29 April 2020

Dragon Rampant - The Shaming

My wife and I played a bit of Dragon Rampant on Saturday. It's a great low-intensity escape that always makes for an entertaining time. My wife is a big fan of the deceased and asked for an army of "big things" so the Skelephant, Bone Griffons, Chariots and skeletal wolf riders would do nicely. I cast my lot with the Romans - they're a pretty straightforward bunch who are solid and reliable. We played the "Sacred Mole" scenario in which one side attempts to carry a McGuffin from one corner of the table to the opposite corner while the opponent tries to steal the item and do the same.

Caroline began play with the Sacred Mole.

My warband on a cold desolate battlefield. Solid heavy riders, heavy and light infantry (both with Offensive) and an elite riders commander.

Early on, my commander gets a visit from the wolf riders. They'd have been been off shooting and scooting, but some lessons are only learned by experience. Two of the little guys were struck down and my commander lost a strength point.

Of course, I get drawn into something I may not be prepared for... wild charge takes ahold! I did manage to smash one of the chariots carrying the Mole.

My cavalry hasn't been entirely lazy and arrives in time to relieve a bit of pressure on the commander! Get those winged things, lads!

All the combat really starts to add up for my boss man. He's half strength and fighting the skelephant!

The Griffons grab the box and make haste!

My cavalry fall a bit short of being able to smash into and destroy those little riders. This would eventually prove to be a critical turning point.

Caroline uses all her available resources to stop me from being able to pursue the griffons. The skelephant crunches into the cavalry.

And the remaining chariot takes a run at my commander. They wipe each other out!

My very slow heavy infantry finally make it into the game and take a run at bone mountain.

A bit of damage and a miserable courage roll results in a dead monster! Woo hoo!

My spearmen are going to have to play goalie. The griffons are easy to read, I just have to get in their way. You can see that my heavy infantry have fallen just short of smashing the wolf riders. That's twice now I've been an inch or less away from being rid of those things!

The gauntlet.

It wasn't long before they came to blows. The spearmen won the combat and took the box! Huzzah!

But of course the one-hit-point griffon goes all Khan and with its last breath, spits at the Spearmen, running them off and snatching the box! Oh calamity! Oh ruin!

But it wouldn't be Dragon Rampant if you didn't have to dice for actions though. My bride manages to f-up a few rolls.

Allowing my heavy infantry to get within 6 1/4 inches. I uttered some choice words, being a quarter inch off my mark.

My wife then shrieked a curse as her movement roll came up a 3. My infantry would have their day.

Or that was the plan until I botched my roll to attack them. GAAAAAAAAH!

Incredibly, she dorks up the subsequent movement roll! More cussing ensues and I am asked to get her some new dice. Truly, Loki smiles upon us both.

Carve carve, chop chop. Die you rotten bird thing!

Just some high-end heavy infantry and those shady riders left now. A walk in the park...

Until her stupid shoot n scoot bowmen kill a guy. They fail a courage test.

And are unable to rally. Game over.

Those godforsaken wolf riders worked out real nicely for her. They were able to stay away, get lucky and just "hang around" long enough to make all the difference. It worked out even better that they were paired up against the slowest opponent and could easily remain at bay. Needless to say, revenge is in the air and I look forward to a rematch. Maybe this weekend.

28 April 2020

Cthulhu Went Down to Georgia

I finished up the infantry portion of my StarDust Ground "Cultist" army yesterday. I've got a few vehicles on the way from Brigade, across the pond. I'm looking forward to painting those for sure!

But for now, here are the guys / things that make it happen. Models are a mixture of Rebel Minis, Khurasan, WotC and Reaper Bones on Battlefront bases.

The gang. Demons on the left, mortals on the right.

Some very Lovecraftian demonic cavalry.

"Vanilla" close combat specialists.

The heaviest of hitters.

Fanatics. They've been hitting the Kool-Aid a bit hard and possibly standing too close to the reactor.

The leader guy and a behemoth.

Humans just doin' it for kicks. 

And some weapons teams because, well, you can't have a battle without them.

I'm looking forward to trying them out for sure!

25 April 2020

StartDust: Ground Second Edition Available

 I've wrapped up StartDust: Ground Second Edition. It's available on lulu.com now for a mere $2.99. As usual, if you bought a previous version, drop me a line at stardustgame at outlook.com and I'll send you the PDF.

I've also put together a secondary blog site featuring only things StartDust.

There are links on it to some resources for StarDust Ground.

StarDust Ground AAR: Robots, Go Home

Last Saturday Ziggy and I got together for a good-ol' 6x4 of StarDust Ground. After the recent rules updates, it was time to put it on the table.As an added element of "doing something different," I broadcast the game live with Gotomeeting and a webcam. Mark J joined and watched most of the game.

The game featured the Robot army (a personal favorite) versus the humans of the Red Guard. The set up had both forces advancing into the battlefield from opposite corners to capture and hold two objectives.

The objectives are the bridge and the ruins on the hill. My robots are entering the table from the bottom right, Zig's humans are at the upper left.

My starting forces were two squads of warbots, a squad of superbots and a the big repairbot.
The humans - two infantry squads and two Catapult rocket launcher tanks. They also had a sniper deployed further forward.

The forces start moving out. I sent the superbots over to the hill to contest that objective while the others gradually made their way toward the oasis. The repairbot has a smoke launcher and dropped a smoke screen in front of the superbots to give them some cover.

I based the Robot Army on common Fantasy Undead tropes, particularly slow movement, fearlessness and a lack of regard for their own lives. The do have some very fast elements (hoverbots, etc) which act like quick wolves or bats in an undead army.

Not really what I needed. The first of the Red Guard reinforcements arrive. Three Horseman light grav tanks.
The rocket tanks start pelting my troops and things have gotten urgent. The humans also have a squad on the bridge objective. They'll start scoring victory points soon. The superbots ascend the hill and take some shots at the squad on the bridge while the repair bot pushes forward to engage the tanks in fisticuffs!

Despite some very low-odds dice rolls, the Red Guard wipe out the superbots like they were nothing. GAH!
TK421 catches up with a Catapult tank and proceeds to embarrass itself. The grav tank is unscathed.
But just then, some robot reinforcements arrive! A large group of heavy hoverbots accompanied by a repair hoverbot zip in from behind the fishing village.

Some worthwhile shooting by the hoverbots results in a dead infantry stand on the bridge. The tanks retreat, not wanting to give my repairbot a chance to redeem itself.

Now we're talkin'! More help has arrived in the form of a squadron of bigbots. Railguns and machineguns are just what the doctor ordered.

Of course, things aren't all roses. The grav tanks start wrecking my robot infantry back in the other corner. Loads of small arms and an artillery uplink spells trouble for me.

My troops are wiped out, save the leader. The leaderbot calls in a spot of artillery on the light tanks! unfortunately, their armor holds up and no damage is done.

My heavy hoverbots sweep forward and mix it up with the grav tanks. Despite plenty of opportunities, they're unable to score any real damage. The Red Guard infantry on the bridge has been wiped out though!

But the situation on the hill just sucks for the robots. Infantry have captured that objective while reinforcements continue to arrive. Two heavy tanks are nothing I need to see.

The bigbots manage to smash a fire support tank with a railgun shot!

Large vehicle squadrons mean a group can really stretch out! The hoverbots hold the bridge objective while one of the team starts engaging the infantry on the hill. Too little, too late maybe, but a robot's got to have dreams. (of electric sheep?)
A gout of plasma from one of the Lancer heavy tanks blasts the brave little hoverbot. If it makes you feel better, the hoverbot was only programmed to be brave.

The bigbots managed a spite kill, finishing off the Catapults although the battle was over at this point.
Ziggy's Red Guard had won the battle, 7-2. A side scored a point for controlling an objective for a full player turn. Zig had the bridge for a few turns, then kept the meter running with the hill objective. We played until the one side had scored 7.

Zig played a good game, but the dice will have to take some of the blame for my crap performance. After playing the robots a handful of times, I need to buff them a little to make up for their movement restrictions. I have a couple of ideas.

Overall, the game ran very well and Mark rather enjoyed being able to watch it on his computer. Here's the hastily-assembled webcam rig I put together.
Since then, I've put together a rig that'll be a lot a) prettier  b) functional  c) stable. You can see Mark on the screen heckling us.

Be well everyone. I think I'm going to be showing future games on freeconferencecall.com It's indeed free and does not have the 40-minute timer that Zoom does. Gotomeeting is excellent but at $12 / month after the 14-day free trial, I'm not sure I want to use it that badly.