Monday, December 14, 2009

My Pirate ships have been pirated.

I was kit bashing some toy pirate ships for gaming use awhile back. I took a break and was letting the glue set on some parts when I came back my ships were gone. Then over in the gaming area I find my little 12 year old pirates had nicked my ships and taken on a new crew.
Not only had they found my ships, they found my recent ebay purchase of about 100 clone troopers. Pirate ships and clone troopers, what could be better together?
The good guys lead by Ahsano and Lando against...
Ventress and Mara Jade. They had a lot of fun. I'm not sure who won as usually when they play together it's more of a story than a wargame. But they do like to gang up on Daddy.

Cheers, Xin

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Undead Warband for SBH, Part 1

This is the start of my undead Warband for playing Song of Blades and Heroes. I picked up an Undead Giant at Fall In 08 from Iron Wind Metals. He was in their "junk" bin I guess you would call it. Only saw one and he's been on my painting table for over a year. I finally got around to finishing him off.

He is supposed to have a sword in his lower hand but when I bought it I didn't know that. He just had empty hands. I was going to paint him as is, but my wife suggested giving him a weapon of some sort. So I came up with a stone ball on a chain.

The ball is Green Stuff. And the chain was I think from a hobby store, ship building supplies. Also this is the first time I tried using static grass. I had know idea how to use it but I found this site: Easy Static Grass. It worked very well.

Not Golden Demon standard, but I think he came out well, and look forward to giving him some mates to play with. My daughters have been painting their own warbands, I will have to get pics up of the Ice Witch Warband and the Pumpkin Witch Warband.

Cheers, Xin

Sunday, December 6, 2009

One book to Bind them

I am planning to play some more Song of Blades and Heroes with my kids soon, so I thought I'd get a couple of supplements. I bought the PDF's of Song of Gold & Darkness and Song of Wind & Water. Since I needed to print out copies I had the idea to make one big rule book.

Staples has a Printing Service (Link: HERE) that is very reasonably priced. You can email them your documents and pick up the printed rule book in a day or so. I didn't know if they could combine the different PDF's but it turns out they can.

So I had SBH/SGD/SWW printed in that order in one book along with a color cover for $13. I think that is a good deal. I got the the coil binding which I think works best for wargames rules.

I should have bought Song of Arthur and Merlin as well, but I forgot. But the 3 I have are more than enough for my kids and I. Here are some pics of the printed book.

Color Cover
Song of Gold and Darkness
Song of Wind and Water

Cheers, Xin

Monday, August 31, 2009

Space Hulk Arrived~

There was a package for me when I got home from work today. I knew exactly what it was. It seems, Games Workshop, was not supposed to ship them til Sept 5th, but the gobbos in the shipping dept didn't get the memo, or ate the memo. Either way, my box slipped out the door before the gate slammed shut.

So risking the wrath of the wife, I ignored the call "dinner's ready". And dove into exploring the box. The box is heavy and jam packed. Five large sprues and one small sprue, terrain tiles, markers, doors, dice, empty plastic bags(storage?), egg timer, rulebook and Mission book.

It was I think $107 after taxes. That's a lot for a game, but I think there is a lot of value here. The figures are gorgeous and the terrain tiles are very solid. Like I said in another post, easily twice as thick as previous editions. They also are "embossed" I think was the term. It gives them a little texture.

I would have loved to started a game tonight, but figures will need work. They are such nice figures it would be a shame not to paint them. I never did finish my Gene Stealers from 1st edition, which sadly got sold in a period of low finances. All my other projects just got pushed to the back burner and I will start on these ASAP.

Here's a link to all the pictures of whats in the box.

Space Hulk Photobucket

Cheers, Xin

Thursday, August 13, 2009

First game of Forge of War

I saw this game mentioned on TMP so I joined this Yahoo Group and downloaded the rules. After a read through they seemed worth a playtest.

I threw together a quick scenario just to get a feel for the rules and invited my friend over for a battle.

The Setup: Rebels seize a relay station on a small backwater colony,and were filling the air with their brand of propaganda, as opposed to the official brand of propaganda. A unit of Presidential Guard was sent to recapture the station. The forces:
Rebels: 1 Command Squad, 1 Mortar team(both ex-military) and 3 squads of Militia
Presidential Guard:1 Command Squad(special forces), 3 squads and a mortar team(veteran commandos)

The number of troops was equal, but since the rebels were defending, I made the PG better trained.

Scenario rule: The rebels deployed around the Relay Station with hidden counters. The rebs put down 10 counters, and only 5 were real squads.

The Battle:
The PG Squads surrounded the station. I brought in a squad from each corner of the table the mortar section just to get the whole station in range. The rebs didn't move since they didn't want to give away their positions.

So I advanced again till my command squad moved up to the building with the Radar Dish. The reb command squad popped up(reaction fire to nearby enemy) and fired on my squad, but the hasty shot missed. At this point the reb mortar team on the 2 story building opened up and dropped a shell right on my command squad. He got 2 kills or D-Markers. I took the d-markers on my command squad. I returned fire but missed.

Now in FoW D-Markers represent disorder, damage, demoralization. You can choose to take D-markers instead of casualties, but each d-marker is a minus in morale, shooting, and fighting. You can also take d-markers from terrain effects like moving full speed through difficult terrain. If you spend a turn resting, you can try to roll off your D-markers.

The rest of the turn I moved my other squads closer and my mortar section started some counter-battery fire but I missed. The rebs had my command squad out in the open, so they fired again, missing. He also revealed another squad and sent it into the woods to get my mortar. My command squad pulled back and to the side to cut off this attack

On the other side of the field I advanced towards the station, using what cover I could find. Eventually revealing another roof top emplacement. They engaged my squad and caused 2 hits, but I took the d-markers. I returned fire, but with the d-markers and the cover the rebs had, I missed.

The 5th and final reb squad appeared over by the radar dish, and moved into a covering position for the squad advancing into the woods. My command squad came out of the woods took the reaction fire (cover+ armor, no hits) and put 2 hits on the squad in the open. The rebs then dropped a morter round on my mortar, giving it 2 d-markers.

Here is where I think the game turned against the rebs. He had 3 squads and the mortar focusing on my one command squad and mortar team. That left one squad to cover the rest of the station and defend against 3 of my squads.

I had 2 squads fire on the remaining roof top reb emplacement Causing 3 hits(2 d-markers and one kill). My 3rd squad slipped into the base and starting shooting at the rear(no cover) of the rebs across the compound causing more hits and kills.

At this point the rebel commander realized he could not hold out any longer and detonated the demo charges on the radar dish killing himself and his command squad. Tactical victory for the Presidential Guard, Moral victory for the rebels. I will point out, that my troop quality was a big factor in the win. The quality was more inportant than the defending positions the rebs had.

In summary the game flowed pretty well and most of the rules and game play were easy to follow after only one read through of the rules. There are 2 things I really like about the rules. The first is the D-marker concept. It simulates fatigue, ammo loss, non lethal injuries and stress, all rolled into one. Most game systems at this level only deal with kill/no kill situations. I really feel this is the heart of the system. One thing I failed to mention, units based on their training have a maximum level of d-markers they can take before guys are just killed outright. So kills do happen.

The 2nd thing I liked was unit activation. I didn't mention it above, but each unit has to activate based on it's training and tactical situation. D-Markers play a factor here. We did have some stuff not activate, and when you fail to activate, the initiative passes to your opponent. It creates an ebb and flo, a lot like Song of Blades and Heroes.

As for things I didn't like, not many there. One thing I and my opponent had trouble wrapping my head around was the "no save" roll. The math for shooting at and killing someone is all wrapped together. My mind knows that having a "save" or lower chance on a single shoot/kill roll can be the equal, but the gamer in me missed the "save roll".

The only other thing I felt needed work was the rules layout, one or two things need a little better explaining.

All and all, a decent set of rules, well worth the cost(free) and worth a 2nd playtest. In case anyone was wondering the buildings were inspired by Inari7 from TMP and his post here.

Cheers, Xin

Friday, January 16, 2009

First game of Song of Blades and Heroes

Stompy! Click on pics for bigger images.

So my good friend Lou and I wanted to play anything since we haven't played a game in quite awhile. I suggested Song of Blades and Heroes. He agreed and it was on!

Now I will admit up front I did not have high hopes for this system, but was just looking for something easy to play a quick game. I bought the very cheap PDF when the game was released. I had a nice print out from my wife who was kind enough to donate her work printer(lol). I read the rules and it just didn't seem like a good game with all the activations and such.

For those that don't know how to play, everytime you want to move a figure, you have to roll to activate. So to move/shoot/ cast a spell you need to roll your activation. You can choose to role 1, 2 or 3 dice. Each time you role at or over your Quality rating you get an action. But if you fail 2 rolls, you lose your turn. For example, I had a Cleric, his Quality was a 3. I would roll 3 dice, and get 3, 1, 4. So I got 2 actions that turn for the Cleric. Now troops with lesser quality, you would roll less dice, so you didn't lose your turn. Example, I had 2 Hunters. Quality was 4, I only rolled 1 dice each turn for them, so even if you didn't activate, you didn't lose your turn. I could have rolled 3 dice if I wanted too, but the worse quality, the higher the chance of ending your turn.

Now onto the battle. I set up a little village in a 3 foot by 3 foot table section. It had a stone church with some small farm buildings around it. We went with stock troops out of the back of the book. My warband, was a Cleric, Earth Elemental, a Thief, 2 Militia and 2 Hunters. I sort of had in mind my friend Lou raiding my village and the Cleric and Militia with a "summoned" elemental defend the village. In the rules, the Cleric can't summon anything, I just paid the points for Stompy and the rest was fluff. Lou's warband consisted of an Elf Hero, 3 Wood Elf Archers and one Wood Elf Warrior.

I randomly scatter my warband around town. The Elves emereged from the woods on one side in a line. They head towards my Earth Elemental, Stompy. My Thief slips around the back of the farmhouse and the barn. My Militia and Archers slowly move forward and Stompy heads towards the elves.

Most of the Elves attention was on Stompy. They went at him hard. The Elven Hero didn't waste any time coming for him. Much to his dismay. I squished him very early in the fight. I did get knocked down a couple of times, even wounded.

While I'm waiting for my militia and archers to come up, The elves continued their assault on Stompy. Next up was the naked elf with a bow. She attracted Stompy's attention by knocking him down with her bow. If you beat someone in combat/shooting, but don't double(kill) you knock them down if you rolled even, knock them back if you roll odd. Well Stompy had a quality of 3, so I would roll 3 dice every time. I got 3 activations, I stood up, walked over to the naked elf and stomped her.

I thought my Thief which had stealth was safe sneaking along the barn wall. Turns out he can't be shot at, but naked Elven chicks with spears can walk right up and run him through.

The elves responded by charging the Wood Elf Warrior over to Stompy. I eventually got my militia and archers up. One by one I surrounded the naked elf with the spear. They were crappy in combat alone, but each additional person in combat is a -1 to the enemy's combat score. So I got a knock down result and killed her. 2 knock downs= a kill. Four big bullies to kill one little elf, my friend gave me lots of grief.

Stompy kills the Elf Warrior. Now the only thing that is left is one Elf Archer. Stompy starts to move out. The problem with Stompy is he's been wounded by now. If you have the "Tough" attribute, anything that "kills" you is treated as a wound. Wounds hurt your quality rating. I started at a 3, by the time I killed the Warrior, I was at a 5, your dead at 7. So now I'm rolling less dice and not activating as much. I can't close with the Archer before he knocks me down, and kills me. I tried to get my Cleric over to heal Stompy but I would roll 3 dice and get 2 failures and end my turn. The tide was turning.

I finally realize that my cleric had the same Combat skill as the Archer, a 3. Up until now I was hiding him. So I activate my cleric and bring him forward. I left my militia and archers behind as I thought I had this wrapped up, and it was getting late, and they were crappy troops. I confidently engaged the archer. We had a very epic battle going back and forth. Just when one of us thought we were going to win, we would roll 2 failures and end our turn. This went back and forth for about 10 minutes. Finally after knock downs/ knock backs, and such. The archer who had been knocked back the turn before, drilled an arrow into the Cleric's chest and it was over.

I still had 4 more crappy guys, but it was late and over. Since Lou had to drive home I claimed a moral victory in that I held the "field".

It was a fun game. Much more fun than I thought it would be. The way the activation plays out can be fun and make the game's outcome twist and turn. I have to say I might buy some of the additions that have come out since it was first released. I also see some house rules I'd like to add, which the simplicity of the system makes it very easy to add to. I'm sure we did some things wrong but it was still fun and that's the point, and I got to use that very cool D&D Mini Elemental I bought off Ebay.

Cheers, Xin