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.

Friday, March 3, 2017

A Night of Knights

I am fortunate enough to know Thomas Foss of Skull and Crown fame. This has giving me the chance to playlets some of his games before the hit the streets. I also get lots of free toys. He has been tinkering with a Jousting game called Breaking Lances, and last night our group gave it a whirl.
Thomas's site has more of a in depth play through, but in a nutshell, each player controls a knight hurtling down the lists at each other. Each move along the list (using the fence posts as a guide for movement) you secretly plot how fast, where you're aiming your lance, and what you're defending on your own body.
You then reveal and are awarded dice for aiming where your opponent didn't defend, or vice versa.
Yes, it's kinda rock, paper, scissors, but there is some strategy to it.
Finally, you cross lances and use all those die you've collected to decide what happens and score point over 3 runs.
We had 5 players and did a small tournament where each player jousted each other once. We then decided the winner by the most wins.
It was quite a bit of fun. Everyone picked it up quickly and this a great convention game. I played the mysterious Black Knight. He was terrible. Didn't come in last, but he got beat up bad.
The winner was Sir Scovil of Pepperton.

We then moved the action to the Melee. It's a game of my own design using some mechanisms from a gladiator game. We each had a group of 3 knights in the fight, Each knight has 4 "skills" that also count as hit points. As you take hits, you have to decide which skills to loose as your knight gets battered. Do I drop the shield and give up defense in order to keep my ability to strike first, or lose an attack die? Decisions, decisions....
Sir Scovil once again walloped everyone to claim Champion of the Joust. Huzzah!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

To the Strongest: Roman Civil War

Yes. We're lazy.
The Romans fought each other mostly because we have a lot of them and no opponents. We also haven't played To the Stromgest in awhile and I was once agian reminded how much I love it. Enough to run out and tackle a pile of 15mm opponents for the Romans?
No. Enough I'll finish rounding out my Italian Wars stuff?

Spoiler for this game, the Romans won.
Great 15mm minis painted by Jon.

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.