Friday, December 30, 2016

The Double Cross AAR

One thing I've found when running a game is that the more unknowns I have for the players, the more fun everyone seems to have. I think that is a big reason why I'm drawn to the games with card interrupts, like DMH and TCW.

For this particular game of The Chicago Way I really wanted a huge surprise right off the bat for the bad guys. A real "What the heck is going on!?" moment.

The scenario I came up with was that the Capone gang was to meet an empty truck at the Wrigley's Building and load it up with boxes of Canadian Whiskey for distribution in another part of town. The twist was that unknown to the Capone gang, the truck that was going to pick up the whiskey was going to actually be filled with police officers and a federal agent!

This scenario also allowed me to try out something that I've wanted to do for quite a while now - use a blue light to simulate night time. I think it worked out brilliantly and definitely added to the "feel" of the game. I do need to get another light though :)

For the police they had 3 officers and 1 agent - Eliot Ness - hidden inside the Wrigley's truck.

Hidden across the street inside the garage of the Sinclair Gas Station was another Police vehicle, again with 4 figures in it, 3 officers and 1 agent.

Here is the gas station in the moonlight.

And the last two agents, Malone and Stone, hiding behind the fence in the alley behind the gas station. The perfect spot to watch the Wrigley's Building from.

For the bad guys, the Capone gang had 4 gangsters positioned inside the ground floor, along with Capone himself, as well as the bookkeeper (the cowering figure with the briefcase!).

There were bonus victory points for the police if they could arrest Capone and or the bookkeeper - the Police winning hand to hand combat with these models would put them under arrest.

Meanwhile, outside the building had 5 members of the Capone gang keeping a watchful eye out for the Police. Two guys, one with a tommy gun, watched the truck entrance.

Two more members of the gang, again one with a tommy gun, took positions on the outside loading dock, utilizing all the crates and boxes as cover if needed. You can also see the last member of the gang hiding out in the second floor dock door.

And looking from the other direction.

This ended up being an absolutely brilliant sniper position and this figure without a doubt had an incredible Hollywood-esque moment you'll see shortly.

I actually allowed the player running the Capone gang to place the Wrigley's truck wherever he wanted within 12 inches of the center of the Wrigley's Building itself. Well, of course he put it right in the center of the  building - and really why wouldn't he!

The look on his face was priceless! Since the police had the element of surprise, the four officers in the truck got to activate before the Capone gang could even grasp what was happening

Eliot Ness moved out from behind the wheel of the truck and took two shots at the gangster by the crates of alcohol. Luckily he only took one hit. The other three officers jumped out of the truck and immediately went into hand to hand combat with the gangsters on and around the dock. Frank Nitti absolutely annihilated the officer he was fighting, another officer just barely took out the gangster he was fighting, and the last group actually tied their rolls so they stayed locked in hand to hand to start the next turn.

Highest initiative card went to the Police car that was hidden at Sinclair's - another "What!?" moment for my Capone player! The car made it's way out of the garage and headed toward the Wrigley's Building, but it was when it was just about to start its third movement that the gangster on the second floor used a quick shot to attempt to shoot the driver. His first attempt actually failed, but the Capone gang controlled the photographer, right below him in front of the dock, and that allowed him another try - and what's he get? Natural 20! The only thing that could have made it better is if the car could have crashed or flipped!

With the driver dead, the other three officers chose to exit the car when their activation came up - it would have been interesting to see what would have happen if the agent in the passenger seat tried to take over driving the car and continued into the building.

Malone and Stone made their way out from behind the fence and hid behind some cover in the parking lot of the gas station taking shots at the gangsters across the street.

More gun fire and chaos occurred on Main St. with both officers and gangsters falling to the hail of bullets.

Gangsters view looking at Sinclair's gas station. This guy did end up taking Malone out of action, but got his two activations later with both Stone and the officer from the police car putting under fire markers on him in a fury of bullets.

The gangster with the rifle made a jump from the second floor dock, and snuck around the corner to hide behind some barrels, trading fire with officers across the street.

The gangster outside on the dock made his way around to help with taking out the police inside the Wrigley's Building.

After several turns of back and forth gun fire and with the heat really getting turned up inside the Wrigley's Building, Capone and the bookkeeper made a dash to get outside to a getaway car parked next to Klapp Radio and Electric.

Frank Nitti helped run interference to any possible officers trying to stop Capone from getting to the getaway car.

Capone and the bookkeeper made it to a getaway car and ended up escaping! A super fun game, made even more with some really cinematic moments. Looking forward to trying this one again, but I'm going to have to give all the models names - gangster and police officer doesn't work well when trying to write about it :)

One last final photo of every figure that was painted to 100% completion has finally been based! 44 figures - what's horrifying though is that I still have roughly 20 more pulp/gangster figures to paint :(
Still, super happy about getting them all done and ready for some games.

As always, thanks for looking!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Ivor No Mates

 One of the biggest hurdles I have as a tabletop gamer is that I don't have a gaming group or friends that can get together on a regular basis - I can't even convince my son to roll some dice despite the endless choices of games I have available.  Up to now I've only had my good mate Steve (friends from way back as kids, when we were doing our own versions of tabletop and RPG gaming, in addition to having full heads of hair then) over to the house to play. When we have been able to get a game in it's been brilliant, and I think everyone has had a good time, it's just that it doesn't happen on any kind of regular basis. Which is a real bummer, because I have no greater joy than sharing all the cool toys I have. So for those blogs I follow and always seem to mention in the comments how I'm jealous of your gaming groups and how much I wish I was closer to you guys, you have no idea how much truth is in those words!!!!

So when I saw and heard about Pulp Alley's Solo Deck, which allows you to play a full game of Pulp Alley by yourself, I was very intrigued. After reading reviews and AAR's on the LAF I was sold, so purchase the Solo Deck I did. As well as the new Tomb of the Serpent expansion set.

Can't just buy one thing, right? I mean, I'm already paying for shipping, right?! Well, I thought the Horror Deck would be a good purchase to go along with the whole "tomb" like scenario's, and I've heard nothing but good things about it.

I also figured I should pick up the blast templates.

Here's what I absolutely love about Dave and Mila at Pulp Alley - it's these little things that really show how much he appreciates your interest in the game. I can't think of any game designer who even comes close to the interaction Dave has with his customers and players. The Pulp forum on The Lead Adventure Forum should really just be re-named "Pulp Alley" because 90% of the posts are Pulp Alley related - and Dave is always there giving thanks, advice, and answering questions! Without question it's one of the things that initially drew me to Pulp Alley. So big hats off and thanks to Phipps and Daughter :)

So, one of the big goals for 2017 - get cracking on the solo version of Pulp Alley!

As always, thanks for looking!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Historicon Revisited

One of my biggest problems with this fantastic hobby of ours is my ability to get distracted incredibly easy. I'm not sure I can emphasis 'incredibly easy' enough! A new game, new line of figures, seeing someone else's project, etc. etc. etc.

Well, this is what has happened with my original idea for Historicon 2017 and the Ghostbusters game. Since I wrote up that post I've had a few more ghosts and such come in, and I pretty much completed the hotel complex that was to be haunted - I even came up with a name that I thought was perfect for the game, "Ghostbusters: Dead and Breakfast" -  but I've felt zero inspiration to go any further.

And that is mostly because I've caught the WWII bug again. I've hosted a few Bolt Action games (modified a bit) with an old friend and it's been a blast coming up with scenarios and missions - it's felt a lot like the old RPG days as a teenager where I'm running a very narrative driven game and throwing in random events throughout. I think it's been some of the best games we've had all year, it's just too bad I took zero pictures to put into some AAR's. As well as really enjoying building and modifying the 4Ground damaged church I completed last month; this new project will allow more of those kind of builds.

Here is a photo of a quick table I made up of one of our first games that got the Bolt Action bug going. Very story driven with the capture of a wounded German officer holed up in one of the buildings after an attack by the French resistance.

It's really made me stop and rethink next years Historicon event. One of my biggest strengths, I think anyway, is my terrain and table making ability. I'm not sure that Ghostbusters is going to give me that "wow" factor visually - at least what I've completed already. I do think it's possible, just not with what I was going to do originally.

So, what does all that mean? Well, I think I'm going to completely switch gears and go with a WWII game. I really think it will give me that "wow" factor I'm looking for for Historicon - it is supposed to be the biggest historical miniature event in the US, right? You have to go as big as you can! And my goal is to actually be able to run two completely separate games on the same table.

For the first game, I want to incorporate two things that I've been interested in for quite some time into the game and especially the table - a train bridge and the French resistance.

Visually I'm thinking something like the movie "The Bridge at Remagen", something like it mind you, not exactly!  The big thing is I don't necessarily want one bridge taking over the entire table. And honestly, while brainstorming the layout over the last week or so I'm thinking of having two bridges, and then that'll give me two major objectives. This will also give me an opportunity to model a river - something that I've wanted to do since my very first model railroad layout when I was just a wee lad.

From the scenario and narrative angle, I want something sabotage-esque involving the bridges and railroad tracks, as well as other objectives - perhaps a communication building, maybe a truck convoy, a downed pilot rescue - with the French resistance leading the way. Think the movie "The Train" (I absolutely love "The Train", easily in my top 3 WWII movies!) and early on in the movie "The Longest Day" - the sabotage the resistance did before the Airborne landings, as well as the beach landings.

With all that being said, the resistance figures are already well underway. The only thing I'm missing from my wish list would be horse mounted French resistance - I think that would be pretty fun to have on the table!

Some German officers and some other guy, waving or something, who can be used as objectives or just table fodder, have been started as well.

And several basic German Wehrmacht guard type figures.

One of my two bridges has arrived already. This one I originally envision being connected to the other, a girder bridge, as one large bridge but that would put the two together at almost 40+ inches in length! Once I start laying stuff out on the foam board I'll get a better sense of which direction I want to go. There are other bridges I've looked at as well, but haven't decided on yet, though I have a few I've narrowed it down to. Stay tuned.

For the second game I'm looking at a Kelly's Heroes game. Such a classic movie with fantastic characters, and something that I think would be pretty fun to put on the tabletop. I already have Warlord's excellent Oddball Heroes box set, but I'm going to need to get some more figures to round out the rest of the squad.

I also ordered Warlord's Oddball Sherman - I already have the Company B version of this tank - but I want to have all three of the Sherman's in his platoon. But it was mostly because this one has the four crew member figures!

The table will more than likely be 8x4, and much like The Chicago Way Historicon board, it will be cut into equal parts for ease of transportation.

Lots to do and to work out, but I'm feeling inspired by this one (for now at least lol!) despite the fact that I haven't had full day off since early-October. Every day it's been me and Jack for a couple hours in the pastures, and then hand walking two and three times a day as part of his rehabilitation - plus all the normal farm chores and my feed business. This photo was a particularly cold morning, about 26°F, but I can't help but feel bad the poor guy. He has essentially been stuck in his stall when not out with me. I think he lifted his head up maybe 6 times in the hour we were out despite the miserable conditions.

As always, thanks for looking!