Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Orcs versus Green + Yellow Creatures / HotT Battle Report

Here is another short battle report from our campaign, you know, the Waltrop campaign.

After a horrible defeat against the Greeks, GURKBATZ let his orc warband into a piece of jungle (hexagon 47 on the campaign map) and encountered a group of strange green and yellow creatures.

We simulated the battle, using the excellent ruleset Hordes of the Things.

I played the creatures with this army list:

Warband General (yellow), 11 Warbands (green)

The army is made up of 24 copies of a miniature I had sculpted for the 2006 FU-UK sculpting contest. I had wanted to play this army for a long time.

Krüger says monotonous armies are no fun.

He played GURKBATZ and the Waltropical orcs (sounds like some kind of high school rock band) with this list:

Warband General, 7 Warbands, Hero, 2 Riders, 2 Beasts

I was the defender and placed three pieces of woods, a swamp and three rocks on the board.


orcs vs green + yellow creatures

I deployed most of my warbands in a battle line in front of a very large forest.

I didn’t know what to do with four remaining warbands, so they ended up on my left flank.

Krüger deployed his hero and his riders opposite to these and his beasts on the other flank.

He placed all of his warbands, including general GURKBATZ, in front of the large forest in the center, but forgot that warbands don’t get +1 rear support in bad going. Thus his warbands were deployed too clustered.

The large forest in the center put the focus of the game on the fight between his and my warbands. The forces on the sides weren’t activated much.


orcs vs green + yellow creatures

The mistake he had made in deploying his troops and bad luck let to Krüger’s defeat. He lost four warbands and his general.

"That was fun", I said.

"Not for me", Krüger said. "I lost."

"Yes. But you had a good chance of winning. You had a hero, beasts, riders … I only played warbands."

"I’m not very lucky playing Hordes of the Things", Krüger said.

"Sorry about that", I said.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Ancient Greeks vs Orcs / Dragon Rampant Battle Report

On Friday I played Dragon Rampant with Krüger. It was our third game using Daniel Mersey’s popular ruleset and we enjoyed it a lot. It has elements of other games I like. Movement feels as free as in 40K, troop types remind me of HotT and the battles look a bit like Warhammer. On top of all that the rules are streamlined, simple and encourage creativity.


Herr Zinnling

The game was part of our ongoing campaign which takes place on the tropical island Waltrop. The Greeks from Kalimera under the command of Foibos moved into a piece of jungle controlled by the orcs.

I put a lot of tropical forests and some swamps on the board and other pieces of terrain to represent the jungle.

We choose scenario A (Gory Bloodbath on the Plains of Doom), forgot to dice for leader traits and decided not to use quests in order to learn the basic rules first. 
Foibos’ enchanted weapon didn’t work.


ancient greeks vs orcs

We played with 24 army points. Krüger played the orcs. He was the defender and deployed his troops in this order, as seen from my perspective:

Bellicose Foot / Heavy Riders / Light Foot / Elite Foot (Leader) / Bellicose Foot / Light Riders (Short Range Missiles)

I deployed my troops like this:

Scouts / Light Riders (Short Range Missiles) / Heavy Foot / Elite Foot (Leader + Enchanted Weapon) / Heavy Foot / Light Missiles

I took two pages of notes during the game but unfortunately I can’t decipher them any more. What happened was basically this:


On my left flank I moved the Thracian scouts into a piece of swamp. I sent a unit of Thracian light riders to support them. I also had a unit of hoplites (heavy foot) in that area.


ancient greeks vs orcs

Krüger sent a unit of boar riders (heavy riders) and some night goblins (light infantry) to attack the Thracians. He also wanted to attack with a warband of orcs (bellicose foot) but couldn’t activate them during the first rounds.

The boar riders were able to destroy my light cavalry, but then I attacked them with my hoplites. The boar riders were battered and retreated into the swamp where they were attacked by the Thracian scouts. They had to retreat once more and were destroyed as the result of a failed rally test.

The orc warband arrived too late and made a wild charge into the swamp. They lost the battle against the scouts and were also destroyed.

I don’t remember how I lost my scouts. Maybe the night goblins (light foot) killed them.


I had placed a large piece of forest in the centre. Krüger’s orc boss (elite foot) and an orc warband (bellicose foot) were moving towards my general (elite foot) and a unit of hoplites (heavy foot), while some goblin riders (light riders) and a unit of psiloi (light missiles) were shooting javelins and throwing stones at each other. I didn’t want to enter the woods with my hoplites, so I formed a spearwall and waited for the orcs.


ancient greeks vs orcs

The orcs attacked. Both units were destroyed.

Then the armies’ generals and their guards (elite foot) attacked each other. After a couple of rounds only Foibos and the orc boss survived, they had lost all their companions.

I asked: What is the name of your general?

Krüger said: Gurkbatz.

I thought: Finally the orc tribes, that live on the northeastern coast of Waltrop, have a boss with a name.

In a desperate move Gurkbatz attacked my slingers (light missiles) and was slain.

(Let’s just say Gurkbatz crawled away and left the battlefield, all beaten up and in pain. Otherwise the name „Gurkbatz“ will be lost and Krüger might take two years or so to come up with a new name for another general.)

When Krüger’s night goblins were also destroyed, only four units were left on the table: a unit of goblin riders (light riders) on Krüger’s side and Foibos (elite foot), a unit of hoplites (heavy foot) and a unit of psiloi (light missiles) on my side.

We rolled a die to see if the game ended. It did. I won. The Greeks from Kalimera now control hexagon 11 on our campaign map.



campaign map

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Humboldt and the Lost Treasure

Herr Zinnling, Marjorie, Trinka, Florian

It was Trinka’s birthday and she invited us to Humboldt and the Lost Treasure, an escape room in Berlin Lichtenberg. (Attention! Spoilers!) I had never been to an escape room before. We had to solve all kinds of riddles, so doors and chests would open. Like putting four items in a certain order to get a number combination for a lock.

What I found interesting was how we acted as a group. "Humboldt and the lost Treasure“ has a central room with hints and instructions. It’s probably best if one person stays behind and tells the others what to do through walkie talkies. We didn’t do that. First we couldn’t figure out how to work the walkie talkies. Then we had so much fun looking at all the objects in the rooms, we didn’t even bother to read the instructions. Maybe we are too curious and playful to act efficiently. I was good at seeing how the riddles worked, but too lazy or laid back to actually solve them.

We went through the first riddles quickly. Then we were lost. I had dropped a flashlight and it didn’t work anymore. Marjorie was worried that we had to pay for it later - the game master had said something about very expensive new equipment - and everybody thought we needed the light to solve the riddles. Florian and I were starring at a box with a large wooden centipede for ten minutes. We thought of very complicated things that could be done with the thing, until the game master got impatient and gave us a clue.

Apart from this we were doing fine as a group. We only needed five minutes extended playtime to solve the room.


Now I’m thinking how this experience relates to RPGs. I have never played a role-playing game that was all about solving riddles.

How about you?

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Happy New Year!

plastic plant


Some days ago, I left a comment on a wargaming blog, something like "Wonderful army. Also, I like your terrain, the plastic plants. Happy New Year! Karl" The comment was published and to my surprise removed a day later.

I tend to brood over things. Did I say anything inappropriate? Was the comment removed accidentally? Did the owner of the other blog look at Herr Zinnlings Arbeitszimmer and say: „I don’t want to have anything to do with that piece of shit blog.“ Did he think my comment about the plastic plants wasn’t honest? (I assure you, I love miniature plastic plants.) Did he think I’m a spam bot? Is it considered bad luck in the UK to say Happy New Year on the last day of the year?

I don’t know.

By the way, I’m always happy about comments on my blog and got some interesting, detailed, helpful, funny, inspiring, wonderful responses from you so far. Thanks a lot!

(Ok. I also get comments like „You might be eligible to get a free $1000 Amazon gift card.“)

When I was in Sioux City, Iowa as an exchange student, the most awkward situation for me was to go to the school’s restaurant for the first week. People already knew each other and were sitting at the tables with their friends, of course. I was new to the school, from another country and my English was bad. Also, when I was 16, I was very shy. Ending up at a large table to have lunch all by myself, I found quite horrible at that time.

Well, sometimes trying to communicate with other people about games through the internet, people that tend to be organised in groups, reminds me of my first week at the Bishop Heelan Catholic High School.

Whatever. It’s 2017 and I’m not 16 anymore.

Happy New Year!

Karl

Friday, 23 December 2016

Enchanted Weapon

EXT. BEACH OF WALTROP - EARLY MORNING

Foibos and Grigoris, a man in a red coat, discuss an enchanted weapon.

Foiibos & Grigoris


GRIGORIS
I was sent from Sparta to be your mentor, to enable you to fight the creatures that live in the forest of this island.

FOIBOS
I’m glad you are here, Grigoris.

GRIGORIS
Considering your feeble physical statue and your general lack of training, I give you this sword. It is blessed by Ares, the god of war.

FOIBOS
Thank you.

GRIGORIS
It’s a powerful weapon and it comes with great responsibility, but you need to know that its powers will not work all the time.

FOIBOS
What do you mean?

GRIGORIS
Let’s cut time into centuries, centuries into decades, decades into years, years into months and months into weeks.

FOIBOS
Yes?

GRIGORIS
Let’s say the week has seven days and you go to war six days and rest one day. You need to know that your weapon will only work once a week, but you don’t know which day this will be.

FOIBOS
I don’t understand. Seven days? What are you talking about?

GRIGORIS
 I'm just talking about probabilities, Foibos. You need to know something else. Since it would be unfair to your opponent if you have the sword of Ares and he doesn’t, we will line up all of your men before battle and count them. Every 24th man will stay in the camp. 

FOIBOS
What? That’s not fair. I need all my men. Why would you give me such a weapon? And why do we need to be fair to Orcs?

GRIGORIS
We are Greeks and we will act like Greeks.

FOIBOS
That sucks.

GRIGORIS
Yes. I know.

(The miniatures on the picture were painted by Steve Dean and Andrew Taylor and as a commission.)

Monday, 31 October 2016

Orc Head for a Hand Puppet

I spent a rainy Sunday afternoon in October making hand puppets with the children and took the opportunity to make an orc head.

orc head

It looks a bit like my grandfather from my mother's side and still needs to be painted.

Anybody know if Humbrol enamel paint and gloss varnish work well on paper mache?



Lina's hand puppet

Happy Halloween!

Karl

Friday, 7 October 2016

Tupi + Giant Insects vs Orcs / HotT Battle Report

After a three-month summer break, in which I spent most of the time cleaning up my parents' house and taking my children to swimming lessons, Krüger and I had a game of Hordes of the Things on Friday (The Waltrop Campaign / Day 11).


Krüger

He played the orcs who live on the northeastern coast of Waltrop.

Warband General, 5 Warbands, 1 Hero, 3 Riders, 1 Shooter

Krüger was the defender and placed a hill in the centre of the table and two tropical forests right next to it on each side. This is something he had wanted to do for a long time and it looked kind of silly.



tupi and giant insects versus orcs

He deployed his hero and an element of riders on his right flank, two elements of riders on his left flank, all of his orc warbands and a shooter in front of the hill.

I played the inhabitants of the jungle.

Behemoth General (a very big insect), 5 Shooters (Tupi Indians), 4 Beasts (Fiendish Giant Praying Mantis), 2 Water Lurkers

As seen from my side of the table, my army was deployed like this:

Beasts / Beasts / Shooters / Shooters / Behemoth (General) / Shooters / Shooters / Shooters / Beasts / Beasts

So this is what happened:

Krüger’s hero destroyed one of my beasts.

My behemoth general made it to the top of the hill and destroyed two orc warbands.

Two Orc riders destroyed one of my beasts.


my behemoth general is pushed back


My behemoth was pushed back into the forest and destroyed another element of beasts in its path.

(We had some doubt if the rules actually work this way.)

My last surviving beast destroyed Krüger’s shooters.

Three Tupi shooters combined their forces and shot down two orc warbands.


my behemoth general is destroyed

Krüger’s warband general chased my general through the woods and finally destroyed it with the help of some side and rear support.

Krüger’s hero destroyed one of my shooters.

The orcs won and now occupy hexagon 11 on our campaign map.

Hendrik's campaign map

Six-year-old Hendrik watched us prepare the game and drew his version of the campaign map. He thinks it looks much better than our map. I think he might be right.