Saturday, March 25, 2017

Miniatures: First Aetius and Arthur Saga Game. Goths vs Britons.

I finally got a chance to try out Aetius and Arthur, the new Saga variant covering the end of the Western Roman Empire and rise of the Barbarian tribes, sometimes called the Invasions period.  My friend Rick played the Britons, lead by a charismatic leader with a small bodyguard retinue of loyal Companions.  His warband included a 6 man Hearthguard unit, a Warrior unit and Levy with slings.  I played Euric the Bold, my Visigoth warlord, who fielded a force of 2 Hearthguard and 2 Warrior units.  The scenario objective was to take the enemy side of the river while repelling them from doing the same.

The two forces form up on either side of the river.  The bridges are the only way to cross and promise to see tense fighting in the upcoming conflict.  One Visigoth Warrior unit (bottom R) leads off the battle by charging into the Briton Levy on the first turn.

The Visigoth vanguard Warrior unit pushes back the Levy slingers, then slams into a Warrior unit that moved up the right flank, killing 5 of them.  These units would class again, with the Visigoths wiping out the all but a single Levy soldier.

The Visigoth Warriors on the left flank bridge rush headlong into the Hearthguard of the Britons.  With their Warlord Galvanizing their efforts, the Britons push the Goths back across the bridge.

The Warlord of the Britons, along with his 2 Hearthguard Companions, cross the bridge and single handedly eliminate the Visigoth Warriors, though he lost his bodyguards in the process.  Spurned on, the Briton Hearthguard unit crosses the bridge and threatens a unit of Visigoth Hearthguard.

Euric the Bold reforms his Hearthguard near the other bridge, refusing the engage the larger Briton unit piecemeal with his smaller units.

The Britons soon assault the Visigoth position.  The defenders hold the bridge and inflict heavy casualties on the Britons, forcing them back across the bridge.

The Briton Warlord moves up to encourage his men, then leads the charge across the bridge himself.  The Visigoth Hearthguard on the bridge falls to the onslaught.

Euric the Bold sees an opportunity, and leads his men back onto the bridge to assault the Briton Warlord.

Euric and his men slay the Warlord of the Britons and all who stand with him.

Altogether, I really enjoyed the new Saga factions.  I often found that I had too many options for my Goths, which made for a really interesting game.  I also found the Goths to be pretty vicious, with lots of ways to gain extra attack dice each turn.  I think the Britons seemed a bit harder to master, they had some cool abilities, but were harder to implement.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Miniatures: The Eclectic Collection of Morrie Greymatter- a FiveCore Pulp game.

Wealthy, eccentric Mastermind, Morrie Greymatter passed away nearly a year ago without divulging the location of his extensive collection of rare treasures and scientific wonders. Upon his death, Greymatter's estate manager announced that all of these treasures are secured in a hidden complex, but are free for the taking for anyone who can find them within one year of Morrie's death. Exactly one year from his death, an earthquake device buried deep underground is set to bring the entire complex down, destroying all the treasures (and anyone there at the time). Treasure hunters and secret organizations around the world have been relentlessly traveling the globe in search of this hidden cache. Finally, on the anniversary of Greymatter's death, several groups of treasure hunters simultaneously enter the hidden complex. Can they find the treasures they seek and get out before the complex comes crashing down?

Dramatist Personae:

The Army- (Deterrent Weapon) High ranking members of the Army believe that Greymatter had developed a weapon so powerful, that it would act as a deterrent against acts of aggression by foreign nations. A crack team was sent to retrieve this weapon, though the Army disavows any knowledge of such.

Mad Scientists- (Scientific Journal) The Scientific Masterminds Against Squeamish Humanity (S.M.A.S.H.) believes that all of Morrie Greymatter's scientific wonders rightfully belong to them. As such, they seek Greymatter's Journal rumored to hold notes on all of his inventions and discoveries.

Crime Inc.- (Blackmail dossier) Members of a notorious world crime syndicate have heard rumors that Morrie Greymatter had extensive dossiers on politicians all around the world. This information would be invaluable blackmail material for the syndicate.

Smugglers- (Nautical charts and maps) The nefarious crew of the Morose Otter pursue rumors that Greymatter possessed nautical charts and a map leading to Captain Kidd's treasure. Aaarg!

Men of Mystery- (Code breaking device) Members of a private espionage organization serving it's own secret agenda seek a code breaking device rumored to be able to decipher even the most difficult codes.

Fanatic Cultists- (Ancient artifact of power) The cult of Ra have uncovered evidence that Greymatter had excavated a sacred burial chamber in Lower Egypt. Taken from the site was the Ankh of Ra, a sacred artifact that allowed the Pharaohs to harness the power of the Sun to smite his enemies. The cult seeks to restore this artifact to it's rightful place (or perhaps use it to rule the world).

 The hidden complex of Morrie Greymatter, filled with valuable statuary, ancient artifacts and strange scientific devices.  Teams of determined treasure hunters converge, each seeking a particular item.

 The Cult of Ra fans out to search nearby devices.

 The crew of the Morose Otter follow their Captain into the complex, ready for trouble.

 Major Monger deploys his troops to secure their entry point.

 The scientists of S.M.A.S.H use robots search ahead.

 The hard men of Crime Inc. spread out to cover more ground.

 The Men of Mystery recognize a particular statue as The Gargoyle admires his namesake.

 As the teams move deeper into the complex they encounter strange devices and specimens.  Captain Zeno wonders about this unknown device, but refrains from pushing any buttons.  The plant, however is the real danger, and soon Zeno will be temporarily incapacitated by the euphoric odor secreted from the rare specimen.

 Andre Everyman from the Men of Mystery climbs the wall for a better vantage.  He fires a hurried shot at the boss from Crime Inc., but misses.  One of the criminal thugs later climbs a stack of barrels and shoots Andre off the wall.  Fortunately only his pride is hurt in the fall.

 The Cult of Ra takes the first casualty as one of the anonymous cultists is shot dead by a robot.  The other cultist discovered something shocking in a barrel and is temporarily incapacitated while surprised.

 The Army attempted to ally itself with the scientists of S.M.A.S.H. and the Cult of Ra, but, when the alliance fell about, they were trapped in a crossfire.  Sgt. Jones, rushes for cover and stalks the Cult of Ra.

 Meanwhile, Corp. Willis suffers a tragic fall from the catwalk.

 Smuggler Hansom Jack found a hidden passage and surprised the scientists of S.M.A.S.H., dispatching a robot before they knew he was there.  Professor Gestalt fires away at him, but hapless Jack ducks back down into the hidden shaft.  Doctor Norman uses his Universal Remote and tries to turn on a blower fan in the shaft, but the mechanism fails.

 Sgt. Jones enacts a bit of revenge by taking out one of the Cult of Ra.

 "Tough" Tommy O'Reily has a movie moment as he yells, "Top of the World Ma!"

 Sgt. Jones' revenge is short lived as Professor Gestalt fries him with his Molecular Blaster.

 Captain Zeno has encountered all sorts of oddities in his travels, yet the stench from the outhouse surpassed even the most foul oozing substance from the sea.  Carsters covers the Captain as he coughs and wheezes.

Tremors continue to shake the compound as the fighting intensifies.  Captain Zeno is down, but will recover.  "Tough" Tommy is not so lucky.  The scientists of S.M.A.S.H. continue to push on through the complex oblivious of the impending doom.  No clear winner emerged as time ran out.  None of the factions discovered their prized treasure, perhaps they can try again, if the earthquake does not obliterate the network of tunnels discovered by Hansom Jack.

This was my first multiplayer game of the FiveCore Pulp rules.  It had 6 players with a Gamemaster to officiate, and I made some modifications to incorporate so many players.  We ran out of time and ended the game with a 4 way tie, however, the earthquake was due to destroy the entire complex on any future turn, which would have killed anyone left on the board.  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Miniatures: First Game of Battleblade!!!

I recently played my first game of Battleblade with my 11 year old son and 5 year old Daughter, each bring their own painted miniatures to the table.  Battleblade is a fast play, easy to learn set of fantasy skirmish rules from Echidna games that is designed with kids in mind.  My son and I had previously played their Science Fiction rule set, Laserblade, and had a blast, so we snatched up Battleblade as soon as it came out.  My Daughter has really taken to the hobby and has been painting and building her own terrain for some time now.  Her conception of a table top miniatures game is similar to playing with toys, and is infused with ideas from her rich imagination.  I was super pleased that Battleblade is a flexible enough rule set to allow her imagination to still play a big part.  So her Mouse Bee Keeper had a ranged attack, essentially sending Bees after her opponent.  Her Mouse Wizard (pronounced "Lizard" by her) could cast a Star Storm ranged magical attack, and her Mouse Thief attacked with a Tail Lash.  Altogether we had a great time and will be working on more Mice, some Elves and Dwarves to add to our future battles.

 My Daughter's Mice L to R:  Druid whose staff is also a Standard, Samurai (Hero), Wizard, Thief (Scout) and Bee Keeper (Archer).

My 54 mm Orcs L to R:  Leader, Berserker, Archer (Scout), Body Guard, and Warrior.

My Son's 54 mm Skeletons L to R:  Litch (Wizard), Warrior with Sword and Bola, Berserker, Warrior with Sword and Shield, Spearman, Scout with Bolas.

The Scenario was simple, collect the Treasure (Skull Tokens) and destroy the enemy.

The Litch leads the way rushing out to collect a treasure right away.

The Orcs fan out as they approach multiple treasures.

 The Mouse Samurai takes a magic portal and emerges to collect a treasure.  Thus far all still seems peaceful.

A Skeleton enters the pool and realizes it is a magical gateway to another portal.

The Mouse Wizard teleports himself to a nearby treasure.

First Blood.  My Orc Archer moves in and fires an arrow at the Litch, but misses the shot.  A Skeleton armed with a bola retaliates and takes the Archer out.

Elsewhere, the Mouse Wizard dispatches the Orc Berserker by casting his Star Storm magical bolt.

The Mouse Bee Keeper sends out a swarm of Bees to attack the Orc Leader, but the burly warrior swats them aside.

Rushing his puny foe, the Orc Leader attempts to cleave the Mouse Thief, but cannot connect with the quick rodent. This proves to be the Orc's downfall, as the next moment he is brought down low by a low blow.

The Mouse Thief stands triumphant over the fallen Orc and lets loose a mighty "Squeak!!!"

As the hoard of Skeletons move forward, the remaining Orcs fall in their wake.

The last remaining Orc charges the Litch in a final act of defiance.

The Litches forces surge forward to protect their leader.

The last Orc falls to their foul blades. It's down to Skeletons versus Mice.

 A Skeleton Spearman takes a portal that brings him in reach of the Mouse Wizard.

The Skeleton dispatches the Wizard and takes his Treasure.

But moments later, the Mouse Bee Keeper avenges his friend as a his buzzing swarm takes out the Skeleton.

Elsewhere, the Samurai Hero collects a vast hoard of treasure.

But the Skeleton Scout ends the Samurai's treasure hunting days.

The Skeletons continue to advance upon the Mice, and the Bee Keeper is next to fall.

Now the Skeleton Scout has a hoard of Treasure all his own.

The battlefield looks bleak as Skeletons continue to verge upon the last of the Mouse defenders. The Litch takes out the Druid with a bolt of Magic, leaving only the Mouse Thief to face the foul undead.

My Daughter's friend Glitterlove can hardly stand the suspense.

 The Skeleton Berserker slashes madly at the Mouse Thief, who deftly dodges the blows.

 The Berserker is then taken out by the Mouse Thief, even though the Litch attempts to aid him by casting deadly bolts of magic at the formidable Mouse.

Another Skeleton attacks the Mouse Thief who continues to dodge the incoming blows, this despite being weighed down with treasure.

Soon the Skeletons join ranks in an attempt to overwhelm the lone Mouse.

But the deadly Mouse's Tail Lash keeps sending the Skeletons back to their graves.

Eventually the Mouse's luck runs out as he is finally felled by a Skeleton Warrior.

The Skeleton's win the day, but who can say who will be victorious next encounter.