Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Turkey Pterodactyl Hunt

A few years back, Ed Texiera at Two Hour Wargames made a Turkey Hunt freebie download scenario, and I've played on many Thanksgiving days.  This year, I decided to up the ante with a Larger than Life - Lost World dino safari.  I may have gotten one or two fine points of the rules wrong, but the story played out in a way that really satisfied my sense of humor.

Looking through their stores for something suitable as a Thanksgiving meal, Mohl exclaimed, "Dammit!   The supply ship's late!"  Deters didn't even look up from the Competitive Violence League game he was watching on holo.  "What's unusual about that?  They're late 9 out of 10 cycles.  Fleet's just a bunch of REMFs."  Mohl and Deters had been stuck at the communications relay on Fenris, also known as "Jurassic World", for seven very tedious cycles now.  Mohl hadn't ever had the most patience; Deters had noted that it was definitely time for Mohl to rotate to Santraginus IV for some R&R.  Mohl sighed, "It's Thanksgiving - I want turkey!  A huge fucking turkey!"  Deters powered off the holovid, stood to face Mohl and grinned.  "We can get our own huge turkey.  They fly over this place all the time."  Mohl's face brightened with understanding, "I'll get the SAWs and ammo".

Like most other games from THW, the table is divided into nine sectors.  I put the communications station in sector 9, and rolled to randomly generate the other sectors' terrain.  In the interest of speed, each sector got pretty much one feature, a stand of trees or a bush, to represent it's terrain type.  I also randomly located three PEFs (Possible Enemy Forces) to represent possible dinosaurs to be encountered during the hunt.  Mother Superior is a PEF in sector six, just "North" of the commo station; The Ringmaster is in sector three and Slappy the Clown is in sector one.  A good practice for THW games, I pre-loaded the PEFs as the Pterodactyls, a Stegosaurus and to spice things up, a pack of Velociraptors.

Turn 1: Dinosaurs activate first.  Mother Superior passed two dice on the movement table, sending her directly at the hunters.  Being troopers, our heroes took the most direct path; straight at Mother Superior, who resolved into a pack of three Velociraptors.  Here's where the Dice Gawdz display their sense of humor - both groups passed zero dice on the In Sight tests, meaning the troopers halted and the Raptors moved away.  I decided to interpret this as "nobody saw nuthin' ", and headed the raptors towards the center of the table.

 End of Turn 1 - Ringmaster and Slappy are moving towards the hunters and the Velociraptors are stalking the PEFs.  The hunters are just out of the photo to the left.

Turn 2 - Hunters activate first and head towards the table center.  Ringmaster doesn't move, the Raptors move to investigate Ringmaster (I believe that technically, Ringmaster should have been resolved by the Raptors' location, but chose not to) and Slappy heads straight at the hunters, and resolves as "just a case of nerves".

Turn 3 - Dinos activate, hunters don't.  Ringmaster comes into view and the Dice Gawdz smiled - the PEF resolved as the Pterodactyls.  Both hunters passed the In Sight test and fired, wounding one and killing another!  The Velociraptors are tracking the Pterodactyls, but don't come into visual range this turn.

End of Turn 3, the kill falls from flight while the flock flies away.

Turn 4 - Hunters activate first and move to collect their kill.  On the dramatic side, the raptors activate and move into view, triggering an In Sight test.  Both sides pass 2 dice, so the hunters fire and all three dinos are wounded plus one's enraged which is really bad news for the hunters. Raptors charge and the hunters, now the hunted, take the Being Charged test, passing 1 die so they Snap Fire.

End of Turn 4 - the Dice Gawdz have smiled upon our heroes, as their snap fire (they're using SAWs) caused four wounds onto three dinos with only one wound remaining each.

Four nervous activation rolls later, the troopers get their "Fucking Huge Thanksgiving Turkey" back to the commo station.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Trash Bash

This weekend's plans got kinda messed up, so I dug into a box of "bits" and managed this.

I bought Oingo Boingo's anthology as a download years ago, and these CDs served me well, but they've died of abuse.  I overlapped them, traced the "half moon" with a sharpie, and they Terrain Gawdz smiled, because I managed to cut the CD with a pair of 30 year old Fiskars without breaking anything (much).

I built up the "shore" with hot melt and grabbed some stones from near my house to somewhat hide the seam.  A small, irregularly cut piece of cardstock is glued over the center hole of the uncut CD.

After all the hot melt "shoreline" was cooled, I spray primered the discs, glued the rocks on and smeared some black craft paint in the "water" area.

I enjoy using the sponge painting "faux finish" technique used by interior decorators when I paint stone; this time I tried it with dark blue and turquoise paints.  Since most of my modeling stuff is currently in storage, I improvised a sponge by rolling up a piece of paper towel.

It worked well enough.

Here I've just sloppily slapped some green paint to tell me where to glue flock.

While slapping on the green paint, I impulsively decided the larger rocks needed to have a spring bubbling up from between them.  Maybe the Fountain of Youth, or more likely, a Xanth Love Spring.  Anyway, the rocks were making the piece too heavy for the CDs, so I broke a piece of bark off a tree in the yard, and what came off was big enough to break into two pieces.  I prefer using tree bark instead of real rocks.  Better texture and immeasurably lighter.

I bought those aquarium plants for 88 cents at Walmart a zillion years ago and decided to finally justify the purchase.

Once the bark was glued in place, I squirted a bunch of hot melt into the gap formed by the stones and bark, and teased it a little into ripples.

Oops.  I should've painted the stones first, but hot melt usually dries with a milky color and I planned on painting the "water" anyway.

The stones got a "wash" of black craft paint thinned a lot with water, then some quickie drybrushing with a pale gray.  The hot melt "waterfall" got a little bit of a dark blue wash - dark blue paint thinned more than ink.  I tried to lightly brush some white "foam" onto the water, but the blue wash wasn't yet dry and I got this "Bob Ross Happy Accident".  Another happy accident was that the bark I "harvested" had some tiny bits of lichen on it, so I picked them out with some bright green paint.

Here's where I managed to wait for the paint to dry before adding white highlights.

I cut the bottoms off the plants so they'd appear to be partially submerged, but were still too tall for my liking and I ended up cutting groups of "branches" off and gluing those as smaller plants.

Here's some of the plants glued in place with some green paint on the lower halves to hide the plastic shine, and a half-assed, still wet flocking job I'll finish tomorrow after the PVA dries.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New France Episode 2: The Journey Begins

Episode 1

Quebec City, 22 September 1638

"Steer to the beach near that rock.  Let's not try the docks in this little canoe."

Adele jabbed her oar into the water as mute agreement to Olivia's decision.  Thank goodness the trip was downstream; it had still taken nearly two weeks.

Being early in the morning, few people were out, but one voice called, "Who are you there?"

"I'm Capitaine Olivia Pierre of the Regiment de Carignan-Salière and my Serjeant Adele Miroir.  I have business at Chateau St Louis.  Who are you?"

"Pte Gabriel Fournier, mon Capitaine.  I'm the morning watch.  Mon Lieutenant-General should be at breakfast shortly, you may wish to stop for a meal at La Licorne Obscène, an inn near Le Chateau."

At that advice, Olivia and Adele exchanged a glance, thanked Gabriel and headed toward Le Chateau. 

Walking along the muddy street, the two young soldiers discovered that La Licorne Obscène was just next door to the regimental headquarters, and were about to enter when a group stepped out of the inn's door.  "Good morning soldiers... oho!  You two look unfamiliar!  Perhaps you'd like some hospitality?"

Before the two stood what appeared to be a Dutch merchant, attended by three French... ladies, rather under-dressed for the morning air.

"You don't look like an innkeeper", replied Adele to the short, stout foreigner.

"I'm no innkeeper!  I'm a provider of hospitality", came a disdainful retort.  "Perhaps you'd do better in my employ than wandering lost in the woods.  At least then you'd get a regular, proper bath."

Olivia snapped a cautioning arm to bar Adele from beating the dwarf to death, but the dwarf had ideas of his own, producing a small pistol and quickly firing.  He was no marksman and the shot was of no danger to anyone nearby.  Having had quite enough of this nonsense, Olivia drew her sabre and stepped toward the dwarf.  Seeing the dawn sun glinting on the blade's keen edge, the offending Dutchman and his entourage made an expeditious retreat.

Approaching footsteps as Olivia sheathed her sabre resolved into Gabriel Fournier, charging at the double.  Seeing only the young officers, he slowed and asked, "Who fired that shot?  Are you trying to bring the Governor's wrath down upon yourselves?"

Adele replied sharply, "Who let dwarves into Quebec, especially one who can't properly shoot?"

Gabriel laughed and offered to guide the two to the commander, since he needed to report the shot.

As the three soldiers entered the command offices of Le Chateau, a gruff voice called out, "Gabriel, please tell me I needn't report a death to the Governor first thing this morning ".

"Non, money Leiutenant-Generale, only that Totsten ought be hanged ", was  Private Fournier's reply as the three entered.

"Oho!  You've found wandering troops"

"Yes, mon General.  This is Capitaine Olivia Pierre and Serjeant Adele Dupree, just arrived from Fort Frontenac".

Leiutenant-Generale Berthier hesitated while accepting Olivia's orders, "Her Highness?  His Excellency?"

Olivia replied calmly, "They were unharmed and comfortable when I left them, mon Generale".

Berthier grunted softly while reading Olivia's papers and suddenly raised his head with a grin, "Oho!  You're a fortunate one to be sailing south while we wade through those cursed English goblins!"  Cocking an eyebrow, the Lieutenant-General glanced at Gabriel Fournier, "I suppose you've already volunteered your services, eh?"

"Volunteered, mon General?"

Olivia broke in, "I haven't told anyone yet, sir".

The General barked an order, "Fournier, fetch Etienne Rambault and be quick about it!".  After Gabriel had departed, Berthier addressed Olivia, "You're a young one to be on such a mission of exploration".

Adele spoke for the first time, "mon Generale, if I may be so bold..."

Berthier gestured that Adele should speak.

"mon Generale... Olivia -  mon Capitaine, won her commission by saving all of Fort Frontenac from a Salem Witch.  Shot her dead at sixty paces just before the witch could cast a spell upon the two of us".

"Oho!   You indeed have the reflexes and initiative of a fine officer!  How do you find Fournier, Capitaine?"

Without hesitation, Olivia replied, "A sensible young soldier with a level head", only a moment before Gabriel reentered the room followed shortly by another young private.  Gabriel could scarcely form the words, "Private Fournier..." when Berthier cut him off.  "Fournier, Rambault, pack your uniforms and equipment for sea travel, you've been transferred to the regiment's newest company...  La Compagnie du Bane de la Sorcière, as commanded by Capitaine Pierre".

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Games are for fun

Tuesday, April 11th, I made a United Airlines airliner this during lunch and posted the photo.

That isn't what I wanted.  Nearly a year ago, I had inspiration for a mashup game.  Snakes on a Plane, but with a fantastical setting like Soul Plane, all wrapped up in the spirit of one of my all-time favorites, Airplane.

Tonight, I made it happen.

Now, to write the scenario.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Space Fighters!

Fredonia System, Groucho Sector

Intel sources indicate a high potential for military aggression by the Hishen into the sector, and long range sensors have detected FTL entry of several craft to the system.  Due to sunspot activity, sensors are currently unable to identify the craft, so Freedonian PDF has ordered a flight of Bee class light fighters to identify the craft, with a flight of Sabre class bombers on station for a strike mission.

Pre-mission intel was good, but current sunspot activity (I rolled a cosmic storm) is preventing the use of sensors.  Another pre-mission surprise was the unfortunate roll that the flights will be facing Unexpected Resistance, doubling the number of Possible Enemy Forces.  Since this becomes six PEFs, I placed one in each of the six possible sectors.

Turn 1:  Fredonia 3 / PEF 6.
I rolled a die and the fighters enter the table from sector 3.  I chose to have them enter on afterburner to get things rockin'.  The PEF A resolved as, "Just a case of nerves" and is removed.

Turn 2:  Fredonia 6 / PEF 1.
PEF B moves away from and to the starboard of Bee Flight.
PEF C does the same.
PEF D moves toward Bee flight, but turns out to be nothing.  This raises the Enemy Investment Level to 5.
PEF E moves toward Bee flight, but is still outside visual range.

PEF F remains stationary.

Turn 3: Fredonia 2 / PEF 5
Bee flight heads towards PEF E on afterburner and reaches visual range.  PEF E resolves as two Vulture fighters moving towards PEF F.  Bee flight notifies Sabre flight, who enters the board in the randomly determined sector 3.  Because he's on afterburners (and the White Knight attribute) Bee flight leader holds fire for now.

Turn 4: Fredonia 5 / Hishen 3
PEF B moves 8" toward Bee flight, ending just outside visual range.
PEF C remains stationary.
PEF F moves 8" away from Bee flight.
Vulture Flight:  My dice love a good story just as much as they hate me.  Since Bee flight was outside Vulture flight's forward arc, I rolled on PEF movement to see where they'd go.  Being what they are, my dice rolled, "move 8 inche directly towards the enemy".  Since 8 is faster than a Vulture's maximum speed, I rolled to determine Vulture flight's current speed and I rolled a "1".  So the Vultures accelerated at their maximum to engage Bee flight.

As a result of the In-Sight test, both ships of Vulture flight fire.  Vulture Leader's first rocket struck the canopy of Bee Leader's cockpit; stunning Bee Leader.  The second rocket hit Bee Leader's IFF transponder, putting him at risk of being targeted by friendly pilots.  Vulture Leader missed with his mass drivers.  Vulture 2 hit with one rocket on Bee Leader's cockpit, wounding Bee Leader.  Fiinally Vulture 2 hit Bee Leader with one mass driver, which once again struck the disabled IFF transponder.  This second hit on the same area means the ship was destroyed.  Being stunned by the rocket fire, Bee Leader was unable to eject.

Seeing Bee Leader take multiple hits, Bee 2 jerked his ship to starboard and punched afterburners, as randomly determined by the Leader Down test plus a little die roll to see by how much he'd change heading.  My dice decided that Bee 2 would head straight toward PEF C, which naturally resolved into a flight of Reaver medium fighters, and Bee 2 ended within Reaver flight's visual detection range and arc.

Both ships of Reaver flight reacted to Bee 2 with the Dead Man's Turn, including a crash stop, which meant Bee 2 was dead ahead only 2" from Reaver flight.  Only the randomly determined facing or Reaver flight away from Bee 2 kept him alive.

Turn 4:  Fredonia 3 / Hishen 6
Bee 2 bugged out on afterburner, leaving Sabre flight alone with four Hishen fighters.  With the last report from Bee 2 being that Bee Leader was dead and the remaining light fighter was disengaging from disastrous odds, Saber flight chose to live to fight another day.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Bar, Grill & Employment Agency

The Yellow Crescent Inn, Weaselton, Kingdom of Possiltum, Klah.

Striding purposefully through the doorway, C'nutsakh approached the innkeeper, who was absentmindedly cleaning flagons, "I'd like to hire some Dwarven warriors."

"You're a dwarven warrior, bub."

"I know that.  I want to hire some more."

"You don't know any?  'Cause if you do, there's a shortage and I can find work for them in a jiffy."

"Wait a minute!  You're the placement agency, and you're asking me to find you warriors?"

"Dwarven warriors, sure.  They're worth a premium.  Not like Timmy-the-Window-Licker over there...  HEY!  QUIT LICKING THE DAGGONE WINDOWS!"

Surveying the room, C'nutsakh saw the serving wench scurrying around an exotic entertainer to deliver fresh flagons to two experienced looking... individuals conversing with one another.  He deflated a bit at seeing the group at the front table.  Beard up, chest out, he approached the two conversing at the back table.

HeroQuest figures by Milton-Bradley; Innkeeper, Serving Wench and Bonzo by Reaper Miniatures; Belly Dancer by Flying Frog Games, Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner by Warren Zevon.
"Good day gentlemen, I have a proposition for you."

The white-faced one mutely peered at him from over his flagon while the other poured mead down his neck hole.  

Finally, the evil clown spoke, "Boy, you only got your name two sessions ago.  We're retired."

C'nutsakh didn't know what manner of strange, metal item the silent one held, but when he pulled back a small handle that slammed forward with a menacing CLICK, he realized:

  1. The item is a weapon.
  2. The weapon is far more deadly than any he'd ever heard of, less seen.
  3. These... gentlemen were best left to conduct their business in privacy.
With resignation, C'nutsakh turned toward the group at the front table, and discovered two of the three gazing at him in the same way a fourth-grader does when he knows the answer: Pick Me!  Pick Me!  Regrettably, but unexpectedly, the third appeared to be licking the window.

Without hope for an affirmative answer, the dwarf asked as he approached, "Do any of you have a name?"

The Warrior was still oblivious to anything in the room while Elf and Wizard immediately began examining the floor.

"Wizard is a title", was the barely audible reply.

"Have you at least quested yet?"

"If getting here from across town counts, then yes, and it should."

"Alright, I'm C'nutsakh and you're hired, on condition that you keep the window licker from doing any too stupid.  I know you can't completely prevent his stupidity, but I expect you do keep an eye on him at all times.  Let's go."

As the dwarf led his new grunts, the innkeeper called out, "Hey Dwarf, got any Gold Talos?"

"My name is C'nutsakh!  You'd best remember that, and yes I have... one or two."

"I've got just the thing you need.  A Healer."

This occurred to C'nut as a darn good idea.  "Half a Talos!"

"Two Gold Talos.  This fellow will keep your knuckleheads alive and in the fight."

"One Talos."

"I'll meet you in the middle, two Talos."

"Hey! That's not the middle!"

"The middle of the room", said the innkeeper with an unusual brown-robed man behind him.

"Where's the healer?"

"He's the healer.  Best kind of healer available.  A Florist Friar.  Just be sure to keep him away from sheep.  Only Ewe can Prevent Florist Friars."