Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Review of the Year - 2014

So once again I round up my record for the year against the usual markers to see how my year in wargaming has gone...

To start with, I have recorded fewer games this year than last, however past of that can be explained by the rise of X-Wing. This is a much quicker game where you may play a few skirmishes in a single evening, so I haven't been keeping track of it. I'd still class it as a solid evening of gaming nonetheless. Perhaps I shall record it next year, but we shall see.

Whilst I may have recorded fewer games, I have had a more balanced year. Last year I played 56 games, however 44 of them were 40k. This year I have only played 48 games, but by fluke have played exactly 24 of each system (well, I may have played a few more of either system, as I don't count multiplayer games in my record - just 1 vs 1 games where I can only blame myself and thus claim all the credit when things do go right)

Of last years 56 games, I won just over half (30) whilst losing 19 times and getting 7 draws. Despite playing only 48 this year, I have managed a solid 32 wins, so 75% victory rating. I got 11 losses and only 5 draws. These are split fairly evenly between 40k and fantasy, leaning ever so slightly in fantasys favour, but not much.

My best performing army was my Empire, but given it's the only fantasy army I played with all year throughout a long campaign that makes some sense. That army chalked up 17 victories, 5 defeats and 2 draws. As for 40k, that was split between my guard with 6 wins, plus 2 losses 2 draws, my Dark Eldar (a theme army I took on as a modelling project, took to a tournament, and promptly got spanked in) got a solitary win and 3 losses... credit where it's due though, that solitary win was in the playoff to avoid the wooden spoon, so they won when it mattered. Kinda. My Orks made up for my Dark Eldar, taking a solid 8 wins from 10 games, losing one and drawing one.

My best streak was 11 wins on the trot, in a 13 game undefeated streak that lasted over the summer. I couldn't put this down to one army though, as it was quite a mixed bag between campaign games, plus a few guard games and me starting to use the ork army that has been doing so well this year.

As for the games against my close friends Neil, Rich and Ken. Well surprisingly this year Ken was not the person I played least! Despite him living miles away. I played 5 games against Ken, winning two. Whereas I only played 4 against Rich, again winning 2. There were no draws against any of the three, so a fairly evenly matched year there. The same cannot be said for Neil. He kept challenging me in the campaign. I don't know why. I played him 8 times. I won 8 times. A lot of those were in the campaign, though there were a couple of 40k games too.

Overall, a decent amount of games played and a lot of fun had. A bloody good win loss ratio that is always gratifying, even if it isn't the primary goal of the hobby, let's be honest it's nice to win. I have no particular goals for next year, I don't know if my game count is likely to rise as I do wish to try out a few different game systems, and unless I decide to count them too... Tempting, but it would mean messing with the pattern established over several years of keeping track. Do I really want the extra work? Probably not, but no promises either way.

In the meantime, good luck to you all in the new year.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Chivalry Dost Live Yet...

The Ogre Tyrant manoeuvred his armies into the Elven lands. They had already seized the elven capitol, and were now pursuing the refugees. "I want blood, and an easy victory!" the ogre tyrant roared.

Some of the fleeing elves were captured by a small patrol of humans, and brought before their leader in the small encampment they had at Hanging Rock. They pleaded for their lives. They told their tale, of the Tyrant in search of an easy victory. They caught Old Man Ulric on a good day. Whilst he was on a quest to free his son from the clutches of the hated Lizard foe, he could not let the weak be ridden over in so roughshod a manner. To do so would mean that while he may find his son, he would sacrifice his honour to do so. Ulric wouldn't have that, and knew that, wherever he was, William would agree.

As the ogres advanced into the field where the elves had finally stopped running, they noticed the foe looked more numerous. Were those humies over to the right flank? Why was there steam rising from both flanks of the host before them? The ogre advance slowed to a crawl...

This mattered not to Ulric, as he spurred his horse towards the enemy. The elves followed his lead, and two mass forces of cavalry advanced towards the now stationary ogres. The elves seemed cautious, wary that the humans may not keep their word. Ulric rode with the confidence of righteousness. It probably helped that there were demigryph knights ready to pounce should anything attack his flanks, but that was for the benefit of his men. Ulric needed no such reassurances, as he had by this point become convinced of his own invincibility.

A large horde of ogres, lacking the comprehension to understand why their general was being so cautious all of a sudden, went charging after a lone human wizard on the left flank. As they crashed after him through the forest they ran straight into the Steam Tank that Ulric had loaned to the elves to bolster their flank. The Tank battened down the hatches and held the ogres there while the elven infantry, somewhat left behind by the cavalry advance, flanked the ogres and routed them.

The Steam Tank on Ulrics flank seemed to be having trouble brewing enough steam, and after an emergency vent the boiler remained stable, but the tank was still somewhat slower than usual and unable to aid Ulrics attack. It was no matter. Ulric and his hammers smashed through a mammoth creature, before charging into the Tyrant and his guard. They slaughtered the bodyguard, and the Tyrant turned to flee. Ulric and his knights were faster, and caught the rotund creature before he could make it two steps. They dragged the crying sobbing creature away from the field of battle. With Ulrics steadying influence occupied, some minor scuffles broke out between the elves and the rearguard of Ulrics army, but it was largely irrelevant. Ulric carried the field that day, and the elves were spared and allowed to escape, to regroup another day.

Ulric made camp in the lands of his victory. His horses needed rest, and it wasn't a bad position to perhaps raise a small holding to regroup and continue the search. He released the chastened tyrant, but not without extracting a suitable bounty from the Ogres Overlord. He also felt that the leaderless elves needed some help to regroup, so he ordered their Loremaster to be released from his dungeon. The grateful elves gifted a beautiful suit of armour to Ulric as thanks for his generosity. Ulric would stick with the tattered old armour he'd worn for the past 30 years - if Mrs Von Lichtenstein couldn't get him to change it, and her complaints were mostly down to the smell and the appearance, he'd be damned if some pointy ear would get him to change it now. But the gift was well received nonetheless, and placed in the armoury to await a suitable recipient.

To top the day off, a squire arrived with news from Roughguts. Sir William had been located. He was being held in a castle near the Marshes of Madness. Roughguts was amassing an army to attempt to free him.

"God Speed old friend" uttered Ulric "God Speed"

A gift from the ogres...