Showing posts with label report. Show all posts
Showing posts with label report. Show all posts

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Deep Space Serenity

Deep Space D-6 is a game that lends itself to tinkering, and one area where this has been done is in he nature of the ship you get to command. Last week I downloaded a 'Serenity' variant board, and gave it a run-through this evening. It's a tricky board; the Firefly-class ship is unarmed, so the Tactical option has been effectively removed. Threats are eliminated by out-flying them or tricking them, and this requires combos involving Command dice. Although hard to set up, tactical dice are wild-cards, so you get a few choices. 'Serenity' also has fewer shields and hull than the basis USS Crypsis board, although the hull is easier to repair.

Here's the start of the first game, with just some Raiders to deal with.


It was soon joined by an Assault Cruiser.


And quickly by other ships. I just didn't get any decent crew rolls in this game, and the 'Serenity' was swiftly destroyed.


In the second game I was confronted by an Interceptor at the  start.


A series of nasty ships came out of the deck early on.


Things were soon looking very bad indeed.


And that Threat Roll of '2' was the end, as it activated enough cards to eliminate all of my remaining hull.


I shall return to the 'Serenity' another day. I decided to give the USS Crypsis another try. My initial threats were fairly dangerous, but I got plenty of good tactical rolls, and the ship's weapons fought them off.


Two thirds of the way through the deck and I was still going strong. I'd navigated the Nebula, whilst not meeting any enemy ships, survived the Meteoroid by blowing it up when I had full hull and shields, and even passed through the Solar Winds.


That Time Warp proved a little tricky to deal with; I had a few turns where I had crew trapped in the Threats boxes and in the infirmary, and had to ignore threats in order to release them. The little damage I did regenerated via the Time Warp. By this stage I had my crew back in full fighting fettle, though.


I had used up the deck by this stage; all I had to do was eliminate the on-board threats.


And I did. Another win for Spacefleet!


That's two wins in a row using the basic board, so I think removing some of the Nothing Happens cards is in order so the difficulty is increased. One option I think might be interesting is to keep the deck in play the same (36 cards) but add in some new ones - say about 8. At the start of the game the deck is shuffled, and then 8 cards are removed and kept face-down. That way you have no idea exactly what cards you're going to encounter.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Tankers In Normandy

Four of us played a game of 'What A Tanker' this evening. After our previous games we went for a denser terrain; more walls and thick hedges, more impassable woods and more buildings. Gary and Ralph took a Panther and  Tiger I respectively. Caesar and I each had a Sherman; mine was accompanied by a Firefly, whilst his was accompanied by an M10 Achilles.

Our Shermans took up positions along the road, using the walls and buildings as cover.


The Germans advanced to wards the village square.


Caesar was working the Achilles around the German flank. He got a clear shot at the Panther's side armour, but failed to damage it. Gary returned fire and destroyed the tank-destroyer.


He then used the cover of a building to line up a shot on my Sherman, but didn't get the rolls to take it. Still, this was a tricky position to be in. Meanwhile, off camera, Ralph ambled slowly down the road, knocking out Caesar's Sherman as he came.


A Sherman in trouble; in the sights of the Panther and with a Tiger heading down the road towards it.


I got the roll I needed; enough movement dice to dart out from behind the house, acquire the Tiger, aim and shoot. I hit it, but the shot bounced off the armour. I was then able to move back behind the house, out of sight of the Tiger and also closer in, such that I was no longer covered by the Panther, who lost both its acquisition and aim.


Gary worked the Panther around the Allied flank, but this gave time for the Firefly to move up. It achieved nothing before the Tiger (I think) took it out.


This left one Sherman alone against a Panther and a Tiger. Not good odds. the fact that I lasted three or four turns was the stuff legends are made of. I took three hits from the Panther, and survived a few misses, and managed to get three hits on it in reply. True they did no damage, but it was still an achievement. Eventually I simply ran out of command dice, and the crew skulked off into the woods.


The last few turns were the high drama that makes this game so much fun. Even at low odds there was a chance the Sherman could cause an upset on one of the German tanks, and the odds worked the other way as well; the Germans spent ages failing to finish off their opponent. All in all the game was tremendous fun, and a very welcome pick-me-up. I think we're getting the hang of the tactical possibilities now as well. I still want to try an early war game; I suspect the smaller strike and armour values of games involving Panzer IIs and IIIs could be frustrating but fun.

Monday, 14 May 2018

Maurice Campaign - Round 2

Apologies for not posting for a week. Life has thrown us one of those ... life things, and my attention has been elsewhere. But we have a way forward now and should be returning to a semblance of normality for the foreseeable future. Even that wouldn't have prevented me posting a report of our games on Thursday night, had I not been so distracted that I left my phone at work on Friday; the one with all of the photos on it.

Anyway, on Thursday we started the second round of our Maurice campaign. John couldn't make it, and I was in doubt (I turned up to watch), so we sat it out, and will play each other again at a later date. In the meantime Gary (Ottomans) defended against an attack by Ralph's Prussians, whilst Caesar's French defended against Peter's Austrians.

Here's the Prussians attacking the Ottomans. Ralph stacked most of his army against the extreme Ottoman right trying to avoid the massed guns of the Turks. Even so he lost a few units to cannon during the approach.


Once he got in close, though, the Prussian musketry dealt with the Ottomans rather effectively.


However Gary swung his irregular cavalry across the battlefield to hit the Prussians in the flank. The battle was close, and could have gone either way, but the Prussians clinched a victory in what was an exceptionally bloody fight.


Cavalry featured heavily in the early stages of Peter and Caesar's Austrian vs French clash as well.


Whilst the cavalry pushed each other back and forth on the flank, the infantry eyed each other up.


At that point I had to go. Peter took the following pictures, but I'm not sure if they're in the correct order.






Peter also provided a summary of the game, including the bits after I left.

The Brief Summary

1. Austria attacked French Cav 5 vs 4 unit

2. French beat off Austrian attack

3. Cav battle grinds on for a long time, we get down to 2 cav each

4. I bring up my infantry to start volley firing at French Cav

5. I gun down the french cav

6. French infantry advance,

7. one crazy french battalion attacks the Austrian line and is eliminated (Heat of battle card)

8. the french infantry attack stalls and are then attacked form the rear / side by my Cav.

French are defeated.

This was a victory for each side in the alliance. Both games were fairly bloody, so there will be a lot of conscripts in play next time. John and I still have to play our game.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Deep Space D-6

"You are the Captain of the USS Crypsis - a RPTR class starship on routine patrol of the Auborne system when a distress call was received. Upon warping in you quickly realize it was a trap! With the help of your crew, you must survive until a rescue fleet appears."

This is the premise of Deep Space D-6, a rather nice solitaire boardgame which I downloaded and printed the other day. Whilst there is a commercial version, with lovely components, extra rules and a selection of ships to play, there is a basic print and play version available as a free download for anyone who wants to give it a go. You can find it via its Boardgame Geek entry.

The mechanisms are relatively straightforward. Your ship's crew is represented by a hand of six dice. At the start of each turn you roll them, and the results dictate which crew assignments are available that turn - 1's are Command, 2's are Tactical, 3's are Medical, 4's are Science and 5's are Engineering. Command dice can alter other dice, tactical shoot at things, medical heal crew, Science operate the shields and keep threats at bay and Engineering repair damage. 6's are bad, representing Threats appearing on the scanners. Threats are the key to the game; there is a deck of 36-42 cards (depending on how many 'Nothing Happens' cards you choose to put in), mostly containing some obstacle or attacking enemy ship. Threats can be external (you shoot at them) or internal (issues on the ship which cause problems until specific crew specialisms resolve them). Each turn you automatically gain a new threat, and the scanners may generate more if you roll lots of 6's. So you roll your dice, assign the crew to deal with existing threats and issues according to what you have available, generate a new threat and then resolve all currently active threats to see if they damage the ship. You win if you get through the deck and eliminate all active external threats. It's not easy (even with all the 'Nothing Happens' cards in play). You lose if your ship reaches zero hull or, if at the start of a turn, you have no crew dice available to roll.

I played  quick game last night just to try it out, didn't put much effort into it and got destroyed about a third of the way through the deck.

This evening I decided to give it a proper go. This was the start of my first game, with the initial threats consisting of an Assault Cruiser and an approaching Meteoroid. The latter is a nasty threat, since it automatically scores damage, even if you destroy it. All you can do is attempt to delay it so that when it hits your ship has enough hull and shields to take the impact.


Things quickly went pear-shaped, as a lack of Tactical rolls prevented me from engaging the steadily accumulating wave of Threats. You can see a series of die results on each card. A single Threat Die is rolled, and every Threat card with the resulting number on it is activated. At this stage rolling a one was not a good thing to happen. I rolled a one.


The next turn I rolled another one, and the meteoroid smacked into my virtually crippled ship, destroying it. I was less then halfway through the deck.


My second game went slightly better, but again, I couldn't stop the Threats accumulating. The end came when I was attacked by a horde of cloaked threats (the card to the left of the main board), a double-whammy for which I was ill-prepared.


The third game went far more smoothly. I got great rolls virtually all of the way through, which meant I was able to stay on top of the Threats. Yes, there were a few hair-raising moments, but I eventually made it to the end of the deck. At this point things could still have gone badly; I still had to resolve the remaining three external threats (the cards on the right), but three of my six crew dice were in the infirmary, and one of the others was 'Distracted' ("Show me some more of this thing you Earth-people call 'kissing' ..."). If the two active dice I had ended up locked in the scanners I would run out of crew and lose.


I didn't. I managed to stay on top of the Threats, recover my crew from the Infirmary ("I'm a doctor, not a random-number generator!"), save my sixth crew dice from the amorous clutches of a purple-haired alien sex-goddess and finish off the last of the attacking enemy ships just as the relief force arrived.


Of course, having defeated the game with the 'Nothing Happens' cards in the deck, I now feel honour-bound to remove some or all of them and increase the difficulty.

The game takes about thirty minutes to play, and occupies a reasonably small footprint, so is a perfect lunchtime game. I thoroughly recommend it.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Let The Feathers Fly

Once again I appear to be the owner of a phone that gives up taking pictures one picture into an evening's gaming. So this is it; the only photo I got of last night's DBA games with Peter.


In both of them I defended with Maya against Aztecs. In both the Maya lost.

In the game pictured, the Maya (bottom) moved forward to try and hit the Aztecs before they could deploy properly, but they were themselves stuck in woods and a gully and weren't moving quickly. My left took out his right, but before I could exploit it, the Aztec hordes in his centre wiped out my centre. He picked up a 4-3 win.

In the second game we were fighting on a near empty field, thanks to some unlucky terrain placement rolls. Peter's best warriors were on his left, and slowly drove mine back, until they hit the gully there, where I was able to turn things around and score some kills. I was also successful killing Aztecs in the centre, but they were worthless hordes. Meanwhile he was slowly totting up kills with his general, and eventually won 4-2. This was a wonderfully scrappy game, with both lines fragmenting due to pursuits fairly rapidly, and a lot of shuffling around in order to regain overlaps or block breakthroughs.

So the Maya have lost all three of their encounters with the Aztecs. Time to think about some cunning plans.

Friday, 27 April 2018

Maurice Part Deux

Gary and Caesar finally played their Maurice campaign game last night, completing the first round of our campaign. Gary defended with the Ottomans against Caesar's massed French columns.


Gary seemed to get off to a good start. His laid a dense terrain, which gave his massed artillery plenty of protection, but which also allowed his irregular cavalry to do a sweeping flank attack on the French infantry as it advanced. Caesar managed to stabilise that situation, and eliminate the Ottoman horse, but had suffered plenty of casualties. Eventually, though, his infantry met that of the Ottomans and a firefight ensued in which the Ottoman line slowly crumbled. Gary's artillery did fearful execution on the French cavalry, but it was too late; the Ottoman morale collapsed, giving the victory to the French.

Gary was part of the same alliance as Peter and myself, so his loss means that the war continues into another round, with many of us fighting with armies made up of hastily-raised conscript replacements. So the next set of battles look like they might be interesting, but short.


John and I played a few bouts of Munera Sine Missione, with a lot of the rules being in my head owing the the major rewrite they are currently undergoing. We ran a campaign setup, but only played out the first Games. We each had a school of six gladiators; two lights, two mediums and two heavies, putting two challengers forward each and matching them with something suitable from our school for a total of four bouts in the 'day'.

My fancy arena really only allows one bout at a time, so that's what we did.

Bout 1: I used Hero against the spear-using Alumnus. Alumnus couldn't get past Hero's armour, whilst the heavier gladiator slowly wore his opponent down and eventually forced him to his knees to seek mercy from the crowd. They spared him, but that meant there was a negative modifier on the next gladiator to appeal that day.


In the second fight, I used Bremusa against the dimachaerus Spiculus. Bremusa is armed as a thraex, but since Spiculus doesn't have a shield her sica simply counted as a sword (In MSM a sica is specialised for circumventing the opponent's shield).

This was probably the best fight of the evening, with both gladiators ending up wounded. It went for ten rounds before Bremusa finally backed Spiculus into the arena wall and ran him through, mortally wounding him.


The third fight was between the heavily armoured contra-retiarius Telamonius and my school's retiarius, Titan. Titan got in an early net attack, but couldn't exploit it before Telamonius cut his way free. However his agility mostly kept him out of trouble, and eventually he managed to fell Telamonius with a mighty blow from his trident. I'm hazy on what happened at that point (our notes are incomplete), but I think poor Telamonius fell victim to the crowd's desire for blood.


Finally John used the lasso-using Gracchus against my other heavy gladiator who, at some point, has lost his name label, so was called Anonymous for the evening. John had appalling AP rolls in this fight, to the point where Gracchus simply gave up trying to use his lasso, dropped it and fought with his trident in both hands, just so he stood a chance of getting in some attacks.


Anonymous had better luck with Action Points, and took down Gracchus fairly quickly. Like Alumnus, he was backed against the wall, and killed instantly.


We called a halt at that point, since John had lost all four bouts and decided that his school would close in shame.

The various changes we were trying out seemed to work OK, but Victor and I have plenty of work to do tying everything together, agreeing on terminology and (in at least one case) agreeing on mechanisms.

There were actually two other games on offer last night; Peter and Geoff played a big DBA game, whilst Ralph ran some Team Yankee at the back of the room. I didn't get photos of either of those games, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

The Mighty Mongo - Part 2

This post concludes the career of the gladiator Mongo, who you saw in action yesterday. When we left him he had taken part in four bouts, winning one, getting one draw and losing two. he had some experience and a little bit of prestige, but was still early in his career.

I played one quick fight this morning, in which he fought Crixus, a gladiator similar to himself  but with a smaller shield. The two fighters traded blows for a while, and Crixus took a decent hit, but it was obvious that they were evenly matched and the referee eventually called a halt to the proceedings, giving Mongo another draw. A pity, as Crixus was the favourite, so if Mongo had defeated him it would have earned him much prestige.


During the day I had a brainwave, and ended up rewriting the fatigue system in 'Munera Sine Missione' as well as bits of the wound system. This is still a work in progress, but I got enough of it sorted out during my commute and lunch-break to feel confident enough to try it out in the remaining games.

Mongo's sixth fight saw him face a similar gladiator to Crixus, the flamboyant Margareites. despite the crowd being behind him, Margareites was no match for Mongo, who was keen for a victory. he wore down his opponent and denied the mob of even a chance to spare their hero, by backing him up against the arena wall and running him through.


This gave Mongo another skill; he replaced Margareites in the crowd's affections, becoming a Crowd-Pleaser. He also gained another point of Prestige, going up to 3.

In his next fight he was pitted against the barbarian Andromache. She was unarmoured but carried a sturdy big shield and a sharp sword. Despite her lack of experience she outfought Mongo from the start, dodging out of his reach and then darting in to hit him with thrust after thrust. Eventually Mongo was forced to appeal to the crowd, who spared him despite his not landing a single hit on his opponent. However his reputation suffered; losing to a less-experienced foe cost him a point of prestige.


Looking to build up his reputation again, his lanista arranged for him to fight a retiarius called Cupido. Needless to say it was only moments before Mongo found himself trapped in Cupido's net. He fended off the ensuing attacks, cut free, and took the fight to his lighter opponent. However he couldn't quite finish him off, and seeing that he was too exhausted to be entertaining, the referee stopped the bout and declared it a draw.


The ninth fight of Mongo's career saw him fight another spear-armed gladiator, the agile Spicula (sister of the dimachaerus Spiculus). She got in an early hit that saw Mongo seriously wounded, but he rallied and managed to cut his opponent to ribbons, forcing her to appeal to the crowd. Entertained, they spared her. Mongo gained no prestige or skills from this fight since Spicula was less-experienced than he.


Gannicus was Mongo's tenth foe. Under the campaign rules I was using, Mongo would be freed if he won this bout. He went in aggressively, but tired quickly even though he inflicted wounds on his opponent. Gannicus took advantage of Mongo slowing up, and felled him with a mighty slash of his sword, forcing him to seek mercy from the audience. They were happy to spare a gladiator who had kept them entertained for years.


Gannicus had the same number of skills as Mongo, so there was no loss of Prestige.

And so on to Mongo's eleventh fight. This time he was up against Flamma the thraex, who was very much the favourite; strong and skilled in defence, Mongo was going to have a hard time wounding his foe.


Mongo fought like a man possessed, fending off his opponent's sica, and driving him back across the arena. His steady attacks produced plenty of cheers from the crowd. A lucky blow saw Flamma wounded, and Mongo spotted his chance. Exerting himself to the full, he charged, sidestepped and, to the cheers of the mob, downed Flamma with a  mighty sweep of his sword. There was no question, after such a spectacle, that Flamma wouldn't be spared.


Having won the bout Mongo was granted the rudis, the wooden sword of freedom. For beating Flamma he gained 2 Prestige, bringing his total to 4, as well as an extra skill - he chose Stamina, although would never use it in the arena.


This is the first time I've had a gladiator survive at least ten bouts in a campaign. Mongo had fought eleven times, won four fights, lost four and drawn three times.

The new rules and changes didn't seem to be seriously broken, and just need a little refinement. Incorporating them into the main rules is going to be a fun exercise, however, as they will require modification to pretty much every section, and some major redefinition of key terms. If they prove viable, then it looks like the next version of 'Munera Sine Missione' will be a full v3.0 rather than a sub-version.

(The campaign system used for these bouts will also be part of the new version, as well as the one I use for multiple players. Those will be a major addition.)

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