Saturday, November 28, 2015

From the Archive - Big Red

You know what goes great with leftover Turkey?  Old miniatures!

Every collection of wargame miniatures needs at least one dragon. This one marks the first time that I was able to get the shading on the color red done right.  For some reason it took a big canvas and a little trial and error - and trying to thin red with yellow paint.  All my miniatures before this one used a little white paint to highlight the color red, and so every red piece of fabric wound up looking pink.

The back end of the base for this guy broke off at some point.  He is mounted for use with Hordes of the Things, but the rest of his army is long gone.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Actual Play - Barbarian Prince - Episode 1

If you haven't seen it yet, Castalia House Publishing has a new blog feature called Wargame Wednesdays, for all of us hex-and-counter-philes.  The series has inspired me to push some cardboard around.  All of my kids love themselves some Awful Green Things, and we spent a summer tooling about with the print-and-play games over at the Dwarfstar archive.  We played enough Outpost Gamma to decide it was just too danged tough for the marines, and a game or two of Goblins! before losing interest.

Last weekend, I finally had a chance to sit down and play through the classic hex and counter wargame, Barbarian Prince.  It really is less of a wargame than it is a jumped-up choose-your-own adventure slash analog version of turn based computer RPGs.  But it has lots of hexes and at least one counter, along with a turn tracker, resource meters, and a couple of other wargame signifiers, so I for one am comfortable putting in the wargame family, even if it is one of its distant cousins.

Not only did I get a chance to play, I got a chance to film, edit, and prep a short video to share with you lot.  I've taken the liberty of editing out the dull bits like flipping through rulebooks and tedious die-rolling for combat, so the video moves faster than you might expect.  Barbarian Prince is a solo wargame, so have some leftovers and enjoy watching me play with myself for thirteen minutes*. If there's any interest, I'll probably do another one over the Thanksgiving break.


Links mentioned in the video:
*Probably a bad joke to make - I'm going to start getting a lot of weird spam comments now, aren't I?

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hump Day Dump Day - Issue #4

Happy Thanksgiving!  Eat too much, laugh too loud, and sleep a little extra, but save Black Friday for some gaming.  Meanwhile, have some more fireside reading for the long weekend.

One Hour Wargames, Scenario 6 (Steve's Random Musings): I then sat down to think of a scenario, but had a bit of a brainwave and decided to have a look-see at what the next scenario was in One Hour Wargames, to see if it could be modified or used.. the scenario is based on Salamanca - flank attack on a moving column - perfect, so the decision was made...
Fall-In Eye Candy (The Man Cave): To be honest the Lad and I were so busy rushing about playing games, shopping and socialising that we only had limited wanderings around the various rooms to check out the great games, and there were indeed many. Still, I eneded up with some pretty pictures so I though I would share them (while I wait for SWMBO to go out so I can arrange my disturbingly big pile of loot for pics).
The People of Yesterday Held Different Beliefs Than We Do Today! WHAT IS WRONG WITH THEM? (Dyvers): Lately I've been spending a lot of time reading through the exploration of Gary Gygax's Appendix N and wondering what is wrong with these people. Their criticisms are often not about the works they're reading but instead about the people who wrote them - people who often reflected the times they lived in by holding outdated views about morality, sexuality, race relations, social justice, and the like. As a result their objections all tend to sound the same: "Author X was writing in 1910 and held views that were common during their lifetime but are completely wrong by today's standards. What the fuck is wrong with them?" I mean who would ever imagine that someone writing more than a hundred years ago might have moral and societal values that are vastly different from the ones we have today. It doesn't end there, though...
Make sure you check back again tomorrow - I've got something really different to show you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Black Ops, Around the Horn

Welcome to another clickbait article.  This one has a lot less weird tricks and local single moms and a lot more Black Ops.  With the rules out for less than a month, there aren't a whole lot of actual play posts around the web just yet - I haven't written any up yet myself - so here's your old pal Warren's handy finger pointing to a couple:

  • Black Ops rules review and playtest (SP Project): Whilst I attended the recent Fiasco show (great to meet up with a few people but the show wasn’t great- not a good look when a third of your demo/ participation tables are no shows…) I picked up a few bits including the new Black Ops rules from Osprey. As a basic skirmish game the rules work well enough, not better or worse than other comparable sets really though I would have preferred a bit more friction in the activation system. Here the rules really came into their own with wandering guards and noise token which had to be minimised by the raiding player to avoid raising the alarm- though I’d like to see the noise list extended.
  • Black Ops Trial Game (Stefano V): Yesterday night we played our first Black Ops game. We found it quite interesting and we will play it again. The scenario chosen was a stealth mission, assassination over the Terminal map. The target started from the landed helicopter and and to travel across the table to exit on opposite corner.
  • Need to know basis: Black Ops reviewed (Pijlie's Wargames Blog): The best thing that can happen to a wargaming fanboy is to get hold of a new ruleset prior to publication. This happened to me with Black Ops, the coming new release by Osprey Publishing. Unfortunately it took me several weeks to find the time to play it, as I eventually did at Crisis in Antwerp. So I completely blew my scoop! Despite of that, the game is definitely worth a review.

And here are a couple of resources for the game:

Saturday, November 21, 2015

From the Archive - The Splice

Another Saturday night, and it looks like the archives are getting to be a regular feature around here.

These little critters are examples of the Space Lice you can get from Irregular Miniatures for something like a buck and half each.  Like most of Irregular's miniatures, they look awful in bare metal, but take paint like champs.  Matakishi has a more cartoonish take on these guys over at his Tea House.  I just have the one squad, but for the life of me I can't remember why.

Friday, November 20, 2015

15mm Sci-Fi Traffic Report

Scatter terrain.  You'd be hard pressed to ever have enough of it on your urban table.  Mine was sorely lacking in viable vehicles.  Matchbox cars are passable, but they just don't tie together with the rest of the terrain.  There are a couple in this old shot, and you can see what I mean.

It's hard to put your finger on, but the paint is a little too glossy, the scale a little too large, and the style just slightly off.  Some of the construction vehicles work great with a full repaint, but for my money there's no beating vehicles specifically manufactured for gaming.

Like these:
Flit cars and trucks from

Now I know what you're thinking, "Ohmergerd, Warren, those flight stands are just like, totes the coolest.  Like, how did you do that?"

First off, stop thinking like a 15 year old ditz.  Second off, I made them from these:

The clear hooks come in a variety of different styles.  These happened to be the perfect for all of my vehicles.  They may be a bit large for the cycles, but we'll find out later.  All you have to do is clip off the hook, leaving roughly 5mm of plastic in place:

Sand it down to create a broad, level surface for the vehicle:

And add a drop of superglue to the top.  If you want a little more stability, you can pin the vehicle in place or glue a washer to he underside of the vehicle and put that peg inside the washer.  You'll want to dull coat your vehicles before you glue them to the stand - spray varnish will make the flight stand cloud up.

This isn't a particularly cheap way to build flight stands - they cost about $1.50 each, which is comparable to the price you spend at most wargame specific retailers.  You will also have a hard time making all your vehicles hover at the same height above the tabletop.  You can see mine are all over the place.  On the other hand, it is still cheap and dead easy to prepare.  So if you ever find yourself needing some flight stands on short notice, this makes for a good looking and readily available alternative.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hump Day Dump Day - Issue #3

Welcome to the weekly walk through the wargaming wilds of the world wide web, in which Warren waxes upon whatever weighty and witty works he wagers are worth your while. Would any wretch not want a window into Warren's warm woolgathering - a wisp of what wriggles its way into the weedy wastelands his wisdom?  What wights of whimsy wander along the way?  This winter, when wailing winds whistle in from the west, let your worry wane, and wave 'way your wait, my wolfish wunderkind,  Warn whosoever would withdraw worship that they will win their wish.  While Warren's work with the written word may be weak, it is wrought here this Wednesday in waking wonder for all to witness.

Also, something about a wren wiping a wet wallet?  I don't know.  Here's some links:
Polish Hussars (Badass of the Week): Invariably, whenever most people talk about the military prowess of the Polish cavalry, some joker busts out with some intelligent, well-constructed argument that vaguely resembles something along the order of "YA RITE HOW BOUT CHARGIN NAZI TANKS W HORSIES FTW LOLOLOL OMG I”M HILARIOUS SOMEBODY LOVE ME PLS". Well not only are the wild claims of that infamous engagement dubious at best, but it's time that the Polish cavalry – and particularly the Winged Hussars – get appropriately recognized as one of the most eye-skeweringly hardcore associations of asskickers ever assembled. These daring, brave, unabashedly-feathered badasses crushed throats up and down Europe for two centuries, annihilating battle-tested armies three times their size with nothing more than a huge-ass lance, an awesome set of ultra-cool wings, and a gym bag full of iron-plated armor ballsacks.
Normandy Mini-Campaign, Part One (Geordie's Big Battles): The scenario was a Normandy 1944 infantry probe towards Caen, called Operation Martlet. Before you could say "Jack Robinson Jam" I was in amongst it in the "patrol phase" with markers pushing forwards over what I considered very "open" aka dangerous) ground. I opted to go "Tommy" so my newly painted figures could shoot at me. The alternative was to play SS which left a tangled knot in the consciousness of my stomach. Silly really, but as I had played British before so I should be better able to pick things up from where I left off.
Fall In 2015 (O My Rurtania): I attended the HMGS Fall In convention in Lancaster, PA, last week. Had a good time as usual. Attendance on Friday afternoon seemed very sparse but did pick up considerably by Friday evening and things seemed pretty active on Saturday afternoon. Friday night, I played in Temple of the Snake Priestess, run by Howard Whitehouse, using his Chainmail Bikini rules. The game involved four teams of adventurers entering a ruined Maya-ish city with the goal of getting their astrologer to the top of one of several temples to obtain some sort of Important Sign from the Heavens.
Fluffy Boa Puzzle Mat (Here's No Great Matter): I popped into the hundred yen store yesterday to pick up some tape for work, and as I hadn't been there for a while I had a quick scour of the usual sections to see if there was anything that could be put to honest wargaming use. Lo and behold, there was a sight for terrain mat hunting eyes: 30cm square interlocking foam mats, topped with a greenish teddy bear fur type material. I grabbed four to take home and check out (I could always use them as an actual mat, I said to myself...).
Let's round things off with a post about boxes:
Tournament Transport Box, Part 3 (Lair of the Uber Geek): Sunday morning I was determined to finish up the construction of the tournament boxes. On a whim. I decided to use the remaining plywood from the 4x4 piece of plywood to make a dice tower. This is one of those projects that has zero planning so we'll see what happens. The dice "motivators" are glued in place. I'm sure their is a more technical name for these in the the world of dice tower science but I haven't bothered to look it up.