Saturday, 20 December 2008

Back to basics

Today we played a game of Laserburn. It is a long time since I have played Laserburn, probably about 12 years now that I think about it. I chose to umpire Assault on Bunker 17, which is the first Laserburn scenario that I ever bought. Steve was the unfortunate rebel stooge, who had to enter the bunker, kill General Yates, reprogram the sector computer and rescue the traitor from the bunker. Steve supplied four character figures for his side. I supplied all the other figures.
I have had these figures for more than twenty years now and the whole game was really nostalgia-filled for me. The rules held up well, although both of our brains hurt by the end with all the maths. Laserburn is the predecessor of the game that became 40K and its age shows in some respects, but it is still fun to play. So, how did the game go? Well, to be honest, rather poorly for Steve. His troops entered the bunker successfully and dealt very quickly with the door guards. They then advanced into the bunker and were forced to fight their way through the garrison's quarters to the computer and security areas. Unfortunately, about half way through the traitor was spotted doing something odd by the chief security officer. He managed to fake a systems malfunction but that meant he could not monitor his rescuers any more and open the bunker doors for them. With casualties mounting the rebel forces managed to reach the computer room but were forced to retreat before they could achieve their objectives. The elite assassins they had escorted in were dead or captured, the rebel troops were dead, one of the characters was dead and one had been captured. Steve chose wisely and his two remaining figures scarpered, leaving their companions to their fates. We did find that most of our shots actually hit characters in the legs, which is fairly typical. We get the same in .45 Adventures. This game was also characterised by a high number of guns that got hit and destroyed. Half the figures in the game had two-piece guns by the end!

This game of Laserburn was good on several levels.
  1. It embodied the spirit of thrifty gaming because we already had the figures and used a cheap-to-build terrain set
  2. It did not require purchase of anything that we did not already have
  3. It was great fun to play

We both already had all the figures that would be needed. Although we had planned this game for some time, it used figures that I had bought in the eighties and that had remained unpainted until now. I could have used already painted figures for the whole game but chose to use the game to spur me on and clear up a bit of the old lead mountain. The floor plan used for the bunker is a scaled down print-out of the WorldWorksGames Mars Station set. The doors come from Ebbles Miniatures' Guncrawl set. If you are interested, there are more pictures of this game in my Photobucket album, some of which have added commentary. The only disappointment about the game was that I had hoped to make a lot of paper furniture for the set too. Unfortunately that fell victim to a lack of desire to make much paper terrain. Still, we plan to play more Laserburn in the future, which will lead to more of my old Laserburn figures getting painted.

Regarding Mission: Ooh Shiny, we have now decided what our January project will be. [pause for drum roll and blow the fanfare. January will be WHAA month. I bought Warrior Heroes: Armies and Adventures when it first came out. Since then I have played a couple of solo games with my Vikings versus a variety of D&D miniatures and Steve bought some Teutonic Knights with a view to using them in it. I bought some Normans from Black Tree Designs that I planned to use with it (May they rot in the bog of eternal stench for taking 3 months to send me half my order and never having sent the rest 6 months later). I also supplemented my D&D miniatures with some Chronopia goblins. These goblins are sold as Blackbloods and I really liked the idea of giving my goblins giant chickens to ride instead of the more usual wolves. Unfortunately, as so often before, I prepped and undercoated the goblins and Normans but never got any further. So, we have the first scenario for Mission: Ooh Shiny.

Primary Objective: Goblins on Ripper Beasts and Chariot drawn by Ripper Beasts (2 VPs)

Secondary Objective: Norman Soldiers and Knights (1VP)

I am not certain how much time I shall have to paint figures in January, so I have set myself two objectives. The primary objective (Goblins) is the one that I must achieve. That should be fairly manageable (did I mention that I paint slowly?). The secondary objective is one that would be nice to achieve, but I shall not be overly disappointed if I do not manage it. Still, it would be nice to have the VPs for achieving it. I am not sure what the VPs will translate into when the year is over, but I suspect that Steve and I shall decide on a system for rewarding ourselves by the end.
I am looking forward to playing WHAA in February.

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