Sunday 25 December 2016

Saturday 24 December 2016

Six by six - challenge accepted

Over on his blog Kaptain Kobold has laid down a challenge. He wonders why a lot of online challenges revolve around painting and modelling. What about a challenge around playing? This makes much more sense to me, as painting, with the exception of the second half of last year, is not something I need extrinsic motivation for, but I never seem to get many games played considering how much time I spend behind a paintbrush.

The idea is to choose 6 rulesets and play six games of each over the course of the next year. I can do that! It will also help that some of the rulesets that I choose will actually be homegrown and need playtesting and development. So my choices of games will be:

DBA 3.0
Vikings vs Anglo-Saxons. I've been developing a mini-campaign for these guys.
Honours of War
A Seven Years War game in action
Clobberin' Time
Time to develop my own universe of supers
Lord of the Rings for Star Wars
Continuing to work out adaptations and drawing up a qrs which includes the necessary stats.
Crimean War rules
Adapting Neil Thomas' nineteenth century wargames rules.
Broken Legions
The actual Soldiers of the Eagle warband looks a bit different to this.
A couple of things from this list to note. The first is that I've decided to give the Keith Flint's Osprey rules for the Seven Years War a decent try out. I reread them in the last couple of days and quite like what I've read, so they deserve further investigation. 
I love the atmosphere of Broken Legions, and am very curious as to how it will play. It looks like the kind of game that will need several goes to get the hang of.
The Crimean rules are well formed and may need a little tweaking here and there, but a small six game campaign would be quite nice to write up.
I played one game of Star Wars using the Lord of the Rings rules as a basis and found they worked well. I now need to start working on adding in the force and lightsabre rules.
Clobberin' Time is the brainchild of Kaptain Kobold himself, and I look forward to playing around with his rules some more, while developing the NDC universe a little more.
I managed 6 games of DBA last year anyway, so I don't see it as being a challenge for 2017.
Flames of War v.4 is not in here, but I know I will be playing it on club nights anyway. I figure I would rather use the challenge to play the games that I don't get played often enough.

By focusing on these periods to game I also hope to focus my painting to only these projects this year. I still have leftover painting for other people from the second half of last year that I need to catch up on, so limiting myself to some extra Crimean Russians, a few Broken Legions warbands and some DBA armies seems like a good idea. If there is time at the end of the year and I have finished my painting for everyone else, I will start painting for Muskets and Tomahawks. At the moment I am just finishing off the last few Seven Years War units.

The WWI project will now slip back to 2018. When I do this, I want to do it all together, starting with the FoW Great War Brits, Germans and French, and then moving into the 1914 armies.

Great plans. Expect everything to change...


Thursday 22 December 2016

One Hour Jutland

Having finally finished work for the year I have been able to get the paints out again over the past couple of nights. I started the last couple of Seven Years War battalions but then changed tack and thought I'd slap some paint on my 1/3000 WWI ships. I found and downloaded Martin Rapier's WWI Jutland One Hour Wargames variant, and selected the models I'd need to play this, 16 in total.

This morning I laid out my Sea board and started playing out the game:
The battlecruiser fleets move onto the board,
The first turn over and some major damage done to the Von der Tann. Blue gems indicated 6 hits and reduced speed and gunnery.
Revenge is not far away. Von der Tann fires at the Inefatigable. A natural 6 and the British Battlecruiser must roll again. A 5 and the magazine explodes! First blood to the Kriegsmarine!
The German main fleet arrives on the board.

Von der Tann has taken 12 hits - indicated by the white smoke. The German cruiser fleet is on the verge of destruction and begin to crawl their way south.
And the Royal Navy battlefleet appears from the North-West.

The main battlefleets steam towards each other, but the Germans unleash salvos on the withdrawing British cruisers before they meet.
The Calliope is destroyed. 2-0 to the German High Seas Fleet.
As the main fleets pass each other the Royal Navy seems to be getting the better of the gunnery duel.
That's as far as I got before being interrupted but with 7 turns left it is still very much anyone's game. It was nice to get some ship models on the table and to have such a simple set of rules to play with. I'm not a natural naval gamer and the thought of having to bracket an enemy and then calculate specific damage to aft turret 2 makes me cringe. I do have a soft-spot for dreadnoughts (and triremes - more on that at a later date) though, and appreciate getting the chance to play an enjoyable and fast game with them.
Apologies for the amount of shiny in the photos. It is a very reflective playing surface. But I suppose the sea is a bit like that really.


Friday 16 December 2016

Rogue One gets the tick (no spoilers)

Despite being so badly burned by the abomination that was episode VII, I remained tremulously optimistic about the next Star Wars movie to be made under the auspices of the mouse. Surely Rogue One would not be a derivative and incoherent mess like the Force Awakens? Then yesterday I saw a review online that gave it three stars and said that it was essentially a movie of callbacks and incoherence. Noooooo! Should I bother? Would I just leave feeling emptier than when I went in? I gritted my teeth and purchased my ticket...

And I'm bloody glad that I did. I don't know what that reviewer had stuck up his arse, but this is a good movie. It is what Episode VII should have been. It is very coherent. It does have callbacks, but they add rather than detract. The humour used fits well every time. The characters are developed archetypes. They have this in common with the Lucas Star Wars movies. This is something that episode VII did so badly, as it just didn't develop those archetypes. With the exception of Kylo Ren all of the Episode VII characters were bland, pointless and boring. He was annoying, but at least he had that in common with Anakin. Whiny Skywalkers are a stock aspect of Star Wars.

So I heartily recommend Rogue One. I walked out smiling, so different to a year ago when I looked at my mate as the credits rolled and said 'What the fuck was that?' While I'm at it, for those that don't get why I'm so anti- Episode VII, I found a video on Youtube that does a good job of explaining a lot of why I thought it was rubbish. It is long, but it has to be in order to point out just how awful the force awakens truly is. I'm no great fan of Episode 1 (although I will take on anyone that says that Episode 2 and 3 weren't as good as the original trilogy any day), but at least it was coherent.