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Tag Archives: Sci-Fi

Alien vs Predator – First Look!

Michael digs into the sci-fi shootout game ~

Michael Eckenfels, 2 October 2017

Digging into a battle game with a pair of iconic sci-fi franchises facing off… again.

More coming on this one in the future…


Chat about it below, or in our forums, or hit our FaceBook page >>

Outpost Gamma – A GrogHeads AAR, part 4

The legionnaires are far from home, and facing impossible odds to play each turn in a reasonable amount of time ~

Michael Eckenfels, 30 August 2017

AAR: PART 4 (TURN 3)

It should be noted that I forgot about a stunned Irdan unit in the south; here is an updated map for your perusal.

When we last left off, the Irdan hordes were advancing slowly but surely on Outpost Gamma. Let’s get back into the action without further ado!

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…

The Tuesday Interview – COIN on Mars!

The designer of the home-brewed COIN-on-the-Red-planet game gives us the scoop on his personal design ~

Brant Guillory, 25 July 2017

The COIN system has taken a variety of odd directions – some modern, some not – many of which we’ve covered here at GrogHeads.  One place the COIN system had not yet gone was to space.  Until now.

A home-made COIN-based game, set on Mars, has started to capture some attention, and there’s some buzz about it on teh interwebz.  With that in mind, we tracked down the creator (wasn’t too hard, he’s on BGG!) and bugged him with some questions about his design.

First, the obvious question – this wasn’t anything official from GMT, was it?  You’re not just part of a, ahem… “guerrilla” marketing campaign, are you?

Not official from GMT in any way shape or form. When I first had the idea for the game I messaged Volko and asked his permission to use the game engine. He was 100% cool with that and said if I ever wanted to publish the game, that GMT would be the place to do it.

As it stands, there is no agreement, formal or informal, with GMT to publish the game.  Ideally, there will be. Otherwise this will end up being a free PnP game.

 

 

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.