Monday, July 3, 2017

Decision in North America

Bruce and I had a second go at Decision in North America last week. We quite enjoyed our first go so decided to try again with some more advance rules (including the accursed forts) and better strategies (or, in my case, any strategy at all0.

The opening moves were a bit more cautious this time but eventually we came to blows in New York.

Here, a bad run of luck meant the rebels got crushed and had to beat a retreat. This probably put a military victory out of reach (in retrospect) and allowed Bruce time to build a damned fort in New York that would prove costly despite the the dice turning around for me.

Bruce then romped around some while I tried to evade battle while rebuilding my forces. I had no luck moving the revolution forward politically although I eventually won the French and the Spanish to my side. The lack of progress politically (which came down to bad luck at rolling) put a political victory out of reach for me.

Eventually we had another tussle in New York that I barely won due to the fortification Bruce built. The result was a retreat towards Boston for the British.

A sharp campaign through New England meant I managed to push the British out and retake Boston. The French also landed and nabbed Quebec city. But, alas, I could win neither politically nor militarily and the British took a marginal (or tactical? can't recall the term) win.

Up next: I have some figures awaiting paint that I hope to get to this week. We also have club night on Tuesday with Bruce bringing out a Darkest Africa game of Pulp Alley.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pulp Alley Batman

A few months back, I got ambitious and stat'ed out some Batman leagues for Pulp Alley. Adam West's death a week or so back gave me reason to finally get my superhero project out to the club.

Bruce and Dan took the roles of the Joker and Riddler respectively. Their secrete objective was to get as many phone booths to the park in the middle of the board and then call into the Joker-copter to get away. Scott and Terry played the good guys and their job was nab the various costumed villains.

Batgirl spent a lot of the game ob overwatch, using her shooting skills to rain Batarang hell down on anyone in her corner of the board. Meanwhile, Penguin and some of his goons tangled with Batman and Robin.

Across the table, the Riddler grabbed a hone booth (jokster he is, he also seems to have turned it upside down). Much of Dans evening was battling it out with Gotham's finest and trying to keep Commissioner Gordon bottled up. Of all of the characters, Catwoman seemed to play the best--no umph in a fight but she was able to avoid almost all damage.

Here, some of Scott's better coppers emerge from an alley and spent the game inning down the Joker from cover. Bruce had great luck passing health saved but no luck passing peril checks to get the phone out of the booth.

The Penguin and Robin mixed it up for several turns before the Boy Wonder took an umbrella to the nads and dropped, allowing Penguin to grab his phone booth and head towards the LZ.

Poor Joker (and later Harlequin) just couldn't get a break (one imagines phone booths in Gotham would be pretty sturdy).

Batgirl pretty much sealed the game for the Joker with a Batarang.

With the Joker, Penguin and Harlequin in rough shape, the Riddler muttered, "well, I'm a villain so I'm out here", successfully called into the Joker-copter and made it off board with one phone booth.

In the end, we called it a draw based on pointing out the victory conditions. Thanks to everyone for playing and to Bruce for bringing the tokens, rules, and helo as well for walking us through the rules. I didn't get any good shots of the three (!) other games that ran.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Decision in North America

Last week, I dropped in on bruce to try out a new game he picked up (new to us--probably five years old) called The American Revolution: Decision in North America. The nub of the game is point-to-point movement, one turn equals one year, variable movement, territorial control affects resources the next year, some card play, simple combat.

We played the intro four-year scenario. As I was unclear n how the game worked, my "plan" was to do the thing that seemed to hurt Bruce the worst each turn and hoped that piled up over time. So Washington went north, lost a battle, and returned south. But Carleton had to overwinter is rural new England, which was not good for his troops.

I went north again the second year. Bruce's better knowledge of how resources worked meant he go a jump on me in army building and things were looking dire as he started to blockage New England. Fortunately, I got lucky as all hell on the combat dice.

By year three, things were starting to turn around for Washington. There were more militia and I was deploying them in ways that made more sense in terms of resource acquisition. And Washington was the General Patton the AWI, rolling into town, rousting the Germans, and then rolling forward.

The final turn (I think) saw a lot of American militia and the British army pretty much decimated. I don't think it was an American military victory, but it was close. I was less successful on the political charts (out of frame on the left) which is one of the things you can (and should) spend resources on.

I would totally play this again (ideally while I can still recall the rules). This week, bruce and I will collaborating on a Bat-themed game of Pulp Alley at the club, in part to mourn the passing of Adam West.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 6 club night

We had a dozen guys out to the club this week, which was a goo turn out. Chatter was about a change in venue in the fall due to a rent increase (new venue TBD).

There was couple of games of 28mm sci-fi skirmish (Armageddon?) as well as some Memoir 44.

There was a lovely looking game of Star Wars Armada. Oh, I wish I could convince myself that this is worth the money. Beautiful models.

Scott, Terry and I played some CCA Spartans v Athenians. I haven't played many of the scenarios in the sixth expansion and this one had a fun mechanic.

Above is the set-up. Below the Athenian ambush has been sprung (to the doom of the Spartans in both plays). A fun game with a hoplite rule as well.

Up next: Either some 54mm AWI or some 25mm Romulans. And maybe gaming with Bruce.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

54mm AWI militia

After a much needed break, I'm back at painting 54mm troops for my Tricorne project. One of the challenges of AWI is the need for lots of militia!

These six fellows are a mix of manufacturers (I've painted the poses above in 1/72-scale as well).

To make this go a bit faster, I'm painting figures in batches of six. This allows me to adopt a pallet of colours (blue and buckskin in this case). When mixed in with other batches using different colour pallets, the result is the mix-and-match look I want for the units.

I've momentarily lost track of which set of militia this is, but I'm guessing rifled militia based on the gun lengths.

Up next: Tuesday is club night and I'll bring out some CCA. Then back to more 54s.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

More 25mm Star Trek

Continuing with my 25mm Star Trek painting, I finished off a dozen Klingons from Space Vixens from Mars. These are TMP or TNG Klingons rather than TOS Klingons. Finding alien races is generally hard and the one set of TOS Klingons I found (from Victory Force Games) I've decided to use as Romulans.

A second reason I chose these figures is that they had a good mix of male and female figures (important when gaming with daughter). I see now that the edge of the bases could use a tidy with some black paint.

I'm pretty happy with the results given I wanted to try a more monochromatic colour scheme. Not sure why the picture below shows the guy on the left with such a mushy face (he's fine in person).

Here they are with some 25mm Trek crew from 1st Corp. The Klingons are more like 28mm but the extra height isn't a huge deal (they're aliens!). They should work well as matched forces for Pulp Alley.

Up next: I might get back to some 54mm AWI as I await the delivery of the Romulans.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

25mm Star Trek

I recently picked up from new not-Trek crew figures from 1st Corp Miniatures for use with Pulp Heroes. What I really liked about this set was that the women were all armed and active (versus the arm candy poses of the set from Matakishi's Tea House.

I painted up the dozen crew I bought using TOS colours. The uniforms looked a lot more like the ones from The Cage so I decided to not do the black trim at the neck. I already have an Enterprise crew; these folks must be from another ship with slightly different specs.

I tried to add some diversity by varying the skin tones and also putting a couple of Andorians on the crew (couldn't be bothered with antenna). Also, most of the women ended up as red shirt security detail (as per one of the episodes in The Animated Series that Jess and I are finishing up).

Below I tried some comparison shots of the Matakishi and 1st Corp figures. Both have their attractions.

Up next: Some Klingons and more Pandemic Legacy.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

1754 at the club

We had a dozen guys out at club this week, with two new fellows. Dave hosted a game of Pikeman's lament in 28mm.

Kevin and Elliot were playing something I hadn't seen before (can't recall them name). Cool terrain.

I hosted Scott, Craig and Jessy in a game of 1754. Below I believe Scott is saying "I'm going to go stand outside while you roll the dice, Craig."

We had a very interesting game. Some early action in the Ohio valley and at the bottom of Lake Ontario.

Then there was a bit of a tussle in Nova Scotia and the Chesapeake.

The "best" move of the game (I think) was Jessy's suggestion that we bag the second British colonial deployment area (which Scott had moved south to Albany). Keeping both of these form him meant he could not access his fled units or reinforcements which really hamstrung the Brits in mid-game.

They shifted forces around in Nova Scotia and we traded territories. In the end, I don't we played Nova Scotia optimally but I'm not sure what we should have done differently.

We then decided to end the game and made a bug push. At which point Scott and Craig freed up Albany, dropped a tonne of white troops onto the board and got enough victory points to win. A nail biter!

Overall, a very fun play against cagey opponents.

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.