A rescue mission: Necromunda Campaign game 6.

In my last game against Joe’s Venator bounty hunters led by Colonel Reynolds Feathers I had a ganger Lebedev captured, as such I had the right to attempt a rescue mission before he was sold to the guilders. James (running a rival Venators gang: Harkathnut’s Void Pirates) also had a fighter captured. I was approached to see if I was wanting to run a joint rescue mission to free both of our gangers; that sounded like too much fun to pass up so we teamed up in raid into Joe’s territory.

necro 6_1

I was a few members down as they were recovering from wounds recieved in the previous fight and James’s Void piratesd were down in number too… still together we just were more powerful than the Colonel and his men.

necro 6_2

We set up on a large 6 foot by 4 foot board with the prisoner’s cage in the middle on the back edge. Joe deployed a few of his gangers as sentries and lookouts, the rest being held back as reinforcements.

necro 6_3

My plan was to slowly work my way forward until all my gangers were where I wanted them before I made my move. This didn’t work for two reasons: firstly Col. Feathers himself is always accompanied by a mutt of some description which is great at detecting troops and secondly James used his terrain and cards to inflitrate a large portion of his Void Pirates getting them into the fight almost straight away.

necro 6_4

We had fun rolling to control Joe’s sentries, moving them randomly and turning their backs’ to face the wrong way, ostensibly to jeer at the prisoners. James and I also used our cards well to switch of the lights, plunging that sector of the underhive into darkness. This was less of a problem for us as we had lots of photo goggles (gave us a 12″ line of sight unlike Joe’s 3″).

necro 6_5

One of my gangers was quickly detected by Col. Feathers dog ending the sneaking around part so James used that moment to spring out of cover using his infiltration ability. A few of my men were a bit far away to do much at this point but wewere able to divert some of James’ reinforcements. They spent a bit of time hunting down my gang trying to root me out. This took the pressure of James so he could free both prisoners.

necro 6_6

Other than the swirling confused melee around the prisoner cage (Col. Feathers has an Ambot as well as Half- Horn in his outfit meaning we never wanted to get too close of hang around in one spot really) the highlight for me was dispatching the Col. His mutt had bitten the face off two of my gangers (Van Saar are beyond feeble in hand to hand combat) and was bearing down on my leader with the Col. not far behind. The Col. raised his bolter and emptied his clip in the face of my leader missing completely. My leader calmly raised his melta/las combiweapon, and successfuly ignoring the mutt one shotted Col. Feathers taking him and his dog out of the game. Not sure which I was most pleased to see the back of him or his dog….

necro 6_7

I was taking gangers off the table as they got to the edge and this meant after freeing my gangers I involuntarily bottled. Still for freeing my man I gained more than I lost. Ending one of the most enjoyable games so far.

necro 6_8

In a nice twist of fate my next opponent will be James. I was kind of hoping he would betray me thus giving a nice narrative reason for the next game… will have to see what happens…

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

Advertisements

Mixed fortunes for Tech Noir: Necromunda Campaign games 3, 4 and 5.

I’ve played several games in my Necromunda campaign in quick succession so I have decided to do the write ups in one go.

For the campaigns third game I had to intercept Niall’s gang of Genestealer Cultists who were trying to escort an Imperial agent safely through the underhive.

necro 3_1

I did my usual trick of setting up on the high ground to present a firing line of gangers whilst my champions and leader went in on ground level to try and do the damage.

necro 3_2

The plan was OK and I had a couple of early success, especially in getting rid of the webgun armed cultist that would have got annoying quickly but overal I found that whilst I wasgetting lots of hits on target I wasreally struggling to convert them into damage.

necro 3_3

As a consequence I got quite badly chewed up inthe game and had most of my gang out of action.

necro 3_5

My fourth game was a challenge against Marcus and the campaign constant opposition. It would hopefully be an easier game and allow me to regroup before my next campaign fight.

necro 4_1

Fighting Fighting genestealer cults again wastough, again I struggled to convert my hits into damage. This is due partly to bad luck and partly to the low power of my guns.

necro 4_2

The game saw us trying to defile a relic/ marker belonging to each gang. I played defensively; by trying to make the cultists come to me I was hoping that the high rate of fire I could put out would chew them up.

necro 4_3

This didn’t really happen, and after some nasty brushed with the bigger genestealer mutants I cheesed a win by the clock running out on the time we had to play in.

necro 4_7

My fith game, and fourth campaign game was against Joe’s Venator (Bounty Hunters) gang. I knew this would be a hard fight as they are a powerful and well equipped gang. This was made harder by the scenario as the game was played in the dark. Line of sighht was limited to 3 inches and 12 inches if you have night vision (as most of mine did). Furthermore isolated figures could be picked of by monsters in the dark

necro 5_1

The game was a bit of disaster. My luck was against me and many, many volleys of grenades were thrown in my direction (they could be thrown blind).

necro 5_2

Again what hits I did get on targets for the most part failed to convert into any damage.

necro 5_3

In the end I voluntarily withdrew from the battlefield… to add insult to injury one of my gangers was captured. My next game will be a rescue mission to try and get him back.

necro 5_5

After these games the weaponary for my gangers needs a re-think I’ve got some ideas of what to do plus another box of gangers and some upgrade parts so hopefully next time I should do a bit more damage.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Megagame Report: Juntas.

Taking inspiration from the classic old board game of the same name (which I still haven’t played yet) Paul put on this megagame in Manchester on the 24th November. The scenario was expanded beyond the premise of the board game to have players taking on the role of the ruling politicos/ families of four fictional 1960/ 1970s South American countries, all of which were centred around the Anaconda basin. Also, there were players representing various multinational corporations trying to exploit the countries natural resources; four 2- person ambassador teams from the major powers (USA/ UK/ France/ USSR), five single player roles were given over to intelligence operators (all with bland names starting with ‘J’) and finally there were two players taking the roles of writers floating about looking for the story of the century. These final two roles were based on Ernest Hemmingway and Paul Theroux.

20181124_123911

The network figures on the abstracted board.

My job on the day was to run the intelligence game, something that I always enjoy doing. The game was a mixture of open and closed maps. There was a map that everyone could see that showed the info that everyone would know but a large amount of the info about the actual state of a country was kept hidden by control. This design philosophy was reflected in the intelligence game. The players had an abstracted map of the area upon which coloured figures were moved that represented local and transnational networks that could be hired to do the intelligence officers bidding. Whilst the players could negotiate and talk to other players in the game pretty freely the only way that they could mechanically interact with the game was through the networks. The hidden information came from the fact that they invested money into each network and only I as intelligence control knew who had invested what and who had ultimate control of each network. The five players were all experienced megagamers and kept me busy all day with some excellent ideas. Of the five roles four were American, and the final one was Soviet. Three of the US players worked quite closely together whilst John, playing a National Security Agency player, acted to type and kept a distance. Daniel as the Soviet was up against it from the start as the others instantly were suspicious of him, furthermore he invested heavily in the worst network in the game meaning that their loyalty to him was only matched by their incompetence in the field. Networks could be tested to see how good they were but that was not really done by many of the players.

20181124_124432

A general view of the hall with the screened off umpires’ section, the open map (bottom right) and the country tables round the edge of the room.

I could tell from turn one that I was going to be in for a busy game as Matt had been planning on the train down to the game, as he told me after the game’s conclusion, for his opening gambit. He wanted to buy a large quantity of heroin to have it at hand to potentially use to destabilise any of the four played countries if it looked like that they were going to move towards socialism/ communism… very CIA. His networks spent a few early turns locating and the purchasing said drugs. Ed was seemingly unhappy with his budget allocation and rather than deal with the paperwork to increase it (which was an in- game option) decided to raise his own slush fund by having his network rob some banks for him. This did wind up the counties no end as it got docked out of their budgets, as Ed’s networks were pretty good he never had an agent captured that might’ve given him away. A couple did go out in a hail of gunshots on the steps of a bank.

20181124_132428

The common knowledge map of the Anaconda basin.

Within the structure of the turn I was busy all the time as I needed to keep my paperwork regarding the networks up to date, thanks are due here to Becky W for helping my out with  cash counting duities. Collate the pieces of information that the intel players were asking for, resolve any other actions then relaying any pertinent info to the relevant country controls. As such I didn’t see much of the game other than that which was through the spy’s lens. John played the slow and steady game, sticking to his brief by infiltrating and bugging each countries’ radio network. This was spotted by the other three American intel players and they did try to spy on John to find out his loyalties. I just told them that they didn’t have a high enough security clearance to have the answer. At this stage of the cold war even the acronym ‘NSA’ was classified, hence its occasional nickname of ‘No Such Agency’.

20181124_124451

A glimpse behind the umpire’s screen where the countries’ actual data was tracked.

Daniels lowly network was nothing but not persistent taking several turns to finally blow up a dam as an act of economic warfare. As he was about to be hunted down to the others as the game drew to a close Daniel did the sensible thing and negotiated for himself a French passport. The heroin did make its way into the game as it was infiltrated, by the troika of US players when a country went over to communism, into a player’s food to make him unwell when it was withdrawn to limit his efficiency. It may have sounded far- fetched but one only has to remember the CIA plots against Cuba’s Castro during this time frame.

All in all it was a busy but very fun day and another solid political- military game by Paul to finish off Pennine Megagames 2018 calendar. The only thing that I would think about changing from my corner of the game would be to have an intel player tied to each ambassador team as it was difficult for the USSR player to do much and the US got a bigger advantage than the others as there were four players supporting that side.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

https://www.penninemegagames.co.uk/

Megagame Report: Czech mate ’38.

Czechmate ’38 was an operational megagame put on by Paul Howarth in October.  As can be guess from the name it is a what if? Exploration of what could of happened had the Czechoslovaks militarily resisted the attended annexation of the Sudetenland.  It was designed to test out some mechanics before they were used in other, bigger, games; as such this game was run as a small affair through Paul’s Story Living Games.

I got the chance to be the overall commander of the Czechoslovak forces. I came up with a simple plan. A crust of defences that would be held doggedly and the reserves held centrally to respond to the inevitable breakthrough. With only one good mobile division I kept it near the capital as I figured that this would be the main target for the Germans on the day to try and force the Czechs out of the game. I did know that the Germans only had about a fortnight’s worth of supplies, so it was a question of just holding on and trying to not give up any more real estate than I could.

cm1

The plan forms.

On the day because of the small numbers of players I would also be running the air forces for my side. I had helped Paul with playtesting this part of the game quite a bit, so I was confident that I could do both jobs easily.

cm5

A close up view of the air game board.

What really made my day go so well was the sterling work gone by Nick who was my aide de camp who kept me up to date with what was happening on the map, relaying messages and generally keeping things going along.

cm3

My reserves looked impressive stacked up until I saw all the German cubes….

The previous playtesting of the air game had given me a slight advantage even though the Czechoslovak Air Force was greatly outnumbered by the Luftwaffe: I knew I could go toe to toe so put very little up in the early turns conceding air superiority on the basis that I’d never be in a position to seriously contest it anyway. I fully expected a massive German offensive, so my plan was to only fly 50% of my force at any one time, keep stuff cycled through quickly and concentrate on targeting the command and control links of the Wehrmacht.

cm4

General shot of the room: the two smaller tables are for the air game.

The main game was played on an open map with 5cm polystyrene blocks. Each block represented a regiment with the face uppermost indicating that regiment’s current status. The blocks also showed the combat value in each state. Players were given and then had to spend command points to activate their units. It was my responsibility to assign from my pool of points allocations to each player.

cm7

See what I mean about all the red German cubes…? Good job they took so long to clear the border fortifications.

In the plenary briefing of the game I got a little worried when Paul said that if the Czechoslovaks got wiped out and defeated by half past 12 would could just reset, swap sides and go again… it got me expecting a whitewashing. Fortunately, the bunkers that most of my troops started in were pretty tough and the fact that the German Heer was trying to advance whole Corps along a single mountainous road in October meant that they struggled to get the command points to activate.

cm8

Fall back positions were organised.

When the Germans made their first breakthrough I called a tea break to sort out the allocation of reserves and to speak to each commander to see how likely they were to hold out and for how long. At this point I assigned some fall-back positions trying to make the best use of natural obstacles. I was prepared to give up some areas rather than risk having any forces encircled.

cm9

An army marches on its stomach so I brought tea lof to sustain my Czech team.

In the end the reserves, at least those that were rifle divisions, were parcelled out quite early. Hindsight has made me consider if a bolder strategy would have been to have released them to players at the start to make the initial crust of defences very strong indeed. It would have left me with only the Fast Division to act as a reserve which wouldn’t have been very much at all…

cm12

Towards the end of the game the Germans did start breaking through.

I got the chance to do a little roleplaying/ politicking to try and appeal to the French to apply diplomatic pressure. I knew a full-scale invasion of Germany wouldn’t be possible (and outside the scope of the game) but when it was announced that the Poles were mobilizing to take advantage of our misfortunes I appealed to the French to call them off. I knew that this would be easier if we managed to put in a decent counter attack. I knew that I couldn’t turn back the German tide, but I could definitely put a dint into the main thrust. It is worth remembering that the German tanks at this stage were quite poor, mostly Panzer I and Panzer IIs with the better Panzer IIIs and IVs being quite rare. Easy prey for the LT 35 and LT 38 tanks with their 37mm guns I could field. The attack went in as I planned and managed to stall the main German thrust to Prague. It wasn’t a game winning manoeuvre, but it should that will still had fight left in us and saved the capital for a few more days. In the end the game ended after ten days/ turns; certainly, much of the country was occupied but we still had units in the field and a functional government. The Germans had paid a heavy cost to get this far, especially in materiel. So much that a further invasion of Poland the following year would have been doubtful.

The game system seemed pretty solid and I’m looking forward to it being used in next year’s Poland game. The only thing that needs to be added would be a better fog of war mechanism so the location of my reserves would of have to have been discovered in the game by the Germans but that is a minor thing. The only down side of the day is that I now want to raise a 20mm collection to fight out some of the battles the game generated with toy soldiers.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Megagames Report: Everybody Dies 3: Playing with Fire.

I’m a bit behind with putting up my megagame reports so expect a glut of them over the next few days… They might not be as long as previous game write- ups but I’m keen to get as much down on each of them.

ED3 1

The very evocative map was back- new were dragon miniatures.

The first of September saw Pennine Megagames put on Becky Ladley’s Everybody Dies 3: Playing with Fire. This was a return to the Game of Thrones world; this time set a good 150 years before the novels/ TV series. The big feature of this game is that it featured large numbers of dragons flying around and getting involved in the narrative. As I’m, seemingly, one of the few people that have still not read the books or watched the TV show I volunteered to control. I was put in charge of running the map where those players commanding armies would be.

Keeping the players on track proved to be hard work and I’m sorry to say that it was my first experience of players purposely bending the rules. I’m sure it happens in many games, but it was a first to see it first- hand…

ED3 3

The busiest part of the map for the whole game.

The game was very much focused around the events in King’s Landing where the King died in the first turn sparking a civil war between the Greens and Blacks. There were only a few battles on the map so most of the day I was regulating movement and calling players on it to keep them on the straight and narrow… some not liking that.

ED3 4

Becky had won a competion to get an ice sculpture- got to be a first in a megagame.

As the third run of the game it was very slick in terms of the mechanics. Becky had done a great job simplifying and clarifying both the map movement and the combat. Using the same basic mechanisms for both land and naval combat was a good idea and the game handbook was well produced.

ED3 5

Daniel lays down the law with a two hand point during a combat.

For an excellent reflective piece by Becky on her game look to her blog here.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Necromunda Campaign Game 2

Yesterday I went down to the club for my second outing with ‘Tech Noir’. I was drawn against Mark’s Escher which I knew would be a tough fight as they have poisoned weapons. Lots of poisoned weapons. The only real counter to them is to be tough, tougher the better… something my pencil- necked techno geeks aren’t.

necro 2_1

Tech Noir lined up before deployment on to the table.

For the second cycle of the campaign the scenario was predetermined to be ‘The Hit’ with elements of the stronger gang trying to take out the leader of the weaker gang. Reading through the set up details I thought it was as good as it could be. The Escher would have to come to me and I would just try to put as many shots as I could at the as the advanced.

necro 2_2

We played in the bottom half of this 4 foot by 8 foot table. I set up in the tallest tower roughly in the middle of the full table.

necro 2_7

Taking the high ground and deploying in all round firing positions.

I set up on the high ground as is my preference and waited the onslaught. Mark being the canny player that he is pegged my Rad Cannon armed Champion, Popov, as the biggest threat on the table so took him out with the first shot of the game with his sniper. Slumping wounded Popov fell off his lofty perch and plummented downwards. In the rules you take damage for falling, and falling 10″ would hurt most people. Fortunately one of the upgrades I bought after my first game was grav shutes for key personnel. This meant- although seriously injured he suffered no further damage from the fall.

necro 2_8

My ganger, Egor’ev,  who came on as reinforcement tries to take out the pesky sniper. Whilst he could pin him it never converted into any damage.

I moved a ganger, Ferzen, down to aid Popov’s recovery as the posioned wapon shots gradually took out my gangers. The Rad Cannon Champion and the assisting ganger were both taken out of the game by a poisoned knife. However Smirnov, my other Champion, took out one of his opposite numbers with a well aimed shot.

necro 2_9

Here you can see the Escher (Mark is using Dark Elsar as proxies) about to charge two of Tech Noir.

At the top of the tower Ozerov, my leader, realising that the Escher Gang was gunning for him decided that it better the run away and live to fight another day moved out of the way of the sniper who was itching for a shot. The ganger I’d left up their to defend him proved to be pretty effective in keeping the Eschers from getting up to that level of the tower.

necro 2_10

At game end- the middle sees my remaining champion stuck in melee whilst at top left Ozerov hides whilst protected by the ganger Rodionov.

I was getting plenty of hits on Mark’s gang but getting that converted to taking people out of the game is something I struggled with my low powered weaponary. As it was both Mark and I needed to take bottle tests to see if we would continue fighting. Careful use of a tactics cards gave me the edge and I passed my roll.; Mark failed his which meant he called off the hit on my Leader. I scraped a win, I had 4 fighters down so it was something of a pyrrhic victory.

That said the cash, reputation lift and Rogue Doc that has now joined my gang will be useful for future fights. I think a challenge match is in order though to get some more experience for my gang as though I’m two wins for the campaign my gang is small compared to the others.

I will have to see what I can get sorted for next week.

 

By the way I took a shot of the club space. As you can see it has plenty of room and tables. Currently four are given over to Necromunda, with two for Infinity and one for the Batman game.

necro 2_4

Cheers,

 

Pete.

Necromunda Campaign- Game 1.

Last night I went down to the club for my first scheduled campaign game. There are six gangs taking part and we each have a game against each over gang programmed, then a final multiplayer game to finish off the campaign. In between times you are free to challenge any other player for a match; useful if you want to steal a specific territory from them.

DSCN1568

The table complete with light up plasma ball.

My first game was against my old friend J with his Goliath gang ‘Golgotha’s Furnace Boys’ I’d seen some of the conversions he had done and I knew that they’d be monsters in close combat, something I was keen for my fragile little techno-nerds to avoid.

DSCN1569

My leader Ozerov organises the firing line.

As such I had no real plan other than to shoot them as much as possible and run away if they got close. Sadly the shooting part proved to be tricker than imagined given the weakness of my weapons’ strength against J’s roid- raging gym bunnies’s toughness.

DSCN1570

Over on my right flank I put my faith in the heavy weaponary.

A further complications was my run of bad luck in ammo checks: a one point all bar one of my gang was unloaded, fortunately at that time the Goliaths were too far away to take advantage of it.

DSCN1573

Two of the Goliaths advancing forward.

The game was a case of death by a thousands cuts for J. Lots of shots taken by me resulted in lots of flesh wounds slowing him down. The only ‘kill’ (out of game result) was my juve ‘Chagin’ taking down the champion Goliath ‘MC Slammer’. For the record all my gangers were named after Russian Admirals from thee Russo- Japanese War (I grabbed a book that was close at hand to crib them from).

DSCN1576

MC Slammer just before his encounter with twin laspistols.

J was on balance more unlucky than I was with three of his gangers going out of action with bad recovery rolls on his part. His juve ‘Twink’ made it all the way across the board before being riddled with lasgun fire before being dispatched with a shot in the back.

DSCN1580

The firing line held. Held, but with a lot of reloading.

With a lot of his gang down J decided to ‘bottle’ and leave the field leaving me the winner. In the post battle sequence I captured one of J’s fallen gangers meaning he could, if he wished, challenge my to rescue him back. As he declined I sold the ganger on for the cash. In the end I got quite abit of cash that I’ll think on how to spend before my next game. Looking forward to it already. Thanks to J for the great game and Marcus for coming down to open up the club for us both.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.