Monthly Archives: January 2014

More Musings on Close Assaulting Tanks

Buck

I’ve continued to think about close assaulting tanks in the game I’ve been designing.  I wasn’t really happy with the previously-discussed complexity associated with various types of close assault weapons and special procedures.  During my last run, it finally hit me that I don’t need a special procedure at all.

Since this is a man-to-man game, where each figure can perform individual actions, all I need is some mechanism for moving fire, and I need to give each weapon a penetration number, just like other anti-tank weapons.  For instance, an anti-tank grenade has a penetration of 5.

So a soldier runs up to the tank with half a move.  He then tosses the anti-tank grenade at the enemy tank, applying the moving fire column shift.  If he hits the tank, he flips a card for hit location, rolls a die to determine if he gets a penetrating hit, and apply results, just like any other anti-tank attack.

The defending tank can attempt a reaction roll to fire at the charging soldier if the soldier is unlucky or foolish enough to attack the tank where it has a machine-gun or other anti-personnel weapon.  The same is true for any infantry or other vehicles who can see the close assault taking place.

The beauty of this is that no special procedures are needed, and all the basic systems apply without modification.  This is significantly cleaner than either of my previous thoughts.  Like all elegant schemes, I look back on it now and think, “Of course!”

I am going to run a game with the rules this Friday at HAWKs night, and I hope to engineer a scenario in which I can test these ideas.

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Devona, Female Wizard: Figure 62 of 265

Chris Palmer

This week I worked a little more on trying to complete the original 30 New Bones set, by painting Devona, the Female Wizard.  This is another one of those figures that baffled me as to what exactly she was wearing. It appeared to be all frills and bows, but then there was distinctly what looked like a chain-mail skirt hanging down, and her legs looked like they had plate mail joints??? I thought at first she was holding a spear (which was miscast, by the way.) and was surprised to find out she was supposed to be a wizard…so I guessed it was supposed to be a staff, not a spear?  That made the miscast spear-point (staff top?) a little less worrisome.

    I decided I would paint her to accent the Little-Bo-Peep look of the sculpt and use a lot of pink and white. To begin with, I soaked the figure in dish soap and water, and then gave it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush and rinsed it. I then glued it to a 1” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue.  When dry, I glued the washer to a half a tongue depressor with a couple small dots of Elmer’s white glue for ease of handing during painting. So, getting started, I gave the whole figure a wash with some diluted black ink with a tiny drop of dish soap added to help me tell exactly what the details of her outfit looked like.  I then painted whatever I thought looked like armor with black.

This was followed with drybrushing the armor areas with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”.

I then painted her skin with Apple Barrel “Apple Flesh”.  Next, I drybrushed her cape and gloves with white, being careful not to get any on the armor.  The cape and gloves already had nice shading on them from the black ink wash, so the white drybrushing gave them  nice highlights.  This was followed with painting her top, and the trim of the chain-mail, with Apple Barrel “Apple Maroon”; and her big bow, and the two scalloped hangings down her back, with Apple Barrel “Apple Light Pink”. Lastly, I painted her hair with Accent “Mustard Seed”, and what appeared to be straps running from her breastplate around her torso with Accent “Real Umber”

Now, I gave her skin areas, and her “Apple Maroon” top a wash with slightly diluted Winsor-Newton “Peat Brown ink. When this was dry, I gave all the parts of her that were painted “Apple Light Pink” a wash with slightly diluted Iron Wind Metals “Red” ink.

    After the washes had time to dry, I went back and added highlights to her skin, and her top, and her bow, and the hanging s down her back, with the original base colors.  I also added some white details to her bow, and the fringe at the top of her sleeves. Next I carefully drybrushed her hair with, first, Accent “Golden Harvest”, and then highlighted with Americana “Moon Yellow”. I then painted her eyes, and lips. I then added some highlights to her armor with GW “Chainmail”. Finally, I painted the heart buckle on her bow with Ceramcoat “14K Gold”
   Next, I worked on her staff.  First I painted it with the “Real Umber”, and then the ribbons on it with the “Apple Light Pink”. I then gave it a wash with some slightly diluted “Peat Brown” ink. I then went back and added some highlights to the staff ribbon with the “Apple Light Pink”

     Lastly, I decided I’d try to paint the stone in her staff to look like a hunk of unpolished Rose Quartz, so I first painted it GW “Tanned Flesh”, and then gave it a drybrush with the “Apple Light Pink”, and then added some highlights with white.   
    When everything had dried, I gave the entire figure a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”, and then when this had dried, I flocked the base.  The next day, I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote”.
   I’m pleased with how the paint scheme worked out on this.  It certainly makes for an eccentric figure!
Figure 62 of 265: Complete    

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More Caesar 1/72 scale Adventurers

Rob Dean

My younger son went back to school yesterday, so the house is going to be quiet for a while.

I didn’t have a lot of time for painting over the weekend, but I did a little work on some more 1/72 plastic fantasy adventurers. Once I let go of the idea that going to smaller figures means faster painting, replenished my collection of tiny brushes, and layered up my magnification, this becomes fun. I’m looking forward to getting a fantasy skirmish in a box ready for travel and conventions. Shifting back to speed painting for armies may be disconcerting…

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Close Assaulting a Tank

Buck

Ever since last weekend, I’ve been thinking a lot about infantry close assaulting a vehicle.  I don’t suppose there are any statistically relevant sources on the probability of succeeding.  There would be so many variables that it would be difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions that could be applied to the game table.  According to wikipidea (http://ift.tt/KNIn2u) killing a tank with a hand-held weapon wasn’t very common.  The site claims 18,500 silver recipients of the badge (one kill) and 400 gold recipients (five kills), many of whom were awarded the badge a single time.  When one considers the numbers of tanks and infantryman on the Eastern Front, this would indicate that knocking out a tank with hand-held weapons is a pretty rare event.

Still, on the gaming table, we want there to be some chance.  It’s dramatic and fun.  Plus as a career infantryman, I really like the idea of blowing up enemy tanks.

I have three pages of notes in my gaming idea notebook on special procedures for the WWII card-based game, G.A.M.E.R.  It occurred to me last night that special procedures aren’t needed.  Instead, I can use the explosion markers on the cards for another purpose.  There are three sizes of explosions on the cards, small, medium, and large.  These correspond to general sizes of HE:  grenades, mortars, and artillery, respectively.  I also use the large explosion marker to determine if a tank brews up from a penetrating hit.  When a tank is penetrated, you flip the next card.  If the card has a large explosion, the tank explodes.

So here’s what I’m thinking.  A soldier runs up to a tank.  If he only used half of his movement to get there, he can initiate an attack on the tank.  I see three classes of attack:

  1. The attacking soldier has no anti-tank weapons and is hoping to shoot someone through a hatch or vision port.
  2. The attacking soldier has grenades, Molotov cocktails, and other improvised anti-tank weapons.
  3. The attacking soldier has a purpose-built, hand-held, anti-tank weapon.

For these attacks you wouldn’t use the cards to determine where you hit the tank.  The attacking soldier gets to decide between hull, turret, or wheels.  For a class 3 attack, the attacking soldier flips a card and looks for a large explosion.  A success results in a penetrating hit. Otherwise, no damage.  (Or maybe a non-penetrating hit.  I haven’t decided.)  For a class 2 attack, a success results in a non-penetrating hit.  For a class 1 attack, the vehicle must be unbuttoned.  The attacking soldier just fires his pistol, rifle, or SMG at soldiers in the open hatch.  If the soldier can climb up (half a move) and the hatch is open, he could, of course, try to drop a grenade in the hatch.

It needs some testing on the table, but those are my musings for today.

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“Bear Yourselves Valiantly” Fantasy Battle Report

Chris Palmer      Last Friday night, we were short a game for our club’s meeting, so I volunteered on Thursday to run a scenario using our under-development Fantasy, Ancients & Medieval  mass combat rules, “Bear Yourselves Valiantly”.  So, to come up with a quick scenario for the game, I relied on an old idea that we had had success with in the past: using a scenario from one period for a game set in another.  And in this case, using a historic scenario for a fantasy battle.  So I grabbed my copy of Skirmish Campaigns’ “Russia ’41 – Into the Ukraine”, and leafed through it.  I decided on the “Supply Line” scenario, which I had run before in it’s intended WWII version, (though at a higher level, where bases equaled platoons) so I knew I had all the necessary terrain.   This scenario features a convoy of German trucks that needs to travel down a road and exit the table while a force of Russians is pressing in to try and capture it.
    So, for my version, I decided I would replace the German convoy of trucks with some Elven treasure wagons and refugees, fleeing some catastrophe that has happened far off table.  They would be defended by Elven forces.  The Goblins would take the place of the Russians, entering on the table and trying to capture the treasure and refugees. Once again, I was going to raise the level of the troops represented from the original Skirmish Campaigns scenario (which was written for individual figures), to one where each base equals several hundred men. (In “Bear Yourselves Valiantly”, each base of infantry equals roughly 400-500 men, and each base of cavalry equals 200-250 mounted troops)  In fact I used the OOB from the scenario only as a loose guide, and relied more on what figures I had at hand.
  The forces I selected were organized like this:

  Elf Force 1                                            Elf Force 2
Overall Commander                                 Overall Commander
Elven Wizard                                            Elven Wizard

1st Brigade                                             1st Brigade
Brigade Commander                                 Brigade Commander
3 stands of Elven Spearmen                       3 stands of Elven Spearmen

2nd Brigade                                             Cavalry Brigade
Brigade Commander                                  2 stands Elven Knights
3 stands of Elven Archers                                    

Cavalry Brigade                                      Treasure and Refugees          
1 stand Elven Knights                                 2 stands Treasure Wagons
1 stand Elven Mounted Archers                  4 stands Refugees

Goblin Force 1                                         Goblin Force 2
Overall Commander                                   Overall Commander
Goblin Shaman                                           Attached stand of Bats
Attached Stand of Bats                                    
                                                                  1st Clan
1st Pack                                                   Clan Leader
Pack Leader                                              5 stands of Goblin Warriors
4 stands of Warg Riders                    
                                                                 2nd Clan 
2nd Clan                                                  Clan Leader
Clan Leader                                              5 stands of Goblin Warriors
4 stands of Warg Riders                         
                                                                Opportunistic Bad Guys    
                                                              1 stand Giant Spider
                                                              1 stand of her children    
                                                              1 stands Giants
                                                              1 stand  Minotaurs


     The game begins with Elven Force 1 deployed on the table about 24″ in on the western half of the table, and Goblin Force 1 set up about 30″ in on the western half.  The Elves would get their Force 2 on subsequent turns, entering about a foot in along the northern (long) edge of the table; the Spearmen entering on turn 2, the Cavalry on turn 3, and the Refugees and Wagons would enter on turn 4.  The remainder of the Goblin forces would enter from the western half of the southern (long) table edge on the first turn.
  There were a number of main features on the 6’x 7.5′ table.  The first is the road which runs straight about a foot from the edge along the northern (long) edge of the table, with a “Y” about half way along.   There is also a large marsh which roughly splits the table along the southern (long) edge; and from this marsh runs a mostly dry stream bed that angles along and exits off  the western (short) table edge, and is treated as heavy rough for movement across it.  South of this dry bed is a hill.  At the “Y” in the road is a small Elven town, and between the two branches of the road are several fields which count as light rough for movement.
To win, the Elves need to exit the wagons and refugees off the eastern end of the straight road. The Goblins need to prevent this.
    Due to an unexpected shortage of players at the meeting, I took over command of the Elven Force 1, with Jamie Davis commanding Elven Force 2.  Across the table, Chris Davis took Goblin Force 1, and Eric Schlegel took command of Goblin Force 2.  Both Jamie and Chris were new to the rules.  Eric had played before.
    I set up my spearmen in line as close to the center of the length of the road as I could, with my archers stationed behind my spear line on my left and the knights and mounted archers behind and to my right.  The Wargs set up across from me in two columns, and immediately charged forward.

Wargs and bats surge forward across the dry stream bed, as my stoic Elves await. (Note, the brown areas of cloth are woods.  I forgot my box of trees for the game to put on them.)

     As the dry stream bed slowed the Wargs down, I thought I had time to try and maneuver my archers forward on the left, and my wizard moved up to offer support on the right. My cavalry were slow to activate, so were not at first able to move forward and throw themselves out into a line.

The first column of Wargs veers towards the Elven archers, who are still trying to shake themselves out int a firing line.  The Goblin infantry can  be seen slogging through the stream bed at the top right of the photo.

     The first column of Wargs bypassed my solid line of spears, and instead headed straight for the weaker archers who where trying to maneuver into a line on my left.  My wizard cast a spell on one of the Warg stands that caused it to immediately take 2 morale checks , with the result being the Wargs ended up going to Pinned condition. The rest of the Wargs got to the archers quickly, and were able to badly maul one unit, before a hail of Elven arrows drove them back, causing morale checks which they subsequently failed, and they routed back to the safety of the stream bed.

The Wargs fall upon the lead archer unit.

   Meanwhile, the unit of bats that was flying with the Wargs, made a beeline for my Wizard.  They exchanged melee and eventually my Wizard became bat-chow, but not before doing two hits on the bats (Full stands take 3 hits before being removed, small stands like Leaders, Heroes, and Wizards only take 2).  My mounted archers were subsequently able to eliminate the bats.
   While this was going on, the Goblin infantry was slowly slogging across the stream bed, and moving up on the Wargs’ right.  On the Elven side, the reinforcements started to reach the battle, with the line of Eleven spears from Jamie’s force moving up on my right.  His knights, he send down the road to our left, as the Opportunistic Evil guys were making good headway up to cut the road.

A larger view, about midway through the battle.  Jamie’s spearmen are moving up on my right, as my cavalry begins to spar with the Wargs crossing the river.  The remnants of the other force of Wargs can  be seen fleeing into the stream bed to regroup.

     As the second column of Wargs moved up to cross the dry stream bed, they were met with charges from my cavalry, and Jamie’s spears, and a viscous melee developed in and around the stream bed.  The elves badly hurt the Wargs, but did not eliminate them.  Our trouble now was we, especially my cavalry, had taken several hits and were badly weakened.  When the Wargs finally routed back to the cover of the hill, both my cavalry stands had two hits on them, so teetered on the edge of being eliminated.
  By this time the wagons and refugees had entered the table and were making their way down the road.

The Battle of the Stream Bed, as it became known. A swirling melee of Wargs and  Elves.  The Elves eventually drive the Wargs off, but have been critically weakened 

     Meanwhile on our left flank, the Giants had made it to the road to block it, just as Jamie’s knights got there and charged forward.  The Giants rolled a “Fire Twice” on their “To Stand” dice roll, and so were able to launch a hail of boulders at the knights as they closed, doing two hits on them.  The remaining knights, however, joined by their brigade leader, on the Giants’ flank, were in turn able to hit the Giants back twice.

While on the Elven left, The Elf Knights try to drive the Giants off the road.

     The Goblin infantry had now moved up and were trying their best to move around our flank just out of short range bow fire (long range fire only does morale checks, not kills). One clan broke and ran for cover of the creek bed, but the other still pressed on. The Goblin Shaman cast a spell in front of one of the units of Elven archers which caused a magic wall of giant thorn bushes to grow to the sky, effectively blocking the fire from that unit.

A view near the end of the game. The convoy has made it about half way, but the Goblins and a unit of Minotaurs have almost made it to the road to cut them off.  

    About this point in the battle we had to end due to the lateness of the hour.  The Elven wagons and refugees had got about half way across the table.  While the Elves’ infantry was still in relatively good shape our cavalry had been badly mauled, and were just a hit or two from disintegrating.  The Wargs however, while they had taken hits and routed, still had enough good stands left that they would surely be able to cause a serious threat to the wagons and refugees when they recovered.  Without our cavalry, the remaining infantry would be too slow to respond to any penetration through our lines or around our flanks by the fast Wargs.  I therefore called the game a Goblin victory.
   Both sides had a good time, and there were a number of desperate melees that happened in the game that kept things exciting and the balance of the outcome up in the air until the end.

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Some New Thinking on the WWII Skirmish Rules

Buck

We had a chance to play G.A.M.E.R. this weekend.  All the way home from Charlotte I was thinking about the tweaks I want to make.  Today I spent a little time on the computer making those changes.  I wanted to improve the way hand-to-hand combat worked.  I wanted to make a few small changes to the action deck.  I also wanted to put the effects of non-penetrating vehicle hits on the cards.  Finally I wanted to make a better unit roster.

Changes to action deck cards:

You can see three of the four changes to the action deck cards above.  The first is that I labelled the large, medium, and small bursts  to make it easier for players to distinguish them quickly, especially in their first game.  Second, added one more modifier, or column shift, for firing.  That shift is a shift to the right if the leader is not present.  This might be applied if the leader is stunned, is firing his weapon, is dead, or for whatever reason is not directing the fire of his squad.  The third change was to change the labels on the “table” of bubbles on the top of the card.  They had been labelled E, V, and T for expert, veteran, and trained, respectively.  Since units’ and soldiers’ Guts attributes were labelled Elite, Regular, and Green, this created confusion.  Now Guts, Accuracy, and Melee use the same semantic labels:  Elite, Green, and Regular.

Vehicle combat:

I have codified the process for shooting at vehicles:

  1. Flip a card to see if you hit the target vehicle, just like normal small arms fire.
  2. If you hit, flip the NEXT card to determine the location on the vehicle.
  3. Consult the vehicle record sheet to determine the protection value for that part of the target vehicle.
  4. Roll a d10 (or flip a card and look at the d10 toward the top left) and add the attacking weapon’s penetration value.
  5. If this sum is greater than the vehicle’s protection, the hit penetrates.
  6. Flip the NEXT card.  If you see a large explosion, the vehicle is destroyed, the crew is killed, and the other players rejoice.  If you do not see a large explosion, bad things happen (to be defined).  In addition, roll TWO crew casualty dice.  For each hit indicated on the crew casualty die, flip another card, ignoring cover, to determine which crewman was hit and how badly he was hit.
  7. If the hit does not penetrate, apply the results from the hit location card draw to the vehicle as non-penetrating hit damage.  In addition, roll ONE crew casualty die.  or each hit indicated on the crew casualty die, flip another card, ignoring cover, to determine which crewman was hit and how badly he was hit.  This may result in too many crew casualties for non-penetrating hits, so I need to test it out.  The math seems about right, but still want to see how it works on the table.

A crew casualty die looks like this:  0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2.

Hand to Hand Combat:

Note on the card above that there are the five little bubbles under the cartoony-looking tank.  This is used to determine which target person was hit.  I plan to also use this for hand to hand combat.  Here’s how I think it will work.  Each player flips a card.  The position of the bubble indicates your initial hand to hand value.  In the card above, that would be 5.  Modify this result as follows:

  • -1 if you are suppressed or stunned
  • -1 if you are wounded
  • +1 (for each additional figure, to a max of 3:1) for each extra figure you have fighting a single enemy figure
  • +1 if you are defending some sort of cover
  • + the hand to hand rating of the figure’s weapon.  A pistol or SMG have a positive modifier to hand to hand combat.  A crew served weapon has a negative modifier.

The winner draws a card to determine what type of wound he inflicted.  In addition, the loser is pushed back an inch and the victor has the option of advancing.  In this way, the victor can push his way over a wall, through a door, etc.  If the result is a tie, all figures are pushed back an inch.

I’ve also been considering some sort of roll to close, but instead, I think I’ll let the defenders make a reaction check.  If they pass, they may fire at the oncoming enemy, but they will be stunned in the upcoming melee.

Improvements (hopefully) to the Unit Record:

GAMER is meant to be played at three levels of complexity.  The first two are represented on two unit records shown below.

In the most complex case, each figure has its own attributes, so the card is quite a bit larger.

I actually have a version of this card with the top half upside down so you can print it, cut it out, and fold it in half.  All three cards are 3″x5″ when cut out.  A player would normally command a squad, perhaps more, so he would need two of these little cards.

Chart Card?

Along those same lines, I’ve been see how much information needs to be placed on a chart card.  So far, it’s not much, and it fits on a 3×5 card too.

Extra Dice:

JJ suggested something this weekend, that worked pretty well.  He felt like the attacker didn’t have any advantage.  He suggested that the attacker rolls two activation dice for each of his units.  When a card is drawn that matches either of the numbers, the player gets to decide to use that die and discard the other or discard that die and keep the other.  The decision must be made right then.  This helps ensure that the attacker doesn’t bog down just because of bad luck with the activation deck.  It seemed to work pretty well, and I’m anxious to try it again.  This might be something that applies for the entire game, the first x turns, or until some trigger event occurs during the game.  Still thinking on this one.

Reaction and Opportunity Fire:

I really dislike opportunity fire in games.  It is nearly always abused.  My plan with GAMER was that the player could attempt to interrupt the movement of another unit.  First, the moving unit must move at least half of its allowable move that turn.  Then the reacting player announces that he wishes to conduct reaction fire.  For each figure attempting to react, the player rolls 1d6.  If the result is less than the figure’s reaction number, the figure may fire, but them marks himself as stunned.  This is so that when the figure next activates, he would remove the stun instead of acting, since he essentially took is action early.  Of course figures that are already stunned cannot do this.  The players seemed to think that there needed to be some sort of “wait” or “overwatch” action that a unit could take that would let it fire automatically and essentially pay for the reaction fire in advance rather than in arrears.  This is exactly the kind of thing that gets gamey and annoying that I was trying to avoid, but I’ll ponder it before making a final decision.  I thought what we did worked just fine.

So those are my thoughts for now.  Come by my table at Cold Wars on Sunday morning to see how it plays.

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Test Goblins: Figures 59-61 of 265

Chris Palmer As I mentioned in my previous post, the “Song of Blades and Heroes” battle report; two weeks ago I finished the Spirit translucent figure quickly enough, that I was able to also paint up 3 test Goblin figures for use with my Orc warband for the SoBaH games I was playing that weekend.  The Goblins were from the Dungeon Attack set, and I chose one of each pose to begin with.  I didn’t want to paint them the same old green that has become so common for Goblins, so I consulted my old beaten-up copy of the D & D Monster Manual, and read up on Goblins.  It said that their skin color ranged from yellow, to dull orange, to brick red…nothing about green.  So, I decided to go with the middle of the range there and paint them a dull orange-ish.
   To begin with though, I prepped them in the usual way; soaking in water with a bit of dish soap added, giving a gentle scrub with an old soft toothbrush, then rinsing and drying.  Afterwards, I primed them with Krylon Camouflage Flat Black with Fusion.  I then glued them to 1″ fender washers with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washers to a tongue depressor with a coupe small dabs of Elmer’s white glue, for ease of handling during painting.

To begin, I painted all their exposed skin areas with Accent “Golden Oxide”.

Next, I painted their Tunics with Apple Barrel “Burnt Sienna”, and the padded jerkin on the archer with Accent “Mustard Seed”.  For the fur areas on the neck of the mace Goblin, and the boots of the spear Goblin, I first painted the areas with Ceramcoat “walnut” and then dry brushed with Americana “Sable Brown”.   I then painted their hats with Americana “Mississippi Mud”

I also painted the shields with Ceramcoat “Bright Red”. Then I did the backs of the shields with the “Walnut”, and then all the straps and belts with Americana “Asphaltum”.  The Quiver I painted with Accent “Real Umber” and the arrow shafts with Crafters “Spice Brown”. I painted the fletchings by dry brushing them with GW “Fortress Grey”

I then painted the handle of the mace, bow, and spear shaft with the “Spice Brown”. Lastly I painted all the metal armor, weapons parts, and buckles with Accent “Princely Pewter”.

My next step was to work on the stonework bases they were standing on.  I painted these with Duncan “Slate Grey”, and then painted the blobs of vegetation sitting on the stones with DecoArt “Forest Green”.  Lastly, I painted their teeth and th claws on their feet with Americana”Buttermilk”. When all the paint was dry,  I washed the figures completely with some watered down Winsor-Newton Peat Brown Ink.

When the ink wash dried, I added highlights to their skin and clothing by repainting some of the raised areas with the base color.  I also added some highlights to the metal parts with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”, and highlighted their teeth and claws with the “Buttermilk”. Then, after everything had time to dry, I painted on a coat of Ceamcoat “Matt Varnish”.  When this had dried I flocked the bases.  Even though they were sculpted to look like dungeon floors, I wanted to use my Goblins in outdoor settings, so I flocked them to look like perhaps the Goblins were standing on parts of old ruins or an overgrown path.  After the flock had dried, I sprayed the figures with Testor’s Dullcote.

Overall, I’m pleased with how these turned out.  I think the dull orange skin really works on these figures.  Especially in contrast to their drab clothing.  And, they were nice and quick and easy to paint.

Now to work on the other 9 Goblins from the set.

Figures 59-61: Complete

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Last Two Games of Saturday at JJ Con

Buck

Another view of the table

Another view of the table

Our last two games of the night were X-Wing Fighter (Fantasy Flight Games) and Red Dragon Inn (Slugfest Games).  The X-Wing game pitted three X-Wing fighters and a Hawk against five Tie Fighters and an Improved Tie Fighter.  This was the first time that most of the guys had played the game.  It is quite simple and quite fun.

Red Six to Red Leader. I'm going in!

Red Six to Red Leader. I'm going in!

Early in the game, Luke was shot down, but by the end, three Tie Fighters were knocked out, and the rebels were in good position to finish them off.

An X-Wing Fighter squares off with two Tie Fighters

An X-Wing Fighter squares off with two Tie Fighters

The fighting devolves into a fur ball; Luke dies.

The fighting devolves into a fur ball; Luke dies.

The final game was a drunken brawl at the Red Dragon Inn.  This is a great little game.  It is easy to learn and very fun.  The setup is that a party of adventurers has returned from a dungeon crawl and plans to relax in the inn for the evening.  The objective is to outlast your buddies through a series of drinking contests, brawls, and gambling events.

An evening of drinking, gambling, and fighting at the Red Dragon Inn

An evening of drinking, gambling, and fighting at the Red Dragon Inn

Sunday morning we met for breakfast at Cracker Barrel then played a game of Nuclear War, the 1970′s card game from Flying Buffalo.  Nick ended up with a lot of population and outlasted both JJ (who was wiped out before the war even started), Dave, and me.  Despite a valiant attempt at a final retaliation, I was unable to take him down with me.

It was a good weekend of gaming.  We’re a little older now and unable to game all night, be we crammed a lot of games into the weekend: two chariot races, a fantasy battle, a WWII skirmish, a Napoleonic battle, an X-Wing space battle, a brawl at the Red Dragon Inn, and a nuclear war.  Amongst all that, Dave and I got in a five mile run, worked on scenarios and rules on the long car rides, and made it home without falling asleep at the wheel.  I’d call that a success.

 

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Fate of Battle Game at JJ Con

Buck

Russian infantry defending Brienne

Russian infantry defending Brienne

Our next game at JJ Con was a play test of another scenario for our upcoming 1814 scenario book.  This one was the battle of Brienne.  The game was fun.  JJ’s priest came to see what we were up to, and we got him to run a Russian division for an hour or so.  He launched his cavalry against Eric’s French columns.  He got lucky and smashed a column before it formed square, then broke through and took out a battery of artillery.  You can see the smashed French column in the picture below.

In general the guys caught onto the rules quickly, but got a little confused with the night effects.  It was a real scrum; however, there was no way the French were going to be able to accomplish their main objective.  We adjusted the victory conditions.

That battles was a real scrum.  I took over for JJ’s priest and used my dragoons to spar with and delay the French.  In the meantime, Eric’s light cavalry just about destroyed my only infantry, which withdrew to the town to await the French onslaught.  When the smoke cleared, the French had begun to push me out of the town despite the arrival of fresh reinforcements.

Close up of some troops

Close up of some troops

The game was a marginal French victory.  They did not capture the town that was their objective by the time the game ended (midnight game time, and pretty close to that real time).  They did, however, kill seven of our units, losing only one battery along the way.  Both sides had many units that were badly shot up, but only those eight units were actually destroyed.  By the scenario victory conditions, it was a marginal French victory.

I think this was another successful game, but I was getting very tired of game mastering by this point of the weekend, and I was not up to par as a GM.  As the GM, you feel responsible for everyone having a good time.  There were lots of questions about the rules and scenario, and I could feel the game going South a couple of times, but in the end, I think everyone had a good time.

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Fallschirmjäger Raid at JJ Con

Buck

Nick advancing through the woods.

Nick advancing through the woods.

Our first game Saturday morning was a WWII game with the card-based rules I’ve been developing, called GAMER. (That stands for the five attributes of a figure in the rules:  guts, accuracy, melee, endurance, and reaction.)  As a play test for a game I plan to run at Cold Wars in March.  It involved German Fallschirmjägers launching a raid to kill a bunch of allied generals who were meeting for a planning conference.  The generals were being guarded by two squads of Home Guard.

Who is that in the woods?

Who is that in the woods? JJ's wife came by to see what we were up to.

One view of the opening situation.

One view of the opening situation.

The Home guard positioned one squad near the far hedge and in the woods near the blue house.  The generals were in the second floor playing canasta — I mean planning for Normandy.  The second squad of Home Guard positioned one team in the building with the generals and another team in the plowed field in the foreground.

Another view.

Another view.

The Germans had three squads of Fallschirmjägers.  Two squads (Jimmy and Nick) massed on the allied left and attacked toward the Home Guardsmen in the plowed field.  The third squad (JJ) advanced through the rocks on the left of the picture above.

Eric's Home Guard defending a wall against the onslaught of the Fallschirmjägers.

Eric's Home Guard defending a wall against the onslaught of the Fallschirmjägers.

Jim's Fallschirmjägers moving up cautiously through rocks.

Jim's Fallschirmjägers moving up cautiously through the rocks.

This was the first time I’ve run these rules outside a small inner circle.  I was gratified by how well they worked.  There remain a number of things I need to tweak.  For instance, I’m still unhappy with the way hand-to-hand combat works.  (During the 8 hour drive home today, Dave came up with an idea I plan to try soon.)

After Jimmy was wiped out, Nick's Fallschirmjägers rushed into hand-to-hand combat with the stunned Home Guard.

After firing more rounds than an episode of The A-Team, the Fallschirmjägers finally pinned down the British team in the field.  By this time, the Brits had just about wiped out Jimmy’s squad, but the remnants charged the Brits who were pinned won by fire from Nick’s MG-42.  In furious hand-to-hand combat, the Brits were eliminated, and the few remaining Fallschirmjägers raced towed the house and their objective.

Nick's final rush to the house.

Nick's final rush to the house.

Jim was advancing steadily against Dave on the British right, managing to incapacitate the Bren gunner on the second floor.  Nick rushed forward with half his squad to get into the house.  The Brits and Fallschirmjägers exchanged a bunch of grenades over the hedge, then Nick rushed through the gap.  He lost most of his men to withering Enfield fire from the second floor, but got three or four men to the building.  Monty lay dead.  A few more grenades cleared a path into the house, but then General Eisenhower started picking off Fallschirmjägers on the porch with his M1911.  At this point, JJ’s remaining Fallschirmjägers decided to withdraw from the field, leaving a four Brits and three generals in the building.

The game was a British victory and a very positive play test for the rules.

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