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Thursday, 30 July 2015

On Mission with 'Warfighter' - part one

This game has caught my eye for some time now; non-stop action, Hollywood style! So the ever watchful E-Bay eye picked a bargain, including the current expansions. The game is card driven, with a slight acknowledgement to figures (6 figures to represent the in-game characters). So, rather than explain the game, let's attempt a mission...

The squad was tasked with yet another trip into the jungle to tackle the ever growing Cartel threat. More specifically the job at hand was to eliminate a high profile Boss to send a clear message to the other drug manufacturing organisations. It was to be no easy task; the Boss was located in a well protected area (defeat cover 3) with plenty of bodyguards to keep him safe (hostiles screen Boss). The insertion was to be a clandestine drop point in the jungle which had been well reconed before the mission start (recon; 1 location). Initial ingress would start in an adjacent wetland To the drop point. Progress would be steady with an additional location being traversed before reaching the Boss' location.

The team tasked with the mission was to be small and light (-1 to load out). A seasoned veteran called Giacomelli (my player character) was to lead a two man detail. He was sharp eyed (marksman skill) and well prepared with a mixture of firepower (M203 carbine and ACOG) and determination (3 underslung grenades and 3 hand grenades). Accompanying him was squad member Corona (squad member) with an expected amount of firepower himself. Support would be available, if a little limited.

The mission began in the shady light of a steamy jungle sunrise. The wildlife took little notice of the two shadows moving quietly through the swamp. Unfortunately that was not the case for the waiting Cartel!

Immediately blocking the way was a host of well-armed, determined troopers. A Drug Runner would try to close the range to Giacomelli (range 0) in the hope of giving a rocket team chance (screened by drug runner). to blow the soldiers from their immediate cover. In addition, a well placed Sniper (cover 4) would try and deter any forward movement by the team (+2 entrance cost). Not wishing to wait for the inevitable firestorm, Corona's well trained moves attracted the rocket team and Sniper's alert attention,

Giacomelli sprung into action. Seeing the immediate threat to Corona, he launched an underslung 40mm grenade at the preparing rocket team (snap shot action card). The well placed explosive easily neutralized the slow reacting enemy (modified result of 6, 9,9 and 10 on D10s). This attack was only made possible by Corona's quick reactions in eliminating the onrushing drug runner (fire action). Encouraged by his controlled, effective volley, Corona decided to close the range with the now alone sniper (action to move onto wetlands), knowing full well that Giacomelli could suppress any attack the sniper could make as he moved (suppress action card in hand).

Meanwhile, Giacomelli considered his own options (used an action to refill hand of cards). Seeing Corona in an unsupportable situation, he rushed quickly to Corona's side (move out action card). Giacomelli raised his ACOG assisted carbine and gently pulled the trigger (marksman skill), breathing steadily as he aimed (steady aim action card, buffed). In a burst of shattered foliage, the concealed sniper fell lifelessly before Giacomelli's sights (modified 10 and 12).

With a temporary lull in the action, Giacomelli consulted his map, he looked for appropriate orientating landmarks and saw the incline which he was searching for (incline location card). That would be their next move (action used to place location card). Along the top of the incline, ready for action, stood another sniper accompanied by a small band of smugglers (hostile force of 6).

Giacomelli may well have accounted for his next move, but that did not stop the Cartel plotting theirs (end of soldier turn, start of hostile turn). An unseen thug emerged from the cover of the wetlands, as the Cartel on the incline prepared their own aggressive response. The thug took aim at Giacomelli and would have caused a flesh wound (thug rolled higher than it's kill number and beat giacomelli's cover value) if Giacomelli had not suppressed the thug's round of fire (suppress action card).

The sniper on the incline took careful aim at Corona...the slender cover he was hiding behind took the hit, causing Corona to bury his face deeper in the cover (suppression marker). A similar attack occurred as the smugglers shot at Giacomelli causing him to duck back too (suppression marker) There was a brief lull as all parties planned their next moves...(end of turn 1 of 8).

Giacomelli knew that he could not stay like this for much longer (remove suppression marker), but his options were limited. He hoped by re-evaluating his situation he could find new options (action to replenish hand of action cards). As Giacomelli was lost in his thoughts, his radio crackled into life. "Sniper support online" (discard 2 action cards to bring in a support card). Giacomelli whispered a greatful thank you, a loud crack could be heard as the encroaching thug fell, lifeless in the water.

Corona relied upon his training (remove the suppression) and followed up this shift of initiative by loosing off a series of controlled bursts At the smugglers. One of which lowered his head In fear (suppressed). Not feeling so alone, Giacomelli certainly welcomed the continued support of the well timed sniper team (used 2 experience)

Yet another thug emerged from the wetland, firing his weapon as he surged forward, just missing giacomelli's arm (suppression). Giacomelli was feeling deeply uncomfortable as both the sniper and smugglers on the incline continued to make him their target. The smuggler's wild fire spewed in all directions, but not wounding Giacomelli. The sniper however, was more assured. This time, he found his mark. A bullet tore into giacomelli's shoulder, knocking him backwards (2 wounds). The situation was clearly not going all the team's way ( end of turn 2 of 8).


Thursday, 23 July 2015

Storage Facilities

It's always worth watching the railway scenery hobby, particularly if you are a late north Western Europe kind of player. Companies such as Faller, Kibri, Pola and Vollmer produce a wealth of HO (approx 20mm) scenery and buildings (and other scales to boot).

I've used railway buildings as they are detailed and come in several colours within the same kit. Whilst the plastic can be hard to paint, I find it a little of an irony with the growing availability of painted MDF scenery; a very similar product. I've mostly used this kind of scenery for 15mm WWII, as to my eye the size difference is negligible from the average wargaming viewing distance.

I recently bought some storage tanks from E-bay for about £10. A quick undercoat spray, wash, drybrush and weathering powder soon produced something of a wargaming quality. You can see the results in the included two pictures.



Wednesday, 22 July 2015

School's out for Summer!!!

Yeah! One school year ends whilst another prepares to begin. Time to spend to reflect, enjoy and look forward to the next year - and I don't mean being in the classroom! Seriously though, the Summer holidays are often a time when the hobby energy picks up; what to do? More Sci-fi? Paint the figures from the Great War board game? Play some ancients and develop my own rules? And that doesn't take into consideration two potential kickstarters that may land on the doorstep...

One thing is sure, it can been done at a more relaxed pace with higher enthusiasm this space!


Making Sci-fi walkways (on the cheap)


After playing at the weekend the idea of producing some simple walkways came to mind. It would add/change some of the existing scenery and also provide some level 1 options to add to the rules. Similarly, they would provide opportunities to link buildings together.

The materials are really basic, a cork floor tile, mounting card and some 30mm MDF bases. Let's not forget the ubiquitous superglue for sticking me together as much as the materials!

I built them in 16cm lengths which spans two sectors of the Mantic Deadzone playmats. I also made some ramps to give access to the upper levels besides using buildings.

After building these, my next thought is to make some 8cm square junctions which can hold weapon platforms, and to finish off the slipways.


Monday, 20 July 2015

A Weekend at the Spaceport

It's time to reflect on a fantastic weekend of gaming with Phil and Fig. The session began Saturday morning, through the early hours of Sunday morning, a short break for sleep, and gaming again until mid afternoon. Whilst it sounds a marathon, the gaming was interspersed with chilled conversation, memories of games past, and a lot of wholesome eating thanks to Lucy.

Most of the time was spent miniature gaming, however we did have a Sunday morning break fighting for survival in 'The Dead of Winter'. Phil had brought his Greeks for a game of Impetus, instead we played sci-fi!!! As ever, the best laid plans changed. What I was hoping for was to play test my Sci-fi rules 'Force Agenda'. Although the reason and ethos of the game was clear in my mind, with the rules designed to reflect this, it was really important to see if the game played the way I hoped with people who came to the game cold. We played about 5 games, with little tweaks being added as we went.

The first game was kept simple with two basic troop types. On one side was a Colonial Defence Force, and on the other, a band of marauding thugs. The mission was kept simple with the marauders attempting to capture a truck in the centre of the battlefield with the CDF trying to stop this. The Marauders quickly closed on the right flank through the spaceport to close for an assault. The CDF reaction was to whittle down the marauder teams into manageable sizes.

The Marauders did manage to make it to the truck, however their strength was not enough to take it; end of game one. The bits of the game that went well included the Blip phase where units are monouvred without the opponent's knowledge of their disposition, and the use of the coloured dice with their unpredictable results. The bit that didn't work well (which we continued to scratch our heads over) was line of sight on a squared grid.

The next game was played twice, with players swapping roles, but keeping their forces. Phil kept the CDF as he was understanding their weapon systems and tactical usage. Fig took the Marshborn Crusties, who were slightly more advanced, but not as strong. I'd added some attachments including some rocket launcher troops, these became a firm favourite ( and target) during the Following games. The two sides were allowed to bring forces on from two adjoining sides, with the defenders protecting the spaceship on the landing pad in their corner. The first game saw an aggressive flanking attack by the Crusties which was brought to a halt amongst the industrial sector of the board.

The second game saw a lightening attack reminiscent of Vietnamese sappers 'amongst the wire'. The rapid strategic movement of a rocket launcher equipped section caught the defenders before they could adequately deploy to protect the spaceship. As much fire was poured into this section, including the introduction of mortar teams. However this was not enough to deter the squad from steadily destroying the spaceship.

The final game we played on Saturday was a race to grab a package and return it to friendly lines. The Crusties rapidly deployed across the centre of the table to cut the battlefield in half. The CDF used their strategic movement to rapidly deploy a small force at the package.What followed was a cinematic series of encounters with the package being passed from vehicle to vehicle by the CDF, whilst being actively harried by some leap frogging Crustie jump troops. In the end, A CDF sled threw off a final jump trooper to escape off the board.

Our very last game was played on Sunday afternoon. The Crusties were tasked with capturing a de-activated droid by breaking through a light screen of CDF troopers and set up a perimeter to protect it. The CDF tried to cause as many casualties as possible to enable scheduled reinforcements to mop up any enemy left. The game ran out of time with the Crusties attacking strongly down the left flank, through the trees and residential area. This game began to show the value of maintaining the impetus of an attack using support weapons in an aggressive manner.

A big thank you to Phil and Fig for their patience whilst I often scratched my head considering a new rules contradiction. It was pleasing that they felt the game system had legs and was worth developing further. I particularly liked that after the first game, most mental energy went into the tactics rather than understanding the rules. My next considerations are to refine the Line of sight rules, develop the affects of terrain, and try some of the other troop types I have in my figure collection.


Thursday, 16 July 2015

Lay of the Land

Laid out some terrain for a monster weekend of gaming. Going to try some different troops and scenarios with my own rules. Also some Greek Impetus catered for too.

More to follow...