Monday, July 29, 2013

Look, Sarge, It's Not Quite The SevenYears War

As many of my readers know, one of my many projects that I enjoy is participating in the club's "Not Quite The Seven Years War" Imagi-Nations project. In the project, club member's  build their own Imagi-nation armies using homecast 40mm Prince August figures. My nation is North Polenburg, and over the years I have collected a very large force of two Infantry Regiments, one Dragoon Regiment, two cannon and crew, and various company level units including Engineers, Militia, and Hussars. I recently posted a battle report HERE on this blog, that those who are interested can check out if they wish.
   So, I got in my mind earlier this year, that it might be cool to start a new project (See this Blog's Name :-) ) and re create the Not Quite Seven Years War (NQSYW) project in 10mm, with the goal to use the 10mm units with our "Look, Sarge, No Charts" (LSNC) rules, where each base equals a regiment.  This way, I wouldn't be limited to commanding not much more than a brigade on the table due to the limits of the 40mm single based figures.  With 10mm figures, and each base equalling a regiment, it is the norm in LSNC for players to control a division.  I could see recreating he whole North Polenburg Army at this scale! (Insert maniacal laughter)
(Click any photo to view it larger)

A Company of the 40mm Queen Jennifer Regiment with the whole regiment in 10mm in front of them
 So with Historicon approaching earlier this month, I set about pre-ordering  from Old Gory, to be picked up at the con, enough of their 10mm SYW figures to build a nice 1-player sized Divisional force as a start to my project. And since Historicon, I have set about recreating my existing 40mm Regiments in 10mm.  I purchased enough to do a Division consisting of two Infantry Brigades of 3 Regiments each, with a support Battery, and an attached Brigade of 3 Dragoon Regiments.
A Company of the 40mm 2nd Regiment (The Hawks), with their Hawk mascot standard, and the complete regiment in 10mm with the standard recreated, now on foot
Now, the hope is that a few of the other club members will be interested enough in this project to join in and create some opposition forces for me to battle, and maybe some allies as well.  If not, I will have to consider doing so myself.  The nice thing about this project is it's proving quick to paint, and the outlay for a single player sized force, with the Old Glory Army Discount, was only about $50.
My esteemed self, The General Lord Palmer, 1st Brigade Commander, and his 10mm counterpart.

The two regiments and their commander. I am currently working on the third regiment for this brigade.

A section of two 40mm guns and crews of the North Polenburg Artillery, and a complete battery in 10mm

A squadron, in 40mm, of the famed 32nd Dragoons on their all white chargers, and the whole 32nd Dragoon regiment in 10mm.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

HAWKs' Historicon 2013 "Armies For Kids" Project is a Big Success.

The HAWKs ran their third annual "Armies for Kids" project game at Historicon on Saturday afternoon.  The game was held as part of the HAWKs' Kids Table program in which the club runs a series of games designed especially for kids on two specially designated tables all day Friday and Saturday at the con.  Eric Schlegel volunteered to run the "Armies for Kids" game this year, and he had a full house of five eager players.
GM Eric Schlegel, (in baseball cap), asked a player an ACW trivia question.
  This year's project was Civil War themed and each kid was awarded complete 54mm Union and Confederate Armies as well as a box of terrain, after the game. During the game, Eric asked players ACW trivia, and those that got the right answer got special bonuses in the game.
A young commander moves his troops.
The kids played using the exact same armies, and some of the terrain, that they were going to be presented with. The young generals had a great time, as did the onlooking parents. And it was great to see the future of the hobby involved in the game.

After the game the kids were delighted to get their armies, several not realizing that they were going to get free armies in this game. 
Gamemaser Eric Schlegel (in center) and his happy generals show off some of their armies.
An example of what each child received.

The club is already making plans for next year.  We hope to have two games, one of which will be 28mm/30mm Napoleonics, and the other 20mm ACW.  If you have any figures, terrain, or game aids you'd like to donate, please let me know.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Saturday "Look, Sarge, No Charts" Games at Historicon 2013

This past weekend at Historicon 2013 in Fredricksburg, Virgina; the HAWKs ran numerous games using the "Look, Sarge, No Charts" family of rules throughout the con. On Saturday, we ran two large 14 player, two-table, Extravaganza games using the rules.  The first of these, called, "The Goblins are Coming! The Goblins are Coming!" started Saturday morning at 9:00 AM. It was our LSNC Fantasy Extravaganza using 10mm figures and "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" rules, (aka: Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients, and Medieval). These rules are currently underdevelopment, and we hope to have them completed by this time next year. The game was co-GM'd by Buck Surdu and myself.
   (Click on any picture to see it larger) 
Buck Surdu, in blue shirt, answers a player's question during the game's first turn.
   Buck and Dave Wood were scheduled to do a LSNC Napoleonic Extravaganza game after our Fantasy game. So, interestingly, to save time on resetting the whole table for the second game, we used the same scenario and table layout for the Fantasy game that was required for the Napoleonic  game that would follow. Simply replacing building with fantasy versions and adding other fantasy terrain elements here and there across the table. The Napoleonic game, The Battle of Laon, was from the 1814 Campaign, and featured a Prussian Army trying to cut the retreat route of a French Army.  So for our purposes, we replaced the Prussians with the forces of Evil: Goblins, Skeletons, and Wildmen; and the French we replaced with an alliance of High Elves, and Wood Elves. We tried to place the units exactly where their historical counterparts would be: for example, Elven Knights and Wood Elves riding Stags as well as Giant Eagles replacing the French Cavalry, and Goblin Warg riders and Skeleton Knights replacing the Prussian Cavalry.
Elven spearmen force back a unit of giant spiders.
  The victory conditions would be the same from both games. The Elves needed to hold open a retreat route, so victory was determined by who controlled the most of two roads that ran the length down the battle field, joining at a "Y" intersection a few feet before exiting the table behind the Elven forces.  For control of the single section of road from the table edge to this Y a side would be given 2 points for every foot, and for control of the two branches of the road that ran the rest of the table, the sides were given 1 point for each foot they controlled. Control was determined by having no enemy forces cutting the road between your farthest unit on he road and your home edge.
A view of the Elven right flank.
  We had a full roster of players for the game, and after a brief rules description, the game began.  A great thing about the rules, is after just a few turns the players were able to run play the game with little help needed from us GM's
Wood Elves brace for the impact from the seething Goblin horde on the far left of the Elven lines..
The battle was a close fought affair.  The Elven cavalry and spearmen launched into the Evil side's left wing, pressing them very hard.  While on their own on left, the Elves fond themselves being pushed back by hordes of Goblins and their human allies. In the center both sides became embroiled in a bitter fight for control of the city that straddled one of the roads.
Elven stag riders melee with a giant spider

A view down the length of the battlefield from the Evil side's right flank.

The Wood Elf Sorceress, on white unicorn, casts a wall of flame to block a flanking maneuver by the Wildmen
In the end, the game down down to a very close finish, with only a point and a half separating winner, the Elves, from the loser, the Forces of Evil. Everyone had a good time, and twenty feet of table laid out with some many forces, was truly a cool sight to see.
A view of the battlefield near the end of the game.
While we were running our game, James 'Tank' Nickle was across the room running a historical Rome vs Carthage ancients game using the same rules. Entitled, "Look, Sarge, Hannibal's Not Here", it was a Battle of Iberia scenario during the second Punic War.  The game had all it's player slots filled and everyone seemed to have a good time.
Tank, in cap, helps a player during the game.

The Carthaginian army (left and bottom of picture), faces off against their Roman enemies (top of picture)

Roman Legions arrayed for battle.
After our Fantasy battle was over, we quickly reset the table for Buck and Dave's Napoleonic game using the LSNC Napoleonic version: "Fate of Battle"  As mentioned above, this scenario was the Battle of Laon from the 1814 campaign. 
Buck, (in blue shirt,) gets up on the table to help a player with a combat

Prussian columns advance on the French position

Heavy fighting on the French right.
All in all it was a very successful convention for the LSNC author team.  We were able to run some great games for fans of the rules, and introduce a number of new people to the system.  And, we had a great time doing it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

HAWKs Complete 2013 "Armies For Kids" Project

The HAWKs (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers) have completed their 2013 Armies For Kids Project.  This purpose of this annual project, begun in 2011 with a donation of figures from the Wally Simon Estate, is to give free armies and terrain to kids who participate in specially designated kids' games run by the HAWKS each year at Historicon.
   This year the club worked on preparing 54mm Civil War armies from figures generously donated by Randy Seybert.  The club spent the past year preparing and painting enough figures for four lucky kids, who will each get a Union force and a Confederate force along with a bunch of terrain, including several pieces constructed especially for the project by Chris Johnson, who also helped paint some of the figures for us.
A sample of what each child will recieve.
  Then, luckily, in May we received a last minute donation of two boxes of painted 54mm ACW figures from Ross Macfarlane, which now allowed us to expand the project to have enough troops for 5 kids to participate.
  In addition to two boxes full of painted and based figures, each child will also receive several pieces of assorted terrain and some paint and plaster terrain for them to paint, as well as dice and tape measures and other game aids.
  We are already planning next years project which will include 25mm/30mm Napoleonic armies.  If you have any you'd like to donate please contact me at:

Friday, July 12, 2013

They Saved Hitler's Brain!

...And put it inside 10 tons of big stompy armor. Or, at least, that's the thinking behind my latest scratchbuilt project. I was greatly impressed when I recently saw the scratchbuilt Goldfish Mecha Walkers posted on the Irrational Number Line Games website, (See: Here ). These were so imaginative and cool, I knew I wanted to do something similar.  Since I like Pulp and Weird War II gaming, I immediately landed on doing the same thing, but with Hitler's brain.
(Click any photo to see it larger)
It wasn't hard to find the required parts, taking my guidance from the Goldfish Mecha.  i had a few of the Mech Warrior clicky walkers lying around, and a quick trip to the grocery store got me the bubblegum machine prize capsule.  To make the brain I immediately thought of a Tyranid Adrenal Sac, which i had a sprue of in the bits box.  For the tray for the brain to rest in I used the soft cap from a ECW plastic figure sprue.  The mounting rod, was just a piece of generic plastic sprue.
I first removed the Mech from it's clicky base by letting it sit in the freezer overnight, and then popping it of it's base with a hobby knife. I then glued the Mech to a 1.5" fender washer. Next, I had to cut down the head of the Mech model as it was sloped, and I wanted the brain capsule to sit flat. So a few slices with an hobby knife, and the head was nice and level.  I cut a thin crevice down the center of the adrenal sac to make it look more brain-like, and filled in the underside of the sac with some putty to make the brain look more full. Then I assembled the brain, pan, and support rod with plastic glue. To glue the rod to the base of the capsule, and the base of the capsule to he Mech, I used E-6000 all purpose glue.
Next I sprayed the whole thing with Krylon Flat Black Camouflage with Fusion Spray Paint.  I then drybrushed it with a Panzer grey shade, and then a lighter shade of grey for highlights. The brain was painted shades of pink, and the tubes leading into it (which are an inherent part of the adrenal sac sculpt) I painted alternating dark blue and copper.  Finally I added some red details and some metallic bits,and then applied some German decals I had.
When the painting and decaling were complete and dry, I flocked the base of the model. My final step, when the base had dried, was to spray the model with Testor's Dullcote. Then, and when this was dry, snapping the clear capsule into place.
All in all, I'm really pleased with how this turned out, and it really wasn't that complicated to make.  It will be a great addition to my Weird War WWII Collection.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

GASLIGHT at Historicon 2003: 10 Years Ago

With Historicon 2013 just around the corner, I thought it was once again time to step into the old time machine, and take a look at my GASLIGHT games at Historicon ten years ago in 2003. At Historicon 2003, to promote the release of "Battles by GASLIGHT", the big battles supplement to the basic GASLIGHT rules, I ran a couple of 15mm Battles by GASLIGHT" games set on the re-emerged lost island of Atlantis, where the major colonial powers were vying for the island's untold treasures.

Also, I ran a big Civil War by GASLIGHT game in 25mm, featuring a Confederate attack on some incomplete Union fortifications.

And finally, on Sunday, I ran a Bring-Your-Own-Forces game using the underdevelopment "Adventures and Expeditions by GASLIGHT" RPG rules. Players were invited to bring their own figures, and rolled up stats before the game. Interestingly, this was the first incarnation of the "Rescue the Queen from Prussian agents in a Western town" scenario, that I'm running this year, as a regular GASLIGHT game entitled, "Victoria Hawkes Saves the Queen by GASLIGHT"

Monday, July 1, 2013

Another Fun NQSYW 40mm Imagi-Nation Game

Last Saturday some of the HAWKs got together for a game day at my house, with the first game being a Not Quite Seven Years War Imagi-nations battle run by gamemaster Rob Dean. The HAWKs NQSYW project uses 40mm homecast figures, with members designing their own nations and uniforms.  The rules we used were the classic, "Charge!", and the scenario was "Breakout" from the Charles Grant green cover scenario book.
Our initial deployment. Click to see larger.
Once again the forces of the Pragmatic Coalition faced off against our heroic allies of the Northern Alliance.  The scenario brief we received from Rob at the beginning of the game was that our Alliance forces had just conducted a large and successful raid into enemy territory and were now withdrawing with our plunder back to our homeland.  However, we had detected a large and rapidly approaching body of pursuers, so we had chosen to stop part of our forces here at a spot where a single bridge crossed a river, to set up a rear guard and hold off the pursuit while our supplies made it safely to the border.  We were instructed that we needed to hold out for 16 turns.
The opening encounter as our left flank is hit by the enemy's hussars!
To experienced gamers, this seems too simple on the face of it; as bottle-necking the river at the one bridge with our large force would be a piece of cake, so we figured that there must be another enemy force going to enter on one of our flanks on our side of the river.  We didn't have to wait long to find out just what tricks the enemy had up their sleeves, as on turn 1, two squadrons of Wachovian Hussars appeared on our left flank, and immediately charged a cannon that was hanging a little too far out from it's infantry support.  The gunners were wiped out to a man, and the gun captured.
The cavalry battle on the left, as the infanty moves to support
  We quickly responded with a pair of squadrons of Stansbach-Anwatsch Dragoons, and coutercharged the enemy successfully routing them.  Likewise, the North Polenburg Queen Jennifer Regt. stationed on our left, turned to face any additional threats coming from that direction.
The enemy now appears on our right as the Hawks regiment is deploying
Shortly after, we were surprised again, as two companies of Wachovian infantry and a cannon, appeared on our right flank,  running straight into the North Polenburg Hawks Regt., which, suspecting enemy on their flank as well, had been redeploying in the hills to the right when the enemy appeared.  The orange-coated Wachovians charged one company in the flank decimating it as the other tried to form a defense. Not to fear, as the N-P 32nd Dragoons, on their famed white mounts, rode to the aid of The Hawks. Unfortunately they were caught in the crossfire between the Wachovian gun, and two cannons from the enemy's main body which was now entering the table on the far side of the river, and were ultimately shattered.
The view in the center as the Pragmatic Coalition sends their first cavalry unit across the bridge.
Meanwhile, in the center, with both flanks threatened, the enemy set up firing lines on each side of the river, and began to send their cavalry across to push back the Stansbach-Anwatsch Lady Sarah's Robin's infantry regiment holding the center.  Things were looking difficult for us, but we had stabilised our left, and were sending our combined N-P Hussars and S-A Lancers cavalry unit to help stabilize the right. We just needed the center to hold and repel the attacks coming from across the river.
The enemy's cavalry appears in our rear, and is met by a combined unit of our light cavalry
It was at this juncture that a unit of enemy dragoons appeared on the road in our rear making our situation impossible!  We were informed by Rob, that at this occurrence in the scenario, our orders had now been switched from holding the bridge fro 16 turns, to retreating back off the road and saving at least 60% of our force.
The scene towards the end as we desperately try to hold the bridge.
It now became a desperate game, as we figured the best way to extract our forces.  Though we were able to repel the cavalry in our rear with the combined efforts of the amalgamated N-P and S-A cavalry regt., and the S-A Dragoons riding in from our left, the enemy was wearing down the Lady Sarah's Robins with devastating musketry and repeated charges across the river.  It became obvious to all of us that the Robins would need to be sacrificed in order to get the most of the two flank forces and the cavalry off the table.
The final moments, as everyone makes for the road, and the Lady Sarah's Robins try to make a slow orderly delaying withdrawal, buying time time for their North Polenburg brothers, despite enemy cavalry and infantry now pouring over the bridge.
In the end we were able to save the entire N-P Queen Jennifer Regt. almost unscathed, and a company and a half of the battered N-P Hawks Regt., as well as one cannon.  Also the bulk of the S-A dragoons made it off as well as a few scattered survivors from the 32nd Dragoons, the 25th Hussars, and the S-A Lancers.   Of the Robins, only their commander, sergeant-major, flag, and 4 pirvates made it back.  When added up this only came to just over 50% of our force, so it was not enough for victory and the Pragmatic Coalition was declared the winner.   
  It was a very exciting  game, and certainly a different scenario, with the objectives changing half way through. And, as always, these games are a visual feast.  Kudos to Rob for running another fun game.     
  For a report of the battle from the perspective of one of the enemy commander's see: BREAKOUT