Friday, September 27, 2013

Battletech: Sword and Dragon: Fox's supply run (5)

The Fox's have taken their second mission, also a supply run to beef up their warchest and hopefully capture some better mechs. Using elements of their command lance (Black knight, hatchetman, enforcer) they face off against 4 militia mechs (2 light: mongoose, pather, 2 medium: clint, trebuchet).

Bryan helpfully pointed out my Blackknight has a mod called triple strength myomer. When it's heated up a bit the mech gains a move bonus and doubles (!) the attack damage. He carries an axe already and is pretty weighty, so is now a total badass. I spent the game trying to get him in contact with a mech to cleave in half. Same with the hatcheman, I looked to take a few chops, but never managed to connect.

The maps where a moderately forested map with some open lanes of fire, and a totally open, concrete pad map where the warehouses were placed. Bryan cleverely placed the defenders behind the warehouses (which are considered invulnerable) which gave him a hit modifier (partial cover) and would negate hits to the legs. So clever! 

The Fox's moved up through wooded terrain while the defenders hid behind the chain of warehouses. The black knight storms up the middle, while the enforcer takes pot shots from a distance, and the hatchetman is sucking up most of the defenders fire (picking on the little guy). Early on, Bryan moves his mongoose out to run at high speed and be hard to hit and generally irritating.

 Heavy fire forced the panther out of hiding and to start moving up before he got destroyed. The hatchet man has been taking a lot of hits, while the enforcer hides in the woods and continues to snipe with his gauss gun.

Here the Panther is hiding by some woods. The mongoose is being it's usual irritating back shooting self, and the trebuchet has moved away from the main group of buildings to avoid getting smashed by the black knight.

After the black knight gets close it turns into a foot race as the knight is chasing down the commander trebuchet, and the defenders attempt to swarm the other 2 attacker mechs. This game was notable for the huge number of shots that missed by 1 point.

Finally the heavily injured panther goes down. The hatchetman is steadily taking most of the fire from the other defenders however.

 The blackknight is trying to manage heat, chase after the enemy mechs (near the top of the map), and continue firing.

 The hatchetman charges the mongoose, hoping to put him down. Probably a mistake to be out in the open with his back to 2 other mechs.

The mongoose speeds away to end up behind the black knight. Around this point he's lost 2 arms and is down to one torso medium laser and a small. Basically no threat at all. *sigh*

 The hatchetman jumps back to cover (middle) and the enforcer is trying to outshoot the Clint.

 Missing a photo or two here here, but the mongoose managed to race behind the hatchetman (now lying down by the river). The hatchman had jumped to cut down the clint. A super lucky small laser shot from the mongoose managed to ignite the ammo of the hatchetman resulting in a destroyed mech. CURSES!

The blackknight and enforcer manage to take down the mongoose. Leaving injured trebuchet and Clint running around. About this point Bryan agreed he could continue running in circles taking pot shots until a lucky hit took him down (he was fairly devoid of armour) but he was essentially beat. It was getting late, so we called it.

The damage to the enforcer is not too bad....but he is missing most of the armour on a leg, and 0 armour in one back location....not something I want to leave unrepaired. The blackknight is barely scratched. The hatchetman is a total repair....but leaves us with how to  deal with the pilot deaths in the campaign. I have since remembered that we did a mulligan on one of Bryan's pilots deaths in the first mission.

There is a mechanic to buy new pilots, but you lose the fun little special skills/personalization of the pilots from the book. Add it to the list of things to consider moving forward.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Battletech: Sword and Dragon: Sabre's supply run (4)

We got this one in at the beginning of September. Supply Run is a mission where the attacker is attempting to seize the contents of some warehouses. The warehouses contain (if the attacker wins) 2 mechs, and a bunch of ammo. We have been mostly ignoring ammo for the time looks fairly annoying to track, and I'm contemplating some way to make it simpler than counting each shot, but still taking into consideration ballistic weapon ammo use. Anyway, back to the mission at hand.

Due to the successful recon by the sabre's, their opponent have a negative modifier on their force generation table. The sabre's end up facing 2 medium and 2 light mechs, all driven by poorly trained militia. A whitworth, centurion, assassin, and enforcer make up the militia force.

The maps include a fairly open back table with the warehouses, and a heavily forested map where the attackers enter. The militia deploy forward to attempt to hammer the attackers as soon as possible in the close ranges where they have a better chance of hitting, rather than letting the attackers take up hulldown positions in the hills on the open map and hammer them at long range.

Quite quickly the two forces are at knife fighting range, but the woods are largely eliminating most of the available lanes of fire. The Sabre's have brought in a heavy mech (hunchback), an assault (hatimoto chi) and a light or medium mech (Jenner). All mount experimental weapon systems (ER lasers, AC10 X, and a Narc missle).

The defenders are attempting to stay away from the assault mech while focus firing on the Jenner and, to a lesser extent when the shots won't work, the Hunchback.

I often find myself tending towards 'gamey' solutions, but obviously the point of running the opfor against the Fox's and Sabre's is to bleed them as much as possible in most missions. I think that the missions are largely winnable, but the question is the degree/cost of the win for the protagonist forces.

The game was consistently marked by the inability of the militia to gain initiative. This resulted in most of their mechs going before the sabre's and resulted in set ups like this. The assasin is trying for a rear shot on the hatimoto. In return, the hunchback and jenner are ganging up for some physical attack throw downs.

 The river ended up being fought quite closely over, as it was a serious mobility barrier for a number of the mechs. The sabre's have excellent piloting skill, so it was mostly a reduced speed barrier. The militia suck, so didn't want to risk the piloting checks. Jump jets were used frequently to hop across the river.

Another factor was this was one of the few locations that gave decently long fields of fire.

 The end is close. The militia mechs have lost most of their armour, so the AC10 X on the hatimoto chi, which acts as a giant shotgun, is coming into excellent effect. Any 'open' areas of armour are way more likely to get hit, and potentially cause critical hits.

The Centurion goes down with gryo damage.
 Followed in the next turn by the assassin having it's leg shot off, and the Centurion having it's leg KICKED to confetti by the hatimoto chi.
The enforcer finally brews up in an ammo explosion giving the table to the Sabre's.

The resulting capture of a Centurion and a Jagermech, plus the mad salvage by the Sabre's brings up their warchest to a respectable 367 after repairs etc. It is noted that assault and heavy mechs are real expensive to repair, giving an obvious imperative to only bring what you need to a mission. On the other hand, the Jenner was pretty heavily damaged and could easily have ended up destroyed this mission. Can't bring things that are too light......a juggling act to be sure.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Osric: A return to compliments, secrets of the North revealed (19)

The party leaves the inn after having a near deadly encounter with a renegade (aka 'typical') adventuring party. After a few more days of travel they arrive in compliments....or more specifically, encounter an outlying group or armed men near compliments.

After some scouting by the gnomes, it is quickly realized this is some of the town guard, and the fighter henchman Renault (village marshal). All are looking a bit worse for wear, and it turns out that a might ice drake has taken over the village and been demanding regular tithes of animals. Renault was forced from town after attempting to drive the beast off, and the group has been forced to hide from the aerial monster. Compliments is heavily buried in snow drifts, and the guards say that the dwarven smith Gideon, and his workshop have been embedded in an ice block, although lighting can still be seen emanating from within.

Jenks tries to summon forest creatures to aid in the battle, and a single centaur, bane-dur, shows up. He informs the group that the centaurs have fled the area and he is left as a scout. He agrees to assist the battle against the ice witches' minions the next day. The group moves moves into town and hears the panicking lowing of a cow coming from the centre of town, a typical sacrifice for the ice drake. They attempt to keep to the underboughs of trees and move towards the centre of town. Dragon fear grips the party indicating the massive beast above, and the cows sounds are cut short. Suddenly a sizeable bloody chunk of cow bounces and lands in front of Jenks, the druid, and a massive ice dragon charges in after it. Battle is joined!

The might drake is hurt by the fighters before it manages to release a blast of ice affecting most of the group. Archon, the dwarven priest is shattered into bloody ice cubes, as is bane-dur. Other group members are luckier, but heavily wounded none the less. Dan is pummeled into the snow by the beasts claw and bite attacks, appearing dead, and Jenks himself is tossed into the air, landing heavily upon his head and ceasing to move. At last the beast is put down by the remaining gnomish thieves and the mighty Renault. The massive ancient beasts proceeds to turn into a glittering icy dust that blows away on the blizzard winds.

The possibly alive (Jenks and Dan) are rushed into a warm building and healers sought. The local Butcher renders the most aid, as he is highly knowledgeable about 'meat and such'. An agonizing die roll follows. The two pull through, but will ever be beset by laboured breathing and wheezing (Dan), and an inability to look upwards (Jenks). Truly they have been fortunate this day.

While the two recover, Scabs (gnomish mayor of compliments) uses his magic coal to melt his way into the forge of Gideon, who happily greets the gnome and asks what took the group so long.Utilizing bits of dragon recovered from the attack on shadowdeep, Gideon begins to forge items of power to help the group. A pair of runed shortswords are annointed with dragon blood and forged. These items are +2 dragonslayer's and arm the gnomes (+4 vs dragon, triple damage against ice dragons). The ice brands that were recovered from the white walkers are identified as dark magic, and therefore broken up the forge of gideon.

Still lacking information about the Horn of Daydris and the white witch (Gideon has little new knowledge) the group decides to attempt to tap the wisdom of the Ents. A yule cake like pastry is baked, and left out on the edge of the town to entice an Ent to a parley. At last a dark massive try with dried blood encrusted teeth approaches. Convinced of the danger of the imbalance of winter and seasons the Ent tells us to seek out the druid of the North who resides in the ice finger mountains. The valley he presides over is full of natural springs, and is ever lush and full of bloom.

The Ent also reveals to us that the ever burning ember is a fragment of the plane of fire in physical form. If one blows upon it, it will cast forth a blaze of fiery breath. For this very reason the Ent keeps his distance and is edgy around us.

The group withdraws to compliments and begins to gather items for an expedition north. We will see where the league of Justice has failed to return from....

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Battletech: Sword and Dragon: Fox Recon (3)

Our second mission of the campaign (again written up in a very delayed fashion) we see the Fox's teeth starting their own mission arc with a recon. Trying to remain true to character and thematic, the Fox's run an intact lance which is, of course, Recon.  The Fox's have an assassin, wolfhound, hornet, and Commando, facing off against a group of 4 light militia mechs, a spider, mongoose and 2 panthers (eek PPC's!). Objectives are to scan the enemy mechs and exfiltrate the entire force.

Choosing a heavily forested map the Fox's get some decent cover moving up. The opfor (run by Bryan) has choosen a faily blank map with a few hills. Definitely some risk in the approach. 2 militia mechs start on the board, and will be joined by their reinforcements shortly.Turn 1 is already bad news for the Fox's as one of the Panther's hits with his PPC on an 11. This trend would continue for most of the game.

The Fox's approach from 2 flanks attempting to run around the hills and deprive the enemy of areas to retreat to (and avoid a scanning).

Turn 3 Right. The reinforcements show up, just as the first two militia mechs are scanned.

Turn 4 (left) the Fox's have managed to accomplish the first objective and scanned everything. Now to run away quickly! We're all the way in the corner of the far map, with enemies that can jump and some hills in the way....what could go wrong?

Turn 5. Wisely Bryan is keeping close on the heels of my fleeing troops. The high speeds reduce fire, and the militia are bad shots, but the volume of fire presents a risk.

Turn 6: I manage to place 2 engine hits on the mongoose! Now everytime it does ANYTHING it net generates heat. In hindsight this would have caused the mech to dropout (withdraw rules), but we didn't know.

Instead it dogged my steps hoping to blow up or something nearby.

Turn 7. Fox's are half way back. One of the panthers (in the bottom right) is just about out of the fight (too slow).

Turn 8. A stupid mistake was made by the Fox's (me). I set up one of my mechs (top line) to a charge attack from the mongoose. If it hits it will bash my mech off the table and count as out of the fight, in addition to any horrible damage it will likely achieve. Also, the mongoose is horribly injured and could brew up in an exciting fashion.

Some stressful holding of breath while the attack numbers are calculated and rolled....a miss!

Final turn: The Fox's escape off the table. A bit worse for wear than their counterparts the Sabre's at the end of game 1.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Good Fences make good neighbours

Final product post varnishing
...or in wargames make you harder to hit. I managed to crank these out earlier in the summer, but haven't gotten around to posting pictures yet. All part of a push to get some 28mm terrain painted up and ready for gaming.

The original impetus was some skirmish gaming, but perhaps I may try form more warhammer fantasy battle. I do face some challenges with a table surface right now though, living in a small apartment. I probably need to make a push to rectify this before the weather gets extra gross.

Base color minus the trees
The pallet uses the same grey from the tower I painted before. I hope it doesn't get too endlessly grey but we'll see. I also didn't like the trees are brown idea. I decided to attempt to do a birch tree, which perhaps wasn't so smart with the grey stone fencing, but hey, gotta break out of the known occasionally.

Birch trees done, inking and detailing

I'm reasonably happy with how things turned out. Once I got some other colours on there (the nail heads, the green on the basing, the static grass, the rust) it looks better.

More rusting with my favorite 'paint'
I'm not super impressed with my colour choice for the ground. I've based minis this way before and it worked.....perhaps I slathered on the top colour too heavily. It improved once the static grass was on there though.

The silvering of the nails definitely helped the fencing to 'pop'. It was a bit drab prior, but after the final touches it totally helps. I think this illustrates the effects that a small differing colour on the palette can have. Hopefully I remember this for other models I paint that I'm trying to figure out why they aren't looking great.

I also attempted some object oriented lighting with the lantern in the sign post. This probably would have gone better, but I've also never painted flame. Note to self: attempt one brand new thing at a time. The colours in the lantern are a little screwey....which means the light cast is as well. This would be a given as I did the effects at the same time to simplify the colour matching. I'm trying to decide what to do about this one: don't use it, live with it, is it redeemable?

Thankfully it is fairly small, so the horrors don't jump out too much on a large table. I'll obviously need to practice my flame painting again soon. It totally didn't help with the shape of the lantern (the metal banding was a problem.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Osric: Flight from shadowdeep & An encounter with some 'knights' (18)

The group decides to head from shadowdeep to compliments to seek more allies against the snowwitch.

Archon and Scabs loaded on a door as a sledge with a rope to pull. Jenks and Dan as packhorses.

At the city gates, the doors are ajar, and no guards in sight, Jenks spots some snow piles with weapons protruding. We move some ways away and walk up a snow drift to the top of the walls. Eventually we get the sledge over the edge and slide down the incline, just as our activities and noises attract more white walker attention.

The heavy blizzards continue and we hide for a bit under our white wraps before moving on. We make it to a fast moving waist high river and think how to cross. There are blocks of ice, and dead fish in the water.....probably unsafe. The bridge to the north may also be guarded....we decide to chop a tree down. Unfortunately just as we finish we are being surrounded by 6 white walkers. Archon turns and we hurry on, only to have 2 continue to track us. We manage to down them.

Fortified inn. Guards with crossbows on the parapet. Spitted white walker dispatched. At the Inn, we talk to trappers headed to shadowdeep. Jenks buys out their furs for 100gp and they agree to take a ice sword to Fang (where they are from) and word of the ice witch problems (call for allies).

Elves poke their head in and tell us of the horn of daydris. It summons chaos creatures from other worlds and sends elemental winter blowing. It has been manifested in the ice finger mountains, and takes up most of a valley by the crystal cave. We recieve specific directions to this valley (waypoint activated!), and the elves tell us they are seeking their kin to rally them to the cause as well.

At another table we meet adventurer's who are seeking riches they have heard exist in the old city of greenich (eek!).
We share some info with them (yes treasure, bypass to the 2nd level (hopefully they won't find the liche door), and directions to the duergar area (which 'probably' has the stairs downward)). The group refuses a team up, as there won't be enough treasure to go around. They even dodge our suggestion to check out the university campus for loot (oh that college cow campus? we'll hit that after greenich)

 The wizard Brain shares some info about the curse of the duergar (the root is the king, and has spread to the others......could remove it likely if we just take out the king). He has also heard of the horn of daydri, and notes that it will turn the world to ice. He makes a passing comment that adventurers have sought it before, being unaware of it's size and therefore general uselessness. It is forunate they seek an item that will solve that problem.

Took us a bit to realize we were dealing with these idiots...
Bob, the thief, after pocketing some money from BA the fighter, then having to pay for a round of drinks to cover the theft leaves to head to the washroom. Scabs follow him into a room marked 'interdict' and finds him picking a lock on a chest.....unsuccessfully.

Scabs wacks him with a pan, and starts a fight. They parlet with a deal to split the treasure. After picking the lock, and triggering a poison trap,  Bob attacks again. Eventually Jenks notices the sound and enters.

He loudly declares bob a thief and scabs the mayor of compliments. BA the fighter immediately powers up for a fight while Dave the cleric unsuccessfully tries to calm him down. The wizard Brian disappears.

After a close fought battle, with Dave attempting to help the group, BA is immobilzed in stone by Jenks, and Bob is blinded by Dave. Brian runs off after unsucessfully trying to fireball everyone (ncluding his allies). Dave reveals they seek the deck of many things from the crypt beneath greenich.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Warhammer Fantasy Battle - Blood and Glory in the highlands of squamish

I've been super lucky to be getting in a lot of gaming lately. Some of my highschool friends have a organized a day of Warhammer fantasy battle up in the old town (of squamish, hence the title). Considering I haven't touched my army for well on 2 years, and never played the current edition (7th? 8th?) it was high time to venture forth.

Arriving there was 3 tables set up on a covered porch in the back of the house. It was a fantastic day for the event, bright and cool, despite the thunder storms that had plagued us only a few days back. The only hiccup in starting was the sea to sky highway (64km of highway perched on the edge of mountains) was being used for the Gran Fondo, a bicycle race. As a result we didn't leave Vancouver till about noon, and arrived around 1330, it would make for a late day.

2 tables immediately set up for 40k, while Ryan and I ended up playing Goblins (no orcs) vs Empire. To add further shame to the fact I don't have anything painted, my opponent has a fully painted goblin army. The only thing unpainted currently is his huge spider which I suspect was a recent purchase. Quite impressive really (the painting).

Here we can see my army of grey (the shame!). Lowest is some fantastic painted forest goblin spider riders flanking my 'knights' (the riders are dismounted as I'm investigating storage/carriage options for lances *sigh*). Above them are a unit of ~30 swordsman. Off the pic to the bottom right is a pegasus rider captain who setting up to kill a stone thrower that my cannon killed instead.

Along the tree line is a cannon and a hellblaster (actually an organ gun I use as a proxy). Behind the tower is some more knights, a horder of 50 halberdiers (spearmen), and another unit of 30 swordsmen.

Facing me (from the top right), 2 wolf chariots, an artillery park on the hill (2 bolt throwers, 1 doom diver), squig herders, 30 goblin spearmen with netters, 60 ish goblin bows with some magic poison standard that made them amazingly awful to fight, another unit of ~30 spearmen, and off to the right is a HUGE spider with some sort of magic altar on it that made the magic phase painful for me every turn.

Here we see the 2 lonely units on the right flank that played for time most of the game. The spiders did their best ever, according to ryan, no doubt from the derth of opponents facing them, and their ability to run through the marsh with no problem. Fast cavalry indeed.

 Meanwhile my left flank was racing up the narrow approaches to try and take out the artillery park and the other units. Lack of space, units and time meant that I was going to soak up some chariot charges unfortunately.

The pegasus rider triggers the fanatics in the largest unit. I now learn the owner gets to choose the initial direction, here I hoped they would all fly back into his rear and cause mayhem there. Overall the 5 fanatics didn't do a ton, and split damage evenly between both sides. Given my guys are at least twice the cost it was advantage goblins.

The other view of the fanatics from the front. Right flank moves backwards to play for time, and try to avoid getting turned into poisoned pin cushions by the enormous archer unit.

 This is going to hurt. It looks obvious the goblins will get their charges. The knights were nerfed with magic and unable to pull off a charge, so needed to move backwards to get out of the way. This also prevented a charge from the halberdiers.
 Ryan chortles as his goblins do awful things to me. This is the view of the cannon the whole game. Do you seen the giant spider? No, neither can they, it's hiding behind the tower. This was a sad SAD thing as that monster seriously screwed with my battle plan.
 My pegasus has transited the entire back field and hit the bolt thrower. In a moment of high comedy, a comet lands where the black dice are putting the hurt on all units including my captain. The captain AND the pegasus wiff their attacks, and the goblin crew manage to down the captain.

Luckily the pegasus guard his owners body and proceeds to destroy the bolt thrower. A 45 point investment........not a good exchange.

 The swordsment have managed to win a chariot fight, flank charge the one hitting the halberdiers, and are moving into the back field to deal with the doom diver.

The halberdiers are killing squigs, but can't bring their entire force to bear. The wide 'horde' frontage is really not working out too well for me here. I'm also informed if the squigs break they go wild and will inflict hits on my 'winning' unit as they run amok and off the table. Oh the joys to look forward to.

Shortly before the death of the swordsmen. The spiders hit the cavalry, and overun into the flank. Over the next 2 combat turns the swordsmen are broken and wiped out. A warrior priest was attempting to buff the unit, but wasn't able to avoid the huge hand of dispel dice the goblins were wielding.

Good bye right flank. At least the hellblaster has another good shot coming up.....course it's unlikely to do anything of substance to the 40 goblins remaining...

 Turn 5 I barely managed an automatic loss due to some clever magic work by the goblins. Having reduced my initiative to 1, he cast an enormous template spell to eat my halberdiers....they'd need to roll their initiative or less on a d6 or disappear. eek! Luckily I had saved my dispel scroll for just suck an occurrence. Ryan was suitably foiled and cursing in a good natured way.
Bottom of turn 6 (the last chance) my unit is heavily debuffed, the goblins are buffed up, and everything crashes into my depleted unit. Holding my 3 expensive heroes if this goes poof it's going to be a massacre. I loss the combat, but am not outnumbered (by 1!) so I test on my unmodified leadership. Success on the nose!

Victory points show I loss by ~125 or so in a 2000 point game. Not too bad. I have to give mad props to my opponent for shepherding me through the latest edition. We both forgot numerous buffs and attacks of various units, but I suspect the balance of the advantage of that would have acrued to him. I was set up for a much more serious loss.

Looking back at the game, I'm totally stoked I played it. I am excited about warhammer fantasy again. I'll have to see about playing some more games, it could be the opponent and social atmosphere at the time. I failed to take pictures of the second round games that occurred (I spectated), but there was some ridiculous over the top miniatures on the table. Nice eye candy, although I wonder if I'd have had such a good time playing against that matchup.