Sunday, 16 November 2014

Gaming Day

Sunday has rolled around again, which means gaming day :)

When I arrived at Mark's, Phil and Mark had just recently finished a game of Saga, but as I had to eat (I'm on a strict diet for my training for a few more days....), they played again.

I had my new camera with me, so decided to put it through it's paces in lowlight to see how it would do. To this end, I left it set on auto ISO knowing the ISO would get pushed high in some of the pics. I was interested to see how they would turn out.... generally pretty good, but some are a little dark. No matter, they still help tell the story.

Mark was fielding his Milites Christi (with Riders of Rohan proxied as his Knights which are on the painting table) against Phil who was proxying a Crusader force.

I'm not sure who won, but I think it was Phil due to his crossbow armed warriors.

With that, I was up next. I'm still undecided on what Saga force I look the idea of, so today I decided to run the same force that everyone seems too..... Vikings :) Simply because... who doesn't like Vikings and the TV series that has been on recently is pretty cool.

I opted for:

2 units of 4 Hearthguard (combined into one)
2 units of 8 Warriors

Phil fielded...

2 units of 4 Hearthguard
1 unit of 8 Warriors (with crossbow)
1 unit of 12 Levies

I would use Mark's Milites Christi force as proxies for the Vikings. I'm not sure where the models came from that Phil used for his Hearthguard, but the Warriors and Levies are the Easterlings.

I deploy my forces.... (the Hearthguard are on the far right)

As far as I could figure.. the best tactic for Vikings is to charge forward as quick as possible! I was a little worried about the crossbows as I knew Phil's main tactic would be to pepper me with bolts to thin down the ranks.

Having rolled my first lot of Saga dice.... I re-read the Viking battleboard. Low and behold, I had the right dice for Odin :)

Our forces closed, my Warriors heading for the crossbow armed Warriors...

I forgot to take a few photos at this point... the Crusaders went to fire their crossbows only to find the gods intervening and forcing them to move. Phil chose to use the move to enter melee with my Warriors. The fight was short and swift (I think I used Thor at this point as well), but 2 of the Crusader warriors remained. Only 2 of my Warriors remained as well. But I had some dice on Loki.... :) The battle moved on and Phil had a few abilities lined up which he thought would give him the advantage over my Hearthguard numbers.... but his unit of 4 Hearthguard stood little chance.... so his Levies charged next (using Peasants Crusade). It turned into a pretty tough battle for my remaining Warrior unit...

Especially when the remaining Crusader Hearthguard charged in...

But a counter-charge from my Viking Warlord and remaining Hearthguard finished them off. I suspect that at this point, we were well over the turn limit, but no one had been keeping track :)

It came down to this as the final battle...

Warlord on Warlord.

We rolled our dice.

We rolled our saves.

And in the end... both Warlords succumbed to their wounds. A draw.

Overall, I was pretty happy with how the Vikings played. A little more direct than some of the other forces I've been looking at!

With the day still early, I rolled out another game. This time against Mark and his Milities force. I'd have to use the Easterlings to proxy my force this time.

My force was the same as above.

Mark's was:

Mounted Warlord
2 units of 4 mounted Hearthguard/Knights (combined into one unit)... proxied by Riders of Rohan
2 units of 8 Warriors

The game started and before I knew it, some Knights were in melee with one of my Warrior units...

Which didn't end well...

But that left the way open for my Hearthguard... (ignore the crossbows pretending to be swords :) )

And some good Saga dice rolls meant I had some good tricks up my sleeve.... Heimdal, Ullr & Raganarok!

The use of all of those abilities wiped away the Knights.

From there Mark just charged in with one of his Warrior units. Some combination of Piety & his Activation pool meant he had lots of chances to charge them in time after time (I kept using the fatigue generated to boost my abilities).

Eventually my Warrior unit was destroyed...

But my Viking force was still strong. Mark decided his only chance now was to commit his remaining Warrior unit and Warlord...

But against my Hearthguard... his Warlord charged....

I had a fatigue on the Hearthguard unit. Mark was counting on this.... but what he hadn't realised was that I had a die on Frigg. It made the difference as Mark's Warlord was killed.

I definitely like this game. I also definitely liked playing the Vikings more than the Scots. But they do seem pretty popular. It would be nice to try a similar, but less popular force/something a little different. I'll keep playing around with a few of the different lists over the next few weeks to see what I think about some of the other lists.

Finally, Garth had arrived during this game and he was keen to have another go at Bolt Action. So, he played a small 500pt game using my Germans and was up against Phil using Mark's Brits.

For the photography minded out there... that last photo was taken with an ISO of 16000. Yes, 3 zero's... 16000. The result is pretty good... I quite like the 7D mk2 :)

I believe British numbers basically overwhelmed the Germans in the end.

To finish the day, I spent some time down at Ardmore playing around with the different focus and tracking options on the 7D mk2 (of which there are a few!). I reckon I've got some good settings sussed now, so I'm looking forward to next Sunday's Warbirds open day at Ardmore.

Finally, something a little different. Would you believe that I sketched this using one of my photos from Armistice in Cambridge?

It's alright... I wouldn't believe me either :) After a flash of inspiration, I found a few tutorials on how to use Photoshop to turn a picture into something that looks like a sketch. After a bit of playing around I was pretty happy with the overall result. Am curious to know what people think.

Thanks for reading. Until next time.