Friday, 30 March 2012

One Shot Wonder?

Bit more D&D last night and another all-action as we were presented with three sub-levels to explore. Rolling a D3 we ended up taking the stairs down to the sub, sub basement and soon got stuck in.

Sneaking immensely poorly I alerted a particularly large Ettin who suddenly came over all aggressive. Stuck at the front with the warrior types bundling up behind me I decided on the ostentatious move of sliding through his legs, hamstringing him on the way, and rolling off to the right.

I've tried such moves before to mixed results.......
So, much to my initial pleasure I managed a run of big dice, including a natural 20 for the hamstring strike, at a massive -8. I was less  impressed that as I rolled back up on to my delicately follicled tootsies I came face to ermm......face with a Gelatinous Cube!

But then Charlie, the Elven Exocet, shot the Ettin to death giving me some retreat room whilst the warriors got on with spooning through El Gello.
The Ettin's corpse fell back into the large pit behind him waking the Enormous Carrion Crawler that was dozing within it.But then Charlie, the Elven Exocet, shot the Enormous Carrion Crawler  to death!!
Moving on we quickly discovered that we were in the very bowels of the Gobbo warren filled mainly with carrion and rubbish. Rubbish attracts rats and most of us had fun running a book as the Paladin was heroically swamped by a horde of them. with only two goodly aligned members in the party the rats were heavily backed!

Growing bored by his slow progress the Teifling Warlock pumped in a shot form his Wand of Fireball, gaining the kill-steal and roasting off the Paladin's cloak as well as most of his facial hair. All bets void! :)
Moving on to what turned out to be the final room of the evening we found a slightly mouldy library along with an number of extra planar constructs of the type that we've met previously (cue dramatic jingle) including a particularly savage beastie.

Sighing with relative boredom Charlie shouldered his way through us, following previous "keep up lads" commentary, and preceded to throw repeated 1s all over the place! The sheer shock of this was somewhat contagious especially for the Paladin and suddenly the rest of us actually had to unsheathe weapons and try to remember which end to wave about. All this whilst we could physically see the big lad's regeneration kicking in........

With two crossbow chaps on a balcony I tried another ostentatious leap up and off a bookcase.....tried. Bouncing off the wall and hitting the floor he then shot me. Ooooppss......

Thankfully EE snapped out of it and with a concerted show of firepower, bow, spell and clerical we mopped up and saw to our various wounds.

Maybe there's a First Aid manual in amongst this lot :)

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Gangs who go BANG!!

Last night saw the inevitable super-multi-player game of of Necromunda that every campaign features at some point. Like the Marmite love them or hate them everyones got an opinion. Personally I just prefer to enjoy the ride.

Lewis did a particularly good job sorting out the bit that tends to matter with these affairs, the fluff and the scenario;

Enter Castellan Locke, an imperial inspector from the world of Tershus. A cold and ruthless man who has very little sympathy for error or mistake. The inspector has been to sent the Hive to meet with particular guilders to review the current status of its inhabitants. Reports have been coming in that 6 particular gangs have been waring over territory for the last 3 months, nothing too serious but potentially a situation. After Locke is content with the report he collects the information in the form of a data cube and places it into his jacket pocket.

As he begins to leave and the men breathe a sigh or relief, Locke turns and says "tell Flint to get 2 squads of men outside the APC in 5 minutes". Unsure what he is about to do - a worried Sergeant makes a frantic call and two squads form rank by the vehicle. Locke speaks... "We are taking the short road to the Southern outpost downhive, move!". They load up and move out. Everyone knows the shortcut to get to the outpost can be dangerous at the best of times - most use the trade routes, but Locke is not in the mood to be wasting time.

The group travel quickly to their location. Nothing to report except the men being scared by Ogryn Flint's war tales.

The inspector makes his rounds, ruthless as ever. Satisfied with his findings he begins to return to the Vehicle but as he does, a vicious bolt of lead rips into the side of the APC, making the startled unit scramble to cover. Locke draws his pistol... all he can see are the endless red dots in the dark surrounding him and his unit.

It seems that one of the guilders doesn't like the inspector too much and thought he would send a little tip off to those 6 blood thirsty gangs..

The gangs are aware Locke has information on them, their territories and their movements. This information in the wrong hands could be disastrous for the other gangers, as such they will do whatever they can do get at Locke, even face being outlawed.

Charlie has volunteered to play as Locke, Flint and his men, who will be facing all 6 of us in the defence of the data cube. The game will be across two boards with Charlie set up in the middle. There will be 7 turns in total until with the objective of taking Locke down in hand to hand to retrieve his data cube, you then need to get it off any side of the table (up to 8 inches). If we are unsuccessful in getting to Locke he will escape into the tunnels below the outpost and get away..

If someone is able to get the cube and get it off, they will have the intel to take 3+d6 territories from whoever they like.

Thrashing out the final details via the forums each of the gangs had 6 of their number plus a hired gun against Charlie's platoon of enforcers. GAME ON!!
Locke and his Ogryn bodygaurd plus friends

Lurking in the shadows "This is God"

Pipework Alamo?
The first few turns were vaguely cagey for most of us as no-one wanted to fire the first shot and the draw the Enforcers' first turn of firepower. That was everybody except Stewart who opened fire not only on the Law but also started throwing grenades at Rob and myself.

So turn 2 and it was already all out war between myself and Stewart. My pair of flamers and his split force soon settled the spat as I turned every gun that I had on him. With all of his gals on the floor in various states of distress a voluntary bottle was taken. Big girls blouses......
Escher attack the Van Saar....
.....and the Delaque. DUMB!!
Elsewhere Rob and Ian formed a very effective Delaque / Escher alliance and set to work taking on the Po-Leese while Jon's Cawdor skulked about taking pot-shots and Lewis' Goliaths set to sneaking in to the objective. Surely that's the wrong way round?

Once we got going the small gang numbers meant that we were getting through the turns quickly enough which is often the fall-down of such events. The in-fighting / banter / uneasy alliances added an extra bit of edge as well!
Do the Sump-Pipe shuffle

Cawdor move in.... do the Delaque

Hard times for the Enforcers
Encased in carapace the Enforcers were proving hard to take down but as so often happens a flurry of specific dice saw plenty of their number floored, pinned or worse, to allow the opportunity to rush them.

At this point the we were running out of turns to get to Locke, who was proving immensely un-killable and all parties had to throw caution to the wind. Ignoring the now competing gangs it was an all out Sh1t or Bust moment for everyone involved.
End-game approaches
Going first in the final turn the Goliaths finally played their hand hosing the Alamo'd Enforcers with twin flamers and showers of auto-fire generally failing to wound but putting them all on the floor so they wouldn't be able to influence the final outcome.

The Cawdor added some final fire but had overstretched a turn earlier only to be sufficiently Enforced via Las-fire. So much for the word of god!
Delaque - Nun alliance in full effect
The Escher Nuns made their final charge but the last few Lawmen held them up form reaching Locke, all bar one Juve. The Delaque following in their wake were similarly held.

Despite both gangs emptying every firearm they had at Locke he and his Ogryn were still stood with just one more gang to go, my Van Saar.
Goliath leave it til the last
Having been held up by Stewart I fortuitously arrived just as I needed to. A flamer shot felled Locke and his lad. The scummer's plasma pistol took care of the Escher Juve whilst my own skateboarding punk rolled into combat with a pinned Plod.

Hammering him to the floor by the barest of margins I took my 2" follow up to stand over Locke's vaguely smouldering form just as the game ended.........or did I?
Van Saar swoop in!
In all honesty I hadn't made it into base contact with Locke and I had just flamed him and the data-cube.

Rather than give a soft result, which would have been massively anti-climactic, we decided that as I peered over the strut Locke was gone.........LOST even!! So, back to Space-Munda we return as the gangs chase our man, and his cubes, down into the sewers.

Good stuff!!

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Building up a Head of Steam

As any regular reader of my modest missives many have become aware posts have become a bit lean around here recently.

Some of that is just that I've had a couple of busy weeks out in the real world, I'm running for Sport Relief this Sunday despite my semi-crippled status and the training has been knackering. Some of it is the continuing shift of my version of the hobby.

The shocking truth is that I haven't picked up a brush in at least a fortnight and I don't seem to mind too much at all! I'm still getting plenty of gaming in but with it being all Necromunda (previously painted), SAGA (Rich's figures), D&D (very few figures) and Warhammer Invasion (no figures) there's been absolutely no need.

Six months ago I wouldn't have settled for that but right now its simply not an issue. Its not like I don't have enough projects knocking about with St Peytersburg and the paint for sale Orcs to name but two but I just can't get the motivation at the mo for anyhting I'm not actually playing!

I am however looking to be playing Distopian Wars in the not too dim and distant future and with my fledgling French fleet now waiting for collection at the local Royal Mail depot.

As previously mentioned the whole Captain Nemo / 20,000 Leagues / Tintin thing plumbs the.....ermm depths? for me that other naval genres just don't and the DW French simply fit that bill.

I reckon they should be a fairly quick project and one that gets the brush-mojo back on track.

I also really like the look of Mantic's upcoming Ver-Myn and a mate of mine does the Outrider thing for them so will be getting some early. I've generously "offered" to lend a brush hoping that I won't have to beg :)
'Til next time!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bows don't kill people....Arrows do!!

A bit more D&D Thursday night and it was an all action session with plenty of high quality biscuit action to boot.

Previously we had done a bit of research / book work and that having secured the Mage's College. Well I hadn't, I'd tried stirring up a local workers revolt, following failed payment negotiations with said mages, only to find out that the workers were more than happy with their T&C's. BAH!

Working a few things out we placed the ANCIENT TALISMAN over the local map to identify three locations of ANCIENT POWER which we'd need to go and extensively re-model.

One of said sites just happened to be the island next door so after a quick ferry ride we stood outside and old tumble-down tower.

Going a bit Skyrim we ignored it and scouted around for the hidden goblin burrows and decided that we'd much rather take that route in. Flush with over confidence following a brief scuffle at the entrance we continued to go all Skyrim scouting about as much as possible before actually doing anything revealing a fair sized cavern system in the process.
Top left is the main chamber with the Gobbo Lord and his bodygaurd being entertained by a Bard strangling a bag of carts, possibly literally. The resultant screeching gave us plenty of cover to go for the flank whilst the Palaldin and Elven Ranger of Ultimate Bow Death (plus wolf) stood ready.

As such we quickly found ourselves heavily outnumbered with a side dormitory of snoring greenskins to contend with and plenty of passageways leading to who knew where. Those of us on the side mission decided to go for the sneakily killing them in their beds approach. Even the Dwarven Cleric was convinced as Goblins are evil aren't they?

Admittedly we hadn't stopped to converse with any of them at any point but with the green skin and piggy red eyes we couldn't possibly be wrong.
Possibly it was his struggle with the moral compass that caused the Dwarf to crash to the floor waking the Goblins whilst we all tried to look friendly and least until the Warlock unleashed a round from his Staff of Fireball!

Much to our chagrin said barbecuing caused zero greenskin deaths at which point a general melee ensued cavern wide. The Ranger lined up the Gobbo Lord with a double double-loaded shot just to watch them splinter an inch from his nose. Oh dear, being kept honest on this one then are we?
Bull Rush-ed to max the Paladin shouted loudly to attract attention (he must have some serious faith in his god....or the drugs!) of most of the Lord's Samurai bodygaurd who acted as the well oiled machine that they soon proved to be and we were soon in a proper scrap bereft of our normal formations and battle-schemes.

Fighting as two groups we did our best to re-group. Ranger-boy quickly plugged the Goblin Mage before he caused too much grief but the star of the show was the stunted god-botherer who could utilise his hurting anyone not googly-aligned miracles. This was a new thing as many of the party are a darker shade of neutral...ahem!
Taking on the Lord and a couple of his best boyz el Paladino was confident in his full plate / Bull Rush  combo until it became clear that these were no ordinary goblins. Their samurai skills and weaponry soon had him checking and re-checking both his character sheet and the rule-book for any edge available.

"I can lay on hands!" "I can cast miracles? Which ones!!" and so on. As a learning curve it was steep but incredibly instructive. Unfortunately for one not quite instructive enough. Dumb Paladin Down, we got a Dumb Paladin Down!!
Meanwhile, unable to take down the Elven Uzi, he manged to take down the Gobbo Lord with one critically hitting set of double arrows doing 104 points of damage!!, the DM took revenge on Wolfie his faithful companion. Not sure which loss was more mourned ;)

A bit of Cleric-ing later everyone was back on their feet / paws and we cleared up a touch as the session timed out. Somewhat bloodied and bruised we need to regroup and push on, though next time maybe a little less blase!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

All in the bones!

I dropped round to Rich's yesterday for a bit more SAGA action. Rich has blogged up a sterling battle report so I'm not going to go into the same level of detail but focus more on what I learnt and my developing impressions of the game individually and as a whole.

Playing Battle of the Fords it was fairly obvious after the terrain went down that it was effectively going to be two separate games on each flank and so it proved to be. As such deployment was going to be even more critical than usual and resulted in both of us loading our left flanks with both Warlords and their retinues as mobile reserve. This time I took the Anglo-Saxons to get some experience of their battle-board.
The left flank plus LONG-house
The right flank plus LONG-house
What became crucial during the game was the LONG-house on the Rich's Viking bank of the river. By entering and exiting it Rich was able to redeploy his lads much quicker than he could by foot and also use it as something of a bunker. Not a whinge, all entirely within the rules and I'm not looking to get into a debate about them BUT it did have a major effect on this particular game.
First clash results in.....
......a feast of crows!!

Getting first turn I took the game by the scruff and piled across both bridges. I made decent progress on the combining Gebur bowfire and Ceorl assault. On the right my sister Ceorls got caught stacked up on the bridge and were piled into by the Beserkers who promptly exploded yet again but this time taking all of my lads with them.

That would be one less SAGA dice each then. In fact that became another major feature of the game with both of us co-ordinating units to do our best to wipe out full units to get the knock on effect of reducing SAGA dice available to the other.
Left flank in the balance
My main assault on the left quickly became the main focus of the then game with the Vikings making repeated charges from their LONG-bunker. Dice, both SAGA and D6, ground me down at which point the Viking warlord delivered the telling blows and sent me scurrying back across the river. The lost units were bad enough but going donw toi 3 SAGA dice was crippling!

Following across the Viking Bondi were made to pay dearly loosing 3 of their number to my scabby Gebur bow. With numbers across the river scoring all the victory points Rich resisted the temptation to sudue them wary of any further casualties that they might inflict.
Right flank at the death!
On my right flank my own Warlord had similarly lead his Hearthgaurd through the defending Bondi who, through the battle-board, had exploded themself to maximise thier attacks. I had however used all my remaining SAGA dice to re-roll their saves and only a few fell.

Toting up the VPs Rich had more warriors across the river but mine were Hearthgaurd and scores were exactly tied! All those little errors and bits of luck throughout the game had proved crucial.

As much as we'd concentrated on using the battle-boards to the letter of the rules we'd still let each other off a number of technical errors as mates do. Not having to refer to the rule-book once this was my main learning point.

Rather like this one :)

Friday, 9 March 2012

Grasping at straw?

This is some of Rich who dropped round Monday night with shaun for a bit of SAGA action.

I've played a few times now but this was my first time out in 28mm Dark Age mode, you know as the game is designed and marketed, and we went for a simple "Kill the Warlord" scenario.

Given choice I took the Vikings and Rich had the Anglo-Saxons. Shaun had joined us and was quick to inform me that despite the pointy hat brigade being technical favourites they hadn't yet claimed a victory amongst a good number of games. Playing at 6 points I couldn't resist a unit of beserkers or "paper tigers" as Shaun called them.
Given the victory conditions we somehow conspired to deploy our respective Warlords as far away as possible from each other. As such they generally ignored each other for a bit and urged their respective forces into a bit of general carnage.
As an experiment Rich had combined three units of Hearthgaurd types into one uber-unit which he rolled towards me with all haste. I shot him up a bit and then he made that first charge of the game into my eight Hirdmen. Running through the process, battle dice were expended and attack dice mounted up on both sides. Double-handed rolling was required and breath was held........
.....for one hit a piece! Neither of us saved so after an awful lot of gnashing and wailing it was one down on each side and as the attacker Rich bounced. Just another Friday night after the tavern then?
I flung in the paper tigers who instantly exploded on a 1 to 1 basis with their opponents. Not sure if they were armed with war axes or rigged up with C4 and a presing need to visit Valhalla. Point is they got there pretty quick each with a new mate.
Wiping themselves down Rich's boys then got another dose of Hirdmen who with numbers on their side claimed all but one of the yocals for a couple more new residents at Odin's feet. As such Brave Sir Robyn and his faithful retinue bravely ran away and hid in the nearest house, probably for a quick cup of tea and a nice hearth-cake!

I meanwhile concentrated on butchering the remaining Anglos which shouldn't have been too difficult with their elite dead and Warlord hiding, ........SHOULDN'T have been.
Multiple big bunches of 1s and 2s later this was the final stand-off (featuring every figure left on the table) as my dice did all in their power to snatch a defeat from the jaws of near certain victory. With the sun setting the Warlords clashed on the final turn of the game only to bounce off trading insults in language that neither understood.

My one extra mutilated unit claimed the Vikings a technical victory but with hardly even a Bondi remianing to haul a goat, let alone take over the place, I think that is the more honest result.........a winning-ish draw :)


Monday, 5 March 2012

It's a habit......

.....winning that is or so they say.

Wasps finally picked up an ugly win on Saturday and I was there to bellow them on. ANY win after nine straight league losses is mana from sporting heaven :)

I jubilantly returned home to my recently ordered Warhammer Invasion expansion March of the Damned turned up and so I spent some of last night sleeving cards and seeing what I'd got.

I've suffered something of a reverse of fortune recently and have been receiving something of a pummelling to all comers. My Dwarf deck in particular is still waiting for its first win despite coming agonisingly close on a number of occasions.

Much as with any strategy based game now that I've got the mechanics into my head its time to work on the army lists, so to speak, a little more. The Dwarf deck is a bit slow starting without enough decent combos and too many "Battlefield Only" bruisers. MotD has given me a few extra Slayers that fit the bill so they'll find their way in and I'll theme the deck to suit.

I'm still definitely looking to theme decks rather than going all killer but I definitely want to get a bit more competitive. With my main all conquering Chaos deck I'd actually like to get a bit more of a corruption theme in there, maybe got a bit more beast orientated and IF I'm feeling really brave take the insanely nasty Blood Dragon Knights out :/ Even the Orcs could do with some tweek.

Admittedly I'd be taking them out to put them in an Undead deck, possibly with some Dark Elf stuff as I haven't touched them at all yet. I've also been very impressed by the Lizardmen and their savage ability, which Stewart has harnessed to disgusting effect alongside the poncy High Elves. Not wishing to copy, or touch a high elf with something other than an axe, I'll have to find another option.

So as always boring prep is the key, just need to sit down and do it :)