“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!


Starship Combat

December 14, 2017

I was reading a 1 page rules set I got from Wargame Vault.  It is based on the old computer Star Trek game.  You go from quadrant to quadrant, killing enemies until your patrol is complete.  It  looks like a simple and fun game.  More importantly, it got me thinking about some simple rules that I’ve never been able to articulate until now.

The basics go like this.  Each ship has a set damage track.  The total number of hits each ship can take before being destroyed is based on the class of the ship.  Escort 4, Destroyer 8, Cruiser 12, Capital ship 16.  The attack modifier is also based on size at 0 through 3 respectively.  Movement is 6 through 3 respectively.  Finally, defense is 3 through 6 respectively.  When one ship attacks another, a single die is rolled.  If you roll above the target’s defense, you score that many hits to the target.  When a target reaches 25%, it receives a -1 for all functions.  At 50%, it receives a -2, at 75% it receives a -3 and at 100% the target is a hulk.  Every time the target takes damage over 100%, roll a die.  If you don’t roll over the deficit, the target explodes.  Thus a target is 2 points below 0, a roll of 3 or more will destroy the target.

Some ideas for special weapons:

Torpedoes which always attack at +5 but subtract the target’s top speed for a modifier.  Each point of damage caused does double damage.

Fusion guns might have shorter range but get a bonus to hit on top of the normal attack bonus.

Ion cannon hit on a 4-6 but don’t cause any structural damage.  Instead, they cause -1 per hit.  These hits can be repaired on a 4+ checked at the beginning of the turn.

Fighters come in two styles.  Interceptors hit other fighters on a 5or 6.  They have no effect against ships.  Bombers can attack adjacent ships and count as a normal attack with a +1 per fighter left in a group.  Normally 6 fighters per group and -1 per fighter hit of course.

I’m sure I can come up with other ideas.  Each ship should get a basic laser attack plus one other weapon type.  The attack number  is the basic number of attacks in the case of an ion cannon.  And the attack number +1 is the number of torpedo attacks that ship can make in a game.  Thus an escort can carry 1 torpedo while a capital ship can carry 4.  If a ship is to carry fighters, it can carry the attack number in fighter wings and the type must be determined before the game begins.  Thus a destroyer can carry 1 fighter wing and a capital ship can carry 3 fighter wings.

Finally, there should be some modifiers for a ships style.  A wedge shaped ship like a Star Wars star destroyer would get a bonus of 1 to hit when making an attack dead on.  It would get a 0 for the front arc and -2 for any other arc.  A broadside style ship would get a 0 out of the broadside arc and a -1 forward or aft arc.  A wide sweep style ship would get a 0 through 3 arcs and a -2 to the rear arc.

Movement would be on hexes or free form with an observance of 60 degree turns.  It would be non-inertial style movement to speed play along.  Some standard rules for turning and side slipping etc.  I think it could be a workable system.  Now if I only had some ships!

OHOTR D6 Conclusion

November 28, 2017

The last 10 turns took a little over an hour to play out.

Somewhere about turn 7 the Confederates press home the attack. A crack brigade swings around the Union flank.

The pressure mounts. Confederates inflict losses all across the Union line. The union rolled a steady stream of ‘6’s, missing wildly. This looked as though the Rebs were going to take the town before the last Union reinforcements showed.

Finally, Union forces arrive with another infantry brigade and a cavalry brigade. The Confederates were so close that the Union cavalry entered the field dismounted.

Towards the end of the day, Confederate troops failed to charge and sweep the union brigade from the field on the right. Another ill-fated charge from a rebel brigade in a bid to overrun the Union artillery resulted in heavy losses. The artillery actually won the melee and inflicted a stand of casualties from shooting.

I ended the game after turn 14.  The Confederates were in better shape but were clearly not going to take the town on Turn 15.  It was a fun little game and my suspicions were confirmed.  One Hour Wargames scenarios can work well for a good many games.  I’ve played it with Dux Bellorum, Throw me a 6 and now On to Richmond.

OTR played out well.  The new melee system needs more testing.  I did not get any overwhelming victories but mathematically, they should happen.  Even with a marginal victory, it is a good way to eject an enemy from their defenses.  My one messup was that I apparently did not scale down movement.  Movement rates were as per the original game but shooting ranges were essentially halved. I’ve been using a simple modification where each additional morale marker drives a unit back 1 move.  With the larger moves, that means that a unit would fall back more quickly than intended and might make it impossible for an enemy to march forward and give fire.  I’ll slow everything down by half.

One Hour On to Richmond D6

November 27, 2017

The title is a little clumsy but that is exactly what it is!.  I managed the first five turns of scenario 10 of One Hour Wargames.  The situation has the Yankees fighting a delaying action and protecting a town.  The Rebels have to advance through a narrow gap flanked by trees and an impassible mountain.  The game is moving along at a good clip.

Union forces consisted of 4 infantry brigades in 2 divisions, a rifled artillery battery and a cavalry brigade.

The Confederate forces consisted of 3 infantry brigades, 2 crack infantry brigades and a smooth bore artillery battery.

I made any crack unit (Zuoaves as they are called in OHW) have a combat value of 4.  The other brigades are either trained or veteran, randomly determined.  As it turns out, all regular infantry on the field are veterans.   I determine the combat value of a unit at the first time the unit grade is needed.  Seeing the elephant.

The situation after turn 1. Both forces would come to grips by turn 3.

The Union started the fight by inflicting some losses on one of the Confederate brigades.  The battle ebbed and flowed through turn 4 with the Union brigades grudgingly giving ground.  At one point, a Confederate brigade made an uncontrolled charge and got one a minor victory over a Union brigade in melee.   The gap was so narrow that the crack brigade formed a reinforced line and took its chances with the dice roll for shooting, as it could only bring 4 stands to bear.  Turned 5 went to the Confederates.  The picture below says it all.

Turn 5 was a mixed bag. The Yankees failed to inflict significant losses. However, the union artillery and part of the second division can be seen deploying around the town.

I will hopefully have a conclusion tomorrow.


A Little Show-and-Tell

October 23, 2017

Here are a few photos from my work over the past few months.  They were some quick shots so the photo quality is not so great.

A few Orcs from Dark Alliance set 3. This mix is one of each figure from a single spru.

My first Union Cavalry. I have 18 bases in all. This represents 1 Union Brigade.

Some dismounted Union cavalry.

A Confederate firing line of dismounted cavalry. ACW figures by Good Ground and by Old North State. The latter is out of print.