Friday, April 21, 2017

Bolt Action 2.0

This is just a quick update. A more comprehensive AAR will be up over at Sergeant's blog.
This was our second attempt at the 2nd addition Bolt Action rules. Last week was such a FUBAR we almost gave up, but decided to give it one more try.

Nothing will break a game like 8 players. One of things we tried to alleviate the pain was to go against all Gamer instincts and only give each player one unit. Each player also had their own die color, so no fussing on each side about which German unit would go. This speeded things up immensely.

This was a breakout scenario. Because the Americans had the advantage of terrain, the Germans got a few extra troops. We, the American forces thought it would be easy. We just rolled into some buildings surrounding the German exit points and waited. It was;t easy.
The Jerrys took a few casualties early on crossing the open, but their Veteran status took it's toll on us later.
Our shelters, even providing heavy cover, quickly got hammered. My couple of pins quickly made a difference. I couldn't get my boys to execute a simple fire order. Throw in the the seemingly endless number of times the Germans activated before us and it was a recipe for defeat.
My building became a tomb.
On the other flank, my partners faired little better, but with the road I was guarding opened, it was over.

The pics are bit fuzzy because I don't get to play much, so I was drinking and therefore, a bit fuzzy.
This was a much improved game. The mechanics started to click. I wanted to use BA for my interwar period project and I think they would work. One thing I would change is use a card deck with each unit on it. Still use the dice to track orders, but use the cards to dictate initiative n these much larger games. That way I could also throw in an Event card for reinforcements and the like.

Friday, April 7, 2017

Fistful of Lead: A Sci-Fi slugfest

I have a bunch of Sci-Fi miniatures. I have a great set of Wild West rules. Let's combine the two shall we?
United System Alliance forces just blew up a ConFed base with an orbital strike (how timely). Now rebel ConFed troops have to retrieve what data they can from the ruined base while Alliance troops do the same. Uploaded intel was worth 5 Victory points, while killing an enemy was worth 2 and running them off 1. We played to 30 VPs.

The ConFed troops had 3 groups of 6 men. Five in each squad had pulse rifles (treated just like rifles in FfoL) with one Leader armed with a submachine gun (range 6/12") able to fire bursts. Subs give you the option of burst fire using a 3' template. Anyone under the template can be hit, but at a -1. In addition, they got a sniper who had a range of 18/36" and got a +1 to hit (where's that one-eyed-Jack?).
Alliance forces had 2 squads similarly armed and one squad of armored Marines. The armor gives the Marines basically walking light cover at a -1 to be hit. It's not actually harder to hit them, just harder to be effective. They also get a -1 to be wounded.
The first few turns were spent getting into position. The sniper was the first to open up, be his shots proved ineffective against the Marines. The Marines, on the other hand, started to clean up their flank fairly quickly while squads 1 and 2 downloaded the intel. Once a model touched an intel spot they spent 2 Actions to upload it.
Rebels forces collected their own intel and spent some time viewing slag of their former base.
A nasty fight erupted at the entrance of the rubble of the main base. Some close combat ensued with the usual deadly results, but the Alliance was able to secure a surviving intel bot.
The Victory Point score was an even 29 when the last Rebel of the turn failed his recovery check and routed. Victory to the Alliance 30-29.
The rules worked great. My next test is introducing squad weapons. More than likely I will treat them as essentially one model with one card as long as they are together. We'll see how it plays out.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Evil Returns: a Dragon Rampant Game

The Forces of Darkness managed to get a few troops into the heartland of the Kingdom a few ago. There, they were able able to marshal their forces. With help from the local necromancer and some former skittish orc allies, they staged a great assault on the Forces of Good.
It was an 8 player game with 72 points of troops a side! With such a massive game, we just played a death match game where one side had to destroy 36 points worth of troops before the other.
One side consisted of 24 points of Chaos troops. Most;y heavies with some light archer support and some berserker beastmen. They had for allies 24 points worth of Undead led by a summoner necromancer. During the game he was able to resurrect a couple destroyed units. Finally, the baddies had some help from the Orcs, trolls and ogres. These guys had a poor performance last game.
The good guys were the remnants of the Norsemen from last game, men of the Kingdom consisting of spearmen, archers, and mounted knights led by a winged horse riding Lord. The middle was held by a few elven knights, archers, some dwarves gunners and a big Elven ballista.
Things didn't go well at first for the Forces of Good. They showed a definite lack of motivation (a.k.a. poor activation rolls). But, who can blame them looking at the opposition. The berserkers struck first hitting a group of skeleton archers. The skellies Courage of 0 makes them tough to take out. A few volleys and the berserkers took their magic mushrooms and headed home.
By turn 3, most sides had started skirmishing and it was the baddies who cracked first. All along the line, dark creatures were fleeing the battlefield. Once gain, the Ogres and orcs proved feckless allies.
But just as soon as it looked like a victory for Good, the lumbering ranks of undead finally got in line. Wave after wave slowly pushed their flank back while the heavily armored Chaos Warrior slogged through the middle.
The score read Good: 32, Evil 30
That's when 6 points of Good troops ran for the hills.

I great game with lots of fun little vignettes of storytelling, like when Borax the Despoiler took volley after volley of arrows followed by a ballista bolt. He had look like a porcupine, but still he stood.
Just keeps motivating me to paint more. In fact, I just bought 3 Bugbears to get those Orcs in line....

Monday, March 27, 2017

Buccaneers and Cavaliers play test2

With just a few of the Basement Generals able to make it Thursday, I thought it would be a great chance to play test Buccaneers and Cavaliers, a supplement I'm working on for Fistful of Lead: Horse & Musket. B&C adds a little to flavor to rules to give them a more swashbuckley feel, but you can easily add them to your French and Indian fights if you want.
I had the boys make up a Troop, led by a Captain, rolling for traits instead of picking just to speed things up.
The Captain of the Loyal Musketeers had to get the Abbot to a secret meeting place before the Cardinals Guard could intercept them. With only a few ranged weapons on the board, this would be a brawl.

With the majority of the musketeers as a screen, Gaston takes the Abbot on a flanking move.

 The White mask spots a few Dregs hiding in the woods.
One hill in particular (just like last game) became a meat grinder. The rules work very well showing the back and forth of swordplay. Not as bloody as Fistful of Lead.
It came down to a mad dash to the Inn. I had reserved my "Streetfighter" musketeer for this very reason. With this trait he doesn't get the penalty for being out numbered. However, it wasn't enough and he was eventually overwhelmed and the Abbot captured by the Cardinal's Guard.
Overall, a great game. Got some good feedback on tweaking some rules and traits, especially the Dregs rule.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Dragon Rampant: Chaos Invasion!

With quite a few Lion Rampant games under my belt, I've been itching to try it's fanatical cousin Dragon Rampant. A great excuse to paint up all my retro-lead!
The Northern Provinces are inhabited by the fearsome Norsca Raiders. They are a hearty, independent folk, mistrustful of outsiders, but fairly to open raiding them. Thus the name.
One of the few outsiders allowed in their kingdom is the Elementalist Wizard Galadar. They leave him alone to his experiments and he protects them from invaders from the Chaos Wastes farther north.
Enter Borak the Despoiler and his horde of Chaos beasts and Orcish allies.

We had 6 players and the scenario was for the forces of Chaos to get as many units off the opposite table edge to raid and pillage. The Norse had to stop them.
It was quite a tussle. Most of the Orcish forces were stopped cold by a lowly unit of 6 bidders (light archers). They peppered the Ogres and Hill Giant so bad they lost Courage and left. The Orcs themselves were run off by the Berserkers, who themselves ran off after smashing the green skins.

It's a good thing too, for Galadar spent most of the game trying to summon his elemental helpers. He did, however, help the Norse by casting Befuddlement on the enemy, making them automatically become battered. This made them especially vulnerable to attack.
Borak was able to get a little over a third of his trouble south to tear up the countryside, but lost enough troops to give the Norse a narrow victory.
Great game. I'll be painting up more fantasy troops!

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Golden Age Supers: Showdown in the Arctic, or.... "Hachiman Got His Groove Back".
Just moments after Section 13 cracked an encrypted transmission from Berlin to Tokyo, the Liberty Legion was dispatched via super secret submarine to the Arctic. The encrypted transmission mentioned a possible ancient artifact capable of changing the outcome of the war. The artifact was found frozen in a giant iceberg.

We made this a 3-way smack down. The Axis being the bad guys, turned on each other in hopes of controlling the super weapon for themselves. Each player controlled 2 miniatures apiece.
People who follow my Golden Age Supers games will know Hachiman (named after the Japanese god of war) has got a bad rap over the years along with most of his team. He usually gets knocked out early. Not so this time.

The game opened with Hachiman performing a "Super Leap" onto the top of the iceberg to intercept the lightning fast Blitzkreig. With a Leroy Jenkins-like "HACHIMAN!!!!" scream, he dispatched Blitz with one blow.
Teh next turn he delivered a mortal blow to Liberty Belle, and the next turn he finished off Major Victory.
It looked like the forces of the Rising Sun were going to win this one.

But, several things happened at once. Tengu, the crow man of the Japanese team spent a good 4 turns trying to dispatch Agent Axis with his magic spear (que Freudian jokes). All this distracted from the fight in the inner chamber of the iceberg where all the big hitter (Kreihunde, Oni and Klank) were fighting.
First Hachiman, then Oni fell to the hammer blows of Kreighunde. With game night closing, we called it. The Americans were knocked out and the Japanese only had one left.
A great game with lots of fun moments.