Monday, August 3, 2015

Rumble in the Desert

On Friday Mike and I got together for some gaming and decided to play some Flames of War. Mike wanted to do some Early War Desert which sounded it good. It turns out that since he only has Germans and I only have Germans and Italians we would have to do an axis on axis game. I am not usually a big fan of that sort of game but the Germans and Italians are quite different and I was keen to get my Bersaglieri into action again.

We rolled for the mission and got a defensive mission but I asked for a reroll (what is the point of all those motorcycles if you are just going to dismount and dig in) so we ended up with Free for All.

In a fit of common sense I dismounted my MGs and AT guns and put them in the town on the left hand side to protect that objective and then spread out the rest of my force with the smaller motorcyle platoon and the howitzers protecting the other objective.

Mike had 2 platoons of Pz IIIs some armoured cars and some motorized infantry.

On the first turn we both moved some stuff forward and (starting a trend which would last the whole game) my air support came on but was completely useless.

The motorcycles came up the hill in the centre (where both my artillery and my Stuka managed to not damage anything in the cluster of trucks that was there before the infantry dismounted) and the two groups of tanks advanced on each flank. I should have dismounted the other infantry so they could dig in but I like having them on their motorcycles for the coolness factor! (My Italians win glory much more often than they win games!!)

Machine gun fire from the motorcycles and the armoured cars managed to wear down the German infantry but my tanks were losing the battle with the Panzers.
The motrocycles line up for the assualt on the hill as the tanks on either side of them get wiped out.

They win that small unimportant battle but then the Germans sweep forward to victory.

It was a fun game but I should have had a better plan (and better luck) I think if I had driven all the bikes towards the objective in the town and dismounted I could have forced a close in fight that would have worked better for me.

I have a bunch of desert infantry for the British but no tanks. I should get some at some point so we can do a proper early war desert game.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Frostgrave -- First game and some thoughts

On Friday, Mike came over and we played some Flames of War (I will post some pictures of that soon) and Frostgrave.

When the "Nickstarter" for this was announced I wasn't super excited about it. I had lots of other stuff to paint and don't have a lot of 28mm terrain suitable for fantasy. As I read more about it, I realized I could use some of my existing 28mm collection including the stuff that I had accumulated for D&D over the years as well as those figures from Descent that I have painted up. I picked up the kindle version of the rules and they seemed like they were worth giving a try.

We decided we would use some modifications after reading some reviews on this blog and some discussion on the Lead Adventure Forum. These mostly increased the XP for getting treasure and removed the XP for killing opposing wizards.

My warband consisted of a Sigilist (I think a Reaper Dwarf Cleric) and his apprentice (a Grenadier wizard from one of their first D&D sets), a Templar (a GW figure from the first "End Times"), 2 Archers (Warlord Roman Archers), 3 Thugs (Perry Korean Peasants) and 2 Thieves (Gripping Beast Welsh slingers). I didn't spend a lot of time choosing my spells as I was more interested in seeing how the game would play out. I spent all the money on the warband so I didn't have any magic items.

For the fist mission we played the Keep which has 2 treasure in the centre of the table and 4 others each of which is on a teleportation pad which can move you to another teleportation pad if you end your move on it.
I started by moving up to the edge of the large building that was on my table edge. I divided my force into 3 groups, 1 with the wizard, 1 with the apprentice and the 2 archers by themselves. (Still not really sure how best to arrange the force at the beginning)

I managed to get lucky when I moved my thief onto the teleportation pad, he didn't move and he was set to bring the treasure back to my side.

Meanwhile, Mike was moving his warband up as well. He made really good use of the "Leap" spell to get people onto the treasure and to get the treasure of the board. Summoner is the opposing school for the Sigilist so it wasn't even an option for me.

My wizard and his retinue made it to the treasure in the centre at the same time some of Mike's henchmen got there.

Meanwhile Mike was having some trouble with a wandering monster (a bear dressed up as a Yeti).

I had some wandering monster troubles of my own as 2 ice spiders tried to stop my thief making it off with the only treasure I managed to grab. They weren't as dangerous as they sounded and my archers managed to kill one each.

My thugs rush up to try and grab the treasure that was dropped after the Yeti/bear killed one of Mike's minions.

The melee in the centre of the table heats up as I get more guys in there. We reached the time limit at that point. Mike had manged to get 2 or 3 treasure off and I had managed 1. I had not suffered any losses (though one or two were wounded) and Mike had lost 2. We went through the end of turn stuff and I went up one level and Mike went up 2.

For the next game we decided try the Djinnin bottle mission. For this one each treasure has a 25% chance of releasing the Djinni when it is picked up.

This game was much less interesting as we both concentrated on the treasure on our own side of the table and Mike had the bad luck of getting the Djinni and a minor demon wandering monster attacking him.

We ended up both getting the 3 treasures that were closest to us and we each got 1 enemy with our archers and Mike took a bit of a beating from the Djinni and the demon.

Overall, I enjoyed the game. I feel that the changes we made may have been fixing problems that might not be there with our play style. The turn limit really seemed to reduce the opportunity to interact with the opposing player and getting XP as well as treasure seemed to just amplify this. (I get the impression that the people who suggested these changes have played it more than we have so maybe things will look different with some more experience).

I think that adding things like traps and treasures of different values (so treasure further from your start point is worth more) will make things more fun and even making the turn limit more in game (something like after turn 5 a wandering monster will arrive each turn is going to force people to get off the board in fairly short order).

Mike has posted his report here