25 July 2014

The Guns of August

Morningstar Games, here in Savannah is going to be hosting some Great War gaming during August in honor of the 100th anniversary of the war's start. I'm not terribly sure about the itinerary, but Mikey and I are going to be playing some sort of land battle on Sunday the 3rd - he's got the models and rules. i'm just going to show up and push lead and roll dice. I'm going to bring out my Victory at Sea: Age of Dreadnoughts on August 23rd. Hopefully there will be a day of Wings of Glory in there as well.

Like a lot of you with a lot of games, I've bought and painted the minis, read the book but just never got around to putting it on the table. I'll try to get in a dry-run of V@S in the next week or two just as a rules refresher.

I'm sure there is going to be a lot of Great War gaming in the next six to twelve months - it is a very interesting period but a tough sell with a lot of folks. The short US involvement and its reputation as a trench-warfare infantry grind is tough to overcome. Hopefully, with ships and biplanes blasting eachother, we can create a bit more community interest!

I'll post more details as I get them.

24 July 2014

My Most Recent Hole in the Head

So, yeah, onwards to new things, new games, new projects. I've been itching to paint and play something outside my usual arena. I've been looking at 17th - 19th century stuff and finally settled on "Age of Reason" era (later 18th century) Imagi-nations after having watched The Adventures of Baron Munchausen for the six-zillionth time a few weeks back. Since the Maurice basic rules are free, and seem to be a winner from what I've read on various blogs, I'll give them a go. My first shipment of minis arrived late last week and I've gotten a few stands worth finished (minus banners).

These are Baccus 6mm SYW British models on 1.25" square bases.

I've never painted this type of stuff before so it's been quite fun so far. You can really assembly-line the process and churn through models quickly.

I've got another handful in the partial queue...

21 July 2014

Dystopian Wars - First Outing for the French

Last week I worked very hard to get my Dystopian Wars French painted up for a game on Sunday. I finished them all except the battleship, which is OK because we were only going to play using medium and small models.

We're still using the 1.1 rules and we set up 500-point fleets. I played against Bill, who borrowed my Empire of the Blazing Sun models and was immediately lured in by the fliers.

Just after the first action - I'd moved my Marseille cruisers forward. I had three of them, three Ecuyer specialist AA cruisers and four Alma hover-frigates. I took the AA cruisers not because my opponent went air-heavy but because I only have a limited selection of models and needed to get up to 500 points.

Some dead sexy AA cruisers.

Worst opening move ever. The dadgummed Gyros double-crit two of my cruisers, one with rockets, the other with gunfire. Holy crap.

I get one back. The Ecuyers maul one of the DFA-170s with AA fire and turret gunfire, sending it crashing into the island below.

Turn 3 I think. My frigates pounce the Japanese gunships, causing a crit! The Ecuyers have also critted one of the Gyros. Huzzah! The early-turn disaster is turning around! I didn't get a picture of the Japanese gunships causing a Sturginium Flare on my remaining Marseille, sending it straight ahead. The Gyros finished it off. My three best offensive ships were gone very quickly.

A turn or two later. Two of my frigates had been seen off, but the other two continued to plague the gunships, tailing them and being a major nuisance. It was beautiful. The damaged Gyro had been destroyed as well!

I bag another bomber as they line up for a run at my ships.

I also managed to send one of the gunships to the bottom, but the fun times weren't to last...

At my suggestion, Bill boarded and captured both frigates, ending their reign of terror.

What a game! I really though it was going to be a severe beat-down of the French when I'd lost three cruisers before I got to activate a single unit in turn 2. Retardant armor my ass. I did lose the game but at least it was respectable and I was close to killing off his third bomber.
As it turned out, his dice went ice-cold after killing my cruisers and mine heated up tremendously. The Ecuyers were completely awesome, but had an ideal opponent - lots of fliers and lots of rockets. The frigates kicked serious ass too, but I've come to expect that from small fast things that have "Elusive Target."

Looking forward to trying these French out again - maybe I'll put the Magenta and subs out next time.

20 July 2014

CY6JA - More Vietnam Jet Fights!

Ziggy and James came over yesterday for a game of Check Your 6: Jet Age. James had never played before and Z and I are still novices but there only one way to get better, so after explaining the basics to James, we jumped into a scenario out of the book. I selected Freedom Train 1: Basco. We randomized the units - Ziggy ended up with the Vietnamese, I got Basco 1 and 2 and James got Basco 3 and 4.

For the hidden MiG-21, we gave Z three "contact" markers, one of which was the real Slim Shady. He didn't have to reveal which was the actual plane until we got a visual ID on it or until he fired.

Shortly after set-up. I only had enough white felt for three clouds.

This was around turn 3. The Veteran MiG makes himself know and takes a gun-run at Basco 4. His shots miss.

The story of my career in this game. "Pinkie" get behind BOTH of my planes and looses a K-13 at Basco 2. It is a direct hit and the big American planes fireballs into the canopy below. Both crewmen die horribly as my dice seize up.

Basco 1 gets a lock on the camouflaged MiG and fires a Sparrow at it. The rocket misses badly.

Pinkie gets in position again. His missile explodes just shy of my plane, causing airframe damage. Since that MiG was out of missiles, he turned for home. (Thank goodness, he was killing me!)

I took another Sparrow shot at the Veteran pilot. I confirm the hit but the malfunction die snatches defeat from the jaws of victory. Grrrrrr!

James' flight lead gets a Sidewinder off at the junior Vietnamese plane.

Aha! Finally, something that sticks. A good robustness roll leaves the MiG with airframe damage.

My last Sparrow does naught but make pretty lines in the sky.

Basco 4 tries that same trick a moment later, with the same results.

Some nifty driving by Zig results in the Veteran MiG being right on my tail (orange plane). The junior (yellow) had to perform an extreme maneuver since he took evasive action from the previous shot at him.

Yellow fails his skill check and crashes. Thank the earlier airframe damage for that! Score one for the good guys!

A bit of a swirl later and the MiG is back on me. His guns fire and I take a "lucky hit" even though I passed the robustness check. Engine damage! Great! Now I can't turn for shit and I can only go speed 4 max!

Parting shots... James fires his last Sparrow at the MiG, missing yet again. The MiG's guns get a "fuel leak" lucky hit on Basco 3. 

We (the US players) threw up the white flag. This MiG was absolutely killing us and we couldn't do anything about it. Our only advantage - long-range Sparrows - were all used up and with two damaged planes there was almost nothing we could do to this guy.

The scenario is very good and we all enjoyed the game. It turns out, I just can't fly. Ziggy on the other hand has it figured out.

Now, one of the member of the CY6 Yahoo group asked about using 3mm figures in CY6JA. Here's a few pictures of how I do things.

An F-14 (Tumbling Dice miniatures) and an Su-22 (Pico Armor)

Bottoms showing the magnets. The small magnet is KJ Magnetics part #D21 (1/8" x 1/16") The large on the Tomcat is part#D41 (1/4" x 1/16"). Pro tip - superglue the magnets on before painting. Also, before starting with the magnets, mark all of the same pole so you don't up with a N-N or N-S situation between the planes and stands.

My stands. These are from Litko. They are 1.375" hex flight stands.I cut the pegs to various lengths - they start at 2". I didn't want planes in adjacent hexes bumping wings. I painted the rims different colors to differentiate models in-game.

Plane, meet base.

We use a matched-color d8 to mark speed and a d12 to indicate altitude (2 x 6 TAL CABs).

I'm very happy with the 1/600s - they are inexpensive and store easily:
I keep mine on a 8 x 10 magnetic dry-erase board.

15 July 2014

Shipwreck - Far Flung Seas!

James and I got together Sunday for a game of Shipwreck he's had in the works for some time now. It involved the US and two imagi-nations, Greyback (US-aligned) and Red Bamboo (AKA the Red Baboons). Also involved were the Red Guard, a radical Presbyterian organization, funded and supported by the Red Bamboo government.

The Reds have been harassing merchant traffic in the Greyback strait recently, going as far as mining the strait and attacking ships that they deem "unworthy." Two US LCS have been dispatched to the strait to protect "Freedom of Navigation" and certainly not specific American interests in Greyback oil exports.

A view of the strait. Two Greyback patrol boats are circled in red. They had to stay within 12 miles of the Greyback capital city. (They were about as useful as tits on a boar)

I think at this point all of the ships were on the table. The two yellow circled ships are US Navy. The orange are merchants. The near LCS is kitted out for surface combat, the far one is a minesweeper. James has a veritable horde of small craft in the strait.

Right away, the USS Fort Worth stumbles into a minefield but manages to avoid striking one. The captain notifies all shipping in the area.

The '60 from the Fort Worth manages to locate a Red Guard terrorist unit and neutralizes it with a Hellfire missile.

A nice shot of the stupidest vacationers in the ocean. A Red Baboon helicopter conducts a fly-by.

TRAGEDY as the USS Independence strikes a mine in the strait! That's one way to clear the mines I suppose. It isn't helping that its helicopter simply cannot get a positive ID on any of the suspicious boats in the area.

A bit of revenge is meted out on another Red Guard terror unit. Thanks Lockheed!

Somewhere in the distance a Red Bamboo vessel launches its payload of four SS-N-2 cruise missiles.

The burning USS Independence looses a SAM at one of the cruise missiles and knocks it down. The other three rockets strike a huge Exxon oil tanker creating a major ecological disaster for Red Bamboo and Greyback fishing in the strait. The tanker is heavily damaged but limps onward.

Things take a downward turn as the Independence succumbs to its injuries and becomes a man-made reef. Its helicopter has just IDed a Red Guard attack boat (as it was firing and attempting to board a merchant vessel. Nothing gets past our boys!) Three Hellfires later, the attack boat was burning. Thanks Lockheed.

There was a bit of excitement when a Red Bamboo trawler attempted to ram a tanker. As it turned out, the trawler's rudder had gotten jammed. It wasn't actually a suicide run as initially feared.

A Red Guard suicide boat DID indeed manage to run up to the Shanghai, a ChiCom cargo ship, but the explosion, although impressive, did naught but rid the world of a couple more terrorists.

The US Navy forces in the area attempted humanitarian aid pickups from a few burning Red Guard boats but the terrorists refused assistance. Oh well, there's just no helping some people. There were three sailors killed on the USS Independence. Others made it safely to life boats and were later recovered. Any stories that the Fort Worth fired at and sank a damaged and surrendering Red Guard boat are obvious lies and there is no proof to back those claims.


This scenario was terribly entertaining. It was a great change of pace from the usual big-ship shoot-em-up with 32 cruise missiles in the air at a time. Although James only managed a "heavy damage" on a super tanker, killing a US Navy ship was a huge unexpected bonus for the Reds! My only critique is the utter uselessness of the two Greyback boats which were on a 12-inch leash all game. They wouldn't have made much difference anyway. Good game James!

14 July 2014

AK47 Republic - Saturday Night's Alright for Fightin'

12 July 2014
M'bungo, Litumsia
Reports that the MCC rebels are closing on the town of New Freeport are coming in from the countryside. President for Life John Johnson has ordered the Worker's Party Army to move towards New Freeport to put down the communist rebels.

The first two government units in the area were an Anti-Tank platoon and a platoon of the President's Guard. They set up roadblocks to keep the rebels out of New Freeport.

As the jeeps sped down the road, they were engaged by the brave warriors of the President's Guard. Two of the rebel vehicles were destroyed!

Rebel tanks advance and destroy civilian farming equipment as they terrorize the countryside!

The leftist reveal an ambush and a large group of fighters near New Freeport!

The communists commit further atrocities at the Highway 2 bridge.

The mighty President's Guard finish wiping out the jeep-equipped troops!

More communists arrive, this time from the south west, heading towards the New Freeport - M'bungo bridge. You can also see the terrorists making their way into New Freeport, sacking and pillaging as they go.

The vile rebels wipe out the brave defenders of the bridge. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten!

More of our Glorious President's brave soldiers make it to the battle! It has been a long trek in pouring rain but the tide will surely be turned now. New Freeport must be kept at all costs.

One of the communist armored cars burns as the sun begins to set. Death to the rebels! Long live President Johnson!

As you can clearly see from the pictures,your government forces are beginning to mop up the rebellious terrorists. The Worker's Party Army has begun setting up artillery and the armored column is about to retake the New Freeport-M'Bungo Bridge. A company of the newest WPA troops is establishing a perimeter around New Freeport to trap the rebels to make certain none escape. It is also now known that MCC* lieutenant Tanaka Jones was killed by the valiant President's Guard! Truly a great victory for the President's forces!


This game of AK47 Republic took place Saturday evening. I asked my wife if she'd like to play one of my games and she said "sure!" She's never played a "proper" wargame before so there was a wee bit of learning curve involved with things like "die roll modifiers" and "how to measure distances when moving tanks." I chose AK47R primarily because it is just fun. It's not replete with minutia and there isn't anything in the way of complex mechanics. She enjoyed it tremendously.

I must be VERY clear on this next point - she won the game, hands down. The final score was something like 83-46 in favor of the filthy, nasty MCC Communist Rebels. She captured and held all three objectives and handed my WPA Dictator's force its butt. As is often the case, I (as the defender) only had two units on the board for most of the game. I did eventually get all of my reinforcements but it was way too late to make a difference. 

You can see here that she's got it well in hand. This was the final turn, after moving but before shooting.

An amusing picture during the game. My son created his own Bifröst bridge for the dead warriors...

It was a very enjoyable game and most importantly, she's up for another! Woo Hoo!

* - Militia Campaign for the New Congress