Tuesday, September 3, 2013

RECRUITs in 2 weeks

Just wanted to let everyone know I will be running 2 games at our local convention RECRUITS, in on September 14th. If you've never been been to RECRUITS, it is still one of the best conventions around, and I mention that anytime I can. And, from now on, it's only once a year.
The first game is my Victorian SciFi Great Race game 9am session, and at 1pm I'll run a Fistful of Lead: Horse and Musket game using some Cluck Amok's beautiful 54mm minis and terrain.
Only one day this time around. As usual, RECRUITS fall on the same weekend as a soccer tournament, and more importantly my wedding anniversary. The Baroness, as always is very understanding.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fistful of Lead: Horse and Musket scenario Playtest...

... or "Bad Day for the Legion vol. IX".
Trying to be a good author, I thought it might be a good idea to make sure the scenarios I'm putting into Fistful of Leads first supplement for the Horse and Musket period actually works.
This was a tryout of ye olde take the bridge scenario.
It's written for any period but as I have an abundance of Maximillian in Mexico miniatures, that's where this one took place.
The Republican forces are trying to find a bridge crossing to outflank Imperial troops. They stumble upon a lightly defended bridge. They must secure the road beyond before nightfall.
The Bridge and its road is defended by the French Foreign Legion. They are obviously outnumbered and need to drive off the enemy before more arrive.
To keep the game moving and give both sides a sense of urgency added a Special Rule. Those familiar with Fistful of Lead will understand the mechanic how cards are dealt to players for Activations. Normally, the Joker is left out. This time one is put back in. It functions as the lowest suit Ace in all respects, except that when it is played by a side, they need to keep track of how many times it comes up for their side.
Things at the bridge get ugly
If the Mexicans play the Joker 6 times, night has fallen. If they haven't secured the bridge. They lose.
If the Legion plays it 6 times, Mexican reinforcements show, and the position becomes un defendable. 
I played the Legion. We never got a Joker, or a break. My fault. I spread to thin. The Republican troops came in one big mob. Half fired, while half charged. Good, historical tactics that paid off.
With 4 Jokers played by the Mexicans, I managed to kill about half before being overwhelmed. 
I think it worked very well and could easily be applied to other scenarios. One thing I might do is add the second Joker in about midway. As players lose models, there are less cards being dealt, and less chance of a Joker.
The last holdout in the bell tower.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Great Race

Yes, race fans, it's that time again! Time for the Great Powers to gather and put their finest men and machines to the test.
There were only going to be a few guys over last night, so I dug out an old idea with some new rules.
The rules aren't even really new. I took two boardgames, Powerboats and Quicksilver, and pulled them off the board. This was a race using all my scratch-built VSF contraption.
Each vehicle had a Perk, like "Easier Turns", and a Flaw, like "Poor Armor". Hopefully they balanced each other.
Britain pulls ahead!

Italy makes it's move
Additionally, I added cards for Dastardly Deeds, allowing players to shoot at each other, cancel card effects, and give boosts to speed.
The table was laid out with areas of bad terrain, impassable terrain, and of course, the flags players had to navigate through.
Speed was done ala Powerboats. We used d6s marked with only 1-3. At the beginning of their turn, a plater could add a die, subtract a die or reroll a die. This gives a number between 3-9. Instead of inches, I marked off a measuring stick with 3 inch increments. Going speed "3" actually means 9".
The race went thusly:
Otto Von Hackenkopft roared ever so briefly into the lead, only to be shot at and droppedt to zero speed by mine own Sir Nigel Soggybottom. Nigel took second briefly to be passed by Luigi Tortelinni.
That left third squarely to Francois Fraumage piloting the infamous L'Roue of our GASLIGHT battles fame.
Most of the race Luigi stayed firmly in the lead thanks to his great turning perk. Normally, players can make a 60 degree turn, or a 120 turn but have to take an armor hit from the strain on the vehicle. Luigi's vehicle makes a roll, and on 4-6, he ignore the hit.
Things get complicated at turn 4
Second and third switched on an off between France and Britain, with much skullduggery. Poor old Germany never recovered from the initial assault off the starting line and was dead last.
It was a lot of fun and a perfect con game. Can't wait to see what 6-8 players on the board would have done.

Friday, June 21, 2013

A storm of Arrows - Campaign for the Kingdom

Last night we continued our Campaign for the Kingdom. Duke Ulric of Kragg, the Claimant to the throne, had finally cornered the wily Horace, Duke of Dunharrow. They met on a mostly open field, marred by a small area of broken ground.
Both forces moved slowly toward each at first. But, then as it always happens, a spooked horse, or a misheard shout triggered sporatic charging. The trim lines broke apart. Units became separated. The slow foot knights and pikes left behind.
The forces face each other

Once the lines got close, the arrows were loosed. Let me stop here. In Flower of Chivalry, the system we have used for years, two things have been constant:
1) Even if one side takes the lead, the other side always catches up and we have a very close game. Most games decided by one or two units loss.
2) Bows are good at softening up the enemy. They usually get 1 at most 2, shots before having to dive into the melee where they usually get the worst of it. Bows are not battle deciders.
This was not the case last night. 
The forces of Duke Horace completely rolled over Ulric's. I mean, it wasn't even close. Ulric lost half his forces, 9 units, to Horace's 2. Chief killers were the bows. They either drove off the enemy, in the case of Baron Lionel holding the left of Horace's line, his bows drove two enemy units completely off the field (which almost never happens) and killed 2 others. One in melee.
The aftermath was predictable. Ulric, defeated, was brought before Horace, who promptly had Ulric's head.
Lionel cheers his men forward.
Duke Horace was now Claimant to the throne. Lionel, Baron of Stonekeep had been publicly chastised by Horace for suffering the only losses of the day. His valiant archers. An angry Lionel returned to Stonekeep, there to plot his revenge.....
The game was over so quick (hour and a half) it was still daylight out, so we played a game of "Popular Front", a great little boardgame of the Spanish Civil War. Highly recommended.

Friday, May 31, 2013


Basement Con night #1 started off with a 9 player GASLIGHT mega-battle. We had guests from come in from out of town for this one. 

The Anglo-French forces were surrounded and attempting a breakout from a small Belgium town on the frontier. Among them were the Secret Six, a band of British heroes carrying top secret plans. They needed to get off the table without being captured.
The German plan was simple: contain and destroy. They were aided in this by the Nefarious Professor Nightshade and his mechanical minions.
The Anglo-French devised an good plan. As the Germans were attempting to cover all exits, the allies would stack their units on one side and try to overrun the enemy with numbers. But you know what they say about plans and contact with the enemy?

Apparently the crews of the French contraptions had had a bit to drink the night before. Their boilers were cold. They spent the first 3 turns of game trying to get started.
Meanwhile, the Germans moved in. The Luftmarine captured the strategic farmhouse in the middle, while their vehicles lumbered forward.
The British infantry bravely charged across the open ground alone, while the French Marines cowered in the woods. They assaulted the Luftmarines and routed them despite taking heavy casualties from both farmhouse and the sputtering Jaguar velocipede.
The Commander of the French Zuoaves and the Luftmarine's colonel talk
politics in the woods.

The British, in turn were driven out by the Rokkittruppen. 
Let me stop here for a minute. We've been playing this game for many years. Over that time, many troops and vehicles have developed legends and lore to them. The Rokkittruppen, for the most part, have a terrible rep. Yes, their rocket packs let them hurtle across the table, but almost always to their doom. Their clockwork automatic carbines can wreak terrible damage, but only at close range. This time, however, they charged in and drove out the Brits.
Another unit with a past, is the Wespe. An ungainly steam powered helicopter with a penchant for falling out of the sky. This time, he dropped bombs and strafed with abandon.
Finally, the Lady Hussars. These girls have been holy terrors. Maybe its the bright red dresses, but the last 4-5 games their gunfire has been deadly, routing troop after troop. Never fired a shot this game
The Jaguar. More dangerous to crew on a good day.
Ultimately the allies never got moving. The Six puttered around, when they should have made a bee-line for the table edge. Only one the Brute Class Land Ironclad escaped. Three separate German units attacked it, without slowing it down.

Thanks to everyone who showed. Tonight, night #2 of Basement-Con, will be Hail Caesar Fantasy.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Golden Age Supers - A Divine Wind

I love Supersystem, particularly version 2, and particularly Golden Age. We've played for years and battles go one of two ways (much as battles do), nail-biters and complete blowouts. THis game was the latter of the two, but didn't make it any less fun.
The scenario involved a secret Japanese base on an undisclosed island. The Allied Freedom Force would have to battle past the Japanese Supers to get the secret plans.
The Japanese got set up first and chose an All around defense. Most of the powers for these particular guys were defensive in nature (more about that later). The Allies came in all in one place in hopes to overwhelm.
Rikishi, the Sumo slugger

Tsunami, a human wave

Tengu surveys the skies
It was a slaughter from the get go. With much goading from his peers and questions about his martial spirit, Tengu, the crow warrior flew out to hit Jack-O-Lantern head on. His mystic spear proved ineffective and left him the target of everything on the ground. Soon, there was a mass of burnt feathers littering the ground.

When Hachiman, human embodiment of the Japanese War god, strode forward to fight, first Scarlet Speedster, then the Sentinel leaped forward to hand him a beating.
Before the battle, there was much fear from the Allied side about the Kamikzae bots. They were tough to take down and when detonated, could take out a hero single handed.
They did not. Bot after bot exploded to little effect. One by the one the Japnese dropped. Tsunami, Rikishi, Oni, one by one. A brutal Allied victory, with no losses. A divine Wind, just blowin' the wrong way.Like I said still fun.

Major Victory blasts Oni with his Star Spangled Vision

One thing to change. I based the Japanese sdtats on the figs O painted. They had little in ranged attacks. The suma super alone was designed to take a beating and keep going. But no shooters. So, next time they meet, the Allies will have to face Raiden, master of lightning, a mind flaying geisha, and Rising Sun, solar powered super.

Friday, May 3, 2013


It snowed last night. In May. I mention this because said snow kept most of the Basement Generals home. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've really been wanting to give Maurice another go, especially run the campaign system with our group. Rather than wait the year it will take those involved to paint armies I went with paper troops to give everyone a feel for the rules and field some troops.
So, rather than getting the whole group together to run through the rules we only had 5. Turns out, that was just right.
The serried paper ranks
We did the whole she-bang. Drew cards for terrain, scouted for advantage and who the aggressor was, and drew Notables. The only thing we didn't use this time was National Advantages.
Based on scouting rolls, Purple was the Aggressor. Their Notable was particularly good at Rallying troops.
Blue was Defender and got a hothead Notable who likes to charge.
The terrain was Plains. Seven pieces were rolled for and placed. The result was pretty open, but still caused problems for the Aggressors. They had a town to take.
The game moved along really fast. Cards were earned and burned. A cavalry force charged and was repulsed. (Have to wear those infantry down first).
The infantry in the middle annihilated each other. Here's where the "do I volley?" question was learned. A deck was gone through.
All of the sudden Purple was down to 3 morale points left, and Blue 5. It was late, the weather was getting worse, and we called it.
Love these rules. Can't wait to get some "real" troops on the table. Also has me VERY excited for Longstreet. Until now I have held firm against painting 28mm ACW. But, for how long?

Friday, April 19, 2013

Thursday Night GASLIGHT

I'll let the pictures talk.
The calm before the storm...

British Naval Brigade troops back up the Zouaves.

I think its this way, chaps.

French Marines supported by the Spyder.

L'Roue, American Volunteers and French regular move in from the far right flank.

Lady Hussars face them. Their rifles would prove deadly accurate.

The Electro Cannon is a fricken' sniper. It takes down the the Little Spyder first shot and devastates the infantry opposite.

Here comes the Wheel. Uhlans wait in reserve.


The "brave" marines take a breather in the woods.

German steam. He was a killer last night, too.

Full reverse. Unicycle Uhlans drive L'Roue back.

The Zouave Captain takes on the Steam Tank alone.

The bloodly aftermath
At 10pm we called it. The Anglo-French alliance only really had one funcyioning infantry unit, but 2 contraptions in the fight.
The Germans still held the base, so I called it a minor German victory. Some of the pictures are blurry. Our new war correspondent (the Boy), wasn't used to the camera yet. But at least he was sober.