Saturday, May 28, 2016

SBG Dunland vs. Free Peoples-Who is the real Istari?

Four brave souls gathered at Huzzah Hobbies last night to play the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game (new name).  We decided to do a 1000 point battle using a NoVA Open scenario.  The goal of the game was to bring a "jewel-bearer" to a forge and "cast it into the fire" for three VPs.  Other goals included killing the enemy general, occupying ""diversion" points, and breaking the enemy force.  

The Forces of Good consisted of Saruman the Wise and Elendil of Numenor leading an alliance of Men and Dwarves.  Arrayed against them was an evil version of Saruman, Saruman of Many Colors (or the White if you are going by the movies) and his horde of Dunlendings and Uruk-Hai, aided by a Troll!  

Incidentally the battle was fought on the Trollshaws terrain made by John McConnell of DCHL and will be featured at the NoVA Open.  Excellent work, John!

Evil deployment

Good deployment


Evil takes priority and advances.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Team Yankee: Opening moves

Ah, the 1980s.  The time of my youth.  Who can forget Red Dawn, Rambo, The Day After, Reagan, Andropov (who?) and Star Wars (both kinds)?  Well, I can't.  And having had a father in the National Guard and an unhealthy (and continuing!) obsession with military topics, I was fascinated by the prospect of WWIII and a war with the Soviet Union.

My father set the tone by telling me in the early 80s that, if they so chose, the Soviets could be in France and on the English channel in 3 days.  He told me his 13F MOS (Forward Observer) had a very short life expectancy if the balloon went up.  I was terrified and fascinated by the Soviet war machine and its weapons like the Hind-D, as well as our own wonder weapons like the AH-64 Apache and the Stinger missile.  

Fast forward approximately 30 years approximately 30 years later and one of my favorite games, Flames of War, has reincarnated into a new version called Team Yankee.  

Based on the book by Harold Coyle, Team Yankee is a miniatures game of the mid-80s Cold War gone hot.  Seeing the fantastic models and reading the rulebook (filled of course with gorgeous pictures of said models on great gaming tables) I was hooked.  I quickly obtained starter-sized armies for both sides (okay maybe a bit bigger than starter-sized) and got painting in a frenzy.  

Due to family and other demands, I don't get to game as often as I would like these days.  Luckily I do have a rather agreeable game room and a good supply of 15mm terrain.  I was able to play a small game with a buddy but that was before I had painted anything.  So, in order to get my teeth into the Team Yankee system with all my shiny new toys, I decided to play a decent-sized solo game.  

The scenario I chose was "Dust Up" which consists of a meeting engagement between the two forces, with reserves potentially arriving from Turn 3.  Each side had two objectives in their deployment zones, and the zones were diagonally opposite halves of the board along the long table edge.  The combatants can achieve victory if either side suffers a morale failure, or seizes control of an objective in their opponent's deployment zone.  

To keep the game reasonably short, as I was playing later in the evening, I made two approximately 75-point forces.  I am still learning the game, so I apologize for any rules errors in advance.

1x M1 Command tank
2x 2 M1 platoon
2x 2 M1 platoon
2x Mech Inf Platoon with M113, 8 teams per platoon with law and dragon
2x VADS M113
2x ITV M113
2x Cobra Helicopter
2x A-10 Warthog flight

1x Command T-72
7x T-72 Company
6x T-72 Company
1x BMP Command w Ak47 team
4x BMP with 4 AK 47 team and 3 RPG-7 team
2x Gopher SA-13
2x Mi-24 Hind Helicopter

Setup:  Each side had to hold half their units in delayed reserve.  The Soviets deployed their larger T-72 company and the Hinds, along with the force commander tank.  

Across town, the M1s set up behind buildings, and the VADS deploy to cover them from air threats.

Monday, May 9, 2016

War of the Fallen Star: Rohan moves East

The DC area Strategy Battle Game Community recently launched a narrative called "War of the Fallen Star", about the Fourth Age of Middle Earth, wherein Arwen Evenstar goes mad with grief and becomes corrupted by the shadow as a result of Aragorn's death.  You can find lots of detail here:

Four of us met at Huzzah Hobbies last week and played a game as part of that campaign.  To this point, the men of Rohan had been ambushed by a mysterious enemy, which turned out to be Easterlings in the service of the corrupted Arwen.  Having found out the source of the attacks on their lands, the Rohirrim ventured east to punish the transgressors.  The Rohirrim were joined by a warband of Haradrim, now turned to good and resisting the evil of Arwen and her allies.  

I am playing the Khandish, and have decide to name my king Geshir Dahk of the Variags.  

Foam flying from his horse's mouth, the Khandish scout entered camp as though an enemy was on his heels.  "Dahk Khan! Dahk Khan!  I must warn him!" he cried as he entered the field camp of Geshir Dahk's warband.  "What is it, Halath?  Did you find a woman at last?" jeered Geshir.  His young scouts were prone to dramatics.  "No, my Khan, riders!  Many riders in strange raiment approach!" cried the scout.   "I bring warning!"  Looking up from his game of draughts, Geshir became very serious.  "Tell me all, and quickly!"  It seemed at least two dozen horse and some foot had crosse the border of Rhovanion in search of pillage and plunder.  The scout described them as an odd mix of straw-headed riders and the serpent-men of the south.  

Geshir turned his gaze to his draughts opponent, who was hooded and cloaked.  "It is as I warned," said the orc.  "Her enemies come for you now.  Stand with Her, as you did Him of old.  None can stand against the power of Gondor and the Shadow together."  Geshir spat into his palm and offerred his hand to the orc.  "If Her gold is good, then we fight for Her as we once did for Him.  And if foreigners encroach, we fight all the same.  Deal."  The orc smiled beneath his hood.  "Oh yess, very good.  And my friends will help you, as well." Geshir wrinkled his nose as the orc also spat and then took his proffered hand.  The stench of the orc was almost unbearable.  But the smell of his gold?  That was sweet.  

Geshir led his men to battle, accompanied by the mysterious orc and his horde of spiders.  He arrayed his horse behind a hillock and spread his footmen behind.  Geshir and Talvag, his second, held the center.  The orc and his spiders took the left flank.

Arrayed against them were Rohirrim and Haradrim in large numbers and mostly horse.  Geshir hoped the spiders could resist the horde of Haradrim horse while his own warriors dealt with the Rohirrim.