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Monday, June 4, 2018

6 Battalion Mech Battle using Alpha Strike 232 in all!

So Sunday we all gathered to play our biggest Alpha Strike battle yet, 232 Mechs! This time the forces
of Davion were arrayed against an Alliance of Liao and Marik.
Pat, Eli, Rob and myself were joined by Steven with  Marik and Alex with his Liao  forces.
The scenario aim was to capture the center urban areas, There were also points for capturing the enemy bases on the edge of the table, points for whichever side took out the most mechs and points deducted for losing entire lances.
To keep the game flowing we moved entire companies at a time, we also added our event cards which allowed for artillery, air strikes, sabotage etc, things that happen in the novels but are hard to implement.
The game was a very close, with House LuSann keeping at long range with the heaver forces of the Davion Guard. In the center it was an all out brutal battle with Marik Militia taking Wolf's dragoons, no quarter asked an none given! While on the flank the Confederation Cav went up against the heavy Avalon Hussars, the Liao forces played a deadly game of cat and mouse and took great casualties but managed to keep a toehold on the city.
In the end it was a very narrow Marik/Liao victory,  though Davion held more of the urban areas they had taken more casualties as well as whole lances being destroyed.
opening Moves
liao Confederation Cav

Liao Warrior House LuSann

6th Marik Militia
Davion Guards

Wolf's dragoons Red Guard

Avalon Hussars
Comstar watching the battle
House LuSann staying out of grips with those heavies

Marik laughs at the Dragoon's reputation

final turn, flames everywhere

Eli's annual D-Day game

So every year Eli puts on a D-Day game. He and Fred built the terrain and forces years ago. Fred, a stalwart of the gaming community, is no longer with us but this game always keeps his memory alive.
We miss you Fred, you set some pretty high standards!

This year it was Eli, Pat and Guy hitting the beaches while Steven, Charlie and I tried to hold firm.
The scenario is an older FOW one and we used most of the rules from v4. The game lasted some
4 hours with an American tactical victory, taking 3 of the 4 objectives. Thanks again Eli!


Monday, January 29, 2018

Mini Monday: Gotta Paint Terrain

So today's post is going to be pretty short since most of the day was spent on paintng terrain for some upcoming games.
First up is the Discover Games, 'King of the Hill', demo piece for Gangs of the Rome. And in case you've been away from the computor for the last 4 months, and Allen at the store hasn't personally told you. Gangs of Rome is a new skirmish game being sold my Warlord Games and developed by Footsore miniatures.  It has some very interesting mechanics and wonderful terrain. I've heard nothing but good things so far.
So the 'Hill/Ancient Temple' had to be done today and had been primed black. Note: do not spraycan pink foam unless you want parts of it eaten away. Though the rough shape can look nice it usually has a lot of deep groves that have to be painfully painted in. Set one was to paint the rest black so the color would be consistent. Usually I wait hours or even the next day before putiing on the next color layerbut time was of the essence so I ended up using a heater and blow dryer to speed up the drying process inbetween coats of paint.

Allen's arena that he put together last week.
4 coats later I finally have covered up most of the black
Finally have all the layers in place. terrain on top is movable.

pulled out some of mty Spartacus figs for the pic
The next fighter is ready to go in when one goes out.

Last up is some 15mm MDF buildings that I knocked out this morning. Both are from TTCombat. I can;t say I was a fan of MDF builings when they first came out. But... having painted a few and watched my wife paint a bunch, they are starting to grow on me. Discover Games got a bunch in from TTCombat and I have to say I love them! Whoever planned the template is a genius. Very easy to put together, Almost a joy! Highly recommended.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Mini Monday: Regularly Scheduled Program?

So last Saturday I was chatting with some gamers about how it
seemed easier in the 'Old Days' to get the guys/group/club to all
play the same game. When I first joined the Atlanta wargames group,
Napoleonics, ACW and Age of Sail were played pretty consistantly
every two months, if not every month. And the group stuck to the same rules: Empire, Miniball and Ship of the Line. You painted Napoleonic units knowing that they would be on the field in just a few weeks. Things changed over time as club membership changed; kids appeared, weekend work schedules appeared, and the days between gaming increased.
    And then the Internet appeared.
    Use to be that 'New Game Products' only appeared in monthly magazines, your local store, or at conventions. I remember heading to Nashcon with plans of buying this or that but returning with a different project after seeing some new rules or figures in play. You flipped through the most recent issue of the Courier or MWAN reading reviews of figures and often ordering them sight unseen. Nowadays we see miniatures and rules released  almost daily. So while you wait for the next regular game with the guys, you are being bombarded with potential projects on the internet. Thus those of us who suffer from the 'magpie' syndrome of 'oh shiny and new,I want' can rock the boat of consistant games. I stand and admit 'I am a Magpie'.
     Last year, however, with the opening of Discover Games, I started playing pretty regularly on weekdays with some friends. Flames of War mostly with a rotation of Alpha Strike later in the year. The time between games was lessened, and I found it easier to concentrate on the same game. It's been quite fun.
    This year, the weekday games are staying, but we're going to try and keep a regular rotation of ACW/wBlack Powder and ECW/TYW/w Pikeman's Lament.  We have a good number of players committed to both periods, and the plan is to play these periods every 6-8 weeks. Of course this still leaves room for shiny and new! Maybe we can have the best of both worlds.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mini Monday: Mech Madness II, the Big Battle!

So yesterday, we, the Alpha Strike Battalion Battles Atlanta, ABBA, finally got a chance to earn our name, by running a multi Battalion Mech battle at Discover Games. This after  months of playing, tweaking and painting. Terrain had been slowly added over 2017 till we had enough for a 10x5 foot table. Each player brought 36-40 mechs each. Truly a team project. The hardest part had been to schedule a day were we could all show up and have some 6 hours to play.

Game note: Alpha Strike is a very streamlined version of Battletech the Mech game. Truly designed to run multi company actions. Play is usually with 6mm.

Scenario: 3039, the FedCom campaign against Kurita is grinding to a halt. Armed with ComStar intel and material support, the Dragon is striking back. A 5th Sword of Light battalion with companies from the 8th Sword of Light and  the 51st Dark Panzer Jaegers,
launch a counter attack on a battalion each of Wolf's Dragoons and Kellhounds, mercs in FedCom service. "These Mercenaries have no Honor, thus they will fold before us!" declares Commander Frangamato. The Dogs of War, just smirked for they had danced this dance before with the Dragon.
4 players each with 1200 points.
5th Sword of Light 10 lances
8th Sword of Light and 51st DPJ 10 lances
Wolf's Dragoons 10 lances
Kell Hounds 9 lances
156 total mechs
Game Notes:
We opted for a move on setup. And took a few moments to take pics, none of us had ever seen this many mechs on a gametable before.
To keep the game moving each player alternated moving 2 lances.
Victory Conditions consisted of 1 or 2 points for each urban area
and 3 points to whichever side inflicted the most damage.

Early Phase
By this time it was apparent that the Kurita players were pursing a very aggressive course of action with both battalions concentrating forces on Centerville against the Kellhounds. 
Game Notes: each player randomly selected 'logistical cards' at the start of the game allowing for such things as Air/Artillery Strikes, ECM support to win the initiative, Ambush/flanking cards etc. Various events that always appeared in the novels, that we wanted to add for game flavor but without complicated rules. I mean we got 150 some mechs to run!

Mid pics
The 51st DPJ are causing a stir on the right flank. Kellhound coms are full of chatter about 'Fleas everywhere' and the ThunderHawks com goes dead.

The Dragoon offensive is running out of time which allows the Dragons to concentrate on the Kellhounds and challenge the Mercs hold on the urban areas.

End pics

8-3 a Kurita Victory! A very fun game indeed! Well fought Dogs of War, well fought indeed!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Mini Monday: dealing with Scale Creep

Today's topic, Scale Creep. For those who have not heard this term before: Scale Creep
in general, refers to miniatures  becoming bigger over the years but labeled the same. Example, you buy some 25mm French infantry from a fairly new company to go with your older 1990's French. You get the new figures and they tower over the older ones. Scale Creep. Bigger miniatures seem to be the trend. It can be a bother when ordering blind.

Italian Wars inf  Ral Partha(L) and Redoubt (R)
ECW and TYW cav Warlord(L) and Old Glory (R)
Same WWII Tank Battlefront(L) and Forged in battle (R)

I find that the easiest way to deal with the issue is to just keep the figures in different units. At a distance of 2-3 feet on the game table it's not that noticable. Some people mix them and just point out that real people come in all sizes and shapes. I've also seen gamers complete their army using only one company, no mixing allowed.

Recently I've run into slightly  different Scale Creep issue with my Wierd WWII, in that several companies prduce minis but they can vary in size quite a bit. Now some may say that this is a decision on the part of the company to keep gamers from buying from other companies. Cough, cough ,Wild West Exodus and Dystopian Legions.
But back to WWWII.

AT-43, Warlord, DUST, DUST
Warlord, DUST, West Wind, DUST, DUST

Now the Mechs don't really matter since WWII tanks can come in all sizes so why shouldn't Mechs.. And really how big is a modified Werewolf or gorilla suppose to be. Exactly. But the various infantry I will be keeping seperated because that just bothers me.

Of course now I find that Fantasy Flight Games has decided to make their new Legion figures 32mm plus, which makes them bigger than the existing Imperial Assault figs.
Ah Scale Creep will it never end.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Mini Monday: How do you Scratch the Itch?

Okay get your mind out of the gutter; this is not about that kind of itch. I'm talking/rambling about, hypothetically of course, watching the new Star Wars movie, and now you want to somehow game it. You wanna save the Rebellion or, more likely, crush it, but how should you go about it?
Not ever having done any Star Wars gaming I was a bit out of the loop, so I did a little perusal of what's out there.

RPG; Well you have plenty of choices from the old West End games to the newest offer. Get some friends together, who are also probably equally excited, and run a quick scenario,
Miniatures: Well no lack there. We have X-Wing, Imperial Assault and Armada, just to name a few.

And there is even a new miniatures game on the horizon called Star Wars Legions.
All look like good games that many players are enjoying. Or in the case of Legion, seem to be very excited about.
So now comes the crunch, at least for me, what do you do if you want if you want to play really large games? Let's say the Battle of Hoth.
Will they be producing big walkers for Imperial Assault or Legion? Most likely not, and then if they did, I can only imagine the cost.
You can still get the old Micro Machine and Revell AT-AT Star Wars Imperial Walker, but both would oblige you to play in smaller scales like 15mm or 6mm.

Of course some may ask Why? Why not be content with a small skirmish? Well that's just a personal jinn on my back. I almost always have to keep adding minis till the original rules break down  and then new rules have to be added. Because I just love the feel of 'Epic'. Besides I'm watching Clone Wars Animated, big battles.

But after looking at mock 15mm and 6mm I come back to the wonderful Legion models which seem to be in 32mm, ie larger than the Imperial Assault figures. Not that big of a deal for us that had to deal with the 25m to 28mm scale creep over the years.

So now I'm back to Star Wars Legion, with holes being filled through Imperial Assault models and maybe some from the old Wizard of the Coast vehicles.
Terrain is easy, I probably have enough arid Tatoonie style stuff to fill a 12 x 5 foot table. Thus of course I'll need enough figs for that size table.

So there you have it, how a small itch can grow into a complete body encompassing addiction!