Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Old School Wargaming

I got back into gaming a couple of years ago.  I had much different aims than when I used to game.  When I was younger, I thought that I was simulating warfare.  I am closing in on retirement, and realized that the reason I game now is mostly social.

I have been working on armies I want for retirement.  I have been painting 40mm homecast figures for Not Quite the Seven Years War.  I have made good progress and should have an army on each side by spring.

I also have gotten interested in the early 20th century, something that utterly bored me in my 30s and 40s.  I also wanted larger figures.

So, last spring I bought a bunch of figures from Spencer Smith figures, their Shiny Toy Soldier line.  As with most projects this one has been on the back burner since I bought the figures.  Last night I assembled a unit of infantry.

I say assembled, because  you order a basic body type, a separate head and right arm.  I got the arms  all in the marching pose.  The figures are sort of Prussian.  The other army will be sort of Austrian.  This is Imaginations in the 20th century.

It was necessary to pin the head and arm to get them to stay.  I bought samples, and I had problems getting them to stay assembled without pinning them.  I must admit, I kind of enjoyed it.  I used to just paint figures as quickly as I could.  Now the process is more enjoyable.

So, next spring I will move from Kansas City to Longmont, Colorado.  I will miss all my friends here, but I know a lot of gamers in Colorado.

I am enjoying this hobby more than I have in years, and look forward to many more years in retirement.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

When Empires Clash! - First Look

Bob Cordery, of the Wargaming Miscellany blog, has published a set of rules via Hulu.  They are for fighting colonial battles and campaigns during the Victorian and Edwardian era, using a gridded table.

I got them a few days ago.  I have read them several times, and the first thing I need to say is that if he doesn't want to publish rules, Bob ought to give seminars in how to clearly write rules.  He provides diagrams and explanations that are very clear and to the point.  In addition, with both a table of contents and an index, the rules are very easy to digest.

The are differences in the capability of the different types of troops.  Combat has modifiers, but they are easy to remember.  They have to do with troop value, supporting troops, presence of command, and a die roll that is 2D6 for regulars and 1D12 for native troops.  This gives the regulars more consistency, but the natives can get the occasional high roll that can be devastating.

A stand is 40mm wide, and for infantry 20mm deep.  With 3 figures on this stand, it represents a company of infantry.  The cavalry stand represents a squadron, and the artillery a battery.  The board is intended to be gridded in 50mm squares, at least 12 x 12 squares.

This allows you to play reasonably sized engagements with fairly small numbers of figures.

The movement and combat rules are very clear.  Bob includes 29 army lists in the back of the book.    From my read, looking up rules won't be necessary after a few turns.  The game looks like it will play quickly and intuitively.  The price here in the US is $8.31 plus postage.  A very good value for the money.

I have been in something of a painting slump at the moment, and have been looking for a project that won't take forever to accomplish.  With armies consisting of 13 to 18 stands each, this looks like what I need.

And for my wife, who is the diehard sports fan in the house, Go Royals!  First game of the World Series, and they haven't been here since 1985.