Monday, May 25, 2020

Remember

Let us remember the sacrifices of those who died in service to the nation.


God bless them and God bless America.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Heroes' Fury

This past week I continued playing around with my mash-up of Age of Heroes and Hell Hath No Fury. I'm simply calling the rules Heroes' Fury (HF).

The Troll
Scenario 2 from Hell Hath No Fury. Tex's Tigers have been ordered to seize a vital bridge. Unbeknownst to them, there's a "troll" guarding the bridge.

The attack starts off well. The Tigers wipe out 2 squads of enemy infantry.

But things go sour when Dominion armor and artillery counterattack. Then the "troll," a super-heavy tank appears (I gave it 3 hits + the Big Gun trait)

The Tigers swing around the right flank. Tex's tank is crippled.

Tex and his crew bail. They hitch a ride on Tiger 2, which skedaddles from the fight.

The bridge remains in Dominion hands.

Post Action Briefing
Tigers' record = 1-1

Tex had a tough fight on his hands in this one, made more difficult because HQ (i.e. me) reduced his force by 1 vehicle. I figured that I had reduced the potential enemies, so I should also reduce the attackers. I guess the scenario was not balanced to begin with!

I only made one minor rules change. Upon being damaged, a tank had to roll morale otherwise it fled from the fight. I did not apply it to the Tigers, figuring that their morale was excellent (and it would have left the Tigers short-handed very early in the battle).

Fighting Withdrawal
Scenario 6 from Hell Hath No Fury. After the Tiger's were repulsed by the Troll, the Dominion launches a counterattack. The Tigers set up a defensive line, with aid from the missile-armed Hornets.

The Dominion attack includes self-propelled artillery, armor, and infantry. Their first salvo falls short but the Tigers response destroys some infantry and damages a tank.

The Hornets' armor hold up. Again, the response is lethal.

 Tasting victory, the Tigers sortie from the defensive position.

And quickly mop up the rest of the offensive.

Post Action Briefing
Tiger's record = 2-1

I skipped scenarios 3 - 5 because they were more attacks, and it did not seem to make sense from a narrative standpoint. After being defeated, I thought it made sense that the Tigers would retreat with the enemy on their heels. Scenario 6 was the first with the player on the defensive.

This scenario was very much to Tex's advantage. Basically it was like shooting fish in a barrel. However, there wasn't much maneuvering so it wasn't the most interesting scenario.

I forgot to apply the morale rule I introduced last game, but it did not really make a difference.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Heroes Have No Fury

I had the day off Wednesday and was thinking about playing a game. I considered starting my Age of Heroes campaign, but just wasn't feeling it.

What kind of game was I interested in? I had this idea of running a platoon of tanks against random enemies. Were there any rules out there that would work for such a game? Thoughts turned to this:


Hell Hath No Fury, by Two Hour Wargames, is a set of mini rules for World War II tank skirmishes, where each figure is 1 tank. As is typical with THW titles, HHNF is designed for solo or co-op play. Sounds perfect, except that I am not a fan of THW's combat rules.

Nevertheless, I picked up HHNF, primarily because I was interested in its system for randomly determining enemy forces. In this respect, I am pleased with my purchase. The system for placing PEFs (possible enemy forces) and then generating the encounters seems very sensible. And it also includes 10 scenarios, perfect for campaigning.

Of course, I am an inveterate tinkerer; I am not going to play HHFN as written. First off, I don't have any WWII figures. Instead, I plan to use my sci-fi tanks, like these on the left:

And as I mentioned, I don't like the THW combat rules. So I spent much of Wednesday afternoon trying to decide what rules to use. Ultimately, I came up with a quirky thought - modify Age of Heroes for vehicular combat. Let's see how that works out.


First Light
First Light is the first scenario from Hell Hath No Fury. It involves a tank platoon on patrol; its mission is to reach the enemy baseline and spend a turn in each of 3 sectors.

We now take you to the planet Zirconia, where the robotic Dominion has overrun the human colony. The Federation has sent reinforcements, including Tex Pearson's tank platoon (known as Tex's Tigers).

The Tigers on patrol (bottom). Tex is in the middle with Tiger 2 on the right and Tiger 3 on the left. There are 3 PEFs (possible enemy forces) behind the hills and woods.
Purple are the alien woods (3 copses = heavy) and orange are hills.

The Tigers move forward and spot 2 of the PEFs - a squad of infantry and a lone tank.
HHNF does not include infantry, but I don't have enough variety of tanks. I assumed that the infantry has power armor so I decided to treat them like light tanks.

Tex takes a shot at the enemy tank but it bounces off the enemy armor.

The third PEF appears - artillery (treated like a medium tank). It fires at Tex and scores a hit.
Tex counts as a 'hero' so he can take 3 hits.

While Tex backs off, his mates push forward on the flanks. Tiger 3 wipes out the infantry.

Artillery fire bounces off Tiger 2's armor.

Then Tex wipes out the artillery.

The platoon converges on the enemy tank. Tiger 2 damages it.
I gave tanks the Tough trait from Age of Heroes, this gives them 2 hits.

But the enemy ultimately succumbs.

The Tigers are now free to complete their patrol.

Evaluation
Ever since I decided to try out Age of Heroes for tank skirmishes, doubts began to creep in. Would AoH be too simplistic for mechanized combat? I began to think of modifications to add "realism" - a result table to determine if a hit destroys or only disables the target, limitations on a tank's ability to turn, etc. I finally scrapped all these ideas and decided to play it fairly straight. I made a few modifications.
  • The standard Defense (Armor in AoH terms) is 4 instead of 5
  • As noted earlier, tanks received the Tough upgrade, giving them an extra hit
  • Tanks also received the Extra Armor upgrade, giving them +1 on defense rolls
  • Vehicles rolled -1 for Defense if shot from the flank and -2 from the rear
The last modification really helped with the feel. Shots were bouncing off frontal armor. Tanks would then maneuver into position to get off a flank or rear shot. In the end, it gave a fun game.

I have a more mixed reaction to the pieces I took from Hell Hath No Fury. I liked the fog of war of the PEFs. I modified / simplified the encounter charts (even odds of facing D3 infantry / artillery / armor) and have no complaints about the opposition. I just realized that there should be a chance of the PEF being nothing; a change for another day.

I have some doubts about the scenario, however. It seems that the PEFs will appear between your platoon and the objective. Thus, you will generally have to defeat the PEFs to accomplish the mission, but then the mission essentially becomes one of eliminating the opposition rather than patrolling. 

I began having ideas to spice things up a bit. Instead of the PEFs being on the board at start, roll each turn to determine if enemy forces appear (randomly moving onto the board). I envision a game where the platoon battles to reach the objective then gets ambushed by randomly appearing forces on its way back to base. Hmmm.

Anyway, I feel that this experiment was a success and will warrant more skirmishes. Stay tuned for more Heroes Have No Fury (although actually they do).

Friday, May 15, 2020

Where to Begin?

Last month, I mentioned that I placed an order for a bunch of ancient/medieval/fantasy 10mm figures from Irregular Miniatures. I am pleased to say that they just arrived.


The magnitude of my undertaking has just hit me. There are over 50 miniatures in this batch, which is a lot for me. I need to chunk out this project into manageable bites. So the question becomes, where do I start?

I have divided the order into matched sets.

  • Imperials vs Barbarians (i.e. Romans vs Gauls)
  • Knights vs Desert Raiders (i.e. Crusaders vs Turks)
  • Paladins (using the Crusaders) vs Skeletons
  • Elves vs Orcs
  • Dwarves vs Goblins
  • Halflings vs Lizardmen
I posted a poll in Lead Adventure Forum. Please go there to vote.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

More Age of Heroes

Over the past week I have played around some more with Age of Heroes.

Another Arena Fight
After their not-so stellar debut, I decided to give Nocan the Barbarian and Blandalf the wizard another chance for glory.

Blandalf redeemed himself, killing 2 scorpions (the picture shows him blasting one that is rushing Nocan's flank).

Gimlet and Archer No. 1 also scored kills in this battle. Nocan was still useless.

An Age of Heroes Campaign
While arena battles are fun, they can get a little stale when it is the same 2 teams fighting. I decided to spice up the fights with a skirmish campaign.

The concept is that a party of 5 adventurers have been hired to defend a village from a band of marauding orcs. I created a list of missions and will roll randomly each game to determine the mission. The campaign will last 5 games.

But before that, I decided to try out my newly completed Magnificent Not-Quite-Seven.

Introducing the team (L to R) - Nocan the Barbarian, Blandalf the wizard, Boros the Red Priest, Gimlet the dwarf, and Armolas the elf (Boros and Armolas are new).

In the arena vs. some (refurbished) scorpions. Blandalf blasts 2 of them while Gimlet hacks another in twain.

Boros kills one. Nocan finally hits! But his weak blow fails to penetrate the bug's chitin. Armolas has to slay it with a well-placed arrow.

In this battle, everyone scored a kill, except for Nocan!

Saturday, May 2, 2020

No Can Do - An Arena of Heroes Report

I finished a couple more 10mm fantasy figures, so I decided to play another game of Age of Heroes, once again set as a gladiator battle between 2 teams (hence the Arena of Heroes title).

A shot of (most) of my adventurers. From L to R - Nocan the Barbarian, the wizard Blandalf, and Gimlet the dwarf. Nocan and Blandalf are new.

The arena is set. The adventurers (with an added archer) are ready to face a band of orcs (from L to R - an archer, orc champion, and 2 warriors).
I upgraded my barriers to 3D, using bits of balsa.

The orc warriors rush forth. The orc champion and Nocan the Barbarian remain very complacent.

 But the leaders finally act. The orc champion charges Blandalf while Nocan assists Gimlet.

The orc champion cuts down Blandalf.

And then Gimlet falls.

At this point, the herald trumpeted the end of the bout. A clear victory for the orcs!

An utterly disappointing start for Nocan and Blandalf (who earned their names because of their ineptitude). They caused zero hits and Blandalf fell to an orc.

Notes

  • For the most part, I am playing Age of Heroes as written, except as noted below.
  • Force compositions were slightly different:
    • I used 4 figures teams rather than 5. Don't ask why, it's silly.
    • Once again, the orcs had no upgrades (although I think they earn one with today's victory).
    • Nocan was the hero, Gimlet was tough (can take 2 hits), and Blandalf had piercing shot (no armor save). The only problem with piercing shot is that my wizards can never hit anything!
  • I transferred movement to a grid, with a maximum move of 3 spaces (vs. 10 cm). Missile weapon range is 10 spaces (vs. 30 cm).
  • I also added an activation roll. On a team's turn, roll a D6 per figure:
    • 1 = figure takes no action this turn
    • 2-3 = figure may move up to 1 space this turn and then attack, or run 2 spaces without attacking
    • 4-5 = figures moves 2 spaces + attack or runs 4 spaces
    • 6 = figure moves 3 spaces + attack or runs 6 spaces
I like the fog of war that the activation roll creates. It especially makes my solo games more interesting.

Friday, May 1, 2020

Arena of Heroes

After my successful experiment with Age of Heroes, I began to ponder using the rules for fantasy skirmishes. At the same time, Kaptain Kobold's recent gladiator reports (here's the latest) got me interested in gladiator games. How about using Age of Heroes for team battles in an arena?

I experimented with a virtual board.

Teams consisted of a hero, 2 warriors, and an archer. The archer had limited ammo. I randomly placed 4 obstacles that could be used as cover.

The games were a lot of fun. In fact, I've played nearly 20 games on my virtual board.

Of course, I ultimately want to convert to miniatures on an actual board. I went a bit crazy and ordered enough 10mm figures for a dozen teams! Well now I had a dilemma, how to store all these new figures?

Work came to my rescue. Earlier in the year I celebrated my 15th anniversary at my company. They gave me a nice trophy (which is sitting on my desk at work). It came in a nice box.

Being a minimalist, I normally don't save stuff, but I made an exception for this box.

Good thing. I think it will make perfect storage for all my fantasy figures.

The box top made a perfect play space. I cut out an 8 x 8 grid from a Pathfinder flip mat and then made obstacles from the leftover bit.

I created two teams from my existing fantasy miniatures (still waiting on my order):

  • A knight hero, dwarf warrior, an archer, and sorceress, vs.
  • An orc warlord, 2 warriors, and an archer

Here is the final position.

 The knight (with 2 wounds) and dwarf are still alive along with an orc warrior. The adventurers scored 3 kills on 5 wounds while the orcs scored 2/4. Victory for the adventurers!

I did not use upgrades for my virtual battles but did so for the miniature session. The dwarf was tough (+1 Health) and the sorceress had a Piercing Shot (no armor roll). Too bad she never hit anything before being cut down by an orc warrior.