Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Fifteen Odds and Sods

Just a couple of quick and dirty terrain pieces completed over the weekend.  The jersey jersey barriers and skull mountian are from Rebel Minis.

The skull painted up nice.  The barriers have a printed plastic feel with a striated look the takes some sanding to get a decent look.  The pieces are really light and don't take plastic well, even with a base coat of primer.  Can't recommend them.

These two wetland/marsh/boggy ground fill a much needed gap in my terrain of "blocks movement but jot LOS".  It doesn't take that much more effort to build two rather than one, so now each of my boxes (fantasy and sci-fi) get one.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Rogue Planet: Le Beast Bu'ger

The daughter gave in to my strong-arm tactics and ice-cream based bribery to join me in a miniature wargame miniature campaign.  We are using Rogue Planet, a lesser known title that features an action-reaction initiative system with a lot of quirky combat and movement subsystems.

For this mini-campaign, we sat down and whipped up the crew of the  X-Falcon, a medium sized freight hauler with a rag-tag crew that skirts the laws of customs an custom to deliver anything anywhere for not just any price.

Unless they are short on fuel and short on cash, in which case they go trawling the local comm-subnet for easy scores.
Uncle Zisky, Dixer the mechanic, Captain D'Claire, her faithful bodyguard, and the medbot.
Sometimes the easy scores aren't so easy.  Like capturing the rare and endangered Beast Bu-ger, which might contain the secret to cure a raging Crown Virus that is plaguing the planet Primus Prime.
The beast
Hired by a local research lab, they head out to a local wilderness park where the beast was recently spotted.  Only to find that their hated rival captain, Drax, has arrived with his crew.  They parked at a nearby agro-coop-complex and have the same idea.  After a few shouted insults, Capt. D'Claire learns that Drax has been hired by a cook at the local wet market, who wants to serve Bu'ger Burgers as a finer than usual experience.

Not on our watch, buster.
For the game itself, I set out four hidden markers, which moved a random distance in a random direction before each turn.  The first one had a 33% chance of containing Le Beast, the second a 50% chance, then 66% and finally a 100% chance for the last, if Le Beast hid that long.

Drax's crew got to the first counter, and their big guy, Mephist Two Fleas, immediately got jumped by Le Beast.  Their medic Boxy McGee tossed a sleep grenade, to no effect.

So it was up to Mephis to take on Le Beast in single combat. 

Sensing her easy score getting away, D'Claire sent her crew in close, and followed up by charging her hated rival in the nearest woods.  While Drax's crew hustled the unconscious beast into their waiting car, Drax slowed down D'Claire in single combat.

D'Claire's crew tried to intercept Drax's, and got into good position by the end of the turn.  If they could win initiative, they could pound those jerks into space-cow fodder.  They rolled a 1 to Drax's 6 and that was all there was to it.  Those numbers are also the number of actions your side gets that turn, so Drax was able to act with impunity.
At the first chance he got, Drax ran like a chicken, tumbled into his convertible speeder, and made off with D'Claire's prize.

Hungry for revenge, D'Claire has vowed to mount a "rescue operation" in order to rescue her prize money from Drax before he meets with his buyer.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Rogue Planet Quick Reference Sheet

Apparently, there aren't any publicly available QRS's for Bombshell Games' Rogue Planet.  You can find some files on BoardGameGeek for download, but they are behind a membership wall, and...yeah.  Not interested in going down that road any more.

So here's a little something for you few fine fellows who play the quirky and quick wargame, Rogue Planet. Set to print two to a page at about 5-inches by 7-inches, it has room for five different troop types, with space for your leader and his enhancements and pawns.  Use it wisely.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Barbarian King: A Yuge Win!

Broke out this classic print-and-play solo wargame for a little playing with myself in a way that won't make me blind or lower my T, and holy cats was it a blast!  My daughter is my good luck charm, as she rolls like a beast.
If you've never played, this is one of the best solo adventure games ever produced.  It's a bit of a rogue-like in analog form, and thanks to the reliance on sheer dumb luck it is a hard game to win.  You start at the northern end of the map and have seven weeks to get your hands on 500gp and get back to the north.  You've got to juggle food, money, and not get lost.  Thanks to the way the terrain effects work, each type of terrain has 36 different possible encounters, with sub-tables that blow the possibilities up into the hundreds.  You can get lost, starve, find followers, get mugged, explore ruins, catch a mount, and all sorts of fun stuff.
A couple of settlements offer a chance to appeal to powerful allies for help, though this can be risky as these potential allies are just as likely to threw you in a dungeon.  In a dozen plays I've never come close to winning.

This time around, we made our way for a town that chased us out, then down to Huldra Castle where the Baron gave us 50gp and an escort to get the heck out of his countryside.  That's all it says, and in the best game fashion, it's up to you to decide what that means.  We decided that it was the Baron's daughter who took a shine to our brooding barbarian and the Baron paid us off and gave us the boot in a polite, yet firm manner.

We decided to head north and see if one of the temples would be more amenable.  Along the way we met a swordsman who helped us kill a dragon - and lost his life in the fracas. 

He will long be remembered in the annals of our rulership, as the 200gp we found in the dragon's horde put us halfway to victory, and gave us the precious Eye of the Dragon.

Here's where our luck really turned for the better.  The priests at the Temple of Zhor are fickle.  You roll 2d6 for their reaction, and need something like a 9 or better to gain favor.  However, if you roll and 8 - and you have the Eye of the Dragon - which we did and we did, the High Priest showers you with aid.  They gave us 300gp for it, and we thought we had it made in the shade.  All we had to do was move four hexes north, get across that river, and we were home free and ready to pay off the mercs and ascend to our throne!

And then we got lost.  And lost.  AND LOST.  We spent two weeks on the south bank of the river searching for a way to cross.  Luckily our hunting forays were successful, because we had enough food to share with a priest who happened along.  He showed us a secret ford the next day.  No joke, that's how the dice came up.  Two weeks of being lost, meeting a priest and befriending him, then crossing the river the next day.  It's the kind of dice-birthed serendipity you just can't make up, but that make up the best tales.

So, with 500+gp in our belts, we crossed the river, made our way to town...and then couldn't find out where to read the victory conditions.  It's pretty vague as to whether you win by crossing the river or getting to the nearest town or what.  We figured getting across the river was enough. Any of the Usurpers Guards that met us would be more than happy to take our 500gp and escort us back to him for some well-paid justice.
Dang, it feels good to finally notch a victory on this game.  And all it took was world-wide plague of Korean Death Fars.  Take that, CoronaChan!

Friday, April 17, 2020

En Garde! Meeting Engagement

Confession time: My social media presence has largely shifted over to the dreaded tweet machine and my fiction writing blog.  Funnily enough, I ran into Chicago Wizard over there, too!  Like minds gravitate toward each other and all that.  Due to the usual vagaries of modern political discourse, my tweets auto drlete on the regular.  Lots of weirdos out there mistake off the cuff banter for uron clad professions of deep faith.  The downside to that is the live-tweeting of wargames leads to an ephemeral record of games played.

Here now is a more permanent record of a game of En Garde! played with my now seven year old in which the King's Guards bump into a contigent of Richelieu's guards s on the way to Paris.  Both proud forces refuse to yield to the other and soon swords are flashing and blood spilled upon the dusty roads of rural France.
Cardinal's men to the left in red, King's to the right in blue
The basic victory conditions were to get across the bridge to the north the firstest with the mostest.
The two sides spot each other.

The King's guards split up, sending three men around to the right, while the Cardinal's men did the same.  They also sent a man around the back of the church to come up behind any lingerers.

The first set of duels at the crossroads sprung another King's Man toward the bridge, just visible at the top of the photo.  The duel in the center has begun with the King's man, a mook, fighting defensively against a superior foe who had put both his actions into attack.

First blood sees the Cardinal's leader (with the yellow fringe) putting down his foe.
The fighting rages at the Church with three King's Men falling, but buying time for their comrades to proceed with all due haste toward the bridge.

Here we see that far right flanker sneaking across a ford at the bottom of the photo.  He still has a ways to go, and the difference in this game was the King's Captain, whose leadership gave his side initiative in each game turn.  In En Garde! the difference in figure quality is huge - the Cardinal had better fighters, but that initiative boost made a huge difference in this game, as it allowed the King's Guards to get the jump and win the foot race.

Here the Captain remains behind, triple-teamed and alone, to ensure that a few of his men can cross the bridge before any of the Cardinal's men do.

Here we see the first two figures to escape, including that far flanker who did nothing but sprint the whole time, before the first of the Cardinal's Guards could get off table.
Based on a quick twitter poll, the game was a marginal victory for those loyal to the King. It was a close run affair, but a lot of fun.