Sunday, June 17, 2012

I get to play a Game!

Rather an odd title for a blog about gaming...

These days between work and family life, I don’t get to play a game as often as I’d like. So it was with great pleasure that a couple weeks ago I got to help krimso work on a game for NJCON 4.
Halfling village

Krimso and I are both very fond of the of the Ares skirmish rules. We like that they are based on a die types varying with skill (harkening back to StarGrunt – a personal favorite), and flexible enough to cover any mini you have. Now krimso has been bit by the orders bug from playing Rackham’s Ragnarok and has been looking for a way to incorporate them in a game that uses more figures than a pure skirmish, but less than that of an element or large base type of game. On this night we played a scenario using his latest Ares cocktail.
Just after Kobold start

Combat and moral are essentially Ares. To this krimso adds that you get 1 order per unit within certain distances of your leader and your heroes.  To this each side rolls initiative, die type based on the leader. Not only does the initiative roll determine who has the option of going first, it is also cross indexed on a chart to how many additional orders you get. Units can have up to two different orders assigned to them; you choose which when you activate the group so having extra orders to play with comes in handy.
Kobold Rangers make pincushions of Halflings

The scenario played involved a group of Kobolds attacking a Halfling village. The idea was for kobolds to get in and search for plunder, human reinforcements arrived later. (I believe all figures were Splintered Light – love their kobolds!). I played kobolds and basically attacked the village in a flying V, my heavy hitters in the center. I got bogged down in hand-to-hand and completely lost sight that the scenario was supposed to be about plunder. Krimso and I also got into a heated discussion about charge mechanics.
As the main body runs forward

As written, krimso’s rules had melee first strike going to the winner of initiative though the charger got a +1 die modifier. With that being the case, you would never charge a group when they had initiative – I didn’t feel this made sense. My argument won out – chargers get first strike in the first round, successive rounds of melee are lead by those with initiative. I have had further thoughts on melee sequence since, but krimso and I will have to hash that out another time.  
Kobolds, Halflings, and early arriving Humans mix it up

Halfling front-line sans Halflings. Err... who are those little bastards on the dogs?

Well, winning the debate did not win the battle! I pretty much munched the Halflings, but the human elite were just about to hit me in force when we called the game. Sadly I seemed to have stopped taking pictures at that point - rather odd, don't you think?

All in all, I did enjoy the rules and look forward to trying them again.



  1. Interesting report. When Krimso and I played this out a few weeks ago I don't think I paid attention to the issues of initiative and combat. Either they didn't factor much for me, or I just hit the halfling lines in turns when I had initiative anyway. I can't recall. I rather enjoyed the whole rules mashup and felt the scenario went well. Thanks for the pictures and accompanying thoughts!

  2. Jerrett and Mx: thanks to both of you for helping me play-test the game that never was!! Sadly I had no sign-ups and ended up playing a Boxer Rebellion game at the con instead. I'll be posting on that shortly. I do have plans to continue tweaking the rules and both of you have been helpful in that realm. Funnily enough one of Mr. Connell's comments at the end was, "I'd like to see something other than Kobolds and Halflings though." This coming from the man with several unopened packages of Splintered Light fantasy figs. And who knows what else in that scale and genre!!!!!

  3. Hey, Hey, Hey! This isn't about ME. I'm just saying all the fantasy 15mm we've played has been with the same figs - I'd like a little variety. If you were to play 28mm I could accommodate.

    Besides, the S.L. figs ARE opened. In fact most are based, 50% are probably primed. It's the whole paint thing that's giving me issues. Maybe I should go the army painter route - though that would probably kill me.