Sunday, 30 August 2015

28mm Battle Report: Gotham City High-Rise - Batman Verses The Riddler

BATMAN AND ROBIN BATTLE THE RIDDLER AND TWO-FACE ATOP GOTHAM CITY
This test game was played essentially using the “Pillow A-go-go” ruleset, which I believe was originally made available as a free PDF by Australian-based company “Fiendish Fabrications”. However as we’re planning on using it as the basis of a superhero verse villain ‘Gotham City High-rise’ campaign, a few modifications were made in order to start to give the “brutal pillow combat” more of a “DC Comics” feel. The battle took place on a rectangular 7” x 9.5” rooftop created using some of the resin scenery from the Streetwise: Flatroof range by “Ainsty Castings”.  

“The story so far… Accompanied by Commissioner Gordon, the Caped Crusaders have been chasing the Gentlemen Ghost across the Gotham City night skyline. Having trapped him on top of a tall high-rise building however, they’ve discovered that Jim Craddock was actually just luring them to a deadly confrontation with the Riddler and Two-Face. All bets are off as the masked vigilantes realise only one side shall rule this night, whilst the losers will plummet to a grisly ‘splat-sounding’ death…”
THE TABLETOP - A 7" x 9.5" ROOFTOP MADE FROM "AINSTY CASTINGS" RESIN SCENERY PIECES 
As per the “Pillow A-go-go rules” each of the combatants’ three attributes were allotted points in order to represent their appropriate ‘fighting style’. Of note both Robin and Edward Nygma were each awarded one point of Attack, Defence and Agility, whilst Harvey Dent was given three points of Attack to represent his vicious all-out offensive mindset. The Gentlemen Ghost was actually bestowed with two points of defence and one point of Agility to better embody the phantom’s spectral intangibility. In addition instead of being armed with pillows our participants were (still randomly) allocated weapons such as Batman’s batarangs (two attacks), the Riddler’s question mark cane (knocks back opponent by 2 inches” and Two Face’s pistol (+1 to hit).
THE RIDDLER RETURNS TO CONFOUND THE DARK KNIGHT AND BOY WONDER YET AGAIN
The fight started with Commissioner Gordon rushing towards the Riddler, whilst Batman, preparing his Nth metal knuckledusters, moved towards the Gentleman Ghost. Robin leapt towards Two-Face, and using a ‘dirty trick’ pulled the gangster into him, thus preventing the disfigured district attorney from moving until they broke free (by winning a combat contest). Realising that his fellow criminals had been somewhat slow off the mark, and perhaps more importantly had their backs to the south edge of the rooftop, Jim Craddock moved between Batman and Gordon and attempted to hit the Dark knight with an ‘Over Head Stunner’. Unfortunately for the undead villain, the Caped Crusader managed to get a punch in first, knocking the apparition back an inch. Elsewhere the Riddler missed the elderly policeman with his can. But watched with satisfaction as Two-Face angrily ‘round-housed’ the Boy Wonder on to the edge of the rooftop’s eastern wall…
OBIN CONFRONTS TWO-FACE. BUT SOON FINDS THE CRIME BOSS IS A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK
Once again the Gentleman Ghost tried to ‘Over Head Stun’ Batman, and yet again was forced back an inch having been pre-emptively socked in the face and tottered dangerously on the edge of the western wall. The Dark Knight followed it up with another wallop and the phantom would have fallen to his certain doom, if not for his ability to fly as a spectral spirit. But Jim Craddock was out of the action… momentarily at least. Encouraged by the masked vigilante getting the better of his foe, Gordon forced Edward Nygma back an inch and watched as Robin vaulted back to safety around Two-face and also attacked the Riddler. A melee was certainly starting to form down by the rootop’s southern edge, and Harvey Dent added to its confusion by forcing the Commissioner further south with a flurry of shots from his pistol.
BATMAN DISPATCHES THE GENTLEMAN GHOST AS TWO-FACE ATTACKS JIM GORDON
Having dispatched the Gentleman Ghost, Batman confronted his quizzical arch-nemesis and gave him a taste of ‘The Hammers of Justice’ with a ‘Double Whammy’. Nygma was not only knocked back an inch but also stunned until the end of the turn. However as a house rule it was decided that being stunned not only meant that the model was unable to make any attacks until the end of the turn. But that they lost any points allocated against their defence attribute for the turn as well. Sensing the forces of good were in ascendancy, Two-Face got behind Gordon and automatically shoved him south an inch between Batman and the Riddler. Meanwhile Jim Craddock, because he could fly, was allowed to float four inches around the edge of the rooftop, looking for an opportunity to grab any hero foolish enough to within touching distance (one inch).
DEAD BUT NOT DEFEATED. GENTLEMAN JIM CRADDOCK REMAINS DESPITE FALLING TO HIS DEATH
Realising the battle could soon be won Robin pushed the Riddler back onto the southern edge of the rooftop with a blow from his stave. But then grunted in frustration as Nygma swiftly leapt behind the youth and pushed him two inches towards a plummeting death himself. Was this really going to be the end of Tim Drake? Batman meanwhile started to try and trade blows with Harvey Dent. But neither combatant hit with any of their attacks.
THE RIDDLER LURES ROBIN INTO A PRECARIOUS POSITION AS BATMAN BATTLES TWO-FACE
Jim Gordon decided to wrestle with the Riddler. But having failed to strike the green-costumed villain suddenly found himself reeling sideways as a result of a blow from Nygma’s question mark cane. With a cry the veteran policeman realised he going to be sent sprawling three inches southwards and was suddenly over the edge of the rooftop and hurtling downwards as fast as gravity could take him. With a triumphant yell Two-face launched an attack upon the Boy Wonder, and automatically (as he attacked from behind) forced Robin forwards over the southern edge of the rooftop. However the fiend had left himself dangerously close to the stone-capped brick wall himself and with grim determination Batman pushed Harvey Dent over the rooftop edge as well.
ROBIN FALLS TO HIS DOOM, FOLLOWED BY TWO-FACE AND THEN... THE DARK KNIGHT HIMSELF
Realising everything now boiled down to him and the Riddler, the Dark Knight launched an attack upon Edward Nygma and forced the villain back an inch. But moving swiftly the purple-masked criminal recovered and using his Agility to slipping around the Caped Crusader, pushed the hero two inches south with his cane. Tottering on the edge, with his back to his enemy, Batman had a brief opportunity to look out across Gotham City, before he was sent tumbling by another blow from the Riddler’s question mark walking stick…

This battle was a lot of fun, and although the slightly larger arena (as “Pillow A-go-go” is designed to be played on a 6”x6” “Supra-King Size bed”) meant that at times models were reasonably safe stood in the centre of the rooftop, it still took less than an hour to game. In addition this contest was played with a completely clear rooftop, so the addition of a chimney stack and perhaps some debris should dramatically alter the dynamics of the fights.

For those interested in the comic book exploits of Edward Nygma, then my review of the “DC Comics” 2013 one-shot Riddler story “Solitaire” can be found here:

24 comments:

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    1. Thanks Gordon. A very simple game but one which twisted and turned as the dice rolled. Batman and Robin are starting to show their age a little bit now. But they're still the best "Heroclix" sculpts out there imho.

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  2. That seemed to work really well, one assumes Batman and Robin were able to glide safely to the ground. Picking up Gordon who was clinging to a flagpole or telephone wire on the way?

    Great Batrep and as stated some lovely painted figures.

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Cheers Roger. For a first game with the rules it seemed to go okay. Some of the 'special attacks' were out the window towards the end as the 'Round House' seemed to be the most lethal if you could position your mini right - and the Riddler's question mark can was certainly the weapon of the fight :-) Hopefully all three 'goodies' survived as they'll certainly be making a comeback soon. I think the solemn-coloured scenery really makes the minis 'pop', so I'm delighted you liked them.

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  3. What a great looking game and a rollicking good aar; your comic-style write-up had me envisioning "Thwack", "Kapow!", "Splty!"etc. graphics like the old Batman TV series. The game certainly deserves another outing with extra props.

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    1. Many thanks indeed Joe. Very much appreciated. If I get the time I may well update a few of the photos with some appropriate sound effects :-) We'll be using the Chimney stack next time (automatically stunning anyone being 'thwacked in it'), so that should change the dynamics quite a bit.

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  4. Great write up again! Should be able to give this ago myself sometime (with some help with rules from yourself). cheers brent

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    1. Cheers Brent. Good to hear from you my friend. Its certainly a very portable little game ;-) Next time I come up for a weekend I'll be sure to bring it along with me.

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  5. What a cool game and bearing in mind the figures used, far more entertaining than "Batman Forever". Obviously the Gentleman Ghost could hover around the edges, but if you designated a 2" area along one side as where the fire escape was, characters knocked off in this area could climb back onto the roof. Perhaps a die roll for how many storeys they fell, which would be how long it takes them to climb back up? Just a thought.
    Regards Jez

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    1. Many thanks Jez. I didn't spot the "Batman Forever" association until the game had almost ended, and then it was obvious (blush). One of the house rules we've come up with is that a team is allowed one flyer per game - hence Jim Craddock's ability to float around once he was knocked off. I haven't ordered a couple of the Fire Escape Platforms "Ainsty Castings" do yet as I want to finish painting the scenery I currently have. But they're definitely going to be in the rules at some point. So great minds think alike :-)

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  6. Very nice batrep Bk! The scenery looks great as a base for the action. It would have been funny to keep the pillows as weapons.

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    1. Cheers Bob. I'm rather happy with how the rooftop has turned out. I can assure you that even the Commissioner's pistol is just as ineffective a weapon as the pillows, as I need to ensure everyone can return for a follow-up fight :-)

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  7. Great stuff, Simon. Your changes to the original Pillow-a-go-go rules worked very well and it was most heartening to see your own spin on this fun little game. I loved your game-board, which was an ideal setting for your protagonists.

    Seeing as the original intent of Pillow-a-go-go was to have non-lethal fun I'd suggest that anyone who gets knocked off the roof lands on a conveniently placed fire escape, flagpole, gargoyle, protruding ledge or anything else that prevents them from falling to their doom.

    More please!

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    1. Many thanks Bryan, and of course, this entire project is down to you and your wonderful "Pillow A-go-go" battle report :-) I've a few more Gotham City crime bosses to finish painting before the campaign starts properly, so plenty of time for some tweaking of the rules and a few more test games as well. Obviously I can't have the likes of Edward Nygma and Harvey Dent croaking mid-game, so they're always find a handy placed ledge to cling onto in their time of need. For the minions however... ;-)

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  8. You do such fun batreps, really fun to read. The figures look great on the table top as well!

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    1. Much appreciated Anne. Glad you enjoyed it. Haven't done one for a while. I am pleased with the way the colourful characters stand out against the scenery.

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  9. Absolutely wonderful Simon, great to see the game in action and I wonder how the addition of the roof furniture will alter the dynamics?

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    1. Thanks Michael. Good to get a game in using it. I think the furniture should speed things up somewhat tbh, as the game did degenerate into something of a melee towards the end.

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  10. Is there *no* conflict that cannot be modelled with the "Pillow A-go-go" rules :-) ? Impressive lateral thinking on your part, I think - I'm very impressed!

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    1. Cheers C6. I think the rules work very well as the backbone for some rooftop drama and certainly suit the quick games I have in mind for this campaign. Glad you enjoyed the BatRep :-)

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  11. hahahahaha what a fun game and fun read. I loved every minute of it. Especially relevant s we are going all out here (stepped up the pace) to get our 2017 homebrew Gotham game up and running.

    Loved this write up.

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    1. Thanks Steve, glad you enjoyed it. I was hoping to use the 'Pillow A-go-go" rules for a big Gotham City campaign but then never managed to find the time to build any more roof-tops. Now I have some plastic buildings however that might be something to do in 2017. I certainly look forward to seeing your stuff next year :-)

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  12. me too me too. This is fab :)

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    1. Cheers Tarot. I do hope to do some more in 2017... maybe a linked campaign. Maybe ;-)

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