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VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

A FISTFUL OF KUNG FU: THIEVING DEMONS!

This Wednesday's game saw Derek's Demons having to break into a guarded building to steal a dangerous piece of treasure. The Demons, of course, attacked at night. 
Initial deployment. A flying demon has managed to avoid the guards in the surrounding area and stands at the door of the inn, where the artefact is stored.
The flying demon is joined by an ape and a hopping vampire. A SWAT trooper and a veteran cop are on the scene.
The ape works to pry loose the artifact,while the cops and the supernatural investigator close in. 

The Taoist Sorcerer fires a fireball at the investigator and two SWAT troopers, killing the troopers and recoiling the investigator, who used his acrobat trait to jump clear.
The ape frees the artefact and starts to make his way off the table. The other demons prepare to run interference.
The investigator attempts to exorcise the flying demon and get through to the ape, but he loses the melee and is recoiled.

A flying demon is taken out by a SWAT trooper. Note the zombie that has appeared, attracted by the concentration of supernatural power.

With the investigator at bay, the veteran cop and SWAT trooper pursue the ape.

The ape manages to evade it's pursuers and escapes, protected by the sorcerer and three cultists.

The flying demon attacks the SWAT trooper, who is distracted by the sight of  the zombie greedily feasting on one of his colleagues.
This was a fairly quick game. Derek managed to get his protagonist, the sorcerer, to make an early breakthrough by making a hole in my cordon. The scenario dictated that my team was spread out, therefore vulnerable to such an attack. My protagonist failed to take full advantage of the activation dice failures as he kept failing his rolls! This left him standing around for long periods, the first time this has happened in any of the games we have played. Still, the game told another good filmic story.

Friday, 16 September 2016

A FISTFUL OF KUNG FU: COPS AGAINST YAKUZA.

Our last Wednesday game saw my Cops take on David's newly put together Yakuza. The scenario was 'Challenge' the location was the city streets (in monsoon conditions, again!).

David's Yakuza protagonist was thirsting for revenge after my Supernatural Investigator had helped the cops exorcise some of his demon allies.

The opening stages of the game. My investigator is looking a little isolated away from his Cop escort.
The cops rush to protect their ward, as the Yakuza forces draw close.
On the other flank, no Yakuza in sight.
My veteran cop bruiser gets in the way of the Yakuza protagonist. My protagonist has been disarmed after being shot at.

The Yakuza manages to avoid the bruiser and leaps on the investigator. After a battle lasting several game turns, he was victorious, first by humbling and then knocking out my protagonist. 
The narrative quality of the game is really exciting. The action concentrates on the protagonists as they benefit from failed activation rolls from others. Even though I lost, I enjoyed the game. Just like watching a movie!




Monday, 12 September 2016

ANOTHER 'TANKS' TRYOUT.

A couple of Thursdays back saw me introduce Rick to 'Tanks'. I used my collection of Axis & Allies Miniatures, since I have moved on my 15mm collection , and only have the starter models in 15mm, and my 10mm buildings and trees to give the terrain a more 3D look. 

To start, we did the ' Barkmann's Corner' scenario.


The game set up.
Early moves. Barkmann's panther scores a hit on one of the Shermans.
The Panther takes a critical hit, in return reducing it's attack dice to 2. 
The Panther is engaged by both Shermans. 
The Panther and Sherman both hit each other. The Sherman takes a hit and is destroyed.
The Panther destroys the second Sherman.
The game was very familiar, the mechanics being based on the likes of X-Wing and Star Trek: Attack Wing, and played well enough. At times it was too similar to those games as there was something 'not right' about tanks haring about like fighters, trying to get the best shot. This was probably due to their being no infantry or anti tank threat in the game. We decided to see how the game would play with a number of tanks on each side. I took the Germans, Rick the Russians. We played with no upgrades or crew.

The Germans and Russians move to contact.
View from the German lines.
Hits scored on the German forces.
Russian fire takes out the German PzIVs.
Although the Germans lost heavily, it was an entertaining game. The greater number of tanks meant we were a bit cagey with our movement and positioning. It is a useful game to throw on at short notice or as a filler. Interesting to see if the game gets any expansions other than tanks.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

TANKS: THE WORLD WAR II TANK SKIRMISH GAME.

Having seen a review and a play through of the game in a recent Wargames Illustrated, and knowing it was based on similar mechanisms to X-Wing and Wings of Glory, I was intrigued. After vacillating all day during Claymore,it was a last minute decision to buy the game.



On the Saturday evening, still inspired by attendance at Claymore, we decided to try out the game. With no access to our gaming kit, and no glue, we had to make do with models that Neil could find as proxies.

The starter set comes with three 15mm kits to allow two Shermans and a Panther to be be built and used in the provided scenarios. There are cards for a selection of common Allied, German and Russian tanks, These show the initiative, attack dice, defence dice and damage capacity. A central plank of the game is the measurement arrow. This determines how far a tank moves; the angle of turns; short range and distance between terrain during set up.

For the first game, we decided just to do tank on tank without the crew and upgrades cards. I took a Sherman, which the Pershing stands proxy for and Neil took a Stug III. The terrain was laid in initiative order.
First move of the first trial game. The Pershing represents a Sherman, the Stug, a Stug!
There is no pre-planning of moves. Each tank can move none, one or two arrow lengths. This effects your chances of hitting or being hit. Movement is measured from the front of the tank, in any direction, to the base of the arrow, which also measures the angle for any turns.
Cat and mouse during the first game.
Lowest initiative moves first. Highest initiative fires first. The firing tank rolls their attack dice. Hits are scored on 4,5,6. A 6 is a critical hit. The defending tank rolls their defence dice, plus additional dice for movement of the firer and the target. Hits are cancelled on a 4 or 5 (shooters choice) and six (target's choice). Any uncancelled hits score one damage. Uncancelled critical hits mean the target draws a card and applies the effect and any damage.
An example of a critical hit. In this case, no damage but damage to optics, which means two less attack die.

The first game ended up very cat and mouse. The Stug had the highest initiative, so moved second and fired first. However, as the Stug has a limited traverse, the Sherman was mostly able to avoid being hit. In the end, we abandoned the game as a stalemate.
First move of the second game. The two Shermans close on the Panther.
For the second game, we played a version of the Barkmann's Corner scenario. We used the full rules and each side had a total of 50 points to choose their tank, crew and upgrades.
The Panther hides in the wood as the leading Sherman makes use of an upgrade that allows an extra movement to close the range.
The two Shermans combine fire on the Panther.
Two critical hits destroy one Sherman.
A close range duel ends with the destruction of the Second Sherman.
The crew and upgrades added a new dimension to the game. Some of the crew and upgrade cards are constant and others can be discarded to enhance a move or a shot or to cancel damage or an effect. This gives a touch of fog of war that makes for an interesting game. As an introduction, the two games we played whetted my apatite to try bigger games with more models. That will have to be in 20mm, as I have moved on my 15mm collection. This should be easy, as I can use models I have with all the cards in the starter set.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

CLAYMORE 2016: TREASURE!

I did not have a list of things to buy at Claymore this year. I thought about Deus Vult: Burn and Loot and maybe having a look at Congo, if anyone had it. I did want to pick up specific figures from Studio Miniatures, for my 20th century pulp/post apocalyptic games and also some figures and vehicles from MBM Scenery/Northumbrian Painting Services that I had been looking at since Targe last year! I was also on the lookout for a suitable force for En Garde! to take on David's Border Reivers.

The first order of business was the tombola, near the entrance to the hall. It was in aid of SSAFA. For my £5 donation, I drew a number of lucky tickets!
Won on the tombola. An Osprey Book (which I already have a copy of), a pack of paints, brushes, dice and samples from Coratani/Magnetic Designs and an RAF bag and pen.
 My other purchases were:
Two carry cases from Erik at Figures in Comfort.

Warbases tokens for Lion Rampant, Winter of '79 and Dead Man's Hand rules; Figures from Commando Miniatures that will be used as mercenaries and minions for pulp games and two 20mm 'technicals' from the bring and buy.

Sold as Post-Apoc, these would not look out of place in any modern pulp game. The figures would fit with my Fistful of Kung- Fu force, as would the vehicles. Courtesy of MBM Scenery/ Northumbrian Painting Services. 

I hummed and hayed about this all day. I finally bought it from Caliver as they were tidying up, having to retrieve it from a box of stock. I will give my thoughts on the game in a later post, as we managed a game the same evening. I am looking to do this in 20mm (moved on all my 15mm). Looks do-able as the basic game contains enough cards to play with several Allied, Russian and German types without having to buy the expansions.

Also from Caliver, a card based WW2 skirmish game by Buck Surdu. 
Donald, Robin and The Daytona Duo, from Studio Miniatures to add to my modern pulp forces; some farm stock for my dark ages and medieval games from Warbases and some Dixon Ninja, who will be useful for so many games systems. 
This building was reduced. Described as an advanced Tudor building, it looks like it will be of use through the ages. Nice reduction in price too!
I plumped for the Red Guard mega pack from Warbases, instead of  Border Reivers. I also picked up a Trap Expert and Tunnel Fighter  and Gnoll Knight and Templar, to round out my Frostgrave collection, from Ainsty Castings. I also picked up a buggy and driver to go with my modern pulp collection from them.
All in all it was a good day. Only two purchases from the bring and buy. There were a few tempters but my new found Irn will won out! The B&B was good to me this year the items I sold funding my purchases. I got all I 'needed' and more.

Monday, 8 August 2016

CLAYMORE 2016.

Saturday 6 August saw Claymore 2016, the show run by SESWC. This is only the second time I have attended since the change in venue, the last time being in 2013. I travelled down on Friday and spent the night in Edinburgh so that there was no early morning, rushed, trip from Aberdeen.  
Early Saturday view of Edinburgh.
After a relaxing breakfast, we toddled along to the show. I had taken some stuff to sell in the bring & buy, so took some time to book it in. I spent a lot of time going round the traders. There were a lot of traders that had things that I 'needed', but I was quite deliberate when selecting what I by, trying to avoid the 'ooh shiny' impulse buys that I am renowned for! The consequence of this, and meeting lots of friends and acquaintances, was that I had little time to spend at the display and participation tables. I did take a few photos.
Aberdeen Wargames Club game of the action around Oosterbeek during Operation Market Garden, using Bolt Action rules.
Russo-Japanese War naval game by Border Reivers Wargames Society.
Participation game run by the Wings of Glory Aerodrome.
WW2 game from the Wargames Society of Contemptible Bastards.
Another view of the WSOCB game.
Richard Clarke demonstrating Two Fat Lardies Sharp Practice 2.
York 1644 by The Iron Brigade.

South London Warlords' Horus Heresy display.
A canny Cannae by the Tyneside Wargames Club. Really gives a sense of mass battle.
During the day, I spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the two main halls. I spent a lot of time at the bring and buy. A couple of potential treasures had been identified, in the shape of a set of dungeon tiles and a large 15mm Carthaginian army. Both of these would have been bought on impulse by the old me, but, once again being deliberate and questioning why I 'needed' them and, more importantly, where I would store them, meant that they were left for someone else to buy. I was so good, that I only spent £10 on the B&B, netting two 20mm 'technicals' for my modern imagi-nation project. I was successful in selling the AK47 stuff that I had taken with me, but the DBA armies returned home with me. I will give details of my show treasure in a later post.
A muggy, windy Saturday night in Edinburgh. 
In the evening, we had a couple of try out games of 'Tanks'. More on that in a later post.
Followed by a brighter, but still windy Sunday morning.
All in all a relaxing couple of days away. I would highly recommend a visit to Claymore if you are in the Edinburgh area. It is a busy city during festival time, but well worth a visit. Thanks to all the guys at SESWC for a great show.