Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Battle of Trebia at Pacificon 2017

Trebia was the first of two games that I ran at Pacificon.   I had originally scheduled the game to run from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM.  However, two additional ancients games were added to the schedule with the first starting at noon.  Because of this I changed the times from 9:00 until noon.   There were six people who participated in the game.  Considering all the games that were being run that morning this was a good number of players.   The table measured 6 feet by 10 feet.

The armies were as follows:
GENERALS +1 X 14 X + OR - 1 OR 0 X 1+8 X
VELITES 3 5 6,8 2" 10 7 20 140
HASTATI 3+2 6 6 X 10 9 20 180
PRINCEPES 3+2 6 6 X 10 9 20 180
TRIARII 4 6 6 X 10 9 20 180
CAVALRY 3 6 12,14 2" 10 10 8 80
HANNIBAL +1 X 14 X + OR - 2,1,OR 0 10 1 10
GENERALS +1 X 14 X + OR - 1 OR 0 X 8 X
SLINGERS 2 5 6,8 2" 11 8 1 8
LT INF 3 5 6,8 2" 11 8 15 120
AFRICAN INF. 4 6 6 X 11 10 16 160
SPANISH INF. 3 5 6 X 11 8 8 64
GALLIC INF. 3 5 6 X 10 6 18 108
NUMIDIAN CAV. 3 5 12,14 2" 11 9 8 72
SPANISH HORSE 3 6 12,14 2" 11 10 4 40
GALLIC HORSE 3 6 12,14 2" 10 9 10 90
ELEPHANT 4 6 8 X 10 11 8 88
Surprisingly both armies had equal points.   There was a special rule that I thought of including for the game to reflect the Romans crossing the cold water of the river and not having time for their morning meal.   This was to have the players roll one die for each unit with an odd numbered result causing the unit to start the battle with one hit.  Since this was a convention game and meant to be fun for all, I decided not to use this.

The Romans were given the option of how many of their eight cavalry units they would deploy on each flank with some restrictions.   They were required to place two on each flank with the remaining four as they chose.   They elected to have four cavalry units on each flank.  The Carthaginians deployed all their Gallic cavalry on their left flank, all the Numidian cavalry on their right, and sent all the Spanish cavalry on an off table flanking move.

Initial deployment.  Romans on right. Carthage on left

View from the opposite end
View from Carthage side.  Spanish infantry on right African infantry in the middle, Gauls on left, skirmishers in front.
Behind Roman lines.  Two combined Consular armies in standard Roman deployment
Carthage had an overwhelming advantage on both flanks with the elephants and cavalry outnumbering the opposing Roman horse, but their infantry was outnumbered by the Roman infantry facing them. 

Carthaginian commanders.  Steve (Hannibal) at the front and his son Matt at the back..

Roman commanders.
By turn two both armies were engaged in combat.  Instead of using their elephants to disrupt and chase off the Roman cavalry and then turning in on the Roman infantry with their cavalry the elephants ended up fighting the Roman infantry and the cavalry became tied down fighting the opposing horse. 

Turn one

On turn three the Spanish cavalry arrived on the Roman left flank behind the Roman lines.   With their flanks in jeopardy the Romans shifted their velites to protect the flanks of the heavier infantry.

Turn 3 Carthaginian flanking force has arrived and ridden into the rear of the Roman left.
Other end of the battlefield.  Roman cavalry has fallen back evading contact

Eventually the Roman infantry were able to cut their way through the opposing infantry center.   At this point Carthage conceded and the game was called at 12:06 PM.   Actual play had started after 9:00 following an explanation of the game mechanics.

 Fighting continues as casualties increase along the line
Gauls are held up
 Velites shift to protect flanks of the main battle line
Right end of Carthage infantry routs.  Soon to be followed by the rest of the infantry.

The Roman army is all Rapier Miniatures figures and is just over 2000 figures.  The Carthaginians are mix of Irregular, Baccus, H&R, and Rapier. and is also about 2000 figures.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Pacisficon Game Expo 2017

I was at Pacificon this past Saturday.   There was a great variety of games on Saturday during the day.  According to the schedule of events Friday, Sunday, Monday, and Saturday evening could have had more games.   One complaint that I heard from quite a few people was the overlapping of times for similar games.   This has been happening for the past few years.  A couple of years back there were three American Civil War games at the same time.

There was a dealer section. next to the area where the miniature games were being played.  This did not have any rule sets or historical miniatures.  Though it did have board games and other items.

The following Pictures are most of the miniatures games that were available to choose form on Saturday.
 All quiet on the Martian Front
 Bob Bergman's Indian Mutiny game
 Treadheads (also running on Sunday

 up the creek with Rajah Brooke
 American Civil War
 Space Battleship Yamoto
Steve Montgomery's WW2 skirmish game
There were several others that I did not get a picture of

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Ravenstar Studios Fort Courage and more Domain ships.

Last month Ravenstar Studios had a 30% off sale so I purchased the Fort Courage space station and one of the starships.   Due to the large number of orders that were placed for the sale it took about a month before I received my order, but it was well worth the wait.   Fort Courage is a very nicely detailed model and after seeing a post about it on The Miniature Page I had decided to take advantage of Ravenstar's next sale to purchase one.  The model includes the main ring assembly, a piece to glue on the top center of the hub.  another piece to go under the station, and a small piece to glue into the center of that one.   Ravenstar was also kind enough to include some extra items with the order.   I only used a black wash when painting the model.

Fort Courage.   The camera flash has washed out some of the color on the closer part of the model.  I had taken a picture of it without the flash, but the interior house lights had given it a yellowish tone which can be seen in the pictures of the ship models..

In addition to Fort Courage, I also purchased some more Babylon 5 ships.  The 3d printed models are nicely detailed and are available in a variety of sizes.   The level of detail is quite a bit greater than I had expected.  I decided to use the larger of the two Omega models that are in the photo below.   While it is about four times the price of the smaller one it is more detailed, has a rotating center section, and is a better size fit for the light cruiser.   It is listed as the EA destroyer.  The model comes in three pieces, the rear hull and engines, the rotating section, and the forward section.   It does not have to be glued together and if using spray primer it is better to prime the pieces prior to putting them together.  Other ships purchased from the same shop were the fleet scale Nova dreadnaught, Warlock, and the guided missile battle cruiser.   Another ship that I purchased was the Poseidon from the store with the smaller Omega's and Nova's.

Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them for better detail

The two Nova models

The two Omega models

Poseidon carrier.

Warlock model from the same site as the larger Omega

The EA battle cruiser

The smaller Nova will be used for the Domain frigate.  The larger Omega will be for the cruiser and the EA battle cruiser will be used for the Domain battle cruiser.
 The three Domain ships/  Battle Cruiser at the top, missile cruiser in the middle, and frigate at the bottom.  The Omega is the same model as in the previous picture with the rotating section turned.

All of the ship models have been sprayed with dark grey prime and given a black wash.   I may add decals or dry transfers to them.

The Poseidon may be used as it is intended for a fighter carrier, or it might be used for an assault troop carrier.  The Warlock may end up as a ship for the aliens.   The ships in the StarCruiser game are the German Sachsen frigate, Hamburg cruiser, and Bismarck battle cruiser.  The Sachsen can control two missiles at the same time, the Hamburg four, and while it can only launch four missiles per turn the Bismarck has been modified to control up to eight missiles at once.  This allows it to hit targets with four missiles each turn while other ships firing at a 15+ light second range usually have to wait a turn between launches.  With its screens and armor it would probably take three or four Federation guided missile destroyers to take out the Domain battle cruiser.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Domain and Panthari space ships

While searching the web for a space ship model similar to the appearance of the battleship in the StarCruiser rules that I am using for the Panthari Imperium, I found the agents of gaming website.
Agents of Gaming
They carry a fairly good selection of the Babylon 5 wars ships and books.  These come in two different scales, ACTA (a call to arms) and fleet (similar in size to full thrust)..  I purchased some of the larger scale models
 This is the ACTA scale Warlock which I may use for the aliens.
This is the explorer which is close to the battleship design.

Further checking of the web located other models which I have decided to use for the Domain's starships.  These are available in a variety of sizes and prices from as low as $4.50USD each to several hundred for the very large ones (about 18 inches or more in length)
A slightly out of focus shot of a Domain fleet.  I had to drill 1/16" holes for the bases which came from Brigade Models.
Size comparison of the Agents of gaming model in front and two others.   The Agents of Gaming model is the ACTA scale.  The rotating section can be glued in any position, but does not rotate.  The larger model in the back is designed so that the center section will rotate.   The smaller one does not.
The Agents of Gaming model is actually the Shadow version and comes with a substantial selection of spines to attach to it.   Checking for images on the web brought up several different version with a varying number of spines pointing in various directions.  These were located in the area of the engines at the back and at the forward structure of the ship.   I decided to use some of the smaller spines that came with the Shadow model to convert the larger of the other two to a shadow version.   The spines can be bent in different directions.  I added two sets of triple spines to the engine area and two doubles and two singles to the front.
 clicking on the photo will give a closer view of the models detail.

The cloth background is from JoAnn fabrics.   It can be found on their site at navy star fabric  At the time I purchased it, it was on sale at half price so I purchased enough for a six by ten foot area.  They have several other patterns including the one I have used in a previous post.



Sunday, July 30, 2017

StarCruiser Ship Killers

I spent a little bit of time designing a Federation guided missile cruiser.   The ship that was used in the games has been re-classified as a guided missile destroyer.  Its designation is DDG150  The 150 designation is the size of its power plant.

The two designs for the guided missile cruiser are CG300 and CG330.  The maximum size of a fusion power plant in the rules is 300MW.  However, the battleship in the game that is being used for the Panthari Imperium has a 415MW power plant.  Therefore I created a 330MW power plant  to provide full power for the 300MW drive (the largest in the game), sensors, and laser weapons. 

While investigating the various 2300AD websites I was able to find an excel spreadsheet for designing ships.  After putting all the components into the spreadsheet, it provides all the game statistics for the ship.  Using the design spreadsheet also allows you to verify that the ship has the correct volume for the design.

The two cruiser variations have a pair of 24 meter external diameter, 21 meter internal diameter counter-rotating hamster cages/spun outer hulls that are 12 meters wide.  There is no artificial gravity in the game so various types of spun habitats are needed for crew health and comfort.   In combat the spun habitats are stopped and locked in place.   Some ship designs in the rules including the DDG150 have habitats that are on pylons that are rotated around the main hull as can be seen in the view of the DDG150 below.

The forward 12 meters of the CG's house eighteen missile bays, the bridge, the tactical operation center, life support, medical bay, and sensor equipment.   The rear of the hull houses the other eighteen missile bays and drive along with part of the fusion plant.   Due to upgrading the missiles, each missile bay occupies 100 cubic meters instead of the original 70 cubic meters in the rules.  The fusion plant is rather large and occupies over 50% of the internal hull space extending from the rear of the ship to just past the rotating habitats.  This also includes the various engineering work stations for the power plant.  The image below shows the two versions of the guided missile cruiser.
The bow is to the right.  The larger power plant of the CG330 requires an extra three meters of length added to the rear of the ship compared to the CG300.   There are 24 laser turrets arranged in six rings of four along the length of the hull with alternating rings offset by forty-five degrees.  Statistics for the ships are as follows:

                                     CG330                 CG300                   DDG150
Diameter                       24m                      24m                       21m (main hull only)
Length                           54m                      50m                       70m
Mass                              20,576 tons          18,455 tons            7,213 tons
Power Plant                   330MW               300MW                  150MW
Move Distance              9                           9                             9
Armor                            9                           3                             1
Radiated Signature        5(8)                      4(7)                        4(7)
Reflected Signature       6/7                       6/7                          5/7
Target profile                 0/1                       0/1                          0/2
Active Sensor                2x15                    2x15                        1x15
Passive Sensor               2x10                    2x10                        1x10
Laser Turrets                  24                        24                            10
Missile Bays                   36                        36                           4
Crew                               177                      174                         100
Cost                                506.27mc            462.87mc                154.12mc

The cruisers also carry four sensor drones compared to the two for the destroyer.   While their cost is about three times that of the destroyer, their missile salvo is nine times more powerful.  The armor of the CG330 can be penetrated, but with difficulty.  It costs almost as much as a Panthari battleship, but can out run it and has much better armor.   The CG300 costs about the same as a Domain battle cruiser, has half the armor, but is faster and can launch nine times as many missiles.  The CG330 is more expensive, but is better armored than the Domain BC.


Sunday, July 23, 2017

Encounter at Abbadon

Captain's Log

My squadron had been dispatched to the Chrisobel star system to counter an incursion by The Domain.   Tensions between The Domain and The Federation have increased recently with The Domain attempting to gain control of neutral systems on the border between The Federation and Domain.   Our squadron has two president class missile ships.  I command the Ethan Tavernier and our sister ship is the Louis Rosen.  

The Chrisobel system has five planets and an asteroid belt.  Three of the planets are gas giants, one is a rock ball, and the innermost planet, Abbadon, is a terrestrial world.   We had passed the FTL gravitational limit for the Chrisobel system some time ago, had received a radio message that the system was now under the control of The Domain.  As we advanced in system towards Abbadon we had detected two bogeys heading towards us.  We were now approaching engagement range.

"Captain, the bogeys are now within one light minute"
"Bring our squadron up five light seconds above the elliptic and have both ships launch a sensor drone"
"Aye, Sir"

"The bogeys have altered course to our port side and have launched what appear to be two drones."
"Light up the drones and lets see what we have"
"Drones have activated sensors and we have identification, Sir.  The bogeys are two Domain Planet class missile ships and the two smaller objects are sensor drones.  Separation is now less than 45 light seconds"
"Launch missiles'
"Missiles launched.  Approximately 20 minutes to intercept...  Sensors indicate that they have launched missiles also, sir.  There are eight of them headed our way.  They will arrive in 20 minutes"
"Move us to starboard and prepare point defenses"
"The enemy is now at thirty light seconds.  Missiles at engagement range"

As the enemy missiles approached our point defense batteries opened fire taking out two of them, but the other six targeted the Rosen ripping her to shreds.  Our missiles were just as effective leaving one of the Domain ships a shattered hulk.

"Bring us around to port and launch the second drone, activate its sensors and use it as a screen to hide us from their sensors."
The enemy launched another drone also sir and is now at 20 light seconds."
"Launch another flight of missiles and target their drones"
"Missiles launched and will engage drones in ten minutes"  "Drones destroyed.  We have a lock on the enemy."
"Launch another flight of missiles and continue to screen us with the drone."
"Enemy ship has been hit and looks like it has lost its sensors, Sir.  It is heading out system"
"Hold fire.  We may need our remaining missiles.  Lets pick up the drones and survivors from the Rosen."

Below is a picture that Mike took of the game.  The star field is from JoAnn fabrics.   They carry several different fabrics with star patterns.   I found this one and another to be what I wanted and at $20 for enough material to cover a five foot by six foot table the fabric is a lot better price than the space mats that are available.  The picture shows the "flight stands that are used to designate unidentified ships.  ship models were placed on them when identified.   Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures of the game.   Fortunately Mike did take this one at the meeting.

The following diagram shows the relative positions of the two fleets during the game.  The federation is black and the Domain is brown.  It is not to scale.  The battle lasted for 80 minutes of game time before the remaining Domain ship fled.
Photo below is from the end of the game
The ships were the Kennedy class cruiser from the game for the Federation and the Hamburg missile cruiser for the Domain.  their statistics are as follows
                                            Federation                  Domain
Tonnage                                  7213                         12223
Movement                                 9                                3
Power Plant                          150Mw Fusion            65Mw Fission
Shields                                  none                               2
Armor                                        1                                3
Active Sensors                      30 light seconds          6 light seconds
Passive Sensors                     20 light seconds          14 light seconds
Missiles                                 20   (20 damage)          24  (12 damage)
radiated signature                  4(7)                               6
reflected signature                 7                                   7
point defense                          5                                  6
As can be seen the Domain ship is slower, but better protected by armor, screens, and point defense.  The Federation ship also has stealth material incorporated into its hull to cut down on its radiated signature.   The values for reflected and radiated are doubled to give the additional range that is added to the active and passive sensor ranges respectively for targeting.   There are no Romulan cloaking devices or similar items at this point so the presence of other ships is known, but it is necessary to use sensors to identify and precisely target opposing ships.   Previous blog posts have covered the modifications to the original board game and can be found by clicking on the StarCruiser label.