Wednesday, 18 April 2018

A new donation to the Wargames Magazines Database

Yesterday, long-time gaming pal Graham donated approximately 170 issues of Miniature Wargames to the Wargames Magazine Index project. There might be a few doubles in there with magazines already in the archives, but the donation also included a complete run of issues 1-50!

Many thanks!

Rommel game

Last night we tried our second Rommel game. Bart had set up a large gaming board, so it was a bit of an experiment to try the rules on such a large scale. The scenario was based on Arnhem, using 6mm figures and 3D terrain. Many of the houses depicting the city of Arnhem were 3D printed, using Bart's in-house 3D printer.

What did we learn?
  • It is important to have multiple objectives. Now the single objective was the bridge, so all forces converged on that point on the table. This by itself is not due to Rommel, but it is something to keep in mind for future scenarios.
  • The rules engine is fluid enough, but it is a bit cumbersome to keep track (using markers) of the status of all units: tipped, wounds.
  • We also used cards instead of a Command Post sheet (see previous blogposts). It worked a bit better in my opinion, but YMMV.
Pre-game pondering. The table is still cluttered with all sorts of things, not our habit!
Eddy is holding the bowl of crisps, Graham and Bart are discussing tactics.


Cartoon from The New Yorker.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Cards for Rommel

Next week we're planning a big Rommel game - see also this blogpost. In our last Rommel game, we used the Command Posts as provided by the rules, but we thought using cards might be a better option (and less fiddly). When putting a marker on an Event or Tactic, one simply discards the card from hand.

I started by making cards for the Allied and German armies.

You can download a pdf of all the cards here.

Saturday, 17 February 2018

Warcon 2018

Today we attended Warcon 2018, a small local gaming convention. Co-blogger Bart (yes, we run this blog with two people, increases the blogpost count :-)), ran a one-man show  and showed a small version of Lesnaya, a Great Northern War battle (see his twitter stream for some live updates). I was merely there for some moral support.

Although I couldn’t attend for a long time myself, a good small con can be very productive for getting your wargaming mojo back.

I did buy a few things from the B&B, and some scenery items and figures from some of the traders. Add the entrance fee, some money for drinks and a sandwich, and before you know it, you have spend 50 to 60 euro. But it's all in good spirits, to support the organizing club and encourage traders to come back the next year. Although I honestly do wonder whether they can make a profit from such small local cons. But I guess that's their decision to make ...

I’m pretty happy with the Citadel combat cards, and one can never enough fantasy monsters, hence the original Gorgon and Bullette AD&D Ral Partha miniatures. Not shown are a dozen painted GW figures from their movie-based LOTR range.

The cards are quite fun and go back to my GW fanboy days during the late 80s and early 90s. Perhaps I can use them somehow as a pre-game mechanic - or simply to decprate the wargaming room.

I was also on the lookout for some old miniature wargaming magazines to add to the wargaming magazines index, but didn't see any ... apart from some old issues of  Strategy & Tactics.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Refighting Arnhem - again

One of our best Crisis games was a kriegspiel like refight of Arnhem on a big custom made terrain, which we schlepped around the shows in 2005/2006. That terrain has since been destroyed (I decided not to take it along on my latest house move), but parts of it -- notably the trees, buildings and railroad -- were recovered.

I spent the last couple of weeks setting up a Kallistra based terrain using this scenery, together with quite a lot of new 3D-printed houses to come up with this:

This time the terrain does not feature the drop zones and villages around them, but starts with the woods west of Oosterbeek and continues to Arnhem. Obviously, some of the forest bases need to be painted and populated with trees (I've got a good sized box of trees left) and the 3D printed houses need to be painted, but this is pretty much the table I'm going to use. The idea is to have the paras land in the fields in the lower right corner (a bit closer to Arnhem then they landed historically) and see where they end up. 

Rules used in the game will probably be Rommel by Sam Mustafa. 

More to follow :)

Friday, 26 January 2018

Escape from Colditz

I picked this up today in the 2nd hand store ("Kringwinkel") for the modest price of 4.50 euro. It is the Dutch version of the game.

I always wanted to play this game as a kid, but it never happened. The recent rerelease by Osprey was a bit too expensive, in my opinion (also because the game itself is perhaps not that good), but I still wanted to have it. Perhaps we might even play it - if the game is complete, of course.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Switching back to Vallejo Model Colour

Over the years (and I dread to count their number), I've had three major brands of paints I used.

Way in the beginning, when animals still spoke and we were all much younger, hairier and still at university, I started out using Tamiya acrylics and a smattering of Games Workshop paints (the round pots with flip on lids). This was mostly for practical reasons, as those were the paints that were easily available in Leuven at that time (mostly at the Lonely Mountain game shop, our home away from home at that time, and the Christiaensen toy store).

Some years later, when the internet started breaking through, I switched to Vallejo Model Colours, both mail order and from a model train store in Leuven which then carried this range. The period I used Vallejo Model Colours also coincided with the period I painted every single figure, whether it was a leader or a rank and file soldier, in full-on 3+ layer mode. This meant that, while I was very happy with the quality of the paints themselves, I did spend a lot of time mixing colours.

When Foundry then came out with their triad system and this happened to coincide with my tendency to ease off on the complexity of the painting, I made the switch to Foundry paints exclusively. Not having to mix colours any more but being able to use them straight from the pot was the main reason I switched to them, even though purely quality-wise, the Vallejo paints are the better ones IMO.

Which brings us to today. After somewhere between 5 and 10 years of using Foundry paints, I'm switching back to Vallejo Model Colours. I have two main reasons for this.

The first reason is my drift towards army level painting and away from display level painting which is now at the point where I only use two layers of colour on the vast majority of my paint jobs. This means that on the one hand one pot of paint in each Foundry triad remains unused while on the other hand it will also mean that, given the vast range of Vallejo paints, I am much more confident of finding matching colour pairs in their range without having to resort to mixing again.

The second reason is a more negative one and has to do with the Foundry paint pots themselves. More and more, I find that my pots end up like this long before the paint in them is used up:

On virtually each and every pot of paint that I have that is older than a year and is regularly used, the lids are broken. It starts off with the little tab you push to open the lid breaking off, usually within the first few months of using the pot. It then gets progressively worse, with the lid (which now has to be wedged open with a screwdriver or a set of pliers or some such device) breaking up more and more until all that is left is the bare minimum to seal the pot, as can be seen on the pot of Teal Blue on the right. The Vallejo paint, with its screw-top eyedropper bottles, does not have this problem.

Having taken to decision to switch back to Vallejo, I splashed out and bought a 72-bottle set from Scenery Workshop in the Netherlands. This, and the handful of bottles I still had stashed away somewhere will become my main set of paints.

What's everyone else's favourite brand of paint and why?

Saturday, 20 January 2018

Wet Paint: mimic

Here's a few shots of a little mimic that has been hiding three-quarters finished in my painting box for a while before I finally finished it tonight:

The miniature is another Reaper Bones one. Even though the mimic has long been on of my favourite 'classic' D&D monsters, I think I've never used it in one of my adventures so far. Time to correct that oversight, I would say :)

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Wet Paint: mushroom men

These guys are Reaper Bones miniatures which I got as part of either the first or second Bones Kickstarter (I forget which). In the deep background you can see the first of the three mushroom men, whom I painted quite a while ago -- he made it back on my painting desk as a painting reference for his two friends :).

All three mushroom men will form a part of my growing 'it came from the forest' fantasy force.