I did some playtesting on the above miniature rules set earlier this year (accounts of some of the games can be seen here). It was fun and it was a pretty painless way to get a lot of older figures back on the table for the first time for years and make some “pew pew” noises.
If you like the Ganesha rule sets and you have an interest in any of the sort of thing that this blog covers, then I can heartily recommend Swatters. Even if you are not familiar with the Ganesha rulesets, the PDF only costs USD$8 so its worth a punt if you already have access to appropriate miniatures.
You can get the PDF here.
I got a quick mid-week game in with COM last Wednesday, so we played the “Surrounded” mission. The Marines/Eldar set up in the middle of a 4×4′ table with a larger force of bugs equally divided on the four table edges.
The Marines/Eldar also got an emplaced weapon as part of the scenario set up but I forgot to put it on the table before the above photo was taken. It features in the later snaps (for all the good that it did).
The scenario specified the 4×4′ battlefield. Therefore the bugs were able to close quite rapidly. Some decent reaction fire from the marines whittled their numbers down a bit, but a run of poor activation rolls meant that the marines became bug chow pretty fast.
The marine units got to fire a couple of times, but recurring activation problems meant that a lot of bug units had an easy time getting in close.
“Tough” units (such as the “Colossal” trygon above) are particularly hard to dent in this system. The marine power armour troops (represented by wraithguard) are very hard to shift when using rank and file bugs. As such they tend to be a must-have unit in games, even though they are pricey. In this game the Power Armour troopers again showed their worth by hanging around for longer than any other marine unit.
I set up the marines in a silly fashion. I should have concentrated them a bit more on one side or the other in the hope that they could take advantage of numbers to squish the bugs piecemeal. Memories of a previous game where the marines set up so close that they got over run in quick succession meant that I spread my troops out in an ineffectual fashion. They paid for my poor generalship with their tiny metal and plastic lives.
This game wasnt a drag or anything and it played out very quickly, but it ended up being a bit of a dice fest rather than a narrative generating battle like the Save the Miners game last week.
In Swatters the bugs can move very fast and forcing the marines to set up less than two feet away makes some of the engagement a forgone conclusion, which is a bit unsatisfying. The activation system can always throw a spanner into plans of course (a good thing as it encourages maneuvering and gives more chance for narrative and the like) but I think that I would like to try this scenario out another time with the bugs coming in from either end of a 6′ table instead: I think that it could be more fun that way.
Real life has been kicking me in the nuts a bit lately, so I havent managed to get any photos of my most recent 10mm fantasy stuff taken yet. There are quite a few new things coming though.
In the meantime I will direct you to the blog that a long term gaming crony of mine has been getting up and running recently.
The Otto Von Bismark (also known as SOS around here occasionally) has recently been documenting various attempts at gaming with 10mm fantasy figures. The system that has been getting the most love has turned out the be one designed for use with 28mm stuff: Kings of War.
It seems to be suiting our group for now, with its quick and streamlined play. Its early days yet, but it has been working better than many other systems that we have tried over the years. Its free too (although there is a new and rather nice hardback rulebook thats worth a look). The free stuff is available here.
Some photos of my new 10mm bad guys will be up soon. They are fully painted and all that, so its just photography time required.
I recently got credit as a playtester in a couple of miniature games rules produced by Ganesha Games.
This was a first for me. While it isnt a massive deal (I know a guy who works full time writing role-playing game sourcebooks for example), getting a credit in a gaming rulebook is a nice thing to tick off my bucket list.
The first ruleset was Flashing Steel written by Andrew at shichitenhakki. Flashing Steel is a swashbuckling variation on the Ganesha game engine, designed for games featuring dashing, moustache twirling, chandelier swinging, roguish types.
During playtests I played using Star Wars stuff. It turns out that France in the 1600s bears a lot of similarity to a galaxy far, far away when it comes to the mechanics of tales of derring do. I had fun testing Flashing Steel out, as the emphasis was squarely on cinematic, story driven action, rather than sterile slaughterfests.
The second game that I got a playtest credit for is Mighty Monsters. Another variant on the Ganesha Games engine, this one is about kaiju (with a little bit of mecha thrown in).
I have a lot of interest in pretty much anything that involves giant monsters or robots hitting each other or blowing things up, so I was glad to be involved a bit in its production, even though I wasnt a very big contributor to it.
Mighty Monsters rather well titled sister game “Samurai Robot Battle Royale” is coming up soon. I might try to get involved in the development of that if I can squeeze it into my rather spartan gaming schedule.
This report follows on from last Wednesdays post, visible here.
In advance of the Regenerator the zombies lurched forward, wounding Anderson and Symes with their filthy clawing hands. With the hissing Regenerator twitching forward on its palsied limbs things are looking bleak for Sigma Squad.
The Regenerator moved suddenly and with a spasm spikes erupted from its body, eviscerating Jerabeck. With cold efficiency Anderson riddled the body of the Regenerator with rounds from her MP5 killing one of the Regenerators parasites, while weaving between the zombies all around her.
With skills honed by years of training Symes broke right, in the opposite direction to Anderson while putting three rounds into the nearby butane cylinder. The cylinder burst sending zombie and Regenerator offal flying in all directions. “Hasta la muerte” she uttered pithily as chunks of bloody, rotten flesh rain down around her.
(When setting up the table for the game some cinematically minded player decided that the best place for a butane cylinder was next to a Spawn Point, and he was probably right. On this occasion it likely kept the wounded remnants of Sigma Squad in the game).
On the street between the Cinema and the rear of the Police station, USS Squad Gamma crossed paths with USFU Squad Sigma, the first living things that they had encountered since deployment. Under strict orders to keep their noses out of each others highly sensitive business, a curt nod between fully masked sergeants was the sum of their exchange. Gamma proceeded North while Sgt White went South. Squad Epsilons Ingram climbed the extendable ladder to the roof of the Police station to give covering fire over the vehicle holding the vault keycard.
Squad Gamma proceeded towards the milling throng of confused corpses that was trying to locate its last target, Squad Epsilon.
As Epsilon Sgt White rounds the South side of the police station, Ingram gives cover from the rooftop by detonating a fuel barrel, turning a handful of zeds into sub-human torches. This cleared the way for Sgt White to get the vault keycard in the blue Porche.
Kaplan pauses from the rhythmic headshots and dismemberments to reload, and is caught unexpectedly. Although he dies quickly from arterial blood loss, Gamma has no time to grieve as the Squad struggles to keep the mounting horde at bay.
Eerie wailing is heard as a Witch shows up near squad Epsilons keycard objective location. Luckily, the Witch is inclined to keep itself to itself. As it spawns a distance away from the main routes travelled by the forces, it remains undisturbed for now.
Squad Gamma, rattled by the loss of Kaplan get some payback on the large mob that has congealed near their objective, the Umbrella Corp local HQ. After some unnecessary risks, some touch and go hand to hand where they were kept alive only by their kevlar, they get their heads back in the game…
…and tactically withdraw around the rear of their target building.
Meanwhile the wounded Sgt Anderson has procured the incriminating documents. Now Symes (at the front of the fire truck) has the unenviable task of drawing the zombies away from the Sarge.
At this point the unmistakable howl of a Hunter is heard not far from the Police Station and the Umbrella building…
… and the pressure builds as a Licker shows up even closer to both buildings than the Hunter, next to the still crying Witch.
That doesnt bother Anderson and Symes of Sigma Squad. After reaching the chopper Anderson covers Symes sprint from where she had been heroically drawing the cannibal corpses away from the access point.
With a whine the helicopter begins to lift off, which is enough to agitate the Witch into action. It also satisfies Sigma Squads mission objective.
Meanwhile Squad Gamma has procured Dr Braga and the vital information that he has. The hordes are getting nearer however and the extraction chopper has to execute some fancy manoeuvring to get close enough for them to board (the Hunter can be seen approaching on the right, next to the game card).
At this point disaster struck. Pvt Ocampo had been delayed while punching a couple of zeds tickets at ground level, where she has already seen the approach of the Hunter and Licker plus the large encroaching horde. “Get out of here!” she cried, “Don’t wait for me!”
As the chopper delayed the vital extra seconds for Pvt Rain Ocampo to get up the ladder, the brain dead hordes struggled out of the stairwell onto the roof, dragging the pilot and Pvt Symes of Squad Sigma from the vehicle.
The helicopter tilts, rotors spinning in slow motion, Michael Bay sty-lee. Across the slow motion image of the chopper crashing into the roof the Hunter leaps screaming onto Pvt Symes, who is subsequently torn apart while his limbs are used to beat the pilot to a mushy pulp.
The only survivor of Squads Sigma and Gamma is Rain Ocampo, and she is surrounded by zombies on a rooftop with her back to a flaming helicopter wreck.
Sgt White, the lone survivor of squad Epsilon has fought his way through the hordes to his objective, despite losing two good men en route, the last of them only moments ago. Shoving the final zombies in his path aside he uses the key card to enter the bank and to lock himself into the vault. There he must locate “the package” in the pitch dark before being extracted. The vault lights dim and the power cut out. An inhuman voice screams in the room that Sgt White is locked into behind inches of steel.
I was very pleased with how the game worked out. The revised elements of the system functioned better than I could have hoped. While a handful of minor issues were quickly recorded during the game for inclusion in future drafts the game trundled along quickly and cinematically. Importantly the other players were able to work out the rules and mechanics of the game from the cards and rules document without the author (me) having to translate. I have hopes that this system will regularly get played at Sho3box Castle. Which will help me to justify my compulsion to paint even more zombies.