Monday, December 31, 2018

The Battle of Helm's Deep

In a blatant attempt to get my post count to an average of three per month for 2018, here some photos of the Helm's Deep setup from this year's MillenniumCon.
My buddy Coach and his son ran the game, using an old set of rules called Warlord. They got the castle from a game store, and added a few modifications to it.
Yes, this scenery was huge! They transported it in pieces and assembled it inside the convention. Those are all 28 mm figures.
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

More Gaslands vehicles

As I plan on playing the Gaslands post-apoc vehicle combat game one of these days, I've been acquiring die-cast toy vehicles on the cheap.

My rule of thumb is that vehicles (excluding tractor-trailer rigs) must cost less than a buck. My first purchases included some dollar-store packages of two or three vehicles for $1. Recently, my neighborhood grocery store had a two-for-the-price-of-one coupon for Hot Wheels, so I picked up a half-dozen for 47 cents each:
And just yesterday, the supermarket had a post-Christmas sale. I snagged a big rig (normally around $7) for just $1.98. And there was a Justice League Batmobile with a gun turret for $0.94 (those franchise vehicles normally going for 4 or 5 bucks):
I need to get to work on these so I can finally play this game. If anyone has played it, please let me know what you think of Gaslands.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Under my tree

Although this arrived on Boxing Day, it technically isn't a Christmas gift to me. Instead, it is the result of my pledge in last spring's Kickstarter for Escape The Dark Castle expansions. I was hoping to get it prior to the holiday, but due to tardy shipping it did not show up on my doorstep until today.

Getting my order today made me feel like a kid again, as I opened up a new game and reading the instructions. I'm looking forward to sorting everything into the big collectors box--and, of course, playing some games with the new characters, items, events, and components! I guess I will consider this my Christmas present after all.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Season's greetings!

Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it, and Happy Holidays to all. Travel and social commitments have kept me from gaming lately, but I will be rolling dice and moving miniatures again soon. Has anyone else been able to game this holiday?

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Seven Years War game

One of the good things about game conventions is that you have a chance to try rules or genres you don't ordinarily play. It's nice to get out of my sci-fi comfort zone every once in awhile.
For me, that means trying out at least one historical game at MillenniumCon. This year I played in a refight of the Battle of Emsdorf using Fire & Fury rules.
It was a Friday morning game, in the first time slot of the con. The figures and table looked great, and it was a good way to start off a weekend of gaming.
I took some French regiments, and as the game was ending sent my infantry charging into the English guns.
The move somehow ended up succeeding, so even though we ran out of time, I feel like I accomplished something. But even if it hadn't, I tried something new.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Passing the Death Test

After my gaming group's trial run playing Melee, I wanted to revisit the game system, but with more of a scenario than some unconnected arena battles. Luckily for me, The Fantasy Trip's Kickstarter campaign includes a reprint of the old preprogrammed adventure Death Test. So we all prepared characters (three fighters and a wizard created using the--wait for it--Wizard rules) and set out into the labyrinth.
It was basically one combat after another--and we got drawn into the game! We made our way through nine rooms of this Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, dealing with traps and creatures and other mercenaries along the way. We defeated foes and found treasure--gold bars, jewels, even a potion or two.
In fact we we so immersed in getting our badly wounded characters through the dungeon--we were all injured, some dangerously so--that we completely lost track of time. Four hours later, we were about to pack up and call it a night when I convinced everyone to get through one more room. After defeating the big boss, we made our way to the exit.
Everyone really had a good time playing this adventure. I don't know if we will ever get a full campaign of The Fantasy Trip, but I hope to come up with some scenarios for us to play sometime in the future.
Bonus pic: Before I got to the game store to run Death Test, the group was playing Shadows of Brimstone, a hybrid boardgame/roleplaying game in a horror/Western setting. It's pretty fun, too, although more complicated than TFT.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Monopolis 2018 report

Yes, I ran my Monopolis game at MillenniumCon back in November. It went well. I had my standard setup with eight or nine players--five attackers and four defenders--fighting over the poor beleaguered city of Monopolis. I gave each player an objective card detailing a specific goal for that person's units, like capturing a certain location by making sure no enemy units are within firing range at the end of the game.
As usual, it took a long time to set up the board. Note that the city sections are all perched atop other terrain pieces. The reason for this will become apparent later on.
The green units (defenders) could set up anywhere on the board, but they (wisely) mainly stayed within the city limits for that defensive bonus. Each side got cruise missiles, which has kind of become a tradition for these games. Below you can see the defenders' cruise missile crawlers, guarded by infantry in the warehouse and docks district.
While that's a lot of megatonnage, I do make each side wait a turn or two for clearance before they can launch their nukes. This gives the players time to maneuver and get into combat, as the two largest Ogres did.
The attacking Mark V (gray) closed on the defending Mark V (green). This ended up being bad news for the emergency response vehicles (red) nearby. I give the defender's fire trucks in this scenario a chance to "repair" a damaged town hex by removing the damage marker to simulate their firefighting ability.
This battle was exciting, as the attacker charged the defending cybertank! We had an overrun with shooting and ramming and more shooting till eventually one of the Ogres was stripped of all its weapons.
This bloodthirsty battle caused a great deal of collateral damage to the city while other firefights took place elsewhere on the map.
Eventually, both sides had clearance to launch cruise missiles. The first few were shot down without damaging anything. The attackers' final nuke, however, detonated over the city one space away from where the Ogres were slugging it out.
While the two Mark Vs were not harmed by the blast (Ogres are extremely tough!), it pretty much wiped out Monopolis. All town and forest hexes up to four spaces away were automatically turned into rubble, and those five or six hexes out were damaged. This is where putting all those rubble markers beneath the town and forest terrain paid off in time saved, since I could just pick the destroyed terrain up and the rubble was already there.
With allotted time running out, I called the game. The attackers had the edge in numbers, but since they ended up nuking most of their objectives (as well as the defenders'), I called it a draw. The players seemed to like the game, and as usual I had fun running it. Now to think about a scenario for next year ....