Friday, August 31, 2018

Two great Fistful of Lead play tests

With the Labor Day weekend, the ranks of the Basement Generals dwindled to 3 last night. Perfect size to try some play test of some ideas I've had knocking around.
First up: "Big Skirmish Size"
Fistful of Lead is a very low level game. Squad size, you might say. Most players are limited to 5-6 miniatures because I've found that's about all most people can keep track of. There's nothing wrong with this. It actually fits a sweet spot in the hobby. But, if you want to put a mass of minis on the table, you gotta up the game.
What I did was actually simple. A group of 3-4 miniatures functions in all ways like a single miniature. You are dealt a card for each group. They all activate together and do the same actions. One die roll for shooting/close/combat/recovery.
I left the leaders as one miniature. This makes them suitably heroic, taking on mobs of troops seemingly alone.
When a group take a wound, remove one soldier. Now the group  has the all the modifiers a wounded figure would have in a normal sized game. These negatives can be thought of as reduced firepower due to the reduced guns firing. Same with close combat.
When an Out of Action result comes up, remove the group. They've lost the will to fight!
How'd the game go?
I had a small garrison of Villistas defending a village, waiting on reinforcements. They were attacked by twice their number. Each player had 4 groups of 3 miniatures, and a single Hero.
The opening attacks were brutal. They either threw a bit of shock on the troops or put the group out of action.

A couple of heroes traded shots until the defending Villistas lost their hero.
 Some machete wielding shaken peasants attack the defenders. It did not go well....
Reinforcements finally arrive, but don't hold up well to close range rifle fire. A fun and quick game, It looked like a much bigger game than it was. 50+ miniatures on the table and the battle was over in a hour.
Time to reset for next game!
Next up: Getting Meideval
We tried a fantasy play test a few weeks ago. Things went really well, but I got some great suggestions from the Fistful of Everything folks to try armor a different way. Using the tried and true "Armor Save" that so many other games use.
The game: 3 Knights and retinues class in a small village. Knights got a save of 5+ for their heavier armor (also a reduced movement), retainers a 7+, and the lowly archers 9+.
These saves were made before the wound roll was made.

I know. I know, The knights are wearing antiquated armor compared to their crew. It's what I had on hand.
A bit a archery started the fight. Lots of "1"s which we thought of as a bow malfunction that required a "reload" marker. Then the close combat started. I won't go into all the weapon modifiers but suffice to say big heavy weapons are slow but damage more, while the trusty sword is quicker.
We spent quite a few turns banging away with armor saves stopping any real damage. Which, I guess, being a more close combat type game makes sense. Being able to shove losers away helping getting overwhelmed.
About halfway through, we decided shocks and wounds would effect saves, judging that a wounded and banged up soldier wouldn't be as effective at using his armor. This still gave a longer game, but resolved things faster.
Two fun, informative games!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Can't go wrong with rivets and steam...

Every so often we just have to play one of of our favorites: GASLIGHT.
It's a standard, but full of house rules now to speed up our 6-8 player games. We tried a new one this past week.
I made tokens for each unit on the table, not specific to the unit, but the faction (German, British, French...). I also threw in a Tea Time token. This stops the action, the already pulled tokens go back in the cup and the turn tarts fresh. This meant, so units could potentially not go, while some might even get fairly back-to-back moves.
Wow, it really changed things up. In a good way. Decisions become more important when the certainty of getting your turn goes away.
The game involved light fast moving troops to capture an objective. So no big, clanky contraptions this go.

 The objective: The indomitable Prof. Klaus. Toymaker, or troublemaker?
 "Seize zee cabbages, men!"
 "We'll see about that!"
 Rokkitruppen try to take Prof. Klaus, but get a beating instead.
This was one of moments where the Germans got two tokens pulled then a "Tea Time". With a new turn, the Rokkitruppen moved twice, and were able to jump on there objective. They didn't take advantage and got bogged down in a shooting match they ultimately lost.
"Naval troops, take the ruins!"
 Unicycle Uhlans have the same idea.

 A nasty bit of hand-to-hand. The Uhlans, win, but at great cost.
One Impervious Suit against a horde of Germans. I was able to take down a few before a well placed bayonet between the armor plates finished him.

 Francois here spent the entire game trying to get his engine started. It arrived way too late.
 Said markers...I took out three at a time to give turn order.
The dreaded Tea Time marker. All in all a lot of fun.

Friday, August 17, 2018

A cave full of monsters, a Fistful of Spells

After a chat with some fellow Fistful of Lead enthusiasts about running a fantasy game, I just had to try to put some ideas I've had in cold storage. Namely, using FfoL mechanics for a small, old school fantasy battle in the deep dark...
I stripped down the game for 6 players. No traits. The new weapon types and spell casting would be enough. There would be 3 groups of "good guys", and 3 groups of "baddies". The bad guys would be trying to reach 5 underground shrines and activate them. The good guys had to stop them.
If a Joker is played, it activates a wandering monster, appearing randomly and run by the Gamester.
 Guy d' Porco Blanc and his adventuring crew.
 Aelaroth the Eagle and his woodland host
 Korgoth of Barbaria
Zoltor the Black and his diminutive minions.
 Gurn and the greenskins
 Slurgo the Great and his goblins
As you can see, I tried to use as much ancient lead as possible. I left much of the terrain from last week's Pulp game.

 Owlbear don't care!
The first random monster attack came from some wolves. They went right at Albazium the Elementalist. He went down with a wound. The next turn he rolled to recover. 1! He bled out before ever casting a spell....
The dark side took it's own losses. Two creatures emerged from the dark behind them. Rather then ignore them, they split their forces to take them on. This left the goblins to take on the elves and barbarians alone.
Unfortunately, Korgoth wielded a Weapon of Legend. This meant a natural roll of 10 or more was an "instal-kill". Let's just say, Korgoth's dice were hot. Many a goblin head littered the cave floor....
Slurgo found himself the target of a "Entangling Vines" spell. His attempt to escape failed and he was pincushioned by elven arrows.
Soon, the orcs found their flank exposed. Fireballs and flames from a young firedrake had them on the run. They were burning while the shrines they had activated were soon being extinguished.
Spells worked great. Most, like Fireball, just use grenade rules. Others do things like remove wounds or shock or create barriers. Each player got a list of 13 tailored spells tied to one of the card suits. If you activated using the right suit, you got a +1 to cast.
Each spell required a certain amount of rest after. The tougher the spell, the longer the rest. It functioned just like an ammo marker. And rolling a "1" meant the spell backfired!
Great bit of fun.
 The final wandering (lounging) monster
And finally, the Bucknaked Baron (official mascot of the Basement Generals) made an appearance.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Pulp Alley- Pecos Pete vs the Saucer Men Episode 29

In our last episode, Our Heroes entered a mysterious mine.

 Inside, hordes of Saucer Men lay in wait...

 Pecos Pete and the Giddy Up Gang enter.
 Ace, sidekick of the Red Raptor tears through the Saucer Men like a rawhide bone.
 A Monster waits in the dark...
 The Royal Society encounters their own group of aliens.

 The Leagues encounter dark pits along the way.

 The film team catches every moment.

The final encounter. The Red Raptor's team is attacked by beast from the depths.
In the end, the Raptor, thanks mostly to Ace, were able to get to the other side of the mines. They find a strange new maze made of metal. Luckily, they're able to recruit a giant beast along the way.