Sunday, April 30, 2017

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

First Contact - Gruntz AAR

It's been a while since I've managed to play any sci-fi games, so when Gary brought out a fantastic looking Gruntz force, I decided to start looking around for some minis. 

Since the idea I'm putting together hasn't arrived in full (it's going to be an airmobile force with jet prop VTOLS), Gary was kind enough to loan me some of his vehicles while he took his aliens out for a test drive. The pictures don't do Gary's paint job justice - I'll need to get a closer view next time. 

The alien landscape was rather different than the Earth-like desert battlefield that I had seen Gary and Russ playing on.

Our forces were:

Prang Assault Squadron (Gary)
Command Team
Infantry Squad x2
Mortar Team
Heavy Tank
Heavy APC x3
Artillery Biped

Rapid Force Solutions Task Force (Me)
Command Team
Infantry Squad x2
Scout Team
Spider Tank
Wheeled APC
Medium UAV

The humans deployed relatively close together, while the Prang hoped to sneak one APC and infantry squad around the side. The two forces were opposite in stats - the Prang were slow but heavily armored, while the humans were faster but with far less armor.

The Prang started the game by moving their units forward. The Prang Heavy Tank opened up on the Spider Tank, scoring a devastating hit and wrecking the tank's armor and engine. The humans countered by moving up and firing with their Tank, ATM HUMV, and the Wheeled APC, doing some damage in return.

The Prang continued to wear away at the human's vehicles with their plasma weaponry. In return, the Spider Tank destroyed its Prang counterpart while the human infantry dismounted to counter the approaching Prang Heavy APC and infantry squad. Both UAV shots at the Prang artillery missed.

The Spider Tank finally melted after repeated hits from Prang plasma and missiles, and so did the ATM HUMV. However, the humans managed to deal some major damage to the aliens. THe UAV rammed the Prang artillery unit, destroying the plane but doing some damage.

Combined fire from the infantry's AT weaponry and the wheeled APC took out the Prang Heavy APC and the infantry within. The combined fire of the other infantry squad, the scout team, and the remaining HUMVs managed to destroy another Prang Heavy APC on the far right. This pushed the Prang's losses over 50%, causing the aliens to retreat.

It was a fun game that was unfortunately rushed to do outside factors, so I'm hoping to get the infantry painted and back on the table in short order. My fingers are crossed that the VTOLs will arrive soon.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Raise the Black Flag - Blood & Plunder AAR

Carl and I got together this past weekend to try out a game of Blood & Plunder, a set of rules for larger battles in the Golden Age of Piracy. We've seen plenty of rules that cover small scale fights, but Blood and Plunder allows for entire crews of ships to either man their ships or hit the beaches. 

Carl brought his Caribbean-themed terrain. Since this was our first game, we simply placed a bunch of line-of-sight blocking pieces.

Carl was running a Spanish Militia force, which included:
Experienced Commander
Milicianos Indios (5)
Milicianos (5) x3
Merineros (5) x3

While I had put together a Brethren of the Coast force:
Untested Commander
Freebooters (5) x2
Flibustiers (5)
Sea Dogs (5)
Forlorn Hope (5)

We chose the Raid scenario, where our two forces would square off and do as much damage to each other in six turns.

Both sides used their first activations to move across the table.

In turn two, both forces opened with their guns - buccaneer guns from the pirates and arabesques from the Spanish. With such small units, Carl and I tended to fire with all the models in a unit, taking two reload markers instead of firing with half (rounding down) and taking a single reload marker. Both sides took casualties, with the Spanish commander's unit going prone.

In the center, a melee combat broke out after more shots were fired. Carl's natives were routed, but so were my Sea Dogs.

With many of the units on the table having multiple black powder markers (making it impossible to fire without reloading), both sides decided to get stuck in. This revealed a major factor of close combat in Blood & Plunder - only one side fights in combat, meaning that getting the first charge can mean a lot in subsequent turns. It also didn't help that Carl's dice were hot, preventing multiple casualties.

It looked dire for the pirates for a turn, but they rallied. Another aspect of Blood and Plunder is fatigue. If a unit has double the amount of fatigue points than models, it routs and is removed from the table. So if you can get a unit down to one or two models, they may flee instead of fighting back.

The game ended when the Spanish commander led his Merineros into the fray, using his two command points to fight multiple combats in a row. This wiped the pirate leader and his unit from the table, which left only a single Brethren unit on the table after the other combats were worked out. While Carl hadn't scored enough Strike points to win, he inflicted greater casualties on my force than I did on his, securing a Spanish victory. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Opening Moves - SAGA AAR

I chose SAGA as one of the games for this years 6x6 challenge, as I have enough miniatures for a few warbands but never get the chance to get them on the table. Thankfully, Kevyn agreed to run an Age of the Wolf campaign with me, which conveniently takes six "seasons" to complete. 

Kevyn choose the Vikings as his faction, while I went with the Normans. Kevyn's Viking warlord is Floki the Carver, with the King's Domain motivation, the Far Traveller and Resolute traits, and The Penny as his special rule. My Norman warlord is Louis Restout, with the Skald's Song motivation, the Quarrelsome and War-toothed traits, and the Hero of the Viking Age special rule. 

We decided to set up a scenic table of a little hamlet on the edge of a forest. Please ignore the gothic wild west town just to the right. It's a bad neighborhood and we don't like to talk about it.

Instead of rolling for a scenario, Kevyn and I settled on Clash of the Warlords to start the campaign for simplicity's sake. Our warbands were similar, with two units of Hearthguard and two units of Warriors. Kevyn decided against taking Berserkers, while three of my units were mounted, and the remaining Warriors unit was equipped with Crossbows.

Both sides moved up in the first turn, with the Normans somewhat slowed by the Viking Warlord's special ability to reduce SAGA dice to 1/3 the amount in the first turn, and 1/2 in the second.

Turn two saw more movement on both sides, with a wall of cavalry slowed by the terrain. The crossbowmen tried to get a shot off at the advancing Viking hearthguard unit, but the Vikings' battleboard ability turned that into a movement, stopping the attack.

Kevyn brought up a unit of Warriors to screen his Hearthguard from the Norman knights. Meanwhile, his Hearthguard in the hamlet ducked behind a building to avoid another round of crossbow shooting.

To finally get some blood on the ground, I had one of my Hearthguard units charge into Kevyn's Warriors. While one of my Knights was killed, I managed to wipe half the Warriors from the board. I then spent another Saga die to pull the Hearthguard back. They were fatigued, but not in danger of being attacked.

Kevyn decided to counter attack, with his Warriors and Hearthguard facing off against their Norman counterparts. The Warriors fared poorly and were wiped out by the mounted unit, but I needed to use a battleboard ability that placed another point of fatigue on the unit to do so. The Hearthguards bounced off each other with a single casualty each.

My turn was fairly boring, with each of the fatigued units resting, and the crossbowmen moving up.

Kevyn's Hearthguard moved in again against my own Hearthguard. While another of my knight was taken down, two more of the Viking hirdmen fell. I felt confident enough to charge my mounted Warriors into the lone Viking, and they removed the unit from the table while only losing a single Warrior in return.

However, that allowed Kevyn to double move his Warriors into the Norman unit, using a Viking ability to get rid of the fatigue from the second movement. Kevyn's dice rolled hot, removing four of the warriors while taking no casualties in return. The horsemen retreated. I had my Crossbowmen attack in return, removing a single Warrior.

Since neither of the Warlords had been killed, the game was decided by victory points, which gave the Normans the win, which increased the Norman Warlord's Reputation by 1.

For the campaign season, both sides replenished their Hearthguard casualties. Kevyn's Warlord went exploring, and managed to increase his Land, Wealth, and Reputation by one each! My Warlord rolled and managed to received 6 Hearthguard as reinforcements, which should be helpful in the next battle.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Painting Update - Wrath of Kings, Blood Bowl, WWII, FIW

Let's see what's passed through the painting queue this time.

I completed another unit for my Shael Han force in Wrath of Kings. There's a dozen Lotus Warriors, who are essentially glass cannons with a 2" melee zone (which is fairly powerful in a game where most combat has to take place in base-to-base contact). Their Leaders are Black Lotuses, who can buff the offensive capabilities of the Lotus Warriors at the risk of killing them. And the Character Leader is Madam Mui, who can attack up to six times in an activation - potentially deadly if she's up against soft targets or gets extremely lucky.

Also finished are the Rank 2 Specialists available to Shael Han. The big dragon is a Fulung Devourer, painted blue to stand out among the green and red theme of the force. The three smaller models are the Character Specialists for the faction - Red Willow, Hong Yai, and Deathbloom.

This means I've completed everything available to Shael Han from the first book! After a congratulatory pat on the back, I suppose I need to get working on Book 2 units.

As the Stomping Ground Blood Bowl League continues, I've gotten to the point where I needed to add a little muscle to the Baltimork Corviks. So I grabbed a Reaper Bones Ice Troll and painted it up in the team colors.

Here's something that hasn't shown up on my blog in a while. These are a pair of Humber scout cars for my British. I'm hoping to use them either with Iron Cross or Combat HQ (or even Flames of War, depending on the release of Version 4 of the rules).