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Tabletop AARs / Re: Battle of Hoth
« Last post by SirAndrewD on Today at 12:11:11 AM »
That's actually the problem with them.  They're way too large.  I've tried to do an RPG scenario with mine and it's unwieldy to the extreme. 

Magnificent table piece though.  But yeah, pretty useless in all but the largest scenarios. 

Deeplly excited to see how all this will work when Legion comes out soon.  I've got about a $300 pre-order on that system.
Tabletop AARs / Re: Battle of Hoth
« Last post by Silent Disapproval Robot on Today at 12:02:58 AM »
Guy said he has a couple but they are too big for the map.
Tabletop AARs / Re: Battle of Hoth
« Last post by SirAndrewD on Yesterday at 11:53:42 PM »
You needed to borrow my WOTC AT-AT.
Tabletop AARs / Battle of Hoth
« Last post by Silent Disapproval Robot on Yesterday at 11:47:28 PM »
Big 3-day minis convention in Vancouver this weekend.   I'd hoped to get in on the Rorke's Drift game but it filled up a few seconds after the sign-up sheets dropped.  My friends and I signed up for a game of Federation Commander but the guy who was supposed to host it never showed.  The alternate host asked if we'd be interested in playing a Star Wars ground combat game using his own rules system.  We gave it a whirl and it was pretty fun.

Setup was about as you'd expect.  Rebels were in a trench.  Empire was out in the snow fields and needed to clear the trench in 12 turns.  I was assigned to the Empire.

Initial forces included a lot of AT-STs and snowtrooper squads, some with heavy weapons, some with blasters.  (Here are some of the public ones.  We also had some secret forces that would be revealed during the course of play via the use of cards.)

Rebels started with a bunch of infantry squads in the trench, 4 anti-vehicle turrets, and 4 anti-personnel guns as well as several snow speeders and infantry squads, tauntaun riders, and troop transports in reserve.  Here's a portion of their initial setup. 

View of the Rebel trench from our deployment zone.

Close up of Rebel lines (we'd already knocked out their guns by this point.)

The game used a deck of cards to allow special events as well as to place reinforcements.  We had several more AT-STs in reserve as well as 5 more infantry squads on a Lambda shuttle.  (The way the card read, we thought the Lambda shuttle could land up to 2 metres from our deployment edge and drop troops.  Turns out 2m meant 2xmarch distance or 20cm, not 2 metres so we ended up bringing our infantry on way too late to reach the fight.  Not that it mattered as we did nothing but churn out all our AT-STs as quickly as possible and stack them on one side of the map in order to knock out the guns there and then rush the trench.

Our first few waves of AT-STs march onto the board.

We pushed infantry on the left, mainly to draw fire away from our armour on the right (they died like flies but did their job and sucked up a lot of the Rebel's fire.)

We tore the Rebel's guns to pieces in just a few turns and started marching up the map.  They sent out a wave of 8 speeders on the left of the map but we had hot dice and tore those apart as well.  We lost 2 walkers and a few squads.

We got within range to use our anti-infantry guns on the AT-STs but the cover provided by the trench shielded the Rebels from most of the fire.  We'd knock down a single trooper here and there but really couldn't do much damage to them at all while their fire was doing significant damage to our troopers (and we were light in troops due to the misunderstanding of how the shuttle worked.)

We used some of our cards to unleash a rampaging wampa into one end of their trench while flinging a couple of probe droids at the other side.  The wampa tore through quite a few of their men and the probe droid drew a tonne of fire (Rebels had to pass a nerve check in order to be allowed to fire at anything other than the closest target and they failed, resulting in the probe droid eating 50 dice worth of blaster fire).  The Wampa really messed them up as well and they were forced to deploy their elite ranger squad as well as their tauntauns against it in order to take it down.  The Rangers had to deploy on the lip of the trench, exposing them to our fire and they got ripped to pieces by our E-Web blaster teams.

Finally, we got General Veers to project a hologram to "inspire" the troops and get them to charge home to the trenches.  (I just can't believe they actually made a General Veers hologram miniature at some point in the past.)

We had to call the game due to time constrains but it looked very likely that the Empire would carry the day.  We only had 2 turns left to take the trench but our walkers were right up on it and at that range, their anti-infantry weapons would have made short work of the remaining Rebel squadrons.

Digital Gaming AARs / Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Last post by JasonPratt on Yesterday at 11:25:03 AM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, Actions Rounds 6-10

I was doing fine until the temple prostitutes sucked me dry.


.....this, uh, requires some context. Ahem.

Baby-Rich took his superstack over to Hit (the city, not the verb) rather than go up against Larry at Samarra for the nonce. Aside from Assy-Larry throwing an Ambush card at him while he moved through a transit space, this went off without a hitch. Ambush cards are like meteor strikes targeting a transit space, but never a city -- regardless of the city's condition -- within 3 movement points of any city owned by the card thrower -- regardless of the condition of _that_ city. They'll always remove 1 to 3 units, and don't need a clear 'trade' path to the target area, so they can go around enemy held positions. Rich lost 2 troops, but with 8 infantry remaining plus his king's 2nd level tactical rating he won at Hit without any (further) casualties. This put a serious Babylonian stack near Mari, the economic powerhouse I had weakened back at the end of Turn 1 but which I hadn't gotten around to occupying yet. Rich also recruited 2 (more) infantry in "DurKur", the border town facing Samarra, and moved a peasant in to successfully rebuild its walls back to full nominal strength.

Unfortunately for me, Rich drew his 3rd round next, so he got to play again; but fortunately for me (and maybe for Larry) he focused on securing Eridu, the little town on the ass-end of map, next to Ur. Recruiting 2 infantry in Akshak, suggests he's going to pick up the spare town he bounced off from, Eshnunna, on his 4th round; but starting to run thin on silver he ended his round here.

Egypt-Barth finally got to play his 2nd round this turn, and accomplished a lot (as you can see on the map next -- click to embiggen and resmallen as usual):

His Pharaoh was able to finish escorting a repair garrison to Sais, and then zip across his territory to the army waiting at Tanis while the repair garrison rebuilt the city and repaired its walls up to nominal full strength. Egy-Barth will be able to start kicking some butt in his 3rd and 4th rounds this turn.

Last in this cycle was Mi'ni-me, and I got the bad luck of drawing an Astarte event, which means I have to pay $1 for every home city which doesn't have a monument yet. Which is all six of mine. I had been running a tad thin at the end of my first round, with only $10 remaining from my initial treasury, but the annoyed prostitutes -- demanding a higher standard of living -- euphamism'd me down to $4!

Keep in mind, I have to pay $3 of that silver simply to be able to act on my remaining three rounds this turn, including this one ($1 per round)!

I was able to get my king Battra (...I'm just going to pretend he's named after one of Toho's kaiju, Mothra's evil twin...) and a decent stack down near Mari, but I didn't have movement points remaining to take it. All I could do was alert Rich that if he moved on Mari, I'd intercept him in the field outside the city.

With my defenses spread out awfully thin, and running out of money only halfway through Turn 2, my situation could be a lot worse -- but might also be about to get a lot worse!
Digital Gaming AARs / Re: C:MANO AAR: Bay of Bengal 1999
« Last post by nelmsm on March 16, 2018, 04:34:53 PM »
This is one hell of a good story
Digital Gaming AARs / Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Last post by JasonPratt on March 15, 2018, 07:04:23 PM »
GENESIS OF THE GROGS -- TURN TWO, Actions Rounds 1-5

Everyone has played their first rounds, albeit not in the proper order this time, but we made it work out with a little fiddling.

Since most of the action happens between Dave and me (Hittites and Mitanni) and since I was supposed to go second anyway, and since nothing done by the other three impacted us in any way, I'll save our two rounds for last along with the map.

Roughly in order of things accomplished (not in our play order) then:

0.) the Hayassa-Azzasi were activated by Rich (Babylonia) having to play a barbarian card. Historically they were a spoiler for Hittite expansion to the northeast (in the direction of the Caucuses and the Caspian Sea, so unless and until Dave takes about three cities in that direction -- or unless the little confederation gets rolled up two or maybe three times in a turn, pumping their random infantry numbers far enough up to be a threat -- they lack the punch to go anywhere and so to do anything. You'll find them as a little brown stack under their first king Kammani in Hayassa (which along with Azzasi has no econ value!) in the upper right of the map, roughly where Armenia will develop much, much later.

1.) Egypt-Barth finished his first monument, in Heliopolis; but his inbred line of Pharaohs must have been violating mummies somewhere because his cursed luck continued on his first round: he rolled a minimum movement on his Major Move, and was only able to bring his king and a small stack to Memphis. With his relative lack of silver (only 14 remaining) already biting down this turn, and with Sais still to rebuild among other things, he passed on his remaining actions. You can see that his decent stack of ten infantry in Tanis are ready to invade the Levant, however, and while their Pharaoh would be a little help his presence wouldn't (proportionately) be missed much either. How exactly Barth intends, or even can, balance these two major considerations, remains to be seen. (Oh, and he draws the Moses Effect which Egypt, ironically, plays against the Babylonian slaves in Dur Kur Kurigalzu, leading them to revolt and escape!  :D This happens after Babylonia's turn reported below, since I'm talking about these things somewhat out of order.)

2.) Assyria-Larry has silver problems, too, worse even than Barth. He's able to add another infantry to Samarra, and use his peasant there to bulk its defense up (to its inherent maximum of a level-3 garrison, which isn't a whole lot), and he starts work with other peasants on a monument in Ashur -- all of which drain off his silver considerably. Counting the two you can see on the map below, outside his capital, where the bank owed him some money back, he only has 11, and three more rounds to spend it on. More troubling for me, however, is that he's got quite a little stack of 9 infantry with his king there in Ashur, and he intentionally refused to do any Major Move! With Babylonia bulking up down south, that suggests Larry is going to wait until I'm distracted and then strike for my thinned defenses.

3.) Babylonia-Rich doesn't have many silver problems, nor many troop problems: his main problem on his first round is that he rolled poorly on his Major Move and so couldn't go much of anywhere with the horrible superstack of 19 infantry he has gathered in Dur Kurigalzu (other than to bring his king to the city and bulk it up a bit more). His two minor and recruit actions are focused on repairing DurK defenses (after which Barth sends Moses after his slaves on his round, ha), and fluffing up his superstack to its current mile-high scariness. It should be noted that he has no less than two other smaller superstacks in his empire, too, ready to steamroll minor cities under his bull-headed wings! Whether he sends his major superstack after Larry or after me (in effect), or even after both of us, remains to be seen.

Let's bring up the map now. As usual, click to embiggen a lot; again to resmallen:

4.) Hittite-Dave led off the turn on the first round, styling and profiling with his new king Hattusli, who gathered up an 11-strong superstack on his way to our border at the independent town of Ursu, between his fortress of Kummani, and my newly conquered economic superpower Charchemesh. He had no problems flattening Ursu but lacked the movement points remaining to similarly flatten Charch, which at the time (unlike in the snapshot above) consisted of no walls, 2 peasants, and one infantry. He also started a new monument in Tuwanuwa and brought a peasant down from his Kumm'i fort to Ursu to start working on its defenses a little next time. He seems, in his victorious celebration, to have forgotten about doing any recruiting, including for his superstack at Ursu.

5.) I had a dang busy and horrifying first round: I was caught just a tad by surprise that Hits-Dave intended to strike at me while my defenses were relatively low, especially on my western border at newly occupied Charc, and only logistic distance and luck kept the Hittites out of what, historically, became their final redoubt during their waning generations. In my haste to figure out a workable defense, if I could, I forgot I could do a recruit action first, which would have helped Charch a little (by two infantry anyway) on its defense!

I figured that my poor options would depend on whether I could get my two newly raised chariots, and their chariot supremacy, over to Charc in time, with my new king Barattana (the best king on the board this generation but not exactly Napoleon or even General Santa Anna). Their buffs would help a defense outside the walls substantially, although I'd still likely lose the battle.

Much to my relief, I rolled a maximum 6 movement points, which combined with my king's (otherwise mediocre) strategic (or "campaign") rating, not only allowed me to get them to Charc, but also to pick up a few infantry from Nisibis and Irrite along the way -- weakening those key defenses against Assyria, true, but I expected Larry would be focusing on defending against an actual threat to his south. (On the next round, Larry would start building up a superstack with his king in Ashur, and NOT moving south to defend his border.)

Arriving in Charc, I even had enough movement left to pick up the lone infantry there and, if I wanted, to assault the Hittites pre-emptively in Ursu in one round of battle. My 5 infantry against his 11 wouldn't have stood much chance, but with my king's tactical advantages and with my chariot supremacy I was sure to net at least 5, maybe even 6 dice shifts in my favor.

What followed was the first full battle between players in the game -- not the first battle at all, that was near the end of the previous turn as Babylonia pushed back Assyria from their border, opening a path from the Southern Kingdom -- but the first where we had to consider all potential factors.

Did Dave want to play cards against me? (Yes, but his Ambush card needed me traveling through a transit space in range of Ursu, which I never did. Since he's unlikely to play that card later until he can use it on me, it's a subtle game pressure I'll have to keep in mind going forward.)

Did he want to intercept me with some reinforcement infantry from the Kum'i fort? (No, he'd have to bring both to make any difference, and it wouldn't make much: he'd be risking them being zorched heavily, too, for a reduction to only 5 shifts in my favor.)

Did he want to make a preliminary withdrawal to his nice fort instead of this wasted town? He wasn't guaranteed to get there, since I had chariot supremacy, but it wouldn't hurt to try, and if he made it he could even start moving his king away to pick up more reinforcements later if he wanted. He'd have to cede Ursu of course, but that was only one Victory Point (and 1 econ point for the start of each turn for whoever kept it), and it couldn't be forted up very well. He'd lose one of his peasants (and I'd gain a slave), but he had plenty of peasants to spare. Also, withdrawing now would protect his king's treasury from a very probable loss of 10 to 60%! -- over to me! Yes, he decides to withdraw (also my recommendation in his situation if he isn't going to intercept and hope for the best). Unfortunately for him, my chariot supremacy screws over his dice roll, reducing it to a 50/50 chance, and his withdrawal fails, so we go to the fight.

With six shifts in my favor, the battle was almost a guaranteed win, the only question being how much. As it happened, he rolled an epic defense of 6 (the maximum possible) and I rolled a respectable attack of 4. After I applied my dice shifts, the final battle casualties amounted to 30% against my force, so I must remove two units -- and one of my chariots must be first, so I lose chariot supremacy (probably for the rest of my turn, although with any chariots at all right now I'll still have chariot superiority). However I inflict 70% casualties on his 11 infantry, removing 8 of them. Our kings live through the battle, and having gotten this far Dave refuses to even try to retreat, forcing me to bounce off him (even though, had he succeeded, he would have saved one of his lost infantry), regrouping back to Charch. I couldn't plunder the little town for a silver, but I could raid his king's traveling treasury, rolling 30% of it (or 4 silver).

With 32 silver now in my treasury, and with my major move done, it was time to spend cash like I've never spent before: recruiting 2 infantry each, in Charch, Emar, and Terga; repairing Charc's walls not only back to full strength but at 1 level over, reaching their inherent maximum possible level-5 garrison; and doing the same in Emar for less of the same result (only up to its maximum of level-3). This last part was in case someone drew the Canaanite card against who wasn't me, and decided to add to my troubles before I was ready to deal with their potential threat.

This crazy level of spending brought me down to only $10 silver, which is a bit low for three rounds remaining, but could pay significant dividends later depending on who comes after me next and how! Being the king of the hill in the middle of the map has numerous disadvantages, with only one real advantage: I'm solidly ahead in score. For now. And with a long way to go... and a giant target on my forehead....
Digital Gaming AARs / Re: C:MANO AAR: Bay of Bengal 1999
« Last post by IICptMillerII on March 14, 2018, 09:47:40 PM »
I'm still here CapMiller and waiting on that bodacious finale.  :bd:

More updates will follow soon. Thanks for your continued interest!
Digital Gaming AARs / Re: C:MANO AAR: Bay of Bengal 1999
« Last post by Sir Slash on March 13, 2018, 08:58:04 AM »
I'm still here CapMiller and waiting on that bodacious finale.  :bd:
Digital Gaming AARs / Re: CRISIS GROGS vs GENESIS 5-player
« Last post by JasonPratt on March 11, 2018, 11:31:42 AM »

Preparations have been made for the start of action rounds in Turn Two, so here (with a bit of uncertainty in Assyria's deployments) is a map and account of the status quo. (Click to embiggen to full size, click again to resmallen.)

The average level of kingship dropped off sharply at the start of the new generation, resulting in three players having kings with strategic ratings of 3; but Hittite-Dave won the roll for initiative among us, and chose to go first. I'll do a status report clockwise around the table from there.

Hittite-Dave will be going forward with 20 silver in the treasury and all 17 of his (new) maximum manpower in infantry (since he already has a ton of peasants and so had no need to convert any soldiers back to peasants after the draft). His new king, Hattusli, starting in the capital Hattusa, will lend almost no tactical power (tacrating 1), but his strategic rating of 3 is among the best of this generation. His strong army and strong peasant population will give him a lot of flexibility this turn in gaining victory points, but it remains to be seen if he'll bolster his fortress at Kummanni further first against me; or start campaigning to his west to consolidate a hold on all of Turkey; or even start campaigning against me (the Mitanni in the middle) directly. A fourth option, expanding into the Levant, might involve pushing me out of Carchamesh at least -- and right now I'm pretty weak there.

Mitanni-me, the green guy in the middle, had to draw my infantry down to a new manpower maximum of 16, but since we're playing the historical setup I was automatically given chariot technology at the start of the turn which I'll alone get to benefit from all turn! -- and with scads of income from my conquests last turn, I was able to pay to create two chariots. Stacked together these will give me a massive attacking or defense bonus (5 shifts of the dice) through chariot supremacy -- but ONLY if I'm fighting in the field or on the road, not if I'm attacking a city defense or defending in a city. This makes them totally useless against most non-player fights, by the way; and not terribly useful in most player fights! Taking cities remains, as always, the work of the rank and file, and at the moment I don't have all that many: and all that I do have are either spread out as remnants of my expansion, or concentrated for defense against Assyrian hostilities. In fact, I only have 13 infantry on the board right now, not even 16, because I needed to convert some into peasants (at last) in order to (at least) start recovering defenses for my perimeter conquests! I do have a monstrous bank of 29 silver, even after paying out 10 for two chariot units, so I'll be able to buy temporary recruits to bulk up my forces this turn -- but I'll have to balance that with spending to repair and improve walls. And if I'm doing that, I'll be moving fewer troops around strategically to consolidate defenses on my perimeter. Never mind whether I ought to be attacking anywhere! And yet, I've got demonstrably the best king of the generation, the solid 3/3 Barattana (starting in my capital of Waushukanni), and after this turn my easy chariot supremacy bonus will be harder (if even possible) to keep. This leaves me with painful choices: I have superior secondary offense capabilities this turn, but inferior primary offensive capabilities! Much will depend on what my neighbors decide to do.

Assyria-Larry is one of those neighbors, and his new king (in Ashur), Ishme-Dagan I, sounds like someone who would rather be overseeing temple prostitution rites! -- his 1/2 tac/strat stats do not offset the impression of his name. ;) Larry has many problems, being already at war with Babylon -- a war he took the short end of last turn -- and needing to garrison his main cities against my threat, just in case; AND his 15 silver income this turn isn't great, much less on top of an empty treasury! His 18 troops at least don't need to disband back into the peasant population, though; he already has plenty, which gives him something like the Hittites' current flexibility, yet without Dave's flexibility in options for applying that flexibility! Assyria could be in big trouble, and he'll need no small amount of luck and ace strategy to turn things around.

Babylonia-Rich is trouble: he has a monstrous army of 22 infantry companies; no less than two slaves to go with his very decent peasant numbers; and 21 silver in his treasury. His only real problems are that his nearby independent cities are hardly worth picking up economically; and his only path of advancement must be through Assyria, if not around the lonnnnng transit route across the top of Arabia to the Levant. His new king, Samsu-Hama, starting in Babylon, is no joke (by this turn's standards), with a 2/3 tac/strat rating: only my king is better this round, and not by much! That long circle route across the top of Arabia might be inviting with a weakened economic powerhouse of Mari sitting on the trail, but much depends on his ability to punch Assyria farther back and convince him that expansion southward is worthless. Much also may depend on whether the Elamites, with their own 12-strong army, invades this turn from the far east.

Egypt-Barth, on the other southern corner of the map, still has his even more restricted path of expansion from his first turn, along with the annoyance of needing to reclaim (and fortify up) Sais. He has a decent number of peasants to spread around helping that, so his army of 18 troops can still focus force into the Levant -- and he won't need but one infantry to help rebuild Sais. However, much of his power is currently oriented toward defending against vanished barbarians, not toward expansion (although his 10 troops in Tanis should do pretty well for a while); and his new Pharaoh Apepi is only the slightest improvement over his prior nothingburger, with a 2/1 tac/strat rating. Despite all his problems last turn, though, Barth did conquer the Sinai, and being isolated gives him a decent potential opportunity to mix reclamation and repair with improvement through expansion. But he'll need to watch out for bad luck on more barbarian rolls, and set up strong guards against that. His 17 silver in the bank will be stretched thin this turn.

Nominally, we're supposed to take our first rounds in this strict order: Hits-Dave; Mini-me; Assy-Larry; Baby-Rich; and Egy-Barth. But Dave misunderstood the rule here so our first rounds will be a bit more random than that. I'll be back later to report on first actions this turn.
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