Saturday, October 14, 2017

Ogre terrain and cruise missiles

I cobbled together some additional Monopolis terrain for my Ogre game at MillenniumCon. I'm particularly happy with the radio tower, which started out as the Eiffel Tower from a Toobs package. 
I also mounted some cruise missiles on flight stands for when players launch their nukes (from Kenner's old Mega Force die-cast toys). Even though these markers will only be on the table for a short phase of a turn, I think they add to the game.
Less than a month to go till the convention. Hope to see some of y'all there.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Trying out Team Yankee

I recently played my first-ever game of Team Yankee, the Flames of War spinoff based on the concept of the 1980s Cold War turning hot.
A couple of experienced players guided me and another newbie in a game, I took a force of Soviet armored infantry, tanks, artillery, and even some Hinds. My opponent played the West Germans.
The helicopters weren't much use. They didn't get a chance to take out many enemies before the NATO antiaircraft shot down three of them, causing the last chopper to flee.
My infantry was more successful at close-assaulting enemy vehicles, and their motto was "Forward!" The T-72s, however, didn't fare as well versus the West German's panzers. In the end, the capitalist lackeys managed to hold off the heroes of the workers' paradise.
The game mechanics were nothing innovative, but it was a fun game with a lot of maneuver all over the table. And it played really quick, thanks to our instructors' thorough knowledge of the rules. I'm glad I tried it.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Pictures from an Ogre game

Last month I brought my Monopolis setup to the game store and put on an Ogre scenario of three cybertanks (Mark III, Mark III-B, and a kitbashed Ground Effect Ogre) attacking the peace-loving urban area defended by about 20 armor units and around 30 infantry squads.
Each Ogre had a separate objective, determined randomly. In a variation of "Kill the Command Post," their job was to get in, destroy the target, and get out. The defenders job was to stop, and destroy if possible, the attacking machines.
The defenders suffered from spillover fire when they parked multiple units in the same hex. They did use their infantry to great effect, keeping them behind cover in the town hexes until the last minute.
Unfortunately, the defenders didn't ever bother to fire on the GEOgre, so I'm still not sure if I need to tweak its stats or not. The hovercraft cybertank used its speed to go around one side of the city and then up the river, eliminating targets far inside the city with its main battery.
In the end, the Mark III and the III-B were both slowed down, but trudged off the map after eliminating their targets. It could have gone the other way if the defenders had a couple of better dice rolls, but I probably need to give them a few more armor units and infantry.
All in all, there were four players, only two of whom had played the game recently. I had fun running the battle, and it helped me get back into the grove for my MillenniumCon scenario--which will have room for ten players! See you at the convention in November.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Defeat of the Lich Lord

Several months late, here's a brief recap of the culmination of our Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign for Frostgrave. After our wizards and their warbands gained experience and treasure and arcane knowledge over the previous campaign outings, the final battle against the big bad guy (above on the right) took place on a section of city that was magicked up into the sky, tethered by four large chains.
Yosef, the group's terrain maker, did a great job with a raised platform on which we placed the usual Frostgrave terrain, including a throne for the Lich Lord himself.
The battle was rough. It was me and a second player taking our warbands, while a third member of the group played the Lich Lord and his minions. The game didn't go too well for me, as that undead spellcaster (again at far right) managed to take out both my wizard (center) and her daughter apprentice (far left).
In the end, though, soldiers from my warband with help from the other player surrounded the Lich Lord, and it was my humble apothecary, her arms filled with healing draughts, who struck the final blow to end the Lich Lord.
It was a fun campaign, and we're still playing Frostgrave. However, we retired our wizards and started again from level 0, seeing where our adventures take us this time.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Ogre UAVs

Here are a couple of unmanned aerial vehicles I plan to use for sci-fi armor gaming in general, and for Ogre/GEV in particular.
These castings started life as Kikyu gunships from Reaper's CAV line of science fiction combat vehicles, but for my games they will make great unarmed recon drones. I can see them scouting in the skies around Monopolis.
They fit in fine with the existing Ogre miniatures, as seen here, and I've come up with some simple spotting rules: All attacks on enemy targets within two hexes of the UAV get a +1 to their rolls. The downside? Any enemy attack automatically destroys it.
Here are the Ogre/GEV stats for the pilotless reconnaissance aircraft:
Attack: --
Range: --
Defense: 0
Move: 4-3 (as GEV)
Special: +1 to other units' attack rolls on targets within two hexes of UAV.
What do y'all think? Is this something you'd allow in your Ogre games?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Zentradi vs. Space Invaders: Only in HotT

I had a chance to play Hordes of the Things on Wednesday, and when I told my opponent I was bringing my Space Invaders army, he responded that he would bring something suitable; he just wasn't yet sure what that would be.
So as a longtime Robotech fan, imagine my delight when he arrived at the game store with these Zentradi models from the Robotech RPG Tactics game. The seven battle pods were Riders, based on their mobility in the cartoon; the three missile pods were Shooters; and the officer's pod was a Hero general, true to the series.
The arcade aliens (15 stands of Hordes, two elements of Sneaker ghosts crossing over from Pac-Man, and the Airboat general saucer) advanced from their video game cabinet stronghold to meet the anime aliens, the two lines crashing into each other. After chewing through the Hordes, the Zentradi officer sent both Sneakers fleeing.
True to the electronic game, the space invaders quickly respawned, but the Zentradi kept advancing. Meanwhile, I could not get enough pips to get my Sneakers and Airboat in position to take out the enemy leader as I had planned.
Soon after, the opposing Hero general initiated combat with my Airboat general. While it survived a couple of rounds, the odds were against it, and the saucer finally was shot down (for variable bonus points), giving my opponent the victory.
Although I never destroyed a single enemy element, it was still a close game; and my opponent and I had a great time playing with our unconventional armies. That's the great thing about HotT--it gives you a chance to get creative (and even a little silly) while still having a competitive match.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

The FBI and TSR

In case you missed it, here is an FBI report mentioning TSR, Inc. from 1995. Long story short: Agents interviewed someone at the company about any connection between TSR and Fresno Gaming Association and Company--and that person slung some mud on Gary Gygax.

According to this blog post at Save Versus All Wands, the Feds were running down possible leads on the American terrorist known as the Unabomber. For some reason, they went to the Dungeons & Dragons publisher's headquarters, where they spoke to a company official (name redacted), who told the investigators "that the typical war gaming enthusiast is overweight and not neat in appearance." While there might be a grain of truth to that, the source provided a lot of inaccurate information regarding wargames.

There's more on TSR, wargamers in general, and D&D co-creator Gary Gygax in particular. All in all, the company honcho was dishing dirt on Gygax and expressing her disdain for gamers. As the Save Versus All Wands author states in this message board post, it sounds like the source was Lorraine Williams, the person infamous for ousting Gygax from the company he helped found.

Interesting tidbit from back in the day.