ford, Ecgwine decided that downstream of Leofric wasn't a very pleasant place to be, and, besides, there were a bunch of British lads with slings making rude remarks about the size of Leofric's, uh, sword. Funny as that might be, there are limits, so he took a unit of warband and chased them off.

Leofric, on the other hand, figured the insults were coming from the units of warriors and levy just across the ford, so took the other two units and got well stuck in. By 'well stuck in' I mean I blew a hand of five Fate cards on the fight - the Carpe Diem, and four boar (Saxon) suited cards - including a very useful Goad that effectively kept one of his units out of the fight. Despite some truly awful dice-rolling in the first round (Gary, who was watching, was heard to wonder aloud how anyone could only get 2 successes needing 4+ on eleven d6!), the lads and Leofric eventually prevailed, but not before Leofric had earned himself a wound.
Ecgwine gets A Bright Idea and
heads off round the hill, while
Leofric... "'M fine, ladsh! Didn't
*hic* feel a thing..."

Ecgwine, meanwhile, had had what he thought was a really good idea, namely to continue on round the back of the wooded hill and see what fun was to be had - after all, he might run into one of the locals or something. Either way, it probably reduced the odds on him getting killed. Getting killed was definitely not in his game plan.

"I said withdraw, not run away!
Back at the bridge, the hearthguard waited for the British heavies to make their way to them, while their mates in the building were busily turning over anything and everything in a vain search for loot. Eventually, Andy split the force stuck behind the rocks into two and sent the comanipulares to charge my hearthguard, and rolled enough on the move to make contact. I really didn't fancy a one-on-one with tooled up comanipulares with them with a full hand of Fate cards, so I played the Evade card I'd managed to draw as a start towards replacing my hand and rolled a honkingly massive 14 on my evade move.

Meanwhile, my bunch of bow-armed scrotty teenage hangers-on had decided that the watchtower looked like a really neat place to be, and so hauled themselves up to the walkway and... ooo, look. I believe the term is 'target-rich environment'. Rolling some remarkably respectable dice, they offed a couple of Andy's warriors who were advancing with their Lord to join the fun at the bridge. Just in time for Andy's comanipulares to pass them going the other way, having rather lost their bottle when my hearthguard came back across the bridge to fight them on their terms.

Looking dicy for the British, was Rich's opinion at this point.

"See. Told you it was a brilliant
idea, cousin!"
This was made somewhat worse by the fact that coming round the hill were Ecgwine and a band of warriors, who waltzed smack into the fleeing unit as if they'd planned it all along, and made a right mess of the remains of it.

Less dicy, however, when the second group of shieldwall under Maximus (IIRC) decided to get laid into Leofric's already battered warband. Result definitely one-nil to the British, as the tattered remnants turned and fled, Leofric in tow. My force morale's down to 4, Andy's to 2.

Now it's actually looking more dicy for the Saxons. Even more so when the unit that had been shot at turned to charge into Ecgwine's solitary unit of warriors... "This", observed Rich, "looks like it'll be the deciding turn." And, bad news for me, the Saxon Lord card didn't show up in the activation deck before the British Lord card, so the fact that the other unit of hearthguard ("You idiots. They always hide it under the bed!") had finally found the loot, and could emerge from the building and help, was going to be at least a turn too late.

The British Lord card, in fact, came up first. Androsius charges Ecgwine and his warband.

At which point, Aelfric remembered very clearly his uncle Ecgfrith's parting words. To summarise, "If you get my son killed, I will remove parts of your anatomy with a rusty dagger. Very slowly."


Hello? What's this in my hand of Fate cards that I've been rebuilding over the last few turns? Oh. It's Step Forth, a card that allows me to activate one leader, Right Now. After a quick double check with Rich that "immediately" did actually mean "right now, no matter what Andy is in the middle of or about to be doing", I played it. And, needless to say, activated Aelfric. Removed two points of shock from the hearthguard he was with with the first two actions, and rolled to close on the rear of the unit attacking Ecgwine with the other. Made it by about an inch.

But - wait - this is an activation. Do I get to play a card in addition to the one that activated Aelfric? "Yes you do: it's just like any normal activation," supplied Rich, helpfully.


Carpe Diem. Boar-suited. That'll do nicely.

So, that gets me: an extra dice in combat; the chance to play more cards (in this case, just another boar-suited one for another dice);  and, more important still, the chance to attack a unit in the flank or rear if I can hit it in the flank or rear (without this card, they get to turn and face). I'm now rolling a lot of dice, and that's curtains for Androsius, as his force morale hits zero.


The post-battle maths suggested we'd got away with a decent pile of loot, and it was going to take us both a couple of months or more to lick our wounds and heal up.

That was, we both agreed, crackingly good fun. Many many thanks to the Mighty Dux, Rich Clarke, for making the time to come up to Peterborough for an evening, and refereeing with good humour and lots of good advice. It was, I think, an excellent advert for the game (with two people watching the whole game and several more crowding round towards the end), since he went away three Dux Britanniarum rules/cards packs lighter, too! Thanks too to Andy, who I never fail to have fun with as an opponent, no matter who wins.

Monday 20 August 2012

Battle Report - 18 Aug 2012 - Axes 2012 tournament

Had an excellent day on Saturday at the Rushden club at their annual 'Axes' tournament. First time for me, both at the tournament and with the army I took, namely Later Saxons from the Armies of Antiquity 2 book. An interesting list - I think with hindsight I should have skipped the Thegn cavalry, which was for the most part completely useless in all three battles, and spent the resulting 338 points on a unit of Huscarls and beefed up the Thegns.

The Saxons eye up the river crossing.
First up, I drew Richard Holling in the Age of Arthur 'River Crossing' scenario: an interesting choice, made the more so by the fact that the bridges were worth 16 tournament points each (plus the 0-32 for casualties inflicted/incurred).

Much to my surprise, I won this - mostly because all the dice luck went my way, and very little of it Richard's. There is really no way that ten scummy Saxon bowmen with a little help from a dozen equally scummy Saxon javelinmen should be able to wear down a fully tooled up unit of Norman knights, including a Dux and standard bearer, to the point where a unit of underpowered Thegns can put them to flight... But they did. *sheepish grin* Sorry, Richard.

"Aelfric? What in Odin's name
are those big grey things?"
So that, rather surprisingly, was a 52-12 win to me (including holding both bridges unopposed), which found me on table 1 against Dave Pearson's rather intersting Hindu India list. It amuses me to wonder what the Saxons would have made of the elephants... It's kind of an odd army, though - it felt like it was all outsides and no middle, if you like - some fairly wimpy cavalry, some fairly wimpy bowmen, some equally wussy infantry, and three elephants.

The weather rolled was heavy rain, which fortunately, or possibly not, lifted after the first turn before it could have much effect. On the good side, I found out what constitutes the 'middle' of Dave's army.

Hands up all of you who read this far and said, "the elephants, you muppet".

And, in a nutshell, I got trounced. I let Dave's cavalry in behind me, and got seriously mullared by the aforementioned elephants, so.. well. 0-32 to Dave, really.

A classic late Saxon battle line
Round three saw me down on table 3 against Wayne Richards, who (like Dave) I ran into but didn't fight at the WAB GT. Thoroughly decent bloke, fielding a classic bunch of Normans, and we basically had a classic Normans v Saxons fight. As Marriot Edgar/Stanley Holloway said of a much more famous battle:

The Saxons had best line of forwards, 
Well armed both with buckler and sword - 
But the Normans had best combination, 
And when half-time came neither had scored.

This was the Apellido scenario from the El Cid book - I got to be the raider and protect the ill-gotten gains (which was probably a good thing, as I don't think I'd have got near the loot if our rôles had been reversed). And it was, all in all, a pretty classic scrap - Wayne's Breton cavalry waltzed up, made "Long Bacon" at the Saxons, and "[...] they ran - and t'Saxons ran after..." Wisely, they didn't run that far after, and reformed the line before anything bad happened. 

My one decent dice roll against
Wayne :D
However, I made three fatal mistakes, in hindsight - I left a gap between my left flank and a steep hill that Wayne's bowmen could sneak through; I left a similar gap between my right flank cavalry (useless lot) and a patch of difficult ground; and I passed up on the chance to swap my hardest group of Thegns to be directly opposite Wayne's tooled-up knights.

Sadly, this combination of minor cock-ups let those damn Bretons through to grab one of the plunder counters. On the good side, I did survive at least one charge from the bunch of knights that got round on the other flank (having gone through my cavalry to get there). By then, though,

...t' fight were all over bar shouting,
And you couldn't see Saxons for dust.

Great game, win to Wayne by... about 7-25 but I'm blanking on the exact numbers. I finished 10th, which is above the halfway point, so I'll call that a win by my standards!

All in all? Fantastic day out: kudos to the Rushden guys for organising it, and congrats to Justin (and son) from Norman Cross Crusaders for a well deserved win!

Sunday 19 August 2012

Ray and Fran's 20 Questions

Via various folks' blogs, but originally Ray's blog Don't Throw A 1: answers after the cut...

"The First World War From Above"

I\d have left this post until I got to the appropriate point in my holiday narrative, but since the corresponding BBC iPlayer programme expires this coming Saturday, I thought I should draw it to folks' attention now.

"The First World War From Above" is a BBC 4 documentary that looks at the Great War trenches from the perspective of ... well, above! It uses a lot of reconnaissance photos from World War 1, as well as some recently discovered footage shot by a Fenchman, Jacques Trolley de Prévaux, from an airship over the front lines after the end of the war in the summer of 1919.

Some excellent footage, some very neatly done computer reconstructions, and some interesting stories. Well worth a watch.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

"Bretwalda" - Peterborough Wargames Club WAB2/Age of Arthur day 25th Nov

A quick announcement for anyone who fancies a day of WAB2 in convivial company.

Peterborough Wargames Club invites you to our Age of Arthur/WAB2 gaming event on Sunday 25th November 2012 at the St John’s Ambulance HQ, 38a Cowgate, PE1 1NA. There is free parking on-site (through the archway).

The event will cost £5 (payable on the day). This does not include lunch, as the St John’s Ambulance HQ is in the city centre, so there are numerous food outlets within 5-10 mins walking distance, including pubs, sandwich vendors, cafes. Snacks, cold drinks and tea/coffee will be available at the venue. There also will be a raffle, and proceeds will go to the Battlegames Combat Stress appeal.

If you’re interested, please let us know by 5th Nov 2012 to including the army list you intend to play.

A more detailed flyer, including army list requirements, is available here.

La Musée Des Temps Barbare

The museum
One of the reasons for the silence on here of late is that we've been on vacation - specifically a week in France and then a week pootling along the South Coast of England. Quite a lot of that vacation threw up some wargaming-related stuff, starting with la Musée des Temps Barbare in Marle, to the north-west of Paris (in WW1 trench country).

Assorted recovered and
reconstructed weaponry of the
The museum is built in a three-storey disused watermill plus extensive grounds. In the mill there are displays of archaeological remains from the Dark Ages (Frankish/Merovingian era) as well as copious historical wall displays covering the history of the period in France and some marvellous models of Frankish buildings etc.

Detail of a model of a Frankish village
On the downside it's all in French, and certainly for our visit, the curator was (I suspect) not confident enough of his English to be much help. As it was, we got by with a combination of my (passable) French and a dictionary. I even managed a conversation about me not being a archaeologist but a big fan of the period and a wargamer, and he mentioned that they had had the Ermine Street Guard visit for a reenactment day. 

One of the larger Merovingen huts.
The awesome bit, in terms of the sheer amount of work that must have gone into it, is outside. Out the back, you cross a bridge over the mill leat, and find yourself in a small (half a dozen buildings) Merovingen village. It's all beautifully constructed out of period materials, based on their best guesses as to what the buildings might have looked like from archaeological evidence.  

A smaller hut.
We spent about twenty minutes checking out the buildings, with James (my son) taking copious photos (since he'd just discovered how much fun my DSLR is) - most of the shots in this article are his.  We were, it has to be said, pretty blown away by the workmanship.

And then we double-checked the French handout we'd been given, and realised that this wasn't, as we'd thought, the larger of the two historical reconstruction areas, but the smaller. By quite a long way.

One of the main farm buildings.
This was unusual in having a non-
period interior, being set with
wooden chairs and tables,
evidently for talks.
Across a small stretch of field and behind a hedge and wall, we came to the other reconstructed area. 

A Frankish farm. 

Twenty freaking buildings worth of Frankish farm!

A smaller house, showing the wattle
and daub construction.
Again, based on archaeological findings, and painstakingly reconstructed down to the smallest detail (I was particularly taken with the various almost casual arrangements of animal bones in places where they might realistically have been dumped). 

The bit that made me smile (and instruct James to take several photos of) was a display of naturally dyed wool, hanging both inside and out of one of the buildings. If like me, you struggle to be sure that your Dark Ages armies are painted in convincing colours, then you might find the following images rather useful.

So. There you have it. I strongly recommend a visit, but do take a dictionary, a good camera, and someone who speaks decent French.

Tuesday 14 August 2012

Dux Britanniarum first look

So, myself and the worthy Mr Andy Hawes had our first go at Dux Britanniarum last Monday.

The fate and activation decks
Dux Britanniarum is a set of Dark Ages skirmish rules, using the Lardies' trademark card activation system (though slightly differently from I Ain't Been Shot Mum). The presentation values of the cards and rulebook are superb, and they've also (like IABSM3) produced a tablet-friendly version of the rules (which I now own).

So - we decided to go for a raid scenario, with my Saxons (cue boos and hisses from Andy) entering on one short edge of the table with some ill-gotten cattle, while his Romano-British intercepted from part of one long edge. You can find Andy's account of this battle on his blog.

Simples! The hearthguard move
in to engage Andy's main force.
As this was a raid, we skipped some of the more juicy bits of the pre-game stuff, which we'll go for next time, and got straight into the fun. I rolled to see how many turns worth of drop I got on the Brits, and wound up with a 3, which meant that by the time Andy's forces entered, I was a fair way towards Getting Away With It.

My warriors, leading some stolen
cattle, get intercepted by some of
Andy's levies.
The plan was simple - send my hearthguard to head off his forces, and sneak past with the warriors leading a bunch of cattle while he was distracted. And it .. pretty much... worked.

The two lots of heavies met with an almighty crash and much playing of Fate cards - basically these give you slight edges in combat, among other things. My hearthguard took a pretty fearful pounding, as you can see in the picture, but just managed to hold out long enough for the warriors to get past. They did get intercepted by a bunch of levies, which they disposed of in pretty short order.

The last turn was amusing - the shuffle of the activation deck meant all Andy's leaders activated before mine, and it was, for a moment or two, touch and go whether I'd managed to keep his hearthguard off the flank of my warriors for long enough. As it was, I did, and this gave me all three activation cards for my leaders to head off with much-needed, illicitly-gained, meat on the hoof.

Not sure what the hearthguard would have made of being left on their own to explain it to the British, though :D

All in all? Great fun. The system kicks butt, the peripheral rules and cards add to the atmosphere, and in general I had a great time :D
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