Saturday, January 28, 2017

Punic Wars and 13 Days

With my life momentarily under control, I drove out to Bruce's Tuesday night for some gaming (insane fog on the way back!). He pulled out The Punic Wars, an old hex-and-counter game that we're going to use to drive another Aurelian campaign.

Pretty easy rules, no set game length, easy conversion of board gaming factors to minis. Hannibal got uppity right out of the gate, moving through Gallica, down through Italy to attack Rome (the turn after the shot below). I had just enough time to march a field army into place to set up the first  miniature battle that we'll fight next time.

At the same time, I sailed from Sicily to besiege Carthage. I am hopeful that a win at the gates of Rome will allow me to redeploy additional troops south and rub some salt into his wounds (or at least his fields).

With not enough time to fight the miniature battle but still some time on our hands, Bruce hauled out 13 Days. This is a 3-turn game about the Cuban missile crisis based on the mechanics of 1960: Election. I managed to turn the world day-glo in the first turn (oops! Trump moment!) so we reset and played again.

Very fun game (Twilight Struggle lite). I was way ahead on prestige points in the second game. Except I didn't think through the last card I played and Bruce turned it around on me and, again, I caused an nuclear inferno. This gave Bruce the win, although I imagine this is considered a marginal victory!

Good stuff! I'm working on some 54mm Hessians and am hopeful Bruce and I can continue with the Aurelian campaign next week.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

54mm British Grenadiers and lights

No gaming for me this week as club night interfered with my turn to host the local gardening club. But I did get a bunch of painting done. This week I finished off some A Call to Arms plastics.

First up were some British grenadiers. Lovely figures--a real dream to paint.

Below I have compared them to All the King's Men. ATKM is a touch larger. Both are nice and I have another order in for some more ATKM figures to round out some units.

I also did some lights. These are from the American Maryland Militia box. Apparently there is a British lights box but I have yet to see it available anywhere. Anyhow, these guys more or less look the part.

One bayonet stubbornly refused my efforts to correct its bend. But otherwise a great set.

Here they are with the ATKM's lights. In the end, I decided to order four more ATKM lights to round out the 12 guys I need for the Tricorne orbat and transfer the A Call to Arms guys to the British cavalry--they will do as dismounted dragoons.

Up next: I hope to try out some Musket and Tomahawk with Bruce soon. In the meantime, I have a bunch of 54mm Hessians on the painting table.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Aurelian and 54mm AWI

I missed the club last week but I did get some gaming in this week. Braving bad roads (mostly in the city!), I drove out to Bruce's and we played a battle in our Boudicca campaign. Similar to last time: Romans must control two objective markers (sheep) in 10 turns.

The choice for the Britons is set up mid board and hope to fight the Romans in bad going (where the Romans are penalized) or set up as far away as possible and hope to run the Romans out of cards or turns. I tried the bad-going option last time and narrowly lost. So this time I set up and waited.

Bruce eventually got to me after five or six turns of movement and skirmishing. He had to burn some good cards to do it and also left about 1/3rd of his force behind. Eventually the lines came to blows. I took the worst of that (weaker units and some bad card play) but I managed to stall him. I then used my chariots to flank attack from the right to great success.

So I won this one. But it barely. Like two or three cards difference barely. That pushed us back to the board game Druid that we used as the campaign engine and we played out the last six turns. Things were fairly uneventful and, to my surprise, the Britons won.

I was really aggressive at the beginning and burned the crap out of SE Briton and I think that was the difference. But I was pretty surprised to have won because I thought Bruce clearly outplayed me on the game board and the miniatures table.

Our thought is to try a Punic Wars campaign next. I'm keen to try out a more complex set of armies (you got your phalanx in my elephants! and you got your elephants in my phalanx!). The board game mechanics also look a bit more contemporary (man, I hate stacks of counters).

I alo did a bit of painting. This week I finished four 1/32-scale A Call to Arms Maryland infantry to flesh out the continental units for Tricorne. Nice figures--I wish they did more AWI boxes.

Here are a couple of snaps with All The King's Men, A Call to Arms, and Armies in Plastics, side-by-side. You can really see the difference in the sculpts.

The left two are clearly wargaming miniatures while the right is clearly a toy soldier (pudgier, less detail). To be fair, I also painted them differently to emphasize the best points of each sculpt.

I received a shipment of A Call to Arms and Imex plastics to help round out the rebel forces. This will be a bit of a back seat as I finish of some British lights and grenadiers. I am also waiting on a shipment of Hessians.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

More Pandemic Legacy and 54mm militia

I missed the club this week due to illness. But I did get some gaming in at home. We played the February and March turns of Pandemic Legacy (Season 1) and managed two more wins.

As the months have worn on, we've been introduced to new mechanics (an incurable disease, the quarantine action), a few new characters and structures (army bases), and we've been modifying the game board (recording outbreaks, making certain diseases easier to cure).

Because we've been successful, our research funding has been cut which limits the number of event cards we can put in the deck each time. This is a nice balancing mechanism (when we lose, our funding goes up) but it shortens the game if you are successful and takes away important events! We've started to select as upgrades a few events that always appear in the deck (i.e., stickers that attach to city cards).

I've also continued painting in anticipation of meeting the orbat for Tricorne when it is released. These American militia are from A Call to Arms and are very nice plastics. I wish they did more than two boxes!

I painted these guys mostly with washes to give them a more ragged look. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out, especially given how fast the painting went.

The one figure I'm not super chuffed about is the third one (below). I often forget how washes mess with colours and he turned out super bright! Not as bad as the red wash I did last year (pink shirt anyone?) but a bit of a surprising result nonetheless.

Anyhow, they will fill out the ranks of the American militia and lights well enough. I was painting them to match some similar guys in hunting shirts from All The King's Men.

The ATKM figure is on the left (below) and I think the match is close enough. The details on the A Call to Arms figures is about the same (versus the chunkier sculpting on the Armies in Plastic regulars I have been painting).

Up next: I hope to finish an Aurelian campaign with Bruce on Tuesday. I have some more American regulars ad some British grenadiers underway. And I have two orders out to (almost) finish up the figures I need for Tricorne (also need to place an order with ATKM but that requires more cash!).

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

Rather than writing a 2016 wrap-up, I thought I'd start out the new year looking forward instead. At home we're working our way through the opening stages of Pandemic Legacy. While permanently altering a board game (thus making it disposable) rubs me the wrong way, I'm thinking of this as an experiment.

Below you can see we've had our first outbreak in south Africa and Johannesburg has a level one panic sticker attached to it. As panic rises, it gets hard to access the city and it may fall into rioting and implode.

I've also been painting. This is the British part of an Armies in Plastic box. I think there are 13 fellows here, representing a generic regiment of the line.

Nice figures, only one really bad bend I could not remedy (droopy bayonet), and I painted them to match an earlier unit so the figures are interchangeable for when Richard Borg's AWI game finally drops.

Below are two recently painted figures and one from an earlier grouping--close enough that I have to look to tell them apart.

Up next: Well, Bruce has promised to bring some Aurelian to the club and then I hope we can finish out Aurelian/Druid campaign the next week. Bruce has offered to act as quartermaster if I run some Musket and Tomahawk games so I need to make some play aids and an orbat. I also have a bunch more 54mm AWI on the painting table and I'd like to plan for an Xmas-themed 2017 club game.