Saturday, November 22, 2014

Millenniumcon 17 photo dump (day 1)

Pics from first day of the game convention in Round Rock.  These are games I didn't play in; I just snapped some photos.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Loot from Millenniumcon

I managed to resist buying anything in the dealers' room this year at Millenniumcon (unlike last year, when I dropped way too much cash on gaming stuff).  I did end up with a few bargains from the flea market for attendees though.
The first thing I spotted was this vintage black box edition of GEV.  Although I have the new pocket edition of Ogre, it doesn't have the color map like GEV does.  There was even a copy of an older edition of Ogre itself in there as well.  And for five bucks, I couldn't pass it up.
I also got two sets of miniature port facilities for another five bucks.  Even though my Monopolis game is over, the city won't stop growing.  Besides, the city is on a river; it needs a port for water transportation.  Here's a closeup of the buildings, which I can't wait to add to my city:
Speaking of transportation, this tiny (1/500) airliner will make a nice piece of eye candy for the Monopolis airport.  I'll have to see if I can find some other really small planes to decorate the runways once I get them built. (Full disclosure: I didn't buy this at the convention, but at a hobby store I stopped at on the way home.)
Finally, I snagged a copy of Future War Commander, a game I've played once and wanted to take up again; now I have a chance to do so.
So what cool purchases have you made at gaming conventions?

Monday, November 10, 2014

Siege of Monopolis (part 2)

(continued from part 1)

Even though the attackers had lost their mobile command post and quite a few  armor units, they began to advance into the city.
As that happened, the two Ogres were locked into melee.  The smaller cybertank had lost all its weapons that it could have used to hurt the bigger unit, so it was reduced to ramming during overruns.  The Mark V took quite a toll on the Mark III's treads, and it was slowed to a Move of 1.
Meanwhile, the attackers' Luftpanzers had made their way onto the river to wreak havoc from the rear.
Then the attackers began seizing various industrial zones in Monopolis, slowly disabling or destroying the defending armor units, and also setting fire to one of the factory neighborhoods.
Further north, the Mark V began making its way into the city, leaving behind the crippled Mark III, which began inching away from the battle as its self-preservation routines took over its programming.
At that point, it was just a matter of time until the attackers had control of the city.And that's where we were at the four-hour mark, when we agreed to call the game.  The participants said they enjoyed playing, although I know it had to be boring for the defenders once they had lost a lot of their units.  Next time, I think I'll give the defenders a couple more minefields to help them out, and maybe some more troops.
Here's the defending Ogre record sheet, suitably illustrated by the player as it took hit after hit after hit.  It still had four treads left, as it fled for more hospitable territory.
I had fun preparing and running this scenario.  I hope to do it again at a future game convention.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Siege of Monopolis (part 1)

After months of (off and on) prep work, I ran Siege of Monopolis at Millenniumcon 17 on Saturday morning.
From the event description in the game program:
The peaceful City of Monopolis rises above the rubble of the Last War, a gleaming center of commerce and industry. But no peace lasts forever. Now invaders march to conquer the city while outnumbered defenders scramble to protect their home. This is a custom scenario for Ogre Designer's Edition, using the official Ogre miniatures on a large hex mat with 3-D terrain. With room for up to 8 players, you and your friends can aid in the defense of the besieged city--or help the invaders conquer it. Join the Siege of Monopolis!

It took me nearly 45 minutes to get the terrain set up, but it resulted in a good-looking board that got lots of compliments from passers-by.
I gave the attackers a couple of cruise missile crawlers, just to see what would happen. Since I didn't have enough of the official minis, I used a couple of old die-cast vehicles as proxies.  They're wearing the original paint scheme, with a little touch-up (I kept them tan-ish so they could be used by either my gray or my green forces).
The first cruise missile got shot down without detonating.  The attackers, however, managed to get the second nuclear payload over the northern part of the city. Here's the area just before detonation:
And here it is after--lots of city  and forest was reduced to rubble, but nearby armor units and troops withstood the atomic blast.
And of course, the attackers had plenty of  armor coming up the road, along with a Mark V Ogre.
The defenders had their own cybertank, a Mark III, but unlucky dice rolls meant that it proved pretty ineffective throughout the game.  By the way, those red markers represent minefields placed by the defenders.
On the left, you can see how the large hex mat allows a player to get plenty of miniatures into a single hex.  On the right, you can see what happens when an attack from a howitzer spills over onto every unit in the hex.
The Ogres did duke it out, but the bigger cybertank used its missiles to good effect, taking out the defender's main gun and its missiles.  Soon after, the Mark III lost all its secondaries, although it did run over a couple of armor units unfortunate enough to get in its way.
In this scenario, units could only combine their fire if their side had a functioning command post.  The city's laser tower disabled the attackers' mobile CP, and the next turn, a hidden infantry platoon emerged from the forest under the nose of an entire company of attacking battlesuits, and destroyed the crippled mobile command post.  This helped the defenders, since the attackers could no longer combine fire, but it was merely delaying the inevitable.
 Continued in part 2

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monopolis playtest

Saturday night, I brought out my work-in-progress Monopolis scenario for Ogre for a trial run.  I'm grateful that Joe hosted the game; his game table was big enough to hold the large hex mat, with a little room left over.  My thanks to the two other playtesters as well, Marc and the second Joe.
Here's the city on the eve of battle, with rubble borrowed from the host:
I still have lots of unpainted infantry, as you can see from this image of the attackers coming on to the board.  I do have all my forest terrain finished.
Since I don't yet have markers to indicate minefields, I used pennies. And I still have some city terrain to complete, which is why there are unadorned gray discs among those with buildings attached.
My smoke markers (for indicating damaged terrain) need painting as well, and I need to finish my rubble terrain, which right now is painted black and brown but doesn't have rubble glued onto it.
As for the game itself, it was two on two, with one player on each side who had never played Ogre before.  They both picked up the game quickly, and were soon moving and shooting like old pros.  The other player had a couple of games under his belt, and I was the fourth player.  We played for over four hours before calling the game, with the attackers making their way into the city, but with the defenders still holding a lot of territory with a nearly intact Ogre.
I learned some valuable lessons thanks to this playtest: Instead of starting the attackers at one end of the map, I need to allow them to set up closer to the city--otherwise it takes too long for the forces to come into contact, and time is a factor in convention games (not to mention I don't want to bore the players for the first several turns).  I also plan to cut the forces in half; it takes too long for everyone to decide what they're gonna do and then get it done if they are in charge of more than two dozen units at a time.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Monopolis preview

Yeah, it's been a while since I've blogged.  Just busy with life and all that.  Some gaming news: I'm halfway done assembling my city for my game convention Ogre scenario, and I thought I would share this sneak peak.  You can see the downtown skyscrapers and industrial areas, including power plants, sewage treatment, and a large prison complex.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I'm back! (What do you mean, you didn't notice I was gone?)

Sorry about the lack of posts; my laptop was mostly dead for the past month.  I haven't done much gaming, or even worked on game stuff lately, because of travel and for various other reasons, but I'm still a gamer at heart. 

I did get a chance to play some OGRE every now and then, but I still haven't been able to keep the eponymous cybertank from destroying the command post.  I hope to report some progress soon.

I do want to mention that the Slumbering Ursine Dunes adventure kickstarter (which is a part of the Hill Cantons campaign) has just a few days left.  It's fully funded and well into the project's stretch goals.  Go check it out and pledge while it's still open.