Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Port-la-Joye, Fort Amherst, and Prince Edward Battery

A family vacation took us to Prince Edward Island. Not much there gaming related but we did get to walk around a couple of fortifications. Port-la-Joye (later Fort Amherst) is located just west (across the bay) from Charlottetown. French settlers arrived in 1720 and a small number of structures for were built to house a garrison and civil authorities on a hill overlooking the harbour.


The picture above is looking east from the fort site to Charlottetown. British troops took possession of the site and burned the French fort in 1745. In 1758, the British took possession of PEI and built a new fort on the same site. You can still see the earthworks. The picture below looks east towards the Fort Amherst earthwork.


The fort site is about 100 feet by 150 feet (at a guess--I didn't pace it off) and is surrounded by an earth berm and ditch. Inside the fort (below) you can see the remains of cellars from the buildings.


While the fort sounds small, walking around it gives you a different impression. The outside ditch is substantial. Below you can see me looking up to top of the berm (which presumably would have had a palisade on top of it) as well as a profile shot of the berm and ditch.


The site itself commands the surrounding area. Landing would require scaling a substantial cliff and then advancing 200+ meters uphill across a large open area. The forts 18 guns would command the harbour and its entrance. There were a number of very interesting monuments discussing the Acadian deportation.


In 1768, the British moved across the bay to the site of present-day Charlottetown and eventually constructed three batteries there (salvaging the Amherst guns, which later went to Crimea). The Prince Edward battery remains today (in Victoria Park). Looking out the gun port below, you can just see the site of Fort Amherst on the right (above the sail boats). This battery covers the entrance to the bay.


The site of George's battery now seems to hold a combination of housing and a Canadian Forces building. Here you can see some old vehicles (a Sherman, a Lynx, and a Ferret) and some artillery.


The gaming scene in Charlottetown was a bit slim. There are two comic stores (Comic Hunter and Lightening Bolt Comics and Games) in downtown Charlottetown. These have mostly CCG and CMGs, although Comic Hunter also had some board games and Warhammer. There was also a boardgame cafe that I didn't get a chance to visit. Charlottetown itself was lovely.

Monday, July 24, 2017

1754 and CCN at the club

 We had 10 guys out at the club last week with some GW 8th Edition, CCN, and 1754 on offer.


Dave ran a pair of 10mm CCN games. I didn't see how the second one turned out but there was a fair bit of moaning and swearing at the table during the first game.


I ended up running a game of 1754 after we discovered a pivotal piece of Terry's Lobotomy game was on his desk at home. Chen took the Brits and Terry played the French. Terry had really awful die rolls for the first half of the game, taking it very well.


Chen took advantage of this, pushing up the Ohio Valley (below, foreground) and into Nova Scotia (below, background). Not much happened in the middle of the map.


Eventually, the dice came around (or at least evened up) and Terry moved down the Niagara region.


Chen played both his truce cards but the random initiative mechanic gave Terry two impulses to garb territory and (I think) he squeaked out a win with a rapid drive south towards Boston.


Overall, a very nice game.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Decision in North America

Bruce and I had a second go at Decision in North America last week. We quite enjoyed our first go so decided to try again with some more advance rules (including the accursed forts) and better strategies (or, in my case, any strategy at all0.


The opening moves were a bit more cautious this time but eventually we came to blows in New York.


Here, a bad run of luck meant the rebels got crushed and had to beat a retreat. This probably put a military victory out of reach (in retrospect) and allowed Bruce time to build a damned fort in New York that would prove costly despite the the dice turning around for me.


Bruce then romped around some while I tried to evade battle while rebuilding my forces. I had no luck moving the revolution forward politically although I eventually won the French and the Spanish to my side. The lack of progress politically (which came down to bad luck at rolling) put a political victory out of reach for me.


Eventually we had another tussle in New York that I barely won due to the fortification Bruce built. The result was a retreat towards Boston for the British.


A sharp campaign through New England meant I managed to push the British out and retake Boston. The French also landed and nabbed Quebec city. But, alas, I could win neither politically nor militarily and the British took a marginal (or tactical? can't recall the term) win.


Up next: I have some figures awaiting paint that I hope to get to this week. We also have club night on Tuesday with Bruce bringing out a Darkest Africa game of Pulp Alley.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pulp Alley Batman

A few months back, I got ambitious and stat'ed out some Batman leagues for Pulp Alley. Adam West's death a week or so back gave me reason to finally get my superhero project out to the club.


Bruce and Dan took the roles of the Joker and Riddler respectively. Their secrete objective was to get as many phone booths to the park in the middle of the board and then call into the Joker-copter to get away. Scott and Terry played the good guys and their job was nab the various costumed villains.


Batgirl spent a lot of the game ob overwatch, using her shooting skills to rain Batarang hell down on anyone in her corner of the board. Meanwhile, Penguin and some of his goons tangled with Batman and Robin.


Across the table, the Riddler grabbed a hone booth (jokster he is, he also seems to have turned it upside down). Much of Dans evening was battling it out with Gotham's finest and trying to keep Commissioner Gordon bottled up. Of all of the characters, Catwoman seemed to play the best--no umph in a fight but she was able to avoid almost all damage.


Here, some of Scott's better coppers emerge from an alley and spent the game inning down the Joker from cover. Bruce had great luck passing health saved but no luck passing peril checks to get the phone out of the booth.


The Penguin and Robin mixed it up for several turns before the Boy Wonder took an umbrella to the nads and dropped, allowing Penguin to grab his phone booth and head towards the LZ.


Poor Joker (and later Harlequin) just couldn't get a break (one imagines phone booths in Gotham would be pretty sturdy).


Batgirl pretty much sealed the game for the Joker with a Batarang.


With the Joker, Penguin and Harlequin in rough shape, the Riddler muttered, "well, I'm a villain so I'm out here", successfully called into the Joker-copter and made it off board with one phone booth.


In the end, we called it a draw based on pointing out the victory conditions. Thanks to everyone for playing and to Bruce for bringing the tokens, rules, and helo as well for walking us through the rules. I didn't get any good shots of the three (!) other games that ran.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Decision in North America

Last week, I dropped in on bruce to try out a new game he picked up (new to us--probably five years old) called The American Revolution: Decision in North America. The nub of the game is point-to-point movement, one turn equals one year, variable movement, territorial control affects resources the next year, some card play, simple combat.


We played the intro four-year scenario. As I was unclear n how the game worked, my "plan" was to do the thing that seemed to hurt Bruce the worst each turn and hoped that piled up over time. So Washington went north, lost a battle, and returned south. But Carleton had to overwinter is rural new England, which was not good for his troops.


I went north again the second year. Bruce's better knowledge of how resources worked meant he go a jump on me in army building and things were looking dire as he started to blockage New England. Fortunately, I got lucky as all hell on the combat dice.


By year three, things were starting to turn around for Washington. There were more militia and I was deploying them in ways that made more sense in terms of resource acquisition. And Washington was the General Patton the AWI, rolling into town, rousting the Germans, and then rolling forward.


The final turn (I think) saw a lot of American militia and the British army pretty much decimated. I don't think it was an American military victory, but it was close. I was less successful on the political charts (out of frame on the left) which is one of the things you can (and should) spend resources on.



I would totally play this again (ideally while I can still recall the rules). This week, bruce and I will collaborating on a Bat-themed game of Pulp Alley at the club, in part to mourn the passing of Adam West.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 6 club night

We had a dozen guys out to the club this week, which was a goo turn out. Chatter was about a change in venue in the fall due to a rent increase (new venue TBD).


There was couple of games of 28mm sci-fi skirmish (Armageddon?) as well as some Memoir 44.


There was a lovely looking game of Star Wars Armada. Oh, I wish I could convince myself that this is worth the money. Beautiful models.


Scott, Terry and I played some CCA Spartans v Athenians. I haven't played many of the scenarios in the sixth expansion and this one had a fun mechanic.


Above is the set-up. Below the Athenian ambush has been sprung (to the doom of the Spartans in both plays). A fun game with a hoplite rule as well.


Up next: Either some 54mm AWI or some 25mm Romulans. And maybe gaming with Bruce.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

54mm AWI militia

After a much needed break, I'm back at painting 54mm troops for my Tricorne project. One of the challenges of AWI is the need for lots of militia!


These six fellows are a mix of manufacturers (I've painted the poses above in 1/72-scale as well).


To make this go a bit faster, I'm painting figures in batches of six. This allows me to adopt a pallet of colours (blue and buckskin in this case). When mixed in with other batches using different colour pallets, the result is the mix-and-match look I want for the units.


I've momentarily lost track of which set of militia this is, but I'm guessing rifled militia based on the gun lengths.


Up next: Tuesday is club night and I'll bring out some CCA. Then back to more 54s.