I have been suffering from a major case of Wargame Doldrums. The run up to and execution of Broadside left me in a real depresion where little if any wargame stuff happened at all for at least two months. I have had the odd quiet patch before, we all have I am sure, but this has been something very different; no interest, no spark, no direction....all very worrying and quite depressing. With the club Open Day (September 27th btw) edging ever closer I knew I had to do something to get myself moving again but nothing worked. I even promised myself something new and shiny for a Donnybrook project but, if I am honest, I really couldn't be bothered. I know, weird eh?
Anyway, this depression draged on until I had a chat with my mate Clint. He was chatting about playing a wargame by Blog, a modern version of play-by-mail, using my Blood, Bilge & Iron Balls rules. This, at last, seemed to get through to my shut down mind and got a few wargamey brain cells firing.....at last. Take a look at Clint's blog game, its early days but oozes promise http://clint-anythingbutaone.blogspot.co.uk/
I wondered if there was something that I could do in a similar vein, without appearing to steal his idea, and had one of the first wargame based light bulb moments I have had since before Broadside. A good while ago I wrote a set of rules for MJ Figures
and their range of Worms, designed to play table top versions of the old PC and Playstation (etc) game. I could run a game at home for up to eight players although, I soon realised, given the turn based nature of the game (one worm moves and shoots at a time) it would be be a pain for the players to have to wait so long between turns. So, to speed it all up and keep it bubbling I would run the game as a play-by-facebook version! I started small using two teams of two worms with one player per team, Drew and Andrew form the club. This, as with Clint's game, would actually be a test of theory; it could all go horribly wrong. What appears below is the first three rounds of the game, further rounds will appear as further blog entries so as to not clog up your day with a long winded blog post! The text and pictures are taken directly from the Facebook posts so you get to see the game unfold. blow by blow.
(The game board, or 'Interactive Combat Wormery', is a 600mm wide polystyrene board. As worms dig or shoot the polystyrene is removed and so the game board changes turn by turn.)
The game begins!
Okie Dokie! Things are all set here at Worminator HQ and we now await
word from the two players that they have read the rules and are ready
The Interactive Combat Wormery has been prepared and the
two teams of two highly trained Warrior Worms have been randomly placed.
The first picture should show you, the viewer and players, the initial
Team Andrew comprises worms 'Death' and 'Taxes'. Team Drew comprises worms 'Screw You' and 'Inigo Montoya Worm'. Each worm will be activated randomly once per round.
|note the shape...see how it changes turn by turn|
NEW RULE UPDATE - I have allowed each worm an abseil wire that will
allow them to lower themselves, reasonably safely, down to lower levels.
This option can be taken as part of the normal move distance and it is
not a separate action like combat. Please note that you cannot use this
to climb up things, only down.
The problem you will have of course
is being unable to measure distances accurately so there may be a bit of a
drop at the end of a downward climb! This could be enough to end your
move so be careful!!
move. Screw You Worm moved east to the edge of the small cavern and
used his trusty pickaxe to cut out a 45' tunnel. He used the full cut
allowance too and has ended his turn at the end of the tunnel by the new
opening into the larger cavern above. NEXT WORM - TAXES.
move. Taxes inches forward and fires a bazooka at Screw You. The fired round
was a slight over-shoot but caught the enemy in the blast causing 24
points of damage and pushing Screw You 4cm back down the tunnel. Once
the smoke dies away you will notice a new hole in the interactive Combat
Third Move. Ka-blam!
More blood spilt as Death throws a hand grenade at extreme range...the
20cm range of grenades allows for the perpendicular drop found here. The
grenade only just passed the narrow gap between the small floaty bit
and the sticky up bit and dropped,
neatly, onto poor Inigo Montoya Worm. The damage was fairly light
though, 14 points, so Inigo will have plenty of time to plot his
revenge! In fact, it is Inigo Montoya Worm's go now! That's lucky, Inigo, its your turn now.
Fourth move, the
last of this initial turn! Inigo Montoya Worm moved to the west as far
as he was able given the steep angle of the terrain. He then took a leaf
from Screw You and used his pickxe to tunnel west at 45' for 10cm. He
now sits at the top of the
newly excavated tunnel....waiting.... Note the small crater where Inigo
was at the start of the move; and so the landscape of the Interactive
Combat Wormery changes.
Fifth move. Death
dropped a Banana Bomb into the crater above Inigo Montoya Worms head!
This weapon deployed four bomblets that bounced around randomly from the
initial impact spot, these tore a large chunk out of the crater as
three bomblets fell close together but, none of them actually touched
Inigo! Miraculously, he survived unscathed with no damage....and now it
is Inigo's move!
Sixth move. Inigo
Montoya Worm jumped over a minor terrain obstacle and moved west to get
a clear shot at Taxes Worm. Choosing the chaingun option, Inigo let rip
at long range but managed, just, to hit the target! Taxes took 39
points of damage before Inigo used his remaining move allowance to
retreat a little to a possibly safer distance. It is now Screw You worms
Seventh move. Screw
You worm moved west, using his jump option to maximise distance, to
reach the supply crate and gain some dynamite! This cam be used by
either of Team Drew Bader worms. Overjoyed by his find Screw You fired wildly into the air to celebrate it is now Taxes turn!
Eighth move. Taxes
drops the Banana Bomb straight onto Screw You! The initial blast
inflicts 12 points of damage but the other three bomblets spread far and
wide missing Screw You completely although, he is probably now deaf and
the Interactive Combat Wormery is taking a pounding in places! But, I
am cleaning as I go so still no stingy smack on the back of my legs yet
notice too that a mine has been introduced to a random location so no
touchy touchy...of course it might be a proximity mine.....
So, we start
round three and it is Inigo Montoya Worm to go first.
Ninth move. Turn
three gets off to a blistering start as Inigo moves, blasts Taxes with a
Chaingun and inflicts a massive 46 points of damage! He then slides off
to the right of the iffie stick (inter-fibre friction fastening integral extender stick). Taxes Worm has now taken a total of 85
points of damage but team Drew Bader has used up two of their three Chainguns. Death worm is next to play.
Tenth move. Death worm throws a grenade at Inigo but narrowly misses so inflicts no damage! Screw You worm to play next. (sorry, no picture...I have no idea why....I hate my life.... )
Eleventh move. Screw
You has the first kill!! His Homing Missile successfully negotiated a
narrow gap and a tight turn to fall just short of the target, Taxes
worm. The blast was more than enough though, it caused a fatal 32 points
of damage and hurled the still twitching corpse up the hill where a
tombstone marks the spot.
With the death of Taxes worm the round ends as it would have been his move next. The fourth round begins with the twelfth move but that will be another blog post....assuming you want to hear about it, of course :)
I hope that this ramble has been of interest, even if it is only the idea of running a play-by-Facebook game. It has proved to be a lot of fun so far, even for me, and the wife is still happy as I have kept the bits of polystyrene off the floor....no stingy smack on the back of the legs for me......yet....