Saturday 27 December 2014

Battle at Giant´s keep; A trial game of Mayhem

Like many others, my first introduction to the hobby was Warhammer. The grand battles that played out on the pages of White Dwarf has always spoken to me, even to this day. Grand fantasy battles is therefore something that is close to my heart, even though I haven't played any games in years.

But when I discovered the plethora of good 6mm fantasy armies, I knew that I would have to give it a go again.

I decided on trying out 2 different rulesets, Mayhem and Mighty armies.

(This is my first game of mayhem, so I might have gotten a few things wrong)  

The field of battle, known as the Giant´s Keep. The lizardmen of the Southern regions consider this part of their territories, and the men of Ashen wastes intruders. Unless they turn around, there will be blood.

The lizardmen army, 3 stands of spearmen with Shields, 2 stands of longbowmen, 2 warrior stands with stone clubs, 1 of cavalry and 1 set of bolt throwers on dinos. Leading them is a captain mounted on a canivorous dinosaur (Counts as cavalry).

From the Ashen wastes comes 2 stands of warriors; 1 with swords and 1 with maces, 2 stands of heavy crossbowmen, 2 stands of heavy knights with 2-handed weapons, 1 stand of knights of nightmare steeds and 1 stand of cannons. Their commander is a mounted knight-captain, carrying the black banner of his house.  

The first activations are used for movement, Mayhem has an interesting system where all stats are expressed in die type, for example "Movement d8","Combat d10" "Ballistic Armor Rating d10".

 Whenever you activate a stand for moving for example, you can choose wether to go default, and move up to half the distance allowed by your Dice (4 in case of a d8 f.x.) or the riskier "danger roll", where you roll the dice and get to move up to your score instead.
 This applies to combat as well, but unlike alot of other games, you want to roll as low as possible. And while rolling a 1 automaticly takes out the enemy stand, it can sometimes be better to play it safe if the skill-levels between troops are wide enough

The first blood goes to the lizardmen archers, who roll a natural 1, destroying the swordsmen of the wastes in a shower of arrows.

The nightmare cavalry charge the lizardmen cavalry, attempting to rout them Before they can decend upon their comrades. the initial shock drives the lizardmen back, but in the fighting that ensues, both units perish as they both roll 1s.
 This is another quite interesting thing in mayhem, if both side choose to make a danger roll, it's entirely possible for them to take each other out.

The remaining stand of warriors charge the line of lizardmen archers, taking them down quite easily, the archers close combat skills insufficient to ward of the blows.  

The 2 stands of lizardmen warriors battle the axe-wielding warriors, and a stand of spearmen join in on the flank. Units are disordered back and forth, but the lizardmen hold the advantage due to flanking.
Any normal unit that loses combat but not on a 1 gets disordered instead, meaning that they will be more expensive to activate until re-organized. Also, any disorganized unit that loses a combat, no matter the roll, will be eliminated.

On the far left, a unit of heavy knights charge the spearmen in front of them, only to be gutted on a wall of spearheads.
These knights was the most powerful unit outside of the cavalry in their army, Rolling 2d4s in the combat against the lizardmen, who only had a d12 and a d20. Even so, the lucky roll of 1 means they are destroyed instantly, showing how even the mightiest warriors may fall. Statisticly speaking this won't be too common, but it makes for cinematic and unexpected moments! 

Finally overwhelmed, the last warrior unit is taken out, the superior numbers of the lizardmen was too much.

Having lost 50% of thier forces, the warriors of the Ashen wastes are forced to take a break test.
 They roll their leadership dice (in their case, a d10) and on a roll of 1, they would quit the field. if they make it, they have to make a new check next turn, with 2 dice this time, 3 dice the 3rd check etc. until at least one comes up a natural 1.
So of course they managed it on the first go.

Victory to the lizardmen!

I like how to system works, but I quickly learned that I should have invested in more banners for both sides, as these lets you roll more command dice and keep the best. There was a few times when both sides managed to roll only 2s or 3s, making anything but basic manouvers all but impossible. But you learn as long as you live!

For the next game, we will try Mighty armies, to see how they stack up rules-wise. Hopefully I'll have a new army to showcase right about the same time as well!

Hope you've liked it!

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Among the ruins of a lost civilization;A FPFH campaign turn 5

The 5th turn of my Five Parsecs campaign was a quick but exiting affair, it's really beginning to pick up the pace, and gets more exiting every time!

For first-time readers;
The adventurers can be found here: Link

The first Campaign round summary: To the beginning!
The second Campaign round summary: The adventures continues!
The third Campaign round summary:  A quest is begun!
The forth Campaign round summary: The Quest continues!

Last time the Adventurers aquired a substantial amount of data on alien artefacts from the site they searched, but most of it was in a clearly alien cipher! They needed an expert in the field of xeno-archeology. The word was put out through whatever sources they had, now they could only wait.

Using some of the big pile of local currency they had amassed, captain Al managed to trade some of it for a frak grenade and an odd-looking pistol. Closer inspection revealed that the handgun was infact a shard gun, a prized and quite rare weapon out on the fringe!
 Chiyo secures another handgun in a trade, and Mr Hammer holds down the fort.
Mr Smith works out, while Duke tries to recuit some local muscle for the next mission; Sensing that there's more danger than he claims, nobody takes the offer though.

Finally they get the answer they're looking for; A local contact have heard of a excavation site in the deepest regions of the western desert, set up to investigate a newly unearthed alien ruin. The leader of the expedition is a former marine turned relic hunter by the name of Gina.

Armed with this knowledge the group sets out, hiring a grav-speeder to make it there in record time (breaking only a few traffic and safety regulations along the way).

For the first time the entire crew is all going on the mission!
Captain Black brought his trusted revolver and a knife. Mr Hammer had his usual combo of gattling gun and brutal melĂ©e weapon. Mr smith chooses to go with a auto-rifle instead of his usual rattle-gun; choosing speed of firepower for this mission.
Chiyo had her automatic and socket-wrench, while Duke came loaded with body armor, a hunting rifle, his power-fist, a handgun and a grenade; Armed to the teeth as usual.

When they come upon the site, the silhouette of a stone monolith is dominating the area. Strange crystal formations and local flora grow in patches, and they seem to be angling toward the alien pillar, like flowers turns to the sun.. At the pillar´s base, there is a team of scientist, along with a woman in armor. Is this the archeologist they came to see?

 Our heroes barely have the time to survey the landscape before they notice someting approching the campsite from the far side.. 

..It's the Andromeda Cult! Their precence seems to indicate higher stakes than the adventurers had originally thought! 

Knowing that the numerical superiority of the cult would wear them down should the battle go on for long, Both the captain and Duke bounds forward. Al is aiming to reach the scientist as fast as humanly possible, and Duke goes into a overwatch position, to cover his allies.

The Cult and the small group of  scientists led by Gina spot soon spot each other, the cult surging forward while the scientist look for cover. To them it looks as if they are beset from both sides!

A Brunt mercenary, a spieces of big anthropromorphic rhinos, charges Gina.
This looks disastrous to onlookers, but dont forget that Gina used to be a marine!

The brunt swings heavily, but hits only air, Gina is already behind him, and in one swift stroke she brings her combat knife down between his skull and spine severing their connection.

One of her crew tries to use the range-finding laser on his survey gear to scare a cultist into cowering, but he easily spots the con!

The cultist keep coming, probing to try and find a way through to their prize.
 When the cthuul carring a rattle-gun swings out of cover, he is quickly faced with a swarm of bullets from Mr Smith and the captain, forcing him behind cover once more. 
 Captain Al manages to reach the beleaguered scientists, putting his revolver away and explains who they are and why they've come.
Gina listens to his story, and considering that the adventurers are the only ones within a 100 miles not trying to capture her or worse, she accepts Al´s proposal. They are leaving, posthaste.

Mr Hammer moves into a better overwatch position as well, to cover their escape.
While everyone is focused on the events around the pillar, the rattle-gun toting cultist swings out of cover yet again, intent to supressing our heroes to give his fellows a chance to close the distance. Mr Smith is forced to hunker down, keeing in cover, but Chiyo, less experienced on the battlefield, bails and runs back towards the grav-speeder. Eventually, she stops and hunkers down as well, waiting for her crew-mates to catch up. 

Retaliation is swift and brutal, Mr Hammer opens up with his gattling, spraying the small cluster of cultists that's gathered on the near side of the camp. 3 of their number is forced to dive for cover, one of them bails far enough to flee, but summons up his nerve last minute. 

The Scientists and Gina starts to fall back, with out heroes laying down covering fire.
Seeing their prey almost slipping their grasp, the Cultists advance with alacrity, trying to catch up by sheer force of will. But the forward 2 cultists are pinned down by Duke and the captain. 

With 2 scurry turns back to back, the adventurers and their new scientist allies fall back to the edge of the site, Mr Smith and Chiyo runs along to make sure that the Grav-speeder is warmed up and ready to go.

 But then, just as Gina and the rest of our heroes are leaving the battle, distaster strikes! The rattle-gun carring cultist that has hounded our heroes comes into view, his machinegun firing full auto.
 Before anbody can react, Gina lets out a grunt and collapses.
The return fire from Al, Mr Hammer and Duke turns the unlucky assailant into a pink mushy paste, barely recognizable as a once living thing.

Captain Al and Mr Hammer carry Gina between them, and as soon as everyone is loaded onto the speeder, they take off. As they speed away at dangerously high speeds, Mr Smith and Duke administers first aid to the wounded Gina, while the Cult is once again left in the dirt behind them..

Mission successful!

The team comes through the mission unharmed, but their Xeno-archeologist is worse off.
Due to the quick first aid she only sustained minor injuries, and will be bedridden one turn (31 on the injury roll).

The crew found some old, but perfectly servicable colony-rations, along with a survey map and a blade given to them by the greatfull scientists. One of them pledged his services to the group, as a way of thanks and repaying his life-debt. (he will be added as a goon to the roster).

With the artifact they seek in sight, all members, assisted by Gina, started to decipher the alien writing.

What strange things will they uncover? Is this somehow connected to the ancient device Gina once found while still in the marines? What lies ahead?

While short, this battle was exiting! It was really cinematic, right up until the end, with a twist that has got me planning the next installment already!

Till next time,look to the stars! 

Friday 19 December 2014

Strange crystals in the desert

With uncharacteristic amounts of semi-efficient work still getting done, I have a small update today;

For the next installment of my Five Parsecs campaign I have decided to build something newish, and a few extra pieces of linear obstacles;

These patches of mysterious crystal was originaly intended as a sort of "spice" for a 6mm game I ran earlier this year. Of course that never happened, but they could easily fill the same role or lots of other uses. While colossal compared to a 6mm mini and skyscraper-sized next to my 3mm ones, I think they would make good terrain for an alien world.

This monolith is supposed to be an remnant of alien civilization, found on newly discovered worlds around the fringe of human space. It came out ok, but I need to get bigger pebbles to bulk up the base around the pillar if I make any more of them.  

The last pieces are a few walls, built so they could represent natural stone or parts of ancient ruins. Not a great piece, but I need more cover and obstacles, since I want to keep my Five Parsecs-games from having too much open space; That quickly turns into a killbox.
I do have a few more pieces on the way, one or two 3mm ones, as well as a host of 6mm ones. The 6mm bug has bitten properly again, so expect more tiny metal men to show up in the future!
I also have not one but two (2!) battlereports to share with you soon, I just need to go through the pics and do the write-ups.  Keep your eyes peeled!
Hope you've liked it! 

Sunday 14 December 2014

Tyrian Power Armor, and a new challenger appears!

Even though I've been preoccupied with all things tiny (mostly 3mm for now, but 6mm is building momentum again), I have in fact had the time to give my 15mm lead pile some love as well.

First we have the newest addition to the Tyrian freehold's arsenal, Power Armor! (the sculpts are  NSL PA, from GZG awesome toys!)

The full squad, 5 mean machines. the official designation for the suit is the Goliath Combat Suit. 
(I managed to lose the close-up of the regular grunt, I'll try to get some new ones when time permits) 

The unit leader, he carries a gyro-jet pistol, and his is the only armor equipped with the extended sensory and comms package.

Primarily used for AT duty, the missile launcher is also useful against other PA targets.

The last special weapons trooper is the plasma gunner. He carries a rapid-fire plasma rifle, designed to engage heavily armored enemy infantry, as well as enemy light vehicles. This version, just like the standard machingunner of the Goliath also comes with a shoulder-mounted rocket system.

The challenger I spoke of is a force I painted up to use with No Stars In Sight, to give the Tyrians some alternatives to fighting the same foe every time.

They are the New Imperial Japanese Army or NIJA for short.
A platoon, minus the armored support, since they are still in the mail.

An NIJA officer. They serve all sorts of command roles in the army, from squad leaders all the way up to the army commander.

Having a focus on high-tech weapons and gagetry, about 50% of the squads have a drone-controller deployed with them. The NIJA makes use of drones not only for scouting and intelligence, but also for offence and support.

There are 3 common support weapons at the squad level in the NIJA; The first (and least common) is the automatic grenade launcher. AGL operators carries a set of munition ranging from standard smoke and frag grenades to the more exotic mono-filament and thermobaric varieties.

The second support weapon system is the guided missile launcher. The standart AT weapon for the army, it carries a operator selected multi-mode guided warhead. While mostly used against enemy tanks, the warhead can be configured to air-burst, standard frag or Contact HE modes as well.

The last of the support weapons are arguably the most common, the LMG. A compact version of the heavier crew-served guns, the LMG has a high rate of fire, coupled with a shortened barrel for easier handling in close quarters. 

At last we come to the humble rifleman. Backbone of the NIJA, they have an advanced armor system with neural-net links, giving the access to real-time battlefield data. The standard weapon of the armed forces is the Type 12 modular assault rifle. A bullpup rifle designed to fire 2mm caseless ammo, the Type 12 can be equipped with various optics and trageting packages, as well as Micro-grenade launchers and shotgun attachments.
Next in the painting queue is some more terrain, possibly along with a few more space opera types in 15mm. I have just received the new terrain pieces from the Ion Age as well, so I imagine they will be popping up on the blog before long as well!