25 January 2020

Just an Update

Today was Second Amendment day for the Skis. Three quarters of the fam headed down to Richmond Hill to the WMA range for a bit of shooting. My sixteen-year-old was working otherwise he'd have been there, no question. This was my youngest son's first time shooting; he just turned 12 a couple weekends ago.

The Bride and Cameron.

Cameron's first go with my GP101.

And with the 9mm. 

Wifey getting used to the 9. We bought it last Spring and this was the first time we'd fired it. She's never done much shooting but now she's comfortable with the basics and with the weapon itself. There was female shooting instructor next to us that helped my wife with some solid advice. We got her card and may give her a call for some further instruction.

They boy with my M6 Scout. This gun was a hit. Four other shooters asked about it. I got it back around 2005/2006 for a little over $200. It's an over/under  22/410 survival rifle that was originally issued to USAF pilots in the event they went down and needed something to use to hunt game.They sell for over $500 now - out of production for over ten years.

In other news, more gaming related, I'll be heading down to Jacksonville for Rapier Game Con the weekend of February 7/8. I was talked into hosting a game and will be running some Check Your 6: Jet Age. I'll bring minis and paperwork for Arab-Israeli War and for a home-brewed Independence Day (motion picture) scenario with F-18s versus Alien fighters. It's something I've thought about for years and finally got around to making happen.

I found some decent spaceship toys of the right size and painted them up a week or so ago. Here they are with a 1/600 F-18 and an F-15.



They'll do nicely I think. I'm excited about the con... haven't done much gaming recently and it should be good. Be well!

19 January 2020

AAR: Dystopian Wars?

Since it's been a year and a half, Zig and I decided it was high time to put Dystopian Wars: Fleet Action back on the table. DW used to be a very regular game for us and it just sort of fell off the hot list. Last night we kicked it back into gear on the ol' 6x4 and had a quite entertaining battle featuring French and Polish land forces in an alternate steampunk past.

The forces arrayed. We put together 1200-point groups. and essentially the scenario was just a slaughter-fest.

My two landships both started the proceedings by getting just pounded. Grrr.

French scout fliers pass over a wood. Their broadside fire would silence one of the three Polish artillery pieces.

A view from the other end of the table.

Ziggy decided his Rarog landship should empty the tubes into my Liege-class and checks the range.

Thar she blows!

Turn 2 was a bad time for the French, as they lost their big bomber moments later. Mon Dieu!

I got a bit of feel-good, but ultimately worthless revenge moments later by having my light tank squadron blast the airship. They caused solid damage, but it would be the only damage done to the monster for the rest of the game. That volley and their presence would have been better used in the center. Oh well.

Part way through turn 2.

The photography became less regular as the battle ground on. I parked my landship carrier in front of the Polish landship and blasted away. Fortune was not with me as many shots simply tore holes in the earth instead of the steel beast straight ahead!

The center continued to devolve into a real mosh pit. Polish flame attacks caused quite a few "disruption" hits which become real hits after a short time if they aren't dealt with. Boarding actions we undertaken by both sides with generally poor results all around.

Turn 4 - almost done! The center has thinned out a lot. Ziggy parked his light tanks behind my carrier for a coup de grâce. Would they get it?

Of course.

After four turns I only have three things left. The Polish took a real beating too, but of course still had their two big vehicles left and I had three mediums that wouldn't have given them much resistance.

Final score - 44 to 35. Actually closer than I expected and the carrier that blew up at the end was worth 9 points.

It was great to have these minis on the table once again. They're beautiful models and DWFA is a solid, fun set of rules. As it turns out, this game was very similar to a game we played three years ago with almost the same forces! That game was played with the regular Dystopian Wars rules but otherwise was very similar (and with similar sad results for me!).

I hope everyone's having a good New Year. I know I've been silent on the blogging front lately. I've been busy with other things and there's been precious little gaming. Zig and I did play four or five games of C&C:A a couple weekends ago and had a blast.

Be well and good gaming!

30 December 2019

2020 Gaming Goals (and 2019 reflection)

Haha. Like there is such a thing. Here, let me announce my plans for how I'm going to goof off next year.

Honestly though, there are a few things I'd like to make happen sooner rather than later, hobby-wise.

1) Play a game with those 20mm Napoleonics I've been working on and collecting. I've got enough done for a very small into game which would scratch the itch. I've got enough infantry in the wings to make it a much more interesting affair. Goal - First Quarter.

2) At least four more games of Batman miniatures. Once per quarter is doable, right? The games have been darn entertaining and the narrative campaign has been fun to keep alive.

3) Play Sabre Squadron at least once, either 6mm or 15mm. It's a good candidate for Memorial Day.

4) Play Modern Spearhead at least twice. I don't think it made it on the table at all in 2019. Truly sad.

5) Get in a game or two of Dystopian Wars. Zig, David and I discussed it but have yet to make it a reality.

So, where did it all go off the tracks in 2019? Well, Ziggy and I spent a good bit of time focusing on Infinity and X-Wing. I don't regret it at all. Infinity has been a great learning experience and now that we're more familiar with the nuances, it's a really good tactical skirmish. X-Wing is just fun, plain and simple.

Another tabletop distraction has been Dungeons and Dragons. Again, no regrets at all and I think (hope) we've got another session lined up for Saturday. If that falls through, maybe the minis will hit the table?

My best accomplishment for 2019 has been the Skirmish rules I developed for my X-Files game. They're simple and supremely functional! It's about as close to a Holy Grail system as I've cobbled together in ages. Everyone has their own ideas about "perfect" game systems and I think I checked all the boxes with SKIrmish:

1) No repetitive dice rolls - none of that GW-style HIT, WOUND, SAVE bullshit. One die = one result.

2) No nitpicking - do 45 degree arcs and fractional inches make games fun? F*** no! They make them nitpicky and give certain types something to wallow in. Nothing wrong with a range ruler, man.

3) Not in the rules, make it up - Oh what, you want to hotwire that car or create a distraction? Discuss with your level-headed opponent and make it so.

Another high-point was the Rate of Fire games played with Ziggy and then re-run at Tanksgiving. It's awesome to see a scenario play out excellently twice in a row. Both games we nail-biters and a complete blast.

Alright y'all, I'm out for now. Have a safe New Year's Eve and a wonderful 2020!

29 December 2019

Last Gaming Saturday of the Year!

I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. Things have been busy and I was surprised to actually get in two games yesterday (Saturday). Ziggy and I got together around lunch time for some X-Wing. I got to try out a Republic "swarm" I'd put together a month or two ago.

Three Naboo starfighters and two V-19s. Low-end ships to be sure, but as we all know, quantity can be just as effective as quality. Ziggy brought out the Ghost. It had a gun shuttle docked with it and it was escorted by two Z-95 Headhunters.


It was a great swirling dogfight. My nimble Republic fighters easily able to keep up with the Rebel ships. You can see here the Ghost doing its best to run away. 😁

Zig kept it on the board though. The trouble was, it was a very predictable maneuver and I had no trouble getting every gun in the group pointing the right direction.

Pew Pew. And she's done. The smaller ships chased each other around for a bit. I lost a V-19 and most of my ships were damaged, Ziggy lost a Headhunter and the shuttle was heavily damaged.

My lessons learned in my recent games with David were instrumental to my success. I was able to chase and "wolfpack" the large enemy ship while its escorts struggled to look after it. It took David some time to learn how to effectively escort a big ship (in his case an Imperial Shuttle). I suggested to Zig that he stick with the Ghost and try a faster, more nimble escort like a A-Wing that can really give enemy ships a headache. I hope Ziggy sticks with it - it's a neat ship and it'd be cool to see him get really good with it.


Later in the evening, my bride and I game Command and Colors Ancients a whirl. She gave it to me for Christmas and was interested in trying it. I happily obliged. ( Yes, I really enjoyed C&C: Medieval a month or so ago )

I set up the board for the first scenario, the Battle of Akragas. We kept it very simple for game 1. I removed all the "special" command cards so we could just concentrate on game mechanics and objectives. I took the Carthaginian side while my wife commanded the Syracusian forces. The Carthaginians are really disadvantaged in this battle and I didn't think my bride would appreciate being handed such a headache to learn the game.

Early into the proceedings. I'd only lost one unit of chariots at this point. 

Rocket rather enjoyed the game.

Late in the game... my poor guys are getting rolled!

My bride thought it would be funny to text me scoring updates as we played:
Brutal. The final score was five to two. We both had a great time and will certainly be playing more in the future. I need some revenge.

Everyone have a safe and happy NYE and best wishes for the New Year!

15 December 2019

Cuirassiers

I finished up another unit of the 20mm Napoleonics project yesterday. I can add French cavalry to the roster now. Models are from Newline Design, and are top notch. Next up will be some French artillery. Pics  were taken pre-Dullcote and were done with the flash on, obliterating the shadows and wash.




06 December 2019

Tanksgiving 2019

Last Saturday Mike hosted his annual Tanksgiving get-together down in Waycross. David, Ziggy and I journeyed down to be part of the day of gaming. Mike was setting up a game of Ogre miniatures using Dystopian Wars minis when we arrived. With six players, it looked a bit crowded, so I opted for and intro game of Command and Colors Medieval. I'd never played C&C and read so much about it so it was nice to get an opportunity to play.

I helped command the Byzantine Roman army with Randy (the game's owner and our teacher). Our Hun opponents were Wayne and Max. Max also has experience with C&C so we weren't facing two greenhorns.

Our opponents. Wayne and Max.

Randy and me, fumbling through a selfie.

We Yin-Yang'ed for a bit, both sides pushing on their left flanks and exchanging bow fire.

Then a bit of success on our right, although the marauding heavy infantry over there (with leader) eventually wound down. It's fine, they served well.

So we were dealt the card to make the left flank go bananas, and bananas we went. We out-Hunned the Huns and our cataphracts stormed forward.

Smash, smash, smash. Super Heavy Cataphracts + Leader + appropriate cards to lay down the smack = loads of dead Huns. General Flatus and company go legend.

Comidus Flatus clears the flank.

Towards the end of the game... We'd done a fine job of corralling the invaders from the steppe. I think our heavy infantry off to the right actually bagged the ninth kill kill for us. A resounding victory for Rome!

I rather enjoyed Command and Colors. It's easier to like a game when you have a very successful first outing but it does a fine job of ticking all the right boxes. C&C (any flavor) made it on my Christmas list after this outing.

The next game was Rate of Fire. This was a re-fight of the battle Ziggy and I played a few weeks prior. Mid-1943, Germans trying to capture a road intersection with plenty of Soviet resistance. I GM'ed. Wayne and Randy took command of the Germans while Max handled the Russians himself (with a little advice from me).

The German recce elements get a move on.

Amusingly, the 8-Rad gets hung up in the concertina wire, but does manage to locate the Zis-3 ATG gun the hard way! One survivor bails out.

Ze Germans appear in force. Stugs, halftracks and panzers, oh my! They're much more spread out than the way Ziggy played it.

The Zis-3 claims another victim! A Panzer IV is taken out. Towards the bottom of the frame, infantry begin exchanging rifle and machinegun fire. Wayne's hand of cheese commands the truck driver to park his Opel Blitz in front of the Russian machinegun position to block its line of sight! The truck and driver are disabled in short order.

The halftack in the center next to the Stug gets barbed wire wrapped up in it's running gear. Smirk. The Stug is smashed by a shot from the ATG and the gunner and assistant are killed. It can only move and spot now.

Max's first two reserve rolls hit paydirt and by turn five he's got two T-34s added to his mix, like he needs it!

And in no time, another Panzer is taken out! The driver survives.

The other T-34 immobilizes another Panzer IV. It's a bloodbath!

Many infantry reveal themselves. Gross. The Panzer driver (upper left) hails an Uber in the form of a Schwimmwagen.

The stationary Stug gets its act together and take out a T-34.

The craziest group of Germans you're likely to meet charges forward! The reds have four firing units that can blast away at the grenadiers. They only take a few casualties but of course are suppressed, preventing them from assaulting the machinegun position in the woods which was of course their goal.

The Panzer with the fouled running gear takes out one of the Russian tanks!

The Grenadiers on the left flank shoot up the Russian mortar team. Meanwhile, the Uber has arrived at it's destination - the Stug that's got no driver. The Panzer driver hops out of the Schwimmwagen and offers to drive. I allow it.

The lone survivor of the most recently destroyed Soviet tank gets his dander up and rushes the nearest German infantry squad. He kills one with his pistol and causes the squad to become suppressed! Chuck Norris, eat your heart out.

I didn't take any action shots, but the little Russian field gun killed a halftrack then got wiped out by angry return fire. The Stug pushed out of the wire and the Russian infantry that had been in the woods next to Stug ran towards the intersection.

That was the end of ten turns. The Germans had just run out of time, a Soviet win! The Russian infantry in the woods nearest the intersection were the squad holding the objective and I couldn't rationalize an unoccupied halftrack being able to contest it.

Wow, what an amusing game. I did allow a few Hollywood moments for the sake of awesome. The Poor German players made no friends of the dice and suffered some miserable fortune much of the game. German artillery was successfully called in ONE time in ten turns, needing a 3+ each time. Russian morale stayed reliable enough to eke out a win.

Everyone enjoyed themselves and it was nice being able to show off the 1/72nds to folks who've never played with them. Wayne may be a convert - he's been looking for a good WW2 skirmish scale and let's face it, 1/72 has EVERYTHING and is budget-friendly.

Thanks Mike for hosting and I look forward to returning the favor next Memorial Day!