Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Planning for 2010...

During the lulls of the day, I've been trying to figure out what we'll be doing gaming-wise. The fall is a tough gaming season: between the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons it's rare to find enough people to game (outside of Drunken Diplomacy at SATLOF *fingers crossed*).

Here's a temporary plan for 2010:

Winter 2010: Finish up the Wishing Well War campaign for Gnome Wars and start up the League of Gnomes play-by-email Diplomacy Game.

Spring 2010: Some Gnome Wars scenarios created from the League of Gnomes. Call of Cthulhu: PA Coal Country, perhaps some Hackmaster.

Summer 2010: The "big" game: Scorpion Gulch should roll out in time for more gamers. It's a four-part western mini-campaign uses Aces & Eights. Should be a hoot!

Fall 2010: More coal country Cthulhu. If the chips fall right with the League of Gnomes, I could start the Ostburg campaign in Gnome Wars.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

(Gnome Wars) German Bratwurst Heavy MG

Brigade Games has announced the German Bratwurst Heavy Machine Gun will be available 10/21. Pelt your enemies with bits o' sausage!

Each team is $14.00, with bulk discounts available.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

(RPG) Halloween Gaming and Rednecks

This past weekend, I drove down with the Missus and little Maja to (1) visit my mother and (2) run our monthly game at Brian's place. Brian got some Neighborhood Redevelopment money and his bachelor oasis looks pretty good now. He definitely gets his spot in the gaming site rotation.

Our main game was a Call of Cthulhu one -shot, "Attack of the Atomic Reptile Bikini Women... in 3-D!" from Worlds of Cthulhu magazine. Basic premise: North Texas band on its way to a make-or-break battle of the bands pick up a leggy hitchhiker, weird chaos ensues. Perfect light-hearted game, particulary since one of the rolled-up on the spot PCs' name was "Light Beer."

We had a great time, and I made one philosophical realization thanks to CoC mechanics: Aliens love rednecks for a reason, they NEVER fail their Sanity rolls.

Redneck #1: "Hey, what's that gray feller with the big fore'ed doing to that cow."
Redneck #2: "that ain't nuttin', my half-cousin Jerome keeps gittin' der done caught doing to that every time he sips a little shine."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

(Gnome Wars) Wishing Well Campaign - Battle of Marklin Depot

Set-up: The German moved to the village of Marklin, a major rail hub if the German advance were to continue.

Swiss defenses were stretched to the limit. The 3rd Swiss Infantry had been quickly patched together to aid the Marklin Civil Defense Force (CDF) in defense of the rail depot. The CDF did posses an old heavy mortar which they drug behind the railbed and sent a good number of their melee troops behind a hill as an advance force to encounter the Germans. The Irish were also present at the depot, but for a completely different reason. Unable to recover their “sacred” gold, the Irish were compensated by the Swiss for their loss as well as their services in the Battle of the Thirds. The Irish were unloading their new gold from Swiss trucks onto an awaiting train at the station. Once the gold was loaded, or once the fighting got too close and the engineer decided it was time to leave, the Irish would depart.

Both German units (3rd and 15th) continued their rampage from the last battle, however, with each success, command had been turned over to a subordinate officer with less experience. Field Marshall Von Erichoff’s crushing success with the 3rd at Chucaquatre turned to Colonel Nicholas’ solid victory at The Thirds. Nicholas had been recalled to the border to help prepare the German armor units, so command was turned over to Captain Michael Stepanski a half-german/half-polish gnome commoner turned officer with no combat experience before this war began and a field promotion to Colonel. To compensate for the lack of hvy artillery, a unit of rabbit cavalry (Aussie Cav used to fill in) and a light sausage mortar were brought up from the rear. To negate the wizard’s influence, the witch was convinced to make an appearance with her pumpkin bombs.

The witch was a welcome addition to the German juggernaut. Having her exposed to the Swiss guns early in the game... not wise

Turns 1-4 The German Commander’s inexperience showed even before a single shot was fired. Units were mixed throughout the woods, the 3rd Germans were clumped on the Swiss left flank with the 15th, and the cavalry emerged from the woods in charge formation, with nary a target to charge towards. The young Colonel wasted turns moving the 3rd Germans to the opposite side of the board. The German 1st Cav was left exposed in the middle of the field with a perfect view from the CDF mortar, which obliterated most of them. The bugler for the 15th was ineffective to rally his troops, so the Badenboens lay exposed as the initial turns ended.

The Swiss massed their hand-to-hand specialists behind a hill. Despite complete annihilation, their battle frenzy crushed the remaining spirit of the German left flank.

Turns 5-8: As the 3rd German emerged from the woodline, the Swiss were surprised to see the witch leading the charge, far ahead of the main body. A few well aimed shots of the CDF’s arquebusses fell the witch and sent the pumpkin bombs scattering. Once the 3rd managed to reach a stone wall, they managed to regoup and assaulted the CDF troops. The 15th German became the new target of the CDF mortar, and what was left was nearly wiped out by the melee group hiding behind the hill in the center of the battlefield. The melee group mopped the remaining German 1st Cav and crippled the 15th German to the point of routing.

End of turn 8 total number of Swiss Casualties: 6

Total amount of Irish gold loaded onto the train: 60%

The remains of the 15th Badenboens in the foreground. The main body of the 3rd German "Flying Monkeys" prepare to charge toward the stone walls.

Turns 9-11: As the only German unit left, the Flying Monkeys pressed forward sending peasant infantry forward to clash with the CDF in hand-to-hand with surprising results. The remaining troops suffered heavy losses, but continued to push the CDF back over the tracks and behind the depot.
It has been said that one action can change to tide of battle. The 3rd Germans were weakened but still possessed enough firepower and élan to jump the tracks and rout the CDF forces. One lone German Beier Stein Grenadier’s actions made that an impossibility.

The Swiss hand-to-hand specialists laid waste to the Germans, only to be shot down to the man by survivors of the melee. The five remaining German figures soon routed, so their deaths were not in vain.

The Irish leader “King Jim” had been standing at the corner of the train depot, keeping tabs on both the battle and the slow progress of his troops’ loading of the gold. Despite some heavy fighting coming closer and closer to the rail cars, “King Jim” attentions were directed at some poor Irish Shoe Thrower who couldn’t keep up with the hectic pace. With his back turned, he was an easy (and automatic) target for the German Grenadier. “King Jim” failed his attempt to heal himself during the Medic Phase, and his Irish, instead of routing, went berserk on EVERYONE. No one noticed who hit “King Jim” and between the Germans’ theft of the gold and Swiss’ failure to protect it everyone was fair game.

"King Jim" standing on the train platform. Who knew a foolish throw by some lowly grenadier might change the future of the war?

At that moment, I called the game. The three other units on the board were severely weakened I figured the Irish would run roughshod over them. The 3rd German would flee at the sight of an intact (and very angry) unit of Irish charging them. The 3rd Swiss had enough firepower available to do some damage, but for the wisest thing to do would be to rapidly fall back from their position. The CDF had a few arquebus near the Irish that would get taken out quickly, and a mortar team that would be overwhelmed before they could figure what’s going on. The engineer of the train would panic and leave without the Irish, but with 70% of their gold. The Irish would become a wild card in future scenarios.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

(Gnome Wars) Wishing Well Campaign - Battle of the Thirds

(Table set-up, pic taking during a later turn, the white card box is the barn, and unfortunately, no, the beer is not in play. Adam has not been rolling well.)
The Swiss retreated from the Holy Shrine of Chucaquatre and the National Park surrounding it to a small farm to regroup. The Swiss 3rd Infantry arrived by truck to relieve the 14th TC and set up headquarters. The 3rd Engineers set up defenses around the barn.

The farm seemed like a decent place to defend against further German advances: plenty of walls for cover and a deep river to the west. The 3rd Germans were advancing through the woods, however the Swiss were not prepared to see more Germans forming across the river. The 15th German Infantry (The Badenboens) had snuck through the National Park and was attempting to strike the rear of the Swiss, after they forded the river
(The 15th German Infantry "The Badenboens" crossing the river along the wheat field. If I only had more time to paint this would look awesome!)

Swiss turns 1-3: The 3rd Swiss’ fortunes turned disastrous from the 1st turn. The 3rd German had massed their forces in the Northeast corner near the barn, so the 3rd Swiss Officer order a portion of troops to tunnel from the farmhouse. The first tunnel check rolled failed horribly and the those troops were trapped/killed for the remainder of the battle. Colonel Mosher of the 3rd Engineers took command of the remaining infantry and had them man the stone walls near the river.

German turns 1-3: The 3rd German stayed within the treeline and began firing into to the barn, yielding a slow, but growing number of casualties. The 15th Infantry had slow going, as they could only cross the river in groups of twos. Germans crossing the river were easily gunned down the Swiss Arquebus, but the Bier Nurse was able to revive most of them.

Turns 4-6: On the eastern front, the 3rd German continued their firing from the woodline, eventually sending a few a peasants out to attack the stone walls with surprising success. On the western front the 15th German began taking heavy casualties, but with numbers on their side, were winning a war of attrition against the remains of the 3rd Swiss.

Support units were now making an appearance on the board. First, German air support made their roll and was allowed to make on bombing run, softening up the Engineers defending the bar. Secondly, a “Canada Post” truck appeared across the river, towing a cannon! As the truck crossed the river, Swiss air support made there lone appearance and managed to destroy it. Finally, as the remains of the 3rd Swiss fell back to the farmhouse, everyone’s favorite Allied Gnome, The Wizard made his appearance (via outhouse).

(Does anyone have any hand sanitizer?)
Turns 7 -11+: On the Eastern front, the 3rd German advanced en masse out of the woods pushing the Engineers puck through and around the barn. Those falling back were met by the front the 15th Germans who disregarded the remaining 3rd Swiss and moved towards the barn. The Wizard took a few pot shots at the 15th Germans, but suicide being the better part of the valor in this battle, Took the truck parked at the farmhouse, and with the Alphorn, St. Bernard, a pickaxe, and the 3rd Swiss Officer, floored it towards the 15th. The Germans were crafty and succeeded in jumping on the floorboards of the truck and in brutal hand to hand took out the alphorn and the officer. The 3rd Swiss was officially routed and the Wizard pulled a bootlegger reverse and floored it towards the undefended woods.

(A Wizard and His Dog, in a Stolen Toffee Truck)
 As the wizard left, both sides pulled their trump cards: The Irish had been alerted that the Germans had raided the shrine of some Irish gold being stored there and sent a unit to “collect” it. They arrived from the south near the farmhouse, jumped the stone fence and laid a beating on the 15th Germans. The Engineers were still out of luck, as the Germans had hired some mercenary Aussie Cav, who proceeded to charge over the fence and assault the remains of the Swiss.

At this point, we decided to wrap up the battle. The Irish, who managed to bloody their shillelaghs on Germans and Australians prevented the Germans from achieving a complete victory. Both the Swiss 3rd and 3rd Engineers survived to able to fight in future scenarios. The German advance would continue…

Monday, October 5, 2009

(Gnome Wars) The Wishing Well Campaign Opening Shots

The Wishing Well War
Scenario 1: Battle of Chucaquatre

The bloodied pilgrims were the first sign of a problem. The Holy Shrine of Chucaquatre was a tranquil site, the pilgrims who traveled there were respectful, contemplative, and most importantly non-violent.

It was unknown whether it was intentional or not, but the German Gnomes used their territory just across the border for military maneuvers and a proving ground for new weapons. Despite this apparent affront, the Germans were exact enough that not even a bullet fell on the grounds of the Swiss National Park that surrounded the shrine.

That is, until today.

Two German units, the 3rd “Die FleiderAffes” and the 27th “Die Leinenkugels” crossed the Swiss border during a training exercise. This mistake may have been forgiven within the diplomatic channels if the General Leinenkugel did not give the command to shoot pilgrims.

To keep the holy site peaceful, very few troops were kept within the area. The Park Rangers were better suited to shoo away squatters and pilgrims who overstayed their welcome at the park’s campsite rather than armed troops. The 14th Swiss Training Company had been ordered there for the last month of their training, moreso for litter collection than peacekeeping. The only other units within close proximity to the site were the 3rd Engineers. The 1st Engineers were swift and efficient in their work. What little they couldn’t accomplish was given to the 2nd Engineers. The 3rd were routinely loaned out to the Ministry of the Interior and ordered to perform road repair.

The Swiss units arrived at the clearing around the holy shrine around the same time as the Germans. As the 14th Swiss TC hid behind a hill and begun to tunnel, the 3rd Engineers sent a small group underground, the rest blindly charging forward toward the German right flank and the Leinenkugels’ guns. Their overabundance of pickaxes and lack of firepower made their tactics very limited.

The right flank. Rounds 1-3.
The 3rd Engineers were beset by disaster from the start. They instantly lost their tunneling party. The 27th Leinenkugels let loose one volley that decimated the troops trying to jump a fence. The leaders and most remaining troops fled to the safety of the hill on the far right of the battlefield. The Leinenkugels proceeded to jump fence after fence to destroy the remaining engineers and flank the 14th TC.

The left flank Rounds 1-3.
With the 14th TC hiding behind a grassy knoll, the Die FleiderAffes focused on occupying the shrine, taking pot shots at the few Limburger Grenadiers chucking cheese at them.

The right flank – rounds 4+
In a moment of Swiss desperation and German blundering tactics, the 3rd Engineers Cheese Thrower emerged from behind a wall and let loose it’s Molten Lactose Hell upon the Leinenkugels, who were bunched within a small area behind the shrine. Up to 80% of the 27th lay trapped within the cheese. This doomed the unit to eventual rout, but since the troops were still on the board, allowed the Leinekugel's Sergeant to fight a bitter battle with the remaining troops of the Engineers. The Sergeant lost a tough melee, and the 3rd Engineers made enough morale to survive until the 27th routed to oblivion.

The left flank -- round 4+
The Swiss tunnelers surfaced to the rear of the 3rd Germans, creating decent casualties, but were eventually brought done by.... the German Bier Nurse. To add insult to injury all German casualties were save by the German Bier Doktor!
Before the remaining 14th TC rose over the hill, a strange noise emanated from the outhouse near the shrine. A few moments later, the Gnome Wizard appeared out of it! Armed with his lightning bolt and two ineffective gnomelings, the wizard stopped the 3rd German advance to the shrine itself, but not one step further.
As the 14th TC charged over the hill, and epic one-on-one combat ocurred. Swiss Bier Maid versus German Bier Maid. Multiple ties were rolled until the German Fraulein reigned victorious.

The scenario ended with the Gnome Wizard following the 14th TC in a retreat (and eventual rout), and the Die FleiderAffes (Flying Monkeys) in control of the shrine. The German cost was high, with the loss of the entire 27th Infantry, but they now had not only a foothold into Swiss territory, but the booty of the shrine itself...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

(Gnome Wars) Let Them Eat Cake!

Brigade Games announced that the French mortar team is now available.

Now I just need to paint up the lead I have before adding the French to the international circus.

Check out for details.