Sunday 16 February 2020

A good day on the Compendium

...when I wasn't dealing with work (ugh) and not-work-but-work (don't ask, but fun)....

I've sorted out a bunch of stuff (with the inevitable 'damn, I've added a page feed near the top of the document, and now several sidebars are on the wrong page!'), and there's probably two evenings work left (not including the index and drawing a map), which will probably be Tuesday and Thursday, with luck.

Saturday 15 February 2020

No More Nails 2, Foamboard 0

Fingers crossed, anyway. The first two bits of foam board seem now to be stuck flat where they're meant to be, and I have stuck the last one down with the aid of five large household paint cans as weights.

In other news, thanks to AndyM and the guys, the TV is now up on the wall of the studio (that actually happened on Wednesday) and I spent some time today setting up the Apple TV properly so I can toss a primary or secondary display from an iPad, iPhone or Mac to it. The uses of this are many, from D&D initiative trackers and map displays, through watching the Test Match to showing me what the camera or cameras see when I'm shooting video. (This also makes the latter one step nearer!)

Friday 14 February 2020

More Dead's Army terrain

...and much swearing, as the extra bits of base for the church and graveyard have decided to warp.

It's not as bad as it could be, as we'd already decided to glue them to the terrain tiles: cue a bit of a panic and a whole bunch of sorting and tidying until I found my No More Nails (and happily, my hot glue gun which I've been looking for for AGES!). So I've stuck two of the three extra bits down with NMN and weighted them with large paint pots and we'll leave those to see if they hold :D

Thursday 13 February 2020

Wednesday Terrain Building

Yesterday was back to Wednesday terrain sessions, now I'm back off vacation.

Some issues with the Salute game - apparently Andy picked the WIP up to bring it and a lot of the bits fell off, so he didn't bring it :( We'll be switching to hot glue next week, and seeing if that holds better.

We did get the Dead's Army church renovated, and some work done on both the cricket field and the graveyard: specifically Myk modded some Ratio station fencing by attaching pins to it so we can stick it in the foam terrain tile, and we undercoated the graveyard 'sabot' base and trimmed it, as well as sorting out what's going where.

Today I managed to find the white AP spray and undercoated the fences white (rather than green). I also worked out a force list for the first episode of the club's Kings of War/Vanguard campaign, which may mean I have to rebase my Shieldwolf shield maidens on 20mm bases (and paint at least a few more).

Tuesday 11 February 2020

Dux Britanniarum - British Shock Cavalry - some thoughts

British Shock Cavalry are tough as nails. They're technically only available either as the very last couple of reinforcements for the British, or as a starter option for the Gwŷr y Gogledd in Raiders.

The former isn't really so bad, as to get them you have to have won four battles or raids by 5 or more as the British, by which time the Saxons are either fleeing across the North Sea like whipped curs or have also had about that many wins and have piles of Warrior Group reinforcements and skirmishers.

The latter case, as an alternative for the Gwŷr y Gogledd, is, I think, a little problematic if you're facing the Saxons (more so than with other forces). Shock Cavalry roll double the number of dice in combat (and the rule is 'calculate the number of dice including bonuses, then double it' per a clarification from Rich) and on top of that do double Shock. Lets do the maths:

  • 4 Elite Shock Cavalry = 4 dice
  • Champion = 2 dice
  • Lord = 3 dice
  • Hero of the Age = 3 more dice for the Lord (remember, it's in the British starting hand) + 1 for the dragon-suited card
  • total = 13
  • Doubled = 26

With no other dice, that's an average of 13 hits. Against Elites, that's an average of 2-3 kills and 8-10 shock (because Shock is doubled). With an Aggressive Charge or Artorius (which is not unlikely, and something the British player will be looking for and hanging on to), the cavalry are hitting on 3's and that suddenly becomes 20-21 hits, 3-4 kills, a metric boatload of shock (14-16) and busted Amphorae all over the shop.

Meanwhile the 12 Saxon Elites, Lord and Champion they are (in the best case for the Saxons, attacking) have 17 dice, for an average of 2-3 kills and 4-5 shock. To be fair, that is likely to break the cavalry, but that is their worst case opponent - two lots of Warriors and a Level 2 Noble will have 14 dice and probably not break them, although they will likely incur excess shock while vaporising the Warriors (4-5 kills now and 8-10 Shock). Against a single Group and Level 2 Noble in the Border Tower raid the charging cavalry would automatically capture (3:1 dice odds).

The tactic for defending against Shock Cavalry is to keep them at range and fill them full of missile weapons, so they have too much shock (any at all) to charge. The other forces in Raiders have 12 or 16 missile-armed troops in their core force, so the Gwŷr y Gogledd going against them do at least have some chance of being held at bay. The poor Saxons have 4.

I'm teetering on the edge of deciding they're overpowered for game balance, and the rule should perhaps either be double dice OR double Shock, not both. I'm also wondering if woods are too lenient in terms of movement restrictions for Shock Cavalry (charging knee-to-knee at speed in a wood?)


(Partial) battle report - 10 February 2020 - Dux Britaniarum

As well as a club general Meeting last night, we got to play Dux Brit. Very much a playtest rather than a raid - testing two things:

  • Raids where the British attack the Saxons (because reasons :))
  • More testing whether the British Shock Cavalry in the Dux Raiders Gwŷr y Gogledd force are overpowered against forces that don't have much in the way of ranged attacks.
Carl had (with some trepidation) the Saxons, I had the British. 
British forces advance to take a Saxon-held village. Standard raid scenario, just with the rôles reversed.
...and here come the British Lord's companions... 
Carl tries to shoot them, fails to do enough shock to stop them charging.
Carl then tries to hit the cavalry first, falls 4" short even with a Bounding Move.
The cavalry activate first next turn, with this fat fistful of Fate goodness - perhaps it's a little above average for a Fate hand, but it's not unreasonable... remember the Hero of the Age comes in the starter hand.
That's a very painful 16 dice. Doubled for Shock Cavalry charging, doing double Shock after that.

We paused there, once we'd rolled for effect, and talked through a few things, ran the 'what if the Saxons had charged home' test'... 

I'll document our thoughts in the next post.

Monday 10 February 2020

Not dead :D

Been away for a long weekend, having had house guests all week.

Did manage to scrape some hobby activity every day, though, just:
  • Thursday - site updates for Hereward Wargames Show
  • Friday - more of the above
  • Saturday - interesting and quite long discussion about the relative merits of some Arthurian fiction: more mental notes taken for the Bibliography section of the Compendium 
  • Sunday - managed to listen to two more chapters of "Worlds Of Arthur"
Running the last Dux playtest tonight. Also back at work, which isn't where I'd like to be :D

Tuesday 4 February 2020

Compendium Rules clarifications...

Yesterday I also put the rules clarifications from the Dux Britanniarum Compendium out on Dropbox for people to comment on. A huge thank you to Derek Hodge for collating the wisdom of the Mighty Dux himself...

Today's hobby activity has included dealing with the first piece of feedback, which did require a bit of thought :D 

Another I hate computers day....

Well, actually yesterday. I hate it when my hobby streak for the day turns out to be IT.

Sorting out a mailshot to the club, which should have gone out by the forum's newsletter mechanism... which decided that it would de-queue 5 emails from its outgoing queue to the local mail server and then toss the rest down a black hole. 


Eventually got a list of members active enough to be eligible to vote out of our treasurer, dug each one's email out of the forum database, and sent them by hand. But not my idea of fun at all :D

Sunday 2 February 2020

State of the Compendium

Busy weekend with a gig for the band. Did some more work on the Compendium yesterday, so here's where we are. Today, mostly prep for club EGM on Monday.

Done, ready for beta playtests

Revised Battle Scenarios, rest of Battles section:
Done, ready for beta playtests

Characters Section:
Non-nobles/hirelings section needs writing, rest is done.

Assorted imports from TFL Specials:

part finished, more suggestions welcome :D

Sample Multiplayer Campaign:
part finished, needs a playtest for one concept, needs map

Campaign Progress flowchart/reference:
part finished (mostly needs a cleanup and making sure I haven't missed anything)
(Should this go on the back cover to match the QRS on the main rulebook?)

Collected faction progress charts:
British done, rest to do (basically to include stuff from Raiders, Compendium in one place)

Master Terrain table:
Raiders fortification values to calculate

Rules Clarifications:
Need Rich's check (or him to wash his hands of it :D)

Copyable Record sheets:
two more to do

Formatting, fillustrations:
Yes that is a word.
I'm formatting as I go, but I will do a final pass once done and I can figure out where to add fills. I may be looking for people with nice hi-res photos of Dux forces.


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