Friday, October 17, 2014

A great night of VSF gaming and turning 45

I needed something special for my 45th birthday. I wanted lots of terrain and miniatures on the table, but still get a game done in a respectable time. Ahhhh, GASLIGHT.
The Germans are flooding through Belgium. A small British expeditionary force is in danger of being cut off. Most importantly, an important scientist (there are 3 on the table and the Germans don't know which one) and his/her research are in danger of being captured in the roll up.
The British must cross the board length-wise to get the scientist to an approaching submersible. Meanwhile, the Germans are closing in from the side. I proved a nail biter to the end.
 The sub approaches
 The British man the walls of a fortified farm in hopes of holding up the steamroller.
 Unicylce Uhlans and Lady Hussars!
 A British contraption ends the Uhlans with a spray of Gatling fire
The Scientist, Lady Cottingham, champion of paranormal research, escape along with her secret weapon. The Killenkanner, which long term reaers wil know is of dubious reputation, manged to not only stay running most of the game, but deal a lot of death.
This year was a trial to say the least. I lost my father and a career of 20+ years. It has been an adjustment to say the least. But, my family, friends, and my wargaming family, have been very supportive. And there's always my little lead minions who are always there.
Don't know what this second phase of life will bring, but I'm sure there will be a lot of dice, beer and miniatures.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Another night of 5 Core

We had so much fun last week, I thought we've give 5Core/5 Parsecs another try while I wait to paint up the crap-ton of minis it will take to play Lion Rampant.
Militia advances
The scenario involved some rebel planetary defense militia attempting to capture a no-name town on a back water world. The Unity government decided to respond with sending in an Assault Marine squad. Both sides started with an objective and had to take one on the far side.
 Marines move up to meet them.
I decided to give the militia a 2-1 advantage because the Marines were armed with the particularly nasty Assault carbine and had Power armor.
An otherwise enjoyable game was ruined by yours truly by missing a single line in the rule book that would have let the marines advance after some terrible Event die rolling. I missed that the "Firefight" Event allows you to move if there are no targets available. The Marines rolled Firefight like 3 times in a row, allowing the militia to take positions quicker.
 Heavy armor and nasty guns
The battle for the hill is a stalemate, but it forces the marines to commit half their dwindling numbers.

The game otherwise does a great job of handling modern/near future warfare. It is really hard to dig out troops in defense. A well placed guy with a machine gun can hold down an enemy platoon. So, you have to flank them or force his head down while you advance.
In the end, the militia was able to out flank the marines by massing their firepower down the middle to keep the marine's heads down.
You either like this kind of warfare (a thinking man's game IMHO) or you don't. Line 'em and shoot ain't gonna cut it. Go play 40k.

Friday, October 3, 2014

5 Core / 5 Parsecs from Home Playtest

I read a lot of good things from bloggers I like about the 5 Core rules series by Ivan Sorensen. They are designed for small skirmishes with between 5-9 models per player. Just the scale I use for my own rules. We only had a few Basement Generals come by last night so it was a perfect chance to play.

I think 5 Core does a fantastic job of recreating the tension of small modern skirmishes without a lot of rules. The guts of the main rulebook being only a couple dozen pages.
This killing machine dropped 3 enemies in 3 shots.
The rules could easily be called "roll and look for 1s & 6s, because that's all that really matters". Before each player turn, a player rolls a die and if a 1 or 6 shows up something special happens, "Scurry" or "Firefight". If this doesn't happen, then a player can activate 2 members of their unit.
I really, really love how cover works. No screwing around with how much the model is showing or line of sight. It is assumed every model is trying his best to not get shot, so unless he actively "peeks" around a corner or out of cover he cannot be shot. Period.
Short range weapons (pistols, SMGs) only shoot 12", everything else is in range. Roll one color die for KIll, another color for Shock. Look for 1s or 6s.
Sounds easy, but the tactics are where this game shines.
Throw in the Five Parsecs from Home SciFi expansion with its really slick campaign/RPG system and I am sold.
I used OLD SCHOOL WH40K for this skirmish, but 15mm SciFi I think is the way to go. It might get me to by a few WW2 miniatures again for some commando raids...

Friday, September 26, 2014

Bolt Non-Action

Had a chance to play with John from Curio Clashes and his awesome WW2 models and terrain. This would be my 3rd or 4th time playing Bolt Action and it still isn't making me get that "this is a great game!" feeling. I get a distinct Warhammer 20k taste in my mouth despite great toys and terrain.

We played a smaller game with the Americans trying to take out some German guns that were shelling the beach. A really lucky mortar round took out an entire US squad off the bat and it went down hill from there.
This game can really shine as a small scale, 2v2 game. It suffers from the same problem that all modern combat games do that keeps me away from the period: the modern battlefield is really deadly. We as gamers don't grasp that and tend to shy away from rules that emphasize it. Which is a shame. Attacking an entrenched enemy, we really should have play the scenario last night with a 3-1 ratio in troops.
But, I do have some excitement. Lion Rampant showed up in the mail yesterday. I am a big fan of Dan Mersey's earlier book Dux Bellorum and can't wait to hit one of my favorite periods: Middle Ages.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Listen up RECRUITS

This weekend is our local KC metro-area wargames convention RECRUITS. I can only make the first night, but as always, I'm sure it will be a great time.

Friday, September 5, 2014

A light night of gaming

Just me an Bill last night. I don't get a lot of chances to play 1v1 games, so last night was actually a treat.
We started with a little gem called Eight Minute Empire. It comes with a tiny little map, some colored blocks and cards. A fun mix of resource collection and war.
We then played a couple of games of Rivet Wars. We traded victories. Once again, a great game. Can't wait for the new troops to come out.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fistful of Lead: 1 night, 5 scenarios

There are 16 new scenarios for Fistful of Lead: Reloaded. They've been play tested, but a few of them only once. I wanted to run them through the ringer a few more times.
With that, I set up three 3'x3' play areas (defined by the blue tape) and let the Basement Generals have at it.

Get the map: A gang returns to their not-so-secret hideout, to find a rival has broke in trying to steal a map to their buried loot. Can they escape the encircling enemies?
 Snitches get stitches: Time to intimidate that that witness in the jail.
 4:10 to Yucca: Can you save the Boss before he's delivered to the stage and then prison?

 Running the Gauntlet: Time to get outta Dodge. Not only are your rivals out to get you, but the whole town too!
Bad time in the Badlands: Two gangs run into each other out in the Badlands. Both have loot and a score to settle.
Everything went well. Had a few fixes. The gag plays a lot different when you have a gang to preserve for next game. Not so much fighting to the death.