Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Super-fast 10mm Fantasy armies and Orcs vs. Barbarians

I've lured my two nephews into 10mm Fantasy gaming with a couple of games of Mighty Armies recently. It plays quickly, the rules are simple, and it doesn't take loads of room.

They both expressed a desire to get their own armies after a few games, so I decided to pick them up some Pendraken figures to make up around 80AP of mixed troops for each of them as Christmas presents.

The figures arrived on 21st December, but I had to go away on holiday with the in-laws, so didn't get a chance to put paint to figure until Christmas eve.

AGW (Amazing Geek Wife - she insisted I change it from AGG) pitched in, and between us we painted, based, flocked and varnished about 80 stands in just over 7 hours, including a couple of periods of drying time for paint, glue and varnish.

One army was Undead, almost entirely Skeletons, and AGW had a dry brushing production line going of black undercoat, old GW bleached bone and new GW ceramite white. She was really impressed by the contrast and how effectively the bone and white picked out the detail on the skeletons. I picked out weapons and wood on the skellies whilst she started in on the other army - Barbarians. They got an airbrushed Tamiya Flat Brown undercoat, GW Talarn Flesh drybrush and then GW Dwarf Flesh drybrush. I then picked out loincloths, hair, wood and weapons. They then got a generous wash of Devlan Mud.

I lucked out when looking at my D&D Miniatures for a couple of Monsters for their armies (monsters are powerful units in Mighty Armies) - I had a suitable dire wolf for the barbarians and a dire wolf skeleton for the undead - ideal!

We started painting at just before 5pm and I got the final mist of Testors dullcoat on at about 2am, ready to let them air out overnight.

The nephews came over last week and we had a game with one of the armies (Goblin had misplaced his army - temporarily, I'm hoping), the Barbarians, facing off against my Orcs of the Red Hand (Orcs at the bottom, Barbarians at the top).

On the first turn both armies started to move into position. On the left flank the Barbarian hero and heavy cav moved up and began to circle to the left of the woods. The dire wolf and the archers moved into the centre of the board and the Shaman moved up with them. On the right flank the Barbarian King moved forward, the archers moved up to just behind the hill and the catapult slowly ground forward.

The Orcs were hampered by bad rolls for manoeuvre points, meaning they could move fewer units. On the left, the catapults moved forward and wheeled slightly towards the centre and the archers moved up towards the hill and wheeled left. The Shaman moved forward to gain line of sight past the archers. On the right the furthest flying monster flew towards the town and the General and his infantry block marched forwards.

Bison Cavalry move around the woods.

Hero and his infantry (with Dwarf support) move ahead of the flying monster.

The hero, archers and flying monsters and shaman (actually trolls)

Turn 2 saw more manoeuvres  The barbarians edged past the woods on the left, the archers mounted the hill on the right and various suspicions parties ambled forward in the centre.

Dire wolf says "Bark! Bark!"

Turn 3 saw the Orcs flying monster make an attack on the archers isolated on the hill. With strength 5, plus aerial charging bonus, the monster expected an easy victory. However, the Orcs abysmal dice rolling struck again....

Monster charges archers....

Archers defeat monster.

On the left flank the (not) Troll shaman tried a risky spell, bind unit, hoping to hold the Bison cavalry in place.  An opposed roll, with the bison getting +2 as the Shaman was trying to effect all of the unit, not just one stand, but he succeeded and the Bison riders were mired in place.


The Orcs took advantage of this and one of the flying monsters charged the mired bison riders. 

The Orcs Flying Monster tears into the Bison cavalry

Unable to effectively fight back (their dice roll is halved if mired), they were recoiled, losing a unit. But, a unit that recoils whilst bound is instead destroyed. A harsh lesson for us all in how powerful the bind spell is ( this was the first time we had used magic) 

In the centre the Barbarians flying monster moved up to threaten the phalanx of Orc wolf riders. Behind it the Barbarian heavy infantry shuffled around to protect their flanks, and the lone bison rider on the right and the hawk-men moved up towards the village.

At this point I made a big mistake. I forgot to shoot the catapults. They were well in range of the dragon, who was unengaged, and they'd have 3 shots at 5+ to kill the dragon (who gets a 5+ save as he's a monster). This was shortly to prove my undoing... 

The Dragon charges behind the Orc lines and engages the catapults that were apparently having a tea break..

To great effect.

Long view downtable. 

In the next turn the Orcs split the generals command on the right into two, and prepared to send two stands off into the village to meet the bison/hawk-man combo. The remaining units, along with the wolf riders, moved up, preparing to engage the Barbarian hero and his infantry support (which included a stand of Dwarf mercenaries, as we ran short of Barbarian infantry). The Dragon continued his rampage behind the lines by engaging the Orc archers who had turned to face him, causing a casualty and recoiling them back nearly into their own hero. The Barbarian archers fired on the Orc General, causing two casualties.

Preparing to charge the hero.

The next turn saw the final conflict of the fight. The Barbarian archers moved down off the hill. The Barbarian shaman tried, and failed, to pin the wolf riders and the hero wheeled to let the archers cover his left flank The wolf riders and the giant spider then charged the Barbarian hero and the Orc general and his last remaining stand of infantry charged the Bison Cavalry in the village. 

Archers move down off the hill and the Orcs charge.


The Orc charge smashed into the Barbarian line, but the light cavalry, even with monster support, weren't enough to break the Barbarian lines. The unit was recoiled, losing one stand straight away. Monsters don't recoil, so the spider stayed put, but the unfortunate Orc wolf riders had to retreat straight back a full move, sending one of them straight into the lava pits.

In the village the Orc General recoiled the Bison cav and the barbarians lost the supporting hawk-man.

The next turn was the final one. The retreating Orc cavalry were blasted by a lightning bolt from the barbarian shaman and the giant spider was shot to bits by the archers (who had had a good day).

On the left flank, the two Orc flying monsters ganged up on the dragon and managed to destroy it. With the end of the 6th turn the game was over, and the Barbarians claimed a very credible victory over the Orcs.