Friday, May 30, 2014

The Liebster Award and revisiting my blog list

I was nominated for a Liebster Award by -c.norman from Mini-Ventures, so I chose to keep spreading the love in the blogsphere and thus nominate other blogs I follow for the award. I am using his criteria so there are 11 nominations and then 11 questions to answer -- except I am starting with the blog list:

1. BattReps - Aleksandar's blog about wargaming, mostly solo. Great reports and lots of interesting ideas. His recent posts about playing with individually-based 6mm miniatures are inspiring.

2. Sean's Wargames Corner - Wargames, miniatures and a healthy dose of humor. Always worth a look.

3. Solo RPG Gamer - Dreamer's blog includes lots of nice reports and ideas for solo play.

4. El Rincon de Slorm - Battle reports and scenarios using systems by Ganesha Games and Two Hour Wargames, also USE ME and more recently, In Her Majesty's Name.

5. Sin City Dispatch - Various posts about wargames, boardgames, gaming podcasts and miniatures. There are always nice pictures and interesting things to find here.

6. Delta Vector - What I like the most about this blog are the game reviews. They usually include in-depth discussions and comparisons to other related games. There are also interesting posts about miniatures and terrain.

7. Tabletop Diversions - Another inspiring blog with varied posts on RPGs, wargames and miniatures. His series "The Ever Expanding Dungeon" and "World War Risus" (resulting in a set of wargaming rules based on the Risus RPG) are examples of his inventivity.

8. Papermau - Mauther's blog dedicated to papercraft, including original creations and links to other models. I still have to try to build some of the dioramas presented there.

9. The Lone Delver - A blog dedicated to solo Tunnels & Trolls adventures. Some of the discussion is system-specific but I find it inspiring for my solo gaming in general.

10. Heroes Against Darkness - This is the blog for the RPG game of the same name. Includes lots of interesting discussion about RPG systems design.

11. Solo Battles - Dale's blog about the design of automated opponents for solo wargaming has not seen a new post in over an year. Still, I wanted to include it in this list as it contains very interesting posts on this subject.

And finally, the questions...

Monday, May 26, 2014

Brink of Battle: Romans and Celts

Today I played my first scenario using Brink of Battle in the period of the Roman invasion of Britain; more specifically, somewhere around 50-60 A.D.

For the figures, I used the LVMENES Romans vs. Celts set, taking some liberties regarding the exact representation of the units.

The romans were a standard-type force with eight figures:
COMMANDER (95 points) CBT 5 / CMD 7 / CON 5
Traits: Commander, Inspiring / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Pila (Javelins), Shield

VETERAN (73 points) CBT 5 / CMD 5 / CON 5
Traits: Shield bash / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Pila (Javelins), Shield

6x TROOPER (56 points) CBT 4 / CMD 4 / CON 4
Traits: Stubborn / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Pila (Javelins), Shield, Helmet

The celts were a horde-type force with twelve figures:
COMMANDER (101 points) CBT 6 / CMD 6 / CON 5
Traits: Commander, Myrmidon, Shield bash / Gear: Light armor, Sword, Shield, Helmet

6x TROOPER (40 points) CBT 4 / CMD 3 / CON 4
Traits: Gung Ho! / Gear: Spear, Club, Shield

5x TROOPER (32 points) CBT 4 / CMD 3 / CON 4
Traits: Gung Ho! / Gear: Short bow, Club

I used the Raid scenario from the book: the romans must defend a position (represented by the brown objective marker) from the raiding celts. The celts win if they end a turn with only their units inside the marked area. Each side may also win if the opponent routs.

As I am still understanding the rules before trying to make any adaptations for solo play, I just played both sides. Here is how it went:

Thursday, May 22, 2014

House rule: removing facing from THW skirmishes

The majority of the skirmish games that I play do not define facing for individual figures. The exception (and an important one for me) is in the rules for Two Hour Wargames (THW) skirmish games. Since other games I play do not use facing, I do not get used to it and maintaining figure facing during play becomes distracting to me.

So after some consideration I decided to adopt the following house rule: figures do not have facing. When an active PEF comes into sight of my figures and resolves as a number of enemies, I roll 2d6. If the result is 11 or 12, my figures have been surprised, so they suffer -1d6 in the In Sight test, while the enemy does not suffer the usual -1d6 for being active. The same applies in reverse if my figures, while active, become in sight of a PEF. This "surprise check" is not used when actual enemy figures (not PEFs) are involved.

My rationale for this house rule is that, given the level of detail of THW games like Chain Reaction or After the Horsemen, I feel that the usual hypothesis for other skirmish games -- that figures are not static but rather, looking around and shifting around their marked position -- is also valid for them. Besides, figure Rep and line of sight will already interfere on any In Sight check. The "surprise check" just adds a bit of uncertainty to it all.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

A quick update and Solo Heroes

It has been a month since my last update! May has been a busy month at work, meaning not much free time for tabletop gaming. On the other hand, I have been reading some books and setting up a couple of games that hopefully I will be able to play soon...

Among those books, I have read the free Black Streams: Solo Heroes from Sine Nomine Publishing, which is a guide to adapting the rules from old school OGL-based RPG systems for solo play. They mostly tackle the problem of survivability of single, low-level heroes in those games. The adjustments are interesting and have convinced me to put their Scarlet Heroes RPG in my shopping list. Although it is meant to allow a single player to game with a game master, the advice should work well for solo dungeon crawling too.

I also have noticed that recently Crusader Publishing has been adding their games to WargameVault. Does anyone have information on their games Crusader and Legions of Battle? I could not find any reviews.