Monthly Archives: June 2013
First things first. I should never try and run a different scenario at two back to back conventions! Last weekend was British attacking the Hive at Origins.
This weekend was Teddy Roosevelt defending the San Juan Mission from bugs. This was during the Second Hive War and in HQC canon this is the event that sets Teddy on the road to the White House. To make things a bit more simple I only put ground units out on the table. The Table was set with Adventure Terrain trees and a bit of Armourcast River. The center piece was Blue Moon’s Alamo. This is a show stopping piece, even though mine isn’t completely painted yet it still looks fabulous on the table. It also takes up a lot of table space and limits the options of placement.
The mission was defended by a mix of TVAG Rough Riders and Old Glory Boxer Rebellion minis. I had ordered the TVAG artillery and Rought Riders and Rough Rider booster set. The TVAG figures mesh well with the Old Glory but the artillery doesn’t. The Old Glory 3.2 inch and the TVAG ones are not nearly the same size. The Old Glory guns are much smaller and have finer detail. They appear to be on American Civil War era carriages though. The Sims Dudley dynamite guns are great through.
With the oversized 3.2 incher though I turned a prblem to my advantage and they were now 7 inch siege howitzers. I also kit bashed up a pair of 2 pdr Hotchkiss mountain guns by taking a pair of the Old Glory Nordenfeldt carriages with Confederate William’s gun tubes. In total the Humans has about one hundred riflemen, 3 seven inch howitzers, five 3,2 inch guns, a pair of Sims Dudley’s, a pair of 2 pdrs, a pom pom, two gatling guns and a Hotchkiss Rotating Cannon. They also had four Colt Potato Diggers and three Heavy Bomb Throwers.
The bugs started off with three units of Major Crushers as their scouting force. This would be backed up by a large number of other warriors as things went along, including a number of major shooters.
The Bugs started off on the far end of the table. The three seige howitzers began firing, as they had plenty of range. The three scouting groups took enough fire as they made their way up the board to lose their drones and two of the groups became torpid while one ran amok. This slowed his scout force down and prevented them from making contact. The shooters came up while the scouts were milling about and although they took some casualties they began to inflict them as well.
By now the main force of Bugs was headed up table. The previously confident humans began to change their minds. No matter how much fire they put down table the bugs kept coming. In an effort to increase their fire power the Rough Riders tried to move guns from the unengaged sides. In doing so they lost control of one weapon bringing it down a ramp and it was destroyed.
Under increasingly heavy fire the bug swarms kept up their advance. It seemed that whenever a bug group would be wiped out another would take its place on the horizon (which was exactly what was happening!). The humans didn’t get any such aid. Each time a bug shooter caused a casualty there was not one to fill the gap.
The bugs marched closer and closer. The Bug player was clever and used his drones to bring the uncontrolled warriors into the advancing swarms. This swelled their numbers and made for tremendously terrifying attack groups. The artillery and finally rifles and machine weapons continued to take their toll. Drones were often casualties. A huge swarm approached the mission chapel building. Just before the warriors scaled the walls their last drone was killed. With a unit this large it was almost a guarantee that the unit would run amok. Only on a seventeen or eighteen would the unit become torpid. The bug player rolled a seventeen! Instead of a ravenous horde of insanely angry warriors swarming over the ruined church walls the creatures lost intrest and wandered aimlessly away. The church was saved, if only for one turn.
Other swarms headed for the lower walls of the ravelin and the pallisade. The troops manning the stockade wall held for one turn and then broke and ran leaving the Gatlin gun behind. Those in the ravelin defending the gate were made of sterner stuff and held on fighting the bugs all the way up to their gun muzzles and then in hand to bug combat. They held for three turns before being wiped out completely. This allowed the troops on the walls behind them to pull back into the parade ground and form a defensive line. The bugs finally killed the last wounded in the ravelin and broke through the gate.
The human troops had evacuated the wall just in time as a unit of bugs surged over it.
While this was going on the other groups of bugs made it over teh pallisade between the church and the wall with the gate. They backed the human soldiers up again the wall and rolled forward. In desperation the Rough Riders fired their heavy artillery and bomb throwers into the swarm mere feet from the soldiers. Three turns the bugs surged forward and three times the American artillery and infantry stopped them. The bug dead piled up in front of the deperate soldiers.
The brave crew of the Gatling gun atop the curch platform wasn’t so luck. All but one was killed by the flug projectiles of the shooters and then finally a unit of bugs was able to climb the wall. One of them was killed in hand to hand combat with the last gunner but he was finally killed
And that was when we ran out of time! We’d been at it for almost eight hours. I lost count of the number of folks that rolled dice, let alone those who stopped to watch.From the post game comments it appeared that the players had a very good time. I’d also like to thank Chris at Game Nite who was retailing for me. I sent a few people over to his very nice booth and they bought a few copies of various Aerolyth Enterpises’ products which I duly signed.
Friday and Saturday I ran two sessions of The Hive and the Flame. Both times I had 8 players at the table. The scenario was the British combined arms assault on the Hive. British forces consisted of 5 heavy assault flyers, three squadrons of ornithopters several companies of infantry and a mixed force of armoured vehicles.
The terrain was mostly scratch built. Roads and trees are from Adventure terrain and the river is an old reliable from Armourcast.
The Hive fielded a nearly endless supply of bugs.
The objectives were simple. The British had to destroy the mass of larva exposed by a bombing raid and the bugs had to prevent that from happening.
The Saturday game opened with the British launching their air units across the table. The ornithopters were screening for the bigger ships. They left their ground troops for later. Almost immediately the ornithopters ran into clouds of flying lancers and were quickly overwhelmed, losing an entire squadron as well as taking casualties in both the other ones. The flappers retired behind the heavier assault fliers.
The heavy fliers proceeded to have to deal with the flying lancers as well as the supra major shooters.
The bigger ships took damage both from the Supra Major Shooters and swarming flying lancers.
While this was going on the land column attempted to move forward. The ground bugs used their ability to open up tunnels and flank the attackers. The ground columns, which were not capable of mutual support quickly found themselves over run and engaged in dire melee combat. Only the timely arrival of the surviving flappers which straffed the bug hordes allowed the British ground forces to survive.
At this point we had been playing for over seven hours and were about to run into a hard limit. I looked over the battlefield and gave the victory to the bugs. They had once again roughed up the flappers and even the assault fliers took a beating. The ground forces were badly scattered and incapable of mutual support.
We had a really good hot wash and one of the players suugested a different tactical deployment for the British. His suggestion was for a very stately advance, tied to the speed of the ground units. Ground columns would support each other the heavy flyers would fly above the forward edge of the ground battle force. These two forces would support each other . The flappers, generally very weak, would fly over the ground columns and provide fast reactions to any bugs units that popped up.
This seemed like an excellent idea and I looked forward to seeing it in play on the table the next day. The player who suggested this didn’t show though so the second game was much like the first one, although luck was generally with the British players. they were able to get a flyer within rocket range of the Hive itself. 48 9.2 inch rockets fired in a massive salvo won the British a marginal victory.
I had 16 players between the two days and dozens of folks came by to see what was going on. There were a lot of positive comments on the terrain, the models, the miniatures and the game as well.
If you purchase a reward level that includes a miniatures game what would it be? I will be open to ideas but can give you two choices right now. One will be a British combined arms assault on the Hive in Devon. This will include airborne forces, Ghukas, steam tanks and a zillion angry bugs fighting on the surface of the Hive itself. The second option will be Teddy Roosevelt and his First Volunteer Mechanized Cavalry defending the San Juan Mission against the alien invaders! Round lensed glasses, a mustache and Sims Dudley dynamite throwing air guns! I’ll hang out for eight hours of gaming with you and your crew, dispsense ten copies of various books and generally make trouble for you with your better half. If sponsor for more you can keep the Hive terrain (the Alamo was a gift from my wife, no way that goes out the door) and perhaps a whole lot of bugs! You have a week or so left. Think about it! It would be all sorts of fun!