Friday, May 8, 2009

Catching up with recent gaming activities

On Saturday, May 2nd, the North Texas Wargamers had our second meeting at the Frisco Public Library. Twelve people showed up for some boardgaming goodness.

Nevin Ball and Erik Nicely were going to play Panzerblitz: Hill of Death but Erik had bad directions and didn't make it so Nevin took off early after playing a single game of Neuroshima Hex! with Sean Harris. Sean's report on Neuroshima Hex!:
This is a great little wargame. Each game is different. I was blue and Nevin was green. Nevin had some early good draws and hit my HQ pretty good. I came back in the late game but I could not catch up. This is a great short wargame and can play up to four players. The randomness of the draws just adds to the strategy.
Other games played that day included:
1. For the People
A brief synopsis by Joseph:
In summer of 1861 there was Foreign Intervention in favor of the C.S.A. Robert E. Lee captured Washington D.C. in the spring of 1862, giving the C.S.A. a sudden death victory due to Strategic Will.
2. For the People
Sean Harris' report:
This was a learning game for me. so I basically got stomped, but I did learn alot. And apparently Brian is one of the really good players of For the people. So it is always good to get stomped by the best. I just hope he does not get tired of playing with rookies like me.
Brian and Sean had planned on playing a different game, Bloody Roads South, and in fact had set it up but there was some confusion of trying to play the game with a newer version of the rules so they decided to play For the People instead. For the People was the most popular game at this meeting; it was played three times Saturday.

3. Age of Conan
I'm not sure how the factions were divided up but Mark said Ken won this one. This is one of my current favorites.

4. Fall Blau playtest
This is Greg's WW II Eastern Front game he has been working on. What better way to work out the kinks than playtest it with game designer Mark Simonitch!

5. Unhappy King Charles
My thoughts:
This was the first game for both of us so there was a lot of rulebook page flipping for the first couple of turns and I'm sure we still got a few things wrong and missed others - just like every game you play for the first time.

We had one and half turns left to go but called it after Steven lost a general in the midlands( I intercepted and he accepted battle) leaving only King Charles on the map in the North region facing off with the Lord General with his 6+ brigade army. At this point, we agreed it was time for the Fat Lady to come out and sing. In the previous turn, Oliver Cromwell decisively defeated Prince Rupert in the South which allowed Parliament to clean up down there taking all South areas except one.

The early pattern was that Parliament controlled the South West (East and most of the South Region) while the Royalist controlled the North West (Most of the West and North Regions) and we split in the Midlands Region.

Most of the fighting occurred in the line from the South-Midland-North Region. There is a possibility for auto victory for each side. The Royalist player automatically loses if King Charles surrenders but he was hard to run down up in the North in our game and bringing in a large enough army to have a chance to do anything requires 3 OPs cards or Minor/Major Campaigns. The Parliament player can lose of the Royalists manage to take London and hold it for two turns but I would think this would be hard to do.

Battles end up bring indecisive affairs for the most part, either not occurring at all because one side disperses leaving the field of battle or in battles that do actually happen resulting in "draws" with loses of one or two brigades at most. Even Major and Decisive victories only result in the loss of two brigades at most but they also allow drawing strategy cards from the deck (Major -1 card, Decisive - 2 cards) which the victor must either discard or play immediately to finish off their turn.

I had fun playing it and want to play it again.

ps - Steven thinks my Alien Dice are loaded. I rolled a few opportune sixes in the game but, I also rolled consecutive ones on the siege I was doing up North too Steven.
Some groups finished their first game and started another.
6. For the People
  • Joseph Acker - USA
  • Al Hay - CSA
Joseph and Al switched sides and played FtP again they enjoyed the game so much!
Again, Joseph's thoughts:
By end of spring of 1862 the Union had taken West Virginia and Missouri. There was a small Union force in Columbus, GA and another one in Little Rock, AK. The Union also had taken much of Virginia; the C.S.A. still held Richmond, but prospects were very grim, and the C.S.A. conceded.
7. Warriors of God
  • Brian Marrs
  • Sean Harris
Brian's thoughts:
We had to end this early due to time. I was really impressed with this game. The leaders mortality adds another dimension to this lite wargame. It insures each game is different. I lost on points but I would play this again in a heartbeat.
8. Twilight Struggle
  • Ken Mikolaj
  • David Harrod
This one seems to be a popular game with wargamers and eurogamers alike.

So ended another good gaming session at the library with plans for another sometime in June.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Teaching Claire Memoir '44

Inspired by Memoir 44 History Club I decided to ask Claire if she wanted to learn Memoir 44. She said yes so we played the Sword Beach scenario from the base game. Claire picked the Germans and I took the British. To minimize the complexity I removed all the special wordy cards from the deck. I also played a random card from my hand each turn.

Here is a picture early on in the game.

Claire did well but didn't have the cards to stop my advance and the British won 5 medals to 3.