22 January 2023

Terrain-3D Printed

I bought a new FDM printer a couple of months ago and I have to say it really works well for me. My friend P-Y had bought an Artillery Sidewinder X2 and I was blown away how quiet it was. My Creality CR10S is really a piece of junk and I just threw it out. I am sure the 3D print enthusiasts who love to tinker with things (you know the type, the ones who offer advice on the product FB pages.....the psychos I mean) enjoy the Creality printers but the Artillery Sidewinder has just worked immediately when I took it out of the box.

Anyway, I have been recently using a matt PLA which I really like and have been printing a number of different things. I have also been throwing a lot of terrain out which I have had for years, which I am just not happy with. Because of this, I have had to do some replacements. First up is some hedges for Chain of Command in 20mm. The hedges I have are in hard resin and are quite nice but in 28mm and really have not worked that well for my 20mm games. I had a look and found these on Wargaming 3D. It is odd as they say they are for 6/10mm but I find them perfect printed as is for 20mm. It might be that they are packaged as bocage.

From the top using a matt PLA from Polymaker. Then washed with dark green (equivalent of Citadel Camoshade). Dry brushed successively with VMC Dark Green, Olive Green and Deep Yellow. Bases are painted with Dark Umber, and dry brushed with a Mocha Brown followed by a Medium Brown Ballast and some green flock.
I will need some more pieces as this is only about 15' so far.

My Friend Luis sent me these STL's, I believe they are free on Thingiverse.
I might have used a darker brown weather powder, but I have a hard time resisting colour.
Might add some lighter flock.
Single Culvert for Winter gaming
Double Culvert for regular terrain.

I do have a couple of more 3D printed terrain pieces to paint but my my biggest project recently is mdf terrain in 28mm mostly for Pulp Alley. Still have 2 more buildings to assemble and paint but I am getting there. 

18 January 2023

Congo-The King of the Apes

Last Tuesday, I finally got in a game of Congo. This is the only Studio Tomahawk game, I have yet to play. I believe it is probably the least popular but I found out that it is quite a lot of fun and a challenging game.

We played one of the basic scenarios that come with the rulebook. I had a 90 point group made up of characters and groups from the White Man's Expeditions. Graham brought over and a 70 point Forest Tribes group, he also had Kong on his side. Essentially, there were 4 totems on the table which I had to capture as well as kill Kong, King of the Apes.
I started from the left lower and right upper corners while Graham  started on the two opposite corners. According to the scenario my troops were to start handicapped (exhausted) but we forgot to do this.
Some of Graham's beautifully painted Forest Tribes.
The cards which allow you to move, fire or rally add an interesting dimension to the game, it is a well thought out mechanic.
This is what happens when it rains.
I had a lot of fun, it is a challenging game in which the play can be quite nuanced. The cards, which you get to chose, have to be played in the correct order and in a couple of turns I realised the importance of this. The game was 7 turns, and I had a marginal win. I did note my dicing was quite a bit better than Graham's. It was interesting that he took no troops with black powder. I actually paid for this in one turn when it rained and I was unable to fire any of my rifles or muskets. 

Thanks to Graham for introducing me to this game, I will look forward to the next.

16 January 2023

Pulp Alley-China Station-Breakout!


Last Monday I went to P-Y's for the next game in our Pulp Alley China Station campaign. I had won the first scenario but I knew that P-Y would be looking to even the score. This is a follow up scenario from our first scenario where we both ended up having one of our characters captured by the evil Colonel Hakka. I have to say that I was also looking forward to seeing what P-Y had put together as the terrain. We went with the exact same league as we had done the last time.

The scenario was a little complicated as it was in the dark so we started hidden and all movement was through dangerous terrain. The major plot points were the two captured prisoners, with 4 minor plot points. I had to rescue Lestrade and P-Y had to rescue Dexter. As you can see below, P-Y again put together a terrific table. The game was 7 turns, I only took a couple of photos as the action as usual with Pulp Alley was quite intense.

My league approaching from the foreground, you can see the 2 cages that the prisoners are kept in. There were some wandering sentries generated each turn. As you can see above my Hell Division gang has encountered one of them. I believe this would be around turn 3.
Turn 6, as you can see my gang is quite whittled down and was driven off the table. Jekyll, despite his pedigree, was waste of time and I could never get the wounds off Holmes and Watson. I believe I captured 1 minor plot point but failed in rescuing Lestrade. P-Y was able to rescue Dexter and got 2 minor plot points. A clear victory for the Followers of the Eye!

Well I got pretty trounced in this game. My die were not the best, but my league were really not up to scratch, so I believe we will see some new characters in our next game to accompany Holmes and Watson.

Baker Street
3+ Reputation
League rewards: +1 Gear, +1 Contacts, +1 Tips

Followers of the Eye
3+ Reputation
League Rewards: 3+

09 January 2023

Battle for Mont St Jean-GdA


I had a demo game of Général d'Armée yesterday at the L'Abyss in Montreal. For this game, I took one of the scenarios from the Waterloo source book for GdA. It was going to be a 4 player game and I wanted to have 3 brigades for each player, as well as a goodly number of ADC's so the players could experience the use of the multiple ADC Taskings that are available in the game.

Aside from one player, Graham who had played one previous game of GdA, the ruleset was a novel one to the players. Three of the players were, however, quite experienced with playing Napoleonics, and when I say experienced, I am thinking 40+ years of Napoleonics. The 4th player David, has played quite a bit of skirmish wargaming but not many games at this level.

This was a big game to transport and set up and it took quite a bit of organisation. We had initially planned the game for the last week of November but a personal issue had arisen which forced me to have to cancel until yesterday. I spend several hours the day before organising the troops and the terrain, the troop requirement was a close run thing for my collection as by the time I had pulled out the French I needed, I was down to just 2 bases of Ligne.  I was able to get the whole thing into 2 bags so it was easy enough to transport. It took me a little under 2 hours to set up the game and by the time, all the players had arrived the terrain was done and the troops were on the table.

We had Graham and David playing the French and François and Don playing the Brits. I will not do a battle report but will post some photos and describe what I learned from this experience.

Initial positions with the French to the left.
Some Closeups

What I Learned

The Game: The scenario I picked was too big for the table and was too big as a teaching game. The table we played on was 6'x4.5'. It would have been better to have 2 brigades per side rather than 3. We got in 6 turns which I thought was pretty good as all the reserves came on the table, but after 6 turns the forces were not engaged. If we had got in 2 more turns we would have seen a lot more action, but the 2 Allied players had to leave before 3 hours were up. The scenario is a good one but I do note that the Grand Battery is too far away from the Allied line. Some of this, however, might have been because the Allied players really never advanced during the game. This might have been the right thing to do as they were the defenders but I am not sure. With 15mm troops this game would have been better on a 7 or 8'x4' table.

Four Player Setup: I added an extra ADC to each side, not sure if this was necessary. I alternated the CiC each turn for each side. The CiC rolled the ADC dice, and distributed the ADC's according to the overall battle plan. The CiC had to give at least 1 ADC to the other player and if there were more than 5 ADC's then the non commanding player got 2 ADCs. This seemed to work well.

The Players: I had a bit of a difficult time getting the players, especially the Allied players, to focus on the game rather than the ruleset. This is perfectly understandable as the players have played multiple Napoleonic games with different rulesets over a very long time. Graham, the player who had one previous game with me understood this well, stating that "with this ruleset you have to forget all other rulesets that you have played". You actually have to.........this exemplifies the TFL mantra, play the period not the rules! I appreciate experienced players want to understand the mechanics of the game before they make tactical decisions. But as TFL fans know mechanics should not dictate tactics. David, our 4th player seemed have little problem with this.

The Location: The Abyss is a great gaming store; it is large, there are a lot of players and you get a lot of walk by attention. Even though it is a lot of work to pack things up, transport them and then set up, it is well worth it. As far as I can tell, the great majority of gamers there are Games Workshop players, I have not seen any historical game there. The great thing was that I engaged with several younger players (in their 30's) during the game who were quite interested in our game and asked a lot of questions about the ruleset and the period. This made it worth my time to be sure. I am planning to put on at least a monthly historical war-game at the Abyss going forward. We already have three players putting together armies for an 1813 campaign. 

The Ruleset: Overall, I thought the game went well in respect to the rules, within 2-3 turns the players had the command sequence down and had a basic understanding of ADC tasking. I was a little concerned about my knowledge of the rules as I had not played for a couple of months, but aside from a couple of very minor stumbles, it went well.

The Big Picture: Overall, I am having a great time gaming since I have moved part time to Montreal. I can get in 3 games per week quite easily, I have a game of Pulp Alley scheduled for tonight and am getting in an introductory game of Congo tomorrow. So all is well, and I think the plan of growing Historical Wargaming in the area might even work!

03 January 2023

Fangs of the Wolf-Game 4 (4 sessions)

 Bit late getting this update out as these battle were played a couple of months ago. Back to Eero's massive virtual warm, we are now at Game 4 and the Soviets continue to slog it out. So far they have just one game but hope springs eternal as we go into this game. This game was played over 4 sessions through out September to November. Continuing for the Soviets is myself, while Mikko and Jarkko are taking the Finns. Unfortunately Janne's schedule did not allow him to continue, so I am taking two platoons in this series of sessions.

We are now at Table L, Hallasenaho Farm, about 38 kilometres north of the village of Suomussalmi, in central-eastern Finland, about forty kilometres east from the border of the Soviet Union. I have to say that this game went quite poorly for me although I probably had the best forces available to me on this campaign with two MMG Platoons. I started with a very poor patrol phase where my JOP's ended quite close to the Finns and my two entrenchments were captured quite easily. I probably also withdrew one of my platoons a little too early.

But let us let Eero tell the story as linked through his excellent reports on the Wargamer's Forum. I will post some excellent photos below.

Sessions 1 & 2

Sessions 3 & 4