Saturday, 9 February 2013

A Tale of Two Gamers - Raiding Parties

Chaos ships on the horizon, sir!
A Tale of Two Gamers
Scipio and Headologist's BFG Campaign

Hello again, today there's time for an update to the Tale of Two Gamers, the Battlefleet Gothic campaign that Headologist (Kieran) and I are currently running.

We've managed to have the last few days in the same place, which is almost unheard of with our respective transient lifestyles.  No messing about, we basically did dawn-till-dusk BFG for three days (allowing for a trip to the model shop).  With our general blundering about we managed four games in that time - all very leisurely with nice slow turns and plenty of cups of tea provided by Kieran.

As for presentation, what we're going to do is split the battle reports between mine and DYHAF.  So the first two Raid missions will be reported on today, with subsequent missions being properly written up with maps etc (like our first report) when H has had the time to put them together.  I want to focus on the battles, of course, but also talk a little bit about things like running the campaign, and organising it so if there're any new people out there looking for advice on how to run a campaign, they might be able to pick something up.



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Battle of the Anduak Straits
  • Attacker (Imperial): Scipio with 500pts
  • 1 Lunar Cruiser
  • 3 Dauntless Light Cruisers

  • Defender (Chaos): Headologist with 750pts
  • 1 Devastation Cruiser
  • 2 Carnage Cruisers
  • 6 Infidel Destroyers

  • Raid Mission: "Blockade"
This was the first battle of the campaign, and we rolled for a 'Blockade' mission.  As the defender, Headologist had a larger fleet spread across one long table edge, I had my small fleet which had to escape across to the other side.  I concentrated the breakout force on one side of the board, with the intention of ploughing across the board in minimum time - before H could get his larger force concentrated on me!

The moment just before the Famous went up...
It started well, but halfway across some nippy Chaos destroyers got off a few torpedoes which blew up the Dauntless Light Cruiser Favoured - the first casualty of the campaign!  I foolishly stopped the squadron to unleash a hellish barrage of torpedoes at an approaching Carnage class - they got it, but were then quickly overwhelmed before they could get off the board.  

The Lunar class carried on (it kept shooting its powerful port and starboard armament while carrying on towards the table edge, unlike the Dauntless which turned and faced to fire their torpedoes).  The Lunar Class escaped - crippled - but the real shock of the game came when the last Dauntless class blew up spectacularly, taking a whole squadron of Chaos destroyers with it - giving me just enough victory points to claim a cheesy victory!  Hurrah!
  • (Very close) Imperial Victory

  • Imperial Losses:  Lunar Class crippled, 3 Dauntless Classes destroyed
  • Chaos Losses:  Carnage Class destroyed, 4 Infidel Classes destroyed
This was a big mistake - the two Dauntless classes (on the left, facing to the right) stopped their
run to fire at a Chaos cruiser.  This killed it, but it also meant they were themselves destroyed.
I should have carried on towards the board edge and completed the objective - in the end it was only
a Plasma Drive Overload which took some destroyers with it than gave me the VPs to scrape a win.
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Merovingian Raid
The set up (in better light than the previous evening),
you can see how H's ships on the left were perfectly
placed to give a broadside before I could even turn round.
  • Attacker (Chaos): Headologist with 375pts
  • Carnage Cruisers

  • Defender (Imperial): Scipio with 750pts
  • Lunar Cruiser
  • Dauntless Light Cruisers
  • Sword Frigates
  • 4 Cobra Destroyers

  • Raid Mission: "The Raiders" (appropriate name...)
In this mission, I deployed in the centre facing one way.  H then very cleverly deployed directly behind me - it was a hit-and-run, ambush mission really.  He had to do as much damage as possible in the first few turns then escape.  It worked, as well - in the first two turns I couldn't fire anything, it was all facing the wrong way, and H had very cunningly deployed behind some cover.  The Lunar Cruiser - my admiral's flagship - was duly blown up by some concentrated broadsides as it struggled to turn round.

The (blurry) final moments of the second game, when the
destroyers swooped in to finish off the cruisers.
But not before they'd blasted my flagship,
the Fathomless, into a blazing hulk!
But things turned in my favour a bit when I managed to use some of the planets to 'slingshot' round, in the gravity well, to line up the Dauntless Light Cruisers for a torpedo barrage which crippled the two Chaos vessels.  Some accurate torpedoes from the Cobra destroyers finished them off.  This one was really about deployment and H's was expertly done - allowing him to smash the flagship and nearly escape before I could fire a shot!

Imperial Victory

Imperial Losses:  Lunar Class destroyed, 1 Dauntless Class crippled
Chaos Losses:  2 Carnage Classes destroyed
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Running A Campaign

As for the campaign admin, we found the old motto be prepared to be essential here.  I spent some time creating markers and templates before the battle, and made sure the majority of my important fleet lists (500, 750 and 1,000pts) were written up beforehand.  We also got fleet rosters and quick reference sheets printed off, and Headologist (whose living room was the venue), planned all the tables and chairs as well as providing the space map (black blanket).

Basically, before it started we though about all the things we could be doing before we even got there.  Sometimes this isn't possible, but if you have the chance it saves an awful lot of time.  And this stuff might well sound easy - but me and H have been gaming for about 25 years between us (that's older than I even am) but this is the first campaign we've planned properly and ran with any kind of organisation.  And boy did it help. 

Hospitality was of course superb, we planned lunches, and refreshments/endless cups of tea and coffee were provided by H.  Dice, tape measures, scenery - the obvious stuff is what we usually end up forgetting, hence our banging on about it this time!

The Imperial flagship - well, the replacement - the Falchion took over from the Fathomless
after the latter was lost in the Merovingian Raid.
Anyway, despite the Imperium swinging two victories in the end the games were both very closely fought and victory was quite literally decided on a dice roll in the first game, and went from Chaos to Imperial in the space of a turn in the second - which was quite a roller coaster.  All in all, an absolutely smashing week of games - there were two more of course, and they're coming soon on this blog and DYHAF over the next week.

Thanks a lot for reading guys and gals, from the both of us, so happy gaming until next time!

The Colonel

13 comments:

  1. My dear Colonel:

    I am enjoying my Saturday coffee and a chance to catch up on your blog, and was delighted to find a cache of BFG goodness. I quite enjoyed the reports, and very glad that you and H are pressing on with your campaign. Sounds like it was all carefully planned - as you note, logistics is crucial in both gaming and real war (hence a shout out to the RLC on one of my blogs this last week). Endless cups of tea are of course crucial. When my mate James (of Rabbits in my Basement blog fame) and I lived closer, gaming was never done without at least a pot or two).
    I noted with some alarm in one of your previous posts that you were talking about a career change. Are you in the ranks of those to be made redundant? A few chaps in BATUS here are going to 1UKCivDiv and its sad to see. If such is the case w you I pray you land on your feet in a better place

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    1. Mike, glad you're enjoying it :) there'll be more on here and DYHAF over the next few weeks as we type up some detailed batreps with maps. I shudder to think how much tea and coffee me and H got through over the three days of gaming ... as for the previous post no cause for alarm. It's a voluntary move and staying within the forces - 'jumping before I'm pushed' would be too strong. More like sidestepping out the line of fire, before I'm pushed. But thank you for the thoughts, if all goes to plan I'll certainly be needing them over the next 12 months! I'll keep you posted once I know something more definite.

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  2. A wonderful engagement. Really makes me want to work on my Chaos Armada that i've never played lol

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  3. Excellent stuff. I might get 'round to putting some space fluff up one day - you'll have to do the pictures (got no BFG).

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  4. A typically enjoyable read sir. I never got a chance to play BFG as by the time it was released, I'd found the wonders of the fairer gender and gaming wasn't really in the picture. :) Still, I'd always had the immense dream of one day running a huge campaign using BFG, Mighty Empires (The planet one hadn't been released.) and regular 40K in a system-wide effort. But those blasted girls and their feminine whiles got in the way!

    Tea.... It's all very British to drink it and none of that Green or herbal nonsense - good strong milky black tea. I'm everso happy the local Walmart sells Tetleys (My tea of choice). My day never starts right without at least one large mug. (Infact, I think I'm on my 3rd cup already today...)

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    1. @ImpCommander: Thanks for reading, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Ooooh wait, no I'm not, another victim of the lure of the dark gods! Haha Chaos do have some very nice looking ships though, to which H's painting testifies.

      @Zzzzz: We like space fluff! H is the master of ceremonies re the location of our fluff, but maybe we could/have set something close enough to Devos IV for some crossover?

      @Dai: Thanks mate, appreciate your comments as ever. Hmmm, further to Zzzz's comment the heady days of youth may be over, but with this semi-community we seem to have got going over the last 12 months, perhaps some sort of global campaign is in order? Me and H don't get the space/time to play full 40K games as often as we'd like. I know Zzz is very accommodating with 'liaison team' fluff, that is, units joining in his campaigns as add ons. Hmmm. Well, what do people think? Does this have legs?

      Oh and as for tea, glad to see you still keep it going strong! No idea that they sold it over there, is it big? Ah, I'm more of a coffee man but nothing like a tea for that grim 12-5 slot at work!

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    2. Big, nah. Think I'm the only one who buys it to be honest. LOL!

      Have legs? Heck yes. Would love to get in on something fun like this. hell, I'll even play myself to make a cool story for a campaign.

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  5. Never fear - work committments not withstanding, we will get the Palladians on Devos IV (in the garage) eventually !

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  6. Been quite a while since I rolled dice for a BFG engagement, it was always a lot of fun. Always left me with cold feet though, not figuratively, all the thinking about space and the harsh prospect of being sucked into the icy embrace of vacuum left my feet chilly. Just thinking about it now makes me want a toasty mug of something. Still I'd like to dig out the old ships and give it another go. As far as the stateside popularity of Tetleys, I'd say it's fairly popular I always had to stock it when I worked at Food Lion. Anyway good battle reports looking forward to the next batch.

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    1. Yes, it's that aspect of Naval warfare where the survivors of a sinking might still not be rescued and die, carried to the extreme - one puncture and the whole ship could be pulled apart.

      Interesting re Tetleys, I didn't realise it was so popular. I'm a coffee man, so can't see what the fuss is about myself!

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  7. I'm a tea man rather than a coffee-adherent, and I'm not a find of Tetley's either, bit bland for my tastes. Of your commercially available teas, PG Tips is of the finest vintage ;)

    They were great games and very close indeed, I realised afterwards that in the first game if I'd let Scipio flee the table rather than trying to destroy the ship, I would have still had the points for a victory. Curses. But still, really great games. I've had a lot of "real work" to catch up with, but day two's games should be on my blog shortly with shiny maps.

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  8. I always wanted to try BFG. Or at least get some cruisers just to have the model. I love naval related things quite a bit, and the Imperial Navy is no exception.

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    1. Yes, it was reading Hornblower and getting into the naval side of things which fired up my interest in BFG, and the models are certainly some of GWs nicer accomplishments in recent years.

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