Monday, May 20, 2019

Congo Gulch: Little Big Horn

Bruce had me over for another test drive of his old west adaptation of Congo. This time the scenario was Little Big Horn. The visiting team arrived from the left and top of the board. The only home team units were in the village at the bottom right. Other home team units could appear on a die roll.


For example, rights behind my set up area on turn two. Leading to...


...this rather difficult tactical issue.


The overall thrust of the game was that the visitor units moved down the right side and across the bottom of the table while home-team units ambushed or chased them. Having to constantly adjust to the home-team units appearing was a good and stressful mechanic ("Oh God, they appear WHERE this turn? Oh no. OH NO!").


The unit of burros below was completely wiped out in an ambush (removing 1/5th of my overall force in a single turn). Fortunately, the dice were swingy.


One unit of visitors made a stand on a hill and managed to push back (and eventually eliminate) the home-team unit through concentrated rifle fire.


The local's base was eventually captured and the visitors set up (as best they could) on the bottom right of the table to use their firing skills.  At this point, it was almost impossible or me to push any of the home team off the board in the direction required to gain the most victory points so it just became about surviving.


Bruce's new models are pretty sweet (Foundry) and really gave the game a lot of flair.


In the end, through the pleasure of the dice gods, the visiting team managed to squeak out a victory point (11-9 or thereabouts). But it all came down to two devastating volleys in the last turn.


Overall, the adaptation makes for a good game. Lots of colour, easy mechanics and a nearly historical result. Looking forward to seeing this game at the club this week. These rules could work for the Riel Rebellion, I would think. Bruce had some great scenario ideas at the end of the game.

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Tribal and Imperial Settlers

It has been a busy few weeks so I have gotten a bit behind in blogging. Two weeks ago, Bruce hosted me in another game of musketeers using the Tribal rules.


There was a hidden character that the cardinal had to find and rescue while the musketeers tried to prevent the rescue.


On the right side of the board, I finally got the hang of using shooters to immobilize while swordsmen close in to do some damage.


The left side was a bit of a bad match up for the cardinal's forces and, at this point, I figured the game was in the bag.


Then the cardinal appeared and greased three units in short order. Jerk.



At that point, the cardinal had found the figure to be rescued and I didn't have enough troops left to do anything about it. A great skirmish game because we actually had to fight each battle with cards (instead of just pushing the figures together and rolling dice). Gonna try to graft this system onto some superheroes.

This week, I was at the club and hosted a game of Imperial settlers for Andy, Scott, and Terry.


Despite Terry's baleful gaze, I think we had a good time. There are a lot of decisions to make each turn and minimal interaction between players. I was leery of four people meaning a lot of sitting but we managed to learn and play the game in 2 hours.


The Egyptians won. Scott played well and it is a good faction. Terry played the Japanese (which were interesting and different).


Andy and I soldiered on with the Roman and Barbarians. I was way behind but was trying for a long-game win. Alas, Scott just had too much of a lead by the end of the game.


Up next: I am half way through rebasing the 1812 British that I have after a trip to the washer store.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

1812 rebasing

No gaming for me this week but I did manage to finish a tonne of rebasing. These are older 1/72-scale War of 1812 guys guy I had on multi-figure bases.


I wanted to move them to individual bases so I could play some new Osprey rules that are out for North America. First up at 80 or so US foot soldiers.


I have a bunch of mounted left to do. I also have some cannons that are half done (ran out of washers!).


I also rebased a bunch of militia. These are a grab-bag of mostly older figures, including a bunch of Airfix confederates. These seem have taken more damage to their paint jobs over time.


There are several units of this guy (doing the "juke box hero" pose).


There are some of there figures mixed in. I think these guys with the top has were from a US-Mexico War set (Alamo?).


Then there are some Italeri, including this guy from an AWI set. He's wisely hiding behind a fur tree.


I pulled the British and Canadian troops off the shelf to start debasing them in anticipation of a run to the washer store this week.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Last of Imperial Assault--really!

No, for reals this time, this is the last of the Imperial Assault commission I took on. There was one lonely Gomorrean guard who needed painting and basing to match on of his colleagues. 


I managed to knock this off over the weekend despite the allure of the bike, kayak and garden.


Up next: Some rebased 1/72-scale War of 1812 Americans. Just need to touch up a few rifle barrels that shed their paint during rebasing.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Congo Gulch

Bruce invited me over to playtest his western adaptation of Congo. The scenario was two forces trying to capture a stage coach full of loot.


The stage coach had no horses so has to be dragged from the centre of the table to the corner.


I don't recall the details of the mechanics of Congo perfectly, but I think the two main changes had to do with casting fear on an opponent (that action became a rally action) and the effect of the monkey stress token (causing 1d3 bug-out tests).


We had a large and bloody rumble on the left side of the table where the outlaws gunned down the townies. I played poorly but got lucky.

Over on the right, the Mounties pinned down the outlaws while some townies dragged the wagon towards the bank.


It came down to the last turn. I managed to wipe out all our Bruce's forces but Bruce managed to get away with the wagon, giving him a victory!


Overall, pretty fun with lots of difficult decisions.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Imperial Settlers and Rancor

This week was club night and Terry hosted a game of Imperial Settlers. I had a hoot! What a pleasant and interesting game of resource management.


George also hosted a WW2 plane game that I did not get a chance to watch.


I have been doing a bit of painting to finish off a commission (some broken pieces that the manufacturer replaced for the owner).


I finished the Rancor. What a lovely model! And huge!


I left it glossy as all of the movie stills show it as a touch damp or slimy.


I had some trouble getting a decent shot--it looks much nicer in person than these photos show off.


Up next: I have on last gormorrian guard who is underway and hopefully some western gaming.

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Gangsters and Pete's Meat Shop

Bruce hosted a gangster game, using Chain Reaction 2.0 rules. The gang was trying to move a bunch of bootlegged booze out of its warehouse and off the left side of the board, using a truck.


The more booze Ethel and the boys got off the board, the higher the points for the gangster. Facing them, was the town's corrupt police force, who got points of killing gangsters and capturing booze. The coppers set up on the left side of the table, mounted in a squad car and motorcycle.


As Ethel frantically carried booze out to the truck, the cops put the pedal to the metal. One of the motorcycle riders jumped off and ran after he took some fire from Vinnie while the rest eventually cranked up on a nasty turn ("too fast!"). Sergeant O'Furniture (driving the paddy wagon)  misjudged the movement of the street car!


A miraculous control roll saw him slew the wagon around, parallel to the street car and coppers bailed out to engage Vinnie. O'Toole, O'Shea, and O'Leary opened up on hapless Vinnie.


Other coppers advanced in the shadow of the street car only to get caught in the open in a nasty back-and-forth firefight with gangsters in the warehouse windows. Eventually, the gangsters withdrew from the fight but they had bought Ethel lots of time.


She jammed the old truck into gear and started to end run the cops. Sergeant O'Furniture jumped back in the wagon and tried to block her path with the rest of the boys peppering the truck with rounds.


Ethel managed to avoid losing control and just barely squeezed past the cops for a victory.


I've also been doing a bit of painting. I took the best building I picked up at the model train swap meet, did some detail work and dry brushing and then washed and sealed it.


Pete's Meat appears to cater to a speciality crowd! Only the finest cuts.


Up next: A huge rancor and some more buildings are underway. And it is club night on Tuesday.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Gaming at the club

We had 7 guys out at the club this week with three games on deck. Jonathan and Scott played some Commands and Colors Machine Guns.


I think this was the Verdun scenario, with the Germans advancing over the Meusse River? I left before it was done, but it looks like the Germans were just running out of troops.


Dan hosted Terry and Richard in a game of Strange Aeons. RCMP and heroes versus cultists.



The cultists were selling some naked townies for meat to some little guys with big teeth. Gravel Road Cowboys had to rescue them.


I left before this game reached conclusion. At that point, the body count looked like it was favouring Sergeant Preston and his kung-fu fighters.



A very pretty game that Dan did a nice job of putting on.


Chen and I played Battlestar Galactica with Newtonian movement. BSG is basically the same as Wings of War (movement on cards, simultaneous selection) and you can play it with cinematic movement or with Newtonian rules.


Newtonian movement allows you to pivot your ship away from your direction of travel to change your firing arc. I have tried to illustrate this using the arrows to show direction of travel. The picture above saw the viper rush towards the camera and the raider rush away. As the ships passed one another, they pivoted (the raider more successfully) and the raider got to fire.



Once your facing is not the same as your direction of travel, your movement becomes restricted (you can drift on momentum or pivot and move (which may also have some drift). With good planning, this can allow you extended firing opportunities but also leaves you vulnerable to your opponent making a sharp turn and sneaking out of your arc (see above).


The effect of the Newtonian rules were interesting (rewards planning and good spatial skills) but hard to get used to. I'm still not sure I fully understood the movement rules by the end--there were some interactions between acceleration and kinetic energy I couldn't keep straight. I tend to prefer simpler game mechanics (a la X-wing) but the designer(s) made a good effort to incorporate complex concepts into (relatively) simple add-on rules.