Battleshed Diaries

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Dance of Power




Over the last couple of weeks I've been busy behind the scenes organising yet another campaign. I've somehow managed to persuade seven fellow players to join me in our very first Age of the Wolf SAGA campaign!


Yep, seven players plus myself! These budding Warlords have taken up the challenge, prepared to battle over six campaign seasons. It's a fantastic opportunity to finally get that shiny new copy of Age of the Wolf I collected at Salute back in April into action. And I'm flattered that so many of my gaming friends answered the call to arms.

I first mooted the idea in my local club forum, anticipating maybe 4-6 players at best. After all, campaigns aren't everyone's cup of tea and they do require some commitment. A few days later I'd set up a private Facebook group and it was filling up fast with new members. Ideally, Age of the Wolf recommends 4-6 players, lest the campaign become too long and difficult to administer, however I think we should be fine with the eight of us. The system isn't complex and is fairly flexible as campaigns go, recognising that players sometime have to delay, drop out or join part way through so rules have been helpfully included to accommodate these common issues and keep things on track.
Gall-Gaedhill mercenaries (Gripping Beast, Swords for Hire, SFH04)

As for the players, some are new to SAGA, the rest casual players like myself. My readers may recognise Jimboba of '15mm' Warchest. Not only is he playing the Franks (aka Zappa de la Rocca), my rather unsubtle attempts to dissuade him from fielding my bane, the hated Jomsvikings, proved successful! And 28mm miniatures too! The rest of the players are members of the Falkirk club along with local gaming mates. The players all start the campaign - which I've titled 'Dance of Power' for reference - with small, 4 point warbands which accords them all time to collect and paint up any reinforcements. Given the roll-call of Warlord's competing in this campaign no wonder Jimboba quipped, 'I didn't realise it was compulsory to make sure your leader's name was unpronounceable!'

Duke Nuquem le Batard, Normans
Rhisiart ap Ieuan, Welsh
Orm Tostesson (Red Orm),Vikings
Zappa de la Rocca, Franks
Torstein "Hammeren" Skjeggestad, Vikings
Fearghas MacCoinnich, Scots (me!)
Torbjorn Mjolnir, Vikings
Ubba, Anglo Danes

I've been busy filling up the Facebook group with a fusillade of assorted hand-typed documents covering the various rules, campaign processes and rosters. I'm conscious that most of the players will not have access (yet!) to the Age of the Wolf supplement and others will be unfamiliar with the various faction battle boards. There are so many files in there now that even I get confused. The players have been gratefully patient so far! Despite my avalanche of files the Campaign is finally under-way and the first season's battles scheduled to be fought over the next few weeks. Unsurprisingly, as host, I was targeted and have the most battles to fight this first season (three), although one is down to my instinctive hostility to the Normans!
Angry Monks (Gripping Beast, Swords for Hire, SFH07)

As you can see from the pictures above, all this activity around SAGA has had the added benefit of re-invigorating my painting schedule, which more often than not plays second fiddle to actual gaming time. The best bit is that I've finally painted a unit of Gall-Gaedhil Swords for Hire. These lawless warrior mercenaries have been sitting on my painting shelf - primed - for over two years! Yes. Two! And hot on their heels, a specialist unit of Angry Monks have joined my SAGA barracks.

To that end, I have created a CAMPAIGN PAGE on this very blog. There is also a link under the campaign widget (top, right'ish) on this blog's home page.

My 12 point Scots warband

Here you'll find a summary of how the campaign plays, a short biography of each Warlord - supplied by the players - along with the Warlord's personal characteristics and Actions (Raid, Campaign or Defend) for each campaigning season. When I say 'campaigning season', this just represents a length of time, say a few months or a year, to represent the traditional fighting period, such as post harvest but before winter's grip sets in. I'm also considering including a kind of medieval 'roving reporter' character who will report on the Warlord's reactions post battle and campaign season. Finally, and crucially, the campaign page includes the Leaderboard, which I'll update as the players organise and fight their scheduled battles.

Other gaming stuff.

Since my last post, reporting from aboard the USCSS Theseus, I've been lucky enough to have a pretty active gaming schedule this month, for me at least. A few one-off Frostyfodder games helped me fine-tune my campaign warband. The second instalment of this four-parter is pending, once we source some suitable 'Wizard's Tower' terrain. Photos of kits from Amera Plastic Mouldings have been drawing conversation in my Battleshed Carnage Facebook forum and... purchases made.

The Falkirk club has once again been invited to take part in the Scottish National Museum of Flight Wartime Experience event on Sunday 5 June at East Fortune Airfield. It's a day-long event (1000-1700) featuring WW1 and WW2 exhibits and re-enactors as well as access to the museum collection.

Of course, I've volunteered to help do our bit, although it doesn't take much persuasion for me to attend this fantastic, and relatively local, museum.

This of course, has led me to playing much Wings or War/Glory recently. Both at the club and over at Pate Manor.

Two new rulesets have joined the Battleshed Library this month, both in anticipation of new projects for later in the year.

Yes, new armies and most likely a venture into smaller, scales!

They are the latest version of the venerable ancient/medieval rules, De Bellis Antiquitatis, or 'DBA 3.0' and its Fantasy offshoot, Hordes of the Things. More details in future posts.

As mentioned earlier in this post, I've been on a bit of a roll painting-wise. The Dwarf bear-cavalry are progressing, albeit sedately. I've also been having much Legoesque fun with Hirst Arts bricks for my Faustus Furius chariot racing board. Importantly, I've started painting the remaining miniatures destined for the long, long overdue In Her Majesty's Name campaign game finale. Most of the buildings for this board are now done (yay!) and the secret 'Super Weapon' is being prepared for assembly.

So all in all, a busy gaming month. And lots more forecast, especially with both the Frostgrave and SAGA campaigns in progress. Back soon!