29 November 2015

Dystopian Wars - AAR - French and British Desert Duel

Ziggy and I had a chance to play Dystopian Wars Saturday evening. I thought it was high time my French land forces get a work out, so we both put together 1000-point lists and the table was set for a rumble in the Libyan desert.

My army list:
1 Masaulle mobile airfield
1 Bastille land ship (w/ cloud generator)
3 L'Aman heavy tanks
3 R-6 medium tanks
3 Marteau bombard artillery
5 FT-12 small tanks

The British:
1 Brunel mobile airfield (w/ shield generator)
1 Sovereign Mk.3 land ship
3 Armstrong medium tanks
1 Steward heavy tank
3 Foxhound light tanks
5 Terrier small tanks
3 Cromwell bombard artillery

We each took one Recon plane and the balance of the SAS were fighters. We've become accustomed to having an air battle to begin with. Whichever side has SAS left over is then free to re-arm their planes and stick it to the loser of the air battle.

On with the battle!

Our forces arrayed. The mobile airfields stared evilly at one another.

My orders. I'm OK with this.

Right out of the gates, we moved fighters towards eachother. In moments we'd each lost an entire squadron. Zig had one more group than me so I'd have to figure out how to account for that.

The Sovereign snaps off some long-ranged fire at an FT-12 and retires it.

My Bastille hits the big Brit with a corrosive blast from its bombard. Huzzah!

The Steward's fore gun smashed a L'aman. who in turn melt down a Foxhound. The Foxhounds respond by finishing off the damaged L'aman.  

At the end of turn 1, the Brits had scored 130 points, the French just 35.

The Steward continues its reign of terror on my right, hosing down another L'aman. BTW, any KOB players who aren't using those things are doing it wrong.

But the powerful heat lances from the L'amans melt down another Foxhound!

My bombards get to work on the hated Steward, landing a Nav Lock crit.

The Terriers wreck a third FT-12. The FT-12s are having a miserable time of it.

But the big guys are where it's at as my Bastille opens up on the Brunel at optimum range, disabling the generator, settings fires and killing crew!

The Cromwells seek revenge on the Masaulle, ranging-in easily. A shimmer develops within the explosions and moments later...

The massive vehicle is transported hundreds of yards to its rear! Not pictured here is the glorious death of the rightly-despised Steward heavy tank. I'm reasonably sure that the Masaulle killed it with its fore guns before being Flared.

So, at the end of turn 2 the French were up to 200 points, the Brits were at 155.

The situation at the start of turn 3.

The Armstrongs move forward into prime position. Another Sturginium Flare results in a dead L'aman and an R-6 also takes critical damage.

The burning Brunel finishes off the poor R-6.

My last L'aman blasts the carrier with its heat lance causing yet another crit! It is now carrying a Nav Lock, Corrosion, three Fires, Shredded Defenses and eight damage. It won't be long now! Zig had used an Espionage card to nullify a Devastating Munitions card on that shot.

But just as things were looking up, the Terriers rip into my command tank, wrecking the steering mechanisms.

The captain of the Masaulle orders his engineers to push the engines as hard as they can. (Stoke the Engines for an extra 3" move) The massive vehicle lurches forward back into arc of the Brunel. In the end, the rockets impacted and finished off the British carrier. A worthy foe if there ever was one!

The Sovereign does what it does best and finishes off my FT-12 group and puts another critical hit on my Bastille. Now the engines are fouled up! Gah!

Winding down the turn, my bombards crush an Armstrong and crit another. Hehehe.

Not to be outdone, the Cromwells double-crit my last L'aman, finishing off that squadron.

The score is now 505 for the French and 445 for the British. Still a very tight game!

Turn 4. The armies are very thin now. My Bastille managed to repair both critical effects! Zig played Radio Intercept an gained the initiative this turn.

The Terriers begin by critting my Bastille yet again, causing Chaos and Disarray. The French landship responds by causing a bit of damage to the Sovereign with its heat lance. Weapon efficacy was low with all the damage my command tank had taken.

The still dangerous Sovereign unloads on everything it can, wrecking an R-6 and finishing off my Bastille. Boooooooo.

My final shots with the bombards were at the Mk.3. Their corrosive munitions caused a Fusion Leak, for a total of FOUR corrosion markers. Hehehe.

The the end of turn 4, I'd scored 640 points, Ziggy was at 660. We'd both hit out 70% objective easily the following turn so called the game there, a draw. A well-fought brawl for both of us.

That was about a tight a game as we've ever played, and it's been a lot of games for us! The two forces are very closely matched and as much as Zig enjoys belly-aching about "Cheese Lances," The omni-present Guardian Shields on the British side are just as miserable to deal with. The Sturginium Flare on my Masaulle I think may have saved it. All of a sudden it was WAAAAY out of range and arc, so it became a non-threat which kept it alive and powerful longer than I expected, especially with no Cloud Generator.

I'm sold on the French bombards - I love them. Next time I'll have to combine them with the Furieux Scout Fliers, another favorite French unit of mine.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving / regular weekend in other parts of the world.

24 November 2015

Rollin' The Bones - A Two For One AAR Deal!

I've been taking Thanksgiving week off for years now and it has become my favorite week of the year. In the last few days I've gotten in a ton of gaming and couldn't be happier. There's a lot to be said for waking up, taking the kids to school and setting up a game on the kitchen table, being done by lunch.

I'm getting ahead of myself.... Sunday afternoon, Junior and I pulled out X-Wing and had a 100-point swirl.

He used the Decimator, a Shuttle and an Interceptor. I went super-weak, with two A-Wings and a B-Wing. His big ships had a ton of hull points and shields whereas mine were about speed/agility and big guns.

It wasn't long before my B-Wing had been sorted out.

Then, pinched between the Interceptor and Shuttle, one of my A's gets whacked.

Some fancy driving ensued while I kept my last A-Wing alive with his single remaining hull point. I did manage to take out the Shuttle before the Decimator got me. 

Good job, kiddo.You've been on a bad luck streak with X-Wing, it's good to see you get a "W."

So, Monday morning I had nothing better to do than (finally) test out Crusader's Rate of Fire WW2 skirmish rules. I bought them months ago while looking for a set of rules that would fit with my Skirmish Campaigns Kursk scenarios. Chain of Command is awesome but it has some peculiarities that didn't mesh well with the scenarios. ROF is more traditional than COC and worked very well for my test game.

I set up the first scenario, Prelude, on a 24" X 48" table top.

The map in the book is 3 feet wide so I shaved 6 inches off each side. The tan bit is a dry ravine, effectively a big trench.

The Germans deploy almost entirely in that ravine. Two squads plus a command squad. An 8cm mortar is on the hill to their left.

 Thin Soviet defenders. One rifle squad in the woods, an AT rifle team in the woods to the rear and left. Barbed wire covers the gap between the woods and building.
The building is hardened against mortar fire. it holds a Maxim MMG and an artillery observer team.

After two turns, the Germans are making good headway up the ravine. One of the squads is setting up behind the smoke to provide covering fire for the lead elements. Their two MGs will be useful for taking out some defenders early.

The smoke is lobbed further down-field to screen the Grenadiers from whatever nastiness is in that building.

A lucky bullet from the tree-line takes out a German rifleman as the two groups exchange shots through the gap between smoke screens.

The Grenadiers in the ravine reveal themselves and begin prep-firing into the woods. The mortar team switches from smoke to HE and is called in on the tree-line to lend its weight to the impending brawl.

An amazing first shot lands right on target. (80mm mortars use a 3-inch template which is exactly how big a mini-CD is. Nice.)

Even more astounding - three KIA results! The defenders in the tree-line are shaken!

The machinegun in the building lets loose with another long burst. Another Grenadier in the fire-support squad is hit.

The German squad by the woods fires again at the Soviet defenders.

It's a blood-bath!

The Grenadiers assault into the woods. Another Soviet solder falls.
But so does a Grenadier and the squad is suppressed! The squad cannot continue its assault.

A turn later, the Soviets win initiative and force the Germans to move first. They surround the two remaining Soldats but the slippery Soviets slink away during their move, cheating death another turn!

Turn 8. The Germans win initiative and continue their advance, preparing to assault the two stragglers once more. The other squad has finally caught up.

They are overcome. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten!

The German Lieutenant is furious - they're supposed to be assaulting that building, not chasing after infantry! prepare to assault that position now! Unfortunately for the Grenadiers, the mortar's smoke ran out a few turns back. This is going to be one ballsy assault.

Turn 10 - the command section makes a mad dash at the building - two of the men have satchel charges and could blast it to bits. The machine gun, rifles and supporting fire from the AT section in the woods gun down four of the seven men. Miraculously, the two with satchel charges are still standing!

But a failed morale test means they're suppressed and cannot continue the assault. The battle was over.

1) Read the damn mission. I thought the Germans were just supposed to exit troops off the far end. Flipping back through the scenario halfway through the game I realized my mistake. Destroy / Capture the building. Bonus points for exiting troops.

2) ROF is a good set of platoon-scale rules. I'd prefer if it were d10-based instead of d6, but it is perfectly fine. It's not much more complex than dumb-old 40K, but all of GW's inherent problems are fixed with ROF. Both sides move, both sides fire. Casualties are simultaneous (except that stationary troops shoot before those who have moved).

3) I rolled to see when the mortar would run out of smoke and it didn't last long - that smoke would have been very useful late in the battle for the German run towards the building. Next time.

All in all, a satisfying game and a set of rules I'm quite happy with. I imagine they'll be getting more play as I try to work my way through some of the scenarios in the Skirmish Campaigns book. I may post the BatRep from today's game tomorrow, but I may not have time while trying to get ready to go out of time. If I don't post, Happy Thanksgiving!