Many Metal Miniatures

  • July Games Day: Battlefleet Bakka and lots of Chaos

    Another pair of BFG games played at CoD in Padstow, after I missed the June meeting while in Europe. Today saw the appearance of two new fleets, with Alex playing a first game with his new Chaos (minis from Scourge Scenics, painted in blue/gold) while I gave my Imperial Navy Bakka detachment (green) their first test outing.

    The Bakka fleet is entirely a happy accident. I had no intention of building a second Imperial Navy collection to add to Battlegroup Serica, but when I recently ordered some more cruisers and an Emperor battleship I was surprised to receive the order twice! Rather than adding all the minis to my existing fleet, I thought it’d be more fun to start a second built around the Bakka variant list. The extra Emperor became a Victory, I kitbashed two of the Dauntless light cruisers into a pair of Bakka Endurances, and some spare cruisers went to form the double-‘Geddon, double-Tyrant core. No assault craft of nova cannons here: this is Bakka as it’s meant to be, with direct fire weapons all the way down. The paint job is still in progress, so I’ll leave a dedicated post on the collection until it’s all done.

    Game 1: Kyle’s Chaos attacking my Bakka defenders

    Back to today: with four players in the club, we decided to open the day with two side-by-side games of the Blockade Run scenario. In this scenario a smaller fleet tries to break through a larger, but scattered, defending force. We decided to play with 750pt attacking fleets against 1500pt defending groups, with my Imperial Navy defending against Kyle’s Chaos while Dan (also Chaos) defended against Alex (also also Chaos!). Here’s what we took:

    Defenders: my Imperial Navy Battlefleet BakkaAttackers: Kyle’s Chaos Incursion Fleet
    50 – Fleet Admiral (Ld 8)50 – Warmaster (Ld 8)
    340 – Victory battleship, torpedo refit, +1 turret180 – Carnage cruiser
    240 – Armageddon battlecruiser, +1 turret180 – Carnage cruiser
    240 – Armageddon battlecruiser, +1 turret170 – Murder cruiser
    200 – Tyrant cruiser, long-range guns, +1 turret170 – Murder cruiser
    200 – Tyrant cruiser, long-range guns, +1 turret
    115 – Endurance light cruiser (Bakka), armoured prow
    115 – Endurance light cruiser (Bakka), armoured prow
    In a Blockade scenario, the defenders get twice the points as the Attackers – here 1500 vs 750.

    Tom wasn’t here with his proper terrain, so I’d printed out some terrain pieces on thin card earlier in the week. We set up two tables using the by-the-book random terrain generation method and were ready to go!

    My randomly-deployed forces were almost entirely on one side of the table, so Kyle very sensibly chose to attack the unprotected flank to his right. The game opened with all four cruisers going on All Ahead Full orders and charging up the side towards the single Endurance-class light cruiser deployed there.

    I’d deployed the Bakka forces close enough to the large planet to make gravity turns towards it, so opened by putting most of my vessels on All Ahead Full and using gravity turns to set up a rush for the flank – but it’d take at least two more turns for the bulk of the fleet to get there. Meanwhile, the plucky Endurance managed to damage a Carnage with its torpedoes. The cruisers then continued on All Ahead Full, enveloping the Endurance crippling it in a volley of point blank (if weakened by the special order) gunnery. Fortunately for the Imperials, Chaos was in too much of a hurry to stay and finish the job – the navy’s reinforcements were arriving! The crippled Endurance swung behind the damaged Carnage (and assisted by long-range gunnery from the closing Tyrant and Victory)

    The next Bakka turn saw the first serious blows start to land. One Tyrant was now close enough to Lock On and prepare to blast the Chaos ships, while another round of All Ahead Full orders for the rest of the fleet brought the Victory’s powerful torpedoes into range. All moves were greatly assisted by using gravity turns to line up shots despite going on orders that prevented normal turns. Swinging behind the damaged Carnage, the crippled Endurance added to long-range fire from the Victory, closing Tyrant, and a trailing Armageddon to do two points of damage. But the real threat was to come in the Ordnance phase when a combined 17 points of torpedoes salvoed into the damaged Warmaster’s Carnage from the Tyrant, Victory, and intact Endurance.

    Here Kyle made a fatal error: tempted by the thought of escaping the table next turn if he could roll well on All Ahead Full, he chose not to Brace for Impact but to instead take the damage on the chin. Broadside fire from the Tyrant and Victory did several points of damage to a trailing Carnage, but the real drama came in the Ordnance phase from the massed Imperial torpedoes: 5 hits to bring the Warmaster’s Murder down to 1HP along with a bonus “Smashed Bridge” critical hit reducing the Leadership by 3 as the Warmaster was uncouthly jettisoned into space, followed by the death blow from the second Endurance‘s S2 salvo: avenging its damaged sister ship? Reduced to 0 hits, the Carnage‘s plasma drives overloaded and it exploded into a spectacular but harmless cloud of roiling gases and strewn metal. Several more hits were then caused as the unspent torpedoes continued through the Carnage into the damaged Murder behind, bringing it down to 3 hits and causing a second “Fire!” critical. Failing its 3D6 repair roll, the now-crippled Murder burned down to 2 hits remaining in the end phase.

    Like any true Chaos flotilla, Kyle’s two intact cruisers showed no interest in the tragedies befalling their comrades and continued burning for the table edge – but a failed Command check meant that it was only at their normal speed. While its intact brethren were within reach of safety, the crippled Carnage was slowed by damage and left well short of its objective while Chaos broadside weapons glanced off the armoured prows of the closing Imperial capitals. The 2D6 repair roll again failed to extinguish the raging fire, reducing the Carnage to a single hit point: it was clearly not long for this world.

    The final Imperial turn saw the Victory, Tyrant, and tardy Armageddon turn broadside-on to smash the 1HP Carnage. The remaining gun fire wasn’t enough to slow the two other cruisers, which then cleared the blockade to escape. The final VP tally was 400 to 379 in Bakka’s favour: two destroyed Chaos cruiser plus a slain Commander, in return for two cruisers passing the blockade and a crippled Endurance. A great game, ending in a very close finish! Dan had similarly stopped Alex’s attackers in another close result, so we broke for lunch before heading back to the tables for a second round.

    Game 2: Bakka (1000pts) attacking a Kyle/Alex defence (1000 ea.)

    Dan moved to a session of Necromunda and so Kyle, Alex and I went for a 3-way game. Having really enjoyed the Blockade Run scenario in the morning we decided to do it again, but to swap roles and raise the points limit a little: I was to take 1000pts of Bakka and try to run the gauntlet of 2x 1k Chaos forces.

    Attackers: My BakkaDefenders: Kyle’s ChaosDefenders: Alex’s Chaos
    50 – Fleet Admiral50 – Warmaster50 – Lord
    335 – Victory, torpedoes300 – Desolator230 – Repulsive
    195 – Tyrant, long-range guns180 – Carnage180 – Carnage
    190 – Tyrant, +1 turret180 – Carnage180 – Carnage
    115 – Bakka Endurance, armoured prow170 – Murder165 – Slaughter
    115 – Bakka Endurance, armoured prow120 – 3x Infidel165 – Slaughter
    30 – Iconoclast

    Like in the previous game, the defenders had a lopsided deployment with most of the forces holding down one side of the table and a lonely escort squadron on the other side. Kyle and Alex deployed their forces relatively far forward and oriented towards the undefended flank, ready to leap into action against my attack. It could have worked well if I’d gone there, but I decided to instead make a run for the more defended side of the board where I hoped that a large asteroid field would complicate the defender’s slow turn back towards my forces. I deployed the two Endurances on the inner side of the squadron as bait, the Victory in the middle to take blows as needed, and the two Tyrants tight against the table edge to provide fire support. The two Tyrants had both rolled Ld 6, so I put the Admiral on one for Ld 8 and squadroned them together for massed battery fire. I reasoned that Chaos probably couldn’t focus enough fire to kill the battleship, but that I could afford to lose the two cheap light cruisers if needed to keep the Tyrants alive.

    The plan worked! As the game opened, the Imperials surged forward with all ships on All Ahead Full while Chaos forces were split by the asteroid field. Kyle’s Desolator battleship and a Murder swung in tightly to face the Imperials while Alex’s forces chose to take the long way around the rocks. On the second Imperial turn, I took the bait of Kyle’s Murder and slowed to place all vessels on Lock On orders. The Tyrants showed their worth by instantly crippling the closing cruiser – Kyle did try to brace this time but failed the order, showing another advantage of simultaneous gunfire from squadroned cruisers. Massed lances from the Victory and outer Endurance saw the Murder to 0 hits, with a plasma drive explosion removing it form the table. First blood to the Navy!

    The Chaos blockade then turned to tragicomedy as one of Alex’s Slaughter cruisers clipped the asteroid field, failed to dodge the rocks, and took 12 points of damage as a result: 6 on the initial D6 roll, causing a critical, resulting in Bulkhead Collapse with another 6 on the second D6 damage roll. The angry cruiser was immediately reduced to a drifting hulk without a shot fired. Turns out space is hard – or at the very least, space rocks are.

    Over the next several turns, Chaos crippled an Endurance while trading shots with the Imperials. As the Imperials approached the table edge, Chaos swung behind and were able to do some damage to a Tyrant with torpedoes from the Repulsive. Finally, Chaos destroyed the damaged Endurance just before the Imperials escaped with the Victory, an Endurance, and the Admiral’s Tyrant. The second Tyrant found itself stuck just short of the board edge, and without the squadroned Admiral’s guidance was left incapable of passing any Brace command rolls as the entire Chaos fleet brought guns to bear to destroy it.

    The final VP tally saw a solid Imperial victory.

    VPs to Chaos (destroyed attacking ships)VPs to Imperial Navy (destroyed defenders + escaping attackers)
    190 – Tyrant (destroyed)335 – Victory (escaped)
    115 – Endurance (destroyed)245 – Tyrant with Admiral (escaped)
    115 – Endurance (escaped)
    170 – Murder (destroyed)
    165 – Slaughter (destroyed)

    Two great games today: one close, one a little less close. I had a blast running Bakka: even without getting the chance to bring the proper Armageddon/Tyrant core together in a single game, the damage output was extremely satisfying and I’m looking forward to using them more in future. Now it’s just a matter of finishing the paint jobs!

  • Padstow Games Day, May 2022

    Only managed one game of BFG today: a long Escalating Engagement pitting my Corsair Eldar against Kyle’s Chaos. After feeling impotent against attack craft previously, I decided to run with 2 Eclipse cruisers and a flock of escorts. The fighter cover turned out not to be necessary against Kyle’s single carrier. Unfortunately, one Eclipse was swiftly dispatched by Chaos guns and the other took a -3 Ld critical from the first (and only!) hit it suffered so I didn’t have much opportunity to launch bomber waves, either.

    Corsair EldarChaos Incursion Fleet
    100 – Pirate Prince (Ld +2)50 – Chaos Warmaster (Ld 8)
    250 – Eclipse-class cruiser300 – Desolator-class battleship
    250 – Eclipse-class cruiser190 – Devastation-class cruiser
    140 – Aurora-class light cruiser170 – Murder-class cruiser
    140 – Aurora-class light cruiser170 – Murder-class cruiser
    260 – 4x Hellebore-class frigates180 – Carnage-class cruiser
    160 – 4x Hemlock-class destroyers180 – Carnage-class cruiser
    160 – 4x Hemlock-class destroyers120 – 3x Infidel-class frigates
    160 – 4x Nightshade-class destroyers135 – 3x Idolator-class frigates
    160 – 4x Nightshade-class destroyers
    My Eldar and Kyle’s Chaos fleet lists

    The Escalating Engagement scenario opened with my Hellebores on the table facing Kyle’s Desolator battleship. We maneuvered on the first turn, and on the second turn my Hellebores were joined by one squadron of Nightshades and an Aurora light cruiser – just what I needed to do some damage to such a big, shielded ship! Move-shoot-moving from some asteroids and behind a small moon, I was able to bring down the Desolator’s shields and cause some damage with direct fire before pummeling it with a rain of Eldar torpedoes for a total of 5 damage – just one short of crippled.

    Then, the Chaos escorts arrive and cripple the Hellebores, only to be jumped by a squadron of Hemlocks and the first Eclipse. One group of escorts is destroyed outright while the other is crippled (and later disengaged). This was a crucial mistake from me: at this point the Chaos battleship was isolated in the centre of the table, and I squandered the opportunity to focus fire and finish it off. The next turn, my little group were surprised by the arrival of the Devastation and two Murders – the Eldar attempted to flee, but the Eclipse had its holofield smashed by a lucky shot from one Murder and was quickly crippled by lance fire before managing to disengage with one hit remaining.

    Meanwhile, the opposite side of the table sees the arrival of a pair of Carnages followed by the second Aurora/Nightshade grouping. The Eldar attempt to focus fire on one of the Carnages and so some damage, but an unfortunate 6 sees the critical 8-strong Nightshade torpedo salvo predetonate on a blast marker. Over the next two turns, the combined battery fire from the Chaos cruisers destroy one Aurora and cripple the other.

    At this point the Eldar were almost but not quite a spent force. I considered disengaging, but then decided to spend two turns rallying to the right of the table before making one final attempt to cripple a Chaos capital ship. I divided my forces: the surviving Nightshade squadron went in to the asteroids in the hopes of ambushing the Desolator with torpedoes and getting me the one hit needed to cripple it, while everything else (the surviving Eclipse, crippled Aurora, and both Hemlock squadrons) swung in behind the small green planet in the hope of burning down the Devastation in a shower of pulsar lances. The Nightshades succeeded in damaging the Desolator (for +75 VPs), while the Devastation was able to Brace for Impact and pass enough saves to survive the pulsar group with 5 or 6 HP remaining. The Eldar then turned, ran, and disengaged the next turn.

    Final VPs:

    To Eldar: crippled Desolator (87.5 with commander), destroyed Idolators (135), crippled Infidels (30): 253 VPs

    To Chaos: destroyed Aurora (140), crippled Eclipse (87.5 with commander), Aurora (35), Hellebores (65), 4x Hemlocks (40), 4x Nightshades (40), everything else disengaged: 465 VPs
    A solid victory to Chaos!

  • Padstow Games Day, February 2022

    After a January cancellation, the February Company of Dice meeting went ahead in Padstow. I was fortunate enough to play two games of Battlefleet Gothic: first taking my Eldar Corsairs as attackers against an Imperial supply convoy, followed by a second escalating fleet battle between my Imperial Navy and a force of Chaos cruisers.

    1. Convoy: Corsair Eldar vs Imperial Navy

    We opened the day by playing the Convoy scenario, with my Eldar Corsairs harassing an Imperial Navy convoy. Tom had 6 transport ships, which would ordinarily entitle him to 300pts of defences and me to 5 rolls for attacking assets, but we decided to double that and give the Imperials 600 pts vs 8 Eldar rolls. I was lucky enough to roll up three capital ships (up to 200 pts each, which can’t actually buy an Eldar cruiser so we compromised with one Shadow cruiser plus two Aurora light cruisers), an escort squadron of up to 150pts, and 4 ordnance markers that I decided to use as torpedoes.

    Imperial NavyEldar Corsairs
    220 – Dictator-class cruiserShadow-class cruiser
    195 – Tyrant-class cruiser, long-ranged batteriesAurora-class light cruiser
    110 – Endeavour-class Light CruiserAurora-class light cruiser
    70 – 2x Falchion-class frigatesEscorts: 1x Hellebore frigate, 2x Hemlock destroyers
    Plus: 6x transportsPlus: 4x deadfall torpedo markers

    The game didn’t start well: my first Aurora light cruiser appeared by a planet, got caught by the Tyrant, and was immediately crippled by gunfire. Tom’s beautiful (and rare!) Voss ships continued to give my Eldar an absolute hammering as my ships appeared one by one along the convoy route, and for the first handful of turns I just wasn’t landing any blows at all – in the one turn I landed a few torpedoes, Tom managed to make all six Brace for Impact saves to preserve a heroic transport. Eventually I withdrew to gather my forces and make a final attack against the transports as the neared the table edge, and I finally managed to kill 4/6 and eke out a “minor” Imperial win – at the expense of a destroyed Shadow cruiser, a destroyed Aurora, and a second Aurora crippled by the Imperial batteries. Another game where my Eldar managed to live up to half of the ‘glass cannon’ reputation: they certainly died quickly, but didn’t such do a great job of doing damage in the process.

    2. Escalating Engagement: Imperial Navy vs Chaos

    Game 2 was an escalating engagement, of my Imperial Navy against Dan’s Chaos. This turned out to be a really interesting game, with the scattered deployment and trickle of reinforcements arriving piecemeal making it really hard for either of us to play in the way we wanted to. I couldn’t get the cruisers into a block of armoured prows, Dan’s carriers arrived too late to launch fighters and screen his vulnerable cruisers from my waves of torpedoes, and my ships with Nova Cannons only arrived in the last few turns after I’d spent most of the game without long-ranged firepower.

    Imperial NavyChaos
    75 – Fleet Admiral (Ld 8), 1x reroll100 – Chaos Warmaster (Ld +2)
    345 – Retribution-class battleship295 – Styx-class heavy cruiser, CSM Crew
    270 – Mars-class battlecruiser190 – Devastation-class cruiser
    220 – Dictator-class cruiser235 – Hades-class cruiser, CSM Crew
    190 – Dominator-class cruiser170 – Murder-class cruiser
    180 – Gothic-class cruiser170 – Murder-class cruiser (Lances)
    70 – 2x Sword-class frigates165 – Slaughter-class cruiser
    150 – 5x Cobra-class destroyers165 – Slaughter-class cruiser
    110 – Iconoclast-class destroyer,
    2x Infidel-class frigates
    My Imperial Navy and Dan’s Chaos fleet. (or at least, what I think it was)

    The game opened in my favour, with Dan starting with a cruiser (a Murder?) and three escorts on the table against my Gothic and Dictator. I was lucky enough for my Retribution battleship to arrive on Turn 2, with the combined firepower immediately destroying two Chaos escorts and damaging the Cruiser. Outnumbered and heavily outgunned, the damaged Chaos ships immediately disengaged but were quickly replaced with Chaos reinforcements. We tussled for a few rounds, alternatively crippling capital ships and seeing them disengage but without seeing any major ships actually destroyed. In the end Dan had poor luck in a key shooting phase that left my ships untouched and in position to cripple two Chaos cruisers on the next turn: one through skilled gunnery, one through a lucky 6 on a Nova Cannon direct hit from the newly-arrived Mars battlecruiser.

    At that point, the Chaos cut and run. With no capital kills either side the victory points ended up as a fairly even 192 – 100 VPs in my favour: two (disengaged) crippled Imperial Navy cruisers, in return for an entirely disengaged Chaos fleet of which 3 cruisers and the escort squadron were crippled.

    Once again, a rough start to the day with Eldar followed by a much more comfortable afternoon commanding the Imperial Navy. Maybe next time I should run the Imperials first, and see if the Eldar can benefit from what’s becoming a streak of afternoon luck?

  • Mordheim Hired Swords & Dramatic Personae

    Left to right: Warlock, Elf Ranger, Ogre Mercenary, Aenur the Sword of Twilight, Johann the Knife.

    The streets of Mordheim are not only visited by organised warbands: strange individuals from near and far have gathered to the city, offering their services in return for gold or acceptance.

  • Padstow Games Day, December 2021

    After a long year of lockdowns I finally had a chance to get some of my newly-painted Battlefleet Gothic ships onto a table, with two games at the Company of Dice meet. We’d hoped to have half a dozen players but some late no-shows brought that down to three. Always an awkward number: we decided to open the day with a 1500pt a side 2v1, pitting my Corsair Eldar against a combined force of two Chaos fleets. After lunch I changed to my Imperial Navy for a second game against one of the Chaos players.

    The first game was brutal: I knew that the multiple Chaos weapons batteries would be hard to come up against, but appalling luck with both holofield and Brace saves saw my Eldar dropping like flies. The game ended in a rout, having crippled 3 or 4 Chaos cruisers in return for the outright destruction of most of my fleet.

    After a short break, we returned for a second game of my Imperial Navy against a full 1500pts of the Slaaneshi Chaos. This time around my gameplay and luck were both much better: our fleets closed while I took pot-shots and claimed a few escorts with ranged Nova Cannon fire while presenting a tight spearhead of 6+ Imperial prow armour. Focused fire on the enemy Battle Barge helped slow it down and do some early damage with torpedoes, while a wave of Thunderhawks launched against my Retribution caused 4 critical damage results only to see all repaired in the same turn. Everything came to a head when my capital ships were able to dive between the Battle Barge and the Chaos cruisers and unleash all broadsides, destroying the Battle Barge for the loss of one peripheral cruiser. With the Chaos fleet shattered and demoralise by the loss of its flagship, we called the game as an Imperial Navy victory. Glory to the Emperor!

    Here’s the Corsair Eldar fleet list I ran. I was hoping to do some serious damage with the mobile escorts, but ended up losing almost all of them to one brutal shooting phase that I’d mistakenly though I could weather.

    • Pirate Prince, +1 reroll (125 pts)
    • Eclipse class cruiser Iridescence (250 pts)
    • Aurora class light cruiser Wavedancer (140 pts)
    • Aurora class light cruiser Windcatcher (140 pts)
    • Squadron Sirocco: 3x Hellebore class frigates (195)
    • Squadron Frost: 3x Aconite class frigates (165)
    • Squadron Dusk: 6x Nightshade class destroyers, divided into 2 groups of three (striped hulls, checkered hulls) (240)
    • Squadron Dawn: 6x Hemlock class destroyers, divided into 2 groups of three (striped hulls, checkered hulls) (240)

    Imperial Navy fleet list. Centred around the Retribution battleship, with two nova cannons and two carriers for ranged support and anti-AC duty. I had fun playing with this list but it felt a little light on torpedoes: next time I might try to rearrange things to find points for a 5th cruiser, or look for some Dauntlesses to bulk things out.

    • Fleet Admiral (Ld 8), 1x re-roll (75 pts)
    • Retribution class battleship (345 pts)
    • Mars class battlecruiser (270 pts)
    • Dictator class cruiser (220 pts)
    • Dominator class cruiser (190 pts)
    • Gothic class cruiser (180 pts)
    • Rapier Squadron: 2x Sword frigates (70 pts)
    • Gargoyle Squadron: 5x Cobra destroyers (150 pts)

  • Warbands of Mordheim VI – Forest Goblins

    Lost and a long way from home…

    A small warband of Forest Goblins. Not really for Mordheim, but I haven’t found a different use for them yet.

    These minis are Knightmare savage goblins from the Crooked Claw range.

  • Warbands of Mordheim IV – Cult of the Possessed

    The Cult of the Possessed. Built from a mixture of Necromunda Cawdor bodies and Frostgrave cultist heads and weapons. Unfortunately the Possessed themselves are missing and I don’t currently have any good ideas of minis to use for them that fit the bill of bulked-up human mutants that aren’t too bulked up.

  • Warbands of Mordheim V – Carnival of Chaos

    Roll up, roll up! Doktor Marius’s Ebullient Playeres have arrived in town, ready to wow and to woo! See his JUICY JUGGLERS and BUBBLY BOUNCERS tumble and delight, MARVEL as Klein and Kurz perform FEATS OF STRENGTH, and GASP as Krankles and Mulmy the clowns share an experience you’ll never forget! Every player wins a prize!

  • Warbands of Mordheim III – The Undead

    The Undead. Heroes and ghouls are GW metals, zombines are Fireforge living dead plastics.

    Stagecoaches arrive and leave with thick curtains drawn across their windows, the stables have been strangely busy at odd hours of the night, and wagoners talk in hushed whispers about receiving the best pay in memory for those loads of heavy wooden boxes that leave fragments of soil in the cart… And how in Sigmar’s name did such dismal-looking clients get their hands on so much gold, anyway?

    Count Wolfert von Graaff has come to Mordheim, though few know him by the name and fewer yet have had the misfortune to meet him. Accompanying him and ready to assist with any diurnal difficulties are faithful servant Nierod and Nierod’s wretched son Witold, the hapless friends Igor and Gregor, and a host of mysterious figures drawn from the cemeteries and crypts of Sylvania.

  • Battlefleet Gothic – Battlegroup Serica

    Hailing from the Far East of the Gothic Sector, Battlegroup Serica is my small Imperial Navy fleet for Battlefleet Gothic. Quite a quick and dirty paintjob on some of these ships, but I wanted a second fleet that did a better job of playing BFG by the rules of BFG and not the rules of Eldar.