Friday, June 25, 2010

Not Quite as Planned.

Ever have one of those tournaments where you had all good games and they you look at the final score and you're down at the bottom. That's what the GP South tournament last weekend felt like. 4 good close games, but no wins.

I played the Mech Eldar army I've been building.

Game One:

I played against a vanilla mech marine army. A few tactical squads in rhinos and razorbacks, Auto-Las Predator, Las-HB Predator, 5 man Sterngaurd, Two speeders, and Cassius. The mission was victory points with three objectives counting at 150 vp each. The mission also used diagonal deployment zones w/ a 12 inch no-mans-land in the center.

I lost the roll to go first, and he deployed along his deployment zone. I hid all my skimmers behind a nice ruin in the corner of my deployment zone. I made my first mistake and didn't deploy my Falcon far enough into my corner to avoid his auto-plas predator on my right flank. The Falcon ended up getting stunned for the first two turns and then immobilized as a result. I speed my Wave serpents up my right flank and they ran into his stern guard. I dumped out my Fire Dragons and Dire Avengers to fight him, but it didn't work out so well. 5 man dire avengers squads are capable of doing exactly nothing. My Autaurch completely wiffed in CC; starting a trend that would go on all day. I ended up breaking though his units, but at a cost of all my transported infantry. The game was still pretty close at this point, as I had most of my skimmers left, one squad of Dire Avengers and the Farseer. Unfortunately the game went on for a 6th and 7th turn. My army wasn't standing up to the attrition very well. On the 7th turn he managed to take out two of my Wave Serpents that where contesting objectives. I had to use my Prisms to turbo-boost to contest on the last round. Unfortunately one of my Prisms rolled a 1 entering the terrain the objective was in and blew itself up. This was a 310 point VP swing for my opponent. I think I lost by about a 600 point margin. If It wasn't for that bad 7th turn it would have been a lot closer.

My army suffers in a VP scenario vs Marines. I have to blow his 170 point unit out of a 25 point tank, while he has to blow my 60 point unit out of a 145 point tank. My wave serpents are a little harder to kill than rhinos and razor backs, but I'm going to loose more points getting de-meched than my opponent. I can kind of understand where the KP idea came from, too bad it's a horrible solution to this problem.

If could have deployed a little better in this game, 6 inches to the right would have put my Falcon into the game. I could have also reserved my army, using the side board edges of my deployment zone to my advantage. I need to not get my Dire Avengers out of their Wave Serpents until they are blown out. And when they do get blown out, they need to run away instead of charge the enemy.

Game 2:

I played Evil Ted's Orks. He had 5 units of boys riding in Trucks, 3 Scortchas, 3 Buggies with rokkit launchers, a Battlewagon with some Burnas inside, and a WeirdBoy.

The scenario was interesting. There was one objective that a unit could join like an independent character in the movement phase and then drag it around. The main problem with that scenario is that you could only claim the objective in the movement phase. On the last turn, if you blast your opponent of an objective, you can't claim it, and you can't win. That's what happened to me, and it kind of sucks.

This game was chaos. We both had very mobile armies, and where fighting in literally every corner of the table. This was my slowest game and we only got 5 turns in. On the last turn both our armies where in disarray. I managed to jump a unit of Dire Avengers out of their serpent, and with help blow a unit of boys off of the objective. Unfortunately I couldn't claim it because of the reasons I already listed. This left us tied for primary and secondary objectives. The tertiary was table quarters, and those where all contested. I realized that he had some boys in melee with my stunned Fire Prisms. I let him roll his attacks, and he got lucky rolling a 5 and 6 for the holo-field damage results. Game lost on a 2D6 die roll.

Game 3:

I played against a Chaos Marine army. It consisted of two units of Thousand Suns in Rhinos, a unit of raptors, a Winged Demon Prince, 2 Oblits, some summoned lesser demons, and a Las-Las Predator.

The scenario was get to the opponents deployment zone. It used the funky diagonal deployment zone from the first mission.

I lost the roll to go first, but he gave me first turn anyway. I used it to blow away his oblits, and proptly suffered Karmic blow back. My dice where A-W-F-U-L after that. I had a huge advantage in the scenario and blew it away by getting up close and failing to kill anything for two turns. I also moved skimmers into terrain twice, and rolled 1's twice. I had three skimmers immobilized in No-Man-Land at the end of the game. I managed to get two of my skimmers in to his deployment zone and reduced his army to two immobile rhinos, an immobile predator, a unit of two TSM, and a unit of one TSM. At the end of the game he had one unit of TSM completely in my deployment zone, and another with his toe in. This left us tied for Primary and Secondary objectives. The tertiary was table quarters again. We were all contested, but he claimed that one of my immobile tanks shouldn't count because it was half in a table quarter contesting his TSMs. The judge had us dice it, and I won the 4+ roll. Game tied on a 1d6 roll.

I should have hung back and used my speed and range to etter advantage. Though if my dice rolled any where near average, I would have tabled him on turn 5.

Game 4:

Played Evil Ted again. Judge gave the option of playing someone else, but Ted was the best opponent I played all day, so we elected to play again.

Scenario was essentially capture and control.

Our armies did another number on each other. At the end of the game we had completely changed sides and controlled each others objectives. We where tied for Primary and Secondary objectives( AGAIN!). Tertiary this time was how many units you could get into your opponents deployment zone. He had 5 to my 3. Too many Orks to kill for my Eldar without a seer-council.

I would also like to note how ridiculously lucky his buggies where rolling that game. Every turn except one he managed to get a pen and a glance on one of my skimmers.

Final Thoughts:

I need spirit stones on some of my skimmers. Not sure where to get the points from, but I suffered several dead skimmers from getting stunned one round and then auto hit the next. My Autarch doesn't deserve her power weapon any more. She was involved in 6-7 rounds of combat during the tournament and didn't score a single wound. I took her mostly for the reserve bonus. I never went up against any alpha strike armies, and didn't need to reserve my whole force .

The biggest thing I learned during the tournament is that my Dire Avengers are not Tactical Marines, and I should not try to use them as such.

I had fun, I'll defiantly attend their next tournament when they have it. The tournament was a very good rough draft for what is looking to be very interesting and competitive format. They have only one scenario that needs major revision. I don't like how you can win the game by taking only the Tertiary Objective. I would also have liked to see a pure multi-objective game. I'm not a fan of the objectives as VP/KP scenario. All-in-all these are purely minor gripes against a very well run tournament. And for being a no-soft-scores event, it had the most painted armies I've ever seen at a local tournament.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tournaments and Things

I had good time at the GP south side tournament even though I didn't do so well. I didn't come in last place, so it's an improvement over the last time I went south to play. The tournament was well run, and all my games where fun and challenging. I have some minor gripes about the scenarios that I sent along to the organizer. I think after a round of revisions and they will have a solid set of custom tournament scenarios.

I'm currently analyzing what I did wrong in my games. When I get a good grasp of what I could have done better, I'll post battle reports.

I haven't got around to writing up the carrier rules for Decisive Victory yet. I downloaded Visual Studio Express 2010 and got into coding up a App to generate ship stats. I've been using the development as a way to codify all the values that I was essentially eyeballing for the few ships I created so far. Time permitting I'll have that app done sometime this week. I'm working in points and AA values into the stats for the app, so when it's done expect all the listed ships to change and several more get added.

When the ship creator app is done it should allow anyone to generate stats. If anyone would like a copy of the app and help out with stating up some ships, let me know.

I did put some thought into how to do point values for DV. I think I'm going to take the Warmachine route with ships costing small single digit number for points. When building a fleet you'll get separate points to buy destroyers, cruiser, capital ships, and support. Support will include land based aircraft, shore batteries, and submarines. So a typical game would be 5 destroyer points, 5 cruiser points, 5 capital ship points, and 3 support points. This would work out to be a typical fleet of 5 destroyers, 2 cruisers, 1 capital ship, and some assorted support. I also plan to allow you to use your points from one class at two for one cost in another. So if you have two extra cruiser points, you can use them to buy one extra destroyer.

Monday, June 14, 2010

DV Playtest

Thanks to revmidni I was able to play test the latest rules for my WWII naval game. It went pretty well, the stats and dice mechanics seem to be working out well. I was worried that the craps-like 2d6 system wouldn't play well, but like any dice system you start to get a feel for it after a few turns.

Some minor things are going to change based on the game results. I'm going to open the range increment up from 10" to 12", and make minor damage convert to full damage at 3 points per instead of 5. This will increase the rate of damage dealt and make the first few turns more interesting. I was going to make deck and underwater hits more difficult to get, but they already where. I made a mistake when I produced my damage cards and put the wrong values into the damage grid.

As far as the game went, I set up two 5 ship fleets centered around a battleship. The French fleet had two light cruisers and two destroyers backing up the Richelieu. The Italians had 3 destroyers and a light cruiser backing up the Vittorio Vento. The French ships outclassed their Italian counterparts in almost every way. Better range, speed, armor, and guns. I fully expected a French victory. I was playing the Italians.

We both rushed our destroyers straight at each other. All three of my destroyers where sunk to one of his. His cruisers out ranged mine and where able to support his destroyers; canceling out my numerical superiority. Our battleships exchanged long range fire as they closed in. The Vento was getting lucky and landing hits, but due to my error copying the damage grids to the cards, all my shots where hitting below the water line. The poor quality Italian 15" guns vs the exceptional underwater protection of the Richelieu left me only doing minor damage to the French ship's hull. The BB's got to within a mile, and the French finally got the range. The Vento took some penetrating hits, resulting in damage to fire control. With the damage to fire control the Vento couldn't effectively fight back and finally went down with the help of French torpedoes. My remaining CL, with damage to her engines and taking on water, struck her colors.

Revmidni said he liked the rules, they where simple but had a realistic feel to them. There was only one time where I had to come up with a rule on the fly, and that was to cover the order of applying modifiers and halving values. The only awkward mechanic I noted was we would both occasional pick up our to-hit-dice and re-roll them for armor penetration - forgetting that they marked the hit location on the damage grid. I need to think of a good way to avoid that situation.

I also have a base line for coming up with a points system. The French destroyers where roughly 1.5 times better than the Italians, the French cruisers twice as good, and the French BB only slightly better than the Italian. Had I had slightly better luck on hit location against the French battleship, it would have been an even fight.

In the next two weeks I plan on adding rules for fighting close actions and using aircraft. I'll need to add a few more ships to the fleet lists to accommodate that. So expect to see some carriers, good AA destroyers, and the Japanese make an addition to the list of ships that have been stated up.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Slow News Month

The 40k blog sphere has been pretty quiet these last few weeks. I guess everyone is preparing for the 'ard boy semis.

Meanwhile, I'm 1.5 grav tanks and 6 Dire Avengers away from having my Eldar army painted for the June 19 GP South tourney.

For my final list I going with:

Farseerer /W Guide
Autach /W Power Weapon
2x 5 man Fire Dragon units in Wave Serpents with Shuri Cannons
3x 5 man Dire Avenger units. 2 in Wave Serpents with Bright Lances
2x Fire Prisms

I've been doing pretty well with standard scenarios. Not sure how well my army will work with the custom ones for the tournament.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Amateur Game Design

I've never been happy with any WWII naval games I've tried. They end up being too complicated or too unrealistic. Seakrieg 4 vs Victory as Sea. I've read a few books on naval history, and attended several military history courses in College. No rules set I've come across for this period accurately replicates the history as I've imagined it. I wanted to find a naval rules set like Flames of War. One that blended an accurate historical feel with good solid playable rules.

About a year ago I set out to write up my own rules for WWII fleet battles. I put together an initial draft of some rules and play tested it once. I discovered some flaws and wrote a second draft. About that time I picked up Uncharted Seas, and that scratched my itch for naval war gaming. I never got around to play testing the second draft.

Recently I've been eager to resume my development on this game. As it currently stands the second draft only contains rules for surface gun battles, but I have lots of ideas on how to incorporate submarines and aircraft.

If you're at all interested, check out the Pages widget on the right panel and find the Decisive Victory link. I've included a few sample ships as well. I'm interested in any feedback you may have.