Friday, 24 July 2015

OGAM Pan vs Ares The final game and campaign suggestions

Game 3. Tony get another 10%. Rather than going for numbers he has upgraded a unit of spearmen to Amazons. All the great heroes are gone, so he has called upon a Gorgon and chariot mounted heroes.

I get rid of my useless Satyr heroes and will try Centaurs as a foil for his Amazons, who all love hard centaurs.

1,540 + 10% = 1,696
Ares 336
Legends Euryale the Gorgon 120, 2 armoured heroes @ 70= 140, 2 chariot mounted armoured heroes @ 96 = 192

Mortals 2x 8 Spearmen @ 20= 360,  2x 4 archers @ 20 = 160, 2x 8 Javelins @11 = 176
1x8 Amazons @ 28 = 224
(1) God 336
(5) Legends 452
(7) Mortals 920
Total 1,708

Pan 308
Legend 3 Centaur heroes @ 86 = 258, 2x Cyclops shooter = 154
Mortals 4x8 satyr 32 @15 = 480, 3x 4 satyr archers 12 @20 = 240
(1) God 308
(5) Legends 412
(7) Mortals 700

Total 1,440

What you want all the sordid details? Bastard, I'll tell your mum I will.

As before I set up as the defender, using 6 woods to provide a nice shrubbery with paths, or a choke point if you prefer to go all technical. For the first time Tony won the initiative and placed his Gorgon on his left, which allowed me to place Pan quite forward. His deployment was a strong armoured left flank with the Amazons and Ares on the right. Mine was a curved line with a tactical reserve, archers on the flanks and legends close to the front and centre.


Tony started with his Gorgon – who lost the initiative, using her 1 move to hide in the woods. I tried to get a general advance from the centre that ended in a mess that Tony's chariot hero took advantage of. Even a god can roll 2 fails. Pan managed 4.

I lost a few but managed to throw him back. Then came in Ares. I had no choice but to send in Pan, which ended up in a head-butting match until a draw- instant awe on those around, which was mostly mine. I refused to follow up and was able to get some un-awed (de-awed? Thawed?) My Cyclops went for his hero, which got pushed back (mounted, so no follow-up) so I sent in a centaur. He's still awed, so this is +2, mounted vs mounted so no pluses, and 1 dead centaur! Doh!

On my right I used the other cyclops to lob rocks at Tony's javelins until Ares came and mashed him. Pan took care of the 2 mounted heroes. I'd advanced my archers and a centaur to as close to Ares as I'd dared.

The Amazons advanced through the woods contacting the cyclops, who made a tactical withdrawl into the woods, running in and dispatching the still- awed Gorgon! Considering how well she'd done for Hades, well under par this time around.

Now it was meat-grinder time. The Amazons advanced, plowing my archers – the result was they now appeared on my rear flank. An hero crunched his way through one of my unarmoured Satyrs. Pan swept through the remains of the javelins, heading for the rear of the Amazons.

Nor was Ares of the posy helm slow in killing my centaur and advancing to my rear, causing Pan to divert. Yet again there was a clash. Ares had troops spare to invoke, Pan didn't. Pan dies. There was not enough left so game end.

Playing a campaign.

Do it! We enjoyed the process and it was easy to sort out the extra troops, get organised for the next game at the end of each. An e mail reminder of who has what.

Have lots of options. We hadn't considered that the death of the unique legends would have a major impact.

My idea of winner fights in losers terrain certainly works and felt logical and as expected having the correct troop types did help.

I think starting points are worth a lot of consideration. I wanted 1,500 point games and Tony ended up with 1,700. I think winner should get 10% of original total. I did a bit of “creeping” upwards by 35 points. You may consider more exacting “compulsory” troop options, perhaps as a percentage to make a “realistic” troop mix.

Terrain is worth considering, with each force being given its own choices. For instance Ares would want open plane for manoeuvre where Pan would go for woods, rivers, hills and march.

Have fun! Don't be afraid to change anything in mid flow if you get a better idea. For instance if one side gets totally stomped, get another god to come in revenge. I'd say Apollo or Aphrodite for Ares and Athena or Artemis for Pan in our case.

If you want to be more competitive – club level, have some cards made up with (say) 500 worth of god & hero and 500 of mortals and deal them randomly.


The Greatful Dead

The Pony, having smacked, moves on


They're behind you!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

OGAM Egyptian - how I plot before I buy. The game of 3 halves: Planning before Painting and Playing

I had originally planned and promised an article on doing OGAM in 15mm. But no, do the work yourself! Wargaming is a game of 3 halves: Planning, Painting & Playing. Now I'm coming at this from a fun campaign point of view rather than serious competition. Here's my musings and planning. Rather than purchasing in one rush, these will be assembled bit by bit and amended by chance and new releases.

Some of you might come from a background where the game designers monitor and charge for each section of the above. They sell you expensive rulebooks and manuals that tell you what to buy, from them, and what colour of which bit to paint and the silly name of the products required.

First there's the reference books. I'm looking at the war of Horus and Set, and there just so happens to be an excellent book on the subject from Osprey plus several others on the long history of the region. Plus the rules. Rummage in your DVD selection for those Mummy and Scorpion King plus any foreign legion films particularly “follow that camel”. And Cleopatra. Plus Stargate.

Have I confused you? Yes? Then my work here is done. The war between the gods was the potted version of the struggle between the upper and lower Nile delta and successive waves of invasion and conquest. I'd suggest that you choose the particular historic or mythic point(s) that interest you.

Let's start with Set, god of the upper Nile and the desert. He is also god of foreigners, so he gets the Sea peoples. But lets divert for a moment, consider who else you want to do- because the list of possibles run through:
Persian Satrap
Alexandrian Macedonian
Romans – Caesarean or Anthony's legions (do you want to do the Roman list when it comes out?)
French foreign legion (well bit of a stretch-)

You might have to tweak the list a bit, just don't tell Andrea! But any set that lets Achilles command hoplites- should allow Rolls Royce armoured cars to engage sphinx’s. That gives the framework for the mortals. Set gets the giant scorpions and, I'd suggest sphinx. Now here's the rub. Set costs 356. Legends 4 scorpions and the ram headed (desert walking) sphinx cost 294. That gives you a maximum size of 882 (3xlegends) as Set is costly that leaves only 232 for the mortals.

Say unit of 8 archers @20 = 160 and 8 light infantry @ 10 = 80, total 240.

Horus next. He is the god of the lower Nile and the representation of the incumbent Pharaoh. The rules state that there is only one – but there are dynastic feuds and rebellions where 1 per side could be fielded. He gets the crocs. A toy shop Now you may want to “swap out” as above or use Splintered Light's Sons of Horus.

Horus costs 404. Legends Pharaoh, the falcon headed Sphinx , 3 giant crocs cost 444. That leaves, in out set vs Horus, leaves 42 for the mortals. If we flip, 444x3 = 1,332. That's a bit more like it. Gives you 484 for Horus's mortals and Set now gets 682 to spend on mortals.

Finally Anubis. This is the god that might appeal to the pulp player. You need rabble, mummies and priests. The big stumbling block is the jackals – no-one makes them but lets do a bit of lateral thinking. Jackals are dog sized, so transform these beasts into warriors and use Pendraken's Anubis warriors. If you mount them 2-3 to a base as I did my satyrs I'll think you find them suitable.

Anubis costs 232. Legends human-headed sphinx, 4 great mummies cost 440, using 3x legends we get 548 for mortals. You must have 1 unit of mummies, 4 @ 18 = 72, and jackals 4@ 10= 40, giving you a minimum spend of 112 on mortals. This total works well with the other 2. So we can say that 1,400 is a good max size for any of these armies.

Rather than put in lots of links, here's the main links, you can just shop around!

Splintered Light has Sons of Horus and a whole Egyptian dead range.

Rebel have Egyptian civvies and more mummies. Pulp/steampunk adventurers

Plus a rather nice not-scorpion that I think is ideal-

Pendraken has lots of little mummies including one with a crucified teddy bear in the accessories range. Plus the jackals for Anubis. I use their large skeletons for my Greeks and you can add some wrappings-.

Now the problem with scorpions, Pendraken do 2 types, for your giant do you want one big one ore a swarm of terrier size chitinous terrors?

Irregular Miniatures have large flats that will do for gods plus both 15 & 28mm crocs. I use their 20mm lion for the Numean lion.

Old Glory has a wide range of Egyptians, archaeologists, mummies, Tauregs.

Good old can do you a lovely Sphinx that does for the human head version. The falcon head can be adapted from the griffon quite easy and the chimera has a goat head so it's just a bit of surgery with a mini hacksaw, some filler and you're there! I made my Kirin from one that looks like that featured in 47 Ronin.

Giant scorpions and mummies must be available in 28mm, but I hate to think of the cost!

Monday, 13 July 2015

OGAM Japanese gods - using Dixon's 25mm Oriental Fantasy range.

Oh my Droogs.  Life conspires!  Bereft of dice-rolling opportunity I have to tackle my obsession with plotting, scheming and formulating by tackling some of the articles I've started but not actually finished.

This isn't one of them. No! But! No- listen.  I hope you're enjoying our current Pan vs Ares campaign?  I want to plan the next one based in Medieval Japan and make it historically based.  But I need more gods!  I'm on the lookout for a huge dragon-.

I'd tried researching "Japanese Gods" and got nowhere fast.  Then, bored, I cut and pasted the tittle from the Japanese list PDF.  This is what I got-

Fujin, God of the wind,+God+of+the+Wind&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl

Fujin features the bag-of-wind as does his Greek counterpart. No great skill to add this in place of a weapon as most come with weapon choice.  this is my choice from my collection, sorry not the best picture.

Raijin, God of Thunder and Japanese Heavy Metal,+God+of+Thunder&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl

Some of the pictures show him with a double tetsubo, but I think I'll go more "Thor" with double hammers. Does look a bit like our Gene

Susanoo, God of storms and the sea,+God+of+Storms+and+the+Sea&tbm=isch&gws_rd=ssl

Again with the hammering blow.  So I think this one:

The rest were unsatisfactory searches.  For the rest I would suggest either normal or larger scale humans.  Splintered Light's Chinese pack will also yield some useful types:

For the three above, can I suggest this range:

I first bought these in the 80's, way back in my 25mm days and the RPG game Bushido.  I bought this lot a few years ago when Ganesha were going to bring out a Japanese set.  As per standard they got a quick coat and a bit more!

This one is a good fit with the Oni, a choice for Dai Oni

This armoured beasti is my favourite, I intend to use as the Dai Oni with Splintered Light's armoured hobgoblins as his not-Samurai.

Same chaps, different weapon

Same chap, different weapon - would make good wind-god as the bag would fit bagpipe like under his arm.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Ogam campaign 2 Pan defends the Sacred Grove

Once there was a primate who decided he'd had enough of the whole tree thing and tried the plains. That worked for a while, then he found the seashore. That worked even better, there was fish and flotsam. But never satisfied, he again looked at the plain and then the forest. The forest looked back. Some went away, but some looked right back at it and entered with care. Thus was Pan born. One day that same primate will see an alien forest. It will look back at him. He will have the courage to go in. Such is the promise and the legacy of Pan

Game Two. AS Ares had won, we move on to Sacred grove (see first instalment, there will be a test). This, I predicted, was going to be a game of interception and annihilation. Tony had decided to go down the numbers route with his extra 10% (140) by reducing his legends and increasing his light troops. This forces me to do similar.

Ares 336
Legends Achilles 108, 4 armoured heroes @ 70 = 280
Mortals 3x8 Spearmen 24@ 20= 480, 2x 4 archers @ 20 = 160, 2x 8 Javelins @11 = 176
(1) God 336
(5) Legends 388
(7) Mortals 816
Total 1,540

Pan 308
Legends Herakules 116, 2 Heroes @ 60 = 120, 2x Cyclops shooter = 154
Mortals 4x8 satyr 32 @15 = 480, 3x 4 satyr archers @20 = 240,
(1) God 308
(5) Legends 390
Mortals 720
Total 1,418

Setup, as I am the defender, I set 5 forest bases around the sacred grove in a sort of pentagram effect.

I had a plan to have mutually supporting columns all going for the grove. Winning the dice I was able to put Pan on Tony's side of the grove. Because of his high numbers he had no choice but to get close. His plan was to have one strong armoured column supported by a lighter flanking force with Ares and Achilles.
Pan to left, Ares to right
Winning the dice, Pan started by Awe-ing all Ares heavies bar one hero. He went on to cheese one infantry unit.

Herakles took on another, but his heart was not in it. I moved a Cyclops up to block the other flank.

Going on the assault, Tony's heroes did very badly, one went down to Herakles and the other to the Cyclops. His javelins also had a go at the Cyclops.

I managed to get archers in support of the Cyclops, who continued to pelt the javelins with rocks. Now comes Achilles. His famous heel came into play. He rolled a 1. Having a big rock bounced of your head – something has to give. So passed Achilles.

Tony started a general surge forward – I'd tried to do the same but didn't get the dice, as usual. My archers melted and Ares took out Herakles. Those were my only casualties.

End game - note how many hadn't moved

Now came the rush for the grove. I got a Cyclops inside and rolled for a Satyr hero – 3 1's! Doh!

Tony got his last remaining hero into the grove, he was pushed back but other troops surged forward until he rolled 2 fails.

If it had been a normal game, if I could have kept him out – I'd inflicted great losses for little in return. Still, there's next time.

Game 3. Tony get another 10%. Rather than going for numbers he has upgraded a unit of spearmen to Amazons. All the great heroes are gone, so he has called upon a Gorgon and chariot mounted heroes. 1,540 + 10% winning bonus = 1,696

I get rid of my useless Satyr heroes and will try Centaurs as a foil for his Amazons, who all love hard centaurs.

Ares 336
Legends Euryale 120, 2 armoured heroes @ 140, 2 chariot mounted armoured heroes @ 96 = 192
Mortals 2x 8 Spearmen @ 20= 360, 2x 4 archers @ 20 = 160, 2x 8 Javelins @11 = 176, 1x8 Amazons @ 28 = 224
(1) God 336
(5) Legends 452
(7) Mortals 920
Total 1,708

Pan 308
Legend 3 Centaur heroes (mounted heroes) @ 86 = 258,  2x Cyclops shooter = 154
Mortals 4x8 satyr 32 @15 = 480, 3x 4 satyr archers 12 @20 = 240
(1) God 308
(5) Legends 412
Mortals 700
Total 1,440

'ee could 'ave someone's eye out with that!

The marker over the unit marker designates awed.

End of game

Tony's losses

My losses