Monday, July 24, 2017

Aeronautica Imperials: Battle Report- Air Defense Suppression at the Hovels


This battle took place as part of a stand-alone mini-camapign in 2015.  It uses custom aircraft and rules that can be found in my Aeronautica Imperialis review here.

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After initial reconnaissance flights of the planet were complete, Mistress Merciveaux knew where to pinpoint her attacks. However, the Orks were now alerted to her presence and were digging in. Any attempt to land on the planet's surface would be heavily contested.

Therefore, early on the third day after her arrival, she launched a wave of fighters into the upper atmosphere. As they raced towards planet, the Ork defenders were alerted and took to the skies. However, they could not converge on a single point of defense, as their was no clear target. At the last moment, the Chaos forces skimmed the lower atmosphere and springboarded back to their Mistresses' command ship.

Not all of the Chaos forces peeled off. Tactical strike forces of chaos planes moved to the sites with identified warpcraft signatures. The Orks who had mobilized for a large scale offensive were mostly caught out of position as small spearheads raced to their targets below. The first wave of the surprise attack was to swoop in and destroy any established Ork air defenses that could hinder the oncoming ground assault on identified sources of warp energy.

One such site, designated as The Hovels; was situated amidst an Ork village. A strike package from the Cabal of the World Walkers was assigned with clearing out the Greenskin vermin from the site. 


Air Defense Suppression


Cabal of the World Walkers

1 Hell Fury
+Weapon Load
16 points

1 Hell Fury
+Weapon Load
16 points

1 Herald Strike Fighter
+ Weapon Load
21 points

1 Hell Hammer
+ Weapon Load
14 points

1 Hell Hammer
+ Weapon Load
14 points

105 points

Da' Skrapperz

3 Flakwagons 
24 points

1 Eavy Flak Kannon 
10 points

1 Traktor Kannon
25 points

2 Grot Bomb Launchaz
10 points

Reserves:
1 Fighta
14 points

1 Fighta
14 points

1 Grot Buzza
8 points

1 Grot Buzza
8 points

Total= 113 Points 

Set-up:
We set-up the Ork village in their half of the board about 2/3rds of the way down. Their were several shacks and buildings that were set-up clustered around two temples and an Arch of ancient origins. There was also a line of altitude 1 rocky cliffs crossing the board diagonally.




The Hovels looking to the East

Ork Ground Defenses were set-up around the village. A Grot Launcher flanked each side of the village and was covered by a Flakwagon. The Heavy Flak Kannon was behind the village was also covered by a nearby Flakwagon. The dreaded Traktor Kannon sat in a position to cover eastern side of The Hovels. 

To represent the surprise nature of the attack, all Ork aircraft were placed in reserves. Any Ork Reserves would enter the board on the short board edge closest to The Hovels at any speed or altitude. 

The Chaos forces would enter on the opposite board edge at max speed and altitude 9 to represent them coming in hot from orbit. They came in a line centered by the Herald, with a Hellfury and Hell Hammer on each wing respectively. 

Turn 1:
Initiative: Chaos

Movement: 
The Chaos forces power dive in from the upper atmosphere. The Herald heads towards the west, while Hell Hammer 1 goes East. The rest go straight. Not great power dives, and most craft only drop 1 or two altitude and keep going at full speed. 

Shooting:
Everyone is out of range.

Turn 2:
Initiative: Chaos

Movement: 
The Chaos attack continues to power dive into range. They cover the distance to the Hovels very quickly, and better power dives put them into the range of the ground defenses. However, the Cabal are still mostly too high and fast to attack properly. 

Shooting:
The Flakwagons on the rocky ridges to the East open fire on Hell Hammer 1. They manage to bracket the craft and send it crashing down trailing smoke. However, the Pilot manages to eject safely.



Hell Hammer 1 is downed by the Grot Gunnerz

A Flakwagon on the West makes Hell Fury 1's approach a bit rough, but fails to damage the craft. Distracted by the Flakwagon, Hell Fury 1 fails to see the Eavy Flak Shell smash through his canopy and kill him instantly. Another Chaos planes goes down! 



Grot Gunnerz strike again. Hell Fury 1 is obliterated in a puff of smoke! 

A Grot Bomb launches from the Eastern Launcher and buzzes over the Hovels. 

Turn 3:
Ork Reserves fail to arrive, but so far it doesn't look like they need them! 

Initiative: Chaos

Movement: 
The remaining Chaos craft race over the Hovels, but poor flying puts them in bad positions. The Grot Bomb tries its best to chase after them. 



The Cabal of the World Walkers buzzes over the Hovels at low altitude

Shooting: 
Chaos has no shots! Oh no! That's what I get for sending Dregs instead of Vend'igo to do the flying. 

The Eavy Flak Kannon fires on the Herald. It looks like a clean hit, but the craft Viffs away at the last moment. However, the Western Flak Wagon manages to snag the Herald and pepper it with shells. The Chaos craft begins to blow smoke and incense. 

Grot Bomb 2 launches and easily catches the low flying Herald, but misses the plane. Perhaps the little Grot was blinded by all the smoke? 

Turn 4:
An Ork Fighta and Grot Buzza race in from the South!

Initiative: Chaos

Movement:
The Chaos craft rush forward. Hell Fury 2 realizes he won't get an attack angle on the Western Flakwagon and pulls up hard, racing above the wagonz firing range. 

The Herald also overshoots his target, and in return is swarmed by the Grot Bombz! Grotz everywhere! 

The Hell Hammer manages to try to Dive Bomb the Traktor Kannon, while the Fighta and Buzza try to move to prevent it. 

Shooting: 
The Hell Hammer's bombs drop free from the specially designed bays. As the plane rockets away, they saturate the area and the extra damage finishes off the Traktor Kannon and Grot Krew. 



The dreaded Traktor Kannon goes up without firing a shot.

Grot Bomb 2 misses the Herald again! Grot Bomb 1 manages to detonate close to the smoking plane, but fails to cause damage with a roll of 1! 

Turn 5:
The remaining Ork reserves do not show up. 

Initiative: Chaos

Movement:
Hell Fury 1 cuts back and tries to line up a pass on the western Flakwagon. Meanwhile, Fighta 1 lazily flies over and waves at the Krew on the Flakwagon below. 

The Hell Hammer and the Herald both seem to be interested in taking out the Eavy Flak Kannon and are in line on the tower mounted gun. 

Shooting: 
The Herald goes Weapon's Hot with its Deathshead missiles. A few seconds later, the Eavy Flak Kannon is nothing but a smoking ruin! Take that Grotz! 


Vengeance!

The Western Flakwagon sees what the Hell Fury is up to and opens fire. However, the shots go wide. 

Turn 6:
No new ork reserves.

Initiative: Orks! 

Movement: 
The Hell Fury overshoots the Flakwagon. Worse, Fighta 1 does a perfect wing over to give him a shot at the Hell Fury. However, for some unknown reason Hell Hammer 2 starts going straight down the Ork Fightas throat! 

The Herald peels off and aims for the Eastern Flakwagon. Buzza 1 is in a good position to intercept except for being too high. However, the herald is doggedly pursued by Grot Bomb 2 with its last bit of fuel. 

Shooting: 
Fighta 1 has to deal with the Hell Hammer in his face! The Hell Hammer pilots ejects as the Ork plane slowly dismantles the Chaos fighta with accurate Big Shoota fire. 

The Herald uses its last Deathshead Missiles to take out the Eastern Flakwagon. That's for shooting me up before!



Grotz in a Flakwagon get what is coming to them. 

Meanwhile, the Western Flakwagon methodically cuts down the Hell Fury that overshot it. The pilot manages to eject safely as his plane streaks into the ground and explodes.



The Valley of Death as Cabal of the World Walker planes fall from the sky as wreckage.

Finally, the Grot Bomb uses the last of its fuel and attacks the Herald. The little Grot lines up and..... misses. The Bomb drops from the sky like a brick. 

Turn 7:- Disengagement Turn
The remaining Or Reserves come in from the South.

Initiative: Orks

Movement: 
The Herald slows down to try and strafe the Grot Launcha, but overshoots the target area. In the meantime, Ork Fighta 1 and 2 race to catch the last Chaos craft.

Shooting:
Fighta 1 and 2 spray fire at the Herald but miss. 

Conclusion:
The pilot of the Herald finally realized how lucky he was and gunned it out of there to a nearby ground base. Of the five aircraft in the flight he was the only one making it home, and his plane was smoking like a hot house fire. However, did they complete their mission? 

It was Air Defense Suppression and the game started with 7 Air defense installations. The Chaos attack managed to take out 3. Granted, they were the dreaded Traktor Kannon and a Eavy Flak Kannon, so some heavy hitters; but ultimately their mission would be deemed a failure.

Ork Win! 

How did the aircraft do overall? 

Herald- This guys did a good job at his role. Fly low, fly relatively slow, and blow things up on the ground. The Deathshead Missiles did their job nicely. The added Hit was also very helpful for weathering the storm while coming in. I made the Hell Hammers as extra Ground Sttack as I was out of missiles, I forgot that a Herald can be armed with more than just missiles. Maybe next time I will addd a Herald or two instead. 

Hell Fury- I included these guys in the strike package to strafe and take on enemy aircraft. They did neither and instead just died. Bad flying with them on my part. 

Hell Hammer- Well, the first one didn't get a chance to do much. The Dive Bombing worked as intended and obliterated the ground target when Hell Hammer 2 got a chance to use it. Other than that, I again didn't really get to use them to their full potential. 

This game I was just not with it. Bad piloting and choices on my part left my pilots in bad spots, and I could not get the angle for the ground attacks right at all. Oh well, good thing the next battle at the Hovels will be a Bombing Mission. Too bad they still have plenty of Ground Defenses to contest the Bombers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Random: Da Deff Island Skirmish

The ongoing Photobucket Saga has left me with some good and bad news.  The Bad news is some of my pictures for Jugs: A Game of Big Stompy Robots, The Games: Blood and Spectacles, and All Quiet on the Martian Front games appear to be non-recoverable due to the way Photobucket has divided some pictures into Recent Uploads and Library.  I can download my Library, which I have done.  However, I can not seem to download any pictures stuck in the Recent Uploads bucket.  The funny thing is these pictures are in no way "recent" unless you have a really bizarre definition of recent.

However, on the plus side I have recovered some old photos of my family, old games, and projects that I only dimly recall.  This walk down memory lane has prompted me to post some of these old photos.  Sadly, I don't recall anything that was happening in the games so these will not be my "Traditional" style battle reports, but I think they can still be fun.

First up is a game that my daughter and I played a lot about 7 years ago.  It is basically a re-skin of Gorkamorka.  However, instead of being set in the dessert, it was set on a world mostly composed of water.  I think it was called Da Deff Island Skirmish and it was set in the Battle for Ammoris campaign system from the Ammobunker forum.  The game had ork gangs of scavengers fighting with human criminals and pirates for scrap in the shallows of the Deff Island chain on the planet Ammoriss.  It is a skirmish campaign game with all the usual stuff like XP, Injury, gang building, etc.

You are probably wondering why there are Flamer templates behind some of the boats.  As they moved, the flamer template represented the wake that they created.  Boats passing through wake had modifiers for shooting and moving.  Here we see Da' Lucky Gitz approaching the Eagle Eye Pirates in the Shallows to do battle.
You can see that the Eagle Eye Pirates are a mix of Necromuunda and DemonBlade models to represent the pirates.  The boats themselves were homemade from cardboard and various found items.  The water matt is simply a blue table cloth with a second different blue coat sponged on. The islands made the same way using a brown and green tablecloth, than cut and layered together.  The whole seascape cost less than $10 and is highly portable.
Here you can see a few key aspects of the game in action.  The first is ramming other boats, the second is boarding other people's boats with your crews, and the third is tossing models into the drink.  They can then swim at reduced speed.

  
Here is the Eagle Eye pirates attacking a fort of Da' Lucky Gitz in the shallows.  The fort is made out of card and found materials.  To this day I still have not finished painting it up!


Despite being a game about boats and there crews.  You still can make landfall.  Often key pieces of scrap is found on islands or the shoreline and you need to get your boat over to it before your enemies.  


That pretty much covers some of the basics.  The game played well in our campaign, and we got about a half dozen games or so under our belt.  Like all campaign games, sometimes things just don;t go right for one side or the other.  However, there is an "Underdog" metric that can be used to help a flailing team.  Again, it is pretty much just a mod of Gorkamorka so you will want a copy of those rules to fully play Da Deff Island Skirmish.

There are also rules for Planetary Defense Force Troopers in the game as well, found in the Operation: Hemlock booklet.  Those play a bit differently but I have never really had a chance to try them myself.  These were some of my first foray's into game design, so try them out and let me know what you think.  If you like Gorkamorka or Specialist Games in general I think you will like it.      

Monday, July 17, 2017

Aeronautica Imperialis: Battle Report- Recon Sweep the Valley of Ruins

This battle took place as part of a stand-alone mini-camapign in 2015.  It uses custom aircraft and rules that can be found in my Aeronautica Imperialis review here.

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Under the employ of Mistress Merciveaux the Cabal of the World Walkers participated in her assault on an Ork-held world in Wilderspace. Her spies indicated that the planet had once been the center of an ancient civilization that had powerful warpcrafters. The Mistress intended to scout the ruins and locate any artifacts of value.

Her flagship, The Scorned Lady; slipped into orbit over the planet. The Orks below were relatively primitive and could not stop her warship. However she did not wish to risk an orbital bombardment as she wished to capture the ancient civilization's artifacts intact. Instead, her sorcerers located likely locations of warp power. She then deployed scouting aircraft to sweep the area and report any warp signatures that were detected. 


Recon Sweep

Cabal of the World Walkers
1 Hell Driver Recon Plane- Hy'wok

1 Hell Blade- Ry'Zor

1 Hell Blade- Spar'Ow

Da' Skrapperz
1 Fighta- Grimtoof

1 Fighta- Drillsnik

1 Fighta- Bomma- Snikgit 
-Rokkits

Set-up:
We rolled up 4 potential recon targets. If you get a plane within one altitude and 6 inches you roll to see if they are worth doing further recon. WE placed them in a somewhat straight line in the middle of a shallow valley that was angles slightly off the center line of the table. 

The Cabal entered the board high and fast to represent them coming out of Orbit and racing down towards the planet to complete their missions. The Hell Diver was in the right, with the Hell Blades paired up next to it. 

The Ork defenders were at mid altitude and medium speed. The Fighta-Bomma took the center, while a fighta took each flank. The targets were ancient ruins situated in a valley between a series of altitude 1 and 2 rock outcroppings. 

Turn 1:
Initiative: Orks 

Moving: The chaos planes race forward trying to bleed off altitude so they can actually perform their mission, they don't even vector towards their targets yet. The Orks look like they want this to be a low-level dogfight and drop down a bit and fly over the Valley of the Temples where most of the Recon targets are. 

Shooting: None

Turn 2
Initiative: Orks

Move: Fighta 1 wings-over to stay in the valley and drops down lower confident that he will be safe from the Chaos planes. However, he underestimated their speed and agility as they power dive down and rocket towards him. Hellblade 2 has an angle on him, but his wingman is still too high. 

Caught by surprise by their aggressiveness, the remaining Orks are out of position and broke hard to the left, expecting them to continue to move straight to slow down. The Hell Driver dives low, but its lower speed means it is trailing her escorts considerably. 

Shooting: Hellblade 2 opens fire on Fighta 1, but his shots go high over their mark. Consider it a warning shot! 


Turn 3
Initiative: Chaos 

Moving: The Hell Driver takes a high-G turn towards to cross the Valley of the Ruins. Fighta-Bomma 2 cunningly completes a wing-over to try and chase the recon plane down. However, Hellblade 2 anticipated the move spiraled around to intercept.

Hellblade 1 went after the Fighta-Bomma, but a Half-loop took the Ork plane above his foe and almost made the hunter the hunted. 

Shooting: 
Hellblade 2's auto-cannons stitched Ork Fighta 2, but failed to hit anything useful. Instead, a bunch of bolt-on plates and debris fell away from the scrap plane. 

The Hell Driver was just out of short range and an altitude level away. However, a couple loose shells found their mark, but failed to do anything other than scratch-up the paint. 

Turn 4
Initiative: Orks

Move: 
Fighta 1 and 2 turn to go over the Valley of the Ruins, but they overshoot the action and end up out of position. The Hell Driver breaks hard right after skirting the Pyramids and the final temple in the valley. Neither seem to have any warp signature to speak of. 

The Fighta-Bomma roars over the top of the valley walls and power dives in, its fuselage just cresting the top of the jagged rocks by inches. Despite his impassioned flying, he comes up just out of position on the Chaos Recon plane. The HellBlades circle back into the action, with the aggressive flying of H3llblade 2 letting him line-up another shot, this time on the Fighta-Bomma. Can he make it stick this time?


 

Shooting:
Per the request of the Ork player, we take a closer look at the attack vector of the Fighta-Bomma, and it is judged to have an angle on the Hell driver after all! 



Despite the close range fusillade of shots, none damage the Hell Driver. Too bad he is too close for Rokits. 

Hellblade 2's firing tone solid, and he opens fire on the Fighta-Bomma, this time causing the Ork craft to blow smoke! However, he only has one burst of ammo left.

Turn 5
Initiative: Orks 

Move: 
The Orks realized that they could not stop the Hell driver from scanning the last temple, so moved to try and stop it from circling back to the arch ruin by crossing back to the opposite side of the Valley. The Hell Driver completed its can of the final temple and found nothing of interest and broke hard to begin circling back. 

Fighta 12 tried to shake the pursuing Hellblades and broke away fromt eh battle, but Hellblade 2 used his superior handling to easily follow him. 

Shooting: 
Orks have no shots. Oh no!

Hellblade 2 uses the last of his ammo, and causes Fighta 2 to blow smoke. Tzeentch works in mysterious ways as Hellblade 2 is out of ammo. Despite some excellent flying he will have to go home empty handed. 

Turn 6
Initiative: Orks

Move:
The Orks moved to try and intercept the Hell Driver, but the Chaos craft cut behind them and powered past their trap. Meanwhile, Hellblade 1 cut in and got the interior line on Fighta 1 and the the Fighta-Bomma. 

Hellblade 2 raced away from the battle. His controller gave him permission to break, and then return to the Scorned Lady in orbit. 

Shooting: 
Orks have none! Oh no!

Hellblade 1 opens fire on Fighta 1, but only manages to spark his shells across the fuselage. 

Turn 6
Initiative: Chaos

Move: 
This time the Ork Fightas were able to swing in on the Hell Driver as it raced past the final ruins. Again, no warp energy was detected, so the entire Valley of the Ruins had been a wild goose chase! 

Hellblade 2 was bale to move in behind Fighta 1, and hopefully he would be able to take him out before he could fire on the Recon plane. 

Shooting:
Hellblade 2 prayed to Tzeentch and opened fire. His burst ripped the wing right off Fighta 1 and the plane plummeted into the Valley below taking its pilot with it. Boom! 



Fighta 2 saw his wingman go down just as he fired on the Hell Driver. Most of his shots went wide, but a few managed to harmlessly go through the tail fin. 

Turn 7
Initiative: Ork

Move:
The Hell Driver Half-Loop caused the Ork Fightas to break away to the head of the Valley. However, it wasn't far enough as Hellblade 1 managed to cut across and come in perpendicular to the Fighta-Bomma. 
Shooting: 
Oh No, the Orks have no shooting!

Hellblade 1 riddles the Ork aircraft, but again nothing seemed to stick. Perhaps the smoke from the damage craft had thrown off the Hellblades firing. 

Turn 8
Initiative: Chaos

Move:
The Orks decided to call it a day and tried to disengage. Fighta 1 managed to while being pursued by the Hell Driver. Hellblade 1 tried to chase the Fighta-Bomma but it dived away. 

Shooting:
The grot in the Fighta-Bomma ball turret opened fire on the Hellblade as a parting shot. The Grot was lucky and the Hellblade disintegrated in mid-air and the pilot was killed. 

Turn 9- Disengagement Turn
Initiative: Chaos

Move: 
Now the game was in doubt, and the Hell driver moved to try and intercept the Fighta-Bomma. However, it wasn't enough and the Ork plane gleefully raced off the board. 

Shooting:
None

Conclusion
Grumble, grumble, grumble. I won the game, but the victory was marred by a last minute lucky Grot shot. I should have just let the filthy savages go, but I got greedy. 

Anyway, on VP,s it was a narrow victory, but Mistress Merciveaux had learned that eh Valley of Ruins was just that. No valuable warp artifacts would be located there. Perhaps elsewhere on the planet had yielded better results. 

As for the Hell Driver, it did its job just fine. No complaints here. As for the mission, I was disappointed that none of the targets of the Recon Sweep proved to be anything worth using the Glyphs of Scrying on. So, it really was just an elaborate dogfight after all. However, the mission objectives made sure it didn't just devolve into a straight up furball.