Friday, May 25, 2012

Cangames Part 5

Originally on Sunday night I planned on getting into the DBA tournament, as up for grabs was a painted Pict Army in 15mm.

However during the afternoon I heard from a buddy that a game I wanted to try, but had a conflict with was going to run a Sunday Night slot...BOOM! I was quick to the registration desk to get signed up. Up until 5 minutes before it started I was the only player registered....hmm, could be bad, about 2 minutes before we started another player arrived to play. As soon as I saw whom it was, I almost wish he hadn't, more on this later

The game was very unique in that it was Computer Assisted World War 2. This system developed by Mike Van Ryssel and Tim Starke pitted the players against a totally hidden force, thus all the players were on one side. We would arrive on the long table edge to the left of the image below.

Our objectives were the Railroad building (top right of image) and the ends of two roads which crossed the map from left to right.

Below is a shot of our forces, in effect 2 platoons of infantry, 2 37mm AT Gun teams, 3 Panzer III's, a Field Howitzer and 2 Sdkfz 222's.

We split the force, deciding on the small recce with the armoured cars, 1 platoon of infantry and 1 37mm AT gun would capture the one road and then swing to join the others. This is the force I took, having given the other player the option. He then had the rest for the assault on the railhead & road.

Not seeing where the French were, made me cautious & I leapfrogged my armoured cars & AT gun team along both sides of the road using hedges as cover and camoflage. Most of my infantry I sent thru the woods with 1 MG, a Second MG was placed in the stone house to cover the open ground & ruined buildings on far side of the map.

Alas, on the other end of the table, the second player started off by sending troops across the top of the hill, where they were hit with a mortar barrage. He then drove his entire troop of tanks up the road & watched as all 3 were knocked out....He didn't see anything that shot him, as everything was taken out. To say he was pissed would be an understatement.

I haven't heard so much whining at a games table in quite some time, blaming everyone but his own stupidity for his failure.

The hosts then gave him a troop of Panzer 35T's and a PanzerJag 1, which he also proceeded to lose.

I did get most of my infantry & MG's into observation postions. As my 37mm AT Team ran across an open space between hedges, the Gun was smashed by a AP shell, destroying it. The crew then scampered back to the hedgeline & became more spotters for me. I did locate the offending 75mm gun & between my MG's and Autocannons, silenced it for good.

I did get the Field Howitzer, but as the crew dismounted to unlimber it, they were smashed by MG & small arms fire, wiping them out. With the loss of that & the dismal play on the other end of the table, it was decided to end the game, as we were unlikely to be able to complete the mission. The reality of course was that the game hosts were tired of listening to the other player bitching about the unfair scenario.

This was a unique game & I will be looking forward to playing it at the next Cangames. It totally changes your playstyle, when you have no idea where the enemy is hiding.


As for my auction and vendor purchases, I picked up a copy of Heroquest ( love the furniture!), Battlemasters (using the miniatures for my HOTT/Impetus armies), some old GW Warhammer blisters, and my largest purchase pictured below

A box full of Colonials and African tribesmen / Askari's, perfect for some pulp gaming down the road!

Lastly I stopped by the  Army Group North booth to buy some National Markers / Blinds, and several 1/56 scale vehicles. I pretty much buy something from this vendor every year.

So there was Cangames come to a close for another year. Next on my plate is the Morinville Town Wide Garage Sale this Saturday.  Cheer`s!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Cangames Part 4

Sunday morning after a filling breakfeast I was off to the convention. The first game on the list for the day was;

The Great Redoubt, Borodino 1812. This game was run by my friend Todd using the Lasalle rules. I was playing as a Russian on the right flank beside the redoubt. Things were looking good off the hop as our artillery started making the French troops lives miserable.

Soon after our Dragoons and Cossacks arrived. The Cossacks crossed the first stream to make for the bridge on the right of the image above. As the Dragoons crossed the stream, the French on the end formed a square.

As the French waited in confusion it seemed, I started moving my troops forward. The French player, fearing the mounted forces, had pulled his Horse Artillery back, leaving me free to move without being under fire.

The image below is an aerial view from the far left Russian flank, seemed like the French were arriving in droves!

We did lose the Redoubt, and managed to pass our first break test. If we had 1 more successful break test we could have had the French testing their morale as well, alas, the die was cast & the Russians fled the field. This is just as the French left was crumbling under the Russians advance.

My afternoon game was 'All Things Zombie'. The setting was a hillbilly settlement in the 1920's, where there was word of an illegal still. This brought the Gangsters of which I was a part, to find this still & make it our own. If dealing with the local yokels wasn't bad enough, some Coppers arrived as well as .......ZOMBIES!

Initially the Gangsters came into town from 2 directions. Wayne and myself arrived in the red & light green car. We moved into the Church. The other 2 Gangsters moved in from the bottom right of the image above.

We entered the church and immediately had to deal with a Zombie Wedding. With reacted by pummelling the zombies, dropping all but the kid zombie, which proceeded to slay a gangster.

Meanwhile some old codger in a wheelchair started making for the church. Hillbillies started swarming across the street & were gunned down by the gangsters Tommy Guns. Of course all this firing had a side effect.....ZOMBIES!

The Hillbillies were certainly outgunned and were pretty much wiped out.

Then along came the Coppers! They exited their vehicle after receiving fire from some hillbillies.

 These Coppers were crooked to be sure as one ran up to the Church and started firing his pistol thru the window. As I reacted, my Tommy Gun made him change his mind. The Cops were then overrun by zombies and had to retreat.

I eventually made a pact with the Old Codger by having him give me the location of the Still and then I would take him with us when we left. Unfortunately I should have spoken too him away from the table, as one of the players playing the Cops, heard where the still was & ran one of his characters to its location, thus obtaining it & winning the game.

The image below is of the Force we had become. There were also 4 other Gangsters who had gotten into vehicles & were driving over Zombies.

All in all a very fun game, with great models & scenery. This leaves me with the Sunday evening game & my purchases from the vendors and auction. I will post those tommorrow or later this eve depending how I feel.

Cangames Part 3

Saturday afternoon, I played Speghetti Western, a homegrown ruleset run by Gilbert Collins. The game had 12 slots available, however as many of these games show, they usually have more people show up & generally they are allowed to play as well...the more the merrier!

In Speghetti Western each player will take a character from a famous Speghetti Western and try to shoot their way to victory. Usually the game is a 'last man standing' affair with gold & money bags being the objective. In this scenario the gold was in the building. Players who started near the building were thus required to exit off the end of the board (near to where this shot was taken from).

Characters were distributed randomly. In this game I got "The Mercenary". Alas we all only had pistols & my fellow was sort of a Jack of all, master of none. Some of the characters have 3 dice in pistol, making them deadly. Other dice are added and subtracted due to range, cover, etc.

Alliances were allowed however never binding. There were 5 of us who formed an alliance. Here are 2 of them, Glen & Rita. Glen was I think informing me I should duck, or put a feather in my hat... These two ended up being the only survivors of our alliance of 5.

Some characters had two actions per turn. Each action you could do 1 thing... duck, cock the pistol, fire, move, etc. Many of us only had 1 action per turn. This is something I feel the host needs to fix, as it leaves many players at a disadvantage & they have pretty much lost the game without even starting. I think starting each player off with 2 actions/turn is fair & the differences of skills will be what sets them apart. Rita was lucky enough to have 2 actions per turn & was a force to be reckoned with. I believe she bagged 5 or 6 players, 1 on the first turn.

The Mercenary was a 1 action/turn character. Generally when your hit, you drop your weapon, which will then require 1 turns action to retrieve. One fellow jumped over the wall and grabbed my dropped pistol, leaving me unarmed, however I quickly used my fists skill to lay the boots to him & knocked him out of the game. My glory was short however, as I was shot dead the turn later. Below is the shot of what became the killing grounds, as 4 players died in this area.

A young fellow was playing Tuco, a 2 action/turn character & managed to get the gold & hi-tail it off the far end of the board. Try as she might, Rita couldn't bag him in time, as she was held up by 4 players whom she had to clear out. Here she is making a dash to try to cut Tuco off.

And here is Tuco making his last dash to victory.

Saturday Evening:

Saturday night, I played in the ever-fun game by Todd Creasey. Normally the venue is "Rubberboots" something, named after a fellow who used to show up at the club in his rubberboots. This years venue was a SAGA themed event with Normans pitted against Scots. Each side had 4 players each with their warbands. I was one of the Norman players.

The other player and I decided to sweep our mounted units around the flank & roll up the line. It sort of worked, but our troops were whittled down by high rolling dice of the Scot Hearthguard of which he had 2 6 man elements.

Below is my foot elements (Crossbow and Warriors). These were held in place to await the arrival of my compatriots foot troops which included his Warlord, mine was riding around the flank.

My Warlord and Knights prepare to end a Scot Warlords life. In fact I was able to bag both the Warlords of the Scots on this flank in 1 turn. However as this was a scenario, the warbands did not leave the field upon the death of their liege...

The Scottish player was able to hit my knights on the flank, limiting my dice and forced the knights to withdraw, leaving my Warlord out in the open, his second Hearthguard unit then fell upon him & slew him. This flank was a bad place to be a Warlord. The other end of the table was a see-saw battle with forces being whittled down.

Saturday is also the day that the Vendors area & Cangames Auction starts. I will post a seperate entry of the stuff I snagged this year. It was a good thing I planned and only went to Ottawa with barely half a suitcase as it was sure full on the return.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cangames Part 2

I arrived back at the convention site early Saturday morning for a fulls day gaming. First on the list was

Operation Varsity: Feb 25, 1945 - The First Canadian Parachute Battalion was dropped beyond the Rhine River, 5 miles into Germany. Defended by elite German paratroopers, the DZ proved to be an extremely hazardous place. The area was caught in a triple crosfire from the West, North, and a copse of trees in the middle of the DZ. Added to this was a jump in broad daylight.

This was a 20mm skirmish of Michael Ball's Face of Battle rules.

 I was playing one of the 3 Canadian players. We had 3 objectives. Too capture and hold one of the stone buildings, too knock out and destroy 2 AA guns and to get the plans from the crashed glider. We started making plans for who was to focus on which, but that quickly changed as we were to discover...

 When we flipped a Paratrooper arrives card, it was randomly determined where he landed. I had some one of my squad land on the far end of the map, where alas, he was shot dead as soon as he had removed his harness. As most of my troops landed near the glider, my goal was to get the plans first, then go after some AA positions.

 I also had a bren carrier and 6 pounder AT gun which landed & moved onto the board. It knocked out a Panzer 3 and the AA gun pictured above. We had one last chance to destroy a second gun on the last turn, but as I needed a 1 on a d10 to actually destroy the gun, it failed, but it was sure exciting!

 The turn a paratrooper landed, they had a white (parachute) placed with them, they then spent their next action removing the parachute & standing up. You can see here the number of parachutes around the crashed glider.

As we played the above game, my eye was drawn to the table beside us where a 28mm WW1 game was taking place. Fantastic looking terrain, and I snapped these images to show you.

From what I am reading on the schedule the scenario was called Escape of the Sopwith and was a WW 1 Trench Raid for 4 players using the Last Man Standing Rules.


Nothing adds to a game more than good looking terrain! I will post later the next installment of my Cangames Weekend, until then, enjoy!

Cangames Part 1

I spent the May long weekend in Ottawa attending Cangames. I always enjoy this venue as it allows me to meet up with people from my past whom I have had the pleasure of gaming with when I lived in Ottawa.

As I have quite a few photos I will have to break up the posts.

The convention started on Friday afternoon. There was a limit of 6 pre-registered games, so I had to purchase a game token ($3.00 each) to try to get into the battle for Crysler's Farm. I quickly learned however that it was already full, so rather than pay the token in the forlorn hope that one of the pre-registered would not show, I decided to get into a game of something I have owned but not had a chance to play.  DESCENT: Journeys in the Dark!

I've always viewed this game from Fantasy Flight as Heroquest on Steroids. The sculpts are beautiful & just scream out to be painted. Guess I need to add it to my list.

We had 5 players and most of us had never played before. The game isn't forgiving and several of us died until we started to figure it out. Of course there is the one player who feels they need all the glory & must go first to get to the chest, to open the door, etc. After a couple of traps, that enthusiasm was curbed and we started to play smarter.

The Warlord did successfully beat us, however as this was Cangames, we received a mulligan and did complete the quest.

Friday Evening

The evening found me playing a scenario called "A Storm of Swords" run by Michael Ball. The schedule write-up read as follows;

"Join Jon Snow and The Night's Watch as they defend the Wall and Castle Black from Wildlings, Giants and other creatures. Based on Game of Thrones, play skirmish level battles at the massive Ice Wall using Faces of Fantasy (Face of Battle) skirmish rules.

Three of us were Nightwatch players, while the other 3 played Wildlings and other 'things'

As per most of Michaels games, each player often has their own objectives beyond those of the 'sides'. We rolled for sides and I was second highest. Choosing the Nights Watch, I got to play Jon Snow and several Night Watch attempting to return to the Wall to get the information to Castle Black. I was able to start anywhere along the table edge closest to the bottom of the image, in effect I had to break thru the Wildling lines.

This is a view of Castle Black and the road leading to Winterfell.

It didn't take long for some of the 'Other' creatures to arrive. As I was breaking thru the lines I got bogged down fighting this small mammoth. I engaged it with several members of the watch as well as Ghost. Eventually I forced it to break and fall back which allowed my troops to continue towards the wall. 

The force holding the entrance to the Wall, did a fine job holding the Wildlings in check, but did eventually get over run. There was only so much they could do against boulder hurling giants and the Big Mammoth! I did get Jon thru the wall gate & into Castle Black with the orders, sending Ghost to engage Mance Rayder who had slipped thru the gate and was running down the road. I believe the Wildlings got 1 member off our boards edge.

Of course not knowing what others objectives are requires that you watch what they are attempting and then try to foil their plans while continuing to complete your own. We did have a White Walker show up and start killing Wildlings as it advanced.

All in all a fun game. One thing about the Face of Battle system, is that being card-based where players each turn one card at the same time & perform actions with the affected figure, is that you must maintain a flow of play. It is easy to have players 'slow' the game by wandering off, etc, which for a player like myself who had to run across half the board creates a situation where it becomes nigh impossible to complete your mission. Our after action game discussion I brought this up & we improved this flow the next day when I played another Face of Battle game.

As with most conventions, there are always other games which fall in the same time-slot as the one your playing that you would also have liked to play. Some of the games run in multiple slots, which helps. Here are a couple shots of a large Star Wars: Battle of Hoth game that was occuring behind us.

More on the Cangames weekend to follow...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

EWG Club Night - IABSM

This evening, Mike brought out a small "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" scenario pitting some Canadian Troops against a German force. This was more of a learning session, as we have only recently starting playing the Too Fat Lardies systems and have been stumbling through them.  I think its a matter of not having played them enough and those of us who have, only remember certain aspects.

The game was played with 10mm miniatures.

Bruce and I played the Germans and swept our 2 armoured elements up into woods overlooking the bridges crossing the river.

We then began hammering away at some Canadian Infantry hiding in woods. One unfortunate platoon spent most of the game pinned & were whittled down.

Eventually Will managed to get a troop of his Shermans onto the flank and returned the favour. This platoon was eventually wiped out. With the remnants falling back.

Some quick observations were than the charts seemed a little confusing with Infantry and AFV's using different charts for modifier's etc. As well both teams would have benefitted from having the shooting charts available so they could follow along when working out combat resolution

I do however look forward to playing more of this system as I think once we get it down, it will play well.