Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Basement-Con 2 AAR: Friday

Compared to Thursday night, Friday's Basement-Con was fairly light. Only Lead Addict showed, which turned out to be cool because the blessing and the curse of the Basement Generals is there's a lot of us. Most Thursdays are, in fact, mini conventions. Its hard to find 6-8 player games we can do in 3 hours or less.
So, when I got a chance to do some games 1-on-1 I was excited.
We started with Black Powder: Pike and Shotte. I dug out my Italian Wars, work in progress troops. I had 4 cavalry and 6 foot units, split into two battalia a side. A relatively small fight by P&S standards, but the last battle we did, I used Hail Caesar, and wanted try these out small. 
Pike and Shotte is closer rules-wise to Black Powder than Hail Caesar.
The battle opened with Cavalry charges on the flanks which quickly left us both horseless (I found out later my Gendarmes were tougher, but oh well).
When the pikes finally got to grips in the middle it was bloody and short.
The whole thing lasted about and hour.
Yes, the bases aren't finished...

The heavy horse charges forward

the push of pike
Despite the quick fight, I really liked how it played. We're going to have to be a bit more tactical and subtle. More historical tactics would have paid off better. We should have held the horse back for exploiting the infantry fight. 
I was too liquored up to remember to take pictures....
With the evening still early, and the booze flowing, we tried out a game I've wanted to play for a long time: SAGA. I have a full 6 points of viking warband. Lead Addict was able to cobble together 4 points for the battle. My vikings became Saxons and using the intro scenario we began. Whomever kills the other guy's warlord first, wins.
Neither of us really had time to study the Battle Boards, which are the heart of the game. The actually battle mechanics are simple. It's the subtleties of the use of Fatigue, and Battle Board abilities that win the game. 
Warlords are tough, but mortal. We found that out about turn 2. We ignored the Warlord's death and kept playing. It was all I hoped it would be. Multi-player would be hard. If we play on Thursday's it would mean setting up 2-3 battles simultaneously. 
But over all, SAGA was everything I hoped it would be.
Next: Saturday.....

Monday, November 12, 2012

Basement-Con 2 AAR: Thursday

Basementcon-con2, that mini convention in my basement is now over. I didn't take as many pics as I should have, but here they are.
Thursday: Gruntz 15mm SciFi
Lead Addict brought over his horde of 15mm Sci-Fi minis for a playtest with the group of Gruntz. I have read thru Gruntz a few times and marveled at how simple they looked. We had had a short playtest before that didn't go well. Lots of shooting and no results. We had to be doing something wrong. The Gruntz website has nice videos on game play, which helped.

Listening post Alpha 34

The Mercs

Merc mechs

Human leader
This was battle over a Hyperspace listening post. The opponents would be humans on one side vs alien mercenaries. The reviews I've read have Gruntz as small affairs. For this 8 players battle we changed the rules from single based 15mm figs to whole stands marking kills with a tiny d6.
After a brief explanation of the rules, (which turns out is very similar to a game I've never played, Warmachine) the fight unfolded quickly. You roll 2d6 adding your shooting trait trying to make or beat your opponent' armor rating. A successful hit means you roll 2d6 with your weapon's damage trying to match or beat your opponent's soak value. Easy.

Everyone picked up the rules by turn 2, but we found the missile rules devastating and changed on the fly. Vehicles and troops were dropping like flies. The mercs seemed to have the upper hand. Then the humans destroyed most of the merc's armor and things swung in favor of the humans. That when it ended. I think most found it fun. We might even try a moderns game with them.
The brews for the night's tasting. A Romanian pilsner Timisoreanna. Very smooth. Reminded me of Pilsner Urquell.

Then, the polar opposite. White Hatter by a New Holland. Wow this brew had a bite. Not a fan at all. It was hard to get anyone to taste it after they saw my face. Kinda like when the milk goes bad and you ask your wife, "hey smell this?".
More AAR tomorrow.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Northman vs Norman

It was time for a Dark Age slugfest. I used the same rules (Flower of Chivalry) we use for our "Campaign for the Kingdom". They still work well for 11th century.
A large group of marauding vikings led by Horst the Wily, are stirring up trouble. They've managed to secure some Breton mercenaries and are burning they way across the countryside. The local lord Duc' d'Lindsey, has mustered the troops and moved out to stop them.
The Lord orders his troops
Lord d'Lindsey was feeling spry that morning and was rated as "Brilliant" (more 3 action cards in his deck). Meanwhile Horst was a bit in his cups, as thus, "Plodding".

The Viking horde

The Norman lines

Battle for the hilltop.

A class of Normans

The lines reform, then break.
As the battle started, both sides began a slow crawl towards each other. All except the viking right flank. There, Gregor the Obviously Mad, charged forward. By the time he met the Norman cavalry division, his men were exhausted. They held a small hill top, but would suffer.
On the Viking left, Guilliame the Old led the Breton mercenaries. He waded into the fray with gusto, wiping out 4 units off the bat.
With the victory conditions set at 9 units, it looked good for the Northmen. They had taken out 7 Norman units for a loss of only 4 of their own. Two more meant victory.
But, that is where things changed. Thor abandoned his followers. Within a few scant turns it was tied 8 a piece. Horst's command hadn't lost a unit. The center was tight, but in the end, the Normans snatched away the victory. The vikings fled for their ships empty handed.
As usual, FoC provided a great game. Lots of twists and turns, and always different from game before. I think I'll have to try it at RECRUITS some day. NOw, I'm painting some Dark Age stuff to try this with Hail Caesar and compare.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thursday Night shootout

Fistful of Lead. An oldie but goodie. I wanted to try out some ambush/hidden movement rules I'm working on for FfoL Horse and Musket and decided a Wild Bunch/Northfield Raid. The bad guys start in the bank and have to make it to the Livery Stable. The good guys start hidden, aware of the baddies in the bank. Unknown to the good guys, there are more baddies hidden around town. Recipe for a bloodbath.
At first, even though outnumbered, it looked like the robbers had the upper hand. The Marshal's men and the townfolk were dropping like flies. But, the bad guys got caught up in the shoot outs and rather than moving towards the stable, were slowly being overwhelmed by numbers.
"Well Bob, looks like a typical Thursday. I'll get the coffins ready."

The Robbers break out.

O'Mally drops two baddies from his perch.

"You go first."
"No. You go first."

Blood Alley. Almost 20 years of playing this game, and there's always a Blood Alley.
By the end of the game, a lone bandit was being slowly hunted down by the survivors. Best moment of the game: The Marshal stepped out into the street and was fired at "manual insertion range" by one of the bank robbers. Marshal brains all over the alley.
Tonight's game was fueled by a favorite:

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Campaign Continues

On a cold Autumn day, two forces watched each other from across Lacklilly Field. So named for the noted bard John Lacklilly, buried nearby. Edwin, Baron of Fennwyck was barred from leaving his lands and the road to the capital by Horace, Duke of Dunharrow.
Edwin had battled his way through other claimants and pretenders to the throne. He had managed to keep his head where others had failed. Why, just across the field from him were two men who were the sons of previous challengers. Both Roderick and Rutiger had seen their fathers fall in battle and beheaded. Rutiger, the son of the previous King had much to lose. They both now rode with Horace, seeking revenge.
Edwin had brought Lionel the unlucky Baron of Stonekeep. Lionel had been on the losing side in most of the battles to date. With him was Oswald, son of the late Baron of Ock. Loyal to Edwin, but for how long?
Missing from the scene was Ulric, Duke of Kragg. Though loyal to Edwin, he sent a missive explaining his horse had thrown a shoe, and would miss the battle.
Sidenote: Sides are chosen right before the battle Kickball style, starting with the Claimant. I was of course was chosen last. Lionel, the fat kid gets picked last....
Command ratings are rolled randomly also. Edwin's team all rolled 1&2s. BUFFOONS! They would be severely restricted in their movements and command radius.)
Edwin, as well as his commanders were suffering from camp sickness (Buffoon rating). The odds were already stacked against them.
With a shout, Edwin forces steadily rumbled forward. Across the field, Lionel's men had decided a charge was in order and raced forward, leaving the rest of the battleline behind. Most of engagement, despite their sickness, Edwin's men managed a steady, orderly advance, while Horace's men charged and halted in spurts.
Once within bowshot, both sides darkened the sky. Roderick's units seemed to take the brunt of it and two units quit the field. At the opposite end Oswald was taking a beating too. It looked bad for Edwin.

Horace leads the charge


The view from Oswald's flank

The arrows rain down

Horace tries to rally the troops
When the lines finally met, it was bloody, indeed. Both sides were losing men in streams. It was chaos. Edwin's men had managed to battle back from the brink, the losses were dead even....then it happened. Horace's men had enough. The ran from the battlefield.
In a stroke of uncommon mercy, Edwin allowed Horace to leave without pursuit. He would be allowed to slink back to Dunharrow and plot his revenge. In the chaos that followed, a beraggled messenger arrived. Ulric had been spotted. Not coming to Edwin's aid, but to move on the capital. Edwin spoke. "Ulric, I have seen your heart. It is a black place, full of deceit."
Highlight for me was a battle between my pikemen and a unit of archers. The archers hit on a d10 roll of "1" in melee. My pikes on "6" or below. The archers were already chewed up and could only take one hit. FOR THREE STRaIGHT TURNS I missed . My side broke before I could kill the bastards. Lionel the unlucky.....
Tonight's pairing:
Bellhaven Scottish Ale to go with my "not Scottish" pikemen.
The Results:

Friday, October 5, 2012


Ahoy! It's been a crap week. My solution? Rum and a goofy hat! I dug out my Pirates and their ships which I haven't touched in a loooong time. The scenario would be a 3 way scrap over control of an important straight. I commanded one of the smaller vessels, and though not as nice as Wingnut's and the lads over at Fistful of Seamen, my ships were built 10 years ago and are more utilitarian.
We captains of the two smaller vessels opted to mass our fire power and take on one of the bigger ships, though not the largest one. We avoided Scurvy Bill and went for the Wraith and her Captain, Gangerous Greg. 
Captain Greg and Bald Scott, were against the wind, and decided to fight this battle more like a fortress would. Stay in place. Meanwhile, Scurvy Bill just sat back out of gun range and waited for us to kill each other.
We used Pirates! by Flagship games. A fun, simple set of rules. Shooting is done by placing splash markers (i used golf tees as they look like water spray) and then guess-timating the range. The true range is then measured out to the marker and results rolled. Simple and fun.
After a couple hours we had three ships sinking (including mine) a boarding actions repelled, and a clear winner (Scurvy Bill). When Bill finally joined the fight, his fire was terrifyingly accurate and damaging.
The crew of the Siren

Captains Greg & Scott put the ships in irons

Bill dodges the fight

Just missed 'em!
With my rowboat shot to pieces and ship sinking my boys were chum. Tonight's pairing:
The Kraken, of course. A bit of lime or add cola if ye be lilly livered!
Pictured taken after the crew took a few swigs.