Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Mixing games and the Black Plague

Hey gang! Been a while since I’ve given much attention to blogland here. Sorry about that, but sometimes these little projects get side-tracked by real life.

Since our last episode, we’ve gotten Junior Destructo Man enrolled in a pre-K3 program. Half-day, twice a week. The whole whirlwind of the kid’s first time in school was a major focus of energy toward the end of last month and the beginning of this month.

Of course, when your kid goes off to a school environment for the first time it’s a given that he’s going to bring back all of those fun first-week-of-school germs. I expected that. What I didn’t expect was for the germs to raise merry hell with mom and dad while the three-year-old gets off with a case of the sniffles.

Ugh. Kids these days and their germs. He gets a runny nose and whatever he brings home whacks me like the Black Plague. Two weeks later and I still have a mild case of the cruds that I can’t quite seem to shake.

Mixed in amongst all of that fun stuff was a little bit of gaming. I temporarily put aside Day of Heroes when a new game arrived. I devoted a couple of weeks to playing the new “Fleets 2025” from Victory Point Games. Small footprint, low number of counters and an interesting little system made it a pleasure to fiddle with. Unfortunately, while I had it deployed to the table I couldn’t muster the additional mental energy needed to give it a blog write-up. In a couple of cases, truthfully, scenarios played so quickly and easily that I finished them in one sitting and didn’t give a second thought to yakking about them here. At some point in the future I may devote some additional blogenergy to it, but in the meantime I’ll just say that it’s a game that I would highly recommend to anyone interested in a quick-playing and fun ‘modern’ naval game.

After I finished with Fleets 2025, Day of Heroes went back onto the table for another go. It’s one of the more interesting games in the LNL series, primarily because it plays differently than its brethern. Throughout most of the series, western troops (US and British mostly, but the ANZACs in Vietnam too) favor stand-off firepower over melee combat. Melee is usually one of the great equalizers in the system.

But that’s not the case in Day of Heroes. In the mean streets of The Mog, melee combat is the favored mode of combat for Rangers.

Oh yeah, no doubt they’ve got a ton of stand-off firepower. The main problem is that they don’t have much time to use it. They have to move quickly to reach objectives and maneuver deftly in order to avoid large numbers of militia units. Better to use their morale advantage to get into melee, where their superior up-close firepower can lead to some very lopsided results.

I’ll probably play one more scenario of Day of Heroes before moving along to something else. PanzerGrenadier: Bulge 2 – Elsenborn Ridge and ATS Dien Bien Phu are both in the house and awaiting some attention. Almost time to move along.

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