Monday, January 15, 2018

United snatch last gasp win over courageous Chelsea. A Striker! AAR.

Hello all,

Well I'm trying to increase my blog post frequency so that it becomes more of a habit and I am able to continue posting regularly through out the year. So below is a game report from last Saturday's game of Striker! played at the club with clubmate Chee-Yan Hiew.

I was playing Manchester United. It was Chee's first game (although he had watched a game previously) but he quickly grasped the concepts in the rules and the game was very competitive and as you will see, went right down to the wire.

If you are interested in finding out more about this fun game you can follow the link below or search for the Striker group on Facebook.


The clash of Premier league giants results in tense match.

United and Chelsea met on Saturday in the Croydon Invitational Cup with both sides looking to impress as they look towards the opening of the 2018 season. United was the favourite based on past form and were expected to start the year strongly, while all eyes were on the new Chelsea manager Chee-Yan Hiew to see if he could open the year with a good performance.

The game got underway with United making a move down the left wing but a wayward pass saw the ball out of bounds and Chelsea took control. Immediately Chelsea started promisingly with nice ball movement before being stopped by the strong United defense.

Action gets underway in the Croydon Invitational Cup.

The game then settled down into a battle of the midfields with both sides working well but unable to crack strong defensive play.

The first chance of the game came with a break through by United who surged towards goal but the final pass was overcooked and the Chelsea keeper was able to safely take the ball.

The Chelsea players came in for some rough treatment by the United midfield with Number 8 putting in a rough challenge on a Chelsea mid fielder and receiving a yellow card. The resulting free kick and Chelsea attack was eventually cleared by the United defense and they counter attacked strongly. The break through came in the 24th minute with United scoring off the boot of Andy Cole.

United makes another breakthrough!

1-0 United. Cole works his magic!

A nasty challenge from the United defender but the ref has missed it! The Chelsea fans are not happy!

After the restart Chelsea pressed forward but again they were denied by the United defense who had not been seriously tested so far. Possession then switched back and forth with neither side mounting any promising attacks.

In the shadow of half time United worked a nice passage of play that put the striker with only the Chelsea keeper to beat but the shot was deflected round the corner and United went into the break ahead on the scoreboard but ruing missed opportunities to put Chelsea away.

Missed chances on the day almost cost United the win.

The second half got underway with Chelsea in attack trying to find a chink in United's defensive armour. This passage of play gave Chelsea their first serious chance but the United keeper was up to the challenge and put in a good save to keep Chelsea scoreless. United again rebounded strongly in attack but a miss-communication between the United strikers enabled the Chelsea keeper to again recover the ball safely.
 Chelsea striker's shot is saved by the United keeper but the Chelsea pressure is building.

Chelsea finally got into a groove and mounted a promising passage of play aided by some free kicks from United for rough tackles. Chelsea worked methodically and were able to level the score in the 78th minute with a nice shot from the Chelsea striker.

Chelsea scores the equalizer!

The tension in the match markedly increased with the restart with both sides trying to work a sequence of play that would give them a chance to break the deadlock. It looked like the game would end in a draw after a promising United build up came undone after a pass went astray and Chelsea recovered for their final attack.

However at this critical moment a defensive error saw United intercept a pass and launch into the final attack of the match. This time there was no mix up with the United Strikers combining nicely to put the ball into the back of the net in the 89th minute to secure a 2-1 victory.

United launch a last gasp attack in the dying moments of the match.

A clinical finish by United secures the win!

So United took the three points on the day and probably should have made better work of their chances but Chelsea also impressed under their new manager and a draw would have been a fitting result for his debut. Chelsea can definitely build on this performance as they look towards their next match.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Scottish brawl: ECW action in the Battleroom

Well its still holiday time mostly in Australia and so, since its quiet, I can write a few extra Blog posts.

This weekend I had my first game for the year. It was time to get the Battleroom back in action and so with the promise of a fun game and a nice BBQ lunch, I invited my ECW buddies Tom, Richard and Jon for a game of Pike & Shotte.

Richard & Jon were keen to get all of their Scots on the table, so we came up with a fictitious Scottish brawl scenario where two Scottish forces, one Royalist (Jon & Tom) and one Parliament (Richard & myself) were opposing each other. Tom's royalist English and my Parliamentarians added a few regiments to bolster the opposing forces.

We ended up with three brigades per side consisting of two brigades of foot and one brigade of Cavalry.

Here are the opposing forces with Parliament on the left and Royalists on the Right.

Unusually for an ECW game, Richard commanding one brigade of foot and one of horse, chose to deploy his cavalry in the center to punch a hole through the enemy line. As it turned out the cavalry on both sides had virtually no bearing on the outcome of the battle.

A road bisected the battle field and it was obvious that this would be where the armies would clash.
Both sides advanced towards the road with the Parliamentarians winning the race and got off the first volley's of the battle.

On the Parliament right the Royalists had the better of it and held a defensive position on the road with two regiments of foot and a commanded shotte regiment. Poor command rolls slowed the Parliament advance with their dragoons inactive (they would do nothing for the whole battle due to poor command rolls).

Pretty soon a both sides were trading volleys across the road with Parliament having the better of the fight breaking a few Royalist units.

It was at this point that Richard decided to force the issue on his left and charged his line into the Royalists. This began a series of hard fought melees that went back and forth but Richard was slowly gaining the upperhand in the fight.

The Parliamentarians Scots break up the Royalist right.

Following Richard's example, I launched my own foot on the right and broke a Royalist shotte unit but mounting casualties were having their effect. My brigade command continued to fail command rolls requiring he Commander in Chief to come over and issue orders and rally units to keep them in the fight.

Richard finally succeeded in breaking Jon's brigade, although it was very close that both brigades could have broken. With the advantage now with Parliament, the Cavalry charged forward in the center but the Royalists calmly formed hedgehog and repulsed the cavalry. The Royalist cavalry had no room to move and were essentially stuck behind their own forces. They had also split the cavalry forces in two so in any cavalry fight they would be outnumbered.

The Royalist brigade opposing my forces was slowly losing to my units but they still had plenty of fight left in them but with the right flank broken, their center stalled and their left under heavy pressure they conceded the day to Parliament.

Of course with muso mate Jon (guitar) we had to have an impromptu play as a warm up to the battle.

All in all the day was an excellent way to kick off the gaming year with good company, good food and a good game. You can't ask for more than that!


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

We who are about to die salute you!

Do you like…Gladiator movies?

Okay well how about Gladiator miniature games? Well I certainly do, and Gladiators was a nice small project to work on over the Christmas break.

A fellow club member had picked up a bunch of gladiator figures on the cheap and had been talking about getting some games in (and maybe running a short campaign) in 2018.

Old Glory (West Wind) have a nice Gladiator range of figures and so I took the opportunity of a larger Old Glory order to add in a couple of packs of Gladiators. The first pack consisted of five medium gladiators (shield, helmet, greaves) and the second pack had light gladiators (nets etc.)
So, over the Christmas break, after being full up on Turkey, ham, beer and other seasonal indulgences I cracked open the packs and got them based and undercoated.

Painting was in my usual style. A nice neat base coat mainly with Vallejo acrylics followed by a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade. Once dry I then went back with the original base colours and added a highlight.

Here is the result. I am quite happy with the final paint job. The ten figures were completed over a few days.

 So now I had my Gladiators but they needed an arena to fight on. I wanted to make a nice simple arena that would be big enough for games of 10 or so miniatures. A smaller arena typical of ones on the fringes of the empire. I decided on a diameter of 35cm for the arena. I then cut out a circular arena from 9mm MDF board with a jig saw.

I then needed to decide how to mark out the board for movement. This would depend on the rule set we would use for our games. 

Now I have seen quite a number of Gladiator rule sets over the years. Some have used squares for movement, others hexes, while others still just used a tape measure with freeform movement.
In the end I opted to make the arena double sided. One side was marked in 30mm squares. This would be suitable for a rule system like Jugular (Gripping Beast) while the other side was marked out for the rule set Red Sand Blue Sky (Two Hour Wargames) which uses an area movement system.
After marking out the areas I used a saw to score in the lines. 

It was then time to add the sand.
I covered the board in PVA glue being careful not to get any glue in the lines and then covered the board with sand. Once dry and all the excess sand was removed I started painting. 

Painting was a series of heavy wet brushing. I started with Burnt Sienna followed by a 50/50 mix of Burnt Sienna & Yellow Oxide. Then I applied a coat of Yellow oxide and finally to finish I used Unbleached Titanium. I used cheap acrylic craft paints for all the painting.

Lastly I added a few blood splatters for atmosphere ! 😊

Now to get some games in…
Ave Imperator!!