Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Back From The War(game)s

 Spoiler!! : It was a great long weekend on all fronts! ....  And an apology for not taking more, and better pictures!

Friday Afternoon's Game.
Frogs and Lobsters.....and Owls??

We headed out on Thursday and stayed with some of my not quite conventional family. Getting to bed before midnight might have been smarter but the talking and laughing kept going on. 

My first game was scheduled for Friday afternoon and all 6 slots were full. As our time was starting to run out, the Emigre commander made  a bold dash to get the supply train at least, into the hands of the Chouans  but the cards gave the Republicans the initiative and their cavalry over ran the convoy while their infantry broke the Debrouiller  Regiment of Emigres. In one of the playtests, the French  had managed to attempt something similar, but lost the fight by a hair so the convoy got through.

In the evening, I played in the H.A.W.K.S, Bastogne game. They are a Maryland gaming club who adopted me late last century after I started cohosting convention games with Rob Dean. Covid put a temporary stop to that but not a permanent one.

On  Saturday morning, I got a chance to play a few turns of a 54mm Napoleonic game run by Alan of the Der Resin Cavalier Blog using the About Napoleon rules by Dirk Donvil. There had been some bumps in the scheduling and registration system, and like myself, Alan, and his game temporarily vanished from the website, so I was the only registered player. However, once we caught up a bit after a 4 year break, we conscripted another player and got a few turns in. The rules seem simple and effective enough to be worth checking out.

At last it was Saturday evening and time for my Syrian game. 

During my solo test games, the British and Turks always managed to hold the well despite some desperate fighting. I was afraid the game was unbalanced but that day they put my fears to rest and were awarded the victory after a long, tough fight.

Last Photo of the game.

Sunday morning I hung around chatting with friends I haven't seen in 4 years then Brent and I hit the road for home.

Normal life will resume soon.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Allllllmost There!

I've struggled a bit transforming a semi-skirmish scenario using With MacDuff To The Frontier and small units of single figures, to a slightly larger Hearts of Tin game with battalions of figures glued to bases but I think its there. It'll be different but hopefully, it'll still be good, and be "finish-able" in the time allotted.       

Just got to finish the test game and start packing for a Thursday departure. Well, once I finish one more  unit of Mamlukes.......

and another stand of Turkish regulars and......

Thursday, May 11, 2023


Yikes! A week since the last post! Not much hobby time this past week, partly to do with spring chores, partly community volunteering and so on, but, I now have a start on the last minute recruiting.

Cuirassiers, Cowboys, Hussars and Uhlans, all joining the Mamlukes.

A week from today, I need to be packed and ready to go!  I could just pack up now and fudge standings for the not yet painted miniatures,  but I'll be much happier if I can finish another dozen Mamelukes (to replace stand-ins ) and 10 more French infantry....and a few more buildings, and......

Thursday, May 4, 2023

One Hump or Two?

Oh! Two please, but could you put them on different camels?

The newly expanded camel corps. Not having time to order more camels I demoted the mysterious Turkish camel artillery to a normal mountain battery using mules. 

When I decided that a multiplayer, constantly growing, game using single figures and my current 'quickplay' version of MacDuff, would never get finished in the time available, I switched back to a set of 'fast play', Morschauser inspired' rules where each 'stand' is essentially a 'unit'.  Worked fine for a game that lasted about an hour, and a  game would probably have lasted longer if I'd painted up enough figures to double the number of stands. That wasn't going to happen.

A series of failed experiments of various sorts followed until finally, while trying yet another approach, it occurred to me to that I was basically writing yet another variation of my Hearts of Tin rules. (duuuhh). They were designed for this sort of thing so I typed up a One Page version using units of 3 stands for infantry battalions, 2 stands for cavalry, camel corps (relax, I only have one), local militia, and light infantry, 1 stand per battery (I don't have time now to cast up and paint double the number of guns and crews.) 

So far the test game is finally achieving my goals. Players generally can act the commander and have control over their units, but not complete control. Combat is quick but units are not so brittle as to disappear on one good or bad die roll. Hits will be tracked by unit rather than stands which reduces the hit tracking dice requirement by more than 1/2.  The players in these scenarios should have enough of a force to keep them in the game unless they are determinedly suicidal, but not so many that a decision can't be reached within the time limits.........I hope.........

The current version can be read or downloaded here: A Whiff of Dice.  

Right, I still need to finish another units of  Mamlukes, and...... 2 weeks and a bit to go!

Tuesday, May 2, 2023

May I Proceed?

Yes, I may, after all, it is May!  Taxes are done with, (including my wife's business), next winter's firewood is partly stacked and partly too wet to stack and Huzzah is only a few weeks away. That means...... hobby time! 

I went down some pretty strange roads hoping to solve the conundrum of making the game fun, simple but engaging, original and neither too slow nor too quick, with an emphasis on player decisions rather than luck.  However, finally, yesterday, I metaphorically whapped myself in the head and stopped trying to be clever and original and went back to OS basics. One hour in, its very encouraging.

There will be time in the next 2 weeks to play test both scenarios and to convert and paint the last score or so figures. There is yet hope!