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Tuesday, 20 October 2020

Article 23 Dogmen Engineers in the Witchlands

Andy Jefcoate returns with the twenty third article on Flintloque from his growing adventures. If you missed any of the previous articles you can see them all for free on the blog by clicking on this TAG. If you would like to Begin in Flintloque visit our website for Escape the Dark Czar and free content and videos.  Enjoy!  GBS

Dogmen Engineers

I hope that you have enjoyed my articles about Gorgon Lightfoote and his Flintloque section. He will return in future articles as I've really enjoyed creating his force, but for now I wanted to get back to telling you about my Ferach and Witchlands forces as there are so many great units available. For this article I wanted to tell you about a very useful set......56537 Dogmen Engineers. There are some excellent figures in this group and I've found them useful for several scenarios in the Witchlands.

What's in the set?

There are 8 miniatures in the unit pack consisting of a Dogman Officer on a resin horse, a laden pack horse, 4 Dogmen Engineers on foot and a scenic piece of engineering supplies. Individual figures are available but I bought the whole set as it is such a great price and saves off single pieces.

The Officer figure is pointing and clearly ordering his troops around. As well as commanding the Engineers he could easily be used to command any Dogmen section as he is such a great figure. He also has a fantastic moustache, so is worth buying for this alone!

The four Engineers on foot are very characterful. There is a one eyed NCO figure holding a bomb and pistol, an Engineer digging with a shovel, an Engineer carrying a barrel, and an Engineer carrying some planks and a hammer.

The pack horse is a nice  model, loaded up with supplies, as is the scenic piece containing bombs, quick fuse, box and barrel.

 How did I paint them?

As I wanted to use them with my Finklestein Dogmen they have been given dark blue jackets with yellow facings. Trousers for the officer I did in white but for the regular engineers grubbing around in the mud I thought that grey was more practical! Any boots, hats and equipment are black.  They can be put in any uniform such as white for Ostarians if you want.

How I've used them in my games

This has been a very useful set for various scenarios. You may have already seen the pack horse in my 11th article 'A Call of the Wild!' which I used as the objective for the wolves, and to be defended by it's own side. It is good for all sorts of escape scenarios as my Ferach forces attempt to evade the Undead.

As I suggested above, the officer figure has taken command of my Finklestein Dogmen troops which are becoming a fair sized force. He really is a great figure (did I mention his moustache!) and looks like he is issuing orders in the heat of combat. 

The Engineers figures can also be used as Sappers and are needed for scenarios where something needs to be built or destroyed. Rules for both troop types can be found in the Grapeshotte expansion book. My games usually involve something like a bridge over a frozen river which has to be repaired so that the Ferach forces can cross and then destroyed in another scenario to slow down the pursuit! These scenarios usually involve a force trying to defend the Engineers/Sappers while they undertake the specific task. 

For repairs I set a number of repair points on the bridge and each special repair action taken by an Engineer/Sapper each turn removes one of these points. If a figure is shot at by the enemy in a turn they may not use a repair action that turn as they are too busy keeping their head down. Equally they may not try to make repairs while in hand to hand combat! This makes the player have to be aggressive with his defenders, while balancing out whether to activate his Engineers/Sappers as early in the turn as possible.

For destroying the bridge it is given IRP's (Impact Resistance Points) as outlined in the Grapeshotte book, then the Engineers/Sappers place powder kegs against the structure. Kegs are Small, Medium, Large, Very Large or Huge and have to be carried to the structure, primed, have their fuze set and then lit. The size of the keg indicates how easy it is to carry (which is why I have often drafted in the model of 'the Tap Room Ogre' as a Sapper) but then also dictates the amount of damage caused using the rules for a Howitzer shelle plus 25% rounding up. Again rules for this are all in the Grapeshotte book. You can make the job harder according to the distance the kegs have to be carried and I do this by using one of the great new Beer Barrel barricades as it also looks like a pile of powder kegs. Models have to move between this and the bridge with their kegs while being shot at by the enemy. All I'll say is don't have characters carry them too close together as a stray shot can cause a keg to explode!  

Finally, I feel that the NCO has a slightly wild look about him so could easily be used with negative character traits. Either way, Engineers can use grenades so he is perfect for adding these to your games. You can also use the scenic piece in this set to resupply characters that have used the grenades that they are carrying!

The continuing narrative

Some Engineers have joined the Ferach Scouts ahead of the main army to insure that any logistical problems are overcome before the main body of troops get there. There are many frozen streams and rivers, or broken bridges that need to be crossed as the ice cannot hold the weight of horses or cannon, and exposure to the freezing water could be fatal. There is often only a small amount of time to fix the situation without slowing the retreat.

Some Engineers have also joined the rearguard to attempt to slow up the pursuit. While the Undead are immune to the cold they still have horses and cannon which cannot get across frozen rivers and streams without a bridge. It is often the case that a bridge that is built one day is destroyed a day or two later with troops desperately trying to cross before it is destroyed. There have been several heroic last stands to insure the success of this work.

Wherever they are, Engineers can support troops with their grenades which can sometimes tip the odds in their favour.

Conclusion

I hope that you've enjoyed reading about my Dogmen Engineers and if you haven't already, that I have inspired you to try out Engineers and Sappers in your games. While the Dogmen Engineers set is great, there are Engineer sets available for other races too. The Undead Engineers set with a Vampyre Engineer and Zombie Sappers looks particularly amusing........... 

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