Saturday, March 26, 2016

AAR: Normandy Firefight: Just a Minor Engagement in the Bocage

   Being the last day of gaming for my wife, Kalissa and I in the month of March, we decided to play it out using Normandy Firefight. We had plans to play some Ronin, but due to some time restrains, we had to stick with the one game. No worries, because we had fun anyway! Vacation should be interesting even without any games.
    Onwards to the game! This ended up being a five on five action. It sounds like a porn, but this was going to be a fight between the U.S. 82nd Airborne and random German Grenadiers. This game was also going to be on a 3 x 3 table that is closer to what it is suggested to be. We had our previous Normandy Firefight games on a 4 x 6 tables. Though this is not a problem; it can take a moment to get into action. The closer the better with lots of terrain.
    As the list goes for characters:
   Kalissa's Airborne.
    1. Sgt. Larry Witokic with a Thompson Machine gun.
    2. Pvt.  Joe McDonald with his M1 Garand Rifle.
    3. Pvt. Peter Faulkner with his M1 Garand Rifle.
    4. Pvt. Fred Smith with his Thompson Machine Gun.
    5. Jaime Thomas with his M1 Garand Rifle.
   My Germans.
     1. Sgt. Fredrick von Strudel with an MP40.
     2. Pvt. Viktor Alderman with a KAR98 Rifle.
     3. Pvt. Michael Keital with a KAR98 Rifle.
     4. Pvt. Albert Kinder with a ST44 Assault Rifle.
     5. Pvt. Hans Vol with a KAR98 Rifle.
   As a side note, several people amongst my gaming friends have inquired why there is always a character amongst my Germans named Fredrick von Strudel. The history is fairly simple. He was a hero in a Flames of War game back in 2010. As it went, he was the command team of one of my German 9th SS Hohenstaufen infantry platoons. Somehow, my opponent at the time assaulted this platoon with three different units. He was the only survivor of the first assault, and survived the last two out of miracle rolling. The plan is that, maybe, there is a chance he will save the day in every force he is in. I am still on the fence on whether it really works as a "Good Luck" character. However, he did come through on this game!
   So on to the action! We rolled off to see who chose what corner to deploy from. I won and placed my Germans a slightly open field. With a hedgerow in the way, Kalissa's Airborne would have to cut through, giving time for me to set up a defense. Grenades in this game a deadly as much in real life. It takes two turns to throw a grenade which explodes at the end of the turn. On turn two, I had started the process with Pvt. Keital. The Americans moved in, but I had all of cover with a nice line of fire. I started firing as soon as possible.
   One of the first hits was when Pvt, Hans Vol came out and hit Pvt. Faulkner with a head shot at 90% damage. In the advanced rules with Normandy Firefight, Pvt. Faulkner would have been as dead as door nail! Instead, the head injury got to his head. Pvt. Faulkner charged the German who shot him in the head. At the same moment, Pvt. Keital threw a grenade in front of a Hedgerow to try to take out three Americans. This was surprise for my wife, since she planned on using a grenade from Pvt. Joe McDonald. I was a step ahead of her, but Pvt. Keital is killed after the grenade toss!
   By this point, half of the German team was shooting at Pvt. Joe McDonald who must want to buy the farm for running in the open. He takes two hits: one in the leg and one in the torso. Now, he is stuck with a problem of hold the Grenade and bleed out, or throw it.
   The first grenade from the Germans blew up right on target, but failed to effect the Airborne in a killing blow. Sgt. Larry Witokic, unfazed by the grenade explosion, tried to hose a hedge at full auto to get a German. That same German turned as shot him in the head killing him. Pvt. McDonald could not unpin, and is stuck, again, with the grenade in hand.
  Meanwhile, German Pvt. Hans Vol is locked into hand to hand with American Pvt. Faulkner. Faulkner is kicked away and takes another shot in the head. Pvt. Fred Smith tries to engage in the firefight and in also shot in the head, KIA! Pvt. Joe McDonald is killed and drops the unexploded Grenade. The Germans back away. Unlucky, Pvt. Jaime Thomas walks into the grenade radius. The explosion kills Pvt. Thomas ending the game.
   As side thoughts, I rolled really well for the last part of the game. There were a lot of luck shots for the Germans. There were a few times that Kalissa was off by one number to hit, and the pins did not help. Either way, it was still entertaining and fun. Below are the photos of this game. Enjoy!



Monday, March 21, 2016

Terrain Blitz Four.

    Out of luck, I have three days off from work where I can catch up on some projects of mine. Mainly, most of the stuff today has been working on my future convention game at Historicon 2016. That is why this is a Terrain Blitz! For today, I managed to make two more sections of hedgerows, two trees (one live; one dead), and 90% of my second mat, which will bring me about 2/3rds of my project complete for Historicon 2016.  I, also, built some Dwarves that are King of War related, but I have no pictures for. Either way, these are some pictures of todays work. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

First Impressions: Kings Of War

    The other day, I played my first game of Kings of War, which had taken up some interests amongst several wargaming friends of ours. Every since the Warhammer Fantasy has been vaporized, there seems to be a gaming power vacum for Fantasy rules sets. And as it so happens to be that the Kings of War took off. But since most of you readers are mostly aware with this, we will go to my first impressions.
    In honesty, I am not that big into fantasy in the sense of everything. This is part of the reason I never really took hold of Warhammer. This is not to say I won't play it. And when I say everything, I mean rhino riding Orcs fighting Space Elves, Mushroom troops versus weird robots, and for whatever reason, magic. I am aware that this might not even be a possibly. For whatever reason, I like fantasy to make more sense. Sure, there can be magic in a game, but I want more simplicity like Medieval fighting. I think that it's what made books like Lord of the Rings really good to me, because there was not that much magic, despite the capability of it. Also, I would prefer a themed fantasy game, which I nearly have never seen in a game room other than conventions. That maybe also be the turn off for me is that no one really makes anything terrain-wise or even a battlefield to give their well-painted troops a story to fight in.
   So about King of War. This is a fairly strait forward rules set. It you want a fairly simple game, this game has that going for it. You can just have a killfest throwing down lots of dice. It also has the advantage of using fantasy figures you already may have from previous gaming systems such as Warhammer Fantasy. So this can be an easy modify to your miniatures to this game. Also, it would not cost too much to get into if you have nothing for it, unless you are like me and want the terrain to be awesome and match the troops. The only thing I found that I am not a fan of is the movement trays and the disorder markers. I, personally, never cared for movement trays despite their use even in Neopoleanic games, though they are useful. As for the disordered markers, in King of War can be confusing if you are used to historical gaming, since King of War has disordered meaning your troops formation is unified after a melee clash with the enemy, where as, in the historic games, being about the same, it is more focused towards unit morale.
     So my first play test, I burrowed an army of Dwarfs which had some fairly decent armor and one rather large unit. This was up against a goblin forces which had chariots, trolls, and some giant crossbows. The rest of the goblins had they units of bowmen and two units of spears. I cannot really remember all of the details to want abilities I had. Honestly, I did not care, since I was only trying out the mechanics. Again, these rules were strait forward as a UGO IGO system. There is movement, shooting, melee. You role morale after receiving damage. This is simply calculated by adding your casualties to what you roll against your unit value with two dice. If it exceeds the unit value, they are done. There is are simple ways to flank, which doubles dice and rear hits that triple. Needless to say, there is a lot dice throwing in this game.
   After several turns in our test game, the Dwarfs lost three units, where as, the Goblins lost everyone. 13 full units killed in action! A bloodfest if that is what you are looking for. I may play some more of Kings of War before I am completely sold. Anyway, here are some shots of the game in no particular order. Enjoy!

Testing Convention Game Scenario: A Bolt Action Modified game.

   It is no surprise that my wife and I are at it again in a violent match up. We like to play each other. In this case, we were doing a test run for our future convention game that is using Bolt Action Rules, sort of. At the moment, the statistics of Bolt Action, the order dice, and the Night Fighting rules are what was used in todays game. The reality is that this future convention game is a cross between Bolt Action rules and Iron Cross rules.
   The big difference in this game are hidden set up with markers that the Germans have. The German player has to write down where is troops are and can have them in Ambush if they wish. Two, you can use more order dice on the same unit up to three times, unless they are put on a "Down" or "Rally" order, fail to pass morale for the 2nd or 3rd actions, or they assault. Three, your commander has extra order dice that can be issued during a order pull to order any other unit into action with in a 12" radius and in the line of sight. This distance also applies as morale checks for every unit if the commander is killed. The extra command dice can only be used once per turn, and are not replaced again. Anyway, there are some interesting changes.
   For this game, we were just test running on what is a third of a table of what this is going to be played on, and will be a continuing game for four more games. It is a campaign battle where the previous players effect the outcome. This was a "Seek and Destroy" type mission and ended in a draw. With the Germans hiding in different points, I left the first closest ones empty without my wife knowing. I popped quite a few shots which took out quite a few infantry men until the tanks started rolling in. The Germans held up pretty well, firing and maneuvering, until Kalissa started dividing down the center. This forced an unplanned Pincer Move, that mostly failed. Also, my Stug III's seemed to be horrible marksmen with only a Sherman left to ruin. The night rules which was really during heavy rainfall worked well. It made a good balance and challenge on both sides.
   Anyway, these are the shots from our test game. Enjoy!
The board.

Right side.

Left side.

Markers for potential enemy hiding spots or points of tactical interest.

The Paratroopers advance in the rain.

A surprise mortar shot gives away position only to hit no one.

The Paratroopers cautiously move up to someone backyard.

A lucky mortar round takes out three Americans.

The cautious movement had good reason, but wrong point. The Germans ambush from the building past the yard.

The situation.

An M-10 Achilles arrives on the scene!

Sherman tanks move in for support.

A surprise Stug III attacks, but is disabled.

In the M-10 Achilles' sights!

A squad of Paratroopers flank around to get the enemy Paratroopers who flanked.

A Sherman tank takes a short cut.

The disabled Stug III takes out the Sherman.

A Bazooka finishes off the Stug.

Shifting locations.

American Airborne Marathon Run!

Another Stug III shows up trying to run over the enemy on the way.

HE hits and kills some Germans in the open.

Trying to scare the Americans. It is not working.

Armored fist.

Another bites the dust!