Thursday, March 30, 2017

What's a spaceship game doing on here?

Last week my Frostgrave group took a break from that game and allowed me to run a scenario for Galactic Knights instead. The players were new, so I kept the premise simple: A couple of Terran squadrons surprised a pair of Avarian carriers trying to fly past a planet in order to make another hyperspace jump.
John took the Terran white squadron of a galactic battlecruiser (Big Mo) and two stellar cruisers (Curley and Larry). I took the red squadron, with the galactic battlecruiser Aggravated Assault and the stellar cruisers Offensive Contact and Probation Violation.
Wayne and Yosef each took a galactic attack carrier, the Raptor and the Soarglide respectively. Sorry for the blurry picture, but it's all I got. The flattops' goal was to make it to the other end of the board. The Terrans' goal was to stop them.
The carriers immediately launched all their fighters, making an impressive sight as they soared past the planet.
To the left of the world, you can barely make out my battlecruiser's own fighter wings, trying to avoid the enemy attack craft so they could shoot at the carriers.
The fighters from both carriers converged on the cruiser Offensive Contact. Even with AA support from its sister ship and help from the battlecruisers' interceptors, the Terran vessel took way too much damage to survive. And our sides attack fighters didn't do much to the enemy.
The only positive to my stellar cruiser becoming a rapidly expanding ball of plasma was the fact that all those enemy fighters had to return to their motherships to refuel and rearm. Unfortunately for the attack craft from the Raptor, my side managed to destroy a few of that carrier's hanger/launcher systems, forcing some squadrons to land on the Soarglide and a couple of unlucky flights to circle until they had an open hanger.
Meanwhile, the carriers accelerated as the other ships closed into particle beam range. The Terrans concentrated their fire on the Raptor, taking out weapons and hangers before a beam tore into the carrier's jump drive, stranding it in the star system without faster-than-light capability. Now that we knew one of the ships wasn't going anywhere, we started to shoot up the other one as we drifted closer.
Our shots did pretty much only superficial damage to the up-till-now pristine Soarglide. At this point, the carriers were going to drift off the left edge of the map on the next turn, while the white squadron was headed off the bottom edge (with my two remaining red ships slowing down as the wreckage from the Offensive Contact drifted leisurely away from the battle).
We called the game a draw--one carrier escaped off the map, but its sister ship would be captured without a working hyperdrive, and one interdictor was destroyed, with negligible damage to the rest. Fun game, and they definitely want to play again.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

HotT night bonus material

Here are some other Hordes of the Things and DBA armies I saw at the HotT game night last week. Note that these are all 15mm scale (40mm base width) as opposed to my preferred 25/28mm (60mm base width). First, here's a battle between orcs and elves (with eagle allies). I think these are actually 10mm figures, maybe Warmaster.
Next, we have a fight with orcs and goblins from contemporary fantasy gaming on one side and Asag and the Stone Allies from Sumerian myth on the other.
Here's a closeup of the demon Asag (in the back) and his army of enchanted stones.
And here's a detail shot of the greenskins.
Finally, there was a game of DBA going on as well, Indians vs. Selucids (I think).
Some great detailing on the chariots and elephant.
Anyone else played Hordes of the Things or De Bellis Antiquitatus lately, or working on an army?

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

HotT night at the game store

I found out that some of the locals who play Hail Caesar also play De Bellis Antiquitatus and its fantasy offshoot, Hordes of the Things. When I heard that DBA and HotT were on the agenda last week at Dragon's Lair, I brought some of my 28mm armies to run a game.
My opponent, John, recently purchased the rulebook and had made up his own army in 15mm scale. To show him the game at 28mm scale, I played my Nightmare Legion army and gave him Surtr and the Sons of Muspel. We rolled to see who would be the defender, and it was the fire giants with their volcano stronghold.
It was a low-key game, as I tried to demonstrate how the various units moved and interacted. I even got to show him how my Lurkers element (skeleton rising from the grave) works, as I deployed it against his Beasts (raging wildfire) when they entered the woods. It was a quick demo, however, as the wildfire doubled the undead's roll, incinerating the Lurker.
He also learned how Artillery and Shooters work (not very effectively in my case), and then his beast contacted the Artillery and reduced it to ashes as well.
My Magician general, the necromancer, did manage to force one Behemoth to flee, but the rest of the fire army, including Warbands, kept coming.
Finally, his Warbands broke my Spears, meaning he had destroyed over half my army for the victory.
It was fun playing Hordes of the Things again, and even more fun using my two oldest and favorite armies. There were other gamers playing HotT as well, and I hope to have more such games on a regular basis.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Starfleet Wars eBay find

You may be thinking, "What's he doing, blogging about a spaceship game after all this time?" but I haven't abandoned that aspect of my hobby. And on that note, I have to share my latest eBay score.
In addition to the Starfleet Wars rules and expansion booklet, both in great condition, I received a laminated quick reference sheet. It also came with the original envelope and a pad of starship record sheets. In the days long before home computer printers, or even easy access to a photocopier, these record sheets were a necessary game component.
This auction lot also came with a promotional pamphlet for SfW on glossy paper. While the front duplicates the rulebook cover image and the back lists the range of castings at the time the game was released, it's the inside of this sheet that's remarkable. ...

... A full-color photograph of the minis that existed at publication, painted in classic 1970s graphic style.
While this image is floating around the internet, it's cool to have a copy of the original publication, and in such great condition. I think I will put it in a frame and hang it on the wall of my game room.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Frostgrave in the House (of Longreach)

The exploration (or is that exploitation?) of the Frozen City continues. In our most recent Lich Lord campaign game, we entered The House of Longreach--an ancient mansion with magical doorways.
Unfortunately, those doors were hard for my wizard and her crew to get working. While the portals are supposed to transfer characters to the treasure room, or to other doorways on the battlefield, Quarell, my crossbowman, stepped through one door and got teleported out of the game.
It was a good crowd, though: Four of us longtime players paired off to play the Longreach scenario on separate boards, while another veteran, Jon, introduced a new player to Frostgrave on a third setup.
Unfortunately, most of my characters ended up taking damage from the malfunctioning dimensional portals. My opponent, Wes, was more fortunate, and had a couple of characters zap on over next to my apprentice.
Meanwhile, my two treasure hunters (Frick and Frack, members in good standing of the Guild of Condotierre, Linkboys, Roustabouts, and Stevedores, Marlinko chapter) managed to cart a couple of treasures off the board. Nice, but I was hoping for more valuable loot from the vault.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Monopolis emergency response vehicles

So here are my emergency response vehicles for use with my Monopolis scenarios for Ogre. These units may be large, but they're still small compared to a Mark III-B cybertank.
This MASH unit was originally for use in Battletech, but it will work just fine for me as a medical evacuation vehicle. I like the look of this one; I just need to add some white detailing.
This Battletech coolant truck will serve as a Monopolis firefighting vehicle. I'm not happy with how it turned out--the drybrushing makes it look like the paint job was scuffed off--so I will probably redo it to match the ambulance, then add bright blue for the emergency lights and paint the water cannon some sort of chrome and brass.
These emergency response vehicles are larger than this NAC Ranger heavy tank. That's OK, though, considering all the destruction the Monopolis Fire & Rescue has to deal with. Maybe they can keep the damage under control.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Frostgrave: Rangifer rager

A couple of weeks ago, we played the "Run of the Rangifer" scenario from Thaw of the Lich Lord.
Rangifer are reindeer-headed humanoids from Frostgrave who hate the undead. They weren't too fond of our wizards and soldiers, either.
Of course, there was bound to be conflict, since the Rangifer started the scenario next to the treasure tokens everybody was after.
My long-distance shooting was pretty poor, but my spellcasting helped me drive off these creatures and grab some treasure.
Other players got into hand-to-hand combat with the Rangifer.
Then, the wraith knight made an appearance, and the undead-hating Rangifer attacked him. They helped wear him down, but my wizard ended up with the kill (and the experience points).
As usual, I found a Wall spell very handy for keeping enemies away from my wizard and apprentice.
In another game, a couple of players encountered an ice troll guarding some good treasure.
This week, the scenario is "House of Longreach." I'm enjoying this campaign.