Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sinking Sister Sara: Hobby Bunker Game day

So No matter how you playtest a game on the day itself there are two things you can't control.. 1) the dice 2) the tactics you players will use. 
Curt out Lead Japanese admiral (he was joined part way through by Ben Gross) and the Japanese fleet Two Battle Cruisers, 4 Cruisers, and 4 Destroyers
The American Fleet lead by Rich Clayton begins its advance.
And take the Japanese fleet under fire... but no hits are scored.
Haruna and Kirishima under fire.
The fleets begin close so far the Chester has taken some damage bu no seriously hits are yet recorded.
Now we are at knife range after only 3 turns the quickest closing of the two fleets so far in fact this looks more like tow fleets of galleys charging straight at eachother.
Chester and Chokai are both burning Chokai was hit by the Washington and hit hard.  Chester took frie form Haruna and various cruisers. Chest is the first major ship to sink.
As you can see both sides have lost several destroyers but two Japanees destroyers are in the right pace and launch their fish...
Washington is hit by 5 Japanese Torpedoes and three punch through her armored belt... massive amounts of water is pouring in and US damage control is soon hard press.
Quincy is hit and loses two main guns.
Japanese cruisers aim at Saratoga...
Washington hits the Haruana hard with her last volley doing major damage... but return fire takes her down...
Saratoga is hit by multiple gun shots and three torpedoes hit her as well
The Japanse ships close isn 
More torpedoes fine the Saratoga and she sinks... The US was a total loss in the battle and the Japanese didn't lose a shingle ship.  Haruna and Kako were badly hit enough that one or both of them might have sunk on the way home but this was the most decisive Japanese victory of them all.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wascally Wabbits and an Otter.

More Anthropomorphic animal adventures from Darksword Critter Kingdom kickstarter
 Here they are five Wabbits err... Rabbits two spell casters and three warrior types ready to give Mr. Mcgregor a run for his money with an Otter Cleric to help out.
 With this fellow I was sort of going for an easter bunny look but then I saw the scull at his throat and we went with it any way.
 Maybe I should have given him a white cotton tail but... I went for a single fur color.
 The Rabbit Wizard or maybe hes a high official with a staff of office. The Staff has two surpants around a globe and interesting emblem for a rabbit
 I am really pleased with the detail on the book and the leather wrap on the staff.
 the cloak also really cam out well too and the skull cap is an interesting detail
 Our first rabbit warrior with some odd heraldry but hey we put animals we eat on shields so why shouldn't her put a carrot on his shield
 Hard to get a good shot at his face but I like this pose because its a very realistic fighting stance
 Great details on the helmet and leather armor and earrings!
 Our very Christian knight rabbit, the cross is interesting as a choice but hey its also pretty normal on shields
 Ready to hammer the opposition in his Chainmail covered by studded leather armor.
I like the one up one down ears.
Now we have our ranger rabbit ready to scout out the tenderest vegetables.
The cloak is glued on and came off once during painting hopefully that won't happen again.
Last off all we have the otter cleric, I am not sure how a fish loving otter teams up with a bunch of veggie hunting rabbits but his mace and fishbone holly symbol are ready to help the cause
Looks like he gasing up to heaven and smiling to his diety.
I really like the armor  and details on his leather work and the second holly symbol hanging from his neck. I don't usually do white robes but they just seemed to fit this guy. These guys are ready to explore Frostgrave

Frostgave without wizards and Primitive fire arms

OK so Frostgrave has a great mechanic but some people just aren't interested in playing a wizard and we need to think adapting this game to a non-magical situation.

Non-Magical leader

So every Wizard starts with the same stats:
 Move 6; Fight +2; Shooting +0; Armor 10; Will +4; Health 14.  Fight Shooting and Will are die roll modifiers.  In addition to these stats each new wizard get 8 spells to pick from.

So my thought for a non-magical expedition leaders would be to give the player 6 points to add to the above stat lines. I am giving the player only 6 points because there are six stats so you could add one to each and call it a day but you wouldn't be much better at anything than a typical wizard.    I haven't tried this out of course but I think it makes sense to limit them not spending more than 3 points on any one sat, this number just feels right to me. This means you could dump a lot of point on one stat and make it very good or you can spread it out and be a jack of all trades.   Add three points to you fight and three to your Armor and you are hash melee combatant for example.   Want to play a classic D&D ranger +1 to your move; +3 shooting, +1 fight and +1 Armor you'll be good a ranged fighting and able to take care of your self close in.

The sidekick (apprentice) would be generated in a manner similar to  the book by taking the leader score and subtracting 2 from fight, shooting, will and health. (A wizard's apprentice actually has 10 for health so I am making the side kick a little more robust as a compensation for not having magic)

I think the next issues that needs to be looked at is Firearms.  I think simple fire arms like a Flintlock or Matchlock musket can operate using the rules for Crossbows.   More modern fire arms like revolvers and repeating rifles make for a more complex situation and I would need to think on this more before offering any suggestions.

For now I plan on playing with wizards but if you want to try something else this might give you a starting point.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Throwback Thursday Miniatures: The Highland Army

This was a project from the early days of the blog before I started posting my painting.
Its a highland army painted for the Sport of Kings campaign (from Age of Reason) using Volley and Bayonet Road to Glory rules.  They have since been re-based in the great rebasing project of 2013-14.  As you can see I am daft enough to paint plaid in 15mm. 
These are all old glory 15s from the Highland pack with a few British AWI highlanders and some seven years war British regulars mixed in. There are few more regiments but this give you the flavor of the army. 
Stewart of Appine Regiment
Fraser of Lovet's Regiment
Glenbucket's Regiment
Atholl Regiment 
Camerons of Lochiel Regiment
Clan Grant. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Frostgrave Review

So I have two games in with this system so far and I have to say I am impressed. I haven't done anything that could be called a review yet because I don't believe one should review a game until one had played the game. Now that I have I feel its OK to venture a few opinions and share a few ideas.
One can hardly call a game that comes with Osprey publishing behind it a  surprise and there was some anticipation in my local gaming circle concerning this game. That said Frostgrave seems to have taken the gaming community by storm, its sold out to everyone's surprise, including the author, Joseph McCullough as he noted in a recent blog.   Locally this is the game that has sparked the interest of two of my friends sons, has converted at least one X-Wing player to painting his own figures and gotten this old historical player reverting to his RPG fantasy roots.

A lot of old time GW players are comparing the game to Mordheim as I never played that game I can't venture an opinion but most of them speak of Mordheim with affection.  For me the game takes me back to playing D&D with a brave party of adventures but combines the tactical aspects many of those game lacked.
Its about Treasure! 
OK so lets talk about the game.  Its focused on your Wizard and his Apprentice as they search for treasure and magic in a long abandon city wreaked by magic.  There are various types of wizards some are direct damage dealers via fire balls and lightning bolts, other buff their soldiers and still others summon extra planer allies (called demons regardless of origin).  All of the spells are useful and you should select your firs 8 spells very carefully.  Dealing damage is important but don't over look spells that let you enhance movement.  Also Enchant Weapon is a spell you want access to if you can get it.
Look out for the frost troll
One of the key aspects of Frostgrave is the fact that your not just facing another wizard with a war band. There are other dangers in the city from animals that have wandered in and are now scared and hunger to undead terrors and demons that have been lurking in place for centuries.  You could play the game cooperatively at least to the extent that for me to win I don't have to beat you just get more treasure.  I am in fact working on a version of the game for a convention were the inhabitants of the city (run by a team of GMs) will be the real enemy, not your fellow players.

The game has an experience system so you can progress in a campaign were you will up grade and replace losses from your war band and build a hideout/stronghold for your Wizard.  You track experience for the wizard his apprentice rises with him. Your other followers don't gain experience, something I have some thoughts on.  There is no handicapping system for new players but I don't know how big a problem this will be an unlike some on the web I will wait to see that problem rather than anticipate it.   I will say that I think nay players first game should be against another level 1 wizard and his war band, just to keep the learning curve gentle. I plan to have a permanent level 1 war band just for this reason.

Game mechanics are simple but elegant you roll one d20 add in a modify for the appropriate skill and you succeed or fail based on how your roll compares to target number that goes up based on the difficulty of the task.  In combat both parties roll on d20 for the principle combatants, additional fighter on one side or the other grant a flat +2 bonus to the roll.  If you roll higher than you opponent you win and your total is compared to the other guys armor ratting, if you bet that you do damage.  You can win or lose big even if your the better fighter on paper.

In conclusion the game has a lot of depth and give us all a solid foundation to build on.  There is enough there to get us all going and I  have several house rule idea I will write about latter.  The most obvious is that this system could easily be adapted to small scale historical warfare by just replacing Wizard and Apprentice with a Leader  and Sidekick (or other appropriate titles).  Drop the magic but keep the other aspects and you can easily take the field with Sharp, Harper and a band of "Picked men" for example.

Yankee Guns for Longstreet

A lot of new Yankee that will allow me to field a full Yankee force for Longstreet
Five Napoleons and five 3" Ordinance Rifles 
Not really much more to say other than I always find painting artillery of this sort something of a drag and these are not my best work but once they are on the table they will blend in and look just fine
 Yeah I know the whole red shirted artillery man thing has been pretty well debunked but I need the occasional change from blue.
Guns and men are both Blue moon excellent figures all around.  I'm now ready with both sides of a Longstreet campaign when that opportunity occurs again