Tuesday, May 30, 2017

2:10 to Jaeger City - Fistful of Lead AAR

For our second game, Carl and I decided to use the "3:10 to Yucca" scenario from the  Fistful of Lead rulebook.

The roughs would need to get the captured bandidos leader to the coach to secure victory. Meanwhile, the sister of the bandidos leader had shown up, hoping to free her captured sibling and escape.

 With the rough's leader providing covering fire from the old fort's battlements, the roughs moved out.

The bandidos didn't waste any time, opening fire on the roughs who were stuck out in the open.

Fighters on both sides were taking hits and diving to the ground. As both sides continued to fire at each other, the sister fell in combat against the ex-Army officer

The roughs were bogged down, unable to recover from their wounds or being pinned down. One bandido rushed the downed hostage-holder, hoping to free the captured leader.

That combat didn't go in favor of the bandido, who was killed by a lucky shot from the prone rough's pistol. But that distracted the rough long enough for another bandido to sneak up behind and put a bullet in his back. Now free, the bandido leader took off running without a second glance. On reflection, she had never really like her older sister all that much.

This was a fun, action-packed game with plenty of back and forth on both sides. If Carl's shooting hadn't stopped the rough escorting the hostage, I might've had a chance to get her onboard the coach and secure victory. Instead, I suppose the roughs will need to watch their backs for some time.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Barn Storming - Fistful of Lead AAR

Carl and I got together these weekend with the intent to put on our spurs, don our ten gallon hats, and head out into the West with a couple games of Fistful of Lead. 

The first game was fairly simple - a head-on clash between our two gangs of roughs. While I had an advantage in numbers, Carl's bandidos were equipped with rifles, out-ranging my pistol-wielding men.

After all the cards had fell on the first turn, both gangs had advanced towards the center of town.

The air was soon filled with lead. Brazenly, my gang attempted to surround the bandidos, who were hoping to get into the cover of the barn after their leader had kicked the door open.

Both sides took casualties, as a pinned rough in my gang ran for the hills, while a bandido fell, blood staining the front of his shirt.

Led by an Army officer gone rogue, the roughs continued to poor lead into the barn, with the bandido leader falling to the ground.

Two of the roughs tried rushing the barn door, hoping to get at the remaining bandido. One caught a bullet in the stomach and was killed. The other took advantage of the situation to unload his pistol into the prone enemy.

The last remaining bandido was dispatched from a distance.

As it turned out, the rifles weren't much help when the fighting was so close against the weight of fire and advantage in numbers of the roughs,

It was only after the dirt and blood had settled, however, that the roughs realized that the bandido leader was still alive. They recognized her from a wanted poster in the nearby saloon, and after securing her with some rope, the gang retreated to the abandoned fort to decide on what to do next...

Friday, May 26, 2017

Bowing Out - Shadow War: Armageddon AAR

The group gathered on Wednesday for more games on the war-torn world of Armageddon. 

The first game was against Mike and his Grey Knights in the Raid scenario. The Grey Knights would be defending against Harlequins, who would need to destroy the entrance to a bunker before reinforcements could arrive. 

The Harlequins rushed the two Grey Knights that had deployed, with both falling in close combat to the xenos. The bunker entrance fell soon after. The Grey Knight reinforcements didn't arrive until late in the game, but were unable to stop the Harlequins from retreating off the table and winning the game. 

The second game was against Pat and his Imperial Guard, who had managed to Ambush the Harlequins.

Unfortunately, the guard had split up, leaving a convenient group of three troopers vulnerable to the Harlequin's speed. The xenos ran out of cover, their prismatic blur keeping the worse of the enemy's fire at bay. A single round of close combat was enough to down all three of the guardsmen, forcing a bottle check and ending the game.

Finally, I faced off against John and his Chaos. This was a straight Kill Team Fight, as John wanted to see just how nasty a full force of Harlequins could be.

The answer? Very, very nasty. Despite the Chaos Marines essentially hunkering down at the opposite end of the table, that didn't prevent at least two of the Harlequins from getting into close combat. The final tally end the end of the game saw three Harlequins and seven Chaos Space Marines taken out of the game, with Chaos bottling.

So, I've decided to drop the Harlequins. They're simply too powerful for the league, and even increasing their invulnerable save to 5+ doesn't change the fact that they're difficult to hit at range, and are absolute monsters in both shooting and close combat. I picked up a couple boxes of Ork boyz to make a new, hopefully fairer, kill team.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Arachnophobia - Gruntz AAR

While I'm still waiting for my VTOLs to arrive, Gary was kind enough to let me borrow his DEVGRU and USA forces to use in Gruntz against his Prang. 

Our game once again on the eye-searing Prang homeworld. We used a scenario in which the humans would need to defend three objectives as reinforcements came onto the board, while the Prang would need to destroy those objectives in six turns. As the defender, I placed two objectives on both flanks of my table side, while Gary placed his objective behind the rocky formation in the center.

The humans started with their infantry and snipers prone, and three spider tanks. The Prang had their entire force on the table - a collection of slow, heavily armored tanks and APCs, and a massive dropship.

The Prang started by double-timing across the table. 

The humans got a single ATM armored car to arrive. Then the spider tanks emerged out of cover and opened fire, scoring solid hits against the lead Prang vehicles.

The Prang returned fire, scoring some hits. An APC speed towards the objective on the human's left side of the table, disgorging a Prang infantry squad into cover.

The humans received another reinforcement as a heavy wheeled APC rolled onto the table. Their second salvo ripped into the Prang forces, destroying a tank and two APCs.

The Prang pushed on, using their dropship full of warbots to get behind one of the humans' spider tanks and let rip with its weaponry. The humans tried to focus fire on the dropship, but between the damaged systems on the spider tanks and the dropship's micro-CIWS, most of the fire was ineffective. 

With the clock counting down on the scenario, Gary raced his dropship further into the human lines, approaching the objective on the right side of the table. The spider tank in the middle of the table finally fell to Prang plasma weaponry.

Unfortunately, further reinforcements and concentrated fire brought the dropship down, along with the warbots. Another APC was destroyed, and the armored wheeled APC used its Gatling gun to mow down the remaining Prang infantry by the left objective.

The Prang moved in for one last push, with their infantry mortars decimating one of the defending human infantry squads. But there simply weren't enough Prang units remaining to make much of  a difference. The humans finished the game by taking out the Prang mobile artillery unit.

The VP count at the end of the game gave the humans a solid win, thanks in large part to the spider tanks. They're extremely mobile, relatively hard to damage, and pack enough firepower to do some major damage on their own. The Prang vehicles might have been more heavily armored, but enough concentrated fire from the humans was usually enough to get through the aliens' defenses.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Rumble in the Hive - Shadow War: Armageddon AAR

Some of the local 40k players have started up a Shadow War: Armageddon league at Stomping Grounds as they wait for the new edition to drop. As I'm always interested in campaign-based skirmish games, I decided to pick up a box of Harlequins and join in. The initial game night went well, with the Harlequins winning both games and adding more bodies to their kill team (as an elite force, they can only have six permanent members, whereas most factions have ten, and others can go up to fifteen or twenty).

This last Saturday I had a chance for a couple more games. The first was against Andy's Tau, in the Kill Team fight. The objective was to force the other kill team to either bottle (fail a leadership test after losing 25% of their numbers) or voluntarily retreat.

With the Tau setting up a firing line in the cover of the building at the lower left in the above picture, the Harlequins spent most of the game running between cover to encircle the building. After the Tau's sniper was downed by a neuro disrupter, Andy decided to retreat, rather than let the Harlequins get into close combat.

The second game, against Shawn's Dark Eldar, was the Scavenge scenario, where both sides had to collect d6 loot tokens (we rolled five) as a monster lurked around the outskirts of the board.

The Dark Eldar fared better against the Harlequins, as the Wyches gained a 4+ invulnerable save in close combat. However, the high Weapon Skill and Attacks that the Harlequins possess meant they won combat again and again. Eventually, the Dark Eldar bottled, dispersing back into the ruins.

From the four games I've played, it seems that Harlequins might be somewhat overpowered, at least in the early game of the campaign. Since this league should last awhile, I'm curious as to whether increased body- and skill-count in the other kill teams will offset the inherent advantages that the Harlequins start with. In the meantime, we'll likely be increasing the Harlequins invulnerable save to 5+, as they're difficult to hit in the first place.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Painting Update - FIW, Pirates, Horizon Wars

Let's go to the painting desk for an update. 

I finally got around to finishing the French Wilderness Force for Muskets & Tomahawks. Part of the force is made up of a Canadian Officer and Canadian Miltia.

Another unit of Canadian Militia is also included, but these are Coureur de Bois - woodsmen and trappers who have gone native. And speaking of native, a small unit of French-allied Indians rounds out the force.

I made a slight mistake when talking about the British Force. It turns out the unit size restrictions in Muskets & Tomahawks only allows a Ranger unit to be eight men at max, so the six so-called "militia" are actually rangers as well, to make two units of eight.

And now that all the irregular forces are done, it may be time to start looking for some regular troops to fill out the conflict.

I also painted up some pirates for Blood & Plunder. While I like the rules, and the miniatures look great, I wasn't so enamored with the idea of painting up the same four miniatures for each unit in the game. So I've been shopping around and buying up Wargames Foundry Pirates where I can find them.

While I haven't had the chance to play Horizon Wars recently, I've finished painting up the last of the UMC forces. The above are medium Gladius mechs from Immediate Force Solutions, a private military company that exclusively fields mechs.

Rounding out the UMC is Fujikawa-Shaw Investment Retrieval LLC, which uses its airdrop capable light Zephyr and medium Squall mechs alongside airborne infantry, artillery, and recon units. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Flames of War - SAGA AAR

Kevyn and I met up for the third season of our Age of the Wolf campaign. With the Normans defending and the Viking raiding, we rolled the Harry and Burn scenario. Floki and the northmen were on the attack, looking to burn down the buildings and fields on the table. Louis needed to keep the village safe for the sake of his reputation. 

The Normans started with their crossbowmen in the village, while the rest of the mounted units were on the table edge. The Vikings started with their warriors and warlord in the woods, while the hearthguard had gotten as close to the village as possible.

The armored Vikings moved in towards the waiting crossbowmen.

The Normans wasted no time, galloping towards the oncoming Vikings. The crossbowmen fired a volley, managing to down a hearthguard with a well-aimed bolt.

The Vikings retaliated by wiping out half the crossbowmen, and set a field on fire for good measure.

The sound of horses surrounded the village. Louis readied his knights for a charge into the woods, while another group engaged the lone Viking hearthguard in the village center. The crossbowmen launched another volley, felling the single Viking hearthguard.

Another group of Viking hearthguard moved in towards the knights, readying their weapons.

The Normans attacked, but to less-than-desirous results. The fight against the warriors in the woods was indecisive, and the knights in the village failed to put a dent in their Viking opponents. The mounted soldiers on the right were left waiting to see if the Viking warlord would come out of the woods.

Meanwhile, the Vikings managed to set fire to one of the buildings, and routed the knights, leaving the Norman warlord exposed.

Wheeling his mounted around, Louis called back his knights to focus on the Vikings in the village. Another Viking hirdman fell, a crossbow bolt in his back.

The Vikings turned and wiped out the crossbowmen, as the warriors in the woods emerged, hoping to get at the Norman knights from behind.

But mounted men weren't going to be caught off-guard. The knights in the village charged the hirdmen, riding them down. Another unit of knights moved in to attack the lone Viking, while the mounted Warriors moved closer to the Viking warlord.

The remaining Vikings moved out into the open, hoping to reach the Normans before their mounts could be reined in.

Seeing an opportunity, the Norman warriors charged the Viking warlord. A fierce combat followed, with the Viking warlord falling in combat, but taking more than half the mounted warriors with him.

The Vikings launched one last attack against a unit of knights, before both sides retired from the village.

After tallying up the victory points, it turned out that the Vikings had won, thanks to the bonus points from burning the field and building. Far from hampering him, Floki's wounds turned out to be superficial, and the Viking warlord increased his reputation and wealth. Unfortunately, a Levy upgrade went unused with no Levy in the Viking forces. Louis managed to gain a bit of reputation despite his losses.