For I am an honest Puck

Let’s check those out-of-town scores:

To figure out a game quickly, we can do some math.

MATH?!?

Hey, if you didn’t want math, don’t read a blog that has its first post be a playthrough of High Frontier, alright?

Anyway, the same night the Flyers and Penguins were playing, there was also a game featuring the Kings and Golden Knights as well as a game pitting the Wild against the Jets.  To quickly find the result, all we do is look at their matchups throughout the season.

There’s a ridiculous amount of ways one can do this.  I’m just going to make one up right now and see how it works.  The Kings shooting percentage is 9.4% with an average of 31 shots per game.  That means 2.9 or so go in.  Since goalies probably stop 90% (yes, a lot more) of goals, we can add 100% to say that about 6 goals is the max the Kings could pull off in a game.  So I can make a chart to show how many “Goal Worthy Shots” LA made during this first game using 2d6:

11-13 = 6 goals  14-16 5 goals 21-23 4 goals 24-26 3 goals 31-33 2 goals 34-36 1 goal 41+ 0 goals.

Now that I’m looking through their past, I see that there was one game that they one 7-0, but we’ll just go with this for now.  So it’s 2d6, treating 1 die as the 10s digit and one as the 1s digit. 25 gives us a 3 goal game for the Kings.

I do the same for the Golden Knights.  They get 3.2 shots in per game, or 6 and a half would be their highest, which we’ll round to 7.  A roll of 23 shows they got 5 goals.

A high scoring game so far.  Goalies need to shave a few points off.  Fleury shows he saves 82% of shots, so of the 3, he would, on average block 2 of them, and a roll confirms this.  So the Kings get one through to the Net.  Jonathan Quick blocks 90% of what comes through, so would block 4 and a half, on average (rounding to 5?).  Let’s see what the dice tell us. No, he only blocks 3. So the game ends LA 1, LV 2.

Probably too involved and there’s much easier ways, but it felt a bit fun to me (kind of like the soccer games in Time of Soccer).

For the other out of town game, I roll 0 goals for the Wild, and 0 for the Jets as well! Overtime!  Checking the stats, I see the Wild has one more Overtime loss than the Jets do, so I give them a teensy edge in the Overtime roll to figure out who wins, with a chunk of the chart showing shootout finish.  But it’s the Wild who wins in standard OT.

Out of town scores:

Los Angeles Kings – 1 Las Vegas Golden Knights – 2

Minnesota Wild – 1 Winnipeg Jets 0 OT


Meanwhile, back in the igloo:

We begin period #3 with a tie game.  All momentum and lines are reset and Giroux and Crosby are at center ice.  What’s say we play some hockey?

Giroux is able to get it back to Konecny who carries it over the blue line.  He tries to set up something, but is overpowered by Schultz who gains control off the puck.  Line change as Pittsburgh attacks.

Bryan Rust just barely starts an odd man rush as he dashes over the line, taking advantage of the line change, but Wayne Simmonds says “no,” poke checking the puck away from the man and gaining control for Philadelphia.  A new line is set as a Flyer waits behind the net to set up a new drive.

The new drive doesn’t get anywhere as Pittsburgh manages to overpower the Flyers in Pittsburgh’s zone, never letting the puck off of the boards.  Eventually the puck clears the blue line and lines change as Pittsburgh gains control. Buuuuutttt not much happens for a while. (Lull) I’m going to get some nachos-you want anything? No? Alright.

Another Lull.  Lines are long for nachos. 11:00 left in regulation.

What’d I miss?  Woah, look at this!  Provorov(1) to Read(0) to Gostisbehere(1)!

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And Murray just sits on the thing, freezing the puck.  *sigh*  With how exciting the rest of the *crunch* grame wazh *m*, you wud nink *crunch* it wud shill *crunch* be gud *m*.  Should have gotten a soda.

Voracek and Letang fight for the puck in the corner, Letang comes out on top.  Another minute passes. *slurp*

The Penguins finally manage to power through the Flyer’s tough defense and get a Play set up.  Ruhwedel(0) to Sheahan(0) to Rust(0) *slurp* *crunch*

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Mrazek slaps it down and passes it out to Gudas and we now have a three on one as they dash towards Murray!  Gudas(0) to Patrick(1) to Cole(0):

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Murray(2) just gets a skate on it, but Courturier(3) flashes by and gets a stick on it, shooting!

3b 6w

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When singing the aria from Carmen was a common victory celebration.

Only 8 minutes left on the clock and the Flyers are up by 1.  A lucky rebound can change the game, that’s for sure.

Ugh.  I’m too old to eat all those nachos.  Have you seen the line for the bathroom lately?  Is it long? Should I go now or what ’till later?

Fresh off the Philly goal, Filppula uses their momentum to make another play over Pittsburgh’s blue line: Laughton(1/2) to Raffl(1/2) to Filppula(1):

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The puck gets deflected to the corner, Raffl(1/2) manages to snag it and go for a wrap-around:

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The puck squirts out towards the circles, where Raffl(1/2) is able to take another swipe at it.

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This time Murray is able to get the puck to his own teammate, almost having a two goal game appear with seven minutes left.

The Pittsburgh coach uses his last Skip to forgo the fourth line and jump right back to his first.  Of course, Philadelphia has both Skips still available, so does the same to get the best players on the ice.

And I roll a Lull!  Probably the LAST thing Pittsburgh needs right now.  4 minutes left on the clock.  Now the choice on when to pull the goalie.  Obviously 4 minutes is a bit early, but let’s see what happens. (BTW: You can not roll a Lull in the last 3 minutes of the game)

Giroux wins the face off (he’s on fire for face off wins this game), but Pittsburgh’s speed causes a turnover after a minute, and the Pittsburgh coach uses his “2x” chit to keep his main line on the ice while Philadelphia changes to their second line.  Since they have possession, they also choose to pull their goalie. Dun, dun DUN!!!!

Six Pens on the offense, passing and shooting, but a turnover happens; Neal Patrick races down the ice, six Penguins racing after him.  Here’s a roll on a seldom used chart: Deflection (shot vs. empty net):

Due to Pittsburgh’s lack of Squares on their team (noted for their offense, not defense), they are unable to get a stick on it: Empty Net goal for Patrick!

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Totally could have blocked that if I could just find my contacts.

Pittsburgh isn’t done yet.  Malkin wins the face off and rushes the net.  Letang(1) to Sheahan(0) to Malkin(3):

6b 3w

Right in Mrazek’s belly!  That was an excellent chance for the Pens, but just couldn’t put the Philly team down.  Mrazek dumps the puck behind the net and we are down to 1 minute of play.

Matt Read tak-OH!  Never mind, in center ice Conor Sheary decides that rather than winning the game, why not just beat the living hell out of the opposing team?  It’s apparently a clean hit, but as teams are want to do, they all gather together to have a nice talk about it (and ask each other to sniff their gloves).  When all is said and done there’s little time left to finish the game, so everyone leaves for their cars and I quickly run to the bathroom to wait for a year and a half.

Final Score

Philadelphia Flyers 4

Pittsburgh Penguins 2

Stanley Cup Playoff Rankings April 11th 2018 (Earth-018)

Flyers 1-0

Penguins 0-1

Kings 0-1

Knights 1-0

Wild 1-0

Jets 0-1

Certainly not the historical 0-7 of the actual first game, but it seemed to play out like a normal game to me.  What do you think?

 

This is a great game to play while at work, because it’s easy to roll a few dice until you hit a stoppage of play or a line change and then write down/type up what happened, then alt-tab back to work for a while.  I’ll keep playing out the finals, playing one game and doing out of town scores for others and see who wins the cup in my fictional universe.  If you like, I’ll report the results here, too.  April 12th had the Sharks play the Ducks, the Leafs in Boston, the Avalanche facing the Predators, the Devils and the Lightening, and the Blue Jackets playing…what are their names?  Oh yeah, the Capitals.  I believe I already have the Leafs and Boston made, so they’ll be the ones I play out.

Welp, that was fun.  Now to endlessly debate if Pittsburgh should have pulled their goalie that early.

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Score this goal if we be friends

8 minutes left in the 1st.  4 minutes of Philadelphia Power Play.  Let’s get it on!

Jake Guentzel takes the Face Off and dishes it to Zach Aston-Reese who dashes into Philadelphia’s zone to go for a short handed goal, or at least burn a bunch of time off the clock.  Shayne Gostisbehere is too fast for him and steals the puck, driving back to center and allowing a line change (Rolled a “Zoom” effect, pitting two players together and checking for the Speed trait.  Shayne had it while Zach didn’t, so defense won).

First line is out now, 3 minutes left in the Power Play.  (Another Zoom!) Voracek charges across the blue line, Dumoulin slapping at his stick.  Voracek is able to get off the pass and a play is made: Giroux(3) to Voracek(3) to Konecky(2) who shoots! Murray(3) tracks the puck as it’s passed around in front of him and…

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Edmonton Oilers

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Murray gets a pad on it and deflects the puck to the corner.  Gostisbehere picks it off and fires it back towards Murray.  Rebounds only have the shooters stars(1), but get +1 for each rebounded shot, and use the Goalie’s Shot save(2).

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Almost in the five hole, but Murray closes the door and kicks the puck out to Dumoulin who clears the puck.  We change the lines and see there is still 2 minutes left to play in the Power Play.

Gudas picks up the cleared puck and quickly shoots it to Cole in the center.  Cole(0) does a quick wrist to Raffl(0) on the blue line, who fires it at Couturier(3) to try and catch the goalie by surprise.

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Murray easily kicks the puck out to Ruhwedel who clears it.  Only 1 minute left in the Power Play.  The Flyers fumble the puck in the neutral zone and Hagelin and Sheary breakaway!  Brassard ends up with the Shot.

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The Flyers can’t get the puck out of their own side of the ice, the Penguins are keeping on offense in this last minute of the power play!  Finally the Flyers are able to play it smart and get the puck out as the power play clock ticks out and 4 minutes remain in the game and we are back at even strength.

Where I immediately roll another Penalty event.  Because of COURSE I do.  This one is another Philadelphia penalty, this time on Matt Read.  Hooking, 2 minutes.

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Sad Read is Sad.

Pens get the face-off and go on the attack.  Whichever team has the most triangles gets to create a play, and it’s Pittsburgh right now, so another big play for Mrazek to deal with.

Kuhnhackl(0) to Aston-Reese(0) to Guentzel(1).  Not possible, but rebounds make anything possible.  Mrazek faces the shot and…

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Mrazek sits his butt down on the sliding puck, freezing it as players flail and swing away at his pads.  Petr is glad for his cup.  This burnt enough time off of the clock that 1 minute is left in the power play.  Line change and let’s go at it again.

Giroux is able to win the face-off.  Sadly no Philadelphia circles since Philly has one of the worst Penalty Kill percentages, as if there was ONE on any of the four players on the ice, two minutes would be instantly burnt.  But NOPE.  We have to leave this minute to some more chance.

Another Zoom chance, and it’s Giroux v. Crosby.  A match up many a Pennsylvania has watched with glee.  The trait rolled is Power, which they both have.  That being the case, we go to tie-breakers which happens to be Momentum first.  The Team on the Power Play is always considered to have Momentum, so Crosby is able to overpower Giroux and take the puck.  BUT it is also considered to happen after a minute, so the Power Play is over and we have a line change.  2 minutes left in the period.

A roll of 10 lets us know if any defender has a square there is a change of possession (and if it’s double 5’s, it’s a breakaway play).  No double fives, but Provorov and Simmonds are on the ice, whom both have squares, so the Flyers good defense is able to steal the puck and go on the offense.  A rare treat for Philadelphia fans.

A 9 says whomever has Momentum gets control of the puck.  Pittsburgh still has it (they’ll only lose it on getting scored on or during a lull), so the crowd is still fired up after the Penalty, so even though Simmonds was able to do a fancy move to get the puck back, a big play was able to level Simmonds and get the puck back into Pittsburgh’s plan.  So far both of these rolls haven’t changed lines or moved time forward, so these are quick and big turnovers.  Looks like Philly is doing its best to get a goal on the board before the whistle blows, and Pittsburgh is letting them know it’s not going to happen.

We now zoom into a matchup between Oleksiak and Simmonds to compare skill.  Simmonds wins that attempt and so intercepts a pass from the defenseman.  1:00 left in the period.  Line change and probably last chance for a Philadelphia goal.

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Pittsburgh’s defense is unable to stop Philadelphia from making a Play, so we roll on the Play chart (on the Full Strength Play chart….that hasn’t happened often!).

Manning(0) to Raffl(0) to Filppula(1).  Not a good shot, Murray(3) should easily block it.

5b 6w

Actually, Murray is able to swat it down and pass it past the blue line for a breakaway for Pittsburgh!

Maata(0) to Brassard(0) to Hagelin(0).  It’s sloppy, but it’s on  the side of the ice they want.

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Mrazek absorbs the shot and dishes it back to Macdonald who sets for a new drive, but the whistle stops any chance for a good play as the first period ends.

Philadelphia 0

Pittsburgh 1


Does anyone else remember that Charmin commercial with the kids going to learn how to skate, and the little girl ends up tying a package of Charmin to her butt, so when she fell it wouldn’t hurt?  No one around here remembers it.  Maybe it only played in Rhode Island, where I grew up.  For some reason that always resonated with me as a child.  Mainly because I was terrified of ice skating and never learned how.

Thank you for reading this between period entertainment.  Now back to our program.


Start of the second period is full strength, standard face-off with Giroux and Crosby at center ice.  Giroux wins the FO and Philadelphia takes control as the clock starts ticking down from 20.

AND I ROLL A 5!

We all know what that means: PENALTY EVENT.

This one is on Kris Letang of the Penguins, for Holding. 2 minutes in the box and we have another Power Play for Philadelphia.

Yup.  Typical Penns/Flyers game.  I mean, no fights yet, which is weird, but they’re still trying to hurt each other.

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Of course I was holding! Who wouldn’t?!

Crosby wins the face-off and dishes it to Kessel who dashes into the offensive zone, not really treating this like a penalty kill.  Provorov chases him down and skillfully swipes the puck from him, allowing Philly to reset, but a lot of time was taken from the PP for this little move (Zoom win for defense).

Line change and Couturier catches Maatta flat-footed (another Zoom effect) opening up a clear pass: Patrick(1) back to Couturier(2) to Simmonds(3) who shoots for the back corner!

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Right in the top shelf!  GOOOOAAALLLLL!

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So in period 1, we had a Pittsburgh goal in the first minute, period 2 a Philadelphia goal in the first 2 minutes.  I’m sure the crowd hates this…half of them weren’t back from the bathroom!

The third lines come out and we get 3 minutes of boring hockey as the Flyers calm down from their tying goal (losing their momentum marker).

Laughton wins the face off, and Filppula manages to get over the blue line before the bulk of players, setting himself in prime position for a play (his Triangle created this play): Cole(0) to Raffl(1/2) to Filppula(1).  Lack of Momentum (due to the Lull) means Raffl’s half star provides nothing, otherwise this shot would have stood a chance.  Now Philadelphia has to hope for a rebound.

3b 1w

PING! Off of the post.  Lack of squares on Pittsburgh’s line causes Laughton(1/2) to get a shot off! Now he’s shooting at a 1.  Need another rebound to get some real odds here.

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Murray doesn’t allow it.  He snatches the puck in his glove hand, and dumps it back to Ruhwedel to get a new run started after a line change. 14 minutes left in the period.

Gostisbhere ALMOST gets the check in to stop the following play, but is just shy (if Philly showed TWO squares, there would be a turn over, but they are showing one and a half.)  Instead Pittsburgh’s fourth line get’s off a quick wrist shot: Letang(1) to Kuhnhackl(0) to Guentzel(1),

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Rather than risk a rebound, Mrazek merely smothers the puck and we get a faceoff in Philadelphia territory.

Philadelphia’s coach (which is me…..Pittsburgh’s coach is also me.  Weird, huh?) Decides to spend his “2x” chit.  No chits included in the game, but it’s a good idea to make something to help you remember.  During a game you can force a line to stay on the ice for two shifts.  Twice a game you can also skip a line.  These are the little coaching decisions you can make besides choosing your lineup.  I do this to get my better defensive line on the board against Pittsburgh’s 1st line.  Since it’s tied, it’s a good idea not to let them take the lead right away.

Back to the action, I roll a 12 on the face-off chart!  Crosby wins the face-off, but an “Unusual Result” happens.  This is starting to become quite the unusual game!  Another 9 means another Equipment problem. “Game halted after object thrown onto ice.”  Insert joke about Pittsburgh fans here.  This, however, burns a minute and forces a line change.  Guess I didn’t need that grand defense.  Ah well.

Patrick wins the puck and takes it into Pittsburgh’s zone, but then gets FLATTENED by Malkin.  No penalty (clean hit), but the crowd just eats it up.  (Pittsburgh gains momentum marker).

Malkin dances into Philadelphia’s zone and gets open for an easy shot: Oleksiak(0) to Sheahan(0) to Malkin(3).

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The tip of Mrazek’s glove knocks it away as he dives across the goal mouth, and Brandon Manning is there to gather the rebound.  Philly dodged a bullet there (1 less on the black die would have been a goal)!

We zoom in on Gudas and Hagelin now, but Hagelin quickly speeds past Gudas and turns the puck over to Pittsburgh. We are now half way through the second period.

Lehtera had a great chance to steal the puck from Dumoulin but waffles it, and Dumoulin is able to start a play: Dumoulin(0) to Aston-Reese(0) to Kuhnhackl(0).

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Lehtera picks up the rebound and tries to “clear” the puck to the neutral zone like it was penalty kill, but Maataa keeps it within the blue line.  However enough time was had that pressure pushed them over the line and Philadelphia was able to squeeze out possession of the puck.  Line change.   I’d argue some of this could have been summed up as a Lull, but that’s just me.

Pittsburgh’s coach uses his Skip ability to get his own best defenders on the ice for the first line.  He (me) wants to keep that momentum to get that second goal before these 9 remaining minutes are up.

And that coaching decision becomes the winning factor!  A play is created by the team with the most triangles, and Pittsburgh wins due to Letang’s triangle brought by that skip.  Ain’t I a stinker?  Crosby(2) to Kessel(2) to Hornqvist(2).

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Off the post!  So dang close!  There’s a scramble in front and Crosby(1 1/2) get’s a stick on it and goes to flip it over Mrazek’s leg! So with Momentum and the rebound, that will count as a 3!

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Mrazek swats it away past the tangle of bodies in front of him.  A Flyer back near the blue line grabs it and spins for a breakaway play!  Konecky(2) to Giroux (3) to Provorov(1 1/2).

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Technically that’s a goal, but when a goal equals a seven, there’s a chance for a “Spectacular Save!”  Murray has 2 1/2 stars in Spectacular save.  Let’s see if that’s enough:

2 stars or better, goalie makes incredible save! Otherwise goal!

DENIED!  Provorov gets robbed as Murray’s skate manages to get it out of the goal mouth right before the puck crosses the red line.  The pile of rushing bodies then slams into the goal, dislodging it, causing a stoppage of play and a new face-off.

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It’s okay buddy, tell me all about it.

Second lines come out and we start again.  Pittsburgh fans think they’re unbeatable right now and the roof is ready to come off of the Igloo (I know the arena is called something else now….it will ALWAYS be the Igloo).

Philadelphia wins the faceoff, but Dumoulin knocks Couturier off of his skates and wrests control (another win with the Hit statistic).  The lines change and Raffl is able to skillfully steal the puck away from Oleksiak in the neutral zone and then Laughton gets some revenge for the big hits Pittsburgh’s been dishing by laying waste to Sheary against the boards, finally taking a bit of steam away from the surging Pittsburgh team (stole the Momentum marker).  With a team member down, a play is made: Filppula(1/2) to Raffl(1) to Laughton(1/2).

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Off of Murray’s pads, it bounces out to the top of the circle, where Filppula(1) is able to get the rebound!

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And Murray smothers the puck to prevent any more rebounds.  Each team has had excellent opportunities to pull ahead in this game, but they just can’t get it into the net.  Still 6 minutes left in the period, though, so a lot can happen.

Like Guentzel winning the face-off and immediately starting a play!  Letang(1) to Kuhnhackl(0) to Guentzel(1):

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Stick save, and the puck is brought behind the net to start a new drive.  Philly still has momentum.  We zoom in on Voracek and Dumolin as Voracek crosses the blue line.  They’re both fast, but Voracek is just a step ahead to get a play off. Giroux(3) to Voracek(3) to Konecky(2).

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That 3 white keeps the puck out of the net!  And Murray is able to hand the puck off to a Penguin, starting them on offense.  5 minutes left in the period.  Pittsburgh is just able to set up a series of passes that just makes Philly look stupid (comparison of Smart qualities) and they set up their own Play: Oleksiak(0) to Rust(0) to Sheahan(0).

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If only any of those guys had a star!  Instead Mrazek smothers the puck, and we get closer to ending the period.

Philly wins the face-off and Powers their way into Pittsburgh’s zone, setting up a play: Filppula(1/2) to Raffl(1/2) to Laughton(1/2).

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Saved by Murray’s skill!  There’s a scramble in front and Laughton(1/2) gets his stick on it and fires it back towards the net.

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Another skillful save, but Laughton(1/2) is again able to fight the puck back towards Murray.

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Murray kicks it wide this time, allowing Raffl(1) a chance at a shot (this will be at +3)

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GOAL!

Detroit Red Wings v Philadelphia Flyers

3 minutes left in the period, Flyers up, 2-1.

Pittsburgh doesn’t give up, though.  They come out of the face-off with an immediate play: Guentzel(0) to Kuhnhackl(0) to Anton-Reese(1).

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Off of Mrazek’s pads, Kuhnhackl(0) picks up the rebound and shoots!

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Mrazek takes it in the chest, then dumps it back to Lindblom, giving the Flyers a chance to catch their breath.  2 Minutes remaining.

Pittsburgh thinks about using another coaching chit to get better defense against Philly’s first line, but decides to hold it for the 3rd period.  Of course, a roll of 11 shows that two squares were needed, and even their best defense didn’t provide that, so dangerously another play begins.  Konecny(2) to Giroux(3) to Gostisbhere(1).

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Another Spectacular Save? Let’s see!

Goalie twists around, reaches–GOT IT–AMAZING save!

Another denial by Murray.  Pittsburgh better be buying this man a drink after this game.  He deserves it!

Lines change for the last minute of play.  Pittsburgh against plays to their smarts and manages to get one more play off before the buzzer: Malkin(2) to Rust(0) to Sheahan(0).

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A simple wrist shot, and seconds before the 2nd period ends we have a GOOAAALLL!!!

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End 2nd period.  Philadelphia 2, Pittsburgh 2.


And that will end it for today.  We’ll look at the out of state scores, as well as the rest of the game tomorrow.

It must be tomorrow (or after)

 

 

If we shadows do offend

Tags

Greetings sports fans and welcome to-

Wow, that was a LOT of people clicking the ‘X’ button at once.  Okay, so the stereotype is that people who play boardgames are not the type to enjoy the sports-ball.  I get that.  But it’s not everyone, so I expect a few people to still be here.

Also, there are many a-game out there that are based on sports that are fun to play even if you don’t have any knowledge of the game.  Take Blood Bowl, for instance.  Orcs and Skeletons playing American football (kinda) while slinging spells and crushing each other.  FUN!  Or Time of Soccer, a tough management game where the actual playing of a match is a simple roll of the dice, yet hella fun.

But there are also games that are made for the sports fan, the kind of guy who likes to get their nose into the nitty gritty.  Or just people who like math.  Statistics is definitely a must for these folks because we are going to enter the world of Sports Simulation.

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The sport I am going to focus on for the next few posts will be hockey, because that is my sport of choice.  However, if you can think of a sport, odds are there is a Sports Simulation game somewhere based on it.  Looking at Plaay.com, which is just one company I see: Hockey, Baseball, American Football, NASCAR, Football, Entertainment Wrestling, Bowling, Golf, Canadian Football, Lacrosse, and Roller Derby.  Phew.

So what, exactly, are Sports Simulations, and why are they a “thing,” that’s different than boardgames or are somehow different than what you would find at your Friendly Neighborhood Gaming Store?

The difference is usually in what their intent is.  Boardgames’ intent is to provide a balanced, playable contest between players (or between the players and the game mechanics) to provide a fun evening.  Sports Simulation’s intent is to provide a realistic result of a particular game/match/whatever.  The amount of detail and realism and the amount of fun and balance is different from game to game and company to company.

So, while a boardgame version of hockey might let you roll buckets of dice to check an opponent and have him go flying into the boards in epic fashion, it would also only play 16 turns of a game and result in 4 shots each of which the goalie only has a 1 in 6 chance in blocking.  Not exactly realistic, but it might be fun.

A Sports Sim can be as granular and realistic as tracking the puck every second of the game, rolling for each pass to see whether the pass is made or intercepted based on the accuracy statistics of each player in their past season’s games, with a single game taking 5 or 6 hours to actually play out or as quick as rolling a few dice to see what the final score was, who scored the goals and who sat in the penalty box to create the box score page in the paper the next day.  10 minutes, tops.

Most games fall somewhere in the middle, letting you watch some bits of the action in detail, while glossing over other bits.  Player input is from the coach’s point of view: Making the lines, when to hold back players on the line change, when to pull the goalie and not much else.  Might not sound like fun, but 2-player hockey games happen all over the country as coaches watch their teams win and lose, and they are able to trade players and do all that weird nerdy stuff that your office mates do with their fantasy football teams and yet they still think playing a boardgame is somehow weird.


Anyway.

Let’s look at how this works.  90% of the game is based on the individual player:

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Well, if that just isn’t the greatest player ever! (ahem)  In Hockey Blast, all players have the following stats:

Shot – Assist – Traits (Speed, Skill, Smart, Power, Hit, Star) – Offensive Play Maker (Triangle) – Defensive Play Maker (Square) – Power Play Defender (Circle) – Power Play Offense (CircleStar) – FaceOff Percentage – Fight Rating – Injury Rating and Penalty Rating

First we see Wayne has 3 stars in his Shot Rating, which is derived from the average number of goals made by the team.  If you shoot around average, you get 1 star, if you shoot half again better, you get 2, if you shoot double that average, you get 3.  So you know that Wayne Simmonds gets double the average amount of goals the typical Philadelphia Flyer gets.

Same goes for Assists, so he’s average when it comes to that.  Which is weird considering he’s always right there with his butt in the goalie’s face, but all these numbers I pulled off of hockey-reference.com so who can argue?

The traits I must admit I have added randomly.  Each team gets a certain amount of traits based on their total points (not goals) by the end of the game.  You get more points, your team gets more traits.  So at the end of the 2017 season, Philly ended up with 47 traits which I randomly assigned to the top 13 players.  I simply don’t know enough about the entire NHL to know who is better suited for “Skill” than “Hit” or “Power.”  I figure if I do it randomly for each team, it’ll even itself out.

The Triangles and Squares are for “making plays” and are based on a bit more complicated math than I will type out here.  Usually each team gets 3.5 of each of them (a half will be an outline of a square or star or something, which only counts if your team “has momentum”), but if actual points don’t match what your traits say you should have, they get altered.  Yeah, it took me about 3 seasons before I figured it out.  Purchase the how-to guide from plaay.com if you want to see it (only $3).

Circles and CircleStars are based on the team’s ranking in Power Plays and Power Play Kills.  Philly is ranked in the middle for Power Play kills so gets the normal 2 Circles given to the best two defenders on the team, but they rank near the lowest on Power Plays, so get no CircleStars, meaning there will be many attempts that they will lose because no player has that ability.  Dang.

Face Off Percentage is easy to add to the card as that’s a statistic that’s grabbed right off the player’s stat page (though you want someone that’s done more than 100 or so face offs for it to count).

Fight number is based on Penalty Minutes.  You spend a lot of time in the box, you’re probably more likely to fight.  The higher the number, the more likely to drop the gloves.  It’s an inexact science.

Injury rating is based on how many total games played in the season.  Nothing fancy there.

Penalty rating is also based on Penalty Minutes.  Very similar to Fight Number.

And there we have it.  Our Players.


So, my goal was to replay last year’s playoffs.  I looked up the schedule and found the first games that were played on April 11th, 2018:

Los Angeles Kings at Las Vegas Knights

Minnesota Wild at Winnipeg Jets

Philadelphia Flyers at Pittsburgh Penguins

I was still in the process of making all of the player’s cards for last season, and it would seem that I already had Philly and Pittsburgh, so I guess that will be the first game I shall replay!  For those of you who are curious, the game ended in a ridiculous 0-7 sweep by Pittsburgh.  I hope this game will be a little bit more exciting.

RINK

Here’s my board.  It looks huge, but this is just one way to play.  What comes with the game is a little 8 1/2″ by 11″ rink with spots for one line at a time.  Every time a line change occurs, you deal one card from each pile to the bottom of the deck.  This adds some time to the game, so this way we have 4 offensive lines and 3 defensive lines all showing and we just put markers beside which line we’re using at any one time.  Saves time, though it’s a bit easier to mess up.  So our first lines are marked and we get out our little book that contains all the charts and things we’ll need for the entire game.

hb_book_large

There’s only 15 pages in this bad boy, and you really only use 2 of them 80% of the time.  So here we go, the face off between Claude Giroux and Sidney Crosby to start Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs!

3_15_2017_flyersvspenguins_2nd_credkatefrese_8-0

A roll on the Face-Off Chart scores an 8, and the Home Team wins the face off, letting Crosby cut the puck back to Kessel or Hornqvist.  Then a roll on the Normal Minutes chart comes up as a 5: “Penalty Event.”

Yup, definitely a Penns/Flyers game.  A Penalty in the first minute.  A few rolls later, it is determined that Giroux is cited for Interference.  Guess there was a bit of a late hit on Crosby there.

This gives Pittsburgh Momentum for the next two minutes.  This mechanic “simulates” the seeming swings that hockey tends to have when a team is “clicking.”  It also means Giroux is sitting in the box for a bit.

NHL: Toronto Maple Leafs at Philadelphia Flyers

Woops, my bad, guys.

This time Voracek takes the Face Off and wins against Crosby.  However, he burns very little time as a roll on the Power Minutes chart shows a Play made by the Man Advantage team.  A roll on that chart shows a pass from 03 to 02 to 01 for the shot.  That means its: Crosby to Kessel to Hornqvist for the shot.

Here’s how shooting works.  You add up the Assist stars of the first two players and the shot stars of the last player and add all of them together.  You want the black die to be less than this number to be a shot on goal.  So in this case we have 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.  So everything but a 6 is a successful shot on goal.  Yeesh.  Maybe 0-7 is a possibility.

The goalie, however, has stars in “Play,” in our case Mrazek has 2 1/2.  Flyers don’t have momentum, so he only has 2.  If the white die shows 2 or less, then the shot is blocked, no matter what.  Then you just roll both dice and see what happens.

goal

And according to the Goal chart, that’s a one-timer.  So a pass over the blue line from Crosby to Kessel, who slides it over to Hornqvist who fires it straight into the net.

image

So in 1 minute of play, we’ve had a penalty and a goal.  Whoooo boy.

Back to normal minutes, let’s get to the second minute of play with the second lines.  A roll of 7 shows us Wayne Simmonds wins the Face Off, but it is immediately followed by a Lull.  What’s that, you ask?  It’s 3 minutes of play where not much happens.  Lines change, maybe a penalty happens, but it runs out.  Maybe some shots, but they didn’t have much of a chance.  Either way after three minutes we end up right back where we started, with Simmonds and Malkin facing off.

It’s a neat mechanic that prevents us from playing out every single second of every game. So we roll again, and this time roll a 12!  Another win by Simmonds, but an “Unusual Result” happens.  I think I’ve only seen this happen once, so let’s see what happens: 9 – Equipment problem – Brian Dumoulin apparently just faceplanted due to a rut in the ice that needs to be fixed.  Huh.  So let’s look at what has happened so far –

19:30 – Interference 2:00 Giroux

19:00 – Goal Hornqvist (Kessel/Crosby)

15:00 – Game halted for ice issue.

Five minutes of hockey with about 7 rolls of the dice.  Obviously, the closer the dice come to ‘7,’ the more typical your game is going to be, but sometimes strange things happen, as we’ve already seen.  So now after a brief rest, our third lines come out and we go to another Face-Off.

Brassard wins the face-off, but we get another Lull.  So we go again.  Brassard wins again!  But on the Normal Minutes chart, I roll a 7 which is…..Lull!  Another 3 minutes pass.  6 minutes since the game was halted for the ice issue and little has happened.  Most of the crowd are on their third pretzel.

Brassard kicks the puck back again.  We roll a possibility for an odd man rush!  Of course, with the third line, it’s unlikely, but let’s see.  We roll to check o3, which is Brassard (Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!).  If he has a Triangle, he creates a Play and Pittsburgh gets a shot off, otherwise the Flyers gain possession.  No Triangle here, so the Flyers take the puck from Brassard and go on Offense.

And roll 5, for a penalty event.  But it’s on defense this time!  Jamie Oleksiak, and we roll a major penalty (he has a penalty rating of 1.5), so let’s see what he did!  High Sticking + Injury.  It appears to be Travis Sanheim who was the recipient of the High Sticking, but he’s only out for the rest of the game.  Ian Cole is called in to take his place.  Oleksiak takes a 4 minute major.

900642128-594x594

Awww, rub some dirt in it.

8 minutes left in the period, and 4 of them will be a Philadelphia Power Play.  Could be the chance to tie things up.

But there’s 0 minutes left in my day, so that will have to wait.

You can find part 2 here.

Gaming while sick

So I’m a gamer who LOVES to talk about games.  I love playing them, and I love showing people why they’re awesome.  I love seeing that “a-ha” moment when some mechanic or some theme ‘clicks’ and someone realizes that they’re having fun with the choice I made for them.

But sometimes, my brain tells me I don’t love these things.

You see, my brain is a jerk.

I have a mental illness.  I’ve been diagnosed Depressed for a good 15 years or so, and know I have been a good decade or so earlier.  It sucks.  It’s like having an arm strapped behind your back, but only on some days, and you’ll never know which ones.

But here’s the worst part:  I have a hobby.  It’s pretty central to my life.  Most of my friends I have through gaming.  My vacations are to go to gaming conventions.  My evenings are often times spent playing games with my wife.  During low times at work, I’m reading about games.  I find games fascinating.  How some people live and breathe football, politics, music: for me, it’s games.

But my brain chemistry is screwed up.  Some days, games are no longer fun.  Or, at least, my brain TELLS me they aren’t.  I’ll stare at the games closet and shrug and walk away, none of my options looking fun.  I’ll see posts on BoardgameGeek and just hit “All Read” because none of the content interest me.  I’ll just sit in front of the TV at night (or worse, go to bed early) because that’s less effort than matching wits with the missus.

I know it’s lying to me.  I KNOW it.  But damn it’s hard to create desire when there isn’t any.  I’m going to a gaming convention next week, and I’m actually dreading it, because my brain is telling me I won’t have fun.  The jerk.

Why am I rambling on this?  Because this is why I haven’t been playing John Company and the posts have been coming in fits and starts.  After the first day, I was no longer interested in playing, and I didn’t want you to think it was because the game wasn’t good.  It’s me.  I look at the program and go to click on it and go, “meh,” and find something mind-numbing to do.

The other posts I’ve made have been a struggle to fight past the ennui and get going, and when I do, I’ve got no problem creating a full post for ya’ll.  It’s just getting there.

There’s another thing my brain does during these times: Prevents me from talking about it.  That’s another reason I’m posting this.  The jerk (my brain) can’t win if I post about it.

So I’m sorry for not continuing the John Company game.  I’ll continue to try, but I’ll be honest that the odds are not very good.  Just being awake right now is a win, let alone playing a game.

 

Thank you for reading all this.  I hope it justifies my actions and provides a swift kick to the lobes for me.  I hope to get something going after the convention next week.

All out of one glass

I better make these posts longer….I don’t remember all the words to that song.

So where was I before I was so rudely interrupted by my real life?

madras-army-east-india-company

Ah yes, the Military Director putting our plethora of Officers to the various Presidencies.  Looking at our pile o’ cubes, we have 3 Hastings, 2 Benyons and a Jones.  As the maximum amount of Officers a Presidency can handle is 3, that’s not too shabby.

This is where I strategize and look at the Elephant and figure out the odds of anyone attacking one of my Provinces  (when you take over a location, its defense drops to zero…you’re in charge of defending now!), and decide to send the 3 Hastings to Madras to get the most money (with a Plunder of 3, that’s $9 right into the family coffers!), and the other Officers over to Bombay for the lesser gains.  Bengal, where all of our money lies, will have to rely on its two Cannon and stack of money for mercenaries to defend itself.

Now up to the director of trade, who has one Captain available.  That Captain is offered a boat for sale.  As the cheapest boat is $5, and the Hastings only have $1 to their name, the Captain goes back to the family pool, head held down in shame.  Then I give the goods to Bengal.

Now let’s start blowing stuff up!

I mean, let’s start establishing a protective force inside our interest’s borders.  Or something.  It doesn’t look like anyone is going to attack Bombay this turn, so I’ll tap all three Officers to get the max amount of dice (3).  Subtract Bombay’s defense of 1 and I’m rolling 2 dice.  I’ll spend 2 to hire some Prussians and get that third die back and roll those bones!

4,4,6

Because I suck.

Money spent, Officers exhausted, nothing happened.  Bengal has $2 to spend, which I could go for a long shot and try to sail…but I’ll save that money for next turn.

Now same thing at Madras!

1,2,6

Success! (’bout time)

Captured

The position doesn’t get filled until the next Company action, but more importantly, each Officer gains $3 of plunder, netting the Hastings their $9.

And then Bengal successfully sails, making us some money ($18 to be exact).

Benyon’s net $4 for their Presidential bonus and then the Company has to start paying expenses, which is now $8 for the 2 Cannon and 6 Officers.  Down to a $10 gain.  Dividends?  Eh, that only costs $2, and one goes to the Benyons, so I’ll do that once. $8 goes back to the company.

Not great.  Let’s hope the economy goes better in the events phase.

Event2

Hey, hey!  Good news everyone!  We can trade with China now! And we only have one Event to deal with!  That should help.

Attrition knocks out the President of Bombay (good, he was awful), the President of Bengal (guy worked hard), and the Military Affairs Officer (Also a hard worker).  Neither family can afford the Royal Wedding yet, so they all just go back into their respective family pools.

And what’s our Local news?  Bengal falls into a depression.

Poopie.


The Families buy a Shipyard and some stock to try and get the Company back up and running (and to get some money into the China Trade Office.  Even the Jones’s invest a bit in a Shipyard and some stock, though they still make yet another Officer and Captain.

Now we have to fill some vacancies.  The Chairman has to fill the Presidencies, and since I can’t pull from the same family (and the Chairman is a Benyon), so he grabs a Hasting out of the Ship Purchasing Office and promotes him to President of Bombay! *insert trumpet fanfare*  He also grabs one of the Officers who fought in the great Madras Uprising (as they are now calling it) and is Promoting him as the Governor of Madras.  Not a glamourous job, but necessary.  And Finally the Goods Purchasing Officer is Promoted to President of Bengal.

We’ve got to dip into the Writer’s box to get a President of Trade with China, and we still have to pull a Hasting due to Nepotism, so one of them gets the job.  See, you can move up in the world!  It’s just luck, not hard work!

Finally the Director of Trade hires the three Purchasing Offices from the Writer’s box, and the DoT is a Hasting, so he grabs three Benyons and loads them up down there, and we’re now all staffed and ready to get to work.  It’s always good to keep an eye on Writers, as if you don’t have enough to fulfill all roles, that role is just skipped for that turn.  Can lead to a real issue later on (of course, if you wantto tank the company…).

The DoT moves some boats around so we can deliver a bunch of Tea to China and get a ton of money.

This time Bombay is successful in its conquering attempt!  I guess they just needed a new President to get things right.

And a few more successful sail actions (including the Tea) gets me a total income of $30 this turn!  After all expenses, including one payment of dividends, we end with $18 to spread among the various offices.  Looks like things are looking up.  The Hastings are only $2 shy of being able to buy the Royal Wedding.  I could pay out two more dividends to put them at the needed $17….which would cost the company $8.

BUT WAIT!

I forgot something, the Governor of Madras collected his taxes.  It was only $1, but there you go.  Now, he can put that in his office to use for Investing into the region (and pulling it out of its depression) OR I can just dump it into the family coffers.

Let’s be altruistic here….everyone LOVES a Royal Wedding!  So that’s another $1, and another Dividend gives them the $17 needed.  Now all we need is a Hasting to retire from an Executive office and BAM, fancy hat time.

And then this happens:

event3

Which means the Chinese Office could close at any turn, and we have FOUR events this turn.  Yuck.

Oh no!  And what’s happening now?  The people in Bombay are revolting!

“But they’ve always been revolting!”

“Yes, sire, but this time, they’re rioting.”

*ahem*

I can stop the discord with a Police action, but I would need 5 points of Police…..I used all my military might to take them over in the first place, so that’s a big NOPE.  So Bombay declares its independence and closes all trade with the EIC.  The Bombay Presidency is dissolved and everything that was attached to that Presidency is discarded.

THAT could have gone better.

Oh crap!  They’re revolting in Madras, too!  They have a strength of 6!  I can only provide strength 4 in defense, so BOOM yet another Presidency destroyed in one fell swoop.  Probably should have seen this coming and prepared for it, but I love living by the seat of my pants…the pants that was made by cheap labor I won by shooting cannons at things.

thatsnew

A-yup, only two locations are trading with me now.  That and China, anyway.  And that can be taken away from me with one Event card.  Oh, and here’s something fun: If 7 locations are “Closed,” (meaning not trading with you), the game is over.  Because you stink.

I’m starting to stink juuuusssstttt a bit, methinks.


There’s a lack of Benyons and quite a few job openings, so I had to chuck a few of them into the Writer’s box for the family action, while the Hastings are broke, so I made some Officers out of them.  The Jones’s bought THREE factories and made another Captain.

We fill up our jobs (though the Director of Trade had to be a Benyon, which made all the lower jobs Hastings….messed that decision up).  We can actually buy a boat and a Good, getting the Benyon’s a dollar and the Hastings two, respectively.  The Military Affairs Officer puts that young Jones upstart from last turn over to Bengal to try and keep things in line, and the director of trade gets to sell a ship to Captain Jones.

“Meeeeeeeeeeee and Captain…..Captain Jooonse!”

No?  No one else went to Me and Mrs. Jones?  Just me?  Huh.

All those boats get sent to China.  This turn goes much quicker with only 2 Presidencies to deal with, and another $30 in Revenue gained.  I decide not to pay Dividends (It would cost the company $3 to pay $1 to the Benyons and nothing else), so the Stock Price drops to 4.  No problem there.

I spread out the money…..and you know what event I draw for the turn?

THE EXACT SAME ONE I DREW LAST TURN.

So I shuffle it back in and get stuck with 4 events AGAIN.  Whoo boy.

First Maratha tries to take over Hyderabad.  I don’t let that happen.  But then Hyderabad’s economy collapses.  You know what happens then?  I lose one ship for each successful order there.  How many successful orders?  THREE.  Whooo boy.

But yet, just like that, Mysore and, more importantly, Bengal’s economy GET’S BETTER.  Phew.

I forgot to mention the retirements.  The only one was the Chairman, but I didn’t put him anywhere (as a Hasting, I could buy other prizes as they already had a Royal Wedding.  I still need to put a Benyon there, but scoring future points is still scoring points.  Again, my weird solo rules).  A good reason being there’s only one Benyon (and 2 Jones) in the Court of Directors.  If there are no player cubes in the Court?  Boom.  Game Over.  We’ll need that money to re-invest in the company.

theend

So that’s the end of turn 4.  In an “introductory” game, you play to turn 6.  A full campaign is 10 turns, and the EIC’s monopoly is revoked somewhere in the middle, so you’re able to start up your own companies….yeah, it gets kind of awesome.

 

Any questions?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let us drink and be merry…

Turn #2…

How can we sum up last turn?  Abysmal failure?  Actually no, not really.  We’ve achieved our first goal: Mawwage.

Not only that, but we’re only down $6 as a whole as a company.  We’ve gained a boat (which cost us $6), so according to our books, we’re actually at a flat 0 on our gain/loss report (I’m an accountant, so this comes naturally for me).  Not only that, but we’ve opened trade with Hyderabad, which means this turn should go a little better since we won’t have to waste money there opening trade, we can just use our money on the sail action.

So more money should be coming in to the Benyon family.  If this were a competitve game, Hastings would be happy to be the Director of Trade, because he/she could hold boats back and give them to the other Presidencies to keep Benyon from getting that big Presidency bonus.  While Benyon could put “the health of the company” as a bargaining chip, it might not hold water as the Hastings aren’t as invested in the company as the Benyon’s are.  But for now, we’re all hunky dory, so let’s check on Family Actions.

This goes in order from the Chairman around the table.  As there is no longer a Chairman (he retired, remember?), we go from the FORMER Chairman around the table.  It’s good to be the king.  So the Beyon’s have few choices because they’re BROKE.  No money.  Zilch.  So the three options available are: Captain (possibly buy a boat next turn: Will he have the $6 available for a boat?  Not likely), Officer (There’s already a giant pool of officers coming this turn, might not want to bloat the military even more) or Writer  (You know, the boring play).

So into the Writer’s pool two members of the Benyon family go.  Don’t worry, champ, you’ll work your way up.  Just don’t get the plague before you do.

The Hastings have a few more options with $4 available to spend.  I expect getting a few dollars in through plunder this turn (Three Hasting Officers will be sent to India this turn), so spending $3 on another factory  is a pretty good prospect.  That gives the Director of Goods Purchasing (Also a Hasting) two player controlled factories to buy from first, and all that money will flow right back into the Hasting coffers.  And the cost of goods is still $2, so you can’t beat that.

On to the Jones’s!  One shipyard built, TWO factories and yet another officer.

turn2

To the Company phase!  The only job we have to fill is the Chairman’s.  That gets filled from the Court of Director’s.  Each cube in there gives you a vote.  Going to the right of the former chairman, you can delegate someone as suitable for chairmanship and everyone votes, majority rules.  It’s very formal and downright silly some games.  I love it.  In this case, the Benyons are the only family in the Court of Directors (the Jones family never holds a position in the company), so one of the cubes in the Court of Directors moves to the Chairman space.  Promotion!

Now we move down the red carpet and do our work.  Phew, it’s tough to be a militaristic iron-fisted exploitative governing power!

Ship Building gets to take a day off as he has no money to spend.  Goods purchasing has $6, so can buy 3 Goods.  2 come from the Hastings factory (1 from a Jones factory), so the Hastings net $4 out of that.  Not a a bad take.

Now we go to Military Affairs.  YIKES!  They get to buy one Cannon at $2 (again from the Jones factory) and then they have to hand that out along with 6 Officers.  The maximum amount of Officers you can place in each Presidency is 3, so I’ll have to spread these bad-boys around.


And then my real life job exploded and this post had to take a back seat.  Hang tight, folks.

 

And one to my lass….

choices

Okay, we are now with the President of the Province of Bombay.  This member of the Hastings family has a number of choices to make.  The first choice to make is whether or not a “Campaign” action will happen.  This is when the army goes in and takes over the location, providing a few benefits for the company:  It creates a new Office:

gov

You can jam a family member there and they will be able to Campaign further (this one could take over Punjab, Mysore and/or Sindh), and they will be able to Invest in Bombay to possibly get it out of any economic depressions.  Or they can just collect taxes and pocket them because politics are hard and stuff.

In order to take over a location, you need to roll some dice.  You start off with zero dice, and then add as many Officers as you are willing to Exhaust (they won’t be able to be used for defense during the rest of the round).  Each one gives you a die to roll (3 Officers can be given to each President).  Then you can Exhaust as many cannons as you like, each of those giving you a die as well (no limit to those).  Then for each $2 you spend, you “hire a mercenary” and gain a die.  Then you subtract dice based on the Defense of the location you’re going after :

Defense

Whatever dice you have left, you roll!  Then you take the lowest number rolled: 1-2 Success! 3-4 Failure!  5-6 Ridiculous Failure, so bad that your family member is immediately fired with no possibility for retirement!  So there is risk in all rolls for things to go very, very wrong for you.

In this case, the President of Bombay has no Officers or Cannon, and only has $8.  Which means if I spent ALL money, it would be 3 dice, not great odds.  So let’s move on to the next choice.

Open Trade: This one is fairly simple.  For each $ you spend, you gain a die.  If you succeed, you take a Province from the “Closed” locations:

Closed

These are all the locations that are currently not trading with the EIC.  You can bring them under your wing, though with this Open Trade action fairly easily.  Benefits for this: More places to trade to = more money AND if you lose the last Province attached to a Presidency, that Presidency becomes CLOSED and you lose EVERYTHING attached to it, money, boats, EVERYTHING.  So why wouldn’t you just Open trade with EVERYONE?

Because Sailing everywhere is harder than sailing to one place.  The next action, “Sail Action,” is more difficult the more Open locations there are.  But I have $8, so I’m going to try and bring some folks on board.  So I will Open Trade with Mysore.  I will spend $3, so I roll 3 dice: 4,5,6.

YIKES!

Well, that’s that.  Shows you how nothing is for certain.  3 dice is clearly not a sure thing.  You need 4 or 5 to start feeling good about your roll.  So now action 3: Sail.  This is how you actually do your trading.  You roll 1 die for each dollar you spend, but you have to subtract dice equal to the number of open locations in the Presidency minus 1.  First one’s free!

Bombay is currently in an economic depression, and the Director of Trade only gave the President access to two boats, so the only thing it can trade is Spices which will earn the company $5.  Because of that, I will spend $4 so I can get a $1 profit.  Not great, but it’s something.

3,6,6,6

*blink,blink*

So, um.  Guess that’s not happening.  Guess Bombay is not going to be successful this turn.  So we move on to the Madras Presidency, who has the same three choices.

Again, Campaign is right out as we have no army to speak of.  I’m going to forgo trying to Open Trade as holding on to some money might be a good idea, so let’s just jump to Sailing.

Again, we only have 2 boats which can ship Handicrafts which earns $4.  I’ll roll 4 dice: even though this results in no gain, it will be able to give money to a more lucrative location (I hope Bengal will be this).

3,3,5,6

Oh COME ON!

*grumblegrumble*

Let’s just go to Bengal.  Here we have a Cannon, which isn’t enough to take Bengal over, but we’ll think about it later.  I’d love to open trade with Hyderabad:

Hyd

It’s the most lucrative location.  You only need one boat for each location, so with 3, you get $15.  Of course, the way these dice are going….Eff it.  3 Dice for Opening trade to Hyderabad.

2,3,4

FINALLY!  Okay, now I have 2 locations to ship to, so I’ll use all the rest of my money ($5) to roll 4 dice and hope to ship to all of them.

2,3,4,5

WOO HOO!

Capture

With a boat and a Good, I ship Indigo to Bengal.  And two boats and a Good, I ship everything to Hyderabad.  I put a black disk on all four of those numbers to show they were delivered and I move up the Revenue track to $21.

And that ends the Company phase.  Now we do a bit of book-keeping where we pay company expenses and distribute income….and maybe skim a few bucks off the top.

First the players receive any bonuses they would earn from a few bonuses.  The only one that is available is the “Presidential Bonus.”  For each black disk down for a successful delivery results in the family earning $1.  So the Benyon family nets $4 for the Bengal Presidency.

Now the Company has to pay for expenses, they are:

– Debt (The Chairman can place a black disc in the Court of Directors to gain $10 at any time during the Company phase, but at this point, for each black disk the company has to pay $1)

– Military Upkeep – $1 for each Officer and Cannon (costs $1 for this turn, our Revenue drops to $20)

-Shareholder Dividends – Every turn the company should pay $1 for each cube in the Court of Directors (this money does go to the family who ones the cubes).  If this is done once, the share price stays the same.  If this is done more than once, the share price goes UP.  If this is NOT done, the share price goes down.  If the share price is already 3, then you have Angry Shareholders and the government bails the company out.  It’s a big deal and I’ll explain later if we get close to that.  I have no problem with paying out $3 (since 2 will go to the Benyon family) as we’ll still have $17 to go to the Company and we’ll be able to earn a ton more next turn (and we’ll need it for the huge army that’ll show up).

After that, the Chairman puts the remaining money where ever you like.  I put a bunch in Bengal, a few in the other Presidencies, and the remaining in the Goods Purchasing Office so we can get some more.

Now the last phase is the “Evening Post” phase.  This is where we open the newspaper and go “Dear God!” because something awful is going to happen.  Sometimes.

news

First is Events Abroad.  Things happening in England, which is a Law Before Parliament.  This is a vote among the players (again, another time for wheeling and dealing).  Popular Support shows where the vote is currently, so this is going to vote “Yea” without player input.  So each player has a certain amount of Political Power, which is how many votes you get to cast.  It’s equal to the amount of Shipbuilders and Factories your family owns.  You can then spend $1 each for more votes.  This law would make those extra votes cost $2.  Not great for me because I only have one factory.  When I play solo, I make the Jones family always vote against me.  They only have 1 votes, so right now it’s +3.  I have one factory and it’s +2.  Is it worth spending $2 to make it fail?

Eh, the way my dice are rolling, I need to hold on to every dollar I have.  Besides, I could buy more factories and such if I need more voting power.  So the Reform Act passes.

Now we roll for Attrition.  This is where we see if our family members retire.  The chairman retires on a roll of 4-6.  Executive positions retire on a roll of 5-6, and Senior positions retire on a roll of 6.  So let’s see what happens:

*rollrollroll*

The only retiree is a member of the Benyon family who was formerly the Chairman (at 50% chance, that’s believable…but I’ve played games where the dude held on for generations…I hate that guy).

Now I can see if I can retire the former Chairman to a nice comfy gig.  According to my self-made solitaire rules, I have to have him marry a member of the Hastings family.

Wedding

The Chairman is an Executive position, so it costs $7 to purchase.  How much money does the Benyon family have?  Why, $7!  So we break the bank to move up in British aristocracy.  Typical.

Now we move on to Local News.  This is where things go….weird.  If you look our newspaper, it says there are 4 Events in India.  That means the “Elephant” (yup, an elephant meeple.  It’s awesome) will move 4 spaces this turn, triggering an event each time it moves.  It starts at location 1, so right away, it moves to location 2 (Maratha) and triggers an event:

Maratha

If you look at the right side of the card, those are the possible events that will happen with the Maratha Confederacy.  It’s an awfully aggressive location!  Let’s roll to see what happens!  Right now, India is balanced, so we just roll a d6 and see what happens.

3

What that symbol means is Maratha tries to conquer Hyderabad with a strength of 4.  Uh oh.  We’re trading with Hyderabad, that would be bad for us, because Maratha would forbid Hyderabad to trade with us if it became a province of Maratha.  Hyderabad has a defense of 3, so it would need 1 more defense in order to stave off the attack.  The Bengal president can Exhaust Officers, Cannon or buy Mercenaries in order to add to Hyderabad’s defense.  So, this is an easy choice, I exhaust one cannon and the battle is a losing one.

That was Event #1, the elephant walks to location #3, which is ironically Hyderabad.  Let’s see what happens there. I roll a 5 and that means Hyderabad falls into a depression.  Unfortunately that means instead of $5 for each delivery, I’m getting $4.  Also, that makes India more chaotic, so events now get 2d6 rolled and you take the higher number.  Blah.

Event #3 is in Mysore, I roll 2 & 3 which also flips Mysore into a depression.  Finally we go to Bengal.  4 & 5 means Bengal also flips to a depression.

*sigh*

So now I refresh everything (un-exhaust the cannon, move the Officers and Captain to the Officers that will deal with them, and move the turn marker to 2).

Jeez, Mysore is the only location that is not in a depression.

Can you get Lexapro for a country?

Turn 2 tomorrow?

Here’s a health to the company!

Long time between games here at Very Wordy.  Maybe I’m modelling myself after George R R Martin.  Or I’m lazy.

(or both)

Either way, I’m back to start my promised playthrough of John Company, Sierra Madre’s game of trading, conquest and retirement parties.  If this theme sounds dry, it totally is.  When you pull out the board and begin to describe the game, I have to constantly stop and say, “But it’s good!”

Capture

But it’s good!

The goal of the game is to make members of your family retire into prostigious positions in the English country-side by getting good appointments in the company and getting a fat stack of cash along the way.

And I guess if the company does well, that’s good too.  Maybe.  I mean, if failing gets you more money and prestige, what’s it to you?

Negotiation is a BIG portion of this game.  There’s nothing like being the Director of Trade and denying goods to someone because they messed with you earlier in the game.  Of course, if they give you some extra money, you’d happily supply the goods they want, quid pro quo and all that latin stuff.  I’ll explain some of the possible places for negotiation as I play.  Since this will be a solitaire game, I’m going to make a few changes:

1) You play two handed without Family powers.  Just grab a card for the Family name.

2) The Prize layout: In the standard game, there are 8 prizes that you can purchase at your whim.  In my version, only 6 of the prizes are random.  2 Prizes must be “Wedding” and “Royal Wedding” which must be purchased FIRST and in that order.  And yes, BOTH families need to buy the Royal Wedding before any other prizes can be purchased.  Your final score is equal to all of the OTHER prize points minus the Jones’s points.

3) The Nepotism penalty: Usually when you are promoting a family member over someone else, you have to give them a promise cube (a form of compensation).  In my solo version, you CAN’T promote the same color over the other.  Nepotism is illegal.

Beyond that, I play everything as if playing a 2 player game, going for a high score (I need more playthroughs to determine a winning threshold).

So let’s set up.  Today I’ll be playing the Benyon and Hastings family.FamilyOkay, the cards here aren’t pretty, but it’s still good!  I grab 20 cubes in two colors to represent family members.  I set 8 of them aside as “starting” members (8 in the case of a 2 player game, it is less with more players) and place them into starting positions around the board.  I just do it in a 1-2-2-1-1-2-2-1 order because it doesn’t matter that much when you’re playing both families, but in multiplayer, you can go around the table (and back again) placing your starting members on each position in the company.

Board1.JPG

So with the Benyon’s as Yellow and Hastings as Purple, we see the Benyon’s controlling the Chairman, the Madra’s and Bengal Presidencies as well as being the Director of Military Affairs.  The Hastings will act as Director of Trade, head the Bombay Presidency and control Ships and Good Purchasing.  There is no Superintendent of Trade in China yet, as trade hasn’t opened to that country yet, an event card may do that for us later on in the game.  After those 4 opening members are placed on “the ribbon” of jobs, the other 4 are randomly placed by a die roll.  You see one Benyon member in the Court of Directors already, but we also have two other Benyons along with three(!) Hastings ready to become Generals in the military, and a lone Benyon hoping to become the captain of his own ship.  It’s rare for families to bunch up like that, as there are many other places for the cubes to end up: Buying manors (getting victory points), owning shipyards or owning factories.  Looks like we’ll have to buy that later.

You’ll notice that the numbers aren’t even on all of the Offices in the picture above.  Those numbers represent money (which are discs in the physical game).  When one cube hit the Court of Directors, $4 was added to the company’s treasury ($4 being the share price) which was distributed by the Chairman right away.

Board2

Here we see some of the prizes.  On the left are the two “Must Completes,” Wedding on top, Royal Wedding on bottom.  The number in the grey hex is the number of victory points these prizes score.  The number in red is how much money they cost to purchase.  The box to the right of the cost is what kind of position in the company the retiree needed to be in in order to buy the prize.  For example, if the Chairman retires, that’s an Executive position and can get the wedding prize for $7.  He could also become a Patron of the Arts for $7 for 4 points.  Why get a wedding for the same price but fewer points?  Well, if this were a multiplayer game, you get to bring a cube of another color with you when you buy the wedding.  They’re assuming that other player gives you GOBS of stuff to come with you, offsetting that money.

You see other prizes give you special abilities, like the Army and Navy Club that can give you a free Officer or Captain whenever you want (you just move your cube over to the Used box), or the South Seas Firm which could result in earning money every turn.

Board3

And here you see two of the regions we might be trading with as the game goes on.  Bengal is doing well, hence why it is in color.  Madras could do better, it’s in a depression (or recession if you’re feeling optimistic), but that can change from turn to turn.  As you see from the chart on the right side of the card, things can happen all over the place.  That’s based on the “Elephant’s Walk” which is a tense, nail-biting moment at the end of each turn.  Other bits to look at:

Defense: The amount of dice you lose if you try to conquer that province.  Madras is pretty easy, Bengal, less so.

Plunder:  The amount of money EACH Officer receives upon conquering this province.  Cha-CHING.

Tax: The amount of money that is generated every turn for the Governor of this location (once it’s conquered).  Oh yeah, this Governor could funnel it all right to his family if he wanted to. MWUAHAHAHA!

On the left side of the card are 2 or 3 demands and the rewards for fulfilling them.  So in Bengal we have Indigo: 2->6, Silk 3->6 and White Muslin 4->7.  What the demand is actually is just color, but it shows how many boats/goods you need to ship in to get money, and they stack.  So if you send in 6 “things” (3 boats and 3 goods, or whatever combination, as long as goods is never more than boats), you could get $13 for fulfilling a demand of 4 and a demand of 2.  Sadly that money goes to the company, but the President does get a bit of a kickback, which you’ll see later.

Looks like we’re all set!

Don’t go away!  It’s good!


 

We start with the “Family Phase,” where you have an awkward conversation and hope that no one brings up politics, but you know someone will and the yelling will start and you want to get through just one meal and she worked so hard and why can’t we just get alo-

Wait. Um.  What was I talking about?

A game.

Right.

Family Phase.  This is where you choose one of 7 places to put a member of your family in preparation of making them into someone great! (Or making money off of their work)

1: Court of Directors: Investments!  This will cost you as much as the share price of the East India Company at the moment.  This starts at $4 every game, but can go as low as 3 and as high as 5.  And for you pedants out there, I realize I should be using the pound symbol, but that involves a few extra keystrokes I’m not willing to hit, authenticity be damned.  And trust me, it has nothing to do with American pride.  But anyway, you spend your money, and that gets spread around by the Chairman to whatever Offices he/she deems worthy.  Benefits of doing this:  Puts more cash into the company.  If you stand to benefit when the company benefits (usually when you’re in the lead), it certainly helps.  If you want to be the Chairman, this is where the Chairman comes from, and the Chairman is the most powerful Office to hold.  Also, if no player has any members on the Court…..the game ends!

2: Manors: $5 You score 2 Victory points!  That’s it!

3: Shipyard: $3 Boats will be a bit cheaper for the company, and each time they buy a boat that’s attached to your shipyard, your family will score a dollar!

4: Factory: $3 Goods may be cheaper for the company (prices fluctuate depending on the British economy) and you get ALL the money the company spends on goods from your factories.

5: Officers: You can place up to 2 people here.  On the following turn, they will be given to the Military Affairs Officer to be placed in one of the Presidencies.  They cost the company $1 every turn, so having a ton of Officers will tank the company over time (which may not be a bad thing, depending on how you’re playing).  However, if you conquer a Province, you will receive plunder cash, and that’s nice.  They can also be promoted to Governorships later on.

6: Captains: You can place up to 2 people here.  On the following turn, they will be given a chance to buy their own boat.  If they can afford it, they will be hired by the company to deliver goods for them.  It costs the company $1 every turn, so, again, watch how many you have, but it gains the family $2 every turn for having a captain, so it’s not a bad idea.  And should the East India Company no longer have a monopoly in the area, having private citizens with boats might be good for business.

7: Writers: Clerks are a good thing.  You can place up to 3 people here (in lower player-count games).  These are good-for-nothings, except that they can later be promoted to Senior positions, and later to Executive positions.  You have to start somewhere, right?

So let’s start by having our Benyons invest again in our company, to put two of them into the Court of Directors (you’ll see the reason for that later).  And we put that investment to the Director of Goods and the President of Bombay.

And the Hastings?  They buy a Factory.  It’s an easy investment for the first one.  The company has enough money to buy goods, goods cost $2 this turn, so of the $3 they have to spend, they’re getting $2 back almost immediately.  Seems like a pretty safe investment.

And now the Jones’ go…

Oh, I forgot to mention them!  At the end of each Family phase 4 dice are rolled and other cubes are just placed according to those dice rolls (in spaces 1-6 listed above, they never become writers).  It’s meant to sew a little chaos so you’re not in full control of the company. So we roll 1,2,4,5 – A Jones on the board of Directors, they buy a Manor, a Factory and join the army of Officers to be placed next turn.  Yikes.

Thus endeth the Family Phase.  So let’s get onto the Company Phase:

First we fill any vacant Offices…but we just started the game, so everyone’s comfy in their overstuffed leather seats, so now we just go ’round the red carpet and fulfill the roles one by one.

step1

In case you weren’t sure.

1: Ships Purchasing: Where you must spend as much money as you can on ships.  You must buy the cheapest ships first.  And that’s it.  So you usually make it so you buy ships from your own shipyards first, unless you can convince someone else to bribe you into choosing their boats.  The fun of negotiation begins!  However, in this game no shipyards have been built, so we have a bunch of boats, all costing $6, so there’s only one option to take: Buy one boat (it doesn’t matter which one).  So I do and give it to the Director of Trade to pass out later.

2: Goods Purchasing: Where you must spend as much money as you can on goods.  Again, you usually try to spend all your money at your own factories, but you never know what a few smooth words can get you.  The price of goods is $3 if there’s no factory, or whatever The Whitehall Evening Post shows:

news

Right now, it’s $2 for the two factories already built.  So I can buy both of those, plus one from an unclaimed factor for the $7 the Goods Purchaser has.  And on the plus side, the Hastings family earns the $2 spent at their factory.  Capitalism!

3: Military Affairs: First, they do the same thing as the Goods Purchaser, except these goods are considered CANNONS!  With $5, only one cannon can be bought, which is good, because cannons have upkeep costs.  But they can also perform the 1812 overture, so they can’t be all bad.  The military affairs officer then distributes all officers and cannon wherever desired.  The cannon is placed in Bengal to protect that province from any revolution or takeover from another province.

4: Director of Trade: This Office takes everything purchased by the Shipbuilder and Goods Purchaser, as well as any new Captains and sends them out to the Presidencies so they can make money.  This is my favorite office because you have a LOT of power to completely mess someone over.  You’re in the lead?  Well, how is your presidency going to do with no boats?  Give me $4 and I’ll give you your boats back.  So anyway, I have 3 Goods and a ship to dole out.  I give the boat and a good to Bengal so they can ship out 4 things (The White Muslin) and get the highest priced item on the card.  Looking over the other Presidencies, there is no price difference whether they deliver 2 or 3, so unless I can get them up to 5, there’s no point in giving them the other goods.  So hell, let’s give it all to Bengal and go for filling up the card!

5: Bombay Presidency:

Presidency

The three blue icons are the decisions you make each turn, and in order.  Do I conquer the region?  Do I open trade with another region?  Do I spend a ton of money to guarantee a successful trade?

But I think that’s enough typing for today.  Enjoy your weekend!

A good Seoul-o experience

It’s puns like that which make me wonder why anyone reads this blog….

 

When we last left our soldiers, they just ran into a Squad of North Koreans on Patrol on the very card that is our ultimate destination.  After the surprise of spotting each other, 2nd Platoon opened fire down onto the Squad from the Embankment, and the Koreans returned fire.  It’s from here that we start Turn 3.

Wherein it starts to rain again.  Great.  That prevents casualties all around, but also turns everything into a slow slog.  Wonderful.

So it’s time to get crazy.  I only drew 2 Commands, but I have 6 saved up, so I can still spend 4.  I use two to send a Squad and a Machine Gun team down into the Village to get some cross fire bonuses.  I don’t worry too much about the Exposed markers as the cover in the Village is good enough to cancel that out.  I then order a Bazooka team to launch a rocket into the enemy.  I get to draw 2 cards for this, but fail to find a grenade icon, so I can only put a “Miss!” chit down on the card (a -1 modifier).  I finally launch another illuminating flare over the baddies so I have yet another negative modifier and other Platoons can do things to them if they so desire.

The XO orders the Recoiless gun to fire over the village into the Gully to add a bit more carnage, but that gun, too, misses.  Oh jeez, it looks like the giant recoiless gun with the “Heavy Weapons” modifier can also see the Gully, so they would open fire now, too.  Things aren’t looking good for anyone down in that Gully.  And for General Initiative the Assault Team scouts turn into a Fire Team so they can join in the fun.

Incoming

The Enemy draws a HQ Event, but it would just get to try and Rally all units on the board.  That might be more handy next turn.  No luck there.  Now we pull again from the Underfire from a different direction section on our chart to see what these folks do.  Looks like they shift fire again.  They are going to shift to where the largest VoF is coming from, meaning they will shoot back at where the 75mm Recoiless gun is.  However, they can’t SEE that gun, so they have to shift to the machine guns coming from the south.  Thank goodness for that because our CO and 1st Sgt are standing where that gun is.

Okay, it’s time to have our combat effects evaluated.  We can look at the card above to see what kind of damage we’ve done to the Koreans.  Grenade Misses can only be applied once, so it’s only -1 there, but we have -6 total on a card that gives +3 cover.  Add the other +4 for environmental bonuses and we’re left with a +1 modifier to damage.  Woops, +2.  They’re also under cover.  Jeez, those guys may never go anywhere.

Ayup, +2 is a miss on the card drew.  So now we go to the other card with a VoF on it

uhoh

We have our new Fire Team in the Strong Building who will have the best modifier.  +2 for the Village, +3 for the Building and +4 for the environment.  Our Machine Gun Team will have a similar bonus, but have -2 tacked on for being Exposed.  Our Squad will also have one less bonus for being in a less reinforced building as well as being Exposed.  That leads to +9 for the Fire Team, +7 for the Machine Gun Team and +6 for the Squad.

Like I said earlier, I wasn’t worried about those two when I sent them down, the Village was a safe place to be.

The cards actually don’t go any higher than +6, so that’s what we have to max out at, so let’s draw for the three, one at a time.

comeon

Oh COME ON!  This may be the only card in the deck that hits on a +6!  I drew for the Fire Team first, so it looks like they’re getting hit.  A lucky bullet can always do something, I guess.  And, to keep that luck going, I draw “Casualty” as the result.  So it just so happens that these guys saw the muzzle flashes out of the window where this small team was firing from, and Dead-eye Dan was on patrol this day, and took them all out.

casualty

Wow, our first death.  Harsh.

The other two draws result in misses (as they should).  So I go to the clean-up phase and make sure I mark off all the ammo spent (which I have to be careful with, Bazooka, Machine gun and Recoiless weapons have limited ammo.  I only have 3 turns of the big 75mm gun ammo).


So how and the hell am I going to get to my objective without losing more men?  Looking at the card for how the enemy works, the best odds are when I’m on the same card as them (a 1 in 3 chance they fall back).  If I can change them to a LAT (litter team, paralyzed, etc.), it’s much, much easier, though, so running in there guns-a-blazin’ might not be the best idea.

It’s only the 4th turn, so I think keeping up the fire for now might be the way to go, maybe I can whittle them down and force some to flee before I have to charge in there.  It will also give me time to bring the casualties back to base.

Looks like I have a Friendly Higher HQ Event:

#7 – CO HQ is Screaming for Action: You must move forward this turn*

*facepalm*

Okay, change of plans.  Maybe.  If I move forward, I’ll gain an extra experience point.  It might not be worth it if I get everyone slaughtered for listening to command.  Of all the time for this event to come up….I swear….it’s like the cardboard knows.

The best laid plans of mice and men.

So here’s what I did.  I spent my 4 commands by splitting off another assault team and had it infiltrate into the Gully.  Of course, it didn’t SUCCEED in Infiltrating, but I tried, dammit.  I then Commanded the Embankment to stop shooting into the Gully, because, you know, our own guys were down there.  I then used my last command to move my 2nd Platoon HQ down into the Village (he successfully Infilatrated).  During the 1st Seargent’s General Initiative phase, he called through the 2nd Platoon’s radio to cease fire.  Yes, it’s a bit munchkiny, but it’s the only way I could make our own army not fire on my guys.  I think it’s legal, but whatever.

newbattle

I hope this is worth that extra experience point.  Anyway, now the Koreans are no longer firing out of the card, but at the Assault Team that crazily ran into the Gully after them.  I also gave the Assault Team a canister of smoke (not signaling smoke, just the good ol’ black kind) in case they want to block off this area from outside fire.  Of course, I didn’t draw any General Initiative, so this is what I’m stuck with.

Now it’s the Enemy’s turn, and they get no HQ Event, so let’s see what they do.  There’s 3 things they could possibly do.  One of them is Fall Back, one of them is do nothing and…

-draw-

One of them is throw Grenades at my soldiers.  Because that’s my luck.  So I draw 2 cards and, well hey, they fail!  So a Miss chit goes down which gives a -1 to both of our combat modifiers.  Whenever someone tries to go Grenade on someone, you get to do an attempt right back at them.  Just goes to show you: Close combat is crazy!  So let’s see if my luck can change: I draw a grenade!  Kaboom!  Another benefit of hitting with a grenade?
“Do not apply the Rain/Snow, Fog, Smoke, or Current Visibility modifiers to this VOF.”  Yup, grenades don’t care how well you aim, just as long as you’re close.

But before we find out what happens, we have to see what our Potential Contact is.  *Gulp*  The chit is a ‘B,’ which is a good sign.  We are currently at “Contact” Activity Level, which means we’ll be drawing 5 cards to see if any of them show Contact.

Well I’ll be.  I got one blank, 3 Rallys and a Cover.  Nothing happens!

So let’s hop to our combat effects.  I have +1 for the terrain card and +4 for the Weather.  -2 for Exposed and -1 for the Grenade miss.  So net +2.  And there goes my luck.  Let’s see +3 – Pin, +2 – Hit.  Again, the cardboard knows.  My Assault Team is now Paralyzed.

The Enemy gets +1 for the terrain card and no bonus for weather.  My Grenade is -4 for a net -3.  And that is a Hit.  If it wasn’t, I very well may have flipped the table.  Which would have been pretty fabulous as it’s bolted into the wall.  But don’t challenge me, Fields of Fire, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.

The effect card shows one Litter Team, one Casualty and One Fire team.  That’s a pretty significant hit.  I like it.  I think I can chase those off, and I very well might be able to take some prisoners.

aftermath

I spread the pieces out there.  Unfortunately one of them will still fire while my paralyzed team will only flee or stay put, so I’ll need to get a little fancy this next turn.


So we start our 6th turn with another “Friendly” Higher HQ Event:

#3 – Comm Trouble: Must spend 2 Commands to re-establish comm with CO HQ*

This is my mad face.

I can ignore this and use my four commands as normal, but I can just use 2 commands and get an extra experience point.  Why now, when I have a paralyzed team right next to a squad of Koreans ready to kill them all?

Welcome to the joy that is Fields of Fire.

Okay, let’s think this out.  If I leave my team there, they will be captured during the Mutual Capture&Retreat phase if their fire team un-Pins themselves.  If our team manages to get themselves un-Pinned and the enemy remains Pinned, they will automatically retreat back to the Village.  That’s waaayyy too much relying on luck.  The only way they would un-Pin themselves is if they have a General Initiative Command, and that’s no safe bet.  So I need to get another unit into that Gully to rescue them.

-draw-flip-draw-

Okay, so I have 5 Commands + 5 saved Commands, though I can only use 4 due to darkness.  Let’s see what I can do with 2, if I want to gain that experience point.  The commander is currently in the same building as the Machine Gun team (and a casualty, but I won’t ask them to do anything).  I could ask them to infiltrate the enemy squad.  That’d be putting a high-price unit in harm’s way to save a “lower priority” unit.

Yes we’re talking about human lives here but-

Wait, we’re talking about cardboard chits.  It’s hard not to think about them as humans, though, since these are the same kind of choices a commander would have to make at this point.  I could never be a commander, I would hate to have to coldly trade human lives like this.  War is stupid.

Anyway, rather than sending the MG Team in, I could dash over to the other building and ask an entire Squad to go into that card.  Again, rather than getting a “high quality” team in danger, now I’m putting 3 steps worth of men in danger for 1 step worth of prisoners.

OR I could dash back up the embankment and ask one of the 2 step squads to dash down.  (Right, ask.  ‘cause they do so much “asking” in the army)

If I use all 4 commands, I could duck over to the other building, split off another assault team from that squad and send it into the card, which would be the ‘safe and sensible’ thing to do.  But it wouldn’t get me the experience point, and would be dull, so let’s send the Machine Gun team into harm’s way!  Of course, they fail their Infiltration check, but who cares, I gots me an experience point.

I do get one General Initiative command, but fail to Rally my Paralyzed unit.  Good that I risked things, then.  Maybe.  Okay, let’s check for the enemy.  I’ll be looking on different tables now that all these chits are considered “Limited Action Teams.”  Like the casualties, they are limited.  To laying there and bleeding, for example.  But since they are all pinned first, that overrides their other abilities, so I pull for the fire team first: No Action.  They stay there Pinned.  Same with the Litter Team.  The Casualty lays there and bleeds.  Huh, who knew?

I figured someone may run.  But nope, so we just keep shooting at each other, like ya do.

Fire team and Litter team for Koreans have +1 for cover, +1 for Pinned, +1 for terrain cover, +4 for environment, -1 for Automatic fire, so +6 for each.  A miss for both, so their Pinned markers go bye bye.

My Paralyzed team has +1 for Pinned, +1 for Terrain card cover, +4 for Environment and +2 for all pinned fire, so +6 (max) for them as well: A Miss, so they too are no longer pinned.

And the heroic MG team?  +1 for Terrain card cover, +4 for Environment, +2 for All Pinned fire and -2 for exposed.  +5: Pin.  Huh.  Well there you go, our heroes put their heads down.  I guess that’s okay.

Looks like I’ve got another “Advancing towards the rear” ahead of me as turn 7 starts.  Stubborn guys, aren’t they?  At least I should earn a bit more experience.  I wonder what my third Patrol will get us?

 

It’s a bird, it’s a plane

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down

Never gonna run around, and hurt you.

Yup.  Totally went there.


So it looks like getting those five extra experience points aren’t going to happen, and I only have 2 turns to get someone back from the Objective back home.  How do I do that?

Remember post #2?

Insert your own ‘Foomp’ and ‘Crackle’ sound effects.  So in one Command, my Platoon HQ just ordered anyone who can see that flare (which is everyone under his command) to move to his card.  That includes everyone from Obj 1.  That does mean no one will remain to Secure the card, but this move will assure I can fulfill the mission orders.

And I’ll simply use my remaining commands to put my units back together all nicely so we look good when returning home.  Someone get me a lint brush!

When we get to the Enemy Activity Check part of the round, we look at the chart and find the “Not Under Fire and no Enemy in LOS.”  In this case, we remove the Squad and place a Potential Contact Marker back into the card that caused the Squad to appear.  So no points for Clearing the card either.

But no worries on combat and I’m able to bring everyone home on the next turn.  Patrol #1 complete!  We let the higher ups know that a full squad of Koreans are poking around the front line and can give them vague numbers, and that’s all that we found.  No permanent installations to worry about or anything.  2nd Platoon is requested to Patrol the next night.

I gain experience based on this table:

  • Secure the Primary Objective Card: 5
  • Clear other cards on Rows 3 and 4: 1 per card
  • Capture enemy prisoners: 2 per step
  • Capture an enemy casualty: 1 per step
  • Perform a successful Grenade! Attack: 1 per attack
  • Complete HQ Event marked * that turn: 1 per event
  • Successfully evacuate a friendly casualty: 1 per casualty

Out of all of those, I only managed to Clear two cards in Row 3, so I gain 2 Experience points.  For Patrol missions, that experience is to be spent now, and only on soldiers that acted this time, so 1st Patrol can spend them.  It costs 1 point to change a squad from Green to Line and 3 points to change one from Line to Vet.  So it looks like I can change 3rd Squad to Line, and 1st Wpns (Bazooka) to Line as well.  Not a great gain, but it’s something.


Now I start over, only I move 2nd Platoon over to where 1st Platoon started last Patrol, and replace the Potential Contact Markers.  All saved Commands get reset, too.  Second verse, same as the first!  Let’s see how different this one will go!

Shuffle…shuffle…shuffle (I can’t do my patented roll…roll…roll saying with this game!)

Our first difference is that on the Embankment, we actually flipped a Potential Contact ‘C!’  That means rather than getting an automatic Contact, we flip 4 cards (when you have no contact) and see if the word “Contact” shows up.  As shocked as I am, it showed up on my first card, so I’ll be drawing on Contact chart ‘C.’  And before I draw, I’m just going to let you know, #1-3 is Incoming Mortars and 9-10 is Incoming Heavy Mortars.

How did they paint their helmets today?

Pull: 9

*sigh*

sonew

It’s like I’m playing a completely different game, isn’t it?  Welp, that changed them to a Litter team and added yet more craters to this Embankment.  You would think I could remove a Hill card since this thing has probably worn down to a nub at this point.

The Village also contained a Potential Contact ‘C’ chit.  And of the four cards, the last one contained ‘Contact.’  Of course it did.  But this time I pulled #8, which is a Patrol.  Similar to last time, but this is right in the middle of our Patrol route.  And guess where they are?

Interesting

That’s right, 3 steps worth of enemy right on our Objective.  Things just got interesting.