Tag Archives: Tactical

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…

Video: Urban Operations – First Look!

Cyrano dives into to the new MOUT/FISH game from Nuts! Publishing~

Jim Owczarski, 24 July 2017

What’s inside the box?  Let’s take a look…

And so how does it play?  We’ll let Cyrano get back to us on that one.


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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.

Modern-Day Napoleonic Battles & Travels, Part the Third

Cyrano’s last travelogue update before, y’know, actually traveling! ~

Jim Owczarski, 15 July 2017

I’m a bit embarrassed that it’s taken me nigh eight months to file an update to this series, but, with an apology proffered, perhaps it’s best to dive right in?

I’ll begin, if I may, by again talking about a surprise.  I’ve known of this creature for a long time:

How very, very lovely

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.

Tuesday Interview – Luke Hughes of Burden of Command

The main brain behind the forthcoming Burden of Command has a chat with GrogHeads ~

Brant Guillory, 11 July 2017

When I hear “Burden of Command” I start to flash back to my days as a company commander, and being buried under a pile of 15-6 investigations, dental cat-IVs, and guys who couldn’t qualify with their personal weapons.  I’m assuming the newly-announced “Burden of Command” game isn’t a game of competitive administrative duties.  Give us the thumbnail insight of what we can expect in the new game, and why this one is more focused on the ‘burden’ of command than other similar games on the marketplace?

Damn, I can run but now I can’t hide.  A real company commander, I’d love to know when and where! (ed note: nothing exciting – it was a National Guard HHC while the rest of the battalion was mobilized)

Now you are so right, real command is a lot of administrative tedium puncture by rare moments of terror.  However, maybe not such a great game. Though the game “Papers Please” might teach us differently.   What you can expect in BoC is not only the command and control decisions you associate with classic wargames (directing fire and maneuver, and the 4 F’s: find, fix, flank, and finish) but the morale oriented decisions we might associate with a classic tactical board game (ASL, Combat Commander, Band of Brothers, Fields of Fire).

Finally, and more unusually, you must take responsibility for the “preserve” decisions around the men’s physical and psychological welfare on and off the battlefield. They will look to you for the right mindset to adopt in the face of war. Novelist Karl Marlantes, who dropped out of his Rhodes Scholarship to serve as a 1st Lieutenant in Vietnam wrote “What It is Like to Go to War.” He argued that, like it or not, when you go to war you enter a spiritual journey because you are in the presence of death. You have entered the “Temple of Mars” as he so eloquently put it. Whether or not you or your superiors have prepared you for that experience, and for making life or death decisions is a different question.  But the burden will be yours, prepared or not.

In sum, leadership in BoC is “Direct, Motivate, and Preserve.” And the burdens are many.

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.

 

 

Origins – Proving Ground Games

The award-winning minis heroes are back at #Origins2017 ~

Michelle Owczarski, 16 June 2017

Gigantaur (don’t call him Godzilla!) in the front, and Heather & Mark Brown of PGG on the left, in the background.

Even with a brisk demo schedule and booth sales exponentially better than last year, Proving Ground Games’ Heather Brown gave me a few minutes to chat.

New this year is Crucible of Force, which brings PGG’s Fields of Fire engine to World War II. It’s available for purchase now. Hive, Queen and Country will be seeing Kickstarter orders filled soon, with a full release by end of 2017. This includes materials for RPG, miniatures and a supplement for vehicles. Coming soon via WargameVault, the demo scenarios run at Origins will be released in packs for Fields of Fire and Crucible of War in PDF format.

Proving Ground prides itself on games that are easy to learn, are well-researched, and provide an enjoyable gaming experience for all players. The rules are tested against extensive “rules lawyering” as a way for their system to be an entry to historical miniatures gaming.

Heather said that Proving Ground is pleased with the 2017 convention so far. The perception is that attendance is up, people are smiling and happy and buying, and that con staff were ensuring things were running more smoothly than in years previous. She was critical, however, of the mix of available events, citing a lack of diversity in LARPS and a general lack of historical miniatures. While there are more sessions, there are many repeats, versus original events.

The best part of the convention, though, “Someone brought me a pie!” (It was chocolate, walnut and bourbon, and it came all the way from New Mexico.)

Ed note: Proving Ground’s Movie Monster Madness variant for their Fields of Fire rules was part of our kids’ program this year. 

 


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