Sunday, November 15, 2015

Dystopian Wars: Kingdom of Britannia vs Russian Coalition (1000pts)

Admiral Dimitry Orlov was relaxing in his cabin on the Russian Borodino-Class Battleship, Georgy Pobedonosets II ("St George the Victorious II").  It was good to be home once again, back at sea.

Once more, Orlov was being sent to the Britannian Embassy to partake in some war games.  He dreaded these games as there was no glory in defeating an allie in a wargame, but penalties for failure were real (what with the Russian Political Police).

So, after many moons, I finally got a chance to play a game.  (Don't you hate "Real Life" getting in the way?)

Britannia, north edge, west to east:

  • Hood Battle Cruiser
  • Ruler Battleship with Guardian Generator
  • 4 Attacker Frigates
  • 2 X 5 SAS Fighters
  • 4 Attacker Frigates
  • Hood Battle Cruiser
  • Ruler Battleship with Guardian Generator
  • Eagle War Rotor

Russia, south edge, west to east:

  • 3 X Saransk Skyships
  • 4 X Novorod Frigates
  • 5 SAS Fighters
  • Borodino Battleship with Torpedo / Rocket Jammer (Commodore)
  • 3 X Savoy Cruisers
  • 5 SAS Fighters
  • 4 X Novorod Frigates
  • 2 Chany Strike Submarines

The Start of Game

After deploying terrain and fleets, we drew our random mission cards.  Neither side liked the mission they drew, so we both announced we were doing the default 70% of the enemy fleet mission.  Blah!

Turn 1:
No Cards played during the TAC phase. 

Russians won initiative for Turn 1.  (DANG!)

Russians started things off by moving a squadron of fighters forward, over the island on their side.  The Britannian War Rotor turned to starboard, stayed in the clouds and moved towards the table centre.  Russians wasted an activation by moving the other fighter squadron forward, moving beside the other squadron over an island.  By this point, my opponent realized I was killing activations and started moving his fighters to prevent me from getting a decent shot at something valuable…

Having nothing else that I could “waste”, I moved the two Russian Strike subs forward (submerged).  A squadron of Britannian Frigates moved forward and fired on the subs, but were unable to damage the submerged Russian ships.  The squadron of Frigates on the east side moved behind the island, out of sight of the Britannian forces (with much harsh language from the Britannians, I might add.  Do you sing the Queen’s Anthem with that mouth?). 

Britannian Fighters moved to join the previously moved fighter squadron over the island in their deployment zone.  Russian Frigates in the west moved to Port (mostly to get out of the Battleship’s way and to avoid getting rammed).  The western Britannian Hood moved forward, turned to port and damaged one of the Skyships with long-ranged turret fire.  To stall for time, the Russian Cruisers moved forward their minimum move.  The Britannian Frigates on the west side moved around the corner of an island but found their weapons were all out-of-range.   

Running out of things to move, the Russian Command Ship moved out, trusting in the Tzar, God and Ablative Armour to keep her safe.  Though she was able to get the Lord Hood into gun range, the Range Band 3 Salvo failed to damage the (lucky) Battle Cruiser.  The western Britannian Battleship charged forward like a hound released from its leash and fired on the Russian Battleship.  Surprisingly, the Jammers stopped ALL torpedoes from hitting the Russian ship while Ablative Armour once more prevented damage to the great ship!

For the last activation of the Russians, the Skyships stayed hidden in the clouds, moved forward and fired on the Lord Hood.  Once more, the there was no damage caused to the Britannian Battle Cruiser.  Commander has a horse shoe hidden somewhere on that boat!

With the Russian Activations complete, the Britannians were able to activate their remaining fleet without worrying about Russian Retaliation.  The other Lord Hood moved out and fired on the damaged Skyship, but failed to damage it.  Finally, the last Britannian Battleship played “Stoke the Engines” and moved straight forward to get into range on the Russian Fleet.  Sadly, they were unable to damage anything this time. 

Ironically, the only Victory Points this turn were for the Russians as a result of them allowing the TAC to be played on the Britannian Battleship!

End of Turn 1

Victory Points:
KOB:      0
RC:         40

Turn 2:
In the TAC Phase, the Britannians played “Radio Intercept” (rolled +1 for their Intiative roll) while the Russians played “Espionage” and discarded the Britannian’s “Battlefield Repair” TAC!  20VP each!

Britannia won the initiative – by 1!

Britannia started things off with a bang!  A squadron of fighters “jumped” a squadron of their Russian contemporaries, and successfully shot down 2 token!  For a loss of 5!  The entire Britannian squadron was wiped out!

The Russian Battleship failed its Sturginium Boost roll (does it ever pass it?) and moved forward at maximum speed towards the Hood Battle Cruiser, and crit the Britannian warship (Generators offline), though the Battleships secondary guns failed to cause any damage.

The western Hood moved forward at maximum speed and finally managed to damage the Russian Battleship, though her AA guns failed to damage the Skyships.   The Russian Subs surfaced and attacked the eastern Hood, but failed to damage the Britannian ship.  The Russians then played “Break Neck Maneuver”, but the Britannians cancelled it with “Brace For Impact”, giving up 20 more points to the Russian Cause. 

Of course, the Russian Subs failed their Maneuver test and were caught on the surface by the Britannian Frigates who formed up a perfect Cross-fire for their torpedoes at Point-Blank-Range, before realizing they were too close for torpedoes!  Oops!  It didn’t matter, the turrets made quick work of one (sank with a double-crit) while the other was damaged.  Ther ferocity of the attack shocked the surviving Sub Commander and the sub failed its Disorder test!  First Blood to Britannia!

Frigates Sink a Sub!

The Russian Cruisers failed their Sturginum Boost roll, but managed to move forward far enough to get the damaged Hood into Turret range.  When the smoke cleared, the Hood was gone!  Russia’s First Blood!
Lord Hood Sinks

The remaining Hood Battle Cruiser prepared for a Hit-And-Run attack; turned to port and crit the damaged Skyship (Weapons damaged), then continued forward, hopefully out of arc of any retaliation.

The eastern Russian Frigate squadron popped out from behind the island and sank 1 frigate, damaged another but failed to damage the Hood with their mortars.

Britannian Frigates Are Attacked!

The eastern Britannian Battleship turned to starboard and opened fired on the Russian fleet.  Two Frigates were damaged but the sub was undamaged!

The remaining full-strength Russian Squadron attacked the remaining Britannian Fighter Squadron and shot down 4 tokens for a loss of 4 tokens which left both squadrons with a single token each!
On the west side of the battle zone, the Britannian Frigates moved forward and managed to damage another Skyship.

The Skyships  moved forward, dropped mines in front of the Britannian Battleship and made a turn to starboard, then spotted one of the Frigate Squadrons (only 1 spotted token, sadly).  The Skyships’ guns failed to do any damage.

The Britannian Battleship got its revenge by turning to starboard, avoided the mines and destroyed one damaged Skyship, crit a Cruiser (Guns Damaged) but failed to damage another Cruiser.  The Skyships failed their Disorder Test!

Skyship Destroyed!

The Western Frigate Squadron sort of hid behind the main fleet line, but using the Spotter token, managed to sink one frigate with Indirect fire (the first time ever I can think of that the Russians successfully used Indirect fire)!

Russian Indirect Fire Sinks a Frigate

The Britannian War Rotor turned to starboard and attacked the surfaced sub, but once more, the sub escaped damage.

In the End Phase, the Britannians had nothing to repair or roll for.  The Russians successfully repaired the Cruiser’s guns and then we started to roll to recover from the failed Disordered tests.  The Skyships lost 2 AP on the damaged Skyship, but the Russian Sub was down to 1AP & 1HP after their roll!  The Sub was almost lost!

Victory Points:
RC:         280
KOB:      150

Turn 3:
In the TAC phase, the Russians played “Radio Intercept” (got +3) and gave the Britannians another 20 easy points.

(For the Russians, this was the “all or nothing” turn – I NEEDED 1st turn for my plans to work.)

Russians won Initiative.  (YAY!)

While it looks like the Russians are doing well, the opposite it true.  In order to win, I would need to sink, prize or Derelict 2 of the 3 Battleships and War Rotor.  So far, I wasn't making ant headway there... 

The Commodore took first activation and did something I always forget to do; I declared the Commodore’s Order!  “Sturginium Overload” – All ships with Sturginium boost automatically pass their test; all without get +1” movement anyway!

As the Commodore was on the Battleship – away we went at Full Speed!  At RB2, the Battleship got a Crit on the western Britannian Battleship (Engines Damaged) ( JUST missed a double-Crit) and sank a Frigate.  WHAT?!?!?!  IS THAT ALL????

Russian Battleship Disappoints!

The Britannian Frigates on the east moved forward, sank a damaged Frigate and successfully boarded the surfaced sub!  Realizing that keeping the sub as a prize would leave his ships (and the sub) vulnerable to more boarding this early in the turn, the boarding parties all returned to their ships and left the Sub a Derelict!

Sub Derelict, Frigate Sunk

The Russian Cruisers moved out and played “Devastating Barrage”, which was cancelled with Espionage (more points for the Russians) and while the Turrets failed to damage the Battleship, the broadsides successfully sank another Frigate.

Cruisers sink a Frigate

The western Britannian Battleship moved forward at ½ speed (thanks to Engine damage) and failed to damage a Skyship, but did manage to crit one of the Russian Cruisers (Shredded Defences).  The remaining Skyships stayed in the clouds, moved forward and dropped a linked mine just in front of the other Britannian Battleship, then managed to damage the Britannian War Rotor!

The War Rotor made a 180 degree turn and moved forward.  Gunnery failed to damage 1 Skyship, but the War Rotor managed to Baord and Derelict the other Skyship for a loss of 4 AP.  The remaining Skyship failed its Disorder test!

Skyship Boarded & Derelicted

Frigates on the east moved towards the last Hood and successfully damaged the Britannian Battle Cruiser.  The Hood got its revenge by ramming and sinking 1 Frigate, then shot and sank another Frigate!

Lord Hood Rammed and sank a Frigate..
..Then Sank a Frigate!

The other Russian Frigates moved quickly towards the hood, but failed to damage it, though the mortars did sink another Britannian Frigate.

The eastern Britannian Battleship was forced to run over the linked mine – there simply wasn’t enough room to maneuver away in time.  Sadly, the linked mine wasn’t powerful enough to damage the great warship.  The Battleship then damaged the last Skyship, a Frigate and removed the Ablative Armour off a Cruiser!

For their last moves of the activation, the Russian Fighters “buzzed” towards the War Rotor (with no real hope of damaging the beast).  The remaining Britannian Frigates sank another Russian Frigate.

Another Russian Frigate Sunk

In the End Phase, the Britannians repaired the Battleship’s Engines and the frigates lost 1 AP to the Disorder Test.  The Russian Cruiser repaired its defences but the Skyship lost 3 AP!

The Derelict Sub and Skyship both crashed and/or sank to the bottom of the deep blue sea…

Victory Points:
KoB:       420
RC:         410

At this point I capitulated to the Britannian Commander, but we rolled to see who would get next turn anyway to see what would happen.  The Britannians won the init, moved their Battleship forward and blasted the Russian Battleship at Point-Blank-Range, which caused 3 Crits!  Two from Turreted attacks and 1 from Broadsides! (Raging Fires, Chaos and Disarray, Shredded Defences). 

At this point, there was no doubt that the Britannians would win the battle.  It would just be a matter of time.


Nasty Battle.  I knew the Russians were in trouble as soon as I saw Graham's list.  3 Massive/Large choices are always difficult to deal with and with only 1 Large choice on my side, I was overwhelmed.

I need to re-evaluate the use of Battle Cruisers.  I've not used them because I consider them sort of a "Glass Cannon"; unable to take significant damage.  However, Graham's use has shown how they can be used effectively.  I still think a single Battle Cruiser is too weak, but multiples makes your opponent split his fire (not to mention an extra activation is always nice).

Anyway, hard fought battle and Graham earned the victory.  Congrats!

Monday, June 29, 2015

BatRep & Product Review: Relic Knights: Basic Boxes – Black Diamond vs Star Nebula Corsairs

So a friend sold me one of his factions he got from Kickstarter, so I figured I should get off my butt and try it!

Product Review:

Relic Knights is a Miniature Skirmish Battle in an Anime Universe.  Figures are the ever-popular 28mm-ish scale with multiple races/disciplines in this futuristic Sci-Fi environment.

Basic Fluff:

The galaxies are disappearing and finally, there is only 1 left.  Can you help stop the “Darkspace Calamity” from claiming the last Galaxy or will you encourage the destruction.  Only time will tell…

If you are a fan of Anime, you’ll recognize the basic outlines of the various Factions very quickly.  They’re VERY stereotypical.

  • Doctrine: the Wizards and Magic folks, trying to control “Esper” rather than “Winds of Magic”
  • Cerci Speed Circuit: Think “Speed Racer” and all those other futuristic race cartoons.  Happy go lucky racers fighting against each other and the syndicate as they try to entertain their audiences and earn credits to keep on racing.  Saving the Universe just happens to be part of the fun…
  • Shattered Sword: All those virtuous Knightly Orders and Paladins trying to protect the innocent and save the day.
  • Black Diamond: Your Mercenary Guns for Hire with some being honorable, and some, well, we’re not sure.  Sometimes you gotta take a dirty job to put rounds in the mags, ya know?
  • Noh Empire: The REALLY ugly alien monsters that want to destroy or take over everything.  The 2nd biggest threat to the Universe after the Deadspace Calamity.
  • Star Nebule Pirates: Of course there’s those loveable rouges that rob from the rich and keep for themselves.  One of the Pirates is ‘Captain Harker” – need I say more?

Rumor has it, a new version will be released soon, with more options for the original Factions as well as possibly more Factions!


Models are plastic / resin that I never really investigated further.  Wash the figures before painting and you should be good.  I’ve only used Zap-A-Gap and it works fine.

Model Detail is decent.  I’m not a master modeler or painter, but there was enough detail for me to paint interesting figures and not so much as to overwhelm me.  They look like 3D Anime figures – which is what they’re supposed to be! 

Overall, I like the models.  They’re easy to file / shave / customize.  Painting is normal and up to the painter’s imagination.  These figures pass the 2’ rule; if painted well, they look great from across the table – 4 out of 5 stars.

Warning: There is a lot of controversy about the figures released by Relic Knights.  Some people will consider some of the figures “Mature”, bordering on Adult.  The controversy is North American perception that Cartoons should be “Family Friendly”.  Japanese Animation, on the other hand, has NEVER been restricted just to Children’s fare as it has in North America.  Adult themes in Anime is common and some series / movies are specifically written for adults.  As a result, certain factions use a lot of “Fan Service” poses: Skimpy and tight costumes, poses that may/may not show panties, figures that appear naked or almost so.  Add some of the paint jobs being displayed by some of the more imaginative adult painters out there and Voila!  Extreme Over-reaction.

If you are not offended by Games Workshop’s Slannish or other companies’ “interesting” figures, then you shouldn’t have an issue with Relic Knights.  If you are bothered, review the site’s figures carefully before purchasing. Don’t let younger kids play with your figs so there aren’t any “interesting” questions asked, either!

Game Play:

This is the most unique play style I’ve played so far.

First, there are no dice to this game.  Everything is done using “Esper” Cards.  There are 6 “Colours” of Esper.  Each colour represents a different aspect of esper: Law, Creation, Corruption, Entropy, Chaos, and Essence.  Each Aspect has certain properties and can be used to do different things by those with the ability to manipulate it.  The most powerful manipulators become Knights.

The Esper deck contains 42 cards that are shuffled and dealt or flipped to get your random results.  Most cards have 2 circles of different colours, one larger than the other.  The Larger circle is worth 2 Esper points of that colour, the smaller only 1 Esper point of its colour.  There are also “Wild Cards” that are worth 1 Esper of any type and “Void” cards that aren’t worth anything.  Also note – each Esper type is strongly affiliated with a Faction.  At the beginning of the game, a player has a hand of 5 Esper Cards to start using their abilities.

Players form Cadres, consisting of at least 1 Knight (larger games can support more) and their Cypher (think Spirit Guide with extra abilities), Minions and Uniques.  These Cadres draw random missions and attempt to carry them out.  Whomever earns the Minimum required points to finish a game first, wins.  Wiping out the enemy Cadre is an automatic victory as well.

The other unique aspect is that this is not a Turn-based game!  Unlike You-Go-I-Go, Relic Knights uses alternate Activations.  Players activate a unit, then the other player activates a unit.  Unlike Spartan games, instead of going through all your units once before repeating, you can “Stage” your units in almost any order you want.  With limitations.  Players place their units on a “Dashboard” with a Ready Queue.  Dependent on the number of points in the game, your queue grows in size.  As you finish activating a card, you throw it into an Idle Section and advance all the cards in your queue forward one space, then select a unit card to go from the Idle Section to the Ready queue.  (Very simplified and not quite correct – there’s an “Active” slot you move to, but it’s basically all the same.)

For example, a Start Box game (~35 Points) has a queue of 2.  A 50 Point game has a Ready Queue of 3 slots.  Large Battles (100 Points) have Ready Queues of 5 Slots.

This means you need to plan in advance what unit(s) you want to play when and try to have the required Esper cards ready for them by the time they activate!  It’s not always that easy!

Units all have 2 cards: 1 “Tracker” card that is used to track damage and place within the Idle or Ready Queue & 1 Reference card that shows the various capabilities of the units and how much Esper (and what types) are required to perform them.


Battle Report:

Best way to explain the game is to play the game!

Wer decided to play basic box sets, no extras.  So Mike brought his Black Diamond Boxset while I brought my Star Nebula Corsairs.

Black Diamond Force:
  • Questing Knight Leopold Magnus
  • Cypher Static
  • M8-Blitz Auto-Tank
  • 5 X Diamond Corps (Basic Line Troopers)

Black Knight’s Missions:
  • Secure Perimeter (Primary Mission – 5VP)Team must place Secure Tokens on their Primary Objective and on both enemy Secondary Objectives.  Tokens must be on all 3 at the same time.
  • Defense of Life (Secondary Mission – 3VP)
    Opponent picks a unit and that unit must deposit a token on the farthest board edge from the unit’s starting position.

Star Nebula Corsairs Force:
  • Questing Knight Captain Harker
  • Cypher Caeser
  • Broadside (Portable Cannon thingee!)
  • 5 X Corsairs (Basic Line Troopers)

Corsair’s Missions:
  • Secure Perimeter (Primary Mission – 5VP)
    Must destroy either 1 Enemy Primary Objective or 2 enemy Secondary Objectives.
  • Anarchy (Secondary Mission – 3VP)
    Place Sabotage Tokens on 5 different objectives, enemy or friendly.

We placed our Objectives, then our units, alternating placement between the players.
So, after drawing some random cards, Diamond’s got first Activation.

Initial Startup
Orange - Corsairs' Tokens
Purple - Diamond's Tokens

I put the 5 Corsairs in my first Ready Queue and Harker in the second.  The Broadside & Cypher in the Idle pile.

First Activation, the Diamond Corps moved towards the Corsairs, picked 1 Corsair model as a target (All models within 6” of the target and LOS were fair game) and fired on them using PR-12 Rifle Burst, playing 2 points of Purple (corruption) Esper.  The Corps then drew an Extra 2 cards (using the first value of the shooting icon) and “pressed” Piercing on the shot – reducing armour by 1.  With only 3 models able to see the Target, the Corsairs suffered 5 points damage (3 Points + 1 point for each extra shooter) and reducing armour to None from 1.  The Corsairs drew 2 Esper cards from their own deck (2nd number of the Shooting Icon) but didn’t have enough of the correct Esper to do anything in defence.  Corsairs are worth 3 hit points each so I lost 1 Corsair and another took 2 wounds.  After applying damage, the Diamond Corps did their Follow-up move.  The Diamonds then moved their Corps to the Idle pile and both players did their “house-keeping” (Both players needed to “return” to 5 Esper Cards in hand, the “Active” player dumping any they don’t want and the Non-Active only dropping extra or filling their hand – no dumping of unwanted cards.  Active player advances all their Ready Section 1 slot and grabs a card from “Idle” to put in the last slot.)

Diamond's Corps Gun Down Corsairs

The Corsairs were not pleased and vented on the Diamond Corps. The Corsairs moved forward, 3 in contact with one model and declared No Quarter - a melee attack using 2 Orange (Chaos) Esper.  I then drew 2 extra cards and was able to “Press” with 3 Red (Entrophy) Esper to increase the damage to 7.  With 3 models in contact, I got a bonus 2 damage for a total of 9 Damage!  The Corps drew 2 cards and were able to power-up Force Screen increasing their armour to 2.  This dropped my damage back down to 7, but it was enough to kill 2 Corps members and damage a 3rd!  I then made my follow-up move towards the survivors.  During clean-up I dumped some cards I didn’t want and brought my hand back to 5, Moved Harker to 1st Ready Queue and added Broadside to the 2nd while the Corsairs went into the idle pile.

Corsairs Charge Into The Corps!

And that’s how play basically works…

Diamond’s Cypher, Static cast Electroshock over by Harker.  It did no damage as it was an Area of Effect, but when Harker Activated, he would trigger the AOE effect and lose any Buffs he had as well as suffer Damage 4.

Harker activated (and got Zapped – took 4 damage) and Gained a Held Esper as he could draw Line-Of-Sight to his Cypher.    Held Esper can be used as 2 Esper points of any colour you chose, when you want it.  Harker then ran towards a friendly Objective and placed a Sabotage Marker on it, then hid behind a container during his follow-up move.

Harker Sabotages an Objective and Hides!

The Diamond’s Tank activated, moved forward, shot at and damaged the Broadside (5 Damage) then scooted behind a canister for cover.

The Broadside moved behind a container of his own and shot back at the Tank, but due to my screwy rules reading, I misunderstood how cover worked and ended up reducing my damage output BADLY!  I only managed to put 1 damage point on the tank!


The Diamond Corps took another shot at the Corsairs, and killed 2 more Corsairs.

Corps Shoot More Corsairs!

The Corsairs shot right back and killed 2 more Corps Members.

Corsairs Return the Favour!

Magnus activated and Gained a Held Esper as he could draw Line-Of-Sight to his Cypher.  Magnus then moved towards Hawker and once he could draw LOS, he used Esper Overload to cause Hawker extra damage as the Pirate had Held Esper – causing another 8 Damage points, leaving Harker VERY hurt (I think I had 1 or 2 Damage Points left)!

Harker Activated but couldn’t see his Cypher this time, so no extra Esper for him.  Harker moved out and shot the last Corps member using I’ll Take That – then pressed Reave & Lifeleech which allowed Harker to recover 3 Damage Points (that felt better) and gained an Extra Held Esper for killing the model.

Harker Kills The Last Corpsman
Gains Some Healing!

The Diamond’s Tank came out from cover and blasted the Broadside (it had only 1 damage point left – I hadn’t even bothered to pull it from the Idle pile as I knew it wouldn’t last long enough to do anything).  The tank then took cover behind another cargo container.

Broadside Goes Down In Flames

The Corsairs moved out and placed another Sabotage token on an Enemy Secondary Objective.

Magnus moved towards the Corsairs and target them with Electric Blast – killing one Corsair and pushing the other 4” away.

Magnus Kills a Corsair

The Cypher Caesar activates and stole a Held Esper from Magnus, then flew out of sight!

The Tank continues driving towards the opposite table edge, and finally completed its move to the Opposite Board Edge, dropped their Life Token and claimed the Secondary Objective complete (3 VPs).

Harker moved out to get a Clear Line Of Sight and in desperation fires Command Shot, then presses it to increase the damage to 9 points.  The Tank’s armour reduced the damage down to 6 – not enough damage to stop the tank!  The Attack used up the last of Harker’s Held Esper.

Magnus then used Esper Overload on Harker again.  Fortunately, by dumping his Held Esper previously, Harker saved his own life – though he was down to 1 damage point!

The Last Corsair took a shot at Magnus with Lead Tooth, and damaged the Diamond Knight.

Corsair Bravely Shoots Magnus!

<I lost track of an activation here – my tablet’s power died and I changed over to my cell’s note app.  Sorry!>

Harker Activated and charged Magnus with Relentless, pressed the attack for 7 damage and overrun 6”.  (Overrun pushes the target away, then the attacker follows the same distance – maintaining contact.)  The attack wasn’t powerful enough – it only did 5 damage Points due to Armour and left Magnus Alive!

Magnus wasted no time.  Cast Esper Overload on Harker and kills the hapless Corsair Knight.  With his master down, Caesar flies away and left a single, solitaire Corsair on the battlefield.

Magnus Takes Down Harker

I conceded the game at this point.

End Of Game!

Black Diamond Victory!

So, First Game, very different, lots of Fun!

I Like the Esper deck mechanic.  I’ve simplified things greatly here, but you should get the general idea how things work.  The models are nice.  The rules seem complete.  The basic rules are simple, but there are a bunch of Minor rules or “Abilities” to try to learn and remember.  The good news is that they’re all together in the back of the rule book – you don’t have to go digging through multiple sections for them.  It sounds complicated at first, but once you start getting into it, the activations go quickly.

The Basic Boxes all include 1 Knight, a Cypher, a unit of multiple Minions and a single Minion (plus the Tracking and Reference cards for each).  More importantly, you get the Esper Deck (with reference cards for Scenarios, various special rules and Esper Manipulation, damage card for the Objectives and a Token Tracker) and a bag of tokens – giving everything you need for a game – EXCEPT TERRAIN!

Speaking of which, Relic Knights is a very terrain intensive game.  If you’re familiar with Infinity (and why aren’t you?), then you’re looking at that scale or DENSER!  They recommend 2-3 pieces of terrain per Square foot!  Half of it tall enough to block larger models (Humans are Size 2 – they recommend blocking LOS for Size 3).

Most of the box sets seem ok – I can see why you want to buy more units quickly.  The Knights are usually ok, but some of the other units are “Meh” to Poor.  For example, the Broadside for the Corsairs has a poor reputation, but everyone seems to like the versatility of the Corsair unit and recommend multiple units.

No matter what Faction you chose, I would recommend everyone get the basic box set.  Play a game or two, then start filling out your army.

Bonus Marks Soda Pop Miniatures for additional support.  They’ve released a Cadre Builder and Digital Dashboard for use on both Android and Apple Tablets & Phones.  The cost is quite reasonable and you can purchase the Digital Rulebook as well for extra.  I don’t know if they will extend this to Windows, but we can hope so.

Screen Shots of Digital App On Android!

Anyway, I like the game and I'm going to recommend it.  I’m looking forward to my next game!

Hope you enjoyed this write-up!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

BatRep: Dystopian Wars - 1500pts: Kingdom of Britannia vs Prussian Empire

Admiral Von Shtupp grumbled and fumed to himself. 

Even being on the bridge of SMS Graf von Zeppelin, the Blucher Dreadnought (and his Flagship), couldn’t rid him of the bad humor that surrounded him.  Von Shtupp’s pride had been badly bruised after his last defeat against the Britannians!

To make matters worse, he didn’t have his Carriers with him.  They were back in port undergoing retrofits.  There was no word when he would finally get his Air Support back. 

Finally, he was given a mission to track down the Britannians once more.  No Air Support, limited resources.  How was he supposed to even FIND the Britannians without airborn scouts???

Von Shtupp was an unhappy commander.

“Admiral!  The Radio room has received a message from fleet headquarters.  They’ve acknowledged that there are no fleet carriers or assault carriers that can be sent to help us, but they are attempting to route some resources our way.”

“Did they say if there were any Air assets available for us?”

“It was kind of Cryptic, sir.  They said to expect a rendezvous at 06:00”

“I guess we’ll need to wait.  They probably didn’t want to say anything in case the message was intercepted.”


“Admiral, sorry to disturb you but the lookouts report two ships approaching.”

“What kind of ships are they?”

“I’m not sure, sir.  They look to be Gunships or Cruisers in size, but they have carrier decks.”

Suddenly, the drone of aircraft could be heard overhead.  Multiple engines.  Something Large.  Something Von Shtupp couldn’t identify.

“Admiral!  The Lookouts report fighters coming in to land on the two new ships!  They are carriers!  But there’s two large fliers the lookouts have never seen before…”

Maybe things are looking up, smiled Von Shtupp…


Once more, the dastardly Britannians were seeking to interfere with the righteous fleet maneuvers of the glorious Prussian Navy!  The Scum!!!

Actually, we got the new boxsets and I wanted to try the new Prussian Toys.  The Prussian Reinforcements consisted of 2 Adler Heavy Bombers and 2 Havel Light Carriers.  I expected the Britannian fleet to want to test out their Halifax Bombers and Stalwart Heavy Destroyers as well.

I did some quick calculations and figured I could use both bombers AND the Carriers in a 1500pt list.  Anything less and there could be issues with the fleet compositions.  Graham was game, so off we went.

My first mistake was making 3 fleet lists.  The first 2 lists were minor changes in composition.  The third list was a radical departure from the other two.  It was “Gunship” heavy, the Havels would be providing all the carrier support for the fleet.  At 1500pts, I would normally prefer a second Carrier choice, but couldn’t fit it into this list.

So we rolled for fleets and of course, we picked the fleet I didn’t really want to use – the “Gunship” list!

We rolled out random terrain – lots of islands this time.  Britannia got Strategic Advantage, Prussia the Operational Advantage.  No advance forces this game, so Prussians made the Britannians start deployment.  Once deployed, we drew our mission objectives, drew our TAC, growled at each other a bit, and started to roll dice…


Prussian Empire (West to East or Bottom to Top):

  • 5 Fighters SAS
  • 1 Adler Heavy Bomber
  • 5 Fighter SAS
  • 3 Arminius Frigates
  • 1 Blucher Dreadnought (Commodore’s Ship) with Tesla & Shield Generators
  • 1 Kaiser Karl
  • 1 Konigsberg Battle Cruiser
  • 4 Jager Strike Airships 
  • 3 Donnerfaust Support Cruisers behind the Jagers
  • 1 Adler Heavy Bomber 
  • 4 Fighter SAS
  • 4 Fighter SAS
  • 2 Havel Light Carriers, behind the Bomber and Fighters (and ISLAND)!

Kingdom of Britannia (West to East or Left to Right):

  • 4 Attacker Frigates
  • 1 Hood Battle Cruiser
  • 1 Agincourt Gunship
  • 3 Stalwart Heavy Destroyers
  • 5 Fighters SAS behind the Destroyers
  • 1 Majesty Dreadnought (Commodore’s Ship)
  • 2 Swift Corvette
  • 5 Fighters SAS behind the Corvettes
  • 1 Ruler Battleship
  • 1 Ruler Battleship
  • 1 Hood Battle Cruiser
  • 1 Eagle War Rotor

All Fliers were Obscured in the clouds to start.

Start of Game!

Turn 1:

TAC Phase: Britannia tried to play “Lost Orders”.  Prussia cancelled it with their own “Lost Orders” and gave up 20VP to Britannia.

Britannia won the Initiative.

Britannian Frigates started things off, moved forward at maximum speed but had no targets in range.  A Prussian Fighter SAS moved forward a bit, just to kill an activation.  The Britannian War Rotor moved to the East and fired on one of the Adler Bombers, but missed.  The Jagers stayed high and moved forward but found themselves out-of-range of the War Rotor.  The Hood Battle Cruiser on the West of the battle zone moved forward, turned to port and fired on the other Bomber. Despite the loss of two attack dice for Rugged Construction AND requiring 5+ to hit, the Britannians got a Double-Crit (Engine Damage & 1 Raging Fire) on the hapless Bomber!

Prussian Bomber Used As A Target Drone!!!

The other Western Prussian SAS moved towards the Table Centre.  The Britannian Gunship moved forward and turned to port, but was unable to shoot at the Bomber due to range and Rugged Construction Penalties!  Not wanting to risk more casualties just yet, the Prussian Frigates made a minimal move forward.  The Eastern Britannian Battle Cruiser moved forward and fired on the Jagers and successfully shot down 1!

First Blood!  Jager Bites The Dust!

The Prussians decided it was time to act.  The Donnerfaust moved forward at max speed, boosted by their Tesla Generators and fired their forward Speerschleuder at the Battle Cruiser and not only damaged the Britannian ship, but emplaced a Lightning Rod on it and fried an AP!

One of the Britannian Battleships played “Stoke the Engines” and moved at max speed around the corner of an island, turning to starboard to expose all turrets to the Prussians and managed to crit a Donnerfaust (Chaos & Disarray) and shot down a 2nd Jager with its broadsides!

Second Jager Shot Down!

The Kaiser Karl advanced forward at full speed and fired on the Battlecruiser, but due to the incredible Shields, failed to damage the smaller ship!  Britannian Heavy Destroyers moved forward, but found themselves out of range.  The Damaged Adler Bomber moved forward as fast as it could, but was unable to damage the enemy Battle Cruiser.  The Britannian Dreadnought felt sorry (???) for the Adler and moved forward so he could shoot it out of the sky, thus ended the bomber’s misery.  

Another Prussian Flyer Down In Flames!

On the East side, Prussian Fighters moved forward.  The 2nd Britannian Battleship moved forward and turned to starboard, but failed to damage anything with their guns.  Their Speerschleuder on the other hand managed to crit the Battle Cruiser (Guns Damaged), thanks to the Lightning Rod placed on it earlier.  Britannian Fighters started to move towards their Battleships.  Prussian Fighters in the East also moved forward.  Britannian Corvettes moved out but fired on no one.  The Prussian Carriers moved forward their minimum move – staying protected by the island just a little while longer.  The last Britannian Fighters moves forward – the last activation of their turn.  The last Adler bomber moved forward and crit the Battle Cruiser (Nav Lock).  Finally, the Prussian Dread moved forward at maximum speed and sank the Battle Cruiser with its forward Tesla Cannon and the turrets crit the Gunship (Engine). 

The First Britannian Loss!

In the End Phase, the Britannnians failed to repair their Gunship and the Prussians failed to repair their Donnerfaust.  Both sides used their Commodore’s Reroll, but it made no difference.

End Of Turn 1

KoB        180
PE           180

Turn 2:

TAC Phase: Britannia played “Radio Intercept” and rolled a bonus +2 to the Initiative Roll.  Prussians gained an extra 20VP.

Britannia won the Initiative.

The War Rotor did a 180 (something new in the latest Fleet Lists!) and moved west.  The Rotor’s guns failed to damage any of the Jagers.  (At this point, I was pretty sure Britannia’s mission was 50% and all smalls.  Why I didn’t act on this insight, I’ll never know…) The Donners moved forward and turned to starboard, then fired on both the War Rotor and a Battleship, but failed to damage either.  Britannian Fighters attacked and shot down 2 SAW for the loss of 2 of their own. 

The Prussian Battlecruiser then activated, moved forward and used its Tesla Generator on the War Rotor and SUCCESSFULLY damaged the Generators!  First time the Tesla Worked that way!  The Battlecruiser then shot the War rotor with the Speerschleuder, damaged the Rotor and embedded a Lightning Rod!  Finally, the Cruiser’s turrets managed to crit a Battleship (Heavy Pounding: -3AP). 

Prussian Battle Cruiser Has A GREAT Turn!

The damaged Britannian Battleship turned to port and let loose.  The Torpedoes failed to damage the Dreadnought, but the guns Double-Crit the Battle Cruiser (Magazine Explosion: 3HP & Engines), leaving the Prussian with only 1HP!

The Battleship Fires Back!

The Jagers knew their time was limited and attacked the War Rotor and damaged the Britannian ship, thanks once more to the Lightning Rod!  The 2nd Britannian Battleship activated and sank the Battle Cruiser with a Torpedo Attack while the turrets damaged a Donner and the Battleship’s AA managed to damage another Jager.

Second Battleship Finishes the Job!

The Prussian Bomber moved forward at maximum speed and and fired on the War Rotor, once more damaging the Rotor AND adding another Lightning Rod to the Rotor’s Hull!

The Britannian Destroyers moved forward and starboard, sank 2 Prussian Frigates and shot down 2 tokens with AA from a fighter SAS!  

Heavy Destroyers Attack!

The Fighters started to fly back to the Prussian Carriers.  Britannian Fighters attacked and shot down a Jager for no loss.  

Britannian Fighters Take Down Another Jager

Prussian Fighters moved forward and attacked the War Rotor, once more caused damage for no loss.  The last Britannian Battle Cruiser turned starboard and sank the last Prussian Frigate!  

Last Prussian Frigate Destroyed!

Another Prussian Fighter SAS moved towards the Prussian Carriers.  The Britannian Dreadnought moved forward, blocked Line-Of-Sight to the damaged Gunship from the rest of the Prussian Fleet and damaged the Prussian Dreadnought.  The only problem was the Dreadnought stopped so close to the Gunship, the Gunship would have to collide once it activated.

The Prussian had a problem.  Their mission was to sink all the Mediums and 50% of the fleet.  We were quickly running out of time and with the blocked Line-Of-Sight, and the Prussian Dread shielding the Kaiser Karl, I had limited choices.  In the end, I decided to hope the Gunship would sink itself and made a hard turn to port with the Dreadnought.  The Tesla Gun and 2 turrets targeted the Battle Cruiser and Crit it (Engines) while the rear turrets and broadsides double-crit the farther Battleship (Hard Pounding: 1 & Fusion Leak: 1).  The Prussians then boarded and prized the closer (damaged) Battleship!

The Britannian Corvettes moved out and damaged a Donnerfaust, but worst, shot down the last Jager with AA fire!

Last Jager (And Prussian Small) Destroyed!

We were out of time at this point.  I revealed my mission and Graham confirmed his was all my Smalls + 50%.  It all came down to two activations so that’s all we played:

The Kaiser Karl moved forward to expose all guns and fired on the Battle Cruiser.  When the shields were rolled and the results were figured out, I had rolled a single crit while the Battle Cruiser still had 3 HP.  I rolled the Crit: 1 & 2!  ARGGGHHHHHH – WAIT!  I laughingly played “Jolly Bad Luck” – which can be used to reduce any Non-Red 6 by 1 – and called it a Magazine Explosion!  Graham quickly scampered for his TAC deck and dispelled it “Breakneck Maneuver”.  But for 5 whole seconds, I had sunk the Battle Cruiser!  Sorta…

We then checked the collision between the Britannian Dreadnought and the Gunship.  The Gunship damaged the Dreadnought through some (un)lucky rolls.  We then rolled the Dreadnought’s dice.  Sadly, it only damaged the Gunship.

OOPS!!!  Gunship Collides With Dreadnought!

The game ended with BOTH Britannian Mediums with 1 HP each…

KoB        455         All Smalls and 50% of the Enemy Fleet (1/2 Completed)
PE:          610         All Mediums and 50% of the Enemy Fleet (Nothing Completed)



I just don't live right, I guess...

The hard part about these battle reports is writing up the Aftermath.  It's hard to be objective and not blame the dice.  Or the Opponent doing something underhanded.  Or the table rocked as I rolled.  Or . . You get the idea.

My Problems started during deployment.  I deployed my heavy stuff all on one side of an island and my opponent (rightly) concerned about the firepower on that side, kept most of his mediums on the other side.  I was actually thinking I might tempt the Mediums over but hind sight being what it is, yeah, I can't blame him.

Maybe my Problems started with the Fleet list.  It was a last-minute "I wanna try something DIFFERENT" but hadn't really thought out my strategy or tactics ahead of time.  I actually had plans on what I intended to do with the other lists.  I had no such plans for this one.  The low model count for Smalls didn't help me either.

Finally, I DID expect this one to go through 3 turns.  We never got to play that 3rd turn due to time issues.  (It's amazing how many people show up and want to talk to you, the more you have to do and the less time you have to do it!!!)  ((Not that I minded - it just made it harder to finish the game!))

I did capture that battleship in Turn 2, but to be honest, if the game had gone on one more turn, I would have probably lost the prize to Salvage as both the War Rotor and the other Battleship were near by.  I only left 4 AP on the Prize and kept 4 more on the Blucher. (Normally, I would probably left the Battleship Derelict and returned all my AP back to the Dread.)

So, that's my excuse for the Prussians "Underperformance" this time out.

What did I think of the New Units?

The Adler Bombers are interesting.  You can only take them in Squadrons of  1, so they can't support each other, really, other than to act as "bait".  Keeping the one bomber in the clouds kept it safe most the game, but Graham was more interested in all the Jagers to complete his objective - the bomber wasn't a threat until Turn 2 and not a serious threat until it could get into Bombing Range (which never happened).  On the other hand, the Western Bomber that got shot down in turn 1 took an amazing amount of fire to bring dow.  -2 Attack Dice for Rugged Construction and 5+ to hit made it very difficult to shoot down - it took the fire of the entire western board to bring it down (though it was a Dread's firing that finally did it in)!

I equate the Heavy Bombers to the Navy's Battle Cruisers - Glass Cannons.  They can dish out a LOT of damage (potentially) and as such are an important threat that needs to be neutralized.  However, as a unit of 1, they can't take a lot of attention - there's no one else to split damage over.  I think for them to survive, you need to take multiples of Heavy Bombers and / or Battle Cruisers and force your opponent to decide which one is a bigger threat.  Then prove they picked WRONG!!!  ;-)

The Havel Light Carriers didn't do much, but then they did what they were there for.  They provided more SAS to protect or attack with.  At 160 points for a pair, they're more expensive than a Rhine, but you get two ships with a combine HP value of 10 and potential for 2 X 4-token squadrons which gives you more fighting potential than 2 X 3-token squadrons of a Rhine and an extra usable squadron compared to the single 5-token SAS that the Rhine could put out (not to mention the possibly an extra activation(s) if you take the Light Carriers as Individual Units).  So I think there is a place for them in the Prussian Fleet.  They just weren't in a good place for this battle as they were too far from the front to rearm or replenish any of the SAS.

The Britannian Stalwart Heavy Destroyer IS a dangerous unit to face.  However, at 50pts a piece, they're approaching Cruiser Costs (Reiver is only 55) for less hull points and only 2 turrets.  Nasty but expensive!  This is a serious impact to the fleets 40% limit on Smalls.  Commanders will be forced to consider whether they want more Frigates and Corvettes rather than 1 Squadron of Heavy Destroyers.  

I'm disappointed I didn't see the Britannian Heavy Bomber, but such is life.  Maybe next mission.

My opponent kept his cool, kept his eye on the Objectives and if he had been a little more lucky, probably could have won this game.  It would have taken a lot more luck, but it was possible!  As it was, time and dice only let us have 2 turns and I was lucky to have squeezed a few more points than I should have - though it made no difference in the end.  I'm happy with a Draw as the game ended and it was still ANYONE's game!

Hope you enjoyed the show!  Have fun and Keep Your Head Above Water!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

BatRep: CY6! - Jet Age: Red Target: Skyhawk

Sorry for the lack of activity!  It seems after years of contract work, I finally landed a Permanent Position!  With my Professional Life stabilizing, hopefully I can post more frequently than of late!

So Graham wanted to do some “Check Your 6! Jet Age” and this was the next mission in the campaign book: “Star And Pyramid”.  So, away we go!

Date:  25 July, 1970, 1000hrs.
Location:  West of the Suez Canal (Egypt)
CAB:  Low & Surface Low (Ground level to ~ 9000ft)
Situation:  The Soviets had started deploying their own troops and pilots to Egypt.  Israel restricted missions to within 25 miles of the Suez to prevent engaging the Soviet pilots.  It didn’t always work…

A flight of Israeli A4’s is on their way to attack an artillery position when they are intercepted by Soviet Fighters in the area.

3 Artillery Guns, with 2 Light AA Weapons and 2 Man-Portable SA-7 IR Missiles protecting the guns.
AA and SA-7 must roll a D6 and roll 3+ to target an enemy fighter within 6 hexes of a friendly.  If failed, they MUST target the friendly aircraft.
4 X A4H’s must try to destroy the 3 guns.  Each Gun is a Point Target and takes 2 Damage Points to destroy.  The A4’s have a Medium Bomb Load and count as Fully Loaded. 
MiG 21MFs have 4 X AA2 IR Missiles each.  Shoot down the Israeli Aircraft before they complete their missions.

Optional Rules:
Soviets: One SA-7 Battery has Skilled Crew instead of Green
Israeli: Half the A4’s (1 Skilled and 1 Green) are delayed and don’t arrive until turn 3

Guns were deployed as far away from the Israeli Table edge as the rules permitted.  Light AA was deployed in between Israeli and Guns.  The SA-7 missiles were deployed hidden – to be revealed when (if) they fired their missiles.

Deployment Before the Optional Rules were rolled...

Israeli Deployment AFTER Optional Rules were rolled!

Turns 1-3:
The Israelis, forced to fly as two separate flights, moved forward at max speed (5 with full loads), and climbed to TAL 5.  MiG–21’s maneuvered to get rear aspect shots with AA-2 IR Missiles.  The Green MiG managed to get a Missile shot, but then we realized he couldn’t fire as he had performed an Immelman.

Turn 4:
AA and SA-7 Fire missed the A4’s.  The Green MiG launched an AA-2 missile, but missed.  The Black A4 made an attack on one of the Guns, but failed to hit it!

Missile Away . . And MISSED!

Turn 5:
The Black A4 made a Steep Immelman, but realized too late he reduced his air speed to Zero!

AA guns failed to hit either A4, and the Yellow A4 made a successful Dive Bomb Run on one of the guns, but only damaged it (Single hit).  Both MiGs fired AA-2 Missiles at the Yellow A4, but both missiles missed their targets.

A4 makes successful hit while the other STALLS!

Turn 6:
The Black A4 managed to recover without stalling the aircraft!  The Yellow A4 made an Extreme Turn to port.  The Yellow MiG made another Missile Attack on the Black A4, but missed AGAIN!!!  By ONE!

Another Missile Attack Fails To Hit!

Turns 7-8:
Lots of maneuvering, but no one was hit or damaged.  The “late A4s continued to fly straight forward, 1 behind the other. 

End of Turn 8

Turn 9:
As the 2nd Flight of A4’s flew by one of the AA Guns, the Gun managed to get a direct hit on the Blue A4, which caused the bombs to detonate and destroyed the A4!  The explosion killed the crew before they could eject!  The SA-7’s fired their last missiles, but both missed their targets.

AA Gun Shot Down An A4!

The Green MiG fired another A2 Missile and FINALLY, it homed in and destroyed Yellow A4!  No parachutes were seen as the A4 fell from the skies.  Two Kills in 1 turn!

MiG FINALLY Gets a Missile Kill!

Turn 10:
The Green A4 managed to make a successful bombing run and destroyed one of the Guns with a Direct Hit!  All other shooting missed!

A4 Destroys a Gun!

Turn 11:
The Game would end in turn 12 and Graham conceded the game at this point.

Final Score:
Israel:                   3 Points (1 Gun Destroyed)
Soviets:               10 Points (2 Planes – 5 points each)

Soviet Victory


This was a tough mission and the fact that the Israelis were forced to come in as 2 waves instead of 1 really hurt their chances!  Graham really was at a huge disadvantage in this mission as a result.

It also didn’t help in missions like this that your opponent knows EXACTLY what your mission is.  We’ve been spoiled by Dystopian Wars where you draw Secret Random Missions.  Knowing the Israeli Mission meant I could place the Guns, the AA guns and the SA-7’s to make it as difficult as possible.  While in reality, it makes sense in a war-setting to make a defense in depth like I did, it makes it that much easier when you know exactly which direction they’re coming from.  I think it might have been more interesting if the Israelis could roll randomly which table edge they came in on or how deep into the table they could deploy.

Also of note; I believe this is the first time EVER that we had ground fire actually take out a plane in Jet Age!  I needed to roll 11 or 12 on 2D6 to get a hit, so I really wasn’t expecting anything from the AA guns.  The SA-7’s on the other hand only needed 7+ to hit and they all missed!  I had placed the SA-7’s so that they would get at least 1 god missile shot as the A4’s approached the Guns, but it didn’t work!

Which brings up an interesting point.  I kept missing my “To-Hit” rolls all game by 1!  It was so bad that Graham broke out into a laughing fit somewhere around turn 7 or 8 and couldn’t regain control for a couple of minutes.  Ironically, after this fit, I shot down 2 planes in one turn.  The dice must have felt sorry for me…

Good game for me, but again, I think the Israelis (and Graham) really drew the short straw on this one.  Sorry Graham!