I'm leaving Wednesday morning for GenCon, not as a vendor, just a civilian. This is a bit of a bucket list thing, not because I haven't been before, but because I'm going with my son, best friend and his boys, my "nephews".
Not to worry, if you make an order while I'm gone. my wife is manning the webstore. (she always is).
Last night we played one of our group's favorite games, our Campaign for the Kingdom. WE've been playing the rules for about 20 years, with lead just as old. This is a mapless campaign. The player with the most points, accrued by victories, is the Claimant. The player with the next highest, is the Pretender. First player to agreed upon total wins. In this case 12 points.
In the this battle, the Earl Rutiger was defending his claim to the throne from Ulric, Duke of the Black Isles. I played Rutiger, in absence of the real player.
The first few turns saw a cautious advance on both sides, players trying to hold their lines together. But, of course, there were a few commanders who got jumpy and the lines surged forward.
This game is a delicate dance of controlling your force's Battlelust. For the most part they will follow your orders, but different factors and terrible dice may send them charging forward, or cooling their heels. Too much aggression, they get tired. Too little they start thinking about those crops at home that need harvesting.
Then theirs the almighty Order Deck. The deck consists of Aces (or 1s), twos and threes cards, and a reshuffle card. The better the commander, the more 3s in the deck. The poorer the commander, the more 1s. After commanders have given orders to their troops and rolled to see if they obey them, then the Order card is revealed. This is how many actions your troops can make. The right card at the right time can be a game winner.
When our troops met, it started as a slap fight. No real casualties inflicted for a turn. Then, all hell broke loose.
For two straight turns in the middle, Rutiger and Ulric's troops slaughtered each other. No retreats, just a brutal bloodbath. Of my 6 units on the table, only one remained. That meant a loss of 4 more units would break us.
The flanks held. They managed to give as good as they got, and by the final turn it came down to each side only needing to inflict one more casualty.
A barrage of arrows ended it for us. Ulric claimed victory. Rutiger was beheaded (lost 2 points) and the victorious side received each gained a point along with a bonus point that can awarded to anyone, regardless of side. Ulric claimed it for himself. There was some grumbling among his troops for this move.
The dreaded Battlelust wheel
I'm really thinking of finally publishing these rules. They grew out of an older set of rules that we've long since added to and made or own. This would be a departure from the "Fistful" family, but a much needed diversion, and great set of rules for the right group.
...or a Fistful of Joes, or "Never Buy Ammo from Destro"...
I've been painting up 28mm Joes as a surprise game for Jon of Curio Clashes for awhile. I remember the cartoon fondly from my childhood, being in that weird age between the big 12" toys and the smaller 3.5" action figures. But Jon is a big fan of the comics. I stuck to supers only.
The scenario was as follows: Natives from a remote South American rainforest have been driven off their hunting grounds by mysterious strangers. These strangers have been digging holes deep into the jungle floor near the sacred statue of the Snake god. The special unit of the US military has been dispatched to investigate...
The base in spotted...Cobra!
The Mission is led by Stalker
Move in team!
There were 6 players, 3 Joes, 3 Cobra. I got to play the vivacious Baroness. By the end of the game I had perfected her Eastern European accent...
The Joes had air support, but they couldn't use it until they knocked out the Cobra antiaircraft gun (I think forgot about this part). Cobra had back up in the form of a HISS Tank.
Pew, pew, pew!
Opening shots were unleashed by two trigger happy Cobra soldiers at Freedom, the pet and stalwart companion of Spirit the GI Joe tracker. A lot of lead had resulted in little result.
In fact, Trooper 7801and Trooper 2325 spent most of the game trying to kill that buzzard, um, eagle. They took grenades and machine gun fire constantly, but it was that dumb eagle that would ultimately kill them both. Trooper 7801 was wounded three times. Three times a Queen of Hearts brought him back to hold the line.
The Baroness and Destro managed to take out most of the northern attacking force, with the Baroness dropping Snake Eyes before he even got in the fight. It is here we pause for a moment.
Destro is the arms dealer for Cobra. He owns factories that make weapons and ammo. Throughout the game, the number of 1s rolled was insane. We began to blame chrome dome for shoddy ammunition. In fact, there was almost a friendly fire incident. Destroy even started to roll 1s.
Also, despite having better quality troops, and the Team Trait "Loyal" which prevents your team members from routing, some members of the Joe team spent their time (as usual) hiding in the trees. Years of taunts over this behavior has not altered the player-we-will-not-name's choice of game play. Knowing his game tactics, Cobra was able to ignore him and concentrate fire (that was working) against the northern flank and wipe them out. Poor Jon, the game was for him and he was out in 4 turns.
After two hours it was clear Cobra forces would escape with the Serpent's Eye, a huge ruby that could be used to fund their nefarious plots or say, focus a death ray....
Trooper 7801 was awarded the Serpent's Cross posthumously for holding the line, and finally "killing that bird".