Monday, 31 July 2017

In Space, No One Can Hear The Dice Clatter

I played my second game of Dropfleet Commander on the weekend. I don't think I posted anything about my first game - I won that one (somehow). My second try was not quite as successful but there was plenty of orbital destruction as spacecraft, large and small, exploded, burned, and fell out of the sky.

I played with Peter from NWA and we played the starter game from the starter box set. We also played this scenario last time but because we're starting out we haven't become too familiar with it yet.

We played the same teams. Peter: UHR and Me: the Scourge. Last time I rushed in and just tried to kill stuff whilst landing troops. In retrospect, that seems like the best way to play Scourge. In this weeks game I decided to try and be a bit more subtle and I suffered for it.

I had the opening move and decided to rush in using a Max Thrust order. This added a minor spike to my Gargoyle strike carriers which proved t be a mistake because it increased their signature which, in turn, made them a bigger target. The result of that being that the central carrier was blasted into scrap on the first turn.

By turns end we had everything on the table with my Scourge dominating the western side and the UHR the East. I managed to land some troops onto one cluster which was good but the loss of my other carrier was noticeable.

Turn two was bad for the Scourge. the UHR Seattle Class fleet carrier moved up in the cover of a debris field, declared: Weapons Free and went to work on my two Harpy Frigates that were leading the assult...

Nuff Said!

The battle wasn't all one sided though. In the Center the Scourge Shenlong heavy cruiser put some serious hurt on the UHR Berlin class cruiser in the center and also took out a Toulon frigate.

Meanwhile the UHR strike carriers had reached the eastern cluster and dropped two lots of troops and securing two sectors.

The UHR released some assets and did minor damage to the Scourge Ifrit cruiser and the Berlin moved up & gave it a blast. But it was the Seattle once again, after braving the debris field (taking minor damage), that came out and blasted the Ifrit into fiery pieces.

Things moved and more happened... The Seattle tried to take out my remaining Gargoyle as it moved into low orbit but it was unsuccessful and the gargoyle shot back causing minor damage. The Berlin and remaining Toulon frigate took on the Shenlong. The Scourge heavy cruiser declared Weapons Free and took out the Toulon and damaged the Berlin but it was itself destroyed in turn by the UHR Moscow heavy cruiser.

So, things were looking grim for the Scourge and I was going to admit defeat but I still had a trick up my sleeve. My Wyvern cruiser had been pottering along on Silent Running orders and now took a left turn bringing into range of both the Seattle and Berlin. Once again declaring Weapons Free the Wyvern took on both of the damaged UHR ships and destroyed the pair in a devastating display of firepower.

That made things look a whole lot better but there was the little problem of the Moscow which was also undamaged and was coming up on the flank of the Wyven.

At this stage we called the game (end of Turn 4). I couldn't win even though I did manage to get troops into the central cluster. But the UHR had two New Orleans strike carriers just outside the cluster capable of landing multiple troops.

All in all it was a great game and I look forward to playing more games. I'm currently busy building the starter sets of the other two factions. Here are the first few ship of my Shaltari fleet. These are a real challenge to paint.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

African Bush Wars

Some guys at my club (NWA) decided earlier in the year to start doing a low-spend, budget type of wargaming. The idea was to each create an imagi-nations type African country and make a 20mm / 1:72 scale army using polyurethane plastic figures and various vehicles. There was no rules system to start with, just a build up of forces.

As a result various countries were invented and, as more people joined in, the idea grew. Countries ranged from tin-pot dictatorships to Soviet backed insurgent forces and established post colonial nations. All set to a mid 70's to early 80's background.

Expanding on my other Imagi-Nation: The Hemmingsaetic League, I decided that the League expanded into Africa sometime in the mid 19th Century prior to German unification. I had a box of British Parra's (Revell/Matchbox) figures so I decided that the colony became a British protectorate following WWI so that I could use these obvious later day British troops.

So was born the Democratic Republic of Hembabwe, following a civil war for independence in the 1950's - 60's. It's a very conservative, right wing place with many blonde haired, blue eyed folk of Germanic origin. Think: German Rhodesia. They use NATO equipment mostly of British and U.S. origin.

Anyway a couple of guys decided to use Force on Force as a set of rules and played a few games. And today, I taken through my first game by my friend Mike - totally, 100% ignorant of the rules. At first I was less than impressed with the rules as they seemed a bit 40k-ish with the IGO-UGO thing. But as things were shaken out and the "Reaction" system was worked out, I started to enjoy them and I think they'll work well.

My troops are the Special Hembabwean Independent Territorial Emergency Force (SHITE FORCE). Small mobile units designed for quick deployment and tasked with defending the countries' borders.

So, here are a few photo's of today's game by me and a whole bunch by other NWA members. I look forward to more games and escalating to vehicles and air support.

You'll note that the figures are painted in a very basic style. This is intentional in order to represent the cheap & easy, early wargaming flavour. Even mold lines have not really been totally expunged and stand proud in all their polyurethanic glory!

Note the compulsory 1970's moustache on the officer.

The enemy. Mike's troops from neighboring Umgawaland.
Made from ye olde Airfix British Paratroops.

SHITE FORCE - How they appear in 2017

And how they would have appeared in a 1970's wargaming magazine.

Unexpected observers arrived... Unexpectedly.

The figure laying down in the top left was the first ever Hembabwean casualty.

More of those pesky Umgawalandian's.

The only good Umgawalandian is a dead one!

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Super Shenanigans - Super System 4

 We had our first game of this months super hero mini-campaign.

Four super teams were transported by a powerful entity to a strange arena where they were forced to battle it out in two one on one encounters.

James set up his super hero table (conveniently bisected but a monorail system) and the teams lined up to do their best. On one end Jame's team - The Equalisers, took on Neil's Team Quasar whilst my European Union took on the group of mysterious black figures that seemed not to have properly materialized into this strange world at this point in time.

My opponent, Piotr's team don't have a name as yet (at least, I don't know it) so they really are Mysterious Black Beings.

Photos by me and some I stole from Neil (because his are better than mine).

Opening Moves:

The Batmobile is a "prop" that sits outside the very detailed comic
book store terrain piece in the bottom right of the pic.

The European Union get ready.

The mysterious Black Beings.

The fight began on the far side of the arena but on my side the European Union had the initiative with the frightening Bog Dweller leaping from building to building looking for an advantage. The first of the Black Beings moved forward so Euro-Vision, hovering above the melee, used her significant mental powers to hurl a motor car at the shadowy creature. Unexpectedly, the car went straight through the creature who seemed to be insubstantial (Density Decrease power).

Both teams advanced toward each other when Red Rocket fired up his jet pack and took to the air, aimed his wrist-mounted rocket launchers at a shadowy figure and fired a fusillade of micro-missiles at it causing some damage. However, the foul creature's strange metabolism seemed to heal itself and it moved forward seemingly, unworried.

As the teams continued to get to grips with each other the frost giant ICEBERG, picked up and hurled a second vehicle at one of the, more substantial shadowy figures. This time the creature was hit by the four wheeled missile, but a mysterious energy field deflected any damage (Cloak power).

These enemies were full of tricks!

Both parties continued to move forward looking for advantage. Euro-Vision, Hoplon and ICEBERG held the center. Red Rocket remained aloft looking for targets whilst the Bog Dweller took a quick ride on the mono-rail.

Battle is joined:

Finally the teams came into combat range. ICEBERG ripped up a lamp post and started swinging. The Black Being's had materialize in order to fight and in this they proved their vulnerability. Fists and lamp posts started swinging.

Euro-Vision attempted a Sonic Euro-Wail (Mind Attack) to minor effect but her target used an Entangle power which to took hold and dragged her to earth. The creature then moved in for the kill...

The leader of the Black Beings, a female of their kind, used some kind of arcane force to imitate the strength of the might ICEBERG. What was this? It struck the glacial giant and inflicted very minor damage. The ice man-mountain, in turn, pounded away but the creature was tough as nails and refused to go down willingly.

Euro-Vision is in serious danger from an attack 
by one of the Black Beings.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the arena, sounds and flashes of a raging battle could be heard.

Euro Power...

It was imperative that the EU get the initiative this turn and Euro-Vision's Super Mind powers ensured this happened. In a stunning display of her mental faculties she used her telekinetic powers to grab her assailant and send it flying though the air to land with a bone crunching impact. But it wasn't enough to stop the creature, which healed itself and stood again. Hurt, but not out of the fight. (I rolled really crappy dice - Only 7 out of 22 possible damage points).

The maneuver of the game, some said...

The fight continued, As the Black Beings began to materialize and attack they also became vulnerable. Holpon and ICEBERG took on the brunt of the combat and stood up to it with a combination of strength and toughness. The Bog Dweller finally go into the thick of it and managed to rend one of the foes and give Hoplon a chance to do his thing.

Extricating himself from combat with one of the lesser beings, he aimed a precision blow at the Black Leader and, using the power of the Plutonic Spear, drained part of her toughness and strength.
This opened the way for ICEBERG to wind up a big hay-maker, which connected with all of his substantial power.

Continuing the assault on the Black QueenEuro-Vision did her telekinetic trick again and slammed the creature into the road with enough force to crack the surrounding buildings. (I rolled 22 damage points this time and all 16 dice scored damage with lots of 6's and 5's).

The creature wasn't dead however and two of its minions managed to break way and heal it. Red Rocket took a shot at but couldn't damage her but the Bog Dweller did inflict more minor damage. But, when all is said and done, the creature never managed to stand up again. For now...

Thus ended a fun game. Blows were thrown, powers were surging, things were smashed and vehicles went flying through the air.

I like how my team worked. I made them in such a way that they need to work in unison with no single character over powering the others. Of all of them Red Rocket is possibly the weakest but his job is to be a flying artillery battery and against a more traditional foe he would have been more effective. I'm quite happy that I managed to get the powers coordinated in the last couple of turns.

By the way, we didn't have any flying stands, so dice containers and coffee cups were the order of the day.

Some more of Neil's nice pics: