31 December 2017

Dragon Rampant AAR - Gem Hunting

Wifey and I played a game of Dragon Rampant last evening. The scenario was "The Crystal Gale" in which we both had to collect some gems/crystals that were scattered about the battlefield, in addition to killing eachother's troops. I used my recently finished Dark Elf force and my wife used a collection of mostly skeletal Undead.

The Dark Elves are one of those small, high-quality forces, compared to the more numerous but slightly less capable horde of bones.

The battlefield. Ten gems were scattered across the center, more than 12 inches from each of us.

The hordes descend upon the central crystals!

But my sorceress, Witchy-Poo blasts the ghosts with a gout of flame!

The Dark Elf Executioners taunt the ghosts into attacking instead of collecting the gem they were right next to!

Though on of the Executioners falls, a second ghost is "busted."

The chariots and skeletal warriors get it in gear and push forward!

The Reavers can't control themselves and rush the vulnerable chariots!

The chariots do a magnificent job of repulsing the attack.

But the Crossbowmen aim true and finish off one of the mighty war carts!

Again, the Reavers' sense of self-preservation is tossed aside... this time though they opt for a softer target, the skeletal wolf riders.

And although the blood-thirsty elves perform well against the riders, they are then beset by the skeletal warriors. Tragedy!

The skeletal archers off to the left flank finally make an appearance! They pick up two gems and start pelting my Crossbowmen with arrows! You can see that the chariots in the center had been eliminated - the Crossbowmen had finished them off!

The weakened Executioners still are a force to be reckoned with and run off the skeletal warriors.

The battle ended, both sides had recovered five gems. The Elves had lost one unit while the Undead had lost the Chariots, Ghosts and Warriors. Neither of us selected any quests, primarily because we play so infrequently we didn't any extra distractions. We both had a great time and it was a good last round of toy soldiers for 2017! 2017, you've been a rubbish year and I'm glad to see you go away.

Happy New Year's everyone! May 2018 be great for us all.

30 December 2017

Norm! Some more painting

Not much gaming going on down here lately. I've been doing a good bit of painting though, even though brush time has been sporadic.

I finished up the rest of those Normans for Dragon Rampant and am rather pleased with how they came out.

The models came out much nicer than the photos for sure! Be well everyone, I hope you had a nice Christmas and Happy New Year!

22 December 2017

Freshly Painted "Normans"

It says "Normans" on the packaging, but I've got other ideas. These are some lovely 15mm miniatures from Splintered Light who'll be the core of a "good guy" force for Dragon Rampant. I've got those nice collections of Dark Elves and Undead, but no comprehensive group of protagonists. Browsing Splintered Light's selection, I thought the Normans had that classic look for what I was after.

The first batch of 24 are these spearmen and archers.

Maybe the sun's Midwinter rays will cast some special magic on these guys. I did smart-up and paint ALL the shields at once, so those of the heavy infantry and horseman are already done and match the shields of the rest of the army. Brilliant!

20 December 2017

Star Fleet Battles AAR - Swap Meet

The Space Cadets got in a final SFB game for 2017 last Sunday at our preferred location - Pizza Hut in Brunswick, GA. Edward joined us for a second time and is now in danger of becoming an actual member of the Space Cadets.

The scenario was of my design. It starts with a Klingon and Romulan ship meeting up to transfer two items from the Klingons to the Romulans. There is also a cloaked Romulan frigate nearby. Two Federation destroyers zip in, attempting to disrupt the exchange.  We pick up the story there.

So, here's the setup. Ed and I drove the Feddies (green circle). David ran the Romulans and Mike helmed the Klingon (orange). The Romulan Snipe is cloaked using hidden deployment.

Ed and I, commanding the Fast Destroyers Silverhawk and the Usain Bolt, charge in headlong at speed 27. The initial plan was to quickly punch the freighter, then get away, recharge photons, and then zip in and hit it again. Mike's LD5 has sent a couple of drones towards us and the Snipe is decloaking.

Things really get squirreley for the Feds as the Snipe pushes two plasma-F and one plasma-G out its tubes. Rather than "manning up" and soaking 60 points of damage, I suggest to Edward that we run for a bit.

If there's anything a Fast Destroyer does well, it's run! The blasted Freight Eagle takes the cargo and begins cloaking. Not very sporting at all. Edward and I turn things into a game of "Kill the Klingon" and empty the tubes into the LD5. Mike's ship loses the #5 shield and takes a handful of internals. Meanwhile, the Klingon and Romulan ships have been pelting Ed and I with phasers and disruptors. 

The Bolt is hit with three plasma torpedoes. After 13 impulses of running, the damage isn't terrible at all though.

Time warp past through much of turn 2... After Ed and I completed our orbit of the asteroid cluster, we began pursuing the Freight Eagle. I turned to distract the Snipe and Klingon while Ed continued the chase. My ship was savaged by direct-fire weapons and my return fire was wildly poor. I set a course for home being crippled at this point. Ed did catch up with the Freight Eagle, but between the cloak and its great shields, the alpha strike that was dealt to it at the start of turn 3 was ineffective. A solid win for David and his pointy-ears and a best supporting actor for Mike and his Klingons.

The Federation Fast Destroyer is a miserable ship. It's shaped like an arrow and performs like one. It goes very fast, straight ahead and hits whatever is directly in front of it. It was quite interesting (frustrating) to drive something this one-dimensional. Little wonder that in the flavor text it says the Federation only ever built one.

It was a fun way to kill an afternoon and we all enjoyed ourselves tremendously. Thanks guys!

13 December 2017

Recent Painting

Nothing huge in the hobby department recently. It's been a typical busy December so far. I did however crack open the box of Napoleonic French Infantry that has graced by lead pile for about a year. Truth is, the price at the time couldn't be passed up - over 100 minis for $20! Twenty-four were put on nails for painting and churned out in about a week. Its a whole new genre for me; yes, the grand-daddy of all miniature wargame periods has finally found a spot in my collection.

I've yet to get bases, so for now, they're just hanging out loose in storage. I'm excited about Star Wars this weekend! Not only that, but it's also a Star Fleet Battles weekend too! I tell ya, the work week can't be done soon enough.

07 December 2017

Ohio 1, Mars 0 : An AQMF Battle

I suppose the title of the post give it away a bit, but over the weekend Mark J brought his All Quiet on the Martian Front toys over for some early 20th-century shoot-em-up. I opted for the Earthlings, in a reprise of my last game a couple years ago, repping the Ohio National Guard. Mark's collection has improved considerably in the last two years and this time around, the humans had a much nastier selection of kit to field against the filthy invaders.

Mark gets his tripods ready to deploy. His mission was to rescue two downed 'pod pilots - one on the train station platform and the other in the middle of the woods over to the left by the open book. After picking them up, he had to transport them off a randomly determined board edge/corner that was secret from me. He marked the spot with a scrap of paper hidden under the battle mat. I had to prevent the rescue, and ideally capture the pilots myself,

The Martians appear! We went off-script and did an alternating activation, one unit at a time. All units marched in from the board edges.

The brave green hordes of the Ohio National Guard! I had waaay too much stuff and traffic management became a serious issue.

Second Lieutenant Morgo of the Mars Expeditionary Force.

And Major Oong!

Early into the proceedings, a light scout walker gets taken out by lucky long-ranged shots!

And before long, a second tripod is smoked!

But it wasn't long before the Martians got close enough to start boiling and vaporizing my things.

And like Donkey Kong, it was on. The 'pods which had advanced up the left flank burst out in front of my central platoon. My boys were saved from certain doom by the Martians' terrible aim!

But the terrible metal monsters glided ever closer and began crushing tanks and troops, all the while sweeping arcs of death over the brave defenders with their heat rays! My big "Patton" tank had also been severely damaged, though it remained in the fight. It's resilience would prove pivotal.

My remaining tanks redeploy and begin inflicting significant losses on the Martian horde.

Adding insult to injury, one of the Martian pilots ejects into a group of Ohioans. The unfortunate space traveler is immediately subjected to horrific experiments involving rifle butts and pointy sticks.

Guardsmen assault the pod which had just attacked the central position and bring it down! The pilot survives the destruction of his vehicle. ** insert doom-laden riff here **

And that's the last anyone ever heard from Martian Lieutenant Grob.

It wasn't all fun and games for the earthlings. A heavy assault 'pod has a good time with a tank squadron at close range.

And then the Patton is hulled out! Woe is me! It's all-around guns were terribly useful propping up that side of the battlefield.

A sneaky lone steamer gets some kind of lucky and takes out one of the three tripods making a break for it!

The heavy walkers dance on the graves and flaming wrecks of my soldiers and tanks.

One of the rescued pilots loses his ride, mere meters from safety! An artillery prime mover grinds over to assist. Its machine gun fires...

Dakka dakka, space squid!

With that, we called it. I had finished off the two initial downed pilots and won a minor victory. I wasn't able to capture them, but hey, better dead than red!

In the end, I'd suffered massive casualties - 24 infantry and guns and at least 8 tanks, but was able to keep up a steady stream of losses on the Martian side to even out the back and forth firepower. We both had a hell of a good time. We fudged a handful of rules, but the game was better for it and it became a terrific beer and pretzels game - simple mechanics, a fun scenario and a fine opponent. Thanks for bringing the toys out Mark!