Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A New Dreadball Pitch

I recently had the opportunity to put together a new Dreadball pitch. A friend in the Dreadball Fanatics Facebook group asked me to help him with a pitch for a tounament he's running. The desired pitch would be "futuristic" and useful as a play aid to teach the game. It should be large with areas to organized the game components.  I was told that a pitch design by Robin Libbrecht would be a good starting point.

Robin's original pitch design:

Robin Libbrecht's fantastic original pitch design.
Here is what I came up with:

New Dreadball Pitch

It is designed to be printed at 24"x28" on a Two Player Playmat at InkedPlaymats.

In addition to using colors to indicate the various halves of the board and which player's rush it is etc, various other elements were added to help with gameplay.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Dreadball League Update Jan 2015 and Deadzone!

Our Dreadball League was rudely interrupted with the holidays, but we are back on track!  We met up for our 4rth league night last week and there were tense games to be had!  The Newmarket DirtyRats played the Ukomo Avalanchers, while the Silver Mountain Slammers faced the Hiveworld 8 Warriors.


Team Name
Jan 15


Team Value
Hiveworld 8 Warriors
0 - 7

Newmarket DirtyRats
Veer Myn
3 - 0

Silver Mountain Slammers
Forge Fathers
7 - 0

Ukomo Avalanchers
0 - 3

Chromium Chargers


*Some info to be updated shortly


We have also been distracted by a few other fleets of fancy!  Deadzone!  Geoff and I got our first two games of Deadzone in and they were a blast.  Geoff played Enforcers and I played Rebs in both games.  In the first game, we both drew the exact same Mission card.  We both had to survive, earning points for each round that half of our force stayed alive, while also earning points for kills.  So, the game felt like a bit of cat and mouse as the Enforcers have higher firepower and armour.  So, the Rebs basically hid and took pot shots here and there while slowly being mowed down.  It was still a close game with the Enforcers finally winning with 10 points to the Rebs' 7 points.

 The second game we played gave the Enforcers a kill order mission while the Rebs were given a Scour mission.  This played heavily in the Enforcers' favour as my Rebs strike team was not built for a scour mission.  I struggled to move equipment off the board, but eventually ran out of troops to effectively earn enough VP to win, so the Enforcers took home another victory with 10 points to the Rebs' 6.  It was still a blast, but I look forward to beginning a league.  In a league you will be able to draw a Mission card and THEN build your force for the mission you drew.  I suspect the Scour missions will be more possible when a strike team has been built specifically for it.  It is a challenge to pull off!

Then finally, I got in a Mars Attacks game.  This game is awesome!  It is dripping with theme, light, but feels very tactical and realistic.  I played the first scenario, which felt very balanced with the humans being in the lead until civilians started emerging from the buildings, giving the Martians the opportunity to capture them and take the lead to win the game.  While it has some more random elements and chaotic elements than Deadzone, the fun factor is high and I look forward to playing a lot more of this game!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Type-17 Launcher Empire of the Blazing Sun

After a crazy holidays, and lots of time assembling models, I am happy with this one.  The model felt like building a model, and not just piecing a figure together.  There is some unfortunate bubbles in the side pieces, and one unfortunate mold line on one of the crew's face.  I confess, I am really pleased with the detail in Spartan Games' models. In particular I am very satisfied with these ones.

I have not had much success with these on the tabletop, however that is likely since I am still figuring it out.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Dystopian Legions V1.5 Battle Report #1 - FSA VS EotBS

New to Dystopian Legions,  and awaiting the 2.0 manual, I wanted to learn a little of how to play this game.  So here is a 1120 pt battle using the 2.0 orbats and 1.0 ish rules. Some things were adjusted to fit my limited understanding of 2.0.  Also, sorry about the lack of painting, these models were under the tree, and the game table is still under construction.

Here are the lists:

Captain Rogers commanding officer
MG Section w/ 2 buffalo hunters and 2 MG
Federal Infantry Combat section w/specialist,  hunter, sgt and scout
Doc Orlington
Wilderness section w/ 1 hunter, 3 scouts 2 wolves
5 regular aircav (using the Sky Hussars since I like the models better)


1st Lt Kobizashi Commanding
Kozo Okinawa and Madame Taipan (using female Shinobi model)
Ashigaru Combat section with specialist
Type 17 Field Gun
3 Shinobi Assassins
3 Shinobi Assassins including one Kyudoka
1 MG section

The Scenario:
Intel has come to FSA Captain John Rogers regarding the whereabouts of a secret facility producing poisonous gas grenades.  It is vital that this facility is destroyed.
EotBS victory condition is to break the FSA troops and prevent the facility from being destroyed.
FSA will claim victory if they break the EotBS forces, or plant an explosive on the door of the factory. 2 Explosives are provided and are indicated by mine pieces, they must be carried by a model.  While carrying the explosive, the model may not fight.  (model must forfeit its action after movement, and not be engaged, to plant explosive).

EotBS must deploy within the compound of the Facility.
FSA may deploy within 8" of the three sides facing the exterior of the facility.

The Plan:
The EotBS placed its artillery to the rear, protected by the shinobi in case of an FSA ambush.  The Ashigaru were placed on the loading dock, where visibility over the wall would give some protective fire against an approach through any entrance.  The officers would provide the necessary moral boost, while receiving the protection of the walls.

FSA forces deployed surrounding the facility.  The main entrance was to be covered by a diversionary force, while providing enough firepower to take advantage of line of sight through the main entrance.

Round 1
Initiative began with the FSA, which suited them fine as they lay down fire from the forest and on the flank.  The Japanese Machine gun guarding the main gate was obliterated, but not before it mowed one of the Aircav out of the air. One shinobi fell to fire from the Federal Infantry on the flank, but it wasn't enough to keep them at bay and 2 of them made it into melee.  Aircav used their flight to fire over the wall at the Ashigaru but rolled poorly, downing only a single soldier.  The response was devestating, leaving only a single Aircav after their dragons breath shotguns found their marks.  A stray round from the Artillery piece killed a single Timberwolf from the wilderness section that was sneaking up the corner.
Melee began, and three FI fell to the shinobi, taking one with them.
The FI use the upper hand to disengage, hoping for the initiative.

A single Aircav remains shaken by the loss of his section

The view of the facility from the MG emplacement

Round 2
Sorry for the blurry picture, In the second round, the initiative went to the Japanese, who promptly charged the lone shinobi into the FI on the flank, and put some fire into the wilderness section.  The FSA responded by charging in where they could engage the ashigaru and taking some pot shots through the entrance at Master Okinawa.  Shinobi closed on the remaining aircav and much to my surprise, Captain Rogers rushed from the cover of the tree line to bring his command closer to the ensuing melees.  Okinawa and Madame Taipan lept into action to support the ashigaru and the Field gun put a wound on Orlington, who was on the flank.
Melee sees the last shinobi on the right flank fall, Madame Taipan stuck switly ensuring the wilderness section would suffer badly in the melee.  The Aircav is swiftly dispatched by the shinobi on the left flank, who then make a dash for the captain, but come up short.  This next initiative is crucial.
Madame Taipan made short work of the scout with the mine.

Due to a mistake on my part, all charges needed to pass a morale test first... so Orlington watches in fear as the melee ensues.

Round 3
The Captain out in the open, Shinobi bearing down on him, the next move could be the difference between victory or defeat for this American mission.  The initiative dice are rolled, and the FSA gets 2 successes, while the Japanese have only 1.  Captain Rogers sighs relief, he has a chance.  The MG section opens fire, cutting down 2 of the shinobi in a hail of bullets.  The third one fails his morale check and flees behind the walls of the compound.  Emboldenned by the bloodbath he sees inside, the captain charges into the fray in hopes to aid his wilderness section, and secure the opening for the second explosive carried by a scout with the flanking Federal Infantry.  Oce again I screw up the charge process and the FI shake in fear of joining the melee, but Orlington this time joins the fray, tipping the balance and causing the fight to splinter into 2 groups.  But now the two officers are alone, and the Japanese forces are still strong.
The dead are piling up in the corners

The wilderness section is destroyed, the captain locked in fierce hand to hand combat with Ashigaru and the Lt.
Round 4-5
Federal Infantry to save the day!  The Machine Gun section is on the move, hoping to arrive in time to save their captain, and the Federal infantry have grown a backbone and have arrived to help Orlington.  Madame Taipan falls first, then the master, taking only a specialist and some grunts with them.  Orlington has one wound left, but is now accompanied by a scout and a sergeant.  The crew of the Type 17 field gun abandon their field piece, and carry their shotguns into the scrum with their Lt. I don't know if you're allowed to do that, but I did because it made sense. The captain is fading fast, and doesn't see the shinobi behind him.

The field gun crew have abandoned their piece

The Captain falls
Round 6
With Master Okinawa down, the Japanese are now at their breaking point.  They made their break test last turn, and they have another one coming this turn.  Their only hope is to force the FSA to break first.  The shinobi steps from the shadow behind the wall and surprises the FSA machine gunners, just after their hail of bullets ends the crew from the Type 17.  He takes out enough men that the Americans are now just at their breaking point.  who will fail the morale check first?

In the midst of the carnage, a bullet finds its mark, or something to that effect anyway.  Lt Kobizashi is felled, along with his ashigaru.  The only Japanese soldier left is the shinobi who stands at the gate.  It is the end, and his heart has at last failed.  He must flee, and relinquish the compound to the American invader.  The die result, 1,1,3.

Post Game Thoughts
I thoroughly enjoyed this game.  I learned a ton about force building, and maneuvers.  The value of melee and CQB weapons (which I assumed meant they could be used in melee, either or their MAD).  I also learned what a mess the big scrum in the middle can become.  As others have comented, the command points went largely in surplus, though I hear there are things in the 2.0 rulebook that they can be used on in a way that make sense.

Things I like:
Tailoring of the sections, adding a scout here, or a Buffalo Hunter makes each section unique.  Sequencial play, where activations alternate during a round.  I loved this in Lord of the Rings, and this makes the game so interesting.  The narrative potential for this game is enormous, and flexible in its scenario structure.  Chosing your order of activation is so important, and hoping you time things right, guessing your opponent's order, to get the shot off.

Things I didn't like:
Melee was a mess, and it is a black hole. Once you're into a fist fight, you can't seem to get out, the most viable option appears to be to remain in it and try to take some of "them" with you.  But then I doubt I'm using the correct rules, so hopefully that will be cleared up when I get the new manual.  However the battle reports I've read have often ended with a scrum in the middle.  I hope this is not indicative of the direction this game goes.  Also of note is how short the range is on the Type 17.  It is ludicrous that in order to fire an HE round, you have a shorter range than a HMG.  A Buffalo Hunter's rifle can shoot farther.

End Comments
In all I am super excited to explore more of this game, and will be painting these models and organizing more games in the future.  It is simple enough that my son is able to play it (played the FSA this time around) while deep enough to offer some rich table top experiences.  Something I did notice, is that this game felt like it was near the minimum of models I would want to play with.  There just wasn't a lot of items to look after when it all boiled down.