Crimson Skies (Seven Plane Blitzkrieg)

Continuing the marathon of Minden Games, we have Flying Tigers. Basically an expansion to Battle over Britain. As the name implies, this expansion focuses on America vs. Imperial Japan. While it adds several campaign scenarios based on battles in the early 1940s’, it also adds a huge amount of planes. On top of the two factions, Britain and Germany, we now have America, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, and China. The latter three having only one plane each, however.

However, I decided to make my own scenario, and perhaps even my own game mode: Battle Royale. Like the name implies, the Battle Royale pits a series of planes together in a huge dogfight for supremacy. Representing the countries are…

  • Great Britain: Spitfire
  • Nazi Germany: Me-109E
  • USA/China: Tomahawk
  • Japan: Nate
  • Poland: P-11C
  • Italy: MC-200
  • Netherlands: Fokker D.XXI

Getting right into the game, most of the planes got the top advantage by being on the highest altitude. As a rule of thumb to reduce heavy duty stuff, any character who plays a court card breaks off for a round, sparing them from any attacks, but with the trade-off of not being able to fire.

The next round, in order to get away from the Nate and 109E, both of which gained advantage, I played the Queen of Spades to fly off while the Fokker and MC took fire (only the Fokker was damaged).

The next turn, Nate dealt tons of damage to Spitfire while Fokker retreated. Fourth round, my character is killed off. The first casualty of the conflict… Adding insult to injury, Fokker dies next. After a couple of rounds, the battle ends and I reshuffle the deck of discarded cards and the plane with the least amount of health getting destroyed. In this case, it’s poor Spitfire.

After a while, Germany’s hubris (he insisted on not fleeing and stay in the battle to keep his advantage) became his downfall as Japan managed to shoot him down, leaving us down to our final three. And even then, after I forgot how to draw and discard for the sake of a good fight, we end up to our final two: Italy and Japan.

And Japan won by drawing a lot of high cards and rolling pretty high. It didn’t help that I instantly had Italy’s plane pick up all the non-disengaging cards. And with that, that finishes off my seven plane blitzkrieg. It was pretty quick, but damn was it fun. I liked playing with this variation, but damn can it get hectic at times.

Battle over Britain overall is a very addictive wargame and I recommend you all to try it out.

How Long Would The Battle At Balin’s Tomb Be In D&D? Let’s Found Out!

So I’ve been playing D&D lately, and I always noticed a rule of thumb when doing combat. Each round of combat represents six seconds in time. I always find this funny, since sometimes, in less than a minute, everybody who isn’t a hero is disemboweled and dead on the ground. Even more so when we have lengthy combat discussions outside of character, and yet the entire combat took place in a tenth of that time.

It doesn’t really do the epic fantasy battles justice, right? Well… I decided to take a few battles across various fantasy genres to see how well they fare in terms of combat timing and D&D rulings. D&D’s most common inspiration, Lord of the Rings, will be saved for last. However, we’re gonna look at two aspects of combat, a more grounded in reality version of combat and a more fantastical version.

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David Vs Golaith, Let’s Play Salvo

When I bought Battle over Britain, I ended up also getting Salvo put into the game as well. This will be a surprise play through of the game and I will learn the rules as I play. Much like Battle Over Britain, I have to pick 1) Britain or Germany and 2) what ship to pilot. I’ll pilot the Achilles while my opponent will be the Bismarck.

Our game begins with a roll to determine weather. We have pretty fair weather as determined by the rolls, and our initial range is pretty long. Unlike Battle over Britain, I don’t need Tabletop Simulator to keep track of the action, and instead just need to use a dice roller. After rolling the die to see who goes first (it’s me), I close in (reducing the length) while my opponent chooses to withdraw (bringing it back up to long). We fire at each other and miss.

Next turn. The opponent is next to go. He chooses to withdraw, while I choose to close the gap. Same range, we fire at each other again. This time, I managed to destroy damage Bismarck a bit (I hurt its floating ability, reducing it to 6). Turn three. I close in while Bismarck offers its broadside… Considering how there’s legit depictions of Bismarck as a human woman… I find this funny.

Anyways, now we’re in medium-long range. Despite this, we both miss. Next turn, we both close in, to the point where we’re now in short range. We fire and my speed is reduced to 8. My torpedo, however, manages to reduce Bismarck to a Floating value of 4 and a speed value of 7. Bismarck, however, destroyed a lot of my turrets. After a lot of firing, I managed to destroy Bismarck with a bunch of torpedoes that dealt tons of damage (the damage is basically roll one six-sided dice, and that’s how much damage they take in floating and speed) and sank the ship.

I really enjoy this game for how minimal it is (the entire game is explained on an index card) but the problem is keeping track of all the modifiers. The game allows combat to be resolved by rolling dice and having the dice be modified by stuff like how powerful the guns are, how many turrets are destroyed, what the armor is on the ship being fired upon, how bad the weather is, how close the ships are to one another, etc. Eventually, I just rolled until someone dropped dead.

I think for future gaming, I would need to have a separate file handy to keep track of the current modifiers when firing. That said, I really enjoyed the game. Minden Games really stated up the ships really well. Achilles may be a small ship, but it’s able to fire torpedoes to mess up Bismarck. I can totally see this be a two-player game, but understand why it’s only solitaire. Well, that’s two wargames down.

Next time… Well, needless to say, all hell will break loose.

The Battle over Britain

So, a while back, I played Braunstein, the prototype RPG that predated all other RPGs. The thing was, it was more of a wargame with the idea that people played as generals or other important assets in the war, such as factory owners and police officers. Hence, I classified it as a Solo RPG Voyage and something I call a Solo Wargaming Voyage.

And while I can easily pass off Night Witches, Winter, and Kancolle as also SWVs, they were pure RPGs, as they gave characters stats or heavily encouraged a story over combat. They were not wargames in the slightest. However, it was only a matter of time before I could come across a wargame I could solo play.

This is where Minden Games comes in. Minden Games has so many wargames for different platforms that it’s pretty amazing. Best part is, most of them come with solitaire rules. Meaning, I am able to play these solo. I bought two of these games at the FLGS, since they’re were, as of July 8th when I purchased them, the only games to explicitly say they can be played solo on the front of their book.

These games use a system called “Battle over Britain”, named after the WWII battle, the Battle of Britain. The game is a simple and quick dog fighting game where one player plays as the British air forces and the other player plays as German air forces. It’s a really simple game to jump in, so I’ll do so with Tabletop Simulator.

I’ll be playing the Spitfire, while my opponent will play the Me-109E. Right off the bat, I play the nine of spades, which not only allows me to take the high ground, but also allows me to commence firing. Determining the difference between altitude (rather, how many spaces he is from me), I managed to hit him for one damage.

During the next turn, I had advantage over the German opponent. However, he managed to play a court card, which meant he was attempting to break off and make me lose advantage. Fortunately, I had a court card of my own, though it simply had me go to diamonds, the lowest level of altitude I could go.

The next turn, my opponent is caught between a two and a four. I’m using Tabletop Diversion’s variation for Solo Play where the opponent picks between two cards. He had to choose the four while I picked the six, allowing me to take the attack once again. I rolled and got, surprisingly, a four. I say surprisingly because that is actually this game’s version of a natural twenty. So now I consult the critical hit table. And I managed to finish him off with a six, which meant that the target was destroyed.

In this case, his plane blew up. Well, that was quick and dirty. I liked it. The rules were a bit heavy to get into, but once I actually bit the bullet and played with it, it was a pretty fun wargame. Now, the game as several other stuff going for it, like rules for a campaign, different scenarios, and even rules for roleplaying. This is actually a really fun game and I recommend war gamers to pick it up.

Cards Against Humanity Solo: You Laugh, You Lose!

So, I decided to broaden my horizons and play a solo board game instead of an RPG. The reason for this is me getting Tabletop Simulator, which allows me to play board games without having to actually clear the table to get the game out, and then have the board game lay around while I type out the play-by-play commentary.

Originally, I was gonna play King of Tokyo with the assistance of a solo card system to emulate another player, but I’m instead gonna play Cards Against Humanity. Why? Because I am contractually obligated to play it.

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LITERALLY!

As you can see with the messy haired man in the leather suit holding said contract and the fairy-tale themed sample cards, we’re playing a different deck, with cards based around the TV show Once Upon A Time (not to be confused with the card game). That said, however, the two sample combinations are hilarious enough with our without the show’s context.

And this inspired me to make a solo game out of Cards Against Humanity. The rules are pretty rough draft, so bare with me on this. You draw a Black Card face up, then flip a White Card face up. If the combination makes you laugh, you put the two cards to one side of a table where their points will add. If you don’t laugh, however, you put only the white card to the opposite side where their points will subtract. If you go through five white cards without a single one making you laugh, you then get to put the black card to the “didn’t laugh” side.

At the end of the game (when either deck runs out of cards), you tally up the points. Cards you laughed at add while cards you didn’t laugh at subtract. White cards are worth one point whereas black cards are worth two. The aim is to get the lowest amount of points possible. Alright, everyone got that? Good. Let’s begin!

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