Sunday 27 March 2022

Carnevale: La Serenissima

With Mr T being busy for the last two weeks we've not played any games but I have been working on some stuff for Carnevale. I'm a big fan of terrain and as TT Combat do a big range of MDF terrain for the game I took the plunge and purchased a load to replace the cardboard buildings that come in the starter set.

This meant I've been spending the last week or so splashing the glue around and breathing in the fumes of burnt MDF, so it was a real relief to get at least all the buildings done. The box I bought also contains some MDF street sections but as I have the foam ones already I'm leaving those for later on.

As this weekend has been extra sunny I managed to get the buildings out into the back yard and spray some white primer over them, I could only get one can so the coverage wasn't a great as I would have liked but as MDF soaks up the paint anyway it should be a decent enough start.

I've also started to lay down some of the base coat colours as well. I've decided to go for five different main colours and then pick out the windows etc afterwards. This should give a nice bright and varied look to the terrain on the table. I'm not sure how historically accurate this is but hopefully it should look good when we play. 

This feels like it is going to be a big job to get completed but as the terrain is together it can at least be used for games whilst I paint it up. Hopefully we should be back to playing next week.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Carnevale: Strigoi Reinforcements

Rounding out the reinforcements for the three Gangs are some extra Strigoi. I already had a decent number of Henchmen so this set includes some Heroes and some magic ability.

First up we have someone who isn't currently a Vampire but wants to become one and is happy to splash her cash around in the hope of making that happen. The Strigoi aren't the strongest ranged gang so the 8" range pistol is a nice addition but the real bonus is the Bankroll ability. Carnevale allows you to add equipment to your gang which you can then use once on any character during a game, it's not assigned to anyone in particular. 

Most equipment is designed around mobility and just a few points but the two most expensive items become much more appealing if you can keep using them every turn. Stun reduces the stats of an opponent so makes them less effective in attack and more vulnerable in defence, it can also be applied from range. So having Poison applied via the Highborn Servant's pistol each turn would be an excellent return on the 5 ducat investment.

The Hulking Moroi isn't a subtle Hero, he has to use up at least one life point when attacking but he should make that back via his Vampiric Attack rule. He's not massively quick and his average Dexterity means he may struggle on the roof tops of Venice but if you can get him charging in his extra First Strike dice will help cause some damage. He's also the only Vampire on a base larger than 30mm so if you want someone grappling or drowning he would be the monster for the job.

One of the sub-factions for the Strigoi are the Gypsy's, they have a full roster built around casters. The Seer is a Hero that can work well outside the Gypsy list with her ability to change fate. Her magic school of Fateweaving allows her to increase or decrease Attack/Dexterity/Mind and also generate a number of dice that can be re-rolled in a round, this is bumped up by her Command Ability which does the same thing. She did suffer an unfortunate incident whist being cut from the sprue and her left leg came off which is why she an odd stance on the base.

The Starved Dhampir is a build your own Vampire kit with her ability to improve stats as she makes successful attacks. She starts pretty weak but you could be making 2 - 3 attacks a round with her so she could get pretty powerful in fairly short order. It's an interesting mechanic and not something I've seen on any other model in the game so for only 9 ducats she makes for a cheap and potentially versatile henchwoman. 

The last of the Strigoi are a pair of Nosferatu, these could probably double up as common Strigoi if you wanted to go heavily with those henchmen. They aren't good fighters and won't last on the frontline but they do bring 2 command points as henchmen which is unusual and have what looks like a good command ability. Being able to teleport a friendly model up to 8" in a game which takes place with canals and roof top battles could be really important if used at the right time. Your opponent may feel safe lurking on a roof only for a Hulking Moroi to be teleported up or perhaps they think a canal will keep them safe from harm? You will really be paying 13 ducats to do this twice in a game and then perhaps you can use the Nosferatu to hold an objective, they won't be much help in a fight.

The Whole Gang

Lastly we have Fadhila who is one of the Gifted. The Gifted are a gang consisting of mercenaries so whilst you could play a whole gang of them most likely you will see them as individuals in other gangs.
Fadhila is an expert at preventing / reducing damage and also healing it back via her Divinity school of magic. Universal Shielding (x) means that the target of the damage always rolls at least (x) protection dice (if they had that many to start with) so it greatly reduces the impact of attacks with high penetration. Her bubble also gives Expert Protection (4) which gives you 4 re-rolls on protection tests, with her bubble up you will be very hard to kill.

That's all the models I have now painted up so expect to see the Strigoi on the field very soon!

Saturday 5 March 2022

Carnevale: How to Win

As with most modern wargames Carnevale comes with a good number of scenarios and the victor is determined by the accumulation of Victory Points. Back in the good old days it was all about kill for most games but things have moved on to give a more varied experience.

Not all of the methods for generating VP's are used in every scenario and it's not unusual for one side to have different methods to the other. Carnevale uses it's Agenda objectives to add a random element into scoring VP's. A scenario may ask you to draw a certain number of cards and then you score VP's for each you complete, if an objective is impossible then you just draw another one instead. 

The Agenda card system can also then be further modified by a series of factors which change the way in which they behave. Just having the combination of the thirty five different agendas and five modifiers (which can be combined with each other) gives a massive amount of variability on how to score VP's.

We can use the Acrobatic Display agenda as an example of the movement system in Carnevale as well. As I wrote before Carnevale uses a number of tables to determine the outcome of actions your model takes and below is the Jump table. A basic role always has a target of 7+ (on a D10) and every success is called an Ace in the game. It follows then that the higher your Dexterity the more likely you are to achieve the Success state and the further your jump will be. You always one roll different colour dice (Destiny Dice) in each test and if you score a 10 on the Destiny dice & one other Ace you get a Critical and if you score a 1 on the Destiny dice and no Ace's you get a Fumble.

So someone like the Capodecina with his Dexterity of 6 and Acrobatic (2) which allows the reroll of 2 dice in a Dexterity check is going to have a much easier time pulling off long range jumps than the Radruu with it's Dexterity of 3.

You can also get VP's by killing the enemy though it seems more usual to score them by having models survive the battle, as you can see below. It will be interesting to see if that encourages a more conservative playstyle as it prioritises living over going after the enemy and perhaps gives a boost to the side with more models. 

In a game in which you may only have 7 - 10 models in play at the start losing one or two could mean a big swing in VP's to your opponent.

The third way of scoring VP's is via objectives, these are markers or areas on the board that can be controlled in one way or another and yield VP's at the end of the game. I've not seen any scenario's that give VP's for controlling them during the game.

The types of Objective are:
Claimable - cannot be moved so you need to be in base to base contact to control
Destructible - can be destroyed to deny anyone VP's
Hidden - has a hidden value of 0 - x which is revealed by a model in contact with it
Mobile - can be picked up and carried

One important factor to keep in mind is that whilst characters with the Mindless rule can claim / carry objectives they cannot score VP's with them. So whilst the Rashaar Urchin would be great at stealing a mobile objective it would need to be dropped off to another character before the end of the game to score VP's. Of course just denying your opponent the change to score may also be good enough as you may not both be after the Objectives.

The three different methods of scoring VP's two of which have modifiers that can change them up give a great array of ways to score a scenario and give the home-brew scenario maker a good number of factors they can change up in custom scenarios.

Thursday 3 March 2022

Carnevale: Guild Reinforcements

Hot on the heels (and flippers) of the Rashaar reinforcements The Guild have also had some extra troops join the cause. The Guild models that came in the starter box gave some solid melee options so the reinforcements have added a little magic and some ranged options into the gang.

The Guild

I'd always associated Baba-Yaga with Slavic mythology so I'm not entirely sure how she ended up in Venice but she has taken the side of the working man / crime boss in the turmoil that engulfs the city. She adds a much needed touch of magic to the gang  and I think is the only mage available outside of Gifted mercenaries. The model itself was interesting to paint and put together and the blood trails are all separate. I ended up mounting it onto the base with the paperclip pin I'd had it on for painting and then adding the trails afterwards. The pin was disguised with gloss gel and plenty of blood effect paint. Will points are used to cast spells and cannot normally be replenished, so having the option to spill a little friendly blood to keep casting is rather nice (for Baba-Yaga, not the target).

The Baroni looks like a bit of a beast with his fearsome dueling pistols and high protection he can hang out near the front line and dish out damage and not be overly scared of taking hits back. Opponents will want to catch him in melee with his pistols unloaded as you cannot reload whilst in base to base contact with an enemy. I've painted him up to be the right-hand man of the Capodecina and the ranged and melee specialists should compliment each other.

One of the sub-factions in The Guild is the House of Virtue, made up ladies of negotiable affection and a Madame. The dancer works well outside the sub-faction due to her high Dexterity making her good at scaling the roofs of Venice and her command ability. Models count themselves as 'friendly' so she can give herself an extra move and also another friendly model. Enemies with high attack values should also look out for her poisoned weapon ability which could be nasty for them.

The last Hero options are a pair of Recruiters, these are the chaps who go around and 'persuade' the ordinary citizens of Venice that they want to fight for The Guild. the Union rule allows Guild models with the rule to gain an extra +1 Attack dice if they or the target are in base to base contact with two other Guild models, so an extra dice on top of that is very handy. TT Combat are releasing a new campaign and rules update book in the next couple of months and the rumour is that Union will be changing so presumably the Recruiter will as well.

I also got another Gondolier in the force box to take them up to two, I need to pickup another gondola as well for him to pilot.

The youngest and smallest Guild members, the Pilferers specialise in stealing objectives and running away, They aren't tough but they are hard to hit and expert at breaking away from combat without being hit as they have 3 re-rolls on breakaway tests courtesy of Slippery.

Another citizen was also in the box set so I now have six if we ever want to play a horde style list. This one shares the same body as the two cane citizens I already had but with different arms.

Lastly we have the second biggest crossbow in the game, with the Vatican forces fielding something larger. Whilst she has a scary range of 30" it is unlikely she will ever get a clear line of sight out to that range. Many of the weapons with a short range will find it difficult to shoot down from the top of a building as you need to reach the model on ground level but the Arbalest won't have that issue.

That's all the reinforcements for The Guild and I just have the Strigoi reinforcements to go before all the current Carnevale models I own are painted up.