Friday, March 16, 2018

Making our escape

We took a break from miniatures this week to play Escape the Dark Castle. It's an RPG-lite, beer-and-pretzels, semi-chose-your-own-adventure, cooperative, quick-playing, retro-looking, card-based game. It's also very fun. You are imprisoned along with your fellow players when you free yourself from your dungeon cell. You have a card depicting your character, with a corresponding die.
You and your fellow players work together to overcome one card-based obstacle at a time, trying to accomplish what it says on the box: escape the dark castle. There are foes to battle, choices to be made, items to grab--all in your quest to defeat the final boss standing between you and your freedom. We played three games, and even though we only reached the boss one time (where we died in combat), we enjoyed each attempt.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A familiar face in the Ghost Archipelago

Another custom scenario last week. In this one-shot (non-campaign) game, we each received a Heritor with random abilities, a Warden, and three specialist crewmembers, each with a single Heritor ability. The backstory: We'd all heard rumors of a newcomer to the isles, someone from a frozen city far to the north. If this individual found the Crystal Pool, then Bad Things would happen. So we banded together to seek this person out.
He was known as the Lich Lord. And he brought his undead friends with him to the island. Maybe it was the fact that my lizardmen had more detailing, but they were easily able to defeat the skeletons that came at us.
The Lich Lord had found some local allies, tribesmen led by a witch doctor out for power. But some archery took out the spell caster before he could do too much, and I brought my tomb robber in to take out the warriors, with some backup from another warband.
The allied Heritors and their assistants put an end to the Lich Lord's exploration of the Ghost Archipelago. Here's hoping he stays up north.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hunting dinos in the Ghost Archipelago

One of our group wrote a scenario and we played it a few weeks back. each group landed on a separate corner of the island where a large dinosaur roamed. I took my lizardman warband, still with unfinished bases. This adventure was similar to one of the scenarios in the rulebook, but the main critter was a lot tougher.
Dead bodies marked the treasures in this game, luring each warband in to grab the valuables. The catch: Baby dinos were chowing down on the corpses, and a search would bring the critters out of the bushes.
Meanwhile, Momasaurus was roaming around and spotted another warband. She was mad, bad, and dangerous to know--with a +8 Fight and having a second attack in the form of a tail sweep.
The baby dinosaurs were a lot easier to overcome, although when they popped out two or three at a time, it made things a little worrisome for my warband. Still, my reptilian warriors had no qualms about fighting their distant cousins.
Some other monsters showed up on a random encounter roll, including this swamp troll. I teamed up with another player to defeat this creature, but the same player later took out my Heritor and two other crewmembers because he thought I was getting away with too much treasure.
On the other side of the island, the warband belonging to the scenario's author finally took down Momzilla, after losing several members of his warband. The slain beast yielded a treasure or two, hopefully making it worth his while. A fun game, even though my Heritor received a permanent injury. Them's the breaks.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The road to Monopolis

Last week saw the first of what I hope will be a monthly quasi-narrative Ogre campaign. We had six players, including me--and a couple were new to Ogre. The scenario was a holding action by the Monopolis city militia some 100 kilometers from the city. The defenders needed to hold out as long as possible to keep the attacking gray force from driving up the road to Monopolis.
Combat was quickly joined, and devastating to the combatants and the countryside. I had set up a few town hexes. The players quickly learned that city fighting can be brutal. They also learned that overruns in Ogre are even more deadly.
The fighting in this small town grew intense, as the defenders fell back before the advancing Mark V Ogre. Meanwhile, conventional units were racking up their own casualty counts.
The defender's Mark III wasn't able to do much damage to its larger cousin, but it gave a good staredown from one hex over.
In the end, the attackers pushed out the defenders and left the small town in flames. The players remarked on how lethal the game is for armor units. The round counters indicate where tanks and GEVs were destroyed. The playing mat was littered with these tokens at the end of the game, but everyone had a good time.
I plan on running another scenario as a sort of sequel to this one next month. I look forward to playing again, with new and old players.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bungle in the Jungle

We played our first game of Ghost Archipelago last week, and we all had fun. The game is pretty much Frostgrave on a tropical island, so it was easy for us to get into the swing of things. But before we began the scenario (just a basic game to familiarize ourselves with the rules), we played out a little minigame using the old Pirates of the Spanish Main ships and a Dreadfleet map.
There were four of us sailing against one another. Loosely adopting the PotSM sailing rules, combined with GA-style combat resolution, the objective was to get to the island first in order to select your starting edge on the main board. Also, players whose ships took damage had an initiative penalty during the Ghost Archipelago battle. I made it to the island first, and avoided getting hit, picking the nice beach on left side of this pic.
One of our group is the main terrain maker, and he went all-out on this board. It looked great, but the density of the terrain made it hard to move figures without knocking over scenery. Of course we were a little cramped as the playing area was three-by-three with four players; next time we will make it three-by-six for the four of us.
Because I always have to be different, my warband consists of fifth edition Warhammer Lizardmen figures supplemented by some Reaper minis. They had a good showing; my wave warden was able to cast five spells, even though my heritor could not make his activation rolls for his special powers. The crewmembers did well also, defeating members of opposing crews and even some undead.
Unfortunately, my miniatures were not complete in time for game night, so I had to send them into the field with their bases unadorned. I also need to add a few details to the figures. Still, that didn't affect their performance on the tabletop, as my reptilian adventurers picked up one central treasure and three regular treasures.
They were able to get all their loot back on the boats and leave the island almost intact. They lost but one standard crewman to combat. Unfortunately, this blue-striped saurus failed his survival roll and will not be returning until I cycle through all the other generic crew (I painted up eight total, each with a different color stripe down its back).
So Ghost Archipelago is a fun game, and I'm looking forward to playing out this campaign. I'm also enjoying our nautical prelude we play out, which only takes a few minutes and provides some additional story to our skirmishes. Who else is playing GA? What do you think so far?

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Steelville battle report

So, awhile back I ran a big game of Ogre at MillenniumCon. The scenario was the Siege of Steelville, since the theme of the convention was the Battle of Stalingrad.
There were nine players, about six cybertanks, three cruise missiles and two detonations.
I had some of my custom units, such as the armored boats (above) and the Ground-Effect Ogre (below). Each side had a command post, and a missile crawler or two. The defenders also had some emergency response vehicles that could repair damaged town hexes.
The attackers also had an Ekranoplan that could transport a large number of infantry (shown here flying high for dramatic effect; in "reality" it skims above the terrain like any ground-effect unit.
The city took some pounding, such as here on the docks.
And the attackers dropped a cruise missile (center) right on top of their enemy's launcher, and right next to the defenders' command post.
The damage was widespread, but since I'd set up the rubble markers beneath all the town terrain, it didn't take nearly as long to show the devastation as it would have if I'd had to swap out each section.
Even though they'd been nuked, the defenders were still holding their side of the river, and they blew up the bridge to make it harder on the attackers.
But the attackers used their second cruise missile to take out the defenders' CP, meaning they could no longer combing attacks among units in separate hexes.
And the Mark III stared down its G-E counterpart, but didn't do too much against it.
The attackers were stopped at the river's edge.
The defending Ogres stayed in the city, where they could hide behind buildings. It would be hard for the attackers to dig them out.
But the attackers still had plenty of firepower on their side, such as this Doppelsoldner.
In the end, though, we ran out of time with the defenders still holding Steelville. I had a great time running the game, and the players seemed to have fun as well.
Looking forward to more gaming in 2018!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Day Three is concluded

No gaming for me at the final day of MillenniumCon, just observing some great setups by other game masters and going through the flea market, where I scored some great finds. Tell you about it soon.