27 June 2016

AAR: Firestorm Armada - Scenario 4 Hold the Waypoints

Zig and I broke out the Firestorm toys after a lengthy delay. We used the same basic fleets we've been using all along - I used my Alliance of Kurak guys, with Tarakians as the core. Ziggy used Terrans with Hawker Allies. We each had 1200 point groups and played scenario 4 in the MRB (since we've been playing them in order).

Our deployments. My squadrons were spread out to avoid unnecessary nuclear agony. I had Xelocian cruisers and frigates in reserve. Zig had an Apollo battleship in reserve.

Zig plots his next move. My Terqaui torp cruisers in the lower right thumped a destroyer early on.
One of my cruisers gets hit hard by its Terran counterparts.
It is finished off a moment later by the frigate squadron.
My frigates greet the Hawker cruisers but lose one of their group. Oh well, they're just frigates...

It's showtime with the Apollo! The Terran monstrosity arrives on schedule and swiftly accounts for a Tarakian cruiser.
So at the start of turn three,this was the situation. My reserves were still absent, I had dorked up with my Terquai cruisers against the destroyers (they were invisible past 20" and I'd turned 24" away to give them a broadside) and I had a battleship in my backfield.

I seized the initiative and attempted to kill the Hawker carrier but failed miserably. My battleship just couldn't get it together.
A huge space monster showed up briefly, then left without saying a word.
The cavalry finally arrives but fate conspired to befuddle their targeting and they couldn't even account for a single destroyer!
That Apollo is looking pretty lonely. I'd have to take Zig's objective on turn four, but I still had to run off the destroyers minding it!
The Xelocians and Terquai combine to finish offtwo of the destroyers but I haven't got anything with which to cap the objective. Sad.
My remaining Tarakian frigate at least is able to cause some carnage. The Hawker cruisers are eliminated, but the last destroyer cheats death!
Toot toot! The Terrans' final move... objective claimed. Game over.
That was a mighty fine slugging match! The Terrans finally had a good game - their torpedoes were hitting with frightening regularity and things just really worked out. I had given Z the idea of shunting in the Apollo since it's more of a "grappler" than a "fencer." It worked out really well - I guess there'll be more of that in my future. I had a unit of Xelocian frigates set to shunt in that apparently got lost in transit. I was hoping to cap Z's objective with them. It was not to be. I did manage to win a military victory, scoring better on the Battle Log, but the Terrans easily won the scenario victory conditions. I guess I should have read the scenario title a bit better. :)

25 June 2016

Of Baseball and Dice

My wife and I put together teams for MLB Showdown earlier in the week and played a four-game series over the course of a couple nights. It's been terribly amusing. I'll share with you the scores of our games and the "what changed" aspect of it all.

So here are games 1 and 2. I got crushed. Game two was quite exciting in the ninth, but eight runs is a huge deficit to make up in one chunk. Wednesday night, my wife was on cloud nine and lording her managerial skills over me. I was de-pressed... as the two-time and still reigning Comic Box league champion I consider myself pretty good at selecting a team and getting the most out of it. I also used to play with a very particular purple twenty-sider, Purple Rain. Last night before we finished the series I found Purple Rain.

And the turn-around was EPIC! I out-scored my old lady sixteen to one over the course of two games. Now we can pin this turn around on any number of things but I know, in my heart of hearts, that dice karma  is a real thing.

The beast.

I've had that 20-sider for at least 20 years, I'm sure it was an off-hand D&D purchase at some point, but damn if isn't just plain lucky as hell in my hands during a game of MLB Showdown.

Good gaming, y'all - I think tonight is Firestorm Armada with Ziggy - we've haven't played a game in ages.

20 June 2016

Starfleet X2

Last Saturday the Space Cadets got together at Mike's house down in the woods of Waycross for some Star Fleet Battles. We had two virgins noobs ensigns in the mix this month so we played a Cadet rules into game so they could become acquainted with the basics of SFB. Mike B was the GM, the FNGs Michael and Lee each got to drive a Klingon cruiser while veteran ship drivers David S and Yours Truly were handed these beauties:
Four shitboxes for each of us. Time to "cowboy up" as they say. I christened my herd of ships Gnu 1, Gnu 2, Wildebeest 1 and Wildebeest 2.

David and I quickly decided to separate, forcing our opponents to operate independently, reducing their ability to concentrate fire on one victim at a time. My group is the orange group, David's is yellow group.

Gnu 1 took a hard hit quickly, so I had him drop out of formation, forcing the Klingon to pursue him to get the kill, giving the rest of my herd some space. Oh, those white drones were Mike's GM insanity. He had some off-table yay-hoo Kzinti lobbing drones randomly at everyone on the table.

Gnu 1 died noisily.

Once my herd reached the 15-row, I had them disperse widely, again forcing Lee to pick one to kill, leaving the others unscathed. Lee was not amused.

 Meanwhile, one of David's freighters got whacked.

And Lee finished off another one of mine - Wildebeest 2 DOWN! Oh no!

 But my plan worked nicely and half of my ships survived.

Two shiploads of counterfeit Levi's and Bon Jovi albums!

David wasn't as fortunate and his remaining three ships were all wrecked by the two Klingons.

Thus ended the training scenario. For a crummy milk-run, it was indeed a hoot and I did have to use the ol' thinker to keep my stuff alive.

Game 2 was a completely different affair; it was a much more devious scenario.

Five Minutes on High

The Pitz'ut System had been a mystery for a long time. Even the Jindarian didn't know much about it. The star in that system had been flaring pretty regularly which had been a pretty solid deterrent to all explorers. Recently, the flares became less intense and the danger suddenly became much less. True to their nature, Jindarians of the Sunsnake caravan drifted in and began working the system for anything of value. The moon orbiting the fourth planet was found to be rich in useful metals and the Sunsnake caravan declared the Pitz'ut System theirs.

Just as true to its nature, the Federation sent an exploration ship in for a look at this system. The UFP loves a new system! Well, the Sunsnakes didn't much care for the intrusion and quickly ran off the Federation ship. The Feds had a few Police ships nearby, as well as a Guard Destroyer from Pinkney Colony, just 2 light-years away and sent the somewhat more capable group into Pitz'ut as a "show of force." The Sunsnakes saw them coming and dispatched a couple of destroyers as a greeting party.

Federation Objective
    Teach those Jindarian bums the meaning of a peaceful mission! Do what you can to render at least one of their ships combat ineffective and try to keep your own casualties to a minimum. Perhaps if they bleed a bit, they'll be more inclined to share the system.

Jindarian Objective
    Those lunk-heads just don't get it do they? How much more clear must we be? We were here first and it's a Jindarian system right now. Taunt them a second time!

The scenario takes place in a Solar Flare zone and a Radiation zone. The upshot of that is that ship-to-ship communications are inop so teammates CANNOT discuss tactics or their plans unless both of their ships are in the same clear area behind either the planet or moon. The grey strips on the map below show these zones clearly.
The blue spots are Federation starting spots, brown is the Jindarian starting hex.

We randomly assigned ships. David S got the Fed Police Cutter, Lee got the Fed Police Frigate (Frignaught) and Mike drew the Fed National Guard Destroyer. Michael drew the Jindarian Destroyer and I got the Jindarian War Destroyer.

Michael and I decided to go pounce on Mike first since his ship had no drones to irritate the hell out of us. We hoped to knock him out early.

Here we are, pursuing our quarry. I got to Mike first and pulled the trigger early at range 4. Mike's ship got rocked severely. Moments later he smashed my ship pretty badly. I was careful to time my weapon fire so that at the beginning of turn 2...

I could slap a tractor on him and unload my rear rail guns and the six phaser-1s into him again! Boy, he was as mad as a hornet. He'd been hoping to pull away and I just held him there so my teammate could zip over and give him a third helping of dakka dakka!

Lee knew I wasn't going very far and his cop frigate caught up with me and smashed up another shield, but didn't mash up anything to delicate.

At some point, the dice gods visited Lee's hand as he rolled a ridiculously impressive phaser volley! Teammate Michael's destroyer was looking poorly after that.

Mid-way through turn four, Mike and I met back up to exchange gunfire once again. Again, I came away better but we both got hammered.

As that was happening, poor Michael's destroyer was being picked apart. David unloaded his photon and numerous phasers into the ship to kill it.

And with that, it was done. Federation victory! A mighty fine game all around - the scenario was well-received and played out nicely. I've never flown a Jindarian ship before and their War Destroyer is the bee's knees. The Feddie Police Frigate again proved to be one seriously good ship. It has quickly become a favorite after its two recent appearances.

Thanks Mike for hosting and David for driving and Lee & Michael for showing up and giving it a try. I had a great time!

16 June 2016


My wife asked that I share my most recent defeat at her hands.

I picked up a bunch of 2000 and 2001 MLB Showdown cards recently because a) it's a great game and b) my kids could stand to learn a thing or two about baseball. I played a very basic game with my bride she walloped me, 9-5. Beginner's luck.

12 June 2016

Automotive Painting

I finished up those nine Hot Wheels / Matchbox cars from once upon a time. Not only that, but I've had my inspiration for the game mechanic so these things should get a trial by fire soon enough!


 The Jack O Lantern may be my favorite.

The convertible will be named "Wear A Helmet."

That's a hell of a gun riding "shotgun."

Flamethrower exhaust on the yellow streak!

They were cheap and much fun to put together. I hope my game rules do them justice.

AAR - CY6JA - Vietnam Dogfight

David and I got together for a game of CY6 on Saturday evening. It'd been a while since the tiny planes were on the table and it was a really good time. The scenario was two USN F-4Bs intercepting two MiG-19s (J-6es) returning to their airfield. David chose the Americans so I got to drive the always sexy gun-only MiGs.

Our initial disposition. The white thing is the airfield.

David plots...
Our spectator.

With my slower speed and tight turning ability, I got a shot in early, but missed.
The Navy pilots decide that some separation is in order. I pursue but the Phantoms have a strong head start and loads of fuel.
One of the Americans gets a lock-on and fires two Sparrows. Both crash into the canopy below, missing my plane by a significant margin.
The yellow plane's maneuver left me in a great position to guess his next move and I was able to get both of my MiGs in position to hit him. Flight leader's shots were true and caused major engine damage to the big American aircraft.

But as he focused on his target, the warning tone in his ear was just background noise. Two Sidewinders from the other American leapt out and one exploded just behind his plane. The MiG swirled out of control and into the jungle below. Major Huang parachuted safely.
The final moments of a gorgeous plane.
The engine damage and subsequent speed loss of the F-4 made it very easy to predict where it would be so my remaining plane eased on over and gave him all three barrels. Scratch one Phantom.
But similarly to the previous turn, two more Sidewinders streaked out from the flight leader's plane. Again, one found it's mark and with that, both of my planes had been downed.

Good game, David! There was quite a bit of jockeying for position that isn't evident in the AAR. We played twelve turns and it wasn't until turn eleven that we both managed to get into a very deadly situation. As soon as we were close though, it got really ugly.

CY6:JA again proves to be very entertaining, I just don't bring it out often enough. I have a few new planes in the mail coming from Tumbling Dice in Jolly Old, so I'm sure there is more CY6 in my future.

Be well and good gaming!