Sunday, May 7, 2017

Second Game Day of 2017 - 1809 Campaign

Finally had a weekend free (house projects are nearing an end) to get in some gaming!  We started an 1809 campaign as additional playtesting/development of the upcoming campaign system for Field of Battle, titled "Season of Battles".   The game, for some reason, seemed disjointed - maybe the players were out of practice as it has been a while since the last Napoleonic game of FoB.  The French were commanded by the dashing team of John, Chris, Greg R., and Rodney, while the Austrians were led by the soon to be defeated team of Eric, Greg C., and Terry.  The Austrians had some set up and location advantages, but the French had a pretty significant strength advantage (+30%).  Ultimately, the Austrians put up a valiant defense but ended up on the end of a crushing defeat.  It will be a steep climb for the Austrians to get out of the hole created by such a big loss in the opening battle of the campaign, but we shall see!  The set up and post game campaign process helped me a great deal as SoB moves ever closer to completion.

Some photos from the game:










Saturday, April 15, 2017

Miniature Wargames Issue 408

The latest issue (408) arrived.   I look at this as confirmation that the days of printed wargame magazines is past.   Miniature Wargames used to be good.  Now.......

Contents consist of 78 pages or so:

Page 1:  The obligatory self serving editorial that nobody reads.
Pages 2-9:   Historical product reviews.  Better done online and also more timely online.
Pages 10-13:  Regular column "Send Three and Fourpence".  I have to admit, this column holds little interest for me.
Page 14.  Advertisement
Page 15-20:  Roman political game
Page 21:  Advertisement
Page 22-25:  Show review
Page 26-33:  Indian Mutiny rules.  Apparently the author believes all the ground in India is milk chocolate colored.
Page 34:  Ad
Page 35 - 49   Sci-fi and Fantasy section
Page 50-53  Show review
Page 54-55  Using cards in games
Page 56-57  Show review
Pages58-63  Product reviews
Page 64-67  Modelling a stockade.  Crudely done - much better terrain instruction online available elsewhere.
Pages 68-73:  Yet another show review
Pages 74-76:  Club directory
Pages 77-78:  Ads

Literally NOTHING of interest, with bad content.   Why do I buy this?  The new editor clearly has a passion for Sci-fi and fantasy.  The "historical" section has been reduced to mainly show reviews and product reviews.

All in all, a garbage product.  Save your money and buy a book or two.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

First Games of 2017

I'll try to be more regular with my posting schedule in 2017.  No, really.  I'll try.

We played 2 games this past Saturday - Give Fire! (ECW Field of Battle) and Nothing Less Than Victory (a soon to be published WW2 game).

To be honest, I don't really remember which side won either of the games, as I treated them as development games.  Both were a lot of fun, however.  We started the ECW game at around noon, and were finished before 2:30.  The WW2 game started at around 4:15, and was done at 6:30 PM.  

Some photos!







A few photos from the WW2 game follow below.  The notable feature was the presence of the Tiger II.  Unknown to the US players was the fact that the Tiger II had broken down and was immobile.  On top of that, it only had 4 rounds of fire available.  The Tiger made those 4 rounds count, taking out all 3 Shermans and a halftrack with an infantry squad.  BOOM!






Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Review

2016 was a slow year on the gaming front, I'm afraid.  

The first quarter of the year was spent finishing up our 2 year renovation of our house.   As we completed that project, my wife Lisa's knee kept getting worse and worse.

Which leads me to the main item from 2016 - Lisa's total knee replacement surgery in May.  We thought we were prepared, but I don't know that anything could have prepared us for the pain after the surgery and the seemingly endless rehab and strengthening.  Keep in mind, we're both very healthy and fit, working out regularly, so she had great muscle mass to help out to begin with.  However, it was still very difficult for her.   Eventually, after having a manipulation to break loose scar tissue that had formed (how that formed, given the near constant rehab work, is beyond me!), and moving from rehab to strength regaining exercises, she's pretty much pain free.  Now its just stiffness at times, and tightness that we've been told "should" pretty much be gone in another 6 months or so.   I'm very proud of her for all her determination through the process.  It would have been far easier to just quit and live with limitations, but she was driven to get back as much as possible so that she could ride her motorcycle!   We finally got in a couple of rides in October and November, which really helped her morale as she was thrilled to know that she could ride again.

So that brings us to November and December.   I was able to put on 2 game days, with another one planned for the first weekend in the upcoming January.   I was able to put on the first game with my ECW collection, which was really fun - considering I started the painting years....and years....ago.

On the rules front, I have "Nothing Less Than Victory"  (WW2) nearly done, with 90% of the FoB campaign system developed.  I have "Rusty Buckets" developed in my mind, as well as thoughts for air games, finishing up "Give Fire!", and other projects.   While rule writing is a big task, I just can't seem to stop wanting to do more games.  Its a sickness....

I've been able to get back to painting, finishing up some units for my ECW stuff around Thanksgiving, and now turning to the beginnings of my Wars of the Roses collection.  

And of course, there's always the Denver Broncos.  It has been a struggle this season, as injuries and a new QB have provided more challenges than had been anticipated.  Technically, they're still in the hunt for a playoff position, but it really doesn't mean much as this year's team won't be in the playoffs for long even if they make it.   The silver lining is that the probable 3rd place finish in the division means a much easier schedule next year, as well as better draft choices.   Seasons like this really make one appreciate Super Bowl seasons!

I wish all of you well, and a safe and fun holiday season!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Review: Miniature Wargames #404, Wargames Illustrated #350

I've been a subscriber of WI and MW for as long as they've existed.   MW has recently changed, and WI changed a while back.

I was always taught that if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything.








My next blog post will include photos of the WSS game from our session last Saturday.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Give Fire! - First Play of FoB2 ECW Game

The group got together yesterday for two games - first a game of Give Fire!, the mini-supplement for the ECW using the Field of Battle 2nd Edition rules, and then a WSS mega game with over 50 units on the table.   I just discovered that I forgot to take any photos of the WSS game, which is a shame - it was a beautiful game with wonderful figures from the collection of Eric Miller and Greg Cornell.  Loads of Brits, French, Spanish, Danes, and maybe some others I'm forgetting.   I believe that Greg and Eric have photos.  I'll either post a link to a blog with those, or if I get any photos, I'll post a new post with WSS photos.

The ECW game featured two small to moderate sized armies - 8 units of foot, 4 units of horse, and 1 artillery unit each.  

The game played well, with the Royalists winning a close fought battle.  I've made some tweaks to the rules to reflect the period tactics and limitations, and made some more adjustments based on the game play.  It was great to see the ECW armies on the table for the first time!

Some photos:

















 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wargame Table Renovation!

In keeping with the theme of house renovation, I just finished completely renovating my wargame table.  My table has a table top a bit over 5' x 9'.  The new table features shaker doors and knobs to match the other new cabinets, as well as eliminating the old caster wheels and replacing them with a sturdy base/toekick.   While I was at it, I also redid the top surface to have it more useful for naval games.

 Original table - note the gold hinges (blch), plain doors (blch) and wheels (blch blch)


Original royal blue tabletop
 
The project began by stripping off all the original doors and end panels.  The project was fairly depressing at this point!
 
Table stripped down.
 
 Structure added to the floor to which the toekick will be attached.

My table is propped up on concrete blocks while the base structure is being completed.  The wheels are gone!  I enjoyed throwing those away...

The toekick structure is completed.

The table is slid up and over onto the toekick structure, and then fastened to the structure with screws.

New cabinet facing, end panels and toekick.  Getting somewhere now!
 
 The top is repainted in a dark blue.

 Starting to match the idea in my head.

The new tray is attached.

Another shot of the table with the tray attached, as well as the new trim around the tabletop.

Tray with new trim attached.
 
I went with hidden, soft close hinges.  Sweet!

The new doors, mounted to the table "island".

The shaker effect added with trim to the doors.  The trim was glued and nailed on. 

All the bare boards have been primed.  Note that the ends of the table have faux door panels.

The table complete, with new "water" painted top, finish paint, and new knobs.
 
Another angle, showing the faux door end panels.

The new top!

The top was done by stippling a mix of medium and lighter blues, some green, some white, etc. with sea sponges.  At this stage in this photo, the top has been sealed with satin polyurethane.  It is still a bit to glossy for my liking, as the top picks up a bit of glare.  I will be putting matte polyurethane on the top at the end of the week.
 
 
I'm thrilled with how the table turned out.  It looks like a high end piece of furniture or island.  The new doors are solid and quiet, and the tabletop makes me want to get started painting some ships!   I probably have about 70 hours in the project, which required a tablesaw, power miter saw, drill press, air nailers, plus the odd hand tool here and there.   A lot of work, but I am very glad I did the project.