Thursday, 29 May 2014

Big Bang Theory

This Tuesday night down at Enfield Gamers was the second round of the Bolt Action Escalation league.

Myself and Damian had somehow jammed it to joint top spot having gone undefeated so it was Brit on Brit action as my Commando geezers took on his Tommy regs. For flavour I decide that they must have been Free French being a bit too free with the English roses and due a good slap ;)

Story of the game was that if you live by the shell you die by the shell as the FOs ruled the roost. 
Lining up either side of a road with little hard cover I got the run of the Order Dice early doors and got forward fast to claim the territorial advantage. We both brought in our artillery quick as. I targeted his Cromwell, as I was unlikely to take it out otherwise, while he went for geezer packed left flank.

Mine arrived ASAP sprinkling the Cromwell with pins while Bren Recced away to safety. I pushed my left past his smoke round as I'd been able to wear it in other games and was keen to push my advantage.....only to have 7 units pinned to the nines the very next turn!!

Unfortunately this is when it all went proper Pete Tong as I FUBAR'd twice in as many checks and rolled ones even when I could Rally. Half my left flank ran off and the rest to got shot to pin-dom come (A Section were wearing 7 at one point).
On my right D (Assault) Section weathered a storm of .303 to have a sniper and a section at their mercy....only to fail repeated orders and hide behind thier wall. 

The one up was the medium mortar ranging in on the Cromwell and effectively pinning it out of the game. At one point it caught on fire by the crew hung in by the skin of the 1st Lt's leadership bonus.

As much as I was pinned to feck I wasn't loosing units and Damien was wary of any assaults. As I'd run off and gone Down he was having trouble picking up the Attrition Points but eventually managed the 2 he needed for victory on the final turn by turning everything in the lone PIAT.

In honesty if I'd run away properly I could have salvaged a draw but it wouldn't have been deserved and would have sat badly with me. It was still an enjoyable, though frustrating, game mainly because Damien's such a good guy. I once again learnt plenty, I really should have charged up one flank with D Section running a Flanking manoeuvre but there you go.

This was 750 points and next time out is 1000. Definately going to add an AEC III but also tempted to make room for a Wasp flame-carrier but not so sure that I should. We'll see ;)

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Big Fish, Little Fish

Afternoon all,

After a particularly poor stint without the brush I've finally got back to things and spent the afternoon re-painting up my recently acquired Dominion fleet of 2 Breen Battlecruiser, 2 Cardassian Keldons, a Koranak and the OP fighters.

Simple jobs but still pleasing after a bit of Google-fu the Breen I've kept deep and dark whilst with the Cardassians I've picked out a few more details without getting too busy. Just need to get them on the table, looking forward to a bit more than cloak, point and click that tends to be the Klingon mantra.

Hopefully something a touch more engaging. Meanwhile that's 6 PPs, hopefully a few more next month!

Bolt loads of ACTION!!

Evening all,

Dropped round to Rich's this afternoon with a pack of biccies and 750 points of commandos for a couple of, what turned out to be highly entertaining, games of Bolt Action......action!

Feeling a bit D-Day we played Point Defence through a couple of times taking turns as defender.
List for the day was as follows;

2nd Lt Ponsonby-Smyth
RN Petty Officer Polyp (FO)
Cpl Spatchcock (Medic)
A Section - 9 Geezers (Vickers K / 2 SMG / 6 Rifle)
B Section - 9 Geezers (Vickers K / 2 SMG / 6 Rifle)
D Section - 7 Geezers (5 SMG / 2 Rifle / AT Grenades)
Medium Mortar / Sniper / PIAT

The first game saw quite rightly saw the Commados attacking off of the beach and drive inland. Looking at the table I decided early on to go for the centre and right flank. Everyone but D Section, who flanked to the right, were in the first wave and were to "hop" up the ruins, lay down fire and then make the assault.

Rich had a very small veteran force with a Panzer IV, Hanomag, 1st Lt, two five man squads of Stg44s, a flamethrower, medium mortar sniper and medic. Early doors this didn't give me too much to shoot at. Polyp plastered the centre as the lads pushed up into position while D Section got into position.

Once Rich turned up he sniped off the PIAT and the mortar spotter to leave me to weather his armoured counter-attack and wonder if I shouldn't have hit the right with Polyp and flanked left with D Section. Staying with the plan everyone broke cover as D Section arrived and went all "Geezer". Thankfully the mortar had redeployed and pulled off a stunning shot to smoke the Hanomag.

The Flamm-Mann however managed a decent one-man counter attack wiping out D Section before eventually biting a bullet while A Section moved up and stormed the bridge under the nose of the Pz IV. At the end of turn 6 everything looked touch and go, though it later transpired that I'd grabbed the win with two objectives.

As such I was rather pleased when we rolled up turn 7, until Rich wiped A and D Sections. Ponsonby-Smyth took the right flank only to catch an 80mm mortar round while Spatchcock couldn't quite hold the bridge all on his lonesome. Thankfully B Section were just about on hand to claim the right flank for a very bloody draw and the best game of BA either of us have played to date! :)
Advancing off the beach......
....into the newly ruined French hamlet!
Up and at 'em!
A bridge too far?
Go, go, go...
Cpl Spatchcock RIP

D Section a la flambe
Ponsonby-Smyth. Now you see him..... you don't! B Section look on!
For the return fixture Rich went all SS Uber-Commando and went for the Blitzkreig advance with everything going over the central bridge. Polyp once again proved to be worth far more than his zero points as he plastered the bridge, destroying the Hanomag and liberally sprinkling Pins all over the place (seriously he's unstoppable, I'd take two but I'd hate myself!).

In honesty Rich never recovered as I'd moved up into the ruined hamlet and poured fire into anything that managed to move off of it. The PIAT once again got a lot of attention and eventually fell to the 80mm at which point the PzIV ran around with impunity. I tried assaulting with AT grenades only to find out it's really an option of last resort.

At the last Rich ran his Sniper, Cpl Spearz, at my left flank in a final attempt to grab an objective for the draw. It was a desperate race as pretty much everyone chase after him including Cpl Spatchcock who'd been garnering himself something of a bloodthirsty reputation thanks to his Sten and Spatchet knife combo. D Section finally brought him down to take the win.
Polyp hits the bridge...
....and the boys pour it on!

Panzer-assault..... Cafe Rouge!
Run Spearz.....RUN!!
Spearz bites the bulletz!
So, two more excellent games of BA. It's a pretty simple system and can be a little bit gamey but far less than most and actually rewards proper tactics while clipping along at a good place for a good fun game. We like this one :)

Friday, 23 May 2014

Comms Check 1...2... .....4?

Hello again people. I've missed writing these up.....they're just so much fun :)

After another missed session we got back to things last Wednesday with the group dispersing from a relatively corpse packed Ronsons in three different directions. Sindori and Kardosh took the speeder with Kanto and the unconcious ganger while Agenai and Perit chose a brooding alley and 7-UP-0 wandered off up Main Street.....with a box!

Splitting the group in such a manner is always a challenge to run, everyone has to NOT meta-game. Thankfully my lads are pretty good at this.

Some or all of the chaps were being tracked by surveillance drones which some or less of the chaps actually noticed! 7s also managed to notice SOMETHING ELSE, which he felt the need to share with the group but somewhat carefully. There was also another issue, which Charlie beat me to, which was that of a certain amount of jamming of the comm-link. 
 As something of a standard MO I get the guys to write the message and then make a Computer Use check. Pass big and it all gets through complete, otherwise I scrub a number of elements. 7s did well so the first message was complete including "meet at Mc Twistys as planned"..... Shame there was no such plan! Next message only two of a dozen words got scrubbed. The main issue was that he decided to use code, a code which he had just made up.....that no one else knew..... ;) 

In honesty I knew what was going on and why but the looks of confused bewilderment amongst the group were awe inspiring. So inspiring in fact that Twistys turned out to be a real place......fancy that!
Meanwhile Agnecai and Perit were subject to a drone strike, set to stun at least, which saw them both diving into some excellent cover. Unfortunately GM dice once again struck and soon saw Agenai as so many, many kilos of particularly sleepy Transdoshan. Perit meanwhile saw of the drone with ease and dragged Sleepy off to the local night bus sans kebab.

Back in the speeder Kanto was doing a good job of trying to cut a deal with the equally cutthroat Sindori, who has a history with this sort of thing! Talking a good game the hook was baited with Sin itching to bite into a juicy offer of guns, creds and more guns ;) 
So, as the evening drew to a close each of our groups find thier way to Twistys, a now disused biker bar of some local repute. Approaching from the north was Agenai and Perit whilst Sindori crept in from the south, leaving Kardosh, Kanto and sleeping beauty in the speeder a few minutes away. All very sensible.

7's blundered in from the east heading straight for Twistys.........OH MY!!!

How many Buses?

Saw this the other day and it amused me no end for all sorts of reasons but especially with the latest edition of 40K causing all sorts of manic frothing around various corners of the hobby.

I'm well out of this one, and relatively happily so (as I've moaned previously), but who could possibly miss a metaphor involving editions of GW's rules and buses.

Bwaa ha ha haaaa ha ha ha ;)

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

WWII in various Colours

Hello people.

Yes, been a little while. Busy elsewhere and all that Jazz.

Last week was all WWII and EotE, which was all good with me. WWII kicked off last Saturday by breaking out Heroes of Normandie with Rich.

Cracking open the box we were somewhat overwhelmed with the number of tokens in dice though :/ Even as crusty old gits at this sort of thing it was all a bit bewildering for a while but once we were playing, which very nearly didn't happen, everything slotted into place ;)

In short it's a good (board)game with alternating initiative and a central "order" system. In short you get X number of orders plus one Bluff for roughly X x 2 units. With an order you can move, fire, or do something useful (but not move and fire). Any unordered units can make a move at the end of the turn.

Playing through two scenarios the cartoon / caricature feel of the background comes through in the gameplay and scenarios. With the points system it seems that you can play the game in a much more "traditional" manner but we haven't got that far yet. Definitely intend to find out far too much of it sitting around not too ;)
Moving on Tuesday night at Enfield Gamers was a 4 way game of Bolt Action at 500 points each, 1000 per side. We kept the Order Dice separate for each individual force, as you're supposed to, to see how it played out.

The table itself looked a bit Ardennes so that's what we went for with Paul's Yank Brandenburgers supporting Charlie's Heer against Damien's Brits and my Commandos.
The early game on my left flank was dominated by my RN FO as Paul ran away from the smoke spotting rounds at every opportunity. As such his elite Paras made a rush up the very open centre of the table and got shot to bits for their trouble.

On our right flank honours were fairly even thanks to a lucky mortar hit taking out a Bren Carrier balancing the Heer inability to pass an Order though the plethora of Steg 44s were doing a job.
Eventually the RN support fire turned up, though somewhat short, in fact plastering the Commandos with Pin markers. Almost prophetically I'd made a load over the weekend!

Thankfully the Commando's Elite status meant they were able to wear them well seeing off a Brandenburger squad in combat whilst outnumbered 2 to 1 and secure the flank. Meanwhile the plucky Tommies followed their forefathers with a number of well timed bayonet charges urged on by Lt Simpkins who bashed the Bosch brigand to secure the game.

A good game and a bit more learnt. Throughout the Deutsch-Dice stormed out of the bag ahead of the Brits which naturally put us on the defensive but also allowed us to mount a coordinated counter-attack. 

The more I play this game, the more I want to play this game :)

Friday, 9 May 2014

Suped Up

Hello people,

This Tuesday down at Enfield Gamers Jon was good enough to run me through a game of Pulp City. He's a major fan and I'm a minor KS backer so all good.

Tempted in to a Necroplane faction box and Powerhouse (big lad) the deciding factor was that I knew I could get in some games. Jon even managed to lend me most of my faction, beautifully painted, to bound across his custom terrain. All I had to do was turn up :)
Playing through what was basically a big boy intro game it took a couple of turns to get the mechanic settled in but nothing more. Alternative activation, action points and resource management are nothing new in modern skirmish and creates a flexible game engine without being too fiddly. Doing things and activating abilities is as easy as rolling a number of D6 and adding your highest result to your ability score against either an opposed roll by your target or a simple target number.

As you would hope the game is all about Super Powers and more importantly their tactical use. Your Supremes each have a number of Trump abilities which activate when rolling a 5 or 6 against said Trump ability. By doing so you can deal additional effects / damage.
Much as with many Superhero teams you have a leader, some heavily themed chaps and a number of support characters chucking out buffs to the big boys and / or disrupting the other side. This is where the real tactical cut and thrust is found. Do you buff before you bash or make sure you get your strike in first? I quickly worked out that I was playing a skirmish game with plenty of depth and variation as well as the expected CRASH!, BANG! and KAPOW!!

Jon and his dice were good enough to let me have the win. Looking forward to returning the favour :)

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Plastic Fantastic

Hello people.

Tuesday night down at Enfield Gamers Rich kicked off the Bolt Action escalation league and I rocked up with my barely built Commandos. 

One lad was missing his beret but other than that it was a good as a paintless patrol could be. Once I'd got used to the paired arm system and moved to the usual assembly line, construction was much smoother. A little bit of attention to detail allowed for plenty of variation across the squads.

OOB for the night;
2nd Lt Gerry Mander
FO Petty Officer Polyp (RN)
2 Section - 9 geezers (Vickers K / 3 smg)
3 Section - 9 geezers (Vckers K / 3 smg)
Light Mortar

First game of the night was against Charlie's Heer Grenadiers as we attempted to capture each other's objective. I decided to try Flanking one squad only to pay no attention to Charlie's objective.

We then engaged in a mutual series of failed orders and tactical nievity while setting up our firing lines and taking pot shots at each other.

I was gifted the early initiative curtesy of some devasting artillery fire brought in by Polyp hammering the Heer left flank, upon which I was flanking. This however didn't help me take the objective on the Heer right defended by an MMG and some Grenadiers bristling with Assault Rifles.

Quickly settling in for the draw I learnt a lot of what doesn't work and the value of co-ordinated fire. Surely I've been at this long enough to catch on. Eventually edging the game on attrition (killing units), 1 to nil, the real winner was the system itself as it earnt the relevant respect from both of us about its hidden depths :)
Second game of the night was against Shado's Russian horde capturing four equidistant supply caches. 

Determined to cut out my tactical errors I just went with getting the rules wrong on a number of occasion in climbing a different learning curve.

Once again Polyp did his stuff to ruin the Russian left flank allowing to establish a fire-base on the left flank objective while I attempted another Flanking move on the right. 

Not needing to risk an assault managed to keep the attrition points racking up to force the Ruskis onto my guns. His Flanking SMG squad were sacrificed to the fire-base (veterans in hard cover) while his left flank stalled. 

Flanking in to contest one of the main objectives on the final turn I took the game 3 VPs to 1 thanks to some solid tactics and some decent dice.

So two wins for the night, one decidedly streaky, primarily thanks to PO Polyp and the fisheads somewhere offshore.

For two weeks time we up the ante by 200 points which see the mortar upgraded to 3", a PIAT for the sniper, and a further squad of geezers kitted for assault. Fairly sure ill up the rifles on the fire squads as they didn't feature too heavily and I feel confident in the Tough Fighters.

That's the plan.....well see if it survives contact! :)