31 March 2013

MSH - First Course

Saturday evening Z and I were able to test the MSH scenario that I recently put together. I have to say - the scenario worked out beautifully and I'm very pleased with the results. The basic setup is that NATO has gone on the offensive on the Central Front and has pushed through East Germany. This battle occurs as Dutch and West German forces cross the border into Poland. As usual, Ziggy took charge of the NATO forces and I controlled the Polish.

My setup. That's a Motor Rifle battalion in the center and an Airborne battalion holding the other town further back.

Dutch (orange) and FRG (blue) forces. The Germans have another battalion timed to enter on turn 3.

Airborne battalion (with an attached tank company)

And the MR. The rivers put my forces on a bit of an island that kept them safe but at the same time really limited their maneuverability.

The Panzers move out behind a smoke screen. One of my T-54s on the outskirts took out a Luchs recon stand at the head of the column.

The defenders. I've redeployed one of the T-54 platoons from the south outskirts to the north to be able to engage the incoming tanks.

The German Panzer battalion received a change order at the end of turn 3 and headed towards the town to engage the defenders. In hindsight, I think they'd have been better off just moving at full speed towards the eastern edge (my side of the board) instead of taking pot shots at a few old tanks.

A turn later the last of those T-54s has been taken out.My mortar managed a Suppression on a Leopard platoon. I love when that happens.

German focus shifts to the next town. The FO helicopter camps in front of my tanks in the woods. Smoke fails to materialize. The tanks fail to make a dent in the incoming tanks but the AT-4 teams in the outskirts of the town makes short work of the first platoon. The remaining tanks blast the Polish teams into dust.

The smoke eventually takes form and blocks my remaining T-54 platoon.

And after a quick exchange of fire, another Leopard platoon is eliminated by the airborne in the woods who, along with the T-54s, is taken out by return fire.

After many futile attempts, the Air Force finally responds to calls for help. Rockets tear into Marder platoons, eliminating one. There was some talk of this becoming the highway to the DANGER ZONE!

The Germans assault the platoon in the outskirts. The Dutch have been engaged in a firefight with the Motor Rifle battalion in the center, giving better than they got. The airborne platoon destroyed one platoon during the shooting phase and the other during the assault phase. Heheheh. 

The remaining tanks form a gun line and pound the elite troops out of their positions.

The MR battalion has been pounded good but passed their morale check.

I called the game at this point (11 turns in). I didn't have enough on the table to slow them down - it would have been a case of delaying the inevitable.

I cheated myself. I had a battalion of T-72s in reserve to arrive on turn 10. At the end of turn 9 it looked like Zig was in dire straits. We discussed it at that point, and since this was a playtest, and they seemed like overkill at the time, I agreed to leave the T-72s off the table. A turn later the dice reversed themselves and I really needed those tanks. It was game over for the Polish forces. It turns out, my scenario creation skillz are pretty well tuned. Ah well, it was a very entertaining game. I'm going to post the scenario details to the SH Yahoo group.

If you are not a member of the Yahoo Spearhead Group, the files are here in a ZIP file.

Happy Easter!

30 March 2013

Friday Night Fights

It's been quite a while since Song of Blades and Heroes got taken out, so Friday evening my bride and I took it for a spin. It was a similar matchup to our last game at Gnomecon last year. She used her undead things and I played with the heroic human village defenders.

The custom board is still in good condition and suits the game perfectly.

Early in I managed to knock down a skeleton who was standing right at the bridge with a bow shot so I sent the nearest model (my commander) over to finish him off.

My dice rolls were clicking so Captain McGurk and one of the spearmen confronted the horde head-on. This may have been a mistake.

It didn't take long for the dice to right themselves. Grrr.

Once she figured out the tactical importance of outnumbering enemies in close combat, the steamroller really picked up some steam.

And in short order I was reduced to two archers. Barry, shown here, gave a good account of himself  knocking down two enemies.

Make that three! His pal Chad makes his way over to help.

The party doesn't last and Barry is taken out. Chad makes a break for it but is caught by the Wraith Lord. A miserable defeat for the townsfolk.

The victorious general with her mascot

She said I also had to show on my blog that ALL of my guys had been killed. 

Next time Honey, next time...

28 March 2013

Infinity - Yu Jing

Finished up Junior's Yu Jing box set guys yesterday. I need to pick up some Testor's DullCote to really finish them. Enough yammering...

 Celestial Guards
 Wu Ming, Imperial Agent, Hsein

I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out. Junior chose the color scheme. Reversing colors on the Wu Ming was my idea. I have two Shaolin Monks of his on the painting table as well, as well as the two Aleph minis of mine.

My Splintered Light Dark Elves arrived today so I have plenty to keep me occupied for a little while. I'm trying to get a game of MSH up for Saturday. I have everything done - maps, OOBs, mission briefings - just need a player commitment.

Be Well!

26 March 2013

It's just a hobby, right?

I just read someone else's recent blog post and it got me thinking about organizing my gaming habits. Right now, I'm pretty schizophrenic when it comes to purchases. I need to take stock of where I'm at and where I want to go.

Games I Have Played and Bought Stuff For In Recent Memory
Modern Spearhead
Dystopian Wars
Various Ganesha Systems

I'm going to discount Urban War straight away. It's a fine game and I like the miniatures, but it is DOA. Their website and forums are stagnant. They aren't releasing new stuff and it is just out done by Infinity.

Shipwreck - I love the game. It is terribly entertaining. The only drawback at all is availability of miniatures.

Modern Spearhead - I love this one too. It is as good of a "real wargame" as I can imagine. The system suits me perfectly. I want to play more. MSH has the most potential for growth considering the source material.

Dystopian Wars - It's fun, but I'm not enthralled. If I didn't have friends with armies, I'd probably be done with it. I may pick up a model here and there but I'm not going to invest any serious resources into it.

Ganesha Games - Including Flying Lead, Song of Blades and Heroes, Mighty Monsters and MDRG. The system is tight, simple and wide open. I really like the format. It gives me a creative outlet for whenever I feel like painting something a bit out of my ordinary.

Infinity - Very unique system, gorgeous miniatures. Ziggy is interested, which means I should stick with it. I really just need to stick with one faction, as tough as that'll be.


Shipwreck - I'd love to pick up more ships, etc. but I have no real direction at the moment so I'm going to hold off on purchases.

MSH - I want to expand my armies. Friday I was pricing and speccing out a Polish Naval Infantry Brigade. I need another battalion of Leopards and some HQ stands to finish off my West German Panzer Brigade. I wouldn't mind expanding the Dutch as well, but since they also use Leopards, it'd simply be a carbon-copy of the Germans in game terms. One of these days I'm going to go in on Arab-Israeli (1973) for MSH, but not just yet. I don't want to let that genie out until I'm content with my 1980's Europe stuff.

Dystopian Wars - No plans to buy anything.

Ganesha - I have some Dark Elves on the way for SB&H and a T-55 coming for FL. No other plans right now.

Infinity - I want to pick up a few more models to round out my force. The game is just oozing with campaign and personalization potential.

So where does that leave me? I need to stop looking at things that make no sense in the grand scheme of things. I think my next major miniatures purchase will be the Naval Infantry for MSH - which reminds me, I need to go inventory my unpainteds - I'm sure I've got a few OT64s, BRDMs, etc. sitting back there. I just got some Infinity guys in yesterday and with the Dark Elves and tank on the way, I'm set for a while. No more new minis for me for at least a month. OK, not till Gnomecon is over.

Anyone want to take odds on that?

Until next time!

24 March 2013

Shipwreck - Dutch Sub Hunting!

James and I got together for a game of Shipwreck  Sunday afternoon. He had a 1960's era scenario he wanted to try out, and it doesn't take much convincing to get me to play.

I ended up in command of a Dutch ASW task force consisting of the Karel Doorman (CVL), two Holland-class DDs, two Friesland-class DDs, the Zeven Provincen (CLG) and the Poolster (AOR). My orders were, in short, to seek out and destroy Soviet submarines. The scenario was set in 1965 in the North Atlantic.

James had a Tu-95 Bear recon plane flying in circles and two Foxtrot-class subs sneaking about. I had two S-2 maritime patrol aircraft (orange circles) in the air as well as two helos to begin with.

With no surface vessels about, radar was activated on all of my vessels. The S-2s dropped some sonobuoys to make finding those subs a bit easier. My ships had not trouble picking up the Soviet plane.

A very fortunate detection right off the bat - one of the subs is located.

I send all four available S-2s over to it as a greeting party. The torpedoes fail to make an impression.

Turn 3 - The other sub, which has had a nice string of luck closing on the carrier looses two torpedoes at the Doorman. It is swiftly set upon by ASW aircraft.

But at the same time, three Tu-16 bombers arrived. Two F-4 Phantoms moved to intercept but were unsuccessful. The bombers each released two AS-1 missiles. A Terrier SAM killed one of the incoming missiles, as did a 57mm gun.

Moments later, more gunfire kills two more missiles. One small gun accidentally hits the AOR and two six-inch shells from the cruiser hit the carrier as they miss their intended targets. Damage was minor. One of the two massive rockets hits the waves a hundred meters short of the carrier but the other slams low into the hull, causing a massive eruption that splits the mighty ship in half.

The Karel Doorman sinks quickly. The torpedoes at least have no target!

A small consolation - the ASW aircraft get a torpedo on the first sub and sink it.

What happens to ship readouts when boats go bang.

The following turn, the aircraft converge on the remaining submarine and kill it with another torpedo hit. The F-4s pursue the Tu-95 and chase it off with a close AIM-7 shot. 

With that, the Dutch turned back south. I landed three helicopters on the AOR. The other would have to ditch.
James was unfortunate to not have his surface vessels available until turn 6 - the game was done by turn 5. Still, he got the win for sinking the carrier. I got a positive draw for sinking two subs (my primary objective) but failed to keep the CV operable. It was a neat game - crappy old technology and submarines make for an interesting pair. I know most people collect more modern ships but old gunships make for a very worthwhile game, I certainly recommend them!

Thanks for reading!

Infinity AAR

Ziggy's pretty excited about Infinity, having ordered himself some guys, so we decided to play that on Saturday. I used my Aleph Myrmidon Squad and Zig used Junior's Yu Jing troops. We set up the board and quickly put together a scenario.

The blue area is my set up area, Ziggy's dudes are over in the orange section. The red and yellow star indicated the shiny object we were both trying to capture and carry off the map.

The Aleph forces were programmed to fight bravely today! They set up a killing field in front of the entrance to the outpost. Swiper the Sniper had already picked off a Celestial Guard - indicated by the "dead face" in the woods.

I had the foresight to leave a couple guys in the back as "goalies."

The damned Hsein made his way close to the opening. Duchess heaves a smoke grenade and moves forward to intercept. Combined with her Optical Disruptor, the scumbag Yu Jing would have a hell of a time trying to hit her. Oh, smoke and blast templates are 12cm diameter. So are compact discs. Happiness.

She manages to escape the first hail of bullets but when she starts pumping shells towards Jackie (the Hsein) an enemy bullet finds its mark and it is curtains for Duchess.

Jackie nabs the trinket of power and burns purty much all of the Yu Jing orders making haste.

He's moving like Usain Bolt now! My two "goalies" make their way to intercept. One is gunned down on the way but the other gets to a point where he can take some shots. Camera bots were unable to keep up with the action. Jackie was wounded by a critical hit from the Myrmidon, but of course has two wounds. When Jackie fired back on his turn, the Myrmidon was knocked down and Jackie fled the scene. A win for the Yu Jing!

Feh. That dadgummed Hsein is the absolute nemesis of my troops. He's got a Multi-spectral Visor that ignores my troops Optical Disruptors and can see through smoke. He has no trouble finding and blasting my guys.

The Infinity rules are verbose and very unusual - completely unlike any other game out there. It truly is the Star Fleet Battles of skirmish games. It doesn't help that the rulebook is laid out weirdly and leaves a lot of ambiguous situations. That said, it was a fun game and I think we are getting the hang of it. I'm looking forward to the next fight.

Until next time!