Monday, January 28, 2013

Bolt Action SCW game

Bolt action.  We like the rule set.

Welcome back to the long delayed game report of the Bolt Action  kinda' SCW, kinda' Pulp themed game.  It was actually a second time around for the scenario, the first was played with Greg right after New Years, the second game a week later with Roger.  

We'd left the set up very much the same with the exception of an extra ruin on the table - an improvement thanks to my older granddaughter.   We also left the German squad with helmets on the truck to start the scenario.  The location of all the units was as in the set up blog entry a few weeks ago. 

Anyway, on to the game.  The initiative die went heavily in favor of the Nationalist, Roger getting 4 of six units to move before my dice color showed up, and repeated the performance in turn 2.   The result was that the Carlists were nearly in town, the helmeted Germans were nearly in the board center to link up with the Zeppelin troopers and the Mexicans were squared off against the Assaulto Squad, both under cover on their respective hills.

Carlists on the march!

In the center, the 'International' unit, headed by a famous two gun wielding amateur anthropologist barely made it into cover as they saw lots of Germans moving up to their front and rear.  Well so much for sneaking into the village.

Republican Regulars issuing forth from an aquarium model that is just such a great ruin!

And at that point, the worm seemed to turn.  For turns three and four, the impetus dice pretty much favored the Republicans.   The Guardia Nacional and International brigades saw off the squad of helmeted Germans, then the fellows from the Zeppelin.  

The high water mark of the helmeted Germans.  The combination of Guardia rifles and I.B. smg's  proved too much for the teutonic wave.
 The troops from the Zeppelin move on to the hil vacated by the I.B.

 The Assaultos kept the Mexicans busy, although the Asaultos suffered more casualties and pin markers over the several turns of shooting.  Oh, yes, the Squad of Republican Regulars tore up the Carlists with amazingly accurate firepower. Then the dice settled down, gently giving no more than two units in a row on either side a run of initiative.

The Guardia Nacional  were down several figures, the International Brigade unit only by one.  The two squads of Germans and the Carlists were down to or nearly at 50% strength and would be subject to morale tests.  We called the game at six turns, rolled for a seventh but were unsuccessful for another turn. 

The scenario played well, was exciting and since we used mostly inexperienced units, hinged on morale a lot. Only one unit on each side was veteran rated.  Next up will have to be a game using a small number of machineguns, as there are no other support weapons in the Basement of Doom. Unless my granddaughter returns with the aliens from the space ship.  Then all bets are off!

Three space scenarios, one afternoon

About a week ago, we (Roger and I) tried a series of three small scenarios with a theme of a quick Carnivoran raid on Federation space.  We used teh Monday Knight Rules for space gaming, which features several distinct races with different weaponry and a subtle but effective way to model inertia. While fun, the result underlined the need for careful reasoning of the victory conditions in a theme based scenario.

In scenario one, a Federated convoy, using a DDL and two 'armored pursuit ships'  (which is really a misnomer when you look at the armament) escorted a transport/cargo ship.  The Carnivores simply needed to damage each transport to a certain level..we decided on ten hits on armor and any internal cargo or system win.   The Federated player had to exit a specific side of the map, in order to cargo to the scheduled stop. 

The 'Federation' side, with stand in Aquarian ships.  In the far center area are the Carnivores' ships. The large ship is the transport.

The second scenario, a few moves into the game.  My photo mojo was absent this day, I apologize for the 'meh' photos. You can see how hairy the Carnivoran commander is, at least his forearms.  ;-)

The carnivores had a two Destroyers and a destroyer leader.    Over several turns the required number of hits were inflicted on the freighters, while the Federation ships managed to strip off a lot of Carnivoran armor but inflict little in the way of internal damage.

In scenario two the Carnivores had to get their ships home, as they eluded a Federation pursuit squadron consisting of a star bomber, DDL and  a Destroyer.

In scenario three the Carnivores evaded a patrol squadron of two destroyers and an armored pursuit ship.  Roger is a crafty player!

We found that the rules allowed for the build up of speed using the drift rule that allowed the Carnivores to control the length of the scenario. Even though the drift started out nominal, three hexes for all ships, the Carnivores used the tactic to make a running pass at the freighters, at 'medium range' score hits on the freighters and leave before the damage on their ships got to the point of any  real danger of losing a ship , or even sustaining a lot of damage.

There were no missiles or fighters involved since the smallest category of ships were present.   Back to the drawing board!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out of the mouths of Babes

My grand daughters, aged 4 and 6, were over this weekend, from Saturday afternoon to Sunday afternoon.   We watched a Star Wars (A New Hope, we only like the 3 released in the theaters first) and had the obligatory reading of a Fairy Tale ( "Puss in Boots" ). 

My six year old grand daughter likes to come down and see what's happening at the gaming table.  As she perused the terrain for the Bolt Action game she had several comments for me.

" Can I move the figures and terrain around?,"  "Do you have any monsters?"

I said I did, she got two Pulp Mini 'Big hairy Hominid' figures out and pronounced them gorillas.

Then she spied the Denny's drink cup doing a second career as a spaceship.  That had to go on the table.

I was arranging some stuff on my workbench;  as I looked back, she had surrounded the space ship with a squad of infantry.  I had to ask.

"What are the men doing?"

"The are making sure the aliens in the ship don't hurt the gorillas."

"Oh, ok. What do the aliens look like?"

"Umm, I'm not sure."

"Are they short or are they tall?"

"They're short, but they can get tall."

"Are they cute or ugly/"

"They're ugly!"

"What color are they/"

"They're green!"

I got out a couple of space orcs with pistols and asked did the aliens look like this?

She said yes, after her eyes lit up.  She is on the way to being the better sort of girl, as mentioned by HG Wells.

Then she asked me the question that put me in my place," Grandpa, do you have any figures that don't have guns?"

I am guessing she does not mean my horse archers............

I suppose some civilians from Bob Murch need to be ordered  and painted up.

Kids, gotta' love them.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bolt Action and the SCW Set up and deployment

We played my third game of Bolt Action last weekend.  The some of the forces involved looked like troops from the Spanish Civil War, some were stand ins that looked close.  We used trucks and the very basic rules for rifles, SMG's automatic rifles, but used no crew served weapons nor AFV's.  Since I don't have a force of WW2  troops to use just yet, I decided to use the SCW castings and some proxies  for the game.  I looked through the rules and it should be relatively simple to come up with a few extra rules for the SCW forces over time.   Personally I wanted a tactical battle not driven by the biggest gun but by fire and movement.

Greg, who had introduced me to the Bolt Action last month at a local game shop (The Time Machine, in Manchester, CT),  was the Nationalist player, while I utilized the Republican troops.

We set up the table with a lot of hills and small copses of trees to break up line of sight.  I got to use some of my favorite terrain, ruins of ancient temples, courtesy of a pet store find several years ago.   We thought the terrain would allow for some maneuvering without always being a target.  This worked out well, and as there was little weaponry that could shoot beyond the rifle range it added to the flavor of the action.  We rated most of the units as inexperienced, with one unit on each side rated as regular; we felt the volatility of the morale could make the game more unpredictable.

The game set up included a column of supply wagons moving to a town in the center of the table, escorted by a squad of a Carlists and a squad of Spanish regulars.  There was, in game terms, a 'small unit' of Carlists (the column command) that occupied the village where the supplies were to be taken for storage.

The left flank of the Nationalist advance included truck borne squad of soldiers.  They were to advance and keep the enemy from threatening the village from the flank.

There was a reinforcing squad of infantry equipped with the latest in coal scuttle helmet technology and a machine gun that was mounted on the truck to hold the long flank on the right side of the Nationalist flank.  This unit not only needed to control the flank, it needed to traverse over half the game table to cover the village's flank! The truck was deemed to be able to transport the squad as well.

The Republicans had four squads, one of Assaultos which was attempting to attack the village's left flank, at least with fire. The center had a unit of Republican Army regulars in a ruin near the town, and a unit of Nacional Garde  in a set of woods in the center.
 Nacional Garde in a small woods near the table center.
 The Assaultos on the Republican right flank.

Near the right flank of the Garde unit but deployed out in the open were some International Brigade members whose car had overturned after falling prey to a ditch dug in the road.  In effect, they were the most forward of the Republican units but the position was unenviable.

The International Brigade Members duck into cover.
So with the table set, the troops deployed and the objectives agreed upon, the activation dice were put in a cup for drawing.  Next time, the game.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hanoverian Jagers, continued

The time between Christmas and New Year's Day saw no games but a bunch of planning for some January games as well as progress on the painting queue.

I did get the Jagers farther along, yet not quite done.  The greens continue to be Ceramcoat colors, as are the grays; the yellow is an artist's tube acrylic Cadmium Yellow, the metallics are Vallejo gun metal and brass.
 The officer in a rather poor photo.
 Farther back but better quality photos of the group of eight figures.

Also in the active painting queue are some Hanoverian militia for Best's Brigade.  Again, some steps to complete them are needed.

Sorry for the backhanded presentation, but the Hanoverians are not very far along.

Finally a few horses for a limber and supply wagon are also in the loop.  More on them later.

I have also been busy with correspondence in our psuedo historical game equating to a campaign.  Recently stepping down as player/umpire to player,  I have had to reestablish diplomacy, being on a more direct and yet more focused ruler.  You'll get treated to some battle reports, please allow for these to be more or less true to all the facts.  It's my blog, after all!