Battleshed Diaries

Friday, 29 August 2014

Fuel leaks, Computer Glitches and Mass Spin-Outs!

Yesterday evening my son, Macspud, and his buddy, MeerkatSoldier, accompanied me for the short walk down the hill to arabianknight's hobby shed, where he and his son, arabiansquire, were waiting for us for a game of Spin-Out: A Pod Racing Game

This is a racing game inspired by the pod racing scenes from Star Wars Episode 1: the Phantom Menace. The rules and quick-reference sheet are a FREE download available from The Armchair General You can  also find more about the game, and our previous races, from arabiaknight's blog

Macspud's pod stalled at the start after his dad sabotaged his onboard computer!

Arabianknight had set up the table using some generic terrain pieces and obstacles - trees, boulders, flagged waypoints etc, and let the racers choose their pods. Once lined up at the start, it was simple...first to complete two laps via the waypoints wins!

This is where all the shenanigans start. Pod racers are a competitive lot, so when they sit at the starting line, with fingers/paws/tentacles on the afterburner switch, they want nothing more than to get to that finish line at all costs. A win will help them get closer to competing in the Boonta Classic after all!

At the start of the game, the pods have twenty damage points. We used a D20 next to each pod to keep track. Next, the racers each draw two cards from a regular deck of playing cards (including the two jokers), which forms their hand. Players can have a maximum of five cards in their hand, drawing a fresh card each turn.  The cards have several functions, depending on what it is. For example, they could be used passively by a racer to boost their pod's speed, remove damage or re-start engines etc 

They can - and this is where it gets fun, and the carnage ensues - also be played on the competition, causing such things as Computer Glitches, Power Coupling Failures,
Fuel Leaks and Spin-Outs! Not to mention Sabotage and Bribes. Racers can even arrange for friendly 'fan' to take a pot shot at a rival team's pod as it passes - apparently Tusken Raiders are particular amenable to this.

From the start of our race, especially with father and sons competing, the adversarial cards were being played from the off; I'm slightly, (but not much!), ashamed to say I started it by hitting the afterburners to tear away from the start line, whilst playing a Computer Glitch on my son's pod causing it's engines to shut down! 

This pretty much set the theme for the rest of the race, with five pods doing every dastardly deed available to them get ahead. Typically, I've found it's a rare game where a pod actually completes the distance without outrageous damage. In our case, no racer finished as all the pods had gone 'Kaboom!' one way or another before completing the two laps!

This is a hugely fun game for three or more players, which I have played on and off since arabianknight demonstrated it a few years ago. I can highly recommend it for club play or when you've a group of fellow gamers that want something thematic, easy to play and a huge laugh!

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Drunken dwarfs, feisty barbarians and one big chest!

My regular Saga opponent, Ian, has been following my SoBH adventures and was keen to give it a go. So he assembled a 350 point human/barbarian gang and made a visit to the Battltleshed. 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Strangers in the camp

Pictured below are the latest recruits to Magi Bayaz's First Law crew, ready for the resumption of our SoBH campaign. Bayaz's warband coffers are dangerously low at this point with Caul Shivers being gruesomely sent back to the mud by the devious elves and both Nicomo Cosca and Black Dow injured during the last encounter in the mountains. 

Whilst the warband recuperated for a few weeks after the battle, Bayaz gave the young Jezal dan Luthar the chance to use his verbal skills more productively, other than irritating the rest of the warband, and sent him off to negotiate for some half decent fighters at a very decent price. 

Upon his return Jezal was accompanied by two dangerous looking individuals by the names of Red Hat (left) and Curnden Craw (right). Both came with reputation, so how Jezal had managed to recruit such individuals, given his limited coinage, is now common speculation amongst the other fighters...

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Sir! Are those Russian tanks?

This morning I was over at my local club, Livingston battleground, accompanied by one of my son's school friends, Ross, who was keen to get his first game of Flames of War.

Ross had joined my son, Cameron, and I to the Edinburgh 'Claymore' show a few weeks earlier - his first introduction to the hobby. He was enthralled with the many varied traders and large number of impressive demonstration games on offer, a couple of which he participated in. Having already done some research, he came away with his first purchases - a FoW British Parachute company with support options.

So, today, I arranged for some of the experienced FoW players at the local club to give Ross his first game, using my British Paras whilst Ross gets to grips with the painting side of our hobby. He was up against two platoons of Russian tanks, so we set-up a defensive scenario with the Paras dug-in within a small village waiting for their Delayed Reserves - an Airlanding 6pdr platoon - to arrive. The Russian tanks approached the town via a small hill, making use of elevation and Line of sight, taking some early, but ineffective, pot-shots at the well entrenched enemy. The Paras kept their powder dry though during these early turns, making good use of Concealment and Gone To Ground.

The Russian Tank commander, anticipating the imminent arrival of the British Delayed Reserves, ordered his platoons to fast move around the other side of the village to give them a clearer line towards their objective, however before they could get away the 6pdrs arrived on their flank and the opening exchange of cannon and machine gun fire ensued. The British 6pdr platoons survived the return fire, knocking out and bailing most of one Russian tank platoon.

The remaining Russian tank platoon finally got underway, quickly getting out of range of the British 6pdrs. Next a couple more turns of manoeuvring, with the man-packed 6pdrs giving all to try and catch up and get in range of the Russian tanks now on the other side of the village.
Eventually, the battle concentrated around a fierce fire fight with the British Paras attempting to repel multiple tank assaults near the Russian objective. The 6pdrs did their best, but mostly it was the dug-in positions and terrain that was the biggest weapon in the Para's arsenal, as the Russian tanks had to deal with lots of Bogging checks to get into assault range.

In the end, despite the valiant and brave British resistance, the few remaining Russian tanks managed to clear the relatively lightly armed Paras from the village objective.

And that was Ross's first game of Flames of War.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Dark Age lassitude

For our regular Friday evening Battleshed session tonight, arabianknight and I decided to delay the resumption of our SoBH campaign for one more week, as scratch built log rafts are required for the next scenario! Tonight arabianknight finally relented, after months of not so subtle hints and suggestions from myself, to play a game of Saga.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Newton's Third Law

Since the Dwarf Standard Bearer and the two reinforcements, (Red Hat and Curnden Craw) for my SoBH campaign warband are almost complete, the next miniature in the queue for the paint table will be the first for my 'In Her Majesty's Name' project, a crazy Lead Adventures miniature purchased at Vapnartak 2014 earlier this year.

House rules will be required for the RPG recoil ;)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Meets the Standard

After a long hiatus with regards to my painting schedule, I finally got the brushes out and made a start on the 'Lead Mountain'. I did have an incentive to kick-start the painting though, as I need to paint up two new recruits for my current campaign warband, based on the First Law books by Joe Abercrombie. More of which on a later post.

However, I've had a Dwarf Standard Bearer miniature hanging patiently about my paint table for what seems like ages, so I started with him. I forget where I purchased the miniature, as he's been dwelling in the aforementioned Lead mountain for so long. He came without the actual 'standard', just the pole and cross-support, so I rummaged in my bit box and found a suitable flag from one of the Warhammer Fantasy parts. After a  little slicing and filing I painted the Standard separately, adding some spare transfer designs that I thought looked suitably Dwarfish'.

So finally, Gilic Firmfoot, Standard Bearer, will now join my other battle-hardened Dwarf lads, anticipating his chance to stand short and proud in the next adventure!

Saturday, 16 August 2014

SAGA: AAR - Mead, Honour and Testosterone

Thanks to Jamie (Livingston Battleground) for the game of SAGA this morning.

The scenario had my Scots warlord facing off the Anglo Saxon warlord at short range from the start, with their respective armies deploying well out of range, wondering where their chiefs had got to?

For this, it's was all about the warlords facing off, after rumours and accusations of each other's over familarity with certain livestock became the talk of the mead-halls; so, they were given 12 hits (or 'wounds') each to slug it out before their support arrived.

The advantage was with the Scots though, who got the initiative and, decisively, had four mounted Hearthguard primed to ambush the unsupported Saxon warlord from the off. 

After a lot of brave/stupid charges from both sides and questionable strategic manoeuvring, the Scots warband took the battle on end turn seven, with the Scots warboss on 10 Saves to the Saxon' s 5, although the Saxon's Hearthguard performed a ferocious assault on the Scots warriors screening their boss on the last turn, attempting to clear the way for the Saxon leader to follow through.

Friday, 15 August 2014

Fear & Faith: AAR - Zoinks! It's Freddy Kruegar!

This evening I was down the hill at Sam's Hobbyshed for our inaugural game of 'Fear and Faith', a horror ruleset based on the Songs of Blades & Heroes engine.

This provided Sam with opportunity to play his 'Scooby Gang' - yep, Scooby, Shaggy, Fred, Daphne and Velma were on the table! Zoinks!

And what 'evil' opponents had Sam rolled up for me to use? The 'Dream Zone' - Freddy Krueger with the ability to summon three 'Nightmare Worms' with three heads each and all with the ability to teleport!

At this point, I really did wonder what Sam has put in his home-brew!

No doubt Sam will post up a full AAR on his excellent blog - and good luck to him, as there was plenty of crazy action :D

Fear & Faith (Ganesha Games)

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Livingston Battleground: Firefly and Star Trek: Attack Wing

Back at Livingston Battleground today after the summer break. Thanks to Jamie and Jonathan for the three-way games of Firefly and Star Trek: Attack Wing. Excellent fun :D

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

SAGA: Vikings in the mead-hall!

Thanks to Ian tonight for alleviating my Saga withdrawal by bringing his Vikings to the Battleshed.

My Scots made a hearty attempt to evict the Vikings from their village, but it proved too much in the end!