Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Battles of the Week, 27 June 2016

The boys and I played a game of Car Wars.  Our three mostly-painted cars had a close fight, you should read the whole thing.
Everyone else on the internet was reasonably busy.

Kaptain Kobold has a game of SAGA up, with Vikings squaring off against a coalition of folks who don't appreciate being raided.  A close-run thing.

Speaking of close-run things, go check out the MASSIVE Waterloo game that Kaptain Kobold pointed out to me.  Truly epic.

Baron Von J has a post-apocalyptic variation on Fistful of Lead in playtesting.  Pretty cool, but the playing cards-western shootout thing is a much tighter connection than poker and the end of the world.

Found a new (to me) gaming blog, Double Six, which has a couple neat batreps up:  one from a Mordheim game, another from a LoTR game.  And a Dux Bellorum mini-campaign from 565 AD, part 1 and part 2.  Site added to the blog roll.

Speaking of eras I've never gamed, here's a prehistoric wargame report.  Beautiful miniatures, surprisingly cool.

Wargaming with Barks continues a Star Wars comic-formatted campaign - part 1, part 2, and part 3.

And here's some video batreps I've stumbled upon - one in a system called Relic Worlds, which is based on the Savage Worlds Showdown system, which I'm a fan of and have used in fantasy gaming (see here and here).  And here's a video batrep in the LoTR world - the main page and the YouTube video link.

Wargaming4grownups has a World War I AAR up, with a neat way to play 'cards' for initiative.  Campaigns in Miniature has a World War II desert game up replaying the Italian invasion of Egypt in 1940.  Their result is characteristically Italian for the period.

Hook Island has a rather good-looking game up played in Liber Militum Tercios, while Platoon Forward has a "milk run" mission in the Green Zone posted... no such thing.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Car Wars: Test Play

Well, I finally got around to putting the Car Wars reprint I bought last year into use.  With kids in the house I've got Matchbox/Hot Wheels to spare, so we played at triple scale and tripled all distances in the game.

I've got three cars currently being repainted - one with flames running from the front, one with a lightning paint job, and one working toward having a shark's mouth on the front end like a World War II fighter plane.  We'll call them Inferno, Lightning, and Barracuda for now.  I took Barracuda and the boys controlled the other two cars.

I gave them all stats for a Stingray (compact car with 2 x machine guns linked on the front) and the boys and I squared off.  I intentionally kept the cars simple and wanted to just re-learn the physics of the game I forgot 20 years ago.  I grew up on this game, and it started to come back pretty quickly.

I set up three gates between pillars (sippy cups without the lids and plastic bowls - sorry, I haven't put time into Car Wars terrain yet) and the stated goal was to get a car through all three gates or kill off the competition.

And they're off!
Inferno starts off facing Stingray as the latter prepares to take his first gate.
Lightning maneuvers through his first gate easily.
Inferno and Barracuda exchanged fire and mostly lost their front armor before Barracuda peeled off.
Barracuda runs through his second gate after exchanging some fire with Lightning.  Note the dice kept by each car - Handling Class marked with a d6, 2d10 show current speed.  The dice on the top of the bowls show the turn (second) and phase (fifth of a second).
After passing each other, Barracuda turns to chase down Lightning.  Lightning takes a few hits and sheds armor during the process.
Barracuda peels right, giving Lightning some respite, changing targets to fire a few rounds at Inferno.
The two cars pass each other after punching a bit through each other's front armor.
Lightning heads left to right across the autoduel arena to make his next gate as Barracuda wheels around to close the deal with Inferno.
Inferno and Lightning have a near miss as Barracuda continues to wheel behind Inferno.
Barracuda closes the distance with Inferno, unloading with his linked MGs and managing to do only 3 points of damage to Inferno's rear armor.
I accelerated Barracuda and rammed Inferno.  The small difference between their speeds (40 mph vs 30 mph) meant that this wasn't very damaging.
Stingray decelerates at this point - I was afraid that if I didn't, we'd hit a pillar together and die.  This was entirely motivated by self-interest - I used the extreme proximity to unload with both barrels into Inferno's rear armor, slicing through and killing the driver.
With the driver dead, Inferno raced into a side wall and lived up to his name.  Ha!

With one car out, Barracuda maneuvered around as Lightning was turning to face him.  They made one last run at each other (think jousting, with machine guns), and Barracuda's weakened front armor let Lightning's fire wreck the machine guns and damage the engine.
The two cars barely miss each other.  With Barracuda's guns out of commission, I conceded the round to Lightning's driver.

The cars are coming along, terrain will soon be constructed.  Look forward to more Car Wars on the blog!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Battles of the Week, 19 June 2016

In case you missed it, the boys and I played some more Force on Force, posted here.  It's an expanded version of the Contracting Trouble scenario from the FoF rule book.

And here's what everyone else was busy with:

Into the Maelstrom wins the internet this week with a great game of Bloodbowl featuring Elves versus Humans (Part 1).  Narration is in the pictures, so if your browser supports it, you may be able to just click through the pictures like a slideshow.  Works great in Chrome.  He also has an LoTR battle posted, with Nazgul chasing Hobbits.

Speaking of click-through slideshows, the same worked for this Star Wars:  Imperial Assault game from Wargaming with Barks.

Joy and Forgetfulness has a quirky Napoleonics game up and a Victorian Afghanistan battle posted.  The latter is quite fun.

For some more Napoleonics, check out Kaptain Kobold's big Waterloo game.  I've always wanted to play one of these expansive affairs.

Fawcett Avenue Conscripts has a tournament dungeon crawl game up, played with the Otherworld fantasy skirmish rules.  I'm not acquainted with the rules, but it looks like it was fun.

Toy Soldiers and Dining Room Battles has a LoTR battle report posted in two parts - Part 1 and Part 2.

And, as usual, we close with Frostgrave.  Nerdly Darkness has a game on a neat hand-crafted board up, complete with an ancient library.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Big Contracting Trouble

The boys and I had occasion to play a little game of Force on Force.  We set up an expanded version of Contracting Trouble, the ubiquitous FoF scenario that is very evenly balanced and has been played and written up by a number of folks:  DonoghDonogh reduxvon LuckyDan, and Dave.

An SUV carrying two civilian contractors was hit by gunfire as it moved through a neighborhood in one of the city’s red zones. UAV footage indicates that the contractors are injured but alive. The contractors have held the small group of Insurgent gunmen who attacked their vehicle at bay for nearly a quarter of an hour, but more armed men have been spotted converging on the disabled SUV. .

A force of US soldiers are en route to save the contractors.  US troops are Troop Quality d8, Morale d10.  Iraqi insurgents are TQ d6, Morale d10.  
The two hapless security contractors who find themselves on the wrong side of the tracks.
View zoomed out slightly.  A group of insurgents visible at right, preventing the contractors' departure from a bad situation.
Zoomed all the way out.  US troops advancing to rescue the contractors from right edge of the table.
The US troops have two squads, each escorting an uparmored HMMWV equipped with a .50 caliber machine gun.  Each squad is advancing down one of the roads running the long axis of the board to effect the contractors' rescue.
Looking down the 1st Squad's axis of advance.
2nd Squad's view.
2nd squad started things off, advancing and exchanging fire with a group of insurgents.  Right off the bat, the luck of youth struck as they drew a Fog of War Card and picked up a team of TQ d10/Morale d10 special operators.
Four operators drop in to help the Americans.  A harbinger of things to come... none good for the insurgents.
Following the windfall of the operators' arrival, the Americans trounce the insurgents in a series of one-sided exchanges of fire.
Insurgents firing at the advancing Americans from the doorways of a nearby building.
Same insurgents, building lifted away for ease of administration as they take casualties and fail their morale check.
Insurgents in a mosque take casualties and likewise fail a morale check.
One of 2nd squad's fire teams advances within line of sight of some waiting insurgents.
Another insurgent element takes casualties and fails morale.
Another group of insurgents move out of cover into to engage 2nd squad and a couple of them go down for the count.  The survivors retreated back to cover as a result.

Some insurgents pop out of a compound down the road from 1st squad and lose a couple of men to .50 caliber fire.  They wisely retreat back to cover.

Not everything went poorly for the insurgents... they got reinforced by a technical from a Fog of War card.

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As the first turn wrapped up, everything was coming up roses for the Americans.  That was about to change, at least a little.
One of 1st squad's fire teams rushes from cover and into the open courtyard between buildings...
...hoping to get some shots in at insurgents next the building at the far end of this shot...
...and takes two casualties.  They inflicted a couple of casualties on the insurgents as well.
Reverse angle shot - one of 2nd squad's fire teams makes a rapid move to try to get the same insurgent cell's flank.
Not to be outdone, the HMMWV moving alongside 2nd squad races up and blasts at the same insurgent cell with its .50 caliber MG.
A fire team from 2nd squad prepares to assault the shaken insurgents on the rooftop.
The trusty SOF team that dropped by to lend a hand finishes off the insurgents in the Mosque.

The HMMWV accompanying 1st squad races forward.
As it does so, the insurgent technical gets line of sight on the advancing American vehicle.

View from the technical gunner's position.

In the ensuing exchange of fire, the technical's PKM fire failed to do anything but annoy the .50 caliber gunner on the HMMWV, which responded by putting the PKM out of commission.

As the third turn started, the US troops began to cement their control of the few blocks of urban terrain they were fighting over.
The trail fire team for 1st squad sprints past the open area between buildings (bottom of picture) and takes fire from the last insurgent in the courtyard that everyone is trying to kill.  They win initiative and put him down for the count.

US view of the exchange of fire.
As this was going on, the US fire team from 2nd squad that stacked at the bottom of the stairs in the courtyard in preparation for assaulting a broken insurgent cell made its move.
It's a clean sweep in the house, but the American close combat victory comes at a price - a Fog of War card that reduces each element's firepower by one die due to low ammunition supplies.
Not fellows to be brought down by a negative Fog of War card, the boys promptly roll a '1' for initiative in the next exchange of fire and get a sniper team.
Meanwhile, the uparmored HMMWV that raced ahead to the objective pulled right up to provide covering fire for the contractors' egress, only have the crew become suppressed by a swarm of small arms fire.
2nd Squad continued to clean things up on the American right flank, rushing a building holding an insurgent cell previously broken by US fire.  It's another clean sweep in close combat (building lifted away for ease of administering the battle).
As small arms fights raged on the flank, the HMMWV on 2nd squad's side of the table raced forward to engage the dismounted crew from the insurgent technical.  The insurgents won initiative and made a run for a nearby building...
...which didn't do much to save this fellow.
Back at the other HMMWV's position, more insurgents popped up to fire at the American vehicle, scoring an immobilization (HMMWV turret visible in background).  The American return fire proved too much, though, as they lost one insurgent and the fire from a heavy weapon caused 'shrinkage' of one more - a roll of a 1 on a morale check causes an irregular fighter to flee the fight (running fighter visible in foreground).

But this was all prelude to the last insurgent cell I was controlling.  After exhausting the lead HMMWV's firepower dice responding to other insurgent cells' small arms, and immobilizing the vehicle, I sprung the RPG-equipped cell to take down the vehicle next to the contractors' position...
...aaaaand they missed.  Explosion next to the vehicle.

Overhead view.  HMMWV immobilized but still providing firepower to the Americans.

As the fourth turn kicked off, the US infantry got back into the fight with a shoulder-fired AT-4 fired at the insurgent rooftop position firing at the immobilized HMMWV.
"Backblast area clear!"
View of the insurgent position targeted with the AT-4.  Nobody left after this one.  While this was going on, the US infantry moved forward to collect the contractors, but none could get far enough down the field to affect the remaining insurgent positions.
Success! The insurgent RPG crew finally scores paydirt and destroys the HMMWV next to the contractors' position...
...but, of course, the crew all make their casualty checks and dismount the vehicle in time to move to cover.
By this time, the contractors had decamped the ruined building in which they had taken cover and loaded up in the back of the intact HMMWV.
By this point, the US SOF team had advanced far enough forward to engage the insurgent RPG cell with small arms fire, inflicting a few casualties.  The insurgents passed their morale check but could not put effective fire on the American operators.
As this was going down, insurgent reinforcements soon found themselves flanked and taking fire from a supporting US fire team.  None of the insurgents would survive the American volley.
And as the next turn started, the insurgent RPG cell took a collective dirt nap as the American SOF operators closed the deal with their opponents.

At this point, we called it a game as the boys had largely eliminated insurgent resistance.

A fun game, if a bit one-sided.  I've added it to the Force on Force:  Iraq campaign page.  Hope you enjoyed.