A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My D6 Character. LET ME SHOW YOU HIM.

Note if you are not the GM of this game you do not know all of these things below.

Name: Davis Wilson
Occupation: Medical Researcher/Grad Student
Human Male, age 26
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 142
Brown Hair, Grey Eyes, Glasses

Reflexes: 2D
Coordination: 3D
Physique: 2D
Presence: 3D
Command: 4D
Persuasion: 4D
Knowledge: 5D
Business: 6D
Medicine: 6D
Scholar: 6D
Tech: 6D
Perception: 3D
Repair: 4D

Advantages: Wealth (R1), Equipment (R3) (A secret zombie research lab in Northern New Jersey)

Disadvantages: Quirk (R1) "Loves" The dead. (His zombie girlfriend in the basement in THAT sort of way. He is merely fond of dead people in general.) Devotion (R2) To turn the world into a happy smiling land of the dead. Devotion (R1) Penguins.

Body Points: 30

Background, Davis is a brilliant graduate student researcher at NYU focusing on medical science and medical technology. While there he met a brilliant but quirky Chemistry student, Sally Graham. She was a bit gothy and a bit into using her chemistry knowledge to get herself high. He liked Penguins and Disney cartoons. The two became romantically involved, both being on the wierd side of things. One day Sally came up with a new gas. Davis being busy that day, she huffed and she puffed. And eventually fell down and died. Davis arrived at their Jersey home to find her comatose. Not knowing what she had inhaled, he quickly grabbed any restorative chemicals in the house and attempted to revive her. Between what she had taken and what he gave her, she came back to life.

Sort of. While perfectly sapient, she had.. hungers. Hungers for living flesh. Insatiable hungers. Davis has a few missing chunks of flesh to prove it. However with this new unlife she also felt sensations deeper than anything she had ever had before, and an almost continuous high. Together they made up a room for her to keep her from losing control and going out on a murderous hungry rampage. Davis, now a little unhinged, feels that everyone can eventually be as happy as Sally seems to be. Together they are researching and trying to figure out exactly which chemicals made Sally the way she was. Sometimes he brings her home dinners in her room, sometimes he brings home subjects to try replicating Sally's situation.

Currently the unliving he can make are unlike Sally. Generally either biological or with technical bits the zombies are far less human in appearance, and generally far more stupid, only being under Davis' control with technical implants in place. So far none of them including Sally are infectious, but Davis is quickly closing in on the missing pieces to the zombie apocalypse puzzle.

With his known biomedical and biotechnical skills he has been recruited to look into supernatural matters. He does his university work during the day, while working on his darker efforts at night.

Personality: Generally cheerful with a dark sense of humor. Davis has a tendency to break into cartoon music songs while working on things. He keeps his zombie work generaly quiet, and won't even tell Sally what his eventual plans for the world is.

Equipment: Usually Davis carries a field medical kit and a field electronics/hardware repair kit in his van, and a small pocket kit of each on his person alongside a .22 pistol for self defense/emergency zombie termination. He has no problem looting morgues, back alleys, or graveyards for the recently dead or ought to be dead anyhow.

His Home: The top level is a plain small house in a low end area of the Passaic county. The top level seems like a simple college student with a little cash windfall's kind of home, though in Davis' case decorated with a heavy Penguin motif. Downstairs is hidden by a secret trap door and contains his laboratory and Sally's living quarters. The whole of downstairs is generally bathroom tiled, with Sally's section being sectioned off with a clear bulletproof glass wall. Her area has the same sorts of in floor drains and plastic coverings over her property. The ceiling has biohazard and general water sprays in order to clean up after her messier meals. Or failed experiments. Sally quite enjoys her post meal showers. Davis enjoys watching...

Off in another section is another trap door leading to corpse disposal. It is mostly a lye tub, and a small unobtrusive crematory for whatever remains. The smoke merely looks like it is coming out his chimney.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Tuesday Game Reports

With my various life bits, I really have been lax on posting, haven't I?

Last Tuesday we made characters for MagicDrew's D6 Adventure game set as a sort of modern horror thing. I will describe my character later, but I am adventuring with a 250+ year old vampiress (Starfury's character), and 9IN's ex CIA operative.

(Currently as I write this we are playing in this campaign. Its investigative stuff centered around New York City. My character being a bit of a nerdy sort, doesn't belong in Neo Aryan dirtbag clubs and is thus doing his science thing and looking around the college he does his science medical graduate research work isn't there. Thus I can write this as I shouldn't really know what they are doing anyhow.)

We followed up with an introductory AT 43 game, Starfury and MagicDrew using 1500 points of Therians, versus 9IN and myself with the UNA. The Therians won thanks to Omega Tiamat and her ability to come back from the dead took out both our Fire Toads, which gave the Therians the win given our platoon pattern the M.Ind has the flaw of losing the game outright if we lose our walkers. Tiamat made short work of one Fire Toad, got blasted to bits by the UNA's combined close range fire, then used her ability to take the place of a Therian unit with an Overseer and was ready to kill Sgt Borz in his Fire Toad, but a Therian Goliath class infantry unit finished off Borz' Toad, winning them the game. You may expect another battle report comic in the future. Its a tad annoying how Flickr does photos. I take too many and they only keep the 200 newest active.

Wednesday was 40K at Sarge's with a couple games of Magic afterwards. 1000 points of Tyranids (Me) and Space Marines versus Grey Knights and Sisters of Battle. It was one of the first official 5th edition games. It was not pretty. Too many bad things happened to my side and it was a general slaughter. We lost the initiative and got shot up. The Marine Land Raider failed to do much other than get caught on terrain. Spore Mines failed to hit mass clusters of models, or failed to penetrate any armor the few times they were close. Overall I am enjoying the new 5th edition rules even if I won't get my copy till September with the Black Reach set. I do need to shrink the cost of my Genestealers though. 27 points a model is entirely too much caught up on models who can be utterly demolished by Heavy Bolters.

As mentioned, this Tuesday is D6 Adventure. I gave MagicDrew his birthday present. (Cash, a nifty card, and a nice cake. I was gonna get him a Varghoul for his Warhammer Vampire Counts, but forgot, and this seemed a bit nicer overall anyhow.) Soon we go for pizza and continue the adventuring. This pizza was good. I approve of the pizza.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

AT 43, a Self Playtest

While not feeling the greatest, but not too bad overall, I decided to play a little practice game of AT 43 at roughly 900 points to test out the game. You know, run a turn or two to see what I could learn. I shall share it with all of you. In some cases I use the wrong terminology for various things but that's ok since terms like Armor being called Protection are pretty much the same thing.


I used a 36" by 17" battlefield with 8" deployment and no special missions.

First to build my forces!
2 Fire Toads + Sgt upgrade for 415.
And 2 Squads of Steel Troopers, 6 man squads. Triple Lens Helmets, Missile Launcher in each squad. Captain officers. 245 each.
905 points. We are using the M.Ind platoon pattern so we have to follow that Sub Faction's specific rules for building units and their bonuses and drawbacks. (Which won't come into play for this tutorial game.)

Looking back, I did this WRONG. You may only have one 5 rank officer in your entire army, and only 1 rank 4 officer in each platoon. (You have to fill out every slot in a platoon before starting another one.) So I should have had 1 less 40 point Captain, and instead would have had a Lieutenant which was 15 points cheaper, giving me a 890 point army. Oh well!)

That's the UNA. The Therians are a bit more expensive:

The Therians will go Web Strider Platoon. LP costs drop by 1, but they have morale now.
3 man Assault Goliath Squad with Relay: 380
A slightly different Goliath squad would bring me up to 760. So I can't cheese out with 2 super elite squads unless all I want on the field is 2 man squads of effectively terminator units.
2 squads of minimum sized Storm Golems with Sonic Guns, Relays, and Overseer Alphas. Brings me 10 over but frack it. Its a training game. (And I now realize the UNA was 5 over anyhow.)
No Golgoth Striders for the Therians. Don't have the points.

EDIT: Another thing I forgot! To use the Therian LP reduction due to my platoon choice! It wouldn't have done much given I rarely used any Overseer Routines that cost 2 LP or higher, but it is something I forgot to do. I will have to keep this in mind for the real game the Wednesday after next!


Ok.. My therians get 5 Leadership Points per turn, my high officer UNAs get TEN. This is calculated by number of units (squads) you have and the Leadership value of your army's highest ranking officer. The UNA has 3 units, and a Captain with Leadership 7.
I'm already seeing how your army commander needs to be an expensive one. Even if its just for LP and Authority stuff. And a couple backups when he dies. Their stats are pretty much the same as their troops though.
Therians roll a 5 for Authority, UNA a 1. UNA Officer Authority is 2 higher than the Therian's, but the Therian is still higher. Neither one secretly spent LP to jack up their roll beforehand.
Therians choose to activate a unit first since Fire Toads have 2 very large laser beams on them and I only have 1 Squad who can safely make them go boom. My first unit in the queue is the top Storm Golems.
Storm Golems move 18 cm. Then I will shoot.
They choose to shoot the Fire Toad hiding behind a nanogenerator and a squad of Steel Troopers.
Range is 5, but a single Steel trooper is in the way so he gets hits allocated first.
All 6 Therians can see the target. I'll shoot the nanoblasters first since they probably cant hurt the Toad.
Accuracy 3 minus Range 5 = -2 on the universal chart.
I need 5s to hit.
All miss.
But they have 1 reroll each!
2 hits!
Except the Steel trooper is smaller than the toad so all shots hit it instead.
Penetration 5 to Armor 11 is -6.
Now the Sonic Gun which will also shoot at the Toad. Its Accuracy 5 so I need 4s to hit, but no rerolls.
3 shots.
2 hits!
There is cover in the way, so the Toad gets a pair of 5+ saves.
No dice both shots are clean.
Penetration 8 to armor 11 is -3 or 5+ to damage.
The Therian spends an LP to give a Take Cover drill to the squad. It now gains bonuses to its cover save.
Its now the UNA's activation.
They chose the Fire Toad unit.
Right now both toads cant see the same unit unless I move them.
For now I move the trooper toad up and the Sgt behind. Ill fire both Light Laser Cannons at the unmoved Storm Golem unit.
Hmm.. the Golems are far enough away from cover that I won't consider them by it.
Range 5 with an accuracy 8 gun is a value of +3.
I need 3+s with a reroll for each gun.
2 hits.
Penetration 14 vs armor 6.
That's a +8 on the universal resolution chart. Autokills.
Next Therian unit.
The just damaged Storm Golems.
The unit's overseer spends 2 LPs to give the unit Hyper nanonucleus, allowing them to reroll failed damage tests on their penetration rolls.
They move up and shoot the Fire Toad. Again only the Sonic Gun can hurt it, so lets roll that beautiful bean footage.
Range 3 Accuracy 5 equals +2 (Even if I am doing it backwards. Its effect minus target, in this case Accuracy - Range.) on the resolution table or 3+ to hit.
One hit.
Id say the low walls provide cover so lets roll it.
It blocks. The Therians are not doing well so far.
Back to UNA.
Steel Troopers unit goes. Southern group.
Their jerkass pompous Captain tells them "Over the wall! Let's show these Morphos how we do it in the UNA!" Going over the obstacle cuts their movement in half, or 7cm.
They get 4 shots on the Storm Golems at range 3.
Accuracy 5, so a +2 for 3+ rolls. I am getting used to this universal table of resolution already. 1 chart for all your shooty woundy killy needs!
Except they have Triple Lens helmets and add +1 to Accuracy, so its a +3. No difference on the chart though.
3 of the 4 units capable of shooting hit.
Penetration 5 vs Armor 6 is -1, or 4+ to wound.
All 3 wound. Let's see if they make some cover saves at 5+
Nice. They made 2, and 1 Storm Golem is back into nanoparts.
Given the Platoon Pattern I took, that unit will have to make a Morale test next time they activate as they are a 1 or 2 star infantry unit at 3 men or less. For this, its the unit's Leadership - a fixed Difficulty of 8. For my Platoon its a Leadership of 8, or a 4+. If it would fail, it would be disorganized and needs 2LP spent to let it do ANYTHING. If it fails again, it routs and runs off board.
Back to the Therians and the Assault Goliaths are up. They move 18 and shoot. Like all units they could choose to shoot then move or move then shoot.
As the Goliaths are considered to be the same size as the Golems in front of them they decide not to fire as they don't want to hit their fellow troops. Shoulda given the Golems a Knee to the Ground drill which would have let the Goliaths shoot over them.
Oh well. I am already learning a ton about how this game works. And I am impressed.
The UNA moves its other squad of Steel Troopers.
With all their LP to spend, they think about taking Overwatch, but given the Golems on the north area are fully in cover they know it would be folly. Why would the Golems even move causing Overwatch to activate? So they shoot.
Like always you measure range unit leader to unit leader. Its range 4.
4+s to hit, 5 guys. Because the Missile Launcher guy is totally useless against these Therians. Its a Lock Shot weapon and thus only good against Walkers and vehicles. But it always hits on a 3+ in this case regardless of range. As casualties are removed by taking out the model closest to the shooting unit, we should probably move the Missile Launcher in front ASAP.
1 wound. Take Cover increases the Golem's Cover Save from 5+ to 3+
And they make it.
The UNA spends an LP to give that unit Take Cover themselves.
And that's a basic turn of AT-43.

Sadly our little one turn explanation didn't have any damage rolls against the walkers, which can take damage points to multiple locations, nor did it have any close combat. We skipped objectives and such as well since there were none. But it mostly works the same. That is AT-43 in a nutshell. As the game continues my Combat Drills stay in play until the unit is activated again unless specified otherwise. Also given the insane number of LP the UNA has to spend, they will pretty much win Authority every turn by spending 5 LP. His rank (4) plus 1. Hell, in this case, he doesn't even need to do that! With the Therians having 2 less Authority to begin with, the best they can effectively have is an 8 on their roll (Authority of 2 plus max roll of a 6.) while on pure rolling and Authority alone, the UNA Captain gives them a 10. But he will spend 5LPs a turn since he has less to do with his LPs than the Therians with their Overseer routines (which as far as I understand can be used by any unit with an Overseer in it) do. Also note that the Goliaths have a Relay which since they cannot have an Officer of any kind (known as the aforementioned Overseers), they need the Relay in order to activate without using up an LP. No officer? Spend more LP.

It looks like I forgot to use my Triple Lens Helmets a couple times too! That's what this project was all about. Learning the game a bit. Reading through the rules for a few minutes a night before or after bedtime is one thing. Actually PLAYING them is another!

I should explain the Universal Table of Resolution though. If your Action Value - Difficulty (Hey, the actual terms the game uses!) is -6 or lower you automatically fail. If its -5/-4 its 6+ to roll. -3/-2 is a 5+, -1/0/+1 is 4+, 2/3 is a 3+, 4/5 is a 2+ and 6 or higher you automatically pass.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Game updates for the last week or so.

I've not been feeling the greatest, with some aches and pains that don't seem to go away, but aren't bad enough to really send me to a doctor, but enough and in areas that give one pause. Its made wanting to post a little low on my time wasting scale.

But here I am with some updates!

Last Wednesday was another 40K game at Sarge's. 1000 points of Tyranids and Demon Hunters vs Sisters of Battle and Space Marines. With my DH player barely paying attention and various other people taking control of his army, my concept force of a Tyranid spearhead army (all Genestealers, Lictors, and Spore Mines) wasn't in the greatest position. I did some fair damage, but fell to superior firepower and an inferior position on the field. The DHs running through water while being shot at did not help much either. Overall I am impressed with Spore Mine drops and have made them an essential part of my army selections since then.

Which lead to a game using VASSAL Thursday, 1000 points of my Tyranids vs an Eldar Jetbike army. Vassal is a Java program where you have game modules and it helps you run boardgames online. Its very easy to use, and I found it overall quite pleasant to work with. Even with 40K type minis games it works pretty well. As to the mission I won, though many Genestealers died for the cause. A Farseer using Guide and then Doom turns Stealers to mush. But we were dabbling with the 5th edition mission system which meant my two surviving Stealers captured an objective location on the last part of turn 6. Combined with the total wipeout of the Eldar gave me a solid win. I switched in 2 more Lictors for this game, and found them to work fantastic as a trio, landing in various terrain locations and giving multiple reserve test rerolls to my Spore Mines who all lucked on on VASSAL's dice roller and mostly landed dead on target. The terrain landings of the Lictors mostly brought them out when needed and where, letting them support my Genestealers who met many grisly fates at the hand of the Farseer and Autarch.

Warhammer 40k Module 3-5-5Map3
An unzoomed in picture of the battlefield towards the end of the game. My Genestealers and Lictors are making fast work of the Eldar. Or trying to anyhow.

Tuesday was the start of character generation for MagicDrew's D6 modern horror game. I not feeling well mostly zoned off into space and read Failblog.org, though did wake up enough to finally pull out the classic card game Nuclear War I had bought at Connecticon 05 on sale. It was VERY easy to learn though we all did make the odd mistake. It could become another quick pickup game to play. And now I want expansions for it! 9IN won the first game by pretty much taking MagicDrew and myself out while we bombed each other to bits, while I took the second game with some solid strategies making up for my terrible draws. Multiple anti missile cards and holding most of the bomber cards certainly helped out.

MagicDrew also got me some kickass birthday presents. Zombies!!! expansion 7, which adds in Zombie Clowns and a new area to be chased around in, and a 100 pack of glow in the dark zombies. Now I need to paint the bases of the Military Base zombie expansion glowies so they can continue to be super zombies and the new glowies can be more general zombies my game so desperately needs. MagicDrew's birthday is this month and I think his Vampire Counts deserve a nice 25 dollar Varghoul miniature. Even if he never gets his Warhammer Fantasy army built its still an awesome model. Maybe I will have money enough to get it?

Wednesday was more 40K antics, and my 1500 point Tyranids got to face a Tzeentch and Slaanesh combined army. I won in spite of some iffy tactical decisions on my part. Most of the Demons came in on my far flank instead of right up in my army's quartered deployment zone. Early on I took some serious casualties from the Daemonettes and Flamers, but my Carnifex blasted most of the Pink Horrors out of this reality, and as they are wont to do, my expensive Carnifex and Hive Tyrant played Godzilla with guns all over the Demon host. We played with as many 5th edition rules as we could, and overall I am pleased with the new rules. I sadly won't get the rulesbook myself till the portable version comes out with the Black Reach starter set in September, but the latest issue of White Dwarf and folks with the rulesbook (currently store preview copy) can help out till then.

Also good news on the AT 43 front. Unless my aches and pains keep me from gaming in 2 weeks, it will be time to break out the Therians or UNA forces and start killing things. My army lists are built, the rules are read, and my first opponent will have a force ready to go. Being one of the store's clerks his demo games are bringing people around to the game and we should have a nice little crowd going very soon. I may in fact do a practice game against myself soon just to get the rules down better. The rules read very well for being translated from French. Plus its just so darn enthusiastic in its manner, army books and the rulesbook. Its almost infectious. Its one of the reasons I like playing at Sarge's. Other gamers, and most of them are not only open to new games, but will buy in and learn the rules themselves too. Getting the odd awesome deal on people selling off stuff is nice too! Sadly my money has been tight the last few weeks (and only getting tighter) so I have had little I could buy outside of a tasty bottled diet cream soda and a back issue of No Quarter each week. (No Quarter being Privateer Press' games magazine. I even bring my Warmachine army down. I have just yet to actually play it down at Sarge's!) My two ordered UNA Steel Trooper attachment boxes are mocking me... They call to me to bring more brave patriots to battle against the Morphos horde and the Collectivist scum!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Wednesday, Thursday, and Tuesday Game Reports

I've been a slacking here and have 3 game sessions to bring up to speed!

Wednesday was a 4 player per side, 500 points per player game of Warhammer 40K at Sarge's. Orks, Space Marines, Eldar, and Imperial Guard versus Space Marines, Witch Hunters, Chaos Demons, and my Tyranids. It was a gloriously fun game that was called due to time and the obvious fact my side was probably gonna lose. Some bad rolling and an insanely nasty bike squad shooting phase that took out almost half my forces made it rough on me, and the Space Marine player to my right was having even worse trouble, being entirely wiped out. I did a fair job on opposing Marine and Eldar units, but 3 Warriors, and a heap of Gaunts can only do so much when they get bogged down fighting a bike squadron. It was then followed up by a little Magic.

Thursday was my final game at Pico's for at least the next 6 months if not the next few years. Starfury's schedule is changing to where he is available on Wednesdays and not Thursdays. As I would MUCH rather play Warhammer 40k, and Starfury wants to run Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (which I fairly or unfairly hate and refuse to even try) anyhow, that is that. I have offered to do Necromunda down at Sarge's but it looks like nobody wants to go down there. Oh well. Maybe I will still see if there are Sarge's players who want to get it going. If not, there is always 40K, Warmachine, and hopefully some Warhammer Fantasy and AT 43.

I gotta make use of those figures somehow!

Oh yeah, the game. We played two games of Settlers of Catan with Seafarers and Cities & Knights expansion. The first finished, the second called for time. Cities & Knights adds a LOT to the game, making it quite different in play. It adds in city improvements and a number of new event cards, replacing the main game's deck entirely. Not to mention the Knights which are used to deal with the Bandit and his friends. I really like the expansion, but it is NOT worth 40 more dollars of cost to Catan, 60 more for 6 player. I like Catan, but I do not like it that much!

Tuesday was Tide of Iron with Starfury, 9IN, and Magic Drew. I was on the team with Magic Drew. Some rules were confused, and by the time they were unconfused Starfury and 9IN's Germans stomped through us with insane dice rolling. I liked what I saw, even if that session was rather unfun. The game really is a high production values introductory wargame. The concepts of this game are the building block to more advanced fair such as Squad Leader or Panzer Grenadier. I would like to try this game again and see if what we learned makes a difference, which I think it would.


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