Showing posts with label ganesha games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ganesha games. Show all posts

Friday, 30 March 2018

Mayhem On Monster Island

'Pacific Rim: Uprising' opened last week and, of course, I rushed off to see it. You'll get no spoilers here, but suffice to say I loved it (as did the rest of my family). It's a little different in tone to the first film, but delivers exactly what you'd expect; monsters and jaegers beating each other up. That's all I ask for.

Anyway, it put me in the mood for some more giant monster gaming, so last night we got out Mighty Monsters at the Gong Garage Gamers. We went for a six-player free-for-all. The objective was an energy crystal in the centre of the table; at the end of each turn the closest monster to the crystal got a VP (all monsters if they were equidistant). Then the crystal teleported 1D6" in a random direction. This made the game a little more fluid than the normal pile-on in the centre of the table. If I ran it again I'd have the crystal move a little further in order to force more movement, but it worked for the purposes of last night's game.

After a quick rundown of the rules for the several players who'd not played before, we set to. Each player selected one monster or mech; I provided eighteen models, from Pacific Rim jaegers, to Godzilla friends and foes to home-brew designs. Three players chose jaegers; Kannika went for Crimson Typhoon, Geoff for Cherno Alpha and Kaleb for Gipsy Danger. The rest of us went for classic monsters; Caesar selected Godzilla, John tried Gamera and I went for Gigan.

Each player started in a corner or at the centre of an edge. Godzilla and Gamera were the first to approach each other, Godzilla scoring a hit with his radioactive-breath as they approached.

(You can just see the crystal bottom-left)

Gipsy Danger appeared, and attacked Gamera. There then commenced a series of the most pathetic combat exchanges you'll ever see in a game of Mighty Monsters, ans both player commenced rolling a whole series of ones and completely failing to do anything to each other. The whole embarrassing exchange ended with the jaeger attempting a kick and falling over.

Gipsy Danger got up, got hit and fell over again in a different place. Gamera jumped on the mech, but managed to mess that up as well.

Meanwhile Godzilla and Gamera fought each other. Gamera grappled the big lizard to bring his chest-mounted buzz-saw into play (seriously).

And here's a picture showing all of the participants in action. The brown counters are boulders, by the way; I managed to forget to bring my box of rocks I usually use for such things.

Cherno Alpha and Crimson Typhoon exchanged some blows; the big Russian jaeger took a hit from the Chinese mech's plasma gun, but scored in close combat by being bigger, heavier and stronger. A slam smacked the red jaeger into the wrestling Godzilla and Gigan knocking them all down. This secured Cherno Alpha a turn closest to the crystal.

The crystal moved so that it was on top of an inaccessible rock. Unless you were Gigan, of course, who had the ability to teleport. And did (not shown).

The first casualty. By now most of us were taking plenty of hits, but Cherno Alpha was the first to fall, its power systems completely fried by a breath attack from Gamera.

Godzilla vs Gipsy Danger. Come on; you'd pay good money to see that film. I would.

The crystal returned to the centre of the table, and three of us managed to get in close enough to score points. But we were all on our last legs by this stage.

Godzilla was the next to fall. Attacked by Gamera he was whittled down by a series of bites, claw attacks and finally a powerful kick.

Gamera was out of the running in terms of points, and Gipsy Danger as well, by virtue of spending a lot of the game knocked over. This left Gigan and Crismson Typhoon facing off. Despite serious injuries Gigan drove the mech back by smashing a boulder into its sensors, teleported close to the crystal, and then used his head-laser to finish the jaeger off.

At that point we called the game because of time constraints. Gigan had very much won on points, although I think at some stages in the game we were having so much fun beating each other up that we forgot to record them, so who really knows who won?

In the cold light of day it's hard to remember all of the specific incidents of the game, but everyone seemed to have fun and all of the designs seemed to work OK. The various options in combat seemed to give people the feel of the various films we were familiar with, and that's important. The game reflects the genre nicely. We had a few reservations about the Shell ability that Gamera had, which seems to offer a very powerful defence for a reasonable cost and minimal 'risk'. But we have a possible idea for fixing that which I will try in another game.

Friday, 4 August 2017

Kaiju Triple Event

We played Mighty Monsters / Samurai Robots Battle Royale this evening. Originally it was to be just Caesar and I, and I'd worked out a simple scenario involving one person playing two monsters, and the other two mechs. However Satvik joined us, and Caesar hit on the idea of each player running both a monster and a mech; the player was trying to destroy a specific building in the city with their monster, whilst using their mech to stop the monsters of the other two players from doing it. Monsters could not fight monsters and mechs could not fight mechs.

We also ran each mech/monster pair as a single entity for activations; if you caused a turnover moving one before the other had done anything, tough luck.

We randomly determined what we'd use. In terms of monsters, Caesar got the slow but tough Mogul, Satvik got the multi-armed horror Ashura and I got Godzilla (portrayed by a newly printed model of the 2014 version).

The mechs - Pacific Rim jaegers, of course - were Cherno Alpha (Caesar), Striker Eureka (Me) and Gipsy Danger (Satvik). The target was the sandstone capitol building with the green dome.

Godzilla and Ashura closed on the city fairly quickly. Striker Eureka took up a good position ready to fire volleys of missiles.

Cherno Alpha engaged Godzilla, but its initial powerful punches just bounced off the lizard's thick reptilian hide.

Satvik played Ashura cautiously, using the multiple arms to pick up rubble and ships to throw at Striker Eureka, rather than closing into combat. Striker Eureka simple stood back and fired missile volley after missile volley.

A body slam knocked Godzilla flying.

Mogul had advanced slowly, but Gipsy Danger had been content to wait. Eventually they met, Mogul wielding a ship as a club (somehow). Everyone had a lot of fun using ships as clubs; 'Pacific Rim' has a lot to answer for.

Ashura went berserk, closed the range and went for a melee attack. And fluffed it.

It was too badly wounded from multiple missile strikes and one very well-aimed tree. Ashura collapsed, out of the fight.

This left Striker Eureka free to assist Gipsy Danger against Mogul. The Australian jaeger waded in brawling, punching the monster into submission, knocking it flying into a building and finishing it off with a short-range missile strike.

Godzilla resumed the attack, but stumbled from the damage he'd taken. However the actual attack badly damaged Cherno Alpha, melting off an arm with the last of his radioactive breath, and destroying the mech's sensors. A final blow destroyed the power-plant, disabling the mech.

Cherno Alpha had seriously hurt Godzilla, though, and it took little effort for Gipsy Danger to finish him off.

All three monsters were taken down, for the loss of just one jaeger.

This was a fun game and we managed to get through it without too many mistakes. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, despite the rather poorly conceived victory conditions. If we did this scenario again we'd have the monsters simply scoring points for destruction in competition with each other, whilst each player used their mechs to prevent it being caused by the others.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Where Would You Rather Die? Here? Or In A Jaeger?

Having now printed and painted the five key jaegers from Pacific Rim, I thought I'd post my Mighty Monsters stats for them, for comment, criticism, or simple adoration. Each one is built to roughly the same cost - roughly 320-330pts. Obviously this means that I have had to simplify a few things and make compromises. But each one has been designed with what I hope is its own distinctive style.

General Notes

The jaegers are mostly designed using Samurai Robots Battle Royale, but I have included a couple of bits and pieces which are exclusive to Mighty Monsters as well. I used the Pacific Rim Wiki as my main source of information. This draws on the film, as well as the novelisation, graphic novels and some production notes. I'm not sure how canonical some of the information is, but it all helped to flesh out the designs. 

Strictly jaegers are designed to operate with two (or in one case, three) pilots, with a neural link, and a cheap design would reflect this by simply classing the crew as one pilot. However the film does feature single crew-members piloting the jaegers in an emergency, so I went with the multiple pilots option. The neural net option does add an element of uncertainty.

All of the jaegers have the amphibious trait because they are unaffected when wading out to sea or when operating on the sea-bed.

 Gipsy Danger (330 points)

Head - Q3 C2 - Two Heroic Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4 - Spikes (One Use)
Arms - Q3 C3 - Blade, Elbow Thruster x1, Plasma Gun C4S
Legs - Q3 C3 - Amphibious

I made Gipsy Danger a simple all-rounder, as befits the star of the film. It's not brilliant at anything, but with the Heroic pilots should be capable of taking on a range of opponents. The ‘Spikes’ are vented coolant. 'Single use' isn't an option for this ability, but I simply halved the cost. Its use should be declared when a grapple attack is made. 

Crimson Typhoon (330 points)

Head - Q3 C2 - Three Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4
Arms - Q2 C4 - Twin Blades, Plasma Cannon C4S
Legs - Q3 C3 - Amphibious, Free Disengage

Crimson Typhoon is my favourite design. I tried very hard to fit it with two sets of arms, but 330pts wasn't enough to do them justice. Instead I gave the one set it has a good Quality and high Combat factor; it should generally be able to get three Arm actions each turn and make them count. The Free Disengage represents its agility in close combat. And close combat is really this jaeger's forte.

Striker Eureka (325pts)

Head - Q3 C2 - Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4 - Missiles C4L
Arms - Q2 C3 - Blades, Elbow Thruster, Martial Arts
Legs - Q3 C3 - Amphibious

The Australian jaeger is described as a 'brawler', so I gave it the Martial Arts ability that is normally reserved for Tokusatsu Heroes in Mighty Monsters. Otherwise its special feature is the rack of missiles in its chest. Like Gipsy Danger, this jaeger is an all-rounder.

Cherno Alpha (330pts)

Head - Q3 C3 - Heavy Armour, Armoured Cockpit, Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4 - Light  Armour, Massive
Arms - Q3 C4 - Light Armour, Elbow Thrusters x3
Legs - Q3 C3 - Short Move, Amphibious

Cherno Alpha is pretty much lifted from one of the sample mechs in 'Samurai Robots Battle Royale', with a few adjustments and additions. According to the background fluff for the film, this jaeger does have some kind of short-ranged attack - incinerators mounted on the cooling tower 'helmet'. I didn't have the points for them, so have skipped them. This makes Cherno Alpha the only jaeger design equipped solely for close combat.

Coyote Tango (327pts)

Head - Q3 C2 - Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C3 - Twin-Linked Mortars, C4L with Unlimited Missiles
Arms - Q3 C3 - One-Shot Shooter C3S (Plasma Cannon)
Legs - Q2 C3 - Amphibious

Where Cherno Alpha is equipped entirely for close combat, Coyote Tango is built for ranged combat. It is described as having less armour than other jaegers, sacrificing defence for speed. Rather than increase its move to Long, I increased the quality of its legs, so that it gets more opportunities to make multiple moves and stay at a distance from its opponents whilst attacking them with the massive firepower offered by its big guns. As an early model jaeger, the plasma cannon in the arm was experimental, so I have assumed it has a long recharge time (or is simply unreliable) and given it a single shot.

I have tried three of these designs in combat. Gipsy Danger performs well, as befits an all-rounder. Cherno Alpha suffered badly against a kaiju with a ranged combat capability; it was too slow to close quickly, and the kaiju was using an attack that ignored the armour. Crimson Typhoon works very well, but needs a understanding of how to best make use of multiple actions within one activation. I have yet to try Coyote Tango or Striker Eureka; they will feature in my next game, I hope. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Galleys & Galleons: Episode IV - A New Hope

The 17th century. A period of civil war. Rebel ships, striking from a hidden harbour, have won their first victory against the Ottoman Empire. During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the STAR OF DEATH, a mighty cannon with enough power to destroy an entire city. Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Layla races home aboard her pinnace, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the Mediterranean ….

Another game of Galleys and Galleons, this time using the Blockade Runner scenario. In one corner is Princess Layla's pinnace, fast manoeuvrable and with a shallow draft suitable for negotiating the route to safety on the other side of the table.

But the pinnace must run an Ottoman blockade - two galleys and a xebec.

I used the pinnace from the rules, but to balance the points dropped it from Q2 to Q3. I thought that this would also make for a less predictable game. The galleys and the xebec were straight from the rules.

With reference to the above picture, Princess Layla had to run from the bottom left to the top right. The wind was blowing from the bottom right. The Ottoman xebec was deployed there, so it was down-wind of the escaping Princess. The galleys didn't have to worry about the wind, and were deployed to cover the gaps between the islands.

Princess Layla was going to have to make a decision as to which way to go around the sandbank, but a slight shift in the wind direction made heading north the best option.

The Ottomans were slow to react, blowing a couple of early activations. However the galley in the centre began to turn in order to bring its battery of guns to bear.

The pinnace ran close to the island in order to foil any attempt to grapple and board. The galley fired, to no effect.

Crowding on sail, Princess Layla pushed the pinnace to the fastest possible speed, but had her gunners fire a rolling broadside as they swept past the first galley. The gunners were enthusiastic, but inaccurate, and the galley escaped any significant damage.

In the distance the second galley was closing in.

The pinnace sailed as fast as the wind would allow, barely outrunning the galleys.

Through the gap, and heading for safety.

Or not. The wind backed some more, and was now blowing roughly from the direction of escape. Not only would the pinnace have to sail close-hauled to reach safety, but it would have to tack in order to escape. This would cause it to lose ground to the galleys, who were unconcerned by the elements.

The galleys closed the range. The pinnace could sail fast enough to avoid them catching up and boarding, but would have to run a gauntlet of gunfire. And if any of the shots damaged the rigging it would all be over. There'd be no escape for the Princess this time ...

A shot from a galley stuck home, causing slight damage.

Meanwhile the xebec was working its way towards the exit point, hoping to cut off the pinnace. But the wind wasn't working to its advantage either.

(The damage marker was a mistake; it was from running aground, but with a shallow draft the xebec should have ignored that problem As it happened it had no effect on the game).

The galleys kept up a close pursuit, but couldn't spare the actions to line up a good shot.

The pinnace was almost home free.

More shots from the galleys failed to score any damage.

The xebec was now closing in. The pinnace would have to execute a perfect tack, and crowd on full sail to escape.

Three actions! This allowed the Princess to turn the pinnace across the wind, and use its razee ability to give it the final boost  it needed to reach the ope sea and safety.

Although little damage was scored on either side, this was a tense, close game. Having all vessels operate at Q3 gave just the right amount of unpredictability. The pinnace was relying on spending an action each turn to use its razee ability, and gain a speed boost; without it the galleys could use their activations to close the range and bring their guns to bear more effectively, whilst at the end the xebec was only a turn away from being able to bring its more powerful guns to bear. With the wind against her, the Princess had a lucky escape.

6x6 - Game 6-2

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Galleys & Galleons

Many years ago I was involved in the initial playtesting of a set of starship rules which used the Songs of Blades and Heroes system. I had a lot of fun with it, but it was obvious that the system didn't really lend itself to that style of combat. So when, a couple of years ago, I came across someone developing a set of rules for earthbound naval combat - Galleys and Galleons - using the same system I had some reservations. However I followed the development, read reports and reviews and saw that it did seem to work and produce a fun game. Maybe not a game that would appeal to the hardened historical naval gamer, but something quick and fun. Galleys and Galleons covers small naval actions in the Age of Discovery, concentrating on the 16th and 17th century, and with up to six ships per player being the norm. It's possible to use it for actions outside of the period as well; the rules includes some ancient galley stats, and there are some fantasy elements included too. There is a supplement which adds a little more historical detail, but a full range of fantasy items as well.

So earlier this week I bit the bullet and bought the rules. And today I got a chance to try them out. I don't really have any Age of Discovery ships, but I do have a collection of Napoleonic naval stuff which strays into the esoteric, with gunboats, galleys and Chinese junks, so I reasoned I could pull together forces from that.

I started with the basic 'Pursuit' scenario. In one corner - an East Indiaman working its way to the safety of a friendly port ...

... but on the far horizon are the sails of a pirate junk.

Each ship was worth about 50 points. The junk had the edge in manouever and boarding, whilst the Indiaman was bigger, better armed and with a disciplined crew. Both were lifted straight from the example ships in the rules.

Unfortunately I deployed the junk badly. The aim of the scenario was for the Indiaman to exit the table from the opposite corner to the one it started in. The junk had to capture or sink it. The Indiaman got to choose the initial wind-direction, and I then contrived to deploy the junk such that it had to work its way past a sandbank with the wind very much not in its favour.

A fortunate shift in wind slowed the Indiaman, and allowed the junk to close up into cannon range.

The Indiman replied, but accurate long-range gunnery is not the forte of either of these ships.

The range closed, but neither ship could damage the other. However the junk was still badly positioned to sail in close and board.

The Indiaman tried to slip to the stern of the junk.

The junk turned hard to port, and was now better positioned to block the Indiaman's escape.

More gunfire. No effect.

The junk nipped in fast, deployed grapples and it was Boarders Away! A fierce action saw both sides damaged; the Chinese had an initial advantage through the Derring Do ability, but the Indiaman staved off disaster through the discipline of their Veteran NCOs.

The Indiaman cut free, and tried to make good its escape.

The junk cut across its stern and fired a broadside.

Down came a mast. The Indiaman struck.

Having now grasped the concepts of the game, I set up a larger version of the same scenario. This time the Indiaman was accompanied by a Company sloop; a dedicated warship.

But now there were three junks; two large and one small.

The junks were approaching from the corner the Company ships were aiming for. Unfortunately an early shift of wind saw them in irons. The Company ships turned to work their way around an island, which would put them upwind of the junks, albeit leaving them having to work through a narrow gap between the island and the edge of the table.

The junks turned into the wind, to wait. The small junk was sent off to work its way around the flank.

The Company ships began their run for safety, firing their broadsides as the did so.

The sloop ran for the gap between the junks, hoping to shatter them with gunfire before the Indiaman had to run the gauntlet. Unfortunately it took an unlucky hit from one of the junks which holed it below the waterline.

The Indiaman joined the fight, and a raking broadside brought down rigging on one of the junks.

Despite their disadvantage with regards to the wind, both junks managed to rush the Company ships, grapple, and send in the boarders.

A series of desperate to-and-fro melees ensued. The Indiaman was captured, but the sloop defeated the junk which had attacked it. This was fortunate, because the small junk was now closing in as well.

The small junk boarded. The sloop's crew rose to the challenge, and in a brisk fight they took the second junk.

The final junk moved away from the captured Indiaman, blocking the sloop's escape (in this scenario the Company get points for exiting ships. Recapturing the Indiaman was a possibility, but the best option for a winning score was for the sloop to run for it).

With no other options open to it, the sloop grappled and boarded the junk. And took it.

A good day for the Honourable East India Company. The Indiaman was recovered, and their sloop took three pirate junks into port as prizes.

Both games were great fun to play, and the rules gave no serious issues whilst being easy to follow.

For those that are interested in these things, the stats for the small junk and the Company sloop are as follows:

1 x Sloop (80) – Q2 C3 – Chasers, Galleon Rig, Veteran NCOs, Trained Crew, Drilled Soldiers
1 x Small Junk (30) – Q2 C1 -  Derring Do, Intimidating, Lateen Rig, Yare

If I did it again I might give the Sloop a Master Gunner instead of Trained Crew, to give it an edge as the junks close in. However the terrain did limit its use of long-range gunnery, which is where the Trained Gun Crews excel. The small junk is basically the junk from the rules with a reduced combat value and no Reinforced Hull.

I confess I didn't use the rules as written. The weather change rules are clever, in that they are tied to players' activation rolls, but this creates the strange situation of players being able to game wind-direction changes. So I lifted and slightly adapted a more conventional set of rules from HERE. I also used their rules for reducing and making sail. Both seemed to work OK. I used the optional reload rules from the actual game as well.

And, since I have one slot to fill, still, I'm making 'Galleys and Galleons' Game Six in my 6 x 6 Challenge list, and treating this writeup as Game 1.

6x6 - Game 6-1

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