Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tomorrow's War - First Playtest

Ken and I tried Tomorrow's War this morning.  We set up a small scenario featuring Ken's terrific collection of post apocalyptic terrain and his 28 mm figures.

First, let me say that we were impressed by how the game went.  Once we got the hang of the system, it went pretty quickly.  We both liked the action/reaction system.  I got the initiative the first turn, and never lost it.  That meant Ken was basically reacting to what I did for the most part, but it was not a problem.

We each had 3 fireteams of 4 guys each.  Each fireteam had one guy with a 2 die support weapon of some kind, so except for the unit with the flamer, the fireteams at full strength were 4 D8 plus 2 D8 for a total of 6 D8.  Each side also had a walker.  We were not sure how to handle these.  We finally went for powered armor that carried support weapons.  We may do some more tweaking on how we do this.  This is one of the first problems we encountered.  While they have examples from their "universe" in the book, some things are left to the imagination of the gamer on how to define the units.  That is good in that it makes the game very flexible.  Its bad when you are setting up a scenario to try out the game.

Ok, they do have scenarios that you can set up to learn the rules, but who really does that?  :)

The whole business of how you do casualties took us a bit to figure out.  We may still be doing it wrong.  That is one of the things we are going to go over carefully.

Ok, probably time for another picture.  I apologize that these don't really tell a story.  This one is from the end of the game.  I had trashed Ken's walker and killed the fireteam close to it.  He also lost another fireteam by rolling 1s for every person hit.  That kills them outright.

The game requires you to roll for casualties to see how bad they are.  This whole system worked better than we thought it would when we first read it.  It looked like it would be really clunky.  In practice, it wasn't a problem.

The rules are advertised for both 15mm and 28mm figures.  For me there is no question.  I would play with 28s.  I don't like trying to fiddle with individually based 15s.  They are too small for me.

The rules physically are a problem for me.  They are in a hardback book.  It has small black print on a blue-grey mottled background.  I can only read it up close in bright light.  My 57 year old eyes just can't handle it. If we play these rules (and I think we will) I will probably pay for a pdf copy and see if I can find someone who wants to buy the hardback.  I have heard that the pdf has an option to print the rules clean, without the colored background.

The QRS that you download off of Ambush Alley game is 4 pages.  I found one on the web that someone had made for himself that was 2 pages.  It gives page numbers for the actual rule in a lot of the sections. .It was useful.  I didn't bother to print the one from Ambush Alley.

We are at this point planning on playing more and are going to try it out on our gaming group when we are good enough at it to help other people over the learning curve.

We are still looking for a "big battle" set for 15mm figures with multiple figures on the base.

Back side of a rubbled building I was using for cover.  My medic is cowering in cover.  His explanation is that he is keeping squad cohesion.

High tide of Ken's troops.  By the time this fireteam reached the heavy cover, they were the only surviving troops on his side.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A little progress at last..

I have not posted in way too long.  I have had some health issues, and got sidetracked with some online gaming. I have fooled around a little with some painting, but haven't really finished anything in awhile.

I did buy some pretty neat 55 gallon drums recently.  I decided to go ahead and put them on bases.  Not sure why, they would be fine without it, but here they are.

I figure this will be useful for skirmish gaming with either science fiction or post apocalyptic.

I also based a mech and a vehicle for the fast play rules we use for mechs.

The other project I currently have going is 2 bases for Fast Play Grande Armee.  I am doing a couple of stands of Rhine Confederation figures in 6mm.  Now, I have not painted anything this small in years.  I am not sure how they are going to come out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


I went to the local Con this weekend, Recruits.  Now, Recruits is a great con.  It has a lot of good games, it brings in new gamers, and the dealers area is always interesting.  I just couldn't get into it.

Part of the problem is that I don't hear as well now, and a large room with constant loud background noise means I can't hear a lot of what the GM is trying to tell us.

I got into one of the prettiest games I have ever seen.  Its a huge pirate game in 25mm.  The amount of work that went into it was amazing.  Unfortunately, with about 18 people in it, many of them teenagers, it was interminably slow.  I gave up my ship command to someone else about 4 pm.  It started at 1 and we had played 3 turns.

I think that except for going to look at the dealer area, my days of con games are over.  I also can't stand that long, and paid for the time with a lot of leg pain.

I started thinking about this, and I am ok with it.  I really enjoy the games I play weekly with my regular gaming group, so con games are not a large part of my gaming life anyway.

This has been a more personal post than any I have done before, but what the heck, its my blog.  :)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some small projects

I have been working on some small projects, and finished a few.

First,  another $5 special from Michael's.

I didn't want to spend a lot of time on this.  It was another birdhouse.  It had a smaller structure on top, but it didn't leave enough room around the edges to put figures.  A quick whack with a rubber mallet removed the offending structure.  It left a pretty rough surface on top, because the glue kind of tore wood out.  I put in some craft sticks, used some more to make a door and frame it (to cover the big hole for the birdhouse) and painted it.  Its a bit dark where I paint, and my eyes are not what they should be.  I apparently need to do a bit of drybrushing with gray, as I got door paint on the wall.

The next thing I have been working on is Mech stuff.  We are playtesting a quick game for mechs, and we use the click stuff as its very cheap online.  All I do is rebase it, and here is the result.

The final project is my retro space guys for Blasters and Bulkheads.  I finished the bases and sprayed them with Dullcoat.

I am getting enough posts that I need to figure out the tagging business.  I have been poking around in the blogspot stuff, but haven't figured it out yet.

I am still working on my Seven Years War stuff.  I have a couple of artillery stands almost ready to go, and another battalion of Musketeers.  My buying has been slowed lately because of house repairs.  Its always something.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Galactic Space Patrol 42, the GSP Beagle

She started life as a short haul freighter.  The Galactic Space Patrol was new and looking for ships for exploration.  They bought her, gave her the name Beagle, and she soldiered on for years.  She was about to go to the breakers yard, when the Patrol had one last duty for her.  As an old tramp freighter, she could get into places where a Patrol Cutter would stand out like a sore thumb.  They gave her a full suite of brand new electronics, a new Mannschenn Drive, and she was ready skulk around the rougher corners of the galaxy, putting Patrol teams into danger.

Our group recently started playtesting Blasters and Bulkheads, the pulp science fiction game using the Goal System.  I found some figures, and then at Michael's for about $6, I found this:

I think, from the big hole in the side, its supposed to be a decorative birdhouse.  The first problem was to make a hatch.  I am not the greatest scratchbuilder around, so with a Litko base, some plastic, and little "jewels" also from Michaels, I came up with this.

The goal system is for small groups of figures, so I bought a few figures and painted them up.  I still need to add some dullcoat, I did the "dip" method on them.

So now I have a contingent for the game.  If they get into action, I will post more pictures.  I decided that the huge hatch on the ship is to make cargo handling easier.  That's my story, and I am sticking to it.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Making Hills

Since I sold all my wargaming stuff a few years ago, I am starting from scratch.  I decided to take a short break from painting and make a couple of hills using techniques stolen from other blogs.

The hills probably need to be taller and larger.  They are made from 1" foam.  I cut a hardboard base, then hotglued pine bark along one side to make cliffs.  I then cut out foam to the basic shape of the base minus the area where I put the bark.  I glued the foam to the hardboard, and after it dried used a foamcutter to cut an angle along the edge of the hill.

The foamcutter is a new one I recently bought at Hobby Lobby.  It has a straight wire about 5" long that gets hot.  Its nice, you can sculpt with it.  It does cool off a bit making long cuts, but it keeps cutting but a bit slower.

After that was done, I used some little pieces of foam and spackle to fill in the gaps between the pine bark and the foam.  I then used a technique that a local game store owner told me about.  I covered the entire thing with latex tile mastic.  You get a cheap brush, because the brush ain't comin' back from this mission, and load it with water.  Swirl it in the mastic to make it a bit more liquid and then just paint it on the whole thing.  It seals up the foam and makes it easier to paint, and it gives a nice skin to the foam that makes it a bit tougher.  The brushes I got were 99 cents each, and the one I used was completely trashed when I finished.

After that dried, which takes about a day, I glued on a bit of railroad ballast around the top and bottom of the cliff.  I had bought 2 quarts of paint, one darker brown, one lighter brown, from the local hardward store.  I painted the darker color all over the foam and the area where the ballast was, using a 1" brush.  (a better brush than before, this one I will reuse)  Then I painted the bark a very dark gray. 

After that dried I took the lighter brown color (really a light tan) and dry brushed the whole thing, including the rocks.  I then used a little bit of white and light yellow to drybrush all over everything.

The final step was to put some flocking on parts of the hill.  I used to have hills that looked like green lawns.  I have decided I like a more mottled look.

The results are below.  I will probably put some kind of final coat on to fix everything, but its basically done.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Played Black Powder tonight

We did a small game of Black Powder.  Most of the units were foamcore bases with topdown pictures of the troops, courtesy of Jay.  We had two units that I had finished, the rest were foamcore.  We were very pleased with the rules.  We played 7YW, Prussians vs Austrians.  We screwed some stuff up, but we expected that for a first game. 

We pretty much fought to a standstill.   Then we discovered the Brigade morale rule.  :) 

We are planning on trying it was 15mm Napoleonics, because Ken has a ton of them and the basing works.

Nice rules, we plan to play them again.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Black Powder

On June 9, our group is going to try Black Powder.  Now, we have almost no figures for this, save for one battalion.

This was what I had previously based as 2 battalions.  It is now one battalion for Black Powder.

To be able to play, we lucky enough to have a graphic artist who not only has a great game room, but lots of skills as well.  He is making foamcore counters to use for the troops until I get more stuff painted.

I have been reading the rules, and we hope to be able to run a small game for our first try.

I have decided that in the future the Prussians I buy from Front Rank will be the ones without field equipment.  That will make them easier to paint.

I am planning a battle report after the game.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Change in Direction

My original intent with the Seven Years War figures was to base them individually, with the intent of playing the old Charge rules.  I have changed my mind.

I have decided to base the figures for Black Powder, and double the size of the battalions.  That means the Prussian Regiment I painted is now one battalion of 24 figures.  More painting for me, but its going fairly fast and perhaps I can persuade some of my gaming group into painting some 7YW.

I also can play Die Fighting with this basing, which gives me another option for rules.

So, I need buy a lot more figures, not a terribly bad thing. 

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My Seven Years War project

My goal for the the 7YW figures is to have a small force for each side that I can use to put on a game.  Each side will have 2 regiments of 2 battalions, each batallion with 12 figures.  In addition, each 2 regiments will have a converged grenadier battalion of 12 figures.

Each side will have 2 medium guns with 4 gunners each.  Also, each side will have 2 heavy cavalry units of 8 figures each.

This will total 120 infantry figures, 32 cavalry figures, 4 guns and 16 gunners.

Of this, I have 24 infantry finished.  I have half a grenadier battalion, 8 gunners and 2 guns almost done.  I have started one Prussian cavalry unit.

I paint in small increments of time, but I paint often.  I will sit down and paint one or two colors on a unit, then go do something else for awhile, then come back and paint a couple of more colors.  My wife has now figured out that when I say I am going to the basement to paint, it does not mean I am gone for the rest of the evening, which she appreciates. 

I hope to be done with all these by the end of July.  We shall see.  In the long run, I may end up doubling the size of all the infantry units.  I am basing them singly, and will use movement trays.  I have a couple of sets of rules I am interested in, and one uses large battalions.

Since I am starting from scratch, having sold all my wargaming paraphernalia a few years ago, I will also be needing a lot of terrain.  I have been looking at other blogs for ideas for that.  Also, I am going to Colorado for a vacation in June.  I plan on taking some garden clippers and looking for sage brush branches to use for tree trunks.  My father did this years ago for a model railroad, and the result was pretty good.  I am planning on making some terrain modules rather than a lot of loose terrain bits.  We will see how that works.

My table top will be an idea Jay (the Baron's Blog) showed me.  You take a cheap plastic tablecloth that has this felt material on the back.  Using regular housepaint, you roll the felt side of the tablecloth with green paint.  Then you come back with a lighter color of green paint and do it again, but lightly so you get a mottled effect.  It looks good, and is cheap.

More pictures when I get the artillery and grenadiers done.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Organizing my painting table

As is usual, my painting table had quickly become overrun with stuff.  Paint bottles, tools, figures, all haphazardly spread around.  My wife noted that I might enjoy the painting more if I, ahem, organized.  Now it should be noted that Zori is incredibly organized.  I, on the other hand, am not.

So, I took her suggestion.  I had an idea for a rack for paints.  We went to the hardware store and bought what I thought were going to be the necessary components.  I went again when I found I needed something else.  Then I realized I had forgotten yet another component.

We had stopped at a Big Lots store, and they had these cheap metal spice racks.  Construction has halted on the painting rack, the cheap spice racks seem to do a bang-up job.

The tools were a simple matter.  We bought some pegboard and pack of small tool holders to fit on the pegboard.

Zori came up with a solution for storing paint brushes.  She had a metal mesh container, in which she put some styrofoam.  You just insert the back of the handle into the styrofoam, and the brushs aren't getting crunched by stuff on the table.

I am currently working on some Prussian artillerists, and the grenadiers for the regiment I previously finished.  In the future I am going to paint the grenadiers at the same time.  I am already painting 24 figures, 6 more is not a big deal.

I ordered the rest of the figures I need for the Prussians and all of the Austrians.  It saved some on postage instead of ordering small amounts.

I thought I would close with a picture of my painting buddy.  I am holding her in the picture I use for my blog, but here she is in all her 18 year old glory.  My cat, Kochka.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

First regiment done

This is the first regiment in the Die Fighting project.  It is the 16th Musketeer regiment.  The 6 grenadier figures are still being painted.  The picture came out a bit odd.  I used a satin finish on them, and it seems to have some glare.

I will be starting a medium battery next.  It will be 2 guns and 8 artillerists.

I had not painted for several years.  I blocked in the colors, then painted over it with Minwax tudor stain.  I then did a dullcote and did a little highlighting.  It doesn't show too well, I think I need to be a bit more aggressive about that.  The flags are from Warflags, I am not too crazy about them, but my attempt at hand painting flags was pretty pathetic.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Die Fighting Project

I recently bought Die Fighting by Bob Jones.  It looks like what I want in a set of rules.  I am planning on raising forces for the Seven Year's War, both Prussians and Austrians.

To start, I am making essentially identical forces for each side:

4 infantry battalions @ 12 figures each                               48
1 grenadier battalion @ 12 figures                                      12
4 heavy cavalry squadrons @ 4 figures each                       16
2 light artillery with 1 gun and 4 gunners each                      8

That is 60 infantry, 16 cavalry, 8 gunners and 2 guns.

For both sides, the total is 120 infantry, 32 cavalry, 16 gunners and 4 guns.  Not an impossible task, although I have not yet finished the first 24 infantry.  When I do, they will be posted.

I am using Front Rank miniatures.  I like them, although the fact that almost all 7YW Prussians come only with coats with lapels is a bit annoying.

After the first regiment of infantry, the next project will be artillery and cavalry.  I have not yet purchased any Austrians.  I am planning on doing a Hungarian regiment, just because I like them.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Getting started

My wife pointed out to me that if I was going to paint figures, I would need a space to do so.  She helped me clear out a corner of the basement, and we set up a table with my lighted magnifier.  Zori organized my stuff for me, because she is really good at that.

I have some 28mm Front Rank 7YW figures I have been working on.  I am still looking for the rules I will use.  I also have some 15mm orcs I bought for Song of Blades and Glory.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

15mm Fantasy got here

I had ordered some 15mm orcs and humans to try Song of Blades and Heroes.  They got here today.  I have been cleaning up some orcs (nasty business, that) and got them washed and on bases.  I will probably wait to take pictures till they are at least primed.  Its supposed to warm up tomorrow afternoon, so I will probably do it then.

I am planning on trying using units instead of individual figures with 15mm.  My plan is to use the rules pretty much as written, except allow a facing change for one action.  Also, there will be rules for flank and rear attacks.  My idea is that you won't be able to call a flank/rear attack unless the center of your unit starts behind the front of the enemy unit.  (you can't use extra actions to manuever into a flank) and that flank/rear attacks make the flanked unit take a -1 in combat.

I am not sure how I am going to handle leaders, heroes, etc. 

Friday, March 4, 2011

History and Future

I started wargaming when my father made the mistake of buying my brother and I a wargame about the American Civil War.  We were hooked.  I was about 15, my brother about 10.  The next game we got was Blitzkrieg.  I played mostly boardgames till 1977, when I was introduced to WRG Ancients miniatures gaming. 

My first unit of 15mm figures was Greek light infantry.  They were the old Minifig strips of figures.  I painted them, badly, with Humbrol paints. 

I was in the Air Force, and was assigned to Lakenheath, England in 1988.  There I started painting 25mm ancients, again Greeks.  When I went back the US in 1980, I started gaming many periods, principally Naval and Napoleonics.

In 2001 I moved to Kansas City.  It took 36 large plastic bins to hold all the wargaming stuff.  I had overloaded.  About 4 years ago I sold everything and stopped gaming.  It had just gotten to be too much.  Now I am started gaming again, but on a  much more limited basis.

I have a few projects I am planning on.  Short term, I am going to make a small force (less than 10 figures) for Song of Blades and Heroes.  Its a nice little skirmish game my gaming group plays.  I have a long term goal of doing 28mm Seven Years War, using the Charge! rules.

I have ordered figures, painted a few 7YW, and read rules.  The group, Basement Generals, is a great bunch of guys who are easy to game with.

When my Song of Blades and Heroes figures come in I will post some pictures.