28 August 2021

Knights and Noisemakers

The latest additions to my Italian Wars collection were finished up today. Some proper heavy cavalry for the "Venetians" and some artillery for the "Spanish." Colors were based upon my whim and not based on any sort of research.

I did of course at least give most of the artillery crews "red legs." Seemed appropriate.

Models are 1/72 plastics from The Red Box. They're scheduled to hit the table next weekend. Should be a BLAST.

22 August 2021

Bloody Buron - Blitzkreig Commander AAR

They've been in storage long enough, these minis. It was high time they come out for a game. 

Ziggy and I pulled out Blitzkreig Commander on Saturday evening for a western front battle. It was an historical encounter between the Canadian 9th Brigade and elements of the 12th SS around Buron. I used the OOBs from the GHQ Micro Armor scenario which gives a wonderful breakdown of how things should be set up.

I ran the Canadians and Ziggy commanded the German attackers. 

The deployment was more or less historical, with a collection of various infantry and support weapons in the towns of Gruchy, Buron and Authie, and the 27th Armoured Regiment on the road between Buron and Authie. The Germans were in the eastern corner and had to capture two of those three towns.

It doesn't take long for my troops in Authie to come under fire. The 6lb gun is an early target and is suppressed and driven back.

And in no time, two Shermans are knocked out by Panzers crossing the fields.

German turn 1 ended predictably. Unfortunately I was not prepared for Candian turn 1 in which both the tank group and the Vanguard in Authie failed to activate. Quite literally everything other than dug-in infantry went into freak-out mode and sat still in a panic.

The Germans commenced turn two by just pounding my tanks on the road.

So now I was down to four tank stands in good order - three Sherman III and one Firefly. In Authie I had an M10, an unreliable 6lbr and an FO.

That small group did however give a good accounting of themselves and tore into one of the Panzer companies, getting a few back on the score sheet. The Vanguard in Authie again failed to activate!

A shot of the enemy.

By the end of turn three, my tanks were gone. I only had the command stand left in the center. The Wehrmacht troops prepared to assault Authie.
And here they come. My FO woke up and got one of the 105 batteries on the horn, raining down destruction on some of the incoming infantry. That put a bit of a damper on the SS party, but I feared it was too little, too late.
German tanks roll into Authie, my Vanguard was overrun without much fuss.

Ugh! Just look at that casualty pile!

German artillery finally wakes up and although Ziggy had to roll 4d6 for deviation, that turned out to be only 7 centimeters and the barrage still hit most of my defenders in Gruchy.

And in no time, the tank company which had overrun Authie was pushing through Gruchy.

For what really appears to be a very one-sided affair in favor of the Germans, I was actually one turn away from winning. Ziggy had to capture two of the three towns by the end of turn eight. He nabbed Gruchy at the start of turn 8. If I'd had held him up just a wee bit, victory could have been mine!

An enjoyable game for sure and one that I'd happily play again. Be well, and good gaming!

14 August 2021

A Quick Addition

I put the finishing touches on a unit of pikemen for Swordpoint today. This gives my "Spanish" another strong infantry unit, although it'd be really terrific it was double the size. The models are Red Box 1/72 plastics. Some of the sculpts had more flash than a boatload of paparazzi. The pikes had to glued on, a frustration that I wouldn't wish upon anyone. Thus, the unit had some interesting poses and baton-twirling stuff going on.

The next order has been placed. Next up for this collection will be some proper mounted knights and cannons. Hoping to get these guys on the table on Labor Day weekend. Be well!

08 August 2021

Stargrave Saturday

 Wifey and I gave Stargrave a whirl on Saturday evening. We played the "Broken Fence" scenario. It doesn't have layout requirement my scenery collection can't easily handle. I played with my recently collected crew and I put together a crew for my wife using models from my Dystopian Legions VSF collection. 

The 4 X 4 arena of the day.

Captain Bruce Dickinson and the Oddfellows 151 move out.

Opposite them, Konstantin and his crew proceed with caution.

First mate Roy Christmas was the beneficiary of Bruce's Transport special power and got a boost towards the loot objective in the center. It helped that the monsters in the center of the table all wandered off in the same direction! Of course Katie Kaboom (pink) and X Æ A-12 (gold robot) we left as stragglers and couldn't move with ol' Roy.

Meanwhile on the other side of the compound, a severely injured Ferrox laced into Captain Bruce Dickinson while his crew looked on. Two terrible rounds of fighting later, Brucie was severely mauled and Loc' Nar, the tall blue alien had to put down the monster.

Another Ferrox gets its act together and pounces on Hacking Unit III. Hacking Unit III powers down as the monster howls with delight!

The groups come to blows when Chauffer lets loose a gout of flame at crewman Jesus who was brawling with another Ferrox. The Ferrox perished and Jesus was physically unharmed, though the mental scars would run deep.

Bruce uses his Transport power once again to move Scoop, a Runner atop a nearby building to slow down Constantin. Assisstant Bedford desperately tried to intervene.

The Ferrox's last meal of robot wasn't very satisfying and it sets upon the Space French sniper. Turns out the sniper is a hell of a fighter and runs the beast through with a well-placed bayonet thrust.

Katie Kaboom  was pursuing Hacking Unit II which was absconding with a Data Loot item. Konstantin's first mate, Raul projects a holographic wall to mask Hacking Unit II's location, denying Katie of her quarry!

Chauffer does it again. Loc'Nar and Sweet Mama Stringbean were fortunate to keep the damage to a minimum.

Brave Raul levels his pistol at Katie's back and takes her out. Real classy.

Loc'Nar takes out a monkey-beast with a mighty swing of his rifle.

X Æ A-12 detects a couple of contacts on his contact detection sensor.

The well-programmed combat unit levels its blaster at a threatening contact and takes it out in one perfectly aimed shot.

Chauffeur is taken down in the crossfire of Roy and Jesus. I'm not going to lie, that felt good.

The encounter ended shortly afterwards. My wife's crew had made it out with three data loot and me with two. Yes, all the loot we placed was of the data variety. I had one casualty and the VSF gang took two. We each had three monster kills. Overall, it was a very enjoyable game. Ready for the next!

01 August 2021

X-Wing and a Convention!

David and I got together yesterday (Saturday) for some X-Wing. He's been working a particular list out against different opponents. He's been making minor tweaks as it goes, but it's essentially the same thing. The first time I faced his Imperial flight of five TIE Advanced, I got thrashed. I don't have that list handy but it was a First Order list including two Silencers and two TIE/fo by the looks of things.

His List:

TIE Advanced v1 - Inquisitor - 39
    Inquisitor - (36)
        Heightened Perception (3)

TIE Advanced v1 - Inquisitor - 39
    Inquisitor - (36)
        Heightened Perception (3)

TIE Advanced v1 - Inquisitor - 39
    Inquisitor - (36)
        Heightened Perception (3)

TIE Advanced v1 - Inquisitor - 39
    Inquisitor - (36)
        Heightened Perception (3)

TIE Advanced v1 - Inquisitor - 39
    Inquisitor - (36)
        Heightened Perception (3)

Total: 195

Five extraordinarily maneuverable ships that can all perform multiple actions. Stress doesn't bother them much at all. All have one Force point which is terribly useful. David's also very good at flying swarms - he's been doing it since the game was released and still watches tournament video to see how the pros do it.

After some analysis looking for weaknesses, I targeted their universal 3 initiative and low toughness - just four hits each. They're hard to hit for sure, but any hits would be telling.

With that in mind, I put together a Resistance group that I thought would give him fits and I was right. I smashed him and his list's weaknesses were harshly exploited. This is the list which was designed to have better initiative, heavier firepower and more resilient ships. It was outnumbered but it didn't matter.

Fireball - •Kazuda Xiono - 46
    •Kazuda Xiono - Best Pilot in the Galaxy (39)
        R5 Astromech (4)
        Advanced SLAM (3)

T-70 X-wing - •Temmin Wexley - 52
    •Temmin Wexley - Snap (52)

T-70 X-wing - Black Squadron Ace - 46
    Black Squadron Ace - (46)

T-70 X-wing - •Ello Asty - 54
    •Ello Asty - Born to Ill (54)

Total: 198

David made some minor teaks and was ready for another session with Inquisitors Five. I put together a couple of list during the week and selected another First Order list this time. It was not put together with the intention of fighting David's Inquisitors. 

TIE/sf Fighter - •“Backdraft” - 44
    •“Backdraft” - Fiery Fanatic (38)
        Passive Sensors (2)
        Cluster Missiles (4)

TIE/fo Fighter - •“Midnight” - 44
    •“Midnight” - Omega Leader (42)
        Fanatical (2)

TIE/fo Fighter - •“Null” - 30
    •“Null” - Epsilon Ace (30)

TIE/fo Fighter - •“Longshot” - 31
    •“Longshot” - Zeta Ace (31)

TIE/ba Interceptor - •“Ember” - 51
    •“Ember” - Dying Flame (48)
        Elusive (3)

Total: 200

Here we are a turn or two in.

We traded kills and it was soon down tow 4v4. I set up my second kill with this situation. He'd isolated a single TIE (green circled) and I gave it a juicy target - the easy-to-hit TIE/sf. David had to assume I'd go super-defensive with it since it was also stressed and couldn't execute any wild maneuvers. It would be easy for David to guess where that ship would be. I was confident to use it as bait because it wouldn't die with but one attack. I did him a favor and pushed it forward super slowly, but spun the turret to the rear and acquired a target lock on the enemy ship. The red TIE interceptor turned in tightly to be a second set of guns on the problem. David used Heightened Perception to fire first with that ship. The shots were ineffective and did me a favor of burning his Force for the turn so he wouldn't have it to use defensively.

Two shots later, another Inquisitor was off the board. David's remaining three scattered and time expired as we were re-grouping.

Finally off the schnide with the First Order! A solid victory against a very worthy opponent. IMHO, I think David was a little off his game yesterday, there were a couple of mistakes that I was able to exploit with great effect. I finally managed to use a ship like the Interceptor properly with a good supporting cast. That speaks more to my usual inability to fly properly than anything. The supporting cast TIEs all have very good special rules that ALWAYS work, regardless of actions or stress status. 

There, I've officially bored you to pieces with some in-depth X-Wing analysis! It gets put on the table a lot because of the quick setup and play-time but dadgum is it a good game.

In completely different news, I'll be heading off to Southern Front game convention in Raleigh, North Carolina September 17 & 18. https://www.trianglesimsociety.org/?page_id=546 I'm going to run a Star Fleet Battles scenario on Friday evening. Most of the gaming will have a historical focus. I've been to this con once before to play in a FOW tournament, many years ago. I'm really excited to be going back.