28 September 2014

Sunday Star Fleet Battles

Bill and I met at Morningstar this afternoon to drive space ships and blow stuff up. I set up a very basic scenario earlier in the week - one player most escort a small freighter across the map. The other player needs to destroy the freighter before it can leave the map. We use the Cadet rules (16-impulse turns) since they are so much quicker. Bill drove a Fed Cruiser and I used a Romulan War Eagle.

I began withe WE cloaked, waiting to get close enough to fire the torpedo so it would be successful. No use firing at long range just to have it run out of steam by the time it got to the Fed.

I sent out a shuttle early, more as a nuisance than anything. Better to use it before it gets destroyed.

A bit later... Things are going swimmingly. All of our shuttles are out - Bill had outrun his and they weren't very useful for shooting the Plasma Torp. I'd been hit by both Photon Torpedoes and my #6 shield had been downed. I had also taken a few internals that really didn't matter much. My Plasma Torpedo caught up with the Federation scow and caused quite a bit of damage after crushing his #3.

Meanwhile, the freighter was hauling much butt, cutting out hard to my right to stay away from the Fed.

I fired my Phasers at range 0, killing his #6. A bit later, I was able to get a shuttle into his hex and scored a handful of internals through the down shields. We played through turn 3, but the freighter was able to get away and the Federation attacker was soundly thrashed!

Since the game went quickly, we played again, but this time Bill would escort the freighter and I'd attack!

My starting position. The red marker on my sweet ride is a "cloaked" indicator.

I didn't take many pictures of the second game. The cloak worked very well and caused Bill to hold his fire on turn 1. He also made a steering mistake with his cruiser, turning towards me late in the turn. This allowed me to pass to his starboard side on impulse 1 of turn 2 when I dropped the cloak and set speed 16 and prepared the Plasma Torp to fire.

It set this up... He only had one Phaser in arc and I was going to chase the freighter until one of us got tired. I fired my Plasma-S and the torpedo and I began the pursuit! I fired my phasers just 'cause and scored only one internal. It was an ENGINE HIT! Nice. Next turn there was no way he'd be able to keep his crazy speed up!

Initially, Bill didn't realize that he could keep the torp at range 1, made a bad turn, and the freighter exploded when the Type-S hit it with 22 internals.

I then showed him that if he'd just kept running, he could try to outlast the torpedo so we time-warped back a few impulses and tried it the other way....

This time, he was able to wear the Plasma Torp down, through endurance and phaser fire and only suffered 10 internal hits. Nasty, for sure, but he was able to exit the map and get a win. My Romulan high-tailed it for the opposite edge and evaded Federation retribution.

We both had a good time. I enjoy the heck out of SFB and small scenarios like this are great for learning the game and trying out ships. I was very worried about taking the War Eagle, but it actually holds up pretty well, and a week ago I called my shot with it. I was honor-bound to give it a go. Its biggest deficiency it that it only has three weapons, so it can be neutered pretty easily. Otherwise, the cloak and decent shields make it quite useable.

23 September 2014


James and I hopped in the wayback machine Sunday afternoon and had a nice little game of Shipwreck. It was a Vietnam War-era scenario, the Battle of Dong Hoi. I randomly selected the Vietnamese force which I'm sure was a surprise for James who usually ends up with the 3rd-tier force.

Here's the setup. The Yanks are running amok, entering from the southeast corner. I've got a load of surface contacts in the water, only three of which were actual torpedo boats. I also had two shore batteries with 130mm howitzers. Along the highway are scattered numerous targets for the Americans. 

James gets detections on a couple of my boats. Both are soon spotted by a Sea Sprite. No surprises here, both are torpedo boats!

The attack craft are nothing, if not fast! A 7-inch move and 5-inch torpedo range gives them a pretty strong 12-inch "pounce" which the Americans don't have a good answer for. My TBs plot an intercept course towards the southernmost pair of Yank ships.

It's drama on the high seas! The People's Navy looses two 20+ year old torpedoes towards the USS Higbee. 

Both fish miss their target and my boat is ruined by return gunfire. The boat would stay afloat for quite a while, stripped of weapons.

The other boat makes its attack run very shortly afterwards! Glory!

Similar results. This time my boat was sunk outright. The torps missed terribly.

As this was going on, my third torpedo boat got in position to make a run at the other group of American ships...

In keeping with the theme of exploding torpedo boats... the ol' 5-inch gun is my nemesis.

But.. heh heh heh... this time one of the torpedoes hit the US ship! The USS Lloyd Thomas loses its hangar facilities. CURSES! What a crap damage roll...

The brave American sailors start shelling the coastal highway.

My MiGs show up about an hour late. One is shot down by a Terrier from the USS Sterett. The other two planes scattered bombs all around the Higbee but none make contact. The planes safely returned to base.

Two of the American ships pull up to one of my gun emplacements and commence shelling. I actually got a second hit on the Thomas, wrecking its rear gun, but the Oklahoma City's big guns silenced my battery shortly thereafter.

We called the game there. I had no more offense to throw at the Americans so it was just a matter of James shelling the rest of the traffic on the road. I got a minor victory for damaging an American ship and James was easily able to disrupt the southbound flow of materiel.

It was one of those fun games that you have no chance at all of winning a real military victory. A few rowboats versus the US Navy never is going to end well for the rowboat-user. Any damage scored is a major bonus! I probably could have had my stuff huddle around the bunkers and perhaps try to "sucker in" the American ships, but it didn't seem terribly realistic and definitely neither bold nor honorable. Entertaining as always!

22 September 2014

Dystopian Wars 2.0 First Game

Z and I fumbled through our first game of version 2 Dystopian Wars Saturday evening. We put together almost 1000-point forces for a mixed naval and air game. I used a Prussian Air group and a French Surface group. Ziggy used his British as usual.

For those interested, the lists were:
     1 @ Big Honkin' Zeppelin Aircraft Carrier
     3 @ Bombers
     3 @ Small Lightning-throwing Airships
     1 @ Floating Battleship w/ Fury Generator
     3 @ Floating Light Cruisers
     4 @ Floating Frigates
     2 @ Subs

     1 @ Large Carrier w/ 3 Escorts
     3 @ Agincourt Cruisers
     3 @ Bombers
     4 @ Frigates
     2 @ Subs
     0 @ Paint

After figuring out the new deployment and table-setup rules, the table looked thus:
Z left his bombers off as a "flanking force." I engaged in no such shenanigans. I chose the "kill 70%" victory condition. Poor Zig had to kill 50% including my flagship (the carrier).

Early in, the French battleship got beaned for two damage and a weapons crit that wouldn't be repaired for a loooong time. Other units took hits here and there.

A turn later. The French battleship becomes quite manly, shrugging off hits left and right. It set fire to the submerged British vessel nearest it with its Fury Generator and took some shots at other targets, although 2 damage and a 1/2 AD crit takes a lot of the starch out of a battleship. There was much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from the British side of the table.

By this time, late in turn 2 I believe, we'd traded sub kills. My airship gets lined up on the enemy carrier. The bombers and Speerwurfs gave the frigates a send-off. Things were going rather well!

Turn 3, Ziggy wipes the drool from his chin and send the flanking Doncs after the big blue cigar. The torpedoes whiff in a cloud of disappointment. Hahahaha! The piece of shit Doncs strike again!

Showing them "how it's done," the Prussian bombers make a run at the big British cruisers. The British AA fire was pretty good.

A crit on one of the bombers causes it to explode killing all of the Speerwurfs and damaging the remaining two bombers. There was much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from the Prussian side of the table.

Later still, my battleship has been heavily damaged by torpedoes, etc and has but two HP remaining. Ziggy is determined to sink the thing. The remaining cruiser takes a shot doing one more point of damage.

And then this lone, lousy piece of junk torpedo bomber makes it past the AA and finishes off the mighty ship. There was much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth from the French side of the table.

The Almas complete the harassment and humiliation of the cruiser squadron, eliminating the last of them them and avenging the loss of the battleship.

We called the game after four turns. Both fleets were wrecked pretty thoroughly, although the flagships were in great shape, mine with two damage done to it, and one to the British carrier. The final kill scores were pretty close between us, but neither of us were very close to completing our goals. A delicious draw! It was an enjoyable and hard-fought battle.

What are my initial thoughts on 2.0? Its as much of a mess as DW has always been. We're now on a 3rd iteration of tiny flier behavior. The 1.1 dice mechanics for combat where very straightforward and that has now been complicated by some dice not "exploding." The book's index sucks. Boarding actions are slightly more complicated now too, since boarding parties have different "skill" ratings now. Not a major issue, but just one more thing to verify before rolling dice. I haven't gotten my new book yet - it should arrive tomorrow and I'll give it a much deeper dive but right now I'm kind of disappointed by the changes. There were great promises of quicker game play, etc., but after one game I don't see it - we were at it for well over 3 hours. Granted, there was a bit of rules-digging, but not THAT much. The game speed issues revolve around 1) template-drive movement 2) multiple individually-firing weapons and 3) alternating actions. All of these elements define DW but are costly in terms of speed of play - it's just the way it is.

On the plus side, the British Navy is a whole lot better than before - lots of redoubtable guns and shields galore make them much better than they were. I enjoyed the hell out of the French and Prussians. As it turns out, generators not named "shield" and "guardian" are a lot of fun. I have more Frenchies on the way - I'll be ready to give them a go by themselves after I've given the new rules a thorough look.

19 September 2014

RP - Dystopian Wars French Battleship

I finally finished off the hover battleship that came with the French skimmer box set I picked up a couple months ago. It had been 90% finished and idling for a while now and since I want to use it this weekend in a game, I thought that maybe I should get 'er done. I did and here she is:

C'est magnifique! It's a dead-sexy model, in fact I think the French stuff may be the best looking models in the DW line. Ziggy wants to play DW version 2.0 since he's picked up the book, and I'm more than willing to humor him.

You can see the rest of the fleet here and here.

17 September 2014

The Hut

I finished my Asian-inspired thatched roof hut. It was made more "just to do it" more than any other reason. It's sized-up for Anima Tactics (28ish mm). Between this and those graveyard trappings, we should at least have a somewhat decorated battlefield to play on the next time we break that out.

I'm very happy with the end result, even though I didn't set the roof on perfectly for these pictures.

15 September 2014

Some Scenery...

I worked on a few scenery pieces Sunday. Two of the pieces are Dollar Tree Halloween decoration re-paints:

They are scaled rather nicely for 28mm. Not bad at all for a buck apiece. The originals can be seen here: http://onemoregamingproject.blogspot.com/2014/08/halloween-scenery-at-dollar-tree-stores.html on Chris Palmer's excellent blog.

I've also done some more work on the thatched roof for the hut I started on some time back.

Yup, I made the thatched roof! It's a terry-cloth rag cut into strips. Now it's just in need of a paint job. It's 28mm scale if you're interested. I've got that 20mm Airfix house on the workbench - it's better than halfway done so I may post pics of it later this week.

James and I are going to play Shipwreck on Sunday afternoon - he's put together a Vietnam-era scenario. Should be cool - Shipwreck always is.

13 September 2014

Dystopian Wars - Saturday Afternoon Shootout

This afternoon I was lucky enough to get in another game with my wife. We played Dystopian Wars this time around. We played AK47 Republic a few weeks back and she rather enjoyed it, so she was up for another. She preferred the land game to ships (mainly because of the way the tabletop is decorated) so I put together two lists. She chose the Prussians, which left me with my usual troops, the Japanese. For what it's worth - I'm still playing DW version 1.1 - I haven't made the switch to 2.0 yet.

Our lists:
EoBS (780)
1 Taka-Ashi
1 Ryuo
3 Chi-Ri
2 X 5 Ke-ho
4 Bansan

Prussian (775)
1 Metzger Ausf B
2 Schildtrager
1 Sturmpanzer
4 A6-V Medium Tanks
2 X 5 Walze

I left the tiny fliers in the storage cases - they're another level of complexity that wasn't appropriate for a beginner game.

My hover squid and some small tanks hold up my right flank

The Prussian horde. Shield-bots out front, protecting their buddies.

I got a great lucky hit on one of the Schildtragers with my Bansan's rockets disabling its generator. She never managed to repair it!

My mediums take control of the beet farm but are unable to get a hit on the blasted German robots!

The Sturmpanzer rolls forward and hits two of my medium tanks for 1 damage each and one for my four-legger, Stampy. Her small tanks also zip forward and put a hit on my squid. The squid retaliates by damaging one of the Walze stands and vaporizing another with this roll:

Yup. Natural Yahtzee. ** spikes football **  ** taunts crowd **

Fire at that walker back there! Another good volley - two damage scored on the Metzger.

Stampy gets up close and personal with the strength of the Prussian force. Aside from causing two more hits on the Metzger (including a weapons crit!) and smashing a stand of Walze tanks (the white ones off to the left), it was really just a lot of smoke and dust. Feh.

Wifey turns out to be a quick study. She parks the fucking super tank in front of pretty much my whole army and unleashes a shitstorm. Three turrets, one tesla cannon and two broadsides. The A9 did some kind of damage to Stampy and my medium tanks.

I pounced with my Ke-Ho unit on the right - blasting away at her small tanks on the hill. One of my rolls, in utter defiance of logic and statistical probability resulted in this...

** drops mic **

And no time later, her group of four Walze tanks rolls up to Stampy and sends it packing. 

The A6es get inspired and get a WHOLE LOTTA shots, wiping out my mediums and damaging a Ke-Ho nipping at the big robot's feet. Those dice indicate how many she needs to roll at each target.

A little retaliation - Squiddy crits the healthy Schildtrager and kills a few boarding parties in the process!

And a bit more as my little balls of anger topple the big robot!

The A9 shot up Squiddy pretty good, so rather than shooting, I had it assault the nearest Schildtrager, derelicting it. Woo Hoo!

My joy was short-lived though as her A6es proceeded to shoot the bejeezus out of the big metal beast. Wifey got on one of those wicked strings of rolling sixes. One crit roll later resulted in a Magazine Explosion! Squiddy's death throes destroyed the derelict Schildtrager and double-critted the A9! Finally I'd managed to damage the damn thing!

She wanted me to include this...

The game was done - final score, 430 to 275 in favor of the Prussians. I have the worst fortune with my Blazing Suns land forces. The game was a hoot and as the game progressed and Wifey got more familiar with the rules and rolls she really started to enjoy it more. We'll definitely have to get in a rematch soon.

One of these days I may pick up the 2.0 rulebook but I'm not looking forward to a) spending the cash, b) new unit cards and c) learning new rule nuances.