18 November 2013

Strike Legion Planetary Ops - Crushing the Renegades

Mike Baker brought out his 6mm SciFi toys Sunday afternoon for a game of Planetary Ops, by Legionnaire Games. We ended up with seven players, including Mike, which worked out well, each of us got to drive a brigade in the scenario he'd set up. It was a rather straight-forward affair featuring armored and mechanized infantry units. Units and factions are from the "Renegade Legions" fiction universe.

The Terran Overlord Government - TOG  (us, the "bad guys") were attacking in the scenario and had to push past the defenses of the filthy Commonwealth Renegades and exit units off the far table edge. For what it's worth, the TOG forces are more technologically advanced and have better quality units than the Commonwealth.

Da Cunnin' Plan 1.0 - My group (orange) and Alan's (red) were going to do their best to fire down the edge of the map. The corridor was narrow and lightly defended - a steamroller approach seemed in order.

Ian's heavy mechanized infantry was going to tie up units on our left. We also had a large reinforcement brigade that was to join Ian's mechanized brigade on turn 4.

The Renegade's defenses. Trash tanks in the forward town. Better tanks further back. I can't explain their rationale. "Leaderless rabble" would be my best guess.

The commanders assembled. 7 people playing on a 2' X 6' area. Deodorant mandatory.

Cunnin' Plan 1.1 - Ian's APCs move out and my tanks shift forward left. Ian and I decided to form a schwerepunkt in the center. Alan's tragically slow tanks inch up the right side.

Ian and I get ready for our assault. The cowardly Commonwealth troops pull back into a better defensive arrangement.

Turn 4 rolls around. Time for our reinforcements. Ian and I decided to work on the enemy units between the hill and town. This would present Ian's flanks to Mike's trash tanks and hopefully be a target too good to pass up. Then, our reinforcements would emerge from he table edge behind Mike's units and eliminate them. The plan worked wonderfully. We wiped one full battalion (the black area) and damaged a heavy tank company further down range. Ian took two hits on his nearest mechanized battalion but that was all.

Alan's heavy tanks smash two stands of Cameron's heavies!

Turn 5 - The Commonwealth is getting desperate. Their heavy tanks get committed to the center and become instant targets. Ian's APCs and my medium tanks wreak havoc on our side of the center.

Black smoke markers are stands destroyed during the turn. This is near the end of turn 5. Three full battalions wiped out. The TOG has only lost one stand of Mechanized Infantry.

It was getting late so we called it there. The TOG forces were rolling and now vastly outnumbered their foes.

So, what do I think? The game system is good - interesting mechanics and simple enough for new players to get a grip on. Five of the players at the table had never played SLPO before. Granted, we were using very basic units - no fliers, artillery, orbital bombardment, etc. but I imagine it would hold up well enough with the wacky units thrown in. The scenario seemed to be well balanced - we still had three turns to exit troops off the far edge of the board but there were enough defenders to make it a chore, so it would have been interesting to finish it out just to see if we could have pulled it off. I look forward to playing SLPO again some time!

11 November 2013

Scrambled Eggs and Mashed Militia

Junior and I played a game of Swatters on Sunday afternoon. We hadn't broken out the bugs in a while and gave them some air. We played the "Space Demon Omelettes" scenario as written. Junior and I put together forces - he used the bugs and I used the humans. The basic premise is that the humans are raiding an alien lair and need to destroy three egg chambers. The bugs are simply trying to defend and drive off the humans.

Back Story
A few days ago some MCC* scouts located an alien hive roughly 10km from Litumsia City. Colonel Mugabe quickly organized a raiding party to destroy as many eggs as possible in an effort to keep the enemy population in check. The splitters from Le Pupi's army would not get credit for this fine victory!

This is after my first move. I kept as many bases as I could nearby my commander so they'd activate on 2+. The mortar got to work straight away on an egg chamber, as did some of my squads.

Some incessant gun and rocket fire knock out the egg chamber furthest to my left. One down, two to go!

Things are looking good for the Litumsian Militia. Just one hit left on the central egg chamber and the bugs are still having trouble getting it in gear.

But the difficulty goes up in the blink of an eye as a group of Warriors springs forward and quickly chews up a squad on my right flank.

The Hive Queen gets a bit too close to the Exterminators who finish her off. The Hive Mind was a bit disheartened but kept up the defense.

An overview of my now perilous situation.

My fighters wiped out the Assault Warriors, but the Exterminators were then hit by the Warriors who'd gotten around the flank.

Things are now really spiraling out of control for me. My units are decimated and probably should have routed, but I let my son enjoy wiping my stuff out completely.

Classic desperation. Calling in mortar fire on my own position. I killed a couple of bugs but my own squad was wiped out in the process. Nice.

Three guys left. Is that a fat lady I hear?

It was obvious that Le Pupi had alerted the bugs to our presence. His treachery truly is terrible. Willing to sacrifice fellow humans to the bug menace just to gain a political advantage. There will be vengeance!

That is a tough scenario for the human force. If I'd pounded on the rear egg chamber from the get-go with the mortar I may have been able to win. Junior had some terrible activation rolls and cut short some early turn by rolling snake-eyes which contributed to his slow start but in the end, he rolled me right off the board. It was a fun game and I really do like the game system. I'm ready for some revenge!

* - Militia Campaign for the New Congress

09 November 2013

North Atlantic Nightmare!

The Gnomecon gang held a fundraiser / game day today in Savannah and I used it as an opportunity to get in a couple of games. First up was a much-delayed game of Shipwreck with my usual foe, James. James set up the scenario and provided the ships, etc.

The basic setup is this: the previous day, a large Soviet fleet got beaten up pretty badly and is heading back to port as quickly as it can. A rag-tag group of NATO ships has located it and must attempt to sink the Baku carrier. Most of the Soviet ships began with damage and reduced weapon loads. The NATO ships, though weaker, were in fine condition. The weather was terrible causing detection and "to-hit" penalties.

I drew the Soviet fleet and set up my ships to defend the carrier.

The NATO force is towards the upper right of this picture.

The Euro-trash.

TURN 1

The NATO force splits. I steer the Sov and the Kresta towards "group A." An SA-N-3 from the Kresta streaks towards a Dutch Lynx and damages it, forcing it to return to its ship. 

The Sovremenny launched its four SS-N-22s at the German Destroyer (the only one it got a detection on). The missiles underperformed in my estimation. Two were confused by chaff, one hitting the surf two hundred yards past the ship and the other re-homing onto the USS Caron. The Caron's Phalanx took care of the missile. The other two missiles hit home and quickly sank the Hun. So far, so good!

TURN 2

I re-arranged my ships. The Sov was out of SSMs so it was relegated to fleet defense. The Kresta II and Baku got solid detections on enemy vessels and loosed another Soviet volley of 10 missiles at the US and Dutch ships.

The NATO task force unleashed a massive wave of 20 Harpoons, Exocets and Penguins. Panic Time!

Contrary to previous experience, Russian air-defense was absolute rot. Eight missiles made it through, sinking the Kresta II, Krivak I and Sovremenny. I can already hear the court-martial getting under way. I'll start packing my bags for Siberia.

On the other side, their AA fire was pretty tight, killing 7 of the incoming missiles. One SS-N-12 hit the US ship but failed utterly to damage it. Are you KIDDING ME? The Dutch ship did what you'd expect when hit by two SS-N-12s and noisily went away.

TURN 3
My heavily depleted group re-arranged again. I managed to get another six missiles in the air. Four SS-N-3s from the Grozny targeted on the Spanish ship and my last two SS-N-12s on the small French frigate.

My joy didn't last as another large swarm of missiles was sent up by the NATO boats.

 Soviet air defense didn't improve any since the previous attack. But when all else fails, rely on you opponent to roll poorly. The desperate captain's tactic worked rather well!

The Baku was only hit by three of the six incoming Harpoons and was not seriously damaged. The Bessemenny was struck by three Exocets and although crippled, did not succumb! 

My missiles fared poorly, but one was distracted by chaff onto the HMS London and stuck her square, sending her under. Woohoo!

TURN 4

I was in the enviable position of having the last SSMs on the table at this point - the Kynda class ship had four left! I sent two each at the French and Spanish vessels. With my last breath I spit at thee!

Two missiles were knocked down, but the other two connected, sinking the French ship and Crippling the Spaniard. Only the US ship remained and it was out of missiles. Surely I could hold on!

TURN 5

Movement only. The Spruance closed the gap. I managed to repair the Bessemenny and get it moving. The Spanish ship botched its repair and sank.

TURN 6
Four British Buccaneers appeared on the horizon. I had six Yak-38s on CAP just for this occurrence. The Spruance and the two smaller Soviet ships were very close now and began exchanging gunfire.

The ships all take a hit of damage. Ol' Bessie finally is out of commission.

The God-forsaken radars on my ships could not manage a detection on the blasted British bombers who were able to unload EIGHT MORE EXOCETS at my preciousssss. With no detections, I was unable to steer the CAP aircraft towards the assailants.

Some miraculous AA and chaff rolls later, the Baku was unscathed and the replenishment ship exploded like a newborn star. Lucky > Good.

TURN 7

Four more Bucs fly in. Are you KIDDING ME?!?! I managed a detection quickly and got the Yaks headed over right away. Turns out, these planes were armed with LGBs and needed to get very close. Lucky me, right?

The Grozny "Crossed the T" of the Caron and gave her both barrels. Scratch another ship.

The Yaks account for three of the bombers. There was a tense moment while we diced to see if AA or bombs happened first.

I won the roll and managed to finish off the last bomber! It's a miracle!

Wow, that was a catastrophe if there ever was one! Eleven of thirteen ships sunk. Easily the bloodiest game we've played yet and terribly entertaining. I really can't believe I did as well as I did. Getting very fortunate at just the right moments was the long and short of it. The Grozny was absolutely awesome taking out four enemy ships - the Spanish, British and French ships of "Group 2" and killing off the Caron with gunfire! Ridiculous.

For what it's worth, we both lost the scenario. James needed to sink the Baku to win and I needed to keep my fleet more or less intact. Trading my five for his six isn't a very good exchange rate for either of us.

Great game James!

08 November 2013

Very Recently Painted

Finished up some stuff this evening while the little lady was at belly dancing class. First up is an H&R 1/300 Harrier for my MSH US Marines. 

Insignia is hand-painted and close enough for government work. 

Next up is the Turkish Fleet. Great War, BABY! Yeah, never done any WWI stuff and Victory at Sea was very enjoyable when I played with James months ago. I picked up "Age of Dreadnoughts" and the Hallmark/Figurehead Turkish and Russian Black Sea Fleets. The ships are 1/6000 scale and are positively microscopic. The Russians are still frickin' back-ordered. 

So, teeny ships. Well, I was very happy with how they painted up. Here are the progress shots.

The entire fleet on a large FOW base next to a 1/72 StuG.

I picked up some business-card magnets which are sticky on one side and gave the fleet a magnetic base. These are going to be some upscale boats.

Fast Forward...

Ta-dum! A finished product.

Another pic without the flash.

So, if you've ever been curious about Figurehead's line of ships, they are very nice and give a great result, but they are probably smaller than you're thinking. The bases are included with the ships and the bases have molded in waves. The destroyers were cast as single pieces, whereas the larger ships needed to be glued onto their bases. 

I  have Shipwreck and Modern Spearhead tomorrow. Excitement! Have a good weekend!

04 November 2013

Dystopian Wars - 2 v 2

On Sunday, Mike, Alan and I got together with a new gamer, Kevin for a game of Dystopian Wars. Kevin's wargame experience is negligible so this was a bit of an intro to gaming. The other three of us are old-timers so we had no shame in beating up on each other. Mike (Prussians) and I (EoBS) teamed up against Alan (Russians) and Kevin (FSA) for a battle in the Bering Straits. Each of us took 500ish points of stuff.

Our setups. Note the horrendous "caldera" of icebergs dominating the center of the board. The Russians/ FSA stacked their whole force on our left, while Mike and I decided to use the terrain as a shield.

Alan (left) shows Kevin how it's done.

Our ships start heading into the ring of ice. Rockets from my Gunships set the Russian airship ablaze and knock off its ablative armor.

That's a good looking model!

Turn 2 - Kevin's FSA torpedo bombers get frisky and make a run at my Gunships. My AA dice are terrific and bump two of the fliers. The torpedoes whiff miserably and I suffered no damage.



Mike's battleship takes a long-range shot at the Tunguska.






And scores a crit! 1/2 AD. Not good at all for the Siberian Slug.




The Yankee Battleship rounded the corner and took some shots at my cruisers and the Prussians but didn't make much of an impact. What was more significant was that my torpedo bombers were able to pounce.

21 hits, two crits, four damage.

This gives you an idea of the tremendous traffic jams that were forming.

Turn three began and Mike and I had the initiative. He followed my lead from earlier and did this:
His fighters duplicated the results of my previous attack against the airship and sent it crashing into the sea. The Flying Circus scores big!





Moments later, my Gunships emerged from the caldera to the enemy rear. They destroyed a Russian frigate and damaged another. Boarding parties captured two American frigates. Things are really rolling now for the "bad guys."





Adding insult to injury, Mike's torpedo bombers emerge from behind the cover of one of the icebergs and loose a swarm of "fish" at the stricken battleship again. 21 more hits and it sinks into the icy Arctic Ocean.







Our opponents survey the damage.









Early into turn four, Kevin moved his cruisers within "oh shit" range of my Ika which quickly took advantage of the situation. Kev scored some RIDICULOUS AA  hits and actually critted my critter on the way in, but the robotic squid from Tokyo Bay won the boarding action handily (tentacle-y?) and the game was done.


We'd destroyed or captured 50%+ of the enemy's fleet at that point and we were all ready to scoot. As one-sided as it was (all we lost was a Japanese cruiser and half a Gunship), we all had a great time. I'm sure Kevin is hooked an ready for some revenge.

My next AARs should be from the game-day fundraiser next Saturday. I'm planning to take along MSH and James wants to play Shipwreck so I should have a nice day of "moderns."