Saturday, 27 June 2020

HOTT 52 - Week 26 - Weird WWII Soviets vs Skull Island

It's Week 26 of my HOTT 52 project, and I'm now halfway through it. I'm as amazed as anyone that I've actually stuck it out this far. But there you go. I have.

Anyway, this week's game sees Comrade Stalin leading an expedition to colonise Skull Island, and turn it into a Comunist tropical paradise. His forces have already established a beachhead.

The proletariat hordes are ecstatic.

The Soviet stronghold.

But the inhabitants of Skull Island aren't going to stand for this act of aggression. Led by their king, Kong, they assemble and launch an attack.

Kong was accompanied by his best friend. Obviously a capitalist American agitator, who has convinced the inhabitants to fight their own liberation 

Anyway, here are the two armies lined up and ready to fight. Do you want lists? You do? Well, I'll put them at the end.

Skull Island made the first serious move. As the apemen moved into the edge of a patch of jungle, horses of beasties swarmed out and overwhelmed them.

As the Soviets moved forward in order to gain more fighting room, some heroic workers destroyed one group of creepy-crawlies.

As the armies approached, the air chilled as General Winter arrived to support the Soviets.

The denizens of Skull Island charged.

The Soviet line collapsed as screaming natives sliced their way through the hordes of soldiers that made up the main part of it. A Hero of the Soviet Union moved to halt the enemy advance, as did the spirits of earlier Russian heroes. And Stalin faced kong in an epic duel, driving him back in the Soviets' only success.

General Winter chilled a pterosaur, driving it back.

The heroes charged some natives as a brave workers held of a ferocious dinosaur attack.

See the proletariat hold off an attack by the dinosaur lackey of a giant feudal gorilla.

(I mean, come on, if your HOTT games don't look like this, what are you really doing?)

That very same giant gorilla was, at that very moment, locked in an ideological struggle with Comrade Stalin. I say 'ideological struggle', but actually they were just hitting each other.

The crisis point of the battle. Things were actually looking pretty desperate for the Soviets.

General Winter moved to aid Stalin. He took a moment to point out that even the worship of a god that obviously exists, in the form of a giant gorilla, was still simply the opium of the people.

Then he joined Comrade Stalin in freeing the natives from the shackles of their religious belief, by killing Kong.

But the Soviets had taken so many casualties that even the loss of their king and general wasn't enough to break Skull Island's forces, who regrouped for another attack and killed more heroic workers.

Unfortunately the thing with the proletariat is that there's an awful lot of them. Stalin ordered up reserves, and this brought the Soviet army to a point where Skull Island's losses were now greater than those of what were now their liberators from kaiju oppression.

From a game point of view, the Soviets brought back some lost hordes which meant that Skull Island ended a bound having lost their general and more points than their opponent. It's a passive way to win a battle, but totally legitimate.

As the fighting petered out, General Winter began to educate a dinosaur.

"This law of capitalistic society would sound absurd to savages, or even civilised colonists. It calls to mind the boundless reproduction of animals individually weak and constantly hunted down."

As promised, here are the armies:

Weird WWII Soviets
1 x Behemoth General (Comrade Stalin in his Steel-Man Battlesuit)
6 x Hordes (Workers and Soldiers In Glorious Solidarity)
2 x Knights (Heroes of Old Russia)
1 x Paladin (Hero of the Soviet Union)
1 x Warband (Genetically Engineered Ape/Human Hybrids)
1 x God (General Winter)

Skull Island
1 x Behemoth General (Kong)
1 x Behemoth (King Carnivore)
1 x Beast (Smaller Dinosaur)
4 x Warband (Skull Island Natives)
1 x Shooter (Sailors with Guns)
1 x Flyer (Pterosaur)
2 x Lurkers (Giant Creepy-Crawlies)

These two armies last met some eight years ago.


  1. Great game indeed - the Fantasy Soviet Army is superb!

  2. Oh, the classic pairing of South Pacific Islanders vs. Mid-Century Soviets. Right there with Rome vs. Carthage and England vs. France.

    Awesome game.

    1. The armies are, pretty much, contemporary :)

  3. I've been lurking around the web a lot lately trying to learn as much as I can about HOTT, as I am becoming more and more intrigued by the smaller scale and multibased minis for compact gaming.

    One question I have, if you don't mind, is whether unique armies are given specific rules to differentiate them OR if it is more simply the units chosen that represents the differences?

    1. It's entirely down to the mix of element types - there are no broaders army rules. So a Roman army of 10 blades and a couple of riders is exactly the same as a Dwarf army of 10 blades and a couple of riders.

      In the above game, Kong, Stalin and the dinosaur are all behemoths and are, in game terms, absolutely identical (OK, Kong and Stalin are the generals' element, so have that ability, but otherwise - the same).

      This homogeneity is a weakness of HOTT for some people, and for others a strength, in that it allows any reasonable army concept to be defined without having to worry about source specific details.

    2. Thanks for clarifying that for me! I'm honestly more into the ability to use whatever models you want and the freedom that brings with it.

      I do have another question for you. I have only read through a free pdf of the 2.0 rules (no army lists, thus sparking my initial question), would you say the 2.1 hardcopies have better clarity?

      While reading the 2.0 file i feel that simplicity is being hidden behind less than clear verbage.

      Thanks for the help by the way! I'm looking for something a buddy and I can enjoy that requires less space (looking at 15mm and even 6mm ranges) and investment. We are both becoming dads this year.

    3. 2.1 is the same wording.

      HOTT is a pretty simple game, but simplicity still needs explanations. That said the language of HOTT can be hard to follow, but it is worth persevering. And there is an active facebook group, plus a group on if you need to ask questions.

  4. This AAR was gorgeous, the two armies fantastic.
    The soviets are so iconic and ironic

    1. A lot of the elements are based on, or inspired by, WWII propaganda posters.


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