Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Power Legion: Phone Booth FUBAR

I continued working through Power Legion yesterday. Again I pitted Batman and Batgirl against the Joker, Riddler and Harley Quinn. This scenario saw the Joker destroying all of the phone booths in Gotham (there were four on the board). Not sure why the phone booths had to go--perhaps he picked up a contract from a cell service provider ("from the people who brought you brain cancer...").

In any event, placement was random. Batman started on the north edge and BatGirl on the west. The Riddler and three goons started on the east edge while Harley Quinn and a goon started in the SE and Joker and a goon in the SW. Riddler moved first, ran out in front of Batman and tried shooting up the phone booth. Riddle me this: WHY CAN'T YOU HIT ANYTHING?

In the SE corner, Harley Quinn decided to toss a grenade in the phone booth. But missed and, of course, KOed herself. The goon must have been rattled because he proved completely incapable of busting the phone booth up for the rest of the game.

In the SW, the Joker and his goon moved north, towards Batgirl. Along the way, Joker ripped up the first phone booth with his Tommy Gun.

Back at the north end of the board, Batman swung forward on a Batrope and found himself mixing it up with three goons while the Riddler (uselessly) tried to hose down the phone booth behind Batman. Meanwhile, Batgirl held off one goon with Batmace while the Joker ran towards an idling car (the peak oil thesis being as yet unknown to Gotham's underworld).

Batman eventually pounded the Riddler's goons into submission but missed his charge into the Riddler.

The Joker tried to run Batgirl down but she managed to jump out of the way. Then Batgirl missed her activation roll and the bad guys got a double impulse.

Joker decided to head over to help Harley Quinn's goon. But somehow he missed the phone booth with the car. Twice. (The phonebooth rolled a d4 for agility).

In the north, an epic, backlit struggle between Batman and the Riddler raged while the Riddler's goons got back on their feet, split up and ran to the nearest phone booths, destroying a second booth.

Seeing things start to get out of hand, Batman knocked Riddler down and sprinted towards Joker, who had wisely held back an action. He used it to gun the car at Bats, who dove over the hood and rolled to his feet. The Joker's driving was simply insanely bad this game.

Bats ran forward and KOed Harley Quinn's hapless goon. In the meantime, the Joker fishtailed his way towards the third phone booth in the NW corner.

One of Riddler's goon was trying to break the phone booth with her hands. In character, the Joker ran her down (KOing her) and also smeared the phone booth.

Batman ran towards Joker but got knocked down by a bomb from the Riddler.

With Batman out of the play for a minute Batgirl whipped her Batblowgun out of her utility belt and flattened the car's tires. Joker got out, swore and ran at Batgirl. A fistfight ensued causing Batgirl to get KOed. The Joker was heard to mutter "This has been a lot easier since you started applying the armour rules correctly!"

In the meantime, Batman jumped back to his feet, KOed the Riddler in the middle of the park and dodged a charge by the remaining goon. With the Joker hotfooting it towards the last phone booth, Batman punched out the goon, ran forward to get a line of sight on Joker and then let loose a batarang than knocked Joker down.

A close-run win for the good guys. I felt like I had a better handle on the rules and the game was very comic bookish (which is what I was looking for). I'm starting to see how the characters handle differently and I like how characteristics can be assigned to inanimate objects. I also quite like the gadget rules (although I am playing them a bit looser than the rules suggest).

Monday, March 30, 2015

Power Legion: Bat Family v. Clown College

With the family away, I brought my superhero terrain out of the basement, both to see what it looked like in good lighting and for a playtest of Power Legion. I played about a 1700 point game, with Batman and Batgirl taking on Joker, Riddler, Harley Quinn and five goons.

The bad guys' goal was to get the car (just visible in the picture below) off the south side of the board. The good guys' was to apprehend the bad guys. Entry points were randomly diced, with Batgirl and Batman starting on the west and east sides of the board, respectively. Most of the bad guys started out on the south side (two different entry points) except a lone goon who started on the north.

In the SE corner, the Riddler and Joker begin to make towards the park, in the hope of short-cutting across to the car. Predictably, Batman shows up and moves to cut them off. I wanted to try out Batman's swinging lines ability, but the activation dice would not cooperate while he was near appropriate terrain so he had to hoof it into contact.

The Joker hauls butt while trying to keep some separate from Batman. Meanwhile, off camera, Batgirl climbs up on top of the mill to get the drop of Harley Quinn and her posse of goons.

Batman rolls well and charges forward, slamming into Riddler and KOing him! One of the goons tries the same trick, but Bats sidesteps the charge. I think I played the zone of control rules incorrectly on Batman's next action, although I don't think the goon would have had much of a chance to hurt Batman.

Leaving the confused goon and unconscious Riddler behind, Bats charges after Joker, who has met up with Harley Quinn on the SW corner of the board. Bats charges past a goon to wind up in a brawl with Joker. Joker tries everything, including Joker gas, but eventually gets his ass handed to him by Batman and is KOed. In the meantime, Batgirl continues to whip batarangs left and right as the goons close in on Batman.

Batman gets bogged down with fighting goons (again, I know I played this wrong). Batgirl uses a batarang to knock out the lone goon who came in from the north as she tried to get into the car. Seeing that this is going badly and her gun has little effect on the well-armoured Bat-types, Harley Quinn power jumps to the car.

Harley Quinn guns the car at Batgirl, who barely manages to dodge. As the car goes by, Batgirl pulls some Batcaltrops from her utility belt and flattens the car's tires (reducing its speed over the next two turns). Batman manages to get free of the goons with enough actions left to spray some Batfoam on the windows, blinding Harley Quinn (random die for direction instead of allowing her to run Batman down).

The car rolls to a stop and Harley Quinn bails out. Batarangs fly while the goons get up to tangle with Batman again. Harley Quinn throws two grenades (KOing one of her own guys) and then power jumps off the board. Overall, a convincing win for the good guys.

A fun first play--it felt like a comic book. Batman is hard to stop (even against multiple, powerful opponents), although Batman vs car might have been interesting. Yet he is only one man and can get tied up with multiple opponents pretty easily.

I still have some rules to learn (I completely forgot about fate points) and I found myself flipping through the book a lot. I wonder if a diagrammatic QRS would be helpful? I hope to get another playtest in plus some addition scenery done this week.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Back to superheroes

After a long hiatus, I'm back on my superhero game project. I've downloaded and printed Power Legion and will make up some character cards this week. In the meantime, I have been doing some odds and sods modelling tasks.

I broke out my dremel for the first time and drilled holes to sink hanging signs in the buildings. I also started the process of using rub-on decals for the walls and signs. And I put "glass" in the front windows of the buildings and some black construction paper in behind (black paper looks better in person than in the picture). I finished about 15 buildings and found a few more in a box to build.

I also hauled out my figures and rebased them (for the third time) using clear bases. This is the winner in terms of basing--very unobtrusive when the figures are on the playing surface proper. Lots of fiddly work but I'm making progress. I've also ordered some HO scale 1940 cars for the street.

I'm hoping to get a game in with Bruce this week and also sort out Power Legion enough to run a playtest by myself. I think I also need to put together the full game board for the first time and see what needs to be done (manholes, for example).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

AirWar 21 Biplanes

I popped out to Bruce's last night for a bit of AirWar C21 that Bruce had adapted to WW1. he pulled out his new cigar box mat and some 1/700 Tumbling Dice planes and we were off. I drew the Germans with a pair of triplanes and two early Albatross. You can see the allies come in at the top of the photo. The initial contact saw me able to double team one of Bruce's planes (dumb luck, but I will take it). The fight then broke up into two furballs. 

Bruce's pilots had some trouble with their maneuvers and one of then bought the farm eventually, although one of my planes was badly damaged in return.The other dogfight saw a head-to-head flypast with one of Bruce's planes catching fire. One of my triplanes managed to get in behind and a second allied plane went down and we called it. I had two damaged planes, limited ammo and was in no condition to catch his remaining fighters.

A fun game. Simple enough that two of use could run eight planes between us. But enough grit you had think about what you were doing. The absence of explicit altitude (built into some of the manoeuvre cards) was a reasonable compromise.

Up next: Working on more superhero stuff (will post some this weekend), including a bunch of buildings to finish up the streets of Gotham. Hope to visit a train store on Friday to get some road signs and fences.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

54mm AWI and 20mm Scenery

A bit of a mixed bag this week as I transition from one project to the next. I have the last of the 54mm AWI figures finished. This fellow is a mounted British officer.

Despite spending a lot of time dry brushing to create the effect of a coat, the damned horse just turned out a uniform grey. Oh well.

I also picked up the terrain pieces for a 25mm superhero game I have been mulling. This uses HO scale railroad scenery (under-sized, which I like). I stalled out finishing a bunch of buildings because I wasn't sure how to marry the fine detail of the buildings with the demands of gaming.

I picked up the rules to Power Legion last weekend so I also knocked off some lamp posts (moveable/throwable). I also hauled out my dremel and put some holes in my buildings to mount some signage. I hope to have more to show next week. This week I hope to get some gaming in with Bruce.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

25mm Star Trek crew

One of my favourite parts of the hobby is the asynchronous "my junk for your junk" exchanges that happen between gamers. This time, Mark in Calgary sent me (via Dave) a bunch of 25mm Star Trek figures. No idea of the manufacturer but a fun diversion. Man, after 54mm figures, 25mm goes fast!

There were nine figures in the bag and no obvious (beyond gender) figures for specific characters. On the top we have Spock, Kirk, McCoy and Scotty. The McCoy figure looks more Spock to me but the rest of the men had phasers (which I don't recall McCoy ever carrying) so the only tricorder figure was McCoy by default.

The next batch included Sulu, Uhura, generic red shirt with communicator (whom I image saying "no, looks totally safe, send down the bridge officers"), Chekov and Yeoman Janice Rand (whose outfit colour I couldn't recall while I was painting. She could have also been Nurse Chapel if I'd gone blue. These came with a black undercoat. I thought about repriming white but most of the figure is black so a white primer would have meant a lot of frustrating hand-shading.

These match the 25mm Star Wars figures I have almost exactly (slight base height difference). I had no idea what to do with the bases. An Earthy green ground cover would like have been more practical but I like the martian red I went with.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

DBA 3.0

Bruce picked up the new DBA 3.0 rules awhile back and offered to run a game. We started with French v English and Bruce managed to win both games!

The first game looked good for me, bagging his general early on. But somehow I managed to get pounded in a swirling cavalry engagement. I did like the new terrain set-up mechanisms, though.

Game two looks good for me in the beginning (the right side especially). But then I discovered that  bow really don't need a quick kill against knights--just some reasonable rolls makes enough of a mess.

We then switched to Roman v Carthaginians. I managed a win as the Romans, cleaning up a littoral landing before managing to engage his main line using the new support rules. I do like how fast the units move to contact.

One my turn with the Carthaginians, I also tried a littoral landing (no terrain to make this so we just measured out a coastal zone) and promptly got myself into trouble. I was forced to send in the cavalry to try and avoid total disaster. And didn't... (a 1vs a 6 is bad news in any edition of DBA!).

Overall, some nice changes that seem to get away from tho gimmicky geometric strategies. Match-up still matter, although less definitively. Not sure I liked it enough to buy a copy, but I liked it enough to play again!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

54mm British Artillery

I'm almost at the end of the 54mm AWI guys I have. These fellows are a unit of British artillery by All The King's Men. The last item I'm working on is a mounted British general.

I have been mounting the guns on bases until now, but I think I will leave this one unmounted for awhile and see how that goes. Proud of myself for getting this flag on right side up!

Up next: Some 25mm Star Trek figures and (I hope) the British general. I also have some terrain items to finish. then I'm now sure what follows that. I expect I'm gaming with Bruce this week.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March 3 Club Night

We had about 15 guys to the club on Tuesday. There was a large game of RoboRally (which blogger keeps autocorrecting to "Rob orally").

Dave hosted a CCN game (French v Russians) which ad a lot of units!

I hauled out my 54mm AWI guys for a game of Clash for the Continent. Amazingly, I don't have enough trees yet!

I ran the Saratoga scenario with Benedict Arnold playing a big role in the American defines.

In the end it was a Rebel victory, in large part because the British command rolls were the pits. The Americans victory condition was to avoid the British winning, which meant not losing American units and protecting two valuable hills.

Fortunately, Benedict Arnold's abilities allowed me to run units forward in the centre (which forced the British to burn command points responding), get them shot up and then retreat them where Arnold could rally them ("yes, Virginia, there is actually a strategy..."). This held up the British advance on the right flank--which is likely where the British could win the game.

Up next: The last of the 54s and then onto to 25mm Star Trek and back to some 25mm superhero terrain.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Command stands for the British

I finished off some command stands for last week's regulars. Buff facings and a regimental flag for some diversity.

Notably, I mounted this flag right side up! Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks?

Up next: A horse-mounted general and some British artillery.