Saturday, September 22, 2018

Congo at the club!

We had five guys out at the club on Tuesday and Bruce hosted his Congo game that he'll be running at Fallcon this weekend. Four groups arrive in different corners and must gain points to win. Points come from killing figures, finding the treasure, and getting it off the board. 


To find the treasure and your exit point, players needed to contact various features (figures and other thematic models such as below, generally located in treacherous terrain) to gain clues--moving into the terrain where the clues were triggered random (usually bad) events.


Some units (such as my scouts below) could evade the terrain effect, in this case, grabbing the bananas without encountering the panther.


The game ran 8 turns or until the store closed (which were both within about 30 minutes on one another as it turned out). The first few turns saw players move to acquire various clues to the treasure's location.


Then the Nazi's showed up (art imitating life?).


Then the Nazi rocket men showed up and everyone started hammer Richard's troops wth terror cards, which is a great way to have players interact without engaging in combat. The rocketmen spent a lot of time freaked out by various noises in the jungle and basically played no further meaningful role. But it cost the rest of us some initiative to keep these guys pinned down.


Chen and Terry mixed it up on the far side of the board and the cannibals appeared in the village. Chen inflicted a lot of damage which would help him in point total in the end.


By this point, I collected enough clues to figure out that the treasure was in the village. Chen helpfully whittled down the cannibals and I managed to grab the treasure. Then the long flight across the board began. Sigh.


Chen and Terry continued to fight while Terry's film crew recorded things. At this point, store closing time was approaching so all of these distractions helped me run down the clock.


I had to run off Richard's corner of the board so I raced towards his troops. There was lots of general mayhem. As things were looking bad, I intentionally entered bad terrain twice in order to try and trigger an event that I could use to my advantage. This worked out pretty well (some chaos allowed extra shots) but eventually I got run to the ground.


At this point, Terry ended up grabbing the treasure and we called the game. The point totals in the end favoured Chen (he killed an alarming number of guys!).


A great game by Bruce (Congo is fun and the scenario was a hoot. His table set-up was also amazing.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Last of the 54mm French line infantry

I finished off the two boxes of 54mm HaT Prussians I managed to find this summer. These will round out my French regulars for the upcoming expansion to Tricorne


I also finished three flag bearers (which represent generals) and three musicians (which are just infantry). There was no national flag of France in this period and of the French flags I found, these were the ones I liked the best.


Al from HaT just emailed to say that he had found me some more boxes of these figures (both standing and advancing) so I will be using them to replace some Prussians as well as complete the French foot. Just need to find some suitable mounted figures.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Pulp Alley take down!

I'm planning a Hallowe'en themed Pulp Alley game for the club so Bruce was kind enough to refresh my memory of the rules with a gangster-themed game.


Scenario was gangster boss was trapped by the cops in the right corner of the table while his gang arrived on the left. Game was won on points with minor plot points and downed characters giving a single point while the bosses were worth three points.


The first thing I did was use my boss to shoot at Bruce's boss. This had the effect of causing all of the roaming civilians to flea, which totally screwed up my game plan. Duh.


Bruce them tried to sack my boss. Maddog fought off the coppers and then started a game-long retreat across the board using his dodging skills to avoid hits after hit.


Mid-board, the yokels tanged over plot points, with Bruce getting the upper hand here.


I managed to claw my way back by greasing some coppers and successfully completing a challenge (searching their bodies, we guessed).


The trolley circled the block, adding the potential for some fun. Bruce was less blood thirsty ("so we'll say the trolley stops for pedestrians?") than I was. Below, MadDog managed to get to some cover behind the trolley while his goons enfiladed the cops.


In a glorious move, MadDog rushed out to grease the last of the coppers but then walked into a wall of buckshot to give the game to Bruce. Oh well!


A good game. I liked the moving terrain effect and Bruce lent me his horror card deck so I can use those rules. Now if only my not-Lego haunted house would arrive!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

54mm AWi French and Zombie Dogs

I made some more progress with the AWI French, finishing off two more units of regulars.


These are HaT 54mm SYW Prussians with some white paint in lieu of blue.


Basically nice figures that are super useful. The officers have a couple of poses (basically you can vary the arm and weapon).


In anticipation of the upcoming Zomtober painting, I also painted up 20 zombie dogs from a Zombicide set I picked up from a friend.


The sculpts are okay for game pieces. The hairy dogs could do for werewolves as well. They scale nicely enough with the 25 and 28mm pulp and horror stuff I have.


Up next: Likely the rest of the 54mm French, including various officer, musician and flag bearer poses.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

55 minutes in Peking

Bruce brought his Boxer rebellion game out to the club this week for its debut. We had a good turn out for the first day of school, with 7 guys around the table.


Chris played the English, Scott the Japanese, Richard the Russians, Terry the Germans, and Chen the Americans. Bruce GM'ed and I helped out running a few Boxer units when they appeared to harry the western powers.


The westerners had amazing luck with the supply cards, never running short of anything and having to dicker among themselves. The Boxer sappers also helped them by shrinking the perimeter a bit.


That said, it was not a cake walk as the Germans and the Americans both lost units. There was time for a serious redeployment by the Germans. The British ran into some fire problems but managed to take care of some red lantern units.


For their part, the Boxers never really showed up in enough strength anywhere to really push the western powers. Sure, they killed some Christian missionaries and blew some embassy walls, but that was about the extent of it.


We did see the appearance of the Parsons with their machine gun, which did a good job of cleaning up the last big push by the Boxers. Overall, a fun game with all 7 players engaged.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Bomber Command Museum, Nanton, Alberta

This summer we passed through Nanton, Alberta on our way to a family vacation in the mountains. I'd recalled that Nanton housed the museum of Canada's bomber command. My wife's uncle was a tail gunner in a Lancaster so we decided to stop in and see what the museum had.


Outside there are the usual "planes on a post" but also a very moving tribute to the 10,000 Canadians killed in bomber command operations. We were able to find her uncle's name. The sheer number of names is quite staggering (both sides of the monument above).


The museum inside was pretty interesting. The only exhibit picture I snapped was of this 1/72-scale model of a training base in nearby High River.


From the museum, you enter the hanger, which is full of planes. Some you can climb into (Jessica is inside the front fuselage of a bomber created for a movie). I was a touch too big and stiff to get in there myself.


The largest plane is a Lancaster (which still runs) set up with a dam buster bomb hanging below.


There was also an ME-109. I was surprised by how big the fighters were and how small the bombers were (relative to each other). The 109 was a big plane.


There were also several trainers, commemorating the role played by Canadian training facilities.


It was hard to get a decent shot of the Lancaster due to the short sight-lines. We paid an extra $5 and got the chance to tour the inside of the Lancaster.


Even with the adjustments made for tourists (e.g., stairs, equipment stripped out), it was a tight squeeze. I can't imagine doing in the dark, in -40, with all four engines howling.


Although access to the tail gunner location was blocked off, there was zero chance I would have been able to squeeze into the slot. Talk about a lonely posting.


We also passed through Vulcan, Alberta and stopped at the Star Trek Museum (which was most a giant gift shop with some cardboard movie cut outs and some old Trek toys.


I bought a few t-shirts but can't say it was worth the detour.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

54mm AWI Infantry

This week I finished up some 54mm French infantry for the expansion Tricorne that is currently being developed. Finding affordable troops has become a bit of a hassle since ATKM closed their doors. For the French, I eventually bought possibly the last two boxes of HaT SYW Prussians on the planet.


The uniform book I took out suggested white uniforms (as above) with blue musicians (as below). The Hat Box contained interchangeable Prussian hats but I went with all tricornes.


The rules appear to give French regulars an extra block so these will be five-man units. Depending nohow many I need to field, they might have musicians in the mix.



Or they might be all troops and officers. I have 10 guys done and about another 30 to go. There are enough figures in the one box of troops and one box of command to meet most of my French needs. Just need to sort some marines and cavalry. I wonder about Zouaves as marines (with some putty and paint?).


I also finally finished some bushes. I bought a sheet of plastic plants at the dollar for $2 (instead of $25 at the GW store) and used half to make 50 shrubs. This gives me some an understory for the railroad trees I have.


The work okay for 25mm (above) or 54mm (below).


Up next: Probably some more 54mm French. Maybe some zombie dogs? Hard to say.