Friday, 29 July 2016

WIP - pirate ship! part 2

Hi all

my apologies if anyone was expecting a Saga batrep in today's post (as I was!) but I've been let down by the Nerd Herd who have not submitted their posts this week.  So instead I thought I would give you another update on my ship building efforts to date...

So following on from last time, I wanted to build a sort of fo'castle.  Having scanned numerous pictures of Chinese Junks and other ships of the Far East.  I made the decision not to have another boxy walled section and instead made it flat - like a fighting platform, not only that I wanted to add a fore mast as well.  With that in mind I wanted a sturdy frame and chose some 3mm balsa from my bits box and made a square


then out came the coffee stirrers (yes Mrs Gobbo does drink that much coffee!!) and the platform was completed.  Using a drill I made a hole for the mast and then added some 5mm balsa supports to hold the platform in place.  I drilled a corresponding hole into the deck below where the platform would be.


I also drilled a whole in the main deck after strengthening it with an MDF 25mm base.  I did the same to the aft'castle.  Keen followers (or not) of the blog will note that I cut off the ladders that poked out of the side of the aft castle and replaced them with a single ladder that faced forward - much better, thanks Joe (Zabadaks Zombie World) and Bryan (Vampifan's World of the Undead) for your comments.




So I've progressed the hull a little more as you can see, not by a lot but I've been pushed for time having just completed a run of 7 x 12 hour shifts in 7 days ending in 2 night shifts so not a lot of time for hobbying!  However I also managed to start with the sails and masts.  Following on from comments from Jez of Carrion Crow fame regarding planters and wallpaper, I remembered that I had some spare dowels in the loft that I had used in a previous games table that would make fabulous main masts and other thinner ones from other projects so didn't take him up on that one, but I did use wallpaper samples for the sails - cheers Jez!  Below is what I've come up with the fore sail.  I'll have 3 masts in total and the mid mast will be bigger.


That's it for now, hopefully the Herd will be shamed into finally submitting their reports (doubtful....) and I will pick up the Saga batreps next week.

hope you enjoy
dGG

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Saga - Tale of 4 Gamers - the battles

Hi all

Welcome to my battle report for the series.  This was our second game ever of Saga and would pit the Anglo-Danes played by Andy (i.e. me) and the Normans played by Rich.

The scenario that Rich and I randomly generated was “The Escort”.  The objective of this game is for the defending player (which would be me) to get 2 out of 3 of his baggage wagons from his deployment zone across the board and exiting from the attacker (Rich) table edge.  If I did this the Anglo-Danes would win, any other result and The Normans take the victory.  The baggage can take damage like any other piece on the board and is treated like Hurscarls for to-hit/damage purposes.  They can move every turn without Saga dice and move up to “M” like infantry.  This game should play to the strength of the Normans with a solid base of bows/crossbows and fast moving knights.  I on the other hand had to slog across the battlefield with foot troops.

Deployment

As the defender I deploy and go first.  Before this though we needed to roll for terrain with 3 bits being chosen, I chose 2 of the terrain pieces  and took two wooded areas and Rich took a hill.  With all of the ranged weapons the Normans could muster plus their mounted troops, I needed to take advantage of the cover in order to get across the board.

**Note** for those who play Saga regularly there were some rules violations in this game, these were our first games and as such we were getting a feel for the whole battleboard concept and it took us until the very last game and the debrief after to fully get to grips with the way the game works. Also we had to proxy a baggage train so we had barrels and logs as well as a horse and cart – oops!


Waelwulf "the fierce" scowled as the sluggish moving wagons bumped and dragged tortuously slowly along the worn track.  The supplies they carried were desperately needed by the main forces camped out in the next village, Waelwulf had been entrusted to escort the precious vittles to the Army from the supply depot in Blokstuft some ten miles east.  The stands of trees that screened the track to the west looked ethereal in the morning mists.  It was these mists that cause Waelwulf's scowl to deepen further, he knew the Norman scouting parties were nearby, able to travel quickly due to the huge warhorses they insisted on riding.

A jingle of tack against armoured leg confirmed his fears as did the snort of a nearby destrier, the bastard French were here. "Form up lads!" he bellowed "We have company."  With a well practised ease the hurscarls of his personal slung their huge shields and hefted the long Dane axes that they preferred.  his warriors scampered ahead to form a screen to protect the wagons from the cowardly crossbow armed Normans.  The sound of whirring began as the Geburs tested their slings in anticipation of the coming fight....

Waelwulf looked around at his warband and nodded his approval "right lads, lets show them what we've got. For England!"

Turn 1

This was very much just a march forward for the Anglo-Danes as my slingers were out of range and I just needed to get across the board.  My Hurscarls that occupied the Left flank were behind the hill in cover but also placed to keep an eye on the Norman cavalry that would no doubt skirt around the hill and woods to attack the baggage train from the rear.

The Norman knights on the right flank surged forward as expected.  The rest of the warband stayed put and unleashed a storm of arrows/bolts at my warriors who were leading the escort decimating the unit, reducing them to half strength.

pic is actually half way through turn 2

Turn 2
We got the turn sequence a little turned around and Rich went first this time – oops!
Rich attempted to cut the rest of the warriors down and I used a battleboard ability to intimidate the Normans into not firing their crossbows.  Again we (meaning me!) got the rules a bit mixed up and I stopped them with the same ability again (should only be used once per turn).  He then uses his bow armed troops to cut down 3 of the last 4 warriors down.

I move the warrior away from the front line in order to preserve the amount of Saga dice my warband generate.  The rest of the army advance if they can, however I angle the Hurscarls in an attempt to cut off the  flanking knights advances. 


Turn 3

Rich advances his flanking knights ever closer, just far enough away that my Hurscarls cannot charge them.  His other knights accompanied by his warlord edge forward to try and cut off the baggage trains advance – this proves to be the turning point of the game….  The Norman levies shoot and kill 3 of the Anglo-Dane slingers.  The xbow troops can’t fire again due to “Intimidation”.

My movement took my warlord ever closer to Rich’s knights and his warlord.  My slingers fire is totally ineffective. The Hurscarls with Dane Axes close the gap with the flanking knights again blocking their advance with a double layer of elite troops!



Turn 4

Rich  chooses to use his Saga dice to activate his archers who concentrate their fire on the baggage wagon (logs) that is on its own.  This tactic pays off as he destroys the draft animals and their handlers in a flurry of xbow bolts and arrows.  However it does leave his warlord vulnerable as he is within movement distance of my warlord and must move into combat to fight him, as he no longer has Saga dice left his knights cannot accompany him and my warlord brings him down!

Waelwulf and Hugh face off, with the Anglo Dane collecting another head for the pile...
The storm of arrows that fell from the sky thudded all around the panicking oxen and their drivers, cries of agony split the air as many bolts pierced the bodies of the baggage teams.  Waelwulf cursed as spilt sacks of grain tumbled to the ground, spoiling the precious supplies.

Ahead of him a small line of knights, their large mounts stamping iron shod hooves and snorting great plumes of steam from their nostrils in the cool morning.  Among them a man bellowed orders to the rest, clearly the leader of this raiding party. Waelwulf slung his shield over his shoulder and ran a calloused thumb down the keen blade of his enormous axe, opening up the skin with ease.

"Norman!" he shouted, "come face my blade, cowardly fool." With a start the mounted noble looked over at the burly Dane, his expression quickly becoming a disdainful sneer. 

"Come William the Bastard's little turdling, let us fight like men if you can muster the courage!" Waelwulf taunted.  The Norman's sneer became a scowl and he drew his sword, kicking his mount into a canter.  The nobleman's retinue were caught off balance and had not moved an inch by the time he was a few spear lengths from the Dane who hefted his axe in preperation for the clash.

Holding his sword like a lance the Norman warlord bore down on Waelwulf, angling the blade for a devasting cut at the Anglo-Danish noble.  With a speed that belied his considerable size, Waelwulf sidestepped the charging horse and with a mighty swing, brought down the axe blade in an unstoppable blow aimed at the horses shoulder.  With contemptuous ease the blade parted muscle and bone, half severing the poor animals head in a spray of arterial blood.  The Norman, cried out his surprise as he was thrown over the top of the dying horse to land in a crumpled heap some distance away, his right leg held out at an unnatural angle.  With a practiced shrug Waelwulf pulled the axe from the animal and advanced toward the stricken French noble, this would be too easy....

My remaining baggage moves toward the far corner of the board with the Hurscarls with hand weapons moving into a screening position with the help of Saga dice.


Turn 5

Reeling from the loss of his warlord, Rich is in dire straits, his Saga dice pool is reduced by 2, severely limiting his options.  His only hope is to destroy another baggage cart. desperately he tries to get his warriors to shoot at the hurscarl screen but intimidation prevents that from happening.

In response the Hurscarls charge into his knights and kill 3 for 1 loss in return, forcing the remaining knight to withdraw.  The Andlo-Dane slingers twice try to destroy the last man but fail to kill him off and becoming fatigued in the process.


Turn 6

The writing is on the wall and Rich concedes.....


Conclusion

To be honest this game was a bit of a mess.  We got a bit turned around on the turn sequence and use of our battle boards was incorrect at times and down right useless at others.  The key to this game is the clever use of your battle board and to fatigue your opponent.  As it was only our second game it was inevitable that we wouldn't be using the boards in the best way, this combined with the loss of his warlord led to Rich's downfall and my victory.

The sounds of the taunts thrown by his men at the retreating Norman scum was music to Waelwulf's ears. Following the death of their leader, the Frenchmen had lost heart pretty quickly and had fallen under the spears of his bodyguard with ease.  Freki, his favourite hound chased the frightened horses, almost playfully scattering the remaining knights to the four winds.  Looking around he could see the peasantry raising their heads to the sky and praising their "nailed god" for HIS victory.  Snorting in disgust he muttered his own thanks to Odin and Thor for giving him the strength in battle to defeat the Normans
"come on then lads" he bellowed, "lets get these supplies to the army and then we can find the rest of these perfumed fools and send them back to France!"

Monday, 25 July 2016

Saga - The Games!

Hi all

So we come to the last few posts of the Saga "Tale of 4 Gamers" series involving my gaming buddies from the Nerd Herd - Chris (Vikings), Damon (Scots) and Rich (Normans). A couple of weeks ago we all met up at Chris's house where in his loft he has his gaming table and it is huge!  We were able to have two Saga boards side by side and all four of us would be able to play at the same time.  there would be many battles, there would be much tension and there would be highly competitive games but most of all there would be lots of fun! (oh and a bbq and beer!!!)

Each of us was tasked to write up one of the games that we played as an AAR so that no-one had to do it all and we could all enjoy the day.  We would all play against each other using 4 point Saga warbands, the same warband throughout, using random scenarios.  The last game would be the "Feast of Crows" where we all fight together! (It was pretty brutal)

Each game would add points for the the players as follows

3 for the win
1 for the draw
0 for the loss

Points that the gamers received in the painting/modelling part of the series would be added together and the winner would get 4 points, the second highest - 3, third highest -2 and the lowest scoring - 1.  These scores would be added to the days tally to come up with a final score and a series winner

As a recap these are the points scored by each player for the painting/modelling part 

                   Painting                                   Fluff                                             Total
Andy -        5 + 4.5 + 4 + 4 + 5 = 22.5      4 + 4 + 4 + 3 = 15                       37.5
Chris -        5 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 4 = 20            0 + 4.5 + 4 + 4 = 12.5                 32.5
Damon -     4.5 + 4 + 3 + 4 + 3 = 18.5      4 + 4 + 3 + 3 = 14                       32.5
Rich -         5 + 5 + 3.5 + 4.5 + 4 = 22      4.5 + 4 + 4.5 + 5 = 18                 40

So a clear winner was Rich who scores 4, then me for 3 and Rich and Damon joint third they both get 2 each for that.  Chris clearly suffered from a lack of "fluff" in his last post and could have pulled ahead of Damon causing him to drop a point.

Bring it on!!


Rich (L) and Chris (R) face up first

with Damon and I squaring off on the other board!


next up the reports
hope you enjoy
dGG


Friday, 22 July 2016

Not a one trick pony....

hi all

I guess this is a bit of a blog filler post as I'm waiting for bat reps from the rest of the "Nerd Herd" regarding our recent  Saga day at Chris's (they're very late!). After the Saga posts which will probably  go over two weeks, I will be going down to one or two posts a week rather than the three that I'm currently putting out. No my enthusiasm for our marvellous hobby hasn't diminished at all, not even a little bit, but next year (academic not calendar) will be my last year of my degree before I qualify as a paramedic and as you can probably imagine it's going to be very hectic especially as I work full time and teach a weekly class to St John volunteers as well ....sheesh! 

All this adds up to an overload and something has to give and that means the hobby has to be scaled down somewhat until I qualify. Of course I will do my best, but no guarantees. What I am hoping is that some of the Nerd Herd will step up and contribute some posts in my stead, I know Rich has some photos of his recent Waterloo trip etc that he wants to blog about and the others may want to showcase their own work as well.  I will still be gaming and painting and blogging about it too just not so often and I hope you understand the reasons why and yes I will still be attempting to catch up with all my favourite blogs and commenting as much as poss...

But all of that is for another day, in the meantime I shall explain the title of the post. Recently I've been posting almost exclusively Bushido related articles with a little Saga sprinkled about, but like most gamers I tend to have a few interests that I bounce between and unlike my blog buddy Steve G - from "The Gamers Cupboard" blog (for those of you who think you live the hobby try this blog, written with great depth and passion for our hobby, read it, you know you want to!) I haven't had my epiphany moment where I streamline these interests (I'm getting there though Steve). This means I have various factions, armies and warbands in various states of completion in da Grotto, waiting for a lick of paint and some TLC. As I currently have no Bushido minis to paint I thought I would revisit an old ongoing favourite of mine which I dip into and out of between projects - Greenskins!

Now those of you who consider GW to be the antithesis of hobby wargaming with their aggressive expansion tactics, try not to click off in protest, I too disagree with lots of their decisions in recent years but it looks like they may be turning a corner and trying to re-engage with their "veteran" gamers bringing back games like Blood Bowl, which had to go underground for a bit (haha not just for the DungeonBowl) and Necromunda, Battlefleet Gothic, man O War etc all of which I own and have been waiting for this day!! anyhoo I digress....

I have been a Warhammer Fantasy Battle enthusiast since i was 14 years old (i'm now 42) I have collected and given away more armies than I can remember, covering pretty much all the races except, rather ironically considering my blog name, yes you guessed it Greenskins. What?!? I mean I've always loved the O&Gs so why the hell not? I guess the answer really was because I couldn't face another "horde" army, having painted over 5000 points of Skaven. Yes I know O&Gs can have an "elite" type force with Big Uns and Black Orcs but where would the fun be in that? Without hundreds of Gobbos running around I may as well just collect Elves for my elite army (oops did that....).

BTW just to clear things up I don't subscribe to Age of Sigmar as being part of WFB, no sir, no I do NOT! i don't mind people using AoS as a skirmish set of rules and that's ok, but lets not destroy a world I have spent decades exploring and loving and always wishing it would be expanded into those far eastern continents of Nippon and Ind (and planning on doing it myself as fan fiction...) oops I digress again....

Anyway that changed recently when I was scrabbling around in my bits box for some parts to convert a model for a different project (I never did find what I was actually looking for) instead I found some broken old parts of a lead model I have had in my bits box since the 1980s.


Yeeeessss!! look at this bad boy, one of the most iconic figures of the day.  Now I had put it together back in the day and covered it in thick paint and it looked dreadful and the parts were unpinned, heavy and never really stuck together well, he was covered in putty and just was awful, which is why he languished unloved in the bottom of my box. Seeing him looking so pitiful ignited something in me and I searched high and low for the rest of the bits, finding most but sadly not all, plus I started rounding up any straggler O&Gs (come on everybody has them!).  Enough were found that I could construct the Wyvern and give him a new rider (no idea if he came with the box set or if he's an old boar rider model...) and I built this out of it..






I have had to sculpt new horns as these were missing and built a base for him as the little lead one that was moulded to the figure is totally inadequate.  I wanted a more dramatic base so modelled the wyvern talons punching through the armoured corpse of a High elf.  I pinned all of the joints and sculpted them with milliput using the last 20 years worth of experience to finally do the piece some justice.

I do apologise for the lack of WIP pics for this guy and the one below as I started the figure over a year ago but never completely finished either...

Talking of which I have also just finished the leader of my Spider Riders, although I don't think he read the brief....




The giant scorpion used to be part of a conversion I did about 15 years ago for a Skaven army and had a ratman rider, however i never used him in games and it was to be fair a bit shit.....  After finding my Wyvern and getting some O&G mojo, I hit eBay and bought loads of used and cheap greenskins including two boxes of spider riders (by accident, I only wanted one!).  I wanted something a bit special and standout so "Niblit Snotfeather" and his faithful mount "Stinga" was conceived.


So thats it, turned out to be bit more than a filler post and I hope not too boring for those who aren't fans of the evil empire of GW (I only consider it a filler post as i no longer really do much WFB).  But for those of you who are interested in how the project is going I will periodically update you on it's progress.  To give you an idea of how slow it's going I started these models about a year ago and finished them totally last week... I've only completed 2 other units..... no so much a WAARRRRGGGGHHHHH!! as a wooo....hahaha

hope you enjoy
dGG

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

WIP - pirate ship!

hi all

Just a quick post today.  I've been working on a new project, after making my little Sampans (see the post here) for my latest Bushido board and receiving positive comments regarding them - thank you :-).  I decided to upscale and build something a little bigger, not necessarily for Bushido but who knows.

I started with a piece of standard polystyrene that I got from the packaging of a bathroom cabinet, cut to size and sanded to a shape before covering in coffee stirrer "planks" on the deck and longer planks on the sides of the hull. These side planks took a lot of patience and gorilla glue to get them to bend to the shape of the hull.






The aft-castle was initially going to be attached straight to the deck and have a roof but halfway through I changed my mind and made the platform a roof by raising it off the deck and creating a space underneath. The platform will now be the steerage section and I'll maybe add the ships wheel to this part of the ship.











It still needs a lot of things added, potentially a fore-castle, which could just be a bare fighting platform? and obviously masts & sails etc. Anyway I thought I would show you guys how I've gotten on so far with my "ship". I'm not sure what to think about the work done so far, it's a little boxy and a little rough, in fact I'm not sure whether to continue with the build or not? Should I expend more resources, although to be fair it is mostly time I'm spending as the model is mostly scrap and coffee stirrers liberated from over priced tax avoiding big businesses.... however the masts and sails will require cash money being spent on dowels and something for the canvas.

I'm just not sure so ready to be swayed either way, please feel free to comment - positively or not but please be constructive.

Thanks
dGG

Monday, 18 July 2016

The dark days of Ro-Kan

"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."

the Art of War
Sun Tzu

Is it not written "If you keep goin' all cosmic on me you'll feel the end of my broom and no mistake"

The Way of Mrs. Cosmopilite
Lu-Tze

Hi all

Last week Damon and I had a day of Bushido gaming here in da Grotto, trying out the two new bespoke boards I have recently built.  You can see how I built the boards by clicking on the links - for the Temple and for the Pirates.

This is our second time playing Bushido so I can’t vow that our interpretation of the rules was entirely correct, therefore I won’t go into too much detail, I’ll leave that to the next solo game I do so I can really break it down and get into the mechanics.  Also I only wrote up the first game as I just wanted to kick back and enjoy the second without having to worry about taking loads of notes.  The first game was between the Prefecture of Ryu played by Damon and the Temple of Ro-Kan played by me, both warbands are taken from my collection so those of you who are regular readers will recognise them. We ran with factions of 35 rice (the points system of Bushido).  I apologise for the lack of photos I just did them at the end of each turn.

The Forces

Temple of Ro-Kan

The Temple faction was led by Seiji a young but gifted monk, he was joined by the even younger Aiko, a child prodigy who has an unusual “Guardian” an enormous silverback gorilla. Advising Seiji is the mysterious but alluring Kitsune, a Yokai that can switch between forms from human(ish) to fox. Last but not least is the fiery Hotaru, a fierce warrior monk who’s ability to manipulate flames matches her hot temper.


The Prefecture of Ryu

The Prefecture was led by a young samurai of the Takashi Clan – Genji Takashi, he fights with twin swords and like most of the Prefecture wears armour (which is a real pain! – dGG).  He is accompanied by his retainer Atsushi along with his faithful hound Shinobu.  They are joined by the mysterious Bikou, a ninja who has pledged to house Takashi (although it has been recently revealed that she is in fact a spy for the shadowy Kaze Kage faction).  Lastly the Yokai Kappa, a creature from the marshy lands that border the Dragon isles has for reasons of it’s own attached him/her self to the young dragon’s retinue.


The Scenario and Deployment

The scenario we played was “The Idols” probably the most common scenario that you see in battle reports whether they are video or paper reports (ok I’m a little old fashioned in my view of recording media….). this is most likely because the concept is quite easy to grasp, there are three idols that are halfway between the two factions i.e 12” away.  The idols start the game facing a neutral direction.  In order to score VPs you must spend a simple action “turning” an idol a single direction, for example it cost 1 action to turn an idol from neutral to a friendly direction and 2 simple actions to turn from an enemy facing to a friendly facing.  You can only score points in turns 2, 4 and 6 and the game lasts for 6 turns.  The player with the most turned idols in these turns gains a VP.
  

Eyes darting nervously into each shadowy corner of the ancient temple, Genji Takashi - scion of the powerful Dragon clan and famed samurai throughout the Jwar Islands crept down the dusty corridor that ran the length of the forbidding structure.  Checking that the rest of his retinue was keeping up and to reassure himself that they were still there he periodically looked back at the motley collection of warriors that had attached themselves to this expedition.  Bikou, the shadow warrior glided along the flagstones noiselessly her Kasari held loosely in one hand, the curved blade dulled by soot to stop light reflecting from it and betraying the ninja’s presence to her enemies. Kappa – the strange water Yokai trailed behind, occasionally muttering to itself as he glanced around as if looking for something in particular or maybe someone?  It had joined Genji’s retinue the night before last, slipping passed  Atsushi and even passed the sensitive nose of Shinobu the Akita mountain dog companion of the wiry scout although the Kamis knew how with it smelling so badly of the marshes. It was definitely after something but it would only speak to his father who had ordered Genji to it with him.

"ChikyĆ« no tera" - the Temple of Earth was a strategic asset that needed to fall under the influence of his family, having failed to secure the “Nexus” – a vital junction within the temple with his brother Eiji previously, he had been tasked by his father to capture and secure the “Prayer Room”, a cavernous area of the temple containing powerful relics that must belong to the clan in order to achieve victory.  Without Eiji and his powerful Yari at his side, Genji felt strangely vulnerable and would stroke the hilts of his twin katanas in an effort to calm his nerves. The “Nexus” had been defended by the Temple monks robustly and both he and his twin had fallen beneath the blows of the Ro-Kan, he still remembered the young monks voice as he delivered the warning to the surviving guardsman to stay away. Shuddering, he tried to  put his fears to one side and stopped several feet shy of the corridor exit. Ahead he could make out Atsushi standing over his beloved Shinobu, trying to smooth the enormous dog’s hackles as the Akita whined softly, obviously alerted to the presence of something in the “prayer room”.  As Genji crept forward he could see the source of the dog’s distress, ahead of them stood another band of the dratted monks, worse they seemed to have a massive mighty silver backed gorilla that stood protectively over a diminutive monk child in an oversized orange robe!


With a whisper from the old scout, the big Akita scampered forward, followed closely by the loathesome Yokai, who was muttering something about foxes or foxey women? With a silent oath he drew his swords and advanced into the cavernous room, prepared to do his duty to his clan.

How it played out

Turn 1

Prefecture won the tactical role and elected to go second meaning Temple had to start the game off.  

Aiko used her Ki feat “Blessings of the Kami” on Kitsune, then ran to hide behind a nearby flower pot.

Genji has the card “Battle Plans” meaning he gets 2 pass tokens per turn and he plays a pass token straight away meaning Temple have to go again.  

Hotaru runs forward toward the east Idol. 

Genji uses another pass token allowing the Temple warriors to reveal more of their plan.

Seiji runs forward to support Hotaru and threaten the middle Idol.

Shinobu the dog scampers forward and reaches the east Idol that Hotaru was heading for.

Aiko walks closer to the safety of the flower pot and hunkers down, exhausted.

Shinobu turns the east Idol and is now exhausted

Genji starts moving forward between the west and the middle Idols, threatening them both without committing to either.

The Guardian runs forward toward the middle idol.

Kappa also runs toward the middle Idol, looking up at the massive Simian with a bit of trepidation.

Kitsune in her fox form scampers toward the western most Idol.

Atsushi runs down toward the east Idol to get closer to his hound.

Hotaru runs down to the east Idol by the dog but she cannot influence it because she is now exhausted.

Kitsune moved down to west Idol, ready to turn it next time.

Kappa walks to middle Idol and is now exhausted but it is ready to turn it in turn 2.

The gorilla moves up to middle Idol to contest and prevent the turning of the idol and is now exhausted

Genji runs to the middle of the west and middle idols preparing to offer support to Kappa and put pressure on Aiko who is worryingly in charging distance next turn.

Seiji runs down to the middle Idol to support the Guardian.

Bikou glides forward softly spotting her victim, she then moves towards Seiji flinging shurikens at the young monk causing minor wounds before she close into melee, the ninja probes and sweeps with her deadly kasari but cannot penetrate Seiji’s defences.

Atsushi moves into melee with Hotaru and whistles for his fighting Akita to join him with his ki feat “Sic ‘em boy” they both attack the young woman who summons her own Ki and uses the feat “Flame on” to burst into flames.  Atsushi catches fire while attacking and wounding Hotaru gaining one burning token.


Turn 2

The Guardian seeing the samurai looking to charge Aiko moves into combat with Genji.  The samurai gulps deep breaths, trying to overcome the fear generated by the sight of a 500 pound gorilla bearing down on him, he fails and becomes frightened.  In the melee though, his armour protects him from the fists of the giant simian while his sharp katanas take nicks from the beast.

Aiko lays a blessing on the gorilla turning his skin as hard as stone and then moves slightly to the left behind her protective companion.

Shinobu sinks his teeth into Hotaru’s arm and immobilises her taking painful burns to his sensitive mouth in the process.

Kitsune turns the west Idol to make it friendly and then transforms into humanoid form.

Genji Takashi, quailed at the sight of the giant Simian as it pounded the stone tiles of the ancient temple with its enormous fists.  Steam poured out of its flared nostrils with each snort as it roared its battle cry and charged toward Genji in a burst of terrifying speed.  Recoiling in fear he raised his precious katanas in a desperate attempt to stop the blows for connecting with him, cutting the mighty gorillas fists and enraging it further. Each hammer blow buckled another part of his armour but the intricately made plate held and he was mostly unharmed.  Inexplicably the already tough skin of the gorilla grew tougher still as he was enveloped in a faint glow which emanated from the direction of the little girl in monks robes.  Genji shrunk away from the rampaging animal in despair, whispering a prayer to his ancestors to protect him.


Suddenly from the corner of his eye he saw a green blur as Kappa, the slimy marsh Yokai barrelled into the 500 pound silverback tucking its filthy head into it’s shell at the last moment and using it’s natural armour like a missile. With a loud crash the creature connected with the standing legs of the simian, dropping it to the floor.  Reaching out with it’s massive leathery hands the gorilla slapped the Yokai hard and sent it spinning away, but despite leaking blackish blood from it’s ear and looking a bit disorientated Kappa dashed back toward the Guardian, ducking underneath the swiping hands and leaping up onto the mighty gorilla’s silvered back.  Wrapping it’s long, spindly arms around the simian’s throat it squeezed and clung on.  The Guardian tried to get a hold of the Yokai’s arms but the slime from the marshes meant that he could not get a grip on the creature and slowly his strength gave out and he sank to the floor….

Kappa moves into combat with the gorilla, mastering his fear easily.  Trusting to the protection of his shell and the distraction provided by his samurai ally, Kappa goes all out in his attack. Despite battering the Yokai with his mighty fists and nearly killing the slimy creature (one wound remaining), the gorilla is killed in action.

Aiko seeing her powerful protector fall runs back away from the rampaging Yokai.

Genji retreats away from the Temple warriors trying to regain his composure.

Kitsune ignores the cowardly samurai and moves into combat with Kappa, snarling at the disgusting Yokai.  But despite slashing and hacking with her twin swords she cannot penetrate that hard shell which proves to be very costly for her.  Kappa in reply grapples with the slender Yokai and immobilises her, his mystical power starts to drain the Ki from the foxy female and in turn spirit blocks her so she cannot generate anymore.

Bikou in combat with Seiji uses her Ki to boost her melee skills as does the young monk. After a flurry of attacks and parries Bikou is left nursing a wound to her ribs with Seiji clearly favouring his right leg.  They reengage but neither can penetrate the others defences and they step away from each other with no further wounds (both used side step defence).

Atsushi seeing an opening made by his Akita’s snarling jaws attacks Hotaru who is a unable to defend herself properly and she succumbs to her wounds, slumping to the floor.  Her flaming body splutters and dies but not before catching his sleeve on fire again.

Shinobu lets go of her arm and runs across to help Bikou next time.


Turn 3

no one scored victory points in Turn 2 as two Idols were turned, one to each faction.

Prefecture wins tactical roll. Which proves to be fortuitous for them as Bikou the Ninja charges into the helpless Kitsune and  kills her with some well-placed shuriken.


With no way to prevent the Prefecture from turning 2 of the Idols with only one fighter left the Temple concedes the field of battle to the Dragon Clan.


Genji Takashi looked around the cavernous "Prayer Room" with something like astonishment, he couldn't believe the sights he had witnessed in this hard fought encounter.  He still felt shaky as he recalled the charge from the 500 pound gorilla and winced when he felt the bruising underneath the buckled plates of his armour, he looked again over at it's corpse just to make sure it hadn't moved.  
He had been saved by the disgusting, slime covered Yokai Kappa who was even now standing over the body of the beautiful fox like woman, breathing in her Ki as her spirit left the shell that remained behind.  The loathsome beast was crooning on about some slight he had received from the Kitsune a century ago or some nonsense.  Atsushi had put out the fire on his tunic sleeve and was comforting his faithful hound, soothing the Akita's burnt mouth with some cool water from the Koi pond.  Bikou the shadowy ninja, just stood just off to the side watching the exits in case more of the monks came back, he didn't think they would be quite so lucky this time as everybody was nursing wounds and favouring various limbs.

Walking up to the Idol in the middle of the room, he placed his hands on the prayer mount and began the incantation that would begin the channeling of power.  His father would be pleased...

Conclusion

This was a bit disjointed with lots of checking up of rules, traits and Ki feats but both of us really enjoyed the game.  Key turning points for me were the loss of the Guardian to a lowly Kappa and then the Kitsune failing to put it the sword when it only had 1 wound left. In turn when it successfully grappled her she was unable to mirage or shape shift away due to the Ki draining effects of Kappa, immobilised and unable to use her ki she was a sitting duck for Bikou to finish her off.  Damon played his faction very well, a good balance of warriors and a bit of luck helped him carry the game after only three turns.

The second game was 50 rice but we didn't record the game, just played it so only a couple of pics for you. This was also Damon's game but it was touch and go for him when I removed some powerful figures of his and control important areas of the board. The turning point for him was the flukey killing of Master Po by the dastardly Kappa again!!



all in all, despite the two losses I had a great day and we both felt like we were getting to grips with this exciting and fun game.

"The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand."

The Art of War
Sun Tzu

For is it not written "The big sea does not care which way the little fishes swim"

The Way of Mrs. Cosmopilite
Lu-Tze

hope you enjoy
dGG