Monday, June 18, 2018

Dicey Rolling

Saturday night my wife and I played Dragonwood.

For "a game of dice" my rolling was particularly bad. One example:

Needing a 9 on 4 dice, I rolled an 8 (3, 3, 1, 1). But I have the lucky mushroom, which allows me to re-roll a die. Great! I just need to roll a 2+. And I get . . . a 1.

This happened multiple times during the night!

Naturally, my wife won.

Just a note - I really enjoy Dragonwood. Set up is quick and easy. The rules are simple also, which means it is easy to get back into even if we haven't played it in a while. Yet the game play is not simplistic; there are plenty of decisions the player needs to make (do I draw or fight? If I fight, which creature do I attack? What attack do I use? etc.) I have enjoyed this game a lot.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Waterloo Revisited

This week it dawned on me that the anniversary of Waterloo is approaching. I recalled that I played an enjoyable One Hour Wargames style scenario for the 200th anniversary. I decided to revisit that scenario.

The opposing forces are the same, although I am using counters instead of my 3mm Magister Militum figures. Furthermore, I am using my 1 inch gridded dry erase battle board with terrain features drawn on the map.

Now to the action

The British and French drawn up in opposing lines.

Napoleon sends cavalry and infantry forward on his right flank.

They engage the British. Hard fighting ensues.

Until the French cavalry is driven off.

Napoleon now launches a general advance. On the left, the French infantry is repulsed by British light troops defending the Hougoumont.

But the French try again and drive the British out. The French also take La Haye Saint.

The French keep pressing and rout the British infantry on the French left and center!

With half is army in flight, Wellington has no choice but to call for a general retreat. Napoleon has achieved a decisive victory!

Game Notes
  • Last year I was experimenting with some army level horse and musket rules but they were not available for today's battle (they are on my dead computer - I need a new battery). Instead, I improvised using my latest skirmish rules, treating each unit as an individual. The rules worked OK but I think my army level rules would be better.
  • In the past, I have used the Song of Blades and Heroes method of determining activation. For today, I simplified greatly - roll 1D6 (3+ to activate a unit) but the turn ends on a roll of a natural 1.
  • Early in the battle, both generals were plagued by bad command rolls and the action moved slowly. Napoleon corrected his command issues whereas Wellington did not. The result was a very vigorous offensive with a weak response, leading to Napoleon's success.
  • Overall, I enjoyed the battle. Sometimes it's good to roll dice and move units, even if the rules are fuzzy.

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Lost in Cyberspace

I had a few minutes for gaming yesterday. I pulled out my rockets and engaged in a dogfight. Alas, I sent my pictures via e-mail then deleted them from my phone before receiving the e-mails. However,  the e-mails never made it to my inbox. Looks like the pictures are lost in cyberspace.

I did jot down notes during the battle and have recreated the action as best as I can picture it.

Two Federation rockets (veterans) spy a squadron of 4 Imperials.

The Federation rockets engage, damaging 2 Imperials. White Two nearly takes a hit, but his skill allows him to dodge the incoming laser fire. Nevertheless, he is a bit rattled.
Game Note - White Two was damaged but I allow the "good guys" to try a Hero Roll. Success reduces the damage by 1 rank (Destroyed becomes damaged; damaged becomes rattled; rattled becomes a miss).

One Imperial breaks off. White Two zooms past an Imperial while White One scores another hit on his target.

The opponents circle for advantage.

The Federation rockets line up shots. One Imperial is destroyed and another damaged.

A bunch of misses at close range!

White Two gets on the tail of an Imperial! His shot destroys the enemy but he finds himself under fire by the last remaining Imperial. But his enemy misses!

The last Imperial tries to break off but White One gets him.

Monday, May 28, 2018


Thanks to those who gave their all so that our country could remain free.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A Trio of Trouble

I decided to play around with skirmish rules Saturday morning using a three-way gunfight (loosely inspired by this). I am using some sci-fi figures from Rebel Minis.

The adversaries - Red (left), Black Widow (middle), Buck (right)

 Note - for the purposes of this scenario I assumed they were armed and armored the same - laser pistols and light armor. So no WYSIWYG.

Buck acts first, shooting at Black Widow but missing. Red advances on Buck and also misses. Black Widow sidles to Red's side. Her shot wounds him.

This time Black Widow fires first, killing Red. Again, Buck misses Black Widow.

The adversaries close. Black Widow grazes Buck; he is rattled and misses one more time.

After another round of misses, Buck gets even closer, and still misses! Black Widow doesn't. That's the end of Buck.

For this take, I borrowed the action point mechanism from Munera Sine Missione but used a 2D6 combat mechanism (a la the original Traveller rpg).

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Summer Lull Has Started

I posted this chart in January 2017. Although it hasn't been updated since, I think the story it tells still applies.

As it shows, I typically go into a blogging slump beginning in May and lasting throughout the summer. It looks like this year is following a similar pattern. I have only posted once before this month, and it had nothing to do with miniatures.

I tried to break out of the slump this weekend. With no pressing chores, I had the time. I just did not have any inspiration. I planned to experiment more with Munera Sine Missione but just wasn't feeling it. I managed a couple of quick plays using some 2D6 skirmish rules I jotted down a while before. I used tokens and very little terrain so they did not last long enough to write about. I also have some minis on the work table, but again I was not motivated to paint.

I did make an interesting discovery - Amazing Tales

Billed as "a game for children who love adventures," Amazing Tales is a rules-light role-playing game. Characters are simply defined with a name, a description, and a list of four things they are good at doing. Play is likewise simple - the GM starts the story, confronts the players with a challenge, and then asks the players what they want to do. When players use one of their four things then they get to roll a die (ranging from a D6 to a D12 depending on how good they are), needing a 3+ to succeed. If they succeed, they get to narrate the result. If not, the GM will increase the challenge. Note that it's really more of a collaborative storytelling game than a classic RPG (where the GM decides what happens). Nevertheless, it is an incredibly light rules system for crafting adventures.

Now I don't have kids and don't plan on finding any to play this game. However, it intrigues me because my wife has typically been put off by all the math in role-playing games. I'm curious if she would take to this.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

A Couple of New Games

My wife and I have grown a bit tired of our current crop of games. We have some good games but they are a pain to set up (looking at you Fortune & Glory). As a result, we have primarily been playing card games with little set up time. However, we are bored of the same old thing. Thus we decided to do a little game shopping last night. We went to Barnes and Nobles looking for some simple games.

First up was Forest.

Elizabeth just adores the artwork and theme (a fairy forest). The game was surprisingly fun for such simple rules. You lay down cards with random numbers and kinds of little fairy creatures. You can claims cards once there is 7 of a kind on the table. The goal is to claim the most cards.

While the rules are simple, there is some nuance to gameplay. First, you must be observant enough to recognize when there is 7 of a kind. You also need to plan your moves - you want to build up to 7 but you don't want to accidentally set up your opponent.

Overall, it was an enjoyable experience.

We then tried Dragonwood, by the company that published Forbidden Island.

In this game, 5 Dragonwood cards, representing monsters or enchantments, are placed on the table. Players try to overcome a monster/enchantment and collect its card. Monster cards provide victory points while enchantments provide bonuses in future battles. Players use Adventurer cards to buy dice; the player must roll a certain number or higher to win the battle. There are different types of attacks, adding some decision making to the process. The game continues until the two dragons are defeated (or until Onyx the cat sits on the card deck. Sorry, no picture. :( ).

This was another light game with simple rules that provided an entertaining experience.

Overall, we felt we chose well. We enjoyed both games. There was enough strategy in each to keep us thinking, but it was not burdensome with respect to rules or set up time. I recommend both these games for some short, light fun.

Note: all photos are from Boardgamegeek.