Thursday, May 30, 2013

Black Powder ACW game

Last Sunday, 5/26/2013, a bunch of us got together to throw down an epic game of Black Powder American Civil War at Crusaders Retreat. The players were Robert B, Mike W and myself taking control of the Confederates while Tom O, Tom F, Dave C and Al R took the Union. The battle Field was a massive 12'x6' table that Robert, Tom and myself provide terrain for. Also quite impressive was the number of figures seen on the table, about 800, all painted (which is something sadly not seen very often in game stores now).

Robert has done a full report on the game found here so I will not re-tell the sad story of how the Confederates lost. The only thing I will say is that my Brigade Commander is very good at sitting by the river in the shade sipping on Sweet Tea! Commanding a brigade is tough work, but not for me apparently! So here are the pictures I took during the game.

The Table with Mike looking on in awe!

Here is the Camp that Saguaro painting Service did for Tom O

Here is the Perry Church built and painted by SPS

on the left, two Arnica buildings, while on the right Perry buildings

Perry Home

Arnica buildings in the back with a Perry Store in front

Confederates take the Camp
Confederates move the cannon into position on the road

Confederates prepare to get their feet wet

The Tigers go on the move

The only time Dave's Cannon would be on the table

Union forces are everywhere!

Light Blue is such a pretty color for fighting in!

A view to kill atop the hill

Union Leadership

The Tigers prepare to cross at the ford

The Union made it to the camp first

Some of the Union Generals

Who said 4 Brigades to 3 was fair?

My Brigade sitting in the shade down by the river!

No, the water is too cold, we will stay on this side!

Over the fence and through the river

The town is now under Union control

The union line on the left flank

Union vs Confederates prepare to charge!

Union soldiers hiding behind a picket fence

Wait a minute, what happened to the left flank?

There is too many sir!

Shoot them!

General Brightwell of the South!

The Union side
They are everywhere!
Overall the game was a blast and we will be doing this again, thanks to Dav at Crusaders Retreat and for all the Generals!


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Bolt Action Weekend!


This was a good week for gaming Bolt Action, I got in three games this week. First up Mike W came over Thursday night and we threw down a 1000 point game. This was Mike's first full 1000 point game and the first time I think he actually played a official scenario (Envelopment). In order for Mike to play 1000 points, he had to take all Veterans for his American force. My list was as follows and I took it from the Defense of Italy list in the German :

Veteran 1st Lieutenant with 2 additional veterans - 116

10 Veteran Heer Grenadier with 2 SMG and 1 LMG - 156

10 Veteran Heer Grenadier with 1 SMG and 1 LMG - 153

10 Regular Heer Grenadier with 2 SMG and 1 LMG - 126

2 Regular Medium Machine Guns - 100

1 Regular PaK38 - 75

1 Regular Panzer IV G  - 235

Total points = 961

1000 point Heer Grenadier army
Needless to say, I did not do so well, in fact I lost to Mike's all Veteran American list. It seems that you can take all Veterans if you choose your list out of the main rulebook. We did a few things wrong, but it was a great game.

Well today Rob came over and we played not one game, but two games of Bolt Action. I took the easy way out and took the above list from Thursday night. Rob took a Regular American Infantry force which had 11 units to my 8. Game 1 was Demolition and neither one of us were able to destroy the others objective. So since we did not blow anything up, the game came down to a Draw (Woo Hoo, not a loss). It was a very close game and Rob's Americans were pretty beat up. I felt pretty good about what I had done but I made a huge mistake in turn 3 by not pushing a flank for his objective. This would come back to haunt me since by turn 7 I was still 12" from his objective. If I had been a bit more aggressive I could have possibly won the game.
Searching for a target

After a quick lunch break, we re-set the terrain and played our 2nd game (Maximum Attrition). We each used the same forces from the previous game and things were looking like they were going my way for the first few turns. Then things went horribly wrong for me. Rob's dice got hot and he started pushing my right flank, he blew up my Panzer IV and moved out of sight of the PaK 38. By turn 5 I pretty much knew the game was lost and to make matters worse, we went to turn 7 (variable turn after turn 6). After we played the last turn we looked at the Victory conditions, we both thought it was how many points we each destroyed, but it was one point for each unit destroyed. In order to win you had to do two more points than your opponent. Well Rob destroyed my Regular Heer squad, the Panzer IV, one Veteran Heer squad and a Mg team for 4 points. I destroyed 3 of his units. So since he did not kill one more unit, it was 4 to 3 and not enough for a win, just a draw! (Woo Hoo!) It was a strange game and we both thought Rob had won, but no, it was only a Draw.

So after three games this wee, I had 0 Wins, 2 Draws and 1 Loss. Not bad since the two Draws were not loss'. It was nice to get Bolt Action on the table and even though some things still feel weird, it looks like we will be playing more games and also Rob and I are talking about doing some games of Bolt Action for the Crete Invasion. So stay tuned...


Monday, May 06, 2013

Extra Extra, Pulp Alley has arrived!!


As some know, I am a huge fan of Pulp games, I guess it must come from watching all the Indiana Jones Movies when I was younger (Yes I saw them in a movie theater and on opening night!) Also it must come from my time while working at Disneyland on the Jungle Cruise and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye.

Anyway, like most gamers that have been inspired, I wanted to re create these on the table top. For a few years my buddy Mike and I have been looking for a good set of Pulp rules. We tried a few of them and even used a conversion of the Lord of the Rings/Legends rules. Each one had it's plus' and minus' but nothing really ever felt right.

Well about a month ago while surfing the Lead Adventures Forum I came across a Father and Daughter team (Dave Phipps and Mila) that were working on a set of rules. So I dug a bit deeper and found that they had released their own set of rules called Pulp Alley. So after reading a few AAR reports on LAF and getting a reply from Dave himself on the forums, I decided to go ahead and purchase the rules.

Here they are in all their glory!
 I opted to go for the Combo pack which included a PDF, the Printed rules and a Fortune Deck. The rulebook is slim and looks like a Pulp Comic book, in fact it came in a comic book slip cover with a cardboard backing that was signed by Dave and Mila, a nice little touch!

Signed by the Authors!
 Here is a brief description from Dave on how the rules play:

The Turn Sequence is pretty simple --

Start of Turn
1. DRAW — Draw one Fortune card.

Action Sequence
2. DIRECT — The player with Initiative decides who will activate the next character.
3. ACT — The activated character may move, perform an action, or attack.
     Repeat steps 2 & 3 until all characters have activated.

End of Turn
4. RECOVER — Injured characters may recover.

"Control of the Initiative" -- Unlike checkers, players do not take turns moving models. Instead, the player who currently controls the Initiative can decide which player has to activate a character. In this way, they have a little more control over the flow of the game... but only for as long as they can hold on to it. Be assured, other players will be trying to take the Initiative.

"Hey, they shoot back!" -- When a character attacks another character they best be prepared for the other guy to fight back - immediately. In this way, combat can actually be simultaneously dangerous for both characters. And while we're talking about fighting, here's a little example ---

Let's say you have your character shoot at an enemy. Based on their profiles and any modifiers, both character will roll 3d8 ---

Your guy rolls a 5, 6, and 8
The enemy rolls a 3 (miss), 5, and 6

I should mention that the target number in Pulp Alley is always a 4+. So, in this case your guy rolled 3 hits, and the enemy rolled 2 hits. As the 'attacker' you actually have some control of how this fight plays out --

Option #1 — You could choose to match two of your dice, like your 5 and 6 against their 5 and  6. In this case you only inflict 1 hit, but you do not take any hits. Or maybe you would not play it so safe…

Option #2 — You could match one of your successes, like your 6 against their 6. In which case, you inflict 2 hits but suffer 1 hit in return. Or would you press your luck...

Option #3 — You could go all-out, choosing not to match any dice. You inflict 3 hits but also suffer 2 hits in exchange.

These options represent the split-second tactics fighters use. Is your guy playing it safe or going for blood?

"THE CARDS" -- The cards serve two purposes. The top half of each card describes an unexpected event or situation brought about by luck or skillful planning. The bottom half of each card outlines an important or dangerous challenge. Most often, this relates directly to encountering Perils and Plot Points.

"PLOT POINTS" -- You can think of these simply as 'objectives'. Every scenario is built around the idea of completing/capturing/holding these points. Within the context of the rules, plot points are very important. In addition to giving the scenario more meaning and background, plot points provide you with the means to....

Control the Initiative.

Earn scenario bonuses.
Earn post-scenario resources.
Earn experience for your league.
Develop your league’s reputation.
Determine victory.

So there you go, a short brief from the author himself. You can see more on the LAF forum under the Pulp Section. Once again, the rulebook is slender (45 pages) compared to some, but after reading through them, you really do not need much more rules. As I get older, I want a fun set of rules and I do not need 400+ pages of stuff, give me the rules so I can play.

The front Cover and the Fortune Deck.
The inside of the book is well laid out and easy to read. Graphics and pictures are well done and after reading through the rules I had very few things that I had to look up. Dave & Mila did a great job getting to the point so you can get playing quickly. I like that in rules,give me the nitty gritty and leave the fluff for others. I want to get playing as soon as possible, something that some current rules do not do anymore.

Well laid out rules and nice graphics.
One other thing that drew me to these rules is that this is a Father and Daughter project. it seems that Dave has passed on the gaming gene to his daughter which is awesome. Besides sharing his love of gaming, he was able to work on these rules with his daughter, which is priceless! To be able to share your hobby with your kids is great, especially in this age of X-box, PS3 and Cell phones is awesome. Good job Dave!

So if your looking for a fun set of Pulp rules, than look no further, Pulp Alley is for you! I look forward to getting a game of this on the table next week sometime, so stay tuned for some Pulp Alley reports on the near future!

Shruken Ned gives Pulp Alley two thumbs up, thats if he had thumbs!

Here is a bonus picture for you, yours truly at the helm of one of the Infamous Jungle Cruise boats back in the day! Yes folks that's me, your cruise directer for the next 4days and 6 nights! No I don't shoot the breeze, I shoot the Hippos! Move it up Skip!

Jungle Cruise Skipper Tim! Late 80's early 90's!