Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Ogre Project, Part IV - Playable Armies

As I noted earlier, we had our first opportunity to try out my new Ogre armies at an event at the FLGS this weekend. It was a great time, and I was very pleased with the way the figures themselves looked on the table. Got me itching to finish up the detailing, and paint up the remaining Ogres.

After getting the base coats on the various figures, I started to do some detailing on certain of the figures. Alas, time was against me, and I didn't get to do everything I had set out to do, but it was certainly enough to have a couple of presentable forces on the gaming table.

 Here are two of my Mark III's and a Paneuropean Fencer. The Mark III's are done in a red-and-white scheme and solid metallic blue (with red tips on the missiles, which I'm planning on making a convention for all of my Ogre figures). The Fencer is in a light brown, which could work for either European or desert warfare. The red and white Ogre I'm planning on decorating with black iron crosses, and naming it "Richtofen". :-)
 Here are some representative infantry bases, showing off the four main color schemes I'm using for the non-Ogre units; reddish brown and gray for the Paneuropeans, and dark green and light tan for the Combine troops. The bases themselves were done in a sort of hunter green. I considered doing them in a more muddy gray-brown (which I thought might better approximate an Ogreverse battlefield) but it ended up not looking all that great, and so "realism" gave way to appearance. It is a game, after all.
 Here is a selection of GEVs and light GEVs, again from all four forces. The windshields are done in a periwinkle blue, which really shows up well on the dark green and red-brown units. The turbines (for both Combine and Paneuro alike, on all units that have them) are done in a bright metallic gold. That really shows up well (if you click to enlarge the photo, you'll see it in several of the figures).
Howitzers and Paneuropean missile tanks. The howizers all sport dark gray bases, which I'm assuming are concrete set in place, and the missiles on the missile tanks are white. They'll eventually have red nosecones and possibly black fins as well.

Coming up: I want to do all of the tank treads and plenum skirts of the GEVs in black, and would like to do some detailing on the infantry (making the weapons black, and putting some identifying coloration on the jump packs to point out marines and engineers). There are also an Ogre Mark III, a III-B, a Mark V, and another Fencer to do. I've got some ideas for color schemes for those, but everything's up in the air. I'll make another post when I've got more done. For now, I've got a few other battles to plan with these new armies.

A Day of Pushing Lead and Cardboard

So yesterday was our second Wargame and Boardgame Day at our local FLGS, Mighty Titans Hobbies and Games, organized through the same meetup group that we use to organize the Greyhawk campaign. This second day was a blast, and we've resolved to make it a much more regular thing, every six weeks or so. (The next one will be on May 7th, barring anything unexpected; if you're in or around northern New Jersey, you're more than welcome!)

The premise of these events is simple; several of us bring along some games, either oldies-but-goodies or new-and-hot (or both). We then figure out what we want to play, and have at it! Simple, and a lot of fun.

We started off with a game of Nuclear War (Flying Buffalo), in which I was eliminated before the game began by the use of Secret and Top Secret cards. *grumble* I got a semblance of vicarious vengeance when the game ended in mutual destruction as the last remaining players wiped each other out with retributive nuke strikes.

Then two of us played a game of Tactics II (Avalon Hill) while the others did a session of Starfire (Task Force Games). I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember who won Starfire, but I managed to pull out a victory as the defending Blue nation in Tactics II. My undefeated streak continues. Red had me on the ropes early on in the game, as he had concentrated all his armored divisions into a fearsome strike force right down the middle of the board, but I managed to tie up enough of his other units on the edges and I was able to force a series of exchanges in the center. I was losing infantry and he was losing armor. Soon enough he didn't have any left, and I encircled the remaining divisions in the center and went on to victory.

Starfire wasn't over by that point, so several of us played a game of Scriptorum, at which I was severely trounced, but had fun nevertheless.

At this point, we moved on to the highlight of the afternoon, a game of Ogre Miniatures.

I've been getting my Paneuropean and Combine forces ready for the last two weeks, and while they weren't in a perfect state, they were certainly playable. None of us had ever played the actual miniatures rules (although I and one of the other players had played the board game version many times), so we had a few missteps with the rules, but we had a grand ol' time nevertheless.

The FLGS has a number of wargaming tables with scenery, terrain, buildings, etc. and we made use of one of those with mesa-like hills on either end. Atop each hill we placed a command post, and each side had a Mark III Ogre, 48 points of infantry, and around 50 points of armor (both sides had the same forces for our first outing; 3 heavy tanks, 3 GEVs, 3 missile tanks, and a howitzer). We split into teams; one person on each team commanded the Ogre and the other commanded the infantry and armor. It worked very well. I commanded the Combine armor and infantry.

The Paneuropeans drew first blood, taking out one of my missile tanks with an overrun by two of their GEVs. we continued with a little skirmishing here and there, but the big action was the two Ogres that went straight at one another. The Paneuropean Mark III did an overrun attack against the Combine Mark III (basically ramming it) and got pasted for its effort, losing all of its weapons. At that point it was an easy thing to disable its remaining treads, and the Combine Ogre was still in fairly descent shape, with most of its treads intact and still sporting a few secondary batteries.

While that was going on I managed to scream my GEVs past the Paneuropean units and was racing for the enemy command post; the only thing between those units and the objective was the howitzer (which was about to come under fire itself by those self-same GEVs). Between that and the status of the Combine Ogre (which was able to move faster than any of the remaining Paneuropean units), we called the game in favor of the Combine. Victory!

It was, of course, more of an experimental game to test out the rules, but it was great fun. I  was surprised by just how close units need to get to one another to be in range, and how fast some of them can move in a single turn. The rules themselves are pretty straightforward (we did have to look some things up in regards to the Ogre vs. Ogre overrun, but that was a pretty unusual situation). What I love about it is that some very complex and nuanced tactics can emerge from those pretty straightforward rules. Next time out, we're going to have bigger and more varied forces, and hopefully we'll give the rules an even more thorough run-through. But I think I can safely say that Ogre Miniatures has become a regular in our stable of games.

Greyhawk Session 16

Present were Ehrendar Dawngreeter, elf mountebank; Kabliska, human mystic; Theric, paladin of Pholtus; newcomer Liberius Faxen, human savant; Abo Thistlestrike, human mage; Ardo, human cleric of Pelor; and Sir Faust Ensign, human Cavalier. 

So last time the party was engaged in finding the stolen Eyes of Sandora for the temple of Pholtus. They came to the conclusion that the outlawed cult of Asmodeus, the Ruby Cult, was behind the theft. Alas, when they came to the temple of Pholtus to share the information they had gleaned, they were informed that the Eyes had been recovered "thanks to information from an individual". The temple hadn't known of the involvement of the cult of Asmodeus, however, and was quite grateful for the information. Specifics regarding the cult's former presence in Greyhawk were scarce, however, but brother Jerome promised to pass along any further information that came his way.

Thus deprived of a specific goal (and curiously uncurious about why the Eyes were no longer missing), the party decided that an evening of delving in the dungeons of the Castle of the Mad Archmage would be in order, as they were a tad low on loot, and such might just alleviate that particular problem.

Having tired of going through the Flesh Render hobgoblins' territory, the party decided to try another of the dwarves' various passages. The first room landed them in the clutches of a giant spider which was quickly dispatched. However, further investigation of the passages beyond found them in an unusually wide (20') corridor, with frescoes of running, track and field, and other athletic competitions. Rounding a corner found them face to face with a five-headed hydra, which prompted a general retreat; unfortunately, the door whence they had come had seemingly disappeared.

This forced the party into a melee. The paladin was laid low, as was the cavalier, and the mystic as well. Fortunately, the latter was able to use her pain management power to stay conscious, but once the hydra was finally defeated, most of the party was in need of rest and recuperation. They repaired from the dungeons and made their respite in the Cock and Bottle, after the cavalier had convinced the rest to recover the hydra's heads.

After selling the heads at the Guild of Leatherworkers and Tanners, and recouping all their lost hit points, the party made one last foray into the dungeons for the evening. This time, they took the other passage guarded by the dwarves, finding a room of impenetrable shadows. Although no source of light would pierce the gloom, the shadows didn't seem harmful, and so the party pressed on.

They entered a round room, after spiking the door, and noted a round ball falling off a rack on the far wall, bouncing precisely into a hole in the floor. An examination showed that there were numbers written on the balls, they were light of weight, but putting another into the hole had no effect. The balls were eventually gotten out of the hole by pouring water into it, thus floating them out. Various fenegeling had no effect, and the party left the room, with the mage taking the balls with him as he left.

Minutes later, however, the party encountered the lair of three enormous beetles (remembering their bad luck with the "exploding beetles" a few sessions ago). They set oil aflame to little effect, and ended up engaging the creatures directly, with a few more members being laid low, but the beetles eventually being defeated. The hour was growing late, but the party looked into the next room, finding a chainmail pouch with 6 gems and an iron box containing 125 platinum pieces and what seemed to be a tuning fork. Paying their tithe to the dwarves, the party returned to the city, and the session was ended.