Monday, November 13, 2017

Day Three is concluded

No gaming for me at the final day of MillenniumCon, just observing some great setups by other game masters and going through the flea market, where I scored some great finds. Tell you about it soon.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Day Two is through

Had a great second day at MillenniumCon. Played Montecassino and Trafalgar, and of course ran Ogre. Additional details to follow.

Day One is done

Got through the first day of MillenniumCon with some Frostgraving and Star Armying. More later.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

MillCon is here!

Finally, MillenniumCon is here! You can find me in Round Rock, trying to play some Frostrgrave, Star Army, All Things Zombie, and of course Ogre. Hope to see you there.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Time is running out

The doomsday clock keeps ticking, and October 31 is the last day to register for games at MillenniumCon XX. In addition to my Ogre scenario, The Siege of Steelville (minis, modular 3-D terrain, strategic nuclear weapons), there are nearly a hundred other games taking place at the convention (November 10-12). Right now there are still open slots in my game Saturday afternoon, and even if you don't preregister, you have a pretty good chance of getting a seat. Or if you don't feel like playing, just come by and say hi.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Steelville playtest

I had a chance to playtest my Siege of Monopolis Steelville scenario at Dragon's Lair last week. I had six players pushing enough minis for ten, and I got to try a new layout for my game. The participants and bystanders liked the table, but it took a long time to set up.
Once the defenders placed their forces, the attackers came at the city from the west, with three Ogres, lots of armor, and an even larger about of infantry. Interestingly, they decided to hold off on launching their cruise missiles.
The defenders, however, decided not to wait, and they launched one of their cruise missiles (seen below on its flight stand) toward the enemy. Of course, the enemy tried to shoot the massive nuclear weapon down--and they succeeded. Since in Ogre, a downed cruise missile detonates on a roll of 6, you can guess what happened next.
The warhead went off, right over central Steelville.
These weapons are quite destructive, leveling town hexes up to four spaces away and damaging them up to six. The blast took out friend and enemy alike, although the attacking cybertanks were far enough away to remain unharmed by the blast.
The defenders were on the ropes, but they held out long enough to get another cruise missile fired. This one made it all the way to its target, the Ground Effect Ogre. It destroyed the cybertank and some nearby units, helping the defenders hold out a little longer. In the end, however, the attackers still had two functioning Ogres and plenty of other units, so they were the winners.
It was a fun time and a productive playtest. My players gave me some useful tips on getting set up quicker. They also suggested cutting down on the number of cruise missiles, since using them basically halts the game. Good advice that I plan on heeding.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Join The Siege of Steelville

Just one week left to register for games at this year's MillenniumCon in Round Rock, Texas (Nov. 10-12). In the spirit of the convention's theme marking the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Stalingrad, my Monopolis scenario for Ogre/GEV has been reskinned as The Siege of Steelville. From the event description:
In the 22nd century, the Millennium Realm’s powersuited soldiers and armored cybertanks surge east to conquer the city of Steelville. Defiantly, the Collective Council’s outnumbered troops and Ogres race to defend the workers’ metropolis on the banks of the Long River. This is a custom sci-fi tank combat scenario using Ogre Designer’s Edition rules and official Ogre miniatures (along with some original units) on a large hex mat with 3-D terrain. With room for up to 10 players, you and your friends can defend the besieged city--or you can conquer it. Fight in the Siege of Steelville!
I'm looking forward to running this scenario. In addition to the official units, I will have a few custom pieces on the board, such as my Ground Effect Ogre, armored boats, UAVs, and emergency response vehicles.
I have room for 10 players, and I've tweaked my map a little so that combat begins sooner. Here's a shot of the work in progress:
There are still plenty of seats available for my game on Saturday afternoon, so sign up if you're attending the convention and you want to get in on a big game of Ogre. If it does fill up and you really want to play, I will try to squeeze you in. Hope to see y'all at the convention!

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.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Ogre minis game

As usual, I'm late in posting this game from last month. Jeff, another Ogre player who took part in my Monopolis scenario last fall, met me at Dragon's Lair for some Ogre minis action.
Jeff brought his nicely painted miniatures, both Combine and Paneuro. He also brought some wonderful city terrain from Japan, that goes by the name GEOcraper.
I played the city's defenders, and Jeff brought in an attacking force twice as strong. We got into a destructive battle here where the road passed by a lake.
But the attacking GEVs outnumbered my defenders, and they began to close in. Not pictured are the several Ogres approaching down the road (sorry, the photo came out too blurry to post).
I had to leave soon after this picture. But with the additional forces coming in, the defenders were sure to take a beating. I hope to play again soon.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

As the Wheel Turns (Frostgrave catch-up post)

Another game of Frostrgave, this time the Bone Wheel. Note the fancy paving for the gaming surface. One of our players, Yosef, cut and painted some blue insulation foam to make a nice cityscape.
He also constructed the bone wheel that gives this scenario its name: A rotating circular device with six bodies hanging from it.
There was also a couple of banshees that ended up not causing too much trouble for me or for Yosef. Of course, we could concentrate on the undead since we were not trying to kill each other this game.
Since this was a two-player scenario and we had four players show up, the other two participants played on another board with a second bone wheel. They might have beat up on each other a bit.
With this scenario complete, it's time to take on the Lich Lord itself!