Tuesday, April 25, 2017

30k Batrep: XX Legion Combat Evaluation

School Holiday time means some actual gaming, in amongst the Battlelore and my new obsession that I have to play Babylon 5... my 30k XX Legion took on Andy's Imperial Bananas Fists and Jason's new Imperial Militia. The match vs Andy was 2250 pts, using the denial mission (I chose to attack). Andy had made up a cool new Dorn miniature but took Sigismund instead. I took a pair of Militia Thunderbolt equivalents (representing the work of the Cruxis Majoris Ultima scientist-revolutionaries) as a sub orbital strike wing. We weren't sure how to handle the restriction on no optional reserves for the defender, so I let his flying transport (required to be in reserve) have passengers. Probably shouldn't have done that. Vs Jason, there was a change of pace, 1500pt Centurion mode vs his cool army made out of the limited edition Vostroyan minis. He was still opening and gluing blisters before the game. How did the still largely green Alpha Legion do?

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Descent 2nd Edition: The Ballad of Tomble Burrowell

Gather round once again young 'uns, and here tell the tall tales of the not so tall Tom Burrowell. When we last left our hero, he was nursing several nasty perforations, and wincing with every step down the stairwell into Rellegar's rest. Yep, once again the bumbling big-folk had conspired to undo his careful planning. Consequently, they were at risk of this little jaunt underground being a net-loss endeavour. Evil Overlord Ben had set things up so we had to plowmthrough Zombies to our front... while dealing with constant rear attacks by goblins. All the while, his self immolating, teleporting, Evil-Overlord Avatar could race about hacking down the support pillars.  This would sadly bring the roof down on our heads. Our hero felt it appropriate to call tea-break and strategy sesssion, perhaps followed by a rearward advance out of this obvious death trap. But the big folk just charged down the stairs, heedless...

Friday, February 17, 2017

Sub Sector Christus Ecclessia: The Harrowing of the World Eaters.

Cruxis Majoris Ultima: A baleful red giant. The only Imperial presence, several science and monitoring colonies on what were little more than half lit snowballs. They tumbled in the void, the only toehold possible, as close as safe to the deadly irradiated star. Unremarkable, and until now unremarked. Their only claim to any worthiness of mention,  the recent discovery of what appeared to be traces of explorers.... from the dark age of technology. A discovery beamed triumphantly to the Warmaster's personal Astropaths. Then the accidents happened, and station after station seemed to go quiet, or fall victim to a freak explosion or critical life support failure or meteorite impact. Some of the scientists reported that silent black sillouetes had been spotted on visual scopes. Big enough to be ships...but surely not Imperial? No hail had been given and no aid rendered in response to their pleas. Xenos? The descendants of humans from nearby Sub-Sector Christus Ecclessia? Among the the watchers, a few knew the truth. They were "Imperial" alright. Astartes, Angels of Death.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Descent 2nd Edition: The Adventures of Tomble Burrowell

Gather round and here tell the tall tales of the not so tall Tom Burrowell. Gentleman at large (especially after Elevensess), wanderer, and net-wealth-reallocation-consultant. The perfidious overlord Ben had tasked the hero to ensure two bumbling big-folk didn't get themselves killed while saving the world. It was clearly to be a tall order in more ways than one. For when Tom awoke at the appropriate hour for first-breakfast, he found the other two clods had left without him, and at the ungodly hour of 9am no Less! Off Tom sprinted, for what if they got themselves into trouble while he wasn't there to ensure all nearby treasure was properly accounted for? Around the corner he ran, right into a terrifying battle between some Goblins, Bhargests (howling evil hound-beasts) and the afore mentioned reckless big-folk. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

30K Batrep: XX Legion training day

After my mad digression into 30k, based basically on some audiobooks and YouTube Batreps, realisation dawned on me that I essentially have no clue about how to play this game. Sure, I did play back in third edition 40k, so at least an edition closer in style to the current day than Rogue Trader and 2nd edition. However, that was a while ago. So I got some of my new toys built and undercoated, and Jason was willing to show me the ropes. We did 1000pts on a 4x4' table. The aim was to just kill each other. I had Autilon Skorr (with the strategic that gave a bonus to reserves), Pride of the Legion, six Terminators with plasma Blaster, a Contemptor Courtis Dreadnought with Assault Cannon and Plasma Blaster, Vindicator, deeptriking landspeeder with multimelta and ten outflanking Vets with plasma guns. Jason was the psychotic World Eaters, sent to punish us for annoying Horus somehow. His list was basically two choppy squads on foot and another with jumpacks including an apothecary and his boss, as well as a Contempor Cortus with double the fists and a graviton gun. Here I was glad for mutable tactics and the flexibility for Skorr to choose a Warlord trait. So I got to craft my plan on the fly: Counterattack for everyone, castle up around the Vindicator with the Terminators, then use my flanking reserves to set up the kill zone. Did it work or did the World Eaters' lack of subtlety pay off?

Friday, December 30, 2016

Star Wars Armada: Dodonna's grudge against Vader

The last time Jason played Armada was long, long ago.... But he rocked around with 400pts of Imperials a couple of nights ago. The centrepiece of the Imperial task force was the an Imperial Star Destroyer commanded by Vader himeself. As we have all seen recently on the big screen,  (Mild spoiler) the  Dark lord commands those lumbering beasts like an aggressive badass. He had a pair of raider class corvettes as anti-fighter support as well as a half-dozen TIEs to try and fend off Rebel bombers. Most notably, he'd also pulled the incredibly rare Gladiator (p) out of mothballs. Rebel spies state they've never before observed a lone example of a Gladiator class without the Demolisher pattern engine refit. Dodonna had command of a Mon-Cal Mc80 Cruiser and a pair of Assault frigate Bs. The Mon Cal's hangers had two flights each of the latest A-Wings and B-Wings, with Tycho in command. They also had a pair of Y-Wing flights from Gold squadron, aging but almost like a talisman for the Alliance. The Imperials had initiative and chose 'Most Wanted', opting to avoid either tipping their hand via Superior Positions or letting through the dreaded Assault Frigate + Bombers Hyperspace assault. Dodonna has been itching for a personal bout with Vader since the battle of Yavin, how'd he go?

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

I am Alpharius

I love the Christmas/Summer holiday. Two weeks, no work, just the family. As the kids got older and we had a third, gaming/hobby has felt the squeeze I've got a couple of summer games lined up including Armada tonight. Still haven't seen Rogue One but no stress, plenty of time to fit that in. I felt like painting something today so knocked out an old tank as a test scheme for some Alpha-Legion. Yep I'm getting some space Marines. I've had some before, maybe 14 years ago, whenever 3rd edition was. I'd always kind of liked the setting - the background from the early 3rd Ed and before. Like with Warhammer, I'd got exposed to it via a 90s video game, Space hulk in this case. At the point I lost interest and started playing Flames of War, I had been about to start an Alpha-Legion force. However, the gameplay was pretty poor by war games standards and I found I didn't actually see anything to identify with in the setting. That's probably why I ended up with the enigmatic Alpha Legion. In the last few years, they've made the Horus Heresy its own game and it's meant to be a little less stupid and more playable  than 40k proper.  I shall see. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

X:Wing vs my Tie Swarm

I have been sort-of gaming, and playing Xwing mainly for the sheer convenience as this is a pretty full on time of year. I'm finally on break though so might be able to turn my eyes to something involving actual modelling and painting again..... Anyway, Chris has all this Xwing stuff from years ago when he went nuts and bought heaps on sale. You can still see his post about that on the blog list on the right. I recently bought my first Xwing ship in, also years, on a whim while browsing Books Depository. So we reversed our usual matchup and he took Imperials vs my Rebels. 100pts each.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Infinity Batrep: Operation Onyx Sentinel

Infinity time again. Ben had painted some more Aleph. I have some new EI troops... but not a 300pt list and anyway when I took them vs Chris, I was crushed. So, given Ben tends to know what he's doing, it really only could be Zulu Lance once more. Ben had a 12 Order force led by an Asura. I had my Magister link led by a pair of Santiago Knights. Then another Santiago as the Lt. Then on top of that a Father Knight hacker. Yep I'd gone all out anti-mechanised. On the other hand, Aleph has the filthiest hackers in the game and I was fielding seven Heavy Infantry and a pair of REMs. The mission was Firefight, which I think is new for this season of ITS. There are three Panoplies alone the midline, units deploy 16" in, AD troops can enter the side within enemy deployment zones AND the map is +3 to arrive for drop troops. Points are for kills, specialist kills and Lt kills, then for the most Panoply  grabs. Then there are classifieds. So who prevailed?

Monday, October 31, 2016

X-Wing: Long, long ago...

I last properly played this game about when these boys came out. The Scum and Villainy box remains a great deal But they basically got one proper outing. Then I got fed up with the turn to basically every expanded universe aka fanfic (I love anything from movies/TV) Big Based ship out there.... and pretty much stopped playing. It's obviously a pretty cool game though, and something I *should* be into. Since if I want to play in local gaming events I feel like my main choices are 40k (not ever going to happen, complete rules overhaul pending) and X-Wing. Other things get played, but nothing like those two. Case in point would be the abortive Bolt Action "tournament." I've been doing some trawling on the net but I'll play around with the game a bit, and go from there. I always did best with Imperials but I want to step out of that comfort zone. First dipping of the toes back into the water was a game vs Andy. He has basically enough guys to field one Imperial List. I have basically enough Scum for a list, so a fair list-building environment right there. His was Interceptor (Tur Phenir), Interceptor, Interceptor, Tie, Tie, Tie. Mine was Bobba Fett (With Greedo, HLC, seismic bomb), Z-95, Z-95, (both with one-shot turrets) Y-Wing with Autoblaster turret. How'd I go?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Battletech Batrep: Raven Feeders' Training day

Chris dropped by for a game using my Battletech box set. Unit identification will be a little complicated by the fact all the mechs are in similar Camo, and not being able to duplicate any mech was a bit of a constraint. However there are 24 mechs in that box set so plenty of choice. Probably enough to do an Alpha Strike force too? I set this at 160 tons, with a 75 ton limit. Any of the 3025-3039  era variants were allowed. As the away team, Chris got first dibs and took the heaviest, the 70 ton Grasshopper. He rounded it out with a Jenner (F version with extra armour), Commando and Spider. I took an Enforcer, Hunchback (AC10 variant), Whitworth and the little 20 ton Mercury  (proxied using a Hermes). This meant I had to give four mechs my speed paint job. I'm still not halfway through the box set... There are a few dice on the table, Battletech fans will know these denote Walking (green), running (red), and jumping (blue). These penalise your shooting. The number on the dice is the total mod to enemies shooting at you. Faster mechs often had the speed to get this up to a three, while the heavier ones generally just got a one but benifited from a more stable platform for their shooting. It would be a test of range vs knife fighting. Who won: Red team or Blue team?

Friday, October 14, 2016

Impetvs Batrep: The Legions vs the Shadow of the East

At least that's what I'm calling whatever Andy's force actually was. It has been MUCH too long but the Legions of Germania (in their MIR incarnation) did battle once more against their preferred foes: Something containing at least traces of other Romans. I think those Warlord boxed deals made a huge impact on our collections around the time we all got our armies. I believe Andy's force was something like Armenians. Imperial intelligence is hazy on this though so maybe they were something fitting, like Sarmatians with a substantial light infantry components. Andy is, I think, in the midst of a rebasing so my Romans may soon need that treatment so we can be on 12cms... but the 8cms worked so well I almost want to stick with them. The format was 300pts, 28mm troops and only the haziest understanding of the rules (sorry Andy!) but much fun was had. But who won?

Sunday, October 2, 2016

9th Age Batrep: The Great Crusade

It's the first outing of my new 9th Age Fantasy Army. They are actually based on a race from my own Fantasy world: The Anatani. In 9th Age, they are Warriors of the Dark Gods (aka Chaos Warriors) and I've made mine out of a combination of Mantic Salamanders, Reaper Bones Bathalians, a couple of toy cannon from Russia, and odds and sods like my Ogres standing in for trolls and actual barbarians as the barbarians. This was to make the army work at 2000 pts (Jason was practicing for a comp in Dunedin) as I needed more special and less rare. Jason has a pretty sweet Sylan Elf army based largely around multiple clones of Elrond and Legolas with lots of GW LOTR elves in there.

My stuff is less pretty, not least because the army is a quick and dirty Fantasy Army project to give me something else than my morphed historical stuff. He had a couple of Eagles, a couple of trios of Treemen, a big block of archers, another big block of spears, obligatory sword masters, and some stealth-elves for the equally obligatory backline shenanigans. His Mage was lvl 2 lore of white magic. I hade two blocks of warriors (shields and two handed weapons), two trios of trolls, a pair of hell-cannon, a unit of monstrous cavalry, and a unit of barbarian auxiliaries with shields. The boss was a lvl 4 Sorceror with lore of fire. How did the we go?

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Renedra Tower: Rough Review

I've seen a fair few sort of previews and sprue pics around. However, one good thread on Lead Adventure forum aside, little that describes what people have done with the the finished product. I'm approaching this from my typical Rough Wargamer perspective. I build and paint my stuff but aren't much of a wargaming artiste. I also don't tend to want to spend a huge amount of time or expense on things as now am on three kids, so don't have these to spare. I was prompted to get this by another Local's epic blog post, of a massive Fantasy siege battle. It made my mind go back to when I was a kid and some guys were demoing Wargames in the foyer of a supermarket. The Warhammer game had a cool castle tower. It was probably that little GW one but hey, I was about seven years old. Basically, I've got the idea that a cool castle is now mandatory for any Fantasy project. To do this, I clearly needed something easy to make table ready at a low skill level for a decent price. So how does the Renedra Tower measure up to these criteria?

Sunday, August 14, 2016

More Challengers Emerge (I Wish)

I wish they were. This was my favourite part of this year's Gencon seminar. The name of the segment was "shameless market research." Infinity is the only game I've played in a while that I haven't been inclined to either tinker with or expand. Their rules and setting are just currently that good. Now, like GWs pretentious claim: Corvus Belli are definitely a miniatures company first. Amazing, and very expensive miniatures so I can see them managing to be the GW replacement some long for and achieve a level of quality that others so far have not managed with their Fantasy games. Combining background, tight rules, tournament support with pretty high-end models. I guess my only concern would be how I can continue to feed my family if they ever make this game... because could you imagine Infinity prices at mass battle scale? 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Fantasy Renaissance: One year on

It's a bit over one year on now, since Warhammer Fantasy ended as an official thing. Games Workshop then relaunched a purportedly skirmish scaled game, Age of Sigmar. Immediately the crows then gathered over the slain hero - Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Initially, I could see quite a few contenders. However, I'd suggest two games in effectively open public beta have gone the distance. I mean, Kings of War is still there. However it is in desperate need of an Apostle Paul to rework what often looks like a bit of a narrow cult for the mass consumption (we are all ok with religious history analogies right? After all my 11 year old's favourite series of YouTube histories even does it https://youtu.be/E1ZZeCDGHJE ) Until that occurs, I'd say those who really want a company supported game, first and foremost, are getting more and more what they want via major changes to Age of Sigmar, proving it more of a Beta than a monolithic edition release. Those whose care not for an official imprimatur for their gaming, have Fantasy Battles: The 9th Age. Sure it also claims its full 1.0 release but there will be changes and like Age of Sigmar, this is a feature, not a bug. Edit: And in timely breaking news: Fantasy Flight Games now have a ranked battle Wargame. Title is Runewars: The Miniatures Game, and it's NOT preprinted. Looks interesting in that the movement trays are making me nostalgic for WOTR. I'm sure square based models can be saboted for it though. So two companies and a challenger emerges...

Friday, July 15, 2016

Battletech: The Raven Feeders

This is HQ to any available units; we have mechs down at nav gamma. Bravo Cadet reports four Suspects on site. Bandits are hostile, I repeat bandits are hostile. HQ this is Alpha Assault; I am on my way baring 025. Computer: ETA 34 seconds. Alpha Assault, this is Bravo Cadet I have bandits all over me -- get down here! Alpha Assault: Sit tight I have a visual. Bravo Cadet: I have hip actuators out, my targeting systems damaged; I am in bad shape. Computer: Enemy Detected. Bravo Cadet: Behind me beyond the rise. Alpha Assault: Acknowledged, I have them. Computer: Targeting. Bravo Cadet: It has a lock on me! It has a lock on me! Computer: Targeting. Computer: Warning, Ammunition levels critical. Computer: Weapon depleted. Alpha Assault, this is HQ, what is your situation? Alpha Assault, this is HQ, what is your situation -- please comply!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Battletech: Roll to determine face plant direction

I've been meaning to get this game for ages. I first encountered the universe in its 1980s heyday, when I was not very old, via an in-Universe novel about the Grey Death Legion. The setting seemed to have it all. Big Robots, obviously. But also back-stabbing, grounded military fiction, discoveries of ancient relics and a kind of Sharpe's Rifles atmosphere to it all. It didn't hurt either that one of the all time best PC games made is Mechwarrior 2, set around the time of the ongoing Clan Invasion and featuring a great into FMV piece with the my favourite mech in a starring role. For all that, I Got into proper wargaming after FASA imploded, so the miniatures game itself was off my radar until Catalyst came out with a new Box set.

Friday, June 10, 2016

This is not a Test: Snipe Hunting at Philpot Bog

Jason's new obsession is 'This is not a test' aka TNT, the post apocalyptic skirmish game. Long time readers may remember we did a demo game at NATCON 2011, last time it was in Christchurch. We (by which I mean Jason) were supposed to make the campaign half of our rules but that never took place. However, we still have all our stuff, my Scavengers / Settlers, Jason's Brotherhood of Steel, Andys Paramilitary forces. Jason and Andy also made amazing terrain, that Jason has accumulated by various wheels n deals. So when Jason wanted a game, there was zero barrier to entry. This was not least because this game is amazingly similar to what we had come up with: D10s, alternating activations with rolls, skirmish scale with customisable load outs, cards based encounters, a 2 AP order structure... The list goes on. What it doesn't really have is the same attempt to model friction (as with my stress markers) and far less reactions. So it is a bit different. 

Monday, May 2, 2016

WOTR: Workers and Peasants of Gondor vs Running Dog Lackeys of the Valar

Hundreds of Years after the Elven running-dog-lackeys of the Valar aided in the betrayal of the proud workers paradise of Carn Dum, the spirit of the revolution has not died. Every decade more Elves slink over the sea. King Elessar has died. Even the Dwarves have all found a very deep hole, under the Misty Mountains, and look set to make it deeper. Workers and Peasants of Middle Earth, the time is now. Our agents have made their way from the Red Fortress Ministry of Truth. We are ready to show the flailing men of the South the Light of the New Shadow and our glorious Revolution. Every giant ... presupposes a dwarf, every genius a hidebound philistine.... The first are too great for this world, and so they are thrown out. But the latter strike root in it and remain.... Now small and petty men rule the Reunited Kingdom and the Shadow shall rise once more.