Monday, January 4, 2010

Arbruthnot vs. Des Touches 1781

French on left, British on Right.

The Armchair Admiral night game was held Saturday night with 4 players. We were recreating the same scenario from the American Revolution that we had played late last year. Then, we used the Grand Fleet Actions rules. This time, we played using Warhammer Historical's Trafalgar naval rules.

British closing from the right while the French struggle with wind changes.

Again, we were using the "store fleets" of Figurehead's 1/2400 Age of Sail range. Ranges in Trafalgar rules were cut in half to better match the small ships. Instead of paper markers, we used different colored pipe cleaners for status markers. White represented broadsides firing, red indicated a fire on board, and brown indicated the ship could not fire for a turn.

Russ's British squadron looks like it's getting in a crossfire. Gary's Division, led by HMS London, tries to get Terry (far left) in range.

This game really ran the gamut of interesting events. especially concerning the weather! We experienced everything from becalming to wind shifts to raging storm. Mostly this was to the detriment of the French!

A hard pounding. Terry's and Russ's lead ships collide while Norm's French squadron (left side) pound the British. HMS London sets a French ship on fire.

As the British and French got in close and nasty, the two lead squadron ships collided suffering extreme hull damage. Unfortunately, Terry's damaged lead ship collided next with one of his own ships and began sinking.

Norm's French squadron tacks to the right and pounds the back end of Russ's remaining three ships.

Russ loses a ship to critical hull damage. Other ships began to take multiple critical hits and soon several ships have problems steering.

Gary's squadron prepares to rake the French.

Suddenly a gale turns into a raging storm and cuts ranges down and the firing is far less effective. Several ships catch fire but quick-acting crews douse the flames. there are sever hull and crew losses on both sides. Unfortunately, some ships put themselves in danger when they lose steering control due to severe damage.

Gary fires his raking broadsides.

As Norm's French squadron braces for devastating fire, Gary blasts away with several rakes. Splinters everywhere. Remarkably, one of the French ships takes a bow rake at near point-blank range but only suffers minor damage. Russ and Terry blast away with increasingly fragile ships.

The Fleets begin separating. Several fires taking their toll.

One of Russ's ships burns fiercely and the crew is destroyed while fighting the fire (or jumping overboard). Both sides are battered, but Gary's British squadron remains very strong and could continue the fight. Alas, the game ends.

We concluded that Trafalgar rules are very good for battles on the smaller size. Certainly weather, collisions, and gunnery were easier with this set. We'll probably use these rules for the naval campaign I hope to run this year.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Close out 2009 with Future War Commander

Space Ork battleforce advances on planet GAJO.

We were long overdue playing a game of Future War Commander! FWC is a derivative of the successful modern cobat system started with BlitzKreig Commander and followed by Cold War Commander, both sets being very popular in these here parts for their armor combat control systems. This system itself is a derivative of the awesome Warmaster and Warmaster Ancients rules sets. What makes these rules so appealing is their interesting command system, which truly brings about the element of Fog of War. This system has even been modified to work with the new BlackPowder rules from Warlord Games.

Originally this was going to be a small skirmish between my brother Dave and I, but we were joined by Ken and Dave Baker who were interested in this game as well. Normally we don't include unpainted minis, but this was a "training game" so points and paint be damned... on with the game.

In this simple scenario a unit of Traitor Guard has enticed a Space Ork Warlord, Drashnok, to help fight Imperial Guard forces on planet GAJO (umm, the store where we played the game). Each force came up on the ruins of Sixmill city from different road entry points. The goal: hold the city.

Actually Drashnok just wanted to bash things. Unfortunately, Drashnoks command abilities were severely tested by failed command rolls throughout the game. The Gargant and its infantry protection barely trudged along towards the ruins. Subcommander Acknot, however, roared forward with his battlewagon force and spotted Leman Russ tanks off to the flank. The battle began.

Traitor Guard forces advance toward the ruins, Sentinels in front.

Main Imperial Guard force includes a Warlord Titan.

Baker Company of Leman Russ tanks covers the Imperial left flank. They spot the Space Ork battlewagons. Lock and Load!

Lead battlewagon explodes and the Orks take fire. BattleFortress in the background moves just too slow.

The weapons range on Space Orks is much shorter than Imperial guard, and so I kept trying to get some Orky Fighta-bombas called in. Unfortunately the Imperium had an edge on air superiority and often prevented successful FAC rolls. The traitor guard began exchanging shots with the heavy Imperial armor as Imperial forces entered the city at the same time as Traitor Guard Rough Riders.

Traitor Guard enters the ruins as Imperial Ogryns move in from the opposite side.

Acknot's battlewagons are smashed by Baker company.

Baker Company enters the ruins to lend Imperial support.

Poor Dave the Imperial Commander had trouble moving the Warlord titan, but its great weapons range still let it fire on the distant Traitor Guard armor. Drashnok finally got the Gargant moving forward with some Big Gunz units but it was too little too late. The Traitor Guard were being pushed out of the ruins and the Orky armor was smashed.

Miracle! Space Ork Fight-Bomba makes a pass on Baker Company and scores multiple hits, but the armor survives. So does the lucky Ork pilot.

Gargant finally gets in range, to no avail.

The Gargant's shields were saving it, but those Shadowsword monster tanks and the lucky Baker Company were too close. Time to call it a day, and the Orks and Traitor Guard gave up the ruins to the Imperium.

FWC is just as much fun as its predecessor rules, and includes fun things like shields and futuristic weapons and such. The generic army lists allow you to field any manufacturer's stuff, and so we tried it with our old Epic forces which worked just fine. Another set of FWC rules was sold during the game, and everybody is planning on painting up more old Epic stuff or perhaps something from another manufacturer. Looks like the struggle for planet GAJO will continue!