Friday 24 May 2024

Palaeo Diet Down-Under

I too Paleo Diet to the club last night as an alternative to the Shiny New Tank Game that was the primary game for the week. Expecting a modest three players (including me) I ended up with five. However since two were only barely familiar with the game and two had never played before I still went with a simple hunt, and we simply had one hunter apiece. Tough if someone got killed early, but we hoped that wouldn't happen.

I used my Australian Outback setup. We had five hunters, two with clubs, two with spears and one with fire. Two of the hunters had dogs. We were after 5 Bulk worth of kills; on the table were three Diprotodons (giant grazer) and three Bullockornis (herd grazer) as well as a lurking Megalania (apex predator).

We entered from various points around the table. Bailey, as the fire-user, was designated as the hunt leader and got to determine the order in which the hunters activated.


Three of the hunters, including the two with dogs, were to the north and closest to the Bullockornis flock. They closed in on the birds, although their movements did cause a few nervous flees.


Bailey and I were to the south. Bailey immediately advanced on the Megalania waving his burning brand.


It quickly fled the table. So at very little effort we'd removed a major obstacle to our successful hunt.


Caesar came close to a Bullockornis which, much to his surprise, turned and attacked him, wounding him.


New player Philip managed to wound a Diprotodon with his spear. It roared and everyone backed off to consider their next move. Indeed it did a lot of roaring in this game, keeping the hunters in a constant state of movement.


My hunter was moving towards the action but attracted teh ire of two particularly aggressive Diprotodon. Fortunately he escaped injury.


Further into the game and teh hunters to the north had wounded two Bullockornis  and one of the Diprotodon. It was now simply a matter of finishing them off.


The Bullockornis fell fairly quickly - Philip got one and the other strayed over to my hunter who put a spear in it. So we had four of our five points already. We either needed to kill teh final Bullockornis or finish off the Diprotodon.


I looked at chasing after the last bird, whilst everyone else went after teh already wounded Diprotodon. It proved singularly hard to kill, though, and even wounded Minh's hunter.


The final Bullockornis ran off the table thanks to Bailey's irresponsible fire-starting. This was supposed to drive the animals towards the hunters, but in fact simply diverted them from the hunt and out of play.


After a lot of effort Philip finally managed to adminster the coup de grace to the Diprotodon. We'd got seven bulk to take back to the tribe; plenty for everyone and we only had two hunters injured.


The final positions. Philip had scored two of the kills, whilst I had one. Minh and Caesar helped with wounding beasts early on. The dogs did very little except annoy the prey.

So a good hunt all round, although it was more frustrating than it looked. Everyone seemed to enjoy how the seemingly easy task gradually became more chaotic as action failures caused reaction amongst the beasts. By the end we were beginning to doubt if we'd ever get the Diprotodon before a hunter was seriously injured or killed (which in this scenario would have counted as a failed hunt). They new players picked up the game fairly quickly as well.

Update: A couple of bonus photos courtesy of Ralph



Thursday 23 May 2024

HOTT In Coventry

When I was in the UK I was privileged to have an evening of HOTT arranged in my honour in Coventry, courtesy of the Scimitar Wargames Club (and specifically Pete Duckworth).

I went with my dad, and we were first invited to Pete's place for food and a few afternoon games.

We started off with a quick run-through of Faustus Furious, which I'd never actually played with another person.


Pete threw together a figure of eight run using random terrain, and we each selected a chariot. My dad got a standard one, Pete had an agile chariot (the best type in my opinion) and I had a scythed chariot (which is great for attacking with).

Pete took an early lead, and I followed as best I could.


Here we are on the first loop of the 8. Pete is out in front, I am in second place and my dad was bringing up the rear.


In the end Pete's agile chariot won the day. I had one chance to stop him but it came down to which chariot moved first; he did and escaped my attempt to attack him and maybe slow him down for a turn or two.

We then played a game of Junta: Viva le Presidente, which is a massively cut-down fast-play version of Junta. Whilst it lacks the charm of the original, it does play quickly and includes many recognisable elements of the original game. I was nicely set up to win when my dad played a sneaky event card that gave him the spoils of a coup instead of me, and gave him the victory instead.


And so on the the main event - HOTT. Around eight of us turned up for an evening of HOTT.


I was thrilled to finally meet Martin Smith, who I have chatted with online on and off for the past few years. And we even played a game.


His Aliens took on my Horrors of the Dreamtime. The Aliens had lots of shooters, some artillery and also a magician, so I didn't fancy my chances here. I did manage to destroy their flyers with my own though.


The Wugaru fled from the alien artillery.


I wasn't quite sure where to launch my attack - all of teh options looked unappealing. However the Aliens advanced on my right, so I reorganised things to meet the assault.


I also chuck my magician general at the enemy artillery, which was positioned on a hill. Lack of PIPs meant that it became increasingly more difficult to maintain this attack.


I actually won the fight on my right, destroying a few Alien elements. Taking out the artillery as well would put me within reach of a win. But try as I might I couldn't do it.


I reformed my army, but so did Martin, and I was losing elements fast. I tried one last desperate move - an attempt to ensorcell his magician with my own.

It went exactly as you'd expect and that was the game lost for me.


Still, it was an utter pleasure to play Martin at last.

My second game was against Kev, who had an army of Saints. There was a list explaining who each one was, but I can't remember the details now.


They were a distinctly non-shooting army which suited me. I was able to get stuck in rapidly. 


I even managed to destroy some riders with my beasts.


Unfortunately I dropped the ball when it came to keeping track of the enemy sneaker. which rapidly reached my stronghold. However it failed to capture it and fled, buying me some more time.


The Horrors did sterling work destroying various saints.


But it wasn't enough. The sneaker came back and a second attack on my stronghold took it.

After two games I'd had enough. I was not feeling 100% that evening thanks to a lurgy we'd all picked up on the flight over to the UK, and still had a decent drive home in the dark on what were now unfamiliar UK roads. I want to thank Martin and Kev for two great games which I feel were both pretty close. And special thanks to Pete Duckworth for organising the evening and hosting us beforehand. I can only apologise that I wasn't in a sufficient state of health to fully appreciate it.

Tuesday 21 May 2024

Desperado!

I've just returned from a few weeks over in the UK. This has been my first trip back there in sixteen years, so was very much taken up in spending time with family and friends, most of whom I'd not seen at all in that time. However I was lucky enough to fit in a couple of sessions of wargaming, even if I wasn't able to make it to a meeting of my old club in Staines.

This post covers my first outing; an evening at the October Wargames Club in Birmingham, courtesy of my brother Phil. 

Looks like a typical wargames club.


There were games of Warhammer, plus at least a couple of Bolt Action.


However I had been promised an evening with Phil's 'Nerd Mates' playing the Wild West game, 'Desperado'. As someone who was spending the first week of the holiday living on adrenaline, caffeine and paracetamol (thanks to a combination of a cold picked up on the flight over and some rather emotional reunions), a simple game was just the ticket. And Desperado is pretty simple. To be fair, Finney (red shirt) did the running of the game and we just said what we wanted to do. Perfect.


We started with a simple free-for-all gunfight, to get everyone into the swing of thing. Here's my character, who I named Romeo McFlourish*


Romeo moves out into the street, as the shooting stars elsewhere.


Some action around the water-tower.

(OK, I didn't take any notes and this game was played two weeks ago and 10,000 miles from where I am now. I don't recall a lot of what happened)


Romeo takes cover behind some crates and manages to score a hit on another gunfighter to the left of the picture.


Someone died. He had a red shirt so in a way it was inevitable.


Romeo's target didn't like being shot, and came at him with a knife. I mean who brings a knife to a gunfight? Someone who knows how to use it apparently; he stuck it right through Romeo's chest, killing him instantly.

Damn!


No idea what is going on here; it looks like one of the fighters it head-butting a door.


Anyway, with everyone in the right mood we switched to a simple scenario. Outside the church was a potential bride, and a pastor. Both armed, because this is a rough town.


Everyone had a vested interest in either seeing the bride married, kidnapped or remaining single. There was room for alliances and conflict and to be honest I can't remember who was trying to do what.

I had a cattle-baron who was quite keen not to see the bride married to her potential bridegroom (who was elsewhere on the table), but rather married to him. So I had to marry here then and there, or get her off the table to my ranch.

I used the same figure as before, this time names Burt Handsome.


Burt lasted about as long as it took for him to poke his head around a corner. But we were allowed new characters with the same goal, so Burt's eldest son Brad Handsome set out to get married.


Here he is taking a pop at the guy who shot his Pa.


The actual bridegroom made it to the church. The marriage party quickly rushed inside.


There was a quick ceremony and the bride became a wife. I noticed a side door to the church, opened it and turned the wife into a widow. My plan was then to rush inside, grab the widow and escape out of the side-door before the others caught on to what was happening.

Unfortunately the pastor was not impressed with my approach to dating, and blew my head off with a shotgun.


In order to end the evening we didn't assign new characters to people at that point, and the game ended in a few more deaths and injuries, before we decided that we'd all had a jolly good time.


After that we engaged in a grand English tradition and went out for a curry. This featured a naan the size of a duvet.


Thank you to Phil, his nerd mates and the other members of the club for making this foreign visitor (of a sort) welcome at their meeting.

*A Google of the names of the characters in these games will show what a large portion of my TV viewing was whilst on holiday. I'd like to blame it on our having a 2 1/2 year old in our group, but to be honest I enjoyed every moment of it myself. 

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