Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas 2014

We had a great family day Christmas!  Read Luke's account of the birth of Christ, as is our family tradition, then into the presents and stockings!  Enjoyed the annual movie (The Hobbit - Battle of the Five Armies) and Chinese Buffet, then spent some time at the hobby table when we returned home.  Probably the best Christmas Day in the past four years!

My Santa was very good to me.  Along with some excellent clothes and ties I did very well on the hobby front as well.  I got a new Dremel tool to help out on vehicle and figure conversions. I also received a couple of new books, The Incomparables - Napoleon's 9th Light Infantry and Bolt Action Tank Wars.  There also are two helicopter models in the mail. I will get some photos up when they arrive.  The big gift was an airbrush!  I have never had one so it will be interesting to get some practice in and see if I can get some of these models built and painted up in the coming months.

Hope you and all your families had as wonderful a time as we did!

Have a wonderful and safe New Year's holiday.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Another Month Down!

Another month and I haven't done much on the hobby front lately.  Over the past 32 days I have only played in three games and I have only painted six measly figures!  I was doing such a good job getting things done, too! Well, I went to Carnage and hosted a War of 1812 Brother Against Brother game.  The game went pretty well, but there is still some work to be done with the OOB's.  Right now the Americans have too many high quality units with tremendous firepower.

I also hosted my friend Andrew and his son Thomas for a game using my modern skirmish rules, Special Operations Forces (SOF).  This is one of two SOF games this month.  The other SOF game was with my friend Ed.  The rules are really coming along, but they need some additional tweaking before setting up the play sheets in the final format.  I hope I will be able to get them in final form in 2015 and start using them for a mini campaign set in my fictitious African country - The Democratic Republic of Moa.

For the next month, my goals are to get in at least one game and paint 20 or more figures.  Hopefully I can keep work under control and get some time to be home and paint.  We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pirate Game Day

Wow!  It has been an entire month since my last post.  Work and personal life has taken a definite bite out of my available hobby time.  Here are some photos from the Pirate game day.  It was an extremely fun time - even though I had to leave the day early.  Enjoy!

Ralph brushes up on the rules before the start of the game.  Not that the person sailing around the largest ship in the ocean needs to consider the rules much!

One of the islands that participants would fight over during the day.

The government frigate.  A real pain in the pirates' butt!  Better behave yourselves within four feet of this bad boy!  This is the reason Ralph didn't need to really know the rules.

Another set of settlements.  As I recall, I had the pleasure of plundering both of these!

Some of the marines and crew manning a government ship.

Another island

The government cutter.  The governor's daughter sailed around on this beauty - and pirates chased it around all day long!

The figurehead on the government cutter.

Captain Randy and his mighty ship.  As you can see the Northern Conspiracy really gets into Pirate Game Day!

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Pirate Game Day Playtest

Club mate AJ hosted a game at his house today to playtest rules and game set-up for the upcoming Pirate Game Day.  Here are a few photos of the event which AJ hosted in his garage.

Not a full size island as we will have on Game Day, this was the pirate haven island for the day.  Note the scurvy rat population among the palm trees!

My ship - "Scorpion" makes her way towards the pirate haven island.  At this point I am actually escorting a prize to cash it in for, well, CASH!  More appropriately - DOUBLOONS!

AJ's ship (left) dodges enemy fire.  The stands are PVC pipes secured to a wooden base with casters.  Note the ships boat on the base of the ship in the background.

Ships prepare to trade broadsides!

It was a beautiful fall day here in NH and being outdoors was a real treat! 

I really enjoyed the game.  The rules we are using are modified 'Limeys and Slimeys' which are simple but fun.  The highlight of this game for me was when I really acted the part and used my ships boat to board/capture a temporarily abandoned ship when the other crew left to search for a buried treasure.  This is one of those games that you just can't take too seriously!

We only had 8-10 ships and at the game day we will have 20 or more.  It should be a good time.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Club Game Night - Brother Against Brother

I had an opportunity to host a Brother Against Brother War of 1812 game at the last game night at our club.  The game featured Americans holding a fort and trying to get relief supplies through British and Canadian troops besieging the fort.  We had a really good time, even though the game started very slowly with really poor movement die rolls for both sides.  This was the first time that I had a chance to get my new Mule train on he table.

Here are a couple of pictures of the guys playing the game.  Many thanks to Owen, Dick, Byron, Randy, Michael and Rob for a great game. Thank you to AJ for taking photos!

Randy, Rob and Owen make British Plans

Owen moves his British/Canadian Forces against the American supply column as Mike looks on from the fort

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Two Games in a Week!

My Command for the evening - An Infantry Squad, 57mm AT Gun, M8 Armored Car and Company HQ Troops

I had an opportunity last Friday to play in a Bolt Action game at my friend Ralph's house.  We had a great time playing in a very large game with 7-8 squads plus vehicles and guns on each side!  We used Ralph's house rules breaking the table into sectors.  The game was hectic and confusing at first -  especially for Earl in the center sector on our side but we eventually got the hang of it and completed five or six turns in a little more than three hours.  Pretty good I think.  Ralph will be making some tweaks before hosting the game at our club game night.  Should be a good time.

Here is another view of the command.  Problem was I didn't move forward much past the stone wall on the left of the picture.

I also had an opportunity to get my butt kicked by my son, Andrew, in a game of Brother Against Brother.  I played the British and he played the Americans in a War of 1812 game.  He did an excellent job maneuvering and getting forces into the attack when he needed to.  The fact that he rolled lights out didn't hurt him either!

I was playing to make sure that I reviewed the rules before I host a game at the club.  I am ready to go for the game night.  Terrain is ok and I think I will have the OOB's and victory conditions set.  The only question is whether or not I will have my mule train ready for the game.

The British get off a volley. doing some damage but not enough to stop the Americans

American infantry moves through the trees to attack the British defending a ford

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Month?

It has been more than a month since I last posted!  Sorry about that!  I have been very busy at work and with life in general.  Aren't we all?

So, for the last few weeks I have been working on two projects.  The first is my Brother Against Brother  (BAB) game coming up for August game night at the club.  The BAB projects have centered around terrain and getting the figures organized.  My friend Earl has loaned me a couple of wagons for the game.  He has great terrain and figures for French and Indian Wars that are also great for my War of 1812 games!
Fort Allen.  The main objective of the upcoming Brother Against Brother Game.

The Bridge just outside of Fort Allen.

The trail leading to Fort Allen.  The wagons are on loan from Earl.  Where are those British, Canadians and Indians going to come from?

Close up of some of the hills and woods along the trail.

The other project is converting my WWII 20mm collection to Bolt Action basing.  I have had the figures based for all kinds of different game systems, but now they are ready for Bolt Action!

I hope to have a game or two with my son, Andrew before he heads back to school.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Meet Me At The Mosque - An Indian Mutiny Game

Last night I had the opportunity to play in a Brother Against Brother (BAB) game hosted by friend and club mate  Byron.  The scenario was East India Company troops supported by loyal Indians such as Gurkhas and Sikhs against mobs of Mutineers.

The victory conditions were simple; move to the mosque and secure the gunpowder cache stored there.  Attaining that goal was more difficult to achieve.  The British were commanded by Ed, Charlie and myself while the the Mutineers were ably led by Robert, Rob, Dave and Chris.

The sides entered at opposite corners of the board, trying to win the foot race to the mosque.  Our plan was as simple as possible.  Charlie had the majority of our troops (Sikhs, Naval Brigade and a couple of EIC squads) and his mission was to get into combat as quickly as possible on the left flank.  Ed took the next largest force (loyal Sepoys, and EIC European infantry) in the center to continue the line and be the base of fire as I advanced with cavalry and the two elite Gurkha squads.  Good plan and Charlie and Ed carried out their part to perfection, if only I could make decent move rolls!

Robert and I had cavalry squads that we charged forward headlong to block enemy infantry from the mosque.  We got one round of melee in, leaving his horse decimated and my squad leaderless.  When I finally got the leader replaced, I charged into the center of the mutineers and was promptly wiped out.  Ah!  Glad to see that I haven't lost my touch in destroying my cavalry command!

I also had the two Gurkha squads, but they had a combination of lead and concrete in their boots and I couldn't get them forward to the mosque!  I actually rolled two inch movements THREE TIMES on 2d10!!!  The last two turns of the game I managed to get a foothold in the mosque, where Robert had managed to get a couple of squads of mutineers.  We entered melee combat, but it was inconclusive and we were locked in melee when Byron called the end of the game.

The mutineers took serious casualties, as they always do.  Charlie did a great job decimating several enemy squads.  Ed added to the mutineer carnage with great long range fire from all his squads.  Havildar Rajput's squad had some especially devastating fire rolls!  But, of course, SGT Zanni took the credit for winning the battle single-handed lay in dispatches and he ended up with the VC and a peerage.

Here are some pictures of the beautiful troops and great terrain that Byron has for the game.  I especially like his buildings.  They are very detailed with complete interiors.

Overall a very fun game, using a great set of rules.  Great game night!  Thanks Byron!

Part of Charlie's Command - Naval Brigade Infantry and EIC lads.

Remnants of Mutineer Cavalary Squad after Ed's infantry got done with them.  The next turn a cavalry vs. cavalry melee took care of the rest.

British EIC cavalry after the melee.

Ed's Infantry force including some loyal Sepoys.

Center of the British line towards the end of the game.  This was a strong position and the Mutineers could not have overcome the firepower that issued forth from this position.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Napoleonic Game Last Friday

I had an opportunity to play in a Napoleonic game last Friday hosted by my friend Ed.  We played a Volley & Bayonet wing scale scenario of Placenoit pitting French against Prussians (of course).  Ed has done an amazing job modifying the basic wing scale V&B rules.  They really play well and I enjoyed the game very much.

Ed also has amassed some incredibly beautiful armies.  Here are some photos of them.

This is one of the regiments of Prussians that I commanded for the evening.

Here is my division command stand.  This was "Me" for the evening!

The Prussians on the move!

The initial assault on the first town sector in Placenoit.

The center of the battle with the Prussians trying to push their way across the road down the center of the photo!

Enjoy the photos!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Some Really Beautiful Terrain and WWII Wargame Figures

  Here are some beautiful 28mm vehicles and matching terrain from my friend Ralph.  I think these are among his best work, which is saying a lot as he does amazing work in all time periods and scales of figures.  Enjoy these photos!

May Game Night

   I played in a great Napoleonic wargame last night at our game club monthly game night.  The rules were written by my friend Charlie and they are called "Napoleon's Rules of War".  The scenario was Barrosa, 1811 and pitted French troops against a combined Anglo-Spanish force.  The game was really pretty close.  Unlike the historical battle which saw the Spanish fire one volley and run away leaving the British to defeat the French, our game saw the Spanish do almost all the fighting.  The French pushed the Spanish hard and they were just preparing to develop a major attack on the British position when we had to call the end of the game.

Overall, the rules play very well for a tactical Napoleonic game.  In our particular scenario there were about three divisions (six brigades) on each side and we got about seven turns in a three hour game.  I think the rules are very realistic in the game results.  They definitely favor a player who tries to use combined arms and deploys lines, columns and elite companies in the proper manner.

Here are some photos of the game and troops.

One of the French Divisions

The British Division including the 1st Scots Guards and Coldstream Guards

Two divisions of Spanish troops - The heroes of the battle!

The Spanish Cavalry detachment - never did get to charge!

French and Spanish troops duke it out in the major woods at the middle of the game board.

The French try to turn the British division off their strong position on a hill.

More of the combat between French and Spanish in the woods.
Charlie's troops are very well painted and the organization markers are very clear to the players.  I really had a great time playing this game and I look forward to the next game.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Huzzah! 2014

Well, just got home from. Huzzah!  Had a really good time playing in games on Friday night and hosting a game this AM.  Only had one player for my game, but we played a short game to use the latest changes in the rules.  They worked very well!  Can't wait to try them out on a real scenario soon!

On Friday night I played in a WW I Dogfight game called Aerodrome hosted by my friend Andre.  We had a blast flying three missions and bringing down the English dogs with our clearly superior Fokker Tri-planes.  Well, ok, maybe it was some lucky shots - but it was a victory non-the-less!  Here is a photo of my aircraft from the game.

I also managed to spend a little hard earned cash at the vendors getting Bolt Action rules and the German and British Army Books as well as a couple of 20mm buildings.  Just a little re-basing and I will be ready to to play a game or two of these very nice WW II Skirmish rules.  Can't wait!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Headed to HUZZAH! 2014

Heading to Maine tomorrow to attend the HUZZAH! Wargame Convention.  Looking forward to playing in some games and hosting a game on Saturday AM.  This is a big trial for my heavily revised Modern skirmish rules - Special Operations Forces.

Probably will give into the allure of new lead figures - or more likely some 20mm European buildings.  I also will be looking for some Bolt Action rule books and Army supplements!  I was checking out the 20mm figure and vehicle inventory and I have over 110 figures and around 20 vehicles already painted and ready to be based on individual stands!  I think I would be able to set up quite a few interesting scenarios with what I have ready to go so I want to secure the rules and get to re-basing.  I will have to keep the blog updated with those efforts.

I will be taking some photos and posting them here on the blog when I return.

Have a great weekend.  Andrew completes his finals tonight and will be home tomorrow.  I will see him on Saturday evening so that will be another great part of the weekend!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

First Bolt Action Game - Excellent!

Last night I played in my first Bolt Action WWII Game hosted by my friend Ralph.  I was an excellent game pitting an attacking American Infantry Company against a defending German Infantry Company.  The first time I looked at the table, I didn't think the Americans had a chance!  Making a few good deployment choices and using a base of fire and maneuver concept helped the Americans though and they managed to squeak out a marginal victory!  Here are a couple of photos of the excellent terrain and figures that Ralph has put together for the rules.  Just awesome!

My Command for the evening - An American Infantry Platoon of Two Squads and a Weapons/Command Team

The German defenders await the attack.  A strong position with a small stream, stone walls and a town!

On the first shot of the game the German Pak40 destroyed the American armor support!
Here is my unit forcing the stream defenses and bringing the fight to the Germans!
Actually this is not the first time I have EVER played Bolt Action.  It was, however, the first time that I played the rules correctly and with someone who would explain the rules to me BEFORE I was expected to make a game decision.

THANKS Ralph  for a really great game!  Thank you also to my fellow American commanders - AJ, Dave and Charlie and our capable enemy commanders - Ed, Owen and Rob.