Saturday, August 30, 2008

Terrain Board

After using nothing but cloths for years I decided to make a terrain board from polystyrene. Nothing fancy, I bought a 4X8 sheet of the stuff from Home Depot, and painted it with Kilz to start. Followed that with a coat of textured paint, and then painted brown over that. Finished it up by dry-brushing a very light tan over the brown. I have to say it looks pretty cool, and if definitely looks a lot better than using a piece of felt.

Next up I'm going to make some hills using the same technique, and after that I plan on making another terrain board. The new one will be made to look like grassland.

I'll post some pics later.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

After Action Report

As promised months ago, here's a little description of my modern Africa game that I ran for the Army of Central Maryland.

To begin with, after some solo play-testing I modified the game as follows: I placed the Zamundan rebel compound closer to the center of the table and started all of the rebels inside the buildings. I found that if the American/British Humvee column had to travel from one end of the table to the other, and if some of the rebels were allowed to start the game outside the buildings behind their barricades the Humvees would just get shot up too much.

So at the beginning of the game one AH-6 Little Bird carrying 4 Delta operators and one UH-60 Blackhawk carrying 8 US Army paras flew towards the compound while the Humvees rolled up the road in the same direction. The Zamundans held their positions inside the buildings, wishing to avoid being targeted by the coalition's well-armed helos. The Little Bird landed on the roof of the target building (they were given intelligence before the game revealing the location of the rebel leader they were supposed to capture) while the airborne inside the Blackhawk roped down towards the deck. Unfortunately, one of them lost his grip on the rope and fell. At this time the Zamundans in the target building emerged and opened fire on the paras, which were hard pressed trying to form up and drag their wounded buddy to cover.

Things got worse for the Americans as they suffered another casualty and were out of the game for a few turns, unable to support the Delta on the roof. Said Delta were exchanging some fire with another group of Zamundans who had come out of the target building. Both sides got pinning results on the other, but the Deltas easily recovered while the Zamundans could not. However, disaster struck the coalition when another group of Zamandans who had been moving among some crates in the middle of the compound opened up on the Deltas with their AK-47's and wiped all of the American elite counter-terrorists!

From there on out it was a tough road for the coalition forces. While they still had their airborne troops and a number of British SAS who had ridden to battle in the Humvee column, they were out of position as by now the Russian APC had arrived to rescue the Zamundan rebel leader. The Deltas had been the only troops close enough to stop him from making a dash to his former communist saviors, but they were all casualties. So, Papa Booya escaped, victory to the Zamundans.

A pretty clear cut victory, I might add. The squad of Russians the Zamundan players had access to didn't even have to fire a shot.

Obviously I have to count this game as another play-test, but I won't take anything away from the Zamundans who played a good game. Maybe the other side should have gotten the airborne and SAS into position first before the Delta landed and assaulted the building. As it was they were exposed and paid for this mistake with their lead lives.

One thing I will change (maybe) is that I will allow the Delta guys to blow through the roof of the building they land on. We'll see.

Anyhow, everyone seemed to have fun and hopefully I will run the game again at Fall In.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Lead and Cardboard Volume 2

Attending Historicon + new baby sleeping through the night = return to gaming!

Actually I've been gaming a lot, what I haven't been doing is posting here or painting.

So obviously here's a post and in the basement I've got 20 WW 2 German 15mm figures being painted. Once finished they will join the ranks of the storied Herman Goring division.

But like I said I've been doing lots of gaming. My buddy and I have played about 6 games of Hammer of the Scots and it's become one of our favorite games. We also tried Columbia Games' Liberty but were less impressed with it. We've got a number of Columbia's block games waiting to be played, but we're the most excited about their new one Wars of the Roses.

I finally played one of my most anticipated games the other night: Die Macher. Loved it. Admittedly a game's theme is very important to me and there's something about trying to win German political elections that I find fascinating. Even if the theme doesn't excite you like it does me, I think this game has a lot to offer. It's got two auction phases! What more could you ask for! I'm going to try and set up a five player game in the near future. We only had three the other night.

My other future plans include painting up more German infantry and armor along with building some terrain boards. I also plan on collecting and painting a Skaven army for Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Warhammer was the first miniatures game I ever played, and for years the only one. I played Orcs and Goblins, mainly because the boxed set I bought came with them and the Elves, and my friend wanted to be the Elves. But I always thought the Skaven were the coolest army, but I was too poor to buy all those models. So after listening to the Podhammer podcast (highly recommended) I was itching to get back into Warhammer (haven't played in 10 years) and I decided to buy the Skaven army I always wanted. Ok, I've only bought one boxed set so far, but I figure that's a start.