keskiviikko 2. huhtikuuta 2014

Donnybrook test and other past games

I've been a bit lazy in posting pics of past games as finally finishing my master's thesis took first place in priority :) 6 years it took to get through Uni and graduate as an engineer. Been working as an engineer for the last 3 years already, which didn't exactly speed up the progress, but at least it's finally done!

Also welcome to David F, the newest follower of the blog.

Last week we had a Donnybrook demo game at the club pitching rampaging mountain men against hapless town folk assisted by some Indians and US Army.

The pillaging mountain men didn't really stand a chance as they were outnumbered thanks to quick reinforcements for the townsfolk and also quite outclassed in quality. Still a fun game with really nice and simple rules. I really do like these 'Beer & Pretzels' style games more and more as its a nice way to get a quick game in during the week without having to commit a lot of time from the already short evenings.

Rules wise they are pretty decent, though far from perfect. Either we had misread some rules or some stuff just doesn't work out that well and needs a bit of tweaking. Already after one game all of us agreed that some things needed to be changed. Especially the close combat phase can be abused a bit by just attacking with a character or small unit from one edge killing a few guys and forcing the other side take a morale check due to no one being in base contact anymore. We had a few units "explode" after taking only a few hits because of this.

Also the save rolls for the characters are a bit weird as being wounded is actually far better than being knocked unconscious. When you are unconscious it will take a minimum of two turns to get the character back in the game and even then only after a successful skill test. Taking a casualty on the other hand just reduces your class rate by one, which isn't too bad for the D12 and D10 using characters.

Also the use of skill dice didn't always seem that systematic as only some of the tests are taken with a skill dice and some with a D6. I'd expect for example more skilled soldiers to be able to use cover more efficiently testing with a higher dice than simple rabble. Not 100% sure on this though as I didn't read the rules myself for that part and went with what the Umpire told us.

The random events are great and add nice character to the game. Units getting hold up digging for treasure or a random animal attacking makes for fun side stories. However they did come up quite often and we did think that maybe limiting the amount of events happening would be a good idea.

Few weeks back we also had a small Saga tournament/game day. I ended up losing the two first games and coming second on the final brawl. The first loss came in Clash of Warlords after I had killed off more of my opponents guys and was confident of a win. But I had totally forgotten to take into account the Jomsviking ability of pulling enemy units out. In my opponents last turn he pulled my Warlord into range and moved his support away and finally attacking with a few moves with a unit of Hearthguard. I managed to fail the last save roll and literally lost with the last roll of dice. On another game I forgot my Warlord too close to to the enemy and lost him with really bad dice rolls, which eventually lost me too many command dice and points in Sacred Ground.

 We also got the first game of our Gettysburg campaign done by fighting the battle for MacPhersons Ridge. A change to the historical outcome as the Union troops suffered losses and were forced to retire from the area. The battle started out well for Union with them being able to inflict losses by shooting against the Confederates. However fortunes changed when the confederates closed into bayonet range. Even after inflicting huge casualties against the attacking units the first Union line broke with many fresh regiments breaking and running away from battle. This forced the commitment of all the reserves from very early on in the game and finally allowed for the more numerous confederates to claim the day.

Our house rule gave the confederates +1 combat resolution in the turn they charged which lead to a few shaken confederate units managing to win the close combats. This followed by a few snake eyes rolls for morale caused quite heavy losses for Union. For me this is usually the main issue with Blackpowder. With too few units on the table a few extremely bad dice rolls early in the game can make life very difficult as there is nothing to fill in gaps with. But that's true in real life also so not much you can do. Except maybe paint more minis to be able to field something larger than Division sized :)

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