Saturday 28 September 2013

AVP: the girl's first game and new tiles for the board

I took the enlarged board game version to a friend's house yesterday since we had planned to have an evening of board gaming after dinner. After playing several rounds of another game, the girls decided they wanted to try Aliens. They already knew about my tabletop game related projects, so they were eager to find out why I am so excited about this game in particular. I had brought my larger tiles and my miniatures, gave the girls a short briefing about weapons, goals of the "Reactor Room" scenario and then had them decide who is going to control which character.
The two had split their forces into one of them controlling Dietrich, Apone, Hudson and Drake and the other Wierzbowski, Frost, Crowe, Hicks and Vasquez. They also set up the Marines in that order to take actions.

We played the basic scenario without ammo restrictions, without third-Alien- per-round spawns, but with the bonus bug rules. I have to say the two girls are die-hard Sci-Fi fans and have a lot of knowledge about the Alien universe - which is a rare thing to begin with (girls that know what's a Pulse Rifle?!). It turned out they were adopting to Aliens spawns immediately, knew when to put what weapon into use to kill which Alien to minimize Acid Spray casualties etc after two or three rounds!! Guess what these two managed: they rescued ALL (!!!) Marines in their first game of Aliens ever. Drake kicked three Xenomorph butts in Melee during that game, Dietrich got wounded in Close Combat by an Alien but  Apone kicked it off her and engulfed it in flames with his last action. Hicks had to rescue the incapacitated Wierzbowski and ran back to grab him, carried him back towards the exit, with Vasquez ripping everything apart that the Hive was sending at them.

The girls loved that game. I was told I need to bring back the board on Wednesday - they want to continue the campaign. I am a happy man. I have a gaming group of girls only that share men's hobbies. :-) :-) Now, they had Dietrich wounded and Wierzbowski Incapacitated - shouldn't be much of a hassle since their status turns better by one before the next mission.

This is where the latest project kicks in: in between "Reactor Room" and "Operations" the expanded director's cut of Aliens had the sentry guns shredding Alien waves in the hallways. Thanks to a guy I met in another forum (hi, Michael!), I got a map for exactly this scenario. You can see it below:

The sentry gun scenario map.
Furthermore, I also have the Expansion Pack map pack now. Enlarged version looks like this:
The enlarged Expansion Pack map.

Tuesday 24 September 2013

AVP: And I say, size matters

Cardboard counters on original gaming board from Aliens ("Operations" scenario). The squares they are in are roughly 15mm by 15mm.
Well, I like my miniatures better than those counters but obviously that ain't going to work, right?
And yet, size matters. Now, this isn't showing what I am talking about...
....but this does: can you spot the difference?
The marvels of modern printing media: scaling up a 17" by 34" original Aliens game board to 6' by 4' in order to use 28mm miniatures works just fine, don't you agree? A total of six tiles will occupy my entire game table (180cm by 120cm)  :-p

Sunday 22 September 2013

AVP: random terrain (1)

I started to paint up some scatter terrain pieces to block lines of sight and give some cover. There is more of these to come.

GW base with biohazard containers from Fenris Games
Size comparison
Biohazard containers? What is Weyland-Yutani up to??

Sunday 15 September 2013

AVP: ..but who is laying all those eggs?

more Alien eggs, some still enclosed, some semi-open with the hugger ready to spring its ambush, some already open with the Facehugger out and two, shot up with a dead hugger.
Alien goo - I know Michi is going to like that :-)
Next in line: some small terrain pieces. Stay tuned.

Saturday 7 September 2013

AVP: eggs, terrain and APC

So, the next stuff on the to-do-list: paint up an APC, paint some more Alien eggs and some pieces of random terrain to block some lines of sight.

Galoob Action Fleet APC from Aliens. Perfect size for 28mm.
more Alien eggs and first pieces of battlefield clutter - I must have had those GW pieces in my cabinet for at least 7 years.

Monday 2 September 2013

AVP: Pvt. Rogers, smart-gunner

Starting with the charactes for my second squad, entirely based upon the cards available for the Colonial Marines faction in the old Harper Prism Collectible Card Game "Aliens Predator"

First one finshed: Pvt. Rogers, one of the smart-gunners

"He talks to his gun... and says that it answers. You wanna argue with him?"
Hasslefree 28mm Sci-Fi figure named "Akkie", perfect for Colonial Marines and mix well with my Woodbine miniatues in size.

Sunday 1 September 2013

AVP: "The Reactor Room" - our first test game

Today I revealed my "Aliens" board game conversion (into a tabletop game) to my best mates. I brought all miniatures, markers, quick reference sheets and stats cards, we set up our 4' by 4' table and played the first scenario, called "the reactor room".

The idea behind it is the movie scene in which the Marines lead by Gunnery Sergeant Apone are going into the reactor room. Since they are ordered by their commanding officer Gorman to remove the clips of their pulse rifles, most of the soldiers only bear pistols. Some of them brought flamethrowes, while Drake and Vasquez secretly kept their mighty smart guns operational.

About half way in they are suddenly attacked by xenomorphs and the mission turns into a run for their lives as they try to cross the table and reach the safety of the APC waiting there.

We played the scenario two times. First time I dropped yellow, red and blue markers that indicate totally random spawn points for up to two aliens per turn. We did not use ammo capacity rules, no friendly fire and we did not make use of the "bonus bug" rule as I had in mind. I was wary that the humans might not stand a chance. To keep things short: the Marines made it through with all of their comrades, only one of them being wounded.

That lead to the conclusion that I need to treat the blue spawn point markes like regular spawn points (so, that's three new aliens each turn), adding the "bonus bug" rule if you roll a 0 and re-roll any further zeros that might occur, giving you a minimum of 3 xenomorphs per turn or a maximum of 6.

We then used the ammo expenditure rules and "friendly fire" if LOS runs over the base of a friendly model. Now, that was more of a challenge. We had A LOT OF FUN. This was truly awesome.

Now here are some pics (no real Aliens terrain yet) and random thoughts on them:
Marines starting position, the door on the upper right is the exit they have to reach. QRS and self made stats cards in front of the table. The "black hole" is supposed to be a stairwell (LOS possible but impassable terrain for models).
The coloured markers are spawn points, rolled for with a die in the same colour. A roll of 1-9 represent the appropriate marker, a roll of 0 results in an additional alien that is going to spawn randomly.
Marines, we are leaving. The first steps into the reactor room and the beasts are popping up everywhere.
Checking how far the Aliens are away to prevent them from being able to get into contact next turn.
Apone ,blasting his way through the enemy with his flamethrower.
The unfortunate Pvt. Frost is attacked by an Alien in close combat. Lucky guy - survives the Acid Splash that was caused when Drake killed the Xenomorph with his smart gun and 2 actions of careful aiming.
Apone and Vasquez running like hell to escpae the horde that follows their fellow Marines.
Drake is cornered so much that he needs to fire and fire again thus being un-able to keep up with his mates and slowly falls behind.
Apone turns around and gets ready to put his flamethrower into good use to cover the rush for the APC of the other Marines.
Into safety: the first Marines reach the APC...Apone stays outside, grilling everything non-human that is coming too close.
Almost over, the last miniatures are moved to the exit. 

Game two, this time with more aliens spawning per turn and all extra rules. The Marines are under preassure right away as the first aliens are just around the corner when they are about to set their feet into the reactor room.
This game is going to be Vasquez' time of heroic stands...
"LET'S ROCK!!!"- Vasquez, putting the machine gun special ability into use and turning a whole bunch of xenos into pulp at once.
That lady survived two Acid Splashes unharmed, kicked two Aliens' butts in Melee when they tried to grab her and killed 3 xenomorphs with only one action shooting (machine gun special ability). Wo-hoo!! What an unbelievable amount of lucky die rolls.
Vasquez, facing her heroic end. She killed about everything thrown at her for the entire game until she finally was ovewhelmed by the sheer mass of xenos coming at her like a steamroller.

AVP: a flyer base.. what might it be for?

I just finished my rather large oval flyer base. Pretty crisp cast with no flash whatsoever. Clear rod to hold the flyer... what might it be? :-) And no- its not assembled yet. Wayland-Yutani emblem to fill the more or less empty base with something "Aliens" like.