Friday, June 24, 2011

Cangames 2011 May 20-22, 2011 Part 2

Friday May 20, 2011

After the end of the Agira game, I joined a couple of other gamers to a quick trip for supper in Chinatown. We let our waitress know that we were on a tight schedule.

7:00 PM Junta

Junta – Noral Rebin – 14 players – Players represent various office holders in the ruling Junta. Players may attempt to assassinate the other players by guessing where they will be from among five locations If the players are unhappy, and there is an excuse, they can call for a coup, where the opposition players seek to take control of a majority of the power centers. A game of lying cheating and stealing how can you go wrong? (ends 11 pm)

 Our Friday Night Game

Junta is always a popular board game. Noral runs two tables of Junta and another couple of Samurai Swords/Shogun at the same time. First place goes to the person with the highest amount in his Swiss Bank account. Second place goes to the player in the same position in the other game

I was fortunate to arrive in time to grab the final spot at one of the boards. I was disappointed by the overall play of the table. One coup per game is fine, but beyond that you are slowing the game down, for whatever reason. The end result was that our table had one of the lowest  money scores I have ever seen in Junta.

Saturday May 21 9:00AM
After the Action Report: With Rage and Sorrow

Face of Battle – Michael Ball – 6 players – 25mm – Canadian infantry and tanks clash with elite SS Panzer divisions after the Normandy Landings in June 1944. For all the horror endured on June 6, every soldier on this front line knew the worst was yet to come. World War Two skirmish using The Face of Battle rules.

I was very interested in trying out this rule set. I picked up the rules, 1st edition either in 2006 or 2007 at a local gaming store. I have read the rules twice but I never attempted to play them. It was  great to be able to take part in a game that was run by the author. We were playing the 2nd edition. I ended up on the German team.

The Battlefield as viewed from the Canadian Edge

Near the centre of the table is a crossroads with 5 buildings/ruins. The object of both sides is to gain control of the cross roads. Three of the structures are on the eastern (German) side of the board but to compensate the Canadians start closer to the crossroads. Actions are dictated by the simultaneous draw of cards. Each player had a deck of 42 cards.

 View from the German Side of the Board

Each squad member is mentioned on a card. Command elements, NCOs or Officers (Leadership Cards) appear more often. They can use their card to act themselves or order an underling to move or fire, if they are within the leaders command range. It is a nice clean system. Having played a fair number of Combat Commander games in the last 6 months I have become a fan of the card driven system of orders. 

Some cards may be for group (i.e. vehicle movement) and other are no effect. It really adds nicely to the fog of war. As a commander you have to plan, but you never really know if lady luck will be with you. Movement is 6 inches, but you can run double the distance. This creates fatigue on the figure. Fatigue will effect your ability to preform. Your choices include using a order option to rest and remove fatigue .

In the above two photos my Squad leaves their Assembly Area (the Barn) and advance towards the crossroads as rapidly as possible. Note the generous use of Fatigue markers.

The Canadians advance at the same time.

and they have Friends.

It became a rapid movement game. The Canadians gain control of the church and the other building on the western side of the crossroads. I occupy the two ruins in front of me and begin a long and drawn out game of sniper and toss the grenade with my Canadian opponent. Luck was with me today and bullets just seem to have no effect on my squad. I'd be hit, but pass my saving throw. It was a lot of fun. While this was going on the Sherman tank was slowly advancing to take me in the flank. I had countered this by moving my panzerfaust into position to take it out. Just in a nick of time, the panzers arrive and the Sherman is brewed in a long distance duel.

As the game grows more intense, I have less and less time to take photos. It is a shame because this is such a great scale to photograph. My fellow German commander launched an assault across the road and ends up in fierce hand to hand combat with the Canadian squad he faces.

I was not as aggressive as I could have been but I didn't like the odds of assaulting a solid stone church. With the enemy tank out of the way, I was trying to move the panzerfaust into a position where I could hopefully blow a hole into the church, or at least remove the door If that works, then I'll launch a close assault. In the meantime I had taken out a second sniper in the bell tower.

Overview at the end of the allotted time. It was almost 1:00 PM and the game had to end. The German team has control of  four of the required buildings at the crossroads. I found this to be a very enjoyable game and I am looking forward to doing some of my own eastern front skirmish gaming using the Face of Battles rule set.

Mike Ball (on the left) and two of my fellow gamers. The gentleman in the blue shirt is Alex Klesen, currently in Quebec, but from Europe.  He was one of the Canadian team members. The gentleman on his right is a fellow German team member and was declared overall winner for his fierce successful crossroad attack. Thanks to all the players who made this game possible. This photo was posted by Doug Blair.

After this game I departed the con for the rest of the day. I had planned on a 7:00 PM return, but I didn't leave the BBQ I went to until after 8:00 PM. It was such a beautiful day.

Part 3 will cover my Sunday gaming adventures.


  1. Hi Robert: I've been tempted by Face of Battle. How intuitive would you say the rules are? Are there excessive amounts of "fiddly" bits, or are they pretty straightforward? They seem like they give a fun game.

  2. It was a fun game. Reading the rules is daunting, as it is a rather thick book. Once I understood on how to read the tables, and come up with the die roll values, everything seemed to flow.

    If you know what your squad is armed with and can locate them on the charts, then you're on your way. The rules have real depth, but there looks to be lots of actions/skills that you can introduce over time. Looking at the rulebook, it seems to me that me weren't using skills at all.

    Things like the cover table, look immense, and appear in a really tiny font, but it boils down to just three terrain types (soft, medium, hard) or five cover types (poor, partial, good, substantial and concealed).

    All in all I think you get really get your money's worth for the price.