Wednesday, August 24, 2016

REGINA TRENCH!


(As promised in the previous post, here, finally, are some details about my upcoming event at our local game convention coming up in September!)

As an interim objective in the Vimy Project (and to raise some local awareness of the project) I am putting on a game at ToonCon 2016 that I am calling REGINA TRENCH!

ToonCon 2016 takes place  on 23-25 September 2016 – just before the 100th anniversary of the attack on Thiepval Ridge at the Somme. On 26 September 1916 the British Reserve army kicked off an offensive to take Thiepval Ridge, which dominated the upper Anchre River valley on the Somme Front. On the army’s right, The Canadian Corps attacked with elements of two divisions on a spur of the ridge. The First Division’s objective was to clear out Zollern Graben and Hessian Trench. Regina Trench itself, further to the rear, was not initially considered an objective as there wasn’t enough information available about the state of the barbed wire entanglements before the trench.

Historically speaking, though gains were made and some assaulting Canadians actually made it to Regina Trench on the 26th, they were obliged to give it up under relentless counter attacks from the Germans, and retire to previously captured lines. Regina Trench was finally captured later in October.

I’m calling the event Regina Trench, however, because I thought it might more succinctly indicate what the event is about. “Trench” is pretty much synonymous with “World War One” and Regina is the capitol of Saskatchewan (the province in which I live), and thus I’d hoped people would immediately glean from the name that the event is a game set in the Great War and that there might be some local (or at least Canadian) involvement. If I’d called it the “Battle of Thiepval Ridge” I doubt many would have had any idea what war it had taken place in, much less that there was any Canadian involvement.

As it stands I have the scenario and terrain (more or less) all mapped out and most of the figures  are painted. The Terrain, unlike the Vimy terrain, which I am purpose building to be a fairly accurate replica, will be made up of a more generic modular trench system of three lines (which will be designated Zollern Graben, Hessian/Sudbury Trench and Regina/Kenora Trench) that could be used for other battles. Over the coming weeks I will post updates on the progress of the terrain building.

For rules I will be falling back on my modified Contemptible Little Armies (2nd Edition) – the rules are simple, straightforward, and streamlined enough that anyone should be able to play – regardless of experience (or lack thereof) with miniature games or knowledge of military history or tactics. The preparatory barrage will be all mapped out as part of the scenario – the challenge for the players will be to more forward and get into the enemy trench line quickly before the Germans have time to set up after the bombardment passes over them.

For anyone local enough to attend – registration for the weekend is open and one of the four slots for Regina Trench has already been filled! For more information about ToonCon and how to register check out the website:


If those slots fill up really quick and there ends up being a waiting list, I have considered possibly expanding the frontage and including part of the 2nd Division’s part of the attack.


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Stay tuned for trench line terrain building updates and pictures of new Great War Figures painted for this project! 

Back At It

Finally settling back into a groove (after our long vacation) and finishing up a few thinks I’d started before I left.


All the models in this post are from 1st Corps

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):



4th Trench Mortar Battery (supporting the 4th Infantry Brigade, 2nd Division)




We are truly living in glorious times when I can sit down and my computer and google “Stokes Mortar Bomb” and instantly come up with colour picture references of how boms shells were painted – like this lovely one from the Imperial War Museum…


Bomb, Mortar, Stokes 3-inch© IWM (MUN 1992)




(that even allows me to post it with source and attribution information! IWM FTW!)


Brigade and Divisional Staff figures (4th Brgade/2nd Division)

ToonCon is coming up in just over 4 weeks and I have a fair bit to do yet (mostly terrain). I will do a post about the event I am running shortly.


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More on the Vimy Project and Regina Trench! 



Saturday, August 20, 2016

What I Did For My Summer Vacation


I’m not dead.

I’ve been on vacation. 

Which, at times, fort of felt like the same thing... 

You can read all about our adventures on my bike blog, here:


But here are a few extra pics…


In Edmonton I did get to hook up with Bob and his family and got to play some Dragon Rampant!


We used all his beautifully painted BattleLore Figures.


Next to me was The Boy and his monstrous minions.


I got to play some sort of Dwarves. We were essentially on two teams of three and romped around the table trying to pick up gems… or beat up enemies and take their gems away…


My Highland Dwarf Ponyriders… despite their supposed impetuaosity, I don’t think they moved more than once in the whole game!


My “Spearmen” (they look more like pointy caber tossers) going toe-to-toe with The Boy’s Ogres (or something like that…?)

There were three different colours of gems and we didn’t know the value of them until the very end. I had only three red gems at the end, but they all turned out to be super valuable so I ended up winning! Huzzah! Fun games + good company = great evening!

I also met up with my friend CVT in Edmonton – with whom I have played many games. We didn’t get to  tossing dice or pushing little men about a table – but it was still good to meet up with him again. Next time we’ll bust out the toys!


We did get to stop in at a Board Game CafĂ© in Edmonton as well… but didn’t have time to play any games… The Girl did buy herself a new game – Bananagrams!


We did play Bananagrams a few times over the vacation – in Jasper and Canmore.


We also played a few games of Race for the Galaxy in Canmore


One game I totally rocked it with the Alien stuff – I think I had 91 victory points at the end!!!


When we hit Calgary we made a few trips to the the Sentry Box! I think this was the kids most anticipated destination of our journey – Oh, they totally had a great time doing all the other stuff we ended up doing. But if we could have picked ONE THING to do before we left, I bet the kids would have both said “let’s go to that game store!!”


I had meant to take a bunch of pics of the store – with the kids running around like maniacs – eyes buggin out to their heads – but once I got there I got too wrapped up in searching through their treasures.

This is really just part of the store… This is the mezzanine area where games are played, the picture above looks down at the board game area and part of the GW stuff. Below this mezzanine area is a huge area for Role-playing games and collectable card games of all sorts. Beyond that board game area is an HUGE area filled with science fiction and fantasy novels – that’s bigger than most book stores I’ve been in lately. ABOVE the novle area (up those stairs barely vidible at the top is another entire section devoted solely to HISTORICAL subjects – board games, miniatures, books… (I spent most of my time up there…).



The kids checking out The Girls treasures after the first trip to the Sentry Box. She spent pretty much all her money there the first day. She mostly picked up stuff for Shadowrun (including some old Greanadier Models miniatures from the Fasa era), which she seems fascinated with at the moment, but I think there was also a few miniatures destined for a Frostgrave or other fantasy skirmish warband. Oh and a character deck for Red Dragon Inn and a miniature for Super Dungeon Explore

The Boy and I kind of just tried to "Take it all in" and then spent some time between visits thinking about what we really wanted the most (because there was no way we could bring home all the treasures we found there!)

When The Boy finally bought his stuff he mostly picked up some D&D graphic novels (Dragonlance Classics? I think...?) and a new Star Wars RPG game - the Force Awakens beginner box. 


My haul from the Sentry Box.

With the exception of the GW figures and Arkham Horror dice, most of this had been sitting on their shelves since the last time I was there…. Probably been on their shelves since longer than the kids have been alive... I wasn't interested in new stuff - new stuff I can get at my friendly local game store -  Dragon's Den Games - it's the old weird stuff they've had forever tucked away in the back corners that i was looking for... Unfortunately some of the stuff listed in their online catalogue - was tucked so far away that no one there knew where it was... so I had to settle for this lot. 


We spent a day at Heritage Park in Calgary and one of the houses had a small display of Toy Soldiers.



Curse those dark rooms where I cant' take clear photos!.



I also stopped by Things Military in Calgary and picked up a replica Canadian Great War uniform... for...  reasons...   more about that later!

A number of my oldest gaming pals live in Calgary – Woody, J.C., Cory – I’d hoped to meet up with them all at play some games. But somehow it just mostly didn’t work out...

I did get to go to Cory’s the last day there for a fabulous meal of roasted veggies and veggie sausages and finally got to meet his partner Martha!


And we did get to play one game – ROLL for the Galaxy

And that was about it.



We did visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller – but I was all vacationed out and just wasn’t into it – all I could think about was hopefully being able to use The Men Who Would Be Kings (coming out SOON!) for VSF adventures of hunting dinosaurs on Venus?!

And now I’m back and need to get working on the Vimy Project and my game for ToonCon (Regina Trench!) coming up in just FIVE WEEKS – more about that soon - registration is open and there are only four slots (of which one has already been filled!).

Sunday, July 17, 2016

40K – Three Quick Games


My friend Aaron mentioned that one of his sons had been painting like a mad demon since out last game and was itching to get his toys into action. So I arranged for them to come over this afternoon to play some 40K.

In the last game we tried to play with too many toys (because we wanted a big enough force that we could split up for seven people to play) and too many different things with too many different rules. Aaron and I spent over half the game looking up special rules (because… y’know… none of the kids read any of the rules or even their own codexes…) and everyone got mightily bored.

So this time around I suggested as series of smaller shorter games. Each game would involve just two forces of 250 points or less and one (or maybe two) squads. The idea being with less elements in play, there would be less special rules to keep track of and hopefully the game(s) would go much quicker and we’d maybe get through a few games in an afternoon and everyone would get a taste of how at least on or two of their units worked. This worked much better.


GAME ONE

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)


The Girl and her Eldar went up against Aaron’s eldest and his Tyranids. Despite having banged out a half dozen different units, he decided to play with his flying Hive Tyarant… So The Girl busted out her Avatar of Khaine and said; “Bring it!”.

Now there isn’t much an Avatar of Khaine can do about swoopy-flying things (at least that we could figure out). The Hive Tyrant could fly around swoopy like and do fly-by “Vector Strikes” and there wasn’t much the Avatar could do about them (other than take the hits and roll saves and get an occasional shot at it with the shooty ability of the crazy-heat-sword it was carrying – which would be snap-shots against a flying thing…).

Whether it seemed like too much work, or he just wanted to get his tyrant into action, the Hive Tyrants glided down to go toe-to-toe with the Avatar of Khaine. Avatar of Khaine went first with it’s Initiative of 10. 5 Attacks. 5 Hits. 5 Wounds. no saves. Dead Hive Tyrant. Game over.

Lesson Learned: Avatar of Khaine can lay some smack down in melee – keep your distance!


GAME TWO


The Boy’s Orks faced off against Aaron’s Ultramarines.


This I figured would be fairly even. The Space Marines had more shooty-type-weapons, which could whittle down the Orks before they got into close combat where they would flail around with ridiculous numbers of attacks and potentially take down a few Marines.


The Orks advanced fairly quickly – trying to use cover as best they could.

The River, other than at the ford, was declared “Dangerous Terrain” and two or three Orks drowned trying to cross on the flanks.


Using cover to advance worked out fairly well. There weren’t too many losses before the Orks were within charge range.


One unit made it into Close Assault and bash and crashed about with the Marines for several rounds of melee combat.

The other didn’t quite make it, and were murderified by close range fire from the second Marine squad.

The Orks, in the end were annihilated, but they took a few Ultramarines with them…

Lessons Learned: Orks – possibly need more of them – first wave to act as Meat Shield to soak up hits so that hopefully follow on units can charge onto target…?

Also - Plasma weapons suck. Maybe if you have cheap troops with them and you’re facing some heavily armoured stuff. and it’s your’ only hope of dealing with them… but loosing a space marine because you rolled a “1” to hit… that sucks chunks.


GAME THREE

My Imperial Guard faced off against Aaron’s younger son’s Chaos forces.

He had a Deep-Striking units of Chaos Jump Marines and a squad of three Chaos Marines on bike, and a half squad of cultists. I had a platoon command and two squads of the Guaiacan Commandoes (No. 3 (Assault) Troop, 10 Squadron,  4 Commando, 348th Guaiacan Commando Regiment) under the command of Lt. Fasutivus Mellanger.

On the first turn the Chaos marine bikers peeled out and swung behind some woods, doing some donuts in the nicely manicured meadow. 2 Section (under the command of Sgt. Dorf) raced around and patch of Jungle to get eyes on them and lit them up with lasguns. I guess Chaos Marines don’t take really good care of their equipment and there was a leak in the fuel line of one of those bikes and a lucky lasgun shot lit up the promethium and  a Chaos Marines went up in a ball of purifying fire.


The next turn the remaining Marine bikers roared through the and into Lt. Mellanger’s Command team, while the Deeply-Striking Jump Marines arrived to the Guards rear.

Things Generally went downhill from there.

For the Chaos Marines..!?


After landing The Jump marines tried to fire on the Guardsmen in the woods nearby - 1 section, under the command of Sgt. Maxwell. Flame unleashed a gout of hellish flame – six Guardsmen were under the template… ONE casualty… then the LEADER decided to fire his Plasma pistol and incinerated himself when it over heated. The remainder charged into assault and had their butts handed to them by the Guard – a clever combination of unbelievably good luck on my dice rolls and equally unbelievably bad rolls on the Chaos Marines part. I don’t think he made a single 3+ save in the entire game… well… maybe he made  a few, but there was a LOT of ones and twos rolled for armour saves… 


As the Chaos Marine bikers roared out of the ford to assault eh Guard’s Troop Command element, Trooper Johnston lit up another bike with the purifying flame of the Emperor from his Heavy flamer and ANOTHER went up with a loud ka-BOOM! The leader of the unit charged in anyway and killed Trooper Bauvalin (the Platoon Sniper).

1 Section charged in to aid the Platoon Command team, but it was Lt. Mellanger himself that brought down the Chaos Marine with his Power Fist.

Oh and there was the half squad of Cultists. Just as the Bikers were finished off the Cultists made it to the front edge of the stand of jungle just across the river from the Guard. 1 Section lit them up – a Grenade took out one, three others were downed with lasgun fire and the remaining cultist wished he’d listed to his dad and never joined that stupid cult and became a quick born-again convert to the Emperor’s Mercy.

Yeah.

Lessons Learned: Quantity has a Quality of it’s own. Bad Ass Marines can roll sh!tty too.


Overall I think this went over MUCH better than the last game. Because of mutual vacation plans I don’t think we’re going to hook up for another game unti some time in August – maybe we’ll work out way up to 300 points…



Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have not been painting much. I need to get at that. hopefully I’ll have some stuff posted in the next week.

The next five days the kids are at kayaking “camp” and I was supposed to be working on some terrain, but I’ve gotten neither the work room in the basement nor the garage cleaned to any state that work can be done… so it looks like I might be cleaning the next few days…

I hope to at least finish fixing up 4th Divison’s terrain, if not get started on some others. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Star Wars: X-Wing Miniature Game


A couple weeks ago The Boy bought himself Star Wars: Edge of Empire and has been threatening to run a game of it for the family. This past week I broke down and picked up Star Wars: X-Wing Minature Game, thinking it would be fun to resove any spaceship encounters (I also bought a YT-2400 hoping he’s allow our party to have one… you know since I bought X-Wing… and the YT-2400… AND A GAME MASTERS KIT – it’s called a Game Master Bribe, son!).

I had a meeting cancelled this afternoon so we sat down to try it out – starting with the simplified Quick Start Rules!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)


So we cranked the inspirational tunes by John Williams and locked S-Foils in attack position and went at it in the Dining Room.

(Yes that’s the original Star Wars Soundtrack on vinyl…)


The Boy took the X-Wing and The Girl and I took TIE fighters (she was the Obsidian Squadron Pilot and I was a lowly Academy Pilot….)


TURN ONE

The Boy and I raced towards each other! The Girl… she… well, I’m not sure what she was doing, but she assured me she “had a PLAN!”


VAP! VAP! Skee-BOOSH!

Two hits scored on my TIE Fighter!!


Tsh-Tsh-Tsh-Tsh Ka-ROOOM!

I gave back as good as I got… sort of… that only knocked out his shields…


TURN TWO


VREEEEE! VREEEEE!

The Boy and I both pulled hard left turns and flew past each other. The Girl started coming back about to get into the action, but wasn’t quite in range…


TURN THREE


VREEEEEW! Tsh-Tsh-Tsh-Tsh!

Wow, it’s almost like we planed that! I did a quick reverse maneuver and The Girl continued to swing around and we ended up like we were flying in perfect formation (just like the taught me at the academy!) Unfortunately The Girl’s shooting wasn’t quick so awesome – blasted arced out into space hitting nothing.


Tsh-Tsh-Tsh-Tsh Ka-ROOOM! Ka-ROOOM!

My shots were a bit more telling! Of course I used to bullseye Whomprats in my T-16 back home before I joined the Academy… so…


TURN FOUR


VREEEEEW! Tsh-Tsh-Tsh-Tsh!

I tried to put on the breaks and hoped The Boys X-Wing would stay in my arc of fire. Alas he gunned it and mad a turn towards us. The Girl, however, swung over in his direction and got a few more shots off… and missed…


VAP! VAP! VAP! VAP!

Luckily, for us, The Boy’s quick shots were also wild and missed.


TURN FIVE


VREEEEEW! Tsh-Tsh-Tsh-Tsh!

Again The Boy and I made hard left turns and flew past each other. This time it was The Girl that did one of those fast reversey-loops and came up on his 7:30 and squeezed off a few more (inaccurate) shots!


TURN SIX


VREEEEEW! Tsh-Tsh-Tsh-Tsh!  Ka-BOOOOM!!

I did a quick reverse, bringing the X-Wing into view (and The boy did the same!), but the Obsidian Squadron TIE piloted by The Girl swooped in between us and Finished off the Rebel Scum…

SuperGoodFun!

I did play this a few years back when my friend Paul brought it along when he came up for the 2014 Wargaming Birthday Bash/Ronin Campaign Weekend. I’ve been resistant to buying in because… well… it’s not cheap… and I don’t love pre-paints (Oh, these are all painted very nicely… but I do like painting my own!). But it is fun and quick-playing and captures the feel of an engagement between star fighters in the  Star Wars universe (which ignores all the physics of the real universe… and that’s okay!). And the kids are pretty jazzed about Star Wars at the moment... 

I kind of want to change my Edge of Empire character to a pilot of some sort so we can play THIS more!

We’ll probably read the standard rules after supper and play some more games this evening.


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More Star Wars: X-wing… and then maybe back to some posts of freshly painted Great War Canadains! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Hellboy and Scooby Doo vs. Zombies


I’ve been playing in a Savage Worlds/Realms of Chthulhu campaign (nominally) every other Thursday for the last year and a half. Or rather, I should say, I WAS. The campaign – the classic Masks of Nyarlathotep campaign – wrapped up at the end of spring. We thought we’d take a break from role-playing over the summer and I suggested I’d run some miniature games. We’ve missed a few Fridays since the campaign ended, but we did get in a game of Frostgrave in June sometime (which I never got to writing a report about) and this past Friday I ran a game of Fear and Faith/Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters game.

I gave the players the Scooby Gang and Hellboy and said they somehow met up in a town over run with zombies (because… these things… they happen…). And they had to get off the opposite edge of the table (where the Mystery Machine was parked) so they could get out of town safely.

THE GAME

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)



Setting up the table.

The Boy, who hasn’t’ been playing in the Friday evening games, joined us for this evening.


“So, it looks like the entire town has been overrun by zombies… you kids got any wheels or anything?”

“You mean like the Mystery Machine?”

“What the hell is a ‘Mystery Machine’?”

“It’s, like, the name of our van.”

“Yeah, a van sounds good, where’s it at?”

“Well it’s parked down there at the other end of Crossley Street”

“Great….”


“Romries! Rikes Raggy!” [sound effect of dog taking off]

Scooby Doo kicked things off with THREE successes and with his long move nearly made it clear across the


The rest moved up a but – with some zombies getting reactions and moving into contact with them.

The zombies in Fear and Faith are MUCH more active than in Song of Blades and Heroes!! I think it SoBH they have a Quality of 5 or 6, in Fear and Faith they have Q4+ - now there were a LOT of them so the individual ones I didn’t want to cause any turn-overs, so I usually only used one activation die, but with the largetr groups that I moved as mobs I would roll two – or three if they were the last to go – and then really moved – even WITH a short move!


Fred and Shaggy encounter some zombies as they arrive at the intersection.


Daphne and Velma raced past Fred and Shaggy and straight through the intersection.


Two Zombies shambled up to Velma, but Daphne managed to give them the slip!


Once the Mob got going things started really going down hill. Shaggy got eaten.

On one turn Hellboy had three action. He used two to do a Power Blow with the Right Hand of Doom (classed as a Heavy Melee Weapon) and crush a zombie… but fell down. We said he slipped on Shaggy’s guts (who had been right nest to him) luckily with the remaining action, he got right back up.


Sadly the two zombies that attacked Velma over powered her and ate her brains. They were probably delicious…. Daphne was, like, totally sad… but she continued on her way. Someone had to escape!


At this point Fred beat a hasty retreat back around the buildings – some fo the zombies chased off after him, the others surrounded Hellboy and brought him down through sheer weight of numbers (and some intensely unlucky die rolls on The Boy’s part!)


Daphne and Scooby Doo made it off table to the Mystery Machine. Fred was so close… sooooo close… but didn’t’ quite make it…

The game was super lots of fun. It’s been a long time since I’ve played any of the Ganesha Games. I had wanted to introduce the Friday night gamers to the system and it seemed to go over okay (despite the fact that most of them died…). We had talked about playing another game of Frostgrave… but four player games of Frostgrave just take FOR-EVAR to play and I wanted to have an early evening…


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Back to the Great War Canadians – hopefully! I have to do some cleaning in the basement as I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a bunch of work done on the Terrain next week while the kids are out for the day all week at a Kayaking “camp”.