31 August 2013

Dystopian Wars - Saturday Smackdown!

Saturday afternoon, Junior and I pulled out our Dystopian Wars armies and had an enjoyable 800-point land battle. It's been some time since we mixed it up like this and I usually come out on the short end of the stick against his Prussian Army so I was keen to give his guys a good thumping.

I took:
1 Taka-Ashi large walker
6 Ke-Ho small tanks (4 + 2)
4 Chi-Ri medium tanks
3 Ho-I bombards
2 Myobu light gyro tanks
2 DFA-170 bombers
tiny dive bombers and fighters

Christian 2 took:
1 A9-V
4 A6-V
1 Imperium flying carrier
2 Walze small tanks
3 B3-S bombards
2 Schildtrager robots

2 @ tiny fighters 1 tiny dive bombers, 1 recon plane

The table after deployment

We ruled that any unit could go through the water at half speed. The fording points were as good as open ground.

The Prussian airship gets lines up a shot with its bugzapper. The Bombards got an early hit on my medium tanks.

My golden spider of DOOM looses a mighty barrage of rockets at a distant Prussian robot.

And gets a great result! A crit plus automatic flames!

A bit later, my medium tanks have lost two of their number, other units have taken light damage.

By turn three, my dive bombers swoop in on the A9-V but come up empty.

But the Taka-Ashi hits it hard scoring another crit which causes the giant tank to teleport 8 inches back! Sadly, it is now at a much longer range for the smaller guns on the giant walker and escapes further punishment.

The airship slowly rotates towards my walker and looses a magnificent bolt of lightning at it causing further damage.

The Taka-Ashi is now in deep kimchi. A solid hit from the bombards kills loads of marines.

And presently, the remaining Schildtrager releases its boarding parties and captures my command vessel! Gah!

My only recourse is to re-board it with the marines from my medium tanks. They take it back from the Huns!

The victory is short-lived as the bombards fire another volley into the massive walker and finish it off.

The blasted airship killed one medium tank and captured another. My remaining bomber catches up with the A9-V and finishes it off with a bomb! Hooray! That's the first time I've managed to kill that godforsaken thing.

My little tanks had a great game, killing two Walze stands and the second Schildtrager - this is right before he fell.

But in the end, Junior scored 510 points to my 400. He gets the win, but not by much. It was a great game and I'm looking forwards to the next!

29 August 2013

Finished DW Units

Gentlemen! I give you Light Gyro Tanks!

I mounted them on thumbtacks so they'd really hover. I kept the red and white gyro-fan theme from my big fliers.

I also present some Bombard for Junior's Prussians.

Nothing fancy. I did the "zebra" striping on one battery at Jr's request. I like 'em. We're hoping to play a game Saturday so both of these new units should get some table time soon.

27 August 2013

Dystopian Wars Big Battle

Sunday afternoon, a group of local gamers met at Morningstar Games here in Savannah for an over-the-top combined forces game of DW. The scenario was the brain-child of Mike Baker. The forces were roughly 1200 points per side and featured a broad mix of nationalities.

The scenario was fairly straight-forward - the two Alliances were fighting over a group of islands. There were five objective markers on the islands, three on a large central island and one on each smaller island in the sides' deployment areas. There was also an Antarctican contingent in the mix as a neutral fleet with its own, secret, victory conditions.

You're wondering how the land units are supposed to travel between islands, right? Well each side was supplied with a large landing craft and the islands had portals on them allowing instant, if slightly unreliable, transportation between islands. Once a unit (full unit) had gone through a portal, subsequent units had to roll a die to see if the portal was still usable that turn. On a 1-3, the portal was temporarily down for the rest of the turn.

So, the "bad guys," consisted of me, David and Nathan using EOBS and Prussians. I brought land forces and ended up controlling both the Purssian and BS contingents. Dave had the BS Naval arm and Nathan had the Prussian Navy.

The "good guys" were Mike and his British land forces, Anson using KoB ships, Rich using FSA ships and flying robots and John pushing Italians.

Brian was our Antarctican representative and had a large force of the Snowmen of the South.

Being a big game, and give that DW is a rather slow game, we had semi-simultaneous activations. Its verbose to explain, but kept things moving at a reasonable pace at least until the shooting began in earnest. For what it's worth, this AAR is heavily biased towards MY activity. There was too much going on to keep track of every move.

A view of the 12 X 4 table from our end. Deployment zones were 36 inches deep, putting 6 feet of deep blue between opposing navies. The Antarticans were in-between along the near edge.

The Coalition land forces surround the portal at their island. The building with the blue button on it was an objective location. In hindsight, we should have sent the Prussian Airship through the breach first. It would have been absolutely unstoppable early on.

The central island and the Antartican forces. The three large buildings on the island were objective locations. We were a bit miffed that the Southerners were strongly arrayed towards us and not the other team.

The Alliance set up. The Italian Cruisers weren't yet deployed. The Alliance had a paucity of land forces.

The A6Vs were first through the breach, nabbing two objectives straight away and establishing a beachhead.

Two Mk. IIs arrived and shot up one of the Prussian tanks, but didn't destroy it.

The piece of junk portal shut down as I tried to move another unit through it. Fortunately, the Alliance portal jammed as well. The balance of the forces inched towards one another, but no other shots were fired.

Turn 2. The Panzers returned fire then three Chi-Ri tanks materialized from the portal, eliminating the British tanks. I had a solid lock on the central island now. I just needed my teammates to keep the Alliance vultures away from my prize!

The blasted portal shut down again. The Schildtragers wouldn't be going through to protect my tanks. There was a great deal more naval and aerial activity, but very little combat. I think two of Mike's bombards fired at and killed one of my Chi-Ris.

As the third turn opened, I happily marched the two Schildtragers through. Their Guardian generators covering all friendly units on the island. I was able to consolidate and take control of all three objectives in the center. The portal remained open and presently the Taka-Ashi emerged and immediately began firing its guns and rockets at British frigates and Italian cruisers. 

Moments later, in an act of great treachery and cowardice, two legions of British assault marines leapt from the decks of their troop transports to the Antactican Drone Carrier and captured it. A truly savage and unprovoked act that would be a turning point for sure. That was 20AP assaulting the carrier. Brian, the Ant player rolled terribly with defensive AA but still killed 10 boarders in the ensuing combat. Mike left one boarding party on the carrier and nine went back to one of the transports.

The Taka-Ashi's damage to the Alliance fleet: a dead frigate, a damaged frigate and a heavily damaged cruiser which lost all of its marines.

Moments later, two massive flying robots burst through one of the portals and head towards the Schildtragers. AA fire damages "Captain America" whilst the John Henrys' own shots cause the steering mechanisms to jam on one of the Prussian walkers. The flying robots engaged the other walker in close assault and left it derelict. Blazing Suns fighters would engage and heavily damage the blue robot shortly thereafter.

To avenge our Antarctican friends, I sent the two remaining Chi-Ris to the beach and liberated the carrier, leaving three advisers aboard to discourage further Alliance meddling.

Early during turn four, I sent two Panzers through the portal to the Alliance home island, securing a fifth objective. Truly a dagger to the heart! The third Panzer's steering was damaged and could not steer into the portal, but happily shot up the British bombard which had just come through the same portal.

The Alliance attempted a similar maneuver with their remaining flybot, but confusingly didn't try to contest the objective. It got a minor hit on the Metzger which was defending our home island and was damaged in return.

The game ended late into turn 4. It was after 7:00pm and the store was closing. Not only had the Coalition taken 4 of 5 objectives, but we'd captured numerous Alliance and Antactican ships and caused considerable damage. I'd suffered the most on our side, mainly because my units were exposed to most but my aggressive attacks on the central island kept the Alliance in panic mode from the outset. I'm not sure why the Alliance took so little in the way of land forces, but it worked out well for us. Poor Brian got abused severely from both sides. His capital ships got captured without firing a shot. He did some damage with his fliers and destroyers but really, his group was just easy meat for the rest of us. In the end, the Coalition won handily.

The gang after the game

22 August 2013

Mid-Week Update

Hi all. Not a ton to report on, except that I may have found a buyer for my DAK Germans that I used in the FoW tournament last weekend. I've done a bit of painting - the 6mm US infantry I ordered a couple weeks ago mainly. I've finished about 50 of them, plus a couple mortars and crews. I'm waiting for my CINC order since it has some infantry special weapons in with it before I base anything. I think I'll be able to do 2 battalions with what I've purchased. I'm toying with the idea of leaving space on the bases to magnetically attach LVT-7s. Apparently, they are about the same size as Leopard 1 tanks, so I can use a spare Leopard to gauge the required space. I haven't bought any Amtraks yet, but the magnet idea seems workable since I use steel bases. With removable vehicles the bases will be usable as mechanized or airborne infantry and will just be awesome.

Mike is organizing a multi-player Dystopian Wars game for this Sunday. He wants to do a combined-arms game with land and sea units. I'll be dragging my stuff down to Morningstar for a bit of punishment. I always dread multi-player "big games" because there is a lot of dead time involved. You've got one person moving and shooting while five other players are doing nothing. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I'll be sure to post an AAR.

18 August 2013

Flames of War (and I enjoyed it)

Saturday, Morningstar Games here in Savannah hosted a FoW Tournament. The tournament was Kursk-themed since that was 70 years ago and this was an anniversary bash. Having sold off my Soviets some time ago, I threw a few lists together and ended up using one that was simply "fun." I've made plain my general dislike of FoW and Battlefront Book Sales, Inc. but since the organizers are gaming buddies, I didn't mind terribly. My list:
1ic    Panzer 3N
2ic    Panzer 4f2
Platoon    4 Panzer 3 J(late)
Platoon    4 Panzer 4 F1
Platoon    Panzergrenadiers w/ Halftracks
Platoon    3 Luchs (recon)
Platoon    4 105mm artillery
Limited FW190 Air Support

1855 points

The scenarios were set up in a dawn-till-dusk format. First game would use the "Dawn" rules, second game was normal daylight, third game would use "Dusk" rules. Believe me, nightfall in that third game was a game-changer for lots of folks.

My first game was with a fellow who drove down from Augusta, GA named Kelly. He was using a Guards Strelkovy battalion with two large infantry blobs, 3 SU122s, 3 SU85s, 6 120mm mortars, 4 152mm howitzers, and maybe something else. The mission was "Dust Up," a 3rd edition newer mission which am notoriously bad at. I just never know what to do, so I just went super-aggressive which tends to be my fall-back mode when I don't know what to do in a game. I hate sitting back and waiting for something to happen.
Our deployments. I started with artillery, Panzer IVs and the Luchs on the table with Panzer IIIs, mechanized infantry and the Kampfgruppe of my 2IC and a Panzer IV in reserve. I had to take one of the grey objectives and Kelly was trying to capture a red-marked one.

After turn 4 I think. I've run off the SU-85s - a wreck is noted in red. One of my Panzer IVs got hulled out by one of the 85s before they went away. I also shot up his heavy mortars which was quite beneficial. My objective was wide open, now to go get it!

Kelly's reinforcements eventually turned up So had to start playing some defense. My halftracks appeared and double-timed it towards my rear-area. My Panzer IVs turned their attention to the SU-122s.

The Panzer IIIs, tired of the heavy mortars, assaulted them and ran them off. The shooting match with the SU-122s went well for me and my half-tracks made mincemeat of the Strelk horde on my right. My infantry was now contesting both objectives on my side of the board.

During turn 8, I finally caused enough casualties to the giant infantry blob on my left to run them off, sealing the victory for me as Kelly had nothing to contest the objective with.

Game 2
The next game was a "Fighting Withdrawal" against Jamey, one of our locals. He was also pushing a Strelk horde so I'd be the attacker. Jamey placed the one objective he couldn't remove far off to my right, so I piled everything I had strong on my right. In an FW mission, objectives placed by the attacker can be removed from the board later in the game. The one I'd concentrate on wasn't going to just vaporize.

 I wasn't kidding. My artillery was off to my left, but the killy stuff was lumped together. The ol' overwhelm a flank tactic is a favorite of mine.

Jamey had a shitload of 57mm and 45mm ATGs amongst his horde which dealt with my Panzer III platoon easily enough. The Panzer IVs did considerable damage to the smaller infantry company and when time cam for Jamey to withdraw a unit, he removed them before I had a chance to wipe them out.

For whatever reason I didn't take many pictures of this game. The scenario times out on turn 8. I did get troops to the objective but he had at least one stand close enough to contest, so it was a bad loss for me. I think I did rather well and Jamey went into momentary panic mode when he realized that objective couldn't be pulled off, but there were just too many stands. Since shooting casualties are selected by the player being shot at, he was just pulling bodies from the back while leaving stands close to the objective.

Game 3
The final game of the day was to be a "Breakthrough" game at dusk. I was playing against Keith, another of the crew who traveled down from Augusta. He was using the same Strelkovy list Kelly used earlier. The table we ended up on was brutal.
The "Dragon's Spine" bisected the table from corner to corner, with a small gap in the center. This ridge kept my troops safe as they traveled from my near-right to the far-left corner. There was a paucity of cover. Keith made a major error in not putting troops in my near-left quarter. He was allowed to deploy in both quarters and I'm not sure why he didn't.

Our deployments. I kept my Panzer IVs off as my reserve who would show up on the far-left edge later in the game. I figured their better HE rounds would be of more value prying dug-in Untermenschen off the objectives.

By turn 3, my speedy Luchs platoon had nabbed the objective. Unfortunately for me, the game was a minimum of 5 full turns. Halftracks and infantry were close behind. I'm not afraid to move at the double in FoW - if your enemy can't see you, there is nothing to fear. The Panzer IIIs machinegun the Strelk company advancing towards the objectives.

When in doubt, smoke the observers. His mortars and heavy artillery were blinded. The smaller infantry group advanced towards my artillery.

An airstrike took out two of my Luchs but the third held fast. The panzergrenadiers disembarked near the objective. An amazing barrage from Keith's small 76mm guns kills one of my Panzer IIIs and bails another! I landed a barrage of my own on his two observers (live rounds this time) and killed both!

Bottom of turn 5. Darkness had fallen which saved my bacon. His planes were now useless and artillery equally useless - with the observers gone, they couldn't see shit in the darkness. His infantry advanced to the objective but couldn't get close enough to contest it. At the start of turn 6 I got the win. Neither of us ever received our reserve platoons.

I ended up getting third place out of ten players! Not bad for a game I haven't played in a while and for an army list I threw together at the last minute primarily because it featured tanks, artillery and planes. I actually really enjoyed the tournament although I was dreading it going in. Game tournaments tend to bring out the worst in gamers and there were a couple of tense moments in my game with Kelly, but by the end we were all good buddies.