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.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Miniatures- Laser Blade

My son Dashiell and I recently played a game using his first ever painted figs, a squad of robots versus my human resistance fighters.  We used the Laser Blade rules from Echidna Games for the first time and were impressed how well the game played.  We managed to play 2 games in a little over an hour, with a minimum of those moments of confusion that often occur when playing a new rule set.  More importantly, the rules were easy for Dashiell to follow, and he had most of mechanics down in a few turns.  We plan to continue using these rules, and look forward to our next games.

The Human and Robot forces.  Laser Blade allows you to make up the characteristics of each model starting from a base template giving a basic shooting and close combat stat of 6+ (using d10 for all rolls).  Characters can be given abilities such as Sniper, Heavy Weapons or Rapid Fire which increase their performance and cost.  Up to 3 models per side can be Elite, designated by a point cost threshold or particular abilities.

Dashiell marshaling his Robot squad and smiling over his first kill.  Once figures are hit in combat they are taken out of action unless they have the Armor ability and make an Armor save.  Dashiell's robots had a 7+ armor save, while most of the humans needed a 9+ or 10 to save.

Laser Blade has a measure called Range, which equals 8 inches.  Range is how far a figure can move, and multiples of range are used for shooting distances.  Here a robot shoots a trooper within 3 range distance, which gave a -2 penalty.  We used strips of craft foam cut to the right length.  This made movement and shooting particularly easy for Dashiell as there was no math or tape measure involved.

Combat tended to be fast and deadly, which made for a quick game with no real book keeping.  The ease of play lends itself to playing with larger forces or perhaps games with more players involved.  We already have more Robots and Humans on the painting table.

Besides modifiers for range, combat has modifiers for cover and for the shooter moving through rough terrain.  These are added to the shooting or close combat score to give the final target number needed to hit.  In the picture above, the robot with a standard 6+ shooting score would require a 7+ roll when shooting at the trooper using the building for cover.

The rules have an interesting activation system that keeps it unpredictable.  At the start of a player's turn they roll for the number of activations they get that turn, from 1 to 3 possible.  Factors such as leadership or a unit being in cohesion add to this roll.

In the picture above a human armed with a heavy weapon fires at a robot.  The heavy weapon ability negates the opponents armor save.  Below, we see a human sniper killing a distant robot.  A sniper has a greatly reduced target number for the shooting stat.

Close combat is handled in the same way as shooting, a target number based upon the standard template or abilities such as Martial Artist and Close Combat Specialist possessed by the robot above.  The robot also has the Hard to Hit ability, which reflects some acrobatic ability or dumb luck that helps protect the figure from harm.  In this instance, however, it did not work as the human won the fight.

Once a squad is reduced to under half strength, a Valor test is required.  If the valor test fails, the figure flees the battle.  In both of our games, the under strength human survivors fled the scene rather than continue to face the robot onslaught.  Dashiell 2, Dad 0.

Altogether, Laser Blade served our purpose well.  We had a simple set of rules that provided ease of play and enjoyable, games with just enough challenge to keep it interesting.  We look forward to more games and testing out other aspects of the rules.  Also, Echidna Games recently released Battle Blade, the fantasy version of their rules, which I am sure will be a future project for our gaming table.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Miniatures- Daring Tales. New Publication by the Adventurer's Club.

An After Action Report of our first Pulp Alley game.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Miniatures: In Her Majesty's Name- The Society of Thule

Reports have been made that Count Von Stroheim and his Society of Thule have been spotted in Luxor.  The Prussians arrived soon after reports were published detailing that pieces of the Scrolls of Skellos may have been found in a near by temple.  The Society of Thule is an old and secretive organization, with activities that span the globe wherever occult phenomenon are reported.  Just what the Society is after, and what their ultimate goal might be is a mystery.

This image depicts Count Von Stroheim and associates emerging from the jungle at an undisclosed location.

The Society is supported by the brilliant, yet deranged scientific devices of Dr. Kobalt, inventor of the serum that creates the hideous Tod-Truppen, zombie-like soldiers raised from the dead.  Here Dr. Kobalt is armed with an Arc pistol and a portable Arc generator.

 The Society draws many adventurous types such as these Prussian Nobles, fanatic swordsmen and duelists out to test their blades.

Feldwebel Krieg here may seem slight of stature, yet he is strong enough to carry a two man flamethrower all by himself.  He is usually found not far from Von Stroheim's side.

The Jagers of the Society of Thule are inoculated with a revivifier serum that turns them into the dreaded Tod-Truppen upon death.  As zombies, they fight on for their cruel masters.

 From time to time the Society also uses conventional technology, such as the Kaiser Wilhelm Walker.  This one is equipped with a machine-gun.

Count Von Stroheim himself is a monstrosity of a man.  He typically carries a Mauser pistol and a huge saber, which he wields with an All-Electric prosthetic arm, which is powered by the portable Arc generator he wears on his back.  The Count has been known to be very erratic, be well advised to stay out of his way if you should cross paths with the Society of Thule.