27 April 2019

That's Italian!

I finished up the itsy bitsy 1/6000 Italian ships this week. As usual, they were easy to paint and just a joy to work on.

Looking forward to their meeting with the Austro Hungarians in a month or so!

22 April 2019

A Bit Of 420 Starfleet

Saturday afternoon the Space Cadets converged upon Brunswick for the April 2019 iteration of Star Fleet Battles. This month's scenario was a meeting of Gorn and Jindarian and a bit of a "kitchen sink" game with ships, PFs, seeking weapons, a space station and ground combat. The outline...

One Toke Over the Line
Size 3, Class M planet in 2215 – Rastah CDXX
Hex 2214 is an ancient Jindarian ruin that Gorn scientists are studying. The Gorn have 2 BP in that hex to start the scenario.
Hex 2611 contains a moon. The Gorn have a Mobile Base, currently in 2511. It orbits counter-clockwise every other turn, with its first move at “Speed 1” of turn 1. It does not rotate as it orbits. The MB has a Barracks Module, a Hangar Module carrying 6 G-12 fighters (2 may be deployed CAP), a Power Module and a Sciences Module.
The Gorn mercenary Free Escort Carrier “Golden Egg” is in hex 2811, heading A, speed-0, WS-1. It carries six G-20 fighters.
A Gorn Battle Destroyer+ “Sharpened Scale” is set up on a map edge of sector F, WS-2, any speed, any heading.
Two Jindarian ships, an FFV (Kingston, carrying eight Meteor-3) and an FF (Marley) accompany three Ground Assault PFs. They have been dispatched to run the Gorn away from the ruins which hold significant cultural significance to the Jindarians. Any damage to the station will be a welcome bonus for sure!
They may start in anywhere along hex row 01XX any speed, any heading, WS-2.

We broke into teams - Mike and David took the Jindarians, I got the Gorn base, Ziggy took the Battle Destroyer and David D captained the CVE.

The evil Jindarian captains try to get their act together.

I was terrible about taking photographs. I managed to get my fighter group wiped out in short order by a wall of phaser and rail gun fire from the Jind. That kind of put me in a foul mood. The hate was ready to flow through me.

What I did have though was power and tractors. David's frigate started close enough to me to get snagged. A few impulses into the turn, Mike ended up in the same hex and I snagged him too. They were both pretty irritated. They proceeded to pummel my number 5 shield and caused plenty of damage but were still held in place for the Sharpened Scale to zip on over and smash the frigate with plasma and phasers. The tractor fun more than made up for losing my fighters.

Ziggy takes David through the damage allocation part of life.

The part of the game that mattered. The battle for the planet! The Gorn were represented by the orange and yellow counters. The Red were Jindarian.The battle began in earnest on turn 2 when the Jindarian PFs and Gorn shuttles made planetfall. We Gorn were heavily outnumbered, 33 to 22.

Somewhere around turn 4. David's FF is running from the BDD. David D's escort carrier "crosses the T" and hits Mike's carrier with a plasma D. Moments later he tractored Mike and shoved him into the planet. Hilarity ensued. The shuttles and PFs ascend through the atmosphere.

My favorite part of the game... to start turn 5, the PFs and shuttles had all broken atmosphere. We'd had a gentleman's agreement not to fire at eachother while within atmosphere. Once out, our five shuttles opened up on the down #1 shield of one of the PFs, exploding it. The explosion killed all the shuttles but it was worth it.

So, the ground combat, which really was the important part of the affair went like this. This are the number of BPs present on the planet at the start of combat of each of these turns:

               Jindarian    Gorn

Turn 2        33        22

Turn 3        28        25

Turn 4        16        21

Turn 5         9        20

End             3        15 

Suffice it to say, poor Mike and David were seriously betrayed by the ground combat dice rolls, whereas the Gorn rolls were excellent.

In the end, it was a solid Gorn victory, although the base had significant damage and all fighters had been destroyed. The BDD and mercenary carrier were in fine condition. Mike and David didn't really do anything wrong, they were quite simply screwed by the dice - reverse a couple of those ground combat rolls and we'd have had a different result. Clever use of the tractors threw them for a loop and helped us manage the space game. It allowed Ziggy to approach and smash with impunity. 

In the end, we all had a good time and it was an interesting and different type of game that featured lots of new or rarely used systems for us. That's much of the appeal of SFB for us - it's such a deep but flexible system that can be modified as necessary depending on the player mix and type of game that's desired.

14 April 2019

Periodic Check In

No a whole lot of excitement to report. I've been up to "stuff," but not a whole lot of gaming. Zig and I did get in a game of Infinity last evening (Saturday night) featuring my newly-painted Combined forces against his Pan Oceania Knights. It was a total massacre which I lost. Had a good time though!

Part of the issue was my own unfamiliarity with my troops / army. These guys have a lot of special abilities and while I spent a good bit of time painting them up for the table, I didn't spend any time whatsoever figuring out what they're good at. Regardless, Ziggy played well and his dice were on fire. I'd have struggled even if I'd spent 3 hours studying the army list and wiki.

In other news, I started planning for the annual Memorial Wargame Bash. We've decided that without a doubt, Victory at Sea: Age of Dreadnoughts MUST be included. It was a hit last year and perfect as a group game. To that end, I bought an Italian Navy to square up with the Austro-Hungarians in a conjectural Battle of the Adriatic.

The Figurehead 1/6000 collection showed up in Friday's mail. They're tiny and impossible to keep track of without properly ID'ing and tracking them. Very excited about this upcoming battle!

I'm still deciding on game 2. It'll be a land game of some sort but I just haven't made up my mind. We talked about an oversized Dragon Rampant game a couple years ago - I need to check into that. Hmmm.

01 April 2019

Recent Painting

I have been a bit productive with the paintery in the last month or so. Nothing like I was years ago, but not terrible. First off are some Infinity guys. I started collecting a new faction - the Combined. They're considerably different from the Ariadna I've been using, with the added benefit of being on sale when I picked them up! Half price is good bait for sure.

The completed group. It's the Shasvastii starter box plus a Charontid (the big purple guy). The Shasvastii are plant-creatures and rather bizarre.

 Three Shasvastii seed-soldiers.

 A Malignos (yellow), Shrouded (blue green) and Speculo Killer (the feminine one).

Big Un. He doesn't fit my typical M.O. but that's part of the interest - it's a big departure from the other faction I've been using. He's a very powerful single model and should be a blast.

Some other angles. I've got eight more Combined models in the queue so before long I'll be able to take them for a spin on the tabletop.

Also completed are some 6mm Sci Fi stuff I picked up a month or so ago from Khurasan.
They were a guilty pleasure pickup. I love painting 6mm stuff and had not for a while. It was a relatively inexpensive scratch of an itch. It did inspire me to work on some new rules ideas. Maybe I'll give them a play test some time.

Tanks of course

 Heavy weapons teams

Anti-vehicle infantry teams

And walkers of course!

A fun little project. I'm looking forward to having them square up with the Space Marines or Orks.

X-Wing: 2.0 Debut

It's been inevitable for the last three+ months, since i received the X-Wing v2 set at Christmas. Yesterday afternoon David and I finally had a chance to put version 2 on the table in a meaningful way with full squadron builds. A few weeks ago we did try the game out with the basic contents of the starter kit, but that's not quite the same thing. We have both plunked down for conversion kits - I went with my Scum and Villainy guys while David is still wearing his Stormtrooper uni.

This is what I put together - a couple of upper-tier heavies with a Firespray and IG-88 plus a Y-Wing that was more of a curiosity than anything. I doubt I've ever fielded a Y-Wing without a turret.

Scumbags assemble! The Firespray and IG are on the new-fangled medium bases.

The Imperials (two Interceptors and a Punisher with gobs of ordnance) truck it down the left flank. I'm going to have to re-arrange quickly to react without getting massacred.

A bit of twisty-turny later and Frosty is able to cash in an Interceptor. Her rear-arc attacks are much more dangerous than the front ones. There's a diet / GI tract joke in there somewhere.

And shortly, I caught the Punisher in a crossfire with the Y-Wing and Aggressor. Scratch one Pun.

So then the game turned into a fox hunt. My three space whales wheeled it on around to track down the super-quick and nimble lone Interceptor.

But it wasn't long before we had him locked down. He ended up behind the Firespray at range 1. It's really just a bad place to be.

The game was 120 minutes - that included a couple of scans through the rule book to check on some new mechanics. I was very happy with my ships, although I'd like something a bit quicker to replace the Y-Wing. It just couldn't keep up with the rest of the ships on the table. David showed that the Interceptors got the improvements they desperately needed. Previously they were very pretty one-hit-wonders; now they are very strong arc-dodgers able to play with anyone. After the game David tweaked his list to something altogether much scarier, replacing the Punisher with a Decimator. Looking forward to that meeting!