Monday, March 28, 2011

GASLIGHT 'Compendium' Photo Shoot

This past weekend Buck Surdu and I had a two day photo shoot for the GASLIGHT Compendium. The photos will be used for some of the illustrations in the Compendium, and to help promote the book.

Unfortunately, we had some of the coldest weather in recent weeks on Saturday when we were doing the outside portion of the shoot and while we were freezing, our model was glad to be wearing wool ACW outfits. Sunday we concentrated on indoor shots.

We had the opportunity to shoot on a farm close to Gettysburg, PA Saturday; and were aided by two friends who are re-enactors. Sunday, we shot in Buck's home. All in all it was a big success, and we took almost 500 great VSF and Pulp themed photos. Look forward to seeing more photos from the shoot in the weeks to come.

Buck shows our model correct firing techniques.

I had the opportunity to take many of the photos. The model was a joy to work with, and had a ball getting into character

"Look! Over there! The GASLIGHT Compendium is just a few months away!"

Everyone had a great time on the shoot.

Friday, March 25, 2011

GASLIGHT 'Compendium' Cover Sneak Preview

The GASLIGHT 'Compendium' is almost finished, and we plans to release it at Historicon in just a few months. So, to whet your appetite, we're giving you a sneak peak at a portion of the cover. Check back in the weeks ahead as we reveal more!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

HAWKs Complete Painting for "Free Armies For Kids" Project

The HAWKs (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers), located in Harford County , Maryland, started a project last Fall with the purpose of giving away 16 painted armies in kids’ games at Historicon 2011. The project began at Cold Wars ’10, when friends of the Wally Simon estate gave Duncan Adams, a HAWKs member, a large box of 25mm figures. The box contained almost 2000 unpainted plastic Revolutionary War figures, including regular infantry, Indians, Hessians, cavalry, and artillery. The figures were the kind sold through advertisements on the back of comic books in the 60’s and 70’s. Knowing the HAWKs’ excellent reputation of running kids games, the figures were given to the HAWKs with the simple wish that they end up in the hands of kids.

The HAWKs debated the best way to get the figures to kids. They decided to split the figures up into 16 armies, consisting of over 120 figures each, with the plan of running 2 four-player kids games at this summer's Historicon, and giving each player two complete painted armies; one American and one British. Players will also get a copy of Buck Surdu’s and Robert Dean’s “Big Battles for Little Hands,” made available by the publisher, LMW Works. This guide for young gamers also contains the “Milk & Cookies Rules” that will be used in the games. The participating kids will also get some terrain items such as ground cloths, and paper buildings they can cut out and assemble themselves.

After deciding how to give away the figures, the HAWKs needed to figure out the best way to paint almost 2000 plastic figures in a quick and simple paint scheme, and determined on holding painting bees where club members would gather with the purpose of painting the figures. They sprayed the figures a base color first, then did basic block-painting assembly-line style with each club member doing one color on the figure. The first of these bees were held on November 13, 2010, and the club members complete 6 of the boxes in just over 6 hours of painting. The last of the bees was held this past weekend, where members of the club completed the final remaning 4 boxes. Four painting bees were held in all to complete all of the painting.

Check the Historicon website in the coming months for details on the games.
The club hopes to make this project, of giving free armies to kids, an annual Historicon event, and is already making plans for 2012. If you have any unused figures or armies you would like to donate, please contact Duncan Adams, Buck Surdu, or myself.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cold Wars Final Report: Sunday

Sunday I helped Buck Surdu GM a GASLIGHT game using our Eureka Frog & Turtle collections. We listed this as a theme game, (The Cold Wars theme this year was Wars of South American Revolution.) because all my frogs are painted like South American poison dart frogs. So Buck's were the Spanish, and mine were the rebellious South Americans. The game was a blast. Due to the daylight savings time switch over, players were scarce, but we were able to recruit a group of teenager/young adult friends to fill most all the player spots.
After a fierce battle my South American frogs still held their fort but had little left in the way of troops or vehicles. The Spanish frogs hadn't captured the fort, but still had three working turtle tanks ready to batter the walls. The game was called a draw.
You can click on any photo to enjoy it larger.

Buck Surdu calling the next player's card.

My well defended fort.

Spanish heavy and light frog cavalry approach the South American heavy cavalry in the distance.

The Spanish King and his Retinue.

Spearfrogs engage in a deadly close combat.

The South American King and his bearers sortie from the fort to join in the spear battle, and actually dispatches two of the enemy.

Spanish forces attack.

The South American Giant Snail is killed but the crew in its howdah survive...

..and they find themselves near the Spanish frog king who is being attacked by a spearfrog unit, so they join in. The King and his retinue beat back all the attacks.
I just want to say 'thank you' to everyone who played in one of our games! Hope to see you at Historicon!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cold Wars Report Part Two: Saturday

On Saturday Buck and I met at 7:30AM to start setting up our 9:00AM "Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII" game: The Battle of Lvov. This scenario was a 'what if' engagement based on historical circumstances that took place during the invasion of Poland in '39. The Poles controlled the small town of Zboiska near the center of the table and the Germans and Russians each started at opposite ends, both with the mission of capturing the Pole held town of first. The Russians and Germans weren't allowed to shoot at each other. We ended up being a few players short, so I pitched in and ran one of the battalions as well as assisting in GM-ing. The game resulted in a near Russian victory.
You can click on any photo to enjoy it larger.

The German battalions advance.

Polish cavalry moves to defend the river line.

The German Panzer Grenadiers race forward.

Meanwhile, the Russians have their own line of Polish defenders to deal with.

The fighting gets close and desperate in the woods around the river.

A small amount of Polish armor moves up to help stem the German tide.

Polish and German infantry engage.

Russian and German armor maneuver to attack the town of Zboiska

Saturday evening at 7:00 I ran a Fleet Battles by GASLIGHT game called, "He Who Controls the Canals, Controls Mars." The game pitted a British fleet against a German one for control of the airspace above an important Martian canal junction.

A British cruiser patrols along the canal. It was the first casualty of the game following a lucky shot from the approaching German battleship.

The opposing fleets begin to duel at close range.

Another shot of the battle as it swirls above the canal juncture.

German and British cruisers exchange fire.

The British battleship deals a crippling blow to the German battleship effectively ending the game.
Next up will be my Sunday report.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cold Wars Report Part One: Friday

     I had a great time at Cold Wars this year. It was good to see lots of friends that I only get to catch up with at conventions. I arrived Thursday night and played Mag Blast and House of Betrayal with some friends until late at night, then I was up early Friday morning. I tagged along with Buck Surdu who had a 9:00 AM "Look, Sarge, No Charts" France '40 game. I figured I could help GM, or fill the place of any missing players. It turned out that Buck had an overflow of players who wanted to give the rules a try, so I offered to set up a quick game on a nearby table with some of Buck's extra figures and terrain, so everyone who wanted to would get a chance to play. For a thrown together game, it was alot of fun and all the players seemed to have a good time with the rules.
Afterwards, I checked out the Flea Market, but it wasn't opened yet, so I headed over the dealer hall where I picked up some basic supplies of Testors Dullcoat, some steel bases, and a Dystopian Wars deck of cards.
     After the dealer hall I went back to my room to rest awhile, then headed down to the HAWKs room at 5:00 PM to start setting up my 7:00 PM game: Victoria Hawkes and the Lost Roman Colony by GASLIGHT.
     All the player spots filled, and the game was a blast. Everyone had so much fun I think I will run this again at Historicon so more people can get a chance to play.
     The scenario story was this: In 1890, intrepid adventuress Victoria Hawkes had joined her Great Uncle, the renowned British scientist, Lord Harland-White on an expedition into deepest Africa. There they discovered a lost Roman outpost full of real living Romans. The Romans were the descendants of a Legion that was sent into Africa in the final days of the Empire with a portion of the Roman Empire's treasure to hide it and keep it safe until such time s they would be recalled to help Rome rise again. Over the generations the sons had been trained by their fathers to continue this mission of protecting the treasure. The expedition decided to stay for a while to study the Romans. Victoria and the Roman general hit it off, and a relationship developed. This infuriated the Roman Priestess, who had eyes for the general, and she went off to a nearby German garrison to get help in removing Victoria and her friends. The German garrison commander, hearing of the Romans' treasure trove, decided that he would attack the outpost and steal the gold for himself.
The Romans were supported by six giant gorilla guards. These could take four wounds. On the first wound there was no effect, on the second all the gorilla's stats went up by two, on the third all the stats went down by two, and on the fourth the gorilla was dead.
Below are photos of the game. Remember, you can click on any photo to enjoy it larger.

The German Sea Battalion Commander directs one of his steam-walkers and a unit of troops forward.

Two of the Romans' giant gorilla guards move in to attack one of the German walkers.
Overview of the table near the beginning of the game.

A unit of Sea Battalion troops.

The Roman Priestess delivers the death blow to one of the Gorillas, as the other continues to pound on the steam-walker

Several German Kriegshosen armored suits move towards the Roman fort, supported by native allies.

The Expedition's troops move up to meet the approaching natives. Great Uncle Harland-White lies dead near the fort's wall.

The Krieghosen move into position to start attacking the fort's wall with their circular-saw attachments.

The Krieghosen breach the wall as some of the Romans move bravely up to defend the gap.

One of the giant gorillas takes down one of the German steam-walkers

Another gorilla races through the compound and leaps over the wall to confront two of the Krieghosen.

Natives move up to attack the gorilla.

A unit of Romans rush to defend the wall.

A lone Roman officer faces off with the Krieghosen.

Meanwhile, the Roman Priestess climbs aboard the expedition's steam-tractor and begins trying to bash open the door with her staff.

A giant gorilla moves up to help plug the hole in the fort's wall.

A fierce battle developed at the wall.

Roman troops rush forward to engage the native troops as they advance into the fort.

Me, calling the next player's card.

One of the gorillas dispatches one of the German Kreghosen.

     The game was a real nail-biter. In the end, many of the Main Characters on both sides, including Victoria, were dead. The Romans still held the fort, but all of their giant gorilla support had been killed, and the Germans still had some working war machines and nearly two full units of rifle armed Sea Battalion troops, so the eventual outcome seemed dire for the Romans. The game was called a marginal Roman victory.

Tomorrow I hope to post Saturday's report.