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.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

The Adventures of Kentucky Jones: The Jade Statue

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Kentucky Jones and his trusty sidekick Rick arrives at the Gestapo headquarters to rescue dr. Mary Woppler, an expert on ancient african history, who is being held in house arrest against her will.

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The guard at the gate is neutralized after a quick brawl and stripped and stuffed in the backseat of the car. Jones finds that the guards clothes are a perfect size match to his own, so he puts them on.


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Jones tries sneaking up on the other guard

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The 2nd guard Klaus, is not alarmed by the appearance of Jones in german uniform and mistakenly thinks it is his friend Fritz. Jones tries to club Klaus in the back of the head with his gun, but fails miserably.
We got so caught up in the game that we forgot photographing from the points Jones started fighting the 2nd. guard. Mary's guard was immediatly alarmed by the sounds for the courtyard and came to see. Mary successfully escaped downstairs and trying finding a key for one of the parked cars (not knowing that Jones had brought an auto).
Rick, Jones and Mary managed to subdue to guards only to face Oberst von Straaf who arrived in the nick of time in classic evil main character fashion. The group managed to get past him and escape in to the streets in their car.

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The three ran through most of germany but near the french border a hot pursuit sat in! Four agents of the Gestapo raced up on dr. Jones and his companions trying to drive them off the road.

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After a few miles Kentucky & Co. manages to wipe the gestapo off the road

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After the tumultous flight from France, Kentucky and Woppler turn their attention to Kongo where the Jade Statue is situated. Their plan is to attempt to get the statue before the nazis.
But alas! When they finally arrive at the spot that Woppler thinks hides the statue the nazis are already swarming the place with local allies! A daring action scene occurs!

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The "Ace of Kongo" as their van is called comes to the halt on the bank of a small river and Jones, Rick, Woppler and native helpers jump out. The german allies soon start firing their primitive rifles at the party.
Heavy casualties are taken on both sides an the duel seems to be of epic proportions. Rated 16!


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Jones fight his way through the thick jungle

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Rick attempts to decoy the nazis to let Jones slip past.


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Finally Jones manages to get to the nazi overfiedn Oberst Straaf only to find... dam dam daaa.. that dr. Woppler has changed sides and are now helping the germans! They obviously want Jones to go ahead and get the statue for them as it can only be obtained by a man who doesn't want to use it.
A fierce battle ensues and by the power of his whip, his wits and guts dr. Jones finally defeats the germans and dr. Wopplers cries for mercy and is forgiven... weedy!
After the game ended the players rolled to see how much of a blockbuster it became (this was my own addition to the .45 rules). They'd made two or three epic scenes with great stuff and a couple of spoofs so overall they ended up with a +4 modifier to the dice roll. Jens rolled a 2 (don't remember clearly)... so that's a DVD-only release with almost no chance of an audience! Right said!