29 March 2016

Simply Dread-ful

I finished up my Dystopian Wars French Vauban hover-dreadnought-carrier just a day or so ago.It was a Christmas gift from Zig. Big models usually slow me down, so 3 months is about right for something like this. I took pics of it with its sister-ship, a Charlemage-class dreadnought. One of these days these beasts will make it to the tabletop. Z and I usually play 1000 or 1200-point games and having 300+ points wrapped up in a single ship isn't really wise. I would like to try the two dreads against a bigger force just to see how they do.

26 March 2016

Recently Painted - Robots!

I finished ten Dystopian Legions Antartican Automatons today. Lots more where they came from... fortunately they are easy to paint.

Simple enough. Good old-fashioned metal men with ray guns. I've got six French Legionnaire models in the queue which require a great deal more work to finish. My son has alreay claimed the 'Bots as his army of choice. Fine with me... I don't trust those things.

We saw Batman Vs Superman today. It's a lot of fun. Go see it.

24 March 2016

Dystopian Wars AAR: Sun, Fun and Guns in the SoPac!

Last Saturday Zig and I got out the Dystopian Wars toys for another installment in the ongoing battle between His Majesty's Navy and the Imperial Navy. I mixed things up a bit this go-round and used a few things we'd not put on the table yet, building a bit of a scenario into the proceedings.

I used the Steakhouse of Doom  (a Blazing Suns Bunker Complex) and a fun mix of naval and aerial forces. It's not up to tournament specs as far as point distribution but Z didn't care. Zig used his recently updated (new Orbat!) Australians. We both had 1200-points worth of stuff.

The setup was this - the Australian flotilla was out hunting the Japanese carrier group in the Solomons when it stumbled upon the recently completed Bunker Complex. The carrier Kane was indeed also present as was the heavy airship Okami. Never one to flee when there was a fight to be had, the Commodore McRath pressed forward.

 Deployment. The black-primed Aussies blend in very well. We rolled terrain randomly and got an unusually high SIX islands!

A better look at the Australian stealth ships and weird deployment. My bunker's mines bothered Zig so he stayed far away from them.

A damned Monitor pops one of my corvettes early. 

But revenge was very swift. The Temple of Doom blasted the tar out of one of two Pocket Battleships, the HMAS Wagga Wagga. Two volleys of rockets caused major damage.

Not to be outdone, the Japanese Armored Cruisers unload another massive barrage of rockets into the stricken Wagga Wagga. Blackness engulfed the great vessel for a moment, then it reappeared hundreds of yards forward, inverted and burning out of control on a nearby island. 

My little Tetsubo flying machines got in on the long-range act and set a flanking Kestrel rotor aflame with a veritable wall of rockets. Fighters from the nearby Kane also closed on the enemy fliers.

This is how it looked after turn 1.

We continue to exchange fire. My Gunships knocked out a mini-sub with torpedoes and continue to cause headaches with gunfire and rockets. One of the Gunships became a favored target of the Australians and was taking heavy damage.

One of the Monitors finishes off the Gunship. Bah.

Japanese and Australian small ships brawl mercilessly towards the right as the aircraft battle on the left. Jade Chrysanthemum Squadron finishes off the damaged Kestrel.

A Sub Tender is offered up to Neptune.

Frigates continue to make an impact, accounting for a Japanese Tanuki!

Japanese Corvettes cause major damage to one Monitor and launch an ill-fated boarding attempt against another.

The last of my Gunships is captured by the godforsaken Crocodiles. I had killed three of the things!

Kane's broadsides finish off the second Kestrel (not pictured)!

My Nakatsu Light Cruisers enter from the flank and the end of turn three and offer a textbook display of ineptitude. Six zillion high-dice shots, fuck-all to show for it. I went on to win the initiative on turn four and activated the Nakatsus immediately so they could redeem themselves. They repeated their prior garbage performance. A Sub Tender, HMAS Wogglepong, rammed one of my cruisers just 'cuz.

The Corvettes show my stupid Light Cruisers "how it's done" and kill off the Wogglepong.

The HMAS Cockburn unleashes a close-range beating on my Nakatsu squadron, cirtting all, flaring one into what would really be a useful position, all things considered.

I failed to take any pictures of the massive amount of damage that the Cockburn began to take from the Okani and the Temple O' Doom.

By the end of turn four, I'd managed to fulfill my objective requirements of destroying 70% of the enemy force, just barely. I had 850 points and Zig had managed 645, but hadn't come close to bagging my Commodore's vessel, the Kane.

Another brutal game of DW! It was contentious and a lot of fun, although the dice gods were in my favor that evening without a doubt. The Australians are still nasty as all get-out and I do not enjoy facing them. The Monitors, Battleships and Crocs are all high on my list of units I despise. Ziggy seemed to be pretty irritated that I was targeting his subs as much as I did with torps and CC. I'm a fan of the Bunker Complex - it is a solid use of 170 points. I'd take it again in a minute. My carrier did well, but that was as much a function of deployment as anything else. 

Looking forward to the next one!

19 March 2016

Pinewood Derby Update!

Well, my son's car is much better than we ever could have hoped! It still hasn't lost a race - first place every time down the track!

He flat-out won the Pack races two weeks ago. Today was the District race. His car took second overall! The district race keeps track of cumulative time, four trips down the track. He (and the rest of us) were ecstatic!

14 March 2016

Recently Painted at a Snail's Pace

I finished off three of five Hell Dorado miniatures I picked up as Frostgrave crew over the weekend. They've been half-done since before Christmas I think. Two more are still in the queue - I'm stuck trying to decide what to do with them.

A nun with a foul attitude and two soldiers with big polearms. 

Sister Mary Margaret 

Bob and Doug

I was having lighting while taking the pictures issues and was too lazy to drag these outside yesterday for a proper treatment.

13 March 2016

Saturday Evening on the Eastern Front

The 1/72nds got pulled out of exile last evening for a little game of Rate of Fire. Being my second game and Ziggy's first, I kept things simple and set it up as two opposing infantry platoons. The Germans got an 80mm mortar and the Soviets got a Maxim MMG and an obr.1927 76mm gun for additional firepower. As is nearly always the case, Zig commanded the Germans.

Our deployments. Locations of the various objectives are circled. It was late in the day and the sky was as gray as the German uniforms. A storm was coming.

Yevgeny, blast anything that crosses the road!

My lead squad in the woods and the fascist invaders across the road in the beet field spot each other.

Unfortunately, my squad is also spotted by a German with a radio off to my left. One of my squad is killed by a mortar fire.

We both continue to push our troops into better positions.

A smoke round blocks Yevgeny's view down the road!

Blue squad takes possession of the objective house.

Which is a good thing since a squad of Fritzes has gathered up on the other side of the road behind the ruined house.

I knew I should have made a left turn in Albuquerque.

The squad which had been behind the ruined building worked its way over to my side of the road using the smoke as cover. Even though I was able to take shots at them as they ran past, my fire was ineffective. A melee looked primed to begin!

But as the Germans rounded the corner, a quick short-ranged firefight erupted. Both squads, surprised to see eachother, hit the deck and immediately looked for cover. The melee would have to wait. It was getting very dark now and the rain was starting to fall. Both sides pulled back for the night. They'd still be there tomorrow.

We decided that the Germans had won a very marginal victory since they had a few more kills than the Soviets, but it was closer to a draw than a real decision.

Boy I wish I'd had a mortar with some smoke! I had two squads (the squad that was hit by the mortar and the MG section to the left) get essentially pinned down stuck in a crossfire. The MG was fine - it had targets all game but ended up on the short end of the stick since it had less cover than the guys in the beet field. The other squad was hosed until I managed to pick off the observer after sending approximately 350 bullets his way. Ziggy played and rolled well. The assault would have been rather interesting had it continued. His targeted squad had been shot up pretty badly, but I had a red squad moving in to help.

I'm very happy with Rate of Fire. There's nothing particularly "wrong" with Chain of Command but RoF is just more my cup of tea and I'm glad I picked it up. I'm still eager to get some AFVs on the table, but I thought they'd just add complexity to what was essentially a first go for us.

Be Well and Good Gaming!

sneak sneak...

12 March 2016

New Toys

My extra hours of work in January and February have paid off and I picked up a treat for myself. I took advantage of some serious markdowns on miniaturemarket.com and bought a bucket of Dystopian Legions stuff.

Now, Dear Reader, you're saying to yourself "Ski doesn't play DL, what gives?" Well, I doubt I will play DL. I do however want to cobble together some simple skirmish rules, or leverage the Rate of Fire rules mechanics in order to play something one or both of my kids can get into. The 8-year old thought the stuff looked cool so it shouldn't be too difficult to get him to give it a go. Heck, even the 12-year old though it was interesting looking which is saying a lot.

11 March 2016

Star Fleet Battles Blast

We've been keeping with our monthly SFB games, I just haven't been blogging them. The February game was quite memorable. Long story short, we Romulans destroyed a Federation carrier. OK, so it was an Auxiliary Light Carrier (a small freighter with wings), but a carrier none the less!

One picture, but so far it is my favorite gaming picture of the year.

Five fighters > 1 AxCVL

06 March 2016

Gnomeward Bound (2016)

The last two days I've spent at Gnomecon - Savannah's very own little Gaming, Sci-Fi, Fantasy and Geekery convention. My family and I had a terrific time and I think I've officially made up for lost gaming time caused by work recently.

Friday a ran my game Star Dust: Ground. I was again relegated to "the wargames room" far from the main area, but it was quite OK since we didn't really have to "mind our manners."

Mark grins while pushing the Dogs toward the bridge into our village. Wayne (right) was my teammate.

Much like the last time through this scenario, the Dogs have little trouble crossing the bridge.

Turn SEVEN was the first turn of clear visibility!

This kind of sums things up - my AA vehicle is pulled apart by the two Predators.

A solid victory for the Dogs and a statistically insane ONE turn of clear visibility over the course of nine turns. 50% chance each turn...   : /

After that, I packed my stuff and me and the fam watched an Odd Lot show - they're a local improv troupe . Their show's a lot like Who's Line is It Anyway? We enjoyed it immensely.

When they'd wrapped, about 11:00pm, we settled into a game of Shadows over Camelot. David and his son showed up so we had a bonkers 7-player game. 

The girl who was teaching us to play was the only one who saw me take this picture... Four of the knights (me, David, Christian and Kylie, our teacher) died but we did manage to win the game and stop Camelot from falling! We finished around 1:00am or so. Off to Nod...

On Saturday, Cameron and I arrived at 9:30am for a King of Tokyo tournament. He and I played SUPER aggressive and died quickly. We played another round, then a game of King of New York. From there it was on to a seven-player game of DUNGEON with some family friends. Our friend Justine won as we had to end the game a bit early since they were short on time. She'd managed 65% of her goal. I died twice.  :(

Then it was onto Star Fleet Battles! This has been a highlight of Gnomecon for me and this year's was no exception.

Mike used Cadet Rules and had it set up with a Fed CA and a Gorn CA versus a Klingon D7 and two Romulan KRs. The Fed/Gorn team gets a decoy they can deploy during the game. 

I got a Romulan, Mark (from the previous SDG pic) got the Klingon and his brother (a different Mike), the other Rom. Gamemaster Mike took the Fed and James captained the Gorn.

Our formation. Me in the lead (they made me boss since I'm the most experienced). The green one is the Klingon.

Our prey. Our first plan was gang up on the Gorn.

But as things wore on, the Fed was the better target more often than not and suffered appropriately. Big badda boom.

We played on a bit more after this but it was a foregone conclusion. Coalition win! In all fairness, Mark's D7 was pretty messed up and my ship had taken a good bit of damage. The Gorn and the other Romulan were in great shape.

After that, it was on to HOTT with James!

In game one, my Farm Animals were attacking his brand-new Pirate army. That river across the center of the battlefield was complete bullcrap, and my Behemoth General Bessie the Cow would know!

Something you don't see everyday.

Once Bill Grogan's goat (Blades) crossed the river, it went haywire and slaughtered Pirates in a terrifying display. I won, 12-11.

Next up....

My Narnians were attacking the Dinosaurs this time. The terrain was still cripe.

But Beasts don't care! They're always fast.

Gorgor, the Dino King!

Gorgor and King Peter face off, but neither could gain an advantage.

Dino herding. I'd eventually force it off the edge of the table for the win!

Next game... X-Wing. 8-players.

We used low-end craft so it wasn't tough to manage.

My two 13-point TIE fighters. My buddy's Interceptor got too far ahead and was killed quickly.

 A epic bad pair of dice rolls.

The next rolls. Wow.

TIE #17 is the last Imperial craft on the table. I spin it around to fight no fewer than FIVE X and E-wings. Glory!

I hit two of them before becoming a memory. It was a terrific time for everyone and for a few minutes, my crummy TIE fighter game Rogue Squadron all they could handle!

Gnomecon V was a great time. My family had a wonderful time... it was just great all around. Can't wait 'til next time!