Duke Archibald, fresh from his last victory, took the field along with three allies against Horace, the Pretender, and his three traitorous friends.
The opening moves saw the various lords trying to keep their battle lines in formation, but as usual, a few broke ranks in spontaneous charges.
When the forces met, real pounding began on the flanks. In one turn, Sir Roderick lost four of 6 units to Ulric.
For whatever reason, poor pay, tribal loyalties, the pikemen on both sides never got in a lick. They all left after a few hits or arrows. The flanks quickly caved. By the time Horace got his troops in the center to fight, it was over. Half his army was gone,
After the usual executions and promotions, Archibald was feeling pretty good about his chances. Little did he know Sir Rutiger, his trusted lieutenant on the left flank, was already plotting his demise....
I'm sure it's a common wargamer problem. You invested in a line of miniatures or period because they look cool, get about half done and quit either because the rules suck, there's not much interest anymore, or the company producing them gives up or goes under. I had the trifecta with Dystopian Wars.
I bought each of the starter sets: British, Prussian, Japanese and American sets of really cool steampunk ships. I got the Brits done and started on the German. Here's where my complete lack of love for naval games started kicking in in. Love the minis, hate to paint them, and for the most part, don't really like naval games.
About that time, Spartan Games went under. No more toys. I would have helped them out by dumping massive amounts of cash their way on the their Dystopian Legions minis, if they hadn't and gone and made them 35mm! Completely out of scale with my other VSF stuff.
Jump ahead a few years and I find out a fellow Basement General had also heavily invested in DW. His collection was bigger and better painted. Next obstacle: the rules, in my humble opinion, suck.
No problem. The venerable spaceship rules, Full Thrust came to the rescue. I've been playing them for years and adapted them to flying ships. It was easy to switch up a few thing for battles on the Dystopian Seas.
The Brits: A Battleship, 3 frigates, 3 escorts and a couple of bombers.
Admirals plot their moves. More rum is needed!
Fighters hunt the skies
Poor plotting leaves a ship aground.
This battle would see a new Revolutionary War between my British fleet (with some Hessian allies) and Other Jay's American forces.
The rules worked great. Pre-plotting moves proved a headscratcher for some. They ran aground, slammed into their own ships. The little ships died heroically while the massive capital ships blasted away at each other. The fighters and bombers proved either a nuisance at best, or a killer.
It ended with a minor American victory and me eager to paint more. Until I realize again, I hate painting ships.
Long have the greenskin hordes looked down from their mountains and coveted the riches of the denizens of the valley below. But always has their guardian, the wizard Valdamere protected them. Word has spread that the old wizard is dying. Now is the time for Garn Gorespear and minions to strike!
A few of the Duke's men scramble to intercept the horde.
News of the wizard's death have been greatly exaggerated.
A goblin chariot streaks across the field.
"Out of the way peasants! We're here to save the day!"
Gary looks for opponents, but finds only cabbages.
Let the burning and pillaging begin!
A few skirmishes fail to make their escape and are destroyed by orcs.
"Slow your roll, foul beasts!"
sooooo much pillaging.....
The Duke himself takes on a pair of ogres.
This turned out o be a great little 4 player game. On the small side for us. We usually play DR with each player getting 3 "Luck: tokens to preroll failed activations or poor attack/defense roll. Not this time.
The Duke's men could not get going until it was too late. I wrote this off as too much time getting lazy and fat in the valley.
We managed to decimate the Orc forces but not till after they burned most of the village. We had enough time left over to play Gorechosen, a great little gladiator game.
It's been a awhile since we've played any Victorian SciFi. With the news I'd be hosting an 8 player game, cold boilers were stoked to life, battered old veterans were dragged from their plastic homes and piles of 20 sided dice were stacked in anticipation.
Forces marshal for the assault.
The tower laboratory of the mad professor. Both sides want his latest invention!
The American Expeditionary Force holds the right flank for the Allies.
The Jaguar speeds ahead. This little beastie is usually dead within a turn, but he managed to dodge and weave until the end.
Prof. Nighshade's flankers stoically advance.
"Look at the size of those cabbages!"..german forces are momentarily distracted.
Krieghosen with tank support advance against the Americans.
Meanwhile, the Germans abscond with the mad scientist.
It was a close run game. I was glad to see the troops back to their terrible habits after a few games otherwise. The Rokkitruppen, Ulan Unicycle Lancers and Citizens Brigade died horribly and to a man without firing a shot. Contraptions failed when they were needed most and many beers were drank to salve the losses.
With both children growing way too rapidly (one in college, one almost finished with high school), I decide to slow things down a bit a host a one on one Civil War campaign with the Boy. It's a chance to spend some time together and share one of my first loves in wargaming: the American Civil War.
I decided on Longstreet, as it provides a crisp, concise campaign with lots of character and it's easy to learn. Time to dig out my ancient 15mm ACW armies.
We created our forces, 3 infantry units, 1 cavalry unit and a battery of cannons, All Eager Recruits. We randomly created our personas.
Me: Col. Cletus Wayne Guthrie, a politically savvy up and comer who raised a regiment of native troops, the 1st Missouri Volunteers (the Ozark Zouaves, even though only a half dozen men actually have the fancy outfits).
The Boy: Eustus Marshal, a hot headed cavalry officer commanding a group of Northern Aggressors.
We randomly created the battlefield and and scenario per the rules. Marshal would be the defender and I would be on the attack.
I divided my forces and sent my cavalry charging down the turnpike to capture one of the objective, the small town of Prairie Landing. It was decided all battles for the campaign would be named after local housing divisions...
They were assisted by a unit of infantry. It was risky move I would later regret.
The rest of my troops moved solidly forward, forced into a deeper formation due to terrain. This limited my opening volley, but not the follow up charge which sent the Pennsylvania troops reeling back. This would be a push over....
Then Marshal swung his cavalry around and rode hard at my flank, including a still limbered battery. I blew through my best cards keeping him at bay, including throwing an unspotted swamp in the way.
Meanwhile, his other troops had recovered and were steadily blasting away my poor Arkansas troops.
The only satisfaction I got was cutting his other flank to pieces trying to cross a stream to capture Prairie Landing.
The turns quickly blew by along with my losses. My untested troops were holding, but dying in droves. At least they died on native soil.
The victory for Union was complete. I lost 21 stands to his 9. UGH!
The post battle process followed.
Thanks to my political connections, despite my horrific loss I was promoted as did the Boy.
We regained some losses as men trickled back into camp. But a few of my units dropped from Eager to Cautious after "Seeing the Elephant". Our post battle camp losses were terrible. My once 10 strong units were dropped by to 7, 7, 6 and 5. The Union fared little better.
But, our Campaign cards helped a little. I was given a Veteran unit from back East to bolster my losses while Marshal got a few new rifled guns.
As 1861 closed, it was great fun. We have 8 more games together, and hopefully some good memories.
Yes, but with a little Weird War 2 in it....
I wanted to see how ell GH could stretch into other genres, and I've always like WW2 on a small scale skirmish. Enter some of my Golden Age heroes and a few borrowed German miniatures.
"Recently, rare photos have been obtained from the secretive Section 13 of the DoD through the Freedom of Information Act. They show accounts of a raid on a top secret German facility by few members of the now famous Liberty Legion."
"Major Victory, in a rare pose with some G.I.s."
The Sentinel of Liberty.
A sleepy village hides a dark experiment.
The guards are alerted to the US forces. One goes down wounded.
Major Victory prepares to take to the skies.
The price of victory. The Yanks are caught in the open trying to reach their late dropped explosives.
Kreighunde bursts from a nearby house and attacks the Major! A brawl between titans!
Sgt. Stone, the human rock, opens up on group of German defenders.
Professor Klumpf is found, but not before his vile experiments are unleashed.
The village is slowly cleared.
The Sentinel leads the way.
Totenkopf is cornered!
It turned out to be great game. There were 8! players. It was a dawn attack. The Germans were only allowed one squad to stand guard, the rest were barracked inside. The Allies were able to "Creep" and were undetected until they got within 12" of a guard, An overanxious private fired early at a guard and started the fight.
The Allies had three objectives: blow up the radio tower, capture Von Klumpf and take out the General. Before they could blow the tower, they had to grab their explosives from a parachute drop. The drop happened when an Allied player played a Joker. Then I made them stand at the other end of the table and toss a wad of cotton where they wanted it. It of course went off course.
It landed in an open field covered by German soldiers in the nearby windows.
The Germans had to finish the Experiment using a Joker, which didn't happen, until the game was nearly over, radio out the secret transmission and get the General off the table.
Both sides had "super powered" leaders. For instance, Major Victory had "Leader" for free, "Flier", "Veteran" and "Energy Beams" (his Star Spangled Vision).
They weren't overly powerful. Krieghunde pummeled Major Victory into the dirt and charged forward to stomp a terrified GI. The frightened private popped off a shot and brought the mighty war dog down.
Uberman sat out most of the game for some reason. When he finally emerged, he racked up a massive body count of 7 defending the radio tower. The Allies finally blew it, a lone GI sacrificing himself.
The game ended with the General dispatched, the tower blown, but the deadly "Iron Soldiers" loosed upon the world. It was a lot of fun if I do say so myself.