Monday, July 31, 2017

Olustee Project Update: It's All About That Base!

   Yes, I went there with that terrible song! However, I went through about a week thinking about how I want to base my American Civil War troops. I went though a large amount of sources looking at what other people had done with their troops. It got to the point where I was loosing sight about the main goal of this venture. These are going to be used for a convention game handled by a large amount of people. Our friend, Hugh mentioned using removable troops separately that could be useful for skirmish games like Sharp Practice. I do like that idea, but I realize that I could always buy more for a game system Kalissa and I personally play. The other direction had me thinking about Fire and Fury Regimental, since I have played a game of those rules, and we plan to play the Viniard Field Battle scenario in the near future. However, that brings up an idea to have two figures on a narrow base for the extended line or extra troops to do so. Then, I am looking into the simple rules such as Black Powder.
    I guess the point I am trying to make is that I need to base figures with the most flexibility for the most systems possible. That way, it is easier for testing purposes. Since my figures are going to be manhandled by foreign hands of people, I figured it would be best to base a few figures on one base at a time. After all, it is normally done. In this case, I decided to go with the four man base. It is not too large and can be easier visually events like: disordered troops and a certain amount of deaths. As much as the eight or six men to a base look pretty, death looks more dramatic in war games when things disappear off the board.
     Now, I had ideas on what I wanted to bases. When we went to Historicon, I forgot to raid the bases at the Battlefront like I normally do every year. They had it set up where you pay $15 for whatever you fit inside a Chinese take-out container, as long as it closes. I am really good at packing when I feel like it! Either way, I received the rest of my regiments for the first wave from Sash and Saber and primed them for painting. I have even painted my first Colored troops representing the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment that we know from the movie "Glory." I figured that 2" x 2" bases would do nicely, but I was visually guessing. It was not until I went over to look at the future Civil War Battle board  that we are going to play did I discuss with my friend, Danny about my intentions. I found that I was confusing him with mentioned thin MDF for the troops and the bases for the boards when I really meant hardboard. MDF board is normally way too think for bases! Hardboard is the same product used for the backing for clipboards. Just out of blind luck, I discovered a piece of a blind used for windows. I asked him what this was. Danny said that was leftovers from his blinds. They were 2" thick, exactly. So we cut a few pieces at a rough 2" to make  2" x 2".  So I sanded the edges to rid of the rough edges. I, also, do not want sharp corners for my bases. I glued four figures on on base and added wood filler to set them in. I learned that the wood filler should have been applied first, then place figures. This will reduce the need for painting touch ups. So here was the results, as well as, the top picture!

I painted the wood filler with a mix of glue and paint and added sand. This will be paint other, as well!

I had to do some touch ups. Lucky, I had yet to seal these in advance.

The original vinyl blind section.

      Now, this was not finished, since I will paint the base a different color. Also, I will add matching static grass to the board these plan to be on. However, it is a good start. Danny had enough vinyl blinds sections to make 140 bases at four men each. That is one cost avoided! I am also getting and paint his stuff as well. 

Random Solo Gaming: It Happens.

Katie Mae and her twin Uzi's! Perfect against an onslaught of Aliens!

        I have met quite a few wargamers out there over the years, and lot of people have told me how lucky I was to play so many games. A good portion of these games are played between my wife and myself. Our friend, Danny helps with this as well. However, I am aware that not everyone gets to see fellow gamers in their area, because there might not be any or just bad timing. This is when I see those "Solo Games" being posted on Facebook game groups and such. Well, I am here to tell you that even I am not immune to such games. I played this one the other night!
        Originally, I wanted to test out some ideas on some Aliens attacking humans trying to escape for dear life. The Zombicide game that we have played the weekend before made me wonder why similar rules had not been adopted to other areas of fantasy for, say, convention games. I like the whole idea of never ending threats that players would have to escape to win the game. The whole cooperative part was interesting to me, since it is possible to win. could play out like the Oregon Trail game! I like to call that particular game: "The Lord Hates You, So Give Up On Life" game. It should be in all Caps, but that is just slightly how I feel about that video game. And it is also a card game. We own it!
       So I turned to my trusty Xenomorphs and the Hassel Free Miniatures that Kalissa and I bought for my future Sharknado Game I keep forgetting about. August 4th should be a good reminder! At Historicon, we did not pick up the newer Aliens Vs. Predator Version 2 game. I am sure there are some improvements from the first game. But I wanted a reason to set up a jungle board and to play with these models. Kalissa was on board with this at first, but then, a surprise visit from her parents interrupted that. It was a pleasant visit, but wiped out my wife. Hence, my late night self decided to play a game without her.
      The basic idea was to try to get as many people to the town location. If I had some Modern Special Forces, I would have whipped out the Predators and called the game "Get to the Chopper!" However, along the way, there are various spawning points for Aliens. They are set off like land mines that can spawn as many as six Aliens at a time! The good news is that most of the characters are packed with something useful. All, except for the one I named after myself armed with a chainsaw. He had the same issues as I do in most games I play: he rolled terribly! He was the first to go carried off by the Xenomorphs to hug a friendly Face Hugger! At least, he killed one Alien. Every one of the other characters figured out how to kill at least ten, except for Bob. Bob was the character with a baseball bat and a jug of moonshine. Since movement was based on a D6 roll at the normal and 2D6 at a run, Bob could only move at a normal move with a D6 and a random direction die, since he was rated as drunk. He sobers up and moves as normal on a roll of a natural six. He was definitely one that did not make it in the end.
       Either way, for a solo game, I did surprisingly enjoy it. I played and watch the first two Robocops. "I'd buy that for a dollar!" Over 100 Xenomorphs met their demise in the end. Three charaters made it out before I called it a night. What I learned from my idea was that I can use this in a smaller more detailed board in space. Kalissa and I were play testing for a future AVP game that was similar to this concept to what I played. However, someone had broke the confidential agreement that cancelled the game production. The figures that we could have got for free for play testing purposes are (Surprise!) the ones for the new AVP 2 game! Plus, Fox went a different direction with the franchise based on Alien: Covenant. Okay movie, but screws a bunch of timelines. Anyway, here are some more picture of yours truly playing a solo game! Enjoy!
The board. I am not sure why I do not join the Darkside and play more Pacific Theater stuff. 

Other side. This was a commission work for the mat. He wanted a jungle theme, so I picked a more red clay color for dirt trails, since it cover more possible conflict areas involving deep jungle. It is interesting to hear people's reaction to the question of  "which jungle are they wanting to model?" 

Happy Trails of Doom!

Village side

Some Marines. I made the "Smart Gun" pretty bad ass! However, not so good in close encounter combat.

Some Civilians: Katie Mae; The drunk, Bob; and Katlynn, a stripper with a Katana Blade!

Even this Alien is like: "What gives, drunk dude?"

Lots of Aliens and I still have 30 more I have not built somewhere in the house hold.

The landing pad to safety.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

AAR: Wings of Glory: Air Superiority!

   It was another round of high flying adventure where the British had to stop waves of Germans! The mission was simple: Kill as many bombers as you can! Of course, I played as the Germans versus my wife, Kalissa and Danny as a combined Anglo-American joint venture. Basically, the scenario is I made is more for the Battle of Britain, but we wanted to test out other planes, such as, the two P-51 Mustang's Kalissa picked up for a good deal at Historicon. I, also, had a Focke Wulf 190 and a Heinkel 111 Bomber that needed some game time.
    The game ran fairly simple. The Allies get to come on with all of their planes. However, they only had these planes with no reinforcements. The Germans start out with two JU-87 Stukas and a ME 109 fighter. The Allies get a point for every fighter shot down and two points for everything rated as a bomber. Plus, if no one dies per wave, they get an extra point. The Germans get a point for every kill and two points for every bomber that survives by exiting the other side of the board. The next wave gets the same bombers and fighters plus rolling for additional fighters and additional bombers at a D3. In other words, there are plenty more targets.
  The results in this game were a German Victory: 15 to 13. By the last wave, it was just too much! However, my wife, especially enjoys this scenario, because it is tactically challenging. She is determined to prevail! And I am sure it will happen! Anyway, here are the rest of the shots!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AAR: Battlegroup: First Trial of the Rules.

       With the 4th Edition rules for Flames of War out and not that great, Kalissa and I realized that we need another use for our 15mm army collection. We have about nine companies worth of different armies each, so there are a lot of miniatures that are not in use. This is why we bought two different rules. One was Kampfgruppe Normandy and the other Battlegroup. There is not that much of a difference between the two. Both were written by the same person and mere copies of each other. Kampfgruppe Normandy just happens to be out of print and just a beautiful book as well as good rules. But in our case, we decided to run through the Battlegroup rules. After all, we bought them more than a year ago. We need to get around to the various rule sets we have not played.
       With Battlegroup, the rules are mostly strait forward. I say "mostly", because the organization is a little funky. I am not sure why, but the Penetration Value of a gun is not listed on the unit statistics. This, later, stopped play, because my wife realized that she was killing way too easy. We had not given up on the game, but my wife is a creature of simplistic organization. If you make things complex for no reason, she gets annoyed. And in Battlegroup's case for a first glance, the lay out annoys my wife. This does not do justice for her, since she could have made more bad ass lists.
      However, despite the minor hiccups, the Battlegroup system runs fairly smooth. The whole point of the game is about "Break Points." You want to pin down your opponent's units as much as possible or kill them. To remove pins or take morale, you have to pull morale chips that are randomly numbered. You have a certain number at the beginning of the game that you cannot go below or you lose the game. However, you have to keep them secret from your opponent. In our case, Kalissa's British had a Break Point of 42, and I had a Break Point of 38. When we ended to the game early, Kalissa had pull 16 points against her leaving 26 points left. I only lost 3 points. I did pretty well for my horrible rolling! We will just have to see how another game turns out when we fully play it. Here were some the pictures of the game.