Friday, January 20, 2012

Battle of Tarsis IX

Forces of the Pangellaic League have made planetfall on Tarsis IX, fiefdom of Duke Milo, House Morai. The Duke is engaging quickly to prevent a beachhead, while Union warships attempt to cut of League ships from their jump points. 
Tonight we played another round of playtests for Robofire!, a set of SciFi rules by Scott Pyle. Scott was kind enough to listen to our suggestions in the past about the role of infantry and various other rules. Tonight I wanted try some more ideas our group came up with.
As the game turn involves alternating unit activation between players, sometimes the tactics become more "Gamey" and less tactical. We tried a new idea of, for lack of a better word, "suppression". This isn't new. Future War Commander uses it, and what it does is allow a side to temporarily pin down an opponents units long enough to move up his own.
"Suppressed" Tankhunter
As with all Goalsystem games, there is an opposed roll based on the damage inflicted by the attacker, vs the quality of the troops.  If the defender fails to make enough saves the unit is suppressed (we used some handy-dandy smoke markers fro Litko). Remove markers before rolling for initiative.
Worked great. Didn't slow it down. But, what we found was that it wasn't necessary to check units that had already moved. Why bother keeping a unit from activating if it already had?
Then, INSPIRATU!. At the beginning of each turn, sides roll for initiative. What if you got a bonus +1 to your die roll for every suppression on the enemy (or you could do a minus for each you have)? Suddenly, it was worth rolling, even for those already activated units. This, for us, simulated getting that tactical advantage over the other side.
Needs another round of playtests, but I think we're on to something. Also treating infantry units like henchman groups in Goalsystem worked without a hitch, too. Those little buggers are are sneaky and have to be dug out. Just as it should be. But, I need to get some transports. Right now, they're too slow foot slogging it.
Union mega tanks and power infantry move up.
Another house rule. Normally you buy "Tactical Dice" for each unit, a sort of re-roll pool. Instead. We gave each side X number of dice each turn to distribute as they wanted around the field as need arose. You just had to commit them before the roll was made.
Overall, this was the best playtest yet. I've always loved Scott's rules, and this is up there with Super System. I'm thinking of adopting for other periods....
The Tokugawa tank. A favorite of our group. Finding more has become a personal quest.
League Heavy Infantry brings down the Duke's VTOL.

Friday, January 13, 2012


It was cold outside last night, but guns and boilers were hot down in the basement. Scoring some extra buildings from Gen. Steve, I was able to really fill the battlefield nicely.
A small river split the village of La Objective. Whoever could the most troops on the other side was the victory. Recipe for a bloodbath.
The Anglo French Forces.

The Germans aided by the evil genius Prof Nightshade (boo, hiss).

Regulars and Zuoaves move forward under the protection of L'Roue and the Spyder.

The naval brigade tries an outflanking manuever.

Rokkittruppen prepare to launch.

The center of town erupts into battle.
It was the usual GASLIGHT fun. Things didn't start, whole units were wiped out in a single turn while others went unscathed. Whenever I leave the game up to the players, I always get asked to put in a VSF game.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

More Vikings for Saga

Inaar Redhand gets some rank and file (Thegns) for his warband.
These gents are Crusader. Nabbed them just before Old Glory stopped carrying them. Fun and easy to paint. Fit in with the Foundry Vikings (which I like a little more) and are probably a little more historically accurate than their Foundry brothers.
Got a few more archers and some Beserkers and I'll have one warband done. Now, just need someone to fight.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Battle at the Ford

One again the Legion in Mexico braved the heat and superior numbers. This time, to get supplies across the river to an outpost under siege. It was a straight shot down the middle, but of course, rebels barred the way.
The Legion tried to get tricky and head down one side, thus denying the rebels their full fire power. Indeed, some rebels spent the game criss crossing the table trying to get in the fight. 

Deadly fire from the rebel's "Green Die of Doom" quickly brought down more thn a few Legionnaires. But, it was when the Legion stopped to try and duke it out with the rebels on the catina roof that they effectively lost the game.
I'll try this scenario again with equal forces, or give the crack French troops a better bonuses.

Monday, January 9, 2012

You know where are?.....'re in the dungeon, baby. You're gonna diiiiiieeeee!
Well not really a dungeon, but my Fantasy arena with geomorphic tiles. Each 6 x 6 inch square is movable giving lots of variation. The whole thing gives 2 x2 feet of gameable area. Which doesn't sound like much, but is in fact, more than enough. I've been using a version of the Goal System game engine, where characters start out roughly the same with "upgrades" and traps scattered about. There's teleport squares and chances for bigger nasties to appear. Great fun for a convention or quick throw down.
all the pieces are made from 1" thick pink insulation foam. Just cut to size, score with a dull pencil to make tiles, bricks, etc. then dry brush. Whole thing took surprisingly little time.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Over the break we kept up our usual Thursday schedule, but I kept the games open in case we had fewer people. I dug out an old favorite. I had some of the great old Foundry "Baron Wars" knights and designed a small game based on the Melee part of the tournaments of old, when knights would beat the crap out of eat other with blunted weapons.
The field is divided into 18 sections. In the case of our games, each of the 8 players controlled 2 knights (don't worry, even with 8 players it went really fast).
Each knight has 4 skill slots, each also representing his hit points. Take a hit, lose a skill.
There are 5 skills to chose from, but only limited number at the beginning. We all took turns picking one skill til both our knights were loaded up. The skills are:
Sword: which gives the amount of dice rolled
Helmet: Which lets you re-roll the whole throw
Shield: lets you block a partial hit
Gauntlet: which lets you temporarily disable one skill of your opponent
Lightning: lets you decide who goes first in a fight.
The skills and the idea for the game I shamelessly stole from a game called "Clash of Gladiators". In that game, instead of skill, it is a distinct gladiator in a group that gives the benefit.
The knight dubbed "Chickenhead" one the first bout, but was of course, ganged up on in the second.

Tomorrow: the Dungeon

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Zee Baron is back...

Back from the holidays. Didn't spend as much time as I wanted, doing the things I wanted, but I'll post pics of what got painted, what got played tomorrow.
I spent way too much time playing Warlight, an online version of RISK with some other Basement Generals, and even way too much more time getting shot all to hell by 10 year olds in Modern Warfare 3.