Friday, May 11, 2018

Such a Beautiful Child

Torin Prime is a planet in the Outer Rim, colonized early in the 22nd century and location of the Torin Prime Civil War from 2106 to 2108.

In 2106, a group of terrorist rebels, called the J'har, openly opposed the United Americas' local government placed over the colonies on the planet. That same year the J'har attacked the capital, taking the planet and killing all governmental functionaries of the United Americas or otherwise incarcerating them in concentration camps. The United Americas Allied Command feared such actions would encourage rebellions in other colonies, and launched an invasion on Torin Prime to liberate the planet. The UAAC had the advantage as some UA loyalist remained on the planet and started rebelling against the J'har.

Both Dennis Parker and Arthur Dallas fought for the United Americas. Dallas served in United Americas Outer Rim Defense Fleet as a pilot on the UAS Leviathan (out of Liberty Echo) and received the Sunburst Medal of Honor. Parker was captured by J'har rebels during the conflict and imprisoned at Concentration Camp GR-161 on August 1, 2107. He escaped on February 21, 2108 during the liberation of Torin Prime by constructing an EEV out of scrap. Following the liberation, Dallas was promoted to Captain, and Parker received an honorable discharge and returned to Earth.

The United Americas Allied Command (UAAC) was the union of all the military organizations of the nations that were part of the United Americas, which included the United States Army and the United States Colonial Marine Corps. The UAAC led the United Americas Outer Rim Defense Fleet forces during the Torin Prime Civil War and maintained a close watch on the Three World Empire's political, economical and military movements.

Within the UAAC, the USCM was tasked with maintaining the collective security of all UA signatories and their recognized interstellar colonies within the frontiers of the Network. Operating in tandem with local forces, the USCM was often the first line of defense and the vanguard of any counterattack.
United Americas
The United Americas was a country formed by the merging of North, Central and South America into one socioeconomic block. Created in 2104, the United Americas largely emerged as a response to the formation and growth of the Three World Empire, which was at the time pioneering space exploration and extra-planetary colonization. Aside from its terrestrial presence, the UA also oversaw several extra-planetary colonies, including that of Olympia on Luna.

The United States of America position as a starfaring, colonizing power has ensured it a leading role in the structure of the United Americas, as evidence from the name of the United States Colonial Marine Corps. The USCM is fully integrated into the joint command structure of the United Americas Allied Command and forms the major striking element of the UA forces.

All background text is credited to the above website.  A long time ago I researched the background material in the world of the Alien, Aliens, movie franchise and came up with a notion of what a battle in that universe would look like and what the captain of the Nostromo would have done in his previous military career.  I don't remember the websites I used and I am pretty sure this isn't the one I used but a google search for some of the common mythos vocabulary produced much of the same material I do recall.

Seeing this game again after 12 years was delightful.  What I was presenting when I designed and built the collection of ships for this game, was a combination of a sky full of space ships, and the ability to build your own fleet that had a choice of weaponry.  I used to play a Steve Jackson game called WARPWAR and that had a lot to do with the design aspect of this game.  I kind of remember the Honor Harrington series also and the fact that there were a lot of ships in the big battles.   I also didn't want to get down to marking hull damage and individual turret shooting it was supposed to be on a much grander scale.  Each of the bases in the above photos is a fleet of starship cruisers, battleships, tugs, transports etc.  A set of three of these bases is coalesced into a command structure and is given a capital ship or "flag" ship for a player to control.

A unique aspect of this game was a technology tree or matrix of weaponry that you could build into your fleet to personalize the force and also for a fun event against an opponent as you were not supposed to know what the other player had decided to build onto their ships. (The black 1" chits are the weapon arrays.)

It was a resource acquisition game in one scenario but that was not all it could do.  This game's format had a lot of "legs" in that you could replay planetary bombardment games.  You could deep space deploy mechs.  You could have orbital mines defending the approach vectors to your planet.  I used the old push-pull campaign map for the Torin Prime War scenarios but there was a lot that this beautifully written game was capable of.

So I got to play it again after a long absence of  years of it just sitting on my shelf gathering dust.  My friend Ted hosted a game night in which  this game was tabled for our entertainment.  I had given the entire game to Ted.  All the ships, control sheets, background fluff, design notebook the whole shebang.  Ted had always commented that he liked the game and always mentioned that we should play it again as it was good.  Well like many things in this hobby there are too many games and not enough time so now this game will live on in Ted's collection.  Regrets? No.  It served it's purpose for me and I could make another copy in an afternoon.

Thanks for looking in.

Friday, April 27, 2018

Alien Day LV-426

Begin transmission:
The planet LV-426 Atmospheric processor was infested by xenomorphs.  United Americas Colonial Marine Taskforce Sulaco was detailed for a dcut cleaning excercise on planet.

The insertion team would be 1st platoon sqauds 1, 2, 3 (heavy weapons detail with two sentry guns.)
The xeno spawn sites were identified through scanner processing and the place was thick with bugs.  Each spawn site would have to be neutralized to keep the aliens back enough to reach the central control computer.
It was a slog fest of G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.-ESQUE marine firepower and alien insurgence.

First contact with the xenos was aggressive and 1st squad began to take casualties.
The marine in contact would not survive the encounter from the flaming alien that burst through the wall of fire.
Wave attacks of aliens just keep pouring into the facility.
The atmospheric control center computer needed to be restarted and was in the thickest part of the hive nest.
The Secondhand Lion's wargame club had three members present this year for Alien day.
A massive playset collection was used for the event.

Proving terrain is wysiwyg!
Closing in on the objective.
The queens chamber guard bugs were a little more deliberate in their approach and attack.  But they showed their hand too soon and the final wave attack was shot down with withering fire from the marines.
Last wave attack.
Marines punch through for a win.

"Windows cannot shut down because you have open files.  Would you like to save this data before you restart?"

Thanks for looking in on the blog and Happy Alien Day April 26, 2018.

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Museum of Antiquities

Welcome Gothamites,
This is a preview of the next chapter of the Gotham by GASLIGHT game to be played in the Lion's Den.

In the last chapter you recall the incident at the Museum of antiquities in which Julie (Batman's fiancee) and her father Dr. Madison were kidnapped by two separate gangs.  The museum was bombed with a dynamite explosion that leveled the attendees at the opening reception for The Treasures of Cathala.
The interior of the museum has become a den of evil and seethes with the corpse smell of death.  Evil creatures of nameless form and description - most with bat like wings of leathery foulness slither and flit through the wreckage of the once proud display area.  Dala, the partner in death with the foul vampire Cathala  controls the key to the sarcophagus!  Will she be able to assemble the key and unlock Cathala!

The explorer and archaeologist Dr. Madison, gathered the pieces of the key and unwittingly brought them into proximity of the sarcophagus and cast into motion the awakening that would bring into the realm of the living the undead soul of the ancient vampire Cathala.
Cathala, from the land of the Mysterious Mountains beyond the River Dess ruled an unholy collection of subjects that only can be described in modern terms as monsters.  He is defended by the massive and powerful werewolf as seen above.  He has scores of Imps that flit and bite to annoy and infect the living.  He has blood servants that are a bit stronger and will cause certain death if encountered.
The department of Gotham Homeland Security and Secret Service have sent a team of crack agents to the scene to investigate the para normal activities that have been reported.

Bop Gun Jackson, and the Penguin have teamed up to unleash the vampire.  They currently have the closed sarcophagus with the vampire contained.  They need the key of eternity to unlock and unleash the monster on Gotham.
Inside the museum the unholy ritual has begun.  Dala has the main key that will assemble the others.  Like a siren call the worms crawl to the source of the amethyst stone piece of the key.
To Serve and Protect.  The Gotham GCPD with detective "Lockjaw", will try and support the Secret Service and also to try and avenge the loss of citizen and department life in the original encounter with this evil.
If worms could scream, and if you could survive hearing this worm scream, your sanity would be sorely tested.  This Key worm is part of the puzzle that will unlock Cathala the Vampire.

The museum main gallery is a writhe with the bat like creatures din of unholy high pitched skreeeeeeee-ing!

Dala wants her master.  The Secret Service want to lock all this down for study. GCPD wants revenge.  Bop-gun and the Penguin want the key.  What do you want?

Thanks for looking in and taking time to peruse the blog.  It makes it fun to see the readers count and I always reply to comments. 

Next Chapter:
Ransom, Ransom

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Gonzales and Goliad

How do you celebrate Margarita day?  With a replay of the opening battles of the Texas Revolution, a fresh beverage and a platter of Tacitos.

The come and take it cannon in Gonzales proper would remain in Texian Rebel hands.  The Mexican army was held off using One Hour Wargames Rules by Neil Thomas.

We played the deluxe version of the Battle of Gonzales and doubled the amount of troops on the board.  In hindsight we needed to have the Texians arrive by die roll instead of being entrenched from the start.  It was too difficult to cross the swollen  Guadalupe River under fire and the Mexican army never had more than one unit as a foothold on the far side of the river at any time.
Skirmish units in the tree line defending Gonzales.

Give us back our cannon you rebel scum!

A good overview of the whole battlefield.

As I described we used the deluxe version wherein the Mexican army brought up a cannon to force the issue.

We could see the objective but never had a good path to take bake the cannon.

Jubilant Texian defenders cross the Guadalupe to force the Mexican army to retire.

The Battle of Goliad and Presidio Bahia

This battle was the second skirmish of the war and we recreated in a very abstract sense the walled presidio of the Goliad action.  The Mexican army had four units in the fort that were in barracks at the time of the Texian nighttime raid.  They needed a die roll of 4, 5, 6, to activate.
The Texians were required to break into the presidio and force the surrender of the garrison.
We gave the wooden gates 5 hit points of hand to hand damage before they could pass in to the interior.
I don't mind games that have some abstraction involved and here we were really pressing the OHW rules to solve a night time skirmish raid where the garrison surrendered pretty quickly.  The Texians forced entry and killed off 75% of the garrison troops, however they themselves suffered 83% casualties and in the wee hours of the morning only a handful of conscript volunteers were still hunting Mexican regulars in the halls of the presidio...(it is amazing what OHW rules can convey.)
Here we see the Alabama Red Rovers attacking through a fort gate into the interior of the presidio.
Surrender or we will massacre everyone of you!
The Mexican army awoken from the commotion of the attack try and man the walls of the fort.

Thanks for looking in.  Leave a comment to encourage the coverage...