Sunday, January 31, 2010

Song of Saving Private Ryan - Game 1

I located a four scenario campaign called Song of Saving Private Ryan by Aleksandar Saranac for the Song of Blades and Heroes rule set. It turns out that it is to be played solo (the rules have how the enemy warband is to be played). I decided to go ahead and try the first scenario since I hadn’t heard of anyone trying the games from the yahoo group. To that end, I worked a new warband using my knowledge of a couple games and my idea to play them in the new campaign system (found in Song of Deeds and Glory). Before I pass judgment on the campaign rules, I wanted to try them out a couple of times.

You know things aren't going to end well when you can roll a die cocked without anything in the way!

Here are the new Saviors of the Savage Lands:

Jareth - Personality (60)
Quality 3+, Combat 3
Special Rules: Leader

Xaria - Personality (38)
Quality 4+, Combat 2
Special Rules: Magic-User

Erdan (50)
Quality 3+, Combat 3
Special Rules: Forester, Shooter: Long

Flashfire (56)
Quality 4+, Combat 3
Special Rules: Animal, Blast, Flying

Durgon (50)
Quality 3+, Combat 4
Special Rules: Fearless, Heavy Armor, Short Move

Pip (23)
Quality 4+, Combat 2
Special Rules: Free Disengage, Shooter: Short, Short Move, Stealth

Selena (23)
Quality 4+, Combat 3
Special Rules: Free Disengage, Short Move

Warband changes: The first major change is the addition of a seventh member. Due to the fact that in the campaign rules your starting number of models determines the maximum number allowed, I wanted to add an extra character. I’ve also noticed that a ‘horde’ of models is not necessarily a bad thing either when trying to gang up on someone. This allows me to have 14 models if I ever get that big. Of course that means that Erdan had to lose a point of combat and Pip lost both a combat and a quality to make room. The biggest change is to Flashfire having to rework the specials and combat around to get a better quality. It remains to be seen if Blast is worth the points.

Changes to the scenario one: I couldn’t find anything to use as the flat hilltop that was suitable so I changed the hilltop to be 12x12 inch (30x30 cm). This allowed me to use a piece of cork laying about the basement. Other than that, I went ahead and played the scenario as written.

One thing I noticed is that I have very little in terms of ‘trash’ terrain: rubble, boulders, hedges, trees and the like. Perhaps that should be my winter month mission since it is barely 60 degrees in the basement at the moment.

Turn 1: The Statue rolls two successes and creates a skeletal guard. All is looking good until Flashfire fails 2 activation dice and the two Halflings don’t get to go!

Turn 2: Statue creates a second guard. Both guard hold position. The uphill climb is taking its toll on the heroes, especially those with short moves! Flashfire (not surprisingly) rolls three ones for activation and stays put.

Turn 3: Statue fails to create a guard (failing on the reroll as well). Erdan aims and fires at a Guard with no effect (1+2 v 2+3), Durgon moves slowly up and Pip fails to activate enough to move (passes the turn in the process).

Turn 4: Statue creates a third guard and all guards hold position. Jareth fails to activate on snake eyes!
The two halflings are lagging behing the rest of the group

Turn 5: Statue creates a fourth guard. Selena fails to active enough to move which causes a turnover.

Turn 6: Statue creates a fifth guard (using its last hero reroll). All heroes move closer except for Erdan (turnover on Xaria’s turn).

Turn 7: Statue gets two successes and creates a sixth guard. There are heroes within a long band of it so there is a chance that it will try to entangle if it gets three successes on its activation. Erdan aims and fires at a Guard but again with no effect (1+3 v 2+6). Xaria casts a magical bolt at a guard (1+2 v 3+2), but the guard shrugs off the attack. Durgon finally makes on the hilltop and Flashfire blasts into two guards with no damage (3+4 v 3+5 v 3+6). Pip moves closer, but Selena stays put.

Turn 8: Two guards move and attack Flashfire and both are knocked down for their trouble (3+4 v 3+2 and 2+6 v 3+4), but the third guard manages to kill Flashfire (1+3 v 3+5). A guard moves to attack Durgon, but is pushed back (4+5 v 3+5). The statue has nothing within entangle range so creates another guard! Erdan moves into melee with a fallen guard causing a gruesome kill (5+6 v 2+1), but all the undead are a high enough quality that all morale checks automatically pass... Durgon pushes his opponent back with a powerful attack (4+5 v 2+4). Xaria casts a magical bolt at the other fallen guard but doesn’t kill it (0+5 v 3+3).
Durgon is managing to keep alive with overwealming odds. How long can it last?

Turn 9: The fallen guard stands and moves into melee with Erdan. A guard moves and attacks Durgon but is knocked down (4+6 v 3+5). A second guard moves in and attacks (3+ 3 v 3+3 ), followed by a third guard who attacks (2+2 v 3+3) and pushes Durgon back! Durgon moves back into melee and kills the fallen guard (6+ 3 v 3+5). Erdan gets pushed back from his attack on a guard (3+2 v 2+5). Xaria tries to transfix one of the guards, but it manages to shrug off the spell (3 powered spell, but no 1s rolled).

Turn 10: Durgon is attacked by a guard (4+3 v 3+2) and pushes it back. A second guard attacks but both are evenly matched (4+1 v 3+2) followed by a third guard that attacks (3+3 v 3+4), but his heavy armor saves him! The statue fails to do anything. Durgon gets a single success (out of three mind you) and does nothing. The turn passes.

Turn 11: Both guards powerfully attack Durgon, but nothing happens (2+6 v 3+5 and 2+5 v 3+4) and the statue still does nothing. Xaria transfixes a guard (another 3 point spell that a guard fails), but Erdan fails to kill it (5+1 v 2+6). Durgon kills one of the guards attacking him (3+5 v 2+2). Both Pip and Selena move closer to the action and Selena tries a shot, but it is highly ineffective (-2+4 v 3+6).

Turn 12: The transfixed guard can’t shake off the effects, but a guard finally manages to kill Durgon (3+1 v 3+6). The statue finally creates a new guard. Erdan again tries to kill the transfixed guard but fails again (5+2 v 2+5). Xaria tries to transfix another guard, but moves a bit forward instead (the turn switches however).

Turn 13: The transfixed guard shakes off the effect and the statue creates a new guard. Erdan pushes the warrior back (3+5 v 3+3) and Xaria casts a low power transfix spell, it manages to work on a guard (rolled a single power spell and it works, but at the cost of the turn).

Turn 14: A guard moves and attacks Erdan, but is killed in the process (3+6 v 3+1), but another guard takes his place. The transfixed guard is still transfixed, but the statue finally can cast a entangle spell powerful enough to hit Erdan who fails the check!

The heroes are slowly losing their numbers and their foothold on the hilltop.
Erdan easily shakes off the effect, but does little else. Xaria casts a powerful transfix spell, but the guard resists. Pip finally makes it to the battle and attacks the transfix model, but can’t strike true (5+3 v 3+6). Selena moves up, but she and Jareth do nothing.

Turn 15: In a lucky break (hopefully), the transfixed guard rolls snake eyes ending their turn early! Pip powerfully attacks the transfixed guard killing it (5+4 v 2+4). Erdan also kills a guard with a powerful attack (3+4 v 2+1). Xaria tries a low powered transfix, but fails.

Turn 16: A guard moves and pushes Erdan back (3+4 v 3+5), but the guard that attacked Pip does nothing (3+2 v 3+2). Xaria again transfixes a guard, but Erdan fails to kill it (5+1 v 3+4). Pip knocks down the guard in front of him (3+4 v 2+2) and Jareth moves on the platform killing it due in part of Pip’s ‘distractions’ (5+3 v 2+5)!

Turn 17: The first guard shakes the transfix spell and the second guard moves into melee with Jareth while the statue makes another guard. Erdan attacks, pushing back his foe (3+5 v 1+5) and moves to aid Jareth. Selena fails to activate and causes a turnover (this could be the end)!

Turn 18: The guard attacks Jareth, but is pushed back (2+5 v 2+2). Erdan is pushed back by the other guard (2+4 v 3+5) and the third guard knocks him down (3+5 v 3+6). The statue makes a fourth guard. Erdan stands up and powerfully forces a guard down (3+2 v 2+2). The turn ends with Selena (rolled double 1s).

Turn 19: The guard moves into contact and attacks Erdan but is repelled (2+5 v 3+2). Selena is attacked but strikes her foe down (2+6 v 3+3). The fourth guard moves to an open position against Erdan and knocks him down (2+4 v 3+4). The statue entangles Selena. Erdan gets up, but does nothing else. Selena breaks free of the entangle spell, but gets knocked down by her foe (4+4 v 3+6). Jareth moves against the fallen guard and kills it (5+3 v 2+1). Pip moves to protect Selena and manages to beat back a guard in the process (3+3 v 2+3).

Turn 20: Erdan holds his own against a guard (3+3 v 3+3) and Pip knocked down the first guard, but get knocked down himself by the second guard (3+4 v 3+3 and 2+5 v 3+6). The statue doesn’t do anything. Erdan and the guard exchange blows (3+5 v 2+6) while Pip just gets up (the momentum shifts).

Turn 21 (whew): The fallen guard arises and Pip is gruesomely killed by the other (1+1 v 3+5). Most of the warband flee (Xaria's at the edge of the board). Thankfully, that is not 50% of the warband yet. Erdan is pushed back by the guard (3+2 v 3+5) and the statue does nothing. Erdan moves back and attacks (3+5 v 2+4) pushing the guard back. Xaria moves closer, but the momentum shifts (again).

Turn 22: Erdan is attacked by all three guards. The first moves and is knocked down (3+2 v 3+1), the second is also knocked down (2v6 v 3+3) and the third is pushed back (1+5 v 3+1). Erdan attacks but doesn’t kill a guard (4+1 v 2+5). Xaria inches closer, but again the game shifts.

Turn 23: Erdan is knocked down (2+5 v 3+6) by the first guard and is gruesomely killed by the third guard (1+4 v 5+5). The two resulting morale checks have the remaining heroes flee off the board.

Durgon: Moderate Injury
Erdan: Full Recovery
Flashfire: Dead
Pip: Full Recovery

I manage to find 15 gold. At least all remaining characters gain an experience point. I also explore the countryside about Death’s Hill (and it is now being referred to) and find a lone keg (Durgon is quite happy).

The experience: I really liked this scenario. It was quite fun and was really tense throughout the game. I’m amazed at how many turnovers I had. I know that I should expect a couple throughout the game, but there were a couple times that it was just crazy! When most of my warband fled, I should have had Erdan also move back, but I was really getting tired since in the end, him being unsupported killed him (gruesomely I might add). Thankfully a gruesome kill doesn’t automatically kill a character in the campaign or I’d be done for (or if it does, I can’t find it).

Friday, January 15, 2010

2009 Year in review - thoughts for 2010?

I really didn't want to put a 'year in review' in my gaming blog since it seems so cliche. But then again, perhaps it will spark me to get off my butt and get moving on more gaming.

My plan for 2009 was to play two games a month for a total of 24 games. I logged only 10 actual games over 17 messages. It seems like I am way off and that I don't play very many games (which is true), but these numbers don't include all of my Warmachine/Hordes that I played on Thursdays or the Bloodbowl league that started last year (3 wins, 0 losses). Except for a few miniatures, I really didn't paint anything either.

Enough excuses... The simple truth is that I need to formulate a plan and stick to it.

So the 2010 plan
I think I can get to the two games a month so I will try to make my goal be 24 games. Also, I am going to look into getting a couple of genre finished so I can play games in those.

Mission 1: I am starting to get everything I need to play post-modern and modern horror (aka zombies). That means a lot of miniatures to assemble and paint. Honestly I have about 50 zombies that need to be put together and a handful of modern hunters that need some paint. Should be easy!

Mission 2: Space fleets - I have a lot of spaceships about, but I don't have anything really complete. My mission here is to go through the two GZG fleets that I have and redo them (possiblity with a new paint scheme). Then work through fleets of about 1000 - 2000 points in the different iconic Sci-Fi films about for Starmada. I had a lot of fun running the Starmada games at Origins and want to do that again.

Mission 3: Terrain - I have a collection of half finished terrain projects in the collection and I really want to get those done. When I didn't have space or the need, it was different, but I'd like to clean up that part of the basement and finish some terrain

Mission 4: Painting - I have a lot of miniatures that aren't painted. I'm not looking to complete the whole list, but perhaps I should get to painting some of my Warmachine/Hordes stuff. As well as the other things I've bought along the way.

Mission 5: Use or lose - I need to go through my collection of miniatures and clear out stuff that I'm not going to need or play. I have a lot of micro armor still in the boxes that I need to paint or get rid of (perhaps both). I also have a some 15mm stuff that needs to go.

Okay, that's it for now...