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.