Sunday, August 27, 2017

Recruits 2017

This is the recap of my participation in the local gaming convention, Recruits.  A medium-sized convention that sees about 600 or so players throughout the weekend, Recruits has sci-fi, fantasy and historical games for just about anyone's interests.  I enjoy this convention because I get to see familiar faces, play some cool games and buy stuff at great prices.

Friday Night

An acquaintance of mine, Craig, is big into Flames of War (FoW).  I've played in one other FoW game of his over the years and took the opportunity to play in a WWII desert game Friday night.

The Plot

This was a simple plot, really.  The British and Germans had built-up areas (BUA) on either side of a 12' table and were expecting reinforcements and supplies.  The twist was that these supplies showed up on the opposite ends of the board from the BUAs and had to make it through tanks, artillery and strafing aircraft!  I was on the British side, along with my friend, Mike.

British area

Towed artillery, ready for the German tanks!

British infantry who never saw any action.


It was a tie, although we (British) were one round from gaining the lead. 😒  I apologize I didn't take any more pics.



My buddy, Chuck, was running demos of Knight Models game, Batman Miniature Game.  In this game, you could play as members of either Two-Face's or the Penguin's gangs, fighting it out in the mean streets of Gotham.  I chose to play as Penguin, Captain Boomerang and one of Penguin's thugs.  Also on my side were Deadshot, Slipknot and another lackey, played by a guy named Matt.  Against us were Two-Face, Deathstroke and several henchmen.  

This game was pretty neat.  There's an innovative point allocation system for each character that really makes you think about how you want to use that individual in the overall team's scheme for the turn.  The pics that follow are generally grouped in foreground and then background focus so you can get an idea of what things are like in Gotham from "characters' eye" view.

Gotham at night.  Note the twin QT Towers in the background.





The Penguin's team won on points.  I'd KO'd or outright killed some of Two-Face's henchmen via Captain Boomerang's weapons of choice and we had Two-Face reeling from several round of bullets and boomerangs.


Yet another friend of mine, Sean, was running a relatively new game, Imperial Skies.  This game is set in an alternate WWI setting where ships are airborne instead of plying the seas.  I also had the pleasure of playing against some ornery, but great guys from Nebraska, Randy and Doug.  My buddy Terry jumped into the action with me.

In this scenario, the Central powers are rumored to have created a rather hideous chemical weapon they plan on using against the Allied forces.  A convoy of merchant vessels is laden with this weapon and is headed toward the front.  Escorting them are two fleets of Austro-Hungarian and German forces.  The only Allies in the area are French, so they move to intercept with the strict orders of not shooting down the merchant ships.  Instead, they are to board said vessels, commandeer them and then take them to Allied ports.  With the cargo intact, the boys on the front are safe and the world at large will know just how evil the Central powers truly are.

The open skies are filled with aeronefs!

A slightly closer view
French fleet

Huns at 2 o'clock, Cap'n!

The scrum is on!

The merchants have an escort!

It's touch and go...

Some beautifully painted ships


Another very solid, fun game.  It was tense early, as the Central fleets took out several of the smaller French vessels with relative ease.  The French kept plugging away at the bigger ships and finally the tide turned.  At the end of the game, most of the Central ships were destroyed and one of the merchant vessels had been commandeered.  The others were well within boarding range of several French ships.


I ran a game of Axles and Alloys demolition derby with 12 players.  This rules set has proven to be very popular at Recruits over the past few years and the trend continued this time as well.  If you've read my previous blog post, you'll know more about how we came up with this concept and what rules changes were made to accommodate this style of contest.

With a full table, the mayhem began.  

A couple of light buggies tore out of the pack first, using their sports suspension and quicker acceleration to clear out.  From that point on, the chaos ensued.  

In the end, it came down to a battered, steering-impaired Griswald (seen above.  Yes, the National Lampoon theme was blaring out of the player's phone) versus a relatively fresh heavy truck Chopstick (the red truck with the whirling blades on front).  With The Griswald in such bad shape and without any offensive weapons and Chopstick  healthy and well-armed with missiles and a flamethrower, the game was called.

Congrats to Scott Wilson, winner of this year's vaunted Deadlands demolition derby trophy and earner of smack-talking rights for a year!

I'd like to thank all the players who made the game such as success:  Halidar, Terry, Matt, Cody, Kaden, Mike R., Scott, Matt M., Michael S., Brent W., Ken V. and Ryan C.  

The Conclusion

I had a great weekend of gaming, hobnobbing and buying.  I always enjoy Recruits and always wish it lasted a little longer...

Axles and Alloys Demolition Derby test run

For Recruits convention, I'm running (again) Axles and Alloys.  This time, instead of a race, the scenario is a demolition derby.  To play test the game, Bill, Ken, Jeff and I picked out three cars and set them up.

I also created three new cars:  Rhino, Bombardier and The Griswald.  They were an experiment in vehicles geared for ramming more than firing.


The Griswald


The Rules

At the start of the race, the vehicles were lined up rear bumper to rear bumper.  The first turn, the vehicles were required to accelerate at top speed from the center and couldn't fire any weapons (including droppers).  They were, however, allowed to bump each other.  

The Race

The demolition derby course
Starting positions
Things didn't go smoothly for the light vehicles during the first turn.  A couple of cars decided to play the part of pinballs and were unceremoniously damaged enough to explode their fuel tanks.  

The start, left side
The start, right side

Destroyed light buggies!
After the initial chaos that is so much a part of this game, things settled down a bit.  The following pics will give you a feel for how the game turned out.


By the time we called the game, there were five to the initial 12 vehicles still in play.  Some of these were very close to decimation and were literally rolling death traps for their drivers.  

Other than changing where terrain was located on the course, everyone felt that the rest of the rules put in place the first turn were adequate for a demolition derby and would work well at the convention. Alas, with only four players each playing three cars from the same color, 'team play' was inevitable.   I made a note to remind the convention players that even though there were cars obviously from the same factions, there weren't 'teams'.  There could be temporary alliances, but ultimately there's only one winner in a demolition derby.

Thanks for reading and I'd like to thank my play testers!

Friday, May 19, 2017

F1 Brazil

Race two of the current season was located in beautiful São Paulo, Brazil at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace.  Team Force India (Ken) joined the racers.  Ferrari #1 (Jon Mark), Ferrari #2 (Terry), Williams (Bill), Sauber (Tim) and McLaren (me) were all present for the race in the hopes of improving their overall season standings.


The Race

A field of 18 cars lined up for the race.  McLaren won the pole, with the rest of the field filing in behind.  Brazil is a slightly larger track than Kansas City, so the crowd was expecting an exciting race.

Overall, McLaren started with the pole and maintained the lead virtually throughout the entire race.  Sauber, Ferrari and Williams all threatened the lead at various points in the race, but McLaren held firm.  Force India managed to blow the engines of two of their cars (seriously, do they even know how to race?!), making their 2017 initial foray somewhat anemic.

The leaders have taken off...
First lap, first turn
A sea of red...
...followed by the rest of the pack.

Force India's first blown engine...
The hairpin

Tight race for the lead!

McLaren carried the day.
By the end of the race, two Force India, one Williams and two Ferrari #2 cars were DNF.

Race results:
1. McLaren (47)
2. McLaren (42)
3. Ferrari #1 (41)
4. Williams (40)
5. Sauber (39)
6. Sauber (38)
7. McLaren (37)
8. Williams (36)
9. Force India (35)
10. Ferrari #2 (34)
11. Ferrari #1 (33)
12. Sauber (32)
13. Ferrari #1 (31)

Overall season points:
1. McLaren    244
2. Sauber        227
3. Ferrari #1   179
4. Williams    143
5. Ferrari #2   142
6. Force India 35

We had a great time.  Next race:  The Chinese Grand Prix at Shanghai International Circuit!