Saturday, 31 January 2015

Thursday nights at the club

Well I missed a post last week, so here is 2 weeks worth. Alas no pictures.

A couple of weeks back 9 of us assembled round a table to play Legion of Honour, a card driven game.  6 of us were playing, the chap who owned the game acted as guide and rules checker, and 2 others sat at the table to help offer cheers and jeers to whatever was going on. 

Each player has a French Napoleonic character and at the start you generate various role-playing type characteristics; health, fencing skills, money, charm etc.  The game is played in a series of round each representing a year, beginning in 1792.   Each player in turn draws a card and acts upon it. Any action requires the player to roll percentage dice for the outcome - things like leading a charge or a mission, avoiding capture by the enemy - and so on.

However, a major drawback of the game is it has no player interaction (other than the occasional card driven fencing duel). Everything that takes place depends on each player rolling the percentage dice, and the outcome is only for their character. Essentially this is a solo game for up to 6 players. 

The only player interaction, if you call it that, is when a character is wounded, captured or, as in our game, goes to the guillotine. Then everyone round the table rolls about laughing at your misfortune.   

All in all, I don't think it's worth the effort as a multi-player game.  There are far better games out there. 

Anyhow, moving on - last Thursday we played Dystopian Wars.  Four of us playing and two watching, advising and checking rules.  We each had 750 points and the French and Americans fought the Brits and Prussians.  No-one went for super ships, instead using a good quantity of smaller squadrons.  Most fleets were one battleship, two squadrons of cruisers, several squadrons of smaller vessels and the 'free' tiny-flyers.

This was much more like a club game; fast and frantic, much rolling of dice, glee and despair. The British player brought some flying machine and it became a shell and rocket magnet.  I even think the Prussian player fancied having a crack at it too. But the British player was also able to use some special engineer rule that allowed him to repair a lot of the damage to the flying machine. 

We never actually manage to play too many turns in the evening because everyone just 'goes for it'. Losses can mount quickly. I think honours for the evening went to the Brits and Prussians. My Americans had lost several smaller squadrons for 2 Prussian cruiser squadrons, while the French lost cruiser and frigate squadrons for minimal losses to the Brits. 

Another excellent game, though we're still stumbling a bit finding stuff in the version 2 rulebook.  

Also at the club last time were guys playing a game of FoG, and others playing some SciFi thingy (I must learn what it's called).  

Next week - the Great Northern War using the Maurice rules for me while others will be playing ADG. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Thursday nights at the club

This year I'll try to give a weekly report of what was happening at the Perth club. It'll be a mix of stuff, but hopefully it will give an idea of what goes on.  And in future weeks I'll try to remember to take pictures. 

Last Thursday, 8th Jan, 6 and later 7 of us gathered round a table to work through L'Art De La Guerre rules (ADG for short).  This was my first game though everyone else had played at least once before and a couple of chaps had played a few times.

Armies were 15mm Carthage and Rome.  I'd taken my Romans and we quickly worked out a 200 point army.  It was, 
    8 x Hastati and Principes 
    3 x triarii 
    6 x velites
    3 x roman heavy cavalry   
    2 x numidian light cavalry
    1 x auxilia thureophoroi
    3 x generals

So 23 elements in the army and 3 generals.  Not a bad size for a game. I found out later that the Romans should have had each legions balanced at 4 hastati, 4 principes, 1 triarii and 2 velites. But, hey-ho, we live and learn. I'll try to post pictures of ADG armies in a future post. 

Table was about 4 x 2 feet.  Each army was split into 3 commands and each player had a command. I took the Roman right with the cavalry. Having 7 people round the table meant there was plenty of discussion, questions, answers and agreement on rules points - along with the traditional slagging, cheers or groans whenever anyone rolled a 1.   

Mounted and skirmish units are represented by single elements and heavy foot are represented by 2 elements, one behind the other.  Apparently, this is only really for aesthetics and heavy foot can also be represented by single elements.   

The rules play well and fast. They are like a mix of DBx and Armati. There are no DBx style recoils and units take a number of cohesion points like Armati before they are eliminated and removed from the table.  Movement is based on pips like DBx, but about half the number you'd get in those games. Each command on a side has to roll its command points and complete its move before the next command. Movement seems more liberal than Armati but slightly more restricting than DBx. All movement distances and ranges are based on base-widths, called UD, units of distance in the rules.

Army loses are counted in both eliminated units and cohesion points and this creates a nice sub-game in deciding if it's better to rally and remove cohesion hits or to try to press an advantage.     

Overall, we had a good game. At the end of the night, the Romans lost slightly more than the Carthaginians - but we'll just gloss over that minor detail!

I'll skim through the ADG rules again with the understanding that comes from  having played a game.  I'll work out some armies from figures I have, but even at this point I reckon I only need about half the figures I needed for other games.  I may even end up thinning out the armies I have and selling off some surplus figures.

The only other game at the club last Thursday was some sci-fi thing, but I didn't look at it as my attention was focussed on ADG. 

Next week 6 of us are planning to play Legion of Honour, a card driven game where everyone starts as a low-ranked Napoleonic officer and then has to make their way in the world through a mixture of lying, cheating, stealing or deceiving (or something like that).  Just a typical multi-player card game that's played every so often at the club.  

till next time,