Monday, August 13, 2007

AAR - Stones River Warm Up

Here’s a quick After Action report of the Fire & Fury game I ran Saturday.

As I posted before this was a “get reacquainted” with the rules game. I’m looking to run Stones River at Fall In so I used that as a scenario generator.

The Background:
In the real battle Gen Rosecrans’s Army of the Cumberland was having supply problems as Rebel Cavalry ran around it and destroyed/captured supply trains. So in this battle, Rosecrans sends McCooks Corps too seize a vital crossroads. He reinforces McCooks corps with a deteched division from Thomas’s corps. The Confederates having better cavalry detect this move and respond. General Braxton Bragg, sends a corps to intercept this Union attack. Maj Gen William Hardee races his corps to the crossroads. While a brigade of Wheelers Cavalry tries to hold on till they get help.

The setup:

Rebel Cavalry Brigade(Wharton) starts on the table Union arriving on 3 roads, from the south and west Confederates arriving on 2 roads from the north Players can spend a turn off board and deploy their divisions and come on in the 2nd turn.
The Battle:

Attacking from the west, Gen Rosseau encounters Dismounted cavalry. (Click on pics for bigger versions)

In the background you can see Davis and Sheridan's divisions forming up. Cleburn's Division is just coming out of the woods on the left of the pic(center of the table). In the upper right woods, Johnson's Division is visible heading towards Rebels under Breckingridge(upper left).

Davis and Sheridan's Divisions press the center. After the calvary was brushed aside.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Update on Garage Sales

Just a quick update on my garage sale purchases.

The Simba King's Castle is structurally intact. Meaning all the walls and towers are there. What is missing is a catapult and the soldiers. No big deal as I would use it for 28mm anyway. I think it will work well for 28mm with a few minor tweaks. Other than that, it's good to go.

I'm almost done building the lego Walker. Man this is a long process. So far (about 75% done) no missing pieces. I'm fairly certain that they are all there.

Will post pics when done.

Cheers, Xin

Monday, June 18, 2007

Bugs on a Train

Here is a Starship Troopers battle we did Saturday night. It was all based around a toy I found at a garage sale last year. It's a Power Rangers Train. I made a simple track for the train out of Foam Core, Balsa Wood and cheap Wally World spray paint.

The Scenario is Bugs ambushing a Grav Train on my world, Omicron 4. On the train are 3 squads of Mobile Infantry, a Chickenhawk and Lt Jackson. As the bugs attack, they call for reinforcements. First to respond is a Fleet landing party in an unarmed Fleet Shuttle(arrive turn 2). The other unit is a QRF Squad of Grizzlies that was in orbit(drop on the board turn 3).

The Bugs are attacking with 4 swarms(squads) of Warriors, a swarm of Tiger Warriors, 2 Hopper Flights, one Tanker bug and a Brain Bug. There are 3 tunnel entrances on the ground, one being hidden. One cave in trap, and 2 tunnel markers. The bugs start with tiger warriors and the tanker tunneling.

We rolled dice to randomize where the train stopped. Unfortunatley for the MI, it pretty much stopped dead in the center of all the bug units. It was going to be a hard day for the MI. The train moved up and the MI disembark. One action to exit. Some shots were taken at visible, but in cover bugs, no kills.

Bug Turn, warriors advance, one warrior unit goes underground as the Tigers come up. Tunneling Tanker moves closer. Hoppers do a 6 inch move, Ready, then 3rd action(From Brain Bug) Hover to attack the MI. One kill and then they dart back behind the train to avoid reaction fire. We made a mistake here, the MI should have gone Ready as a reaction, even though they couldn't see the Hoppers. The other Hopper unit waited. I think the brain bug did a Rupture attack on the Chickenhawk, and lost, it took 5 hits.

MI Turn 2, Fleet Lander arrives. I didn't read the air rules, as I wanted to keep the game fairly simple. So the Fleet Lander could move onto the board, 12"/action. Landing was free. The troops inside could exit for one action. Then move normally. The lander came on and landed near some hoppers hiding behind a ridge. The disembarked and took a shoot action, killing one hopper. Fire from a squad on the train killed the other 2 hoppers. One squad jumped to the top of the train. One Squad jumped to a Plateau near the train, and finished off the bug Swarm up there. The last squad jumped to a ridge line across from the train. The MI player just completely blanked out on that last jump, as he jumped right next to a tunnel entrance with a swarm of bugs down below.

Bug Turn 2, bugs came out of the hole to attack the MI next to the Tunnel Entrance, 2 or 3 kills. The brain bug gave that bug unit a 3rd action and they charged again. Finishing off the MI and Lt Jackson. The hoppers popped up and did a Fly by on the MI on top of the train, no kills, then flew back out of reaction range. The tanker came up and moved up the train. For reference the train is a lvl 4 terrain, the front and back are sloped and can be walked right up, the sides of the train would need to be climbed. The tanker walked up the front of the train and spit at the MI up there, 3 died and one was on fire. The brain put up shield this time, then Did Rupture on the Chickenhawk, causing one hit.

MI Turn 3. The Exosuits drop onto the table, well sort of. Again I didn't read or use the air rules. I just used a GW scatter dice and 2d10 for deviation from a nominated landing spot. One action to land, and one action left. The MI player wanted to bring his Grizzlies down near the Brain Bug, but not so close as to cause a reaction. The problem is, the Brain bug was near a table edge, and had a big hill in front of it. So the Exo's had to land to the side, near the table edge. If they deviated off the table I would ruled they could come on next turn. The Exo's missed the table by 1 inch. That pretty much was the game for the MI. At this point the only thing left was the Chickenhawk, and 2 squads that were pretty beaten up. The MI player fired all at the Tanker, causing only one wound.

Bug Turn 3. Tanker spits at Chickenhawk and melts it. Hoppers fly over to the plateau to attack a squad there, one survivor. At this point the fleet guys would run back to the lander and blast off, leaving the 3 surviving MI to there fate. We pretty much called it here.

Battle debriefing:
The MI really had an uphill battle from the gitgo. Almost 500 points off the table at the start of the game. The exo's are 325 points, and didn't show till turn 3. The MI's train needed more variance as to where it would stop. The bugs really got to concentrate in a small area. 2 mistakes that really hurt the MI, me(the GM) missing the MI reacting to the Hoppers, and 2nd, the MI player jumping next to the bug unit. I will go back and read the Air rules as this could drastically change the scenario. The MI player felt that the MI didn't have enough firepower to deal with the Tanker. Goldwyrm(bug player) suggested giving the MI turrets on top of the Train, which is a really cool idea, both for the scenario and modeling aspect. He also suggested using the fleet lander as a Skyhook dropship. Or allowing the MI to have a UAV.

All in all I think it was a fun battle. I will tweak the scenario some and maybe run it again. I would also consider running it at Historicon, if I can figure a way to get all the terrain there. Big sheets of foam board and Honda Civic's don't mix well.

All game pics here.

Cheers, Xin.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It was a good day at the Garage Sale

With my wife and 2 kids we go out to garage sales almost every weekend. I scour for toys and hobby related items. My wife just likes to look at everything. And the kids, well, they fight me for the toys. Good thing I control their allowance.

Anyway some weeks are better than others. Last week, I didn't buy a thing. This week we scored big. My kids are 10 and out growing their bikes. We hit this Church Rummage sale. We found 2 very nice bikes for $18, for BOTH! One of the bikes is like a $400 mountain bike. Both in great condition.

Now to the good stuff. First I scored a Star Wars Lego AT-AT. I got it for $4 bucks. I think all the pieces are there but won't know until I put it together.

While I was drooling over the Walker, my lovely wife picked up this huge box and shoved it in my face. It was a Simba Castle Playset. I don't have time to set it up as I'm getting ready for an SST game tonight. But for $4 bucks, how can you go wrong?

So we go around to some more sales and we hit another Church Rummage sale. This one had this cool huge Death Star like plastic toy set. I don't know what it was for, but it's gonna be a drop pod or Science outpost or Power Station on my battle table. Here's some pics with figures in for scale. Figs are all SST figures. From left to right, Arachnid Warrior, Chickenhawk, MI Cap Trooper, ExoSuit, Tanker Bug. Click on pics for bigger versions.

Update: Many people have identified this as Techno-drome from Ninja Turtles back in the late 80's early 90's.

Edit: Forgot to mention the huge price tag of this item....$1

More pics here.

Ciao for now, Xin

Monday, June 11, 2007

Terraforming Omicron 4

I have a pretty good wargaming set up in my basement. Plenty of room for a table and storage. My table is 5x8, and flocked various sades of green. I hate that golf course look you see on a lot of tables. It's a good surface for most games, but a little lacking for sci-fi. More specifically Starship Troopers which I have been playing a lot lately. We lean towards more scenario driven games, than the tourney style that a lot of SST'ers play, so I need a setting for our games. I came up with Omicron 4, a distant mining colony/ outpost. I've been collecting items to make terrain out for awhile. So I will be adding things like a military outpost, and a mining outpost among other things.

So it was time to build a sci-fi setting for my games. My wargaming buddy across the street had 7 or 8 2x8 sheets of pink foam insulation. I'm sure we bought them years ago for some project and never got around to it. Anyway so I had that to use. 4 sheets were trimmed down to 2x5 and that gave me a base.

Once the base was down. I took the left over scraps and the other full boards and started cutting up hills. I wanted a lot of hills, so we (friends came over to help) didn't go for very elaborate hills. Simple ones carved out of pink board. Very little sculpting, but enough. We made big and small hills, multi-layer hills and rock spires. That pink foam is a godsend for wargamers. The different layers glued down with Liquid Nails. Now to the painting.

I painted the underside with some random old paint. The reason I did this was to counteract any curling the topside paint might cause as it drys. I don't know if it works or not, just something I do. I hate train that starts curling up. The top layer and base color is a craft paint, Americana Light Cinnamon. This is the color of my MI's bases, so I figured it would make a good overall base color for my terrain. I painted a small Index card with the color and went to Home Depot and had then color match it and give me a quart of it.

Once I had the paint, it was simple to just pour it on the boards and roll it out. The ton of hills I made was a much longer process. So I slapped in a DVD, Black Hawk Down I think, and off I went.

With the base color done, I took a sponge, to add light and dark spots to break up the uniform color. Like Faux Painting for walls. I just dabbed on a dark shade of the brown, then mixed up a lighter shade and dabbed that on. I think I didn't make the color contrast great enough, as the shading and highlighting doesn't stand out very well. I may go back and do it again.

I took a paint brush to highlight the edges of the hills, with a lighter shade of the base color. Again, nothing fancy, the point was to get the job done and play. I tend to over do projects trying to get them to be perfect and nothing gets done.

Anyway, that's it. It took about 2 weeks working on and off. Fairly simple terrain, but it's done and we are gaming, not talking about gaming, which goes on a lot. Here's a pick of the first battle. No other terrain yet, but over time I will add small pieces to spruce up the table, like plants, rock/crystal formations. I might go and add some textured paint. I really need to break up the uniform brown. Thanks for stopping by.

Ciao for now, Xin

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Welcome to my Blog

Welcome one and all. This blog will be about Wargaming. I'm an avid wargamer of all periods. Is Sci-fi a period? Perhaps I should say genre. I will game almost anything, from Ancients to ACW to WWII to Modern to Fantasy and Sci-Fi. I've always said, that if 2 guys are throwing rocks at each other, I would play it.

My wargaming history started like a lot of others I would think. When I was in high school(late 70's), my brother came home for Thanksgiving from college. He brought with him a game calledDungeons and Dragons. We played one game and I was hooked. Christmas brought D&D presents and I was off down the road to TGWAG (The Greater World of Adventure Gaming)

No need to bore you with the details so I'll speed it up. Huge D&D campaigns lead to the need for a system for Armies to battle. As we explored integrating Army battles into our D&Ding, we came across a magazine called The Courier. In it we found an ad for a gaming convention called Cold Wars. I think this was 1989 or 1990. Two friends and I went out for the day on Sunday and were just blown away by what we saw. We didn't even get in on a game. But it was enough to hook us in.

My friend Matt who was a rabid Siege of Jerusalem player found some Romans for sale in the flea market. He did some elaborate bargaining and bought them.
Awful condition, painted poorly, some not painted at all, but they were awesome to us at the time. I think we also picked up WRG 7th. We moved out of RPG'ing and into Wargaming full time.

We did the WRG Tourney scene hardcore for I think 2 years. Went to tourney's up and down the East Coast, even went to Denver for the Nationals one year. After reaching my breaking point with WRG( I show up with Melee armies and just get paired up with Skirmish/shooter armies), it was time for a change. So we dabbled into ACW, Nappy, SYW, Rogue Trader and 40k, and WHFB. So that brings us up to the present.

My current areas of interest are:
Starship Troopers
Warhammer Fantasy Battle 7th
note: this means currently painting for, I will game anything anyone wants to play/paint

Ciao for Now

Edit, using first post for Picture dumping