Friday, 22 April 2016

Warmachine MK3 - Even more changes and more thoughts on it

Cheers to Sean for compiling these notes for our local wargaming scene. 

Here are some more updates on MK3 and what to look forward to. The more I see of it, the better it looks. 

No skill checks at all - I don't know anything other than models requiring skill checks are completely retooled

This is great, they had previously said repair rolls, but getting rid of all skill rolls is a nice game smoothing mechanic. I'm really interested to see how Stormcallers are balanced now. 

Frenzy Checks are much simpler. 1) Shake any effects, 2) Charge nearest models 3) Make a boosted attack with your highest P+S attack value

I never played a hordes faction, but I know the frenzy rules were a bit awkward. SOunds good. 

No wreck markers

I'm so-so with this one, simply because I got metal wreck markers and painted them. Oh, and one of my finest Warmachine moments was double handed throwing an enemy jack back towards my caster so my army could wreck it and he would have somewhere to sit in cover all game. 

No psychology 'tests' whatsoever

This makes a lot of sense. Troops would be scared of undead, but not of 12 foot tall killing machines armed with fire weapons or even a mountain king? If the game had psychology for troops, it should have triggered a lot more. As it was, i'd forget command checks a lot as they seemed like an after thought. 

All cavalry get a after-activation re-position. Heavy cav gets a 3" move. The assumption is that light cav gets more.
As some with loads of cavalry, who likes cavalry armies. I'm cool with this. Cav should cost a bit, be a glass cannon, but have far more mobility than other units. Nice change. 

All Heavy Infantry except MOW drop to five boxes. MOW stay at 8 and their new solo gives them basically anti KD, & immovable rules. Armour wise they are apparently super tough.

5 boxes still isn't a lot really, but i'm ok witht hat. I'm very pleased with MOW being closer to mini-jacks though, nice change. 

Other medium based infantry are realigned with where they should be – Warders become more defensive, as do Skin Walkers, Ravagers gain a ton of new abilities via their solo to increase their aggressiveness – Overtake & Vengeance plus others. They didn’t specifically say it, but they worded Vengeance weird, mentioning that it triggers off damage (so not necessarily kill?)

Will need to check the specifics on this at some point to fully judge.  

There are no longer Minion Pacts or Merc Contract. They all all unified contracts without restrictions (outside of animosities). You cant take a gator beast with a pig warlock, but you can take farrow with a gator warlock for example.

This is interesting, and probably got a massive cheer from Minions and Mercs players. Should open up the factions to some awesome new tactics and combos. I wonder about Lialese gun mages which many highborn covenant players used though. 

Theme Forces – A faction wide and far fewer. They are not restricted to warcasters
Theme forces are the dumbest thing in warmachine. They are invariably either complete rubbish, or the best way to play a caster, there are few that are good without being great. I hope the new theme lists are less restrictive, but give less bonuses. 

Tough Changes – Tough does not work if you are knocked down.
It never should of. This is a great change. One of the silliest things in WM was hitting a knocked down tough model 4 or 5 times and having them shrug it off. Sure,t hat rarely happened, but a constant invulnerable save is just a luck magnet.


I wont comment on these, just check them out. 

• Ironclad quake hammer *Attack hits a model and centres a 4” AOE on that model hitting everything down except the Ironclad itself. The model hit still suffers the melee damage from the hit
• Point costs are reduced where required
Cryx – Increased emphasis on Jacks
Menoth – Choir loses +2 to hit buff entirely. All jacks that were lower are brought up to MAT6
• Colossal - Creeping Barrage is a flat POW 10 – not halved like a normal AOE – seems legit
• MOW are designed to be an unkillable tanky unit – moreso than any other in the game
Ret – Just a rebalance, no real information
Mercs – All contracts merged
Trollbloods – Kriel Warriors are super cheap. Warders and Champs redone
Skorne –
• Ancestral guardians/Immortals have souls now – so they can trigger abilities on themselves, so they don’t need another unit to die in order to function.
• Removing some of the Skornegy
Circle – No real information outside of working on the medium based infantry
Legion – 
• A removal of some fury management. Still the best in the game, but not quite so good
• A real emphasis on infantry to try and drive a real choice between infantry and beasts
Minions – No pacts.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Radlandz - Post apocalyptic miniatures gaming

So, I ended up playing Frostgrave for the first time this weekend and I really enjoyed playing a skirmish wargame again.

I loved necromunda and really feel that scale, and style of campaign is excellent fun. 

But Frostgrave left me feeling like their were almost as many problems with the game as their were great parts. I couldn't help but trying to "fix" the game as parts of it seemed really wonky and awkward to me.

So, my solution? Write my own damned skirmish game.

Yep, this project is under the working title of "Radlandz" and is a post-apocalypse miniatures game. Frostgrave allows you to use all your fantasy miniatures, so i thought why not do something like that in a sci-fi setting. This way people can dust off their Necromunda gangs, use star wars miniatures, WWII figures or virtually anything else. heck, a lot of fantasy figures will work in this setting like Chaos cultists and skaven.

So here are my design guidelines for how i want the game to shape up

  • Allow a lot of freedom in how a group is put together so people can customize and explore 
  • Make factions that are flavorful and fun
  • Allow any model to be used somewhere, so the game is accessible to anyone with figures.   
  • Make melee important and brutal
  • Make cover essential
  • Have all combat decided in two rolls or less. 
  • Create solid campaign rules that allow groups to expand, but stop runaway leaders
  • Include high tech, low tech, magic, mysticism and power armour in one setting
Last night I wrote a draft of the core rules in one sitting. bare in mind this is literally a first pass at the concepts and still needs a lot of fleshing out and testing. 

So, is there a market out there for a game like this. What would you like to see in a skirmish game. I'm at the very early stages of development so get your ideas in now!

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Warmachine Mk3 - What's changing and some thoughts

So, a lot to take in on the future of Warmachine. 

A lot of this stuff is from some early release videos and what not. So here are the first changes mentioned.

Ill add comments in italics text.  

What has changed? - [3:50]
- We have rebalanced every model in the game.

Good. PP does this well, nothing like having some armies/models operating under old rules to mess up a game  

- Each warcaster has a unique, flavorful spell/ability. Some casters already had, some had to be added.

Excellent. Some casters did feel a bit dry, especially some of the Battlebox ones. I also think that each caster needs that signature effect to stand out. Keen to see how some casters who are a little dull get unique effects. 

- Doubled the point scale.

This is a small one, but at low points some models were annoying to point out. The difference between 2 and 3 point solos was a great example. 

- Addresses difference between Focus and Fury.

Not sure what this means, I do like that the systems are currently different. I hope these changes keep the flavour. 

- New Mechanics: 
- Power Up = Warjack are allocated a focus for starting in the caster's battlegroup.
- Upped warjack/warbeast points. 28-30 points now.

Anything that makes jacks more integral to the game and useful is great for me. This is a game about giant robots and beasts, not infantry swarms after all. 

- Spirit Bonds: As warbeasts die, Warlocks can gain fury "from the grave"

I don't know how this will work, but this could be a real game changer. As kill the beasts, then kill the warlock was a key strategy against hordes. Curious how this works. 

- Games are still similar sized.

Good, game bloat, like what has happened to 40k and other games is awful. Keep it skirmish level where possible. 

Why MK III vs MK 2.5?
- "Felt like the right time."
- "MKII got to a point where it was a time to readdress [interactions and power level]."
- "Look at the whole picture."

6 years of MK2 is a long time really. And personally, I was starting to have issues with the game, ever since collosals came out. 

What were some lessons from MKII?
- "Punctuated by "setting huge base models free in the wild."
- "Played huge base models conservatively in places. Push them more in places"

Colossals are a nightmare for balance in a skirmish scale game. Too easy to throw the game into skew one way or the other. I hope they address this well.  

- Global reset of the rules. Smooth things outs.
- Rework presentation. Organization to (hopefully) make information more accessible.
- Differences in Fury and Focus are addressed (in a meaningful way)

ok, comments above address most of this

- "It already exists, felt like a loophole."
- No more 'Gotchas'

Premeasuring exists if you are good enough with trig and can measure things using your control area.

All making it permissible openly does is help level the playing field. An excellent inclusion, my experience with Armada shows that pre-measuring can actually add to a game, not distract from it. 

No more Fear/Terror

Ok? does this mean they are rolling them into one, or getting rid of the effect all together? 

Change with Huge-Base Models [15:00]
- They feel like the monsters of the battlefield like they should.

I'm not sure about this. I know they said they will push them more in big battles and less in smaller ones, but the issue with skew is still a big one for me. 

Presentation of Story 
- Time-skip! Two-year jump.
- Flash-Point. First installment in a trilogy.
- Story line stuff. Resolutions and new things

Two year jump means that the prediction that the journeymen casters will be full-blown heroes in the story. That's ok for me.  

- No favorite character is safe. Plot armor is off! 

I simply cannot stand the plot armour of the fiction to date. It kills all tension and suspense when a character is in danger. And I could get a few characters having plot armour, but every single damn one of them? For a world at war, no one seems to have actually been fighting and dying. This is a necessary change, and for me, as important as any rule balance.  

New Hordes Faction [Preview - LnL 2017] [29:00]
- Unlike anything they have ever done. "Weird stuff"
- "Things you have never been able to do before."
- Built from the ground-up under MKIII rules.
- "Feels like a complete little ecosystem as a faction, interesting reason for being in existence."

Personally, I want to see the "dragon alliance" as a faction. With each of the different dragons contributing units of their own fashioning and style. I'm unlikely to buy a new faction anyway, but I am intersted to see where they go with this. All I hope is that they don't "jump the shark" and introduce something idiotic like aliens. 


As said above, looks good, but lets wait and see. 

Even more changes are noted here

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Nimbala free? A Talathen Sector report


At the end of the last round, the Rebel leadership met with The Red Queen of Nimbala. She is a freed slave who married a Czerka executive, poisoned him to keep him weak, and set about using his money and influence to drive Czerka off Nimbala for good.

Her plan from the start was as follows;

  • Sell a large number of her shares while prices are still high
  • Equip locals with weapons and training to increase disruptions
  • Give the rebels information and intelligence covertly to help them cause maximum disruption to Czerka operations
  • Arrange "accidents" for Czerka leadership
  • Drive the Czerka Nimbala holding companies share price into the dirt through open rebellion 
  • Buy up a controlling interest as the investors bail out of a dying investment
  • Set herself us as benevolent ruler of the Twi'leks of Nimbala 
These three operations took place during the final phases of the plan

X-Wing - Nimbala Turkey shoot

So, we have a system that allows the rebel commanders to buy bonuses to their setup if they roll well on the planning roll. This mission they rolled phenomenally and purchased nearly every advantage they could buy.

As a result, it wasn't even remotely fair, but the mission was closer than I expected. The objective was simple. Eliminate the Czerka dignitary on his shuttle, destroy the reinforcement troop transport, and clear the skies of Czerka ships. It matched 6 rebel fighters against * scum fighters and the shuttle, plus they had to destroy the transport. But if you look at the setup below, you can see they had a good start on that by deploying on their flanks, at firing range.  

The transport (8 hull) lasted all off one round, being scuppered by 2 Proton Torpedoes each doing maximum damage.

On the left flank, the Lambda shuttle did a little better as it's fighter screen went into overdrive. And while the shuttle was ionized for a few rounds from a pre-setup ion bomb. It did try and escape


But the end result was a bit of a turkey shoot, with Czerka fighters being blown out of the sky before the Lambda shuttle was finally destroyed one turn before it could reach the atmosphere and escape.

The Y-wings proved their utility in this mission, killing both the Lambda and Transport with torpedoes, and ionizing fighters so the X-wings could get 4 dice blasts on them at point blank range

As you can see, maneuvering was very tight at stages.

With a major Czerka executive dead, the board was seriously rattled

Imperial Assault - Seize the control room

Phase two was a surface operation, rebel special forces under the command of Del Kern and supported by Nimbalan insurgents were smuggled into the Czerka compound. Their objective, capture the Czerka head of security and take control of the security computers. With this facility in their control, they could black out communications, lock down security doors, and generally cripple the armed Czerka response around the planet. 

After breaching the doors, the full squad marched down the main corridor and into the executives audience chamber

Fighting got very intense, with a lot of melee combat. Also, Czerka reinforcements began to arrive from the entrance area. 

The pivotal part of the battle was when the executives Mandalorean bodyguard (bottom right) joined the fray and began dishing out horrific damage. He engaged and wounded the Wookie brawler, before finally succumbing to a total of 6 melee attacks from an angry wookie over two round. 

With the Mandalorean down, resistance crumbled and the Rebels forced their way into the control room in the bottom right of the map, capturing the Czerka executive and locking down the planets security network. Open rebellion was on.  

Final act- The nano-second buyout

As the dust settled, the Red Queen put into place her plan and readied to buy the shares as the price dropped. Our elite Aurek squad (The RPG party) turned up to help oversee the transition of power and ensure that the Rebellion wasn't going to put some petty tyrant in charge.

Each of our players had a secret mission as well.

Inomo Cel'fasa, Twi'lek force aware agitator (Megapope-Republicans) was appointed as an official diplomat. It was his job to ensure the rebellions interests were preserved, but that Nimbala did not openly revolt. Nimbala is more valuable to the rebellion as an ally supplier of gas for weapons and open rebellion invites swift and terrible response.

Zorrin Vox, Human Luxon soldier and doctor (Rahana- Luxon Militia) was primarily concerned with getting Nimbala ready to contribute to the rebellion as soon as possible. Luxon needs more people fighting as they are currently being invaded, Nimbala cannot have time to lick her wounds and needs to contribute soldiers and machinery now. 

Ana Tola, Twi'lek Nimbalan Commando (The Millarnator - People movement) was from this planet, so wanted to make sure the Red Queen wasn't going to put the people back in chains.

JK (Jay), Human ex-imperial pilot (Arnvald von Kuggenstein - Guest player) was a former imperial pilot who was secretly working for the Bothan Spynet..... mostly due to blackmail. His job was to ensure that the Red Queen didn't have total control. 

And finally, Oli Shim, Mon Calimari archaeologist with cranial computer (Ekim - Basra consortium) also had a secret mission, which i'll mention later

The Mission

As the team arrived, the Czerka compound was still in a state of open war, with laser blasts flying everywhere. Czerka forces had retreated to one part of the city and had set up formidable defensive lines, and with little disciple and training the Nimbalan rebels were stalemated. 

When they arrived at the central control tower, they were met by a very nervous junior Czerka employee who worked directly for the Red Queen. He nervously wondered if anyone who worked for Czerka would end up being hanged or worse in the aftermath. Inomo assured him that if he was helpful, that he had nothing to worry about. from that point, he was very helpful.

The Red Queen had built a secret control bunker behind the front of a beauty saloon, her cover as a shallow and venal socialite made it a logical location. Inside, she met the team and outlined the last stages of the plan. Buy up the shares as the prices bottoms out. There was one major problem, the Czerka forces were using jammers which made communication to the outside world difficult.

The control room had loads of financial readouts, as well as information from the battlefield. Seeing the issue with the Czerka defences, and wanting to fix communications Ana, JK and Zorrin set about creating a plan to reconfigure their anti-bombardment shield so that it would act as a prison. They located a means to do this and hit the streets.

Meanwhile, Oli offered his technical expertise to help improve the system, and using his expertise in computers proceeded to do so, while conducting another series of operations in secret.

Zorrin, Ana and JK got in position near the Czerka lines, but someone had to go through the lines and disable a security console so they could remote access the shield system. Ana, being a master of stealth and violence, slipped through the lines, butchering a Czerka patrol on the way with consummate ease.

Zorrin on the other hand, found himself face to face with an angry mob of Twi'leks. Fortunately, one of the older Twi'leks recognized the Luxon uniform and saw his presence as a sign the Luxon militia was helping the Nimbalans. After a quick swap of war stories from the clone wars, Zorrin got the twi'leks to run messages up and down the line, telling them to retreat from the shield and get behind cover.

Once the shield was down, the buyout began in earnest. But immediately, there were complications. A 10% share was held by a trust connected to the Moff of the sector, and he wasn't selling.

As the other share blocks came online, two other parties were buying them as well. Within 30 minutes, the vast bulk of the shares changed hands and the Red Queen was stuck with only a 38% shareholding. A second block owned 27% and a third block 25%. This mean't that the Red Queen could be blocked in her takeover.

At this point, communications came in from Korvas that an Imperial Star Destroyer had been dispatched to the region. No doubt to check on the stability of the planet and see if Imperial intervention would be needed.

At this point, the owner of 27% of the shares spoke up.

It was Oli Shim, The Basra consortium had been using the Red Queens own computer systems to buy a share in the business. The Red Queen was furious, but also grudgingly respectful at being outplayed. 

Then, a hutt cruiser and escorts appeared out of Hyperspace. Professor Hodda of the Hodda Cartel claimed to own the 25% share. Hodda reassured everyone that he wasn't a normal Hutt, and had no interest in running a slave planet. But he could offer the takeover legitimacy. The Empire would not want to interfere in a legal hutt commercial takeover of a business, especially if the supply of gas and other raw materials keeps coming.

All Hodda wants for his shares are a seat on the board, a small island on the southern hemisphere for his personal research and a 100km no-fly exclusion zone around his island for privacy.

If his terms are met, he would be willing to talk to the Imperials on behalf of the new owners, and would support the Red Queen as CEO of Nimbala. 

All partied agreed, and when Admiral Trassk arrived, Hodda assured her the takeover was legitimate business, and that no imperial help is needed.

And when the dust settled, Nimbala was free, in a way. Owned by the Red Queen, the Basra Consortiuim and the Hodda Cartel, but certainly more free than before. Nimbalan's would still have to work the mines, but they would be paid for it, and have safety gear. In order to buy Nimbalan freedom, they had to continue the pretense of being an industrial slave planet.

It will be interesting to see how this balance holds. 

Thursday, 7 April 2016

The first battle of Luxon - Talathen Sector battle report

Luxon is under attack, and the rebels responded with a series of two missions.

Luxon ground operations 

First up, The luxon Militia need help taking control of a series of underground junctions, and to destroy the entry and exit points for imperial reinforcements.

They had 6 satchel charges, and need to spend an action to place them and an action to detonate them. If the Imperials were close, they could deactivate the charges. 

The team moved into position, two characters and some soliders for support attacking on each flank.

By the way, isn't Space Hulk 3rd edition just damned good to look at. Such nice components and perfect for the tunnel fights in Luxon

With satchel charges blowing the main corridors, the team moved in to defeat the E-Webs and officers defending the control station. The other objective was for the team to rewire the consoles, so that Luxon forces could control tunnel and gate access in the region. 

One e-web down, and the rebels close the noose. One big gun, even one that can fire three times, isn't enough to slow the rebel advance. 

With the guns down, the Rebels quickly hunt down and eliminate the imperials in the communications centre. Meanwhile, imperial reinforcements flock around to cut off the rebel escape. 

 With their escape route cut-off the rebels were forced to fight their way back down a stormtrooper infested corridor. And while they made it, two of them were badly injured and all their support troopers died.

A high price, but now the Luxon militia controls this sector, and the imperials will have to burn their way through. Which has slowed their invasion considerably. 

The Battle in Space

The Luxon groups forces need supplies desperately, so the Rebel fleet decided to smash through the Luxon blockade to deliver the desperately needed materials.

They did so easily, but as they turned away from the planet they were boxed in by a squadron of four star destroyers. They needed to blast past them, protect their transports, and make it out of the planets gravity well and into hyperspace. 

Three corvettes, an assault frigate and a Nebulon B were matched up against three victory destroyers and a gladiator. 

The rebels plan was simple, push the freighters to the side of the board and screen them with other ships. Then put the hammer down and get off the board as soon as possible. The freighters (represented by X-wing transport tokens) had 6 hull and could move speed 3. They activated after fighters. 

In what I considered a bold move, I threw the Gladiator ahead hard and fast on the first turn. I had the good fortune of acting first next turn and being in pefect range against Jaina's light, a Corellian Corvette. I got to roll many many black dice, and the corvette was blown to pieces. First blood to the Empire.

Unfortunately, the assault frigate did exceptionally well on return fire, and two turns later, the Gladiator was lost with all hands. 

The Imperial fleet split up, one Victory trying to close down the freighter on the near side of the board, while the other two close on the pair on the far side. 

Dramatically working to screen the freighter, the Nebulon-B frigate "The Pride of Luxon" under command of the infamous "Beast of Luxon" took heavy damage at point black range. But the ship kept moving and redirecting shields, and every hit it took was one the freighters did not. 

That freighter got away (with 1 hull remaining), but one of the freighters on the far side of the board was blown to pieces by the combined fire of two victory destroyers. When the dust settled, and the Rebels hit hyperspace, they had saved their fleet, with the cost of 1 corvette and 1 freighter. While taking down a Victory destroyer and a Gladiator. 

A nice, well played victory.

Next time, we will look at the Nimbala campaign. 

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Battle of Nimbala - Talathen Sector - Planning round 5

Alright, new style for doing these updates. Instead of spoonfeeding them as we are done, I will write up the whole "game round" over a week or so to help me recap the story to myself and plan for the next round.

Round 5 is in the bag, so lets start off with the planning phase.

The Situation

The war in the sector is obviously heating up and exchanges between the Rebels and Imperials are becoming more direct. 

Luxon is under full-scale invasion by the Empire, which for the Empire is not that easy a task. The Luxon people are, well, a bunch of crazy militia survivalists who are very well armed, and Luxon cities are mostly located underground.

Orbital bombardment and air superiority don't help a huge amount when the battle is conducted in tunnels deep underground. So a messy close quarters war is underway. 

Nimbala is about to enter a crisis point, and the identity of the 3rd faction was revealed to be "The Red Queen", a former Nimbalan twi'lek slave who married a Czerka executive and then poisoned him to gain his shares in the Nimbala holding company. 

She has been planning on causing conflict on Nimbala to drive the shareprice down and cause a crash of the stock, so she can buy it up and free her people (While making herself ruler). She has enlisted the help of the rebellion. 

With the rebellion destroying a Victory destroyer over Samoth that was using probe droids to search for a rebel base, the Empire has decided to raze the planet. Samoth has a low population, and this task is being conducted by a squadron of Victory class destroyers. This has forced the empire to lift the blockade on Nadir and Zenith. 

The Plan

Luxon - Under Siege

Luxon is under pressure, so considerable resources were assigned to help relieve the Luxon militia.

Special forces were dispatched to help the militia by targeting key points in the imperial logistics network. A rebel general, Kolath De'rest, was also assigned to help coordinate efforts on the ground.

In space, the full might of the rebel fleet and it's logistics division were assigned to punch a hole in the blockade and deliver heavy munitions and supplies to the militia.


Nimbala - The Red Queens Gambit

For the first time in the campaign, three seperate elements were assigned to one planet on a joint task.

Special forces were to liaise with the local resistance and capture the Czerka security command station and arrest their security chief. With the security command under their control, they could lockdown the facilities and limit Czerka troop movements.

Fighter command was employed to stop Czerka troop reinforcements and to assassinate the board member who was coordinating them. Thanks to the Red Queen's inside information, they knew when these reinforcements were to arrive.

Finally, Aurek squad was assigned to the Red Queen as personal security and advisers, and to ensure that the Rebellions interests were looked after during the transition. 

Sa'moth- Busy being leveled

The people of Sa'moth are being wiped off the face of the planet, but the rebellion simply cannot help them at this time due to issues on Luxon and Nimbala. 

The only response was to send a HWK electronic warfare ship to observe and record the bombardment for use in propaganda videos later. 


Due to various reasons, the alliances played little part in this rounds planning. The hutts, Bothans and wookies were either exhausted from previous engagements or occupied in their own schemes. 

Selano, in the face of seeing the Empire fail to establish a presence, and with concerted diplomatic pressure from the rebellion has become considerably more friendly the the rebellion. 

Korvas continues to build up it's defences, Nadir and Zenith breath easier with the blockade lifted. Cahn has asked for help dealing with an internal political issue and probe droids have arrived on axamar to scan for the rebel base. 

Plenty happening in Talathen Sector, battle reports and the "Nimbala buy out" story coming soon. 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...