Saturday, December 15, 2018

Longstreet: McFarlane's Haymaker

I dropped over to Bruce's on Tuesday in the hopes of reversing my string of ACW losses. Bruce set up a nice game of Longstreet, with the Southerners on the attack.

Key things tonote in the photo above is the victory marker located just behind the right-most field as well as Bruce's refused right flank (top left of picture). My plan was to hit the right side hard, push him back and grab the objective marker, betting that I would have enough points to win the game.

So I advanced, we traded fire and (on the left) you can see Bruce hurrying his cavalry around into position. I roughly calculated he would not make it in time, but he had a couple of good cards that accelerate his progress.

Above, the lines have connected and Bruce is about to take a pounding. So far, so good.

Then Bruce played a couple of good cards that stalled my advance while his cavalry surged forward. At one point I had to discard 1d6 of cards and, of course, I rolled a 6, thereby forfeiting my turn (no cards). Arrrrgh!

That left me as per above and his cavalry (below) rode down my cannon. The cannon beat off the attack (with great dice--he got spanked) but the damage the cannon took pushed me over the threshold and Bruce won a convincing victory. A great save by Bruce.

I remain winless at Longstreet in a long while but hope for another chance for victory.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Commercial block

As part of a job lot, I picked up this merchants block from Walther. It was in bad shape. It was missing both roof pieces, the short wall on the roof, and, most concerningly, an angled piece of brick on the front corner was missing. 

I didn't snap a picture of the building I got but I think it was supposed to look like the one above. The cupola and door were missing. To fix this, I had to remove parts of two walls to allow the front corner to mate. I also had to make roof and wall pieces.

I then did not minimal painting. The result is passable. It looks way worse in this photo than in real life. I will go back and touch up the brick work on the from corner.

For $2 and a bit of plastic card, I'm happy enough.

Up next: Some 54mm AWI highlands that have been staring mournfully from the paint table for almost a year.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Monmouth Courthouse

I hauled my 54mm AWI troops out to the club this week to put on a game of Tricorne. I selected the Monmouth Courthouse scenario as I don't think I have ever gamed that one before.

Scott and Bruce were for king and Richard and Chen were for congress. Red Claw was packed when we got there so I much appreciate Leanne saving us a 6x4 table to game on.

Monmouth has 22 units per side and requires nine victory banners to win, so it took us two hours to get through the scenario. The British can gain two banners per American hill-hex that they occupy.

The British spent a lot of time maintaining a solid line to allow them to play the many, many line cards that they got. They focussed first on ejecting the Americans from the forward line of hedges and trying to firm up the British left flank (which was enfiladed by cannon).

These poor Prussian grenadiers earned their pay that day and were forced to advance to the rear after a few turns. Bruce also immediately lost the unit of highlanders I spent weeks (WEEKS!) painting to a bad rout die roll over on the British right.

The shot above pretty much sums up the first hour. The British carefully advanced under fire while the Americans fell back.

I trotted out both some new cannons (made from pencil sharpeners) and some cavalry that had not seen battle before. This was about 50% of my 54mm collection.

Having taken the hedge line, there was a lengthy bit of bombardment (there are seven cannons in the game) which started to pile up the American casualties. There were also a pair (?) of American leader losses which was unfortunate for the rebels.

At this point, the British finally got some right-side cards and started to advance on that side (in the background of the photo below) while the Americans tried to put some pressure on in the foreground.

Grabbing a hill hex (background of photo below) gave the British the two extra banners they needed and brought the game to a close (I think it was 9-4 but am not sure).

Overall, relatively fun. The British got a lot of line cards and worked hard to maximize their effectiveness. The Americans suffered for this. And also had a couple of nasty rout rolls. Thanks to everyone for playing!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Still more buildings this week. This is an HO-scale factory I got for $2 at the railway swap meet.

This is a nice model. I spent some time dry brushing, washing and sealing. The photos don't really show the improvement this made but it is now a nice looking piece.

It has lots of levels for characters to move on and fight from behind. This as a fairly easy reclamation project. I still need to print off a sign for the one on the roof.

Next week I'll have a more difficult project finished.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Hey you, in the jail!

I dropped over to Bruce's on Tuesday to try out "Hey you, in the jail!", a meter Pig rule set akin to AK47. I missed the game at the club last Tuesday and Bruce wanted to give some rules amendments a try (primarily adding in three objective markers to force the defenders to move about the table.

Like many PP rules, there is a pregame map phase that creates a campaign-like feel. I ended up defending three objectives with two units. Bruce arrived on the board with three units and sent one on a flank march. The map game eventually played out in favour with my reinforcements arriving early and Bruce's not arriving at all.

Above you can see my troops loitering at the farm, ready to defend the bridge (out of shot on right) of the objective marker on the hill. Bruce's flankers have just arrived at my rear.

Bruce's main force quickly grabbed the highest value marker in the middle of the table. While a gunfight developed back by the farm. My reinforcements arrived just behind Bruce's flankers. This was heartening but ultimately pointless as I couldn't roll higher than a four all night.

In the main time, I attack one of Bruce's weaker units at range to try and kill off some units (which counted towards the victory total). Alas, the dice deserted me.

In the end my troops were forced to dash for an objective marker (unsuccessfully) and took a pounding as Bruce handily won the game. I don't recall the score but on my way out Bruce hand me both my coat and my ass, so I suspect it was pretty lopsided!

Overall, a fun game. Shooting was pretty ineffective and we talked about lowering the saving scored (so hits stick more often). That said, the rules seemed fine (with the addition to objective markers)--my problems were all dice-related. This rules might well work for the Riel Rebellion.

I'm nw back at the paint table working on more HO-scale buildings and a few more 54mm AWI. I hope to run an AWI game at the club next week.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Factory and out building

I'm continuing to work through the HO-scale buildings I picked up at the model railway swap meet.

This is (I think) a colliery and possibly in N-scale (doors are small for HO but it is hard to tell). It came as part of a job lot so cost about $2. It is missing a couple of pieces (smoke stack and part of roof).

I popped the buildings off the base and then set to painting them using the usual dry brush, wash and seal approach,

I fixed a missing part with a bit of plastic card that looks like corrugated metal and am reasonably happy. It will be a useful out building.

The main building got the same treatment. I still have not sourced a smoke stack (I will look for some one-inch pipe at the DIY store). I might also cover it with plastic card. It could also be a winery.

Some of the details came up very nicely once I applied from paint. Shame it was so poorly treated by a past owner.

Up next: More buildings and some 54mm AWI highlanders.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

54mm British Highlanders

No gaming for me this week due to some dental woes. This did, however give me enough time to finish of a long-delayed second unit of 54mm British Highlanders for Tricorne.

These are from All The King's Men (sadly out of business) and they sat half painted because of the level of detail required. I learned a bit from the first unit I did and I stopped trying to add a third colour to the argyle socks (doesn't show up anyhow). Happy the bagpipes turned out okay--don't think I have ever painted bagpipes before.

I'm happy with the results and happy they are done. I see I am also short a couple of units of British Guards from the original orbat. I think I have some extra Prussians that could be converted with paint But first I have two units of French cavalry to finish up and the rest of the buildings from the model railway swap meet. Maybe the guards will be a holiday project.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Painted 15mm WW2 vehicles add to for-sale page

I've added four new lots of painted 15mm WW2 vehicles to the for-sale page

There are units of Tiger 1s, StUGs, and hanomags.

Deals are dirt cheap--less than the bar model in most cases

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

54mm AWI French Marines

I am almost finished the orbat for the French expansion to Tricorne. Today, I have two units of French marines. These are 54mm figures from HaT (originally SYW Prussians).

Apologies for the white washing out like it did--there is more depth and nuance to the figure in person. Overall, a good enough paint-job conversion.

I was looking at the expansion box with Bruce and I see the flip side of the French victory country is a Hapsburg symbol so that suggests a SYW expansion is in the works. (Edit: Apparently this is supposed to be a Prussian Eagle--just used the wrong art.) So I will spend some time knocking out some proper Prussians to replace the stand-ins I currently have. But first I need to paint some French cavalry. And I need more guns.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Target for Tonight

Bruce put on a game of Target for Tonight this week. The rules simulate the British bombing campaign against Germany.

You each get a plane (although it would be possible to run multiple planes or even a squadron if you were keen). The crew have abilities that improve over time (if they survive).

The game has area movement and would fit on a coffee table. Below you can see the entire set up. You start on an airbase (bottom right tile). You then move (clockwise) to the coast, across the sea make landfall, fly through a flak belt, hit your target and egress. The number and type of tiles depends on mission you roll.

As you move from tile to tile, you roll for random events and the game could easily be played solo. The main weakness of the game is that there are almost no decisions for players to make--just lots of dice rolls.

When you reach your target you use a card deck to navigate across the city towards a target square (not shown in this photo). Cards affect your movement, simulating winds navigation, and other challenges. There is some decision making here, but mostly the moves are obvious.

If you get jumped by a night fighter, you flip the bombing board over and you have a brief dogfight. Again, movement is drive by a card draw with most moves being obvious.

The rules are pretty slick once you get the hang of it. Bruce put all of the tables on a two-sided QRS. The layout of the rule book itself is appalling, with historical material interspersed with the rules. A QRS is a must to avoid endless flipping. This is really an inexcusable production error.

Overall, a pretty fun game and nice to have a solo option. The level of abstraction is nicely thought out. It avoids the paper-chase of B-17. As time passes, technology changes and each side gets new tricks and counter measures. I'd totally play again.

We played twice with one (of four!) bombers returning and no successful hits. There was literally nothing we could have done to change the outcome (except roll better) which is perhaps the biggest drawback of the game.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Pony Wars!

Bruce hosted our annual Remembrance Day game this past weekend, inaugurating his new gaming room and table. To accommodate Andy, me, Chen, Richard, Scott and Terry, Bruce retreaded an old game (Pony Ways), cleaning up the mechanics and using a variant of Lion Rampant for the combat mechanics. 

The setting is the old west, with the players assuming the roll of the US Cavalry trying to keep the settlers safe. Each turn, a card is drawn that triggers a random event (mostly raiding war bands but also stage coaches, wagon trains, cattle drives, banditos, etc) that the players must manage. The game is scored based on points and at the beginning of each turn, the players play the game (e.g. one war bands) before taking their turns. The game ran 30 turns.

Early on, the mining camp as sacked by some locals and the miners forced to flee.

The eventually joined up with Richard's troops which had convinced some settlers to accompany them back to the safety of the fort.

Sergeant Something-or-other arrived but succumbed to bad dice rolls before using his special power to help the players.

Richard's force was harassed by war bands as it moved across the table. Then the railroad arrived (major points of the rail crew survives long enough to get the railway to town).

Andy moved his cavalry up to provide a rearguard for Richard's wagon train. This was a short-lived effort to stem the tide of war bands and Andy was left unit-less for awhile thereafter.

The chuckwagon made it town (triggering a gun fight that I wasn't paying attention to) but then it had to ride to the church to figure out its exist point. Of course it was ambushed getting through the pass.

I managed to bring in some more settlers to the fort to up our victory point total. At this point, it felt like we had the game in hand. And then the war drums stopped and there was a huge surge of war bands all entering the table at once.

Must of the rest of the game looked like this as the locals overwhelmed unit after unit, grinding down our overall score.

We spent a lot of time replenishing our troops in the fort and sallying out to try and save what we could.

At one point, the Hole in the Wall game arrived, chased by a posse. They ran through a seemingly endless horde of war bands. Richard was trying desperately to get a cattle drive moving, but faced a slaw of problems, including raids. Terry's troop and my own raiders were over come by Indians while Scott continued an amazing run of luck, losing only one man and shooting us out of trouble repeatedly.

In the end, we scored a -6 result (hard to know what that means--Bruce is still calibrating the game), which looked like a loss. Overall, a fun, co-op game with lots of figures and terrain. I wonder what the effect of moving the fort from the end of the short side of the board to the middle of the long side of the board (on the side) would be?