Friday, December 30, 2016

A Year in Gaming - 2016

In what I'm hoping will be an annual post, let's take a look back at some of the games I played in 2016.

Unlike 2015, I did keep track of most of most of the games I played this year:
  • Arena Rex - 7
  • Battletech - 1
  • Blood Bowl - 4
  • Empire of the Dead - 5
  • Fistful of Lead - 6
  • Frostgrave - 4
  • Guild Ball - 36
  • Heroes of the Aturi Cluster - 5
  • Horizon Wars - 3
  • Kings of War - 16
  • Miscellaneous - 4
  • Ronin - 1
  • Song of Drums and Tomahawks - 3
  • Strange Aeons - 2
  • Wargods - 1
  • Warmaster - 1
  • Wrath of Kings - 7
109 games in total, and that's not counting the various board games and role-playing games I managed to play this year. I'd call that a pretty good tally. 

So here's a quick view through these games:

Arena Rex

Blood Bowl

Blucher

Battle of Clontarf

Battle of Cowpens

Empire of the Dead

A Fistful of Lead

Frostgrave

Guild Ball

Heroes of the Aturi Cluster

Kings of War

Horizon Wars

Ancient Naval Warfare

Ronin

Song of Drums and Tomahawks

Strange Aeons

Wargods of Aegyptus

Warmaster

Here's to another year of gaming in 2017!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Warpfire Vagabonds vs Baltimork Corviks - Blood Bowl AAR

I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday!

As we're looking to start up a local Blood Bowl league, Kevyn and I decided to get in an exhibition match between our teams. 


Kevyn was leading the Vagabonds on the left, while I was coaching the Corviks on the right. The game was a classic match between the skaven's speed and the orcs' might. 

With the patented SkyCutter Camera overhead, both teams moved onto the field and readied for the game.


The Vagabonds won the coin toss and elected to receive.


The Vagabonds managed to grab the ball off the ground and tried moving up the side of the pitch. A poor block against a Black Orc sent one of the skaven Linemen to the ground, however. The Corviks slammed into the Vagabonds' side of the pitch, and two of the orc Blitzers hit the Gutter Runner, knocking him to the ground and scattering the ball.


The Vagabonds moved to the offensive, but failed to take back the ball. One of the Reaver Blitzers, apparently in something of a foul mood, put the boot into the Gutter Runner that he had previously knocked down. The second impact was somewhat more effective, knocking the skaven player out and removing it from the game. The Corviks were apparently were more focused on knocking the ratmen about instead of getting the ball.


The Corviks kept up the momentum. One of the Blitzers secured the ball and started moving to the endzone. Meanwhile, the second Gutter Runner and a skaven Lineman were knocked out, and another Lineman was badly injured!


One skaven Lineman, hoping to stop the Corviks ' breakaway, tried for a blitz. An assist from a fellow Corviks player stopped the block, however, and the Corviks ran the ball in for a touchdown at the end of turn 4.


The teams set back up and the Corviks kicked off. The kick barely cleared the line of scrimmage, landing in the hands of one of the skaven Blitzers. An attempt to push through the line of Black Orcs failed, and the Blitzer went down, the ball bouncing into the Corviks' half of the field. An orc Blitzer recovered the ball and moved into a cage, waiting for an opportunity.


When the Vagabonds failed to make a dent in the Corviks' line, the ball-carrying Blitzer moved up and handed the ball off to another Blitzer, who moved his way up the field. The rest of the Corviks knocked the ratmen about, pushing most of the team to the ground.


An attempt by a skaven Thrower failed to stop the orc Blitzer - Nuffle apparently had a grudge against the Vagabonds - and the Reaver player ran the ball in for another point.


The last turn of the first half was spent as both teams halfheartedly pushed each other about until the whistle sounded and both teams headed off the field for halftime.


The teams set back up for the beginning of the second half. While the Corviks were looking fine, the Vagabonds were definitely showing some wear-and-tear, with one Gutter Runner still knocked out from the first half and one Lineman badly injured. Still, with a whole half to go, the Vagabonds readied themselves and kicked off to the Corviks. The orc Catcher scooped the ball up and moved into a cage, as the skaven moved about the Black Orcs and Linemen on the line of scrimmage.


Now the name of the game was "break the cage." The Corviks moved into the center of the field, throwing blocks left and right.


The teams continued to fight it out in the center. The Corviks were unable to make a break in the skaven line, while the Vagabonds couldn't bust through the orcs' armor. The Vagabonds' second Gutter Runner was taken off the field after a bloody hit from an orc Blitzer.


The Corviks showed no signs of moving the ball up, apparently preferring to do as much damage to the Vagabonds as possible. As such, one of the skaven Blitzer was pushed off the field by a Black Orc. The fans got a hold of the ratman, stunning him and forcing the player in the reserves box.


With a three player advantage, the Corviks started to make a move for a late turn touchdown, shifting across the field.


As another skaven Lineman was knocked out and removed from the field, the Corviks saw their chance.


The orc Catcher moved up and tried handing the ball off to a blitzer. The handoff failed as the Blitzer fumbled the ball, which the Catcher was able to scoop up. A blitz from a skaven Catcher knocked the clumsy Blitzer off his feet, and the ratman moved next to the ball carrier.


Unable to make it to the endzone, the Corviks and Vagabonds pushed each other about for the next turn, running out the clock until the whistle sounded and the game ended. The Corviks came out on top with a 2-0 win. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2017 6x6 Challenge

Here's a little something for every to check out:

Alan (aka, Kaptain Kobold) over at The Stronghold Rebuilt has proposed a challenge for bloggers in the new year - pick six games (wargames, board games, play six sessions of each, and post each session's result on your blog.

I really like this idea, especially since there were a few games I enjoy that I either didn't get to play as much as I wanted this year, or didn't hit the table at all. And 36 AARs should take up a good chunk of posts in 2017 compared to the last two years.

So, what are my six picks going to be? Well, how about:
  1. Blucher
  2. Saga
  3. Blood Bowl
  4. Arena Rex
  5. Strange Aeons
  6. Fistful of Lead
It's skirmish heavy, but since those kinds of games are easy to start up and mix up for variety's sake, it'll help cut down on any potential fatigue over the year. And for a couple of the games - Arena Rex and Fistful of Lead - I've already managed to hit the target amount of sessions this year. 

So, consider this a preview of some of the content to come in 2017!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Boom Goes the Ammo - Battletech AAR

As we rapidly approach the start of a new year, Steffanie and I decided to go retro and played a game of Battlech during the past weekend. 

Since it was about my third or fourth game of Battletech ever, and Steff's first game in the current millenium, we opted for a small, 100 ton game. So Steff took a Dragon and an Assassin to fight against my Enforcer and Trebuchet. 


We used one of the starter maps included in the Battletech Introductory Set. It was a fairly simply map with only light and heavy cover to worry about.

Stef's mechs deployed on one side with mine on the other.


The Assassin and Enforcer advanced while the Dragon and Trebuchet held back for a long-range engagement.


Stef showed off the Assassin's maneuverability, moving in and out of cover and past the firing lanes of my mechs. My slower, plodding mechs had to try and keep up.


For the most part, the Dragon and Assassin focused their fire on the Trebuchet, stripping off layers of armor. I tried keeping the mech in cover to offer some protection. My return fire was more sporadic, although when the Trebuchet managed to land direct hits with both LRM 15s, it hurt.


Of course, that didn't detour the Assassin, who moved into the woods with the Trebuchet. It was around this point that Stef got a critical hit on the Trebuchet, bypasssing the armor with a hit on 2. This resulted in a point of damage to the Trebuchet's engine, which gave me a heat headache for the rest of the game.


I did manage to return the favor, stripping the Assassin's center torso armor and striking a critical hit on its engine. It continued to harass my Trebuchet, while the Dragon advanced from its corner of the map.


Now the Dragon was in the thick of the fight. But the Enforcer used it jump jets to get behind it. The Assassin kept beating on the Trebuchet, as we discovered and began using the melee combat rules.


I tried having the Enforcer try and go after the Assassin, but the slippery medium mech played keep-away and stuck to the retreating Trebuchet.


I did managed to break the Trebuchet out of the scrum, although it was left out in the open, taking a salvo of fire from the Dragon and Assassin. The Enforcer jumped behind the two enemy mechs and started swinging with both arms, managing to give the Assassin a forceful knock to the back of the head.


The fight split up again, the Assassin heading after the Trebuchet, who was hiding in cover again, while the Enforcer stuck to the Dragon. The Dragon managed to make use of its rear medium laser, and although it missed, it gave the Enforcer pilot a scare.


The mechs managed to gather up on the opposite side of the map, with the Trebuchet suffering under the combined blows from the Assassin and Dragon. All of the hits, however, kept landing on armor, or failed to cause critical hits. 


With the Trebuchet suffering from heat overload, it was reduced to kicking the Dragon, who shook off the attacks. The Enforcer tried keeping the Assassin corralled, which was difficult to do with the enemy mech's high speed.


The end of the game came with a surprise, however. The Dragon managed to kick and destroy one of the Trebuchet's legs, sending the mech to the ground. The Enforcer responded in kind, but the Assassin's fall resulted in a critical hit that saw the mech's SRM ammo to explode, destroying the mech. The Enforcer then turn its guns on the Dragon, scoring another critical hit and setting the mech's LRM ammo alight.

It was a fun game, and I'm hoping to get some more Battletech games in the future - maybe I should work towards a Grinder for the end of next year?