Saturday, April 29, 2017

1754 Conquest

Last week, I received my copy of 1754 by Academy Games. Basically the FIW at one level of detail greater than Risk. It uses the same card-driven play and random turn sequence as 1775 and 1812. 

Bruce popped over Monday and we had a quick run through it. There are a couple of key differences. The regular reinforcements always arrive by sea while the colonial reinforcements appear at muster points (one is fixed and one you can select the location of).

Indian allies functions basically the same at 1775 but their reinforcements arrive in varying locations depending upon when in the turn sequence they are activated (a very slick mechanic that adds a nice randomness). There are also forts which are handled via a defender die roll (allowing the defender to sometimes block an attacker's subsequent kill)--also petty slick.

The final difference is sea movement. There are various ports that have sea zones associated with them. (You can see the sea zone outside of Boston below.) On the regulars' turns, you can move units into these sea zones (basically load transports) then move to any other sea zone, and unload (or battle if the sea zone is occupied). This makes sea transport more important and interesting, especially since your regulars always appear in a sea zone and you have to unload them on land.

In our game, we started with a tustle in the Ohio Valley and along Lake Champlain. Bruce then drove up Lake Champlain (or maybe moved by land through Appalachia) and bagged Quebec. C'est domage!  I managed to get it back and drove south towards Albany, grabbing one of his muster points. The rivers and lakes don't really serve as major transportation routes but the way the areas are laid out provides a similar effect.

In Nova Scotia, I made an effort to push him back and secure Louisburg from attack. The winner is determined based on victory areas held so this also contributed towards my victory conditions. With Nova Scotia safe, I then mounted an expedition by sea into the Chesapeake. Surprise!

A smart player would have used this as an opportunity to secure the Ohio Valley and the victory points there... . I chose to push into New England and got crushed. To be fair, it really cost Bruce a lot of effort to stop this, but I basically threw these troops away. In the end, I had enough victory points that I chose to play both my truce cards and end the game after 5 (I think) turns.

We only played one rule incorrectly (about withdrawing from combat in enemy territory) but it likely wasn't a big deal in light of Bruce's atrocious dice rolling (I kept looking around expecting to see Scott lurking nearby). I'm going to bring this out to the club next week.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pandemic and Pulp Alley

No gaming for me this week but I have begun a large rebasing project (all of my 25mm Star Wars figures) that I hope to have done next week. 

I also spent some time pointing out superheroes for Pulp Alley. I then did up some gaming cards using pictures of my minis. Not a swanky as some of the beautiful stuff I have seen on the internet but functional enough.

My thought in pointing up these leagues was to do something asymmetrical (small group of skilled heroes versus larger group of lesser skilled baddies). I'm not sure of the scenario but I am thinking something along the lines of a heist (baddies must get X plot points in 6 turns) as the gang starts to build its reputation.  

Assuming this works out, then a four-player game with some kind of break out another few villains objective and Gotham's finest would be next.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Pandemic and Aurelian

Nice weather draws me out of the house and into the yard. But spring, being what it is, means there are still days when gaming is the only option!

At home, we've playing Pandemic Legacy. We're in May and faced our first loss. I had under-estimated the effect of the faded and had a hard time thinking strategy while remembering all of the new rules that have emerged. We need to play more often was our conclusion.

We managed to win our second game and make a number of roadblocks permanent in order to contain the mutating virus to North America (which is now deeply messed up). I think we also have a better selection of characters to help keep stuff under control.

Tuesday, I was out at Bruce's to conclude our Aurelian/Punic Wars campaign. This was a big battle in Gail between Hannibal and Scipio. I was the attacker and had to capture two objectives (the sheep) in order to win.

I decided my best play was to try to push around the right flank and then get my horses moving to bag both objectives. That meant refusing my left flank.

 I had good luck pushing around on the right. I had less luck containing Bruce push agains my left.

Some good (or lucky) card play allows me to get around behind Bruce before he ran my hand down by capturing my baggage.

Campaign-wise, this put Carthage in a bad economic position. Coupled with a political defection of an African province last time, we decided it was likely unwinnable for Carthage and called it.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Pulp Alley at Club Night

We had 11 guys out at the club on Tuesday. Bruce hosted a game of Pulp Alley.

It was escort Mr. Big, with the cops and some supers having to tangle with the gangsters. Terry and I both got whittled down pretty quickly.

Craig spent much of the game collecting plot points in order to slow Mr. Big. He then boogied across the board to interrupt the last few moves of Mr. Big.

 This was pretty much the end game with Mr. Big stalled a fe winches short of the board edge. Great game.

Dave and Scott played a Norman-Saxon game (no idea of the rules).

Elliot and Kevin played what Kevin described as the worst game of Drop Ship Commander ever (Elliot was enjoying himself, though).

And Chen and Dan played a VSF steam punk game I missed the name of. Very cool toys, though.

Up next: Maybe some more 54mm toy soldiers.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Aurelian and Punic Wars

I dropped in on Bruce Tuesday to continue our Aurelian/Punic Wars campaign. The battle we had to fight was a botched invasion of Sicily by Carthage (thanks Poseidon!). Bruce was significantly outnumbered and the game was quick.

I pinned his light cavalry as best I could and moved forward with my legions. He tried to swing around with his cavalry but that came to nothing.

It was valiant but hopeless for Carthage. The casualties here transferred back to the board game and compounded his naval losses.

The upshot was a revolt by a province in North Africa and Rome finally came approximately even in production. I then made a naval attack in Sicily and lost a lot of boats (which, strategically, was the goal because maintaining the boats as hamstringing my ground game). Bruce the consolidated in southern France and I moved to occupy my new possession in North Africa.

We stopped the game with a huge Scipio v Hannibal battle in Gaul pending. When we reoslve that via miniatures next time, I'll then come back to finish my board game turn and build up forces to threaten him in Carthage. This week, though, we have a club night with Bruce bringing out Pulp Alley. I've pointed up some preliminary Batman leagues that I'd like to try out at home.