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Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 3

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds.  Still. ~

Michael Eckenfels, 26 July 2017

AAR: PART 3 (TURN 2)

Just a note – if the map or counters look different from this point forward, it’s because I’ve moved to another format. The VASSAL module is awesome for pure play-through, but when it comes to writing up an AAR and needing more finite control over the pieces, it’s not meeting my needs.

The differences are minute, and hopefully you’ll see it as an improvement for the purposes of this write-up. I encourage you, if you’re a fan of VASSAL, to go click on the link above and check it (and other DwarfStar products) out.

We’re one turn in and we’ve only managed to pop two of the Irdan Rebel units, but this should hopefully change as they come within range of more weapons.

Of course, that means THEY have a chance to hurt the Legionnaires, too…

Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 2

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds.  Again. ~

Michael Eckenfels, 19 July 2017

AAR: PART 2

We’re playing the first scenario, “The Last Outpost.” There are 12 turns in this scenario, and each turn is divided into ten phases. The object is for the Legionnaires to be the last side to occupy at least three mesa-top hexes, and/or destroy all Irdan attackers. The Irdans win if they destroy all the Legionnaires, and/or clear all mesa-top hexes of them. If neither of these occur, the game ends in a draw.

Each turn’s phases are:

  1. Energy Storm Phase
  2. Disruption Fire Phase
  3. Irdan Movement Phase
  4. Irdan Combat Phase
  5. Irdan Stun Recovery Phase
  6. Imperial/Miner Movement Phase
  7. Imperial/Miner Combat Phase
  8. Remove Disruption Markers
  9. Imperial Legionnaire Stun Recovery Phase
  10. End of Game Turn

I mention all of this to give you a feel for how the game flows.

Now, back to the action.

Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 1

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds.  ~

Michael Eckenfels, 12 July 2017

Outpost Gamma is one of a dozen Imperial Legionnaire outposts on the harsh, storm-thrashed surface of Irda, home to ten troopers. The site had been chosen by Imperial Pathfinders, as it lay astride one of the busier canal-ways used for travel by the natives and Twargs; the canals are dominated by a series of mesas, on top of which the Pathfinders recommended one of the twelve outposts on the surface.

The twelve teams had seemed to be a little bit of overkill to the Legionnaires, but the importance of the gemstones in the surface overrode any half measures that the generals back on Terra or in the governing regions wanted to initially deploy. The recommendation had come with three platoons of Omni tanks, each of which to be assigned to one of the three strategic locales determined by the Pathfinders, but that was denied; even those that expected full-on trouble thought the Omnis were a bit like giant boots crushing ants.

Better to crush ants with a terrible advantage, thought Outpost Gamma’s commander, whom went by the call-sign ‘MetalDog,’ than to stoop to their level!

Now, I’m worried, he thought darkly.

He’d had trouble raising the other Outposts all day; even with dedicated SATCOM satellites in low Irda orbit, staying in touch successfully was a roll of the dice. Legionnaire doctrine called on such Outposts to stay in communication with each other at least once per day; that meant Outpost Gamma should have eleven contacts. It wasn’t unusual, though, for days to pass on Irda before raising one or two other Outposts. Usually, Outposts would pass along their contacts to other Outposts, which wasn’t ideal but kept everyone generally informed.

Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 0

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds? ~

Michael Eckenfels, 5 July 2017

Outpost Gamma is a 1981 Dwarfstar Game title, designed by Howard Barasch, who did quite a few game titles back in the 1970s (as well as a 2010 title by the name of Cauldron: Battle for Gazala, by Decision Games).

From BGG’s main page on this game:

Outpost Gamma is a game of science fiction combat for two players. With its unpredictable storms and fast-playing combat system, Outpost Gamma captures the tension and rapid-fire action of high- versus low-technology combat in a hostile environment.

A print-and-play version of this game is available for free as an authorized download.

There is also a VASSAL module available.

I had this game back in middle school, and it was great fun. Essentially a Zulu Dawn, but IN SPAAACE, Outpost Gamma has two built-in scenarios pitting soldiers with advanced armor and weaponry, but very few numbers, versus a technologically challenged enemy that vastly outnumbers them.

 

 

Defenders of the Last Stand – First Look!

8th Summit’s post-apocalyptic free-for-all ~

Michael Eckenfels, 3 June 2017

In terms of good old fashioned board game mayhem, what games come immediately to mind? Car Wars, certainly (and it just happens I wrote more than a few nostalgia pieces on that very game in the last many months). Nuklear Winter ’68 (Lock n’ Load Publishing) is yet another. Waste Knights, Last Battle: Twilight 2000, The Omega Wars – just to name but a few – with any of them, you’ve got a wide range of different systems, complexities, and entertainment that all bring a good and ruined Earth to the table as a backdrop.

The artwork alone could give you radiation poisoning, but in a good way.

Legendary Encounters: Firefly – First Look!

The beloved TV franchise comes to your tabletop ~

Michael Eckenfels, 27 May 2017

A month or so back, I had the chance to get a copy of a Legendary Encounters game. At first, I was going to get the Aliens-themed one, though the Big Trouble in Little China version looked cool too, as did the Marvel version. Well, any of those three and the 1,674 (ish) other Legendary Encounters games. I almost told them I would look at the Aliens-themed one, but then I ran across Firefly, and it was a no-brainer for me.

The box itself is just like any of the other LE-type games. At least, I think it is. I played the Aliens version once before and can say it’s definitely the same size, as is the Big Trouble in Little China one too (saw the box, never played it).

B-17 Flying Fortress Leader – First Look!

It’s a box that could break your toe if you drop it wrong, but what’s inside? ~

Michael Eckenfels, 22 April 2017

Mosby’s Raiders. Thunderbolt/Apache Leader. Patton’s Best. Cruel Necessity. These are but a few of my favorite solitaire games of all time, games I would be happy to return to the table any time, and each of which have prominent locations on one of my bookshelves. (Thunderbolt/Apache Leader happens to include both the DVG and GMT version, by the way.) Topping my list, though, is B-17: Queen of the Skies, a game by Avalon Hill from ancient times that I would easily play again and again without hesitation.

I was very interested when, quite a while ago, Dan at DVG made mention of a new tile they were working on – B-17 Flying Fortress Leader. My mind – and no doubt yours as well – instantly jumped to Queen of the Skies. Was it a remake? Was it a sequel? Was it an improvement? Most importantly, would it be good? I figured my time with this particular game would be a long time coming, so while I kept up with the thread in the GrogHeads forums to see where it was, I was very surprised when a copy landed on my doorstep today. Thanks to Dan and his team for sending this over for GrogHeads to get its paws on it and manhandle it appropriately.

This is the box – and holy crap is it hefty. I think I saw a post on Facebook in the Solitaire Wargames page that said it was 5.5 pounds; it feels more like 10, actually! Which means, mounted boards, tons of counters and cards, and just overall lotsa stuff packed into a large box.

The Tuesday Interview – Glenn Drover

Friend-of-Grog Glenn Drover comes back for another visit ~

Michael Eckenfels, 28 February 2017

What’s the craziest move you ever tried to pull off in a wargame?

GD:  I’m an aggressive attacker, but never crazy. 😉

What wargame made you want to be a designer?

GD:  It is probably the fault of a whole group of games that I loved in the mid-late 70’s. From Milton Bradley: Carrier Strike, Skirmish, and Battle Cry; as well as Avalon Hill’s Tactics II and Third Reich. I played these endlessly with my dad and solo.