Friday 31 May 2024

"Robot War" - Rescue Mission: Baddie Robots vs Dinosaurs!

 "Can we have another game Dad?" Yesterday was obviously successful, so I had to come up with something even better today.  Having had a chance to think about rules some more, I had a few modifications to make the game a little more interesting, but without making it too complex/confusing.

I pulled out my games bag so that we'd have lots of interesting counters to use. Some extra ideas popped into my head as I considered the possibilities presented by the different things we found.

Today's mission is simple: Baddie robots must rescue as many of the baddie people (red pawns) as possible before the dinosaurs eat them!


Baddie robots have 2 actions, fire and move, available in 3 combinations:

  • Fire twice
  • Move & fire (or fire & move)
  • Double move

The range ruler is divided in two.  The mark is not quite half-way, which means that a double move (full length of ruler) is actually slightly more than twice the length of a single move (to first mark on ruler).

Robot sheet.

When firing, roll dice as shown on the robot sheet: guns (green D8) or missiles (purple D10).  5+ needed to hit up to 1 range ruler length, 6+ between 1 and 2 range ruler lengths, 7+ for 3-4 rulers etc.  Add +1 to difficulty for each piece of scenery providing cover to target.  Robots are not allowed to shoot past each other.  If shooting into close combat (a likely occurrence when facing dinosaurs), any rolls of 1 accidentally hit the baddie robot instead of the dinosaur.  A natural 8 (on D8) or 0 (D10) does 2 damage.

Each baddie robot can take 4 damage (red counters) before being destroyed.

Baddie people are collected simply by moving into contact with them.  It does not take an action to collect them.  Baddie people do not move on their own - they are frozen with fear.  Dinosaurs can eat a baddie person by making a single successful attack against them.  Baddie people need to be transported back to the dropship for evacuation.

Dinosaurs come in 3 varieties: large, small and flying (OK, the latter are actually pterosaurs, not dinosaurs).

Large dinosaurs (only 2 repainted so far).

 Large dinosaurs move up to full length of range ruler and have 1 attack (bite/tail swipe), or 2 attacks if already in contact with the enemy.  They roll 1D10, needing 4+ to hit.  A natural 0 does 2 damage.  Large dinosaurs can take 6 damage (explosion markers) before dying.

Small dinosaurs.

Small dinosaurs move the just-under-half-length of the range ruler and have 1 attack (bite/tail swipe/claws), or 2 attacks if already in contact with the enemy.  They roll 1D6, needing 4+ to hit.  A natural 6 does 2 damage.  Small dinosaurs will die on the first hit.

Pterosaurs move the full length of the range ruler and have 1 attack (bite/claws), or 2 attacks if already in contact with the enemy.  They roll 1D6, needing 4+ to hit.  A natural 6 does 2 damage.  At the suggestion of Number 1 son (who joined briefly for the earlier part of the game), pterosaurs can pick up a rock or other object to carry and drop on the enemy.  I decided that they can move half distance when lugging a rock in their claws.  Pterosaurs will die on the first hit, the same as small dinosaurs.

We set up another table full of boxes, DVDs, empty cans, some of my jungle terrain and some other toys.  This is the research station.  Baddie people were scattered across the board, the dropship and Baddie robots started on one side of the centre of the table, the dinosaurs on the other.

Baddie robot starting position.

Dinosaur starting position (apologies for blurring!).

Start of the game (apologies for blur).

The Baddie robots move forwards, some using jump jets to take up position on top of the storage tanks.  The dinosaurs devour the nearest baddie people and start to spread out in search of fresh meat...

Tyrannosaurus gobbles the first hapless pawn.

Small dinosaurs consume another Baddie person.

Spinosaurus moves into combat but takes fire.

At the start of turn 2, I did suggest that maybe we put counters into a bag, 1 per figure for both sides (red for robots, purple for dinosaurs), so we could have some random activation without so much down-time between turns, but this idea was rejected.  The game was pretty quick anyway, it was usually less than 5 minutes for my dinosaur turn.

Pterosaur lugs a heavy rock over the jungle.

The Tyrannosaurus and the Spinosaurus both take on Baddie robots, using bites and tail swipes to deal out some damage.  Other Baddie robots provide supporting fire, though one accidentally deals 2 damage to their own side with misplaced missiles!

No such thing as "friendly" fire!

Tyrannosaurus goes down.

Additional supporting fire also damages both sides!  The dinosaurs come off worst, though, with another Tyrannosaurus being perforated to the point of extinction.

Dinosaurs and robots alike take damage.

The Spinosaurus manages to destroy the robot it is facing, thanks to the assist from friendly fire..

Spinosaurus victorious!

Pterosaurs move to the attack but prove ineffectual.  One drops its rock too early, failing to damage the robot.  Another swoops on a Baddie person but is unable to injure them.

Pterosaur misses with the rock.

Other dinosaurs have better luck, eating a couple more victims.

Dinosaurs on the attack.

Fresh meat sighted!

Cover fire!

Baddie robots regroup.

Time for a break and some salted caramel hot chocolate.

After a short hot chocolate and biscuit break, back to the game.  A pterosaur managed to successfully drop a boulder on a robot, then swooped in to claw at it.

Pterosaur drops a boulder on the robot.

Dinosaur removed in the nick of time.

On the far side of the table, small dinosaurs could rampage at will, there being no robots to contain them.

No robots to protect anyone on this side!

The missile robot attempted to shoot off the pterosaur but accidentally landed 2 missiles on itself as well, the flurry of explosions taking both it and its attacker out of the fight.

Self-immolating robot.

 Next door's cat, Oscar, came to watch. Or maybe he just wanted some biscuits, but he'd already had some that morning, so watching was all he could do.

Next door's cat watches with interest.

The Baddie robots belatedly move to try and pick up survivors on the far side of the table as the dinosaur snack-fest continues unabated.

Dinosaurs on the rampage - is the robot too late?

A daring use of jump jets rescued the last remaining survivor on one side of the board.

Jump jets used to swoop down, pick up survivor and leap back to safety.

On the other side, one of the Baddie robots made up for its late arrival by snagging 3 survivors in quick succession.  What to do now... head back or risk trying to rescue one more?

3 rescued - doing well!

Surely it was a lost cause, better to just run for safety?  No! He wanted to make up for his earlier absence by trying a final rescue.

Robot makes a last effort to reach a Baddie person.

Robot returns to the dropship to deposit the survivor.

Dinosaurs started to move towards the dropship.

Dinosaurs in pursuit.

A failed eating attempt by a dinosaur meant that against all odds, a survivor was snatched from under the very jaws of a small Tyrannosaurus!  It pursued, dealing damage to the robot.  Would it reach safety?

"Don't steal my food!" *Chomp!*

Robot sprints for safety.

Dinosaur pursuit continues.

Dinosaur pursuers neutralised.

With the Baddie robots moving fast enough to outpace the remaining small dinosaurs, the survivors were loaded into the dropship ready for departure.

Baddie people in safety.

Only 2 Baddie robots lasted the game, but they were enough.

Surviving robots.

Everyone on board, the dropship lifts for orbit.  Time to take stock...

Dropship boosts for orbit.

The survivors: 2 Baddie robots, 8 Baddie people.

The Baddie survivors.

3 small dinosaurs survived.  It was only at this point that I realised that 2 of them appear to be Hadrosaurs, obviously there has been genetic experimentation going on here that has given these herbivores a taste for flesh...

Dinosaur survivors. Yes, I know a Hadrosaur is a herbivore!

The butcher's bill: pretty equal casualties on both sides!

Casualties on both sides.

The explosion markers and casualty markers are from Litko, the skulls from Figures in Comfort who sadly closed down in 2020.

Love these counters from Figures in Comfort!

The robot sheets worked well, using the different die types added a bit of variety to the game.  In case you're wondering, no, I haven't been able to find out why the robots are the "Baddies".  They just are, and it was his choice to call them that and to play on their side!

Another view of the robot sheets.

"So, who do you think won?", I asked.  "Nobody did", was the perceptive answer I received.  That's right son, in war there are no winners, it's just that one side doesn't lose as badly as the other.  Wise words indeed from a five-year-old...

Thursday 30 May 2024

"Robot War" - Baddies Robots vs Goodies Alien Robots

 Number 2 son spotted my Destroids while I was sorting out some models and demanded the opportunity to use them in a game.  The robots would be the baddies.  I dug out some alien robots that would serve as their adversaries.  "Can we have a city for them to fight in?  That would be gooderer."  I grabbed various boxes and piles of DVDs for the city blocks and we raided my box of toy cars to populate the streets.

Rules were simple.  I grabbed a scrap of foamex about 12"/30cm long to use as a range ruler.  Each robot/alien had 2 actions available in 3 combinations:

  • Double move (whole length of ruler);
  • Fire & move (just under half length of ruler);
  • Fire twice

Firing on a D10 needed a 5+ to hit for 1 range ruler length, 6+ for 2 range ruler lengths, 7+ for 3 lengths etc.  Cover provided by buildings added +1 to target number.  Each robot/alien robot could take 4 damage before being destroyed.  Damage was marked by removing arms/shoulder weapons from alien robots and putting white cube markers by baddie robots.

Alien robot starting position.  Excuse the socks in the background.

Baddie robot starting position.

Baddie robots advance.

Alien robots advance.

Hoping for an opportunity to use that axe.

Baddie robots blast obstacles out of the way.

Targets closing...

Baddie robots destroy another vehicle.

View from the baddie robot side.


Closing for close combat!

Almost on the baddie robots!

Baddie robots open fire on the alien robots.

Close combat starts.

Some alien robots carry ranged weapons too.

Mixing things up in close.

Each side gives as good as it gets.

Baddie robots firepower starts to tell...

Alien robots deal out good damage though.

The city is littered with wreckage.

Casualties mount on both sides.

2 baddie robots left against one alien robot.

The final alien robot goes down.

My collection of civilian vehicles.

The game was fairly speedy, the small number of units on both sides kept things moving quickly and kept the interest of a 5-year-old reasonably well.  A bonus was the fact that he could remove weapons/limbs from the alien robots as he damaged them.  Number 2 son was victorious, 2 of his baddie robots surviving after all my alien robots had been destroyed.

Next up will be our game involving robots and dinosaurs, into which I incorporated some more advanced rules...