Monday, June 28, 2010

so crazy it just might work...

My wife has a girl's weekend 3-4 times a year, where she takes off for Friday and Saturday and leaves me to my own devices. I usually start gaming as soon as the garage door slams shut, and don't stop till Sunday morning. Both my kids like to play, so this arrangement works for everyone. Usually, this function is only open to rest of the Basement Generals, but I thought, why not open it up to everyone else. So, without further ado, I propose the first annual Basement-Con.
A convention in my basement. Huh? Whatta ya think? I've got a 8x6 table and have room for 2 more 6x4s if I open up the garage. One of our fellow Generals runs Wargame Downloads, so I've got a vendor. If I charge a small fee, maybe $5 I could provide beer and snacks (although lunch and dinner would have to be provided by the local pizza/sub place).
I have a couple hotels conveniently located nearby for those out-of-towners. So, opinions?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Battle Lore Thursday

Last night we tried out Battle Lore, a board game with miniatures. But we had to up the game by making the miniatures 15mm, and based up, rather than single minis. We also played on an 6' x 8' rather than the small board provided with the game. Now, Battle Lore is really a simplified, fantasy version of Command and Colors which I've been fascinated with since playing it (with minis) at RECRUITS. I've had BL stashed away for awhile it wasn't till a rainy day months ago that I dug it out and Lead Addict and the Boy played for 3 hours. We were sold after that. Time to dig out all the old Demon World figs.
Shelob ain't got nothin' on this spider

The real beauty of Battle Lore is the no muss, no fuss-ness about it. Hexes clearly (even though you can barely see them in my photos) define ranges, terrain type and location of unit. No rules, no gamey sneakiness of where you are in relation to someone's flank. The units are color coded and the dice clearly show what happens. Clean, simple but with lots of nuance.
Centaurs take the hills
Our battle involved a joint Dwarf-Elvish defense against some Orcs and their Undead friends. The battle evolved slowly with each side being cautious, with a few long range archery losses. Early, the Orcs and skeletons had it rough, suffering the loss of 3 units. Then, suddenly the Undead exploded from the right flank, crushing everything in their path. The whole flank was lost and the elves were forced to retreat further into their woodland home.
You will notice the lack of finished bases. We're working on that, and apologize. The Basement Generals do not usually tolerate this kind of untidiness on the battlefield, but this was really a play test. Our version of Battle Lore is slowly evolving into Command and Colors with fantasy. We'll be making cards for each unit that clearly defines its abilities.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Swiss Guard

Pictured (poorly, I'm still getting used to the new camera) are the Arch Duchy of Volborg's Swiss Guard. Second only to the Arch Duchess's Own Elite Grenadiers, the Swiss are identifiable as a Guard unit not only by their hat lace, but also because their drummer does not have reversed colors. If this were a regular Unkerlant regiment, the drummer would have a white coat with red cuffs.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Father's Day to me

For Father's Day I got everything I wanted, cigars, good food and most importantly, left alone. Free to do as I pleased I spent some time painting, finishing some odds and ends. The results:
Athos, D'Artagnan, Porthos and Arimis. I decided to make D'Artagnan closer to the book, a swarthy Gascon, instead of the Michael York route. This, for the most part finishes up my figures for Gloire!.
Now to actually play them.
I spent the rest of the day researching more rules for my Renaissance armies and smoking cigars. Only drawback to an otherwise perfect Sunday, air conditioning went out. Record high temps this week. Yeah!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Thursday Spanish Fury

Spanish, meet the French. French, meet the Spanish
This was rules test #4. I dug out my" Spanish Fury Actions!" rules from the Perfect Captain. "Actions!" is really made for smaller battles, somewhere between skirmish and full on big battles, so this clash was going to push the limits of the rules.
THe rules are very straight forward, There are only two steps in the turn sequence and charges, shooting, morale checks, etc, is all handled as each unit activates. As expected, the first few turns saw the units steadily advancing. Most units opted for the "Loose" formation to maximize speed, but formed up once they got close. My poor Gendarmes waited patiently for something to charge, but stuck waiting because cavalry cannot charge formed, disciplined pike. Actions classes troops as disciplined, undisciplined or other. Disciplined troops can force morale checks n units they charge that aren't themselves disciplined, and can forced a 3rd turn of HTH combat.
All combat, shooting or hand to hand, is done very simply by taking your base fighting value, multiplied by the number of stands. Then there is a roll on a chart. Results vary from loss of a stand, nothing or the accumulating of "Terror" markers. For each terror marker a unit it has, it loses the use of a stand and creates negative effects to the morale rolls. So a 6 stand unit with 2 terror markers fights like a 4 stand unit.

Its a slick system and gave realistic results, but it took forever, we ended the game after 3 hours with no real results beyond pushing the Spanish back a little, which is probably how the real battle would have been fought. Any negative thoughts I have about the game, were no fault of the rules. Actions! is really meant for a smaller battle with specific objectives like a holding action, or cattle thievery, not for big meeting engagements that we wargamers love so much. Unfortunately, the Captain's rules for larger battles called, not surprisingly," Spanish Fury, Battle!", is well researched, thought out, and completely unplayable. So, I'll keep these for smaller fights, and keep searching for another for bigger battles.

If you look closely at this picture, you'll see I've created a Hex grid on my mat. Hmmm, what could that be for....?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The search for Renaissance rules continues....

The Swiss say "Give us some Rules!"

People you this blog probably know I have a large Renaissance era figure collection that's been sitting idle for years awaiting a ruleset worthy of them. I playtested two, Tactica Renaissance, which played alright but lacked any fun command and control, and Renaissance Warmaster, which was also OK, and won between the two but wasn't quite there.
So, on the recommendation of a few people on the Lead Adventure Forum, I ordered Renaissance Principles of War. I ordered directly from Principles of War in the UK. Six weeks and 3 unanswered emails about where my order was later, I finally ordered from Noble Knight here in the US an got it 2 days later. I got a refund from PoW the next Monday because they were out of stock. Thanks for the quick response!
Now to the rules. They're everything I hate in a ruleset: written orders, convoluted combat sequence, rosters, lots of different die sizes, and the list goes on. Positive aspects: Single stands for units so you can use any scale fig you want, and lost of army lists.
The quest goes on. Renaissance warfare is very close to Classical Period. So maybe it's finding rules I like for classical and adding mods for Renaissance. I really enjoy Command and Colors. That could be easy to fix. I'll keep everyone updated on my quest.

Unpainted Gendarmes waiting for rules worthy of them

Friday, June 11, 2010

Spring maneuvers 1703

The snow has receded, and mud soaked roads are drying up. Spring has come again to Unkerlant, and with it the resumption of hostilities. The Archduchy of Volborg has made bold advances into Nuln and the Marches. Meanwhile, Borogravia consolidated its numerous garrisons and now seems ready to move from bases in Overholt, Hurn and Thurnin.
In the northeast, Zlobenia and Franistover have given up their holds on each others capitals and seem to be marching home, but now sit a mere march away from each other. Will the Zlob/Franni rivalry erupt again?

Friday, June 4, 2010

Di plane, di plane!

After playing Crimson Skies the other night I had to paint up some more. I left these devoid of markings so they serve multiple purpose. Maybe they'll take to the skies over Unkerlant?
They are the Fl12 Cutlass and the F611 Brigand, respectively.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

More Pikes

10mm this time. I think they look great at this scale and give the proper amount of mass without having to paint too many. The figs are the much maligned Old Glory. They were fun to paint.