Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Red Squeaky Toys - Empire of the Dead AAR

The Cirque du Noire faction performed well against its first two opponents. But how would the circus perform against Empire of the Dead's premier close combat faction - the Werewolves?

Once again, a look at the table. 

The werewolves split into two groups -three Packmasters and three wolves on side sides, a Beast Lord and three wolves on the other.

Since this would be an entirely close-quarters fight, I decided to jam the entire Cirque du Noire crew up the middle.

The werewolves advanced as two groups, with the Beast Lord hanging back before committing.

The Cirque pulled back a little to avoid the wolves' charge.

The initial engagement started with the wolves getting into combat, as a lone Imp Tumbler pair distracted the Beast Lord.

The Pulcinella clowns and Tumblers managed to hold the wolves, while the Beast Lord eviscerates his opponent.

A massive scrummed formed in the center of the table, while an Imp Tumbler moved to block a flanking force of wolves from getting to Tattoo and White Rabbit.

It started to look bad for the Cirque early on in the fight. Between the Packmasters and the Beast Lord, the Cirque's own heavy hitters were taking too many hits.

The Ape Man went down under the Beast Lord's claws.

Tattoo and White Rabbit were forced to get up close and personal against the werewolves' flanking attack, as the melee in the middle went decidedly in the werewolves' favor.

And in one turn, down went Tattoo and the Reptile Man, leaving only White Rabbit and a pair of Pulcinella. 

The playtesting allowed Gary to tweak a few of the factions (for example, giving all the human characters two wounds so they don't crumple like a wet paper bag). The biggest concern is likely where the Cirque sits in the game. They're effecting against factions that favor shooting, since the Cirque is fast and hits hard in close combat. But they fold rather easily when facing a dedicated melee faction like the Werewolves (who, honestly, tear through anyone in the game in close combat). The Cirque's objective for the big Halloween game will be hunting werewolves, so it'll be interesting to see how Gary hopes to balance the two factions in the context of a larger and extremely chaotic fight. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

A Different Sort of Foe - Empire of the Dead AAR

In the second of three test games for the Cirque du Noire, Gary decided to go for another character led faction. 

Tattoo and the others were ready for another night out on the town. 

This time it would be van Helsing and his crew hoping to put a stop to the gypsy vampire's rampaging circus.

I split the troupe into two groups again, this time with the Imps covering the brutes, and the Pulcinella clowns with the ladies.

The Cirque sprinted across the table, with the Imp Tumblers out front. Tatoo, White Rabbit, and the clowns waited off to the side.

Seeing the approaching group of circus freaks, Helsing had his followers spread out in a gunline.

With the troupe winning initiative again, the prospect of a melee inched closer and closer.

Knowing how well that worked out last time, Gary's gunline opened fire, downing two of the three Imps and wounding the third, who was then charged by van Helsing.

But the flying lead wasn't enough to stop the Reptile Man and Ape Man from getting into combat. Tattoo, White Rabbut, and the Pulcinella rounded the corner at the same time.

While Helsing managed to off the wounded Imps, two of his followers were downed by the Reptile Man's claws. Mina and Jonathan Harker opened fire at the clowns, discombobulating two.

Unfortunately, the odds quickly turned against vampire hunters. The two downed followers died in the recovery phase, while Mina was downed and killed by Tattoo, White Rabbit, and their heavy pistols.

Another poor follower was pulverized by a pair of Pulcinella, while Helsing took two wounds from the Reptile Man.

The last turn saw the vampire hunters tabled. Helsing was shredded by the Reptile Man, the Gatling gunner was pulped by the Ape Man, and Tattoo and the two Pulcinellas bashed Jonathan into submission. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Case of the Black Circus - Empire of the Dead AAR

Last year, Gary ran a massive game of Empire of the Dead for Halloween, and plans to do the same this year. Along with some of the other homebrewed factions in use last year (like Death and the Pumpkin scarecrows), Gary came up with an idea for a travelling circus - the Cirque du Noire. 

This travelling troupe of vampire hunting gypsies is led by Tattoo, a vampire herself. He second in command is White Rabbit, a stage magician and actual wizard. The crew's muscle are the Ape Man and the Reptile Man. Two trios of Pulcinellas clowns and Imp tumblers make up the rest of the gang. 

Gary's always impressive terrain made up a fantastic looking table.

Gary decided to lead Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade with an accompanying squad of bobbies.

I had the Cirque split into two groups.

The police force filtered into the streets, unnerved by the sounds of squeaking shoes and beastly grunts.

The troupe rushed forward.

White Rabbit led the Reptile Man in a flanking maneuver...

While Tattoo and the Ape Man confronted Baskerville and the mechanical dog handler.

The bobbies opened fire, but only managed to wound an Imp Tumbler.

The Imps were finished off by the mechanical dog.

One poor flatfoot got his head crushed by a Pulcinella's club. Lestrade and the other policemen readied their weapons as the Cirque performers rushed out of the alleyway.

Tattoo and two Pulcinella engaged Baskerville and his men.

Meanwhile, the Ape Man headed off to confront Holmes and Watson.

By now, both sides were thoroughly engaged. The Gatling-gun wielding Sergeant managed to down the Reptile Man, who then bled out. But an Imp Tumbler made their way over the cop's cover to engage.

Holmes and Watson were forced to pull back as the Ape Man approached, bashing the Gatling gunner into the ground.

Lestrade was unable to do anything as his command crumbled. Tattoo charged and downed Baskerville, Watson was tied up with a Pulcinella, and the Ape Man ran in, swinging at Holmes - who actually managed to give the Ape Man a run for his money, causing a wound against the massive monster.

The game's closing moments saw Holmes, Watson, and Lestrade desperately fighting for their lives.

But with Holmes' fall at the hands of Tattoo and the Ape Man, the Baker Street taskforce called a retreat. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Granny and the Gang - Fistful of Lead AAR

Kevyn and I decided to dust off our cowboy boots and ten-gallon hats for a game of Fistful of Lead. 

The scenario saw both sides with four bags of loot. At the end of the game (6 turns), the player who controlled the most loot tokens would claim victory.

Additionally, every time a player used an Ace card, they would then roll a close combat attack against an unactivated enemy model. If successful, the enemy model would be pinned - representing an unseen danger, like a perturbed rattlesnake or falling chunk of building material from a rickety building.

Both sides had the same makeup - one model with a rifle, two with shotguns, and three with pistols.

For the first turn, both sides moved up towards the center. The riflemen on both sides opened fire, but couldn't hit their targets at long range.

Most of the gunslinging ocurred between the bank and the saloon, with one of my gunmen falling first.

A lucky shot on my managed downed Granny's granddaughter, but retribution from Kevyn's gang was swift.

The firefight started to look more like a execution detail as my posse was downed one by one.

Soon, only my rifleman was left, while Kevyn still had five of his six gang members.

Granny and her gunmen made off with a solid victory, scoring 6-2.