Sunday, April 29, 2012

Saga at Barrie's

After last week Barrie & I were keen for another go at Saga.  Again it was fun & we're keen to try some different forces next time.

Game 1: Jim's Anglo-Danes v. Barrie's Vikings

The Anglo-Danes (in the foreground) advanced their left leaving their levy on their right hanging back. The Vikings took the bait and charged the levy.  The levy fell back & the main force turned right to attack the Viking unit's flank.  But the dice did not cooperate, the Viking unit took a lot of enemies with them and one got away.

A misunderstanding of the cover rules lead to the Anglo-Danes charging the ruined abby with such unfortunate results that battle became a mopping up operation for the Vikings.

Game 2: Mark's Anglo-Danes v. Barrie's Vikings

This scenario has a river with 2 fords.  The winner is the side with the most troops over the river on turn 7.

Mark did pretty well for a first gamer, but Barrie in his 4th game had a good grasp of the Viking's special rules & won a tough fight.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Elperezova - 6mm Napoleonics

After my experiments with 6mm Napoleonics over the weekend I worked up a summary sheet for a simplified Black Powder for big Napoleonic battles and set up a game for Steve, Big Carl & Tony - again based on El Perez from the BP book.  Not a  big battle yet, but you have to walk before you run.

Steve's Russians v. Carl & Tony's French

The scenario requires the Russians to fight their way over the bridge at Petitosova & get at least half their army away.   The French have 1 small unit defending the bridge & the rest in hot pursuit of the Russians.  Steve did the usual - deployed 1 infantry division & his cavalry to delay and marched the rest towards the bridge as fast as possible.

The retreat went well for the Russians while they could march down the road, but it all slowed down when they had to deploy to attack the bridge and their Command rating of 7 asserted itself.  But they sorted themselves and charged across the bridge with 1 brigade supported by another & artillery on both flanks.  They had done all they could, but the Frogs refused to budge as the rearguard melted away and the French main army got clear and began marching forward with a Command rating of 9.

The  French garrison eventually ran out of hot dice and broke leaving the escape route clear, but it was too late.  The Russians only got about 1/4 of their army away & the French won a good vctory.      

The modified Black Powder system worked really well & can only improve with more work & testing.  The players enjoyed it and it was a breeze to umpire.   The simplifications make the game easier to remember and quicker to play, but I think still retains enough tactical options.  Borodino 2012 here we come.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trying out Saga at Barrie's

Saga is a ruleset for Dark Age skirmish games.  It's been getting good reviews so I was keen to take up Barrie's invitation to try it out.  For armies all you need a couple of dozen 28mm barbarians.  I made up my own passable Anglo-Danish force by selecting suitable figures from my Hail Caesar Celts.  Barrie had  a force of Vikings - his first painting effort for a long time.

The rule book include 6 scenarios - we fought the smallest one - a simple free for all where the aim was simply to kill the enemy's Warlord.   We fought two battles going one-all before adjourning to watch the football (where Barrie lost again).

Our first game took about 2 1/2 hours due to extensive rules looking up.  It ended with the two Warlords in single combat with Barrie's winning.

Barrie's force is on the far side.  His have cute movement trays, but with such small forces, individual figures are fine.

The second one took less than an hour - we knew what we were doing already & were feeling gung-ho as well.   I added a standard bearer and one of Boudicea's daughters as cheerleader to support my Warlord & it seemed to inspire him.  With just one game's experience we were beginning to get into a few of the tactical nuances the game provides.   This time  the Anglo Danes cunningly outflanked the Vikings and won a decisive victory.

The force selection, movement & combat mechanics are dead simple - the unique features are the Battle Boards and the Saga dice that drive them.  There are different battle Boards and dice for each type of force.  The rule book has Vikings, Anglo-Danish, Welsh & Normans.  More are, or will, be available in supplements.  The dice each have 3 symbols, 1 of the first, 2 of the second, 3 of the third (you can fake them with standard dice).  Each turn you have a command phase where you throw a certain number of the Saga dice and place the dice on the Battle Board.  Your options are limited by the dice results as each symbol can only be placed in certain places.  You then take the dice off as you use them to allow you move, shoot or provide tactical options.  It sounds weird and artificial and it's difficult to describe, but it works surprisingly well.   Every turn you have to look at the tactical situation, look at the dice you have rolled and make a plan.  Then you implement it (using normal dice in the combat).  It takes a little while to get it, but when you do, there is a surprising number of tactical options (which are different for each type of force).

I've never liked skirmish games previously (being too much of a meglomaniac), but I like this one.  Easy to play, but fun and challenging.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Experiments with Black Powder 6mm Napoleonics

Following my introduction to Lasalle last week I thought it would be interesting to try Black Powder Napoleonics & compare.  A year ago we did a bit of Black Powder 7YW in 15mm & liked it, but then Hail Caesar 28mm fever took over.  But I have all these 6mm Napoleonics and today finally got around to trying them out with BP.

The 6mm figures are based as follows:
- Russian Infantry: In column formation on 40x30mm stands.
- French infantry: As Russian except some skirmisher figs around the column.
- Cavalry: In single rank on 40x20mm stands.
- Artillery: 2 guns on a 40x20mm stand.
Unit sizes:
- Standard unit:  3 stands.
- Small unit: 2 stands.
- Large unit: 4 stands.
Scale: Half distances in the book.  This is in proportion to the unit sizes & allows typical battles to be done on a 6x4' table.

With these scales, I consider a stand to be a battalion, a “unit” a brigade, & a “brigade” a division.  Thus a typical force of 3 or 4 divisions is a Corps and should provide a good one night battle for two players.   

The ultimate aim of course is full blown Napoleonic battles (it is Borodino's 200th aniversary).  Multi-corps battles will work on a 10x6' table, though it will probably take a couple of nights to resolve one - which is not a problem - that's just more time to enjoy it.

To try out the system I played the Fighting Retreat at El Perez scenario from the book solo.  However as I  have only sorted out the French & Russian 6mms it became the Fighting Retreat at Elperezova with Russians retreating.  This Fighting Retreat scenario pretty well governs stratategy making this a good solo game. But still lots of tactical permuations are possible. 

In this solo battle the Russian rearguard delayed the French as best they could while the rest of the army rushed towards the Petitosova bridge and safety.  Two Russian columns marched towards the bridge (defended by 1 small French unit) while their cavalry on their right (left of pic) and an infantry division on their left tried to delay the main French force.

But the Petitosiva garrison held on heroically to fatally delay the Russian retreat. The pursuing French, having broken or driven back the rear guards, arrived in time to attack the bridgehead defence and take the road in front of the bridge to cut off the remains of the Russian force.  The French suffered significant losses, but the Russians only got 5 of their 15 units over the bridge to safety.  To win the Russians had to get 8 away, so it was pretty close in the end.

I got a few things confused with HC which I discovered progressively as I gradually got back into the BP way.  But it was certainly a good idea to do a solo battle before trying a proper battle.  The rules and the scale went together well & it all felt right.  Importantly, I could see that with just a few simplifications the game will run quickly enough for it to work with really big actions.   

It was interesting to play BP again after Hail Caesar.  Rick Priestly's achievement in producing two sets of rules with basically the same mechanics, but which convincingly reflect the character of the two different eras is remarkable.  It will be interesting to see Pike & Shotte - which is in the mail.

Comparison between Black Powder and Lasalle

After playing Lasalle a few nights back, I wanted to play Black Powder again to refresh my memory of it before comparing them.    They both provide a good straightforward game that doesn’t give you a headache.   Lasalle may be a tighter set with less ambiguities.   It is more measured and slower paced - move rates are slower and predicable and losses build gradually with less wild swings of fortune than in BP. I could happily play either, but my preference is Black Powder for the following reasons:
1) I like using a family of rules sets over different periods even though this is both an advantage and a curse - the common methods make it easier to remember how to play the game when you swap periods, but it’s also easy to confuse the points of difference. (Using half scale for BP helps as it makes the move distances consistent).
2) The wild swings of fortune in BP can be exasperating, but it also makes an exciting game.
3) I like the BP command system.
4) I like the BP/HC philosophy of the rules being a tool box that you can fiddle with by adopting optional or house rules (so you can easily eliminate any issues that seriously annoy you).
5)  I think BP lends itself better to scaling up for fighting big battles with 6mm figs.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Lasalle Napoleonics at Nick's

Jim's Austrians v. Nick's French - 2 divisions a side in 6x4' table, 15mm figs.
My first go at Lasalle Napoleonics, but Nick is a veteran of a few games & had a pretty good grasp of the rules so we didn't waste a lot of time looking up.

The pics are all taken from the Austrian side.  The dice determined that the French were the attackers, and for that they got an extra couple of units.  The defenders had the choice of choosing table side, or deploying second.  They chose the latter.

The French had 2 infantry divisions, the Austrians an infantry & a cuirassier division.

The French advanced quickly on their left with their right echeloned back.  The Austrians moved forward a little to meet them with their cuirassiers charging the infantry as they left the farm fields.

The cuirassiers broke one infantry unit, but most of the French got into square & the cavalry was beaten off.

There's a bit of a gap in photo record here as your reporter got carried away in the action.   The French centre was counterattacked by the Austrian left and destroyed.  The Austrian left then turned around and attacked the french left.

The French were pinned by the cuirassiers on one side and attacked by infantry on the other.  The French losses mounted and they eventually failed an army morale test.

Lasalle has its odd quirks but nothing too outragous that you wouldn't get used to.  The system rattles along pretty fast and doesn't require continuous reference to tables.  As a virgin player I just did what seemed right and the rules pretty well supported me - which is always a good test.  I certainly enjoyed the game.

Nick in Launceston - Lasalle Again

Had another bash at Lasalle at Chris's place. This time we did two divisions a side -- Austrians had Infantry and Cuirassiers, French had Veteran Infantry and Light Cavalry.

This time we added in generals, reaction charges (which didnt come in to play), and army morale. However, we stuffed up the army morale, forgetting to test until way after both armies had 'broken'.

Nick had Austrians defending, with his Cuirassiers on his left flank. Chris had French attacking, with his light cavalry on his left flank.

We rolled for generals. The Austrians need a 6 to get a good general, and a 1-2 gives a bad general. True to form, the Austrian Cuirassiers had some limp wristed powder puff general. The French need a 1 to get a bad general, but get a good general on a 4-6. Fortunatly, both French generals were average.

The French left flank screamed up, deploying their horse artillery, and threatening the infantry in front of them into square. One unit even screamed across the front of the Austrian line, taking out the Austrian artillery, before running into Austrian cuirassiers and evaporating. The horse artillery slowly pounded the squares, damaging them, but not breaking them until the end of the game.

The Austrian left flank waited till the French had advanced close. Then the cuirassiers charged out. The French decided to try to shoot the Cuirassiers down rather than form square. 2x Veteran infantry destroyed as a result. Learning their lesson, the rest of the French infantry formed square, leaving the cuirassiers floundering hopelessly, slowly taking attrition from long range artillery or the odd musket shot. Eventually, a fresh French hussar unit tried their luck on the cuirassiers. They were beaten, but this further disorganised the cuirassiers. The hussars rallied, charged the cuirassiers again, and broke them! Huzzah!!!

At this point there was a swirling infantry melee in the center. The French really missed the loss of their two veteran infantry units -- they just didnt have the numbers. The Austrians slowly wore the French down. But with the loss of the cuirassiers, the French infantry in square on the left flank became free to move -- they joined the fight. Unfortunatly, the French center had been ground down sufficiently that the Austians managed to take on and beat the fresh French toops.

Suddenly, the Austrian squares facing the French light cavcalry and horse artillery broke under the pressure, and a French chasseur unit managed to get the last surviving Austrian artillery, and the Austrians went from what looked like a good position to complete collapse. The French had undisputed control of their objective, to win the game.

On reflection, we found a few more mistakes. Particularly, the Austrian Cuirassiers are a reserve division, so they come on as reinforcements. But to counter that, we forgot to give them the shock cavalry bonus for most of the game.

A good game, that has me painting Napoleonics again!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nick in Launceston -- New Store Magic Night!

There is a new store in Launceston -- Good Games. This is a branch of a large chain on the mainland. It has computer gaming, plus tables for various fantasy and card games. The best bit though is the opening hours -- 11 am to 11 pm every day! The stock at the moment consists of Magic, Heroclix, Dystopian Wars, Warmachine, etc. All of your usual popular fantasy / sci-fi themes apart from GW, which they are not stocking as they are already stocked by Tiger Models and Birchalls. I spoke to the manager, and there is no desire to get into historicals due to the startup costs. When all is said and done, I have to say Area 52 is a nicer store with a larger range. But you cant complain about another store in Tasmania!

They have several game nights. I went along to their Tuesday night magic tournament. Cost is $10, but you are guaranteed to win a $6 booster, so its a cheap game. I bought an event deck at Area 52 to take along. Event decks are pre-made legal decks that supposedly are powerful enough to be competetive in tournaments -- but they arent that powerful, and do require some tuning! I had a black/green deck that used the undying mechanic -- creatures that die come back even more powerful (but if they die in their powerful form they really die). My first game was against someone who was in her first tournament, and had been playing for a month. She destroyed me two games running! Next round was a bye. Third round was against Rob. The first game I managed to reduce Rob to one life, then his creatures kicked in and he started slamming me. But, right as I was about to die, I drew a card to do one damage to Rob, and managed to extract a win from the jaws of defeat. Rob won the next, and I won the third. The last game was against Terry. I'm not sure what his deck was -- I managed to get a horde of creatures out for each game and rush before he could do much. In the end, 2 wins, one bye, and a loss. I made a profit, winning 2x $6 boosters (Assuming you ignore the $40 for the event deck!)

I think my Tuesday nights are sewn up for the next few months!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

FOW Hasty Assault Mission

Jim's US Mech v. Steve's Grenadiers
1,555 pts MW, US attacking.

Undeterred by last night's fiasco, the same US Mech coy lined up for another go.

In this mission half both sides are on table  at the start.  The defender' reserves are delayed and scattered, the attacker's are neither.

The US put a dismounted mech platoon on each flank & SP 105's in the centre.  The Germasn deployed infantry with mortars, HMG & Pak support on the ridge & artillery behind.

 The US advanced on both flanks, but brought all their reserves in on the left.  With a traffic jam in the corridor between ridge and table edge, the Luftwafe was scary, but the tank's AA saw them off until they got in close.

But the German artillery & mortars were more effective hurting the GI's & eventually destroying them.

The 2nd grenadier platoon arrived in the nick of time to defend the village and its objective.  The US had lost ther infantry, so the tanks had to risk the bogging rolls and go in unsupported.

The Honeys were beaten off, but the Shermans made it over the hedge and took the objective.  The Germans tried to blast them off it, but with the help of cover and smoke the Shermans survived to seal victory.

Monday, April 16, 2012

FOW Counterattack Mission

Jim's US Mech v. Richard's Fins

1555 points MW  Counterattack Mission, US attacking.

The Fins are deployed in the far RH corner, the US in the closest quarter.  The Fins have some light tanks in reserve to come in on the LH corner.

The US objectives are in the 2 far quarters.

The US decided to take the direct approach.  2 infantry platoons lined up as close as they could to the Fin line with Shermans & Honeys in support.  The artillery are on the hill & recon behind it ready to make a dash for the far objective.

Alas the US's bold plan met some serious opposition from the dice gods.  The artillery failed to hit & pin the enemy infantry and the combined fire of the rows of tanks and infantry fell short of 5 hits.

The unpinned infantry with lots of SMG teams had no trouble stopping the attack thru the woods.   The KV's stopped the bazooka charge with MG fire, then they stopped the Honeys with 2 bails.  The whole US line ground to a halt.

Then things got worse for the US.  The Fin reserves arrived on turn 1 and intercepted the Recon.   The Recon got away with some transport losses & holed up in the town.

The Shermans charged to the flank of the KV's but 2 bails was not good enough.  The 105's missed again and the GI's were again stopped by fire.

Fin infantry charged the Shermans from cover and the Shermans fell back.  Then all 4 front line US platoons failed morale (including the CO re-roll) and it was game over.     The Fins lost 1 infantry team.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Peter Williams' New Book

Our old comrade Peter Williams has just had his fourth book published.

The Kokoda Campaign 1942
Myth and reality

For more info go to:

I haven't seen it yet, but being Peter, it's bound to have an unconventional slant and be a rattling good read.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hail Caesar at Nick's

We had a good turnup for Nick's monthly garage day - 9 blokes including Mike Chevak who I haven't seen for 30 years (on hols in Tas).  We fought a hoplite battle with the same troops as at Nicks a few months ago - then using FOG.  Carl, Mark & Tony commanded the Spartans, Steve and Mike commanded the Athenians, I umpired.  Nick, Byron & Leigh also present.

All pics taken on iphone from the Athenian left.  Both sides put their cavalry on the far flank.  The Athenians advanced their skirmishers & cavalry (with Mike in command of them, what else would the cavalry do?), but otherwise stood and waited.

The Spartans made a general advance, somewhat slowed by their right flank being a tad reluctant.

The cavalry fight on the far flank was quickly decided in the Spartan's favour.  But Mark's Spartan cavalry had lost enough for Mark to have to spend some time rallying before renewing his advance.

Tony's Spartans overlapped Steve's left and attacked his flank.  Steve somehow beat the attack off but not without heavy losses & after a bit of rallying Tony's division still threatened to roll up the Athenian line.

Steve counterattacked in the centre and advanced his right against Mark's cavalry.  The front line of Spartans in the centre was broken, and after beating Mark's cavalry, the Athenian right wheeled left and attacked the Spartan's exposed left flank.

But at the same time Tony was attacking the Athenian left flank.

The Athenians broke first to end a battle with wildly fluctuating fortunes.

As Carl doesn't come to Camp Cromwell we fought this battle with no house rules.  There really wasn't a lot of difference to how it went, but I think our tweeks do remove some of the odder things that can happen & make the game go a bit quicker.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Nick in Launceston - Lasalle

It was an unplanned game -- both Nick and Rob ended up at the club with no opponents. But Nick had his Napoleonics in the car, so an impromptue Lasalle game was set up.

Nick (Austrian, with one infantry division and one Cuirassier division) vs Rob (with one veteran infantry division and one conscript infantry division).

Nick tried a grand sweep on his left flank with his Cuirassiers. They crashed through the French artillery. But the artillery had shot them up pretty well, and when they hit a square in the back they bounced. The square was only conscripts, so they charged again -- but lost and broke. Meanwhile, a 2nd Cuirassier unit attacked another unit of conscripts that failed to form square. Rob rolled a flurry of 6s, and the Cuirassiers lost!

On the other flank the relentless march of the veteran French infantry overwhelmed the Austrians. It didnt help when Nick tried to do some fancy maneuvers, and only 1/2 his units moved. In two turns the proud Austrian right wing turned to a rabble!

A well deserved victory to Rob, who seemed to like the game!

(There was some Kingston Kup practice on another table. All I will say is 'there were hordes of em!'

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Marcus Plastix & Metalix Maximus fight for the Purple

Jim's plastic Romans v. Steve's metal Romans
500 points in 4 divisions each in our first Hail Caesar Roman Civil War battle.

Metalix (far side of table in pic) deployed all his cavalry in one divison on the left of his 3 infantry divisions, each such a confusing mixture of legionaries & auxilia in several varieties of elite, veteran, light, medium & heavy that we only discovered after the battle that he'd accidentally added in an extra unit.

Plastix (in the foreground) had 2 legionary divisions in the centre (each 4 cohorts & 2 light archers each) with a mixed division of eastern auxilia foot & horse on each flank.

Both sides advanced their left, though Plastix's left flank cavalry seemed singularly reluctant to go anywhere.

On Plastix's right his outnumbered cavalry got ridden down, but his infantry spread out to cover the flank.

In the centre the opposing legions crashed into each other, but Metalix's right failed to keep up and Plastix's left flank infantry got around Metalix's legion's flank.

Plastix's right flank division was broken by Metalix's cavalry, but Metalix's flanked legion was destroyed in the centre.

Plastix's RH legion held on desperately as the other one finished off their opponents and turned to help it.

On Plastix's left his flank division was stiffened with a cohort from the centre.  The cataphracts charged the auxilia while Metalix's auxilia charged the infantry on their right.  Plastix lucked out on both counts.  The cataphracts got thrown back, and worse still, the supporting cohort broke allowing the auxilia to get into the flank of Plastix's legions.

That was the decisive moment.  Metalix's 2nd legion was on the point of collapse, but the pressure was relieved just enough for it hold on until the cavalry could get around Plastix's right flank.

Plastix personally lead his last sound cohort into the fray in a desperate charge for death or glory.  Unfortunately he got death - dying heroically in the front line.

This was a desperately bloody battle, even the winners didn't have a lot left unshaken.  But for the moment the superiority of metals over plastics has been established...Hail Caesar Metalix Maximus!

Monday, April 09, 2012

More Barbarians at the City Gates

Jim's Barbarians v. Rich & Simon's Romans

Another go at our Barbarians at the City gates Scenario.

When the Roman relief army came on, the Barbarians tried to about face their 2 infantry divisions to go and meet them, leaving their cavalry and engines to face the city garrison.

The Roman cavalry charged down the road to meet the Barbarian infantry head on.  They were eventually pushed back and broken, but they broke 2 warbands and hurt some more as well as giving the legions time to deploy.

As the Barbarian infantry struggled to get though the camp and the farm and sort themselves out the 1st legion deployed out to the right to outflank the Samartan cavalry.

The Samartans countered by charging with the cataphracts while covering their left with horse archers.   The horse archers were smashed by a cohort, but they did their job, the cataphracts rode down 2 cohorts  to split the Roman army in two.  

The cataphracts wheeled right as the warbands swarmed forward crowding the 2nd legion into a corner while the remaining half of the other legion was too far away to help.

Meanwhile, the city garrison was sallying out of the city.  The artillery kept them at bay for a while, but was over-run.  One cavalry unit was broken attacking the citizens, but the others were doing enough to keep the camp safe for the time being.

The 2nd legion might have been almost surrounded, but it was a tough nut to crack.  The cataphracts bounced off and then had to face about to hold off the 1st legion.

But the Barbarians had plenty of warbands to throw in with one to spare to help the cataphracts.

Finally the Romans cracked, both legions breaking at the same time giving the barbarians victory.

The battle featured 2 devastating cavalry charges. The Romans looked well on top when their cavalry smashed 2 warbands in a pre-emptive strike, but the legions were too far back to exploit the gap & the barbarians reformed.  Then the Samartan cataphracts returned the favour, smashing thru 2 cohorts.  But this split the Roman army and the barbarian infantry was close enough to exploit the resulting opportunities.

The sortie from the city was an interesting sideshow, but ultimately not decisive, the barbarians had left just enough behind to protect the camp for long enough.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Yet more KKK practice

Jim's Hungarians v. Steve's Panzergrenadiers

Breakthrough mission on 6x4, 1555 pts, Germans attacking.

The Hungarians moved infantry onto both objectives & dug in.  Both sides exchanged shots waiting for the German reserves to arrive on turn 5 (now automatic if they haven't come earlier).

The Panzergrenadiers from reserve attacked the infantry in the wood defending the rear objective and drove them back over the river.  The Hungarians moved their 38-T's across to counterattack the panzergrenadiers from the rear.  The Germans broke, were caught between 2 platoons and were destroyed.

The Germans then attacked the forward objective with their other panzergren platoon. The got past the weapons platoon, but a counterattack by infantry & 38-T's destroyed them.  The Hungarians then won with no Germans within 40cm of an objective.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

More KKK Practice

Jim's Hungarian Infantry v. Mark's Fucilieri

Dust Up Mission 1555 points on 6x4 table

When two blokes have been wargaming with each other for 40 years, things can get a tad predicable.  The two lists were remarkably similar to start with, except the Hungarians had a bit more quality and the Ities more numbers.   The first pic is taken behind the Hungarian right.  Both sides deployed two big infantry platoons and a 105 battery, moved forward a bit, dug in, and then exchanged counter-battery fire while waiting for reserves.

When they were good and ready, the Hungarians  attacked with their infantry supported by the 38-T's.  The front Fucilieri platoon was first pushed back, then next turn destroyed and the objective was taken.

The Italians counterattacked to try and take it back.  Their fire forced morale tests on the 38T's and infantry, but with the help of the CIC and a lot of luck they held on.  The Fucilieri charged, but the Hungarians had just enough tubes left to get 5 hits to stop the charge and hold on to the objective to win.

It was good to get some potentially messy assaults done.  We resorted to the book a bit, but it all seemed clear enough when you read it.  We had some discussions about terrain, but mostly unnecessarily - it still is largely a matter of discuss before the game.  The biggest change is the slow going category - slow but no bog test.