Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Observer Effect - Mordheim AAR

Last Sunday the local gaming group met up to play the first game in the yearly Mordheim campaign they run. Since it's my first time in the campaign, I decided to put together a Outlaws of Stirwood Forest warband. They seem a little underpowered, especially compared to some of the other warbands available, so my goal for the campaign isn't to win, but to survive!

The first scenario saw four warbands all vying for warpstone counters. Four warpstone counters could be found near the initial starting points, but a larger cache worth 1d3 warpstone was placed at the center of the table, which would entice the warbands to duke it out for the motherlode.

The Undead were the first to reach the main cache. However, the Carnival were close behind, enganging with both the Undead and Dwarves.

My Outlaws could see the scuffle on the horizon and thought better trying to engage in that mess. Instead they climbed the tower and lobbed a few arrows into anyone they could see.

The vampire was joined at the top of the hill by a couple brutes from the Carnival, and one actually managed to deal a wound to the Undead leader.

The Dwarves were also up to their beards in Plaguebearers and Nurglings.

There was a massive fight between the numerous Undead and the Carnies, with fighters getting knocked down again and again.

Still my Outlaws looked on, not wanting to get into the massive three-way fight in the center.

Finally the Carnival and Undead did enough damage to each other that they were forced to begin Rout tests. The Undead were the first to leave the table, followed by the Carnival.

I then had a problem in the form of four angry Dwarves heading my way. Arrow after arrow pinged off their armor. However, I luckily managed to gang up on the Dwarf leader and knock him out, and Bruce (the player running the Dwarves) failed the first Rout check he had to take.

Somehow, the Outlaws had won the game!

I didn't get the massive warpstone, but I got lucky on my exploration and rarity rolls. My leader got an Elf Bow, Lucky Trinket, and Rabbit's Foot (house rules for the campaign means a warband can only buy a single Lucky Trinket and Rabbit's Foot after each game), and another hero got Hunting Arrows. Unfortunately, my Petty Thief drank some bad well water and will miss the next game. He did find a fancy jewelled sword as consolation.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Gromril, You Say? - Mordheim AAR

With the start of the new year comes, apparently, the start of a tradition with some players at Aetherstorm Games - a Mordheim campaign. 

I was intrigued when I first heard about it since Mordheim is one of those old Specialist rulesets that Games Workshop abandoned, but still has a dedicated following. And unlike Blood Bowl, Necromunda, and Epic (sort of), there hasn't been much in the way of reviving Mordheim since the Old World was blown up. 

Still, it's an exuse to pull out some cool miniatures and not break my new year resolution, since it falls under 28mm Fantasy along with Frostgrave. 

I decided to go with the Outlaws of Stirwood Forest warband featured in one of the later Town Criers. It's a primarily ranged focused warband of humans, relies only on bows, and can have a Warrior Priest in support. 

This test game was against Bruce and his Dwarves. It wasn't a great matchup for my Outlaws, since I have to roll 5+ to wound (after rolling to hit) and then roll 6+ to actually remove a dwarf from the table. But since this was just a pre-campaign skirmish game, I'd take this as a test.

The table, by the way, is a massive 16'x4' area with a variety of terrain, held at the store and placed by Bruce. It's very thematic and looks great!

For the first few turns, it seems like things might actually go my way. I managed to take out two dwarves after stunning them and charging with other members of the warband. But then Bruce's Noble got stuck in. Between his 3+ armor save, Toughness 4, and an insane amount of criticals, he cut a swathe through my fighters. Even though he was rolling morale checks each turn, the Dwarves' high Leadership meant that they were likely to stick around for awhile (although I now realize he should have also been taking All Alone tests on his Noble as well. Something to remember!).

I eventually decided to retreat rather than allow a single dwarf to take out my entire warband, or just rout from a failed leadershop roll. I won't go into all the details about after game events since this was a one-off, but I did decide to drop two Henchmen and instead give my leader light armor and hunting arrows. My Warrior Priest also recived light armor, which will give him a 5+ armor save with his shield. So while my warband will only have eight members, I'll have a little more survivability and lethality from the get go.

My plan when playing dwarves in the future? Run around them and shoot a lot! Hopefully I'll be able to complete objectives without having to engage Bruce's warband. Otherwise, I'll just have to cause as much damage as possible from a distance.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

That Sinking Feeling - Cruel Seas AAR

The second game from the January South Jersey Gamers Association was Warlord Games' newest offering, Cruel Seas. I hadn't paid much attention to the release, for several reasons. The scale of the miniatures and actual conflict (basically patrol boat skirmishes) and the period didn't grab me. Also, since this is another of Warlord's offshoot games, they rules weren't likely to be all that good.  

Ted set up a five player game using one of the scenarios in the book. Three German E-Boats needed to rescue the crew from a stricken compatriot in the center of the table. Four British Vosper Motor Torpedo Boats would oppose the German flotilla, aiming to capture the E-Boat's crew.

The German's game plan was to fight against the odds and send two of the three E-Boats to peel off and attack the Vospers, while the third E-Boats moved to rescue the waterlogged crew.

Unfortunately, that plan didn't pan out. The smaller Vospers proved annoying difficult to hit, and when the E-Boats slowed to try and get a better shot, the Vospers lit them up. One E-Boat took a hit to one of its stowed torpedoes, which detonated and caused massive damage.

The stricken E-Boat decided to open fire as a Vosper approached (it wasn't a legal target to the British until it chose to fire), but instead sank below the choppy surface of the English Channel.

My E-Boat managed to secure the German sailors, but since I had to slow down to do so, three of the four Vospers trained their guns on me and opened up. In a single turn I went from having 55 Hull Points to 4!

In the next couple turns I managed to slip away thanks to some bad dice rolling, and moved up to full speed. The British players paled, realizing that their chance of victory was slipping away.

Sam, of course, wasn't going to have any of that, and made up for his dismal luck in the To The Strongest! game by dealing enough damage to my E-Boat to sink it.

Ted did run a fun game, and while my overall impression of Cruel Seas hasn't changed, it won't be a game that I actively choose to avoid for group events like SJGA meetups.