Thursday, February 9, 2017

Wings of Glory

The battle over my favorite genre of wargaming is a constant struggle. High up on that list is WW1, particularly dogfighting. Years of Blue Max and Canvas eagles, fiddly telescoping flight stands and failed hex based mats lead me down dark paths.
I was attracted to Wings of War, like most, by the nicely sculpted, pre-painted planes. But the ability to play on any horizontal surface with little prep made me latch on. Wings of Glory takes all the bits of WoW and puts them in one box.
With our Thursday games temporarily moved to Wednesday, attendance has been down. We got 5 last night. With me acting as ref, it was the perfect size for a rumble in the skies.
We played a few Basic Rules games to get the mechanics down, then adding all the extras of the Advanced Game.
WE played 5-6 games over the evening. Some games took half and hour, one was over in two turns when one German plane blew up, and the other was ganged up on and shot up with high damage cards.
It's a great system to play a whole campaign in one night of afternoon. I have already started remounting planes on magnets and ball bearings to simulate those climbs and banks. Iwill be trolling eBay and the like for more planes.

Friday, February 3, 2017

little Little Bighorn

Last night heralded the return of Jon of "Jon's Curio Clashes" and he brought his Plains War miniatures. We decided to play what I called "little Little Bighorn". This would just be a scaled down version of the last bit of the battle, featuring the iconic last stand of Custer (if he was even still alive at that point).

We played on a 6 x4 table with Last Stand Hill dominating the middle. To give the blue coast a slim chance of survival and change history, we had a semi turn limit when night would fall and they could escape under cover of darkness.
The game started with some long ranged sniping. The Native Americans were under a Bloodthirsty ole, which compelled them to charge into Close Combat if they were in range to do so. The cavalry to the east were pinned almost to a man.
A few braves went down, and had quite a few "Ammo" results. Probably old rusty rifles and bad ammo....

Then, on turn 4, things changed. Custer was gunned down. The men must of lost heart because on the heels of his death, the Braves charged in killed most of the cavalry in Close Combat.

One lone trooper stood against the horde. If he could only hold out another turn....
It was not to be. Despite the historical outcome, it was a lot of fun.
Thanks to Jon for bringing out his toys.
Best of all, you can have this same scenario FREE! Find it here at Wargames Vault.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Just passing by: a TMWWBK game

I played "the Sword and Flame" for years. I have had good games and really abysmal games. Too many of the mechanics really bugged me, and others too, if the number of house rules I've run across mean anything.

Don't get me wrong, it's one of the classics, but it's showing it's age.
Therefore, I was very excited when the "The Men Who Would Be Kings" came out by Danial Mersey. Readers will know I love his other rules, Lion Rampant, Dragon Rampant and Dux Bellorum. Our group has only played TMWWBK once before, and as a VSF game. I'm sorely lacking in opponents for my colonial powers so all miniatures in this game were provided by Scott Mathews.
The scenario involved two opponents running into each other on the way to another place. The victory goes to the player(s) who can get the most of their forces off the opposite side.
We rolled up Leader attributes and values for each unit and the Pathans got the worst of it. Two leaders with a 9... That means they need a to roll a 9 or above to anything besides free actions.
What followed was a slaughter. The Pathans had a hard time getting their shooters going and the close combat troops couldn't get close, while the Brits calmly moved forward, steadily annihilating the natives.
Historic? Probably. Fun, not so much. However, do not take this a s a negative review.
I emailed Mr. Mersey who quickly responded. I think what we both decided was that the Pathans definitely have to play to their strengths and weakness and need tactics beyond ATTACK!
The pinning rules make it really hard to do anything if you're stuck out in rifle range. Even if you manage to rally, you're stuck for a turn, surely to get hit again. What you do to protect them is leap frog another unit in front to protect them. An "going to ground" is every Native's best friend. More terrain too.
We'll try again stripped down with equal Leadership values and no traits until we get a handle on it. No House Rules yet...
The 3 British casualties.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Episode 23: Dash Dixon and the Robot Master

Kronos, High Tech Priest of the Robot Legion, has been captured on the planet Helios V by Emperor Xorg-Khan's forces. That villain, Xorg-Khan must think that by holding Kronos, he will gain control of the vaunted Robot Legions.
Our Hero, Dash Dixon has been alerted to the kidnapping, and with help from the Robot Legion is attempting to intercept them. Meanwhile, the native miners have surfaced to see what all the ruckus is about. And did that rock move...?
The action started with Xorg-khan's elite Azullian Shocktroopers dragging Kronos from his temple of the Mighty Cog and towards the awaiting Imperial corvette. Dash and his gang moved in from one side while the leaderless robots moved in the from opposite. The robots tried to engage the Imperial Navy troops but got three, count 'em, three "Out of Ammo" results in a row. Must be the targeting computers are off without their master.

Amid the blazing laser fire, our Hero, Dash Dixon went down along with Lance Vortex. Dash wounded, Lance pinned.
Somewhere during the first turn, a Joker was played. I put one in the deck as an activation system for encounters. They function like the lowest value Ace for the player, but trigger game effects. For the first Joker, the miners moved. But what is their purpose....?
The next turn, Dash tried to get up. He didn't. If fact, he expired from his wounds. The Galaxy shuddered at the prospect. But wait, that isn't blood! It's hydraulic oil. It's a robot-clone! Somewhere, Dash is still alive!
But back to the action.

Imperial forces were making their way across the battlefield to the corvette while laying down blistering fire from blasters and mazers.
The miners were making a beeline for a damaged bot. Only Groth, hairy companion to Lance Vortex, remained of Dash's original crew. He fought valiantly, tossing Xorg-Khan's troops around with abandon. That was, until the second Joker activated the Grunk!

A precision shot from Robot 323B dropped Kronos's captor and freed him to race towards the Robot Legion. He didn't make it far. An Azullian Shocktrooper grabbed him and put a mazer to his head.
That's when Groth, fighting both the rock elemental and Azullians knocked the trooper holding Kronos into the next solar system.
The third joker "released" the corvette's crew to attack Robots, but it was too late. Kronos escaped, no doubt plotting his revenge against Xorg-Khan.

I wanted to reset play tests of Wasteland Warriors from the start. It was getting too cumbersome and losing some of the things that make FfoL great. So I really stripped it down to essentially Fistful of Lead.
The Robots got the Robot rule (duh). They have no sense of self preservation so can be targeted with ranged attacks at +1, but they ignore Pin results on the Wound roll.
Laser rifles and pistols, for this game, were just rifles and pistols. Although I gave the makers (essentially microwave guns) shorter range but can ignore partial cover.
Dash got the "Lucky" trait as well as Veteran. It didn't help. Lance Vortex had "Two Gun Terror". If he uses both actions to shoot, he rolls 3 dice and picks the best 2 results. It didn't help.
Stella Starfaie got a Sonic Boomerang that was basically a reusable grenade. She blew herself up.
Xander Zan got a bonus in Close Combat with his Stun Baton. He never got to use it. And finally, Groth was "Large" making him an easy target but more powerful in Close Combat. Because they had all the extras I balanced in with arming them with shorter range weapons.
All in all a good start and most of all fun. The miners kept everyone guessing until they rolled up on an injured model and fixed it. They just wanted to help the injured...
Wish the pics were better, but I was full of Azullian Ale.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Lion Rampant: The Wolves Return...

... or, with all 3 of our group's Scott's showing up for last night's game, "the Scottening!".
The Vikings were back. Mostly because I haven't painted any other Dark Age troops, also just because I love these miniatures.

We played a variant of the "Tax Collector" scenario in the Lion Rampant book. We had one of the objectives in the Bailey. WE had 6 players controlling 12-15 points of troops.
The Vikings had a hard time getting started despite the house rule of always getting Move at least one unit. It didn't help one of our side didn't know you rolled 2d6 instead of 1. How did he think he'd get those Bidowers shooting on a 7+?
The Norman heavies crashed across the stream and bashed into a couple of unprepared Viking units.

They didn't last long. The first two Norman units to be destroyed (along with their leaders) were said heavies. On the other side, the Berserkers had a poor showing.
The Normans were able to secure some tax tokens, but the Vikings surged forward finally and moved forward looting and burning.
It was a rough day for Leaders. Snake eyes were rolled 3 times for Lucky hits. All in all a great game. Still my favorite rules for the period. Now I just need to paint some Scots, Welsh, Saxons....

Friday, December 9, 2016

Buccaneers and Cavaliers: a supplement in progress for Fisrtful of Lead

I've been tinkering with a supplement for Fistful of Lead: Horse and Musket for a while now. As soon as H&M came out, I got asked if it would work with Pirates. It does, but I wanted a more nuanced game befitting the swashbuckling combat of the era. Thus was born Buccaneers & Cavaliers.
To test it out, we played a 4 player game, the Cardinal's Guard vs the gentlemen of the King's Musketeers.

Each player controlled a "Troop". A Troop is made up of a Leader who has 3 Traits, a Second who has 2 and rest are filled out but Regulars and a new class: Dregs.
 The Musketeers had to get the Dutch ambassador to the Inn of the Crown and Cock. There they would await instructions.
The Cardinal's Guards had to intercept and steal any information.

The game started with Anton, leader of the troop of Musketeers escorting the Ambassador, making straight for the Inn while the White Mask, leader of the other troop moving down the hill to help.
Meanwhile the Cardinals men tried to take the high ground.
A musket armed trooper of the Mask's group quickly dropped one of the Cardinal's men. Sgt. Francois detached his dregs to take care of him.
The hill overlooking the Inn soon became known as "Murder Hill" as flashing blades soon became wet with blood.

Anton carved his way through the fray and delivered the Ambassador to the Inn, only to find his lady love, Claudette, waiting for him. Claudette is a lady-in-waiting to the Queen. She exchanged a package with Ambassador and announced Anton needed to get her back across the river!
For most of the battle, the Cardinal's men had taken a beating, but as Anton and Claudette emerged, things swung back in the favor of the men in red.
Enemies all around, Anton hacked his way to freedom, saving the day.
It was a close game. At one point only on of my Cardinal's men could get to Anton. I attacked but it was a tie, locking up Anton until next round and hopefully gettiing more of our crew in the fight. But

I got greedy. I used my second action to attack again, and this time Anton smashed me to the ground. He was free.
I felt really good about the game and will be be releasing it soon!