Friday, February 17, 2017

Star Wars Armada: first play

Crush the sci fi terrorist!
 I've managed to locate another war gamer locally. A great find of high caliber: he has both sides of numerous games....painted! We met up for a first game of Star Wars armada. I randomly drew the imperials (secretly I was hoping to play the star destroyers).






There's an interesting mission selection mechanic where each player builds three options into their list. The dice off for initiative determines which players choices get used. Having no idea what we were doing we random selected a mission which ended up with the imperials getting to hyperspace jump in one smaller ship and 3 groups of fighters into the middle of the board later in the game.

 This game seems to theme, and reward, the player who can predict what till be happening/needed in the future. 

There are 4 types of commands you order up (roughly damage control, shoot more/better, change speed/turn harder, get more fightyness from your fighters). The big/slow ships have to queue up their orders up to 3 turns in advance.

Firing happens before movement, so you remove a crutch most players don't realize they have where they can move into better range before letting loose with their guns.

 The movement ruler is articulated and ships are allowed certain numbers of 'clicks' of turning each space interval. It's pretty clever and easy to learn to use, but quite restrictive maneuvering wise for the big ships. Very thematic. We both ran into space hazards, and my opponent managed to bumper car his own ships a couple of times.

The ships end up with quite a different flavour. I particularly notice my smaller star destroyer was a pig to move and turn. There's a variety of defensive tokens that each ship gets, which also conveys a difference in how each ship functions in battle (ex nebulon b frigates have 2 evade tokens, whereas the big star destroyer has none). 

I was soundly thrashed by my opponent. I think poor setup (I didn't get my big ship where it was much use, and my small ships ended up directly facing his bruisers), and a failure to capitalize on my hyperspace ambush (I popped in right as everything was flying out of range of my guns) weighed pretty heavily. It also takes a bit of time to grok a new game. 

I'm totally looking forward to getting in some more games, as it has a very cool look, and seems to play reasonably fast.

We figure a bit under 3 hours with 'tournament point value' including rules explanations, occasional rules look ups, & general unfamiliarity (i.e. thinking hard about what to do for each phase, rather than it being fairly obvious what the better options are).  I could easily see this dropping to 2 with a second or third game.


Monday, February 13, 2017

SAGA Crecent and Cross - God will recognize his own

I managed a trip over to Vancouver just in time for the snowpocalypse of 2016. After a day of slushing about with a substandard miniatures carrying solution, I finally arrived in the evening for a game of SAGA with friends.

We played 4 pt warbands, with two of us on each team (8 pts total). The mission was "God will recognize his own" - you only score points for killing in melee, most killing-est team wins, and troops are recycled back onto the board.

Cameron and Jenn led the fanatically hospitaller and crusader forces (including a large group of pilgrim levy). Grace and myself commanded the saracens and mutatawi (including camelry!).

 There was much hilarity as each side some some consistent 'hot' rolling while their opponents couldn't manage to roll dice to save themselves. This, of course, reversed later in the game.

Recycling of troops always gets wacky as suicide squads charge in off the edge of the table to poach off the reduced squads that had killed those same figures the turn before.


The spot lighting was pretty rough for camera work, but I like to think that  the long shadows represent dusk, or a dust storm or something.

While great fun playing, I did have a number of spear and shield injuries. My travel case obviously needs some work to better protect my men from the hostile public transit environment.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year Resolution Post 2016/2017

Another year comes to a close. The facebook collective seems to agree that 2016 has been a pretty poop year, with many people passing on, and lots of global events that just don't seem all that great. Perhaps fittingly, my 2016 gaming seems to be pretty lack luster as well.

I only managed 16 posts over the course of the year. Many of those posts were about games I played, which is great, but the painting productivity was a bit pants. To be fair, there is some stuff that I painted but didn't manage to get up on the blog....but not much. The spring/summer here was fully occupied with landscaping of the new home. I suspect the same will occur this coming summer/spring.

The plan for 2016

1/. Paint 50 'Bones' figs.  I have Bones 3 coming in at some point, so it makes sense to swim against the tide.
FAIL. I'm not sure that I painted *any* bones this year. Yikes.







2/. Finish 'trays of shame' of 15mm french napoleonics. These have been sitting too long. It's only about 100-150 figs and they are probably 1/3-1/2 done. Time to put them to bed. 
SUCCESS! I managed to finish both the old guard, as well as the great coats that have languished for far too long in my trays of shame.

3/. Paint up both sides of a game. The most challenging/ambitious one for me. Likely targets include: skirmish forces (mordheim/frostgrave/ambush alley), Cy6! (flight stands are the problem), Spacehulk, or some 15mm sci fi type thing.
FAIL. I'm not sure that I finished painting up one side of a game, let alone two. Boo. 

4/. Attend a convention. Now that I've moved out of a town that hosts one, this will be more of a stretch.
 SUCCESS! I attended enfilade in Olympia, WA. Doug (dots of paint blog) organized a huge Borodino game with his fast play rules. It was a lot of fun, and I suspect I'll attend next year. I've already signed up to paint up a chunk of french cavalry. Commitments to other people are a good motivation to get the painting done.

2017 Resolutions
1/. Get a FOG force table ready
A couple of the locals have armies and play. I'd like to be able to join in with my own troops. Might be able to encourage others as well. I own some carthaginians...just need to paint them.

2/. Attend Enfilade again with at least one command worth of troops 
It was fun last year, and helped get a batch of figures completed. 

3/. Resurrect a failed resolution
I was just looking at my old ones and thinking I should/could finish some of them. Possibilities include: painting both sides of a game, paint a 15mm french corp (I really just need commanders and cavalry at this point), paint a skirmish force/gang, paint 50 bones figs. Nice to leave it somewhat open to my whims.

4/. Host 2 games this year
I hosted a game of CY6 with all my own stuff. How novel. I'll try and double my achievement and host some sort of tabletop game with my own gear....twice!

Hope that you all haven't been laid too low by 2016, and this coming year portends better things. Happy holidays to you all, and a few pics of my 2016 accomplishments for your enjoyment. 








Sunday, October 2, 2016

French Line in Great Coats (15mm Old Glory)












 I've been slaving away outdoors doing landscaping, and indoors painting with '4 inch brush'. Doug from Dot of Paint gave me a poke by email to inquire if I'd done any hobby work lately.

Fortuitously, the recent bout of poor weather and losing light earlier has allowed me to get some painting in.

These fine fellows have been in my paint queue for, literally, years. I got stumped with helmet colors, and whether the poms/plumes were covered or not. Then there was an unfortunate accident while doing a car transport that knocked a ton off their sticks. Then I moved. It's been on the resolution list for a year or two, and at last they are complete.

15mm old glory. I suspect there are two bags here, one of command, and one of regular folks. It's fairly obvious I should bash out another 100+ figs to get enough troops to match up with all my command. There are much more important things to work on before that though. Like cavalry. And officers. Neither of which I have painted (in 15mm). This does mean I'm rapidly approaching the ability to field the great aggressors in smaller scenarios, and there happens to be a local gamer who has been working on some austrians in the sames scale...

Monday, July 4, 2016

CY6! Jet age - Falklands test play

After a shameful amount of time, I finally got my painted jet minis out for a game. At the local game store I was joined by Joel and Tommy for a dust up between 2 harriers and 2 mirage III's.

The barriers to play were my uncertainty about my basing scheme working, and unfamiliarity with the ruleset. Luckily the two suckers brave gentlemen agreed to try the game out.

The bases are indeed leg, and each block represents an altitude level. Jet age tends to use a lot more than the regular ww2 era CY6, as jets have a lot more power.

The mirages race along at high altitude from the sun towards the low flying harriers. The sun is important b/c being 'up sun' from your opponent makes it harder to hit with infrared guided missiles. 
Closing took about 3 turns which gave us a chance to get used to changing altitude, maneuvering and the turn flow.

The harriers struggled to gain altitude without losing too much speed as the mirages raced towards them.

More after the break....


Monday, June 13, 2016

Fields of Glory: Gauls vs Pyrrhic

I want to call this one a Pyrrhic victory, but I didn't lose all my troops so I'm stumped how to describe it. Nate brought out his FOG armies for another Sunday throwdown at the local games store (dropzone games). We choose to use the least fielded armies he has, and ended up with an incredibly historical matchup between Gauls and Pyrrhic pike blocks. No gamer blood was drawn by the pikes this game.

Field of glory is definitely one of those rulesets that has enough fiddly bits it can be a bit slow if you are unfamiliar with it. Once we got into the flow, and started to remember what the actual matchups were between each unit (you calculate 'points of advantage' which tell you what you and your opponent hit on) it moved at a pretty decent rate. Certainly a ruleset I'm willing to try again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Enfilade 2016: Random Picture Roundup

This is just a collection of random pics I took during the event. Nice looking tables of games I didn't have a chance to play.

 Star wars armada. Looked like a tremendous hairball of small fighters later in the game.
 Some fun racing boat game. I think this makes a regular appearance at conventions.
 A very cool table top, C and C routered out of a single piece of 8x4 plywood. The apartments fit into recessed grooves. This game was based on "Gangs of New York" and was a straight up fight. I think the rules may have been published in a wargaming magazine at one point.

Lion rampant. I failed to get into this game as I had a brain fart about signing up for the 1st period of gaming on Friday. Looked like a fun game was done in a very timely fashion. I look forward to a chance to try these rules out. 
 An epic "Sails of Glory" set up for trafalgar. This was played over 2 blocks (~8 hours of gaming). The french eventually managed to capture the Victory and slip some ships off the appropriate side of the table.
 One of numerous English civil war games. The game mat looked great for this one.
 Mustangs air game. Nice flak bursts and very large ship models.
 Another fine piece of eye candy. Based on a roman vs Gaul siege. This was early in setup and there were a ton of gauls.....and fast casualties. By the end the board was looking sparse with troops again.

Did a walkby of this one. Gloire maybe? A enviable inn to have a fight in. 

Pulp alley with Space 1889. These are fantastic cloud ships. I was committed to the Borodino game (to be recounted in a future post), otherwise I would have been all over this. 


Super spies I believe. I'd guess 7TV, but I suspect it was some other rule set. Lean amount of terrain but it looks really good. 

Some sort of cowboys vs aliens (that's a crashed ufo in the smoke). 

A hudson and allen castle. I've been looking covetously at one of these for a long time. Seeing it in the flesh doesn't really change my mind. Marvelous stuff. The hoardings are an optional piece (actual wood) which I believe (?) can be lifted off.