Saturday, December 30, 2017

Miscellaneous gaming and painting

I got a bit of time in at the painting table over the holidays. I finished off the last of the HO-scale buildings that I picked up in October at the railroad swap meet. I picked up this one because I liked the water tower but did not realize that it was an N-scale building until I got home and got to looking at the doorways.

Fortunately, windows are basically scale-less so I added two big roll-up doors at the front that are HO scale and painted it anyway as a small garage or warehouse.

We got a few new games for Christmas, including Forbidden Desert, Love Letter, and Pandemic: Reign of Cthulhu (all of which we've had out several times).

I also finished the tiny Federation fleet I started this fall. There are 22 (?) ships in all and the painting was fiddly. This was my first time trying 3-D printing and it effect was pretty good.

I added in a 54mm figure for scale in the picture below. I'm onto the matching Klingon fleet right now with all of the ships base coated and the nacelle details done. I'm going to try a more elaborate paint scheme on one to see how that looks.

I had a very hard time getting a sharp shot of the finished ships (which are quite slick) but I noticed that the video function on the camera did a much better job up close than did the photo function.

We also build some more Lego terrain... err... buildings. In this case, a very nice little Christmas rail station.

Up next: I'm hosting a game today and it is club night this week so there should be pictures of that. I'm also working on more 54mm AWI provincials and some 25mm figures I got for Xmas.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Some Battledore Goblins

Jess and I managed to get some gaming in on the holidays and actually won a game of Zombicide!

I also got in some time at the painting table. A few years back, I decided to paint the various Battledore 1st Edition figures I had. In part, that was to spiff up my Battlelore games and, in part, to use the figures for other 15mm fantasy gaming (such as Dragon Rampant).

After I finish the project, I noticed I was short on goblins and dwarves and have been on the look out for additional troops (and troop types). I found some discounted boosters at Mission Fun and Games a few weeks back and bought two packs of goblins.

These packs added some heavy foot with spears as well as some light missile troops. There were also some drummers which would do as command figures. Overall, a good deal!

These guys significantly added to the various sculpts I have already and beefed up the army numerically. I may return for more. I also keep looking for a decent price on the Battle of Westerros figures but have yet to find any that make me want to bite.

Up next: Some 54mm AWI gaming, I think! And probably some more 54mm painting as well.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

The War on Christmas

Last Christmas, I started eyeing my daughter's collection of holiday lego for their gaming potential. Over the year, I slowly put together a festive game for the club's last night of the year using Pulp Alley. There were four factions with variously intersecting interests and conflicts. We start with Santa:

Then we turn to his newly unionized elves and their allies.

Of course, Darth Vader makes an appearance.

And finally, some meddling kids from Hogwarts arrive.

Players drew briefing at random and then opened up their bag of troops. Troop placement was blind (which didn't create as much chaos as I thought it might) and we ended up (clockwise from top) Lord Vader, Hermoine, Elves, and Santa) entering on discrete sides.

Vader's force consisted almost entirely of gangs which were quickly thinned out by other players. I'd make the gangs a bit more powerful in future games.

I ended up playing one of the sides and pretending I didn't know the ins and outs. Fortunately, my lousy strategy meant I ended up squandering my troops without accomplishing any of my missions! But I did enjoy running a group of Wobs around the gaming table.

The other players quickly moved to complete minor plot points while avoiding the wandering carollers (who triggered a challenge if you got within 3 inches of them). This also added various hairy allies to their gangs.

The completion of three minor plot points caused the major plot point (an Igloo with the power source inside) to appear in front of Lord Vader.

He and Santa's minions duked it out while Vader set up his run towards the south side of the board. In the south, the elves' new Yeti ally duked it out with the boys of Gryffindor. The Boy Who Could Not be Killed sure managed to get knocked down a lot... .

Vader eventually marshalled up his meat-shields... errr... loyal stormtroopers and ran for it. We called the game as the store was closing and Vader won in points, followed closely by Santa. Scott and I had embarrassingly low point totals that the history books don't record.

Thanks to Terry for the loan of his winter trees and the store for the loan of a winter mat. If I was to do this again, I would reduce the figure count (to maybe five or four units per side) to get the game going faster. I'd also shrink the foot print slightly to 4x4.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

54mm AWI: Team Burgundy

No, not the region of France, but rather the colour of their jackets. More of the endless hordes of AWI provincials that I'm trying to churn through. 

I had real problems getting good shots--might be related to my camera's aversion to reds (especially red over a white undercoat) so the colours are kind of wonky in these picks.

Up next: Yes, more AWI plus a report on Tuesday's club game.

Saturday, December 16, 2017


I popped over to Bruce's for a game of Vikings 878 on Tuesday. We'd tried this at the club a few months back but I was keen for a second go. Bruce took the role of the blood-thirty invaders.

His first move was to land at London (which makes sense, given the map). He scored it and part of Kent early on.

I then pushed him back to the shores. My goal was to limit his space to expand (which complicates the defence a lot). His dice were notably bad and mine were hot. I'm not sure containment would be viable without the favour of the dice gods.

Bruce pushed against inland and also landed in the north. My dice were good enough that, by this time, I had all of my green troops on the board and most of my blue available. That makes it hard to the viking to capture my reinforcement points and also less useful strategically.

The tide swung back against the vikings and, shortly after the pic below was snapped, they were eliminated from the island.

Fortunately for Bruce, he had last go in this round and managed to land a sizeable force in the north to stay in the game. But we were in the second half and one of my truce cards had already been played (no sign of the other truce card, though).

Bruce pushed south but just had terrible luck in combat. There was literally nothing to be done. He had good strategies but even my Fyrd proved worthy opponents for his beardos.

We called the game at this point as there was no reasonable prospect of viking victory. An odd result. Some nice mechanics still--the Fyrd are a lovely way to simulate a local defence factor but include a random element. Same with the viking reinforcement card draws.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

54mm AWI Provincials

I'm back to 54mm to try and finish off the troops I need for the scenarios in Tricorne. What I have left are a few cannon, some guys in fussy kilts, and a monstrous lot of provincials and militia.

I'm going to try for one unit per week. This week is Team Beige! No historical reference just a generic troop of provincials recruited by some guy with a barn full of tan coats. A real mix of manufacturers add some variety to the built and kit of each fellow.

Overall, good enough. I have a second unit drying now and only 8 more units to go... . Off to Bruce's tonight to try Vikings 848 again. Then the club next week. Need to finish up some suitable winter terrain.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Pulp Alley Cowboys

Bruce brought out a game of Pulp Alley and some cowboys to the club this week. The terrain is all new paper terrain he has been building. Overall, a nice little set-up that nests in one box.

The objective was for Player 1 to come on in the bottom middle of the photo above, move to the top of the photo, break a guy out of jail and then get off either of the lower board edges. Players 2 and 3 converged on him from the left and right while reinforcements for Player 1 entered on the bottom of the board.

For the first six turns of the game, only Player 1 is on the board. He has to pass a plot point each turn (which slows movement) and also avoid randomly wandering clergymen who are on the look out (and are perilous). When Player 1 kills a clergy or at the start of turn 6, the other players arrive.

Game 1 saw Player 1 get to the jail fast then make a break down mainstream, while taking fire from various marshals in buildings.

It was a close run victory for player 1.

We then re-set the board and switched roles. In game 2, Player 1 struggled with both completing perils each turn and with the rabbi and lost a character (and time) getting to the jail.

Player 1 then decided to head for the hills and came under fire from various marshals. Time started to run out and it came down to a canyon shoot out.

Here, the prisoner was recaptured and Player 1 conceded he was out of time. Overall, a neat scenario nicked from Vice Alley, I think. Pulp Alley did a good job of dealing with cowboys.

Next time we'll see how it comes forward in time during a Santa-themed holiday game set in modern times that I'll be running.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Buildings and vehicles

Still grinding out some more of the buildings I bought at the model train swap in October. The first one is a firehall that I have owned at least four times in my life at various stages. This one required a new door on the front and some paint.

The decals are from an old HO-scale town set I bought maybe five years ago. The car is just a Matchbox or Hot Wheels sedan that I have had for awhile. Below we have a second building that was more beat up. I made the side a dry goods store while the front has a book shop and a pipe store.

The news van and the cop car are new. I did slight paint improvements on each. Te cop car got a better light bar and the van got its head and taillights painted. They are too small for the figures but match the terrain (which is basically what they are) pretty well.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

More buildings and fences

I was quite pleased to find a rooming house at the model train swap meet as Gotham is almost devoid of places were people actually live.

This was a nice model. The only difficulty was installing window glass after the fact. The interior of the building is narrow and, in places, very constricted. Even tweezers were trick to manipulate when doing the top floor.

I also completed the painting of 20 sections of stone walls. Man, there were a lot of surfaces to deal with on these fences! Dull-coating took forever. The effect is nice enough though and fences are always useful.

Up next: Two more buildings (including a fire hall) are underway. Then I need to get back to some 54mm AWI guys.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Congo at the club

Bruce hosted another game of Congo at the club last night. Each player came in from a separate corner. Winner was the person with the most victory points at the end. Victory points could be gained (at least on my briefing sheet) for killing units, digging up the treasure hidden in the village in the middle, killing the guardians of the treasure, and spiriting the treasure off the board (exit point determined by game play).

Bruce's terrain was very nice, including a couple of animal bases from an old Airfix zoo animals set.

The open stages saw two-on-two conflicts emerge, as Bruce's forces (below) tangled with Terry's forces near the village.

Richard and I duked it out on the other side of the board, fighting over a marker to determine which corner of the board would be our exit point. Some very bad die rolls during the evening meant most combat was ineffective (although Terry's dice were notably hot).

Below, Bruce's soldiers advance on the village while Terry moves to intercept.

The first wave of locals greets Bruce's soldiers. Bruce was very focused on the treasure and sacrificed some units to buy time for his snipers and diggers to get to work.

Eventually, Bruce cleared the guardians, dug up the treasure, and then the chase was on! Bruce's exit point was my starting corner. This worked out well for me as my own efforts to deploy had been shabbily organized and poorly executed so I had a lot of guys in front of him.

Meanwhile, Terry and Richard started converging behind him! Most of Bruce's forces were wiped out during delaying actions. Some how my last few pictures have disappeared but the upshot was I greased his remaining treasure carriers (below) and picked up the treasure and continued running towards my corner.

Terry tried everything to interfere and then Richard made a last ditch effort with Tarzan to pin me. Fortunately, neither of us could roll worth beans and I managed to retreat in a helpful direction. We called the game with a close win for the Emir.