Friday, December 21, 2018

Galactic Heroes: WW2 Pulp Horror crossover!

Last night I attempted to show the diversity of the Fistful of Lead: Galactic Heroes rules by running a 7 player Weird War 2 Pulp Horror game.
Four Allied players led by Major Victory and the Liberty League had to assault a Nazi research base located in the castle of the mysterious Count Orlock, a noble who had somehow ruled the local area for four centuries.
The Nazi players new the Allies would attack, but not how or where. They had secret reinforcements ready to go in case of just such an attack.
Each player had a Leader with four regular troops. The only special rules were that Leaders had to sustain 3 wounds to be put out of action, even if an out of action result was rolled.
The baddies got a surprise when the Liberty League attacked. I had the allied players stand at the opposite end of the 8' table and throw a cotton ball. Where it landed was where their deployment zone was. This simulated the irregularity of their airbourne drop.
Two groups landed in the castle, two out side.
 Kreigsaffen, Count Orlock and Elsa
 Taking the gate

 The Sentinel and Lucky land and are immediately under fire

Major Victory blasts those below
Liberty Belle led one of the outside groups. She was able to use her sonic Liberty Belle ring to knock a hole in the wall (she had the Damaging Aura trait). Sgt. Stone rushed the open drawbridge. Major Victory and the Sentinel of Justice dropped inside, but were quickly attacked from all sides.

In the chaos, Count Orlock opened the door to the underground facility. Out poured undead troops, victims of experiments with the vampires blood.

 Blood Alley, always one in FfoL.
Totenkopf sees the tide turn.
Each turn, a new horde of zombies lurched threw the open door. They would attack the first living creature they saw, including Germans. Luckily, Count Orlock and robot soldiers weren't alive.

A pile of dead in wounded filled the gatehouse due to Sgt Stone's tommy gun and Major Victory unleashing his "Star-Spangled Vision" from the tower above (he has the Flier trait).

Meanwhile, Count Orlock was able to mesmerize the Sentinel, using him as a puppet to attack his own troops! The Sentinel was able to break the spell, only after killing his own sidekick, Lucky. I can picture the cover to the comic in my head...

After only 2 hours it was clear the Allies had won. Out of the Nazi Leaders, only Count Orlock survived. He was last seen slinking into the caverns beneath the castle.

Great game, and really showed off what I asked it for: robots, zombies, super heroes, vampires...

Mission accomplished!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Battle at the Crossroads II- Fistful of Lead

After last week's play test, last night was a repeat scenario but a different take on armor: Armor as a Ye Olde Save roll.
All other rules remain the same, with the same modifiers. Each player had a Leader rated as d12, wearing chain shirt, helmet and shield. This gave them a save roll of 7+. The rest of each retinue was a mix or armored and unarmored troops. Vikings had bows. Normans had crossbows. Bows could fire every turn, but crossbows took full two actions to reload, but got an armor penetration bonus.
 Wolf the Berserker- They had the Bloodthirsty & Flurry of Blows traits, but no armor.
 Guy de Foiegras, defender of the realm, or at least his bit.
Born Twobears, a giant of a man
The Norman leaders got horses and a nice mounted charge bonus, but the Vikings got an extra miniature to make up for the disparity.
Any hits, whether from shooting or close combat were rolled to Wound as usual. An armored target (even if just a shield) got a save roll. If the save was made, the wound level was reduced one step.
Out of Action becomes wound, wound becomes shock, shock becomes nothing. If a player rolled a natural 10 or higher on the Wound roll, there was no save, they found a weak spot.
Jokers played became reinforcements for whoever played it.
 The Norsemen cometh
 a view from the Fort
 No prisoners!
 Bill, the Big Bellied Berserker makes short work of Norman trooper
 The battle at the crossroads begins...
 ...and quickly escalates.
How'd it play?
The Vikings made a mad rush towards the village in search of loot. A pig was grabbed and a lagging Viking reinforcement entered the field. The norman force coming up the road tried a flanking move, but was soon cut off. The Norman leader was unhorsed and forced to fight on foot (a wound or Out of Action result unhorses the rider and leaves them dismounted Shaken). The Normans from the fort charged out to break up the looting.
A crossbow brought down one Viking, and the Norman Lord rode right into the Viking standard. At the last minute, the standard bearer swooshed the raven banner at the horse, startling it and ruining the charge (i.e. the Norman rolled garbage and the standard didn't).
A huge scrum started in the middle of town. A lone reinforcement charged out of the fort but was dropped by a bowman before he help.
By the end, only the now dismounted Norman Lord remained. He had 4 shock markers on him. He managed to drive off most his opponents and clear his head, only to have a lucky arrow, Harold Godwinson style, drop him.
Victory to the Norsemen!
 Time to go!
To the survivors the spoils! Where'd the pig run off to?
Group consensus was this second way, was much smoother and required less mental math. It played like a movie. Lots of decisions to be made, changes in strategy based on the card deal, and cinematic moments. Another test in in order, but I think it's the way to go.
Back to working on the core book!

Friday, November 30, 2018

The Raid at the Crossroads-Fistful of Lead

I'm hoping to release a Fistful of Lead Core rulebook first of the year. This is a stripped down "generic" set of rules that's a distillation of everything we've done before (don't worry, if you bought Galactic Heroes, you're covered). The reason? Well, I got a lot of places to go with Fistful of Lead, and rather than release completely new books every quarter that are 75% the same, I decided to make a core book, then release supplements and cards for genres/periods. I can keep those supplements shorter and cheaper by having the "guts" of the rules covered in the core book and use the supplements to deep dive into the period.
With that in mind, I have a few ideas that need play testing. In this case, how armor works in a game. I chose a small encounter between raiding Vikings against Normans. In this case, armor acts essentially as mobile cover, making it harder to land an effective blow. This is how it works in Galactic Heroes, but I wanted to see how it works on a larger scale.
The fight started with a Viking bowmen loosing a arrow at a charging mounted Norman lord. He needed a 10 with the armor minus, and got one. The wound result was "shock", sending the lord riding back the way he came, shaken.

The barbarians are all dead, time for some BBQ!
Most of shooting was ineffective at long range, and once the troops got close, it played out how you would think. Heavier, more experience troops wiped the floor with the lesser armored troops.
Although we a case where a lowly spearman kept getting wounded. He repeatedly played Queen of Hearts to heal. This made everyone suspect he was faking his wounds to get out of fighting....
The Vikings were outclassed and rolled truly abysmal dice, while the Normans didn't seem to roll anything but 10s.
Next week, I'll be trying another idea, the age old rule: armor as saves.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The Royal Revenant Hunting Society's Annual Hunt....

...or Thanks-killing!

As usual, the Ladies and Gentlemen of the RRHS went out confidently, blasting away, untl they realized the gunfire was only attracting more of the undead. Then they quickly switched to close combat. This led only to their ranks being depleted quicker.

With things looking grim, they finally went after the real goal: destroying the spawn points.

The Society lost half their ranks, but ended the Revenant threat.....for now.
Great fun. I ran the Undead and their evil masters. We got to try out some ideas for upcoming Gothic Horror supplement.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fistful of Lead meets the Age of Steam

Last night the Basement Generals gathered in, you guessed it, the basement to try out some rules I've been piddling around with on and off for years. It combines ideas from all over, but mostly from my own Fistful of Lead family. These are meant to fight larger battles with units of 10-12 miniatures and vehicles but still have the ease and fun of a FfoL game.
The Battle of the St. Thoreau Swamp:
We had 6 players each controlling 4 units, including large and small steam powered contraptions. Most will recognize them from earlier GASLIGHT battles. Players got one card for each unit they control, just like in FfoL where you get one for each miniature. The special abilities of each card work the same or similar, so a unit with shock (which halves your shooting dice) could pass a Recovery check automatically with a Queen of Spades, etc.
Each leader also got a special (mostly awful) ability.
 Sir Nigel Tufnell, 4th Earl of Spindeltapp leads his men into battle.
 The battlefield. Swamps prohibited movement in the middle.
 Gentlemen, start your coal fired engines!

 Rokkitruppen advance. They had the ability to jump, using their rocket powered packs 20", but each mini had to roll a die. On a "1" they were lost, flying off like a bottle rocket to explode.
 L'Spyder moments before it brewed up and collapsed like a dead spider.

The Germans won the day by taking out all the Allied contraptions. The rules went really well. They work for straight up colonial battles too. Some great moments:
The Zouaves, led by a near sighted leader, could only shoot close range. They kept hoping a lucky bullet would drop him.
The crew of a perfectly good steam tank bailed after rolling a "1" on Recovery.
The list goes on. We had 24 units on the table and fought to conclusion in 2 hours. I'm really liking where these are headed.