I’ve been playing a good bit of Battle for Wesnoth lately. It is a computer game that plays both like a miniatures skirmish game on hexes and a strategy game where you have to capture towns to maintain your upkeep. It has a series of scenario driven campaigns. I’ve been playing for years but have never embraced the full strategies which sometimes can be the downfall to make even the easiest campaigns seem difficult at times. When I first played, there was a scenario called “The Scepter of Fire” which is set in the bowels of a volcanic mountain. You have to battle through several enemy leaders and their minions. It seemed so difficult at the time that I actually hacked the game to put the scepter right in front of my general. On turn 1, I grabbed it and left. Yeah. I totally mulliganed that one. I have since played this campaign several times including that scenario – unhacked thank you very much! Last night, especially, the scenario was a walk in the park. I had done all the things a good player should do. Stay away from the lava. Soften up the enemy with one of your ace warriors and finish it with a low level guy to gain experience and level him up. One thing that has really helped is that I’ve gone out of my way to protect the “loyal” troops. Wesnoth has an upkeep system. You must pay a cost in gold equal to the total number of levels of troops deployed on the board. For example, if I’ve deployed 4 level 3 units, I will pay 12 gold per turn for those units. Loyal troops have no upkeep. I think I have six of them in my army right now. All are either level 2 or level 3. I can highly recommend this game. It is free so you have nothing to lose, except maybe time as you play it.
Paul, of Paul’s Bods blog, has been doing a good pit of fantasy lately. Much of it deals directly with the Lord of the Rings, especially in the area of Balrogs and Trolls. Both come from Dark Alliance Miniatures. He’s done a wonderful job painting them. He admits and reaffirms my one lament about 1/72 scale plastics. For specialized creatures such as these, you end up with way more than you actually need! I suppose you could recreate battles of the Simarillion if you so choose. There are all sorts of miniatures, mostly plastic 1/72 scale, that he has been painting for quite some time. Well worth a visit every now and again just to see what he’s been up to. The scratch built projects are especially nice!
I do still breeze through TMP every now and again to see if there is anything new and interesting posted. I rarely post content anymore. I’ve drilled down into some thread of interest and read through, only to find some poster has started grinding his ax about this problem or that. That, and the content can be a little racey. There was one in Science about “Sex Dolls” that I was not willing to click on. I am pretty glad I don’t participate in TMP anymore. I will say that Wargames Website is a fine place to be with some fine contributors but it doesn’t have the same amount of traffic that TMP does. Who knows. Maybe that will change.
Campaigns in One Hour Wargames are done with the toss of a 6 sided die. The first battle comes from the first 6 scenarios, the next from the next 6 and so on. This is fine but what if you wanted to choose from the entire body of 36 scenarios? Or what if you don’t want a 6 game campaign. Maybe you want more or less? You can truly randomize the scenario selection by rolling 2 different colored 6-sided dice. Count one color as “10s” and the other color as “1s”. So if you rolled a 2 and a 5 you would read it as twenty-five. Then simply label each scenario, starting with the first 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22 and so on until you get to the last, which would be 66. Roll. Find. Play. It’s that simple.
There hasn’t been a lot of time to get a proper wargame in lately. Between my son playing soccer and the regular duties of parents with 2 children, the weekdays have been tough. My daughter is running a race this weekend and my son has a soccer tournament both this weekend and next. Then it is off to the Thanksgiving holiday and the in-laws. I also have an article to finish for The Wargamer’s Notes magazine. Hopefully, December will be more kind. Who am I kidding. It’s the holidays!