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Snapshots from JMcL63's lands of adventure (Go to Blogger to find RD/KA! in all its fully-illustrated technicolour glory- jmcl63.blogspot.com).

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Combat Commander: fog shrouds more than the battlefield

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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Still playing our way through the original CCE scenarios, Liam and I turned our attention to Scenario 12: Misty Mountain for Tuesday's game. This is a big scenario, which pits a large force of German Volksgrenadiers with reasonable weaponry, some good fortifications and average leadership, against a much more substantial Brazilian force with poor leadership and plenty of weapons. The Brazilians (represented by the Americans, as I will refer to them henceforth for simplicity) are nearly twice as numerous as the Germans, but a significant chunk of them arrives as reinforcements in the form of 8 Green squads with one command 2 leader. The scenario is also noteworthy for the fog and for the German snipers. The former is a hindrance of 3 which is cumulative with other hindrances, and which reduces by 1 each time a breeze event occurs. The latter are effective at 2 hexes distant from the random hex instead of the normal adjacent hexes.




Random selection gave Liam the Americans, so he got to work on his setup. This is another interesting feature of the scenario: alerted to the impending attack by an untimely artillery attack elsewhere, the defenders get to set up in response to the attackers' deployment, rather than vice versa as is more typical. I wouldn't say this gave me a false sense of security, but it certainly made me feel a bit more comfortable as I contemplated my dispositions.
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Wed Oct 7, 2015 3:24 pm
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Combat Commander: a bit too up close and personal for comfort

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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Liam and I have played 4 games of CCE since last I wrote (not in a single session I hasten to add). Two of the games were victories for Liam: as the Russians in Scenario 8: Breakout Dance, and as the Germans in Scenario 10: Commando School. I was wiped out to a man in the former scenario, which was otherwise notable for a string of 4/5FP op fire attacks by Liam in which I couldn't make a defence roll to save myself, thus foiling my dash for exit VP and victory. Liam finished me off in melee, wiping me out to a man in the process. The latter scenario was notable for the short and brutal exchange of fire between 2 firegroups which set up facing off at 2-hex range. Mine had 18FP- more than enough to break Liam's MG nest every time it fired; Liam's had 13FP, which turned out to equally effective. The exchange came down to who'd run out of Recovers first. That proved to be me, so my 2 leaders and a squad with an HMG bit the dust. Although my Pioniers did for Liam's flanking forces with their flamethrower and satchel charge, Liam won by making a quick exit dash with the rest of his units, thus bringing the game to an early end with him comfortably in front.



Scenario 11: Hold the Line
We played this scenario twice last night. It is noteworthy for 2 reasons, both firsts and onlys in CCE: the appearance of the SS- simply the best troops in the game bar none; and the presence of a tank- an immobilised Sherman represented by a bunker, a crew with a pack howitzer and a leader with a .50 cal MG. The scenario pits a compact but well led and well armed German force against an American force that is frankly puny, apart from the tank. The Americans do get 4 line squads as reinforcements, but these arrive in dribs and drabs and without leadership, so it's doubtful they'll be able to play much of a role in the battle for the hill.
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Sun Oct 4, 2015 3:33 pm
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A Combat Commander mega-session

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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As I noted elsewhere earlier this year, my neighbour Liam is a big fan of Combat Commander, and really good at it too. The last four months have seen us turn to the Pacific, which saw a significant upturn in my fortunes as something about the different factions' play-styles in that theatre of operations just seemed to click for me. Last night however it was back to Europe, which Liam had been keen to see because he basically prefers it. I must confess I was nervous at the prospect because the battle of Stalingrad, the fall of France, Operation Sealion and partisan warfare still loom large in my memories as times of ignominious defeat after ignominious defeat. Still, there are bucket-loads of scenarios Liam hasn't played yet so last night we sat down to what turned out to be a CCE mega-session.





Scenario 4: Closed For Renovation
I'll move quickly through the first game, which saw my Americans make yet another attempt to capture the chateau. I was pleased to be playing the Americans here because the Americans have never won this scenario at my table and I didn't want Liam to have the chance to garner that honour for himself! I was hoping to pull a flanking manoeuvre with a .50 cal HMG group going up my left using the cover of the tree-lined wall. Liam saw that coming and stationed an HMG nest in the trees. I pondered going for it anyway- in the hope that my artillery would cover me, but that HMG was just too intimidating given my lack of immediate cover and I opted instead for an extended line behind the wall.
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Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:00 pm
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On 'The Russian Front- a hit of that digital rush

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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Opening the offensive
I said back in June that I was "going to master the first Operation on CCIII:TRF if it kills me". I procrastinated, as is my wont but eventually got down a couple of weeks ago to 'Blitzkreig: the War Begins', which links together the first 3 maps with which I am well familiar from previous battles with Close Combat: The Russian Front. I felt a bit intrepid: five days across 3 maps with a campaign system metagame of whose workings I have the barest clue- a whole new level of digital gaming ambition for yours truly. Sure, I can win the first map on autopilot, probably the second one too, but what unknown equipment might the Russians bring to the table, and what about factors like attrition, and resting and refitting? I could soon find my small platoon sorely depleted.
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Sun Sep 29, 2013 1:47 pm
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Hacking through the endless jungle

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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In full retreat
So, Badger was round last Friday for our regular Combat Commander session, which we had carefully planned to make sure we’d have time for 2 games. Committed as we are to playing all the official GMT scenarios at least once, we turned again to Battle Pack #4: New Guinea for Scenario M4. Templeton’s Crossing. This is a time and place we've visited before: Scenario G. Bitter Creek from Combat Commander: Pacific is similarly set around Eora Creek in October 1942, when the Japanese were fighting to withdraw their overstretched expeditionary forces back up the Kokoda Trail.



The Japanese advance down the Kokoda Trail

The battles of October and November 1942 in Papua New Guinea were the last phase of a campaign which had begun in July of that year when the Japanese landed on the north coast of the southern end of the island of Papua. Their objective was Port Moresby on the coast some 150km to the southwest, from where they planned to launch an invasion of Australia. To reach Port Moresby the Japanese had to cross the Owen Stanley Range, which rises to over 3000m. The Kokoda Trail was essentially the only route suitable for military forces and the Japanese troops spent 2 months struggling through jungle and across ravines as the Australians fought a series of delaying actions to save Port Moresby. Eventually the Japanese fell foul of the perennial problem of over-extended supply lines and were then forced on the defensive as their strategic position in the Pacific was undermined by the Americans’ early gains on Guadalcanal.
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Wed Jul 10, 2013 6:40 pm
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In the eye of the storm: June gaming roundup

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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More games than you can shake a stick at
June saw a glut of games after the recent months’ paltry pickings I noted a few weeks ago- a total of 21 games played in 15 sessions. The Saturday crew turned up again for the first time in several months, and Przemek made a return appearance too. But it was 13 games of Combat Commander which turned regular hearty fare into a veritable whirlwind of boardgaming, thanks largely to the enthusiasm with which Gav and Liam took to the game after I’d managed to persuade them to give it a go: fully 10 of those games were games of CC against Gav and Liam.

Alien wars and other inhumanities
Eclipse: new gaming horizons in the penumbra

I picked up a copy of this hot new 4X multiplayer game (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) early in 2012. It was an instant hit with my players and has seen play matched in recent years only by Battlestar Galactica and Cosmic Encounter, a fact that is all the more noteworthy when you consider that Eclipse is a pretty intense game which can take as long as 4 hours or more when you’re not familiar with it. This familiarity has to be hard-won by repeated play and the Saturday crew have proved willing to play often enough to achieve that. So when we got together for our first Saturday games group in some 6 months, everyone was keen for another adventure in space, and I was primed to introduce the new material from the game’s first boxed expansion- Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients.Read more »
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Fri Jul 5, 2013 1:26 pm
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September games round-up: not writing, gaming!

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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Getting back on track
Write-ups of gaming sessions have been a staple here at RD/KA! since the earliest days (the first use of the ‘got game’ label dates to my 5th post back in August 2005, and the label itself is second only to ‘boardgames’ as the most used label). As well as being satisfying to write, these posts have also driven the development of my use of graphics on the blog, which in turn means that they have been the engine of my learning how to use the GIMP. These posts don’t come without their problems:
- They’ve taken ever longer to prepare the more graphic-intensive they’ve become.
- Writing them is very much ‘of the moment’; ie. they have to be written very soon after the gaming session, when my memory is fresh.
- Taking notes during a game- for the sake of adding detail to a session write-up, can be more than just distracting: it can also disrupt my enjoyment of a game and my attention to the flow of the game- at the expense of my decision-making.
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Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:17 am
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Celebrations and felicitations!

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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Edinburgh Games Hub: so hot it’s cool- it’s Official!
My enthusiastic response to my first visit to the Edinburgh Games Hub means that readers should be unsurprised to hear that I kept my promise and turned out for the EGH’s official Grand Opening on August 31st. Gav joined me on the bus ride to Edinburgh for the day and we arrived around lunchtime to find the cafe already thronged and buzzing. Needing to relax a bit after our journey, we promptly plonked ourself down at the nearest convenient table- which just happened to be the one upon which Zia (Shaz, the proprietor’s mum, remember?) had laid out all the special munchies she’d prepared for the day. Soon enough we got to talking with the guy already sitting there, who was there with his young son.
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Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:46 pm
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'Death Ray Manta': indie, still psychedelic after all these years

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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“Like, cosmic, man!”
The origin of Death Ray Manta
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Wed Sep 12, 2012 10:37 am
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My geeking summer #2- True North

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
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A hot time in the old town: the Games Hub Edinburgh
This post could also be subtitled ‘fB strikes again’ because, exactly as with last month’s encounter with Mark Millar at Plan B Books, this story all began on Facebook. If I recall correctly, what happened this time was that a couple of months ago I followed through on a link that a friend had liked and lo, there it was: the Games Hub Edinburgh, a fB group for an upcoming games cafe in Edinburgh. Frankly, I was gob-smacked. What an awesome idea! What a risk to take. Just WTF! More seriously though: the Games Hub Edinburgh strikes me as an idea whose time has come, and as the most important thing to happen in the Scottish gaming community since I don’t know when. OK, starting G3 back in 1998 was totally exciting, and no small achievement for all concerned, but what we have here strikes me as being different by a whole order of magnitude. GHE, after all, won’t be a club meeting weekly for some 4/5 hours. It’ll be open 12 hours/day, 7 days/week. See what I meant about awesome, and the risk?
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Sat Sep 1, 2012 2:14 pm
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