Friday, November 30, 2012

Battle thru the Boccage pt2 (Victory Decision)

New guy John brought over his fine collection of WW2 stuff for another round of Victory Decision. The Yanks would be battling their way through Normandy again against those pesky Huns. I sat this one out do to a nasty bug and just helped run it. Everyone got a squad and either a support weapon or a tank.
The aforementioned boccage acted (as it did in real life) as line of Sight blocker and heavy cover. This made maneuver important. Battle in VicDec is simple and deadly. Anyone out in teh open was dead or running away fairly quickly. Although the German Panzerschect team took a direct shot from a Sherman and miraculously survived (good rolls, Councilman).
This game really opened my eyes to use of Command units and their importance. Activating important teams and regrouping makes a huge differece. The Germans were able to take a quickly collapsing flank and through proper use of regroups and activations, rally and hold the line.
I really can't say enough good things about the ruleset. I HATED most WW2 rules. I sold most of my stuff. This may actually get me back. But, I'd have to do some obscure Front or army.
The Germans out in the open!

This commander seems to think everything is "Faaabulous!"

Airborne advance with the tanks.

I can't wait to try VicDec for Back of Beyond or RCW or near Future.
Next week: Some Victorian SciFi espionage!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

the Emissary arrives

While staying home trying to shake a nasty bug, I actually squeezed in some painting time. Meet the Emissary. In case you missed the GASLIGHT game I posted, "the Visitor", I'll mention the the storyline so far in our alternate history of the world.
I craft from another world has crashed in the middle of a nearly worldwide conflict being fought on 1880s Earth. This Visitor was first found by the German Empire. Since then he has been aiding the Germans with technological advances which has given them the upper hand in the conflict, much to the chagrin of the Nefarious Professor Nightshade, whom until then had been their main weapon supplier.
Little do the Germans and their allies know, but heir Visitor is actually an intergalactic space criminal and key player in a much wider galactic conflict. This Visitor did not crash, but was shot down by this little fellow (not little, he's about 38mm). He has now presented himself to the British Empire as the Emissary, and promised aid to battle the Visitor.
Be even the elated Brits don't know that a thousand year war has been fought between two factions and spanned most of the galaxy. Both sides have been drained of resources. Earth and all it's plentiful minerals and manpower are to play a part in a much larger drama.
New technology harnessing X-matter. The Destructo-Ray.

Monday, November 26, 2012

OK I'll play the Liebster game.

Both Scott from "Scott's Wargaming Blog" and Lead Addict nominated me for the Liebster blogging Award. Not sure where it originated from, but Thanks! and I'll play. The Liebster rules are 1) Link back to whoever gave it to you. 2) link to 5 other blogs with less than 200 followers that should be getting seen by more people. Number two puts alot of my favorite blogs out of the running.
Well, the first two are easy:
1- Scott's Wargaming Blog. Great painter with almost eclectic tastes as me. From LotR to Pirates and Victorian Gothic.
2- Lead Addict: Avid gamer, painter and bestest pal.
3- Cluck Amok: One of the first wargamers I ever played with. Helped get me back into playing. Great toys and all around good guy.
4- Jimbibbly: Have no words for how good this guys stuff is.
5- Take the High Ground: Great tips for terrain making. Always an inspiration.
Like I said before, there are so many great places out there. The web has turned our weird little hobby into a huge place to roam.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Boardgame night

Only 5 of us last night. The perfect number for all those boardgames out there we never get to play. First off: 1812: Invasion of Canada by Academy Games

© Academy Games
This is one of those periods I've read about, think is cool, but will probably never game. This was the next best thing. With five, each took command of a different army: British, Canadian Militia, US regulars, US Militia and me commanding the Indians allied with the Brits.
For those not familiar with the game, turn order is drawn randomly from a bag. When its your turn, you must play a move card from your hand of 3. If you move where there is an enemy, a fight happens using the special dice for each army. The dice sides have blanks, retreats and bull's eyes (hits). Militia have more retreats, regulars have more hits. Simple?
Th team with the most captured enemy cities by turn 7 or when one side has played its Treaty cards, wins.
The game started with a lot of combat, quickly became a stalemate, and then in turn 4 the US captured 4 Canadian towns and played their Treaties. Over. Bang! Just like that.
A lot of fun, and replay value. Also could work good for a campaign game for miniatures.
Next up: TransAmerica.
© Winning Moves
No not a game of trans-genders crossing the US. It was a simpler, but at the same time more compelling version of Ticket to Ride. Same kind of railroad building premise, but I think a sleeker game. Again, highly recommended.
We finished the night with an old favorite of mine: Condotierre.
© Euro Games

A game of bluff and risk to capture Renaissance era Italian Cities. I have the older (cooler) set with the weird shaped cards. Each player gets 10 cards. Most are mercenaries that have numerical value. There are also special cards that played in conjunction with the Mercenaries enhance the played cards. The player may place a card or pass. If you pass, you are out of the bidding for that turn. The player with the highest numerical value at the end wins the city.
The strategy comes in when you have to decide to live to fight another day, or keep going. No new cards are dealt until one player is the only one left with cards.
# games in 3 hours, and a lot of fun between. No game next Thursday. THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basement-con 2 AAR: Friday

Compared to Thursday night, Friday's Basement-Con was fairly light. Only Lead Addict showed, which turned out to be cool because the blessing and the curse of the Basement Generals is there's a lot of us. Most Thursdays are, in fact, mini conventions. Its hard to find 6-8 player games we can do in 3 hours or less.
So, when I got a chance to do some games 1-on-1 I was excited.
We started with Black Powder: Pike and Shotte. I dug out my Italian Wars, work in progress troops. I had 4 cavalry and 6 foot units, split into two battalia a side. A relatively small fight by P&S standards, but the last battle we did, I used Hail Caesar, and wanted try these out small.
Pike and Shotte is closer rules-wise to Black Powder than Hail Caesar.
The battle opened with Cavalry charges on the flanks which quickly left us both horseless (I found out later my Gendarmes were tougher, but oh well).
When the pikes finally got to grips in the middle it was bloody and short.
The whole thing lasted about and hour.
Yes, the bases aren't finished...

The heavy horse charges forward

the push of pike
Despite the quick fight, I really liked how it played. We're going to have to be a bit more tactical and subtle. More historical tactics would have paid off better. We should have held the horse back for exploiting the infantry fight.
I was too liquored up to remember to take pictures....
With the evening still early, and the booze flowing, we tried out a game I've wanted to play for a long time: SAGA. I have a full 6 points of viking warband. Lead Addict was able to cobble together 4 points for the battle. My vikings became Saxons and using the intro scenario we began. Whomever kills the other guy's warlord first, wins.
Neither of us really had time to study the Battle Boards, which are the heart of the game. The actually battle mechanics are simple. It's the subtleties of the use of Fatigue, and Battle Board abilities that win the game.
Warlords are tough, but mortal. We found that out about turn 2. We ignored the Warlord's death and kept playing. It was all I hoped it would be. Multi-player would be hard. If we play on Thursday's it would mean setting up 2-3 battles simultaneously.
But over all, SAGA was everything I hoped it would be.
Next: Saturday.....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Basement-con -2 AAR: Thursday

Basementcon-con2, that mini convention in my basement is now over. I didn't take as many pics as I should have, but here they are.
Thursday: Gruntz 15mm SciFi
Lead Addict brought over his horde of 15mm Sci-Fi minis for a playtest with the group of Gruntz. I have read thru Gruntz a few times and marveled at how simple they looked. We had had a short playtest before that didn't go well. Lots of shooting and no results. We had to be doing something wrong. The Gruntz website has nice videos on game play, which helped.

Listening post Alpha 34

The Mercs

Merc mechs

Human leader
This was battle over a Hyperspace listening post. The opponents would be humans on one side vs alien mercenaries. The reviews I've read have Gruntz as small affairs. For this 8 players battle we changed the rules from single based 15mm figs to whole stands marking kills with a tiny d6.
After a brief explanation of the rules, (which turns out is very similar to a game I've never played, Warmachine) the fight unfolded quickly. You roll 2d6 adding your shooting trait trying to make or beat your opponent' armor rating. A successful hit means you roll 2d6 with your weapon's damage trying to match or beat your opponent's soak value. Easy.

Everyone picked up the rules by turn 2, but we found the missile rules devastating and changed on the fly. Vehicles and troops were dropping like flies. The mercs seemed to have the upper hand. Then the humans destroyed most of the merc's armor and things swung in favor of the humans. That when it ended. I think most found it fun. We might even try a moderns game with them.
The brews for the night's tasting. A Romanian pilsner Timisoreanna. Very smooth. Reminded me of Pilsner Urquell.

Then, the polar opposite. White Hatter by a New Holland. Wow this brew had a bite. Not a fan at all. It was hard to get anyone to taste it after they saw my face. Kinda like when the milk goes bad and you ask your wife, "hey, smell this?".
More AAR tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Basement Con 2

Yes, the convention in my basement returns this weekend! Well, not really a basement anymore. More of an actual game room, but still below the ground.
It all starts Thursday night with a second playtest of Gruntz, the sci-fi rules set. Lead Addict and I gave this a try awhile back, but figured we did something wrong. As the Basement Generals are very good at dissecting rulesets, let's see how it holds up
Friday night the Baroness departs for her gala tour of the countryside and I set up for either a GASLIGHT mega game or Boardgame depending on the crew that shows.
Saturday night, most likely the crew from Beyond the Wall departs once more for the unknown, or we head out into the irradiated Wastelands of the dark future.
Terrible food, good friends, a good cigar and plenty of booze. Pray for my liver, and I'll take lots of photos.

Friday, November 2, 2012

the Legion in Mexico-the Crossing

I slowly slog away at Fistful of Lead-Horse and Musket. I need a few playtests, not of the rules, but of the scenarios. Lat night's game was to try out the age old wargame favorite, "Take the Bridge". The hated Legion of that French Usurper Maximillian hold an important bridge. The brave Revolutionaries must take it for the advancing column behind them.
The odds were 4 to 3 in favor of the attackers. In hindsight 3-2 would be a better ratio, but we had 7 players, so there.
The Legion had an easy plan. Stay behind cover and pick off the insurgants. We knew this. We sent a few brave souls forward to make the Legion empty their muskets. It worked. There was a mad charge across the bridge and it looked like a quick game.
Then, we proceded to lose every melee combat. In FfoL hand to hand is very deadly but not always a given for the attacker.
Things look grim for the Legionnaires.

The bridge is taken

Forward men! There's only a guy with red pants to stop us!
At the end of hour two, it was "No mas". The Revolution was quelled for now. This was the first Legion victory since I painted them many moons ago. Due mostly to man named "Senor Pantalones Rojo". This Legion officer must have killed at least 5 guys single handedly.
To those patiently awaitng "Horse and Musket", soon my pets.......