Friday, November 22, 2019

Fistful of Spaceships...

aka Fistful of Photons, aka Fistful of Lead: Red 5, aka FfoL: Pew, pew, pew!
A strange series of events happened. Basement General Steve (he of all the Star Wars minis you see on the blog) stumbled upon a horde of X Wing miniatures at the 1/2 Book Store. What can you do with all those miniatures and a regular group of 6-8 players?
Well, as it happens, a few months back the Fistful of Everything playtest group in UK put together a game using Fistful of Lead and some really nice Star Wars model ships. They were kind enough to share their notes.

So, in a couple of days we put together a fleet action. A group of Rebel commanders were trying to run an Imperial blockade above the water planet Zindo (we had some generously donated space mats, but the playing area ended up being 6' x 8'). The Rebels had to clear the Imperial fighters away for the command ships, while the Imps had to take out at least half the fighter cover so their own capital ships could engage. The command ships really just functioned as clock moving across the table to show when the game was over.
What happens when you take an Old Western game and convert it to space ship dogfights?
A really cool game! I gotta say, it turned out remarkably well. Same mechanics, same special cards. Only a few adjustments.
For instance, one of your two actions is always a movement of some sort that can be combined with a small turn. More nimble ships get more turns. Or you can move twice to just haul ass.
Close Combat became Dogfighting. Still opposed roll with the winner decided the direction the loser is facing after. This led to some cool maneuvers that replicated tailing without any forced mechanics or pre-plotting.
Shields act like armor in the regular rules. The only exception was larger ships can't be put out of action by the usual wound roll. Instead, Out of Action became 2 wounds or damage.
Pilots who had more shock than remaining damage points on their ship were forced to "break off" (leave the table). They had a chance to come back after skipping a turn. This is similar to the Regroup mechanic we've been using for Big Battles.
TIE fighters, being unshielded, died in droves. But that why there are hordes of them.
A couple of turns in, the Imps are taking heavy losses
There are rules for missiles, ion cannons, proximity mines. But all essentially the same game.
The Rebels were able to clear most of the air space, but their losses were mounting when we called it.
30+ ships, 6 players all in about 2 hours. And best of all great fun!
I'm trying to figure out a way to get this out with all the other stuff I'm doing (still have a day job) and not infringe on any IP as well as make generic enough to use other genres.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Back in Wargames Illustrated!

So glad to grace the pages WI December issue.

Friday, November 15, 2019

The Royal Revenant Hunting Society's Annual Hunt

With city's sewers overflowing with undead, it was time once again for the RRHS Annual Hunt and Fall gala.
Attending were the usual notables.
 Lord Oliver Throckmorten and his cadre of big game hunters.
 Sir Percival Smutts, adventurous inventor, returned from his Mars expedition.
 Nefarious Professor Thaddeus Nightshade and his minions.
 Sir Reginald Ramsey, gallant rogue, and team of nere' do wells.
 From Prussia, Baron Von Hammerfaust
 Col. Elias Hackney, ret. and his loyal veterans.
 The prey.
 The hunting ground
 All the disturbance has brought some locals out to watch.
 The hunt begins. There are 6 spawn points for the undead that have to be destroyed. At the end of each turn more appear based on the amount of noise the hunters make.
 At first, they show restraint and refrain from using their firearms.
 But soon, the horde starts to swarm.
 The Prussians and Prof Nightshade take the brunt of the undead tide.
 And are soon overcome.
 All this carnage summons a demon from the depths.
 Noise markers show where all the action takes place.
Another demon...
Despite their best efforts and some truly abysmal rolling, the Hunters ultimately failed. Throckmorten was awarded the trophy for his number of revenants destroyed and destruction of 2 spawn points. However, he'll have to retire to country house, as London is now overrun with undead.
Another great outing. I let players knocked out early to run the zombies and could still score points by taking out Hunters. But they took their terrible dice rolls with them into the after life.
Next week: What do you do when you find a #&%! ton of XWing toys at the half price store?...

Friday, November 8, 2019

Fistful of Lead: Big Battles...

...or what we're calling it for now.
Last night was another playtest for our rules for playing larger scale Fistful of Lead games. We're trying to keep the same mechanics for the most part, so that players familiar with FfoL can jump right in to larger battles.
For this run through I dug out a fraction what used to be my GASLIGHT armies. An Anglo-French army was battling a German force for control of a key crossing. At the end of six turns we checked to see if night had fallen.
I present the Battle of Spikey Helmets
 Naval Landing party. Units get traits just like individual miniatures. These boys are keen to Rally and their Leader has trained them to be fast.

 L' Petit Arachne approaches the fortified town, rockets ready.

 The boys in red. They're Steady. Just like in FfoL, this means they ignore shock for shooting rolls.
 I gave zee Germans Deadeye.

 Three shocks means three less close combat dice (not shooting because they're Steady, remember/), plus it reduces their move by 3".
 Uhlans to the front! Rokkitruppen fared as they always do. Flew in, and killed to a man!
 Monster attack!
 Despite a final valiant charge by the Naval troops before the sun set, the Germans earned enough points for the win.
Over all, I think this was very successful. 4 players, 21 units, over in 2 and half hours. And it felt like a FfoL game. Essentially, you're treating a unit or a vehicle like you would a single miniature in the regular games. Vehicles were tough but not too tough. Not rallying off shock meant troops lost combat effectiveness and fell back or routed.
Can't wait to try with other periods.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Painting Skull and Crown Triumph of Death skeletons

When Thomas Foss was in a couple of weeks ago for Wiley Wargame Weekend, I was lucky enough to score a few pre-casts from him for his successful Triumph of Death II: Apocalypse Kickstarter.
I have a bunch of his minis from the first KS and he has somehow improved on an already awesome range. I had to get some paint on them.
I tried something new:
After minimal clean up and gluing them to metal washers (I store my hordes on magnetic sheets) I sprayed them with Citadel paints Wraithbone.
Then it was a quick slop of Skeleton Horde Contrast paint. A quick aside. I am a firm believer that these "magic" paints are a tool, not an end all answer to painting GW would have you believe. I've been uses washes and glazes for years. They still require highlighting and traditional painting to make a mini look good.
Then was blocking in colors, highlighting and my magic goop. Really Liquitex Resin Sand texture gel. This stuff helps me skip a lot of steps. It is white but dries semi clear (over night), but you can add color while wet and slather on. This allows me to skip filling in gaps (it does that) and having to paint whatever texture I could use like sand after it dries. Just skipped two steps with one.
Then it was just flocking. I added some Autumn colors becomes Fall seems to tie into things dying.
Here's a cool captain. I'm happy how his ancient rusted armor came out. Black, then washes of orange to rust it out.
These were great fun to paint.