I have heard several gamers at my FLGS say to me in recent months that Dystopian Wars is effectively the improved game system from Uncharted Seas. But after playing a few games and reading all the thread discussions about AA & CC, I wonder if many players really equate all the additional rules and dice to roll as an actual improvement of a beautifully simple & elegant game system, because I see DW as effectively the same game but with so many extra dials, gauges, knobs, and levers. I realize I find myself playing DW only because I can find more opponents for the game, but I wonder why I don't agree that DW is the better game system.
Today I met my regular opponent for a quick game with 400 points each. We even had some flying units involved. And the entire game, from set-up to counting victory points, on a 4x4 foot square board, five turns, took us 45 minutes to resolve. It was a fast game, it was fun to play, and it felt like we were simulating a fantasy naval conflict with some sense of narrative as my elven fleet concentrated on taking out the dwarven airship only to end up on the losing side of a boarding action after closing too much with the enemy battleship. Really, it was refreshing to play a game where we didn't need to consult the rule book or roll a dozen sets of dice to resolve all the attacks from a single squadron. And although I like the concept behind the Break Tests, it just seems to add another step of dice to roll without providing any truly dramatic effect to the game.
Today: I selected and moved a squadron, declared a linking fire attack, counted dice, rolled them and counted the hits, and then my opponent registered a hit or invited me to roll on the critical hit table. After the activation I considered how I should have moved differently or chosen a different target, as I always second guess myself, but by then the turn was over and it was time to plan for my next set of moves for my fleet. The game moved so fast that I never had the time to stand around and snap some pictures to include with a battle report.
I enjoy playing DW, but I realize now that I enjoy playing US more. Oh, I've also heard players say that DW is better because it features combined arms between naval and ground forces. But I don't see why my Blazing Sun walkers and tanks can't work using US rules to support a Shroud Mages invasion force (drop the AA & CC stats, and why not?). And, in the end, a "snake eyes" result on the critical hit table is just so much more dramatic as a magazine explosion in the Uncharted Seas.
24 June 2011
20 June 2011
We played using the VA campaign set with Greg as the challenger, a 400 point Recon Encounter. Greg rolled for terrain, a double 4, which put moving icebergs on the board; we decided our forces had met in the frigid waters off the coast of Patagonia, in the Southern Hemipshere. The Blazing Sun Recon Force included 1 Mechanical Squid, 2 Scout Gyros, and 2 squadrons of 3 Frigates each deployed on the flanks. The Americans deployed a pair of cruisers with shield generators in the center, a pair of bombers and w squadrons of 3 Frigates each. We each selected one Secret Objective.
16 June 2011
10 June 2011
This is the first game played with the updated campaign management system, and I wrote the battle report in the campaign format as an example of how encounters work.
CHALLENGE: Commodore K- and I played our first game last night. I challenged him to a recon encounter so we drew up 400 point lists and didn't make any bids since we had no campaign points to start. My Blazing Sun Moutain Spirit Fury Force had 1 squadron of 3 cruisers, 1 squadron of 3 frigates, and 1 squadron of 2 scout gyros with a total of 395 composition points. My opponent's Majestic Britannic force had 2 squadrons each of 1 destroyer and 3 frigates, and then a medium class squadron of 1 gunship and 2 cruisers. No large models are allowed in recon size encounters. We each had 3 squadrons so we also fielded 3 pair of tiny flyers; I had 2x3 torpedo bombers and the British had 2x3 dive bombers.
05 June 2011
I've had some discussion with my regular opponent about the comparisons between using a flexible tape measure versus a rigid yardstick. He prefers the tape measure which is compact and easy to use for a variety of distances; I prefer the yardstick which is not so compact or easy to use, but it makes a satisfying snap when I slap the length against my leg while contemplating my next move. But the yardstick, although perfect for measuring the limit of range band four, is too long for plotting ship movement, so I supplement it with a standard wooden foot-long ruler, only that stick is often too short, especially when moving my Elven frigates or trying to measure the limit of range band four. I have seen 16" wooden rulers, and I thought one would be a perfect tool for my games of Uncharted Seas. But now I found and immediately bought my perfect measuring device for the tabletop....
01 June 2011
Met a player at GV for a game of DW. My second game with the Blazing Sun fleet, and I had forgotten my lucky green dice at home so I bought some new red ones. Red dice rolled a lot of ones. I still managed to sink more of his American ships, but in the end he won by objective.