Wednesday, November 15, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 3

 In part 2 of this series, I discussed how I hosted a game at my house.

Unfortunately we had run out of time, and Stew and P had to depart.  The kid was convinced that we ought to keep playing, so rather than wrap things up where they were, we played on!  (and on and on).

This is how I felt after the game...
Since we only completed the shooting phase of the turn, the kid decided to take over the FWL invaders, and I took over command of both lances of Capellans. Finishing out the turn, the Highlander swatted the Wasp out from behind it, causing it to crash to the ground, and the FWl Crusader overheated, failed a shutdown check [rolled a 3 on 2d6!], and fell to the ground. 

The next turn the Highlander unloaded into the Crusader, the now fleeing Quickdraw, and then stomped the Wasp to death.  In the middle of the board the Battlemaster tried to evade the AC20 of the Huncback, and on the right side the various lights maneuvered around.  The Hermes II destroyed another Wasp.
Four Wasps enter, and three are burning wreckage

On the left the Highlander and the quickdraw-crusader duo fight it out rather inconclusively, as with a mighty +4 to the target number to hit the Highlander was missing nearly all its shots.  Near the middle everything seems to be trying to batter down the Battlemaster while the other FWL 'mechs tried to prevent that.  That pretty much defines the rest of the game. 

More of the same, although now the Crusader is fleeing from the Highlander which is following very very slowly at one or two hexes a turn.  Maneuvering for a shot at the Battlemaster, the Phoenix Hawk is unceremoniously shoved off a cliff, but manages to land on its feet.  Then it overheats.  I realized here that the Highlander had the range to the Battlemaster with its LRM20, and that the Stinger could spot for it... indirect fire followed. 

Different lighting suggests that this game is going on for a long time, and that is so!  The Quickdraw decides to jump over to the action in the center, hoping to get a shot at the rear of the Capellan Crusader.  The Locust gives up on trying to kick things and charges the Gladiator, but misses. (good thing too, as it ran something like 8 hexes for the charge)  The last of the Wasps is killed. 

Final action: 
The Battlemaster rather belatedly flees the action, but is shot to death, losing 3 of four limbs.  The Quickdraw, which had been leaping about with a damaged leg for most of the game finally goes down.

Closeup of the demise of the Battlemaster
The Battlemaster finally goes down! 

In the end, with only one 'mech remaining relatively unharmed, the FWL surrendered and negotiated to get their surviving pilots back.  The Capellans gained quite a lot of salvage... unfortunately most of it pretty wrecked! 

Lessons learned from all of this:

  • Battletech is fun!
  • Battletech is slow!
  • Hosting games is fun! 
  • Hosting games is also a lot of work!

Stay tuned for part 4, where I discuss some of the rules issues we had, and a few other general thoughts about the game.

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 2

 As mentioned in part 1, I actually hosted a Battletech game at my house last month.

On a Saturday morning, I was joined by Stew and P, and my kid joined as well to give a total of four players. I had set the terrain (Grasslands 2 and 3 with printed hills, some buildings, and unfortunately no 3D trees), and P brought along a couple of pre-painted buildings from Gale Force 9.  Both Stew and P had played Battletech before, but in colleges, which is a fair ways behind us now!  The kid and I had played a few practice games, but nothing nearly as large and complicated as this, so there was a lot of looking up rule interactions. 

Here is the initial set up, with three lances prepared for each side. 

Record sheets take up a lot of room

We looked over the figures, and decide to take a light and heavy lance per side, rather than mix them up.   In retrospect we should have taken the mediums instead for a faster game. 

The Capellan Confederation ended up taking a light lance made up of two Wasps (WSP-1A and 1L) a Phoenix Hawk, and a Stinger, and a heavy lance made up of a Hunchback, Gladiator (3R), Crusader (CRD-3L), and a Highlander.  The Free Worlds League had a light lance of two Wasp 1As, a Locust, and a Hermes II, and a heavy lance of a Crusader, Battlemaster, Quickdraw, and and Orion.  Battle Value wise, the Capellans had 7520 and the FWL had 7441.  I took the Capellan heavies, and the kid took the lights, while across the table Stew took the heavies and P the lights. 

Turn 1

(Worth clicking to make the picture larger)
Turn one we maneuvered our units onto the board.  There was a pretty heavy concentration of units on the right side of the map, with 6 Capellans and 5 FWL 'mechs on that side.  However, the Highlander is perfectly able to hold onto the left side map by itself...

Turn 2 the kid declared a DFA attack on with a Wasp on a Locust, so I spent some time looking up the rules for that.  The Wasp missed, and then I had I look up fall damage for the poor Wasp.  I was too distracted to take a shot of that turn, but here is the Capellan light lance trying to box in the speedy Locust.  The kid also learned that the Phoenix hawk can effectively move OR shoot... 10 heat sinks on the standard model is just not enough! 

 Turn 3
In this turn the Highlander starts to take (and handout) a beating of the left side, while the Hunchback emerges from the city to shoot the Battlemaster in the chest.  AC20 is delightful. Well, to shoot it is delightful, not so much to be hit with.  The Gladiator punches the FWL Wasp in the face, and puts it out of the game, killing the pilot.  The FWL Crusader learns than dipping in level -1 water when you have no leg heat sinks and leg mounted SRM6 is just not a great idea. 

Hold still so I can punch you with 90 tons of mass

Turn 4

The Hunchback ran around to shoot the Battlemaster in the back, while the Crusader on the hill retreats after missing most of its alpha strike. (and got very very hot).  On the left the Highlander mauls the Quickdraw, and takes about half the missiles from the FWL Crusader.  The FWL Wasp does what Wasps do and runs around behind the Highlander and shoots.  And hits.  And hits it in the head.  And scores two critical hits destroying both sets of sensors so that all future shooting from the Highlander will be at a +4, but at least it did not kill the pilot!  

As you might expect with two new players, and two who had not played in 15-20 years, the game did not play to conclusion!  Stew and P had to leave to spend part of their Saturday with their actual families, so stay tuned for part 3 and the conclusion where the kid took over the FWL and we continued on. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2023

Jump off to Joppa part 1

Two households, both alike in dignity, in fair Joppa, where we lay our scene, from ancient grudge break to new mutiny, where civil blood makes civil hands unclean. 

A couple of  weekends I hosted my first ever game. 

I have been very busy in the last month, with the printer running pretty much non-stop generating terrain, markers, needed figures, and everything else in-between.

Additionally, I have managed to successfully use an airbrush, painted two company sized units of 'Mechs for Battletech, and read through the introductory, and Total Warfare rulebooks, as well as a whole host of online material, and I had open basically all day.  I have a bunch of posts stacked up regarding all this, as well as other more general hobby catch up posts. 

Lots more to come! 

Monday, October 23, 2023

Battletech: Gift completed

 A while back, I mentioned that I had descended into madness with regards to Battletech, and had bought a game set for my friend and his son, and then printed off some 3d terrain to give to them.

Well, my kid pointed out that the trees I had painted were insufficient for the basic maps, and so I needed to print more... and paint them.  I threw in a few more buildings and a power generator as an objective. 

Then, I thought, well, who wants to play with carboard standees (as nice as they are) when you can have mechs instead?  So I printed and primed enough mechs to have a both sides equal sort of battle  (which with basic rules would play out pretty strangely).  So, I added two locusts, a griffon and a wolverine to go with the ones in the boxed set, and two thunderbolts which took a ton of time, being larger and more complicated figures.  I also converted a Phoenix hawk from a misprinted Wasp and painted it up in classic Skull Squadron colors from Robotech (painting the tiny skull and crossbones was a challenge for sure!  However my buddy is a Robotech fan so it had to be done (here is a previously published crap picture).

Now, any sensible person would have stopped here, and not you know, printed a ton more stuff for a game they have not really played, and have no regular opponent for.  As you know by now, I am not sensible, and mistakes were made... lots of them.  More to come. 

Friday, October 20, 2023

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Starmada - back in action

This past weekend, Stew, of the excellent blog A Terrible Loss of Lead and Wealth, again invited a couple of fellows and myself over for a large game of Starmada- TNG style.  As with the last game, Stew provided the space to play in, a lovely star mat, ship stats. a QRF, lunch, and drinks.  And of course two extremely well painted fleets (seriously, look at those ships!). 

This time we got to pick our fleets by victory points, and I decided to bring out the big guns and selected the Sovereign class Atlantic, backed up with three comparatively obsolete Excelsior class ships.  Stew selected the Galaxy class Freitag (which was portrayed by the Galaxy class Endeavor half way through the game after a magnet failure), as well as a Defiant class, an Akira class, and another Excelsior.  The dastardly Klingons went with a fleet that utilized all the available Vor'Cha models.  In game terms, this meant that the Federation had two big battlewagons, a cruiser,  and what amounted to heavy destroyers, which the Klingons had all cruisers (and a couple of warbirds that barely figured in the game). 

As is typical, I did not take as many pictures as I could have, but here are a few. 

Federation fleet selection

First turn, as the fleets are probing for advantage

The big ships make their appearance

Excelsior classes take a pounding  The flat hex is a cloaked ship

Battlewagons eliminate everything between then (two Klingons cloaked to retreat, er tactically redeploy)

Federation victory, and another great game!

Since Stew indicated that he was running out of ships to paint, and needed another very large project, I printed something to bring along for him...

(In the event that you are not a Trek fan, that is a 1/7000 scale model of DS9 printed in two halves, which I primed before I brought it over.  A bit over 200mm wide)

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Marching forward

I have been quite busy lately with dealing with my uncle's estate issues, so I have had little time for painting and other hobby activities.

I did recently receive a very generous gift from Dai, a whole British platoon for Chain of Command, painted and with extras. (such as the MMG teams in the bag on the right).  With just a bit of work on the bases they will match up with my Americans and Germans very nicely, and since I have a pack of Motorized British somewhere, I can add a few more extra items.

So you would think that painting more figures for Chain of Command and its related terrain would be in the forefront of my mind, and indeed it has been largely so.

However, I also recently got this for a hefty discount...

Yet more Eldar (and chaos bound for Ebay)

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Starmada - The Next Generation

This past weekend Stew of the excellent blog A Terrible loss of Lead and Wealth, invited a few other fellows and myself over to his place to playtest his modifications of Starmada for Star Trek the Next Generation era play.  I believe that he intends to run the game at a convention, and he selected a few "experts" to try it out.  In addition to some rule modifications, Stew also generated the ship stats, made QRFs, and selected the scenario, on top of painting two top notch fleets, hosting, and supplying lunch! 

After some introductory milling about, I was assigned one of the two Klingon fleets and battle commenced! 

The game was pretty exciting and I had to pay attention to what was going on and the ship stats, but I did manage a few pictures. 

Photo one:
Initial fleet placement for the good guys, and the various gaming ephemera we were issued.

Photo Two:
I think this is two turns in.  I cloaked all my little ships and they were working their way up the side undetected.

Photo Three:
The flagship mixes it up with an Excelsior class, while the Galaxy class drives by.  (following this round, the Excelsior class was crippled, and drifted off the playing area)
Photo Four:
Little ships uncloak and help to delete the Excelsior class directly in front of them.

The important part here is that the true warriors won, and pushed those milk toast Federation scientists back to their star base with their tails between their legs. 

Now Stew may claim that he is just a "table top quality" painter, or some such, but look at this Galaxy Class starship and you will see otherwise. 

So no surprise, Starmada is fun, playing games is fun, and I even had a bit of a thought about making my own 1/7000 TNG era fleets.

Pardon the messy, desk, but that is three Galors and a Excelsior class on the slipways

Well, maybe more than a bit of a thought. 

Thursday, January 5, 2023

Holidaze 2022

 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you dear reader(s).  I hope that you had a lovely festive season.

Santa (or my family) was very kind to me this year with a nice stack of gaming related items.  Most surprising was that my sister ordered Chain of Command direct from Too Fat Lardies. which coincides nicely with my desire to work on 15mm WWII again this year. 

9th Edition Eldar Codex, Chain of Command, Random Encounters, Agon, and Banshees.

This year, like last, I managed to get away from work for a whole week. Little was accomplished, but I did mange to prepare and prime a few more Battletech figures on one of our few dry days.

Wintertime expedient of a portable heater
Most of these are intended to go with the gift set I started preparing back in the fall, including this Phoenix Hawk painted for my buddy who is a major Robotech fan:

This is a poor picture that somehow enhances all of the flaws of the figure, but hey, Jolly Roger on a PHX-1

We did get away to the mountains with cousins again, and we played a few more sessions of the very long running D&D game.  This time there were at least a few calls of "we should finish the main quest before doing these other things!"  They then promptly went on a new side quest, after ordering equipment for another one. 

The kid managed to get enough new space marines to basically double his current level of space marines, which would worry me more if he managed to also paint them... he did already build them all though, which was shocking, so we could see some progress on that front.

Hopefully 2023 treats everyone well.