Sunday, January 29, 2012

User feedback solicited

I see that a few (around 10%) of my pageviews are coming from iPhones - anybody out there reading this thing on a mobile device willing to tell me if they like the new mobile template I activated yesterday? It looks good on mine, and is a lot easier to navigate. But feedback is important!

Similarly, how's the font working for you all? I liked a lot when I originally selected it on my desktop PC, but on my netbook there's a noticeable lag while it upconverts from Courier or whatever the default is, and some of the characters (capital Hs come to mind) don't render that well at this resolution. Any one with font-knowledge out there have any suggestions?

Desultory catch-up grab-bag extravaganza

So astute readers might recall a nearly three-and-a-half month lack of batreps between the Battletech game of October 14, 2011, and last week's Heavy Gear game (January 27, 2012). Sorry! Here's a quick recap of stuff I played during that hiatus; I suggest you cue up "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor while reading this post for the full montage effect.

A game of full-rules Classic Battletech, run by Brandon, where Tyler and I fought it out. Vague memories include one of my mechs getting headshot and one of Tyler's falling down and me swarming it with Protomechs.

Another Heavy Gear matchup between my SRA 35th Combined Arms Regiment ("Les Somnambules") and Britt's WFPA (or Northern Guard?) force. One of my bazooka-toting J├Ągers has had a bad afternoon. His surviving comrade is holding up a big knife to warn people to leave him alone.

The four player Battletech Quick-Strike game I ran at MACE last year. My first real con, and the first time I tried to host a wargame 'in the wild.' All four players seemed to enjoy themselves, and I'm planning to do it again soon. The scenario was a battle from the Ronin War.

A similar but much smaller setup of roughly the same scenario at our FLGS, Hypermind. New member Rory, from Mebane, North Carolina (by way of South Africa) uses the trusty Mark One Eyeball to check line of sight.

A somewhat ill-fated attempt to play 2v2 Heavy Gear - Britt (WFPA) and Tyler (Black Talons) versus Brandon (CEF) and me (SRA). Britt and I basically air-slapped at each other ineffectually while Brandon and Tyler rained hell on each other.

Another HG matchup between Britt and me, in his gaming room. By now the astute viewer will note that the metabanana plant is endemic to every setting where I push lead around. My apologies. I will endeavor to make sure they aren't at Borodino with Napoleon this fall.

Keith and I have been playing lots of Space Hulk this winter. Here we see a before and after shot, showing what one motivated Space Marine and his assault cannon can do.

Britt and I playing Heavy Gear again; here we rolled up an encirclement-type scenario, which I failed miserably at.

Mutiny! My dark, DARK grey SRA unit, the 'Sleepwalkers,' is fighting Dale's (our Friendly Neighborhood Pod Squad Rep) green SRA unit. Someone probably got caught misappropriating equipment, or was found to be ideologically unsound, or they stole the last toaster strudel in the mess tent. Out of sight in the woods at the top left is Dale's Naga, making life miserable for me (the small brown disk visible on the edge of the woods is its recon drone). Out of sight behind the camera is me making quite rude gestures towards the Naga.

Back at Britt's, facing off against his new Aller tank with the very scary railgun. The wisp of greasy smoke in the foreground used to be one of my Hun light tanks.

And that pretty much catches us up. Hopefully another of these penance/make-up work posts will not be necessary in the new year. Sleepwalker Actual, out.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The return of Heavy Gear and the departure of Whooping Cough

Yes, I think I had whooping cough, since I was around my cousin's kids and their school had a recent outbreak and I certainly felt miserable enough (complete with paroxysmal cough) to think maybe I got it? In any event, finally feeling good enough to make the trip to Knightdale and play some Heavy Gear again! I was getting a bit tired of my omnipresent SRA 'Les Somnambules' (35th SRA Combined Arms Regiment) so I broke out the good ol' WFPA 44th CAR, 'the Skyfallers' and faced off against Brandon's PAK list.

As always, it's been exactly long enough for me to get sort of rusty on the rules, and based on it being WFPA versus the PAK I haven't figured out exactly where our fight would fit in the fictional future history of Terra Nova, so no cutesy AAR this time, just a few pics:

I figured this Strike Cheetah was dead, but the PAK HC-3 Recon Hovercar dashed past him to spot my infantry in the backfield!

This is what two Anti-Tank Missiles can do to a totally unscathed Hardy Aller (meanwhile, the Aller's low-tech unguided VHFG round utterly missed its target the turn before - 280 TV well spent!)

This terrible blurry shot shows that Strike Cheetah from before, finally out of luck. Of course by now he'd recce'd both PAK hovertanks, so he died a hero of the WFPA!

This was near the end of the game, and one of the GRELs (a sort of vat-grown hypnotrained combat bioroid - think Roy Batty, but purple) in Brandon's light hovertanks failed their instability roll, and was compelled to show off by moving at utter top speed for the turn. Brandon tried to make the best of it by ramming one of my few surviving gears (the Army Commander shown here) but the dice came through for me and he missed me.

The other neat thing I didn't get pics of was my crappy infantry finally whittling down one of his HC-3 hovercars. I frankly felt like I stole the win by running my two last gears up into the face of his two unscathed large hovertanks. If we'd played one more turn they'd have been slag, but by the rules of the 'Seize' objective Brandon was working on, I'd successfully 'contested' control of the tank blind from him, denying him the VPs for that objective and giving me a very 'gamey' one VP win. Still, we both had fun, and playing against his PAK/CEF makes me want to get to work on mine. Love those hover vehicles!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Whoops I Forgot I Have a Blog (and a magnetized Naga by way of apology)

Sorry folks. Will try to do a big bonanza catch-up post later this week. I've done a lot of gaming since my last substantive post, and I'll try to get caught back up, or at least throw some pics up here. Mea culpa.

Anyway, just got done magnetizing a Naga for my upcoming HAPF army for Heavy Gear. This is the first significant magnetization project I've ever tried, and it went fairly well. You can see the misalignment problems when I convert it to the Long Fang variant (the one with the long-barreled guns), but I'm happy with it for a first try. We'll see if it goes ok when I throw togethere my Fire Dragon mini tomorrow...

Standard Naga with chin-mounted Medium Autocannon

Standard Naga with chin-mounted Heavy Flamer

Command Naga; swaps one ATM/AGM pod for an advanced ECM/ECCM suite and Satellite Uplink

Long Fang Naga; swaps both missile pods for twin Light Field Guns

The magnetizing was pretty straightforward, which was a pleasant surprise. I bought 3/32" magnets, and was fortunate enough to have a 3/32" drill bit available for my pin vise. I took the advice of a fellow HG player (hi Dale!) and seated the magnets in their holes before applying the glue, to (mostly) avoid problems with the glue hydraulically locking the magnet outside its desired position. We'll see how the Fire Dragon (and possibly my Hetairoi hovertanks) do, since they're resin.