Friday, August 31, 2012

Fast Play Grande Armee

Here come the French Horse
Another Thursday, another night I didn't have to run a game. This time it was an old favorite, Essjam's 6mm Fast Play Grande Armee (FPGA).
The French had just crossed the Danube, but poor scouting found them smacking into a large Austrian force. They were bottled up, and needed to break out. We only had 3 players, which is unusual for us, so there would be a lot of lead for each of us to push around.
The field with the French crammed in the far corner.

Austrian Horse
The French attempt a breakout

The Austrians march boldly to their doom

With the sun going down, the French had managed to batter the Austrians pretty soundly, but it didn't look like they would get their troops off the table. It was a tough nut for the French to crack but they had a go anyway. As always, FPGA made for a great game. Thanks to Scott for the toys, and Greg for staying out of the trees and putting up a good fight.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Thursday Napoleonics

For the fourth Thursday in a row I have somehow escaped being the one putting on the game. This time, Basement General Nick brought his own rules "Orders to Eagles". He also brought his fine collection of miniatures and terrain. It was a semi-fictional fight between the French and Saxon allies vs the Prussians (I think. I had been to a Happy Hour right before, so some details are fuzzy).
Prussians along the road.

The French move to meet them

"That way boys!"

In the distance, squares are formed.

I think, as usual most folks had fun. And that's what matters.
Next Thursday, Nappies again. This time 6mm and Fast Play Grande Armee.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Neopolitan Spanish

For the Italian Wars Project. These fellas are from the great The Assault Group miniatures. A pleasure to paint.

Ow! My eye! Yes, in this period the Spanish should technically have "half pikes" or just long spears, but I couldn't bear it.

Monday, August 20, 2012

20 Angry Questions with the Baron

Thanks to Mik and Angry Lurker for bringing up this mental exercise:
Some of these will be simple answers and some diatribes.

1. Favorite wargaming period, and why? 
"...Paging Doctor Freud, Dr. Freud..."
Pikes. I like pikes. And early black powder weapons. Don't know why. I always liked those periods that are "in between" or transitional periods of history where commanders were trying to figure things out. Something about the scrum, the push of pike. Horses running around with guys that still think armor will protect them. Crossbows dueling against arquebus.
I will also say that I have no desire to actually be in battle of this period or any other.

2. Next period, money is no object? 
Dark Ages. Again, transitional period.

3. Favorite five films? 
Instead of a TOP 5, I have movies that I watch for different reasons.
When I'm sick and laying in bed: A Bridge Too Far
Rainy Day: Kingdom of Heaven:Director's Cut
Friday night: Friday night is always SciFi night at our house. Pick one.
Got 14 hours to kill: Lord of Rings Trilogy: Extended Versions (but always turn it off right when   Sam gets hitched)
When I'm painting: Waterloo. Not the greatest War movie, but has some great lines.

4. Favorite five TV series? 
We have one rule in our house about TV. No shows with laugh-tracks. Period. "But Dad, it tells us when things are funny and we should laugh." No. There's a great website that shows TV shows w/o the laughtracks. Shows how lame most are.
Breaking Bad
Sons of Anarchy
Game of Thrones
Firefly (hey, you didn't say it still had to be actually on TV right now)

5. Favorite book and author? 
"The Lies of Locke Lamorra" by Scott Lynch. Best revenge/caper that just happens to be fantasy novel ever written.
After that, anything Bernard Cornwell does.

6. Greatest general (yourself excluded)? 
John Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough. Took warfare from a Gentleman's game to modern warfare.

7. Favorite wargame rules? Mine own of course, but after that GASLIGHT. Then a whole slew. But, I have say I am definitely getting to a place where each favored period has a favored rule set now.

8. Favorite sport and team?
College Football. Especially Mizzou. Not because I went there, or any of my immediate family. But because the Chiefs suck, and they are (maybe not anymore by switching to the SEC) the arch rivals of the Jayhawks. Dirty, murdering Red Legs!

9. If you had a one-use time machine, when and where would you go? 
30-ish AD. Talk to JC and warn Him about the crap that's going to go down for the next 2000 years. Then ask Him for a miracle to get my butt back to 2012.

10. Last meal on death row? 
Chicken Fried Steak, mashed potatoes and gravy from from Stroud's, and my wife's coconut cream pie.

11. Fantasy relationship, and why? Deja Thoris. Or the girl from the cover of Star Frontiers box set. I could tell by the way she looked at my 13 year old self, we had a connection.

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Ian McShane. He plays pissed off well.

13. Favorite comic superhero? 
As a kid, the Flash and Thor. Rebellious teen: Wolverine and Marshal Law. Old Man: Hellboy

14. Favorite military quote? 
My main man Nappy: "A man will fight harder for his interests than for his rights."

15. Historical destination to visit? 
The Ancestral Home, wherever that is.

16. Biggest wargaming regret? 

Like a lot of people, I sold a bunch of lead from my early years. Wish I still had most of it.

17. Favorite fantasy job? 
Billionaire Playboy.

18. Favorite song, top five?

Much like movies, I have favorite songs for different times.
Working out: Volbeat's Warrior's Call
Dancing with my wife: Chris Isaak's Big Wide Wonderful World
Just having fun: Red Hot Chili Pipers (Yes Pipers, not Peppers)
When I'm a bit in my cups: Metallica's version of Whiskey in the Jar
Driving in the Car: Any old school metal

19. Favorite wargaming moment?
After a brutal battle that left few survivors, my son agreed to a non aggression pact with the player to his right that had caused all of said casualties. There would be no fighting between them for the rest of game. He then turned to the player to his left and whispered, "hey, kill this guy would you?", pointing the player he had just made peace with. To quote Jabba, "ruthless and inventive. My kind of scum".

20. The "miserable git" question, what upsets you?

What's the old saying about assumptions and assuming?
I'm an artist/designer who likes comics, video games and playing with "army men". So let's start the assumptions.
Assumption 1- I'm an introvert who had a terrible high school experience, trouble talking to girls and was tortured by the jocks.
Reality: I was one of said jocks. I lettered 3 times and played football and ran track. I was the high school mascot and voted "Who's Who Senior". I edited the student newspaper, worked on the yearbook and still had time to date a cheerleader. 1988 was awesome.

Assumption 2- All my hobbies are a secret shame.
Reality: I've been wearing some sort of Comic T since forever at least once a week and still do. Fortunately I have a workplace where they say, "oh you know those artist types". My kids carry on the proud tradition.
For my birthday last year my wife bought me a full size metal Captain America shield. It hangs proudly in our living room. When we bought our new house there was a space probably where the previous owners had a pol table next to the bar. Without hesitation she said, "well here's where your gaming table will go".

Assumption 3: "You must really like Big Bang Theory" - see Question #4

Hope to see you at RECRUITS September 14th-16th. That is all.

Friday, August 17, 2012

DAYUM! There goes the bank account

Saw this this morning.
picture from Spartan Games of Prussian Troops
Victorian Sci-Fi holding a special place in my heart, I was already invested in Spartan Games Dystopian Wars fleets. Now, it seems they starting a skirmish level 28mm line. Sorry, kids, no college for you now.
A Blazing Sun (Japanese) tank. Makes my "Wheel" look silly.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

RECRUITS a month away

Our local convention, RECRUITS is only a month away. We'll have several Basement Generals running games over the weekend.
Cluck Amok will be running a Battle of Quebec SYW game.
And Lead Addict, possibly a Wasteland Warriors game
Yours Truly will be running a Fistful of Lead game, but not sure what day due to a conflicting soccer tournament. Great interview about RECRUITS with header Recruiter Duane Fleck here.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Victory Decision pt2

We learned alot since our last game, and tactics are evolving. Also, going form 4 players to 8 was different. The mechanics with that many people didn't slow it down, just having 8 players slowed it down, which I think is positive. Any questions we had, were easy to find (unlike a few games we've played lately, cough, cough, Black Powder, cough, cough, Hail Caesar). Still shaping up to be a great game.
Bolt Action by Warlord is coming out soon and from some interwebs reading sounds like the two rules are similar. Although, I don't think Warlord is going to be as responsive as Agis has been to questions, most of which are in the book if you take the time.

Next go around, we're trying some more open terrain, and fewer squads per person. Still giving these rules a big thumbs up.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A little bit of bocage

I've always had a love-hate relationship with World War 2 skirmish rules. I really like the genre, but have always hated most rules. You end up with rules that spend way too much time with the minute details ( I don't need to know the guy was wounded in the big toe) or abstracting too much, and it feels like the rules could be used for any period.

The camera shakes before the mortar round hits
Always on the hunt fro that sweet pot in between. I think I found it with Victory Decision.
We gave the rules a whirl with post Normandy invasion bocage country. We didn't have a ton of said terrain, thus the title of the post. We had 4 players, a small number for our group, but it was the right size for a play test. Each side had roughly 3 squads, mortar and MG support with a couple of tanks. The Germans started with a squad of our choice already placed. We chose to put the MG42 in the highest point on the board. The rest would enter from the base lines.

A shot of how most of the German rolls went

VD has an interesting turn initiative mechanic. Both sides nominate a squad or group and roll off adding that unit's Leadership value. The high score gets to activate their selected squad. Then you go again. Notice how I didn't say "then the other player activates his squad"? Cause they don't. You could theoretically (but highly unlikely) lose every roll, and not get to activate until the other side has completely gone. But, proper use of Command units can alleviate this.
The Germans spent most of the game rolling abyssmally. The Americans almost always went first except for the first round where that MG ripped a US squad to pieces before getting destroyed by a mortar round.
Shooting is really straight forward. Count up number of minis shooting from a unit, times the number dice for firepower. Roll and dig out hits. Most of the time the target will get a save for cover or morale and that's it. Owner picks out the dead.
Suppression is a big factor and is handled seamlessly. Tank vs tank was just as simple with good results. No looking at 5 different charts, rolling to hit, rolling to penetrate, rolling to save. Just really nice.

In the 2 1/2 hours we played, we got a definite result and it was easy to pick up, and most importantly fun. We will be playing again very soon. Too bad I sold off most my WW2 stuff. All these great minis and terrain were provided by one of "the new guys" John. Great stuff
As another bonus, the rules are very affordable and available as a download. Agis Neugebauer the author is a nice guy and always available to answer question on the Victory Decision part of Lead Adventure Forum. I asked him about early war French forces last week, and he got right on it.
Big thumbs up!