Houston Beer and Pretzel Wargaming

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Star Wars Armada

Posted by Rob on June 9, 2016 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

In March I pulled out the Star Wars Armada fleet scale game.  A good chance to put some pre-painted spaceships on the table and fire some turbo-lasers for a change.

I used a great website for Armada fleet building, Fab's Fleet Generator using the models I already owned.  I wanted to feature two Star Destroyers vs. a scratch fleet of Rebels.  As our first game, I minimized the enhanced leaders and upgrades so that we could concentrate on the basics and add in the chrome later.

The Rebel Fleet was x6 X-Wing squadrons, x2 Y-Wing squadrons led by x2 Nebulon Frigates (one each Escort and Support Refit) and x2 CR-90 Corvettes (one each Type A and B).  289 pts.

Empire had the massive Imperial-I Star Destroyer escorted by it's little cousin the Victory-I Star Destroyer with a cloud of x8 TIE fighter squadrons and x2 TIE-Bombers.  265 pts.

We had a good crowd out, Larry + son, Will + son, Stephen, Duane, Barry, Joe, and I.

Battle was a simple encounter.  Each fleet online w/ fighters engaging like skirmishers in an ancient Greek or Rome game.  We learned the basics of the activation sequence, and fighters value as a screen to lock up enemy squadrons.  Bombers tried to slip through but usually got caught up in the furball as CAP did their job and intercepted.  

Star Destroyers have massive forward firing weapons but weak rear shields.  Rebel light ships want to slip to the flanks and deliver broadsides and maneuver better than the Imperial behemoths.  The TIE fighters died fairly quickly, some upgraded named squadrons led by Imperial heros (Howlrunner or Mauler Mithril) would have more survivability.  X-Wing are much harder to kill and I might have given too many to the Rebels as the Imperial fighters were outmatched by a +20% point margin in fighter strength.

The capital ships have some interesting mechanics w/ command orders and tokens to help minimize damage.  Imperial admirals have to plan 2 moves ahead while the Rebel corvette captains can be very flexible and set new orders each turn.

Overall we enjoyed the game, good cinematic feel and definately will pull this game out again w/ some chrome added and a scenario storyline to create objectives beyond a battleline slug-fest.

May the Force Be with You...

Point of No Return - Part 3

Posted by Rob on May 9, 2015 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

To celebrate May the Fourth Be With You on May 4th, we ran our third installment of the X-Wing miniatures game Point of No Return campaign game centered on the CR90 Correllian Corvette expansion pack.

But what happened in the second mission?  A long time ago...the second installment was played last October aboard the USS Texas at Texas Broadside convention.  We played mission T2a: Refuelling Ambush where the CR90 is refuelling at a station sympathetic to the Rebels when a TIE patrol drops by. 

The Corvette is still attached to the fueling container but has a few Rebel ships nearby to help defend.  In the game, the Corvette took on fuel for 3 turns before breaking off the fuel container before the Imperials were able to destroy it.  Some TIE Bombers attacked the Corvette from the front and Sontir Fel was destroyed in the ensuing dogfight, eliminating the best Imperial pilot from future scenarios. 

Rebels won mission T2a.  A lot of kills were scored by the Corvette simply running over Imperials who got too close to the front-end of the Corvette and ended up smushed by the huge ship.  The surviving Imperials took their lesson in defeat to heart and came back ready for game 3.

Daniel, Andy, and Dan took the Imperials, while Steve and Joe flew Rebel escorts while I ran the Corvette's systems.  In this game, the Corvette did not maneuver, allowing the Imperials more flexibility in their attack plan.

Mission T3a: Satellite Uplink

The captain of the CR90 volunteered his services to the Rebellion and was assigned a mission to stay near a satellite cluster to intercept an Imperial transmission of the utmost importance.  Something about secret plans...

The Rebels had 4 X-Wings with Wedge Antilles (best pilot in the Rebel fleet), along w/ two Red squadron pilots, one rookie pilot, and a Y-Wing.  Our strategy was a forward defense w/ the Red squadron pilots and rookie out front w/ Wedge and the Y-Wing moving up the flank. 

The Imperials through everything on-line and rushed into the battle.

It became an attrition fight with the lead X-Wings getting knocked around by assault missiles fired by TIE Bombers and cluster missiles being fire by Maarek Stele in a TIE Advanced.

Wedge got pummeled and was out of the fight early leaving the Corvette to fend for itself as the escort was whittled away.  The satellites were providing energy to the Corvette and once the Imperials began taking down satellites, it was a road to victory for the Empire as the TIEs swarmed around the non-maneuvering Corvette w/out enough energy to power its weapons.  The primary weapon has a range of 3-5 allowing the Imperials immunity once at close range.

With the demise of Wedge, this evens up the pilot quality parity between Rebels and Empire for finale.  We'll finish the campaign with Mission 4: Minefield sometime this year and be ready to begin the Escape from Hoth campaign w/ the GR-75 Transport.

May the Force be With You...

Point of No Return

Posted by Rob on September 13, 2014 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

In July, we used an open night to start the X-Wing miniatures Point of No Return campaign that is included in the CR90 Corellian Corvette expansion pack.

I greatly prefer campaign or scenario games to the tournament style game, but your mileage may vary.  I've been eager to get this giant ship on the game table, and the release of Saint Arnold Bishop Barrel #7 provided the frosting on the glass for this month's game night.

The campaign consists of 4 linked scenarios w/ results of each game affecting the start of the next.  It's like a choose your own adventure book but w/ Star Wars miniatures!  The first scenario has the corvette carrying some 'contraband' and being intercepted by an Imperial patrol.  Of course a fight ensues, and the outcome is based on whether the Empire cripples either the fore or aft section by Turn 6.  From the FFG website: 

Things escalate quickly for a band of Rebel smugglers when their CR90 is intercepted by a patrol of TIE fighter pilots eager to enforce the Empire’s authoritarian directives. The Rebels must fight their way through the patrol, and they must also effect their escape before their ship suffers heavy damage. This mission pits a single CR90 against “Howlrunner” and five Black Squadron pilots, and it was designed to be a “training mission” of sorts, deliberately dropping players into the shallow end of the pool and allowing them to absorb the new rules for huge ships quickly and easily while battling against a familiar group of foes.

Barry, Joe, Andy, and Dan took the Imperials, while Andrew and I divided up the corvette's fore/aft section and managed the systems.  We figured out how to maneuver the corvette with it's new maneuver template and quickly got the hang of energy management.

Our basic strategy was to buy time, so we put all the asteroids on our side to break up the Imperial formations and cruised along parallel to the edge at optimum energy generating speed.  This allowed us to power up the maximum assortment of weapons and start rolling dice.  The TIE players were surprised we have a range 5 weapon (first in the game) but it proved fairly ineffective against 3 green/defense rolling TIE fighters w/ the +2 green dice for being at range 5.  Once the TIEs got in close, they discovered our blind spot Aft, and lack of short range weapons.  The damage began to pile up, shields getting stripped away by all that Imperial firepower.  We used energy to rebuild shielding which cut down on our offensive capability (no energy for weapons).

Once the TIEs made their initial attack run, the asteroids and the corvette started to cause collisions.  It was very entertaining to mush 2 TIE fighters into the corvette for minor/insignificant damage.

At the end, it was a close-run thing, but the corvette managed to make it to Turn 6 w/out crippling damage, so the Rebels will face the Imperials in the next campaign scenario w/ a slight advantage.

We are scheduled to play this game aboard USS Texas on the first/GM day of Texas BROADSIDE.  If you want to join us, sign up to run a game aboard Texas and see you on the ship on Oct. 10!

May the Force be with you...

Deposit Confirmed

Posted by Rob on February 1, 2013 at 5:20 PM Comments comments (1)


Banking Guild Transmission Processing Station (TPS) Report

Deposit Made to Account THX-1138

Account Holder:  Fett, Boba

Account Status:  Active

Routing:  Deposit Received from Imperial Treasury Coruscant Core via Banking Guild HoloNet TPS Report 8675309 to Holder Account

Conditions for Transfer:  Successful Transmission of Intelligence information of value to the Imperial Intelligence Service (IIS) via rendezvous with elements of Black Squadron from Imperial Frigate DOWAGER in the Outer Rim Genosis Sector Asteroid Belt.

Status of Conditions:  Fulfilled per order Grand Moff Wubb


Joe, John, Andy, Barry, and Rob were all at Stag's Head in January to play the highly entertaining X-Wing Miniatures game by Fantasy of Flight games.  It's great to have everything you need in the box w/ no painting or preparation required.  I worked out a scenario where Boba Fett has discovered the location of the Rebel Alliance base on Dantooine sometime before the events in Episode IV.

Barry took Slave 1 as Boba Fett, while John and I each took 3 Tie fighters.  Joe and Andy split up the 3 X-Wings and 1 Y-Wing I own to round out the forces.  It was 130 points per side by the X-Wing squad building system.

We flew around a little in a kind of flight academy training to learn maneuvers, shooting, and the turn sequence before jumping in to the mission.

The Rebels started in the middle, just outside an asteroid field that was occupied by Slave 1.  The Imperials entered opposite the asteroids trying to meet up with Slave 1.  The Rebels decided to go after the Imperials and Boba Fett piloted out of the asteroids to make the transfer.  Dogfights ensued, but the Imperials were mission focused and charged right past the Rebels to make the meeting with Slave 1 while the Rebels were turning around.  4 Tie fighters were in range to receive the transmission and now the Rebels were challenged to stop them all from exiting.  Boba Fett hung around and bagged an X-Wing before his shielding was knocked down and Barry decided to retreat into the asteroid field having fulfilled his contract.  The Imperials raced for home and 2 of the 4 Tie fighters with the information made it off the table.  A Rebel Y-Wing piloted by Dutch Vander was destroyed by a Tie fighter in the final turn.

It was a fun game, the Rebels decided they would do it differently next time and take on Boba Fett in the asteroids before the Imperials reach the scene.  The great thing about miniature games is we can always try it again. 

This is a great game and I look forward to our next outing in the Outer Rim.

May the Force be with You....always.

X-Wing Miniatures

Posted by Rob on November 7, 2012 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Joe, Chris and I met for the October open gaming night and played the new X-Wing miniatures game.  We played two quick games, both two Tie vs. a single X-Wing.  The first started w/ the quickstart rules and then we added chrome in as we went.  Lots of cool features w/ pilot actions, advanced pilots, and special weapon/droid choices.  It was great to play such a fun game right out of the box with no preparation or painting required.

In our second game we added asteroids and I took great pleasure in flying my Tie fighter through them in pursuit of a Rebel shuttle until I became one with the asteroids!

Will be fun to play with more players and a few more ships.  Get your Y-Wing soon Gold Leader!

They Have Another Plan

Posted by Rob on September 2, 2012 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

"Get us out of here Mr. Stevens!  Jump the Ship!"  Admiral Helena Cain made the curt order to her officer of the deck, CAPT Charles Stevens.  "Frak!, I can't believe this." she muttered under her breath as her hands gripped the command console in anticipation of the jump out of the IG-88 system.  "What a waste.  At least now the fleet can get back to doing things my way."  was her only consoling thought.

"Brothers, what a great day!"  Cavil, as a Number One, felt his powerful voice radiating throughout the control room in Basestar HAL9000.  The Two, Six, and Eight models gathered around were stunned beyond speach at what they had just seen.  The Colonial Battlestar Galactica was no more.  The combined firepower of three Basestars and Raider squadrons had just destroyed the infamous ship they had been pursuing for years, along with a smaller Colonial Cruiser that suprisingly emerged from the desert planet in system IG-88. 

Quick to assert himself further, Cavil added "But, our work is not done.  We need to trace that last Battlestar, Pegasus, and complete the destruction of all human ships.  Get to work on a FTL trace immediately!".

Thanks to everyone who came out last week for our first running of Battlestar Galactica space ship miniatures game that I picked up at Historicon in 2011.  The Space Junk terrain and missiles looked great (check out the Photo Gallery pictures).  The rules were based on the old Task Force Games Starfire circa 1979 with chrome added for BSG re-imagined series technology and plot devices. 

Rules will be tweaked a bit as a result of the playtest.  Basic mechanics work fine, Basestar firepower will be reduced, nuke/missile mix handlied slightly different, squadron casualties adjusted to be more bloody, impulse movement dropped.

Look for this game at Owlcon in Feb. 2013!