Monthly Archives: June 2014
Colonel Roosevelt’s command at the San Juan river crossing and mission held firm against extremely heavy alien swarm attacks over the last three days (at Diecon 14 in Collinsville, Illinois).
I reran the same massive floor game at Diecon that I ran last weekend at Origins. The terrain and scenario were the same. The battlefield consisted of a 20 X 30 foot floor area. It was crossed by the San Juan River (Armorcast resin river from 2 inch to 4 inch wide). The main North to South road is from Hollowed Ground. The mission is Blue Moon’s Alamo and the plantation is Monday Knight Products. The smaller roads and the trees are from Adventure Terrain. The smaller earthworks and emplacements are from Acheson Creations. I can’t recall from whence I got the very nice foam buildings that make up the village of San Juan.
The figures also come from a variety of sources. Many of the bugs are from Rosa Games and Miniatures and represent their continuing work to bring the HQC world into life with 3D printing. Others were hand cast from the old Gametech molds done by Scott Flower. Khurasan Miniatures, as well as Ral Partha were also well represented on the gaming floor.
The Big landers were kit bashed from a variety of sources. The Ornithopters were kit bashed and then Scott Flower made masters and then they were resin cast. Tom Hielsher painted them up so they look so great. The tanks were either kit bashed from Gaming Model’s line of WW2 tanks or were 3D printed by Rosa.
The human troops are from sources such as The Virtual Armchair General’s Spanish American War range. Blue Moon provided the Gurkhas. Old Glory Boxer Rebellion troops. Blue Moon also supplied a number of other figures, including the ones representing Charles and Mrs. Lienengen. Khurasan’s mesoamerican line. The old cannon is also Khurasan. The rest of the artillery is TVAG, OD or Arun’s Objects May Appear Shapeways store. The quad Maxim mounts are Peter Pig WW2 Soviet weapons. I used some Spartan Game AFVs from their Dystopian line for Scientif Artillery mounts.
OK, all that being said what about the action?
The battle in general took on a very similar form to that at Origins. The Bug player again chose to direct their main thrust along the southern flank of the battle area. This allowed the humans to concentrate their forces along this single axis. The humans were able to concentrate their flyers in the area as well and dropped their transported troops and armor there as well. The Bug player was much more effective at screening his heavy units with lighter ones and only suffered two units out of command, rather than the many seen at Origins. There was only a single case of Bug on Bug violence.
Even with that Bug players were unable to get the most out of their forces. By concentrating on the narrow frontage between the Lienengen mansion and the South edge of the play area the bugs allowed the human units to fight a slow grinding withdraw. Their units fell back and fired and occasionally counter-charged, robbing the bug units of their best modifiers for close combat-when they themselves charge.
This was the same type of dogged defense that won the battle at Origins. This weekend it was even more effective. The Bug player concentrated their flyers in close support of their other units and they were very roughly handled by the high volume of fire the human troops were able to put out. The concentration of bug flyers also allowed the human flyers to concentrate, and their massive fire power had disastrous effects on the aliens.
The bugs did send one unit of flyers after the refugees and it caused only two casualties to them before it was wiped out by a company of very angry Gurkhas.
By the middle of Sunday (after 19 hours of play) it was apparent that the bugs were not going break the human lines and would not be reaching the refugee buffet.
I don’t think I realized how crazy it would be to run a game this big for this long (and I’ll be doing it again next weekend as well at Diecon!). It was sheer madness to try and pull this off and I know my energy began to flag by lunch on day three. Luckily the players kept at it. We ran until approximately 5:00 PM Saturday so for a total of 23 hours (minus some lunch breaks and such it was Hive and the Flame miniature madness at Origins!
Day two began with the humans making a fighting withdraw from the burning plantation along the southern edge of the battle area.
The Indian field workers made a series of surprisingly effective stands and attacks with bows and arrows and were able to significantly slow the invaders. The remains of the Colombian Army also proved effective as their Presidential Guard Cavalry, some remaining line infantry and a company of elite infantry supported by machine guns also took a toll on the Bugs.
Once flying units of the bugs began to appear things became much more complex for the defenders and even though they also got reinforcements in the form of both ornithopters and aerial gunboats they were unable to prevent the flying bugs from making a series of attacks against the refugee column on the road.
These same bedraggled survivors of the bug invasion posed serious constraints on road moving, offering a major obstacle to defender mobility. The Southern flank remained the main area of land action while to the North the aerial units from both sides fought a series of pitched battles. The Bug players were very successful at keeping the air units of the humans from taking any offensive action by taking and holding the initiative, repeatedly attacking the columns of refugees.
This resulted in heavy casualties, not only to the Ornithopters but also to the gunships as well. Approximately a third of the Flappers were destroyed. As the bigger ships attempted to defend the refugee streams they were often forced to fight off the savage creatures as they boarded the vessels. In one case the metal screens protecting the HMF Henry IV were ripped free and its Captain and bridge crew wiped out.
A bomber bug knocked out one of the few tanks on the Southern flank but a group of steam powered walkers were able to close the breach in the line.
However even with all the casualties the Human lines held and the aliens were only able to kill a small number of the refugees.
By the end of the third gaming session the human South flank was hanging on thin air but was hanging. The bugs had been unable to close. The Humans had been very effective at using their long range artillery throughout the entire session. The Supra Major units were difficult to damage but the humans were able to strip off their drones and leave them out of command. On several occasions the uncontrolled bug units rang amok and attacked their own units.
The huge playing surface and the long period of play (30 X 20 feet and a total of around 21 once breaks were held) allowed a lot of maneuver. Some parts of the battlefield so very intense combat for almost the entire time while other areas were almost the exclusive province of air to air and air to ground combat. One thing the Bug player had not realized was the by the middle of the third day the San Juan Mission was garrisoned almost exclusively by long range artillery crews and an attack by flying bugs might have been disastrous for the Human cause!
All this being said the larger scale of the game made for very different decisions by the players.
I will be putting this same game on again at DieCon this weekend!
The Remnants of the Colombian Army had been forced further and further north. All that remained was a troop of the residential Lancers, two companies of Line Infantry, a companyl of Elite Infnatry and a battery of Krupp guns. The guns were well dug in and the the other forces prepared to skirmish forward, as they tried to hold the aliens off from the endless lines of the endless line of helpless refugees.
To the Colombian front was Casa Lienegen, defended by Lienegen and his wife, a large number of his loyal native workers and his ancient muzzle-loading cannon.
To the north lay the village of San Juan and across the San Juan River was the ancient mission itself.
Action started with the Bugs attacking Casa Lienengen. Mr Lienengen was killed when forced to detonate the cannon’s magazine but his wife fought on gamely, killing three Major Bugs in Close Combat before being killed herself. Inspired by the heroic deaths of their leaders the Indians fought on, stubbornly using their primitive weapons to inflict serious casualties on the aliens even a they were forced out of the now burning plantation
The Colombian Army moved forward to assist them as the Indians fought a skillful and effective fighting withdraw. A charge by the Presidential Lancers slowed the alien advance. The elite bolt action armed infantry caused massive casualties.
So I got here late yesterday. It took my entire Ford Ranger to haul all the terrain and minis and such up here from home. It was around ten large plastic cases
This morning I spent three hours laying out terrain
Here is a picture with Lee standing in to show the scale.
There will be Bugs GALORE!
The battle starts at 10:00 AM tomorrow and will continue (with various breaks and such until 6:00 PM Saturday. Come see us in The F Hall at Origins!