Posts Tagged ‘Ambush Alley’

Yea! I am out of the sling and on the way to full motion with the left arm. I can type normally now and will be getting back to all the stuff that has been piling up over the last three weeks.

From an Ambush Alley Games perspective, I’m working on several scenarios for the upcoming Force on Force Special Ops book. I’m also writing an article/After Action Report based on of the scenarios from Cold War Gone Hot for Miniature Wargaming magazine.

From a personal perspective, I’ve dusted off my Viking rules to start polishing again after the last playtesting. I’m also helping Skip Peterson put pen to paper on his Legends in the Skies WW2 dogfight game. Painting is still a few weeks off since any rotation of the left forearm is still very painful.

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I’m very pleased to share the early reviews of Cold War Gone Hot, for which I was the lead author:

http://meeples.wordpress.com/reviews/rules-reviews/cold-war-gone-hot-world-war-iii-1986/

http://www.amazon.com/Cold-War-Gone-Hot-World/dp/1849085366

http://www.wittwer.nl/?p=953&lang=nl

https://privatelittlewars.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/ambush-alley-games-present-cold-war-gone-hot-a-review/

http://boardgamegeek.com/collection/items/boardgame/113825?comment=1

Overall, I am quite pleased by the early feedback. Most of the criticism is for a few typos and the desire for more content (always a challenge in this industry), but everyone seems to like the three-part format and the “Hollywood-style” scenarios. I am very honored to have worked with such a great team — Shawn, Rich, Jim and Piers, as well as the many other contributors. Dixie did a great job with the maps and my thanks to Osprey Publishing as well. I only hope the next book I’m working on turns out as well.

 

We’ll be following up our successful game from two weeks ago with a series of smaller Tomorrow’s War games at Games Plus this Sunday, starting around 1 PM. Why the smaller games? We’re play testing a draft of a points system that Shawn Carpenter and I have been working on to answer the many requests we’ve received. I’ll be mostly floating from game to game and observing, taking notes, asking questions, etc.

Hope to see you there…

Given my crazy weekend (tons of errands, snow shoveling, massive cleaning in the house and band rehearsal), I didn’t get a chance to organize before heading over to Games Plus on Sunday afternoon to run a Tomorrow’s War demo. Looking through the figures I brought and that Zach had on hand, we decided on an assault by a Neo-Soviet force against a US Army defensive position comprised of a small settlement surrounding an industrial area.

The Neo-Soviet attackers were a large force consisting of a company of 9 Pegasus III tanks, moderately armored and gunned; a platoon of mechanized infantry in hover APCs; another platoon of VDV troops in tracked APCs and wearing TL2 Power Armor; and a tracked tank hunter attached to the VDV forces. All troops were TQ:D8/Morale:D8, except for the VDV, who were TQ:D10/Morale:D10. The Neo-Soviets set up second and had initiative for the first turn.

The US defenders comprised 3 Patton Heavy Tanks (also known as the Khurasan Siler tanks), 3 Ramirez IFVs, two squads of infantry and a weapons squad with 2 AT teams. All troops were TQ:D8/Morale:D10. We also gave the US tech level 3 and plasma weapons (negate one die of armor) to give them a better chance at holding off the Neo-Soviets. The US players had to set up first.

The village provided 1 extra die of cover in each building, 2 extra dice in the industrial buildings. The scenario objective was simple. Add up the number of buildings controlled by each side when time expires and the highest total = the winner.

The settlement...the US players set up to the left of the road, the Neo-Soviets came in from the right.

I should have known things would not go as I thought from the first turn. The Neo’s pushed one flank hard right from the start, using one platoon of hover tanks to fire smoke (pretty ineffectually, I might add) and then pushed forward a second platoon who drew reaction fire from two of the Pattons. That’s when things went…weird.

The Neo-Soviet advance at the end of Turn One

The first thing that happened was a Patton fired a round into a Pegasus for a quick kill. During the subsequent turn, another Patton rolled into view, and lost the draw with the surviving two Pegasi. One missed, but the second one rolled two hits with 2D8s. The frontal armor for the Patton is normally 5D12, but it was up to 6D12 because of the lower tech level of the Pegasus. Guess what? A hit, and one that proved critical: main gun knocked out. My son Steve (commanding the Pegasus in question) let out a whoop of glee! A second Patton rolled out to engage the platoon firing smoke. Moments later, the unthinkable happened again. The Patton lost the draw, but this time the return fire from a Pegasus knocked out the vehicle entirely. Harlow (commanding this Pegasus) had trumped my son’s achievement!

One burning, one main gun knocked out...one weird day!

Paying the price for the Pattons

After this, the US players hunkered down and kept in cover. The wounded Patton decided to fire at APCs and infantry targets, while the sole remaining intact Patton stayed in cover for the most part, waiting for the Neo-Soviets to close. The Neo-Soviets did just that, but at incredible cost. The AT teams, along with the Ramirez APCs, played hell with the Neo-Soviet APCs, brewing up many and causing casualties among the dismounting infantry. On the Neo-Soviet extreme right flank, the VDV dismounted and advanced rapidly to take the first row of buildings, taking fire and light casualties, but putting it to the US defenders.

APCs burning bright from expert US gunnery

The VDV advance next to the burning hulks of many of the Neo-Soviet APCs

It was at this point that time ran out with the issue very much in balance. From a “buildings occupied” perspective, the US players were in the lead, but the VDV were chewing up the US infantry and not taking much in return.

A Ramirez IFV waits for the final push

All in all, it was a fun game with plenty of momentum shifts and thrilling moments. It just goes to show you that what looks like a balanced scenario can go to hell in one turn. But unlike other games, Tomorrow’s War doesn’t necessarily stay that way, as the US forces did a very effective job of turning the situation around and making it a very close game, despite the early losses.

Late breaking announcement: I’ll be running a game of Tomorrow’s War at Games Plus in Mt. Prospect, IL this Sunday afternoon. I plan on being there at 12 PM with game time somewhere around 1 PM. I haven’t decided what exactly it is that I’m running yet, but most likely it will be the Bugs in the Reactor scenario from the main rulebook. Rett will also be running a game, so we should be able to accommodate plenty of players. Hope to see you there!

First official post of 2012 (the WordPress generated summary of 2011 doesn’t count) is about my painting backlog of projects. I’ve decided that my one New Year’s resolution for 2012 that is hobby related will be to reduce the number of unpainted figures that I own. This will be a tough job as I don’t intend to stop buying new stuff, but it does mean that I will need to start selling off or otherwise getting rid of my considerable collection of unpainted figures that languish in my workshop.

I didn’t do too badly on my last five projects list for 2011. I got about 1/2 the Vietnam 15mm figures that I had primered done. I finished off the Space Worms. I got a good chunk of Picoarmor stuff done. I totally blew it on the Martian Racing skiffs, however. Not a one of them even prepped for priming. Sigh.

After discussions with my son Will, we’ve decided to pare down the 28mm zombie stuff that we own. Why? Well, it takes up way too much space in our workshop/crawlspace storage. The buildings we have are mostly ‘O’ scale railroad buildings and they are huge in terms of footprint. We’ll keep the basics for smaller layouts, but the big city layout has to go. Also on the chopping block is my vast collection of unpainted Clan Wars figures. I bought heavily when it first came out, but I have yet to play a single game, and the number of painted figures still numbers less than 100. I am far more interested in 28mm historical Samurai anyway, so this stuff will be up for sale soon. Finally, I will be getting rid of the Wild West miniatures I started collecting, including the Old Glory buildings that I purchased.

In terms of painting priorities, I intend to focus on the following five areas for the 1st quarter:

1) 15mm Vietnam: I want to finish off the rest of the primered miniatures, get a few more buildings done, and add some helicopters and other vehicles.

2) 15mm Tomorrow’s War: As AAG will continue to support this game, it would be remiss of me not to support something in which I’m involved. Next up are some CMG heavy grav tanks, some GZG OUDF that my son Will painted (I need to finish the basing), and some GZG New Israeli troops. I also want to throw an alien race or two into the mix, including expanding my Felid forces from Khurasan.

3) 15mm World War 2: I want to continue building my Battlefront: WW2 units, especially for the Eastern front. I also intend to start painting and basing individual figures in 15mm for Force on Force games.

4) 3mm Picoarmor: I am continuing to write my homegrown mass combat rules and intend to use them with Picoarmor stuff for playtesting. I am focusing on two areas. First, Cold War stuff for 1980s. Second, WW2 Western Desert.

5) 28mm Miscellaneous: I am currently working on more 28mm Vikings, Saxons and Normans for Dark Age skirmish games (including my own home grown rules). I also promised Will that I would paint up some Warmachine stuff to fight his growing Khador/Menoth armies. I have pretty sizable Cygnar and Menoth forces myself, but I have started to collect and paint an Orboros army with an autumn theme to it.

If I stick to my guns, I should be able to increase the size of my painted collection, decrease the total number of miniatures I own, and clear up some space in the basement workshop. If. We’ll see how I do in 2012 🙂

Another November and another Legends in the Fall convention come and gone. This year’s convention marked the first time I was a vendor instead of a game master, although I ran two Force on Force games at the booth and my sons put on two Tomorrow’s War games as part of the scheduled events.

First up, a few shots from the Tomorrow’s War/Starship Troopers game run by Steve and Will:

TW/SST on left; FOF game on right

Bugs approach the Trooper line

Troopers prepare to receive the charge

More Bugs pour out of a hole..."this place is crawlin', sir!"

The game was the usual mix of highs and lows as the intrepid Mobile Infantry reacted to Bug parries and thrusts. This game has now been run at every Legends convention since 2005.

Tom Konzcal, one of the Ambush Alley Games pointmen, ran an urban Afghanistan scenario using Force on Force:

Tom K in action, making sure the players kept their heads down

Tom's 20mm FoF game...you can just see an MRAP entering from the left of the board

Tom had a full table of players and lots of dice being thrown. My understanding is that heavy fighting started early, kept going and didn’t let up until the last turn of the game.

I, too, ran a FoF game at the booth, set in the green zone of Afghanistan. I used a much smaller layout than the one I had at Historicon:

My FOF Afghanistan layout at the AAG booth

The Taliban wait for the USMC in ambush

In both games that I ran, I had a USMC Recon element trying to go from one end of the board to the other against Tier One Taliban. Both games saw the USMC have difficulties initially, but eventually prevail.

There were a ton of beautiful, beautiful games, including a Weird War II game by Mark Feldman…a Star Wars game on Naboo complete with giant force field over the Gungan forces…several great World War II games…Orc’s drift…all leading up to Saturday night’s first inaugural “Legends in the Skies” tournament. This year’s honors went to the English (despite my efforts to exhort the Germans to victory). Here are a few shots of the game:

The German and British flyers face over Britain.

A closer look at the Saturday night tournament action

While this year’s Legends attendance was down from last year’s, the one thing is continues is the quality of the games being run. Thanks to Skip Peterson and everyone who helped to make not only this year’s convention, but all the Legends events, a success.