Lord of the Rings Siege

October 10, 2016

My son and I have been having fun with a LotR siege game.  The game pits a small force of 12 elves and a hero against 2 bands of 12 Orcs as well as an Ogre and a small band of goblin archers.  If a band of Orcs are eliminated or routed, the  a new band comes to battle on the next turn.  The ogre and archers are removed from the game if they are killed.  The Orc force also has 4 ladders to scale the wall with.  The Elves must hold until turn 15, when another force of Elves arrives, ending the unlimited supply of Orcs.  At this point, the battle will be fought until turn 20 or until one side is completely routed.

Special rules.

  1. It takes a full turn to climb a ladder.
  2. The assaulting player may make an attack at the top if it survives a free shot by a defending character, assuming one is waiting for him at the top of the ladder
  3. If the assaulting character hits the defender (whether the defender saves or not) he may push his way onto the rampart.
  4. Ogres may attack the door and will batter it down on a ‘1’.
  5. Defenders may topple a ladder.  On a 3 the ladder is toppled.  This number is 1 less for each character on the ladder.
  6. If a ladder is toppled, the bottom character simply jumps down unhurt.  The top character must make a save or die.

Jack managed to eliminate my archers by turn 2.  They did, however, kill one of the elves with a lucky shot.  The Ogre managed to get to the door but was unable to bash it down before getting hit by a hail of arrows.  The ladders were placed on the wall and the Orcs managed to force their way up at one point on the front.  Then, the unthinkable happened.  It was bedtime.  Here are some pictures of the initial assault as well as the action at the end of turn 5.

Forces of evil approach the keep.

Forces of evil approach the keep.

A view from the Elven side.  One Orc has pushed his way onto the rampart.

A view from the Elven side. One Orc has pushed his way onto the rampart.

A view from the front.  The Orcs are scampering up the ladders.

A view from the front. The Orcs are scampering up the ladders.

A view from the side of the castle.  One of the ladder crews was frozen by Gandalf.  They come back next turn.

A view from the side of the castle. One of the ladder crews was frozen by Gandalf. They come back next turn.

The castle is by Toshach Miniatures.  It is a free 10mm paper model that was enlarged to 1/72 scale.  The images were high resolution so enlarging them did not lose any of the clarity.  Great little model.  The ladders came from Fat Dragon Games Siege Engines set.  The images here are seamless so I was able to simply add several lengths together and reduced them to 75%.  I then cut two notches so I could hang miniatures on the ladders to make them look like they were scaling the wall.  This set is a must have if you want some cheap siege engines including a siege tower and a covered battering ram.  I recommend printing them at 75% or maybe even a little less.


Southern Front 2016

October 9, 2016

Some of my friends and I headed to Southern Front 2016 this past weekend.  It is a small convention held annually in Raleigh, NC.  Originally, it was billed as a historical miniatures convention.  Currently, the participants number only about 100.  Several folks stayed home as they lived in states that were severely affected by Hurricane  Matthew.   The games were fun and, as usual, were presented with wonderfully painted miniatures and attractive terrain.  Matthew decided to change course and affected more of NC than anticipated.  The Raleigh area lost power at about 2:30 on Saturday but power to the Hotel was restored around 8:00pm that night.  Several games were canceled as it was tough to see in the hall.  Others persevered and continued to play by flashlights, provided by the hotel staff.  Despite the unfortunate complications it was a fun, relaxed even and I believe everyone had a great time.  I hope to see participation increase in the coming years.  Here are some highlights of games at the con including a few I participated in.

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This table was scheduled to be used for about 5 games. I participated in Jimmy’s GASLIGHT game on Venus.

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Squad Leader as a miniatures game. We managed to take the field against the Germans! A Stug III burns in the background as a German Platoon withdraws.

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Yep! Won it out right! But at a pretty hefty cost. A German minefield claims two of my Shermans. My friend Andrew’s M-10 burns in the background, a casualty from being hit by a Jagpanther.

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A battle on Venus! The Bogart Shamen summon their dinosaur minions to defeat the Sino European forces before they can get the diplomats off this crazy planet. Bloody battle but a fun scenario. In the end we did the save modifiers for shooting completely backwards. When the GASLIGHT rules say -10, that means you reduce the die roll by 10, thus making it much easier to save against missile attack! We were modifying the target number!

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And then the power went out. Hurricane Matthew was supposed to hug the Carolina coats and head out to sea. Shockingly, the weather folks got this one wrong. Power went out around 2:30pm on Saturday and did not return until about 8:00pm that evening. This is a shot of a Stalingrad game using Chain of Command.

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The hardcore gamers continue to the end. A shot of Ed Mohrman’s ACW game using “Before I was a Marshal” rules by the late Larry Brom. Adapted for ACW of course.

 


Magic for ‘Throw Me a 6’

September 13, 2016

I’ve been pondering how to incorporate magic in Throw Me a 6.  I think I have come up with a simple but kind of interesting solution.

  1. Spells, in general cost “points” not unlike other systems out there.  A wizard will have a set amount per game to use.
  2. When a spell is cast, the points for the spell are expended and a success roll is made.  On a ‘1’, the spell fizzles.  On a ‘2’ through ‘5’, the spell succeeds with normal effects.  On a ‘6’, the spell critically succeeds!  ‘Throw me a 6’ right?!
  3. The ‘6’ might be to simply double the effect, or add some other bonus to the spell.  Haste, might allow a unit to move a second time.  A ‘6’ would add +2″ to each move.  Fireball might be 1-3 dice depending on how many points you spend.  A ‘6’ would double the amount of dice rolled.  Fear might cause a unit to retreat as if it just lost a melee.  A ‘6’ would also cause a loss of a stand.

I think there would be a couple of broad types of casters.  Wizard, Sorcerer, Necromancer, Druid and Priest.  Each will probably have about 3 spells to choose from.  I’ll have to give it a few tests to see how it goes.

 

 


Happiness is building a plastic model…

May 29, 2016

…and having no extra parts.  This is a quick review of the Armourfast LEFH18 105mm German Howitzer.  The box comes with 2 sprues and enough figures and pieces to make two complete guns and crews.  At $22 this is not terribly cheap but with todays miniatures prices it is not bad either.  The model has few pieces but enough detail to keep a wargamer like me quite happy.  To build, you will need a hobby knife, sprue cutters, some plastic model cement and (optionally) a cutting surface.  Below is a completed model along side a single sprue and all of the tools used to complete it.  i still have to scrape the mold lines and, of course, paint it.

The completed model and tools used.

The completed model and tools used.

The build instructions are on the back of the box.  There is no text and the actual part locations are not numbered for order of assembly.  I recommend building the carriage and gun shield as one part and the gun mount and gun as a second part.  Finally add the upper gun shield to finish off the model.  The figures are multi-part as well.  This is not a problem as the arms are situated as a single piece and go on really well.  The commander is the only single part figure.

Finished models atop the instructions side of the box.

Finished models atop the instructions side of the box.

There is another plastic model of this gun by Zvezda.  It is somewhat cheaper at about $9 per model but it only comes with 2 crew.  If playing games that require a full representation crew for the gun, you would have to supplement those figures.  I am building these guns for Rapid Fire.  The number of figures required is 4.  So…Bonus!  I can highly recommend this kit for ease of build and versatility.


Throw me a ‘6’ QRS now available!

March 3, 2016

I’ve added yet another page to the rules.  By request, there is now a QRS/Summary Sheet on the last page of the rule book.  Yes!  That’s right folks!  Rules bloat!  6 pages of text!  Enjoy!


Throw me a 6 has been updated.

February 25, 2016

After taking a read through the file recently, I noticed I never wrote in the “advance after combat” rules for Throw me a ‘6’.  I finally got around to updating the rules.  As well as this addition, I’ve updated the design notes to be more reflective of the design of the game specifically.  Find the rules here.

Finally, a little something to try.

Generals are a single stand unit.  They can influence the retreat die roll by +/-1 for any friendly unit within 4″ that has to retreat.  Alternatively, they may join a unit and influence the retreat roll by up to +/-2.  If that unit becomes involved in a melee, the general will add 1 die to the melee dice.  However, at the end of each turn that a general is involved in a melee, the opponent rolls 1 die.  On a 6 the general is killed.  Generals may move without restrictions at the rate of light cavalry.  If they are not attached to a unit and are contacted by an enemy, they will flee toward the nearest unit and attach themselves to that unit.

The ‘General’ rule has not been tried out yet.  If you plan on giving them a go, let me know how they work for you.

John


An Unexpected Party

November 21, 2015

Last Saturday was Jack’s wargame birthday party.  There were 7 kids ages, ages 7-9 at the party.  The craft went well and the kids enjoyed the figure painting.  The challenge came because several were a bit unruly at first so it was difficult to explain the game, as simple as the rules were.  The object of the game was to kill monsters, each other and gain treasure for fighting and searching.  It was a simplified version of Jack’s Rules of war.  The warriors were basic hitting on a 3 or less.  The archers hit on a 2 or less but if they missed, the enemy did not get to fight back until their turn.  The hero hit on a 4 or less and also could take 2 hits before being “defeated.”  I did not use the word “kill” because I did not want them to get the impression that I glorify war and that this was a simple strategy game.  Some pictures below of the action as it unfolded.

There was miniature painting.

There was miniature painting.

 

And the results. Not too shabby!

And the results. Not too shabby!

 

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The table before the carnage began.  The castle is another card model by Toshach Miniatures.  It was originally scaled to 10mm but the image was high res and I increased the size to 1/72 scale.

 

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Me explaining how to fight. Strangely enough, it started around the hobbit hill. And here I thought Hobbits were peaceful! Card model by Fat Dragon Games.

 

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There, of course, was cake!

 

And more fighting. Jack (right) stands with 2 of his friends. The girl won with 3 coins.

And more fighting. Jack (right) stands with 2 of his friends. The girl (name withheld) won with 3 coins.

Several of the kids really enjoyed the game and several others could take it or leave it.  Good times were had by all!  I’d call it a successful day!