Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Heagercon 2014 part 1

After spending a decent part of late Summer/early Fall preparing to run a Command Decision Test of Battle game at Heagercon, I switched to Carnage and Glory ECW about 3 weeks prior.  I could have gone either way so I asked my friend Kelly what he wanted to play and he said C&G.  I think that was the better choice since the scenario I had in mind was relatively small and the game concluded after about 2.5 hours of play.

Overview of the terrain.  Royalists consisting of roughly 2000 cavalry and and 2000 foot will enter on the road in the foreground and their objective is the settlement/armory on the far side of the table.

Parliament forces, roughly 3000 foot and only one cavalry squadron, deployed to fend off the marauding Royalists under the command of Prince Rupert.

Near the end of the battle.  Two Parliament foot regiments are routing off the table, with Prince Rupert's Lifeguard (top left) in pursuit.

Overview of the sweeping flank attack of the Royalist cavalry.

Not sure if the game was a success or not.  The Royalists really whupped up on Parliament, so that has me thinking the game isn't balanced enough.  I do think I would have deployed the Parliament forces differently than the players, mainly by setting up a light screen at the river with the lower quality troops and putting the best units inside the stone buildings towards the rear.  I would have kept the two gun batteries further back as well.  However, I do think that the Parliament side needs a little more in the cavalry department in order to protect their flanks better.

Overall I was satisfied, but I do want to run the game again with a few changes and see how things turn out.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Test of Battle Prep (Part 2)

Slowly coming along on my Command Decision Test of Battle game.  Built three vineyards/orchards over a weekend to vary the terrain a bit.  Pretty pleased with how they turned out.

Below is a picture of the entire board.  Basically a heavily wooded and hilly area gives way to a relatively flat agricultural area.  One main road cuts down the center of the battle area with several smaller roads branching off.  A river divides roughly 1/4 of the board from the rest.

Probably going to build a few more hills but overall I'm pretty satisfied.

Did a little bit of playtesting with my 12 year-old son.  Below the early arriving British reconnaissance are taking fire from German Fallschirmjaeger operating a 50mm anti-tank gun.

Still need to produce some order cube covers.  I've made the symbols in Word, just not sure what I'm going to glue them on.  I'll probably affix them to square wooden bases.  Beyond that I need to make some BUA markers and I'll be good to go.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Painting Away

Well, not really painting.  Two main things I've been working on as far as miniatures are rebasing all of my modern Africa figures and finishing up my Dark Age minis.  And by finishing I mean completing enough figures to run a game, since I still have a few odds and ends left over, but they're mainly the Wargames Factory plastics that I don't really like anyway and will probably never finish.

One other little thing I'm doing as well is painting up three 50mm German anti-tank guns from Battlefront.  I was all set to playtest my Command Decision scenario with my son Gabriel when I realized that I had never painted the anti-tank guns that the rearguard Fallschirmjager should have.  Along with that though it's not painting I spent a decent part of this weekend putting together the weapons charts for this game.  There's a website that uses a series of dropdown menus to generate the charts, but I found that just copying and pasting from the Word docs that I downloaded from Test of Battle Games' site was easier for me to use.

As you can see from the above photo, I'm also working on some 28mm English Civil War Warlord plastics figures, along with basing some British 6 pounder anti-tank guns and a Dark Age ox cart.

This photo shows the terrain for my Command Decision game.  Looks kinda sparse to me, though my son thought it looked awesome.  Another thing I'm going to work on in the coming months is making some vineyards.  It's Italy after all.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Test of Battle Prep (part 1)

In preparation for running a game of Command Decision Test of Battle for some of the local guys and later for the Army of Central Maryland wargaming club I unpacked all of the 15mm WW2 miniatures that I have painted up, as seen below.

I've been working on these for probably around 3 years now.  This was the first time that I had all of them displayed and I have to admit I was pleased with myself.  Of course, no matter how many miniatures you've painted you're always missing something.  In this case I realized that I still haven't painted up a 50mm anti-tank gun for the German fallschirmjager.  Come to think of it, I'm not even sure I have one.

My next step will creating a spreadsheet listing all of the stands and vehicles I have and from there coming up with an order of battle.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Cutting Corners

I really hate clipping counters.  I have clipped them for a few games and it just sucks.  All of the tedium of miniature painting with none of the reward.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, I'll fill you in.  Wargames of the boardgame variety are usually played with little cardboard squares known as "counters."  Back in the olden days these were almost exclusively 3/4" thick and played on hexagonal maps where each space was just big enough for a counter.  If you just "punch" these little cardboard soldiers/armies from their "sprues," you'll be left with these little frayed ends on the corners, which will snag the corners of any and all adjacent corners of the other counters they are fighting.  So was born the practice of clipping the little frayed ends, usually with toenail clippers.  But since many board wargamers are lazy/frustrated miniature gamers, a whole cult of game, enhancement for lack of a better term, has emerged.  Where corners are clipped for the aesthetic effect more than anything else.

As for me, I HATE clipping counters.  I clip them for 2% aesthetic reasons and 98% functional ones (like if you're playing GMT's Germantown game, the fight around the Chew house can get pretty dense.  But I have to and hate to admit, I like the way clipped corners look.  Just typing that makes me sick.

Monday, February 10, 2014


Played a game of Command Decision awhile ago, and I came up with this idea.  I think GM's, instead of leaving the players to choose a leader and develop their own strategy, should give each player a set of orders specific to their command.

Left to their own devices, players will listen to the strongest personality, whether or not he's the best and/or most experienced player.  If you had your own, specific orders to carry out, there wouldn't be a need for an overall commander.  Plus, it opens up the interesting possibility of having "winners" on both sides.