Thursday, March 20, 2014

Painting Update - ACW, WWII

Once again, an update on what's on my painting table!

I've still be slogging away on the Union miniatures for Battle Cry. I'm getting close - so very close!

The infantry are the biggest problem so far - they've been primed for so long that the sprayed layer of paint is chipping off. Each infantryman needs a wash under hot water, a vigorous rub between my burning fingers, and a re-spray of primer. 

Two groups of finished infantry proves that this method is effective, at least. And the commanders, artillery, and cavalry have been properly based and primed. The whole package looks rather nice as a finished product.

I'm hoping the Confederate miniatures will take less time, as I only need a single color for their uniforms.

Flames of War has essentially died in my area. The single store supporting the game has decided to discontinue carrying Flames stock, and so stuck a nice big 40% off sale off everything Flames-related. I took the opportunity to buy an American rifle company boxset. 


Because I've still been meaning to get into Battlegroup, ever since Ken's introductory game. I'm looking to repurpose my German and British infantry for Battlegroup use, which will entail rebasing the infantry onto single bases. Machine guns, mortars, and other larger guns will remain on single bases, and I don't have to do a thing to the tanks I owe.

So the above is an American rifle platoon, along with a light machine gun team and a mortar team. I believe I can get another platoon out of the box if I need to.

These are the plastic Grenadiers from the Flames of War Open Fire! set, re-purposed and re-based. 3 squads, a command team, a heavy machine gun team and a mortar team. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Back to Back - X-Wing AAR

X-Wing again! I finally got Curt to play a couple of games. We started out with a 50 point game. 

Curt chose the Imperials (rather quickly, actually), which consisted of:

TIE Fighter
-Obsidian Squadron Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Obsidian Squadron Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Academy Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Academy Pilot

I took the Rebels, which had half the ships, representing a veteran pilot taking a rookie out on a 'milk run' gone wrong:

-Red Squadron Pilot
-Proton Torpedo
-Rookie Pilot

Our starting positions. Unlike the game I had with Rob, we placed asteroids on the table. I found that the asteroids created a lot of tension in my tournament games, and it made for better games. 

Our opening moves saw the two flights screaming towards each other. Shots were exchanged, and one of the Academy pilots caught a torpedo right in the cockpit. Score one for the good guys!

Pay no attention to the blurry hand!
Any hope of keeping formations quickly fell away, as the X-Wing's turned to chase down the Imperial pilots.

Academy training didn't count for much, and the rookie racked up his first kill.

The Imperials spilled blood soon enough, however, and the rookie found himself alone in space when the remaining Academy pilot vaped his mentor.

The rookie took revenge, blowing apart the cocky Imperial pilot.

A couple maneuvers later - including a lucky K-Turn - saw the rookie lined up behind the last TIE Fighter, and the game ended with one last explosion in space. The rookie would be returning back to base alone, with three eyeballs added to his tally.

With Curt duly interested, I asked if he wanted to try another, larger game. He agreed, and I sat him down with the Unofficial X-Wing Squadron Builder and let him build a 100 point list - with the Imperials again, of course. I think his main objective was just to get Vader and a TIE Interceptor.

His final list? Just that:

TIE Advanced
-Darth Vader
TIE Interceptor 
-Avenger Squadron Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Obsidian Squadron Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Obsidian Squadron Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Academy Pilot
TIE Fighter
-Academy Pilot

I went for the standard 4 ship Rebel list. My options were a little limited at the time, so I had to use all the ships I had:

-Wedge Antilles
-R5 Astromech
-Biggs Darklighter
-Rookie Pilot
-Gold Squadron Pilot
-R2 Astromech
-Ion Cannon Turret

I had paired Wedge and Biggs together on one side (betting that Biggs could take the hits for Wedge) and the Rookie with the Gold Squadron pilot on the other. Curt had Vader with the two Obsidian pilots face off against Wedge and Biggs, with the Interceptor and the Academy pilots aiming for the Rookie and Gold pilot. 

Not much happened in the first turn. Although we had found some Star Wars music on Youtube and began to let that play for the duration of the match. It added to the atmosphere (or lack thereof, space being space and all that).

A couple turns later, a lot had happened! The rookie was vaped by an Academy pilot, who was shot down in turn by the Y-Wing's primary weapons. It's Ion Turret would be basically useless in this game, as I would discover soon enough. 

Meanwhile, Biggs and Wedge managed to take down another TIE Fighter. Biggs covered for Wedge, taking all the hits thanks to his special ability. 

Biggs couldn't survive the firestorm of lasers, however, and quickly fell to Darth Vader's Force-enhanced aim. My Y-Wing was pulling out all the stops trying to avoid the Interceptor's fire, which is probably why he never hit anyone with his turret!

The Y-Wing relative toughness - having an additinal shield and 2 more hull points than the X-Wing, kept it alive in the Interceptor's sights, and a collision with Vader kept the Sith Lord from firing on it that turn. Wedge, on the other hand...

Was directly in Vader's sights, and the leader of Rogue Squadron was forced to eject as his X-Wing crumpled around him. Now alone, the Y-Wing flared his engine and tried to get out of the scrum. 

The deadly Interceptor kept right on the lumbering fighter-bomber, however, and it's quad-blaster cannon's tore the Y-Wing apart. Curt wings with a solid lead! Not bad for his second game.

Vader's just as nasty as he was when I used him for the tournament, and I'm a little jealous that Curt managed to use my newly-bought Interceptor before I did. It's a fun little spacefighter, though, and I'm definitely looking forward to picking up the upcoming Imperial Aces box.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Dark Corridors - Palasé Dungeon Crawl 2014

Once again, I journeyed to 7th Dimension Games for another of Bob Fanelli's games. This time Bob was running a dungeon crawl. The story as Bob related to we players was that a new level of the infamous Palasé Dungeon had been discovered, and a number of different groups had taken an interest in plundering its dangerous depths. Most important was the uncovering of facts that this level of the dungeon contained four priceless gems that would make any one who found it rich beyond their wildest imaginations.

We certainly had a lot of adventurers to chose from!

This was a group of priests of the Order of the Bull, a group of religious fanatics whose secondary objective was to find and destroy any heretical objects found in the dungeon.

This group was Senator Rudiger's Contingent, comprised of the Senator himself (in the poofy, feathered hat), some of his personal guard, and a dwarf wizard. 

This was my group, the Elderburg Expedition, a band of dwarves who came for the plunder!

This was the Baron's Men, a group of thugs hired by the local Baron to explore the dungeon. 

The Baron had also hired some professionals to work alongside his men in the form of Lady Clothilde's Service, a group of shadowy assassins. 

The last, and most exotic group was an exploratory band of Al Shamrdal's Northern Combine, whose numbers included a rather small giant!

It didn't take long for the assassins to have a run in with some of the dungeon's denizens - a horde of goblins came screaming out of the darkness, and a spider horde crawled out of the nearby structure!

A hastily cast fireball from the assassins' mage wiped out all but on of the goblins - and managed to kill the mage and two of his allies as well! The spider horde was then quickly dealt with.

The senator and his men stumbled across some sort of necromantic ritual.

The Baron's men, on the other hand, found a room that suddenly ended by plunging into a deep, dark crevasse. They quickly decided against checking the darkness and backed out of the room.

The dwarves, having barely escaped from a trap - involving a massive spiked ball and a strange indent on the floor - with a lucky Plot Card, began to explore the catacombs of the dungon. 

The Northern Combine group cautiously enters the dungeon proper, avoiding the area awash with burnt goblin and human chunks. 

Rudigard lost half of his men in clearing out the evil church. Well, two of those men were killed by the dwarf mage's fireball, but at least they found plenty of treasure and a magic sword to compensate!

The magic sword was immediately put to good use in skewering the remaining banshees whom the fireball hadn't hit.

The holymen had decided, for the moment, to avoid the imposing doorway and strange floor and ventured further into the dungeon.

The Baron's men were attacked from behind by a pair of Carrion Crawlers that had, er, crawled out of the cavern after smelling fresh meat. Combat ensued!

The dwarves continue to rummage through the catacombs. 

The Northern Combine group was suddenly set upon from above by Darkmantles! The nasty creatures failed to hit anyone, so the adventurers merely walked right past the monsters instead of fighting them. The wee beasties were rightly confused.

Continued rummaging. 

Combat continued with the Carrion Crawlers. The thief, Lupin, was paralyzed and soon killed and one of the monsters made a snack out of him. 

Having heard a commotion deeper in the dungeon (the fight involving the Senator and his men), the fanatics decided to head back to the previous room. One of the priests, noticing a lever, failed a Will Check and yanked down on the lever, opening the large doors. Inside was a large room with a grotesque statue at the opposite end. As the men entered, the room dimmed, and gas began to issue forth from the statue. Something was being summoned...

A demon! A... rather small and frail looking demon. Huh.

A fight ensued, and the demon proved it wasn't such a pushover as it looked to be. First summoning a magical darkness that the torchbearer's light couldn't pierce, it slew two of the fanatics in quick succession. The priests went down fighting, however, and one managed to squish the demon with his flail before perishing. 

The room brightened with the demon's death, and the fanatics found two very expensive paintings hanging up on the walls, which they decided to take.

The Northern Combine continued to delve further into the dungeon. The man taking up the rear suddenly found an arrow lodged in his back, accompanied by high-pitched cackling. 

The last goblin that had survived the fireball in the beginning of the game was back! He had fired his arrow through a small murder-hole neatly concealed in the wall. 

Not satisfied with his haul so far, the Senator ordered his remaining guard to continue searching the dark cathedral. The Senator took the mage with him to explore other rooms.

The Baron's men finally managed to kill one of the Carrion Crawlers! Noticing that the other monster was two busy feasting on Lupin's corpse, they beat a hasty retreat across the cavern...

Where they found the remnant of Lady Clothilde's Service. Nominal allies kept an eye on each other in the flickering torchlight.

Turning a corner, the Northern Combine giant suddenly found himself face to jello with a Gelatinous Cube! Quick reflexes kept the giant from being sucked in, and the Combine men also retreated back down the hallway.

Senator's Rudiger's remaining guard must have been a thief in a past life, as he found a small fortune of gold and a priceless statuette in no time at all. Unfortunately, he must not have been a very good thief, as a small cloak-wearing rat pilfered the statuette from the guard and was gone without a trace. 

The dwarves discovered a coffin in one of the catacombs. The dwarf thief had a bad feeling in his guts, and decided to check the coffin. Sure enough, it was trapped. The thief disarmed the gas trap and discovered a rather valuable heathen relic - something the Order of the Bull would love to get their hands on.

Good luck quickly soured when a swarm of Stirges swarmed up and out of the floor of the tomb. They began to attach themselves to the flailing dwarves, sucking their blood out and doing damage. The dwarves eventually managed to defeat the monsters, but not before taking a good chunk of damage.

The Combine group continued to be chased, albeit slowly, by the Gelatinous Cube.

What remained of the assassins were suddenly set upon by metal monstrosities. They managed to fight off the constructs, but lost another group member in the process. 

The Baron's hired group went further into the dungeon. The first man to walk into the room was skewered by spikes that erupted from the ground. Passing their pin-cushioned companion, the others found a room with statues that had switches on them. Turning one on, the statue immediately began to belch forth a stream of green ooze. 

Now this part will take a bit of an explanation. By way of the dungeon's hidden doors and twisting passages, the Order of the Bull, the Elderburg Expedition, and the remnants of Senator Rudiger's contingent all found themselves in the same area. Using an Invisibility Cloak he had found earlier, Rudiger attempted to sneak past the fanatics - and failed to do so, bumping into them and causing quite a commotion. 

I decided it was the perfect moment to break out a Scroll of Accurate Fireball that my leader had, and she tossed it into the mass of humans. Another players Plot Twist caused the fireball to deviate a little, but my dwarves remained untouched. Rudiger lost his last guard, but all of the fanatics were killed apart from the leader. 

Righteously incensed by the attack, the fanatic leader charged into the dwarves, killing three of them in close combat! 

Senator Rudiger decided to beat a hasty retreat. His flight was secretly observed by the members of the Northern Combine, who could peer through the fake wall. 

The Order of the Bull's remaining priest crushed another of the dwarves with his flail, but finally fell to the axe of the last dwarf. The last living member of the Elderburg Expedition gathered the treasure of both his group and the Order of the Bull - sans the paintings, which had been set alight by the fireball - and exited the dungeon.

Thus ended my involvement in the game. Before leaving, however, I took a couple more pictures of what was going on elsewhere in the dungeon. 

The Baron's thugs had descended further into the dungeon, pursued by some sort of ooze monster, into a room painted with watching eyes. Green ooze dripped from the ceiling into the center of the room. Unbeknownst to the group, the last goblin was activating more of the ooze-spewing statues in the room above...

Meanwhile, the Northern Combine, crossing over a small pond, was suddenly set upon by a horror from the deep!

Once again, Bob ran a fantastic game as the Game Master (GM). The scenery was amazing - my heart skips a beat whenever I think about the amount of money this resin dungeon must be worth! I also enjoyed Bob's use of the Pathfinder/Paizo Plot Twist cards, since they can turn a situation around rather quickly. The treasure assignment was mostly random - Bob had specifically placed special items in certain rooms.

I'm again looking forward to his next game, hopefully some time in early April.