Tuesday 1 April 2014

Getting A Few Games In

While it might all seem to have been about the challenge in the dark winter months, as we emerge into spring I have managed a few games in recently. First AdeD of Wyvern ran a group of us through some games of Dead Man's Hand one club night, which seems to be the go to ruleset for wild west gaming. I dug out my small group of painted lawmen (on the bevelled bases) and faced BobC's outlaws across three scenarios. It was a wee while back, so I'll skip the AAR and commentary and just show you the goodies...

With an upstanding citizen down, Not-The-Man-With-No-Name fires wildly at the mexican in pajamas

My Depudee heads off in pursuit of a ner'do'well

A Lawman using bystanders as cover - not sporting but otherwise he'd have been toast from those Mexicans!

Bustling street shot - Bob supplied plenty of civilians to witness the carnage

Scenario three ends with a gunfight outside the dressmaker's, of all places. 

There was a lot to enjoy about Dead Man's Hand - it has good production values and I enjoyed the variety and flavour that were added by the dual activation/action cards. I liked that it isn't IGO-UGO with the card-driven initiative, though it was a bit faffy moving the little cards around all of the time. But, I wasn't convinced that the scenarios were balanced as the lawmen seemed to struggle and thought some of the mechanics, like the 'quick draw' card for initiative were gimmicky. Also, with a campaign system to be added soon, I was surprised at the size of the starter gangs - I'm not sure the card-driven initiative will scale upwards much as gangs grow without becoming tiresome. Still, as an occasional pick up game it is entirely playable and has much more flavour and 'story' written in to it compared to say Legends of the Old West. Happily, I've already got a handful of lawmen painted so should be able to throw down games every now and then. But I'm surprised to report that IO'm not particualrly tempted to rush out and bu the ruleset and play loads of games. Given how many people enjoy it, perhaps I have very high thresholds these days!

A couple of weeks later and I was back at Wyvern for a quite lovely Starship Troopers game hosted by Stu of Dust, Tears and Dice. Stu wants to run an SST campaign that lets players drop in and out while keeping the campaign running - perfect for a fortnightly club like Wyvern. Each time, the players will take Mobile Infantry squads and Stu will steamroller them with hordes of bugs. The best MI commander over the campaign gets Though he was clearly going easy on us for Game 1. Out mission - converge on a suspected bugs nest and collapse it with our heavy support. Stu's writeup is here.

Move out. My squad nicknamed 'Lucky Devils' and supporting Chickenhawk make steady time down from the landing zone

Ambush! AdeD's squad are surprised by first contact.

Things start getting hairy for Paul and Ade's squads either side of mine as bugs start swarming

The Fleet's view of the engagement - MI firepower starts to tell

Fire in the hole! *Pssssht* Bug hole down

Tanker bug!

Yes, that's my squad that he's bearing down on.

At which point, Acting Skymarshal AdeD got a lot of abuse for not bothering to invest in any Fleet support assets for this engagement.

Paul's squad, Baldwin's B*stards take casualties to scything claws and swooping fliers. Even the vid-corder crew are taking hits!

After two rounds with no initiative, the tanker final succumbs to my infantry and Chickenhawk. 

It went down to my last missile though - after which it would have had the chance to char-grill the lot of them!

*Geronimo - bug nest down, repeat bug nest down*

With the last throw of the dice, I complete our objective - moments before being overrun by the swarm that just forced Paul's squad to withdraw. 

Between the bug holes, tanker bug and a handful of trooper bugs, I staked a fair claim towards the rank of Skymarshal. Stu had dreadful luck on activations - I got two whole rounds of firing at the Tanker before it could have activated. Just enough to take it down. Just

A really fun game very ably hosted by Stu. The minis and terrain are all his and rather excellent the game looked too. The rules were Chain Reaction - entirely serviceable and fun to play though they do commit that cardinal sin (in my view) of changing the roll to succeed from roll high to roll low!

I also managed a game of Chain of Command, ably hosted by Bob from Wyvern. British against Germans and I took something of a pasting from my reluctance to withdraw an exposed unit exacerbated by some poor command dice rolls at inopportune times. I didn't really take any photos except this one - to the left my beleaguered, pinned section about to be gunned down by the Germans flooding from a building. My section to the right is attempting to get into position to assist, hampered by a lack of windows in the right places.

The buildings are the new laser cut wood prepainted ones from Crescent Root Studio in the US and are very nice, sizable pieces and seem well-designed. I liked that they are nicely weathered from the box, come textured and apparently dissemble to 'flat pack' again.

Thanks to all who have hosted me these recent weeks - I look forward to more games of each and to returning the favour once the Sudan collection is ready for an outing (more on that later...)


  1. 3 great looking games. The SST one looked pretty cool! Loved the original film!

    1. Yeah it was very cool, Stu captured the terro of MI facing massive Killy bugs pretty well

  2. Great looking game table for dead mans hand

    1. All bob's doing , they're the old snapdragon resin pieces.

  3. excellent write ups thanks for sharing

  4. A little quite on the gaming front for me as well, here's hoping April and Salute gives me the shot in the army I need.

    1. Haha, this is busy on the gaming front for me! I used to go months and months without getting around to getting any games in.

  5. Very nice games, all of them. I añso like a lot "Dead Man´s Hand".


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