12 August 2018

Gone in 60 Seconds - A Brief Check Your 6: Jet Age AAR

Ziggy and I played a quick game of CY6:JA on Saturday evening. The scenario I selected was Recon: Escort from the MRB. I ended up with the South African forces - two Mirage F.1s escorting a Canberra which was on a reconnaissance mission in Angolan airspace. Ziggy had two Angolan/Cuban MiG-21 interceptors.

Some past-padding
So, our fighters got close and began the twisty-turn. My wingman took a rather optimistic long-range gun shot at Ziggy's flight leader and scored a hit resulting in airframe damage.

Hey, howyadoin?
Desperate to make something happed, Ziggy attempted an extreme maneuver with his lead plane. The airframe damage forced a pilot skill check which he failed. The Fishbed went out of control and plummeted into the scrub below. A moment later, our planes were positioned as shown above. The Mig missed its gunshot, while my lead (with the blue base) connected with his gunshot. Again, airframe damage was the result.

Ziggy was ready to call the game, but he actually had a good line on the Canberra at this point and we played one final turn to see if he could salvage it. 

He took a gun shot from 5 hexes and jammed the guns! He hit the afterburners and bugged out.

That was the first time Z has ever not won a game of CY6. It was also the first time he'd flown Warsaw Pact equipment, not that that would have made an ounce of difference. His Migs were better in all regards to the Mirages I was flying. It's better to be lucky than good and yesterday I had the luck.

11 August 2018

Batman Miniatures with Wifey

Last Saturday my wife an I played an intro game of Batman. Taking the lessons learned from our big Memorial Day games, I made sure to keep things lean and was sure to deploy as many light sources as I could muster.

I spent a few minutes explaining basic concepts and we got underway. BMG is one of those games that's a bit of a headscratcher to read, but once you see it in action it makes so much sense.

My wife used the law-dogs - Rick Flag, Carrie Kelley and a Son of Batman (the shotgun guy). I used a trio of crooks including Cap'n Boomerang, Slipknot and Quelle. We each place two objectives and our mission was to simply accrue victory points until six turns had expired.

The intersection that would be our battlefield. The graveyard is new - it's a Plastcraft Malifaux piece which included the Mausoleum and the five graves. I need a good wrought-iron fence for it. I've also picked up a couple extra cars since the last outing (the Mustang and G-class).

Slipknot and Quelle make good progress towards my closest objective. As poor of a showing as Slipknot had in the Suicide Squad movie, he's terribly useful in BMG with ridiculously good mobility.
Quelle posts up at the Gazebo and is fortunate that Rick Flag doesn't have any night-vision gear.

The action heats up - Boomerang and Robin swap objectives, Rick charges at Slipknot to deny me the Gazebo objective, and Quelle takes a shot at shotgun boy.

CB hustles over and tosses one of his trick boomerangs at the shotgun guy. With a satisfying "whump," it connects with the back of the thug's head and knocks him out. One down!

With the sound of sirens in the background, my band of crooks all rush Rick, overwhelming him. We rounded up the loot and made for the shadows as Carrie and Rick were left wondering what the heck had gone wrong?

We both enjoyed the game quite a lot. Rick Flag would have been more useful if he had a group of shlubs to lead - most of his special abilities involve improving his teammates. Perhaps I should have swapped him out for Black Canary for this game since she's more of a straight-ahead solo. Either way, I think there will be more Batman in the future for us - it's good to find a miniatures game that the little lady approves of.

Someone thought it was funny to use the graves for their intended purpose.

08 August 2018

Recent Painting

I've made some good progress on the 1/600 scale Arab-Israeli War collection in recent weeks. I want to give them a go using Cold War Commander. Getting a game put together hasn't really been at the top of the agenda, but buying shinies and adding to the collection is always in fashion.

The most recent additions. M3 halftrack stands, dismounted infantry and artillery.

The infantry is on oddball bases - they're not really necessary for MSH and CWC isn't terribly sensitive about base sizing. They're still 1.25" deep like everything else.

Arab (Egyptian or Syrian, you pick 'em) D-30s. Or course, they can stand in for darn near anything.

I've got Arab infantry in the queue and may put together a group of BTR152s since the BMPs are pretty high-end equipment for 1973.

03 August 2018

Star Fleet Battles AAR: Slim Pickings

The Space Cadets re-assembled in Brunswick last Sunday for a bit of the 'ol SFB. The scenario of my design featured three Orion LR+ trying to load up with loot while dealing with a passing Tholian flotilla that had responded to the distress calls.

We had six players this month - me David and Mike as well as Max, Caleb and Mike's son Anson. Ships were randomly assigned and interestingly, all three of the veteran players ended up on the Tholian side while the trainees commanded the Orions.

Mike drove a Black Widow carrier.
David commanded the fighter squadron from the BW
I commanded three Arachnid PFs.

All three LRs were identical with a single Distruptor-22 in the A position and two C-racks in the wings. Drones were speed 32.

The setup map. The Orions are in the blue hexes. The BW is in the red and my PFs are in the orange hex. The green blob is a planet and the gray hex is a moon. The bone hexes contain wrecked ships that the Orions must retrieve 10 loot from before leaving.

We join the action. The Orions started lobbing drones early. We Tholians countered this volley by crossing our paths behind the planet, forcing the drones to lose tracking.

Reasonably sure this was the end of Turn 1. On turn 2, I really hit the gas to go "catch me a pah-rit!"

I was pleased to see most of the drones get targeted at the carrier / fighters. I traded shots with Max in the red LR. The other pirates also took some long range shots at my flotilla and one of my PFs suffered some serious internals.The carrier and fighters were able to handle the drones with few problems, although one Spider III did succumb!

To start turn 3, we had to figure out how to keep the Orions from getting away with the loot. I had pulled up right behind Anson's ship by the end of turn 2 - it was simply the easiest to get close to. I overloaded the disruptors I had left (having lost two on ship #3 earlier) . One alpha-strike later, the LR suffered 49 internals. It blew up.

A few impulses later, David got most of his squadron to range-0 of Max's ship. Predictably, 11 phaser-3s did what 11 phaser-3s do. Max's LR was toast, but amusingly wiped out the Spider IIIs in return and severely damaged the Spider IIs.

Caleb got out with as much loot as he could carry, with a clean sheet! A good individual effort, but overall, the Tholians won handily. We discussed Orion options and they probably should have held all their drone launches until we'd cleared the planet and they'd have done well to get positioned at the end of turn 1 to make a mad dash to start turn 2. I was surprised that David elected to launch his fighters so early, but the Orions were traveling slowly and it ended up working out OK for us - I was worried they'd get left in the dust. I was quite happy with the Tholian PFs' performance. They're good ships that were well-suited to this kind of low-end encounter.

28 July 2018

A Quick Update

Not a whole lot of gaming going on here lately, but it's ramping up a bit. I got in two games of X-Wing with Zig today, trying out some new ships and generally having a good time. He used Imperials for both games - centered around the new Alpha-class Starwing. It's powerful and a real pain to fight. In the first game I used Scum - a pair of Starvipers, a Quadjumper and a Z-95. It was a fun group but the QJ just seemed "lacking," but for under 20 points, I guess that's to be expected.

I won by a hair. Flew the blasted QJ off the map accidentally.

After dinner I put together a new list entirely and Ziggy modified his a bit. I went with Rebels, wanting to fly the bomber once again and excited to try out Sabine's TIE. They were joined by a very basic B-Wing and a souped-up A-Wing.

Again, the game was very tight. I got a couple of very fortunate double-damage crits on him early. My bomber and TIE went down, though I was quite happy with the performance of both.

The Starwing about to end Sabine's day.

Another tight game but I did end up victorious!

I painted up some Arab Israeli pico armor during the week and based them up as command stands for CWC.
Four for the Israelis and three for the Egyptians. It's a good use for the "leftovers." Maybe they'll get on the table top for a game one of these days. I have some more incoming - I've been in a painting funk recently and these are good models to break the jinx with.

15 July 2018

X-Wing Tournament Results

I've been on vacation for the last week. We went up to Helen in north Georgia and had a rather nice time just bumming around. I was very excited to come home to an X-Wing tournament to top it off! The tournament was at Savannah Lions in Pooler. There were eight players including me and David. I took a group of Rebels including Chewbacca in the Falcon, and ARC-170 and a Y-Wing.

My first game was against a fellow named Chris who was flying the Imperial Pizza Delivery Service, featuring three shuttles - the Lambda, Upsilon and Reaper.

He turned my Y-Wing into dust pretty quickly when I goofed and parked it in front of his full gunline. I continued to work on the Upsilon and managed to take it out, followed quickly by the Lambda which had been engaged in self-harm - Darth Vader had been throwing damage markers on my ships which damages his own ship in the process. In the end, the ARC and Reaper were left in a dogfight with a single hull point each. My ARC got the first shot opportunity and I won the game. Although it was a very tight and enjoyable game, my opponent couldn't bring himself to congratulate me, but rather simply blamed his loss on his own mistakes and poor rolls. What a pill.

My next opponent was Connor, flying the bizarre three U-Wing swarm. We gave each other fits early and the game turned into a real brawl. My ARC170 was his initial target and quickly succumbed to the massed firepower of his U-Wings. While he was doing that  though, I managed to get a couple of Ion tokens on one of his ships, forcing it to fly off the table. WINNING!

I managed to kill a second U-Wing before being wiped out. At least I made a respectable showing against a very tough opponent.

My third game was against Matt who was pushing around a Shadowcaster and a Punishing One. I didn't get any pictures but had a great time. I had his Punishing One down to a single hull point before my group was wiped out. Matt had one of those magical games where everything he tried worked exactly as intended.

David, who had lost his first two games flying a seven-TIE swarm, won his final game of the day, so he left on a positive note and I was happy to just have gotten a win.

I thought the force composition among the players was unusual - there were no bombers whatsoever and the highly cheesy auto-damage systems were non-existent. Only one player took the Expertise card - probably the shadiest card in the game.

04 July 2018

Merry July 4th

It's Independence Day, woo hoo! A day off in the middle of the week is kind of ridiculous really but hey, a day off is a day off. Any excuse to burn burgers and have a brew is a good one.

I've actually done a fair amount of gaming the last couple of weekend, it's gone undocumented here but I'm about to rectify that. The day after Zig and I played Firestorm a couple of weeks ago, I met David up at Morningstar Games for a Dystopian Wars Fleet Action battle.

I used a fun pairing of Prussians and Eclipse Company mercenaries. David brought along his Blazing Sun Japanese.

So the general setup was that I was defending a channel and the EBS forces were trying to clear me out and capture the large building in the center (next to the robot).

By turn two, it seemed that David wasn't moving quickly enough towards the objective building. I was fine with this.

My swarm of little boats and subs drew a massive amount attention and really helped the Prussian cause. While David was expending considerable resources killing the hard-to-hit little guys, I was knocking on his larger, more threatening units.

Ol' Stampy gets up close and personal with the Blazing Sun sky fortress. Sadly, I completely botched the attack and did not crush the thing mercilessly.

In the end, it was a solid Prussian victory. My aggressive defense paid off - I took the battle to the enemy a long way from their objective. It felt great to put the DW toys back on the table. They really are a lot of fun.

Last Sunday, Dave and I met again at Morningstar, this time for some X-Wing. David flew a by-the-book TIE swarm - 8 x 12-poit TIES, while I used a Rebel mix including Poe Dameron, and ARC170 and a new Resistance Bomber.

Early into the proceedings I just could make anything happen and I wasn't feeling good about it at all.

The shot of the week - Poe gathers the attention of seven TIEs. Poor shooting by the Imperials meant that Poe's luck held out.

The TIEs at the bottom had finished of the ARC170 while I'd managed to bump off three of the Imperials. Things were starting to fall into place for me.

An example of David's fine driving skills. Keeping it on the table like no one's business!

The final result. Poe kills yet another TIE - he turned out to be quite the killing machine - and the Bomber hangs on to its final two hull points. I had managed to kill seven TIE fighters and only lost the ARC170. The Bomber is very nice and a good pickup for the collection. I've been eyeing the Ghost for a while, but I'm glad I went with this ship.

I've been painting a bit recently and have finished up a few things.

Here's a fun little well / fountain with some creepy crawlies in it.

Another good pickup at Morningstar...
 I can't believe Jeff had one of these on the shelf. A very nice pickup for my Red Fleet for StarDust.

And they got painted up quickly. I haven't touched the fighters yet.

And lastly, some Malifaux minis.
 This is the "No Shelter Here" box set.

Creepy little girl and zombie baby

Three ghosts and a poltergeist

One of these days I'll put Malifaux on the table and try to learn the system, but until then, I just really love painting the models. Happy Fourth and stay safe!

24 June 2018

Lost In Space

It's been some time (a month or so) since I put the big table up in my dining room for a proper game. Ziggy brought his Firestorm Armada ships over yesterday afternoon. It's been since last summer since FSA got any play in my house so it was way over due.I wanted to use as much Ryushi stuff as I could - they were the last FSA models I purchased and painted when Spartan announced they were closing up shop. This would be a bit of a "new paint curse" test since technically they have fresh paint job (from last September).

We set the points at 1000 and selected "Escalating Engagement" as the scenario. This would force us to leave our big ships off the table at the outset and wait for them to arrive as reinforcements.
The force deployment zones are in opposite corners, with the red and blue edges indicating where the reinforcements can arrive.

My Ryushi (white) and Xelocians deployed. In the distance is a combined Terran and Hawker force.

I was quite fortunate that my Battle Carrier, the RSS Frank Sulkowski, showed up on turn 2.

By the time it arrived, I was already one cruiser and one Xelocian frigate down. The long-ranged torpedo power of the human ships is nothing to sneeze at.

Not to be outdone, the close-range firepower also makes quite an impression. Two more Ryushi cruisers gone.

At least my little buddies were now out and on the loose. A fighter group catches a Hawker cruiser and does more than just scratch the paint.

It was cold comfort though, my fleet was in tatters, with just the Battle Carrier, a single weak cruiser, and two frigate squadrons still active. The frigates are fast and close-ranged, they had been "nipping the Terran cruisers' heels" and were doing a pretty decent job at it.

The Hawker carrier has now arrived and locks in on The Big Guy. You can see that the humies finally gave my frigates some attention and that last cruiser is now in pieces.

Artist's impression

Yay! The cavalry showed up. Late as hell, but whatever... I'll take it at this point. The RSS Manga Pop Extreme immediately sets upon the Hawker space blight.

I managed to kill off a second Hawker cruiser, finally scoring some points! I continue to play the "Power to Shields" card, giving Frank 4 shield dice and frustrating the hell out of the Terran commander.

At the end of six turns, Zig still hadn't managed to kill my Battle Carrier, so if nothing else, that was a bit of a win. It absorbed at least 12 attacks on the last turn and still had one hull point left. The Hawker carrier however was losing atmosphere at a terrific rate after being set upon by the remnants of the Ryushi battle group.

We called the game there. Ziggy had won handily and completely. It was still a lot of fun after I got past the initial frustration of watching my ships explode and my dice be terrible. The final score was Ziggy 12, me -1. Womp womp. We'll get 'em next time!