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Friday, May 29, 2015

Star Wars Armada - Battle Report: Wave I Report OR Admiral Mac's Folly.

I've been wanting to get a Wave I game in for a long time and Sean was happy to oblige! I was itching to try the Gladiators, and with General Dodanno's assistance I settled on a list I really liked. It's mobile, aggressive, and in your face. Sean opted to try the new ship in the alliance arsenal, as well as some of the new fighters.

With a pending tournament (at time of writing) coming up soon at Dragon's Den here in RVA, I was anxious to have at least one Wave I game under my belt before squaring off! While I am now much more confident with the list, here be a spoiler warning: I snatched a draw from the jaws of victory. I need to be sent back to Imperial Flight School.

The Rebel Fleet (299)*
  • Assault Frigate Mk II A + Gunnery Team + Expanded Hangar Bay
  • Assault Frigate Mk II A + Gunnery Team + Expanded Hangar Bay + Dodonna
  • 2x Y-Wings
  • Dutch Vander
  • 3x B-Wings
The Imperial Fleet (298)
  • Gladiator I SD + Demolisher + Wulf Yularen + Assault Concussion Launchers + Engine Techs
  • Gladiator I SD + Assault Concussion Launchers + Insidious
  • Gladiator I SD + Admiral Screed
  • 5x TIEs
  • 2x TIE Interceptors
*This comes out to 284, and Sean had 299 so I'm not sure what I missed here... Might have been one more Y-Wing squad and another upgrade.

The Imperials!

The Empire chooses to go first, and settles on Advanced Gunnery. It's going to hurt, but Sean chose his objectives very well and this was the lesser of three evils.

The Empire rolls out!

All three Gladiators descend onto Sean's objective ship.

Because Sean is cruising along at one, I hope to just let 2 of my ships ram him to finish him off and buy a turn for navigations! Moving at speed three with only 2 clicks is a scary thing...

The fighter dogpile has begun!

Two broadsides let rip from the Assault Frigate and the Insidious is nearly hanging on...

But before she can go down, missiles rip into the Assault Frigate and she goes down in a fiery ball.

Unfortunately the damaged Insidious has nowhere to escape, and flies off the board to its doom. I 100% did not think ahead beyond "Ram that assault frigate and watch it burn!"

Furthermore, I hastily tried to turn Screed's flagship back around to turn into the Assault Frigate... and again realized I put him in a position to not be able to keep from flying off the board. I realized after issuing the entirely wrong order. Man. These were two HUGE mistakes that I 100% attribute to my bloodlust. Maybe it was the fact that I just saw Mad Max and I saw these things as war rigs just barreling forward. So, there you have it kids- I lost TWO ships this game to driving off the edge of the world! Awful.

B-Wings were just chewing up my TIEs, but eventually I started pulling out a little bit ahead in the fighter game.

Unlike my other ships, Demolisher can zip all around and turn on a dime thanks to the Engine Techs/Wulf Yularen combo.

Screed tried so hard to stay in the battle!

As the sideshow fighter battle wound down to conclusion, it became clear the Imperials had the upper hand.

Eventually only Dutch, an Interceptor (NOT Fel despite the bloodstripe) and some TIEs remained.

As the game draws near its close, Demolisher doggedly hounds the Assault Frigate. At this point, I've completely given up my lead to my own absolute recklessness, but I am confident I can survive!

Demolisher stays on the Frigate!

The TIE Interceptor rolls 4 blue dice and manages to take Dutch out!

In the last maneuver of the game, Demolisher opens up a broadside on the Assault Frigate, tearing it to shreds... but is short by a single point of damage to take it out.

So close!

The board state at the end.

In the end, I destroyed 272 to Sean's 255. Though I am ahead in points, I am most certainly due for a force choking by Lord Vader, so we decide to call it a draw.

Imperial Thoughts: I LOVE Gladiators. I need to remember that just because they're fast doesn't mean they can turn like Corvettes or even Nebs. Black Dice and Screed, man! So much damage, but they're almost always being braced. Still, scoring 6, 7, or 8 damage in one attack is not unheard of! I still love vanilla TIEs, but that one extra attack die on the 'ceptor was so nice. Thankfully, I learned my lesson- I took 2 gladiators to a tournament and did very well! More on that soon!

Rebel Thoughts: Sean's Assault Frigates were pretty sturdy all things considered. I think if he would've had them a bit closer together I might have had a very difficult time of it. I need to see the Assault Frigates in play more- especially utilizing their higher speed. Sean's fighter strategy was to play them very defensively and under the umbrella of the Assault Frigate II. In the end, while X-wings would've been better, the B-Wings really held their own. Dutch was GREAT. +6 points over a vanilla Y for +1 blue, his cool ability, and 2 brace tokens? So good!

Want to join the conversation? Please sound off in the comments below, or let us know on our forum!
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Event Recap: Come As You Are

Last weekend, I ran an event at Huzzah Hobbies where the players just showed up with dice and a tape measure, and played pre-set armies on pre-set tables with pre-set scenarios. The goal of the event was fun - get people playing with armies and toys that they don't get to play with very often, and hopefully do something new.

To facilitate expanding up to 16 players (after last year's 12), I enlisted the help of three invaluable "Bringers", who provided a pair of armies. My sincere thanks goes out to Jon Baber (with the help of Wally Johns), Tim Grimmett, and Bob Evans who stepped up to that role.

First up we have Dirty Jon's 29th Infantry attacking a German security force in a town in Hold the Line. Jon was not able to attend the event, but Wally Johns was nice enough to bring Jon's armies up from Richmond. In this scenario, the Germans won all three games. It was later determined that the village the Germans defended, in addition to taking three strands of wire, made for a very tough attack for the trained Americans, although two of the American players were overheard saying "If I had only done XXX...."

The 29th had the support of a pair of 105 Shermans as well.

Most players opted for three barbed wire from the PSV, but one took the minefield option.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Behind Enemy Lines Episode 8

The Behind Enemy Lines Podcast is back with even more news, AARs, and engaging topics!

Download the file here

Nukes fall, dark ages happen, and life continues in a post-apocalyptic world. Join us for yet another report from Behind Enemy Lines!  

In Act I, the guys report on some wargaming n00b news and rumours.  

In Act II, we discuss our AARs and answer some probing questions from our listeners.  

In Act III, the guys run through the very basics of Saga and introduce our new favourite game: This Is Not A Test...

Want to join the conversation? Please sound off in the comments below, or let us know on our forum!
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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bolt Action - Bolt Action Melbourne: August Player Pack (Now Updated)

B.A.M.A.“Bolt Action Melbourne August” Player Pack (August 16th)

A Melbourne Based, 3 game, 1000 point Bolt Action tournament.

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The Thankless Defenders (LOTR LCG DECK)

With the release of The Lost Realm, I couldn't wait to try out a Dunedain deck! I knew I wanted both of the new Heroes: Tactics Aragorn and Halbarad. I went back and forth on who to have in my 3rd slot between Beravor and Idraen. In the end, Idraen and her 80s hair and 3 attack won out. I knew I wanted this deck to be able to dish out pain since it wanted to be engaged, and Spirit is probably my favorite sphere so Idraen became a no brainer! This deck is a work in progress. I expect it to be the core I work from as we get into the Angmar Awakened cycle.

Typically when I do a trait themed deck (in this case Dunedain) I really restrict the allies to that type. In this case, however, I am not feeling most of the Dunedain allies so I lifted the restriction, but opted to go for cards that still mostly felt at home. I have to admit, it was a struggle to give up on the obvious synergy between Mablung and Aragorn, but I wanted a thematic deck to run through The Lost Realm, so left Mablung where he belongs in the forests of Ithilien. So before I write up my justifications, and without further ado- here is the deck list!



Note: all of the card names are hyper-links!

Again, I mostly opted out of Dunedain allies with a few exceptions. Arwen is not only my favorite 2 cost spirit ally, but she's thematic with Aragorn! She's just all around fantastic. Defender of Rammas was needed to really fill a much needed defensive role. If this were a deck with Mablung I could count on a Gondorian Shield, but in this case I'll make do with the Defender. The Dunedain Hunter is one of the two exceptions I make to the Dunedain allies. Man, I just love this guy!

Errand Rider is there for his sole purpose of smoothing those resources. I just can't break away from tri-sphere! He is usually enough to ensure I'm not sitting with cards in my hand for turn after turn. Escort From Edoras helps with the push-questing. In general, especially when the Celebrian Stone is out, I find 2 spirit resources to be worth it for +4 quest points for a turn. Galadriel, while a bit pricey, is almost always worth it- with so many attachments in this deck, she rarely whiffs. Gandalf- the deck has sneak attack, what else need I say? Finally, Northern Tracker. That card is just a total crutch for me. It's expensive, but with errand rider and Celebrian Stone, it's usually never too harsh. Besides, I love it, and it's synergy with Idraen is just obvious!

A Test of Will- honestly, have you played The Lost Realm? No? Take these, you'll need them. Weather hurts. Feint- This is another no-brainer. We want to be engaged, but we don't want to die! Foe Hammer - Honestly, this card is on the chopping block for this deck. With only 3 weapons, it can be a bit unreliable... but short of Gandalf I was lacking card draw. I will re-evaluate this card as I continue defending the North. Sneak Attack- Honestly, isn't this looking like an "Events: The Greatest Hits" compilation album by now? Tighten Our Belts is so good. However, it might be a bit overkill in this deck... though a turn one drop ensures that by turn 2 you're rockin' and rollin. I'll keep it as a 3-of for now, but I may drop 1 to add a Blade of Gondolin to ensure Foe Hammer fires more. 

With such a heavy focus on heroes in this deck, there are a whole lot of attachments! Celebrian's Stone is a great card to get out ASAP. Making Aragorn quest for 4 and giving him a spirit resource really gets this deck moving. Combine with an Unexpected Courage and I'm feeling very confident. Dagger of Westernesse is really only here to let Foe Hammer fire, which I don't love. On the other hand, a +1 on our Heroes is pretty big, especially with Aragorn's ability. I keep waffling between it and Blade of Gondolin- and have used them interchangeably. In theory, having enough Blades out COULD force a situation where Idraen would get to ready again. In practice, I never saw that- but I'm willing to keep trying! In either case, the Daggers are for Idraen and Halbarad so I don't eat into Aragorn's restricted attachments! (Ed. - Blade of Gondolin all the way - Parker)

Rohan Warhorse is there for even more readying. I want the absolute most action I can get out of my heroes, and the warhorse is just for Aragorn. Sword That Was Broken is another pricey attachment, but getting it out usually marks the beginning of the end for the encounter deck. Questing for +1 per character is insane, not to mention the additional resource smoothing it provides! Warden of Anor is another one on the chopping block. It's helpful, especially when paired with Northern Tracker, but it's not an auto-include. With wanting to always be engaged, it will likely be replaced with Hasty Stroke in the near future.

Thanks for reading  guys! This deck is far from perfect- even writing this article has prompted me to fire up the deck editor and make some tweaks- perhaps I will post a V2.0 when I feel happier with it! That being said, I've made it through The Lost Realm several times now with this deck. It works, and it feels thematic!

    Want to join the conversation? Please sound off in the comments below, or let us know on our forum!
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    Back to Late War: Getting my Hermann Goering Sorted

    By "Dirty Jon" Baber

    For the past several months, I have been fooling around with some fairly weird lists on the German side, and I think I am ready to get back to something more "normal" and also fun for me - the HG lists.

    Instead of focusing on my beloved Panzer IIIs, I think I will take a look at working the Infantry Company and StuH42 angle.  The StuH42 really is a great tank, and I want to see if I can still make a decent list considering the explosion of technology in Late War.

    Combat Platoons

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    Bolt Action - Review: Sdkfz 247 Aust B

    The SDKFZ 247 Aust B was a short run German recognisance vehicle during WW2.  It was small, it was fast and I definitely wanted one... or two for my late war German army.

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    Tuesday, May 26, 2015

    WWPD Conquest LCG League - Round 2

    The games have been coming in fast, but with a long vacation I hadn't been able to keep up with the reporting! So let's get right to it with the results from Round 2 of the WWPD Conquest LCG League.

    This is the only Guard/AM action you'll see this round, so we have to show them some love with a little art

    If you missed Round 1 coverage, take a few minutes and check it out.

    The action started off with Eric and Ragnar Blackmane taking on Andrew and Packmaster Kith. Andrew's DE are quickly becoming the bane of our existence, and Eric happened to be on the receiving end of it this time. That said, Eric made Andrew work for it, especially since Kith was bloodied from Turn 1! By his own admission, Eric then got wrapped-up in the warlord hunt, when he should have just bullied the planets and gobbled up those icons. In the end Andrew was able to pull ahead in command and prevent Eric from fighting the battles he needed to win.

    My game against Chris saw me running Eldar for the first time in quite a while, and I was facing Chris's standard Zarathur madness. I dominated command, as Eldar tend to do, but couldn't bring it home in combat. Ultimately Chris stole a planet out from under me, which forced a big, final confrontation that I had been hoping to avoid. In the end I just didn't have the numbers, and victory went to the forces of Chaos.

    Luckily for the Eldar, Rob had better luck piloting Eldorath than I did. He faced off against Sonbae and Ragnar. Unfortunately Sonbae just couldn't track down Eldorath, nor could he pin down an early Wildrider Squadron. Eldorath (Rob) came away with the win, in what is likely the Eldar's first step in reclaiming the galaxy for its rightful masters.

    Finally, Steve brought his tricksy new Aun'Shi deck against Adam's - wait for it - Ragnar deck. Ragnar must have been worn out from all of his other fights, because Aun'Shi took him down. Not much else to say, just a solid win for the Tau.

    The standings at the end of Round 2:

    Andrew 2-0
    Steve 2-0
    Adam 1-1
    Chris 1-1
    Eric 1-1
    Rob 1-1
    Parker 0-2
    Sonbae aka Jeff 0-2

    Our hero, Parker, will hope to rebound in Round 3 - thanks for reading!

    Stay tuned for Round 3, and be sure to follow our Conquest LCG news on Twitter @ActionsatOne

    Want to join the conversation? Please sound off in the comments below, or let us know on our forum!
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