Assorted games from recent weeks.

As much as I’ve been busy beavering away in the shed making kits and painting I have been getting quite a few games in too. I’ve not done a battle report in a while for the simple reason that trying to take photos at meaningful points in the game comes third to a) playing the game and b) having a laugh with my mates, the latter is the best reason for gaming imo.

Nonetheless I have taken some ‘happy snaps’ as it were of a few recents evening’s gaming so thought I’d put them up here:

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First up we have the old Milton Bradley game Battlemasters from 1992. Done in conjunction with Games Workshop as an entry level game it comes with a rather nice printed plastic mat.

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Paul had found a cheap copy in a charity shop so he took it up to the games club and gave it a run through that evening. It plays quick so we managed to get two full games in. The above photo gives you some idea of how the random card cannon mechanisms works.

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The second scenario saw the ‘evil/ chaos’ army attempting to force a river crossing to take out a fortified tower. It seemed to be a quite a tall order for them to do that given that the ‘Empire’ army was at full strength.

Cold war game

I ran a nice little 6mm 5core: Brigade Commander game for Evan and Bill that saw Bill’s 1980s British defend a section of the German countryside from Evan attacking Soviets. You can’t beat a bit of 1980s Cold War what if? gaming to stir nostalgic memories of the 1980s. I really should get a CD of 80s music to go with these games.

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The twist in the scenario was that the Soviets faced a large flanking counter attack that they weren’t ecpecting. Here Evan tries to reposition his troops in the face of approaching British armour.

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Here a MIG 23 from the VVS tries to halt the encroaching Chieftans threatening to overrun the Soviet HQ. The game ended in a bloody draw.

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I have managed to get a couple of games of the French expansion of The Great War board game. The op[ening games are based around the battles for Verdun. The first game seemed a tough ask for the defending French. I played the game twice in an evening with Paul swopping side: on both occasions the French were decisively beaten.

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I played the second of the new scenarios with Evan. Again we played it twice, again the French were beaten both times. Evan played as the Germans the first time. Veteran gamer that he is he quickly indentified the the weakpoint in my defences and went for it winning comfortably. After we swopped sides I looked at the board and couldn’t come up with a better plan so copied his shamelessly for much the same result.

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I dug out my modest fleets of Russo- Japanese War ships for a naval battle with Paul. We could have probably done with a bigger table as this turned out to be the naval equivalent of a knife fight in a telephone box.

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Here Paul’s Russian battleship is trying to ram my battleship squadron, having crossed his ‘T’ I gave him little option. Fortunately he bounced off my side armour and a lucky critical hit roll sunk him. A fun game, I need to add to my collection though before I can play the war as a campaign as I intend to do at some point.

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Finally with have the recent Too Fat Lardies’ tank skirmish ruleset What a Tanker. Evan ran the game for Bill and I, I had three BT7s and a T28 facing off against a STUGIII, Pz38t and a PzII. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing around the table Bill whittled me down for the win. I’ve mixed views on the game (I think the games set in the early war don’t work, for boring mathematical reason, due to the game design) but that aside it was one of the most enjoyable evening gaming I had had in a long time.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

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Everybody Dies Harder- the Megagame.

A couple of Saturdays ago I helped control Pennine Megagames’ biggest game to date: Everybody Dies Harder. 90 players and 12 or so control assembled in Manchester for a game set in the world of Game of Thrones.

 

Those of you who know me know that fantasy stuff isn’t always my thing (especially the ‘high’ fantasy end of things) so I am completely unfamiliar with the setting having only watched part of the first episode of series one and having not read any of the books. Still a human based world with plenty of backstabbing and politicking can’t be all bad.

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Players were divided up into regions each one having a ruler and various subordinates, also present were representatives of various religions as well as some mysterious scholars and wandering bards, plus a separate game area for the ruling council. Given my unfamiliarity of the setting I had asked Becky (game designer) for a role that relied more on application of game mechanics rather than knowledge of the background. Accordingly, I was given responsibility of any naval activity at the main map. This basically boiled down to adjudicating any naval combat, resolving pirate raids by the Iron Islanders and checking player character sea movement. After a fairly slow start to the game I was kept busy throughout the day without ever being too rushed. If the game runs again I think that there is room in the game turn to expand the naval combat a bit to make it more engaging, something akin to land combat at least in terms of the time taken to resolve and action as well as the complexity of doing so.

 

The players seemed to really get in to the spirit of things, little surprise given the popularity of the series so the game went rather smoothly, at least from my perspective. Bizarrely it also gave me some insight into running military heavy operational games… Pennine Megagames has gamers from many backgrounds, some of which aren’t into or don’t have the knowledge of the military side of history but still happily control such games. Given that I knew nothing of the background it was the first time I found myself controlling in a setting I was completely unfamiliar with; as such I now have more empathy with those in that situation. I’m sure I can take that forward with how I can approach operational games in the future, especially with regards to the uninitiated.

 

Becky has written lots on her blog about her game which I recommend you looking at here:

 

http://www.beckybeckyblogs.com/

 

As always look at Pennine Megagames on both the web and on Facebook:

 

http://www.penninemegagames.co.uk/

 

Everybody Dies Harder also marked the point where I have now controlled more game than I have played in- I need to do more to correct this imbalance. That said next month’s game I am down to play so I am really looking forward to that.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Dungeons Of Yendor.

In the middle of August some 80 or so gamers met up in Manchester to play one of the latest games by noted designer Jim Wallman. Set within his established setting of Yendor (I believe this was the third or foruth megagame to be run in its environs) the King is fed up with parties of adventurers going down to the dungeon and causing trouble as well as the troublesome Orcs (free folk in this game) raiding out of them.Accodingly the King’s army has been tasked to clear the dungeons on mass.

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The game saw teams of players taken on the roles of the King’s army with their allied factions of Elves and Free folk as well as wizards decsend in to the dungeon; it was inhabited by teams or players representing factions that become increasingly monstrous the further down you went.

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My role was as control for the Free  Folk allied to the King’s army so my perception of the game is pretty much limited to that position. The Free folk did send one detachment with the main body of the King’s army but their main force seemed to be content to try to force its own path through the dungeon, engaging in some pretty big pitched battles with the dungeon dwelling Free Folk along the way. For army sized units to go dungeoneering you need to factor in a fairrly substantial logistical element. This really was the crux of the game and a faliure to really grasp this seemed to lead to some inital frustration with the players. That said all the players seemed to get into the game well; the number of players in costume was higher than normal too.

Given my role there were parts of the game, especially concerning the deeper parts of the dungeon that I was unaware of, something involving plastecine monsters, until one materialized on the surface attacking some Free Folk. After what was the best attended Pennine megagame to date we all went to the pub for the usual informal debrief.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.