Thursday, June 13, 2019

Another HPB gaming find

The Heroscape line of boxed sets and expansions may have been discontinued, but the ideas from that game live on in Arena of the Planeswalkers: Shadows over Innistrad. Set in the world of the Magic: The Gathering collectible card game, Arena uses the concepts of heroes and squads, and even the interlocking hex tiles that HS is known for.
So when I saw the set discounted for their Memorial Day weeknd sale (on top of the usual markoff) at a local Half-Price Books, it was a no-brainer to grab this box. While the tiles are useful and the unpainted figures have potential, my main reason for grabbing this was the painted minis that came with it, which will make a nice addition to my collection for use as spell casters in games such as Melee and Wizard (a.k.a. The Fantasy Trip).
Arena of the Planeswalkers also comes with a two-sided, four-piece cardboard map, with hexes compatible with the 3-D Heroscape terrain that I can probably use for The Fantasy Trip battles. (And these hex mats could even be used for sci-fi tank combat in games of Ogre.)
A pretty good payoff for a $12 investment, even if I never actually play Arena.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Burrows and Badgers and battles

Back in May, my Burrows & Badgers warband had its best outing of the campaign. The scenario was Witch Hunt, and a combination of luck and profligate use of Fate Points made my creatures into killing machines.
I knocked six of eight opposing figures out of action in that battle, winning the fight and achieving my secondary objective, which was to take out at least four enemies. It was the first time I won a game by routing my opponent.
It was also the last. The next game was Defend the Camp, with me as the defender. By this point in the campaign, everyone's critters have all sorts of equipment and special abilities to make them deadlier. My leader hit my opponent's leader with a masterwork pistol, and various skills added up to 17 points damage, taking the commander out of action.
The other player's critters had all sorts of perks as well, meaning he one-shotted my guys a couple of times. Unfortunately, I only managed to eliminate one other figure of his, while he took out six of my creatures to win the game--a complete reversal from last week. Still enjoyable, though.
But that was the last B&B game we will be playing for some time, as we're going back to the game that got all of us together, Frostgrave sometime soon. I'm looking forward to it.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Presenting ... the frankencar

Up until now, I've been pretty conservative with my Gaslands builds: A new paint job, maybe some figures or weapons, but nothing crazy. So, inspired by Mad Max: Fury Road and the kitbashes I've seen on the internet, I decided to cobble together my own automotive chimera. 
Thus, the frankencar, an amalgam of three or four off-brand toys found at the dollar store, all chopped up and smooshed together, like a wasteland mechanic might do. In particular, there's a large muscle car on the bottom, with its intake transferred to the hood of the sedan in the middle (from a pack of three), the cab of an ambulance atop the rig, with the motor from another hot rod in the rear.
It looks a little off to me. Maybe if I detail this vehicle a little more--especially the wheels, which look waaaaaay too new for a post-apocalyptic construct--I will be happier with it. Much like the war rig in Fury Road, I imagine this machine is basically a shell around some powerful engines, meant to haul heavy loads. I guess this means I need to kitbash a trailer next.
Or maybe I could use it as a standalone heavy truck. It's a lot messier than my extant Gaslands vehicles, but it will fit right in with some more units that I'm working on, aiming for a more Mad Max vibe. We'll see.
I don't know if I'm content with the way this came out--I'll have to weather it some more to unify the different vehicle shells before I can decide--but I am glad I attempted it. After seeing the wonderful creations on message boards, websites, and Youtube videos, it's nice to build one of my own, no matter how weird it looks.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Melee games

Over the holiday weekend I had a chance to introduce someone to Melee. We first played a one-on-one combat, then each took a pair of warriors against each other.
After that, we teamed up against a giant. Four fighters made quick work of the big, but slow, opponent.
It's always good to get some gaming in.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Fifth Frontier War continues

On a recent weekend, my gaming buddy Joe and I picked up where we left off in fighting the Fifth Frontier War. The Zhodani fleets continued their attacks throughout the Spinward Marches, devastating Imperial fleets sent to oppose them. Notably, as we resumed play, Consulate reinforcements entered the theater, let by Admiral Niurditlas and the elite 1st Assault Fleet. At the same time, the Zho 16th Colonial, 28th, 47th, and 67th fleets joined the 17th Colonial to bombard Efate, and the 68th attacked Alell before moving to Efate to take out the planetary defense troops. This was followed by the Efate guerilla uprising against a Tech Level 15 mercenary armored unit and TL 15 Imperial huscarles.
Fighting continued at Alell, where system defense boats failed to dislodge the Zhodani 17th Armored Corps. And with the Vargr fleets running around Regina subsector, the Imperial 193rd and 212th fleets landed troops on the Vargr world of Balent after bombarding the planet from orbit, quickly dispatching the native forces.
Fighting was also heavy on Vilis, with the Imperial 18th Fleet chasing the Sword Worlds Joyuse Fleet back to Mjolnir before landing Imperial 2151st and 840th armies to retake Vilis. The ground forces were locked in a long battle, with fleets from each side providing orbital bombardment, and the Imperial 840th eventually being defeated. The world, however, remained contested.
There were battles elsewhere in the sector, with Zhodani guerillas fighting Imperial forces on Ruie, the Consulate's 4th Guards (Psionic) Regiment joining the fighting on Uskye, and the Zhodani 65th Fleet bombarding the planetary defenses at Extolay. At this point, the Zhodani have made significant advances, but the Imperials are starting to get enough reinforcements to turn the tide--including a legendary Black Globe fleet!

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Testing Test of Honour

I recently had a chance to try out Test of Honour, a skirmish game involving samurai and other feudal Japanese warriors. We didn't play an actual scenario from the rules, but an introductory game where the goal was to remain within a certain distance of the objective markers while keeping the opponent's troops away.
You draw chits to activate your units, with ordinary troops having one chit each and samurai having three; therefore, samurai can do a lot in a turn when compared to the rank-and-file. However, there is also a chit that will end the turn for everyone. And since the battle usually ends after a certain number of turns, this throws some uncertainty into the game.
The battle I played was very swingy--meaning that first my opponent had the advantage, while I was losing troops thanks to adverse die rolls. However, the combat reversed course when I had a string of good rolls and was able to defeat my enemy. It was an interesting game, and I would like to see how it plays using a scenario from the book.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Invasion: Earth board game find

I found this on eBay for a very reasonable price. Similar to Fifth Frontier War, the board game Invasion: Earth is based on the future history of the Traveller universe.
This box was complete, containing all components and unpunched counters. Note the chits for the U.S. 82nd Airborne and 101st Airborne: Now performing as jump infantry, able to make drops from orbit, just like God and Robert A. Heinlein intended.
The map is also cool, depicting Earth in the Fiftieth Century. I like turning the map into a flattened icosahedron so that you can depict movement over the poles.
Here is a detail of North America, complete with its starport. The red hatching indicates urban areas.
The game mechanics are very similar to FFW, and I bet some of the combat tables are identical. This looks like a fun game to try with Joe, once we're done with the current one we're playing.