Sunday 26 May 2024

Kitchen Tables for Battlefields

As the building work continues we once again went old school with some kitchen table gaming. Fortunately Deadzone is perfect for playing in a restricted space as the playing area is only 2" square.

With an even coming up very soon Mr T and myself are still working on exactly what lists to take so things are a little experimental. 

[Leader / +36 / 4VP] Psychotroid 
 - - Brain Freeze 
 - - Mind Control 
 - - Hyperkinesis 

[Troop / +8 / 1VP] Inker 
 - - Teeth 

[Troop / +7 / 1VP] Scuttler 
 - - Pincers 

[Troop / +13 / 1VP] Gunslinger 
 - - Twin Crystal Pistols 

[Troop / +15 / 1VP] Rifleman 
 - - Crystal Rifle 

[Specialist / +17 / 2VP] Caratid 
 - - Razor Claws 

[Support / +35 / 4VP] Bathomite 
 - - Massive Claws 
 - - Crystal Cannon 

[Leader / +28 / 2VP] Thorgarim Huscarl 
 - - Hailstorm Pistol 
 - - Heavy Forge Hammer 

[Troop / +17 / 2VP] Steel Warrior 
 - - Mk2 Hailstorm Rifle 
[Specialist / +19 / 3VP] Brakkarim 
 - - Hailstorm Autocannon 

[Troop / +16 / 1VP] Brokkr 
 - - Burst Pistol 
 - - Forge Hammer 
 - - [+2] Ammo [one-use] 

[Troop / +6 / 0VP] Bomb Bot 
 - - Bomb Bot 

[Specialist / +30 / 3VP] Forge Guard Issilgarim 
 - - Forge Hammer 
 - - Magma Cannon 

[Troop / +17 / 2VP] Thorgarim 
 - - Heavy Forge Hammer 

[Specialist / +30 / 2VP] Hammerfist Drop Trooper 
 - - Forge Hammer 
 - - Inferno Drill 

We played the Deepstrike mission that sees ranges restricted on turn 1 and deeper than normal  deployment zones in opposite corners. For the Nameless the Caratid's have been working really well for me and they have so far been more than able to hold their own in melee against the best the Forge Fathers have to offer. The Psychotroid has been less impressive and the ability you seem to take it for (Hyperkinesis, removes activation marker from target) is unreliable as you need two 5+'s on 3D8. I think that taking the more reliable melee abilities of The Blight is the way I will go for the event.

The second game of the weekend was Armada which is a bit more of a squeeze on the table I have available but still perfectly playable.
We played the Smugglers run scenario which sees the two sides distribute loot tokens across their fleets and then they need to time their run to a endzone to end up with the loot carry ships in the zone after 6 turns.

KTHORLAQ'S SHIELD (Main Battle Ship) [103]
Regular Crew
Red Hot Shot, Firebrand, Brew of Strength

TYRANT (Main Battle Ship) [64]
Regular Crew
Boarding Nets, Ogre Mercenaries

J'KOOR'UK (Main Battle Ship) [28]
Regular Crew

J'KOOR'UK (Main Battle Ship) [28]
Regular Crew

HERALD (Support Ship) [20]
Regular Crew

WARDEN SQUADRON (Support Ship Sq) [7]
Regular Crew

RIPPER HULK (Main Battle Ship) [129]
Veteran Crew
Grappling Hooks, Morax, Morguns, Yinn Greythunder, War Drum of Spite

SMASHER (Main Battle Ship) [65]
Regular Crew
Grappling Hooks, Morax

BLOOD RUNNER (Support Ship) [16]
Regular Crew

BLOOD RUNNER (Support Ship) [16]
Regular Crew

BOMBBOAT (Support Ship) [19]
Regular Crew
Boarding Nets

RABBLE SQUADRON (Support Ship Sq) [5]
Inexperienced Crew

This means that you don't want your loot carries to arrive into the endzone too early which gives you a chance to try and disrupt the enemy ships trying to do the same. It also means you can't really avoid the enemy as you are all heading towards the same zone.

The game saw the two XL ships trading some early blows with the Orcs short range being balanced by the Salamanders poor gunnery skills.

The Orc XL did manage to dispatch the Salamander Tyrant but it proved to be carrying to bluff tokens rather than actual loot.

On the last turn of the game the one of the Orc's tokens was stuck outside the endzone but with a last gasp it managed to deliver a fatal broadside to a Salamander ship carrying 1 token to eek out a draw.

Sunday 12 May 2024

Double Header

With the building work still ongoing this week I went old school and did some kitchen table gaming. 

With a Deadzone event in Banbury coming up on the 9th June Mr T and myself broke out our strike teams to refresh our Deadzone skills. Fortunately Deadzone plays on a 2*2feet table so it's perfect for when you want to game but don't have any space to play in.

The event is at 180 points so we both fielded a strike team at that points level, Mr T sticking with his trusty Forge Fathers and I took my freshly painted Nameless for a spin.

The Goliath is a real melee beast of a unit and it proved it's worth by chewing through a good proportion of the Forge Father list which meant I came away with a win. I suspect the secret of combating it is to slow it down via pins/flames and try to take out the units around it rather than charging into it's range.

Stu also came over from Cirencester for a game of Armada with my Orcs going up against his Salamanders. The scenario involved picking up loot tokens and we ended up with 4 VP's each and the Salamanders took off around an island.  

My Orcs couldn't catch up with the main part of the fleet but did manage to pick off the two smallest ships in the enemy fleet, so it was a moral victory even if the VP's ended up tied.

Sunday 28 April 2024

Armada: Orc Fleet

 Since completing the Nameless for Deadzone I've been working on expanding my Orc Armada fleet from the one ship I had to a complete force. Once again I've had these 3D printed by Bristol Independent Gaming. 

I wanted to try a fleet out with an XL ship and as I'd already bought my Orc XL it was a reasonably easy choice to expand that fleet out. The Orc's like to get in close and pack plenty of C guns which means that once they get within 8" of the enemy they can really dish the pain. They also have a decent amount of crew strength for boarding actions and lots of ships with Ram.

If we start with the XL ship it comes in two versions both of which have strong broadsides of C guns and plenty of CS. These are ships that want to get in close and mix it up, but don't necessarily need to board straight away. I think I prefer the Ripper Hulk version as you have the IDW to use whilst you get close and it's 20 points cheaper than the Maul version. One thing I can't work out is why neither version has the Ram special rule which looking at the models is surprising.

The Smasher is the Large main battle ship of the fleet and again packs some good guns on the broadsides and a decent amount of CS for boarding. The two special Orc item upgrades give you an extra broadside C gun (Morguns) or +2 CS in boarding actions (Morax) at a discount to the generic item costs of these type of items. This emphasises the get in close and mix it up playstyle of the Orc fleet.
For the new ships in the fleet I tried to make them more of a colourful spectacle by adding in some bronze guns and plating as well as some red and blue panels. 

The Orc fleet wide special rule is Let's get them! which allows the ships to try and grapple opponents going at full speed. This isn't normally allowed and going at full speed is generally a good defence for shooty fleets to evade ones that want to board.

Blood Runners are cheap support ships which you need to fill out the minimum number of ships slots if you are playing a fully kitted out XL. They aren't really fast or tough but will come in useful for some ramming action to slow down enemy ships and also for taking objectives.

Hammerfist's are the cheapest main battle ship option in the Orc list and are pretty tough with decent guns and CS. However I'm really not a fan of the model as it looks rather silly to me, so I've only got the one and it probably won't be out on the table very much.

The Bombboat has a decent amount of C weapons on the broadside but it's really going to be hanging back to start off with and trying to break up enemy formations with it's IDW. The IDW on the rear could be useful if it needs to take evasive manoeuvres or if it sails clean through the enemy fleet.

Lastly we have the rabble fleet, these are very cheap and have the nice bonus of adding an extra CS onto friendly ships within 3". Keep one of these near your XL with Morax and you having a 13 CS boarding monster to eat up enemy ships.

Mr T and myself have started playing 250 point games and I've drawn up an initial list to try out with the Orcs. They have an interesting Admiral who allows you to double fire a weapon arc once per game. Sticking him on the XL with Morguns means a damage output of up to 42 points or damage between 3"-8" and 84 points at<=3", that would mess up most ships days very easily.