A post Turkey-Day Post

November 30, 2019

Gaming is not something I do over the holidays except for the odd computer game or maybe a game of checkers.  Holidays do give me time to ponder what it is I want to do in gaming over the next year.  One of those things, of course, is to finish up my considerably large project for the American War of Independence.  I plan on using “A Gentleman’s War” for head to head smaller games.  It does provide a fun wargame for both players but does not really lend itself well to multiplayer games.

I’ve been gaming long enough to know exactly what game mechanics work for me and what don’t.  Often I write games as an experiment and use one game mechanic or another.  Sometimes it is just to provide a more codified game system.  But it occurs to me that I’ve used enough of these mechanics and definitely favor some over others.  So I’ve decided to write a rules set that, in theory, would be my perfect rules set.  So, much like I did with Charles Grant’s magazine game “Battle”, I plan on going through the various phases in a series of articles and coming up with something (not so) unique that appeals to my taste.  With some luck, I hope that you will find it appealing too.

Other than designing yet another wargame, I do plan on continuing with my AWI project.  I also have some 3D printed pre-dreadnought ships that deserve some attention.  I am planning on using White Bear, Red Sun (Manley) for the rules.  I have some 6mm ww2 figures already painted and based looking for a rules set to play.  Playing a double blind game of Crossfire (Conliffe)  is quite approachable and my son might even put down his Pokemon deck to play.

 


A Quest into the Bad Land Part 2

November 11, 2019

Continuing from part 1.  Bertie had made his escape.   The rest of the party would follow up.

Things were getting hot. 13 new minions were reinforcing the enemy. They all seemed to be coming from one tribe now. This would be a tight escape.

Drastic measures he said. Roll three dice he said. And this is how a second reinforcement card was drawn…with another 15 minions, this time blocking the path ahead.

Maynard gets his act together and throws a well aimed fireball despite the -2 manaflux.

A couple of arrows from Jack’s bow, another fireball and Sir John had mop-up duty.

Stepping over the chard and hacked remains, the rest of the party made it to safety.

The party escaped a surprisingly tough fight.  One member was knocked down but his wounds proved superficial.  In the end, with some loot from bodies and the treasure cache, the party ended 97 coins and a total of 5 XP, 1 from finding an item of interest and 4 for completing the mission.


And now for something completely different…

November 11, 2019

A couple of figures from Dungeon Works.  One death knight and 1 lich/skeletal mage.  I found that these figures print bigger than the figures from Fat Dragon.  For 1/72 scale I’ve been scaling down to 75% size for FDG figures.  For DW figures, I found 67% is more appropriate.  I guess FDG is true 28mm while DW is more like 30mm.

Left to right: Death Knight, Lich

Figures were printed on a Creality Ender 3 Pro.


Progress so far…Braddock’s Defeat

November 11, 2019

I’ve decided to put some armies together for the French and Indian War and the American War of Independence.  For scenarios I am using the book Seven Steps to Freedom by Charles Wessencraft.  It outlines 7 phases of the American Rebellion starting with it’s roots in the F&IW.  The first scenario is Braddock’s Defeat and the Battle of Turtle Creek/Braddock’s Field or simply Braddock’s expedition.

The rules used in my games will be A Gentleman’s War.  Normally this is a head to head game and the card play really only lends itself to that style of play.  However, if  I get a number of players around the table, I will probably use a card system more similar to The Sword and the Flame.   The Wessencraft book game rules use a low figure count per regiment at around twelve figures per similar the A Gentleman’s War so this has turned out to be an excellent purchase.

Here is a couple of shots of the first few regiments.

Two English regiments. Each has 12 figures.

Two French battalions lined up as a single regiment. 20 figures total.

This is how I can normally get a lot of figures painted and on the table.  I plan on painting to the scenario.  So I have 4 Indian Warbands to pain, another 3 English regiments and 3 continental regiments.  I also need one or two light cannon depending on how I decide to crew them.


A Quest into the Bad Land Part 1

October 25, 2019

I’ve been working on a random scenario generator for Sellswords and Spellslingers.  It’s really a series of tables with some scenario ideas for each aspect of a scenario.  In this scenario, I rolled a “recovery” mission.   Of these types of scenarios, it could be a single item or as many items as the party can find.  I gave it a 50-50 and ended up with recovery of 1 item.  There are D3+1 search locations.  I ended up with 3.  When a character searches the first location there is a 1-2 on a D6 chance of finding the item.  For the second location searched, there is a 50-50 chance.  If it is not in the first 2, then it is in the last one, of course.  I rolled hilly terrain and for a special location I ended up with ruins.  So there are 3 major ruined buildings the party must search.  The character spends an action.  The die is rolled.  Regardless of whether the item is found or not, D3 minions jump out and attack.  The party entered via the road that lead directly into the city.  As they advanced, Maynard the Wise (Wizard) noticed something of value on the statue near the main road.  Sir John and Bertie Wainwright moved ahead to scout out the first building.  Hordes immediatly spotted the advancing party and attacked Maynard and Jack the Swift.  Jack was equal to the task and easily dispatched all three hordlings.  He also spotted the Orc brute in the town and put 2 arrows into him.  5 consecutive hits!  At this point, the scenario event was pulled which revealed a rival Orc faction.   2 Hordes and 1 brute.  3 hordlings have bows and immediatly fired at Bertie scoring 1 hit.

 

The scenario event occurred already. Rival faction including 3 Orc archers. Bertie is hit once.

Sir John had already gone into the first ruin and fell on his face tripping over a trip wire (Trap).  The wounded brute charged after him.  His trusty squire Bertie jumped in and over Sir John delivering a knife throw to the Orc Brute’s throat.  Outside, Maynard causes some mayhem of his own.

Maynard uses his trusty fireball and kills 4 hordlings and badly wounds the brute.

Despite the successes, Maynard is ambushed.  He dispatches this foe.  He is then beset upon by 3 more (They are at our back!) and dispatches those in turn.  This guy is pretty good!  Jack the swift is also ambushed and fairs worse taking 1 wound.  The wounded Orc brute advances and knocks Jack down!   Things are not looking good!

PCs keep failing activation and the hordes advance.

Finally the Orc brute advances on Maynard but Maynard is not impressed and finishes the Brute off.  Maynard moves back toward Jack and finds he was only unconscious and had only 1 wound.  (At this point I found an error in the book.  18 on the out of action table is not covered.  I made the best result an 18-20 but maybe I should have made the next lower result 15-18 instead.  Whatever)

Back in the ruined temple, Bertie and Sir John managed to get there act together.  As Bertie finished off the last hordling, Sir John found something.  3 Orcs.  A wild melee ensued.  Bertie took his second wound as Sir John finished off 2 of the Orcs.  The last one fell to Bertie’s short sword.   Not a moment sooner the party heard the blast of Orc war horns.

More hordes appear on the horizon. 13 to be exact!

At this point, I called it for the night.  Tomorrow shall be the conclusion of the Search for the Lost Treasure.


The Stolen Gold

December 17, 2018

My son and I recently tested out a scenario for Sellswords and Spellslingers.  It is an adaptation of the fantasy scenario from Don Featherstones Skirmish Wargaming book.  I was originally going to use one group and we would take a couple of characters each but he, instead made a “super” ranger of 40 points so we played as 2 players and upped the firepower a bit.  The game is played on a map that has a road going north south.  There is a goblin raiding party on the road with the stolen gold.  The object?  To recapture the gold and move it off the map along the road north.  The player may split the party, entering half from the south map on the road while the balance remain on the road to the north.  The goblins are setup with a goblin hero (we used the stats for the orc brute but hobgoblin might be better) a horde of 3 goblin archers and a horde of 3 goblins carrying the treasure.  Below is an overview of the map with the setup.

Looking from the North end of the road.

The goblins may move when the appropriate card is drawn.  The treasure bearers will move directly toward the Southeast corner which is the direction of Goblintown.  Peter Jackson made me name it!    There is a scenario event.  If the event card is drawn, a troll appears in the ruins.  He is a rather intelligent troll and moves like most other monsters, not randomly moving about when characters are near.

The game played well enough despite some bad luck on my part.

The Northern group

The enemy battle line. I seem to have cut off the treasure bearers.

The ranger in the south. Not a great shot. This guy was 3D printed.

The ranger was beset upon by a couple of goblin groups including one 5 member group.  Jack had to move away and then start sniping.  The northern group, my characters seemed to roll either 0 or 1 action on 2 dice which meant that I started the game with a prolonged melee.

Cleaning up, this was the last of about 6 goblins in 3 groups.

The last of Jack’s goblins. These were a horde but one had 2 hit points (a random event) so split off from the main body.

While Jack was finishing off the southern horde, I sent my barbarian to finish the treasure bearers. The barbarian had a penalty of 1 on movement for being laden with treasure.

The troll emerged from the ruins (scenario event card drawn) and the chase was on. I decided to roll all 3 dice.

4 actions! That makes up for all those failures I rolled early on. The barbarian RUNS for safety!

It wasn’t all that simple.  There was at least one ambush and 2 other reinforcements that had to be dealt with.  Jack hit a teleportation trap that ended up moving him up the road a small amount.  Essentially it provided his ranger with an extra move.  Lucky us.  In the end…

Home sweet home!

JTT trees.  Hills are from some old company who made GW style hills.  The tower was purchased from Michael’s.  The ruins are Microtactix card stock buildings.  The roads were made by a gent selling these at the flea market at Cold Wars.  The troll is GW.  The game figures in the north are mostly Caesar with the goth archer from New Line designs 1/72 scale Goth range.   The ranger is a scaled down 3D print of Dutchmogul’s 28mm ranger on thingiverse.  The goblins are from Goblin factory, now carried by an Australian company (I think).

 


The Invasion Has Begun

December 15, 2018

I am just running my Featherstone re-write through the paces.  I’ve played a good bit and the rules work quite well.  I want to make sure all of my addenda get put into the rules as written.

I am using the scenarios from 1 Hour Wargames.  I’ve randomly determined which battles will be played.  Blue is the aggressor on the first battle.  The winner of each battle becomes the aggressor of the next battle, the counter offensive should it be the defender.  This first scenario is #26 in the book: Triple Line.  The aggressor must cross a bridge and defeat a numerically inferior force (6 units to 4).  Blue has 2 skirmisher units, 3 line units and an artillery battery.  Red has 1 skirmisher unit, 2 line units and 1 artillery battery.

I limited the artillery to 8 rounds of ammunition.  Skirmishers shoot at one range band farther though at long range they still just shoot at long range.

Turn 1: Blue advances with a skirmish screen, 2 units in line and another in column of march. The artillery comes up on the right and so is not eligible to file this turn. There is a short exchange of fire at long range with just 1 casualty inflicted on a Blue skirmisher unit.

Turn 2: The right blue unit flank marches and the unit in column charges over the bridge, driving the Red skirmishers back. Long range infantry fire is ineffective but the artillery rips through the ranks causing several casualties.

Turn 3: The assaulting line unit manages to form line but is met by a hail of musketry and artillery fire. While at 50% it does manage to hold its ground as the second line unit crosses the river and form line.

Turn 4: Blue wins a critical initiative. They are able to bring their last line unit over the river and form up. They are also able to make a retreat lane. Blue’s general moves up to help rally the wavering line unit but is killed in the process. The line unit manages to hold on but is still disordered. Artillery on both sides continues to inflict casualties.

I did not represent generals on the field since they are fast enough to move anywhere they want.   Every time they are used, roll a D6.  On a 6, they are hit while trying to influence combat.  Roll again.  On a 1-2, the horse was shot from beneath them.  On a 3-4, they are wounded and are out for D6 turns.  On a 5-6, they are mortally wounded and carried from the field.  If they are wounded while influencing melee, and their unit loses the combat, the commander is also captured.

Turn 6: red wins the initiative and tells blue to move first. Blue creeps their skirmisher through he woods on the right to gain a flank shot on red’s left most unit. red’s skirmisher fail a morale check and are obliged to retreat to the woods. Blue inflicts casualties heavy casualties on Red’s right most unit through artillery fire and some casualties on the left most with long ranged musketry. Red’s return fire is mostly ineffective though artillery managed two hits on Blue’s left most unit.

Turn 7: Blue’s skirmishers do not rally and can’t move. They press the attack on red’s right and despite taking flank fire from Red’s skirmishers manage to hold and deliver close range musketry to Red’s right hand unit. Red’s fire’s and misses with its artillery. The other side of the line is a rather even exchange of infantry fire. Both sides have just 2 rounds of artillery fire left.

Turn 8: Blue wins the initiative and orders a bayonet charge on the already wavering Red unit on the right flank of Red. Red’s unit routes and takes several casualties knocking it down to it’s last stand. However, disaster strikes and Blue fails a morale check with the same unit and routes back to the bridge. (I am off here somehow). This may be a picture after 2 turns of action. Hmmm). Blue’s artillery inflicts casualties on Reds remaining line unit as does the long range fire from Blue’s other two units. red returns with a hit or two. Both artillery units are down to the last round.

Turn 9: Both batteries inflict some more casualties with their last rounds. Blue continues to whittle down red’s remaining line unit. Red in desperation, presses blue’s skirmisher unit near the bridge.

Turn 10: Blue wins the initiative and charges Red’s wavering line unit. Red’s unit breaks and runs leaving Blue’s skirmisher and line unit close to an otherwise defenseless artillery battery. The resulting musketry fire inflicts 3 casualties.

At this point, it was clear that Blue would win.  They still had 2 line and both skirmisher units on the field and Red had only their skirmisher unit though their last line unit did rally with a ‘6’.  It likely would not have withstood the onslaught of Blue’s remaining units.  Next battle will be battle #1 which is a fight between 2 hills.  It’s a pretty uninteresting map but will test the rules on open ground.

The figures are mostly Minifigs 2nd gen with a few Minifigs 3rd generation.  Trees are by JTT trees.  Hills are from Battlefield Terrain Concepts.  The rivers and roads are craft foam flocked with railroad flock made by someone at the flea market at Cold Wars.  I am ashamed to say I did not get the gentleman’s name.  They are a clever and inexpensive way to make roads and rivers.