Some Men Just Want To Watch The World Burn

Alright, for this year’s Memorial Day special, we’re going back into Minden Games where I will play Combat Leader, one of their mainstay series next to Battle over Britain. I have got the solitaire rules for it as well, so I can play it right out of the gate solo. However, I’m going to add some roleplaying to the mix.

Each unit I will play as will have some sort of character to them and bonds between each other. I’ll ask narrative heavy questions to the TSS system and only narrative heavy questions to that system, as well as use the Mythic Solo Wargame system to drive up some more narrative.

I’m going to be playing Scenario 1: The Clash of Squads, which I will explain in the narrative below from the perspective of Peter Petrov, leader of the Russian Squad. Continue reading

[SGAM 2016] Let’s Play Chainmail! Part 1 – The Siege of Bodenberg

Alright, so we’re gonna commence this year’s SGAM Campaign. The RPG we’re playing is another war game. This one is yet another precursor to D&D: Chainmail.

Chainmail was made by Gary Gygax and was pretty much a medieval wargame that, with some tweaking, led to the creation of Dungeons and Dragons. Whereas Braunstein gave D&D its fluff, Chainmail is crunchier. Sadly, in the path of the voyager, even the crunchiest of games will become fluffy.

I’ve already thought of a starting scenario for this campaign. It’ll be the Siege of Bodenberg, the game that started the entire RPG genre in the first place. Long story short, Gygax was inspired to do Medieval wargames thanks in part to the game Siege of Bodenberg. So what better way to pay homage by playing out a scenario loosely based on it?

And I say loosely in the loosest of terms, as redundant as that sounds. My character will be the leader of a small peasant uprising. And by small peasant uprising, I of course mean in the two dozens. The scenario’s simple: peasants are pissed that they’re treated unfairly, and they turned to me to kick start the revolution/reign of terror. Continue reading

Big Things Come In Small Packages (Torpedo Raiders)

Well, we had a Minden Game dealing with air combat and a Minden Game dealing with sea combat, but what about the battle in between? Today, I’m gonna be playing Torpedo Raiders. It’s a really simple and cheap game, and I figured, why not? I’ll play it.

Compared to Salvo or Battle over Britain, which was just dogfights between ships and planes respectively, this is more of a one-off torpedo plane vs. large ship. Reading through the game, I feel underwhelmed with this. The other two games were, although similarly small-scale, were still epic battles that can create moments of distress.

Torpedo Raiders, on the other hand, has you, as a torpedo plane, try to get close enough to an enemy ship as you possibly can before you detonate your torpedo. The game even states that it ends once the torpedo attack is resolved. I get the idea, but to me, it feels like if there was a baseball game where you only play as the pitcher, and then once you make that pitch, the game ends.

To get how light the game is, the book is literally two sheets of paper stapled together to make a booklet. It’s like one of those manuals in an EA Sports game. That said, I find this game incredibly interesting, especially with how it resolves card mechanics. So, of course, I’m playing it to see how fun it is in execution. The scenario is that I’m in the British Swordfish attacking an Italian ship out by Taranto. Continue reading

Sink the Bismarck, The Cry That Shook The Seven Seas

Alright, so this was inspired by a few things. First is my desire to take the game Salvo slowly and the other was because of a suggestion by Virginian John. I’m gonna play the Denmark Strait scenario where it pits Bismarck and Prinz Eugen vs. Hood and the Prince of Wales.

However, I will be using the Mythic GM Emulator to help run the battle and provide twists. This is also because I need help pacing out the battle, so the Mythic Emulator will help me with that. Every two rounds will count as a “Scene” for Mythic, as that is also how often you have to roll on the “End of Turn” table.

I’ve set up the Mythic List so as to include the ships on both NPCs and PCs list, as well as Winston Churchill on the NPC list (since I’m playing the ships, not their allied commanders). For threads, I added the sinking of the Bismarck and Hood, because as far as the game’s concerned, those will be the major moments in the Denmark Strait skirmish. To make it even more easier, I created a macro in Roll20 that allowed the system to add up the numbers so that I didn’t have to go through the math process. Continue reading

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.

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.

[SGAM 2105] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 5 – Tiro Finale

Alright, I figured I’d stop beating around the bush and finish up this Braunstein story. The headlines for this game read “And The World Dies In ‘Freak Accident’”, which, coupled with the rats that are happening, pretty much mean that we bubonic plague now.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. This game has gone so far off the rails now from what was meant to be a simple wargame where people were given roles of civilians. Now I’ve turned it into Game of Thrones set in a banana republic with proto-Skaven replacing the White Walkers and Pokemon characters as my players.

Where the hell did I go wrong? Continue reading

[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 4 – Four Is Death

Alright, let’s go back to the Braunstein. When we last left them off, Skyla and Drake are gonna fight, while the DJ and the Assassin have gotten to the bottom of the assassination… But they’re not saying anything. Well, time for us to settle this conflict once and for all. As we noted back in Part 1, Skyla’s forces are a bit crippled. Continue reading

[SGAM 2015] Let’s Play Braunstein! Part 2 – Cleaning Out The Rats

Alright, let’s begin playing some more Braunstein. When we last left off the game, Drake and Skyla ended up having their own problems to face. Drake ended up with a box of Paopu Fruit that can make a killing in the market. Meanwhile Skyla has a huge rat problem. Oh yeah, and the mayor’s dead…

Alright, I’m gonna roll up who moves out of their hiding hole and who doesn’t. Skyla and Drake will automatically exit. Continue reading