30 April 2015

Memorial Day 2015

This Memorial Day weekend, I'm helping organize a game day at Morningstar Games in Savannah, GA. This will be Sunday May 24th beginning at 12:00 noon and lasting until we get kicked out.

All games will be 'Merica!-themed, so it's the USA versus the world for all games.

I'm going to be demoing Check Your 6! Jet Age all day, featuring Vietnam War and Gulf War air battles. I may, interest and time permitting, also run a Top Gun tournament for as many as 10 players. It'll be a "last plane standing" free-for-all.

Mike Baker is going to put together a Squad Leader Miniatures World War II game and Alan Sheridan will probably bring a Flames of War matchup.

Since we just got approval for this yesterday, we're just starting to get some traction so hopefully we'll get a few more games on the slate. If you're local or even local-ish, I hope you can make it by!

29 April 2015

Mid Week Update

This started out as a Dystopian Wars AAR but after a few days, the novelty was wearing off so I've decided to can it. Zig and I DID play a 1000-pointer Saturday, Brits and French, in the water. Zig put a lot of submarines on the table and I fielded a pretty standard mix of things.

The table setup. We had a lot more terrain than is usual for us. The reefs made a re-appearance, as did the adorable little lighthouses that came with the Eclipse Co. set.

Traffic management was a thing for me. I used a lot of mines early in the game to irritate the British subs.

Zig had typical bouts of terrible luck.

One of his freshly painted subs. Of course, it was the first to die. It's a tradition with our games that the most recently painted thing must die first.

In the end, we fought to a miserable draw. I caused more damage but neither of us could complete our missions. It was a fun game regardless of the outcome.

In other news, my Blazing Sun fleet for Dystopian Wars is in drydock. I decided I was not happy with their colors and painting style so they're being re-done. Here are some shots of the progress:

Original colors. It looks OK, but it is chunky and un-imaginative. They aren't eye-catching.

Into the dip! That's Pine Sol. 

After some tooth-brushing I hit them with some lovely dark orange spray paint.

At this point ALL of the surface ships have been stripped and blasted orange. The planking on the carrier was a real mother...

 On Sunday, a group of us met at Morningstar for some X-Wing. I had not played in a while and also convinced Junior to join us! I picked up the "Scum and Villainy" box when we got there and we played a very solid 3-sided game. Each side was 100 points and it was every faction for itself. The Rebels were led by David and Mike. The kids, Christian 2 and Anson took control of the Empire's ships. I slapped together a group of Scum and we duked it out among the asteroids.

Some serious bumper-ships early in the proceedings.

The game went along very well especially considering it was a three-sided game which usually devolve into a 2v1 gang-up. There was a fair amount of "pick on the nastiest ship" so the TIE Defender, E-Wing and Wedge Antilles got an inordinate amount of attention. My Firespray got picked on early, but due to some crap maneuvering it was out of the action for a few turns while the other ships fought it out. Everyone involved had a good time and I really like the S&V guys. Its surprising that they've kept the game fresh this long after its release.

Be well and good gaming!

23 April 2015

Micro Armor

I'm feeling a bit under the weather today so I stayed out of work. With a bunch of free time, I took the opportunity to put some models on the tabletop and try out some rules. I game GHQ's Modern Micro Armor a quick run through its paces. Its a free download on ghqmodels.com . Since I've got some WW2 minis on the way, with the intention of using GHQ's WW2 Micro Armor game, I thought a bit of familiarity was in order. The WW2 and Modern games are very similar, mechanically.

I pulled ten Soviet T-55s and ten FRG M48s out of the collection, set up a 48 x 24 battlefield and began throwing dice. The play order is a bit different, in that shooting is done before movement, but that certainly helps differentiate it from most games these days. I rather liked the flow, once my mind adjusted. It pays to be cautious for sure!

Since it was just a solo rules run, I wasn't in the usual picture-taking mode.

In the end, the West Germans lost - they were being routed early on, losing five stands in short order. They got a flurry of kills late, to tie things up, but the game ended when the sixth M48 stand was eliminated. It was a nice little distraction for the morning and I'm looking forward to playing with this system more.

22 April 2015

Recently Painted

I indulged a few weeks ago and picked up the Dystopian Wars Eclipse Company Support box set. I've had my eye on the models for a while because, frankly, they are dead gorgeous. I'm not quite as taken with their aerial units in their battle box, but the tiny boats, subs and especially the undersea bases are just my cup of tea. I did up a few units to test my color scheme and painting method and am quite happy with the results so far.

 The group thusfar

Atlas assault boats

An Oceanus Bomber

Stingray mini subs

Submarine hangar

Everything in the box is just perfect, the bases, the little boats and subs, the bombers. If you can't tell, I'm stoked. Once the rest are done, I'll certainly be posting pictures and give them some game time.

19 April 2015

AK 47 Republic - A Battle Report

19 April 2015
Dessus de la Table, Litumsia

Saturday evening, communist terrorists from the Militia Campaign for the New Congress ambushed government troops on a farm equipment resupply mission, near the eastern town of Merde. Twenty-five WPA soldiers were killed in the attack, and upwards of seventy MCC terrorists were killed. President for Life Johnson has vowed to put an end to these attacks and and has asked Major General Précis to organize a new operation to hunt down and destroy the last of the MCC.


My wife and I put AK47 Republic on the table Saturday night. This game was a long-overdue chance for me to right the wrongs of our last battle. Wifey had an OK trip through the pre-game chart and picked up a free Armored Car with a Tank Gun. Nice! I had a roller-coaster ride. Apparently I had organized a round-up of the wrong people weeks prior so my reinforcements would arrive from locations chosen by the enemy. Feh. At least they'd recently been given an extra ration of ammo so one time during the game one unit would be entitled to a +2 on their shooting attacks.

The battlefield.

Shockingly, I got all of my units from the get-go. Wifey only got two of hers - but at least they were decent units. I set my objectives on the rail crossing, the crossroad and the bridge.

My troops moved out slowly. And boy do I mean slow. My first unit, all the way on the right got to move 7 inches - not bad at all, but the I proceeded to roll nothing but ones for the balance of my guys.
The tanks draw a bead on commies in the town.

Government artillery pounds the rebel tanks but the tanks simply shrug off the blasts.

Turn 2 - Again, only my one unit far to the right gets it in gear - the others all mill about slowly. The cannons of course sit still ready to blast the tanks again. The unit on the right lost a recoilless rifle to a shot from the armored car on turn 1 and promptly lost a morale point.

The MCC fire is relentless and second platoon suffers accordingly.

Second platoon routs. Not good for the President's forces.

Turn 3. My artillery continues their flight but lose two of their number to the pursuing tanks. My squad in the center, we'll call them Hero Squad ramps things up and gets a tremendous movement roll. My tanks still flounder.

The MCC armored car, which looks like it was recently stolen from a government motor pool, takes out the armored car supporting my troops which have just become my right flank. When it rains it pours...

On turn four, the MCC rebels received their first reinforcements - a group of infantry with three mortars. My numbers advantage was starting to dwindle with nothing to show for it! I didn't get a picture of it, but my artillery guns had been wiped out by this time.

A PT-76 and the armored car that had given me such fits take each other out in an exchange of shots. My infantry in the center continue to roll well for their moves and really start closing in on the bridge objective. The rebel tanks close in on the government forces on the right.

I finally catch a break - the "elite" MCC Guards occupying the town and woods lose their last morale point and go away. That took a lot longer than it should have!

My joy was short-lived. The rebels received another reinforcement group - a large platoon of militia all mounted in vehicles of course! They would enter next to the river - you can see them staged at the top of the picture. My still-functioning tank hid from the M-46es (one was pinned) and both groups of infantry moved forward to their objectives.

A rather controversial photograph that certain persons did not want made public.

Nooses tighten here and there. The bridge is within my grasp and I may be able to run these bums with the mortars off the crossroads objective.

The firefight at the bridge is quick and brutal. I lost two squads, as did my wife's troops. The rebels also lost their HMG jeep.

I lost another tank to the rebel scum.

And then things went south really quickly. The remaining tank failed its morale roll and fled, then the platoon that had marched all the way across the board to the bridge failed two morale test and also fled, leaving me with one beat-up unit of militia That unit surrendered - there was little point in continuing.

Wow, what a beating! I got rolled badly. I don't know if I passed more than one or two morale rolls all game, whereas my wife couldn't fail one. Tactically, I think we both made good decisions and her guys held up really well while waiting for the cavalry to arrive. I wish I hadn't wasted my artillery screwing around with the tanks. I should have put them way to the right and driven them to a point where they could blast away at an objective. Oh well, lesson learned. The final score, as much as I'd like to not say, was 125 to 19.

Another bad day for President for Life Johnson. Next time that new helicopter that was just acquired may have to make an appearance.

16 April 2015

Recently Painted

Knocked out a few more models this week. I'd say the pile is getting smaller but it isn't. I ordered their queue replacements today.

Here's the haul of the day:

Fifteen stands of basic small arms infantry for the Militia Campaign for the New Congress, Litumsia's communist rebel faction and two additional large robots for my StarDust: Ground robot army.

Fun fun fun! They may get a work out this weekend. Wifey might play a game with me. 

It took these guys for ever to show up after the minor shipping debacle on eBay, but they painted up nicely. Here are the two new ones with the original. I chopped one of the new one's knee and repositioned it to give it a more action-ey pose. It turned out a lot better than I anticipated.

14 April 2015

April Star Fleet Battles Game

Three of the Space Cadets got together for a quickly-cobbled-together game of SFB. David texted me earlier in the week that he wanted to drive an LDR Police Carrier and Mike said he wanted in, so here's what I came up with...

The Jig Is Up!

The Arrow Poison Cartel has been operating from LDR and Lyran space for some time now. Since the recent fighter group battle and subsequent pursuit of their carrier, fleet forces have started to track down their bases of operation. The LDR got wind of a pair of ships on Vega III and sent a police carrier to hunt them down. Because the APC has been using Vega III for a few months as a "safe house," they've set up a makeshift minefield in the system.

The map. The two Orion Light Raiders, mine and Mike's, start the game landed on the planet. Mine had disruptors in the wing mounts and a type C Drone rack in the nose. Mike went the other way and put C-racks in the wings and a disruptor in the nose. Old Kzinti habits die hard. David had a full-refit LDR Police Carrier with six Z-Y fighters. The Orions also got 8 T-bombs (small mines) to place within 12 hexes of their planet. I placed four, as did Mike. See if you can spot my mistake in the picture above. All mines were set to trigger on drones and shuttles, ignoring ships.

Since during turn 1 the Orions could only begin lift-off from the planet, it was a very short turn. LDR Captain Fancy Feast moved at speed 20 and ended the turn 18-20 hexes from us.

Right at the start of turn 2 both David and I realized I fucked up the minefield and left a gap through it. Tragedy is in the works. Mike was not amused.

The po-po shoot the gap and start releasing fighters. Mike and I launch our shuttles since our ships are now airborne. We both start launching drones as well.

All of the fighters are out. David used O8 (picoarmor.com) micro fighters for the models and they are dead sexy. He also popped a 0-radius ESG, announced a few impulses prior.

One of the Orion highlights of the game. The Lyrans kick two shuttles out the hatch, inside the ESG. The carrier is going too fast to tractor the shuttles safely. The ESG is going to smash both shuttles. Mike and I are howling with laughter.

The carrier moves its next hex and smokes its babies. Hehehe. Too bad they weren't fighters.

Some Z-Ys blow up one of my shuttles. The three remaining shuttles shot poorly at one of the fighters and didn't kill it, but it was crippled.

By the end of the turn, all Orion shuttles had been killed and a six laden Z-Ys were loitering right next to our ships which were about to break atmosphere. Mike and I had a pow-wow and discussed how we were going to deal with the imminent 12-drone bombardment. We crunched some numbers and decided we could account for 10 drones, so we put lots of power into reinforcing our #5 shields (we were facing "up" relative to the pictures.)

David didn't realize that we were valid targets while in the planet hex and held fire. Our first move was to slip out, putting the planet between us and them. Our two ships are really in the same hex (0316).

It wasn't long before the fighters were in position and began launching drones at us.

We launched some drones at them as well and I managed a drone kill on a fighter. Mike swatted one with phasers and I bagged a second with an overloaded disruptor + phaser. Mike and I both tractored drones, accounting for four and I ended up getting hit by two drones in the #5 shield. An impulse or two later the fighters raked my #6 with phaser fire leaving my ship like this:

Not terrible, all things considered.

My ship was power-starved on turn 4, having doubled my engines on 3 and needing to recharge lots of things. Mike and I toyed with the idea of pushing our held drones into the mines but instead made a big loop around in pursuit of the fighters. We managed to kill off two more in the process while Mike's ship took some minor damage on its front shield.

With that, we were being kicked out of the game store at 7:00pm. An interesting and tense game to be sure. The gap in the minefield made things a hell of a lot more exciting than Mike and I would have liked, but in all seriousness, worked rather nicely from a scenario stand-point. Our next game will be a direct follow-up from this battle. We'll keep the damage as-is and have a pursuit of the Orions as they try to get away. The carrier is untouched, although it has lost its fighters. Both Orions have some damage and drones are diminished. The Orions will be in an extremely tough spot.

Thanks Mike and Dave for another tremendous game of SFB! Looking forward to the next one, as always!