Saturday 30 November 2013

First Game of Dead Man's Hand

There was a great deal of rootin'-tootin' and no little shootin' going on up at MacSver's battle shed this weekend. He was running me through my first game of Dead Man's Hand (by Great Escape Games).
It's a skirmish level West Wild game with randomised figure activation (by way of a card deck) with extra cards held by the players to play "events" on any of the figures, which is fun.

We played the first introductory scenario, where a gunslinger is "greeted" by 3 local dudes.

Not liking the odds, the stranger ran for cover behind a building and fence. The local toughs flanked round.

The stranger stepped out behind the fencing and took a shot, but missed. Fortunately his movement and the slight cover saved him from any damage.

Things were looking bad though when a local ran round the corner looking to fire his shotgun at point blank range. Fortunately the stranger literally had a card up his sleeve that made the man stumble and lose the rest of his actions that turn.

Confident behind his cover, the Stranger took another shot at the poncho local. He only managed to worry his target with an "Under Fire" mark. These act as minus modifiers for the receiving figure and can be removed using an action on their turn. Every turn a figure gets 3 actions (eg move, shoot, aim, etc). They also act as hits. Each character has a number of Under Fire markers they can receive befoe they are out of action.

The confidence of the Gunslinger was ill founded though, as the final local man took careful aim and took him out.

This all seemed pretty straight forward. The randomised activation order helped the experience of the chaos of a gunfight (not that I've been in a real one obviously), and the event cards in your hand also give the player some extra tactical depth, not to mention the glee of scuppering your opponents expectations.

We played most of a more even more sided game afterwards:

Sometimes the cards can encourage rash

...sometimes too rash...

...with fatal consequences!

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Urban War Weapons Test Dept

Following on from last weeks introductory Urban War game, MacSver and I had another game to test out some specific pieces of equipment (and their associated rules). One section was how weapons teams played, so the Viridians had a HMG team and Mortar Team (which handily also tested indirect\speculative fire effectiveness) and the other was to see if Heavy Armour could be a game breaker, courtesy of some VASA Black Legion.

The table was set as shown with players starting at either end.

3 objectives were randomly positioned D10 inches from the centre of the table (the direction indicated by the way the D10 pointed) to run a variation of the 3 Sisters Scenario in the rulebook. The 66% breakpoint was kept.

The Viridian's split into 3 groups from the off. A brace headed to the covering position on the left, the Weapons teams moved right to try and take advantage of the limits high position and cover, and the foot-sloggers pushed through the middle.

The VASA decided to move more directly towards the objective points, one force flanking wide and most the others working with the middle cover positions.

A round or 2 in and the the 2 forces had reached their phase one positions. The mortar crew decided to try a shot at the VASA sniper, which and a good elevated position overlook a main bottleneck. Their test shot the previous turn and hopelessly missed but this shot hit the sniper right on top of the head and even took out the supporting Suppressor on half damage.

On the other side of the table the VASA were carefully pushing forward with little resistance, as the covering Marines failed Overwatch command checks time and time again, with only there hard cover saving their skins.

With the VASA starting to close in (and starting to keep space between them) the targets were getting rare for the Viridian Mortar. One (very) speculative shot though did pay off with another mortar landing on the head of a Suppressor, ending his fight. The Heavy Machine Gun team had reached their optimum position to use their range and firepower (especially with the enemy Sniper gone) but all they managed to do all game is make a lot of noise - no hits were scored.

MacSver though it was time to test out the Heavy Armour special rule and popped a Red Guard member up for a charge. Heavy Armour basically acts as an additional save, with the appropriate level (+2 in this case) adding onto a D10 roll, hoping to get an total result of 10 or more. Unfortunately for his jump trooper MacSver didn't make his required 8+ roll and he was out-of-game. So not a license to stride down the centre of the table then!

The turn count was starting to get to the crucial number 6, and everyone was wary of the final objective dash (from games ends from turn 6 onwards with a rolled D10 + turn number > 12). The VASA Sergeant rushed out of cover to try and take out her opposite number. No-one was on overwatch, but fortunately he made a crucial cover save. A hail of lead flew the other way, but with one Marine shooting and the Sergeant ploughing ALL his CAL extra shots at the VASA Commander she was still untroubled. Finally a lone Marine stepped from cover, drew a bead and took down the enemy #1.

This signalled the 66% breaking point for the VASA force and they withdrew.

A fun and useful game. MacSver was most obliging, it must be pointed out, in putting some of his troops in perilous positions to allow the testing of some rules and effects. The effect of mortars to negate obstacles was shown (and also their unreliable accuracy). It also hammered home the importance of finding some solid cover to stand behind when taking fire - this extra save really saved the bacon of some of the Viridian Marines time and time again.

Sunday 17 November 2013

Nostalgia Hit

If there are two games to take me back, Heroscape is one but the biggy has got to be RISK.

Mark the calendar, as it was Arabiansquire's first ever game this afternoon (and my first game for around 21 years!).

Thursday 14 November 2013

A Hex based SoBH battle

Amazing what you find in your "Draft" folder sometimes. In this case a Hex based "Song of Blades..." game using Heroscape scenery and Lord Of The Rings Hex battle figures (which come in at 40mm scale, by the way), using the alternative Hex measuring rules found in the old 2nd Edition (this was 18 months ago and the revised edition hadn't been released yet)

The Scene was set as thus. A Magic stone was rumoured to have appeared in a mystic stone circle (conveniently in the middle of the board). Three groups; Orcs, High Elves and Humans (mostly), were sent out to collect it and return to their original bases.

With a quality of Q2+, the Elves sped up the table, reaching the stone circle first. The Humans and Orcs were slowly moving up the table, the humans hampered by terrain (water) and the Orcs by their poor quality.

Elven Swordsmen moved across to shield the stone carrier from the approaching Human force, but one of them was shot down.

The Orcs meanwhile were still struggling to make any headway, especially with their quarry quickly moving away from them.

The remaining Elf charges across the stream to confront the Human archer, rather than stand there as a target, but only knocks him back.

This does however give the Stone carrying Elf space to head back home, with a rear guard left to protect against the Orcs.
But they are soon in trouble. An Orc goes down, but the distraction allows the Humans to make contact. They have decided to sweep across the table, with Gandalf and Gimli heading towards the Elf home base to cut off the carrier.

The Stone carrier is almost home with Gimli being handled by 2 guards. But the gap in the defences allows two human warriors in to attack. The Elf is hangs tough though and kills one of his assailants.

As Gandalf closes in from behind, the Elven guard step up to help out their comrade.

He attacks, but now being outnumbered his attack fails and he is pushed back.

The Humans try to desperately surge forward and release their fellow soldier, but are repelled, and the Stone is finally brought back to the Elven base. It was a great deal closer than expected!

Monday 11 November 2013

Urban War Demo

MacSver came down to run through a game of Urban War with me. It was a fun and useful session, as we found I'd had a couple of rules wrong. MacSver chose to play Viridian, as their more "shooty" focus seemed easier to follow for a first match.

As this was a first game we opted for a straight fight, both sides starting at either end. MacSver was quick to ascertain that his Sniper could fire the length of the table and mentally mapped the table length firing lines through the various scenery. Quite how effective in practical terms I'm not sure, but as a psychological exercise very good as it had me wary of his shooting from the word go!

 The Marines started moving down the right flank with covering fire from the Sergeant and Sniper and using the old supply pipework as a sheltered route.

The VASA, with their shorter effective firing range (and Close Combat only troops) moved up the opposite side, hoping to get a chance to charge in from a side. A Sniper and Suppressor were left behind to cover the Marine flanking advance.

The covering VASA were short lived. The Sniper was taken out by the Viridian Sergeant from the ruins across the table (despite feeling safe tucked behind a window) and the Suppressor missed his shot and was taken out by the Marine Sniper.

The VASA continued their advance up the left, using the tall ruin and a base for cover. A Viridian Marine tried to draw some of the covering fire from the other side, but unfortunately for him drew it too well and was gunned down

The Viridian Sergeant decided to to nip the VASA advance in the bud, and used both his extra CAL actions to dash round into the ruins and charge a baton wielding Suppressor. The resulting close combat was a stalemate, and his opposing number took up a covering position, not wanting to fire into the melee.

The Viridian Sergeant successfully broke off though, and made to escape. The VASA Sergeant gave chase but could only shock him with 2 volleys of fire. The Viridian managed to escape out of LOS round the corner, but the Suppressor caught up and with his baton on combat mode beat the enemy to the ground.

The other CC Suppressor dashed round the corner of the building to threaten the lurking Viridian Sniper, expecting a hail of lead. But luckily it was almost the first time in the game that the sharpshooter hadn't been on Overwatch, and the charged assault proved most successful, leaving the last couple of Viridian to break and retreat.

Friday 8 November 2013

A Change in Personnel

This motley crew make up my November Painting Oath. They also represent a slight change in my next Song of Blades and Heroes Campaign personnel.

I had already lined up some modern GW Wood Elf Waywatchers to use a slick archers, but I could never drum up any enthusiasm to get them started. I did try a test model a month ago, but got fed up with the fiddly, meaningless detail on them. I already have some re-painted Marauder Era Wood Elfs, and their old school style wasn't matching the modern look anyway, so I've been off to Ebay and procured some more 80's Wood Elf goodness (and a compatible Female Elf whom I can't recall the manufacturer of) and a Dryad. To keep the look of the warband I've also ditched the plans to incorporate a couple of my GW LoTR figures as well.

Never really painted Elves before though, wish me luck!

Tuesday 5 November 2013

October Oath Done


Finished my work on my October  Painting Oath 3 days late. This was just a "see if I can quickly rattle them off" Oath, very much following on from my Quick Paint Ork\Marauder all the way from last October (how time flies!). Totally rough but better than unpainted (with scope to add on later if I want). Not so much painted for arms length, more just-stepped-in-the-door length.

November's Oath will be much more considered (and better!)

Saturday 2 November 2013

Final (Kessel) Run Through

A night before game of X-Wing for McSver who had a casual Tourney the next day.

The Forces move into contact range.
100 points, with MacSver fielding the Falcon (naturally) and his favourite small ships, the A-Wings.
Slave and a trio of Tie Fighters made up my force. As an aside MacSver had a nice printed sheet from the X-wing Fleet builder at .

No real Battle Rep (as I had to leave early and hand over the control to someone else) but a few more thoughts.

A well placed proton bomb damages the 'Falcon
and an A-Wing.

  • The 'Falcon is a beast with a base "health" of 13 but you really need to hammer it as it's only has a single agility (defend) die. This may stop the pilot from having the luxury to drop target locks all the time to increase it's offensive efficiency (something I didn't do by the way!).
  • The extra points tied up in the pilot abilities are well worth it, but keep them in mind when making your tactical deployment (again more of my own advice I should try and carry for the next game!)
With so many maneuverable fighters,
stress tokens were in high demand

  • Don't always choose the coolest looking ships. If I played the rebels I'd be pushed to look past the X-Wings every time, but those little, unassuming A-Wings are great. Trouble is X-Wings are cool!
  • Get your target locks on and missiles fired early game. Later on, when your shields are failing you'll be using those evade actions instead of target locks and the missiles will go unfired (again, next game...)

I Wonder if I'll remember any of that next time...