Anyway, I have been kicking around a lot of different rulesets lately, trying to find something I like. I have to say that Osprey's releases into wargaming have really scratched a lot of itches, especially in 6mm. Horizon Wars is a light, highly abstracted, game intended for 10mm figures or smaller. This is great for me because I just don't have a lot of time for gaming anymore so, as much as I'd like to get bogged down into the minutiae of firing different guns from each vehicle it just isn't really feasible at the moment. That and my youngest has picked up on it right away. Most importantly, it's giving me a reason to finally paint my 6mm figure stuff (after I clear a few other things out of my way).
This game was a mirrored force engagement just to remind us how the game works. As I mentioned I've been reading a lot of other rules so they're starting to get jumbled in my head. Both sides had a Lt Infantry CHQ, 3x Lt Infantry, 2x Mobile Infantry, 1x Recon, and 1x Lt Artillery. I was using Dark Realm Miniatures Pax Arcadia figures for my Valiant Humans and Alexander used a mix of my DRM Andrayada, Khurasan Mechanoids, and a CAV Specter for the Robot Menace. I realized I didn't have any appropriate models for either side's light artillery so subbed the Pax Arcadia Thunderstrike artillery piece and the CAV Specter for the Robot Menace. Same for the robot's mobile infantry, so I tossed a couple of my 15mm Mechanoids on the table to represent those. I see some purchases in my future...
Alexander used his command resources to give anti-grav movement to his mobile infantry and recon. I used mine to increase the Armor of my mobile infantry and Defense of my Recon.
Click the picture for larger images
Alexander set up the terrain, and he deployed first
The first turn was mostly just me double checking movement rules, the usual rush forward, some shots at long odds, and my use of the CHQ's ability to pass an action to another unit.
The second turn saw Alexander's Recon element removed after my Mb Inf charged them. My Lt Inf took up positions in buildings. Alexander ran his Mb Inf in between the two towers in the center of the table. Some light damage passed around, but nothing major beyond the removal of the Recon element.
Casualties began to mount in the third turn. I lost two stands of Lt. Infantry after some critical hits on Alexander's part. He lost both of his Mb Infantry, one to a critical hit, and the other after a prolonged bout of withering fire. By the end of this turn he had his CHQ, a stand of Lt Inf, and his Lt. Arty. I wasn't fairing much better, having lost a stand of Mb Inf to an assault that I initiated and another to continued fire from the arty. I had my CHQ, one stand of Lt Inf, Recon, and Lt. Arty.
The fourth turn ended with Alexander having lost his CHQ and remaining stand of Lt. Inf, leaving him only his Lt. Arty. I lost my recon, and advanced my infantry to engage, the Lt Arty having suffered some major damage.
At the beginning of the third round we instituted a rule that at the beginning of the turn if a D12 rolled higher than the total number of models left on the table then the game ends (it was getting late). There was a fifth turn, but nothing really changed. The roll ended the game before a sixth turn could be played and we tallied the Priority of the remaining units, he had two, I had four, giving me a rather Pyrrhic victory.
Bet yall thought I'd disappeared. I have been busy with other areas of my life since the last post, though I have had a few games here and there. One of them being the registration of my company that will focus on laser cut models for 6, 10, and 15mm tabletops.
The real reason for the return though is that after much fiddling, I have completed assembling my first Regult battlepod from Palladium's Robotech RPG Tactics. Here are some pictures of it and with a Dictator 60 and a 28mm fig for giggles.
Got to see several people I known, but haven't seen, in years. Got some games in. Got some cool new stuff to play with. Got some info on the next version of CAV. (Hint: Not as bad as I thought, but I still don't like it.)
What I didn't get was a lot of pictures. Here's what I have so far:
Demo material for CAV:SO
The base is a wood award blank from Hobby Lobby that I stained with the stain I usually use for dipping my figures. Originally I was going to do a whole mountain top thing for the base, but now I've lost interest in that. The model isn't attached yet, and it may take me a while to figure out what I'm exactly going to do with this, so things may change later on.
In unrelated news, I finally added pictures to the year end update. See them here.
Here's the pics of Kyra and Lavarath. One of these days I'll figure out how to photograph metallics without the glare.
1 Rebel Minis Merka V
8 GZG UNSC Troopers
3 GZG Gun Spider Robot Drone Thingies
6 Goblin Jacks (Dreadball)
What has been irking me about combat in S:AE was the iterative process for rolling each attack. Each attack with each similar weapon system requires a total of three die rolls with multiple dice. My issue isn't the number of dice rolled but the number rolls made. There is a roll to hit, a roll to overcome defenses, and a roll to determine damage allocation. This provides for a great amount of granularity for how different weapons behave allowing for the creation of one weapon that may be highly accurate with a high rate of fire but does not have much penetration or damage potential or another that has difficulty getting past defense but inflicts a great amount of damage on impact. It's actually one of the strengths of the design system within the game. The down side is that rolling a handfull of dice, sorting out which ones hit, rolling to see which ones penetrated then sorting those dice out, and then rolling for damage (sometimes with a multiplier) can begin to take time, especially with larger squadrons of larger ships mounting multiple weapon types. Individual weapons, engines, and shields/armor are potentially damaged from the first hit onwards. A battleship could potentially lose it's main gun in the first hit just as easily as a frigate.
Combat in FT:XD is much smoother. There are a limited number of types of weapons and there is only one roll that is modified by the target's defenses. This reduces the game's ability to closely replicate how weapons from specific books/shows/movies (which let's face it, generally falls into Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and occasionally Babylon 5) behave but does simplify gameplay. Roll to hit, typically hits are counted on 4, 5, or 6 and apply damage (applying half of the damage to armor if present) to the hull boxes. Systems are rolled for critical damage at the end of each of three or four rows of hull boxes, depending on the construction options used for the ship. A battleship's main gun won't be a candidate to be destroyed until after it has sustained enough damage to destroy a typical frigate.
I tried the sample scenario included with FT:XD using my GZG starship miniatures, this being the first time they were used for the game they were designed to be used with. The scenario is simple, each side has mirrored forces of two cruisers and three frigates. One side has to attempt to exit his ships off the opposite side of the table and are set up in a line abreast formation. The other side is to intercept and destroy the opposing player's force before he can get them off the table. This player deploys in two columns, one with the two cruisers and the other with the three frigate, in a corner on an approximately 60 degree bias from the table edge. My 9 year son Phillip played the interceptors and I played the blockade runners.
We both quickly picked up the basics of the game. Phil had no problems writing preplotted movement orders after I told him he could use left and right instead of port and starboard for indicating turns. Combat was quite smooth as I expected, slowing down only for the first couple threshold checks until we got the hang of the mechanic. By the end of the game I had lost my frigates and one cruiser had been effectively disabled while Phil had lost a cruiser to a containment breach in his power core and a frigate to weight of fire. His remaining frigates were heavily damaged but his remaining cruiser was untouched. My cruisers did manage to exit the board though. We called it a tie since I exited the board but had lost three of my escorts in the process. The upside is that we both managed to avoid the usual first game high speed pass that most FT players seem to experience since momentum is conserved turn to turn.
My impressions are that while I liked the faster combat I found that I prefer my starship games to be played on a hexmap for ease and speed. Turning and measuring, then turning and measuring again was a bit fiddly and moderately annoying with ships in close proximity and maintaining formation. So I'm left with something of a quandary. I like the combat resolution (though I have my doubts about adapting settings satisfactorily using the limited weapon options) but didn't like the movement mechanics with FT:XD. In S:AE I like movement on a hex (I use a modified movement mechanic rather than the one in the rules) and the differentiation between weapons but want a streamlined resolution mechanic. Majestic 12 changed the way combat works in their latest version, Starmada Nova Edition, but I'm not sold on it as it now uses a more complex defense mechanism though I suppose I ought to give a run using the sample rules in the interest of fair evaluation. I'm told Colonial Battlefleet may be what I'm looking for but don't really want to spend $15 + printer ink to find out it isn't what I want. I'm already invested with Starmada, both the base version as well as the licensed Starfleet Universe version, so will probably stick with it but the hunt continues. All this though has had me wondering if I still have the draft version of a starship game I had been working on about six years ago but never finished due to getting bogged down with figuring out how to assign point values.
Played the basic scenario three times yesterday after watching the awesome Doctor Who 50th anniversary episode. The kids took turns as the Mk III, though the youngest got a Mk II due to time constraints, and I played the defense. I lost the first two games due to some bad die rolls and not fully understanding just how difficult it is to damage an OGRE. The kids loved it and want to play again today. Thinking about a 2 on 2 game with everyone in a Mk III. I'll need to check the scenario book but I think there is one like that called Operation K or something like that.
|And it's almost all OGRE. Not much by way of filler.
|Just the game box occupies a fair portion of my 6-seat dining room table.
|Not that I'm complaining, but I think I was only supposed to get one of these.
|Four packs of counter sheets, those on their own are fairly heavy...or I need to get back into a regular exercise routine.
|Kind of hard to see, but there's a minor puncture in the lid. Didn't go all the way through so the contents were safe. Box did it's job.
|Looks like the bottom of the box got creased in shipping. Guessing it was dropped.
|Minor wear on one of the corner. Overall very little shipping damage.
|Hand signed thank you certificate from Steve Jackson
|The OGRE garage, for storing the assembled 3D counters, with labels
|Map board in the box
|bottom half of the original map
|top of the original map
|under the top set of maps are the books, record sheets, reference sheets and the eight GEV maps
|Rules and sheets
|stack 'o' maps
|To give an idea of the size of one of the map sheets unfolded.
|Look at all the STUFF!
|PanEuro and Combine logo dice. These are pretty good sized dice, no mistaking what was rolled on these bad boys.
|Bottom later of storage, mostly for counters and map overlays (additional pieces to modify the standard maps)
|Tear in the side
|Card board reinforcement for the walls of the tray. I don't recommend taking the bottom layer out, it was a pain getting those inserts to stay where they were supposed to when replacing the tray into the box
|The names of the Kickstarter backers all around the box. Mine is easy to find, this side of the box, very lower left corner, first name on the bottom line.
|The original map and four of the GEV maps. Still have four of the map boards stacked in the background.
|Six of the maps won't fit on the table.
I'm going to need a bigger table.
|tape reinforcement on the back side of the map boards
|The GEV maps are four sets of two. They are geomorphic so you can mix and match boards for a large variety of gaming experiences.
|The four counter packs. Not opening them tonight as I don't want them to get scattered.
|armor unit counters (and a couple others)
|some of the 3D counters
|OGREs and Vulcans OH MY!
|Same sheet, same bad photography. This is one of the KS sheets "Targets Go Boom"
Half tempted to take a couple sheets to work with me to get a start on punching them all out. Probably a sure recipe to lose one or two.
Next update will either be progress on Kyra or a status report on how many counters have been prepared. Until then, enjoy.