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Sunday, 30 April 2017

Cold Light of Day (Scenario)

With the acquisition of some new forces thanks to NWA, the pressure was quickly applied by Paddy to have a game.  He was super keen on using our new Lizardmen so I had to cook something up before Meg's cooked up dinner!  Paddy and I first sat down and worked out what the Lizardmen were all about relative to humans - it was fun seeing his creative mind in action.  The following was the result: a Scenario that you may also want to trial.  As to what rules we employ: some twists on the Terminator Genesis the Miniatures Game, but I am sure just about anything would serve.  Enjoy!

PS Paddy and I played this Scenario on Saturday - with Paddy beating me.  On Sunday Alex and I played the sequel "A touch of Frost''.


"No more!  The intrusion of the hot bloods must cease!"

"What is your command Wise One", queried Towel'Rack the leader of the Lizardman forces.

"Gather your brethren, remove this plague, restore the equilibrium... I cannot be distracted..." 

"Away," hissed Towel'Rack to his commanders, "deploy the army - to the South are the hot bloods .  They must be annihilated NOW!"

Assemble Forces

The 'theme' for this scenario is the first encounter between two very different forces.  The Attackers are a melee-focused war-band with a variety of distinct troop types.  The Defenders are the garrisoned troopers guarding an outpost.

3 standard TDD's are issued for each Force i.e. the Attackers have 3 TDDs and the Defender has 3 TDDs - note Special Rules: TDDs below.

Defenders (Humans)

The Outpost's Command has managed to scrabble three reinforced platoons to repel the alien raiders.

Captain Gresham's Assault Team
  • Captain Gresham (Skill d8, Armour 4+, Resolution d10, Command 2) with a Pistol (d6/Short) and Chainsword (d8)
  • 5 x Troopers (d6, 4+, d8) with Pistols and Chainswords
  • 1 x Heavy Support Team (d6, 4+, d8) with HMG (3d8/Brace) and Combat Knives
Major Reilly's Fire Team
  • Major Reilly (d8, 4+, d10, Command 2) with Assault Rifles and Combat Knife
  • 5 x Troopers (d6, 4+, d8) with Assault Rifles and Combat Knives
  • 1 x Heavy Support Team (d6, 4+, d8) with HMG and Combat Knives
Commander Morton's Fire Team
  • Commander Morton (d8, 4+, d10, Command 2) with an Assault Rifle and Combat Knife
  • 5 x Troopers (d6, 4+, d8) with Assault Rifles and Combat Knives
  • 1x Heavy Support Team (d6, 4+, d8) with HMG and Combat Knives

Attackers (Lizardmen)

A scouting detachment of the Lizardman army approaching the settlement, this force is a mix of regular Saurus infantry, a group of mounted Cold Ones all supported by a horde of Skinks providing the Lizardmen with ranged fire ability.
Cold One Cavalry
  • Cold One Cavalry Champion (d8, 6+, d10, Command 2, Cold Blooded, Away!) with teeth, claws and axes (CC, ROF 2, d8)
  • 5 x Cold One Cavalry (d6, 6+, d10, Cold Blooded, Away!) with teeth, claws and axes 

Saurus Warriors
  • Scar-Veteran (d8, 5+, d10, Cold Blooded) with Axe (CC, d8)
  • 7 x Saurus Warriors (d6, 5+, d8, Cold Blooded) with Axes
  • Skink Chief (d8, 3+, d10, Command 2, Agile, Cold Blooded) with a blowguns (ROF1/d6/Long) and axe (CC, d6)
  • 10 x Skinks (d6, 3+, d8, Agile, Cold Blooded) armed with both bows, blowguns etc and spears, axes etc


The Northern half of the table is largely clear giving the Lizardman the opportunity to close in on the Defenders with few if any obstacles to negotiate and little in the way of cover.

The Southern half of the table has three Size 3 Building that cannot be entered but can be scaled. The Defender can also apply a handful of barricades in the Southern half.

Deployment and Tactical Edge

The Attackers have exited the jungle from the North and are approaching the outskirts of the settlement to the South. The Defenders have been transported through the settlement and deployed to intercept the Attackers at the settlement's Northern edge.

Troops can be deployed as Reserves; however the Attacker cannot deploy on the Southern Edge/Corners and the Defender cannot deploy on the North Edge/Corners.

Tactical Edge is determined with the Lizardmen using a d6 and the Humans a d8 (see Special Rules: Cold Blooded below).

Objectives and Game Length

The Attackers are attempting to penetrate the settlement's defenses and the Defenders are trying to impede their enemy's advance whilst reinforcements are rallied to their position.  The game can end in one of three ways:
  1. One Force's total annihilation, with Victory being awarded to the survivor.
  2. Upon the Attackers overrunning the Defenders position - this can determined at the end of any Turn with 1 or more Attackers within Walk Range of the Southern map edge.  See details below.
  3. Upon the Defenders receiving reinforcements - this can be determined subsequent to #2 in the usual manner for determining the end of a TGTMG scenario.

Determining Over Run

At the end of each Turn calculate the difference between the number of Attackers and Defenders in the Defender's Deployment Zone.
For example, the Attackers have a Cold One, two Saurus and three Skinks (6 Units in total) in the Defender's Deployment Zone.  The Defenders have three Infantry and one Heavy Weapon Team (4 Units in total) in the same Zone.  6 Units - 4 Units = +2 Unit advantage to the Attackers.
Roll a d6, add the modifier and if the result is equal to or exceeds the Turn's Target, the Game is ended and awarded to the Attacker.  A modified Result of 1 Turn 3 Base Target = 5, Turn 4 = 4, Turn 5 = 3, Turn 6 = 2, Turn 7+ = 1.
For example, on Turn 5 a base number of 3 is required for the Game to end.  The Attacker rolls a 2, and received a +2 modifier, resulting in 4.  As the modified result of 4 equals or exceeds the Turn Five Target of 3, the Game is ended and awarded to the Attackers.

Special Rules

We employed our usual mix of House Rules.  While they seem to work for us, they aren't necessary for this particular scenario.  One thing we've noticed with our House Rules is that the game flow suffers once the Unit count goes up - the tenacity afforded by the low hit-to-kill ratio means there's lots of Reeling troops about.  Oh well, something to keep in mind for next time.

Lizardmen > Away!

The Cold One Cavalry are Saurus riders mounted on Cold Ones.  These ferocious beasts are  difficult to command.  Upon declaring a Run, rather than applying the Run Template, use the Walk Template then add d8 inches to the same.  This reflects the beasts ability to surge ahead into battle and tendency to fail to consistently follow their rider's commands.

Lizardmen > Cold Blooded

The Lizardmen's metabolism means they're not quite as adapt at reacting tactically relative to warm-blooded enemy.  They use one die less when rolling for the Tactical Edge e.g., they'd roll a d6 whilst their enemy use a d8.
Some family snaps :-)

Time Displacement Devices

In this scenario the TDDs reflect the martial zeal and superior training of the Defenders and the ancient magical powers of the Attackers.

Each Commander is notionally allocated a TDD that  can be used at any time as per usual rules - track the use of a TDD.  Should a Commander be eliminated (not Reeling), then their notional TDD is lost.  This encourages the early use of TDDs.

Saturday, 29 April 2017

State of the Nation - Skirmish Forces

After a successful visit to the almost local war-gaming club,  I picked up two painted armies to add some further colour and variety to our collection.  PS if you ever need some commission work done, you could do a lot worse than looking at the bloke who did these marvels... do let me know if you want me to put you in touch, who know what might happen...

I've always like the Warhammer Lizardman so an army is especially welcome - if not strictly fitting into our current game setting. It looks great.  No, it looks #%#% fantastic.  I can never remember the official names of the various units (I'll learn) but we've got little 'uns, bigger 'uns, biggest 'uns, riders, flyers, a big fat toady dude (Slann?) and two huge warbeast thingys.  Over 100 units all up - sweet!  The looks on the kid's faces was priceless as they were working their way through the box.  "Oh my Gward", "Dan!  Look at this!!", "This guy's got an AXE!!!".  Some great memories right there :-)

I've got something of a soft-spot for 40K, maybe the setting's a touch too grimdark for my liking, however a painted army of Imperial Infantry complete with heavy weapon teams in support does the trick.  The scale relative to the other models we've got is a bit on the chunky/heroic side, but I'm not complaining - they'll provide a great mass of regular, support and heavy troops for our games - we've now got something like 80 troops!

Once the above has been complimented with some painted TGTMG resistance soldiers and endos (maybe 60 model's are waiting for paint day) and some other odds and ends (like the one Dust power suit dude and a squad of Warzone troopers - see below) ,  we'll have a great range of models for all manner of games.

So that means a few less Lego games? Yes, I think so.   More importantly I hope the kids will be inspired to delve a bit deeper into this (or similar) hobby with which they'll share some adventures together with each other,  me and their friends.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Feel the Heat (Scenario)


As part of a series of coordinated strikes on the Mos Eisley, the Rebels identified an opportunity to seize the spaceport's primary Power Station - if it could be captured, it would result in a serious setback in the Empires ability to impose Imperial Law on the Sector.

A band of Rebel commandos were airlifted into the Power Station complex charged with securing the Power Station quickly and efficiently.  The major obstacle in this regard is the garrison of Imperial Troops charged with defending that very same facility.

Assemble Forces

We're fans of asymmetrical Forces - it makes for a better narrative - and played the game quite successfully using the following sides.  The 'theme' we were going for was the Attackers were a highly trained (Skill buff) group of saboteurs, travelling light for a quick strike.  The Defenders were the garrisoned troopers guarding the facility - but don't mistake that for incompetent - and were kitted out with superior armour (armour buff) and support weapons.

Attackers (Rebels)

  • 1 x Captain (Skill D8/Armour 4+/Resilience D10, Command 2, Assault Rifle and Combat Knife);
  • 1 x NCO (D8/4+/D10, Command 1, Assault Rifle and Combat Knife);
  • 6 x Soldiers (D8/4+/D8, Assault Rifle and Combat Knife); and
  • 1 x Droid (see Special Rules)

Defenders (Imperials)

  • 1 x Captain (D6/5+/D10, Command 2, Assault Rifle and Combat Knife);
  • 1 x NCO (D6/5+/D10, Command 1, Assault Rifle and Combat Knife);
  • 4 x Soldiers (D6/5+/D8, Assault Rifle and Combat Knife); and
  • 1 x Heavy Weapon Soldier (D6/5+/D8, Mini Gun and Combat Knife).


Our map used an assortment of paper craft sourced across the interweb.  Our newest inclusions were some of the Reactor Level terrain items from Ebbles' Derelict Megaset.

Five Objective Markers were placed around map: two to the West, next to the Coolant Store and Bridge; one to the South East next to the System Link and finally on to the North East at the Regulator Control's panel.

As usual, I wanted to ensure that there were a few extended fire-lanes.  We treated the vast majority of terrain as Level 2 or higher and buildings (Storehouse and Bunker) as inaccessible but climbable.

Whilst it isn't evident in the above photo, the Generator is actually Level 4 - the Generator proper was Level 2 and raised a further 2 Levels - the Bridge is also Level 2 high and only accessible via a Ramp to the South.  That provides the Attackers with the option to establish a line of site to a large portion of the table if they so wish.
You can see the Ramp and Bridge (top-left) leading to
the Generator at the (top-centre) of the picture.


Both Forces need secure as many Objectives as possible else eliminate the opposition by Game End.

Deployment and Tactical Edge

The Attackers were airlifted into the South Western Dropzone and the Defenders exited their Bunker from the North East.  Troops can be deployed as Reserves.

Tactical Edge is rolled as per usual.

The Objectives, Victory! and End Game

This game is played as an Occupy Mission (pg 48, TGTMG) with five (5) Objective Markers available.

Determine whether the Game continues or ends as per the standard TGTMG rules.

Special Rules

We employed our usual mix of House Rules.  While they seem to work for us, they aren't necessary for this particular scenario.

Droid Support

The Rebel's have included a support Droid to aid their action.  Whilst the Droid cannot attack, its presence is valuable all the same.

  • The Droid can hold an Objective, allowing the rest of the Squad tackle other objectives.
  • The Droid continually generates a field of interference that shields all units (inclusive of the Droid) within Point Blank Range - all Attackers ranged skill is degraded by 1 die.
  • The Droid is consider Size 1, has Armour of 3+ and Resolution of D10 and move/run as standard.  
  • It cannot perform any attacks nor feats (jumping, climbing) but is otherwise used as a normal Unit.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Vehicles in the game

The boys are pretty keen on using bigger, nastier and more exciting units: tanks, flyers and mechs.  Yep, I can understand the appeal BUT there are downsides.

Take a mech for example: relative to a solider, it's better armoured, likely moves faster and has a wider array of larger calibre weapons - basically a super solider.  The game then degrades into a normals vs supers.

TGTMG's vehicle rules (pg41) include various buffs and debuffs including not being able to use ranged weapons at Close Combat range; allowing non-vehicles to use ranged weapons against them whilst in Close Combat range; being immune to Hasta la Vista, Baby and 8+ Armour rated vehicles being immune to small-arms fire.

Small-arms vs Heavily armoured targets.

It's the small-arms fire rule that keeps the game realistic (Question: who wants a pistol taking down a tank?) but at a cost of fun (Answer: me, sometimes.  Depends if it's my Tank).  If I was a vehicle weapons designer, I'd certainly be laying on the armour platting such that rifle fire isn't going to knock-out my $20m beast.

So what to do that strikes a balance between realism and fun...

Big Guns vs Infantry

I was reading some other skirmish rules/forums recently and one thing mentioned was limiting the ability of (in  this particular instance) tanks aiming their cannons at non-entrenched soldiers.  That sounds like a step in the right direction:

  • Entrenched soldiers, say taking cover within a ruined building, can be targeted by a tank's main cannon - the cannon's gunner is actually tracking the ruins.
  • When fitting out a tank, thought need be given to their anti-infantry capabilities.  A tank might forgo machine guns for some reason (maybe fitting a bigger cannon?) but a mobile group of soldiers could pose something of a threat that couldn't be negated by a battle cannon. That's why 'support' is popular...
I think we'll use that particular idea in our home brewed games.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Activation Rules (House Rules) Work In Progress

We've played a fair bit of TGTMG applying our house rules.  The thing that we most often get confused about is Reeling - when is a Unit Reeling and when are they merely Done.  Then working out how many factors to degrade the Reeling die by... man, it can be a drain on the game!

Looking through some other skirmish rules as of late it struck me: why don't we apply some sort of penalty to any Unit with a Done marker?

For example:
Alex and Paddy are facing off.  Alex wins the Tactical Advantage and scores a 1 on his first Impulse.  Alex activates a Solider an sets him running towards cover.  Paddy then rolls a 1 on his Impulse.  Typically, all things being equal, Paddy would fire at Alex's remaining Solider, the one who hasn't yet been activated.  Why?  Because he may put that Solider out of action, denying is activation during that Turn.
However should Done Units have their Resolution downgraded by 1 die, then Paddy might have pause to fire at the first of Alex's units - if he was to hit, it would be more likely that he'd send that Solider Reeling.

We might just give it a try.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Terrain Envy

Oh yes please!

State of the (Warring) Nation

Things are moving into overdrive on the war gaming front in the Berman abode.  Brother vs. Brother, Brother vs. Sister, Daughter vs. Father... nobody is safe from the battling, well maybe with the exception of Mum.

What's working?

The BTF (Berman Terrain Factory) is going gangbusters.  Harriet is on the case and she's becoming quite the terrain manufacturing machine!  We're still doing paper craft, with our top three sources being Toposolitario, Genet Models/Ebbles and Tommygun.  We've printed out lots using our HP Envy 4504 and 100gm paper (10gm heavier than most printer paper) - the paper's a bit flimsy and the ink can be chewed up pretty quickly if you're not careful.  Also I've done a couple of trips to Officeworks and had them print on 200gm (cardstock, matt) which ends up being a $1 a page.  I've got some 200gm paper that I'm intending on trialing soon... it will be interested to see how the printer and paper both stand up to the requisite bending...

Playing 6 aside Humans vs Humans.  One Level 2 Commander or two Level 1's, with the occasional Heavy Weapon, but otherwise everyone's armed with Assault Rifles.  We pretend they're Storm Troopers, Rebels or whatever - whilst asymmetrical forces are more interesting for me, they tend to leave at least one Primary School kid frustrated.

Retrieve Missions.  They feel a little like football, especially where we make each Player's exit point  their opponent's entry.  The fact that you can win without destroying the opposition couple with the manner in which the objective scatters makes for a great combination - LOTS of laughter.

Murphy's Law.  This injects some real humour into the game.  Already we've had instances of my Daughter's Commander being caught out in the open and fired upon by 4 enemies, only to have every one of them roll 1's and jam their weapons.  Great fun.

What's needs a bit more work?

Trying some more Missions.  (TGTMG's) Annihilate is a bit too straight-laced for me - I like some character when playing, and the kids enjoy it more as well.  We haven't tried a pure Occupy yet and are yet to try Demolish and Terminate.  Extract just doesn't seem like it's enough fun... we'll have to give it a go.  I've also got some other war game rule books etc lying around and have tried running some other missions which are yet to find their way onto this site... truth be told they could all do with some tweaks here and there.

Cover.  The killer of all skirmish games: how to account for cover.  What we've got now might not be technically correct skirmish-sim speaking, but is is kind of working.  Right now the (family) debate is whether we should also/instead/sometimes enhance the Armour and/or Resolution when in cover.

What are we thinking about doing differently?

Units.  Actually it isn't too hard, but we haven't got a lot of other Lego minifigs.  I'd like to dabble in some painting, but there's a whole money-pit waiting to suck us under. There's some Lego call NexoKnights we might try.  Alex was also interested in some sword and sorcery styled Tolkien play (Nooo!  That means new terrain!!).

Unit Stats.  We're slowly drifting into specialist space.  "Dad, I want this guy to be better at using a sword than shooting his gun" has already been suggested.  Do we go with separate BS and WS aka 40k?  I don't know.

Activation.  I like the idea of Activation i.e. troops don't always do what's wanted and sometimes do what's safest. We're thinking a 50-50 chance of having 1 or 2 Action Points or maybe 2 or 3 Action Points... that would mix it up.  Elite Troops might have a better Activation stat?

Multi-Fate Die.  The 3 Fates and Turn Over rule from the new Test of Honour Samurai game is tempting... do we trial something like that?

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The land down South

During the last couple of months I've been introducing the older kids to 28mm skirmish-level war games (I'd given them a taste of war gaming using my old Full Thrust fleets during 2016).  Our system of choice being Terminator Genisys The Miniatures Game which I've found is both easy to play and holds a lot of suspense and tactical play.  Can't and won't complain there one little bit!

It would be lovely to have some polished miniatures all ready to go; however I was never an accomplished painter AND paint is so darned expensive these days... not to mention the miniatures and the time involved.  What we wanted to do is Play - painting can wait till everyone is a little older and wiser.

So we turned to Lego.  My kids already had a heap of Lego minifigs and are accomplished builders.  We ransacked their collection and managed to find enough odds-and-ends to pull together a decent selection of soldiers, and what wasn't readily available we built.  That included the terrain - all Lego.

But Lego is so... Lego.  Even Alex, my 6 year old wanted something more.

One evening, whilst surfing the interweb, I was reading about Infinity.  "Now this looks complex," says I. "Something to try out in a few years maybe...".  As it happened, the particular site I was on was describing how to get your Infinity game looking the part, using paper.  There was a link to toposolitario and all the paper-based terrain and models Marcos has designed and shared.  My daughter Harriet was looking over my shoulder and said "That looks like fun Dad - could we try it?"

Well yes we could.

Fast-forward a month or so, and we've now got a enough terrain such that we don't really need Lego to fill out our games.  Charlie, my youngest, is very excited because that means we're not "stealing his Lego" any more.  And you know what?  I'm really enjoying it as well.  The crafting appeals to my creative side, I've always enjoyed 'gaming and it is great to find something that I can share with my kids - be it playing games, making up and trialing rules or just printing something off the old HP Envy 4504, pulling out the scissors and glue and giving it a shot.

Marcos asked that I share with him some pictures of whatever we manage to put together, so here it is.  There's plenty of Marcos' models along with odds-and-ends from others... if you'd like to know where they've come from, drop me a line.

Thank you Marcos, you're generosity has made a small-but-big difference to my family.  Whilst you may not see much skill in the builds, hopefully you'll feel the love.

Jedi Mind Tricks (House Rules - Work In Progress)

Our war games are drifting into familiar territories for the primary school crowd: Star Wars.

Not that I'm against it.  Star Wars at least provides a rich background from which we can easily craft scenarios.  I'm also sure that there's plenty of existing source material to be found on the web as well.  If it can flavour the game, I say do it.

Alex especially has been hounding me to come up with some rules for Jedi.  You know Lightsabers (or Life Savers as he calls them), Luke and the Force.  It should be pretty easy to knock something up that fits the bill without becoming a Jedi Codex or worse.  As usual the goal here is to add flavour in a manner that doesn't detract from the existing game mechanics.  So here's my initial thoughts:

Jedi Unit

Assuming that we're talking standard 'human-ish' Jedi:

  1. Trainee Jedi: d6 Skill, 2+ Armour and  d10 Resolution
  2. 'Licensed'(?) Jedi: d8, 2+ and d10
  3. Master Jedi: d10, 2+ and d12

Weapons and Weapon Traits

Lightsaber Close Combat, d10 and therefore considered Heavy as per TGTMG Rules pg 30.

Do I go with powered-up Strength, introduce some new Weapon Traits or what?  Well I suppose non-Jedi could use a Lightsaber, so it can't be a magical weapon... therefore the weapon's effectiveness need be attributed to Jedi training etc.

Unit Traits

Jedi's seem to shun Armour in all the movies I've seen, rather they flick their Lightsaber's around knocking blaster bolts every which way - sometimes back into the fray.  Checking out the interweb, such moves have even got names like AtaruShien and Djem - cool!  Also Jedi don't seem too big on using guns and often strike me as not running outright to duel, but taking their time.  So here we go:

Lightsaber defense allows the Jedi to deflect or even redirect or reflect incoming fire.  Upon firing at a Jedi, firstly roll To Hit.  If a Hit is scored then:

  • If the Jedi has a Done marker, allow the Jedi to perform a Skill roll which passes on 2+.  If passed, the ranged fire has been deflected however a 1 means the shot wasn't deflected and resolve as per usual.
  • If the Jedi doesn't have a Done marker(s), allow the Jedi to perform a Skill roll which passes on a 2+.  Further, if a 6+ is scored, the shot is reflected back at the shooter and resolved as a normal Hit.
The above feels a slight bit overpowered... but then again, Jedi are hero-types in the Movies and rarely does ranged fire seem to trouble them.

Lightsaber master attack allows the Jedi to engage with many enemies at once.  In the hands of a Jedi, the Lightsaber confers a ROF of 1+ the number of enemies in Close Combat e.g., a Jedi engaged against 2 Soldiers is able to make 3 (1+2) attacks.

I'm also considering whether to give some Fate related power.  Re-roll your own or maybe forcing your opponent to re-roll? Banking Actions?

Isn't there something about the light and dark side? Maybe light guys can re-roll their die, and the dark guys can force enemies to re-roll theirs?

We'll have play it out a few times and see what happens.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Cover (House Rule)

Now don't get me wrong,  I love the way that cover works in TGTMG however we seem to forget to apply it about 50% of the time while we are playing... Making it 50% less effective?

So we've trialled simply downgrading the Attacker's Skill dice and it seems to be working okay.

Sure there are some oddities and unfortunate side effects,  but it does seem easier to remember.

Some examples of it in play :

Resistance Soldier shooting at a target at Short range normally needs 4+ on  a D6. Now if the Target is in cover,  they need a 4+ on a D4 ie 25% chance to hit which is the same as if the usual Cover Save rules were employed.

So if a Target is in cover at long range,  a Resistance Soldier cannot hit them - 5+ on a D4 unless they are aiming,  which would upgrade their Attack die back up to a D6. The logic works for me: I'd you're looking at making a hard shot,  moving while doing so it's just plain crazy.  2 Action points to have a 18% Chance at a hit sounds fair.