Friday 12 April 2024

Maschinen Krieger

Maschinen Krieger (Ma.K) is a science-fiction world created in the 1980s by artist Kow Yokoyama. It has a retro-future vibe, with the kit - initially battle-suits but then walkers, grav-tanks and aircraft - being based around components from plastic model kits. Ma.K has seen a range of kits and action figures, a comic and even a film or two.

There's a full history HERE.

Anyway, Slave 2 Gaming have the licence to produce miniatures for Ma.K in 15mm. And, to go with them, they are developing a set of rules. Last night Drew put on a game of Ma.K so that we could try out the latest iteration of the rules and have a look at some of the lovely figures.

Four of us played each running a force of infantry in battlesuits and a few support weapons and vehicles. Darren and I faced Ross and Drew.


I had a splendidly big tank that saw off one of Ross's units before it left the baseline. Combat is pretty simple and done with a single 2D6 roll. You determine a hit number, based on the attacker's quality, range, target size and cover, then look to roll over it. Excess pips over the roll add to teh damage you cause, and all damage in excess of the target's armour rating is recorded as hits. On a big thing like a tank that just whittles down hit-points. On squads you remove figures. It's similar to the Rampant idea of reduced model units.


Here's some of my units on the baseline. I had two squads of regular armoured suit guys, plus a support team, one squad of very heavily armoured suit guys, the big tank and a couple of floating drone things (like the probe in 'Empire Strikes Back), one armed with a rocket-launcher and the other a magnificent laser-pointer, which did no damage but made anything targetted a lot easier to hit.


Here's some action on the other flank where Darren and Drew were fighting it out in some ruins.


Here's my heavily armoured suit unit emerging from behind a wood to have a pop at some of Ross's troops. They also turned out to be heavily armoured, requiring us to get either very lucky or to close the range to get any effective hits.


Some of Darren's troops.


A floating drone. I'm not sure what this one was armed with.


One of the walkers.

The token next to the unit shows that it has activated; the rules use a Bolt Action activation system, with tokens being drawn from a bag to show who gets to activate a unit. Units can take two or three actions, depending on type, but no more than two actions of a type. So, for example, a unit cannot move three times, but it could move once, shoot and then move again.


You can engage in close combat. That's what I tried to do with my tank, in an attempt to overrun some of Ross's infantry. 


The reality; the tank is operated by an AI and was damaged. So it had to make a malfunction check before it moved and, typically, failed, so sputtered to a halt halfway to the target.


Some close quarter fighting in the ruins.


A walker skulks on the edge of some ruins.


You'll notice that I haven't posted much of a narrative. With four players and initiative switching from unit to unit it was hard to keep track of the overall flow of the battle, especially as it was a head to head encounter. We advanced, shot at the enemy and then tended to fall back as counter-strikes reduced the attacking units. Combat can be pretty brutal, and units retire if they hit half-strength. They can rally, and come back, but fight with less effect


It was an enjoyable game with a wonderful aesthetic; I like the big clunky Ma.K. battlesuits a lot. The rules were easy to follow, although we suggested a few tweaks. Certainly keen to give them another go, maybe in more of a mission-based scenario next time.



Sunday 7 April 2024

Extra Dinosaurs

I've done a little more painting over the past couple of days. First up are these Coelophysis from QRF that I bought last year and then promptly forgot about.



I'mm be using them as a pack of raptors in Palaeo Diet.


And to add to my Giant Herbivore collection - an Ankylosaurus.
 

This is another plastic toy that I measured up and found to be pretty much the correct scale for use with 15mm figures.


To be honest it's not the best looking Ankylosaurus in the world in terms of how the armour is portrayed, but I like its active, upright posture compared to the other, more squat, models I have.

If You Go Down To The Woods Today.

I have been putting together a few more figures for Palaeo Diet: Pulp this week. These are the two most recent - a warlock and a wood golem. The former is to be run as a Witch Doctor, whilst the latter is a Giant Biped with a Bulk of 5 (essentially the 'King Kong' from the alternative version of the 'To Kill A King' scenario).


And, indeed, I used them both to play an alternate version of 'To Kill A King'. In this game the adventurers are after a giant humanoid monster that has appeared in their territory.


It's almost certainly part of the machinations of an evil warlock that is plaguing the colony. He is hanging around in the vicinity of the monster.


The adventurers advancing towards the monster. One again they are led by Ahab (from the rear, though, thanks to his terrible activation rolls). Job and Isaac are there as well, with their muskets. However Joseph and Ezekiel stayed at home for this one; instead we had Old Moses with his axe and swordsman Aaron. As before,  each musketeer was teamed with a melee specialist to take the brunt of any charges.


The group provoked the warlock early on and he summoned a wolf to harry them.


The party blundered across the board with a series of terrible activations, but eventually Job got within range and took a shot. It had no effect.


Isaac had a go, and also missed.


Old Moses charged in, but didn't get a chance to hack at the creature before it attacked and wounded him.


The hunters backed off and the creature let out a series of roars and bellows.


The first hit was a scored by Job.


A second was scored by Isaac, who held his ground as the monster charged.


Old Moses finally got back into action and hacked a third hit onto the creature.


By now two of the adventurers were wounded and Aaron was cursed by the warlock (which meant he had to use stressed dice for all of his activations).


The creature attacked him as he bumbled around on the edge of some woods.


Another roar saw some of the adventurers fall back, and Isaac left the hunt altogether. This was the group's first loss.


Aaron attracted more attention from the warlock, who wounded him in a hand-to-hand fight, but who was wounded in return.


Ahab finally got properly involved. He'd been late into the fight because of poor activations and had then been driven back by the creature's roars. He drew the creature to within pistol range, and inflicted a wound. Only one more was needed to down it once and for all. 


The pistol shot caused the summoned wolf to react, and it moved towards and attacked the creature, scoring the final hit on it.


The monster was downed, in eight of the allotted twelve turns.


All of the hunters were wounded and Isaac was lost (I'm sure he will be back). So it was a fairly desperate fight.

It was fun trying a new mix of creature reactions. I'd only used Witch-Doctor once before, and it's quite fun, with summoning and curses creating issues for the group. The Great Biped profile gives some interesting attack reactions too, including the ranged attack, pelt and the potentially dangerous Flail attack.

There are more strange encounters waiting in the wings (once I've painted them).

Saturday 6 April 2024

Lion Rampant

At least four members of the Gong Gamers are going to Shirecon to take part in the Lion Rampant tournament there later this month, so we thought we'd get in a practice game on Thursday. We played a double-sized head-to-head fight, each running a 24 point warband with two warbands on each side. We had one set of boasts for each team though.

Here's Caesar and Keegan, with most of their troops on the table. I was teamed with Stuart, who was using another iteration of his archer-heavy warband.


I don't have any suitable warbands, but it was suggested that I could use one of my 28mm HOTT armies. So my warband was made up of small angry bearded men or, as HOTT would have it, Dwarves. It's a small force of high-value units - two units of Elite Foot (including the leader) and two units of Crossbowmen with Pavise.


The crossbowmen have a risky activation roll to shoot, but much to my surprise I didn't fail that many. Caesar led his side's advance on my flank with a unit of heavy foot, and even at long range I managed to inflict casualties on it.


More troops descended on my part of the board; I seemed to be a magnet for enemy troops in fact, since Caesar and Keegan seemed to be actively avoiding having to try and close with Stuart's missiles.

In fact the reality was that one of their boasts involved destroying one of my crossbow units, so they were literally piling in anything they could to try and overwhelm it.


Keegan charged them with some heavy cavalry, but I saw them off with only a couple of casualties.


This was Stuart's force, happy to sit in a corner and shoot. He mauled a number of Caesar's units with this strategy.


My other crossbow unit had advanced on the far left flank. and was alternating between a firefight with Keegan's archers (in which I was doing OK, thanks to the 4 Armour offered by the pavises), and peppering Caesar's heavy foot in an effort to break them. I pushed some of my axemen forward as well.


My melee troop shopped over the wall and attacked Caesar's heavy foot, pretty much eliminating them as a threat, but I also took casualties from one of his crossbow units. They kept fighting and attacking until they were wiped out.


My leader's unit was engaged by that of Keegan's leader. I came off worse in the initial melee, so decided to challenge Keegan's leader to a duel. I lost. 


With my leader gone my force suffered a bit of a collapse, and I was soon left with a single crossbow unit. This took no major part in the remainder of the fight.

Meanwhile Stuart had been content to sit and fight to the last Dwarf. But Keegan eventually got a couple of units through the woods to engage him. The warrior foot were seen of fairly quickly, leaving Keegan's leader attackign alone. He was soon whittled down to a couple of figures ...


... and then just his leader, who died rather quickly.

Caesar's last remaining unit fled the table, leaving Stuart and I in control of the field.


Caesar and Keegan picked up two Glory for their boast, but lost two for the two boasts they failed to achieve. Meanwhile Stuart and I achieved all three of our boasts; we killed an enemy leader, we had two enemy units battered at one time and we certainly killed more figures with missile fire than we did with melee. That left us on 12 Glory for a 12-0 win.

I quite liked my warband although if things go badly for it it's going to die fairly fast. We were impressed with how useful the pavises were, especially on a missile-heavy table I'm tempted to give my leader a disadvantageous trait, however, so I can have a point for the Strongbow trait, which allows him to order a unit to shoot for free each turn; a useful ability when you have crossbows.

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Genesis Park

It's the early 17th century. On the fringes of a new World, a group of pilgrims are on a hunt. Led by Ahab (sword and pistol) we have Job and Isaac, who each have muskets, whilst bringing up the rear are Joseph and Ezekiel, with polearms.


Their prey? The giant satanic monstrosity that's been devouring their herds, as well as distracting them from their favourite pursuits - interminable sermons and recreational witch-burning.


Everything's set for a game of Palaeo Diet: Pulp. I set up the To Kill A King scenario - the hunters have 12 turns to kill a King Carnivore in the opposite corner to their entry point. with at least one of them surviving. It's designed for four hunters, but since only two of my 'pulp' hunters had proper guns I added an extra man. For this game I ran the muskets as rifles, straight out of the rules. This was just for simplicity's sake. A better way to run them would be as shotguns, with the added limit that they have to spend an action to reload.

Anyway, with the monster in sight (thanks to the randomised terrain being around the edges) The hunters moved forward swiftly, with the two musketeers to the fore.


An opening shot surprised the giant carnivore, but bounced off his scaly hide.


A proper leader, Ahab moved up to show his musketeers how it was done. But his pistol shot went wide.


In fact it caused the monster to flee, which wasn't really what the hunters wanted; if it left the hunting ground they'd have to abandon their mission.


Joseph boldly ran forward, attracting the monster's attention, and bringing it back towards the hunters. Joseph backed off as the creature roared.


Ezekiel moved up to and the creature charged, but he escaped injury.


The creature charged Job, who responded with a well-aimed shot that scored a wound. In the background you can see some interested scavengers. Ezekiel spent a turn driving them off.


The monster roared again, and the pilgrims fell back to reconsider their options.


Their plan was a bold on. Each halberdier would move in front of one of the musketeers, so that if the creature charged it would be them that bore the brunt of the attack and preventing teh musketeers from being injured until they could bring the monster down. Ezekiel faced a charge and was wounded, but his sacrifice allowed Job to wound the monster with a couple of shots.


The scavengers were sniffing around again. Joseph moved forward and attacked the monster with his halberd, but failed to wound it.


Isaac was the hero of the group. With three actions he took three shots at the beast. The first wounded it, causing it to charge, injuring Joseph.


The second shot missed, but the third felled the behemoth.


The scavengers closed in again, but the hunters quickly drove them off.


Ahab posed for a woodcut with his two brave musketeers. Although it was Joseph and Ezekiel, the halberdiers, who had actually been wounded.


Rifles are very effective, and you'd have to be careful how you balanced scenarios using them. For these figures a reduction in their effectiveness will make for an interesting game though.

I may try a more conventional hunt for the next game. But I'd been itching to get the dinosaurs on the table. In fact Steggy was in play as well, in a corner to the left of the action, but he did nothing but watch the action and failed to make any of the pictures.

Update: I tried it again with the muskets being treated as shotguns that have to be reloaded. It was a bloodbath. The carnivore and raptors killed and ate all of the hunters, although to be fair they came within one wound (and a single shot) of killing the carnivore still, so it was close.
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