Monday, 31 July 2017

Battle Cry - Antietam

Last month I played  couple of games of Battle Cry, took photos and then forgot to blog it. Unforgivable.

Anyway, here they are. To be honest I've forgotten the details of exactly what happened, so you can just enjoy the terrible pictures without too much text.

I used 6mm figure, two bases to a unit and small stones marking casualties.

Here's the initial setup, with the sparse Confederate defence line at the bottom of the picture.

Attack across Burnside's Bridge.

A doomed attack on the sunken road.

Foothold over the bridge.

The attack on the road is driven back.

A.P.Hill's division comes to the rescue.

Union troops filter through the northern woods.

Confederates defend the cornfield.

The Union driven back at the bridge. I think they lost quite badly.

A second game. In this oe the sunken road was quickly cleared.

Burnside's bridge was still a tough nut to crack. I think the Union won this one in the end.

Sorry about the terrible lighting on the photos; we get glorious bright sunshine even in the winter here.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Where Would You Rather Die? Here? Or In A Jaeger?

Having now printed and painted the five key jaegers from Pacific Rim, I thought I'd post my Mighty Monsters stats for them, for comment, criticism, or simple adoration. Each one is built to roughly the same cost - roughly 320-330pts. Obviously this means that I have had to simplify a few things and make compromises. But each one has been designed with what I hope is its own distinctive style.

General Notes

The jaegers are mostly designed using Samurai Robots Battle Royale, but I have included a couple of bits and pieces which are exclusive to Mighty Monsters as well. I used the Pacific Rim Wiki as my main source of information. This draws on the film, as well as the novelisation, graphic novels and some production notes. I'm not sure how canonical some of the information is, but it all helped to flesh out the designs. 

Strictly jaegers are designed to operate with two (or in one case, three) pilots, with a neural link, and a cheap design would reflect this by simply classing the crew as one pilot. However the film does feature single crew-members piloting the jaegers in an emergency, so I went with the multiple pilots option. The neural net option does add an element of uncertainty.

All of the jaegers have the amphibious trait because they are unaffected when wading out to sea or when operating on the sea-bed.

 Gipsy Danger (330 points)

Head - Q3 C2 - Two Heroic Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4 - Spikes (One Use)
Arms - Q3 C3 - Blade, Elbow Thruster x1, Plasma Gun C4S
Legs - Q3 C3 - Amphibious

I made Gipsy Danger a simple all-rounder, as befits the star of the film. It's not brilliant at anything, but with the Heroic pilots should be capable of taking on a range of opponents. The ‘Spikes’ are vented coolant. 'Single use' isn't an option for this ability, but I simply halved the cost. Its use should be declared when a grapple attack is made. 

Crimson Typhoon (330 points)

Head - Q3 C2 - Three Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4
Arms - Q2 C4 - Twin Blades, Plasma Cannon C4S
Legs - Q3 C3 - Amphibious, Free Disengage

Crimson Typhoon is my favourite design. I tried very hard to fit it with two sets of arms, but 330pts wasn't enough to do them justice. Instead I gave the one set it has a good Quality and high Combat factor; it should generally be able to get three Arm actions each turn and make them count. The Free Disengage represents its agility in close combat. And close combat is really this jaeger's forte.

Striker Eureka (325pts)

Head - Q3 C2 - Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4 - Missiles C4L
Arms - Q2 C3 - Blades, Elbow Thruster, Martial Arts
Legs - Q3 C3 - Amphibious

The Australian jaeger is described as a 'brawler', so I gave it the Martial Arts ability that is normally reserved for Tokusatsu Heroes in Mighty Monsters. Otherwise its special feature is the rack of missiles in its chest. Like Gipsy Danger, this jaeger is an all-rounder.

Cherno Alpha (330pts)

Head - Q3 C3 - Heavy Armour, Armoured Cockpit, Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C4 - Light  Armour, Massive
Arms - Q3 C4 - Light Armour, Elbow Thrusters x3
Legs - Q3 C3 - Short Move, Amphibious

Cherno Alpha is pretty much lifted from one of the sample mechs in 'Samurai Robots Battle Royale', with a few adjustments and additions. According to the background fluff for the film, this jaeger does have some kind of short-ranged attack - incinerators mounted on the cooling tower 'helmet'. I didn't have the points for them, so have skipped them. This makes Cherno Alpha the only jaeger design equipped solely for close combat.

Coyote Tango (327pts)

Head - Q3 C2 - Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body - Q3 C3 - Twin-Linked Mortars, C4L with Unlimited Missiles
Arms - Q3 C3 - One-Shot Shooter C3S (Plasma Cannon)
Legs - Q2 C3 - Amphibious

Where Cherno Alpha is equipped entirely for close combat, Coyote Tango is built for ranged combat. It is described as having less armour than other jaegers, sacrificing defence for speed. Rather than increase its move to Long, I increased the quality of its legs, so that it gets more opportunities to make multiple moves and stay at a distance from its opponents whilst attacking them with the massive firepower offered by its big guns. As an early model jaeger, the plasma cannon in the arm was experimental, so I have assumed it has a long recharge time (or is simply unreliable) and given it a single shot.

I have tried three of these designs in combat. Gipsy Danger performs well, as befits an all-rounder. Cherno Alpha suffered badly against a kaiju with a ranged combat capability; it was too slow to close quickly, and the kaiju was using an attack that ignored the armour. Crimson Typhoon works very well, but needs a understanding of how to best make use of multiple actions within one activation. I have yet to try Coyote Tango or Striker Eureka; they will feature in my next game, I hope. 

Friday, 28 July 2017

More Medieval DBA

We played some more DBA last night. Caesar brought his late-medieval figures, Peter brought his mixed-bad medievals and I brought along any HOTT army I could find that had knights and similar in it. Between us we cobbled together two opposing double-sized armies; Caesar and Peter fielded a Free Company army, whist I used Italian Condotta.

The Free Company (across the table in this picture) attacked, as is its wont.

After failing to turn the Free Company flank with my mounted crossbows, I swung out my artillery to harass their archers.

They had a lot of archers and crossbowmen. Peter advanced his and took my right flank under fire.

My only option was to charge into contact. That ended just as you'd expect, in the death of a pile of knights.

I charged my left flank knights as well, with a little more success. Caesar' knights outnumbered me, but were stuck in a double rank.

Unfortunately French blades attacked my artillery and cut down the gunners.

In the centre men-at-arms clashed with my militia pikemen. It all went horribly wrong after that. I lots heaps of elements as my piecemeal attacks and hesitant advances left my flanks exposed, and I lost badly. Very badly.

Caesar and I then used the same armies, but in a standard 12-element game. I ended up with a hamlet in the centre of my deployment area.

I have no idea why I decided to advance my artillery though it, but I did.

Again my knights charged into the centre of the enemy line. I never learn. However they managed to drive the enemy back, despite their dangerously exposed flanks.

My right was was I had the most success. My archers and crossbowmen destroyed one element of knights, then another after they tried to charge into contact. A third fell a couple of bounds later.

The Free Company blades rushed into the hamlet to try and destroy the Italian artillery, but were met by some peasant hordes.

In the centre the opposing knights charged and counter-charged.

But victory was won in the hamlet, when the peasants mobbed and destroyed the French ribauds with the support of some flanking archers.

I find I much prefer the basic DBA game over the bigger battles, although I don't object to the latter. I find the managing of a limited number of troop types in a game where one or two combats can be decisive much more pleasurable than the longer-term management the larger games require.

And I'm becoming - or have become - a big fan of hordes in DBA.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Cherno Alpha and Striker Eureka

I've printed two more Pacific Rim jaegers and here they are. Firstly the big old Russian jaeger, Cherno Alpha.

Representing Australia is Striker Eureka.

I tried this model at a lower print resolution. This meant that it printed faster, and more reliably, but at a cost in terms of detail and finish. I might redo it at a higher resolution sometime, but really I'm still exploring the best settings for different types of models; there's quite a knack to it.

Here's the collection so far. There's one more in the set to print and paint: Coyote Tango.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Defending The Pacific Rim

Today Your City Will Be Attacked By Two Kaiju - Mogul And Clawhook

Your Defenders Will Be Cherno Alpha And Crimson Typhoon.

Have A Nice Day.

I set up another game of Mighty Monsters this evening, with the terrain consisting of an area of coastline with a city on it. The kaiju would approach from the water, looking to cause mayhem, whilst two jaegers would defend the city. I'll post the stats for everything below.

Clawhook advanced quickly, and Crimson Typhoon moved to intercept.

(According to the Pacific Rim Wiki, 'Clawhook' is canon, since it's mentioned in the novelisation. It's not described, so I used this model; a dollar-shop special.)

The weird worm/mantis hybrid codenamed 'Mogul' moved towards the island in the harbour. Cherno Alpha pondered which way to go.

Battle is joined! Crimson Typhoon charged Clawhook, wielding a ship as a club. Clawhook retaliated with its claws. Obviously.

Meanwhile Mogul and Cherno Alpha approached each other slowly. Both are slow movers, and both also tended to be left out each turn because of activation failures in the fight between Crimson Typhoon and Clawhook.

Clawhook was driven back.

Mogul demolished a building.

Clawhook went back into the attack, grappling Crimson Typhoon ...

... and downing the jaeger.

Mogul fired its acid spit at Cherno Alpha, temporarily blinding its sensors.

Crimson Typhoon soon found its feet and attacked back. This was a long slog involving grappling and claws.

Cherno Alpha finally managed to get its act together and charged into the attack. And managed to achieve nothing.

Crimson Typhoon and Clawhook slashed away at each other.

Pushed back by Cherno Alpha's charge, Mogul spat again ...

... and scored a telling blow, disabling the jaeger's legs, and stunning both of the pilots. Before Cherno Alpha could recover, Mogul spat again, and another telling shot completely disabled the mech. The crew survived.

Mogul moved on the city, unopposed.

Crimson Typhoon now had a difficult task on its three hands, with two kaiju to take down. Clawhook attacked again, but the wounds it had taken were beginning to tell.

An unlucky series of rolls saw the kaiju knocked out.

Crimson Typhoon moved quickly to block Mogul's progress.

Mogul grappled the damaged jaeger ...

... then brought it down, before delivering a savage bite to its control module, killing two of the three pilots, and destroying the jaeger.

The city is DOOMED.

Here are the designs I used - all are roughly around 320-330 points.

Crimson Typhoon (325 points)

Head     Q3 C2    Three Neural-Net Pilots
Body      Q3 C4
Arms     Q2 C4    Twin Blades, Plasma Cannon C4S
Legs       Q3 C3    Amphibious, Free Disengage

Cherno Alpha (330pts)

Head     Q3 C3    Heavy Armour, Armoured Cockpit, Two Neural-Net Pilots
Body      Q3 C4    Light  Armour, Massive
Arms     Q3 C4    Light Armour, Elbow Thrusters x3
Legs       Q3 C3    Short Move, Amphibious

Mogul (325pts)

Head     Q4 C3    Fangs, Acid Spit C5S
Body      Q3 C4    Spikes, Very Tough
Arms     Q3 C3    Heavy Armour, Claws
Legs       Q3 C2    Amphibious, Short Move

Clawhook (330pts)

Head     Q3 C4    Fangs
Body      Q3 C4    Charge, Tough
Arms     Q3 C3    Claws
Legs       Q3 C3    Amphibious
Tail       Q4 C3    

Both kaiju seemed OK as designs, with enough options to make them dangerous. Mogul's acid-spit was very effective, but has that risky one in six chance of being lost each time it's used.

The jaegers I am less sure about. Cherno Alpha didn't really get into the fight, so I'm not sure that it got the test it deserved, but Crimson Typhoon didn't really live up to expectations. In the film it's fast and agile with lots of blade attacks, but I didn't get the right vibe with this version. True I'm limiting myself in terms of points, but I think a redesign is in order; maybe an extra set of arms would make it more effective, at the cost of one of the other traits. This would allow it to either make multiple blade attacks each turn, or grapple and slash. However the other possibility is, I'll admit, that I just used it badly. That Q2 C4 on the arms does allow for a good powerful attack each turn, but it also ensures two or three actions with decent odds, so maybe more combination moves are in order.

You can find Mogul HERE

You can find the jaegers HERE
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