Saturday, 30 September 2017

MOAB 2017 - The Saturday

It's the October long-weekend here in New South Wales, and that means it's time for MOAB. Regular readers of this blog will know that for the past couple of years this has meant Victor and I running games of Munera Sine Missione on the Saturday, and playing HOTT on the Monday. But not this year. Firstly there's no HOTT on the Monday; the number of players has declined to the point that it wasn't worth running it. Instead I'm playing DBA, which will be something of an experience. And the gladiators have now been dropped in favour of Machinas. Victor and I brought this in a couple of years ago as a side-game, but it proved so popular that we made it the only game this year.

If you've been following the blog you will know the setup I'd decided on. Each player would run a pair of scavengers, with one of more groups competing (or maybe co-operating) to bring down a chase on the roads of post-apocalypse New South Wales (or modern-day Wilcannia). Victor produced a nice board, and some tumbleweed, whilst I provided the road itself, wrecks, buildings and the vehicles. Here's was the setup we used to lure in our first punters.

We ran three games during the course of the day, and all the players seemed to enjoy themselves, as did the interested spectators we attracted.

In the first game, Max himself had to push his V8 Interceptor to its limits in order to avoid the attentions of three players. A VW Beetle with a flame-thrower pressed him hard here; he responded by trying to run it off the road. Almost succeeded too.

One of the other scavengers did manage it though. Competition was fierce.

It wasn't a good day to be a motorcyclist.

The pack thinned out, through crashes and vehicles dropping out. Max held on ...

He almost came a cropper when his brakes locked and he skidded back towards the fearsome excavator, but some skillful driving on his part (which, in game terms, involved chucking every last bonus dice he had into the roll) saw him survive.

Max lived to drive another day, as the pursuers all finally gave up.

Another game. This time the Big Yellow Taxi was the chase, and proved a tricky foe with guns and rockets to the front and rear.

Once again the scavengers competed with each other for the rights to the kill; this blue rat-rod was the first casualty.

Attacks on the taxi saw some of the pursuers pull ahead, leaving the taxi having to try and pass or destroy them in order to keep the chase momentum going. Damage meant that it lost both of its guns, however.

The spiky car tried its best to thin out the pusuers and go for the kill, but its young driver hadn't mastered the art of expending bonus dice (despite frustrated parental guidance) and it never managed to set up a winning pass in order to bring the spikes to bear.

Finally the chase settled down to the taxi and the fearsome spines of Rock Lobster. The taxi held it off, and escaped, but it was a close-run thing.

The final game of the day saw the hobo-roadster Tom Sawyer pursued by two gangs featuring mostly bikes, plus the deadly digger/ute combination.

A biker learned that tailing a car with a  rear-mounted machine gun wasn't always sensible. He survived, but was wounded, and lost his bag of molotov cocktails.

The digger tried to pick off competing motorcyclists from the rear.

The pack thinned. Some motorcyclists broke off. Others fell to Tom Sawyer's gun. Eventually the roadster and the ute met in single-combat.

A win for the scavengers!

I was really pleased with how smoothly the game ran with the various modifications and house-rules we have for the game. We got to try a variety of vehicles and, whilst I think vehicles equipped for bashing have a slight edge, the balance of size and equipment is about right. At the end of the day, the games were a lot of fun, although running them all day was utterly exhausting.

Next: Sunday competitive DBA!

6x6 - Game 4.6

Friday, 29 September 2017

Rush Hour

I'd planned for the possibility of running a couple of small games of Machinas on Thursday in order to check things out for MOAB on Saturday. But the interest was such that I ended up having to work out a game capable of catering for six people. I decided to go for a kind of King of the Hill scenario; each player would have a couple of vehicles representing a gang, and all running along the same stretch of road. It would use the chase mechanisms, with the aim being to have the last vehicle running when all of the others had dropped out or been eliminated. As in a normal Machinas chase, vehicles would roll each turn to see if they dropped out, with the likelihood increasing as time progressed.

Six players. Two vehicles each. Twelve vehicles. My biggest game of Machinas yet!

It started off looking like a holiday weekend traffic jam.

But it soon settled into a lively chase.

The initial positioning tended to favour bigger vehicles at the back and smaller at the front. Gary scared those at the rear with a gigantic digger.

The first casualty - an anarchist biker had a run-in with the spiky car and ended up shredded. The wreck of his bike caused chaos along the rest of the pack.

Maya scored a kill with the digger/ute combination.

The front-runners ...

... and those at the rear.

And attempt on the lead. It succeeded, but the green hot-rod recaptured the position.

Another kill for the ute.

A few vehicles had now dropped out, as well as the three vehicles that had been destroyed; the pack was thinning out a little.

More dropouts.

The off-road Beetle makes a run for the lead ...

... and takes it.

Eventually there were only two vehicles left running - Satvik's Beetle and Gary's bike.

Gary slipped the bike into the lead, and the Beetle then dropped out, leaving Gary as King of the Road.

The scenario worked pretty well, given that my design parameters were pretty much based on the idea that if you chuck enough stuff on the table, entertainment was sure to ensue. Once we got going each turn didn't take too long to resolve, and none of the mechanisms are too complicated either. The games at MOAB will be ordinary chases, with far fewer vehicles.

6x6 - Game 4.5

Sunday, 24 September 2017

More For MOAB

I finished off a few more scenic bits and pieces for MOAB this afternoon.

Firstly, some shacks and tyre-piles for Machinas.

And also some huts suitable for a Mound Builder village, for the DBA event.

Everything was 3D printed from files I found on Thingiverse. The huts were resized as well.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

A Mound

Sorry there haven't been any posts recently. I kind of dropped the ball on the gaming front over the last week or so, what with one thing and another.

I have, however, put together a camp for my Mound Builders DBA army. I thought I'd better because I'm taking it to a competiton, and I'm sure they expect a higher standard than just a bit of carpet tile with a spare element on it.

It's a mound. With a hut on it. I kind of researched it using a Google Image search for 'mound builder mounds'.

It's made from card, and the steps are matchsticks. The hut is a 3D print. The flocking is terrible, but I can't be bothered to redo it.

Here it is with some elements. I have a spare general's element in the army, so whichever one I don't use will end up as the camp followers.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Mound Builders vs The World

We had a DBA session last night, with four of us playing each other for a total of three games apiece. It was a bit of a practice session for the forthcoming tournament at MOAB; there's no HOTT this year, sadly, so we have switched our allegiance to DBA 3.0 instead.

Although I can now field both Maya and Aztecs for DBA, by repurposing my HOTT armies, I wanted to use my one, dedicated DBA army, the Mound Builders - a majority of bows, supported by some blades and hordes and featuring a litter as the general. Here they are set up for the first game, against Caesar's Wars of the Roses English. The pyramid isn't really a Mound Builder thing, but looks too nice not to use.

Caesar's artillery broke up the hordes which, requiring extra PIPs to move, floundered around on the flank for a bit. But some archers sent into the temple complex on my left threatened the Europeans' gun.

Meanwhile the rest of the armies exchanged archers, and elements were lost on both sides.

After a tough fight, the Mound Builders overran the gun, to pick up a 4-3 win.

In a second game I faced Dave, who was using a Late Achmaenid Persian army; Greek mercenary spears supported by various mounted troops and some light infantry. Dave went for a classic headlong charge approach.

The stinkard hordes took on the Persian cavalry. They died in droves, of course, but took a long time doing it, which held that particular flank.

The Greek spears attacked in the centre, but couldn't kill the vulnerable bows so that they could threaten the tougher noble blades and command litter.

On the other flank the Persian's noble cavalry failed to ride down the Mound Builder archers.

The Persian attack slowly broke up ...

... and the Mound Builders picked up another 4-3 win.

We all had enough time for a third game. Caesar fought the Persians this time. After seeing how useful my pyramid built-up area was in our first game, he placed a windmill as part of his terrain.

The Persians gazed on it in awe, before wiping the English out.

Meanwhile I played against Peter, who was using Alexander's Macedonians.

His initial PIPs were terrible, and he ended up advancing the main block of his army without being able to bring up his light troops to support his right.

This allowed me to swing unengaged archers around that flank.

On the other flank the stinkards died horribly to the Macedonian cavalry, just as they had when fighting the Persians. But, once again, they didn't die quickly.

The Macedonian pikes were slowly surrounded and outflanked, although this one fought back to destroy its opponent.

Eventually one of the pike-blocks was destroyed by the nobles and a supporting element of archers, for another 4-3 win.

In each game the Mound Builders scraped a victory from the edge of defeat, with the archers being very mobile, but very vulnerable to enemy heavy foot. The litter is an interesting challenge, in that it can't attack enemy troops, but is hard to kill if they attack it. And the hordes are great fun, of course, being annoyingly hard to kill. Whilst I'm not sure how I'm going to cope in the heady world of competitive DBA, I think this army will be fun and attractive to use.
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