26 February 2012

Dystopian Wars

The Gulf of Siam, February 25, 1871
The Z and I got in a game of DW Saturday evening. He'd just picked up some Vanguard subs and  some Agincourt War Cruisers (I think the name "Gunship" was a bad choice by Spartan) and was thirsty for blood after the whooping he took in last weekend's game. I finished up some Jap Cruisers during the week and wanted to give those a go. We did a 500-point ships only game (plus tiny planes) which is really unusual for us. I took: 1 BB, 3 CA, 2 DD, 3FF, 5 Torpedo Bombers and 5 Fighters. Ziggy took 1 BB, 2 CW, 2 SS, 5 Dive Bombers and 5 Fighters.
As you may observe from that picture, we both had Recon planes to begin with. That lasted about a full turn when we decided how relatively useless they were in this scenario. We magically turned our Recon planes into fifth members of our four-plane wings somewhere around turn 2.

The HMS Hood steamed forward, leading the swarthy pack of Brits into battle to secure the landing strip on the island here. She spotted one of the Imperial Cruisers, still a long way off and fired her forward guns, connecting and causing some damage. The Agincourts did the same, firing at one of the Japanese Destroyers, sinking it in one quick volley.
Things were not looking good. The two Fighter wings mixed it up far to the right flank and the British pilots got the better of their Japanese counterparts, causing one kill and one abort.

The second turn began with the Her Heavenly Majesty's Cruisers tried to get in a few licks before they were obliterated. One fired a broadside at the Hood but failed to harm her. The Battleship struck back with a vengeance, doing three damage to the cruiser that was already damaged, sinking it outright and another three damage to another of the squadron, fouling its running gear and slowing it down.
 Boom. Tragic.
After that, time to switch from coffee to something more appropriate.

The Japanese Frigates, desperate to try to stop the bleeding flew forward and made their battle run at the War Cruisers. Many guns were fired but none made any impact. It was the Agincourt's turn now. They swatted at the Frigates damaging one and blasted the heavily damaged Nakatsu under the waves. Scratch two Cruisers.
Shit getting real.
The bloodbath that was turn two continued unabated with the British Fighters pouncing on the Blazing Suns fighters yet again. This time, two of the British fighters were shot down to no Imperial losses. The Blazing Suns Fighters then swooped in on the Dive Bombers killing four of their number, again to no losses. BANZAI! At least something was going right. My free TFTs killing his free TFTs. The submarines made an appearance and surfaced - torpedoes lanced out at both my Battleship and my last Cruiser. The Battleship's shields saved it from harm but the Cruiser took a crit and lost two boarding parties. This was getting unbelievable. With no better targets and eager for some kind of retribution, my Torpedo Bombers began an attack run against the submarines which had failed to get back under the waves. One of the Bombers was taken out by AA fire but the remaining Torpedo Bombers got an amazing 20 hits on one of the Vanguards, widowing quite a few lassies in a matter of seconds. With that, turn two drew to a close.

Turn three began with the War Cruisers firing at my Battleship and launching torpedoes at my last Destroyer. The Battleship was not damaged but the Destroyer ate this:
My injured Cruiser, managed a low-speed broadside on the remaining submarine, causing a point of damage, and the Japanese Battleship which had been pretty quiet thusfar hit the sub for another point. The blasted Guardian Generator did a very good job protecting the Hood and the Agincourts. Speaking of the Hood, it finished off one of the Frigates, the other shots at my Battleship were off-mark or stopped by the shields. The Frigates managed another very good barrage against His Majesty's ship but just couldn't get past the blasted shields. Ten hits, five blocked! The Vanguard attempted a ram against my cruiser but neither ship was damaged.

Turn five was more misery for the Japanese - the Hood slowly turned about and wrecked both Frigates easily, finishing them off entirely. One War Cruiser had no choice but to collide with my Battleship, causing itself a point of damage. The Imperial Battleship pushed its way free of the British ship and blasted away at it, causing just one damage. Rockets were fired at the submarine but the AA gunners on that U-Boat earned their keep, preventing any damage.
The remaining sub lined up nicely and got shots at both my Battleship and Cruiser, getting a point of damage on the Battleship with its torpedoes. 

Turn six was mop-up for the British. With only two enemy ships to deal with it would be quick. The Hood caused a crit on my Battleship, a Hard Pounding and did one more damage to my cruiser with its torpedoes. My Torpedo Bombers which had finished re-arming swooped upon the last Vanguard and sent it to the bottom! The joy was short-lived as the Agincourts sent the last of my Cruisers to the bottom to join the submarines and the other cruisers of its squadron. With that, Japanese ran up the white flag and retreated.

What a beating! Although it looks like a miserable game from my side of the table, I thoroughly enjoyed it and had a blast. Gunships may be undercosted and Cruisers may be overcosted. Whatever, it was fun. Now I just need to convince him to throw some paint on those ships!

20 February 2012

Flames of War

Brittany, August 1944
Got in a game of Flames of War on Saturday evening with Zig. My Rangers had not gotten much run lately so I put together a 1750 point list. Ziggy put together a Fallschirmjager list. We set up the table and rolled a mission which came up Fighting Withdrawal. Since we both had infantry lists, we diced to see who would attack - Zig won the roll, to his chagrin. His list was very defensive and just not geared to attacking. The forces:
Full Company
Full Company + 2 60mm Mortars
Half Company
3 81mm Mortars
FAB (4 @ 105mm Guns)
AFAB (3 @ M7 Priest)
4 @ M4 Sherman (I kept these in Ambush)
Half Tank Destroyer Platoon (2 @ M10)
Limited P-38s

Fallschirmjager (From memory, don't have his actual list handy)
HQ + Mortars
2 @ Full FJ Platoon
1 @ Full Fallschirmpioneer Platoon
4 @ 8cm Mortar
2 @ PaK40
1 @ LW FlaK36
2 @ 7.5cm Recoilless Rifle
Half HMG Platoon (2 HMGs)

So, as you can see, the board we laid out was to be a big ol' bitch for those German paratroopers trying to break the American encirclement. Ah, the whims of the dice.

The Germans began with a surge forward on their right flank towards the hill and bridge on that side. Their mortars completely failed to get a smoke screen going, their spotters having trouble locating the Yankees hidden across the river. The 88 on the far side did manage to locate the AFAB's OP Sherman in the trees on my right and hit it, causing the crew to bail out. The PaK40s moved forward to get within range of anything.

The Rangers called in some Air Corps support and got a single P-38 to respond. The crew of the Sherman decided to not remount. The mortars on my far right flank hustled forwards to get within range of any German units. The Red-Legs managed to get a good bombardment on the lead group of Germans, eliminating two stands. The M7s and P-38s failed to cause any casualties.

Fallschirmpioneers advance

The view from the Yankee side. You can see the two recoilless rifles that just crested the hill in the distance.

The Germans continued their advance, getting two recoilless rifles into firing position atop the hill overlooking the cabbage patch. The mortars managed to find the range this time around and covered the field with a large smoke screen, cutting the AFABs field of vision to practically nil. One of the PaK40s on the other side of the battlefield managed to find the observer tank and brewed it up. Now the Priests really were blinded.

The single P-38 made another battlefield pass and the Shermans which had been skulking in the back moved forward on my extreme left to add the weight of their machineguns to the impending firefight. The field artillery blasted away at the Pioneers this time and killed another two stands of Germans. They were proving to be just vicious! The P-38 strafed the PaK40s and pinned them down. The American mortars and M7s failed to produce any results.

Beginning of Turn 3

The Germans, desperate to get out of town, kept moving forwards and across the bridge. Their supporting guns set up on the hill, ready to blast away at the Rangers in the field below. The PaK40s took some pot-shots at the Ranger platoon in the center but failed to cause any casualties.

The Lighting that had thusfar been rather ineffective returned (yes, another single-plance flight!) and lined up to strafe the large mortar platoon again. I had to withdraw a platoon so the mortar platoon which wasn't very busy anyway got to leave. My Tank Destroyers moved out from the center towards the crowded bridge, machineguns ready. My artillery failed to range in for a change, and I had moved my M7s so they couldn't shoot. Shot of the game came early in the turn, when the cheap God-forsaken FlaK36 managed to hit Bucky in his P-38 and shot him down. Gah! Revenge came swiftly when the Shermans rolled forward and machinegunned down the heavy machinegun crews setting up on the hill. The M10s got in a few hits on the Fallschirmjager on the bridge but caused no casualties.

Turn 4 - The Germans move up to assault!

The German paratroopers finally crossed the river and were in position to assault the Rangers in the cabbage patch of death. One of the recoilless rifles blasted a Sherman, destroying it. The large mortar battery smoked the M10s and a good portion of my other stuff on that side of the board. The other mortar battery expertly landed a barrage on the Rangers, pinning the and clipping a Sherman. No Rangers were harmed but the fucking Sherman was bailed. Yes, AT2, firepower 6, top armor 1. I rolled a 1. He rolled a 6. Are you fucking kidding me? A mortar? Deep breath. The assault came in hard but defensive fire and remarkable tenacity on the part of the Rangers drove off the elite Germans. The Pioneers attempted a second wave but due to bad positioning, weren't able to get the weight of numbers necessary to complete the task. They pulled back to bridge and the Rangers in the field went back to their foxholes.

My Turn 4

My P-38s failed to show up, I guess the 88 put some fear into them. I had to withdraw another unit and pulled the Ranger platoon farthest to my right. The center Ranger platoon moved towards the bridge. My Shermans attempted to occupy the cabbage patch but instead got hung up terribly on the hedge - only one of the tanks actually reached the field. ( grumble ) Shooting was successful, the M10s and 105s accounted for four of the Pioneers.

With that, the Germans headed back into the town to await the impending American assault. They were unable to break out and now had to await reinforcements or be eliminated.

It was a decidedly one-sided affair, which is a shame but we've decided that our next game would pit the same two forces. The Fallschirmjager will be defending the town next time and I'll have to deal with the bridges of despair. Oh joy. In his defense, Ziggy's dice were atrocious - he failed every Stormtrooper roll in turn 1 and failed to range in smoke with mortars twice on turn one - that's eight rolls with NO 5s or 6es. He got some good spite kills in to lighten things up a bit. I'm sure he's going to enjoy defending next time around! We don't normally play knowing what the scenario and layout will look like in advance, so it will be interesting.

15 February 2012

Goings On

Had some Dystopian Wars minis show up Monday - some Cruisers and Fighter Tokens for my Blazing Suns guys. I've gotten to work on them. I should probably pop some micro-armor infantry off their sprues to finish up the command stands for my MSH Poles. I'm going to try to get in a game of Flames on Saturday evening. I put together a list for my Rangers - Zig wants to use Fallschirmjager in the April tournament so he'll probably run with them. My list is not really practical from a competitive standpoint, I just haven't used the Rangers in a while and are a they are wonderful foil to the German paratroopers. I'm almost certain I'll be using Soviet Motorized Rifles for the tournament.

12 February 2012

Dystopian Wars

Got in a rather entertaining game of DW today with my son. Keep in mind he's 8 and is a bit "Orc-y" with his tactics. He got the Metzger and Zeppelin for Christmas and has been eager to try them out. I finished up the Zep yesterday so he could use it today. We used 450 point lists.

Empire of the Blazing Awesomeness
O-I Heavy Walker (Spidey)
2 Bombers
9 Ke-Ho Small Tanks (Orange and Blue Companies)

Prussian Expeditionary Force
A9V Sturmpanzer
2 A6V Medium Tanks
Metzger Robot (Stampy)
Zeppelin CV (2 Wings of 3 Dive Bombers)

I set up some wooded area and a swampy lake to block up LOS a bit. We'd be fighting in Southeastern Asia.

Turn one - we both moved out but the only shot that was in range was a long-range rocket barrage from the O-I at the Metzger which tested the effectiveness of the towering machine's AA guns. They passed the test.

Start of Turn 2 (I'd forgotten to move my bombers on turn 1 but did so after the picture)

Turn two opened to a heavy barrage of rockets from the silver streaks at the Metzger, connecting for a point of damage. In retaliation, the A9 pummeled one of the bombers with turret guns and its Tesla weapon for two damage. The Zeppelin also unleashed a mighty bolt of lightning from its prow and sent one of the Japanese bombers crashing into the woods. The second group of dive bombers took off from the desk of the carrier but stayed nearby. The four-legger fired its cannons at the massive airship and managed a point of damage - not bad considering the range!

Start of Turn 3

The Prussians retained the initiative and their Zeppelin, in search of another victim slowly turned towards my heavy walker. One mighty flash later, the O-I had suffered a point of damage. Ah, its OK, they build 'em tough. The port batteries opened up on the remaining bomber, blue lightning lancing right through it for two damage and a "Hard Pounding." Gah! I moved the bomber next, figuring it wouldn't get another chance. The AA fire took out one of the fighter-bombers from Green wing. Rockets exploded all around one of the A6es but failed to damage it. The massive A9 had to catch up with its brother the Zeppelin and rolled towards the Japanese war walker. The lightning gun and heavy guns both connected putting two more damage on my centerpiece! Things were not looking good. The O-I ceased moving and again fired at the blimp causing another point of damage to it. The rockets found their mark against the big Prussian robot this time and caused critical engine damage. Orange Company rolled up to the feet of the giant war machine and lent their fire to the fray causing another point of damage to the walker. The A6es exacted some revenge killing two of the tiny balls of anger.

Start of Turn 4. Damage is starting to mount up.

The Prussians still managed to keep initiative and their airship again moved straight towards the Blazing Sun walker. The lightning gun caused yet another hit on my land battleship. AA and broadside Tesla guns finished off my remaining bomber. The two dive bomber wings made ground-strike attacks at my two companies of small tanks but failed to cause any damage. Blue company swept in on the side of the huge Prussian tank and fired a massive barrage. A crit + 1! The crit was a hard pounding - two AP gone. Never underestimate the small tank tokens. The A6es sought to repeat their performance from the previous turn but could only manage one damage on one of the small tanks. Orange company, now only two bases, fell into the woods and blasted again at the Metzger, causing yet another point of damage. The A9 fired all bearing weapons it could muster but completely failed to hit my walker and the diminutive tanks harassing its flanks. The O-I on the other hand, blasted one of the Prussian tanks to pieces and another flurry of rockets sent the Robot crashing down into the woods. Two legs bad, four legs good!

Start of turn 5.

Turn five was no kinder to the Prussians who were now starting to sweat. Blue company put more damage on the Prussian landship. The Zeppelin recovered one wing of fighter-bombers and the bombardier kicked a 2000-pound bomb out the hatch, obliterating a stand of tanks from Blue company. Orange company rolled towards their Prussian counterpart - the remaining A6 and nailed it for a crit jamming the steering mechanism. The heavily damaged Sturmpanzer couldn't get enough dice together to hurt either my walker or the small tanks whereas my O-I pounded it again for another cirt - two more damage and two more boarding parties gone!

Start of Turn 6 - a Brou-ha!

The Blazing Sun force manged to win initiative and the walker quickly scuttled into the lake and towards the Sturmpanzer to get away from the impending bombing run. I declared a boarding assault against the A9 with seven of my Samurai. Won't make that mistake again. The single AA die + three bonus dice from Electrical Defenses" killed four of them before they arrived. Impervious meant I only got ONE die in the boarding combat. I was soundly defeated and caused no casualties. Blue company again fired at the A9 and with a tremendous explosion, a Raging Fire destroyed the monstrous vehicle. Orange company finished the remaining A6 and we ended the game there.

Having very high starting AD values on the turret on the heavy walker was quite telling late in the game - I was still able to get 11-die attacks in turns five and six, where my son's Sturmpanzer had to settle for heavily-reduced numbers of dice. Getting the Zeppelin in close worked well since I couldn't touch the thing at range 1. Again, swarms of miniature tanks prove to be ridiculous killing machines. I wish I could use more of them. Fun game, we both enjoyed it. More later.
Final Score:
EoBS - 320
Prussians - 180

09 February 2012

Modern Spearhead

I'm nearly done with the late 80's Polish Tank Regiment. That's three battalions of T-72s and one battalion of BMP-2 combat teams. There are also a ZSU-23/4 and a BRDM+SA-9 in there. This is my first foray into micro-armor and man do I love painting them! They paint up quickly and, well, it was just a blast. All vehicles here are CinC and the infantry are GHQ. The metal bases are from Warweb. I use Vallejo paints and these have been hit with a coat of Testors Dullcote. I need to finish up the rest of the Regimental teams - BRDM, BMP-R, 120mm Mortar.

05 February 2012

Dystopian Wars

Finally managed to get in a game of DW last night - its been a couple months since the last outing. We had three players - me using Empire of Blazing Incompetence, Dennis using CoA and Rick pushing FSA. Since we play slowly, we decided 400 points apiece was enough. I used a Battleship, 1 Escort, 2 Scout Gyros and 2 Destroyers. The FSA force was a Battleship, 2 $#!7@$$ Robots and 2 Bombers. The CoA consisted of a Battleship, 2 Icarii with Ray Guns and 2 Destroyers. Since three players is always tough to manage in virtually any wargame, we set up three objectives in a triangle pattern in the middle of the board. Beginning a turn in sole possession of two objectives was an automatic victory. Any objective was worth a flat 50 points. The brown things are islands and the light blue areas are reefs.

The mighty EoBS task force sets off!

The FSA off to my right and the CoA to my left.

Turn one, as usual was just a bunch of "full speed ahead!" although the flying robots manage to plink some damage on one of the Japanese destroyers.

On turn two we were all close enough to start causing some damage. The big guns of the American Battleship let loose at long range and caused a critical engine hit on one of the Icarus flying machines. The CoA Battleship in retribution blasted away at one of the Blazing Sun Gyros to "set an example." The Gyro suffered a point of damage. As if challenged by the Commodore of the Penguinis, the robots opened up on that same Gyro managing a critical weapons hit. Lovely. I didn't forget to talk about what the Blazing Suns force did - they simply couldn't hit their own ass with both hands.
The result of turn 2 for the good guys...

Turn three started out with an all-guns fire! from the Snowball Battleship right at the EoBS Battleship. It managed a critical hit - Fusion Leak to the tune of five AP killed. Bah! The FSA Battleship announced an All Stop and blasted away at much of the CoA force. The only telling damage was one destroyer killed outright by a rocket barrage. My Gyros which had been getting blasted at for two turns found themselves in a position to do some damage and moved into the middle of the fray, coming down out of the clouds. One landed a bomb on a Sno-Cone Destroyer and caused a massive 16 hits! I wish that'd been his Battleship! The Gyros linked fire at the CoA Battleship and hit it for a point of damage as well - not a bad round of shooting from the knucklehead twins.
Scratch one destroyer
Scratch the other

The Icarii, eager to avenge the fallen flightless-bird brothers, let loose at the Gyros causing 1 damage to one of them and a "Hard Pounding" to the other. The John Henrys, always the opportunists, swooped in and killed off the severely damaged Gyro.
Closing in for the easy kill
The beginning of turn 4 - FSA is unscathed, CoA and EoBS are in ruins

The CoA Battleship, again with the initiative, fired its giant Ray-Gun at the Japanese Battleship for one damage and the beam passed through and put a hit on its escort as well! The rest of its guns unloaded on the FSA Battleship causing a total of 3 damage plus a Chaos and Disarray. Wow. The American bombers came down out of the clouds and made a bombing and torpedo run smack inbetween two angry Battlewagons. The Blazing Suns AA fire caused severe damage to one of the bombers - engine damage. The bombs failed to find their mark but their torpedoes connected with one of the Japanese destroyers sinking it. The SS Gojira blasted away at as many targets as it could find but on succeeded in knocking the damaged bomber out of the sky - VENGEANCE. An Icarus blasted my Battleship causing one hit and the FSA Battleship loosed a volley at the CSS Happy Feet taking its shields offline! A cheer went up from both the Japanese and American crews when the blue haze disappeared from around the massive ship.
No more bomber... the Ice Queen begins to thaw

Turn 5
The 'Bots advanced towards the Icarii - their favored targets now and put a point of damage on one of the. The ships did a lot of moving around but not much killing.
The Icarus flying things finally managed to put a hit on one of the Henrys and managed to kill it no less with some phenomenal rolls. The Icarese also dropped some mines in the middle of the melee. Not paying any attention to the mines, the idiot captain of the last Jap destroyer ran his boat right into both of them to line up shots on two targets. Well, needless to say, the destroyer was killed by the mines and the other units close enough to get hit were unscathed. 
One robot down... the black spot to the right of the robot is the oil slick from my mine-stricken destroyer

Turn 6 was to be our final turn - the remaining robot put a whopping 17 hits on one of the Icarus flying shoes sending it crashing into the sea below. The Polar Express caused another critical hit on the American Battleship, this time with its Ray-Gun - Generators offline, of which it had none. With that, we ended the game.
Final Scores:
EoBS : 90 (FSA Bomber, CoA Destroyer)
CoA : 90 (EoBS Destroyer, FSA Robot)
FSA : 275 (2x EoBS Gyros, EoBS Destroyer, CoA Destroyer, CoA Icarus)
No one had units within 4 inches of any objective without enemies also with 4 inches - no bonus points there.

Yeah, he ran us ragged. The Henrys completely dominated the skies. I'm not a big dice-blamer but I had exactly three successful shooting attacks all game - two from the Gyros and two rounds of AA against the FSA Bombers. My Battleship and Destroyers were almost completely useless except as AA platforms. We all had a good time and I look forward to some revenge.