28 March 2017

Hotlead Pt 3

For our second and last game of the day Adam and I were adventurous. We always put on a game of Metaverse at Hotlead but have generally avoided crossing universes due to the inherent complexity it involves. For this game we bucked the trend and put Star Trek, Star Wars, Babylon 5, and BSG on the table together and the objective was a space station from Warhammer 40K. Additionally we upped our normal player count from six to eight. This was a mighty beast to wrangle. Before we started playing we set up a bunch of models at one end of the table to attract players. I cannot attest enough how much this works, take note fellow game masters!

By far not all the models in our collections but enough for eye candy.

For the scenario each faction was split between two players who must work together. Each faction started in one of the four corners, their objective: the station in the middle of the table. At the end of each turn any faction with one or more ships (still alive) within 30cm of the station got a point. Considering that maximum weapons range is 100cm this meant that any ships gaining points would be in range of each other. At the end of the game the faction with the most points won, even if they were completely destroyed.

The forces the players used were the following:

Starfleet:
1x Steamrunner Class Light Cruiser
1x Challenger Class Light Cruiser
1x Springfield Class Frigate

Colonial Fleet:
1x Olympia Class Light Cruiser
1x Kopis Class Fast Destroyer
1x Lightray Class Missile Frigate
4x Viper Mk VII Squadrons
2x Raptor Mk II Flights - Nukes Loaded

Rebel Alliance:
1x Quasar Fire Class Light Carrier
4x CR90 Class Corvettes
3x X-Wing Flights
3x Y-Wing Flights - Proton Torpedoes Loaded
3x B-Wing Flights - Proton Torpedoes Loaded

Earth Force:
1x Warlock Class Destroyer
3x Omega Class Destroyers
3x Marathon Class Cruisers
A lot of Aurora and Thunderbolt Starfuries!

Opening moves saw Starfleet making a bee line for the Rebels.

The Rebels in turn moved their corvettes into a screening position, moving the carrier to the station.

At the other end, Earth Force and Colonial fleet began a long range firefight that Earth Force was winning.

Yet no matter how much fire they put out the "Big F&$kers" would not go down.

Starfleet decided they could not let the Rebel carrier accrue points that easily.

Closing the range the Colonials began to hurt the Earth Force ships.

A furious dogfight between Vipers, Raptors, and X-Wings erupted near the station. The Raptors did not survive.

The Rebel corvettes did their best to be the most evasive targets they could while the bombers moved in on the Starfleet ships.

As the range closed further a large group of Starfuries decided to brave the Colonial flak field.

At the midpoint of the game only the Rebels and the Colonials had a ship in range of the objective.

The Starfleet players contemplate how to deal with the jinky Rebel corvettes.

The great ClusterF*&k of the game erupted on the far side of the table. Missiles, lasers, fighters, railguns, and even a few opportunistic photon torpedoes crossed the void in a melee of destruction.

Trying its hardest not to be noticed the Rebel carrier continued to accrue points. Meanwhile the X-Wings and Vipers continue to hash out their differences.

Starfleet had by now mostly brushed aside the annoying corvettes but found that they were no closer to the objective.

The orgy of fire continued on the other side of the table with the players amazed at the destructive capabilities being tossed around.

One of the Colonial players records hit after hit as his ship sails through the maelstrom.

The Rebel bombers, with some losses, move in on the Challenger Class.

At the end of the chaos, Earth Force was decimated losing five of seven ships while the Colonials all had massive damage.

With the time limit for the game reached a tie was called between the Rebels and Colonials who had both racked up the same points with Earth force second and Starfleet a distant third.

This game was very tiring due to the inherent chaos of the scenario but frighteningly beautiful to watch. The Earth Force and Colonial players agreed that their melee was the most vicious battle they had every played in a game. The Rebel players were satisfied that their sneaky and evasive tactics had payed off. The Starfleet players had been so engrossed in their mission to kill the corvettes they forgot both the time limit and the scenario objectives.

I have to thank eight wonderful players who took to the scenario with gusto and learned the rules in short order. Many of them came up to me later and thanked me for the game, Dave even gave me a big bear hug in the middle of the hall, thanks buddy!

I think this game proved that I can run cross universe games at conventions, I just need to be ready for the chaos. See you next year!

Our facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/battlespacepublishing.ca

The rules can be found here: http://metaverse.battlespacepublishing.ca/

Hotlead Pt 2

For our first game of the day Adam and I ran Sail, Steam, & Sky. SSS is our upcoming naval game releasing this summer. The game allows players to have a flexible plug and play rule set that they can use for any period from the 17th Century forward. For our scenario we pitted a group of WWI German and British Battlecruisers against each other in the North Sea. The forces were as follows:

British:
3x King George V Class Battleships
3x Lion Class Battlecruisers
3x Invincible Class Battlecruisers
1x Arethusa Class Light Cruiser
4x M Class Destroyers

German:
4x Konig Class Battleships
2x Derfflinger Class Battlecruisers
1x Von der tann Class Battlecruiser
1x Moltke Class Battlecruiser
3x Deutshland Class Dreadnoughts
1x Wiesbaden Class Light Cruiser
1x Pillau Class Light Cruiser
4x G.101 Class Destroyers

The two sides deploy their forces.

With their forces deployed the players plan their first moves.

Now moving their ships the British argue among themselves over orders.

The unorthodox deployment of the German ships is evident

The German player on the right flank realizes just how slow the old dreadnoughts really are.

I assist the German players with their first attempts at firing, they quickly ran things on their own.

The British players look on dismay as shell splashes erupt around their lead ships.

Unlucky hit rolls cause a ruckus on the British side.

Further moves bring the fleets closer together while the German left wing commander contemplates the orders he has been given.

The "laser of truth" is wielded to check firing arcs.

Tactical discussion on the German side as targets are prioritized.

A flurry of gunfire leaves ships on both sides in pieces and on fire.

Condition checks for the British result in a battleship, two battlecruisers, two destroyers, and a light cruiser being lost to the deep.

The same rolls on the German side leave all three dreadnoughts, a light cruiser, and two destroyers to a watery grave.

The players survey the now emptier field moments before the British make a fateful roll that cost them the game.

Smiling faces all around.

This game was a highlight of the day for me. I had a group of six enthusiastic players who took to the rules like fish to water. Within 30 minutes I barely had to interject for an explanation or correction. Although the British lost in the end the Germans had taken a beating themselves and commented that if the British had not retreated it would only be a matter of time for them. Thanks to all who participated! Up next the space game to end all space games...

Our facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/battlespacepublishing.ca

The rules will be available here: http://battlespacepublishing.ca/

Hotlead Pt 1

This past weekend Adam and I traveled to sunny Stratford for Hotlead, Ontario's premier gaming convention. As always the convention was a blast with many a pretty game being displayed. More importantly it proved to once again be an opportunity to reconnect with gaming friends, peruse the vendors, and have a few late night pints at the hotel bar.

The past few years the convention has been riding on an attendance high. During the Saturday afternoon slot the hall is packed from end to end with attendees buying from the vendors, checking out the bring and buy, and playing and observing games. As a game master this is a particular delight as I have had a full roster every game I have put on for as long as I can remember, even the year I put on three games in a row (note to self: never do that again!).

It should also be noted that unlike some conventions I attend south of the border there is a noticeable lack of complaint. Attendees mingle in high spirits commenting on the quality of the games and the constant hustle and bustle of the convention (perhaps a product of almost totally Canadian participation? sorry to my American friends). It is a rare sight indeed to see an argument outside of the context of a game.

Spread throughout the hall were quite a few interesting and high quality games, most of which I did not get a chance to see as I ran a game in the morning and the afternoon. I will post about those games in parts two and three, but for now some eye candy:

Poland 1920

Fantasy

Vietnam (My friend Dave's conspicuous head included)

Age of Sail

WWII Dogfight

Goblin Caves (not a game but damn son!)

Mercenaries in the Golden Triangle, 2017

Viking Raid

D-Day

Ridgeway 1866
Ancients

Vikings Again

Frontier Wars

American Civil War Naval

30 Years War

Frostgrave

Battletech

Samurai

6mm Eastern Front

Car Wars

Coming next, our morning game...

Our facebook group can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/battlespacepublishing.ca