Monthly Archives: September 2014

“Bear Yourselves Valiantly” Battle of Barnet at Barrage XVIII

Chris Palmer At last Saturday’s BARRAGE XVIII, the HAWKs’ one-day gaming con held in Havre De Grace, Maryland, I ran my War of the Roses, Battle of Barnet, game using our soon to be published “Bear Yourselves Valiantly” rules for Fantasy, Ancients and Medieval mass combat. (For more about the con see my previous post.)

A view of the battle early on. In the foreground Lord Hastings is maneuvering his men to thwart Oxford’s attempt  to push his men over a nearby hedge to get on his flank.

The battle took place on April 14th, 1471.  The Yorkist King Edward tried to eliminate the threat posed to his throne by the Earl of Warwick and his allies.  The engagemnt to place on a very foggy morning, causing both side to form up for battle misaligned; both with a dangerously threatened flank.   For the game I had a full slate of 6 players, most of whom were new to the rules.  The armies were 10mm Pendraken figures.

On the Yorkist right, Gloucester and the King advance their forces against Lord Exeter, who is trying to march his Men- At-Arms over to extend his line..

   The game proved to be a closely fought affair with neither side ever able to profit much from their overlapping flank advantage.  

On the Lancastrian right, Oxford pushes his archers forward, but they are met with Hastings’ advancing Men -At Arms.  Though they repel the Men-At-Arms, they are pushed back and disorganized, slowing the advance of the rest of Oxford’s men over the hedge, and allowing Hastings’ Men-At_Arms to retreat without further threat.

In the end though, the king and his Yorkist forces were able to manage a marginal victory over his Lancastrian opponents.

A view of the battle about midway through.

All the players said they enjoyed the game immensely.  And, they were able to virtually run the game themselves, with very little help from me, after a few turns of play.

On the Lancastrian left, Exeter’s knights advance to grapple with Glouchester’s knights.

The rules will be available from On Military Matters to coincide with the upcoming Fall-In gaming convention.

With a few battered forces left, Warwick views the advancing enemy and decides to call it a day.

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HAWKs’ BARRAGE XVIII Con a Huge Success!

Chris Palmer This past Saturday the HAWKs (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers) hosted their one-day gaming convention, BARRAGE XVIII.  The event, held at the Community Center in Havre De Grace, Maryland, was a huge success with record attendance and a full slate of beautiful games to choose from.
  Here’s some photos of the action.

An overview of the hall.

Bill Molyneaux’s Little Big Horn Plains-War game.

One of several beautiful Musket & Tomahawks demo tables that ran throughout the con.

A well attended Flames of War tournament was also held during the con.

There were several flea-market dealers to get bargins from.

And a number of dealers attended offering the latest in rules and figures.

As always, the friendly snack bar staff  provided food for the players throughout the day

Buck Surdu’s G.A.M.E.R. WWII skirmish game

Duncan Adams’ “Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWI” game.

Greg Priebe’s “Battle of Cananry Wharf”  Dr Who game.

    For more pictures of the con see the HAWKs Blog.

    After the con was over, the club celebrated by holding their first ever live-action wargame using the “Blood & Swash” Pirate skirmish rules.  A “tavern” was set up in the hall using the game tables, with drink coozies for beer mugs, and paper plates for dishes.  Armed with foam swords and Nerf guns, the Pirates tried to be the first to carry a treasure chest out of the tavern. The more dressed up in costume you were the better ranked your character got to be. Much hilarity ensued and all had a great time.  It was the perfect way to end the day.

Buck Surdu briefs the rules to all the Scurvy Dogs.

Rob Dean does his best attacking-figure pose, as Sammy Surdu draws her sword.

    For more photos of the club’s LAWG (Live Action War Game), see the HAWK’s Blog.

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Blood and LARP at Barrage 2014

Buck

The swashbucklers before the brawl

The swashbucklers before the brawl

As Barrage 2014 was winding down, we set up a “barroom” ala Blood and Swash for some semi-LARP-ing.  The basic idea was to replicate the pirate tavern brawls and Jennifer, Chris, and I run using Blood and Swash with the HAWKs as the figures.  Note in the picture above that we used foam koozies as beer mugs.  We put koozies, paper plates, tables, and chairs around the playing area.

Sammy's early musket shot takes out Tom before he even had a chance to do anything exciting.

Sammy’s early musket shot takes out Tom before he even had a chance to do anything exciting.

There were four swashbucklers in the game, and they were assigned additional players to be on their teams.  Each swashbuckler was assigned a suit of cards.  I pulled cards and announced the suit.  The swashbuckler would then determine which of his team members would act.

Kurt and William display their fencing skills.

Kurt and William display their fencing skills.

Rob accosts Sammy.

Rob accosts Sammy.

In Blood and Swash tavern fights the objective generally is to get a treasure chest full of gold out of the tavern.  It is every player for himself, with each player controlling three or four figures.  This game was no different.

A three-way fight between Sammy, Rob, and Chris.

A three-way fight between Sammy, Rob, and Chris.

Rob is victorious against Sammy; Eric attempts to dodge a musket ball from behind.

Rob is victorious against Sammy; Eric attempts to dodge a musket ball from behind.

We used standard Blood and Swash rules.  Each player was given a card with pre-rolled stats (Slug, Shoot, Sword, Save, and Hit Points).  In Blood and Swash, figures are in one of four categories from swashbuckler (best) to men at arms (worst).  For our LARP event, the more dressed up the players were, the better their character type.  Equipped with foam swords, Nerf guns, and other accouterments, we launched into the game.

Jennifer the pirate meets her doom.

Jennifer the pirate meets her doom. Note the fallen “beer mug” and the spill marker cut from a cheap shower curtain.

Bill and Chris fight over William's dead body.

Bill and Chris fight over William’s dead body.

Sword play, shoving attacks, and fisticuffs were handled with the GM (me) calling out die rolls, which the players compared to their stats to determine success or failure of the action.  Throwing and shooting was accomplished by players physically throwing mugs or plates and firing Nerf guns.  As in Blood and Swash, reloading took four actions.

Rob attempts to take the chest as Geoff considers his alternatives

Rob attempts to take the chest as Geoff considers his alternatives

After killing Rob, Geoff prepare to leap over his body to take the chest out of the bar.

After killing Rob, Geoff prepare to leap over his body to take the chest out of the bar.

The participants, observers (HAWKs not participating in the game), and GM all had a terrific time.  All of the things that make Blood and Swash fun, such as people slipping on spilled beer, dropping swords, and leaping over tables, chairs, and bodies, all occurred in this game.  The HAWKs are already talking about how to make this better next year.  I suspect at a minimum more people will develop costumes so that they get better characters.

Geoff brought a fist to a sword fight.

Geoff brought a fist to a sword fight. It didn’t work.

A protracted sword fight...

A protracted sword fight…

Chris bends down to pick up his dropped sword as he faces William amidst the growing pile of dead bodies near the chest and the exit.

Chris bends down to pick up his dropped sword as he faces William amidst the growing pile of dead bodies near the chest and the exit.

The victor!

The victor!

As Elton John said, “Saturday is all right for fighting!”

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Barrage 2014 Was Another Huge Success

Buck

"Argh!" Geoff says, "If you did't attend Barrage, you're a scurvy bilge rat!"

“Argh!” Geoff says, “If you did’t attend Barrage, you’re a scurvy bilge rat!”

Barrage 2014 was another major success.  We had a record or near-record number of attendees and 16 tables full of game that ran from 0900 until after 2100.  Again Age of Glory and On Military Matters came and set up dealer tables.  We had to set up additional flea market tables on they fly to handle the demand.  The Flames of War tournament had 18 competitors, 17 of whom were pre-registered.  Once again we had a successful snack bar that provided hot dogs, drinks, pizza, and other food and snacks throughout the day at a reasonable cost.  For additional information about Barrage, you can check out http://ift.tt/1z5yVfo.  The breadth of events was quite good, with games spanning the ancient period through modern Afghanistan.  Below are some pictures from the event.

Jeff Wiltrout's soccer game in full swing
Jeff Wiltrout’s soccer game in full swing

Several of the HAWKs enjoyed this interesting soccer game.

Chris Palmer's 100 Years War battle

Chris Palmer’s 100 Years War battle

Roxanne Patton's Bataan game

Roxanne Patton’s Bataan game

A view of some flea market tables

A view of some flea market tables

Rob Dean's dark ages game

Rob Dean’s dark ages game

Battlegroup Kursk

Battlegroup Kursk

Beau Geste by Ed Watts

Beau Geste by Ed Watts

Muskets and Tomahawks demonstration games

Muskets and Tomahawks demonstration games

Another view of Bataan

Another view of Bataan

Noah Guibault's Dungeon Hack and a somewhat long view of the gaming area

Noah Guibault’s Dungeon Hack and a somewhat long view of the gaming area

Dave Wood's battle of Orthiez (1814)

Dave Wood’s battle of Orthiez (1814)

Daniel Erdman's Command Decision game

Daniel Erdman’s Command Decision game

Tim Tilson's Sangshak scenario

Tim Tilson’s Sangshak scenario

Eric Schlegle's ACW kids game.  As the number of kids was small, his game ended up with mostly adults.  This picture also shows a bit of a long shot of the gaming area.

Eric Schlegle’s ACW kids game. As the number of kids was small, his game ended up with mostly adults. This picture also shows a bit of a long shot of the gaming area.

War Rocket kids game

My War Rocket kids game

Norman Dean's "Encounter at Jebora"

Norman Dean’s “Encounter at Jebora”

Two opponents in the Flames of War tournament

Two opponents in the Flames of War tournament

Geoff Graff's Lego pirate barroom brawl

Geoff Graff’s Lego pirate barroom brawl

As usual, we have a dedicate table established for games targeted at younger gamers.  Although the number of younger gamers was lower than we would have liked, the kids who participated all had a great time.

A lull in the action at the snack counter

A lull in the action at the snack counter

Mike Byrne's Force on Force game with Chechens vs. Russians

Mike Byrne’s Force on Force game with Chechens vs. Russians

Brian Cantwell's ancient naval game

Brian Cantwell’s ancient naval game

Kurt Schlegel's battle of Corinth game using A Union So Tested

Kurt Schlegel’s battle of Corinth game using A Union So Tested

My G.A.M.E.R. WWII skirmish game

My G.A.M.E.R. WWII skirmish game

My WWII skirmish was a bit of a surprise.  I planned the game for 6 players, and I wasn’t sure if the game would fill with an 1800 start time.  Not only did the game fill, but I had to add troops at the last minute to make room for 10 players.  I think the games as quite successful.  People keep asking me when the rules will be available for purchase.  I have been developing this for myself, and having just finished the three-year slog to get Bear Yourselves Valiantly ready for publication, I’m not sure I’m ready for another rules publishing project.  WWII skirmish is a crowded field, with Force on Force and Bolt Action being the big players with hard cover books and a lot of marketing oomph.  Too Fat Lardies have the UK market sewn up.  I’m just not ready to try to suffer the slings an arrows of biased reviews and TMP sock puppets right now.

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New Reaper BONES CAV Kickstarter

Chris Palmer

I just wanted to let everyone know that Reaper is currently running another Bones Kickstarter, called “Reaper Miniatures CAV: Strike Operations”.  It is designed to convert much of their Sci-Fi CAV (Combat Assault Vehicle)12mm (N Scale) line into BONES material.  The figures are mainly big stompy robot types, with (hopefully) a smattering of more conventional ground vehicles thrown in too.

For more information, see: Reaper CAV Kickstarter

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GAMER Cards

Buck

The design of the cards for G.A.M.E.R. is mature enough that I wanted professionally printed decks for continued play testing.  I set them all up in the correct template and sent them off to Superior POD to be printed.   We had an early glitch in which I need to make some corrections to the files, but the instructions from Superior POD went into my SPAM folder.  Once that was corrected, in less than two weeks I had 16 decks of cards in my hand.  There are eight different backs so that each player could have their own deck without risk of getting the decks mixed up.  I will be using them for the first time on Saturday at our Barrage gaming day.

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Reaper Bones Sci Fi Figures

Buck

Reasonable Sci Fi figures

Reasonable Sci Fi figures

I mentioned in an earlier post that last weekend I had started a couple f painting projects.  One was to paint up the Reaper Bones science fiction figures that were part of the Bones I Kickstarter.  For me, these are meant to be opponents for the Aliens-like space marines.

Getting silly

Getting silly

I suppose these figures are meant to be painted in Stormtrooper white and black.  There is no situation I can imagine, other than embassy gate guard duty, in which white uniforms make any sense in a tactical environment.  Regardless of how far future you get, we will always strive to camouflage ourselves.  I opted for a brown theme to distinguish them from the green uniforms of my colonial marines.

Many of the figures (see top picture) are armed with something that looks like a reasonable assault rifle.  Some have silly looking GW-like oversized weapons (see middle picture).  Others are just ridiculous.  I am not a GW basher; although, I’ve played almost none of their games that I enjoy, but one thing that really rubs me wrong are those crazy oversized weapons.  They are stupid from a physical/tactical sense, and they are aesthetically painful.  The good news, however, is that much of the rest of the industry has seen fit to follow suit in order to attract the hard-core Warhammer players.

Completely ridiculous

Completely ridiculous

I can suspend disbelieve with the best of them at times, and I really enjoy old black and white movies.  There is a scene in a really good, old, WWII propaganda movie, called Air Force, in which John Garfield is firing a .30 cal machine-gun from his hip.  Silly.  That scene looks like real battlefield footage compared to the figures in the photo above.   Even if you presume some sort of exoskeleton type of assist to carry and hold the Gatling Gun looking monstrosity, you’d look like a ballerina doing a pirouette as soon as you pulled the trigger.

Anyway, the figures are done, and I am ready to put them into a game.

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Berkeley, Zombie Survivor: Figure 113 of 265

Chris Palmer

This week I painted Berkeley, Zombie Survivor from the Zombie Hunters set. Since I am already half way though this set, I figured I’d just wrap it up this month.  I’ll paint the last figure this week.
     I began my preparation of this figure in the usual way; soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying.  I then glued the figure to a 7/8” black-primed fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple drops of Elmer’s White Glue.

   I began the painting process by giving the whole figure a wash with very thinned black ink with just a pin head drop of dish soap in it.  This ink wash settles and dries into all the crevices and creases in the figure, and helps me to see all the sculpted detail, so I can keep my paint in the lines. 🙂  

When the wash was dry, I started by painting all her skin with Apple Barrel “Flesh”. I then painted her pants with Americana “Wedgwood Blue”, and her shirt with Americana “Avocado”.

Next, I painted her boots with DecoArt “Cinnamon Brown”,  her belt and holsters with Americana “Asphaltum”, and her hair and the weapon grips with Americana “Charcoal Grey”. The chainsaw housing I painted GW “Blazing Orange”, and the zombie arm gripping her pants cuff I painted GW “Rotting Flesh”. I then added a splotch of Folk Art “True Burgundy” to the stump of the zombie arm.

When all of these base colors had had time to dry, I gave the whole figure a wash with thinned GW “Agrax Earthshade”.

 When this wash was dry, I drybrushed her hair with Folk Art “Golden Harvest”, then Americana “Moon Yelow, and lastly, Americana “Buttermilk”.  I then painted in her eyes, doing shadows with black, then white “whites”and lastly black pupils. Next I did her lips with Americana “Shading Flesh”.  I then added highlights to her face, arms, and midriff with the base “Flesh” color.  I also highlighted her jeans and shirt with those base colors as well.

     I then painted the blade of the chainsaw, and the butt of the shotgun with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”.  When this was dry, I painted the very edge of the saw-blade  with un-thinned black ink. I then added a splatter mark on the blade with the “True Burgundy”. I also painted the chainsaw’s handles black.  Lastly, I painted the figure’s bare base with the “Cinnamon Brown” to help hide the white before flocking.
     When everything had dried overnight, I painted the figure with a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  I let this dry several hours and then flocked the base.  The next morning I sprayed the figure with Testor’s Dullcote” spray paint.

          I think this figure turned out well.  It was rather a straight forward paint job.

Figure 113 of 265: Complete

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Weekend Projects

Buck

I spent a fair amount of the weekend helping my son with college applications, taking my daughter to the Demi Lovato concert in Baltimore, and some computer work for my moonlighting job.  Despite an increase in my normal state of ear ringing induced by the concert, I did have some time on Sunday for some hobby work.  I washed, primed, and began painting a bunch of Reaper Bones science fiction infantry in armored suits.  I also glued a bunch of Iron Wind turrets to a bunch of GW Epic Warhammer 40k vehicles as a start on my 10mm near future, science fiction project.  Finally, I painted the tunics on 11 battalions of Not Quite Seven Years War 10mm figures for the country of Bergdorfreuthenheim.  I expect to finish all but the NQSYW figures by the end of next weekend and will post pictures then.

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“Bear Yourselves Valiantly” Rules Sent to the Publisher!

Chris Palmer I just wanted to give everyone the latest update on our rules for mass Fantasy, Ancients and Medieval combat, “Bear Yourselves Valiantly”.  The rules were sent out to our publisher, On Military Matters, today and we are on track for our planned release of the rules to coincide with Fall-In; where we will be running several demo games!
  Here is a sneak peek at the final cover:

For more information, see the rulebook’s website.

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