Throw Me a ‘6’ first draft now online

October 16, 2014

I’ve decided to post my first draft of the rules.  A total of 3 1/2 pages plus a half page of design notes.  If you give them a go, let me know how they work.

You can find them here.


Later Macedonia vs Rome

October 15, 2014

A pitched battled between Macedonia and Rome.  This took place on flat terrain.  The initial disposition is below.

Rome v Mac Turn Setup

An even fight. Two cavalry, 2 light infantry and 4 heavy infantry per side. Pila vs Pike.

Rome draws first blood hitting the archer with missile shots.  Skirmishers roll 2 dice against no armor.  They scored one 6 eliminating a base.  No retreat required from missile shooting.

Rome draws first blood hitting the archer with missile shots. Skirmishers roll 2 dice against no armor. They scored one 6 eliminating a base. No retreat required from missile shooting.

On turn 3 the Roman velites get lucky and eliminate the Greek archers by killing two more bases.

On turn 3 the Roman velites get lucky and eliminate the Greek archers by killing two more bases.

Lines clash.  The macedonia cavalry defat their Roman counterparts while the Macedonian companions make steady progress on the left.  In the center the pilum has some initial effects scoring a single 6 with the shot on the first two phalangite units.  However on the right the phalangite nearly speaps away their Roman opponent with a first strike of their own.  Things are not looking good for Rome.

Lines clash. The Macedonia cavalry defeat their Roman counterparts while the Macedonian companions make steady progress on the left. In the center the pilum has some initial effects scoring a single 6 with the shot on the first two phalangite units. However on the right the phalangite nearly speaps away their Roman opponent with a first strike of their own. Things are not looking good for Rome.

Unit typically roll 2 dice in combat.  These dice can go up based on the difference in armor, a full second rank of pike, Roman soldiers fighting a second or subsequent round and so forth.  Typically Rome was rolling 3 dice per unit and sometimes Macedon was after the initial contact.  The simple retreat rules in place of traditional morale works pretty well.

End of turn 5

The left phalanx collapses while the right Legionare follows suit. Units are required to follow up a half move when an enemy retreats or is routed. Occasionally this will result in the pursuer to hit the rear of the fleeing enemy if the retreat roll is 4 or more. The unit would retreat that many inches facing away from the enemy.

The battle ebbed back and forth for a full 14 turns.  Both sides were whittled down to a half strength as Rome took apart 3 phalangite units.  The last one surprisingly stayed intact for most of the battle until it was surrounded by Roman units and was destroyed.  That ended the game.


A test run with the Biblical lists

February 27, 2014

Keith from Minnesota and a new opponent gave the Biblical lists a test run.  Here is a photo from Sea Peoples vs Trojans.  It looks to be a pretty close fight so far.  This appears to be the point were the two lines make initial contact.  I think the Trojans might be getting the worst of it.

Sea People on the left clash with Trojans on the right.  It looks like the Sea People have a slight advantage.   The center is showing some hits while the flanks seem to be about even.

Sea People on the left clash with Trojans on the right. It looks like the Sea People have a slight advantage. The center is showing some hits while the flanks seem to be about even.

 


Two offerings from Der Kampfflieger.

January 5, 2014

From another company called Der Kampfflieger, I have for you a British Dingo Scout Car and a German Panzer Jager I.  Both come in 1/72 scale so sizing does not need to be done.  Both models were easy to build but both had their problems.

The scout car is only about 1.25″ long.  That is problem enough!  Everything about the card was pretty straight forward.  There was one part of the fender that was printed on the wrong side.  Nothing that a touch of bleached bone paint couldn’t cure though.

The Panzer Jager I was easy except for the gun assembly.  I ended up building the gun barrel out of plastic and adding the muzzle break from a bit of toothpick.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I Side.  The scout car wheels are on loose.  Notice the back wheel is slightly "off".  The axle went in crooked.  I am probably going to remove it and adjust.

Dingo Scout Car and Panzer Jager I Side. The scout car wheels are on loose. Notice the back wheel is slightly “off”. The axle went in crooked. I am probably going to remove it and adjust.

The inner works of the PZJgr-I.  The model was pretty easy to build but the gun was a pit of a pain.  I could not roll the barrels so I ended up getting two sizes of plastic rod from the local hobby shop.  1/16" is the top rod and something smaller is the bottom.  The gun is not exact but is close enough.  The bell at the end of the gun is cut from the end of a round toothpick.

The inner works of the PZJgr-I. The model was pretty easy to build but the gun was a pit of a pain. I could not roll the barrels so I ended up getting two sizes of plastic rod from the local hobby shop. 1/16″ is the top rod and something smaller is the bottom. The gun is not exact but is close enough. The bell at the end of the gun is cut from the end of a round toothpick.

Again, the models were quite inexpensive at about $3.00 each from E-card Models.  Print and build as many as you like!  The Dingo took about 2.5 hours to build but the PzJgr-I took something along the lines of 6.5 hours.  Good thing I don’t need to many of those!  As with any photography, some of the imperfections immediately showed up in the shots.  I assure you, the tanks look way better in person, especially from 3 feet away.

Panzer Jager I

Daimler Dingo Scout Car


1/72 Scale WW2 Vehicles in Paper

December 1, 2013

I’ve been experimenting with some World War 2 paper vehicles.  I have made several now and would like to show the results.  I’ve purchased so far from two companies and found one item free on the web.

From left to right: Matilda MkII, Universal Carrier, Stug III, Panzer III

From left to right: Matilda MkII, Universal Carrier, Stug III, Panzer III

First up is a diorama offering from Best Paper Models.  The item comes with a Matilda and a Panzer III.  These tanks were pretty easy to put together.  Simply adhering to some paper modeling “best practices” and you could get these together in about 4 hours each.  This includes, cutting, gluing and touch up painting.  The results are quite nice.  A side note, I felt that the colors were a little bright so I toned them down, making the Panzer III a bit more tan and the Matilda a bit more earthy.  The latter’s colors were clearly influenced by the Matilda at Bovington.  The gun barrels are supposed to be rolled paper.  I managed to roll the Panzer III gun barrel pretty easily.  The Matilda gun barrel is a simpler piece and should have been even easier to roll.  However, for some reason I could not roll the paper into a gun barrel for this model.  I used a toothpick instead.  The last thing I want to mention is that these models are actually 1/87th scale.  I pasted them into a PNG file.  The graphics are actually very high resolution.  I had to shrink the files to 28% size.

On a side note, I did look up measurements for the vehicles just to make sure they were close to scale.  I use www.wwiivehicles.com for most of my needs since the web site owner has done most of the research for me and even lists his sources.  All measurements varried but the Matilda II varied the most, especially with the length of the vehicle.  The difference between the smallest and largest measurement was something like 3 feet!

Matilda and Panzer III from the side.  Note the solid tracks.  No cutting out bogey wheels.  Just one solid foldable piece.

Matilda and Panzer III from the side. Note the solid tracks. No cutting out bogey wheels. Just one solid foldable piece.

The second purchase was from paper Tiger Armaments.  These vehicles are very nice.  The coloring is, perhaps, not quite as nice as those from Best paper Models in terms of texture and detail but a very good model never the less.  There are more details in parts, especially in the track area.  I was not up to the task of assembling the tracks a wheel at a time so I used the tracks from the PZIII from BPA.  I recolored them further to give them a near match to the PTA Stug.

Stug III with tracks from the BPA Panzer III.

Stug III with tracks from the BPA Panzer III.

The final model is a Universal Carrier from J. Friant and is available on his web page.  This was a pretty easy model to build.  There is a good bit of white space in the interior when you look down and at an angle into the drivers compartment.  This can be fixed with some appropriately colored paint.  The coloring scheme is very basic so it would be easy to re-skin it to anything you like before printing.

Universal carrier with the solid track option.  There is also a detailed track option similar to the PTA tanks.

Universal carrier with the solid track option. There is also a detailed track option similar to the PTA tanks.

Final Thoughts

Paper tanks can be slow to build.  I suspect that the process can be somewhat sped up by building multiple tanks.  I have not tried it yet though.  At 4 hours per tank, this is probably a bit slower than preparing some of the quick build plastic models for the game table.  The advantage is the cost.  You can purchase a tank image for $2 to $5 via the web and then build as many as you need.

Best Paper Models Matilda and Panzer III in North Africa

Paper Tiger Armaments Stug III

Universal Carrier from J. Friant


Kids and gaming in practice

June 26, 2013

A few weeks ago, my son and I joined TMP’r 45thdiv/Matthew and his son for an afternoon of gaming.  As this was my son’s first wargame ever, this was going to be an interesting experiment.  The game was quite simple.  The Normans (played by the Dad’s) held a keep with a handful of men.  As well, a second contingent guarded the bridge.  The kids were the Vikings.  They had to cross the bridge, storm the keep and rescue the Queen and the prince from the tower.

The rules were quite simple.  You could move up to 3 men per player to any location within reason.  In this case, the boys had to move and fight across the bridge.  As men were defeated, it was decided that the victor could advance to contact with the next combatant freely.  Fighting was simple.  Each player rolled a die (12 sided).  the higher roll won the fight and killed the opponent.  Archery worked the same way but with no danger to the shooter.  Walls allowed the defender to roll an extra die taking the best die of the bunch rolled.   A leader could roll 2 dice and take the highest die.  If a leader died, he was sent to the beginning and one dead enemy figure was returned to play.  The door to the castle had to be chopped down with axemen.  There were a limited quantity of these.  They need to “beat” the door 6 times.  The enemies (the dad’s) got to drop rocks on the axemen.   This worked like missile fire.

The Vikings ran headlong up the bridge and into the waiting Normans.  Casualties fell on both sides and one Viking leader (who was leading the charge) was also killed.  After a few turns, the Vikings had cleared the bridge of the defenders.  They then brought up archers.  The Vikings were deadly with their bows.  They inflicted heavy casualties on the well protected Norman archers and cleared most of the tower of its missile combat ability even before the first axemen reached the door.  Ah the luck of the youth!  After a few successful dropped rocks, the Viking axemen splintered the door.  it was all a matter of time before they cleared the tower of the defenders and saved the queen and prince.

The boys had a great time.  Though they took casualties, neither were put out by this and were good sports.  Matthew’s son was 6 while mine was 5 and a half.   My son wanted to play the same kind of game with his toy soldiers when we got home that evening.  This time they were pirates.  The games were a little haphazard.  He got a little mad at me because I wanted to enforce the rules we played by before.  That was mostly because he was pretty tired.  We’ve played a couple of games since.  All pretty fun outings.

Some lessons learned.

  1. Don’t try to do too much with your young gamer.  Some rules may seem dead simple to you but will not be for the young gamer.  Keep the mechanics to a minimum.  Really, it should be a matter of how to move and how to fight.
  2. Don’t expect too much (or any!) reality.  If it is a a bloody and short game, so be it.  They have a maximum attention span of about 1 hour.  I said Maximum!
  3. If the little gamer wants to do something, work it into the game.  Just roll with it.  It’s all about them and their enjoyment.

Some interesting observations about my son and game design

  1. He started with all the basic rules.  He wanted to roll a 12 sided die but did recognize that two 6 sided dice equal the same thing (roughly).  Luckily, the bad guys had to roll the d12 which has an average number of 6.5.  The good guys rolled 2D6 which has an average number of 7.  So the good guys have an advantage.
  2. He did take to the idea of friction and limited the moves to two moves.  A figure could move twice or move once and attack or you could move two figures.
  3. He likes variable movement.  Roll a D6 die and that is how far the figure can move.  We count off imaginary spaces which are about 1-3″ in size.
  4. I cut a 6″ dowel for movement.  The concept is the same as Song of Blades and Heroes (Ganesha Games) but only one movement size.  We used it in one game but my son forgot about it.  I don’t think he disliked it.  I think he just liked random movement more.

I am going to mock up a castle attack and use some of my 1/72 scale LotR figures.  (see LotR in 20mm from previous posts)  I figure 12 men, 2 elves and two heroes against two Orc contingents (16 men each) with an Orc leader.  The heroes are Gimli and Legolas visiting a Gondorian outpost.

The rules.

  1. Combat works with opposed die rolls.  Leaders roll 2 dice and take the best.  Gimli rolls 3 dice and takes the best.  Leglas rolls 3 dice and takes the best in missile combat and 2 dice when in hand to hand combat.  Elves roll 2 dice and take the best for missile combat.
  2. Missile range is 2 sticks (12″)
  3. Movement rate is 1 stick (6″)
  4. Two men can climb onto a ladder.  It takes a full move to climb up a ladder.  So one man will be all the way up while the second man will be half way up.  A third man can steady the ladder.
  5. Ladders can be pushed over on an opposed roll.  If two men are on the ladder, the defending roll is 2 dice and take the best.  The ladder with men is heavy.  If the ladder is toppled, the man on the top portion is killed on a 4-6.  Otherwise he lands on his feet and is OK.
  6. The object of the Orcs is to capture the castle.  The object of the defenders is to defeat the attackers.

There may be too much chrome in my rules for this fight but it will be an interesting test.  My son is pretty good at picking up strategy quickly.  He has done it in several other board games we play.


Steel Tigers Playtest

March 27, 2013

Steel Tigers is a new set of miniatures rules intended to be played on a hex grid.  Each unit is roughly 1 platoon of tanks or troops.  The rules are quite straight forward.  Pips are used to govern who can move and when.  Units can take up to 3 hits before being destroyed.  The first hit will suppress the unit.  The second hit will reduce the unit and the third hit will destroy it.  Suppression can be rallied off but once a unit is reduced, it remains that way until the game is over.  Both effects cause negative penalties for combat.  This is the small introductory scenario.  It lasts eight turns.  The player that controls the most victory locations is the winner.  In the basic scenario each player controls 1 battalion of infantry.  As you become more familiar with the rules, the scenario suggests a company of tanks and some off-board artillery.  This scenario tested out the artillery rules but had no tanks.

The start of the game.  The English choose to assault the two flanking towns while leaving the hill to the Germans.  The Germans are going to try and bowl over the English on the left.

The start of the game. The English choose to assault the two flanking towns while leaving the hill to the Germans. The Germans are going to try and bowl over the English on the left.

After 4 turns of fighting and two artillery strikes, the Germans can't seem to slow the English on the right.  The left has turned into s stalemate.

After 4 turns of fighting and two artillery strikes, the Germans can’t seem to slow the English on the right. The left has turned into s stalemate.

The situation at the end of the game.  The Germans lost sight of the victory conditions and had no way of winning on turn 8.  The English were content on sitting on their gains.

The situation at the end of the game. The Germans lost sight of the victory conditions and had no way of winning on turn 8. The English were content on sitting on their gains.

The artillery rules are still somewhat up in the air.  Mark (the author) suggested that each unit in the hex gets attacked by artillery.  Normally the type of unit gets attacked by direct fire, either soft targets or hard targets.   So, if you are lucky, artillery can be very deadly.  The game was played out on my computer using VASSAL.


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