26 June 2014

More Quar Memoir

Although my Quar infantry + All Quiet on the Martian Front steam tanks + Memoir 44 rules idea didn't exactly end up as promising as I initial thought, I kept toying with it...

After having a look at the other Command and Color system like the original Battlecry (ACW) or C&C Napoleonics and browsing through the Memoir 44 cards database I came up with the following solution...

This cute little Panzer III is about to be eaten by a huge All Quiet on the Martian Tank Baldwin MkIII!
Picture by Steven MacLauchlan at Outpost Zero.
Use cavalry instead of armour as the third basic unit of my games and demote steam tanks to special units. After all, this is not-WW1 so tanks are much less prevalent and cavalry much less anachronistic than during WW2.

Some play testing and fine tuning will definitely be needed but I expect to end up with basic unit looking like this:
  • Infantry moves 2 hexes without fighting or moves only 1 hex and fights, fights with 3/2/1 dice at ranges 1/2/3, may Take Ground on a successful Close Assault.
  • Cavalry moves up to 3 hexes and fights but does so with a slightly shorter range than infantry (3/2 dice at ranges 1/2, or 3/1, or maybe even 4/2 or 4/1?), may Overrun on a successful Close Assault.
  • Artillery moves 1 hex or fight with 3/3/2/2/1/1 dice at ranges 1/2/3/4/5/6, ignores LOS and terrain.
The steam tanks would take a leaf of the Memoir 44 Tiger special unit's book:

Memoir 44 Tigers special unit cards. Picture from Days of Wonder website.
  • Each unit is a single miniature (thereby solving my initial problem of not being able to credibly fit three tanks in an hex) but each hit needs to be confirmed by a second die roll. That gives them a 1 in 12 chance of being hit but a single "hit point" (thus on the average needing the enemy to throw 12 dice at hit to destroy the unit) making it both tougher than the regular Memoir 44 armour unit (1 in 3 chance of being hit and three "hit points" thus needing an average of 9 rolls to be destroyed) but also making it possible to destroy the unit with a single die roll (albeit a lucky one). I think it gives the steam tanks a nice "monster with an Achilles' Heel" feel that suits early tanks quite well! And I can live with introducing a second die roll in the fight system as it stays confined to a select few special units.
  • I'll probably reduce the speed to "Move 0-2 and fight" and drop the Overrun rule (but maybe give them Take Ground instead, although taking ground sounds more like a purely infantry affair?) to make them more the pondering behemoths I want them to be and give the cavalry more of its own tactical niche instead of just making it poor man's armour...
And with this Memoir of All Quiet on the Quar Front is back on the rails!

19 June 2014

X-Wing Miniatures - Wave 6 - Meet the Azzameens!

Previewing an entirely hypothetical and made
up expansion pack for X-Wing Miniatures*

"As long as we stick together, we can handle anything!"
     ―Tomaas Azzameen

Otana and Sabra leaving Azzameen station. Picture from Wookiepedia.
Assuming you were born somewhere around between 85 and 95, played computed games at all and are anything of a Star Wars fan, you played and loved X-Wing Alliance! If for some reason you didn't: here is a primer...

X-Wing Alliance
Picture from Wookiepedia.
The fourth game of a series of Star Wars starfighters simulators made by LucasArts, X-Wing Alliance came after X-Wing (where you got to fly Alliance starfighters as Keyan Farlander) and TIE Fighter (where you play Maarke Steele - X-Wing Miniatures "other" TIE Advanced pilot - flying various Imperial starfighters and rising through both the Imperial Navy and in Secret Order of the Emperor ranks). X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, the third game of the series is widely decried for its lack of story driven campaign.

X-Wing Alliance introduced the Azzameen Family: the protagonist, Ace is the younger sibling of the familly and starts the campaign flying freighters for the family business Twin Suns Transport Services. The early chapters of the game focuses on the commercial rivality between the Azzameens and the Viraxo, but the spreading Civil war gradualy forces the familly to takes sides and Ace becomes an Alliance starfighter pilot. He does, however, retain close ties with his family and, in between regular combat missions for the Alliance, flies his father's old YT-2000 on family business.

I loved the campaign and the Azzameen Family quite naturally made it into my role playing game campaigns (both Star Wars and - with a Vilanized spelling, Azzamiin - Traveller) a couple of years back... Now, with my gaming group powering up for a X-Wing Miniatures campaign, I went digging for my old notes... And although, I'm definitely not the first to think about using X-Wing Alliance vessels and characters for X-Wing Miniatures, here is my take at a while Azzameen Family Expansion Pack!

13 June 2014

This Quar's Memoir

I couldn't sleep last night and had another of those "Eureka!" moments... Flashback a couple of years: I bought Memoir 44, a WW2 themed boardgame by Days of Wonder whose rules blew my mind! 

They might not be for everyone: they use card activation and quite a few wargamers would call them over-simplistic! Sure, they're quite abstract and I wouldn't call them a simulation of anything by any stretch of the word but it all ends up being great gameplay allowing for good miniature-pushing time without taking the slightest risk of brain cramp rule-wise while still allowing for some Clausewitz Friction and Cornelian "tactical" choices!

In fact, using just the basic rules (no special units or card, and not too much terrain) at first, I'll  use this game to introduce my four and half son to wargaming about any time soon.
Just in case you've never heard of the game...

Memoir 44 board set up for the Omaha Beach scenario. Picture from the manufacturer website.