Sunday, April 8, 2018

Monopolis resupply run

Almost time for this month's edition of my quasi-narrative Monopolis campaign for Ogre, so here's last month's battle report! The scenario this time was an attempt by a convoy with vital supplies to reach the besieged city to help them hold out until allies can arrive. Unfortunately, the transports blundered into an equally unaware occupation force guarding the road.
This was an infantry-heavy scenario: The occupiers consisted of an infantry regiment (27 squads regular infantry and 3 heavy weapons squads), with one howitzer in support, to prevent supplies from getting through. The convoy had two battalions of troops (20 squads regular and two HW teams) with an escort of 10 light tanks--plus the trucks, hovertrucks, and Oversized Pallet Parcel Engineering vehicle to get across the table.
Shout-out to my players, Albert and Wes, who gave me backstories for the forces they commanded. Albert's occupying force was Wayne's Irregulars (mercenary company, traveling circus, fortune tellers--pants optional). Wes's supply convoy was Bane's Blockade Runners (no motto). The convoy entered in waves, with the light tank squadron advancing on the infantry holed up in the small town near the start of a major road. While that infantry was taken care of quickly, the howitzer did a number on the armor units. A couple of turns later, and the last of the convoy entered on another road, mostly out of range of the artillery.
In game terms, the heavy transport had tread units like an Ogre Mark III, plus two antipersonnel guns. It was able to charge through the the infantry without losing too much locomotion, and even though there were still plenty of squads on the map, the enemy couldn't keep up--especially since the way I laid out the map left long, open corridors at both ends. I was thinking that in most of my games, the terrain at the edges never matters because most of the action takes place in the middle. Obviously, I thought wrong, because once they convoy got past the foot soldiers on this side of the board, there was no blocking terrain to allow the occupiers to catch up.
While the convoy lost more than half its infantry and 70% of its tank escorts, all but one of its vehicles made it off the map. The blockers lost less than one-third of their infantry, but overall they failed in their mission. Still the players said they had fun, and they provided helpful feedback on the scenario. Next game I will fix the terrain so that the convoy doesn't have a straight shot, and I will also have the convoy declare the map section the large transport comes in on, so the occupiers have some idea where to set up.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Ogre transport

This bad boy appeared on my gaming table last week. It's a Battletech mini (the O-66 "Oppie" Hazardous Material Recovery Vehicle), but it also makes a great tow truck for my games of Ogre.
As the photos show, this vehicle can fit an Ogre Mark III on its flatbed, or several smaller vehicles. In games, I give it the tread units of a Mark III, and two antipersonnel weapons for a little bit of protection.
It can also carry cargo pallets (my Ogreverse backronym for the Oppie is that it stands for Oversized Pallet Parcel Engineering vehicle), which it did in my most recent Ogre game. While I'm not a fan of most Battletech vehicles, there are a few that work great for other sci fi games. Any other BT non-mech casting that y'all can recommend?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Making our escape

We took a break from miniatures this week to play Escape the Dark Castle. It's an RPG-lite, beer-and-pretzels, semi-chose-your-own-adventure, cooperative, quick-playing, retro-looking, card-based game. It's also very fun. You are imprisoned along with your fellow players when you free yourself from your dungeon cell. You have a card depicting your character, with a corresponding die.
You and your fellow players work together to overcome one card-based obstacle at a time, trying to accomplish what it says on the box: escape the dark castle. There are foes to battle, choices to be made, items to grab--all in your quest to defeat the final boss standing between you and your freedom. We played three games, and even though we only reached the boss one time (where we died in combat), we enjoyed each attempt.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

A familiar face in the Ghost Archipelago

Another custom scenario last week. In this one-shot (non-campaign) game, we each received a Heritor with random abilities, a Warden, and three specialist crewmembers, each with a single Heritor ability. The backstory: We'd all heard rumors of a newcomer to the isles, someone from a frozen city far to the north. If this individual found the Crystal Pool, then Bad Things would happen. So we banded together to seek this person out.
He was known as the Lich Lord. And he brought his undead friends with him to the island. Maybe it was the fact that my lizardmen had more detailing, but they were easily able to defeat the skeletons that came at us.
The Lich Lord had found some local allies, tribesmen led by a witch doctor out for power. But some archery took out the spell caster before he could do too much, and I brought my tomb robber in to take out the warriors, with some backup from another warband.
The allied Heritors and their assistants put an end to the Lich Lord's exploration of the Ghost Archipelago. Here's hoping he stays up north.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hunting dinos in the Ghost Archipelago

One of our group wrote a scenario and we played it a few weeks back. each group landed on a separate corner of the island where a large dinosaur roamed. I took my lizardman warband, still with unfinished bases. This adventure was similar to one of the scenarios in the rulebook, but the main critter was a lot tougher.
Dead bodies marked the treasures in this game, luring each warband in to grab the valuables. The catch: Baby dinos were chowing down on the corpses, and a search would bring the critters out of the bushes.
Meanwhile, Momasaurus was roaming around and spotted another warband. She was mad, bad, and dangerous to know--with a +8 Fight and having a second attack in the form of a tail sweep.
The baby dinosaurs were a lot easier to overcome, although when they popped out two or three at a time, it made things a little worrisome for my warband. Still, my reptilian warriors had no qualms about fighting their distant cousins.
Some other monsters showed up on a random encounter roll, including this swamp troll. I teamed up with another player to defeat this creature, but the same player later took out my Heritor and two other crewmembers because he thought I was getting away with too much treasure.
On the other side of the island, the warband belonging to the scenario's author finally took down Momzilla, after losing several members of his warband. The slain beast yielded a treasure or two, hopefully making it worth his while. A fun game, even though my Heritor received a permanent injury. Them's the breaks.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The road to Monopolis

Last week saw the first of what I hope will be a monthly quasi-narrative Ogre campaign. We had six players, including me--and a couple were new to Ogre. The scenario was a holding action by the Monopolis city militia some 100 kilometers from the city. The defenders needed to hold out as long as possible to keep the attacking gray force from driving up the road to Monopolis.
Combat was quickly joined, and devastating to the combatants and the countryside. I had set up a few town hexes. The players quickly learned that city fighting can be brutal. They also learned that overruns in Ogre are even more deadly.
The fighting in this small town grew intense, as the defenders fell back before the advancing Mark V Ogre. Meanwhile, conventional units were racking up their own casualty counts.
The defender's Mark III wasn't able to do much damage to its larger cousin, but it gave a good staredown from one hex over.
In the end, the attackers pushed out the defenders and left the small town in flames. The players remarked on how lethal the game is for armor units. The round counters indicate where tanks and GEVs were destroyed. The playing mat was littered with these tokens at the end of the game, but everyone had a good time.
I plan on running another scenario as a sort of sequel to this one next month. I look forward to playing again, with new and old players.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Bungle in the Jungle

We played our first game of Ghost Archipelago last week, and we all had fun. The game is pretty much Frostgrave on a tropical island, so it was easy for us to get into the swing of things. But before we began the scenario (just a basic game to familiarize ourselves with the rules), we played out a little minigame using the old Pirates of the Spanish Main ships and a Dreadfleet map.
There were four of us sailing against one another. Loosely adopting the PotSM sailing rules, combined with GA-style combat resolution, the objective was to get to the island first in order to select your starting edge on the main board. Also, players whose ships took damage had an initiative penalty during the Ghost Archipelago battle. I made it to the island first, and avoided getting hit, picking the nice beach on left side of this pic.
One of our group is the main terrain maker, and he went all-out on this board. It looked great, but the density of the terrain made it hard to move figures without knocking over scenery. Of course we were a little cramped as the playing area was three-by-three with four players; next time we will make it three-by-six for the four of us.
Because I always have to be different, my warband consists of fifth edition Warhammer Lizardmen figures supplemented by some Reaper minis. They had a good showing; my wave warden was able to cast five spells, even though my heritor could not make his activation rolls for his special powers. The crewmembers did well also, defeating members of opposing crews and even some undead.
Unfortunately, my miniatures were not complete in time for game night, so I had to send them into the field with their bases unadorned. I also need to add a few details to the figures. Still, that didn't affect their performance on the tabletop, as my reptilian adventurers picked up one central treasure and three regular treasures.
They were able to get all their loot back on the boats and leave the island almost intact. They lost but one standard crewman to combat. Unfortunately, this blue-striped saurus failed his survival roll and will not be returning until I cycle through all the other generic crew (I painted up eight total, each with a different color stripe down its back).
So Ghost Archipelago is a fun game, and I'm looking forward to playing out this campaign. I'm also enjoying our nautical prelude we play out, which only takes a few minutes and provides some additional story to our skirmishes. Who else is playing GA? What do you think so far?