Monday, June 30, 2008

AT-43 Battle Report 29062008: Therians vs. Red Blok (but this time they have infantry!)

Hey everyone,

As you can tell from the title, I was able to get in a game today! Definitely had a good time and it could have gone drastically different if not for one dice roll but more on that later.

For this battle, I faced off against James again but this time he had his own army and they were quite a bit different from anything that I have faced before, at least as far as the Red Blok are concerned. Instead of fielding a Frontline faction as most of the RB players in town have done, James decided to focus on Supra and more specifically the Dragonov Kommandos. His entire platoon was made up of full Kommando squads lead by the twins in Urod (I tell you there is just no escaping them...). Let me tell you it was weird seeing infantry on the opposite side of the board...

As for my own troops, I was fielding Nimit Urash (with the v2.0 upgrade), an Incubus (also with the v2.0 upgrade), a full unit of Assault Golems, a unit of Storm Golems, and a unit of Bane Goliaths. Not sure what to expect from his side, I decided to keep the Storm Golems and Banes as my reinforcements so that I could get the larger Assault Golem unit onto the board to soak up some shots.

Rolling for Authority, James won and deployed Old Faithful first, moving Urod onto the board and putting it on Overwatch.

I was instantly regretting putting Nimit at the top of my sequence but I decided to just get it over with and walked him onto the board directly across from Urod.

It had barely stopped moving when Urod opened fire scoring a hit with its cannon (which damaged its legs) and all three of its rockets! Fearing the worst all I could do was watch as James rolled for penetration only to see three 1's staring back at me. By some bizarre twist of fate, all of the rockets had plowed into Nimit but none of them damaged him! Knowing that my luck could only hold out for so long, I opened fire on Urod and managed to inflict a point of damage on it frame before ending the activation by creating a Hekat.

Next James brought the first of his Kommando units onto the board and he let loose with three AT gauss guns into the Hekat, damaging the frame and destroying one of the weapons. Not a big loss in my mind since I tend to use them as fire magnets anyway but knowing that there was another three AT gauss guns coming onto the board before the end of the turn was not too reassuring.

My Incubus moved in next taking position near Nimit before openning fire on Urod. I had contemplated trying to thin out the Kommando unit but Urod is a tough target to pass up which in the end I was glad I did not do. Three of the shots from the v2.0 cannons managed to punch through Urod's armor, damaging its legs and taking the total frame damage up to three! One more to go...

The second unit of Kommandos then moved on and opened fire on the Incubus but they only managed to damage one of the cannons, leaving my striders all in really good shape as the turn was coming to a close. The only thing left to do was move on my Assault Golems.

Once they were on the board, both of the Kommando units opened fire on them (James had used split fire and put the light weapons onto overwatch). In another stroke of luck, I only lost three of the Golems after both of the Kommandos had fired and all of my nucleus guns had survived! Training in on Urod, the three gunners opened fire and managed to inclict the last point of frame damage! The last two Golems opened fire on the twins as the dove from the smoking hulk but both shots failed to penetrate their meager armor. Just have to deal with them next turn...

This brought the first turn to an end with neither side scoring any VPs or RPs and also creating a very image as the RB foot units had to face off against the Therian armor units.

Rolling for Authority on the second turn, James managed to win it again (no big surprise there as the twins were still alive and kicking...). The first thing he did was move the twins into the relative safety of the factory to get them out of the line of sight with my striders.

Definitely a wise move but unfortunately they just could not get far enough away from the Hekat which activated next and dashed over to give them an old fashioned Therian welcome.

James had his Kommandos open fire on the Hekat next, damaging its frame again and its legs but not doing enough to stop it. At least not yet anyway...

My Incubus went next, easily targeting and eliminating the medics from one of the Kommando units. Snipers are nasty things, especially when the weapon in question is also an anti-tank cannon.

James moved his other Kommando unit next, getting them into the factory. This put them at point blank range to the Hekat for his AT gauss guns but through another twist of fate he failed to do any damage! Too much vodka for the Kommandos before the battle...

Nimit moved next, firing as he advanced toward the Kommandos that were still outside but failing to inflict any casualties as I couldn't get close enough to negate his cover save but I was close enough to create a second Hekat that would be sure to make their lives miserable next turn.

Last but not least, I dashed my remaining Assault Golems into the factory losing one in the process but getting the rest of the unit safely into cover. This ended the second turn with James getting 100 RPs for capturing the container in the factory while I still had yet to score any points.

The third turn was the first time that the weather went bad this game and I was glad that I had created my second Hekat before the magnetic disturbances made it impossible.

James won the Authority check again and had his unit inside the factory open fire on the Hekat, finally destroying it!

Seeking revenge, my second Hekat rushed into the Kommando unit that had just destroyed his friend. I failed to trample any of the Kommandos but I was able to take out both of the medics and one of the AT gauss gunners in hand to hand.

The second Kommando unit went next, letting into Nimit with all that they had but failing to damage him. Afterward, he walked around the barrier and opened fire, killing all but two of the AT gauss gunners.

The Incubus then moved forward and opened fire on the two remaining gunners but actually failed to kill them both, leaving one brave soldier to face off against two Golgoths.

My Assault Golems finished out the turn by opening fire on the Kommandos inside the factory, taking out three more them though they were still able to score an additional 150 RPs for controling the containe while I scored 100 RPs for capturing the container on the other side.

The fourth turn was basically just a quick mop up at this point with my Hekat finishing off the remaining three Kommandos inside while Nimit blasted the one outside, winning me the game 20 VPs to 0 VPs.

Overall, I think that this was a really good game and if it had not been for a few key die rolls, things could have been very, very different. It was also nice to face a different Red Blok force then we usually see around here. Kind of strange to see all that infantry out there...

This game also marked the end of our Damocles campaign but in two weeks we are going to be running a mega battle between the Karmans (possibly with some Therian assistance) and the Red Blok! Just how big will this battle be? No idea but I am thinking that we will easily be fielding more than 5000 points a side. Should be a blast and there will definitely be a battle report after that one as well!

That is all for now but I should have more pictures of my Frostbite terrain project soon (waiting for glue to dry as I type this...). So until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

AT-43 Terrain Project: the first step in freshly fallen snow

Hey everyone,

I finally have some progress on my Frostbite boards! Yay!!! I have only managed to finish one of them but the rest of them have the basic shape cut out and I should be able to get them finished off relatively quickly. I do have one of them finished though which is enough for us to start taking a look at how I am doing this.

The first step for this project was deciding how exactly I wanted to lay it out. For my Damocles boards, I was duplicating the poster map so it was simply a case of measure on the map and mark it out on my board. For the Frostbite board the only information that we have so far is about the game effects of the terrain and some small pictures of what the individual features will look like. Going with this information, I decided to make my boards modular and reversible so that I could get the most out of them, plus it would make it very easy to expand the size of the table later on. I made a quick sketch of how I would lay out the various terrain features on the boards and then I hit the hardware store to get some Styrofoam.

Living in Las Vegas makes it a little tricky to find the good Styrofoam. If you are looking for the white flaky stuff then you are all set but for good quality boards it can be a little trickier. Luckily the Lowe's near my house does carry the blue board in 8' x 2' sheets so I was able to get some without too much difficulty. Here is the board cut into pieces so that I can fit it in my car.

This board only comes in one thickness out here (at least that I have found...) but since thankfully it is 1" which I find it easy to work with. It is much easier to stack the stuff to make it thicker than to try and slice it in half.

Next I needed to start cutting out some of my basic shapes. I decided to make several 1'x1' squares and a 1'x2' rectangle out of this one piece of board with the pieces double stacked so that I can cut into through one layer to create the ice flows and crevasses. Here are my first couple of squares to show you what I mean.

The downside of double stacking the pieces is that I was only able to make enough pieces for a 2'x3' board, but with the whole thing being modular that is much less of a concern since I can just make some more boards later.

Here is a picture of the pieces all cut out; a total of four squares and one rectangle plus an extra chunk that I might use to make some small hills.

I decided that for the first piece I would build a square with a crevasse on it. According to the rules, units can jump up to half of their move to get over these so using that as a guide I cut a 9" long crevasse into one of the boards, making the opening 3" across at the widest point. This is wide enough for most of the units to be able to get across it easily but still adds something visual to the game.

Having cut the crevasse out of one of the boards, I then glued it onto another full square board so that I could make the reverse side a open snow field. Once this was dry, I started painting the board but then I ran into a problem. When I laid out the measurements of the crevasse, I had marked the board with a light blue Sharpie which the white paint was not covering up even with multiple coats.

I hit the internet to find something that might help and did find a very interesting article about using a mixture of baking powder and glue to create snow on miniature bases. I thought about using this technique but since I want to make the boards reversible I decided against it since that would require a pretty consistent thickness on all of the boards to make sure that they lay properly next to each other. In the end I decided to glue white fabric onto the board and finally settled on fleece since my local Wally World didn't carry any white felt by the yard. Here is how the finished piece looks with some of my Therians to give some scale.

This easily hides the lines on the board and I am also hoping that the texture of the fabric will help the individual boards blend in together better. One piece down and four more to go!

That is all for now but there will be more on this project soon plus maybe another battle report as well. Until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Monday, June 9, 2008

AT-43 Battle Report 08062008: Therians vs. Karmans...again

Who would have thunk it?!? Two battle reports in two days? It is madness, I tell you. Madness!!!

Seriously though, I was able to get in another game for our local Damocles campaign. Continuing on from last week, we played the third scenario, Holding the Production Line, except I played against a new opponent this time. Soon to be yet another Red Blok player (but with infantry this time instead of walkers! Yay!), James took the field with John's monkeys to give them a push around and it gave me a chance to try out the new v2.0 nucleus cannon rules.

In this scenario, both players are trying to take control of a factory on the surface of Damocles. Half of the board is outside of the factory while the rest is supposed to represent a few rooms inside, including one of the consoles that controls the factory. Here you can see the field of battle in its semi-3d glory (I never made a board for the interior side of the map).

On James side of the board, he was fielding a Nova platoon composed of a unit of two Easy Trikes (these were kept in as reinforcements), a full unit of Anakongas with flamers, a full unit of Wendigos with grenade launchers, and a King Buggy.

For my army, I was again fielding a Cypher platoon (my old stand-by) with Nimit-Urash and an Incubus Golgoth (both of which were upgraded to v2.0 cannons), a full unit of Grims led by Atis, and a full unit of Storm Golems (which was kept as my reinforcement).

Rolling for Authority, I managed to win and I brought on my Incubus and positioned it right outside one of the entrances to the factory on Overwatch. This really gave me a strong position on the board as anything trying to get into the factory would pass through my line of fire.

For his turn, James brought his Wendigos onto the board first though he wisely kept them toward the far right corner, putting them onto Overwatch but keeping the stacked containers between his troops and my walker.

Next on my side was good old Nimit-Urash along with my new model for the hyperlink antenna. He took up position just to the right of the Incubus and also went onto overwatch, creating a nice little crossfire the Karmans would have to cross to make it into the factory. He also created a Hekat right in front of him like a little rabid dog just waiting to get off its leash.

James brought his King Buggy into play next, but again he positioned it so that it stayed out of the line of sight with the Incubus. As with the Wendigos, the Buggy also went onto Overwatch.

My last unit to come onto the board was the Grim Golems led by Atis. Using dash, they quickly moved up the wall of the factory and headed into the closest entrance. This put them into line of sight with the King Buggy but with their optic camo they were safe.

James brought then brought on his last unit, the Anakongas, and then the bloodbath began. Moving along the far wall of the factory, they tried to run into the safety of the entrance.

Unfortunately for them, they did not quite make it. The Incubus and Nimit-Urash both opened fire on them, tearing the unit apart and leaving only the mechanic and the Guru unscathed. Man, these new nucleus cannons are nasty!

The first turn ended with neither side gaining any VPs or RPs but I did realise that I had made a pretty silly mistake. Since the only units that I had near the hyperlink antenna were walkers, all it could do was sit there and look pretty because I couldn't turn it on. D'oh! It also turned out that James didn't realize that he could have canceled some of the routines that I had performed in the first turn. I had been wondering about but I thought he must have had something tricky in mind. It looked like things might be a little trickier on this next turn.

For the next turn, James won the Authority check and moved his King Buggy into position to attack. Turning to show the boardside of the buggy, he opened fire on Nimit-Urash and the Hekat, destorying the legs on Nimit and putting a point of damage on frame of each walker. The really scary thing (at least in my book anyway) was that the Hekat had been damaged by a flamer!

First up on my side was Atis and the Grims (sounds like a rock band...). Moving quickly into the factory, they were able to move deep enough into the building to capture my first objective, one of the containers.

The Wendigos went next, moving up behind the King Buggy to stay out of LoS with the Incubus and avoid the fate of their Anakonga brothers.

The Hekat went next but thanks to some careful positioning by James it was not able to get past the Buggy to get to the troops. Foiled again! Nothing left to do but attack the Buggy, damaging the engines and the frame in the process.

What was left of the Anakonga unit bravely moved forward to try and reach the Buggy so that they could repair it but they were just short!

The Incubus went next and opened fire on the Buggy, destroying its engines and damaging the frame again, while Nimit followed it up with a failed snipe as shot failed to penetrate the armor. I held off on firing the sonic cannon since I knew that James would now keep me from creating another one or repairing any damage until I killed his unit leaders and reduced his Leadership Pool.

This brought the second turn to a close with no one having any VPs yet but I did manage to gain 100 RPs for capturing the container. Only 400+ to go...

James won the Authority test again but this time he moved his Anakongas first. Running up to the damaged Buggy, the mechanic fixed a point of damage on the frame. It was still immobilized but he was hoping to buy a little more time by fixing it.

Atis was first on my side and I moved her between the container and one of the nanogenerators. With the unit spread out they were in position to control both of these objectives at the end of the turn.

The Wendigos went next and James again tried to position them behind the Buggy while covering as much ground as possible. He was feeling the pinch and really wanted to get those troops inside the factory!

My Hekat then lept into action, attacking the Buggy again but it was only able to damage the frame again. I had been hoping for a weapon, but at this point anything was good!

Nimit then tried to snipe the Buggy but again he failed to penetrate the armor. The Incubus was far more successful, easily sniping the Saint who was leading the Wendigos. This left only the Guru in the Anakonga unit which meant that I could start using my routines again and while James would still be able to drain away some of my LPs, he wouldn't be able to get rid of the all.

Turn four and I was able to win Authority again. The Incubus was up first and opened fire on the Buggy with both cannons, finally destroying it. This left the path open for my Hekat to finally get to few remaining infantry.

The Wendigos went next and ran for the factory. Making it inside the tunnel, they were finally out of LoS with the Golgoths but they still had the Grims and Atis inside to deal with.

Nimit finally managed to repair his legs and move forward, blasting apart the two remaining Anakongas.

The Hekat dashed forward and plowed through the Wendigo unit, killing both of the heavy weapon troops along with another troop. At this point, we decided to call the game since it was pretty clear that between the Hekat and the Grims the game was over.

Overall, an interesting game. I had really been expecting to be facing more vehicles which is why I brought the two Golgoths, but the only other two James had never managed to make it onto the board. If James had also been using Nova's advantage right from the start, I am sure that things would have been different but then again I just noticed that their disadvantage is that I get to choose who goes first each turn. Ah well, you live and learn.

As for the v2.0 nucleus cannons being too strong as some have argued, at this point I have to disagree. I was able to mince the Anakonga as they came on the board but most of the Karman vehicles could have done the same thing if the roles were reversed. It definitely changes the game though as it finally gives the Golgoths access to the kind of punch they should have.

Well, that is all for now but I will be posting a quick tutorial on my new hyperlink antenna soon, plus I am looking at making some terrain for Frostbite. Until then, may all of your dice come up Dragons!

Friday, June 6, 2008

AT-43 Battle Report 01072008: Therians vs. Karmans

Having completed the first scenario in Phase 1, it was now time for the second scenario, Fire in the Hole! Once again I would be fighting Karmans, but this time I was able to play against Ron who is one of the newer players at the store. For his army, he was fielding a full unit of Kaptars with ZZ-cannons, a full unit of Wendigos with grenade launchers, a unit of K-Warriors, two Easy Trikes, and Venerable Cornelius. (Just a quick note: We decided that heros can be played either with a unit or solo unless the army book says that he must be attached. For example, Urash must be attached to a Storm Golem unit while Cornelius may be attached to a Wendigo unit.)

On my side of the table were Nimit-Urash, an Incubus Golgoth, a unit of Bane Goliaths, a unit of Storm golems and a full unit of Assault Golems. Ron was not fielding any of his experienced units while I had all of my experience on Nimit-Urash who had both the Aimbot and Penetrationbot combat routines (For those who don't know, this means that Nimit has an additional re-roll on his weapons to hit and a re-roll to damage; quite a nasty combination!). So with our battle plans laid out in our minds and the board prepared for the upcoming conflict, we got underway.

I managed to win the Authority check on the first turn and moved my Banes onto the right side of the board, taking cover behind a couple of low walls and securing one of the minor access points.

For his opening move Ron moved his Kaptars onto the center of his side, putting himself in a good position to control one of the nanogenerators.

Next I moved on the Incubus Golgoth on the left side of the board. Having been placed on Overwatch, the Kaptars opened fire on the walker and were able to damage its legs.

In response, the Incubus opened fire with both of its nucleus cannons but I did not shot at the Kaptars. Instead, I made sure to destroy the nanogenerator to deny him the RPs that he would have earned.

Ron brought the Wendigos in next on the right side of the board and my Banes opened fire on them. Unfortunately they had taken cover and while most of the shots bounced harmlessly off of the low walls, one stray blast managed to catch a Karman as he ckeck to see if it was safe.

Nimit-Urash came onto the board next right beside the Banes. He opened fire on the Wendigos with the Sonic Cannon but even with the Aimbot routine he was only able to take out one more Karman! Next, I fired the Nucleus Cannon at the nanogenerator that was near the Wendigos and was able to easily destroy it.

Once I had finished firing, I used the Reconfigure routine to remove one of the low walls that was in front of the Wendigos (I need to remember to do this first next time...) and then I created a Hekat.

Next, Ron brought on his Easy Trike squad and opened fire on Nimit-Urash. As the electrical bolts shot from the two Trikes the scene quickly went from this... this.

For his last move, Ron brought on Venerable Cornelius and placed him next to the Wendigos.

This wrapped up the first turn with the Karmans earning 5 VPs for controlling one of the major access points while the Therians earned a mere 2 VPs for controlling one of the minor access points (since the Incubus cannot control the access point because it is a vehicle). As for reinforcements, both of us remained at our starting values of 300 RPs for the Karmans and 69 RPs for the Therians.

As with the other turns in the game, second began with the roll for Cosmic Hazards, but this time something actually happened! A meteor came screaming down out of the sky headed right for one of the Kaptar heavy weapon troops!

The piece of rock hurtled from the sky, bounced harmlessly off of his head, and landed at his feet. So much for a cosmic assist on this one...

Ron won the Authority check this time and opened fire on the Hekat with his Wendigos. He managed to score several hits but when he went to roll for damage we realized that the ZZ-rifles of the Wendigos are too weak to penetrate the armor of the Hekat! Oops...

First up for me this turn was Urash (big surprise there...). Without his Golgoth he was way too vulnerable so I had him use Reconfiguration to create a low wall next to the Banes and high- tailed it to some cover!

Ron moved his Kaptars next, moving them closer to the Incubus. Openning fire with the ZZ-cannons, he was able to disable its legs and damage the frame but the weapons remained unscathed.

The Hekat then rushed forward and attacked the lead Easy Trike. At this point, they were the only things on this side of the board that could damage the Hekat and I was eager to removed that threat. There was a flurry of grim scythes as it attacked but I was only able to do one point of damage! Rolling for damage, I was lucky enough to hit one of the jammers but this still left them as a formidible threat.

Moving next, the Trikes flew over toward the center of the board and opened fire on the Hekat. I expected the worst but in a stroke of sheer luck they only managed to score two points of damage, one to the legs and the other to the frame!

The Incubus was next. First I repaired a point of damage that it had take to the frame and then used the nucleus cannons to snipe the two heavy weapon troops in the Kaptar unit.

Since Ron My Banes were next and they let loose a storm of nanomuntions at the two Trikes. The shots ripped into the Trikes, destroying the rest of their weapons and damaging the engines one of them.

This ended the second turn with the Karmans now at 10 VPs and I only had 4 VPs. Needless to say I was getting a little concerned at this point but at least I was able to keep his reinforcements off the board.

Ron won the Authority check for turn three and started things out by moving his Wendigos forward to deal with the Bane Goliaths and Urash. Opening fire with the grenade launchers, he was easily able to ground both units but luckily (for me at least) no one was hurt. Then the rest of the unit opened fire on Urash.

This is how many cover saves that I would have to make for Urash to survive...

You can imagine how well that turned out.

My Bane Goliaths stood up next. Yay. (I really don't like indirect weapons...)

The Easy Trikes went next and they quickly moved to the other side of the table behind the unit of Kaptars in the hopes that the one and only mechanic could repair at least one of the weapons.

After this Ron moved Cornelius up to take control of the nanogenerator located in the middle of the board.

The Hekat went next and I have to say that this was one of two really silly mistakes that I made during the game. Instead of simply having the Hekat walk over the whole unit, definitely killing both heavy weapon troops and probably killing some more to boot before I even attack in close combat, I walked around the unit so that I could get to the medic and one of the heavies. What was I thinking?!?!? Grrr...

After all of this, I only managed to kill the medic and made a drastic mistake that would come back to haunt me.

Ron charged his remaining Kaptars forward to engage the Incubus in close combat. For most troops this would be a futile attack, but with their power grips there was a chance that they could do some damage to the Golgoth. Luckily for me only two of the unit could engage me and they both failed to damage my walker.

To end the turn, my Incubus charged forward through the Kaptar unit, killing two troops, and then opened fire on the nanogenerator that Cornelius was trying to secure, easily destroying it and denying Ron those RPs.

This brought turn three to a close and had the Karmans at 15 VPs while the Therians only had 6 VPs. At this point my only hope was to eliminate his remaining infantry to keep him from getting those last five points.

Ron won the Authority check for turn four easily and activated his Wendigos first, which is when my mistake from before came back to haunt me. Opening fire on the Bane Goliaths with the grenade launchers, Ron was able to roll four hits, meaning that each Bane would have to make two damage tests. Considering the low power of the grenades and the fairly heavy armor on the Banes, we were all surprised when he killed not one but two of the Banes!

After that, the Wendigos moved forward and the rest of the unit opened fire on the last remaining Bane, easily destroying it. If only I had just moved the Hekat through them instead of going around them... Ah well, you live and learn.

The Banes were next in my activation sequence, but with my LPs being at a premium now I decided to simply skip my turn rather then spend them needlessly.

Cornelius moved next, getting behind one of the containers and out of the line of sight with the Incubus, which was activated next.

Opening fire on the last remaining nanogenerator, I easily destroyed it and then moved through the Kaptar unit again to try to kill as many as I could. This part of the plan did not work very well as I only managed to take out one of the Kaptars. This was the second major mistake that I made. I should have just focused on destroying the Kaptars instead of shooting at the nanogenerator, though with the dice falling as they did I still would have left one Kaptar on the board which would have been enough to control the access.

After I did this, the Kaptars charged the Incubus again but were still not able to do any major damage.

On the opposite side of the board, I charged the Hekat through the Wendigos killing both of the grenade launchers and another troop and then I killed a fourth one in close combat. Even so, it was not enough to keep the Karmans from winning the day.

All and all, it was a great game! There were several times when we were playing that it really looked like things could go either way, though in the end there were simply too many targets for my Golgoths to handle and no where near enough infantry on my side to hold the objectives.

That is all for today, but be sure to come back soon as we have another game tomorrow! This time it will be the third scenario, Holding the Production Line, and I am hoping to use the upgrade rules for nucleus cannons. Mwah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!!! Plus you will be able to see my new and improved scratch built hyperlink antenna. So until next time, may all of your dice come up Dragons!