Monday, 30 April 2012

40K Kill Team Campaign System

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I'd written a campaign based on 40K's Kill Team rules and that I'd give you the details so here goes.

Below is a suggestion for a KT campaign. You can join as a regular player or a casual (see Mercenaries section).

Kill Team Campaign

Anything goes! Assassinations, alliances, spying etc etc. Simply tell the Campaign Master (CM) what you want to do and he will tell you what happens and what it might cost in RP's. (Think of it as an RPG element with a DM.)

Basic Rules
Each player starts with 500 pts (RP's) which is specified as 2 active 200 pt Kill Teams (KT) and 100 pts of 'reserves'( RP's). Any losses to your KT's can be made up from your reserve points (RP). However if you run out of RPs your teams must fight as they are. You are not allowed to swap points between your active KT. All KT must be from the same codex. If you want to change the composition (partial or complete rewrite) of either of your active lists you can pay RP to do so at a cost of 5RP for the first change 10 for the second 15 for the third and so on... You can build up your reserve points total by capturing and holding planetary systems. All planetary systems generate reserve points each turn they are under your control. Not all planetary systems generate the same amount of RP's

All planetary systems under your control are defended by a 'free' 200 pt KT representing planetary defence forces which are separate from your active forces. The defence forces are always assumed to be at full strength and do not require RPs to replenish losses.

Players must submit 4 KT lists at the start of the campaign. 2 of the lists will be your active KT and 2 will be defence KT. The active KT lists can be identical or different at the players choice. The 2 defence KT ( Alpha & Bravo) must be different from each other but can be the same as the active lists (this means that you only need a minimum of two different KT lists but can have up to four different lists). When one of your planets is attacked you make a random roll (D6 123 Alpha, 456 Bravo) to see which one of the 2 defence teams are the defending force.

The campaign will be fought over a newly discovered 'Wheel' galaxy with limited jump routes representing the spokes. The winner of the campaign will be the player who holds the central hub system for 2 consecutive turns. The actual layout of the system will be determined once it's known how many people want to take part.

Each turn will last for 2 weeks real time. If a projected battle is not completed within the allotted time the defenders are victorious and retain any RP's generated by the planetary system. The attacking force is assumed to be delayed in the warp and loses 5 RP's.

All battles are to be fought on 3x3 tables (larger is allowed if both players agree). The terrain will be determined in advance by the Campaign Master (CM) and each encounter will have a scenario also selected by the CM. There may be intelligence reports available to one or both players about the scenario or opposing players forces. These intelligence reports may or may not be accurate! There will also be a chance of a random event happening during the game. At the start of the game both players roll 1 D6 if the total of the 2 dice is 12 the defender rolls 1 D6 and consults the random events table to see what event occurs. They then roll another D6 to see when the event occurs 1, 2, 3 and it occurs at the start of the defenders first, second, or third turn. 4, 5, 6 and it occurs at the start of the attackers first, second, or third turn. If both players agree you can skip the random events but this must be done before rolling to see what the random event will be.

All battles end once one side loses at least 101 pts. A player may resign before their losses reach this total. However doing so incurs an additional 10 pt RP loss and the attacker gains an additional 10 RP's from the captured equipment/resources left behind in your cowardly retreat. The victor of each battle gains control of the planetary system and will receive its generated RP's.

If you want to take part but are not sure if you can commit the time you may register as a mercenary. Mercs have 300RP and must submit one 200pt KT list. A merc can join at any time during the campaign. There may also be opportunities to play as the defender on a planet that has not previously been captured by a player.

If a campaign player is unable to play one of the scheduled games in the 2 weeks they can try and hire a merc to play for them. The cost in RP's for this is negotiated between the player and the merc and the CM must be informed so that the relevant book keeping can take place. The merc does not have to comply with the agreement made and can make a deal with the defender if they so wish or simply not turn up. However this information will be made available to all players after the event so will perhaps adversely affect the likelihood of the merc receiving any further contracts.. or will it?

If at any time the merc accumulates 500 RP's they can, if they so choose, enter the campaign as a full player. The 'Home' system for that player will then be determined by the CM. If they choose to become a full player they cease to be classed as mercenaries.

Sample Scenarios
Here is a brief outline of some of the possible scenarios:

Get at least 2 of your figures off your opponents table edge.

Ambush with ambushers troops represented by markers ( one extra marker for each figure in list as fakes ) only revealed when ambusher fires/moves that figure or enemy figure comes within 3 inches of the marker.

Capture enemy control centre (usual objective capturing rules apply)

KILL Everyone!!!!!!!!!!

Capture a prisoner. When you kill an enemy model it is instead incapacitated you must remain in base to base contact with it until you can move it off your own table edge.

The scenario you will be playing will be revealed individually to each player. In certain cases each player may have a different scenario objective. But as always if you lose 101 points the game is over.

Sample random event

Psyren appears. Any figure within 3 inches of the Psyren sees it as an alluring girl/boy/sheep/goat/android and must immediately move into base to base contact with the Psyren (nudge nudge wink wink). That figure cannot then move/assault/fire for the rest of its turn. Any figure that moves within 3" of the Psyren for whatever reason is also affected by the Psyren's call.

The Psyren moves in each players turn. Roll a scatter dice and 2 D6 to determine distance and direction of the Psyren's move. If the Psyren moves more than 3" away from a previously enamoured figure that figure recovers and can move and shoot as normal except that they are now naked and get no armour save. The player can forgo movement for that figure to put it's clothes back on, it may still fire as normal while dressing.

If figures of both players are enamoured at the same time and the Psyren moves more than 3" away from them they recover to find themselves in a naked melee. Roll a D2 to find out who was 'on top' that figure then gets the special rule 'Furious Charge' for one turn.

Although Dreadnoughts are affected by the Psyren's call they can never get out of their armour and are affected instead by intense frustration which stops them moving or firing while enamoured.

Psykers can make a normal Psyker roll to resist the Psyren's Call.

So there you have it. It's not earth shatteringly brilliant but it can be the basis of a quick, fun campaign. Feel free to make any modifications you wish, after all it will be your campaign.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Campaign Quandry

I love campaigns, I think they make wargaming so much more fun, as all the battles have a context. Then there's the strategic aspect that's usually missing for wargaming. Can you sucker your opponent into weakening his defences with a diversionary attack or do you sacrifice a small force to delay your opponent's advance. Then there's the possibility of Machiavellian dirty tricks if you involve diplomacy and for all the accountants out there there's logistics to consider and resources to manage (amateurs study tactics, professionals study logistics). However setting up and running a campaign is no easy task.

I'm currently looking at setting up a campaign to run at my local wargames club. The aim is to stimulate the members and to possibly attract new members and tempt back old members who have found real life cutting into their gaming. Also as there are a number of other local wargames clubs/gaming groups I would like to open things up to them as well to boost ties.

However there are some problems. Such as what game system to use as the basis for the campaign; how many people would we need min/max to make it fun and successful; can we cater for people who want to join in later on; how long between turns; what happens if someone misses a turn or a battle doesn't get fought; how long should the campaign run so people don't get bored; what are the objectives/how do players win; how complex should it be and so on. In fact looking at this there aren't just 'some' problems there's a whole heap of them!

Luckily I have quite a bit of experience in running successful campaigns so most of these aren't really a problem for me. The problems I do have are related to the modus operandi of our club. We don't focus on one or two gaming systems like some clubs. For example our Chairman, Matt, recently calculated that he'd played 45 different systems in one calendar year! So finding one system that everyone has models/figures they can use and want to play is very difficult. The second major issue is time. Some of our members find real life intervenes and they have to skip a club night and also they may not want to commit to playing the same game every week for an unspecified period.

So what's the solution? Well there are a few approaches I could take. I could choose 'Kill Team' for 40K as the basis of the campaign. Everyone has access to a few 40K figures the rules are fairly simple and the games are fast so won't take up much time on a club night allowing people to have a quick game before their main activity for the night. I also already have a full 'Kill Team' campaign worked out with random events and special rules ready to go. The problem with this is that I tried to run this a year ago and only got three people interested, not really enough to meet the clubs aims.

The second solution would be to have a more abstract campaign where participants were given non-specific resources and any battles could be fought out in whatever game system the two combatants agreed upon. The sizes of the forces would then be governed by the resources committed. However there is the possibility that the two combatants might not have a system that they both play. There is also the issue if the other local clubs get involved of not being able to schedule the game within the required time frame.

The possible solution to this is to have two types of participant, Generals and Mercenaries. The generals would plan the campaign, allocate resources and possibly engage in diplomacy with the other generals. The mercenaries would fight out the actual battles with the resources they've been given. This would solve most of the problems I've mentioned. Not fighting the battles themselves would get rid of time constraints. It would also allow other club members or members at other clubs to join in by fighting as mercenaries without committing them to the same system week after week (I could even recruit players via TMP to act as mercenaries and fight out the battles for us).

So what's the next step? Well I'm going to propose the generals and mercenaries approach to the club members and see what the response is like. I'll also approach some of the other local clubs to see if they want to be involved. Until I can gauge the level of interest there's not much else I can do. I'll post what happens and hopefully you'll be seeing lots of regular campaign updates here soon. Also, for those of you who may be interested, I'll post up the details on the 40K Kill Team campaign I mentioned tomorrow.

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Demo Games of Malifaux and Dystopian Wars

Took a run up to Ben's yesterday. The idea was for me to demo Malifaux for him and for him to demo Dystopian Wars for me.

I got there about lunchtime and proceeded to unload three trays of Malifaux figures on to the table to let Ben see what they looked like in the flesh (or should that be metal) and also to activate his Ohh! Shiny gene so he got hooked on Malifaux as well. After a quick peruse Ben decided to give Von Schill a try so I choose the Ortegas to keep things fairly simple. We both used just the starter boxes so it was a 25SS game..

After a quick shoot-out between Von Schill & Perdita to show Ben how the various mechanisms worked we got down to our first game. I was so busy explaining things to Ben that I forgot all about taking pictures for the first game. So this will have to be a quick text only batrep.

We flipped for strategies I got Treasure Hunt and Ben got Slaughter. For schemes I went with Bodyguard (Perdita) and Holdout as they were a good combination with Treasure Hunt and Ben went with Bodyguard (Von Schill) and Holdout.

Turn one saw us both advancing and trying to get into good positions. But I did get lucky when Nino flipped the Red Joker for damage on a Freikorpsman doing a total of nine damage which killed him. Turn two saw a more cautious Ben and Perdita used her speed to grab the treasure and move back to safety. Turn three saw Ben hit back doing lots of damage to Santiago, Francisco and Papa Loco. While I was concentrating on keeping Perdita safe. For turn four I decided to try and thin out Ben's forces to make it harder for him to get Slaughter and also because I wanted to do some damage with my wounded models before they died. I had some nice flips and managed to kill the other Freikorpsman and the Librarian but I lost Nino and Francisco. Turn five saw Ben's Trapper killed while the Specialist continued to chase Papa Loco through the woods (his blasts being ineffective against the Freikorps due to their armor). Turn six saw Von Schill unable to do enough damage on Perdita to kill her and a rather bloody game came to an end. I got 6 VPs while Ben managed 4 VPs.

We had time for another game so for a change of pace I went with Collodi's box set plus Zoraida and the Voodoo Doll while Ben stuck with Von Schill. This time I remembered to take photos and they can be seen below.

We flipped for strategies and I got Plant Evidence while Ben got Distract. Ben went with Bodyguard (Von Schill) and Holdout for his schemes while I took Bodyguard (Perdita) and Breakthrough.

I'm not going to give a detailed breakdown of game two mostly because I'm not sure I can remember it all! I used Collodi's speed with his doll shenanigans to plant three of the four pieces of evidence I needed in turn one, with a model ready to place the last one at the start of turn two. While I was racing about Ben was using his firepower to kill three of my dolls in the first turn. Turn two saw me plant the last evidence giving me four VP's. I spent the rest of the game running from Ben and trying to slow him down with my remaining models. It ended up in turn seven with me failing to successfully cast Repulsive which would have allowed me to get into Ben's deployment zone for the win. So we ended up with a 6-6 draw an excellent performance from Ben in only his second game.

Starting positions

Collodi races forwards with his marionettes

The trail of counters marks the passage of Collodi
and the deaths of his marionettes

Collodi runs and hides while the Wicked Dolls form a rearguard

Zoraida heads for Ben's deployment zone

We then cleared the table to set up for our Dystopian Wars game. Ben went with FSA while I had my EotBS. Ben suggested keeping things small and simple and we went with a battleship, three cruisers, and six frigates each. I was so busy trying to learn the game that I again forgot to take photos.

There was so much going on that I'm not going to even try to report what happened. Suffice it to say that early on we both rolled masses of sixes and lots of ships sank. As things evened out on the dice front I managed to eek out a lead in number of ships sunk and when we called the game Ben only had his BS and one cruiser left to my BS, 2 cruisers and four frigates.

So how did the day go? Well I think Ben got a feel for what Malifaux is like to play and how good some of the scuplts are and i think he enjoyed himself. As for me I enjoyed DW but started to see how much of a pain the fixed channel weapons are on my ships. I'm looking forward to my next game of DW on Monday, but that will be a more serious affair at 1200pts against an experienced player down at the Wyverns.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Dystopian Wars EotBS Starter Fleet Finished

Having decided on a paint scheme inspired by the LNER railway livery and been happy with the test model I painted up I've now finished my EotBS starter box. They should get their first run out against Ben this afternoon.

I still have two Ikas, four Inaris, three Gunships and a War Gyro to paint up for a 1200pt game I'm having on Monday so I'm going to have a busy weekend. I've left the aerial wing till last because I'm thinking of having a different paint scheme for them. There's two reasons for this, firstly two of the Inaris are already painted a maroon colour and I was a bit concerned that giving them a coat of primer then painting them again might lose some detail. Secondly I like the idea of using the maroon colour as the basis of an LMS inspired paint scheme for my aerial wing. I've still not made my mind up either way but I'll post up some more photos once they're finished.

Anyway here are some shots of my finished fleet.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Warmachine: Khador vs Mercenaries Game 2

For game 2 we moved the terrain around a bit. I kept my same force Sorcha, Juggernaut, Destroyer & 5 Man-o-War Shocktroopers. Matt changed his force a bit and took Drake MacBain, Mangler, 2 Nomads, and three Steelhead Heavy Cavalry.
The table at the start of the game.

My initial set up

We both moved forward to attack with Matt again threatening my right flank, this time with the Steelheads.

Matt used MacBain's abilities to quickly close and charge my Shocktroopers killing two and badly wounding a third. His Steelheads continued to head round my flank. I retaliated by moving Sorcha to a position where i could affect all three of Matt's mechs with my feat which I then popped it. The Juggernaut killed the Nomad facing him. The surviving Shocktroopers did some damage to the Mangler while the Destroyer heavily damaged the other Nomad.

Matt then hit back but didn't have much success. He killed one of the Shocktroopers and left the other with only one box unchecked. He also damaged the Juggernaut but nothing fatal.

On my turn I finished off his mechs and then charged MacBain with Sorcha badly wounding him but sadly missing out on the assassination.

Matt then charged the Steelheads into the rear of my Juggernaut firing before they hit home. This attack left the Juggernaut with only 6 boxes and no cortex. But that mattered little as MacBain proceeded to rip Sorcha to pieces, game over.

All in all a fun night. Matt helped me win one game but won the other so honours even. I'm slowly starting to get the hang of my Khador forces although I have a long way to go to be any good. I certainly prefer the Warmachine approach to Hordes which is strange considering they're the same game! Maybe it's that the Khaor forces suit me more than the Trollbloods I used to have did.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Warmachine: Khador vs Mercenaries Game 1

Monday night saw a run out for my Khador forces again. This time I was playing Matt and his Mercenaries force at 20pts. I took my usual Sorcha, Juggernaut, Destroyer & 5 Man-o-War Shocktroopers. Matt took Drake MacBain, Mangler, 2 Nomads, Talon & Harlan Versh.

This was only my third game so I was still learning the rules and how best to use my models. I'd decided to form a solid line and shoot Matt as he attacked and then try and use my feat as a prelude to an all out attack.

My initial dispositions.

Matt's original dispositions.

Matt advanced quickly while I moved up nearer the choke point where I would wait patiently until he was in range of my guns.

The firing squad awaits it's targets.

Matt continues his advance

I fire on Matt's forces but do no damage. Matt splits off the Talon to go round the hill and threaten my right flank.

I react by moving the Juggernaut to engage. He uses his three focus to pound the Talon but it survives with 2 health left.

I charge the Shocktroopers into contact and do some damage but nothing fatal.

In his turn Matt lays into the Shocktroopers killing them all.

I then pop my feat freezing the enemy mechs which allows my Destroyer to make an assassination run on MacBain.

The Destroyer then uses his three focus to kill MacBain, game over. To be fair Matt was helping me a lot with tips and suggestions and without that I wouldn't have won.

We had time for a second game and I'll post the details of that one tomorrow.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Gruntz & Zombies!

I've been playing Gruntz for a while now and recently I've been considering a new force, zombies.

Some of you may have come across Gruntz at Salute this past weekend, I know that the participation games were very popular. For those of you not familiar with Gruntz it's a set of rules for playing 15mm sci-fi games. This sounds pretty straightforward but what I like about Gruntz is not only that it's quick and simple to play and learn, while still having sufficient complexity, but also that it has a points based army builder system that lets you build any kind of force you want. In addition to the standard sci-fi type armies I've played games with alien lizards who had giant beetles acting as tanks (think Starship Troopers), weird WWII US troops with Shermans and mechs backed up by a group of super heroes and there's people on the forum building steampunk based forces. The system is just so flexible the only limiting factor is your imagination.

Giant beetles rampage across the battlefield

This flexibility got me thinking about ditching the mechs and power armour and going for a swarm of monsters like the bugs in Starship Troopers. The problem is that it would be pretty expensive to buy a swarm type army and then It would take a while to paint up. I decided to check out eBay and see if there were any painted figures I could buy cheap.

It was then I stumbled across the painted civilians used on model railway layouts. They're about the right scale and cheap. So I thought forget swarms of alien creatures why not go with zombies. The railway figures could easily be zombiefied with a few dabs of red here and there and a dark wash to make the somewhat limited detail stand out and also give them the dirty zombie look.

Pre-painted model railway figures

The figures come in pack sizes of 100 figures for £7.99 (some are cheaper but the painting is very poor) and a couple of packs should be enough for a decent force. They don't come with integral bases so they may be a bit tricky to glue onto bases for Gruntz but at £15 for a painted army you can't really complain. The only problem is I already have a couple of armies for Gruntz and as I'm trying to cut back on my wargame spending I'm not sure if I'll actually take the plunge and buy a couple of packs. But they are tempting.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Dystopian Wars EotBS Paint Scheme

Having decided on the colours for my EotBS fleet all I had to do was try it out on a test model. I decided to go with one of the frigates as they're quick to paint. The photo below shows how it turned out.

The source for the paint scheme

The base colour is Coat D'Arms Scorpion Green, the black and red are both Vallejo, the copper boilers are done with the cheap Go Create paint I blogged about previously, the silver is also from Coat D'Arms and the windows are Reeves Purple. I gave the whole model a coat of Army Painter Dark Tone dip. I'm fairly happy with how it came out except that I think I need to use a thinner coat of dip as it's given the ship a 'dirty' look. But I like the way the colour scheme worked out and all I have to do now is paint up the rest. As I'm playing a starter box game with Ben on Friday and a 1200pt game with Phil next Monday I need to crack on and get them painted up. I'll post some photos of the finished fleet later in the week.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Malifaux releases for May

Wyrd has announced their line-up of releases for May. Nothing particularly stands out for me in this batch of releases, although I did chuckle at the 'builders bum' on the Miner.

Luckily for my wallet I'm managing to resist the temptation to add to my Malifaux figures. Although a Kirai crew does keep calling to me, as does C.Hoffman & Guild Austringers and... well you get the picture.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Painting my Desert Terrain: Update

I wasn't completely happy with the two schemes I tried out previously so I thought I'd give another scheme a try.

This time I started with a spray of white primer and then gave the model a sepia wash. I then washed water on top of that to make the sepia collect more at the bottom of the walls to give me a graduated effect.

Then I decided to try a darker colour than the white I had used for dry brushing on the other models and choose Coat D'Arms Linen. I gave the model a heavy dry brush of the Linen to get the effect I wanted. I put most of the colour on near the top of the model and then brushed down to keep the graduated effect. This approach also picked out more of the surface detail on the model that had been lost on the other two models.

I was happy with this look as it gave me the rain washed look I was after with the dirt collecting at the bottom of the walls.

A light dry brush of white added some highlights and then I added the windows and doors.

I also decided to try a more redish colour for the exposed mud bricks which I'm fairly happy with but may revisit. Here are the three models for comparison.

Now I'm happy with the main colour scheme I'll move on to the larger 15mm buildings.

Friday, 20 April 2012

10mm War of Spanish Succession Armies Have Arrived

Having been intrigued by the Maurice rules & cards I'd ordered I needed some 18th C armies to go with them. As usual I wanted armies that were easy to paint. I asked around on various forums and the consensus was to go for the War of Spanish Succession (WSS) 1701–1714. I hadn't heard of this war but further research showed that it was the war where the Duke of Marlborough made his name. I'd heard of Marlborough but didn't know that the war was called the War of Spanish Succession.

The uniforms of the period were fairly simple plus there was a great deal of leeway in the uniforms as regimental colonels sometimes just choose whatever colours appealed to them. The picture below is typical of uniforms of the period with just the basic colours changing eg red coat instead of white for the British. Even I should be able to manage these uniforms in 10mm.

French Infantryman

I looked around for suitable figures and decided on Pendraken. They have a good range at a good price plus they have discounted ready made army packs for £22 that save you £4.25 on the list price of the individual packs. I bought the British and French army packs as it will be easier to find opponents if I have two armies. The packs contain 150 infantry in three different poses plus 15 command figures, 15 cavalry and 2 guns each with four crew and a 2 horse limber. Which should give me enough figures for 7 regiments of foot, and two cavalry units plus the artillery which should be more than enough to start playing Maurice. This is why I favour 10mm. For £44 I have two complete armies. If I'd gone 15mm £44 wouldn't have even bought me the infantry for one army.

The pictures below show the contents of the French army pack.

Two more additions to the lead mountain!
The contents of the Malburian French army pack

French Cavalry with tricorn hat

Foot, tricorn, marching

Command figures

Foot, tricorn, advancing

Foot, tricorn, march attack

6pdr gun, limber, horses, crew

Now all I have to do is paint 330 foot, 30 cavalry, 4 guns & limbers and 16 gunners then I'm ready to go. I'll have to arrange a date for a game I think so I have a deadline to work to, I'm more likely to get them painted that way.

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