23 April 2012

Painting Table

OK, back to normality.

I've picked up a couple rulesets in the last few months and am slowly putting stuff together for them. The first was Flying Lead by Ganesha Games. It's a modern (WWII to near future) skirmish game using the same mechanics as Song of Blades and Heroes. Since I've got a few minis sitting around from Flames of War, I painted up some for Flying Lead. I'm pretty certain they are Command Decision figures.

I also picked up some OT-64Cs and an F-4 Phantom after my last game of Modern Spearhead. I burned up the remainder of my Warsaw Pact infantry to get the APCs going.

The other new rules I got was Task Force Zeta which again had the benefit of being very inexpensive and completely generic so I could be spoiled for choice regarding models. After a great deal of internal debate I picked up some Stardate: 3000 ships from Valiant Enterprises which are terrifically old-school and very different from most of the stuff that's available. I also got to see exactly how many different spaceship figure lines are out there and boy is it a lot. Ziggy still has Battlefleet Gothic ships from back in the day, so we'll be able to duke it out soon enough. Here are pics of my Heavy Cruiser and a Destroyer.

Until next time...

22 April 2012

Gnomecon Day 2

0811 - So, Alan says there are EIGHT people signed up for the Flames tournament. I'll believe it when I see it.
0910 - Jamey and his son Dustin arrive with Hungarian Tanks and Brtish Guards Cromwells respectively. No other attendees. This is what I thought was going to happen. Alan says the Gnomecon staff would not give him contact information for any of the people who signed up. This reeks of B.S.
0920 - We decide to play anyway, Jamey and me first in a Free-For-All scenario. Dustin was going to sit out, but about an hour and a half later, Ken arrived to be our fourth! Yay Ken. He was not one of the mysterious "8."

My first game was a debacle for me and an exercise in how to roll fives and sixes by Jamey. I'm not going to besmirch his skills but as all gamers know, when your dice are spitting out nothing but ones and twos and the other guy's dice are in fuego there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. I also take issue with the extremely effective two-Panther units. They are severely under-costed. That's Battlefront's mistake but there isn't a whole lot anyone is going to do about that. Some pictures of the game:

The engagement between the Panzer IVs and my T-34/76es in the center around the buildings was a lot of fun and just a classic for a World War II game. 

But on the other side of the field, his Panthers had their way with my T-34/85s and ISU-152s and his infantry swarmed through my guns on the objective on my left and that was that.

I think I killed three or four stands of infantry and one Panzer IV. It was frustrating but I enjoyed myself and got ready for the next game.

My second game was with Ken Luikart who helped get me into the game a few years ago. We'd never actually played a game against eachother so we were looking forward to the game. It was a "No Retreat" scenario with Ken defending using his German Grenadiers.

I forgot to snap a picture before my first move. This was after I'd moved.

Ken's Tiger tanks and rocket launcher artillery showed up on turn 2 and both would prove to be pivotal.

Up until this point it seemed as though I was going to roll Ken and it would be a very one-sided, sad affair. Then the dice decided to get involved. Ken is traditionally a terrible dice-roller. In keeping with the theme of my last game, I also was not so fortunate today. The battle devolved into an utter bloodbath with nearly everything getting destroyed and many units being wiped out entirely. His Tigers destroyed the T-34/76es which were completely unable to harm the giant tanks. The rocket launchers and a very skillful PaK40 gunner worked the T-34/85es over and ran them off. My ISUs mangled his forward heavy machine-gun positions who had caused considerable casualties to my infantry advancing up the center. The ISUs also took out the three Tigers but not until they'd done major damage. In the end, the tatters of my infantry unit captured the forward objective and nearly simultaneously his company morale broke. The aftermath:

That ranks in the top two most enjoyable games of Flames of War I ever played. The game hung in the balance for a while and we both were utterly spent.

My son's energy meter was running low and he was ready to get going so with some sadness I had to forfeit my third game (against Dustin). We played a couple of rounds of Wings of War before the flea market and had a blast! My tail-gunner took a bullet to the head and my teammates were both shot down in the first game but I managed to fly my plane off the map before the same happened to it. In the second game, Dustin teamed with me and again, I managed to survive but his plane took a beating very quickly and in about ten minutes was reduced to a fireball in a French field.

Gnomecon was a terrific experience and I'm really looking forward to next year's iteration. My wife and kids had a great time and I got to catch up with some gamers I hadn't seen in ages. 

21 April 2012

Gnomecon Day 1

Well, Gnomecon got under way Friday and I had a blast! I ran my SBH during the afternoon and got some good reviews on the board I built ( yay validation! ) and had three terrific games. The setting was the village of Gnome Bend whose foolish occupants had stolen a skull from one of the graves across the river. Game one was against Philip who took charge of the skeletal horde led by Badash. I took command of the Village people, led my Charles McGurk on his high horse. The skeletons shambled out from the graveyard and down the road as the village guardians moved out to meet them. After a great deal of back and forth, the bridge proved to be a brutal choke point and the hordes were whittled down. They gave as good as they got and I had only two of my guys left at the end, but all of the undead had been vanquished. 

 McGurk gets to work

 Stemming the tide

Philip - good luck with the new job too!

 The second wave of the assault on Gnome Bend was a small group of wraiths and spirits led by Kaspar the Wraith Lord. Rick (of Dystopian Wars fame) took command of the ghosts and figured out right away the right way to use them. They were able to ignore the woods and river and came swooping straight across. I got a little disoriented and foolhardy and Rick took full advantage. His snack bourbon triumphed over my beer and without much effort, Kaspar swooped in, snatched the skull of his bride which the villagers had stolen days before (represented by an orange four-sider because I forgot to pack a suitable trophy) and made his way back to the crypt. A victory for the bad guys!

The minions arise!

And this is what happens when I drink on an empty stomach. Stupid decisions. McGurk gets in WAAAY over his head which he won't have for much longer.
See? The swordsman ran over to assist but to no avail.
The spooky crew grabs the loot.
And takes it back to the crypt.
Rick with his minions. 

Round three had my wife take control of skeletons and the spooks against the villagers joined my Algor the Green Mage and McGurk's brother, McGurk. Empowered by the return of the Skull of Sheena and still cranky, the undead sought to wipe out the hamlet of Gnome Bend. The fight was tense, much fun and went to the wire. 

 Typical of my dice rolls all weekend.
 The Wraith Lord and a Wraith just finished off Algor.
 McGurk's brother has second thoughts about all them skeletons.
Wifey turned the crypt into a "Dead and Injured" box. 
This was two consecutive activations. My wife' trip-ones and my 1,1,5. Yahtzee!
A swordsman and McGurk left against Badash, Kaspar and two skeletal archers!
And in the end, McGurk was the only one left. The horde was put back to sleep, for now.

While we were playing that, my son and his buddy played Monsterpocalypse and had a heck of a time. I may pick it up, it looks pretty slick. 

After dinner we all played a round of the Great Space Race. Since it was late and it was a bit explainy, we only completed one lap before calling it a night. Clayton won the race by a large margin.

Day two details to follow... teaser: I get stomped in Flames of War and play some Wings of War.

Oh, and I sold off four Blood Bowl teams and some 40K stuff. Made a nice chunk of change on the weekend.