Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I want to go to there

I downloaded a fun little game for me and the Boy to play on XBOX360 called Gatling Gears. It is a throwback to the video games of my era with a lovely "blast everything in sight mentality". We play a lot of first person shooters together, but my reflexes and hand-eye coordination ain't what they used to be.
The graphics are tight but the mech and flyer designs are full of puply/steampunk goodness. I search the inter-webs for some images:

I have to find a way to build these. They are screaming to be put on the tabletop.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blasters and Bulkheads playtest

Once again, Scott Pyle of Goalsystem fame has graciously allowed our group to run his newest endeavour through the paces. This was for his latest Blasters and Bulkheads, an homage to the Space Opera. I've been looking for a rules system to go with my retro-scfi figs and was actually looking at adapting Supersystem when these arrived. So, long term I'll be using my Dash Dixon figs, but for the play test I used some oldies I had.
The Scenario: A courier for the Evil Empire was forced to make repairs to his ship on some back water desert planet. The courier was carrying secret plans to a new prototype battle station. When he didn't arrive at his rendevous point as scheduled, the Empire dispatched some Bounty Hunters to retrieve him, fearing he had gone rogue.
Meanwhile, the Rebels had plans to knab him too.
The Baddies
Ral Xaxom and his Delvanian Horde
Lerz and Gern of the Hive Brotherhood
Glurz and Glug Krulak of the Krool

The Good Guys:
Dandar Raxx and his trusted sidekick Gleep
Tars Glotho and his Vegatoid companion Zzerakkxiss
Battle scarred veteran Sgt Meridian and Dran Drandum

First turn was spent approaching the deserted town. Second turn, Glurz, and his Really Big Gun, dropped a load of hate down on the poor courier who had just appeared at the door of the tavern. He was left with only a few points of Vitality. I guess the Bounty Hunters didn't care if he was dead or alive. The rebels moved up and started a skirmish in the hills, both trying to block the way to the Courier's ship.
Tars covers his companion's charge
Ral Xaxom and his Delvanian Horde troopers KO'd the hapless courier and began to drag him off. That's when Glotho and his Vegatoid companion sprang into action and began what was to be a protracted brawl over the courier unconscious body. Glotho finally blasted the Horde to pieces and Zzzerakxiss grabbed the courier only to be attacked by Gern.

Dandar Raxx joined in. It looked like the Rebels would pull it off. Then Glurz let loose with his gun again. He rained death down on the group, even his own team mate Gern. When the smoke cleared the rebels were done, and Gern had meraculously survived.
A good time was had by all, and it was decided Glurz was the VMP. You did it again Mr. Pyle.
Bonus: This was outside the window of the Game Room:
Its one of 7 baby skunks that live in our yard.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Black Powder Playtest 2

I had a fan-tabulous Father's Day. I woke up late, got a huge breakfast including home made biscuits and gravy. Then I got to paint for a couple of hours and then Lead Addict came over and we tested out Black Powder again. This time, I used used a few tweaks I found on the inter-webs for Pike and Shot era.
We started with equal forces: 2 brigade of 4 regiments each of cavalry, 2 brigades of 4 infantry and a gun. We set up almost identically,  except I (the red player) had my infantry brigades in 2 lines, where he (the blue) had his side by side.
I started with a general advance across the line. Blue had trouble getting his troops moving, with only one infantry brigade puttering forward, exposed. The one little regiment poured fire into my uint reducing it to "shaken" the first turn.
My next turn the cav on both flanks swept forward. The left attack did little but drive their opposite off. On the right, it was different story. The smashed through their opposite number, and with a sweeping advance reduced their opponents to two regiments, breaking that brigade. Shooting in the center was sparse, and I was forced to try and rally my shaken unit.
Blue's turn peppered my lead infantry brigade. I was forced to retire due to the fire. They had broke.

My next turn my left cavalry brigade decided it was time to retire almost off the board. This would have ended it for me, as half my brigades would be broken or gone, causing an army morale collapse. Luckily, Blue's cavalry pursued but was unable to drive my cavalry the rest of the way off. A counterattck by me the next turn drove them off.
Like alot of era battles, the cavalry leaving the battle signalled the end of things. With two out of 4 brigades broken, Lead Addict was forced to retire his army. It was close. My infantry was about to go, and any more casualties to my cavalry would have ended them as well.
I really like these rules. A great game in under two hours. Biggest bit of advise (from Lead Addict) "Watch your shit!".
In other words, you really have to manage your resources. Pay close attention. This is not a game to half ass. It is very unforgiving.
I'm dropping everything to concentrate painting on my pike and shot stuff. But, as soon as I finish Hail Caesar, I'll probably start on that....

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Rules found?

As anyone who follows this blog will know, I've officially tried every wargames ruleset for Renaissance. Every single one. And I haven't been satisfied completely with any of them. I have a large collection of minis that have rarely seen battle, except in play test.
I like what I saw and played with Black Powder, so I ordered Hail Caesar! by the same folks. Though similar, there are some significant differences, as there should be.
I'm excited to try out HC! not for ancients, but for my long suffering Italian Wars minis. I think the rules will work for simple the reason that Renaissance thinkers had not only rediscovered classical art, but classical warfare. Many a general was trying recreate the armies of Rpme and Alexander. What are Swiss pikemen, but the Macedonians phalanxes of old?
Only gaming this out will see. I will keep everyone posted.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Painting and Play Testing

Now that I have a break from soccer season (which lasted 10 months), I'm getting a little more painting done. Here's a quick rundown:
Uh-oh. Are those Borogravians in 28mm?
A Dystopian Wars Prussian Battleship, some 6mm SciFi troops for Robofire!, and a 15mm Bugbear Chieftain.
ECW Pikestand. I know, always with the pikes. Where's the musket love?
As you can see I have trouble focusing.
Also play tested Black Powder last night. One the Basement Generals, Bill, is building a 28mm SYW Prussian Army and thought Black Powder would fit our group for rules.
The rules call for a much larger table, so we played at 2/3 scale and only 12 units a side divided amongst 3 players. We only had 2 painted "real" units so it was time to dig out the foamcore armies. Not pretty and totally against everything the writers of Black Powder are for: big, pretty armies. But it allowed us to try the rules, so there.
As a first game, of course we did things wrong. The biggest was brigade morale. The sides were battling to a standstill til we caught that. The game would have gone even quicker than it did.
First impressions? I really like these rules. Accomplishes everything I want in ruleset. Quick, with a feel for the period. Everyone's engaged and they accomodate large forces, even if my table doesn't. However, these aren't going to be for everyone. They are wargamer rules written for wargamers. Beginners, rules lawyers and people who like finding loopholes will hate them. With the right group, which I think we have< they are a blast.
Can't wait to try with pike and shot. I ordered Hail Caesar!, by the same folks for ancients to medieval.

More news: Had a chance Saturday to watch another BP game. Somehow I became the expert  after the game Thursday. This was a 15mm ACW game. I think everyone involved was used to Fire and Fury and wasn't quite ready for some of BP's differences. I'm pretty sure they all liked the game, and were amazed how quickly it was over. The brigade break points had a few already talking about  modifying things (mostly the losers), until I pointed out scale. Most of us play F&F and are used to the operating scale as brigades with each player having a division. Those 8 stands of figs we push around are brigades with each stand or two a regiment. They take a couple of rounds of beating for they blow up. With BP you have to zoom down to that 8 stands. Now those individual stands are now our BP block of stands and you're handling a brigade. Those regiments you're pushing around are a lot more fragile. Lose half and your brigade is done.
This is going to require more careful management of your units, keep those flanks secure!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Just a small tease of things to come. Scott Pyle of Goal System fame has graciously allowed the Basement Generals to play test his upcoming Blasters and Bulkheads Sci Fi rules. I have a soft spot for the old series like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers. I've been slowly collecting minis to support this and I might have reason to final dig out the lovely caves I got from Ludstuff!

Friday, June 3, 2011

It is a Small World after all...

The Basement Generals took a break from our traditional wargames (I'm lazy) to play a little (pun!) boardgame called Small World. I've eyed it for some time purely for the art work. The players take on fantasy races, expanding over a small world. Your races expand, then decline ala "History of World" but with deeper game play. Each race has a special ability, like extra victory points for inhabiting farmlands and a separate randomly generated ability like "Berserker" or "Merchant" that is different every time you play. I got Flying Barbarians, which was fun.
The key to winning comes from using your races abilities to their best, and knowing when their time is up, going into decline and picking a new race. I will definitely be picking this up.
Next week: Play test of Black Powder.