Friday, February 27, 2009

Song of Blades and Heroes - first test game

So tonight I made a giant leap in my geeking, and whether forward or backward remains to be seen. In the interest of learning the newly-acquired Song of Blades and Heroes, I set up a solo game and tried to learn as I played. I have a fairly limited collection of painted fantasy models, but I tried to make due with what was at hand, and in fact, I managed to scrounge two almost-300-point forces.

Curse of the Vampire Queen:

Gro'ghall, chieftan of the dark dwarves of Delving Rock, leads a small scouting party across the plains in search of the abandoned tower of Thrad'mo, his honoured ancestor.

The party rounds a copse of trees near a stream, and there it looms before them...

...but it's far from abandoned. "Cross the river if you dare," shrieks a booming voice. "I am Jikatta the Vampire Queen, and all who pass here shall be feasted on by my minions."

Gro'ghall and his giant hounds ford the river and face the first of the Vampire Queen's skeletons.

The skirmishers find places near the riverbank and provide covering fire, their arrows having little effect on the undead creatures shambling towards their chieftan.

With lighting speed, Jikatta is upon the hounds. After some combat, a skeleton is dispatched by the hound...

...and the vampire dispatches the hound.

The skirmishers get a couple of lucky hits and slow the horde down (as if they weren't slow enough already)

In the meantime, the battle at the ford has escalated. Bone and claw collide in a savage melee with Gro'ghall driving his hounds hard.

The undead seem to be winning...

...however, thanks to the overall unreactive nature of the majority of undead minions, the dark dwarves are not outnumbered by much.

Finally, Gro'ghall brings his mighty weapon to bear as the hounds begin damaging the undead queen in earnest.

Suddenly, in a burst of necromantic magic, the Vampire Queen disappears...

...and a cackle resound on the evening air. "Come hither, chieftain of the dark children. Your doom awaits within, if you have the strength to come and receive it." And with another crackle of smoke, Jikatta and her minions vanished, leaving Gro'ghall and his henchmen confused in the eery mist.

So there was the first game of SBH, and the first solo game of my geeking career. I quite enjoyed the game. It's a great way to learn a game, and it worked surprisingly well as a solo game. There were a few questions that will need answering, but overall, I think the system is very entertaining and unpredictable. It actually took me back to the classic role-playing of my youth.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Warmachine Action: Cygnar vs. Menoth

So you all thought I'd given up on Warmachine... fools! I still love the models, love the game, but it was starting to go stale on me. It wasn't the game itself, but the fact that it was the only game in town for two years. I grew to despise WH40k for this reason, and I didn't want Warmachine to suffer the same fate. Hence, all the new hobby projects and historical gaming lately. And it's worked! Warmachine is starting to get me excited again!

And so, Ken dropped over tonight to have a couple of 500-point match-ups. I used this Caine list for the first match. It featured Caine with a Centurion, JWC with Sentinal, long gunners, gun mages, GMCA, and Stormsmiths x 3.

Ken brought a Severius list. It contained a choir, large zealot mob, two revengers, a redeemer, a vassal, and the new caster attachment for Menoth.

The zealots head for the forest...

...and the Menothian jacks head straight down the middle.

Caine started by casting Snipe on the Sentinal, giving it a total range of 16 inches.

The Redeemer moves up and fires into my arcane gun mages, killing a few.

Zealots move through the woods, getting ready for a big rush of firebombs next turn.

Here's the setup at the start of turn two.

I started by smashing the Centurion into one of the Revengers. Notice Sevvy in the background. Ken was obviously still in anti-Cryx mode, where his caster was immune to almost all ranged threats. I moved the Sentinal up and let him have it... with Strafe three shots were generated.

Here was the damage roll for the first shot...

...and even though the other shots never finished him off, my gun mage captain moved in and took a long shot. Lights out for Severius.

The game ended so quickly that we decided to have another. I decided to try a compact list this time, as it was a work night, and we old fellows need sleep. I played Nemo with two Lancers, a Defender, and Reinholdt, JWC with a Sentinal, and Arlen Strangeways - a grand total of eight models.

Ken used the same list as the first game.

Menoth comes off strong again.

Nemo sent one of his Lancers out there with hopes of Chain Lightning madness. However, the dice-gods were not present. (The yellow token represents Arlen's spells, in this case, Evasive Action)

Nemo cast Accelerate on the Defender, giving him a nine-inch move. He took a shot at Severius and did seven or eight damage.

Madness breaks out all over the table. The zealots were locked up with the Lancer for most of the game.

Ken sent a Revenger after the Defender to tie it up.

While on my end of the table, the other Revenger gets dangerously close to Nemo, allowing Sevvy to cast some spells and hurt the poor old fella. The pictures were blurry, but Nemo feated next turn, stopping the Revenger from arcing spells or hitting effectively.

On my third turn, Arlen cast evasive action on the Defender again, allowing it to leave combat with the Revenger by giving it immunity to free strikes, and thanks to a second casting of Accelerate, it walked a whopping 11 inches up to Severius. However, being a total boob, I forgot to assign focus to the warjack, and it missed the old curmudgeon.

Ken rests his hopes on the Redeemer, who wasn't in range of Nemo's feat the turn before.

The rocket barrage sends shrapnel flying in every direction, but luckily, none on Nemo himself.

The Revenger tries to hit Nemo, but with no focus, it doesn't pan out.

More shannanigans in the middle of the table.

In a clever play, Ken uses Sevvy's Vision spell to get him out of the Defender's melee range unharmed. In a less than clever play, Ken forgets to feat Severius, which I believe was the whole purpose of the move in the first place. (i.e. to deprive Nemo of spell-casting and focus next turn)

Of course, it turned out to be a fatal mistake. Nemo used his Overpower ability to increase the control area (so he could "reach" the Defender), and then place four focus on the Defender. The Defender waltzed up, took two smacks, and that, as they say, was that.

It's been quite some time since I played Warmachine with the guys, especially just Ken and I throwing down. Now that I'm getting a second wind for the game, I'll hopefully be painting some models in the not to distant future. Squire? Bodgers? Or maybe the big guy... ;)

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Law Comes to Hackett Farm

Many developments have taken place since we last looked in on the Assumption Vigilence Committee. There were even more violent engagements in Assumption inself. More brave citizens joined Sheriff Mast's cause, and the infamous outlaw leader, Gentlemen Earl himself, was gunned down by Mast. (He had been warned - J)

After driving the outlaws and remants of the 17th Cavalry from the town proper, the Sheriff received a visit a few days later from Jake Hackett, a local farmer with a respectable spread a couple of miles outside of the town itself. Jake informed Gabe and the Sheriff that the outlaws were holding up in his farm. His wife and children were in hiding at the old mill, and Jake was looking for vengence. Without delay, Sherrif Mast, his deputies, and a great number of concerned citizens mounted up and sped off to the Hackett farm.

All looked peaceful when they arrived. However, close inspection showed much trampling in the kitchen garden.

And then they appeared - the Major`s men. Drunk on Jake`s whiskey no doubt.

The major shouted orders from atop his steed and headed off around the ourtskirts of the farm.

Mast and his men (and Miss Sue Ellen) moved in. "Don't show no mercy," Mast shouted to the defenders.

Eli and Coop provided covering fire from the corral...

...unaware that scullduggery was underway on the part of the major.

Gunfire erupted on a deafening level. By the time the major reached Eli and Coop, the experienced defenders had gunned down the entire gang. The major and his wounded were driven out.

As soon as the 17th were driven off, sounds were heard in the stable. The remnants of the Sundown Gang (now called the Bullrun gang, on account of Bull Tucker runnin it and all) burst from the back door.

Bull Tucker, the Calamity Kid, and Bill Scranton were all present, along with some new blood. A stream of lead flew through the corral.

The Assumption Vigilence Committee moved around back and drove the gang towards the road.

The outlaws attempt to make one more stand in the cover of the trees. However, after Gabe used his LeMat pistol to good effect, the outlaws dispersed under heavy rifle fire. Hackett farm was liberated at last!

The Rest of the Evening:

The geeking did not stop there. We were taking turns throughout the evening playing Warmachine against Chris H's new Khador battlebox. He doesn't like Old West (we're working on that), so when Ken (finally) showed up, we set the table for two simultaneous LOTOW games. Below you can see Hackett Farm (foreground) and one of our many Assumption layouts (background)

I pretty much stopped taking photos at this point. However I did manage to capture Chris's Southerners on film hiding like cowards here...

...and here

Ken also brought his recently finished gang shown here. They are exquisitely painted, although my photography doesn't really do justice.

And in an entirely different vein, Chris E. brought along some 15mm Sci-Fi figures he'd recently finished. They are from Ground Zero Games and look very nice IMO.

As usual, a wonderful time was had by all, and Legends of the Old West has become firmly entrenched as one of our regular games.

Thanks for reading,