Saturday, 26 July 2014

Star Wars Pod Racing in 6mm

One can always find something to whet the appetite at Stroud's markets on a Saturday such as herb infused olive oil, chilli and paprika sausages, pepper crusted goats cheese and ..err... 6mm Pod Racing.


Shaun of dreamholme scenics has a stall opposite Costas where he sells jewelry, resin terrain, Games Workshop bits and pieces and various other things. He usually has a small game going on - cowboys, zombies, ww2 etc. This week it was 6mm Pod Racing. 

The previous week he had downloaded a set of Pod Racing rules and, because he has way too much spare time, knocked up several Pod Racers using GW 40k weapons, back packs etc over the week.

I had a quick try and managed to hammer my pod into a canyon wall. We are going to give it a go at the club on Monday night


Nice one Shaun!



Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Tribal Mongol Warfare using BFE2

My favourite pre-gunpowder army is the Mongols. Several years ago for my fiftieth birthday I decided to indulge myself. I got my mate Shaun to paint a 15mm army based on the Fields of Glory list using Museum Miniatures figures - in my opinion the best 15mm Mongols on the market.
I entered them in the Plymouth 2010 15mm Fields of Glory tournament and won it. I've never played with them since for a couple of reasons.

Firstly I couldn't find any decent opponents - not players but armies - either the opposition gets pulled out of line out piecemeal and destroyed which is historical or it sits in a well defended corner which is understandable.
Secondly I never really enjoyed playing with the various commercial Ancients rule-sets available.

A few months ago I watched Mongol and thought why not do inter-tribal warfare between the Mongols rather than look for other opponents.
As for rules we have been using our variant of the 19th Century colonial ruleset Battles For Empire 2 (BFE2) to fight Romans against Ancient British and Romans against Blemmye so I might as well see what happens when two tribes go to war.

The Berkeley Vale club motto is "Try every experience once, excepting incest and folk dancing" so it was easy to rope them into a couple of test games.
I split the army into two equal tribes each of

  • 1 Commander
  • 2 Leaders
  • 1 Shaman
  • 2 Elite Massed Horse units
  • 3 Massed Horse units
  • 8 Light Horse units
Each tribe had 6 cards to which they could allocate between 0 and 6 units to simulate hidden movement and deception. The forces allocated to a card would be placed on the table when they were spotted at 24". Cards used the Massed Horse movement rate
The first game was played on a 12 x 4 table which gave us plenty of room for flanking but not enough depth to exploit the card movements so we were in hand to hand very early on in the game. 

We didn't make many tweaks to the standard BFE2 rules

In melee give Massed Horse a  +1 vs Light Horse

The Shaman would could one of the following per turn in exchange for a hit - they have 8 hits
  • remove D3 casualties from a unit
  • allow a UCC reroll
  • add an extra 6" to a  unit's movement
  • add +1 to a unit's combat factor
The game went badly for our tribe due to shoddy deployment by me and rubbish dice rolling by our side and we were soon paying homage to the enemy's Khan 

We tinkered with the factors a bit more. Movement rates were reduced for Massed Horse, the Steady Chargers +1 was dropped as it was assumed both sides would charge / counter charge and the Shaman's abilities were limited to removing casualties and giving a UCC reroll. Finally Light Horse and Shaman only had 4 lives instead of 8 

We played the second game on a 8 by 6 table which gave a lot more manoeuvrability. The reduction in Light Horse lives made us use them in a harassing role instead of head-on charges. The game was finely balanced until a run of bad dice rolls by the Opposition saw them lose units via the UCC and good dice rolls by us when rolling to kill a leader. Eventually all three of their leaders were either dead or wounded and with 8 of their 13 units destroyed we called it a day
Our glorious leader Shaun also died on the battlefield sadly leaving me as the new Khan.

Post game discussion raised the issue of shooting and Light Horse so we tweaked the factors again to remove the -1 penalty for Light Horse shooting on the move and added a -1 penalty for shooting at Light Horse.We have yet to test these out 
If I had the time and money and willpower I would get a load more Mongols to enable Light Horse unit to formation change to Massed Horse units and vice versa
It was great getting the Mongols out on the table after such a long time and BFE2 proved once more that it can be (ab)used  for more than just Colonial warfare.

The BFE Variant can be found in the files section at the BFE Yahoo group


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

FWC Bootcamp 2014 - Sunday

The Fifth FWC Bootcamp, the world's premier (only) organised gaming weekend for 6mm Future War Commander, took place on 31st May and 1st June 2014 at the Tudor Arms, Slimbridge. Gloucestershire.
On Sunday there were 9 players, Colin, Graham, Gordon, Mark, Mike, Paul, Steve P, Steve from Caerphilly and myself

Sunday is traditionally the mini-campaign day and I put on A Stargate Too Far - details of the scenario can be found here.

With 9 players we set up 4 tables and drew cards to see what teams we were in

Table 1

Table 2


Table 3

Table 4
The Teams
North Team was Graham & Steve from Caerphilly with EuroFeds, Mark with Neo-Soviets, Mike with Eldritch and I ran out my Pax Arcs again. We deployed the Eldritch on Table 1,  the Neo-Soviets on Table 2 and the EuroFeds and Pax Arcs on Table 4

South Team was Colin with a Star Wars army, Gordon with MacGregor Clan and Paul and Steve with Kraytonians.  The MacGregor clan deployed on Table 1, Star Wars on Table 2 and the Kray Twins on Table 3.


Eldritch forces take a hammering

MacGregors activate the Iris on Gate 1S


EuroFed come to the rescue

The Kray Twins
Table 1
Initially this was Northern Eldritch against Southern MacGregors who were both pretty cagey until the Southern Kray Twins turned up from Table 3 and started shooting the Eldritch to pieces. Northern EuroFeds came to the aid but the Krays shot them up as well. The Eldritch reached break point but refused to break and put up an astounding rearguard with a few infantry before teleporting to the security of Table 4. Therefore Table 1 was left under the control of the Southern Team


Pax Arcs teleport into the Star War force

Pax Arcs wish they hadn't


EuroFed teleport to the rescue

Star Wars close in for the kill
Table 2
As the Southern Star Wars  force was mainly infantry nothing happened until half the Northern Pax Arc force teleported into the Star Wars army to help the Northen Neo-Soviets. This was a big mistake on the part of the Pax Arcs as they were close assaulted by the Star Wars force and almost broken. The EuroFeds teleported in from Table 1 to help the Pax Arcs but the engagement ground to a halt leaving Table 2 contested.
Table 3
Only the Southern Kray Twins deployed to this table. As the Northern force was engaged elsewhere  no combat took place here
Table 4 
As this was only occupied by Northern Forces and with one of the Stargates locked down with an Iris and the other defended by Pax Arcs, EuroFeds and Eldritch this became a no-go area for Southern forces.
Outcome
Eventually a stalemate occurred as neither side could risk an assault on the other so we called time on it and counted up the Victory Points

Northern Team - 3 VPs - 1  for controlling Table 4 and 2  for 4 Stargate codes collected

Southern Team - 6 VPs - 2 for controlling Tables 1 and 3, 1 for breaking the Eldritch and 3 for 6 4 Stargate codes collected

Therefore a victory to the Southern forces
Conclusions
An enjoyable game with lots of choices to make about where to deploy, where to teleport to and when to use the Irises

We felt that having an odd number of tables would have been better as stalemate could have been avoided.

We also considered using more smaller tables, maybe 1 per player, with one Stargate per table and recycling the Chance Cards as they disappeared very quickly. The Stargate Irises made defending tables easy although only 3 were rolled on

You can never have enough FWC
We did have time to fit in a  final one on  one game using the forces from the Stargate game. My Pax Arcs faced off Gordon's MacGregor Clan on Table 1.
Playing on his evil but lovely hedgrowed terrain was a nightmare compounded by me rolling a blunder that took reduced my HQ from CV9 to CV6 for the whole game. Gordon took me apart with his flamethrowers.
I was glad to see the sun set on this game.

Thoughts on the weekend
Another excellent Bootcamp, great players, armies, terrain and scenarios and hardly any recrimination phases.

FWC is a wonderful set of rules but even after several years of playing it there is still a lot that is open to interpretation and, in my opinion, rules support from the author is minimal at best.

My thanks to all who played and special thanks to Shaun at Dreamholme for casting up the Stargates. I've had hours of enjoyment watching the Stargate film and TV Series for historical research  so...

Chevron One, encoded.
Chevron Two, encoded.
Chevron Three, encoded.
Chevron Four, encoded.
Chevron Five, locked.

FWC Bootcamp 2015 - same place, same format and almost the same time next year

More photos can be found here
The Saturday report can be found here

A Stargate Too Far - An FWC Scenario

This scenario is based on the Stargate film and TV series. Stargates have been discovered on several planets and a war is being fought to control them and destroy the enemy.
Scenario
There are two teams of players - North and South
Ideally 6 players are required
Each player controls a battle group
The game finishes when one side has over half of its battle groups broken

Victory Points
  • 1 per enemy battle group broken
  • 1 per 2 Stargate codes collected
  • 1 per table controlled ie no unbroken enemy battle groups on table
Terrain
  • For every 2 players there is 1 table
  • Each table plays at it's own speed
  • Each table has 2 stargates - each located 18" in from the short end of the table and two buildings in the centre of the table there are also 6 "Chance cards" on each table – these can be good or bad
  • Stargates allow transportation to other tables by moving units through the gate - the transport codes are not known - they can be obtained from the buildings in the centre of the table - each building contains the code to two Stargates on other tables
  • Not knowing the codes does not stop players using the gates - it just means they will be randomly relocated
  • Stargates are referenced by Table and Location ie Stargate 2N is the northern gate on table 2
3 TablesCode To Stargates4 TablesCode To Stargates
Table 1Table 2N & 3STable 1 Table 2N & 3S
Table 2Table 1N & 3NTable 2Table 3N & 4S
Table 3Table 1S & 2STable 3Table 4N & 1S
Table 4Table 1N & 2S

Forces
  • Each player has either 1500 pt Advanced, 1650 pts contemporary or 1800 pts Primitive forces
  • The following are not allowed: massives, orbital strikes, off-table artillery or airstrikes or ambushes
  • Reserves can not be sent through the Stargate - they must be deployed on table in order to use a Stargate
  • Gunships are allowed but they must be pre-allocated to a table and can never leave it
  • Command units can be pimped by 1 CV
Initial Deployment
  • Initial Deployment is Static along the short edge of the table
  • North team deploy on the northern edge and South team deploy on the southern edge
  • Upto 2 Battlegroups can be deployed on a single table
Stargate Movement
  • A command unit must start on the Stargate. In the initiative phase, the codes (or a random number) are generated and the Stargate activates. The command unit is then moved to the exit portal on another table. This is the last action in the Initiative phase.
  • Units that wish to use the Stargate must be within 10cm of the gate and unsupressed
  • The commander can then make a Teleport Deployment order back through to the entry point and if successful this counts as a normal  Teleport Deployment from the exit Stargate. Continue with normal orders until CV fails. Recce may move independently as normal.
  • A Stargate can only be used by one Command unit per turn
  • Teleport Blunders are per the book except that a score of 5 or 6 relocates the force to a random Stargate
  • A Stargate closes immediately after the Teleport Deployment
Chance Cards
  • Each  table has 6 Chance cards placed randomly
  • When a Unit moves over a Chance Card roll a D6 
RollEvent
1Bugs
The searching unit is ambushed by 3+d6 Bugs - no defensive fire is allowed
2Booby Trap
The searching unit suffers D6 Attacks - treat unit as in the open - this overrides any special defensive capabilities ie recce
3Horrors
Whatever was there freaked out the searching unit - roll a D3 and a direction dice. The unit recoils in the given direction for that many full moves immediately and is suppressed
4Satellite Station
The nearest command unit gets a D3 CV Bonus for the next turn
5Tech Heads or Warriors
A colony of Tech Heads or Warriors live here. Roll D6 - on anything but a 1 a destroyed unit is brought back to life next to the nearest command unit. If you do not have a destroyed unit then nothing happens
6Stargate Iris Code
This code allows a command unit to activate the Iris on one of the 2 Stargates on this table. Roll randomly to decide. Activating the Iris stops travel through the gate. To activate or deactive the Iris a command unit must be adjacent to the gate in the initiative phase




Monday, 2 June 2014

FWC Bootcamp 2014 - Saturday

The Fifth FWC Bootcamp, the world's premier (only) organised gaming weekend for 6mm Future War Commander, took place on 31st May and 1st June 2014 at the Tudor Arms, Slimbridge. Gloucestershire.
On the Saturday there were 6 players, Gordon, Graham, Mark, Paul, Steve and myself.

Mad Max
We started off with a relaxing game of Mad Max. 6 players, 1000 points each with no massives, aircraft or off-board artillery. The various factions were Pax Acardian, Khazari, Eldritch (not-Eldar), Hunter-Scavengers (not-Orks or Porks as they all ride round on pigs!) and two Kraytonians - one hi-tech and one low-tech.

The object of Mad Max is to break your opponents' force - 1 Victory point is awarded for each force you break. Players who are broken return with a fresh force. To add spice to this game each player had 6 fuel units. Each successful command roll uses up a fuel unit and when you run out of fuel your CV drops by 1.
There were 4 refuelling tanks on the board. If a command unit started the turn adjacent to a fuel tank then the force could replenish up to 6 fuel units.
My Pax Arcs fond themselves alone in one half of the table as ...
...the 2 Kraytonians attacked the Eldritch ...
and the Porks went toe-to-toe with the Khazari.
Loads of Khazari, Eldritch, Porks and Kraytonians ended up dying with the honours going to Gordon's low-tech Kraytonians

Big Boys
The second game, Big Boys, was put together by Paul. This scenario has Massive units doing orbital drops onto the table which wrecks their shield generators.
There are several shield generators on the table which the Massive units can recharge from. Victory points are awarded for occupying the mine in the middle of the table and destroying opponents.

Pax Arc

Space Marines
Each force is 1000 points but the force must include a Massive unit with supporting troops and you don't get many of them after buying a Massive unit.

Porks

Khazari


Eldritch

A Bug walker overwhelmed by Khazari



This was an entertaining scenario as my Pax Arcs were pushed past break point by the Eldritch walker in Turn 1 but then refused to break and entered the mine to take on Bugs and Porks

I believe that Graham's Eldritch won the Big Boy scenario merely by standing still and shooting everything in sight. More info on Paul's scenario can be found here

Frondula VI: Show and Kill
The final game of the day was Frondula VI: Show and Kill. Details of the scenario can be found on this post.
Essentially players have to have a command unit adjacent to a Frondulan colony during the initiative phase. They then roll on a table and good things, victory points, or bad things, units die, can happen.

Neo-Soviets

Space Marines
This is a 1000 point game with appearances from Kraytonians, Space Marines, Andrayadans, Neo-Soviets, Orbital Combine and Hunter-Scavengers in the guide of Nazi Nomads.


Nazi Nomads

Andrayadans
I couldn't find any pictures of the Kraytonians or Orbital Combine. The Krays because their force lost a unit through Frondulan displeasure and when you only have two units in the force then that makes quite a dent. We had quite a laugh at that one. The Oribital Combine were painted black and spent the game hiding in a wood
The Space Marines and Neo-Soviets formed an unholy alliance and forced the Nazi Nomads to attack them. I have no idea who won this game but that's the beauty of Bootcamp - it's not the winning - it's the taking apart that counts.

That was it for Saturday - the next post covers Sunday's mini-campaign - A Stargate Too Far

More photos can be found here
The Sunday report can be found here