Friday, October 21, 2011

Flashing Steel!

After the brutal beating we gave Drums and Shakos last week, I decided to pull back and try a smaller game. We only had 4 players last night, so I dug out some minis I've had sitting around patiently for rules to go with. 
I recently downloaded the latest in the "Song of..." family from Ganesha Games, "Flashing Steel". Having played lots of games from the family the group was already familiar with the mechanics. But, FS seemed to have a little more depth. I gave each player only two figures each (except the Cardinal's men who got a bunch of "extras"). Each team only came out to 150 points. Normally in a two player game, you use 500 points a side.
The scenario went thusly: A messenger carrying secret letters of love to the Queen's lover has been waylayed on the road to Calias. She has sent her loyal Musketeers to find the messenger and the letters before they fall into the wrong hands. Enter the Cardinal's men. They want the letters to prove the Queen's disloyalty. Somewhere at the crossroads they meet....
Each player had to search areas on the board. Aramis found the messenger right away, but forced to burn an activation each turn to keep him close. He could take him off the board, but would lose Aramis for the rest of the game.
The Duc D'Harme and his lackey Smedley stumbled into the thugs that had attacked the messenger. While they were distracted D'Artagnon and Porthos attacked. Unfortunately for our heroes, it was a bad move. D'Artagnon was taken out by a common thug, while Porthos was done in by the Duke and his man-servant.
On the other side of the table Athos was dispatching a veritable horde of Cardinal's Guards single-handedly, while Rochford (boo-hiss) stumbled around the woods looking for letters (which he found along with a pack of wolves).
It finally came down to Aramis and Rochford. It was Aramis's "Slippery-ness" that won him out. The Queen's honor remains intact!

Friday, October 7, 2011


In the Emperor's Name, a free set of Sci-Fi rules set in the not-40k universe, turned out to be great time when we tried it out several weeks ago. Though nostalgic for early GW days, that universe has never been my bag. Fantasy, particularly a large scale skirmish, which is the best for my group of 6-8 weekly, is what I wanted to try. Now, I loves me my Song of Blades and Heroes, but it's really a two player game. I figured it would be simple enough to tailor ITEN to fantasy. The ensuing brawl proved me right.
the Wastes
"The temple of Baal-El has lain buried in the Wastelands for untold centuries. But recently, during an earthquake, the temple emerged from the depths. Now, forces converge. Some to destroy the temple, some to worship it's dark god..." 
the Elves
The Adventurers
The Barbarians
the Forces of Chaos
The King's Men

The forces weren't balanced point-wise. But tactics should have panned out. They didn't. It was mostly a one sided affair in favor of Chaos. The Boy, controlling the Adventurers, got hammered by the Barbarians second turn. He never even got off a spell. (Spells are basically Psyker Abilities from ITEN). The forces of Good should have hauled ass to the temple, and then defended it's narrow passage. Chaos warriors are slow, the Barbarians have no long range, and the orcs were farthest away and blocked by terrain. Oh well. It was still fun.

Monday, October 3, 2011

St EClair (a Fast Play Grande Armee game)

The French fought the Austrians in this fictional battle for the town of St Eclair. Fast Play Grande Armee are my rules of choice for this scale and this period. I think it gives a great representation of Napoleonic battles without all the excess "stuff". You can get a huge battle fought in 3 hours easy. We had six commands, and ended with a obvious winner in 2 1/2 hours.
Throw in the gorgeous 6mm figs (yes, I said 6mm) and stands provided by Scott, and you have the ingredients for a great game.
The French
The Austrians

The Austrians took the early initiative, but chose to let the French go first. The French covered the ground quickly, except in the center, where for some reason, Napoleon's troops lagged behind. The town was seized by the French, but it would turn out to be a tough time holding it.
The French capture St Eclair
The cannonade is fierce
The entire game, the Austrians pounded the defenders in the town. Although the these guns might have been better served pounding the infantry outside the town. 
The battle ebbed and flowed, until finally the Austrian cavalry on the left broke. Seven Austrian brigades would break in a single turn after that. French victory.
Some take aways: The Austrians need more heavy cavalry. And a few extra infantry, too. The French move faster, so you need something to balance.
Keeping track of everything is easy with these nifty dry erase labels on the back.