Christoricon

A number of us elected to not attend Historicon / Fall In last weekend for a variety of reasons.  We took the opportunity, however, to meet in Chris’ basement to do some in-person miniatures gaming.  We played three games:  A Feudal Patrol(TM) Aztec skirmish from the upcoming FREE Meso American supplement.

Aztec Raid

This game was hosted by Mark Morin and involved an Aztec raid on a Tlaxcalan village.  Unbeknownst to the Aztecs, a group of Conquistadors was in the village as well.  It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end our Aztecs prevailed and brought home many prisoners for ritual sacrifice.

The initial setup, Tlaxcalan village on the left and Aztec raiders on the right.
Our Aztecs begin to advance. The fields were muddy, so they slowed us to half movement. This forces us to move along the channels created between the fields.
Starting positions for some of the Aztecs.
Greg defending the village with bowmen and Conquistadors. He really WAS having fun.
The Aztec advance continues.
Tlaxcalan bowmen took up a position on the forward edge of a corn field and begin pelting my advancing Aztecs.
Fire from the Conquistadors shredded my Aztecs.
Dave’s Aztecs advance on Chris’ defenders.
Duncan’s Aztecs berserked into the corn field and a fierce, multi-activation melee ensued.
A wide view of the carnage.
The battle of the corn field continued.
Dave eventually won the day on the Aztec right.
The Conquistadors never moved. They began the game pinned and stayed that way most of the game. Their fire was devastating but would have been even more so had they unpinned. That might have made the difference between Aztec victory and defeat.

Wars of Ozz

The second game was Wars of Ozz(TM), hosted by Chris based on a Napoleonic scenario from a 1981 issue of Wargames Digest.  The Munchkins were advancing to keep open a road, but the Winkies were working to keep control.

Initial setup. We had three brigades of Munchkins. Two were tightly packed along the road.
Our Munchkins were maneuvering into position.
We worked hard to try to unclog our forces and deploy. We were surprised by the speed of the WInkie advance.
Munchkin cavalry on our left tried to slow the WInkie advance. It didn’t go well.
Another ill-fated Munchkins cavalry charge. This should have gone well, but the stars (and dice) were not our friends.
I love the colors of Ozz games!
Greg’s Winkies advance quickly on Duncan’s right flank. (Greg really WAS having fun.)
Marks Winkies on their right engaged in a series of aggressive charges against Dave’s Munchkins. In the end, Mark’s command was shattered, and Dave had several fresh units, but they kept us away from the road.
Greater pumpkin heads too Dave’s artillery on the flank and route it.
Chris’ bears smashed into one of my Munchkin units. It was a close-run affair, but both our units were smashed.
Duncan fired on one of the advancing Winkie units. In response, they charged Duncan. In a series of results, I hadn’t seen strung together like that, Greg charged, Duncan did little damage and backed up 4″ disordered. The Winkie reaction was the charge again. This happened several times, until that unit nearly cleared our right flank. Then a second unit of Winkies charges… It was ugly.
At this point, though we had several fresh units on our left, the Munchkins conceded victory to the evil Winkies. There was very little likelihood we were going to cut the road in any reasonable time. One thing I have learned from Ozz and WOOD games is that fortunes can change quickly, so we could have been wrong, but that’s how we all saw it at the time.

7TV Fantasy

Several of the folk left after the Ozz game (but not because of the Ozz game, but Chris, Duncan, and I participated in a first running of 7TV Fantasy run by Greg.   As this was our first time running or playing the game, it went a little slowly.  We had a good time, and I look forward to a second running when we will be more familiar with the mechanics.

My Star Hat duck warriors faced off against some humans. We were both trying to collect artifacts from the table.

All-in-all, Christoricon was a great success.  Everyone enjoyed some in-person gaming with friends.  We’ve been doing a number of Zoom-based games.  I live in Florida now, and host games with players in Maryland, North Carolina, and the UK.  For me, miniatures gaming is my social outlet, and it was fun to game in person again.

Completed Two Units for Wars of Orcs and Dwarves

Despite a busy schedule, I managed to complete two more units for my Wars of Orcs and Dwarves hobbit army.  The first was a pair of elephants with hobbits on their backs.  The hobbits came from Wargames Atlantic.  The elephants were from Reaper.  I decided that, since this was a fantasy army, I’d have fun with the colors of the elephants.

Elephants and riders. The howdahs were scratch built. The harness straps were made from electrical tape.

In Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD), large creatures are mounted on larger bases, but always a multiple of 2″x2″.  In this case, the two elephants count as a four-base unit.

The second unit was a unit of hobbit slingers.  They too are Wargames Atlantic.  I had trouble getting enough slingers for a full, 20-figure unit, so there are a couple of sergeants with halberds to keep them in line.

All of my hobbits carry “Don’t Tread on Me” flags.
There is a chicken on the helmet of the officer in the center. I think this was supposed to be mounted on a flag staff, but I liked it as a helmet decoration.

Gaming time has been sparse lately, so I don’t know when these chaps will get on the table for a bit of derring do.

Wars of Ozz Game Last Weekend

I received an Email recently from Les, who is a fan of Combat Patrol(R) that he was going to be in Florida near where I live for a few days. We took the opportunity for him to come over and try Wars of Ozz for the first time. I had planned on a rather large game including Zoom and in-person players, but a number of people had to cancel at the last minute. We played a two-player Ozz game with Dave playing Nomes and Les playing Munchkins.

Initial setup for the game. The white tags are to help players participating via Zoom.

The scenario involved the Nomes and Munchkins vying for control of a key crossroad. It was a simple scenario to introduce Les to the rules. Each side had 25 points.

The Munchkin force had two Landwehr units in column along the road (M3 and M4), a medium artillery battery (M5), Sourdough’s Regiment (M1), and a regiment of light cavalry.
The Nomes begin to advance. Throughout the game, Dave played the Nomes very aggressively, which may have been his downfall — or maybe it was his dismal dice rolling. The Nomes had two blunderbuss units (N1 at the top of the picture and N2), two axe-armed units (N3 and N4), and a medium artillery battery.

As usual, turn one consisted mostly of both sides maneuvering into contact.

The Munchkins advance toward the crossroads.
Nomes advance aggressively…
… Then it got exciting.

Dave charged with his Nomes and gained some initial success against the Munchkin Landwehr, with their poor Melee attributes. The Landwehr counter attacked against he blunderbuss men. In FIVE consecutive Reaction Tests at close range, Dave’s blunderbuss men never decided to fire. The blunderbusses have an advantage at close range, and Dave’s poor Reaction Tests on his right flank probably contributed most to his eventual defeat.

On the other flank, the Munchkin light cavalry threw back Dave’s other Nome blunderbuss unit. They eventually rallied and took another stab at the cavalry, but not before the horsemen charged and routed the Nome artillery. Dave failed another Reaction Test and did not get of effective artillery fire before the horsemen closed.
A Nome axe unit did manage to route the Munchkin artillery as the center and Nome right got more confused.
This is right before the cavalry charge defeated the Nome artillery. In the distance you can see the Nome axe unit that routed the Munchkin artillery but never managed to take advantage of the situation to hit either Munchkin infantry unit on the flank.
The Munchkins have driven back the aggressive Nomes and resumed their advance toward the crossroad.
At this point, the Nomes had only one unit left. Although they technically held the crossroads, at the end of turn four, we called the game a Munchkin victory. The Nomes had no hope of holding the crossroad if we had played another turn.

Despite dismal die rolling by Dave, I think that both players had a good time. Les’ dice were about average, some good rolls and some bad. I don’t think Dave rolled less than 9 on a Reaction Test the whole game.

This was Les’ first experience with the rules, and he seemed to like them. He is working on his own rules for the American Revolution. I have sent what I think is the final draft of Wars of Orcs and Dwarves to the publisher for layout. Soon I will begin work on Wars of Eagles and Empires (for black powder era warfare). The initial rules will focus on the Napoleonic Wars, and I’ll be looking for folks to write supplements for other periods, such as the Seven Years War, Jacobite Rebellion, and AWI. I am talking to Les about writing that supplement.

Munchkin Attack on Gillikin Village

Last night, I hosted a Wars of Ozz game.  The game involved three 20-point Munchkin brigades attacking two 25-point Gillikin brigades.  The Gillikins were defending a village that the Munchkins sought to capture. We had two guys who were familiar with the rules, and one newcomer who quickly grasped the rules.  We played four turns.  We probably needed a fifth turn to come to a conclusion, but the consensus was that the Munchkins would have captured the town.

The starting locations of troops with the Munchkins on the left and the Gillikins on the right.
The center Munchkin brigade in its starting location. It consisted of Zoraster’s Guard, Sourdough’s regiment, a Landwehr regiment, and a medium artillery battery.
The Munchkin cavalry brigade on their right: two heavy regiments, one light regiment, and a light gun.
My two Gillikin cavalry regiments had early success pummeling a Munchkin Landwehr regiment, but then the tigers and Munchkin infantry mopped them up.
While the tigers had little hope of closing with my Gillikin cavalry, since both units were badly mauled, their charge against my cavalry was enough to rout the goat riders from the table.
The Gillikin infantry holding the town got involved in a firefight with a unit of Munchkin infantry. Despite the cover of the town, the Gillikins didn’t do well in the firefight. In the bottom right, you can see one of my Gillikin infantry units moving up to support the town.
The Munchkins brought up a batter and a second unit of infantry. The Gillikins decided to defend inside the town to avoid being cut down by Munchkin musketry. My infantry unit on the right and my cannon were able to knock out a base of Munchkin infantry, but when the infantry later charged, they were smashed by the Munchkins.
Initial dispositions of the Gillikins on our left. Wayne was quite aggressive with his goat cavalry while his musketeers and bowmen kept plinking away at the Munchkin cavalry.
Early maneuvers on the Munchkin right (cavalry brigade) and Gillikin left.
The fight on the Munchkin right heats up. By the end of the game, all three Munchkin cavalry regiments had routed thanks to aggressive cavalry action by the Gillikins on goats and the support of the Gillikin infantry in the woods.

As I said, the consensus was that the game would have been a Munchkin victory if we had been able to play one more turn, but it was a “school night,” and we quit about 2200.  The game was fun.

Science Fiction Crawler Type Vehicle

I recently ordered this vehicle from an outfit called RealityAtWork.  Even without instructions it assembled easily.  There were some really nice features about how this kit, all 3D printed, assembled with printed clips.  I like the way I was able to assemble it so that the roofs came off easily for play.

The trailer was optional.  The door/hatch came already assembled and hinged.  The ladder is supposed to go up and down, but it is a very tight fit, and after painting, it probably won’t move any more.

The figures in these pictures are 28mm figures.

This vehicle will be the centerpiece of a science fiction skirmish scenario using the under-development Star Patrol(TM) version of Combat Patrol(R).

The interior of the main portion of the vehicle.
The interior of the front portion of the vehicle.

And this is something unrelated, but I picked it up last weekend at Hurricon in Orlando.  Yes, we are holding gaming conventions here.

Wars of Ozz at Hurricon 2021

Last weekend the folks in Florida hosted Hurricon, their first convention since the COVID panic overtook the nation.  It is held in Orlando (actually Kissimmee), Florida.  The venue was well lit, spacious, and clean.  There were plentiful food options on premises and nearby.  My friend, JJ, flew down from Charlotte to join me for the weekend.  I took of Friday for some gaming.  We played a Command and Colors Maori Wars game, a demo of Oak and Iron, a sailing ship game, a pirate free-for-all, and a fun little skirmish using a “stripped down” version of the d20 Star Wars roleplaying game.

On Saturday, I ran two Wars of Ozz games.  The rules were released after I moved to Florida.  Conventions all over the country were cancelled.  This was my first time running the rules in public since Fall In 2019, when they were in pre-release form.  Bottom line:  both games went well, the players like the rules, and everyone liked the figure, despite my paint job.

I ran the same scenario twice.  A force of Gillikins, Nomes, and Winkies attacked a force of Harvesters, Quadlings, and Munchkins to seize a Munchkin village.  Each attacking brigade was composed of 25 points.  Each defending brigade was composed of 20 points.

Initial setup on the “good guys'” right flank with the Munchkin village in the foreground.
A close-up of the initial Munchkin deployment.
The Nomes, supported by lions, directly faces the Munchkins.
The “bad guys'” center and right. The Gillikins were in the center, and the Winkies were on the right.
The Land of Harvest deployed on the “good guys'” left flank.
A close up of the Winkie deployment.

In the first instance of the game, the “defending” Munchkins were very aggressive, advancing from the town, only to be mauled by the Nomes.  The game was an easy-to-call attacker victory.

One player had to leave early.  Other young guy came over to see the game.  He was very interested in the rules and the figures.  While he was standing there, a now-commanderless brigade needed to make some Reaction Tests.  I got him to make those rolls, then a few more rolls, then move some troops.  He ended up staying for the rest of the game, and he had a great time.  He and the Winkie commander had a swirling melee involving infantry and cavalry.  He even came by during the second game to see how his troops were doing.

Advancing Munchkin infantry.
Deployed Nomes.
Winkies on Zilks
Havester cavalry mounted on guralopes.
The action in progress. Nomes and Gillikins advancing.
Quadlings advance to meet the Winkies.
Winkies pushing back the Harvesters.
Deployment for the second instance. Debbie (Munchkins), Gael (Quadlings), and Josh (Harvesters) make their plan. It was good to see women and younger people at Hurricon.
Jim, Carlos, and Jim make their plan for the “bad guys.”

The second game was a much more near-run affair.  The Munchkins did a better job of trying to hold the village.  The Nomes got into the village briefly, but the Munchkins counter attacked.  In the “good guys'” center, the Quadlings advanced toward the Gillikins instead of making the Gillikins come to them, but they didn’t really commit to an attack, so the Quadlings took a beating.  On the “good guys'” left, the forces from the Land of Harvest really got spanked by the Winkies.  The Harvesters didn’t really make any mistakes, but they just didn’t seem to be able to get anything going.  By the end, they were nearly wiped out, but they held on long enough so that the Winkies really never put any pressure on the village.

The Winkies advance in the second instance. The Harvesters’ pumpkin catapult knocked out two Winkie artillerists, and the battery routed, but it eventually returned to the fight.
An “artsy” closeup of the Winkie cavlalry.
The Greater Pumpkinheads beyond.
The Munchkins established a formidable battle line early in the game.
Another view of advancing Nomes.

I think everyone who played in the games liked the rules.  There were several people who had heard about the rules and figures.  There were at least two people there who had bought into the first Kickstarter, and one guy was actively painting his figures.  There was also a request for me to come to the local hobby store to run a demonstration game.

Culverin Science Fiction Vehicles for Star Patrol(R)

For many years I have been using Combat Patrol(R) for “serious” science fiction games and GASLIGHT for pulpy science fiction games.  I have begun adapting Combat Patrol(R) and Albedo Combat Patrol(TM) as a new release of a set of rules for science fiction skirmish games.  I have been collecting vehicles and figures from a variety of manufacturers for years.  Recently, I discovered vehicle kits from Culverin.  They are a mix of resin and 3D printed parts.

This weekend I finished several of them.

The Typhos tank comes with several different weapons.  The kit is meant for you to choose one.  Instead, I inset some small rare-earth magnets to make the weapons interchangeable based on the scenario.  In this series of pictures, you can see the various weapons.  (The gray portions are 3D printed, and the white portion is resin.)

Typhos with mini-gun.
Typhos with short-range cannon.
Typhos with long-range cannon.
Typhos with dual energy beam weapons.
Typhos with demolition gun.

They also offer a tank destroyer.

Culverin tank destroyer.
I have painted my science fiction vehicles in a number of different paint schemes over the years. I decided to paint these in US WWII olive drab.
The Typhos tank with no main weapon. The secondary weapon can be a cannon, flame thrower, heavy machine-gun, or beam weapon.

Here are the finished Typos tanks with the various weapons.

Typos with long-range, heavy cannon.
Typhos with mini-gun.
Typhos with demolition gun.
Typhos with short-range cannon.
Typhos with dual energy beam weapons.

Culverin makes a bunch of different vehicles.  Another one I like is the Hyena armored personnel carrier.  It comes with three different weapons as well.

Hyena APC with mini-gun.
Hyena with anti-tank gun.
Hyena with flamer.  The figures are from Pig Iron.

Finally, I also bought three of the Boar weapon carriers.  These look like over-sized Bren / Universal carriers.  I have two with heavy machine-guns and one with a flame thrower.

Boar weapon carriers.

Service from Culverin was fast, and everything arrived in good condition.  They assembled easily.  I recommend that you drill holes in the weapons and turret front of the Typhos to allow you to exchange weapons.

Great WOOD Game Yesterday

I had two guys over for what turned out to be an excellent game of Wars of Orcs and Dwarves yesterday.

     Kevin and I played the Orcs, and David played the hobbits. The orcs (good guys) were attacking to seize a hilltop and grab Princess McGuffin. The hobbits (bad guys) were defending a waddle wall and the hill. The orces had two “brigades,” each consisting of two “regiments” with hand weapons and one with bows. The hobbits had two units of archers, two units with spears and halberds, an elite unit with swords, a small unit of chariots, and a light artillery piece. The orcs also had one unit of giant blood orcs (with a stealthy commander!) that began in the hobbit’s rear.
Initial disposition of forces showing the hobbit defenses. In the top right you can see our flanking force of giant blood orcs. I normally like to put the hills under the cloth, but they photograph better this way.
Initial dispositions of Kevin’s “brigade” of Minifigs pig-face orcs.
Initial disposition of my brigade of Dragonbait Miniatures pig-faced orcs.
Initial dispositions of hobbit defenders. Most of the figures are Mirliton and Assuat Group. The hydra is a 3D print. They waddle walls and the stone hut are Reynedra.
A close view of the hobbit defenses.
Initial dispositions from a hobbit perspective.
     The good guys’ (orcs’) plan was for me to be aggressive on the orc right to keep the bad guys (hobbits) pinned down, while Kevin maneuvered around the right flank. I thought the plan was going to work well, when after a melee, the hobbit bowmen decided to pursue my orcs. They leapt over the wall and advanced toward me. By the time the smoke cleared, my two hand-weapon units had been crushed by the combined efforts of three units of hobbits.
     A unit of hobbits with halberds and the goose hydra routed the blood orcs in a dynamic melee. Kevin’s fought poorly all day (dismal dice), while David had pretty good luck.
     The key moment came in turn three. Often the brigade commanders’ abilities do not frequently have a major impact, but in this game they were decisive. Kevin used his “Follow Me, Boys!” ability to launch all of his units in a combined assault. His bowmen charged up the hill, defeated one unit and then fell on the rear of the hobbit artillery while his sword unit routed another hobbit unit. At this point, all but one hobbit unit was routed or destroyed. Unfortunately for the good guys (orcs), David’s brigade commander had Rally. This allows the commander, once per game, to automatically rally all units within 36 inches. In the past, this has allowed a commander to rally one or two key units. In this case, David rallied every routing unit, so the hobbits went from completely routed to back in the game. Ouch!
The goos hydra facing off with the giant blood orcs. The orcs had charged the hydra previously, which is why they are disordered. The blood orcs (and most of Kevin’s troops) fought poorly all day (dismal dice rolling). The hobbit unit had eliminated one base of orcs previously. In the next round of melee, the orcs lost two bases to the hydra while inflicting only one hit in return!
Kevin’s brigade of orcs turning the hobbit flank. The Minifigs pig-face orcs in the foreground slipped behind the elite hobbit swordsmen in the woods and routed the hobbit bowmen along the wall and the hobbit artillery from behind. It was Kevin’s finest hour, but it only lasted one activation before David rallied all his troops.
My heavily attritted orcs eventually routed the unit of hobbits they were fighting.
In the lower left, you can see the hobbit bowmen who inexplicably (Reaction Test Result) decided to charge out of their defenses. At this point, the lightly armored bowmen and completely wiped out one of my orc units through a combination of melee and archery.
     In the end the hobbits had five units left, and the orcs were down to two chewed up ones. While the orc commander briefly captured Princess McGuffin, the game was a clear hobbit (bad guy) victory.
The rallied hobbits returning to the fight, supported by the goose hydra.
The orc bowmen had routed the hobbit gunners (seen trying to reoccupy the cannons). This shot is just after David rallied all his troops. You can see the hobbit bowmen returning to the fight in the upper left. This is also right before the orc commander seized (briefly) Princess McGuffin.
     What made this game so fun was the dramatic changes of fortune. At the beginning the orcs thought we were doing well. At the end of turn two, we thought we had lost. In turn three, the hobbits were all mostly routed, and the orcs were celebratory. At the end, it was a clear hobbit victory. The game was bloody, dramatic, and fun!

The Captain America Orcs Get Reinforcements

Way back in 1983 Mark Morin painted 12 Minifigs orcs.  As Mark and I are old groganrds, he and I remember the story differently.  As I remember the story, Mark found these figures somewhere and gifted a set to me and Patty’s New Wave Bar and Grill Militia to Dave Wood.  As Mark remembers the story, he was looking for something to paint as he was just entering the hobby.  I handed him these figures, and he painted them.  In any event, they were a gift that I have maintained for many years.  Due to the garish painting scheme, these became known as the “Captain America Orcs.”

The Captain America Orcs. In this picture the flocked base is one of Mark’s originals. The unlocked bases are the new ones.

A year ago (or so) when I started working on Wars of Orcs and Dwarves, I found the few fantasy figures I had and remounted them on two-inch square bases.  In the intervening years, I had forgotten who produced these figures.

I had enough figures to make three bases.  I wanted two more bases worth of these figures.  After all these years, I couldn’t remember who produced the figures, so I posted a picture to the Vintage Lead Facebook page.  Not only did someone (several actually) identify the figures, but it turns out they were still in production.  I found the Minifigs Web site.  (Searching for Minifigs is tricky, because the search results are mostly Lego mini figures.)  I ordered the missing figures (and some others in different poses, and the order shipped quickly.

Last weekend I finished painting them and one evening I based them and flocked the bases.  The tricky bit was trying to match the colors.  They were originally painted with Poly-S.  I think they turned out pretty close to the originals.  I block painted them like Mark’s.

The original figures participated in a recent fight (and got spanked).  Buck’s Law says that the first time a new unit participates in a game, it usually gets smacked around.  Since I am adding two more bases to the unit, I don’t know if Buck’s Law will be invoked in the next game.