Sunday, 11 April 2021

Lockdown 2.0 Project Log Day 109: Battle for Jango's Landing

 Hi!

In a fit of nostalgia I pulled some of my old Epic collection out of my display cabinet and had a quick game using my own rules so without further ado, here's the battle report!

Background

While the Inquisition are probing the sewers beneath Farpoint's capitol Freeport City, Lieutenant Bolivar of the Ultramarines has been dispatched to defend one of the planets outlying settlements from a raiding party of traitor Marines.

Arriving from the north west, his scouts report that there is a force of the Sons of Titan rapidly approaching from the south and east and Bolivar begins issuing orders to his small force. The traitors will not ravage Jango's Landing while a single Ultramarine draws breath!

The Forces


Lieutenant Bolivars force consists of one command stand, two tactical stands, a Centurion battle suit and a land speeder. 


The Sons of Titan are lead by Konnix Darkslade, Champion of Titan. His force consists of one command stand, two tactical squads (one of which has a missile launcher upgrade), two rebel Squat squads and a Rhino APC.

Now these may seem like piddly forces for an Epic scaled game but I'm quite a fan of playing small games in the scale and looking at the two forces, they are about the size of a 2nd edition 40k force just scaled down.

The Setup


The game takes place in the town of Jango's Landing and as such there are a number of buildings scattered about the board which provides heavy cover for those occupying them. I didn't bother coming up with any scenario objectives, with the winner being whoever drove off the other force.

The Ultramarines deploy in the north west whilst the Sons of Titan arrive in the south east of the board. The board itself is 2'x2' and I was keen to see if I could play a game using such meagre space.

The Game

Aware that his force is outnumbered, Bolivar splits his tactical squad into two combat squads allowing for more flexibility and orders his forces forward. Like Epic Armageddon, a unit may activate normally and can then be pushed by passing a command check. If they succeed, they may activate a second time but if they fail, they receive a blast marker.

Turn one saw the Sons of Titan Space Marine squad rushing forward into the towns industrial zone, no doubt in search of supplies to loot. Their commander Konnix is distracted by his comm unit's snarled warning that Imperial troops are approaching his position and fails to activate while the forces Rhino speeds along one flank and the Squats move forward towards the town centre.


The Ultramarines begin to deploy with the two combat squads moving forward towards the town along with the command squad, who like the chaos commander, fails his activation check. The Centurion clanks forward towards the rock spires that overlook the towns northern edge, preparing to bring down heavy fire on whatever traitor he sees. Finally the Ultramarine speeder skims south towards the woods, intent on bringing some hurt to the traitors they detect moving towards the warehouses.


Turn two has activations swap between both sides fairly smoothly with the Ultramarine speeder rapidly closing on the traitors positions whilst both sides begin to consolidate their positions with the Ultramarines moving further into the town and occupying several buildings, preparing to use them as defensive redoubts to pour fire on the traitors when they approach.
 
The traitor Rhino speeds forward into the town, seeking shelter from the Ultramarine Centurions heavy weapons systems and the traitor marines close in on the warehouses chanting songs of battle as they do so.


Turn three has the action starting to hot up with the Ultramarine speeder making a drive by attack on the traitor marines but their fire only succeeds in placing a blast marker on the Sons of Titan. 


The failed attack is costly as the outraged renegades pour through the gap between the warehouses and rain fire into the loyalist skimmer and despite desperate evasion measures is sent spiralling to the ground in a ball of fire as bolter shells find it's engine. Chanting and bellowing, the traitor marines prepare to move on the main Ultramarine position.


Brother Vexus, the Ultramarine manning the Centurion battle suite spots the renegade tank but is unable to get a fix on it as it thunders behind a nearby building but his sensors do allow his weapons array to lock onto the traitor Squat squad and he proceeds to blaze away with his heavy bolter, shredding one of the stands and sending the traitorous survivors reeling.


Turn four has the traitors Rhino rapidly approaching the loyalist position and this time Brother Vexus can draw a bead on the tank and his heavy bolter fire shreds the machine.


Enraged at the loss of their tank, the Sons of Titan marines storm forward firing on one of the Ultramarine combat squads with their missile launcher causing no casualties but inflicting a blast marker on the stalwart defenders as the missile blasts a large hole in the building they are occupying.

Return fire from the marines is out of range and they hold their position, forcing the chaos marines to advance on them in the next turn.

Meanwhile the traitor Squats finally rally back in the chaos deployment zone and the renegade commander Konnix moves forward as fast as he can to support his renegades who are engaged in a fierce firefight in the town centre.

Turn five begins with the Sons of Titan marines rush into a series of buildings opposite the Imperial positions and open fire on the second combat squad. The ensuing firefight is savage and both sides take blast markers but the combined weight of fire of the Ultramarines as well as some poor rolls by the Chaos troops sees them wiped out.


Approaching the scene of the firefight, the rebel commander Konnix realises that his men have been slain and the Ultramarines are in possession of the town and that no doubt reinforcements are on their way. Cursing the loyalist scum, Konnix gathers up his surviving marines and retreats towards their landing zone, vowing revenge upon the Imperium in general and the Ultramarines in particular.

Conclusion

Well I had quite a bit of fun with that game and things went well for the staunch defenders of the Imperium! I need to rework the command system a bit as the renegade commander spent much of the game failing to activate due to poor rolls so will need to take that into account in future games. 

Konnix should have deployed in the Rhino and stormed forward with his renegade marines as I feel the combined force would have probably been able to overwhelm the Imperial positions but I sent it off by itself to distract the Centurion and stop him blowing away my marines.

I've really enjoyed playing in 6mm again and suspect that I'll be dusting off more figures in the future to play some slightly larger skirmishes and may need to make a stand to represent some of the assorted warbands that I have in 28mm scale as it would be great to have games using different scales to represent small encounters on the battlefield or as part of a larger campaign where the action hots up with a rebel uprising or xenos invasion forcing the different warbands to choose a side!

In other news I'm working on a load more sculpts for my fantasy project and should have some more stuff to show tomorrow but until then, All the best!

Lockdown 2.0 Project Log Day 108: Sewer Skirmish!

 Hi!

I managed to play another game of Planet 28 yesterday evening featuring Vash and an ad hoc team exploring the sewers under Freeport City in search of a nameless horror.

The Background

Following a spate of disappearances in the slums of Freeport City, Governor General Laars van Dorn has requested Inquisitor Fishers aid in discovering what became of the missing citizens. Fishers team set to work scouring the rundown area and interviewing those who claimed to have seen a shadowy creature carrying bodies down into the sewer. 

Despite initially being sceptical of this supposed creature, Fishers team discovers a vid of the said being and set out to destroy the beast. 

Inquisitor Fisher, still being rather cross with Vash for having first allowed his shuttle to be stolen and then requiring her to cut short her recuperation spa to go and rescue him has decided to send him into the sewer to try and locate the beasts layer. His usual companions, Glitterberry the Eldar and Master Lee are unavailable to help (Lee having to sit out several missions with a shattered hand following a duel with Grizelda Giggle and Glitterberry claiming he cannot go due to reasons unfathomable to mere humans) so he's brought along a ships crewman called Gunter Fung and has hired Geode the rock as some backup and has descended into the sewers under the city in search of a monster.

The Forces


Vash is armed with a power maul, las pistol and wears heavy armour. He has the Blessed ability meaning he can re-roll a failed dice every turn and is also slow due to his tendency to wander off. Geode is armed with a shotgun and light armour as well as having the Iron Skin ability and Slow to represent the strange stonelike xenos' rocky body. Fung is armed with a las pistol and has light armour.


The Sump Horror has the Brawler, Sure Footed and Climb abilities as well as causing fear, being a brawler and having poisonous attacks so is quite a beast. There are also many giant spiders in the sewers which while a nuisance are poisonous too.

The Setup


The game takes place on the first level of the sewer at a partially flooded pump station. Vash and co deploy at the southern edge of the table whilst the Sump Horror begins the game hiding somewhere on the board. 

There are six objectives that need to be searched by Vash's party which requires and action to be spent in base contact with them. On a D6 roll of 1 it uncovers a giant spider, a 2-5 reveals nothing and a 6 has the Sump Horror's position being revealed.

To make matters worse, at the end of each turn a D6 is rolled with a 1 bringing a giant spider onto a random board edge and a 6 having the Sump Horror arrive on a random board edge. The giant spiders will move D10cm in a random direction until they can make line of sight at a character when they will move to attack. Once the Sump Horror arrives, it will take control of any spiders on the board.

The pump station is also partially submerged in foul smelling water and other, less pleasant things and all black areas count as difficult terrain.

The Game

As Planet 28 uses an Agility system, Fong will activate first followed by Vash and Geode. Once the Sump Horror is revealed, it will move first followed by Fong, then the spiders then everybody else.

Turn one starts with Fung gingerly moving off the walkway and wading through the vile water towards the first objective, ending his activation in contact with some strangely glowing fungal growths.


Vash moves forward towards the corridor that is blocked by a door but notices a second objective east of his position in the form of a large pipe with interesting graffiti and a flickering control panel.

Geode racks the slide of his pump action shotgun and rumbles forward towards the doorway as fast as his rocklike body can move. Turn one ends with no spiders appearing.


Turn two begins with Fung searching gingerly through the glowing fungi but finding nothing before wading back towards the walkway. Vash wades out towards the second objective but his heavy armour slows him down considerably. Geode continues his slow progress towards the doorway, intent on earning his pay for the mission. A spider appears from the depths of the northern edge of the pump station and scurries forward, it's beady eyes glowing in the gloom.


Fung wades back out of the water and climbs onto the walkway preparing to head further into the station and is joined by Vash who has discovered that his objective, while fascinating isn't the hiding place of the Sump Horror.

Geode reaches the door but finds it locked and is unable to open the portal (possibly because he has no hands!) and finally a giant spider appears behind the party.

Hearing the scuttling, Fung turns and repeatedly fires at the vile creature, las bolts lighting the station and succeeds in bringing the beast down but worryingly it takes two direct hits from a las pistol to kill it.

Seeing the creature killed, Vash moves towards the doorway that Geode is attempting to open and geode once again fails to open the doorway and resorts to smashing into it with his face which finally works and the doorway grinds open. Finally a second giant spider appears at the northern end of the station and joins its companion scuttling around in the dark.


Annoyingly, Geode is now blocking the doorway and the rest of the party can only move forward to peer over his rocky head towards the northern end of the station, aware of increased scuttling noises emerging from the gloom.


And the scuttling increases as the Sump Horror lurches out from the depths of the northern end of the station. Pausing it cocks its head and listens before writhing forward the noise of the interlopers, it's poisoned maw chittering at the spiders surrounding it.


Stuck behind the bulk of Geode, Fung and Vash hold their positions, pistols aimed towards the distant chittering. Geode finally shifts himself grinding forwards and clearing the way allowing the other members of the party to enter the northern section of the station.


The wily Sump Horror scurries forward, ensuing it will not be spotted by the adventurers and gestures the two spiders accompanying it to move forward. Any attempt to deal with the creature by the adventurers will require them to put down the spiders first. 

Fung moves forward, is pistol raised and nervously holds his position while Vash moves in behind him, hefting his maul. Geode moves to the corner of a structure and spots the approaching spiders. Taking aim with his shotgun he blasts the closer creature, sending it flying backwards dripping ichor but the creature pulls itself upright. Finally, and somewhat foolishly, Fung moves up the stairway and sees what is hiding behind it.


Uttering a shriek, he tries to aim his pistol but the Sump Horror is quicker, launching itself from the water it rushes the terrified security trooper and sinks it's poisoned maw into Fung's arm, mauled and now reeling from the poison from the creatures bite, Fung bats at the creature's malformed face with the butt of his pistol but the creatures rubbery skin is undamaged and the melee continues.

The two spiders rush Geode and scurry over his rocky body trying to bite the mercenary but his hard body is unaffected by such trivial scratches. Lifting his maul, Vash charges up the stairs and brings it down on the Sump Monsters head. The impact squashes the creature's head and sends it reeling, badly wounded and spraying ichor from its terrible wound.


The creature isn't dead though and it lunges towards Vash and scrabbles at his armour, desperate to bite and claw the being that has hurt it but his armour holds true. Fung, now badly injured and envenomed, takes a couple of feeble swings at the beast but his vision is blurring and his attacks fail to connect with the Horror.

The remaining spiders still attempt in vain to injure Geode but the rock is made of sterner stuff and is again unwounded.

With a mighty swing, Vash's maul once more impacts on the Sump Horror, caving it its ribs and it collapses to the ground dead. Shaking goo off his hammer, Vash glances over towards his companion, Fung is looking decidedly unwell, swaying and mumbling incoherently and looking a bit wan. Maybe it's time to get out of here as the creature is very dead and the security trooper needs medical attention.

Geode attempts to strike one of the giant spiders attacking him and after an initial failure, succeeds in crushing the vile creature.


Suddenly Fung issues a terrified wail and breaks back towards the entryway, the venom coursing through his veins making him delirious. Ignoring the combat still raging, the trooper lurches towards the door, his only thought to escape the stinking sewer.

The remaining spider is still swarming Geode ineffectually and Vash, moving to restrain his security trooper splats the creature as it perches atop Geode. Geode for his part is glad the mission is complete and begins to move towards the door and the receding back of Fung.

Unfortunately for Fung, two giant spiders appear at the entryway and he lurches around, bursting past his companions and flees into the sewers, his cries fading into the gloom.


Vash moves forward and pops off a shot from his las pistol killing the first creature as it approaches while Geode fires on the second but misses it. The spider launches itself at Geode driving the rocklike being back with it's ferocity but failing to damage him.

Vash swings his trusty maul at the creature but only succeeds in grazing it and it is up to Geode to finish it off with a stomp, reducing the filthy creature to jelly.


Things are looking grim for the adventurers as more spiders begin appearing from the entryway and combined las pistol and shotgun fire roars echos throughout the narrow confines of the corridor as the two remaining adventurers slowly move forward blasting the scuttling creatures off the floor, walls and ceiling as they attempt to escape the pump station.
 

Eventually, Geode makes it off the board but just as he leaves, a fresh wave of spiders descends on Vash. In the ensuing melee, Vash repeatedly fends off the venomous beasts and carves an ichor soaked ruin through their bodies before battling his way to freedom.

The Conclusion

Inquisitor Fisher impatiently waits next to an open manhole, tapping her foot as she awaits the return of Vash who was only supposed to be five minutes, Geralt the Wolfbane who is peering down the hole announces that he sees something as the rocky form of Geode rumbles up the ladder followed by a somewhat bedraggled Vash. The Mechanicus is covered in sewer water, ichor and cobwebs and both Geralt and Fisher draw weapons, half convinced that the Sump Horror has made an appearance before relaxing when they recognise their companion.

After a brief explanation, Vash is sent off to be hosed down by a grinning Geralt and Fisher departs to report the creature's death to the Governor General. Yes the creature is dead but according to Vash's account, the sewers need a more thorough investigation and Fisher is going to have to get dirty doing it.

And another fun game was had! I rolled lots of spider reinforcements during the game and giving them five points of damage really slowed the adventurers down whilst the appearance of the Sump Horror relatively early made for an unexpected occurrence but it was rather fitting to have it leap from the shadows to maul a hapless goon and what became of Gunter Fung? Did he succumb to his wounds, dying alone in the depths of the sewers or did he survive, slowly mutating into the very thing he sought to destroy?

Only time will tell as my next game will feature Inquisitor Fisher and co moving into the sewers to delve into level two. What fresh horrors will they discover?

I've really enjoyed playing these super small, scenario driven games and will continue with the campaign over the coming weeks so until then, All the best!

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Lockdown 2.0 Project Log Day 107: Spider Swarm!

 Hi!

Following on from my swarm of Rats, I've now got a swarm of Spiders to menace my adventurers with, be it Fisher's Inquisition team or my Boar Company!


Now I fear and hate spiders so I was in a bit of a quandary as to how to represent the eight legged beasties in my games but after a bit of experimentation, I churned out eight of them using super sculpey.


Much like the rats, they're not very detailed but do the job for low level menaces for adventurers from throughout time and space and will be making a handy addition to my collection. Yes I know they're not anatomically correct for proper spiders but they're as accurate as I'm willing to sculpt them!

In other news, I have been struck by the very different approaches by two different companies who have the licenses for some of my favourite games, namely Res Nova with Warzone Eternal and Clockwork Publishing with Chronopia.

Without getting into the ins and outs of it all, I can't help but feel that Res Nova is developing a very professional approach that will have a tight focus on a small skirmish game and a kickstarter that should deliver just what they promise as everything we hear about the process has been professionally done with people who seem to know what they're doing. While it would be awesome to see lots of figures and artwork, I'm really pleased and reassured by the approach they're taking and feel a great deal of confidence that this new Warzone is going to be just my cup of tea!

 Clockwork publishing on the other hand has been showing sneak peeks of digital renders for a while now and seem to be trying to cover everything from solo and coop gaming to skirmish to mass battle all in one go which I can't help but feel would be better suited to future releases rather than trying to jam it all in their first release. Similarly, the digital renders we've seen thus far aren't inspiring me with too much confidence. Yes digital sculpting allows for dynamic poses but just because something can be done, doesn't mean it should be done. Also the poses chosen for some have been awkward with ropey or soft detail. I can't help but feel they are trying to do too much and will end up pleasing no one but hardcore fans of the original, many of whom still prefer the old sculpts...

Only time will tell as to which will succeed and I really hope they both do but even without any physical product to show, I'm much more inclined to put my money towards Warzone Eternal than Chronopia.

But enough of my ramblings! Tomorrow will see another game of Planet 28 being played with Inquisitor Fisher venturing into the sewers beneath Freeport City in search of a nameless horror so until then, All the best!

Friday, 9 April 2021

Lockdown 2.0 Project Log Day 106: Brutal Quest Battle Report

 Hi!

I played a quick game of Brutal Quest last night and rather enjoyed it so without further ado, on with the report:

The Background

Sir Roderick, Knight of the Eternal Light is on a quest to recover an ancient tome of knowledge from the Order of the Tower's library. Accompanying him is his young squire, Kes Westlake and following a long and arduous journey from the fortified city of Sunpeak, they have reached the Axeblade mountains. 

Unfortunately the snows arrived early and they were forced to winter in the trading outpost of Arch as the passes through the mountains were blocked and Roderick hadn't managed to secure a pass to the Dwarven Realms. As the spring arrives and the passes begin to open, Roderick and Kes have departed, climbing ever upwards and along the Pinecliff road towards the eastern flank of the mountains. Finally after a week of travel the two adventurers approach a small hamlet and a much needed Inn to rest in but as they walk closer to the settlement, the place seems abandoned with no smoke rising from chimneys and nobody moving around.

Cautiously the two approach, easing their weapons from their scabbards and move to investigate. As they do so hunched and unlovely figures emerge from the shadows, their eyeless heads turning as if to listen before letting out guttural snarls and shambling forward towards Roderick and Kes. 

The Forces


Sir Roderick is wearing light plate and has a shield and a longsword whilst Kes has leather armour and a shortsword.


The monsters are a trio of Cavern Dwellers, shambling mutants who often leave the safety of their subterranean lairs to raid settlements. They are unarmed and unarmoured but have the Brawler ability making them pretty dangerous in combat.

The Layout

The settlement lies at the centre of the board and is surrounded by rocky outcrops and sturdy trees. Sir Roderick and Kes enter from the bottom right corner whilst the Cavern Dwellers enter from the top left.

Each building can be investigated by performing a successful melee attack to break down the door. On a roll of a 1, the character is attacked by a giant rat, on a 2-4 they find nothing, on a 5 they discover D6 gold and on a 6 they discover a survivor.

Do they try to enter buildings quickly or deal with the monsters!

The Game

Kes has the highest Agility followed by Roderick and finally the Cavern Dwellers.


Keen to discover any survivors, Kes rushes towards the nearest building despite Roderick's warning. The youthful but headstrong Squire kicks at the door but fails to gain entry. Sighing at his squire's impetuousness, Roderick moves to the barn and puts his shoulder to it but fails to get the sturdy door to open.


Meanwhile the shambling Cavern Dwellers split up with two rushing towards the settlement intent on getting to grips with the two adventurers. The third one, possibly more cunning or cowardly than his compatriots splits off and begins skirting around the edge of the settlement, intent on sneaking up behind the adventurers.

Turn two sees Kes succeed in opening the doorway to the building finding no survivors but four gold pieces in her search. Roderick kicks down the door to the barn and is immediately confronted by a giant rat who launches itself at the startled knight. Uttering a most ungentlemanly oath, Roderick takes a swing at the rodent but the creature is too nimble and scurries up his leg and begins gnawing on his cloak.


The Cavern Dwellers continue their advance and end their activation dangerously close to the adventurers. 

Uttering a shrill battlecry, Kes hurtles out of the building she's just investigated and engages the closest Cavern Dweller who was stalking towards Sir Roderick who seems to be performing some sort of jig with a rat hanging on his cloak.


The charge catches the creature unprepared and Kes scores two respectable hits with her shortsword, wounding the Cavern Dweller and earning herself a Brutality Point. Meanwhile Sir Roderick isn't having a good day, the Rat keeps avoiding his swings and his cloak is getting decidedly gnawed upon (game wise, Sir Roderick was rolling terribly and the rat kept hitting him but failing to damage due to his plate armour)

The now wounded Cavern Dweller swings its filthy claws at Kes but the speed and violence of her charge has obviously unnerved the beast as it fails to hit the Squire. Things start getting a bit dicy for Kes as the second Cavern Dweller charges her but she spots it and manages to fend off its first attack while her leather armour absorbs a second swipe from the creature.

The third beast, hearing the clamour of battle rushes into the village from the west and moves towards the outnumbered Squire.

Kes is starting to worry as she is badly outnumbered and shouts to her boss for help whilst fending off the hideous beasts. She manages to hit the second Cavern Dweller, wounding the beast and seems to be holding her own but how long can she hold out?

Roderick finally manages to kill the rat and glances over his shoulder to see his Squire in a brawl with two unlovely beasts whilst a third creeps up behind her. Such ungentlemanly behaviour requires punishment and Sir Roderick bellows his warcry and bowls into the beast but it spots his approach and his longsword only grazes the creature.

The two Cavern Dwellers in combat with Kes redouble their efforts to drag down the plucky Squire but a combination of bad rolls to attack and some impressive armour saves sees Kes survive, bloodied but unbound.

At this point, I couldn't remember how many turns had been played and realised I had forgotten to take photos so apologies!

Drawing on her training, Kes thrusts her shortsword into one Cavern Dwellers face, sending the beast stumbling away, blood pouring from the deep wound. Her second attack drives her other opponent back with a badly mangled claw.

Roderick meanwhile succeeds in repeatedly hitting his foe but rolling rubbish damage so while his longsword is capable of doing eight points of damage with a single hit, he's only causing one or two points of damage but with a massive overhead swing, he finally causes some real damage and drives his opponent off.


At this point, the Cavern Dwellers have all been badly wounded and shamble away from the battlefield leaving Kes with 4 Brutality Points and Roderick with 3 to save towards advancements.

Conclusion

Sir Roderick binds Kes's wounds and chides her for her impetuous actions but is relieved that his plucky squire has survived and ruffles her hair before bemoaning his badly chewed cloak. Kes, stifling a giggle at her bosses mournful expression volunteers to sew the ravaged cloak. 

Further exploration of the settlement reveals that it has been abandoned and Roderick and Kes barricade themselves up in the inn for the night, lighting a fire in the hearth and preparing to move on towards Pinecliff in the morning.

Well that was a fun game! I really enjoyed playing it and feel that Brutal Quest is going to be a staple for my small fantasy skirmishes moving forward. I've still got to fully master the close combat section as it's a bit more in-depth than Planet 28 but it's rather fun. The Brutality Points also look like they are going to add a really awesome element to games, allowing for re-rolls on skill tests, extra actions or attacks which will allow for damaging even heavily armoured foes.

Hopefully I'll get chance to play some more games today or tomorrow as well as continuing with my Sci-Fi shenanigans but until then, All the best!