Friday, December 05, 2008

Kettle Run

I ran the first scenario from my current project - a freikorps danmark campaign booklet - for a couple of guys at the gaming club this evening. Random Encounter Torben was with me yet again.
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A rollbahn - a road of wood logs - was stretched over the battlefield. Both sides were trying to get hold of it or block the other side from going over it. The brown pieces of cloth designate the areas were the bog/swamp is worst.

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The danes advance up the track. Not knowing that russians are lying in wait.

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The danes spread out and try to get a grasp of what's hiding.

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Two horsecarriages with ammunition are trying to get over to the east side to help out Zug IV that has run low on ammo.

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Suddenly the russians storm out of the bog and assault head on into the danes!

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The battle is fierce and many are lost on both sides.
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The danes repell the russian platoon at last.

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Another russian infantry assault. This time 27 men attack 6 danes in bloody shovel combat! Miraculously no one is the winner of the first round and another one is fought immediatly. The danes are wiped.

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An entire russian platoon has been hiding... sneaking up the west end and ready to assault the danes from a new point.

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The danes try to face the new threat from the west.

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The remnants of a russian sections is ruthlessly hunted down for the gain of victory points.

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The CO Jesper Sørensen was without any comparison the key figure of the battle. He activated time and again and used his influence to activate his troopers and lead their fire!

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Final moments. The new threat in the west is not easily dispersed.

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As can be seen on this final shot the situation didn't change dramatically.
It ended a draw in the favor of the danes. Due to my clumsy writing squads that were below 50% and otherwise completely useless still counted as not giving VP.
The scenario is available here: http://mesiah.dk/RE/KettleRun.pdf

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Future Spider Commander

Yet another game of FWC at Random Encounters HQ:
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Future Spider Commander

Yet another game of FWC at Random Encounters HQ:
Torben had dug out his 15mm sci-fi infantry from Ground Zero Games and I found some halloween spiders, that I'd put on suitable bases to form an alien spider army.
I used the tyranid list to proxy as I've not written my own list for them yet.
Torben used the Stargrunt/Dirtside list that has stats for all GZG figures.
I totalled my arachnids up to 1625 points and we used that as basis for the lists. Torben actually managed to land exactly on 1625 too - all fair!
My army was:
15 minispiders (lictors)
3 big spiders (malefactors)
1 tank beetle (biotitan)
1 plasma bug (shooting tyranid titan)
Torben had:
6 power armour stands
2 transports
1 AT-gun
A lot of regular infantry
Some rangers

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I deployed my entire army via tunnels... meaning I got to deploy in base contact with Torbens units. Had we been more experienced Torben would probably have kept most of his army in reserve or used mobile deployment or given me 1st turn.. this way he lost immediatly!

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The scenario was some colonization mission where Torben had to deploy in center via orbital deployment and contact each base edge and return with intel to the center. Really nice mission actually.

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The arachnids close in... It was kind of hopeless for Torben. But we couldn't have known it before trying... and so we did - next time I bet I won't have that easy a kill.
Torben and I have had many science fiction games using bugs on one side and somehow it seems that as soon as I play the bugs... luck immediatly favors me and kills Torben.

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We had a thoroughly good time with laughs, taunts and buckets of dice. FWC made soooo much more sense in this scale I think.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Future of War Commanding?

Jonas and I tried out the new Future War Commander with some epic models. The game was meant as a test to see if it was a good rules system for the genre.


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Each force was about 2000 points. All of the orks save 10 grots, 2 boar riders and 3 buggies are present in this photo. Quite obviously 2000 pts does not look a whole lot Epic. The marines had only 20 stands/units in total.

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I tried to approach the "scenario objective" - the hill in the middle, where some civilians where about to be rescued. Another thing became apparent - the orks need loads of leaders. Not just 3 and a CO. As such the ork force was two times during the game faced with a turn where noone did anything.

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The marines quickly seize the hill and the orks look on wondering "wotz up?".

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A "command blunder" makes the Orks head straight for the marines.. A land raider proved to be almost impossible to take out - and so did a terminator stand. Loading up against one vehicle at a time is the way to take out things. This is fun, but also where things become less suited for lots of miniatures: You declare target for EACH single model/stand and work it out. Say you want to shoot with 10 orks at 4 marines. You want to kill as many as you can... so you can't just roll them all at once against marine stand 1, because that would lead to "wasted hits". So first you roll 3 dice for ork stand 1... count the hits.. Marine stand 1 takes saves... Marine stand one rolls for suppression. If the marine stand is knocked out the ork player could proceed to Marine stand 2. If not - he would take ork stand 2.. check range ... roll to hit... marine rolls saves.. rolls suppression.. check if it's knocked out. Oh well - I think it's quite obvious that this process is timeconsuming.
A solution could be to mount more on larger stands. Say 10 infantry for marines and 15/20 for orks. But those stands (I picture Flames of War style bases) wouldn't work for any other game than FWC then.

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The orks face a horrendous defeat. One turn takes them way over their breaking point as the marine player keeps making his command rolls.
Conclusion after this one game: FWC might be fun for "epic skirmish" - but it'll never do for a "mass conflict" 40k-style with loads of inf fighting and loads of guns supporting. I think the solution may be to take the best elements from each game (FWC and Epic Armageddon) and amalgate them.

The command system could for instance easily be implemented in some way in EA. Presently the EA game does not have a lot of comand and control emphasis. The "blunder" thing is funny too. I love games where you are never in "total control" of your forces - especially in high level conflicts where you lead lots of troops.
There are things that FWC do better than EA... but there is certainly things EA do better than FWC.. At least in my opinion.