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.