Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Big Bethal- RF&F AAR

Fire and Fury is sometimes refered to as Fire and Frustration. It's still my go-to for ACW, but last night reminded me of how damaging bad rolls can be to an otherwise great game. With all the extra charts and modifiers piled on by the Regimental version, they can really do harm.
The table and the miniatures were great. John over at Curio Clashes provided both.
The Union had a tough nut to crack. A slog across swampy, tree filled terrain to assault the rebel works. The forces start fairly even and then the Union troops start arriving in hopes to overwhelm the opposition.

One of the units, an Indiana regiment (9th, 11th?) starts out already disordered due to some friendly fire earlier in the dy. Best change out of those gray Zuoave uniforms, boys. Then they really got plastered by the Rebel guns. They were rendered combat ineffective early. One unit out.
Then, a succession of truly abysmal Union die rolls for maneuver, the Blue Bellies got jammed up on the roads. Fodder for the Rebel gun emplacements. Way too early, it was obvious they were going to win.
S, just like the real Battle of Big Bethal, it was a Union disaster. A combination of green troops and bad luck spoiled the assault. But still, you can't beat a night with friends, toys and beer.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Campaign for the Kingdom, Chapter 13: A cold, dark, little affair

"Oswald, Duke of Dunharrow, claimant to the throne of the Kingdom, had lost most of his men along the road. Disease and homesickness had claimed most of them. Only Duke Ulrik stood with him this cold day, facing Baron Oswald the Younger and Duke Roderick.

Two villages stood between them. The only chance for fodder and lodgings over the coming winter.
Horns blared and Oswald's men trudged slowly forward. Across the battlefield his enemies moved in fits and stops, seemingly not sure what to do.

Oswald's men surged forward, the lighter troops out stripping the foot knights and pikes. A lone unit of archers far forward of the rest. They loosed. Ulrik watched in disgust as a unit of mercenary pikemen fled.
A village was taken by each side. Oswald's village was held by archers. They were peppering Horace's flank led by Ulrik. On the other end of the line, his men were trading blows with Roderick's.
Each side was losing men. Too many.
Ulrik was able to dislodge Oswald's men in the village and take it. Horace now had both. That was too much for the pretender's troops. They fled into the snow fall that had started during the battle.
Horace held the field. One step closer to the throne. But would he have men to hold it?"
A great little fight with only 4 players. Also, a close one.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A quick picture of a quick game

Last night I had the pleasure of trying out the soon to be released "Galleys, Guns and Glory" rules by Skull and Crown, that go with their great ships.
As I mentioned before, I was able to get a hold of the pre-release ships thanks to trade. I'm doing all the flags that will come with purchase of the ships, in return for a fleet of said ships.
The game was easy to pick up and fun to play. Something I need as most Game nights are essentially mini conventions. There was hasty gun fire, fabulous critical hits, desperate boarding actions and lots of blood in the water.
We didn't use alot of the extras like special Captains or national traits, just to let everyone get ahold of the rules, which they picked up within 2 turns. Victory went to the Turks this time.Now, back to painting ships...

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Once more into 5 Core

We had a small group (even got the Boy to play) last night. It was perfect chnace to run another 5 Core game.
This was a follow game to the previous Rebel victory. Flushed with success the Rebels move up to the next no name town that seems to populate their miserable world, hoping to wreck a few key objectives.
 Rebel forces hug all available cover
They had five to choose from, everything from a statue of galactic hero Bud Lastyear, to a run down refinery. Five objectives the defending Marines knew about, but the Rebels only cared about 3. But which three?
Once again the Marines were outnumbered. Mostly for balance issues as the Marines have armor saves the Rebels do not, and better weapons.
It started out very cautious for both sides. Then, the Rebs let a missile fly at the refinery. A miss. There's one objective identified!
 Marines move up to hold objectives
Marine Captain Kargan takes a direct hit from a rocket and survives thanks to his armor.
A brave Rebel ran into the empty street, survived incoming fire and then placed a demo charge at the base of the statue. Three turns later, BOOM! One objective taken out, the symbol of Galactic oppression.
There was alot of "Scurry" and "Firefight" events rolled. This made some interesting decisions. ONe player "figured things out" towards the end and used a Scurry to place all his men ready to open up. The next turn, the Marines peeked out to fire at the now exposed Rebels and were immediately met with a hail of fire from the ready Rebels.
The refinery went down to another missile, and in a with the Marines pinned a final rocket took out the final objective.
Another good game. I think we did everything right this time. Not a game for the gamey or faint of heart. If you loved Squad Leader, you'll like these rules.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

And now for my holiday distraction

I was able to get my hot little hands on these pre-production beauties from Admiral Foss at Skull and Crown. They are samples of his upcoming Lepanto line of Mediterranean Galleys.
I'm not a fan of naval battles in general. Big, flat expanses with ships lined up up to hammer away just don't do it for me. However, I love all things Renaissance warfare, and these little guys are both fun to put together and will be a breeze to paint.
They are a nice scale. Not huge and not too small to paint all the lovely colors and stripes of the period. 6mm crew will be perfect.
I was also given a sneak peek at the rules and they're also right down my alley. Shooting and ramming and boarding actions. That's the kind of naval wargaming I like.

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Great Steam Punk race.

If you like all things steam, look here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Early Christmas present

Christmas time is where I usually get a lot of books, as my wife finds trying to track down minis for me too daunting. This year, I bought one for myself. It's put out by Osprey surprisingly.

Even though it's strictly Victorian SciFi, t's written like it's real history with color plates and write ups.
GASLIGHT, be prepared for new troops!

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Legion in Mexico, a Fistful of Lead AAR

I wanted to test out some ideas I had for a more dynamic Close Combat mechanic I thought of for earlier periods of FfoL, where gunfire is more sporadic due to reload time. I picked the Maximillian era of Mexico (one of my favorites).
The French Foreign Legion was holding a small compound outside the territorial Governor's mansion.
The Local Insurrectos wanted to plant the their flag on the Governor's house as symbolic gesture.
As usual, our brave Legion was out numbered.
There are a few changes to the traditional rules. Because they carry single shot muzzle loaders, each model must reload after every shot (instead of just on 1s). In Close Combat, each model rolls a d10 as usual, high roller winning. There are situational bonuses, but the results are different. If you win by 5+ your opponent is dead. Win by 2-4, and there are various positional changes you can make (push them back, draw them in, switch places, break off). Tie or only win by 1, and you break off and separate.

This became importantt as our brave Legion captain charged into a casa full of banditos. He managed to hold up that entire flank, in what would be called "Casa de la Morte, until he was bravely killed in true Legionnaire fashion.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A ghastly outing

"The Revenant Outbreak of '68 followed closely by the first Lycanthrope Incursions caused a panic across the land. The government was ill equiped to fight this new menace. Many brave citizens of means took it upon themselves to hunt down, and destroy these Creatures of the Night. Be it for love of Queen and Country, scientific research or just the joy of adventure, they would be known forever as the Royal Monster Hunting Society..."

The village of Brumley on the Brook is overrun. The citizens have fled, leaving only 6 groups of 4 hunters to take on the horde of undead.
I did these cards for the Hunters:
I used a modified set of GASLIGHT zombie rules. There was a turn deck with a card for each hunting party, plus a cards for each zombie type, a zombie spawn card, then a "dark lords" card that would be added after the first "20" was rolled.

The hunters needed to take out the 6 spawn points. Each time they fired a gun or otherwise made noise, noise markers were added. Then, when a spawn card come up, special dice (marked 0-3) were rolled for each noise marker. Thus, if 5 noise markers were generated, 0-15 new zombies might show.
The game started with the hunters blazing away, only to watch in horror as zombies poured out of the woods.
The Prussians especially seemed to act as a zombie magnet. The Baron dispatched dozens.
Tactics eventually changed, and s[awn points were discovered. Gunfire became limited.
It was close. One team was wiped out while others were steadily taking losses. When the Dark Lords showed up (tougher monsters like werewolves) things got really interesting.
A great pre-Halloween game.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Last minutes project: beginning Day 3

Zombies based and flocked. I think they turned out great for as little time as I spent on them. The Hunters will get a bit more attention.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Last minute project: Day2

Day 2 saw the zombies getting painted, and bases gooped.
The minis had already been assembled and primed with a dark brown yesterday. I normally start with black, but this allows me to skip a step. And this particular paint bonds to plastic.

I then started with a mix of purple, gray and a stone color dry brushed over the brown with my trusty, beat old drybrush. It's massive. this lets me just drag the brush over, catching the surface and leaving the dark bits still brown. The purple undercoat gives the zombies that bruised flesh look dead skin has. Also using a cool color like purple makes all the subsequent colors that are added also take on a cool cool.

Next was a dry brush of dirty white or aged bone. Then, I gave the open wounds, mouth and hands a wash of deep red.

A final drybrush of almost bone color finished them off. I went in add dotted the eyes white, the teeth dirty yellow and went ahead and left the clothes the muddy gray like they've been in the grave. These are not fresh zombies. For those I'd go a bit brighter in palette.
Tomorrow the finished pieces and start on the hunters.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last minute Project. Or how to paint 50 miniatures in a week.

Now that my children are teenagers and less interested in Halloween, I forget about holidays. Since next Thursday will be All Hallows Eve eve, I decided a horror inspired game was in order.
Enter the Royal Monster Hunting Society's annual outing. A Victorian era themed zombie/monster game.
I have 30-oddzombies to paint plus some extra Gothic themed must-haves, and 20 or so hunters.
Zombies assembled, everyone based. Off to be primed.

Friday, October 17, 2014

A great night of VSF gaming and turning 45

I needed something special for my 45th birthday. I wanted lots of terrain and miniatures on the table, but still get a game done in a respectable time. Ahhhh, GASLIGHT.
The Germans are flooding through Belgium. A small British expeditionary force is in danger of being cut off. Most importantly, an important scientist (there are 3 on the table and the Germans don't know which one) and his/her research are in danger of being captured in the roll up.
The British must cross the board length-wise to get the scientist to an approaching submersible. Meanwhile, the Germans are closing in from the side. I proved a nail biter to the end.
 The sub approaches
 The British man the walls of a fortified farm in hopes of holding up the steamroller.
 Unicylce Uhlans and Lady Hussars!
 A British contraption ends the Uhlans with a spray of Gatling fire
The Scientist, Lady Cottingham, champion of paranormal research, escape along with her secret weapon. The Killenkanner, which long term reaers wil know is of dubious reputation, manged to not only stay running most of the game, but deal a lot of death.
This year was a trial to say the least. I lost my father and a career of 20+ years. It has been an adjustment to say the least. But, my family, friends, and my wargaming family, have been very supportive. And there's always my little lead minions who are always there.
Don't know what this second phase of life will bring, but I'm sure there will be a lot of dice, beer and miniatures.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Another night of 5 Core

We had so much fun last week, I thought we've give 5Core/5 Parsecs another try while I wait to paint up the crap-ton of minis it will take to play Lion Rampant.
Militia advances
The scenario involved some rebel planetary defense militia attempting to capture a no-name town on a back water world. The Unity government decided to respond with sending in an Assault Marine squad. Both sides started with an objective and had to take one on the far side.
 Marines move up to meet them.
I decided to give the militia a 2-1 advantage because the Marines were armed with the particularly nasty Assault carbine and had Power armor.
An otherwise enjoyable game was ruined by yours truly by missing a single line in the rule book that would have let the marines advance after some terrible Event die rolling. I missed that the "Firefight" Event allows you to move if there are no targets available. The Marines rolled Firefight like 3 times in a row, allowing the militia to take positions quicker.
 Heavy armor and nasty guns
The battle for the hill is a stalemate, but it forces the marines to commit half their dwindling numbers.

The game otherwise does a great job of handling modern/near future warfare. It is really hard to dig out troops in defense. A well placed guy with a machine gun can hold down an enemy platoon. So, you have to flank them or force his head down while you advance.
In the end, the militia was able to out flank the marines by massing their firepower down the middle to keep the marine's heads down.
You either like this kind of warfare (a thinking man's game IMHO) or you don't. Line 'em and shoot ain't gonna cut it. Go play 40k.