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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
As usual, turn one consisted mostly of both sides maneuvering into contact.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
And this is something unrelated, but I picked it up last weekend at Hurricon in Orlando. Yes, we are holding gaming conventions here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
They also offer a tank destroyer.
Here are the finished Typos tanks with the various 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.”
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.