Friday Grab Bag a day early

January 2, 2020

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts but I do rather like writing them.  Mainly, it’s been time, life ad the complete lack of energy that’s been keeping me from writing these as well as other items.  My back/leg is feeling much better.  I still have a small amount of numbness in the bottom of my foot but each day, the feeling has returned more and more.  Most of the time I can walk without a limp.  I’m pretty happy about this.

PCS has a game and line of miniatures called Mortem et Gloriam for pre-order.  The first release will include a line of miniatures that will cover the failing Roman Empire of c450AD.  Romans and Goths and Huns! Oh my!  The figures look quite nice from the couple of photos I’ve seen.  They are plastic so maybe they won’t be for everyone.  The associated game seems to ustilize cards and chips.  It is not really my thing but may be of some interest to someone.  The miniatures, while I have no desire to pre-order, are of interest to me.  One day, I’d love to put on a game of the Battle of Chalons.

Hunnish Nobles, I presume. Courtesy of PSC Games.

I think I’ve figured out a way to keep a project from stalling.  It requires 4-5 projects to be going at one time.  For instance, I’ve stopped painting AWI right now and have been painting some ships for the Russo-Japanese war.  Well, I am a little tired of that too.  So, I do have a bunch of Elves and Orcs I’ve been planing on using for the Battle of Five Armies.  I think I shall bring those fellows out and paint them some.  When I get tired of that, I still have my WW2 Western Desert project.  That one  is close to being usable for small game scenarios.  Then, if my instinct is correct, I’ll circle back to one of the other projects, hopefully the AWI.

 

 


The IJN of 1905

December 26, 2019

I’ve been printing out ships on my 3D printer over the last couple of months and have even put brush to plastic!  I based them on some artist matting board and painted in the sea foam.  The masts had to be added to most of the ships.  I used a bit of Plastruct plastic rod 1mm radius.

Battleships and 2 armored cruisers by thingiverse designer “marcusmole”.

Armored cruisers by thingiverse designer “bigwig_mark”.

The ships were all 1:5000 scale but I enlarged them to 1:2400 scale (208%).  The battleships road a little high so I dropped them below the print bed by 1.5mm.  That is a common trick to shorted the height without actually knowing how to design a 3D model.  The armored cruisers were designed too wide so I ended up narrowing the model by 20% (I think).  I also shortend the model (Z-axis) because I did not know I could just lower the model below the print bed.  This left the funnels too short.  So I ended up replacing them with my own funnels with tiny bits of plastic rod.

The Fuji (2nd from the left) was also designed way too wide.  In reality it was not any wider than the Mikasa (left). I narrowed it by 25% and it looked spot on.  I am quite happy with the way these turned out.  I’ve got some cruisers, destroyers and torpedo boats to paint and then it is on to the Russian navy.  I already have 3 Russian ships for the action off Ulsan.  They need primed and painted though.

 


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.


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.


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.

 


$20 Desert mat anyone?

April 26, 2018

I’ve been looking for craft felt by the yard for a while now.  Amazon, for a while, did not seem to have what I was looking for.  I came across this the other day.  Rainbow Craft Felt in sandstone.  

3 yards at 6 feet wide will run you $20.40 US plus shipping of just $1.99.  A pretty good deal when you consider how much even Monday Knight game mats cost. You can also get it in olive which makes for a nice grass mat.  You can, of course, doll it up with some flock and paint if you are so inclined.  Me?  I can’t be bothered.

 


Rolls Royce AC WIP

January 15, 2018

Here are 2 more armored cars for the 11th Hussars in the Western Desert.  I won’t lie.  Everything about these models is a real pain to build.

About 4 hours of work. Add another hour for the basic turret, not shown.


“Tree Murder!”, she wrote.

January 15, 2018

While awaiting the arrival of “Sellswords and Spellslingers” by Ganesha Games, I decided to prepare the cards.  One of the things I did was reduce the event and spell/potion cards by about 1/3.  I kept the monster cards the same size because the artwork is always best appreciated on a larger item.  The smaller text on the reduced cards is not a problem for my 52 year old eyes.

My initial problem was that my printer was not cooperating graphically.  After many test with both card stock and plain paper (card stock is quite expensive these days!) I determined that there were two problems.  First, the heavy 110 paper does not seem to work well with my off-brand ink.  Second, the off brand ink cartridges currently in use were either too low, or were defective.  I say defective because the control panel was reporting plenty of ink yet the resolution was poor.  I had more ink on hand so I replaced the cartridges.  The resolution was back to normal.  Voila!  Alas, many trees lost their lives making these cards.

Cards for Sellswords, front and back.

Andrea, the game designer, promised to upload card backs but I just ended up making my own from the counter sheet also included with the game.  Now all I need is the rule book!  Lulu said it was shipped on Thursday.  It is Martin Luther King weekend in the USA so the post office is not delivering mail.  I am hoping by Wednesday.

 


3D Quick Update

December 23, 2017

Here is a better picture of the Marmon-Herrington company.

You can see the waves and lines pretty clearly. In person, with aging eyes, it is not so bad. 😉

When you look at the vehicles up close, with glasses, you can see many of the imperfections that 3D printing does.  However, when they are observed from 3+ feet away, the vehicles do look quite nice.  Now, I just need to figure out the Caunter pattern.


3D Printing: What’s the Fuss?

December 22, 2017

A friend of mine gave the kids and I (OK, my wife too if she is so inclined!) a very generous present this Christmas.  He gave us his old Da Vinci Junior 3D printer.   Now, this is an entry level printer aimed at beginners, which I am!  I’ve been testing it out, trying to see if it is a viable option to print even larger wargaming stuff such as terrain and vehicles.  I decide on a Marmon-Herrington scout car that was used during the early war in the desert in WWII.  I must say, the results are really nice!

Two scout cars “hot” off the press and another ready to be sanded.

Like most models, these still need plenty of work.  When you print such models, they are often printed stood up like the two in the rear.  Gun barrels especially need this as they will droop if they were printed on their side.  There are also supports that need to be torn off as even printed straight up as they are, plastic will still droop.  It is not a slow process.  One model took about 4.5 hours.  Printing two at a time saved a little bit of time.  When I went to bed, the estimated tome was about 8 hours though as the models narrowed at the top (less surface to print) the  printer probably slightly sped up.

So, this minimalist printer does a good enough job to at least print vehicles.  Whether it can do wargame figures is anyone’s guess.  I have seen the question posed before if 3D printing will change the way we acquire wargame figures and items.  I was once on the fence about this.  I can tell you now, the answer is absolutely YES!