About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

TRWNN - Dead Man's Hand!

Tonight George and I played another iteration of the 3-way shootout scenario that we I blogged about late last year. This time we had different third player, Paul, who brought his gang of ranch hands who we designated as the 'mercenary' crew. George played the corrupt lawmen, which left me with the dastardly outlaws. Therefore, my gang was gunning for Paul's ranchers (as they are the richest crew), Paul was gunning for the lawmen (as they want to take control of the town) and the George was gunning for me (as the rampaging outlaws are bad for business). The objective this time was a meek lawyer who is hiding in the outhouse of the hotel in the middle of the table. He has the will of a recently deceased land owner and the deeds to his land which is rumoured to have gold in it. So, each faction is out to snaffle the documents for themselves so they can seize the land. In the end, the Barons (my outlaws) manage to get their hands on the documents and also managed to gun down most of the ranchers for a resounding victory!
The town is deathly quiet as the combatants approach!
The major change in this game, though, and the focus of this post, was the card play VP layer. I decided to tweak this a little to make it a bit easier to collect cards, but also more worth spending them. The aim was to make it possible to win by cards alone, but have the objective still important enough that it could swing the result and introduce a bit more of a poker feel to the whole game. I think that this version of the meta game worked exceptionally well, so I'll present it as rules here:

You will need a deck of ordinary playing cards. Cards are worth victory points as follows:

  • 2 to 6 = 1VP
  • 7 to 10 = 2VP
  • J to K = 3VP
  • Aces = 4VP
  • Jokers = 0VP, but are wild cards for making hands (see below)
Cards are awarded by wounding characters (for our 3 player game we played it you only get VPs from your 'hated' faction - so outlaws only get them from mercenaries, for example. This prevents ganging up.):
  • A flesh wound earns 1 card
  • A severe wound earns 2 cards
  • An outright kill earns 3 cards

Cards can also be played for advantages during the game as well. To play your cards you must make a proper poker hand from them using Texas Hold 'Em style rules:

  • At the start of the first turn shuffle the deck, including the jokers, and deal 2 VP cards face down to each player. 
  • Then deal 3 cards from the deck face up onto the table. 
  • At the start of each subsequent turn deal another card face up. 
  • A hand can be made up from the face up cards on the table and your VP cards. A hand must contain cards from your VP cards.
  • When playing a hand, the VP cards are immediately discarded into a discard pile. The cards on the table remain untouched.
  • When playing a hand for an advantage, any opponent player can play a better hand to negate that effect (by better I mean higher ranked or the same hand with higher values - a pair of eights beats a pair of fours).
  • The hands and their advantages are as follows:
    • One Pair - allows you to force a re-roll of a single die. This can be yours or an opponents.
    • Two Pair - allows two re-rolls or the prevention of an out of ammo/jam result.
    • Three of a Kind - allows you to add 3 dice to the shooting dice pool.
    • Straight - allows you to adjust either the location or effect of any hit against any character by 1.
    • Flush - allows you to remove 2 flesh wounds or 1 severe wound from a character.
    • Full House - allows you to automatically hit a target and adjust either the location or effect by 1.
    • Four of a Kind - allows you to gain an extra activation for one character and also pick one of the previous effects.
    • Straight Flush or Dead Man's Hand - you may bring a single dead character back to life!
  • A hand may be played for its listed advantage or any advantage from a lower ranked hand (so a flush could be played to gain the advantage of a straight).
An example from our game played as follows - my outlaw Scooter Baron ran out of cover and blazed away at one of Paul's ranch hands. I rolled my dice and came up with two sixes and three ones! So Scooter misses and is out of ammo! But in my VP cards I had a pair of fours and a nine with another nine face up on the table, so I played a hand of two pairs, discarding the fours and nine (3VP worth of cards) for two re-rolls. I re-rolled two of the ones and came up with two twos. So now I had two sixes and only one one, so Scooter hit his target and wasn't out of ammo. He caused a serious wound and I immediately got two cards back.

The thing I really like about this system is that you have to seriously consider the benefits of burning VPs for the advantage gained. Also, whether it's wise to cancel out a hand. Another play in the game saw me playing a single pair of eights for a re-roll. Paul could have beaten my pair with a pair of Jacks, but he would be burning 6 VPs to cancel a re-roll that cost me 4VPs. Both Paul and George thought this VP system brought quite a bit to the game and we all had a lot of fun. I certainly saw a lot more playing of cards than last time, as the players tended to have more cards in their VP pile to play with and the advantages are certainly worth the playing at critical points in the game. 

Feel free to try it out, anyway, and I'd love to hear from anyone if they have improvements or just what they think of the system.

Beauregard Baron moves into cover and blazes away at the ranch hands.
The Ranchers take position where they can see the outhouse!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Death In The Ruins! A guest Infinity report!

Anyone that follows this blog will have seen the name George pop up quite often, as he is my main gaming buddy! We played a game of Infinity against each other for the first time on Tuesday night and I thought it might be an idea if he wrote up a wee AAR of the battle and his thoughts on the system as a guest blog post, so here it is! (The pics are all from my side of the table and I added the captions)

I'm George and I'm one of Ian's regular opponents.  We've both tried Infinity and enjoyed it so on Tuesday we had our firstgame against each other, using 200 point forces.
I fielded my Haqqislam force which consisted of 3 ghulams, a naffatun, a hunzakut, a janissary, a ghulam doctor, a ghulam hacker, a ghulam with HMG, and a ghulam with a panzerfaust.
Ian fielded his Nomads and while I can't remember the exact composition of his force it included a reverend moira and what I think was an intruder with an HMG.
The board was set up to represent an area of ancient ruins with a large stepped pyramid in the centre.  On the top of the pyramid was a smaller pyramid-shaped object.  The objective of the game was to take and hold the small pyramid-shaped object and the game length was six turns.
I split my force into three roughly equal parts and deployed them in ruins on my left flank, centre, and right flank.  Ian had a strong presence opposite both my flanks and worryingly, at least three men in some sort of camo, meaning they only appeared as markers.  My hunzakut also deployed in camo as a hidden marker.
The field of battle! Infinity needs a lot of terrain!
The game basically evolved into one of two flanks.  On my left flank, Ian made excellent use of his intruder and more or less wiped out my group.  On the other, I had more success and was able to eliminate some of his men and advance towards the objective.  My centre group and the hunzakut essentially did nothing for the whole game apart from the centre group despatching my doctor to tend to my wounded HMG gunner in my left flank group.
The Nomads follow their leader...to their doom!
Luckily, before my left hand group was elimiated, it killed Ian's reverend moira, which turned out to be his lieutenant.  The loss of his lieutenant severely affected Ian's order pool and had a key influence on the game.  I was able to capitalise on this with my right flank force and killed a couple more of Ian's troops.  This put him in retreat and we called the game at that point.
Pew! Pew! Dakka! Dakka! Dakka!
The game was very tight and could have gone either way at several times and I was very lucky with some of my shooting.  I really enjoyed the game and found it both tactically challenging and very entertaining.  Line of sight and careful positioning are crucial aspects of the game, giving it a very realistic feel and the way your opponent can do AROs means you have to be careful about what figures you move and how you you move them.  You always have to balance the risk of taking action with the likely consequences.
The Haqqislam flank my position and the game is up!
This was my second game of Infinity but will be far from my last.  Frankly, I think it offers about as much fun as you can have for an investment of 10 figures (or less!).

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