This area of the website is my hobby blog, it contains articles about games that I have enjoyed playing together with paining and model making articles.
Normandy 1944 US PIR face elements of 6 Fallschirmjager Regt in a meeting engagment.
Combat Patrol is a completely unique take on WW2 Miniatures gaming. It can be played with any size miniatures and the level of engagment is very similar to Bolt Action with players commanding round about a reinforced platoon.
Individual units represent half squads of around five miniatures, weapons teams or individual vehicles. What makes the game special is that it is highly detailed but enjoyable and fast to play due to the way that it has been designed.
Gameplay uses two decks of cards, an activation deck that determines the order in which units activate and an action deck that is uses for just about everything else. At the start of each turn both players roll a dice for each leader in their force (NCO's and Officers) and place the dice next to their unit. The activation deck contains Red 1:6, Black 1:6, Reshuffle and some special cards that for example give elite troops an extra activation. When a number card is turned over, all squads that have that number on their dice get to activate.
The Germans main force deployed at the far side of the town behind the church yard and proceeded to move up towards the town centre using the churchyard walls for cover while a second section deployed on their left flank and slowly advanced through the jumble of back yards and outbuildings. The Germans in the churchyard demonstrate text book fire and manoeuvre, putting down a base of fire with LMG as riflemen leapfrog past them. Late war Fallschirmjager do really benefit from having 2 x MG42 per section allowing one to be deployed in each squad.
The US Paras quickly move up and into the buildings edging the town square and attempt to set up their .30 calibres in sustained fire mode at first floor windows, however the devistating fire that the Germans poor into the building delays their progress as each time they activate they need to deal with morale effects before they can continue with their mission.
As both sides consolidate their positions, casualties begin to mount. The way that Combat Patrol deals with combat is very elegant. Figures get a number of shots each activation, which is determined by the weapon they are using and range to target. For each shot a card is drawn from action deck that determines if the shot has hit or not. This resolution uses a mini chart on card and takes into account quality of shooter, range to target and if either shooter or target is moving. If a hit is scored a second card is drawn that determines the effect of the shot. Icons on the card illustrate what type of cover will protect the target, which figure in the group is hit and whether wound is lethal. Regardless of whether a wound is caused, target gains a morale marker that needs to be resolved before they can act again. The card mechanism also deals with out of ammo / blockages in a neat way.
Typically the Germans get a squad into the Church tower that gives them an excellent field of fire over the town square.
Here, my opponent draws a card from the action deck and we can see the range of information on each card that allows it to be used to determine movement distance, resolve shooting against infantry and vehicles, the effect of HE fire, morale tests and many more without the need for using complex charts and reference sheets.
The game is to be continued, so I will update the post when it is completed.
Last Saturday, we had our first game of Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish. What a fantastic game system! We only played the introductory scenario, which is a good old fashioned Barroom Brawl. This uses very basic, low level characters to introduce you to the principals of the Otherworld rules. Each side had the same characters, a Veteran, Pickpocket, Worshipper and Beserker. The rules are designed to be played by two players, so we had to develop a way to allocate initiative and fate to three or more characters.
In a game of Otherworld, Initiative and Fate are very important. You do not get to activate every model, every turn, but if you spend two fate you can buy an additional activation. At the start of each turn, in the standard twio player game, both players roll a D6 to determine starting initiative and fate counters. The higer score goes first and the lesser roll is subtracted from the higher roll, the result is halved and rounded up and this determines the amount of fate the starting player has. Anything left over from high roll minus low roll is the second players fate. What I did to take a mechanism that would work for any number of players, was to write down all of the combinations of two dice rolls and work out how much fate would be allocated. Their are 36 combinations possible, so a number from 1 to 36 was engraved on the top of a counter and the amount of fate on the bottom half of a counter. This gives the same odds / distribution as rolling the two dice. These chits were then drawn from a bag to determine order of activation (lowest first) and number of fate points.
At the start of the game all of the characters are unarmed. The Innkeeper has wisely decided that weapons should be kept in a chest in the backroom behind the bar. A sensible precaution. This of course made the area of the bar and the room behind it awash with blood!
In Otherworld Fantasy Skirmish you always have hard decisions to make as you never have enough resources to go around so you need to be continually thinking about what your priorities are and focussing your resources there. To start off with you can only get enough activation counters for half of your models each turn, so the first decision is who to activate, secondly Fate tokens are very scarce, if you get one or two a turn you are lucky. You can spend one token to adjust a dice roll by one or two tokens to buy an extra activation.
Combat is pretty straight forward, what you need to roll to hit is determined by your skill with a particular weapon. If you have scored a hit you check to see if you have inflicted any damage by comparing the strength of the weapon you are using with the defense attribute of your opponent. If your opponent is wearing armor they are entitled to roll a saving throw. This is a simple but fast, effective and enjoyable (because it is easy to use and remember) system. Most characters have between one and three hit points.
The quick reference sheets that Otherworld supply as a free download are very handy and have pretty much all of the tables you need to reference during the game.
We made up some character cards that fit inside deck protectors with a photo of the character and all of it's stats for easy reference during the game. If any one is interested in having some of these as I design them let me know and I'll get them added as a free download from our website.
Our bar-room was put together with components from the Terra-Block terrain system. The pieces we are using are standard pieces that come pre-painted and just need gluing together with PVA glue. In the future we are planning to make a set as part of our 'Old School Dungeon' range which will have downloadable medieval stone cover sheets, like the dungeon sets.
The Otherworld system worked smoothly, and with the addition of our initiative / fate chits supported multi player gaming really well. Next weekend we will be playing a more advanced game to check out how the adventure deck and wandering monsters etc. add to the gaming experiance.
Frostgrave - Treasure hunting in the frozen wastes
Last weeks's Frostgrave at Ripon Wargames club featured a central library complex, within some ruined walls. The library was made from the new Sally 4th Terra-Block Old School Dungeon Starter Set.
My warband is led by a Summoner, Nathans by a Necromancer. My Summoner managed to fluff every single spell he attempted in this game, although his apprentice had a lot more success, particularly with Jump which was used with good effect to move soldiers on to treasure and then back out of the complex.
We used wandering monsters, appearing on roll of 16+ on a random board edge. The most significant of these to appear was a Werewolf that tied Nathans soldiers up for several turns, but finally resulted in a Werewoves head worth 20 gp.
This was a great game, we used a couple of house rules which helped. Game was played for a fixed length. 5 turns extended to 6 turns on 11+, extended to 7 turns on another 11+ roll. No experiance granted for killing the opposition, 25xp granted for succesful spell casting and 25gp each for treasure left on table at end of game.