Friday, February 26, 2021

Utility Terrain

Final shots of some utilitarian terrain.
The lumber here is coffee stirrers liberated from the local coffee shop eating on a bed of popsicle sticks and lies.


Thursday, February 25, 2021

The Very Model of A Modern Wargame General

 The modern table continues to take shape.

A bit of screen, a bit of scrap wood, and a bit of sand...

And you've got some nice tall fences.
I'm not crazy about these fences.  I should have oriented the screen diagonally to make a diamond pattern, and the cloth style screening is pretty flimsy.  If you make these, go with the wire screen for better rigidity and robustness during storage.  Also, I cut the popsicle sticks in half thinking to save space, and now they aren't as stable as they could be.

You can see the half-sticks better here:

The brown lumps will automagically turn into a lumber pile and a stack of 8-inch diameter PVC pipes once they have a little paint on them.

Also added two lengths of rough board fencing to the table.  That's a pretty good start.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Modern Conflicts Call for Modern Solutions

Starting to amass a little ultra-modern warfare collection for use with Black Ops.  To date, I've only ever played that game using sci-fi figures, but for the first time in a long time, I'm starting to get a handle on how modern warfare can be wargamed.  More on that later.  For now, how about some terrain eye-candy?

All of these office trailers come from Game Craft Minis.  Resin pieces with only a trace of bubbling, and all of it down on the underbelly.  I added a couple of safety posters and a bulletin board using cereal packet to spruce them up a bit.  For sixteen American dollars you get three different 'sculpts' in each pack, a fine addition to any work site.  These will do double duty as makeshift housing for separatist compounds, but for painting, the construction look will do.  
To give them a bit more character, I put two of them up on concrete blocks cut from matte-board.  Thicker than cereal box cardboard, the matte-board paints up just fine as flat concrete slabs, the better to keep the trailer off the ground.  Just a little touch to make these pieces all mine.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Death Cult for Cuties

Alternative Armies' sci-fi death cult paints up great.

All right, smart boys, so it's actually the Post-Apocalyptic warband (HOFP05).  In the House of Wargaming, we treat them as cultists.  Look at them robes and death masks and heads on pikes - what else could they be?

Vince Venturella over on YouTube taught me how to get a better look out of the color purple.  The trick is to know whether you're dealing with a red purple or a blue purple, and what you want to get out of it.  Here's a great lesson in how to get the most out of yours.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Rogue Stars - Gauntlet

 When old Andrea Sfiligoi tells you that a game is built for four to six models, he means it!

Tried running a gauntlet style run of five figs through a field controlled by ten figs, and it took a long time.  Each character in Rogue Stars, is characterized by around a half-dozen traits.  When you've got to manage one crew of 4-6 it ain't so bad.  Work in a second crew and you can just barely keep the wheels on the road.

In this latest game, I tried to run a security team of 10 figures.  Their stat-lines were kept to a minimum and they weren't terribly powerful, so it looks manageable.  Unfortunately, this game requires the tracking of three different states (pins, wounds, and one of several modifiers like shaken or resolved or disarmed).  Throw all that together and it turns into a bit of a slog.

Particularly when its your first real game and you've got to keep returning to the rulebook.

Lesson learned.  Gotta keep those squads tight if you're going to run two of them at once.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Space Weirdo's: News You Can Use

Doesn't look like this project needs my help.  As I type this they have $1,500 raised out of a $100 ask.  But you might be interested in it, and that's enough  for me to spread the word about this lo-rez independent sci-fi skirmish ruleset.


From the KickStarter page:

It takes what I like from other games and mashes it all together.

  • Low model count: 5-10 models or so for each side.
  • Use any minis you have.
  • Short but comprehensive. Everything in one 16 page zine.
  • Minimal tokens, but still a few because I like them.
  • No tape measures or rulers, all movement and ranges are measured with 5” sticks.
  • Uses all your RPG dice (except the d20, d20's get enough love) because dice are fun.
  • A points system, but you shouldn’t worry about it too much.
  • Alternating activations, opposed rolls, Command Points, and random tables mean everyone is involved and rolling dice all the time.

Take a look.  It might be just what you're looking for and didn't know it. 

John Lambshead's One-Hour Skirmish Wargames

If these games take a full hour, it'll be a surprise.

In this slim tomb, a full and more detailed review will follow over at the Joy of Wargaming later this month, Mr. Lambshead presents a bare-bones skirmish system suitable for 12-30 miniatures.  Mr. Lambshead takes that system and then polishes it up with six period specific additions, each of which will allow you to add conflict-specific flavor to your skirmishes.

In a break with modern gaming, and perhaps as a bit of a throwback to ye olden tyme wargameing, the rules eschew the use of dice.  Instead, each player utilizes a deck of cards for initiative and action resolution, with Jokers signaling the end of the turn.  After a quick shuffle, the top cards are flipped to determine initiative, after which players alternate drawing cards to determine how many actions they can take on their phase of the turn.  The value of the action card determines how many actions the player may take with as many models as he chooses.  A ten, for instance, would allow ten models to make a signle move or five models to move twice or perhaps to move then shoot.  It's a quick and robust initiative system that leaves room for some flow without the interminable wait for a more standard IGO-UGO system.

The conflict resolution is a simple card comparison.  In a fight the two models draw cards and the high draw wins.  Likewise with shooting, with model skill and cover allowing for more than one card to be drawn.

The game includes a morale system as elegant and speedy as initiative, melee, and shooting.  And as the years roll on the weapons get bigger and more deadly.  So too does the addition of models drastically affect the game.  As with everything else in these rules, vehicles are played fast and loose with an eye toward minimal book quick resolution rather than an extreme fidelity to real-world odds.

One-Hour Skirmish Wargaming is a tight little ruleset, and one written for the casually serious wargamer.  The use of cards and a loose trust in the player's ability to fill in the gaps makes this a very old-school style of wargame rulebook, and a welcome addition to my own personal bookshelf.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Irregular Miniatures Space Pirates

Ever wonder what these 15mm menaces look like?  Wonder no more.  A nice mix of chunky mid-8Os style character.

Went with a unified color scheme for simplicity's sake, but these guys have a lot of potential for more individualism.

Captain Bis and his featherless sidekick Cotti.

Thursday, February 4, 2021