Saturday, December 31, 2016

Alien Listeners - X-Files CCG

No, this has nothing to do with Aliens listening in and reading my blog like the Russians do.

It represents an eleven minutes to midnight success of getting to play the X-Files Collectable Card Game with my daughter, something we had been wanting to do all year.  Our last game was in 2009.

This game holds a special place for me as my partner and I used to play it regularly before our daughter was born and for a few years after that.  The X-files was something my partner brought into my life and the game was something I brought in to her's.  It is therefore wonderful that our daughter likes both the show and the game.

What I didn't appreciate until I considered making a post about it was how the game play tells a story.  So that is what you get a long with a picture which has an unexplained phenomena obscuring one card that I am sure was not there when I took took the photo... Spooky!

My team of Assistant Director Walter Skinner, boosted by some computer training and issued with a laptop, along with Lt Brian Tillman who had a Government Car, plus Agent Nancy Spiller and Agent Dana Scully successfully investigated the X-file Alien Listeners.

They started in Baltimore, MD, and determined that the result of the events they were investigating had not resulted in death.  They went to Gibsonton, Fl where they discovered that the method was subterfuge.

The next stop was Mahan Propulsion Laboratory, Colson, WA where Skinner was going to try his computer skills, assisted by Brad Wilczek but he couldn't get things to work - Trust No One!

At the Central Prison, Raleigh, NC they determined that the motive was not knowledge.  This narrowed things down to just four possibilities.

After a stuff up at Newark, NJ where they stupidly duplicated past efforts determining the method, they went to Cumberland Prison, VA.  Skinner's attempts to use a wire tap failed due to an equipment malfunction even after they were denied the assistance of Frohike.

Finally, upon searching UFO wreckage at Townsend, WI they found the result of the case was investigation.  From there it was a fifty fifty guess that got them the result.

Equally there was a story on my daughter's side, but this is my blog so the story's mine.

Great way to end the year.

To all my readers, including the Russians and Aliens, Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Six by Six Challenge for 2017

Kaptian Kobold posted about a Six by Six Challenge.

Sounds like a good idea to me.  As a gaming butterfly my focus is all over the shop so this might give me a bit of structure.

Six by Six

1. Impetus (should be an easy achievement)
2. Saga (the same as I need to do the club competition games and also work on my Vikings.  Having now seen at least one episode of the show I want to dull down some of brightly clothed levy or better termed Thralls).
3. Napoleons Battles (more of a challenge as the games require more research etc)
4. DBA (only challenge being what edition of the rules.  I'm still at 2.2.  Ideally I'd like to run a campaign).
5. Wings of Glory (WW1 - should be easy to achieve)
6. Songs of Drums and Shakos (will also count Songs of Blades and Heroes).


X-Files collectable card game (not a miniatures game).  I've been at my daughter to play this game with me all year.  It might still happen...

Stretch goals

Hordes of the Things (will count this as a win if I create an army)
Faustus Furius
Anything John Carter Warlord of Mars related
Napoleonic Naval (including Galleys and Galleons)

These will be an achievement if I can do at least one post on them.  Naval should be achieved by end January, but it is a long term project.

Honourable Mentions

Fire and Fury
Blitzkrieg Commander

I will be happy to at least get one game of each of these played next year.

I wonder what I've left out?  (Note that boardgames and computer games are not included)

Early Macedonian Successor versus Early Imperial Roman

Today my Greeks took on Richard's Romans.  It was a bloody affair.

The view from the Greek right flank.

The view from the Roman right flank.

Things get off to a bad start when my expert CinC turns out to be only fair.
A classical case of lying on his CV.

The Roman left wing commander who is already an expert tries for charisma,
but the Roman CinC is already at that illustrious level so he'll have to settle for feeling smug.

That's just about everything on the field in that shot.

How my army looks as it faces the Romans.

My fair left wing commander thinks he should be considered an expert.

The Roman Legionary units are armed with Scorpio

The end unit of Thracian peltasts has been blasted away
 by some accurate long range fire from the Scorpios.

I am having trouble getting round the Roman flank.
The Romans being on opportunity are making it tricky.

On the other flank the Roman cavalry runs down some of my Peltasts.

But my Thessalian cavalry in turn rout the Romans.

Have models of Scorpios - best put them on the table for show.
The damage is mounting on my skirmish screen.
The Greek right wing is disordered due to a bit of haste trying to keep up and close the gap.

The Romans get a hit on a reduced unit of peltasts.
The Peltasts fail their cohesion test big time.

The same fate happens to a unit of Thracian peltasts.

And then another unit goes the same way.

But now it is the time of the Hoplites.

Things were getting desperate on my right.
So I threw in (or to more accurately phrase it - threw away) my heavy cavalry.

Losses have been substantial, but mainly just light troops.
The Greek pike blocks are now engaged in the fighting.

My success in breaking the Roman right flank was short lived.

As my right wing collapses at the same time, tipping my army over its breakpoint.

But it was close.

Two excellent 550 point games in two days.  Impetus is a great system, I just wish they would produce a consolidated rule book. 

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Early Macedonian Successor versus Justinian Byzantine

A friendly game at the club and a chance for me to get my new peltast unit in the field.  It would also be a return match against Olivier's Justinians and I changed my army a bit, breaking down the large units of hoplites to give me more width and also using the peltasts (now running seven units) as an effective and aggressive screen - or so I hoped.

The right flank Byzantine commander, Brendan, 
is infiltrating some barbarian foot through the woods on my left.

Two solid lines of my infantry face the Byzantine cavalry on my right.

The left flank Byzantines, Olivier's command, couldn't resist a charge.
My Peltasts fought extremely well (nothing like throwing ones for cohesion tests).

On the Byzantine right, Brendan held his cavalry back, 
while he worked through the wood.

Yeah!  My CinC gets upgraded.

The hoplites on my left have come to the rescue of the peltasts.
Sadly they did not fight as well :-(

The shooting starts on my left

Things are getting tough on the right.
My Thessalian cavalry at least hold their own 
although out numbered and out classed.

So with the demise of the right wing hoplites,
the much reduced peltasts are back holding the line.

In the centre heavy infantry is getting close.

While on my left I continue to move forward.

But on my far left I'm happy just to screen.

A lot has happened.
The centre infantry are engaged.
The peltasts (apart from my new unit) have been spent, 
but not before removing some of the enemy cavalry.
My Thessalian cavalry however are gone :-(

There is even fighting on the left.

My right wing commander is feeling poorly.

Victory snatched from the jaws of defeat.
The Greek elite heavy cavalry ran down the enemy in an epic flanking cavalry charge.
(A triple move with no disorder, only one hit in a roll of twelve dice, 
but a poor cohesion test for the enemy combined with being hit in the flank was the end of them)

The Byzantine left wing broke on the same turn as the Greek right wing.
Luckily for me, my right wing was less than half my army,
but the Byzantine left was exactly half of theirs.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

And the winner is

Time for end of year chariot races at the club.

Seven starters for the first race.  
My chariot is the one with the four light brown horses.

A bit of a jam on the first bend.

Middle of the pack.

Disaster befalls Gareth's chariot 
(pulled by two white horse in the middle)

I'm coming a distant third

Bird's eye view and I'm still in third place (middle top)

I've caught up and now equal second.

And I zoomed through into the lead.

The Gaul is trying every stratagem in the book

The lead chariot catches up to the last chariot,
but a whipping by the Gaul stalls the poor chap.

And I race on to a win!

For the record, Alex had the mixed black and white team, cruelly whipped at the post.
Ben had the all black team and Dave had the very slow greys with the green saddle clothes.
Brendon was the Gaul and I had the team light brown hair (as previously noted).
Olivier was the all white four horse team and Gareth was the two white horse team (which mostly raced sans driver).

Then there was the second race...

Same players and chariots as before, but this time with an air of vengeance.

Again Gareth lost his chariot.
Just to make it interesting Olivier was forced into the central barrier
(he can be seen running from the fray with a light limp far left centre).

Alex and Ben are in the lead, but Alex has the advantage.

Bird's eye view of the finish.
Alex well in front followed by Ben and then the Gaul (who is heading the wrong way - don't ask)
Then my chariot just turning into the home straight, followed by Gareth's empty chariot.
Finally there is Dave bringing up the rear (again)  
Note the two charioteers waiting by the exit - Olivier and Gareth.

Lots of laughs.  

Thanks Dave for organising and running the game