Projects line up for 2013

Assuming the world doesn’t perish in a great fiery cataclysm tomorrow (although with the paucity of posting you could be forgiven for thinking that I had already gone that way), the following are the wargaming projects I have earmarked for completion in 2013.

1. The French Revolutionary Wars. This is my ongoing 15mm project that I hope to have completed and ready to game with by the end of January. A month ago I was on track for this, but then I just got so busy that my production line of painting halted completely.  I’m looking at solo gaming this using an adaptation of Neil Thomas’ rules in his Introduction to Wargaming book. I love the basic simplicity, but I have altered the structure to make it simultaneous phases allowing all units the opportunity to move and fire. I’ve also added a command structure with a purpose, so I’m looking forward to trying this out.  I plan to game out the Battlegames tabletop teasers and scenarios out of Charles Grant and Stuart Asquith’s Wargames Scenarios.

2. Star Wars. I’m pretty happy with the adaptations I’ve made to the basic FUBAR rules and the lists I’ve created. I’ve had several games now, but I keep forgetting to take my camera, so no battle reports I’m afraid. Anyway, I’m just painting up all of the bases unit by unit at the moment, and this looks due to be finished  at the beginning of next year. I had considered repainting the old prepaints, but it has occured to me how much less stressful it is not to worry about chipping paint jobs. I have no qualms with handling the figures indelicately and for that reason I don’t think that I will bother. It is not, at least, a priority.

3. Superheroes. I’m just getting more and more into this project, despite the fact that I am still not sure exactly how the rules will work. I have Supersystem, but to be honest, I’ve read through and had a couple of trial solo games, but the rules just don’t work for me. I like simple, and although many people have commented that these are simple, I don’t find this so. I’ve discovered some rules written by Pete Jones of Freewargamesrules which, like FUBAR are written on one sheet of A4. I’ve read through them and find them very elegant. I have some ideas to add to them which I’ve been dreaming up over the last few days, although I haven’t yet put pen to paper.  I’ve also been building up a cityscape terrain and repainting the odd character here and there. Below are a couple of my efforts.

Confronting Magneto 1

And a close up of the figures. Recalling the first issue of X-Men, it is the original X-Men vs Magneto. Although versus the modern versions of the most uncanny teens of all I think the master of magnetism is in a bit of trouble. Then again, the odds are pretty good that Jean Grey will actually be dead within a few seconds, as is her wont.

Confronting Magneto 2


4. The Yom Kippur War. This is all painted now, with an accumulation of 21 lovely T-55s. The terrain is done too. So all that is left is to actually playtest the lists we have for 3rd edition. I’m determined to do this in 2013, along with writing some scenarios based on the fighting in the Sinai.

T 55s charge

‘So Shmuel, another boring day sitting on this hill… Hang On! WTF!’

Yes it is a T-55 parking lot – so actually quite realistic for some of the Egyptian tank attacks in 1973. Still, I wouldn’t want to be in one of those two Sh’ots. Quite impressed I got all of the T-55s into the picture actually.

5. The Three Musketeers. Unless it is sci-fi or superheroes I am making 15mm (18mm) my scale of choice, basically because of the interchangeability of scenery and the swiftness of painting. I purchased all of the different packs in the Blue Moon Miniatures Three Musketeers range because I couldn’t resist the figures or the idea of gaming it. I’ll be using Flashing Blades from Ganesha Games and these are the first few figures that I’ve painted.

Three Musketeer fight

‘Ah Monsieur! You giggled! Your giggling is an insult to my honour. Prepare to fight to the death!’ 

Yet again our heroes skewer their enemies over an insignificant matter which would be indefensible in a court of law today, but which was apparently a perfectly reasonable incitement to kill in the France of Louis XIII. Anyway, they are the cardinal’s men, and obviously baddies that deserve it.

Close up of Aramis dueling away.

Aramis en garde

6. The Great War. All based up and ready for undercoating, these are the 18mm Blue Moon Manufacturing British and German Late War figures. This is a major project, not because of the figures, but because I am going to construct a detailed 4′ x 4′ trench system for them. I’ve weighed this up a lot. My favourite period to game is 1918 where the lines were much more fluid, and for that modular free-standing trenches would be sufficient. But I might want to fight out earlier battles, and in 1918 there were still trench lines that were the old ones from the battle of the Somme and the Hindenburg line which had been reoccupied and were fought over. So I am going to go the whole hog and construct a system.  I’m looking at using the Too Fat Lardies rules – Through the Mud and Blood, and have recently made up a series of cards for them.

Also Great War, but a departure from the norm, is the construction of naval fleets for the Germans and the British in 1/3000. I just love Dreadnought Battleships,  especially in this period and so earlier this year I purchased to starter packs from NavWar. I’ve been surfing the net looking at possible rules, and it came down to a choice of Naval Thunder or Victory at Sea (WWI version). After reading several reviews I came to the conclusion that I will go with Victory at Sea, because everyone has said that they are simple – and so am I.

My first completed Battleship is below:

Royal Sovereign side Royal Sovereign stern


HMS Royal Sovereign, ready to set to sea.

So those are the aims for 2013. I have plenty of other projects kicking around which I may get to next year as well, but for now I want to keep it modest and achievable. Then anything else will be a bonus.  More to the point, I want to make sure that I actually play the games that I am working on. Too often my plan is to build and paint a project and i don’t really give the gaming a fair go. The one exception was the Marlburian period where I played a series of solo and opposed games in a linked campaign. The aim is to do something similar with the French Revolution (again set in the imagi-nation of Frankenberg) and the Superheroes (a linked series of adventures).

Well, have a happy end of ages when the long count finally gets to where it is going, and hopefully over the Christmas holiday period (we get 6 weeks in NZ), I can post a little more often.






Burning Jedis – a Star Wars game

Last night we played another Star Wars game, but this time using the FUBAR rules that had been recommended to me by John Leahy on TMP.  A scenario was written up, and I just guessed what would be balanced forces, I didn’t try to use the points system that is also available on the page. In the end, it was a pretty good guess.

The scenario was as follows:

Pelagios 9 is secret research facility set up by the Republic. It is so confidential that only the Supreme Chancellor knows its true purpose. Despite this, the Separatist leaders have somehow found out about it and are preparing to make a raid in order to capture the scientist Cham Zharr (seen above  – he’s the Nikto with the Mon Calamari bodyguard).

In the vicinity of Pelagios 9 are Anakin Skywalker and his padawan Ahsoka Tano with a platoon of Clone troopers. They have been dispatched to aid in the defence of the research facility until more help can arrive.

Meanwhile, Count Dooku and a large droid contingent are leading a lightning raid on the facility. Even Dooku is not 10% sure about what is going on a Pelagios 9, but Darth Sidious is adamant about the importance of this mission (how does he find out about all of this secret stuff?).

So the scenario set up with four units of battle droids and one AAT arriving on randomised table edges. Defending the facility was a squad of Clones and half a dozen Mon Calamari security detail. There were also two Golan Arms defence turrets ( I might repaint these in camo colours – what do you think?)

Reserves arrived at random times based on the whim of the random gamesmaster (me).

The first couple of turns saw the AAT and right flank turret go head to head and not achieve much. A lot of units failed activation rolls and so couldn’t move to allow the ‘on guard’ units to retaliate.

The first Clone reserves to arrive got a rude shock as they headed to the research facility to bolster its defences. Led by Ahsoka they were caught in an ambush by a unit of B2 Battle Droids arriving (below).

On the left flank the Clones faced a unit of B2 Battle Droids ducking and weaving (is that standard operating procedure for droids?)

Oh no! A series of successful activations and Ahsoka’s unit is taken down in a hail of blaster fire – including the Padawan herself!

The Republic’s remaining reserves arrived at the same time as the rest of Separatist forces ( I just wanted to get everything on the table). A LAAT blasted in and dropped Anakin and a clone squad into the middle of the melee.

On the left three ISP speeders arrived and wiped out the B2 droids – and the Sith apprentice leading them.

In order to get the AAT to activate, Count Dooku turns up and jumps in to tell the droids what to do. They say Roger, Roger and ignore him totally.

Clones, the turret and Speeders have to hold off the Hailfire Droids and a Spider droid (see photo below) on the left. The Speeders kept having their guns knocked out, which made them pretty pointless – although I allowed them to fly close and throw grenades.

Boom! the LAAT takes out the AAT – finally! As you can tell from the smoke, the right turret had been taken out in the previous turn by the droid tank, so Dooku was feeling quite proud of himself. Just as well he got to have his moment as he failed his 3+ saving roll and went up in smoke with the AAT.

The clones waded into the droids, led by Anakin, and despite a good kill record, couldn’t clear them out. For some reason Anakin then broke off contact and ordered his squad back.

Which left him vulnerable to a crossfire from the B2 battledroids and a Spider droid.

The last Jedi on the table went down. And at about the same time, as they were not anywhere near capturing him, the Separatist Hailfire droids bombarded the Mon Cal squad and killed Cham Zharr. So in the end no-one held the objective. It ended up a Separatist victory anyway, because it turns out Palpatine wanted the scientist dead and figured that would be the most likely outcome if he sent Dooku in to screw things up again.

Overall everybody agreed they enjoyed the game very much, and the FUBAR rules were extremely easy to pick up. We did think that the Jedi were a bit wimpy and had virtually nil influence on the outcome.  I’m going to power them up a bit (even more h2h attacks and able to strike any model within 3″ – not just base to base) and make them a bit more survivable (give them a number of wounds). We’ll see how that works.

We also had a couple of turns where pretty much no-one passed their activation roll. This caused mirth at the time, but if you play the rules on a frequent basis I can see this getting just slightly irritating. I think that the answer might be to give the squad sergeants a higher activation rating than the rest of the squad, but I’ll think that one through a bit more.

FUBAR did seem to lead to a fairly static sort of firefight game. I’m not sure if that is just because the players couldn’t really be bothered moving, because there were so many missed activations, the defensive nature of the Republic side,or what. With characters a bit more suped up there might be more movement in the future – even if it is a case of rampaging Jedi and Sith doing their thing.

Terry played the Republic side and Adam and Sam (both pretty much newbies) played the Separatists. There was a lot of laughter, so everyone obviously had a ton of fun.


Quick Catch Up

It has been an age since I last posted here, mostly due to it being exam and reporting time, so what little spare time I’ve had I have devoted to painting. There have been a few changes and some new projects, first and foremost in the Star Wars field.

A couple of weeks ago I went out to John’s for Irregulars night and took the Star Wars figures complete with all of the Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition modifications. I was quite tired but I also felt that the expanded numbers of figures had resulted in a really bogged down game.  Now I am quite often a bit drained on games night and like to play games with nice simple rules that are intuitive. One reason that Flames of War and Black Powder have been such a hit I guess. So I started writing my own simple Star Wars rules. Then I realised that I was writing the Lord of the Rings/Legends of the Old West rules out.  So I stopped writing rules and started writing stats. I will publish them on here when they are complete.

Some pictures from the game:

In other news, new projects include:

15mm Seven Years War. Yep, I swapped my US FoW army for 2 unpainted armies of Prussians and Austrians.

Dux Bellorum Arthurian in 15mm. I’ve put in my order to Splintered Light minis and my pre-order at Book Depository. Really looking forward to this.

That’s all I have time for now, but I’ll post again very soon. We have another games night this Friday, so I should be able to put up a battle report for Flames of War.


Star Wars set up

Not a game as such, but I did just feel like putting some figures on the table and taking some photos of a scenario I am thinking of playing out. It involves a Separatist assault on a Republic base just being set up on a fringe world. The main objective is to take out the long-range Turbolaser which is threatening Separatist shipping in the area.  Hoping to lure out some of the Separatist big guns like Grievous and Dooku, The Republic forces have prepared a decent ambushing force including Yoda, Anakin and Obi-Wan. Why is Padme there? I don’t know, but I have a figure of her and she is on the table too.

The table layout. The separatist assault is heading length-ways down the table.

The Separatist Battle-line advances.

Yoda leads forward a Wookie battlegroup.

Anakin and Obi-Wan lead the Clone ambush on the other flank.

Oops! One of the Clones trips three mine droids! Hang on… how could Mine droids get planted when it is a Republic ambush? Ummm… Meanwhile:

Padme and R2 with the clones at the platform. They are here to… ummm… Meanwhile:

The Turbo laser guarded by a Clone trooper. This used to be a GI Joe Heavy Artillery Laser, but has been chopped and repainted. Mostly because I wanted some thing to offset the fact that the Droids have two whopping great Battletanks now!

Count Dooku and his Commandos. Alongside him is a Sith assassin to use for a bit of nastiness.

I still plan to use Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition all modded up for my Star Wars games. The rules are secondnature to me, and always give a fun game. I’ll do a proper report the next time they hit the gaming table, but at the moment I’m busy with the return to school, complicated by waiting for baby number three to appear any day, so I have done very little painting or gaming.

The one thing I must get around to is posting a review of Mark Sims’ ‘March Attack’ rules. He sent these to me to write a review on them,  and I have been thinking about how I will go about this. I must get onto it.


Wookie wonders

The Irregulars games night last night featured our first Star Wars game using the Star Wars Miniatures Battle figures and a modification of the Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition rules.  The scenario was ad hoc and consisted of the Separatists holding four terrain features, one of which was the entrance to an underground droid manufacturing factory.  The Republican forces had to occupy the terrain for a full turn looking for an entrance before they were told whether they were in the right place.

The Separatists were deployed by me as the umpire, occupying the four key terrain features, but with a secret ability to bring reserves on in ambush.  They could appear from any terrain feature so long as they did not end up within 4″ of an enemy figure.  The Republicans were allowed to come on double their move from anywhere on the board and operate as if they had made a single move.  This simulated their element of surprise.

Forces consisted of:

Republicans: Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi, 4 Wookies, a Clone Commander, a Veteran Clone squad and a standard Clone squad.

Separatists: General Grievous, Jango Fett, Dam Skak (a Sith Acolyte), 3 units of Droids, 1 unit of Super Battle Droids, a squad of Neimoidians and 2 Separatist Commandos.

The Clone forces turn up behind the Battle Droids guarding the northern outpost.

“Quiet day today, sarge.  Say… did you hear something?”

While the Wookies and the Jedi appear on the Eastern side.  Yoda and Obi Wan charge straight into melee with a droid squad.

The Wookies burst around the corner and fire a burst at the Neimoidians on the Eastern bunker, killing one.  It isn’t easy shooting when you get your finger hair caught in the trigger.

Obi Wan and Yoda scythe through some battle Droids on the South-Eastern generator.

“Roger Roger!” The Battle Droids take 2 hits from the Clone fire and failing their morale test run for the nearest cover.

“Uh-Oh!  Umm, Yoda, I could do with some help here.”

“Busy I am.  Your own s***, you must sort”

General Grievous, Dam Skak and the Super Battle Droids spring their ambush, with Obi Wan firmly in their sights!

The Wookies charge the Neimoidians and remove their least important limbs.  Yoda leaps onto the bunker to check it for the underground entrance.

Greivous and Skak teach Obi Wan the meaning of ‘more than you can chew’.  Two wounds on the Jedi and none in return.  To be fair, his dice were so appalling we started calling him Obi One from then on.

The Wookies move on from the Neimoidians who are busy trying to work out why they ever bothered to leave the Zuskat farm back home. Note: a Zuskat is a sort of cross between a mushroom and a guniea pig – a real Neimoidian delicacy. On their way to the central objective they come under fire from the Super Battle Droids and their fur proves to be rather ineffective armour.

Jango Fett and the two Separatist Commandos make an ambush on the Clone squad headed for the central objective.  The Clones fail their morale test and head for the cover of some convenient rocks.

The Wookies move into the assault , looking to mince up some droids, but OH NO!  Wookie ones! Battle Droid NV388-94519 is a hero! “Two Wookies, no problem.”  The other droids comment on the fact that the Wookies were already wounded.

A vista of the battlefield. Obi Wan inflicts two wounds on Grievous and using the force flings him 14″ away (which is quite an impressive distance when you are 1″ tall).  Grievous lands hard but makes his armour save, and stands up next to Yoda…

“A Baddie you are. Your arse I will kick.”

But too late for Obi One.  Another poor roll and he is on the ground.  Dam Skak takes off to help out Grievous. Luckily she was in a hurry and didn’t check if Kenobi was Kaput.  I’m pretty sure he’ll pull through, otherwise there is gonna be a major continuity issue that even George Lucas won’t be able to overlook.

Jango Fett rocket packs into battle only to get smashed by a Wookie.  Grievous also goes down before Yoda’s lightsabre. Then the Jedi master deals to Dam Skak.  All three will have their bodies whisked away by some astromech droids, because like Obi-Wan, they aren’t allowed to die yet.  We need to save that for the big screen.  Yoda now slashes up the Super Battle Droids, but rolls ones; “When 900 years old you reach, continuously roll high dice, you will not.  Hrmmm?”

With next to no opponents left on their feet, the Republic wins.  Who would have thought that the entrance to an underground droid factory would be this otherwise pointless hatch in the middle of the board?

Boy, that was fun.  With a lot of dead (or incapacitated).  The Warhammer 40,000 2nd edition rules worked really well, despite my rustiness with them.  I last played with them in 1998, which is now much longer ago than I would like to think.  I chose that edition because as far as I was concerned it was the last time that 40K was fun.  Every edition since has, in my humble opinion, sucked.  I think they work great for lightsabre duels, and I used the Psyker phase as a force phase.  I am thinking of changing this though, and integrating force moves into the rest of the sequence (Jedi leaps, hurling objects etc).  I’ll also spend a bit more time on the weapons stats.  Some weapons gaining rapid fire or extra dice for shooting would be good.  Otherwise, as John and Paul commented, it felt just like the movies.  Wookies are big, tough and strong, Stormtroopers and Battle Droids can’t hit the side of a barn and Jedi stride around the battlefield looking for opponents worth their time (swatting aside insignificant  plebs on their way).

Chris and Terry also played an Eastern Front Flames of War game, but I didn’t get around to taking any pictures, I was so absorbed in our stoush.  Chris won, though, which makes me think that Terry will be out for blood next games night.  He won’t like losing three on the trot…