Archive for the Games Category

Catching Up

Posted in 40K, Blather, Dropzone Commander, Games, Minis with tags , , , , , , , on September 23, 2015 by stingersix

Wow, I have been slack here. No new posts since February. But I have done a ton of painting and completed several projects, not least of which is my Tallarn army for 40K. This is basically going to be a big photo dump of all the things I’ve been working on since then, with a few comments about what you’re seeing.

 

First of all, I finished my Tallarn army! I’m really happy with the way this army turned out. The detail and character on the minis is great and the theme (LRDG) fits it perfectly. The Rough Riders are the centerpiece models. Unfortunately, their in-game performance does not match how awesome they look, but whatever!RR_1 RR_2 RR_3 RR_4 RR_5 RR_WIP_1 Sentinel_top Sentinels T_1 T_2 T_3 T_4 T_5 T_6 T_7 T_8

I have had a couple games with my Tallarn. So far, I have lost every single time. Heh! But again, oh well. It’s 40K so what do you expect? These pics are from a fun narrative scenario where the Tallarn were accompanying an Inquisitor on a doomed archeological dig. The Tallarn defended their outpost to the last against the Necrons (who pretty much just plowed them under).

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Now, if there is any game that I have played a lot of this year, it’s the excellent Dropzone Commander. I can count the number of games of 40K I’ve played on both hands. I’ve lost count of how much DZC I have played! The game has really taken off at the store and the community is vibrant and growing. We’ve expanded our games beyond the default urban setting as you can see. My UCM army is big and getting bigger! I love the UCM air power! Dropzone Commander scratches an itch for me that was once fulfilled by Epic Space Marine. It seems to be doing the same for a number of other folks.

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Round about when I finished my Tallarn, I started painting some of the Knight Models Batman miniatures. Still haven’t played yet but I love these figures. Since it’s a true skirmish game, I’ve tried to do my best on these models and make them look as good as I can get them.

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In the summer, I started playing Bolt Action. This game is super fun and I’m hoping to play more of it in the future! I’ve had an American infantry force sitting around for a while, so it was good to finally play!

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And pretty much the last thing I’ve done recently is paint up the ships for the HALO Fleet Battles game! Spaceships are super easy and fast to paint. I knocked two fleets out in a week! The game is fun too!

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That’s what I’ve been up to since February! There’s much more to come!

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All Quiet on the Martian Front – First games!

Posted in Battle Report, Games, Uncategorized with tags , , on December 25, 2014 by stingersix

Finally got to play this tonight with my friend Stephen. We decided to do the intro scenario, where you basically just beat each other senseless without the fancy rules for hidden movement and ambushes and whatnot.

The board has some Flames of War buildings on it. Not quite in scale but not too far off – all good.image

In this scenario, you just fight until the other guy loses half his units and breaks. The humans and Martians went at it hammer and tongs!

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This tripod scooted up the road and then showed why it’s a good idea to spread out and avoid the nasty sweep template of the Martian heat ray!

 

 

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Despite their power and durability, the tripods can only take so much. This guy is steadily losing his armor and taking more and more damage. Critical hits had him moving out of control and losing control of his weapons, and the game has a fun way of handling this (you dice off with your opponent).

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The Doughboys are most effective against the Martians in assault, but this is also the most dangerous way to attack the aliens! A squad hurls itself into action!

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They knocked off a couple more points of armor, and the ‘Pod actually retreated! But on it’s next movement, Stephen won the roll to control it, and the Martian warmachine staggered back in among a horde of enemies! Both infantry squads in the picture there assaulted (after the MG squad and the tank softened it up a bit more. However, if you roll well enough when you damage a Tripod, it can explode…

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Before…

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After…

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Yes, the explosion of the destroyed ‘pod’s reactor took out all of the human units around it (everything within 6″ takes hits)! This actually broke both our forces at the same time! The humans and Martians both pulled back from the carnage with a bloody tie!

For the second game we got a little more involved and the Martians had to cross the board lengthwise and exit as many pods as they could off the opposite table edge. The humans had to stop them. This time we tried hidden movement, ambushes and some Martian special weaponry (Green Gas). Stephen deployed almost all his infantry hidden in the farm compound. His MG squad is in ambush, somewhere in his deployment zone. His MkIII tanks are in reserve.

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The Martians have at most, seven turns to get across the board, most likely six. Moving their full distance every turn, they could just make it if they didn’t slow down for anything or spend too much time picking their way through difficult terrain. They reached the road as the human tanks fired away and the infantry scrambled to redploy to the center. The Rough Rider motorcyclists are moving in.

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Just as the humans’ best armor is lining up their shots, Martian heat rays deal out death, routing tanks and infantry moving in to assault.

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As the terrified infantry flees for the rear, the human MG team waiting in ambush in the cornfield finally opens up at nearly point blank range…and destroys a Tripod with a lucky shot! The alien machine crashes to the ground.

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The humans mount a desperate last-ditch assault, but fail to stop the Tripod, which routs and destroys them, and then does the same to the retreating MkIII unit.

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We called it there, as the human army had been broken. But, had the game continued, I would not have been able to get more than one Tripod off the board, even had the game gone to Turn 6.

Overall, I enjoyed the game a lot. It played better than I thought it would. I first thought the Martians would easily sweep aside the humans but that was not the case. I can see that with some shrewd tactics and effective use of the weapons available, the U.S. Army can definitely turn back the Martian tide. There is some complexity, but the basic die rolling mechanics are very simple and go really fast. There is little to no chart referencing during play, and once you get the basic systems down, I can see where this game plays quickly compared to many other minis games.

I really want to get some of the Forlorn Hope minis for the U.S. Army – they’re a couple of figures dangling from a rope and you can hook them on to a Tripod so it looks like they’re climbing up. The Forlorn Hope is an upgrade for infantry squads and they pop out when assaulting Tripods, climbing up to plant TNT and grenades. They’re a one use thing (they’re assumed to die in the assault) but they give a hefty bonus to the infantry’s assault roll.

I also like the look of the Martian Scout Tripods, and I’d like to get some Lobototons (lobotomized human captives made into mindless slaves for the Martians).

So far, I haven’t seen anything about All Quiet on the Martian Front I don’t like. I have a couple more games planned next week and I’m looking forward to them!

Dropzone Commander Battle Report – Operation Cyan Rapier: Phase 2

Posted in Battle Report, Dropzone Commander, Games with tags , , on August 15, 2014 by stingersix

My buddy Stephen and I played our second game of the campaign we have going “Operation Cyan Rapier.” I’ll talk about Phase (game) 1 later, but today’s game was the follow-on from that game in which the UCM managed to successfully extract a Praetorian insertion team that had gone into enemy territory to link up with local Resistance forces. The mission was (barely) successful and victory was won at great cost to the UCM Praetorians. So, here is the preamble to Phase 2:

Operation Cyan Rapier – Phase 2 – Decapitation

After the successful (but costly) recovery of the Praetorian insertion teams from Estrella del Mar, UCM command gives the go-ahead for Phase 2, a strike at the Scourge command elements in the area of operations. With the Praetorians taken out of the line to recover, UCM General Magday reluctantly decides to commit his heavy assets, hoping to deal the Scourge a knockout blow before the main landing operation. This is a risky and controversial strategy, as the relatively small UCM task force assigned to this operation cannot afford many losses. Nevertheless, the UCM forces once again prepare for battle.

Unbeknownst to the UCM planners, the Scourge have more reserves than originally thought, and have managed to keep them hidden even from the Resistance spies. As a result, their defenses near their headquarters complex will be at full strength to face the coming assault!

 It was a modified version of the Decapitation scenario in the main rulebook. 1750 points for both of us, and Stephen got an extra 350 point battle group to represent the unknown reserves (which would start rolling for entry on turn 3). I do a lot of my own scenario design and a favorite method is to take an existing scenario and tweak it in interesting ways. You’ll see more of this when I talk about the Snipers a bit later on.

In this campaign I am also making an effort to do more rural and less heavily urban terrain. This scenario thus featured fully half the board as hills and wooded areas, and the other half a mostly open landing field. It makes for a very different feel than the usual tight cityscape we most often play in.

So, was the UCM able to take out the Scourge Overseer? Read on!

Here’s the battlefield. Pretty long sight lines. In that regard it favors the UCM, but, the UCM has to attack and close the distance in this mission and the Scourge has to defend, so perhaps both sides’ favored roles are switched up? Definitely a challenge for us both. The idea was the UCM was attacking the local Scourge command base, which was established in an old air/spaceport (you can see the runway there). The walled off area was the command center, and there are two bunkers. A string of fighting positions lined the edge of the airfield. Off in the rough, there are a couple of wooded hills, some abandoned huts and a few fading craters leftover from the Scourge invasion centuries ago.

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In the Decapitation scenario, the Defender sets up inside a fortified area. The Scourge used the old human terminal as their base. Each wall section and turret is Hardened with 10DP. Steve had a bit of trouble figuring out his list and didn’t have enough AA initially (extremely important in this scenario since keeping his Command unit alive was the key to victory), but we re-jiggered his list a bit and got it straightened out. Here, his Reapers form up around the Overseer (UCM codename: Broken Tower) with a squad of Hunters ready to burst out of the gate. Warriors line the parapets.

Taking out Broken Tower was my objective. Steve’s objective was avoid losing his Commander, or at least make any UCM victory as costly as possible. This position seems a tough nut to crack – indeed although I had 2 squads of 2 Archangels each, going into that AA bubble was a frightening prospect!photo 4

A bit hard to see here but there are 5 Possible Objective markers. These represented possible hidden locations of my Praetorian Sniper squad. Until the actual squad was revealed, these markers all had the Scout ability, representing remote sensing equipment and digital ghillies set up by the Snipers who had infiltrated the are before the battle. If fired at, they could only be hit on a natural 6 but if the snipers were actually there, they would take damage, otherwise the marker would be removed. If a Scourge unit moved into base contact, they would also be instantly removed and the snipers revealed if they were there. I borrowed on the Infiltration rule from 40K, allowing me to place a marker in cover as close as 12″ from an enemy, and no closer than 24″ if out in the open.photo 5

At the end of T1, the UCM forces are surging on to the battlefield. I have a big tank blob of 6 Sabers and 3 Rapiers in the Albatross. You can see my Longbows down and deployed near the huts. The Ferrum has launched its flight of drones and the Legionnaires and Heavy Ordnance battle groups are going in. My command Kodiak is out of the frame at the bottom left. Steve has raced forward with a squad of Hunters, driving them into one of the fighting positions with the use of a Command Card (Overdrive??) I lucked out and got one squad of Archangels out of Reserve on T1, but they failed to arrive for an attack run. No biggie.photo 6 photo 7

Warriors deploy into the bunker on the right.photo 8 photo 9

Turn 2 action: Scourge Corsairs sweep in on an attack run against the fully loaded Albatross, the big fat transport making a terrific target! I committed both my FM squads to intercept. The flight leader went in screaming “EARF!” at the top of his lungs but in his excitement he and his wingman both missed! The second squad zoomed in from the opposite vector and managed to splash one Corsair, but only one! The survivor opened up on the Albatross but missed, his aim disturbed, no doubt, by his over-enthusiastic enemies! After this, the Albatross pilot moved forward as close as he dared and dropped the tanks into the fray!photo 10

 

Turn 3 and the game develops! The Armor battle group rolls forward, hammering shots into the base fortifications. If I could take down a wall, I could possibly start picking off Reapers and clear the way for some Archangel runs on the Desolater. But I couldn’t bring the wall down. Steve began to threaten my Kodiak with his Prowlers and Reavers so I loosed off a hail of fire with my Rapiers, downing a fully loaded Invader and a Reaver. The Prowlers survived the crash, and with a mass of tanks nearby, turned their attention to a more inviting target. They couldn’t attack this turn, but if Steve won the next Initiative roll, my tanks were in trouble!photo 11 photo 12 photo 13

My Archangels squads had until now been busy elsewhere on the battlefield. This turn it was up to my drones to try and crack the AA bubble and get some fire on the Desolater. The drones swarmed in and the Reapers began reaction firing. The dice did not go the Scourge’s way – even with the Reaction Fire penalty, he should have been hitting half the time. Even the Warriors on the walls blasted away to no effect. In the end, I lost only 2 drones out of 8. They lined up on the Desolator and did 4 points of damage! With the Scourge AA Reaction Fire exhausted, the Archangel squads rolled in on the Desolator and blew it out of the sky! Mission accomplished?photo 14

I revealed the Snipers’ position. The Scourge Warriors in that bunker downrange were definitely scoring hits! An earlier volley of AA fire from the troops on the walls had destroyed an inbound Condor and a mounted squad of Legionnaires. The Praetorians synched their cybernetic ballistic targeting computers together and ranged in on the Warriors in the bunker. Their combined fire sounded like one single shot…photo 15

Seven points of damage on the Warriors! The Snipers managed one more shot later in the game, resulting in a total wipe-out of the Warriors!

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The Scourge have lost their Overseer, and now enraged, seek to do as much damage to the humans as they can before they escape. As the UCM frantically tries to withdraw from the fight, the Prowlers leap onto the Sabers and Rapiers for a hot plasma injection!photo 17 photo 18

Not much left of my armor! The tanks slam into reverse and pull back, shaking off a few Prowlers. Hoping to both pick up its tanks and kill their tormentors, the Albatross swings around bringing all its guns to bear! The tanks also unleash heavy machine gun fire at the walkers, while also taking down the fortress wall with a few shots from their railguns.photo 19

The fight on the runway has been close and deadly, leaving the field covered in burning wrecks! photo 21

With an untouched Scourge battle group now entering the fight, the UCM forces mount up and firewall their throttles to escape!

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Final positions at the end of Turn 6. Most of my units have exited the board. Steve made a desperate push to catch up and was closing in on the Ferrum. The Legionnaire-carrying Condor was shot down, but the Bear and the troops inside survived the crash, but were still on the board. The Praetorian Snipers, their mission complete, activated their therm-optic camouflage and crept carefully away from their hide-site. They knew they would be walking home…photo 24

In the end, a Strategic Victory for the UCM. In our next game and for the rest of the campaign, the Scourge cannot have a Commander higher than an Overlord (Lvl5) since Broken Tower was killed. We took a look at UCM losses to see at what cost victory was won for the UCM – I lost my entire armor battle group except the Albatross, plus a few other units, but it all came out to about 25% of my force. Acceptable losses.

It was a great game. Had Steve’s dice been better when he was rolling for Reaction Fire against the drones it could have been a much different game – I would have had to risk the Reaper AA bubble with the Archangels.

So now we’re talking about where our campaign goes next. In Phase 1, the UCM recovered vital info on the Scourge, allowing them to progress to Phase 2, which was a strike against the Scourge command. With success for the UCM so far, we think General Magaday is going to commit his forces to an operation to establish a secure beachhead, so we’re looking at a straight-up clash of forces, probably with the Bridgehead scenario. Focal point missions are always a scrum!

Thanks to Steve for a great game!

Feeling Productive

Posted in 40K, Blather, Games, WIP with tags , , , , , , , on August 9, 2014 by stingersix

Somehow, I have three projects going on at the moment – All Quiet on the Martian Front, some 40K and something for Chain of Command. Working on multiple projects at the same time is not too unusual for me, though I had sort of thought when I finished my Daemons I’d throttle back some. Obviously not!

First up, a Warlord Games M8 Greyhound armored car, which I am painting for use in Chain of Command. Chain of Command is a very good game and one that delivers a very satisfying experience. If 40K is the blunt baseball bat of rules systems, Chain of Command is like a rapier, capable of reproducing real-world battlefield tactics on the tabletop. I don’t have the time to play all that often, but when I do, I hope to get this M8 in the game. It’s a decent model with a resin body and metal parts. Not much cleanup but the smaller fittings are fiddly and a bit difficult to attach, but I got them on. The kit has no instructions, but it’s not too hard to figure out. The only trouble I had was how to place the ring on top of the turret. But google image search turned up several good shots of this part of the vehicle, so I got it on there right.

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Next, Heavy Machine-gun teams for All Quiet. These need a bit of flock and some grass on the base but they are done.

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Finally, this is the first squad of what will become my Tallarn Imperial Guard army for 40K. I don’t have a lot to say just yet. After I get this squad done and see how the colors shake out I will comment more. This is basically my big 40K army project for the next year or so. I’m trying to make a fast recon force, with lots of Sentinels and Rough Riders!

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Trenches

Posted in Games with tags , on August 3, 2014 by stingersix

Just some quick pics of a quick job. The square bunker and trench line are from Alien Dungeon for All Quiet on the Martian Front. The round one and the shellholes I dunno where they came from. Spray primer, wash, drybrush, boom, done!image image image

Chain of Command

Posted in Games, Historical, Uncategorized with tags , , , on July 28, 2014 by stingersix

Played my first game of Chain of Command today. Finally got to use those G.I.s I painted a few months ago. Bit of a learning curve but a fun and interesting game. My Yanks vs. Chris’ Krauts. The pre-game positioning and movement to contact is very unique and cool. I like the way this game does deployment.

Started off with a couple squads in the woods there. Another squad is in the back out of the frame. This was a basic patrol clash. I had three rifle squads and a 60mm mortar. Chris had the same plus a halftrack.

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These Germans here shot the hell out of me the first few phases, but  I gradually wore them down with mortar and rifle fire til they broke at the end of the game.

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A lot of the game was a medium range shootout between these squads here in the woods and the Germans. The Jerries and their MG42s put out ungodly amounts of fire. This was really hammering my squads here until my Lieutenant showed up to bolster their morale and keep them shooting. Think of the scene in Band of Brothers where Winters and his men are at Carentan and have to hold off the German assault, and Winters was yelling at his men to keep firing. Like that.

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This halftrack rolled up and started spraying my G.I.s with bullets.

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My mortar team is in the ruins back there. It did good work, and I kept it focused on the central German squad. The rifle squad there made it into that house, exhorted on by Sgt. Savales.image

The filthy Nazi commander shows up with his briefcase full of god knows what and keeps his men fighting. The mortars managed to knock him down wounded for a few phases.image

 

I eventually got these guys into a full firing line and began trading shots with the Krauts in the roadhouse.

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The halftrack passes the roadhouse. The other German MG squad I was tradinf fire with the whole game is in that building.

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The guy in the knit cap there with the grease gun is Sgt. Telly Savales. He had to boot these grunts in the ass to get them going, and they got going!image

Cinematic moment here. The bazooka team took three shots at the advancing halftrack, narrowly escaped a bunch of fire thrown at them, and then had to rummage around looking for more bazooka rounds. Finally knocked out the halftrack on their fourth shot!

 

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The Jerries that were here finally had enough and bugged out!image

It was good to finally get a game in of this. The historicals crew has been playing for a while and their games always look pretty good. It was the first WW2 minis game I’ve played at 28mm scale and I did enjoy it.

 

 

When Mars attacks!

Posted in Games, WIP with tags , , on July 13, 2014 by stingersix

Lately, I have become enamored of this game, All Quiet on the Martian Front. I’ve actually gone quite mad for the minis, although I haven’t played the game yet. I do have the hardcover rulebook and it really does look fun. It’s designed by Rick Priestly and Allessio Cavatore, contracted to Alien Dungeon, so it does have a solid design pedigree. The idea is that 10 years after the Martians from H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds destroyed London, they have returned in force for a full-scale invasion of Earth.

Set in the period from 1906 – 1914, the creators have expanded greatly on the idea, positing that this time, the Martians landed in the remote areas of the world, built up their armies, and then attacked. They’ve conquered most of the planet, and humanity is now just holding on. In the U.S. the Martians have advanced to the Mississippi River, where the U.S. Army finally managed to hold them. Undergoing a massive emergency mobilization, the U.S. is devoting every resource to fighting the invasion. Tanks, infantry and artillery are the primary weapons used. Because of the great urgency of this desperate situation, tanks are powered by steam engines, a proven technology that is easy to implement and mass produce quickly. Internal combustion engines exist in this period, but are not yet advanced enough to drive these big tanks (and they are BIG), and are mostly used in trucks and lighter vehicles.

The British have dispatched the BEF to the U.S. to help, and due to their being the first nation to fight the Martians, they have reverse-engineered some of the Martian tech and put it into use. Thus, the British equipment is more advanced than everyone else.

Bwah! This game has got me fired up! I love the idea, and the aesthetic. There are a lot of cool things going on in the background of the setting – President Teddy Roosevelt leads the nation in its darkest hour, Major George Patton is a hero character you can use, Nikolai Tesla and Thomas Edison are building mobile lightning cannons, all kinds of stuff.

Where did this game come from? It was a Kickstarter that funded last year and has finally made it into distribution this year. I usually don’t bother with Kickstarters but this is one that I wish I had! There are so many cool things coming for this, particularly the huge Land Ironclads! They’re also apparently working on other human armies, including the French, German and Japanese (I can’t wait to see those!) and some more alien armies, including the Venusians (!), Selenites (Moon Men) and the Underdwellers (the Morlocks, of course!). I really dig this blend of alternate history and science fiction (by H.G. Wells no less)!

So, I got myself the starter set and I’m working on the models now. The kits are easy to assemble and they have a lot of character. I don’t know what it is about them that has me so involved. A friend suggested they have a sort of whimsical Hayao Miyazaki feel to them and maybe that’s it. I’ve assembled them all and got a basecoat down on the tanks. It won’t be long before I have this game on the table! I can’t wait!

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This is the MkII Steamer Tank. The mainstay fighting vehicle of the U.S. Army.

 

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And the next step up, the MkIII tank.

 

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Doughboy infantry. The motorcyclists are called Rough Riders. They use tow cables to entangle the legs of the Martian tripods to bring them down! Awesome!

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There are also heavy machinegun teams. These are the human forces you get in the starter set.

 

 

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These are the Martian Assault Tripods in the starter set. Armed with the deadly Heat Ray, they are nearly unstoppable!

 

 

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The kits come with some weapon variants for the Tripods. In the middle is the Green Gas Grenades and on the right is the Black Dust Launcher.

Ah, sooo cool!