Moonraker Review of 2021


With the 2021 tournament season put to bed, it is time for the highly anticipated Moonraker review of the year.

Well, what a strange year that was.

We started the year in Lockdown, which meant more time for hobby work and more Universal Battle (UB) games.

Leo and Paul were not fans of UB leaving Andy and Jon to fly the Moonraker flag at on-line tournaments. Or rather, to pull the flag down, fold it away neatly and not talk ever again about our poor results. We did compete in a team UB tournament, drafting in an honorary team member, Bob Nelson, to form the Moonfakers. After 3 rounds we were next to bottom of the tournament and challenging hard for the wooden spoon when we somehow each pulled out a victory from our final games and ended in the middle of the bottom quarter of the field.

On the hobby side, Jon was seduced by the allure of cheap models from the discontinued Rune Wars range. He bought 20 boxes of figures that should have cost £640 for an outlay of £60. From one perspective, this is a saving of £580. Form his wife’s perspective it is a waste of £60.

Any way, he now has several hordes, regiments, troops and heroes of large cav, normal cav and walking trees. Now just to find an army to fit them in.

On the subject of cheap models, Jon also entered a competition to win a Valkyrx model which he was fortunate to win and painted up.

Meanwhile, Leo was getting on with some Nightstalkers, you can see his blog [HERE]

Moonraker Andy’s facebook workshop page HERE continued to show off his modelling talents with new armies of Orcs and Free Dwarves on display.

Look, an army that is its own display board!

The Fox continued to build his Basilean force, while also flirting with the dread forces of the Undead.

Jon also expanded his Abyssal army with 3 hordes of Mollochs made from Mantic Loka chess pieces.

The hordes were built to complement the back story of an Abyssal incursion erupting from the ruins of a ruined and fenced off Abyssal temple; the blog can be found HERE.

In February, Jon recounted the tale of his Aunt Ada’s visit and how she had stumbled across the truth of the Fenulian Mirror. Everything you thought you knew about the origin of the God War is a lie! You can read the Fenulian Murder Mystery HERE.

Come April, it was time for the usual 1st of April joke article which this year focussed on exposing the rumours behind the production of 1:5 scale KOW sprues.

“Rumours have been circulating for some time about something big brewing at Mantic. Not content to wait for official confirmation, out investigative team infiltrated Mantic HQ over a quiet weekend and discovered the truth. Mantic is preparing to release a 1:5 scale eviction of its popular rank and flanks fantasy game, Kings of War. Our investigators discovered several sprues of the new models and even managed to grab a photograph of one next to our investigator to demonstrate the scale. (Our investigator has had his face hidden to protect him (or her) from possible reprisals).

“Documents were also uncovered showing that Mantic intends to kick-start the project by giving all attendees at Clash of Kings 2021 a free sprue of 1:5 scale Abyssals. The documents also revealed that this is not simply another Mantic game but is in fact a vital step on the roadmap to achieve Ronnie’s long-held dream of having full-body contact Kings of War recognised as an Olympic sport.”

Display boards were also the flavour of lockdown. An Abyssal temple project was first on the stocks, with a blog explaining how it was built [HERE]

The Goblins followed with a display board showing them despoiling the Horned Moon Coaching Inn. Vide of the lighting effects HERE.

The Goblin army seems to include a particularly irreverent MawPup that has lifted its leg against a fallen statue of Ronnie Renton. How rude.

Live gaming got underway again once the rules for social gatherings were relaxed. Jon’s Goblins army, designed initially for UB, emerged from isolation featuring the bio-engineered giant, Stumpy, who took down Paul’s Paladin on Dragon in a single turn of unfeasibly good dice rolling.

We also managed to hold an inter-club tournament at Moonraker Mansion. This time, the Sarum Three Quarters (featuring 3 of the 4 Moonrakers) faced off against the Flat Bannisters (House Lannister B Team). Andy, Jon and Paul played for Sarum while Ed, Leo and Rusty formed the Flat Bannisters. There was a glittering array of Kings of War talent on display with between them a staggering number of KoW tournament trophies – for the most Double 1s. (Or at least, Rusty has a staggering number of these trophies.) You can read about the tournament HERE.

Lockdown was the opportunity to build Armada fleets. Andy went all in with his Basileans, adding crew figures, extra cannons and flags.

The Moonrakers developed some simple Armada gaming aids which are described [HERE]
(Armada simple gaming aids).

We were able to get away from playtesting on line for some analogue playtesting action, with Jon’s ghost fleet standing in for one of the new fleets being tested.

The summer saw the release of the Armada Seas Aflame supplement as well as flier models and magic cards.

We issued a review of gaming venues in England and Wales: HERE

In September, Andy and Jon attended their first live tournament in 18 months at Battle Masters. Andy took the Kings of War world by storm in winning all 3 prizes at the event: Best general, Best Army and Best Sport. A real triple crown!

His army board was a thing of beauty with flashing lights, a moving railway and a sound track. You can see a video: HERE

The Moonraker Curiosity Award went to Jacob Woods who met both Moonrakers during the event, causing his hair to stand on end.

The highlight of October was Clash of kings (UK) in Cardiff. Our heroes set off from Salisbury with hope in their heart.

You can read about their exploits HERE

Final results were:

Andy: eighth with 81 points

Paul: eleventh with 80 points

Me: twelfth with 78 points

Leo: fifty second with 56 points

Andy won the award for the best painted army, for the second tournament in a row. I was the best Goblin.

Team wise, we finished 5th, only 3 points behind the Northern Kings (which I regard as a moral victory) and 21 points off the leaders.

The Moonraker Curiosity Trophy was, for the first time, awarded to someone not actually at the event. Rusty Shackleford provided great assistance to the Moonrakers in the lead up to the tournament.

In December, the boys were out in force at Christmas Carnage in Bristol. This was a 4 game, 2,300 point tournament with 16 players using CoK 22 rules. Christmas atire was required.

The Moonrakers took 2 podium places with Andy second and Paul third. The tournament also saw Moonraker Santa presenting gifts to all the good boys attending the event.

You can read about the tournament HERE.

And so it just remains for me to wish you all a happy Christmas and to look forward to playing you at a tournament in 2022.


I leave you with some comments made during the year about the Moonrakers:

The Moonrakers, a legendary team from the south of England, at least that’s what they tell me – Steve H

The marvellous Moonrakers were in attendance – Ed B

I have nothing against the Moonrakers – Danny G

I have managed to complete my Moonrakers’ bingo card, playing and losing to all four - Ed B