Monday, November 20, 2017

Taking a break for a very good reason

After a while, I am back with an update... In a couple of weeks I will be married, and the last few months have been occupied with work and wedding planning.

This is all to say that this blog will probably be updated only after the holidays. My fiancée likes board games but we still have to play miniature games to find out if she likes them. Maybe my posts will shift away from solo gaming?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Battle for Threnger: the supply rafts

This is the last linked game using MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge. After the misdirection and attack on the enemy control outpost, it is time for Platoon 24 of the League of Canlaster forces to strike on a sabotaged supply raft. However, as the enemy took back the outpost, they had time to warn nearby patrols to defend the raft. So now the ambush has turned on its head.

This is the board setup: Canlaster has two 5-soldier squads, while Yordan has two 6-soldier squads near the raft. To win, Canlaster must gain a 2:1 advantage on remaining forces or drive all enemy 4 inches away from the raft, while having some forces in contact with it.

The Yordan forces, acting defensively, took positions on the hill and forest patch. The Canlaster forces also advanced through the patches of difficult terrain, to have some cover. Unfortunately, when the firefight began the Yordist fared better (in their damage rolls), nearly wiping one of the attacking squads.

This allowed all of the enemy forces to focus on the remaining Canlaster squad, which did not survive much longer.

In the end, the League of Canlaster (i.e. my forces) won 2 out of 6 games. In my defense, I would say that the enemy forces had advantages in numbers and placement, to keep the games challenging. Of course, that is just to avoid looking so bad.

What about MOTH for solo play? It is, as expected, an upgraded version of USE ME. The adoption of d10s instead of d6s means there is more room to add modifiers to movement and fire, and thus, the feel of a more detailed game. There are also some ranged fire options (suppression shot, aimed shot and break shot.) Likewise, there is more detail in soldier weapons and armor.

With all that said, for my solo games I would keep USE ME, maybe adding the suppress shot option. One reason for this is lower level of detail feels a little quicker to play. Another reason is that I would have to keep playing MOTH with 15mm figures halving the measurements, whereas USE ME is already designed to play at 15mm scale. However, I would surely use the improved solo system from MOTH in those games.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Defending the outpost

This is the fifth linked game of MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge. This time, Platoon 24 of Canlaster forces must hold the enemy outpost while attacked in two fronts. Since the previous game was successful, I decided to have both sides with equal numbers of soldiers. This is the board setup:

The League of Yordan forces on the right moved to fire at one of the Canlaster squads before they could get some cover. One soldier was badly wounded, and the squad leader decided to counter attack.

The attack was successful, as most of the Yordist squad was defeated while the Canlaster squad lost a single soldier and had another two wounded.

On the other side, Yordan and Canlaster squads were exchanging fire without many losses... until the Yordists decided to charge into melee.

That was a bloodbath, nearly wiping out the second Canlaster squad.

After this, the first Canlaster squad, which had some wounded soldiers, moved in, but were received by enemy fire. A couple rounds later, the League of Yordan advantage was enough that I decided the game was a loss.

The battle started well for the League of Canlaster, but some bad rolls on the melee between squads turned the tide against them. Overall, a fun game, and the result means the last battle will see some reinforcements for the Yordan defense.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

My first regiments for Morale Napoleon

A brief interlude from the MOTH games: I have been putting together some figures in preparation to play Morale Napoleon. These are the results:

All the figures are from Walkerloo Print-Fantry. The ones on the left are from the "Les Grognards: Old Guard Grenadiers" set, while the ones on the right are from the "Coldstream Guards" set. All of them were printed at 30% scale, resulting in figures that are 15mm tall (from foot to eye level), then placed in sets of 4 on 60mm x 20mm bases -- the standard for infantry battalions in Morale Napoleon.

I still have to try a few battles in MapTool to get a better feel of how many more stands I will need to play the game.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Fighting retreat

This is the fourth out of six linked games of MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge. In this battle, Platoon 24 of the League of Canlaster must make a fighting retreat out of enemy territory, after making a diversionary attack. The platoon is represented by a force of 8 soldiers, being chased by two 5-soldier squads of the League of Yordan.

The goal of the Canlaster forces is to reach the left board edge with at least half the initial troops. The Yordists want to prevent that. The Canlaster and one of the Yordan squads have Elan 6, while the other Yordan squad has Elan 5.

As the game began, Canlaster had the initiative and started to move away. At some point I thought, "hey, I could use an action to shoot at the enemy to slow them down, instead of just running." While it did allow me to take a couple of enemy soldiers down, this brilliant idea let the enemy get in close range. Close range means a bonus to hit and to damage, and suddenly five out of eight Canlaster soldiers were dead, and the game was over.

I kept playing just to try and escape with at least one soldier. But the Yordan forces kept chasing them and eventually, there was no one left.

After the game, I noticed that I forgot to use the "suppress shot" action, which does not actually hurt enemies but grants a defensive bonus for moving troops. I guess if I had use that (or maybe simply run), the Canlaster troops might have escaped...

In any case, this concludes battle #4. In the next game, Platoon 31 will try to hold the control outpost they captured.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Battle for Threnger: The control outpost

This is the third battle using the MOTH rules for the 6x6 Challenge. Now, the Canlaster forces must take control of the enemy control outpost.

Recently, as I was cleaning and sorting some old stuff, I found these Tente bits that are almost 30 years old. So I used them to make the control outpost.

In the first game, Canlaster lost many troops while invading enemy territory. Then in the second game, it was the Yordan forces which suffered heavy losses. Thus the third game should be balanced; I decided that each side would have two squads of six soldiers each. Here is the board setup.

To win, Canlaster must eliminate the opposition or stay in contact with the control outpost while no enemy forces are closer than 4 inches from the outpost. As the battle began, the Yordan defenders took cover in nearby hills and forests, while the Canlaster squads advanced. Soon, they started to exchange fire, but all Canlaster forces focused on a single enemy squad.

The attack was successful and it did not take long before both enemy squads were defeated. At this point, I considered that Canlaster had won, rather than chase the few remaining enemy soldiers.

In summary, after losing soldiers in game #1, Platoon 31 managed to take over the enemy outpost. This should help Platoon 24 on their way out in game #4.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Drawing enemy fire

This is the second battle in a series of linked games using MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge. This time, I played on Tabletop Simulator using a virtual 6'x4' board with virtual paper figurines (I still have to find some 3D models that I can use.)

A view of the battlefield from one of the Canlaster squads.
While Platoon 31 tried to break through the enemy defenses, Platoon 24 was ordered to strike at an observation post, to draw enemy fire. Canlaster forces start on the left. Each squad consists of 10 muster troops (including two Emeritas). Meanwhile, each Yordan squad consists of 7 muster and 1 Emeritas. Squad 1 has Elan 7, squads 2 and A have Elan 6 and squad B has Elan 5. The hills and forest patches block line of sight. The Canlaster forces win if they cause 50% or more casualties to the enemy while losing less units. Alternatively, they win if they are on the hill with the observation post with no enemies.

Force setup. The observation post is the light brown structure (made of wooden blocks) near squad 2.
The Canlaster squads spread out, moving behind cover to reach the enemy. The Yordan troops just positioned themselves on the hills, waiting for an opportunity to fire. In the 10th turn, the first exchanges of fire happened.

Canlaster squad A opens fire on Yordan squad #1. The yellow and red units indicate grazed and struck status.
Canlaster squad A eventually managed to defeat Yordan squad #1, while squad B advanced through a forested area. By the end of round 15, Canlaster had sustained 40% losses (8 units), while Yordan had lost 62% of their troops (10 units), thus meeting a victory condition for Canlaster.

Firefight between Canlaster squad B and Yordan squad #2. The yordists killed one enemy but lost another 2.
While the Canlaster forces suffered many losses in the breakthrough, they managed to draw the attention of their enemies to the observation post. The third battle will see both sides with weakened forces.

A quick note about playing in Tabletop Simulator: the interface has gone through noticeable improvements (I love the new top-down view to check the position of everything on the table.) Now it is possible to find a number of wargaming terrain models in the workshop. The custom figurine is still quite limited, so I had to create my own figurine model in Blender. Measuring is still cumbersome. Luckily, MOTH has simplified squad movement because measuring the movement of every single figure would have been tiresome with the current interface. I think that playing miniature games with area movement or grid-based movement will be a much smoother experience.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Battle for Threnger: Breakthrough

This battle is part of the 6x6 challenge, being game #1 of my series of six linked MOTH games. It was played in a 90cm x 60cm board with 15mm figures, halving the distances and ranges from the game. The forest patches and hills count as difficult terrain, and they block line of sight and fire across them. The rest of the board counts as normal terrain.

Setup for the battle.
The League of Canlaster troops (blue armor and gray bases) must cross the board and leave it by the right edge. They are organized into two squads of six soldiers. The one closer to the hill is led by Emeritas Adrian (elan 7) and the other is led by Emeritas Baker (elan 6). Both are equipped with standard weapons and armor.

The Yordist troops are organized into three squads of six soldiers (from top to bottom, the elan ratings are 5, 6 and 5), also with standard equipment -- some figures feature medical equipment or rocket launchers, but those are to be disregarded.

The plan for both sides was simple: the Canlaster soldiers would advance through the center, while the Yordists would try to hold the chokepoints, leaving one squad as reserve. A few rounds in, the first shots were fired, with casualties for both sides.

The first exchanges of fire, at the edge of optimum weapons range.
The squad led by Emeritas Baker was caught in a crossfire by two enemy squads. At least, this allowed Emeritas Adrian to position his squad and cause losses to the enemy.

Emeritas Adrian strikes from the hilltop.
Unfortunately, this was not enough. The reserve enemy squad moved ahead and attacked Adrian's soldiers. In the end, the Canlasterian forces were scattered, even if the Yordists suffered losses.

Emeritas Baker still managed to take out a couple of enemies, but it was not enough.
Canlaster lost 10 soldiers (out of 12) while Yordan lost 8 (out of 18). Not a bad result considering the superior numbers and defensive positioning of the Yordists, but still a failed mission in this mini-campaign.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

MOTH for the 6x6 Challenge

To get started with the 6x6 challenge, I have read the MOTH rules again and played a couple of test games. The solo system provided with the game is interesting: it gives a general plan for the enemy and allows some variation in actions. With a little work, I think it can be used for other games, too.

My plan is to have a series of six linked games. I will be using up to 12 Canlaster muster soldiers per game, while the enemy will be up to 18 Yordan muster soldiers. For both sides, figures will usually be organized in 6-soldier squads. The games are organized as a two-sided assault on Yordist defenses during a larger battle in Kendall III:

Game 1: Platoon 31 must break through the enemy perimeter, on their way to an Yordist control outpost. They must cross the battlefield with at least 1/2 of their troops.

Game 2: Meanwhile, platoon 24 must stage an attack against an observation post, to draw the enemy's attention. They must destroy some enemy targets and then withdraw to succeed.

Game 3: Now platoon 31 must take over the enemy control outpost, which is being used to coordinate enemy supply rafts. Available forces will depend on success in game 1. If platoon 24 won game 2, enemy forces will be reduced.

Game 4: Platoon 24 is making a fighting retreat after the action from game 2. They must be able to flee with at least 1/2 of their forces. If platoon 31 wins game 3, enemy forces will be reduced.

Game 5: Platoon 31 now must hold the control outpost against enemies that are trying to take it back. Available forces will depend on success in game 3. Enemy forces will depend on the success of games 2 and 4.

Game 6: Platoon 24 is assigned an ambush to destroy Yordist supply rafts that have been disabled using the control outpost. If platoon 31 lost game 5, the enemy will have more defenses.

This is the plan, and I should have the first report this week.