Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Election 2016

Bruce dropped by last week and brought with him a favourite game (1960: The Making of a President) with a new skin allowing us to refight the 2016 US election. Sadly, this meant one of had to play President Marmalade and I lost the flip. The game is one of area control with card-driven play. The only real changes to the base game were (1) a redistribution of the Electoral College votes, (2) easier travel between regions of the country, and (3) new text on the cards (card effects remained the same)
I think this was close to the opening set-up with the Donald in red and Hillary in blue. There are four or five rounds of campaigning, then a debate, then a few more rounds before election day. Bruce had played more recently and Hillary had a much better strategy (staying ahead on the issues, getting media endorsements, and prepping for the debate). Donald concentrated on the ground game and locking up the south and the fly-over states.

The redistribution of electoral votes made for an interesting change from the base game. We both fought for California, Texas and Florida. Hillary did a good job in the end of getting all of these states as well as the northeast.

I managed to win the debate but Hillary really impeded my campaigning towards the end.

Election day was a total crap shoot, with a few unexpected block draws giving Donald key rustbelt states and, in the end, denying Hillary enough seats to win.

Overall, a fun re-skin of Election 1960 that I would totally play again.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Tricorne and 54mm AWI figures

So, after more than a year of waiting, my copy of Commands and Colors Tricorne arrived last week! Great service by The Sentry Box. The box is pretty thick (maybe the thickest of the CCA boxes) and I was excited to open it.

Inside you find the usual stuff. Bags of blocks. Red British, blue continentals, and dark blue Hessians. Stickering the blocks took about two hours.

There are also two types of cards: a shared command deck and separate battle cards. I think this mechanic is from the WW1 variant and adds some chrome to combat.

Combat is pretty straight forward but the new mechanics are rally rules. Basically, if you get pushed back, your unit must dice to avoid a rout. So avoiding flags through linear tactics seems important. Generals also appear to play a more important role in combat.

The rest of the components are nice. Good dice (no stickers!) are included. The may itself is 13x11 hexes (versus the usual 13x9). I will need to see what my hex mats look like downstairs to find one to work with the 54mm guys I have been painting.

Speaking of figures, I finished off 12 54mm plastic troops that have been sitting on the paint table for months.

They are a bit same-same n their colour schemes but, when mixed in with other groups I have painted with different palettes, we should get a more "rabble" look overall. Only regret is the electric blue jacket below right.

I have more (sigh) of the rabble to paint. We'll see what I have to do to fill out some of the scenarios.

Bruce is coming over tonight to get in a game of Election 1960 but with a Trump-Clinton skin. I am looking forward to see what he has. I'd also like to get in a game of CCAWI in the next few days so I know what I'm doing at the club next time.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Pulp Alley at Club Night

We had our first club night at our new venue (Red Claw Gaming) on Tuesday. There were nine guys from our club out with three games running. There were also maybe 12 other guys with four other games running. By the time I left, it was really hopping, which was nice to see.

Bruce playtested a Pulp Alley darkest Africa game he will be running at Fallcon for Terry, Jonathan and me. Four factions, each seeking a legendary bird. Minor lot points had to be dispensed with first, though.

These included meeting Tarzan (which Jonathan did).

Bruce and Terry contested to capture some cattle. Terry employed his baggage handlers as meat shields and managed to drive Bruce off. The use of gangs was an interesting mechanic that I had not seen before.

Terry's English explorers included a fellow armed with a butterfly net.

As the game heated up, we saw the more powerful characters come into play, including Jonathan's tribal leader.

In the end, Terry won, making a run on the final objective just ahead of when I was going to do so. Bruce and Jonathan were also about to win so it was a very close game.

Chen and Scott played some Dropfleet Commander while Dave P ran a game of Tanks!

Up next: I have some 54mm AWI troops that I just need to finish the base on. I also have a bunch of old Star Wars figures I need to finish basing. And then maybe onto some Star Trek ships. I'm also looking forward to the arrival of Tricorne and Vikings.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Tiny Trek

I'm slowly getting back into gaming and painting as summer wanes into autumn (sigh). I have some larger 54mm figures just about done as I await Tricorne's arrival in Canada.

In the meantime, I picked up a bunch of 3-D printed ST:TNG or DS9 ships this summer. These guys are listed as 1/7000 scale but I would think they are much smaller than that. This Enterprise-D is about 1 centimetre long (the washer it is based on is 20mm)

Above are some 20mm figures (painted by Tim in Saskatoon) for scale. Even getting a picture is a challenge--to say nothing is trying to figure out how to paint them! So far the Feds are getting a washer of grey, then some lighter grey to pick out plating details, and some some brighter colours on the nacelles. I see (below) that the white I used to navigation lights is too bright (maybe yellow?).

No rules set picked out yet. Maybe I'll try to write something where the operational unit is a squadron. This week is also our first club night at Red Claw (I'm pumped to actually game again!). And my copy of Vikings should be in the mail soon.

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.