Saturday, November 26, 2011

Solo Games Appreciation Month Report

A couple of things strike me about this month.  First, it was Solo Tabletop Gaming Month. Oops. Second, I have been too busy to get much solo gaming activity of any kind done this month.  That was also another surprise.

Tonight brought me a few hours of free time.  So I thought I'd get in some solo tabletop gaming in before the month closed.  Letting a month dedicated to solo gaming go by without an update would be a shame for a blog named "Solosaurus!"  To that end, I broke out 5150:Star Army and gave it a whirl.

Though I got 15mm figures for this game, I still have no terrain in that scale.  So I looked to the next best thing which were my 28mm 40K figures.  Rather than use the 5150:SA rules straight up, I went with the excellent and well done 4D Kay conversion for 5150.  This allowed me to  use 5150:SA rules with 40K armies, complete with their stats and special abilities.  It's not a straight up 40K game, but I was surprised at how well it adapted to 5150.  I had to do some tweaking of the 4D Kay project, simply because it was based on old 5150 rules and old 40K stats.  It took all of 30 minutes to do that. Then I was on my way.

I pitted my Tau against my teeny-tiny collection of Sisters of Battle (SoB).  The SoB stat lines were easy to convert.  Even their Faith powers converted pretty well with the  5150 system.  The 4D Kay project doesn't have anything for SoB.  But I gave them Exo armor, used the Space Marine bolter stats, and they were ready.  The SoB acted like Star Army troopers.  The Tau were basically all done and I just printed off their stats.  I treated them like Hishen for reaction purposes.

You'll notice that there are no pictures of the battle.  For whatever reason, the few pictures I took didn't come out.  The camera setting dial was on something other than what I usually use.  Therefore, the pictures came so washed out as to be unusable.  I didn't check them as I went.  So now you'll have to put up with words only!

This was my first game in a campaign.  So Patrol was the first mission.  My Sisters walk onto the board.  The enemy ends up being in an open field, 11 fire warriors with a single gun drone.  I quickly realized that the 4D Kay project really overstated the pulse rifle's power.  At 36" range and three shots and punishing AP power, my SoB started to evaporate as soon as they came into the Tau's sights.

I pulled my Tau codex and looked at the original stats.  I fixed the pulse rifle to be more in line with the 40K stats and things became more even handed.  The Sisters Acts of Faith really helped.  I got to re-roll any miss results of 1 when shooting.  It helped even up things.  Basically, the SoB had to close the range gap the Tau enjoyed.  They did this by forcing the Tau to go prone (which prevents them from firing back).  When this happened the incredible Exo armor move of 16" got the Sisters right into rapid fire range.  (I treated SoB like Star Army Troopers.  So they enjoyed some benefits that a SoB army in 40K would not have, like this enormous move distance.)

I lost two Sisters on the way in, one Obviously Dead and one Out of the Fight.  But I mopped up the Tau squad and cleared out the other Possible Enemy Forces (PEFs) without further event.  I figured I should call it right there. But I read the mission objectives again.  Patrol missions require you to spend one turn in each of the three enemy table sections, and then exit the table from your own board edge.  That changes things a bit.

Random events started to plague me.  A Tau sniper appeared, took his shot, and disappeared.  Thankfully he missed.  Another sniper repeated the process (or was it the same one?).  Then my leader stepped on an anti-personnel mine.  Only her Exo armor prevented her and the nearby Sisters from being blown to bits.  Then as the Sisters were trekking back to their table edge, I rolled up random reinforcement result for the Tau.  More random placement put them behind a hill at the center of the table.  Another full squad of Tau Fire Warriors with two gun drones blocked my path.

In-sight tests from the Tau saw them shoot down one SoB with an OOF result.  Another Sister was merely stunned, but that silenced her bolter for a round.  The Sisters passed their reaction tests and fired back, killing a few and causing the Tau to duck back.  But now the Sisters swooped into rapid fire range.  The remaining Tau squad went down in a hail of bolter fire.  The Sisters were close to their table edge now.  Once half the squad was off the table, I rolled another reinforcement result!  But it was in favor of the Sisters.  The SoB leader declined the help at this late stage, and the rest of the SoB filed off the board with their intelligence gathering mission a success.

So it was an exciting game.  I really enjoy the complete surprise of revealing PEFs or the random arrival of of the enemy.  This is something that just can't be had in a conventional game.  I really only played with the 4D Kay conversion since I had the figures for it and was curious as to how it worked.  But it went so well and a narrative developed so smoothly from the rules, I think I'll continue in this vein.  I have more Sisters of Battle on the way, and a lot more figures that can be used for 5150:SA.  I'll definitely be continuing and coming up with a little story behind this conflict!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Solo Games Appreciation Month

If you are reading my blog, chances are good that you also follow Solo Nexus.  So it should not surprise you that I'm posting in support of Solo Games Appreciation Month.

I originally had a lot of grand plans.  Back over the summer I planned to play out all of the Stalingrad campaign from THW.  I ran into several logistical problems, the largest of which is my complete lack of Russian models.  I shifted around on the miniatures front, planning 5150 campaigns or something with Song of Blades and Heroes.  None of that worked for me.

So I think I'm back to my RPGs.  It's time for Havelock, Flavia, and Kaltos to return to prosecuting the will of the Inquisition on heretics everywhere.  But I have another idea.  How about playing the bad guy?

Black Crusade is out and I've been looking it over.  I've wondered how it would be to play a demonically possessed character who has willingly devoted himself to evil.  That's not your typical role playing game fare.  In fact, if you know anything about Chaos in the Warhammer 40K universe, these guys make Hitler look like a birthday clown.  That should be an interesting challenge. 

In any event, I'll be getting the story launched soon and I will try to complete a total story arc over the month.  How does that sound?