Compendium Photo Shoot (day 2)

We finished up the photo shoot of publicity stills for The GASLIGHT Compendium on Sunday.  We shot the pictures in my quarters, which were built in the 1920’s, but have a Victorian looking fireplace.

Second day photo shoot
Second day photo shoot

My daughter had been part of the “crew” for both days of shooting.  At the end, she wanted to get into a shot.  We can’t use the images, but she had fun with her 15 minutes of fame.

Sam with our model
Sam with our model

We got a lot of usable shots from both days.  Now we’re in the process of editing pictures and working them into add copy.

Compendium Photo Shoot (day 1)

We’re just about done with The GASLIGHT Compendium.  This weekend, we staged our final photo shoots.  Below are some pictures from Day 1 at Warhorse Farm, Gettysburg, PA.

Shooting Victoria Hawkes in an ACW setting
Shooting Victoria Hawkes in an ACW setting

We shot a variety of pictures, including ACW, generic Victorian adventuress, and pulp.  Warhorse Farm was an ideal location, despite the time of year, because of the woods, large rocks, and hand-built split rail fence.

Keeping our model warm between shots
Keeping our model warm between shots

The weather was hovering just over 40 degrees Fahrenheit,  so our model liked the wool ACW uniforms.

Sam doing his Heisman pose
Sam doing his Heisman pose

We had to get our model to stop smiling, since we didn’t want it to look like our Victorian Heroine ENJOYED killing bad guys.  Then we needed her to smile, so Sam demonstrated his Heisman Trophy pose.

Victoria means BUSINESS!
Victoria means BUSINESS!

The crew all had a good time with this shoot.

Wrapping up the first day
Wrapping up the first day

This is a picture of Chris (right) and me (left) with our model (center).

We plan to use these photos in The Compendium and also in promotional materials.

Sneak Preview of Cover for GASLIGHT Compendium

GASLIGHT Compendium Cover Detail
GASLIGHT Compendium Cover Detail

I’ve written here a few times referring to the upcoming release of the eagerly anticipated GASLIGHT Compendium.  We’ve contracted a very talented artist for the cover art.  Above is a small detail from the cover art to whet your appetite.  Look here from time to time for more sneak previews and information.

Rocket Pack Finished

Commando Cody battles one of the Moon Men
Commando Cody battles one of the Moon Men

Another prop I wanted to build for the upcoming photo shoot was a rocket pack ala The Rocketeer or the Commando Cody serials from the early 50’s.

Rocketeer comic book cover by Dave Stevens
Rocketeer comic book cover by Dave Stevens

This has been a joint project with my son.  Last night we put on the finishing touches.

Finished rocket pack
Finished rocket pack

This started with two three-liter (not two liter) bottles, some plastic cups, and a funny shaped shoe box.  The wing was cut from black-core foam board.  The frame is from an old cub scout back pack.

Sam wearing the jet pack
Sam wearing the jet pack

This is a picture of my daughter wearing the rocket pack that gives you an idea of scale.  We didn’t want the wings to be too large — just large enough to suggest a control surface.  Tommy made the turbine-looking tops of the pack out of card stock cut, folded, and fastened with a brad.  We “primed” all the plastic with Krylon Fusion (which is made to stick to plastic), and then everything was sprayed with metallic paint.

The chemical compound that makes it work
The chemical compound that makes it work

We wanted the bottles to be labeled with some chemical name.  We pulled out the periodic table, took a little license, and determined that GASLIGHTe makes it fly!  What a coincidence.

The designs were made in PowerPoint and printed onto a full sheet of label material.  Then we cut them out and affixed them.  This was way easier than gluing on card stock or heavy paper.  I found a pack of 100 full-sheet labels online for $10.  I only needed one sheet to make spotting dice for Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII, but I figured I’d find use for the other 99 sheets over time.

HAWKs Plastic Toy Soldier Project Nearing and End

A finished set of figures
A finished set of figures

The HAWKs are painting up 8 sets of figures given to us by friends of Wally Simon.  We will be running games at Historicon 2011 for kids under 10 years old.  They will get one British army, one Continental army, a ground cloth, two paper buildings to assemble at home, a copy of Big Battles for Little Hands, and perhaps a couple of hills.  The intent of this project is to help grow the hobby.

HAWKs painting plastic figures in Chris' "man cave"
HAWKs painting plastic figures in Chris' "man cave"

This weekend we finished painting the figures.  This has been a club effort.  It took four Saturdays to paint all the figures, even though we are applying just a very simple block painting.  We just need to finish up the terrain bits and play test the scenario.  Finish the figures provided a great sense of accomplishment.

We plan to solicit others to donate their unused armies that we might continue this effort in future conventions.  Chris and I both have a bunch of old plastic Airfix ACW figures we plan to donate.  Jay Hadley recently handed us a bunch of WWII ships.  This could turn into a very nice tradition.

Sam is Working On Her First Miniatures Project

At Historicon, Sam announced that she wanted to make her own wargame.  We talked about figures, because she wants to paint.  I bought her a bag of Old Glory Cowboys to paint at a convention a couple of years ago.  She said she wanted to do something different.  Eventually, we hit on the idea of her using the teddy bears and toy soldiers I have painted from Eureka so she could concentrate on terrain.  She plans to use GASLIGHT for this game.

Sam painting roads
Sam painting roads

She plans to find miniature building blocks to use as barricades and defensive positions and jacks as obstacles.  In this picture she’s painting roads.  Note the colors are supposed to look like a game board.

Sam working on "trees"
Sam working on "trees"

The “trees” for her game are meant to look like candy on a stick.  This shot is of her painting them to look like peppermints.  The bases are wooden wheels from the craft store.  The tops of the trees are round sponges from the artist supply area of the craft store.

She asked that I NOT play in this game when she runs it the first time for the HAWKs.  She wants to do it on her own.  This should be cute.  I’m glad she’s showing an interest in the hobby.

Zombie Game at HAWKs Night

We played the third, and final, play test of the Zombies by GASLIGHT rules last night at the HAWKs meeting.  We’ll play zombies again, but we wanted to get the zombie rules squared away, because we want to publish them soon as a .pdf giveaway to promote the upcoming release of The GASLIGHT Compendium.

Zombie "runner" poised to munch on a player character
Zombie "runner" poised to munch on a player character

Zombies by GASLIGHT, which is about four pages long, uses To Be Continued… by GASLIGHT as its base.  In this picture you see that one of the player’s figures failed its Scuffle roll in melee with a 20 and fell down.  This figure eventually got up, disengaged, and survived to the end of the game.

The scenario involved a helicopter with some police and valuable medical equipment crashing.  The players’ job was to get to the helicopter, rescue as many of the police as possible, and get off the table with the medical supplies.  This scenario was the most fun we’ve had with zombies.  About 25 zombies started on the table, most 12″ from the helicopter, but some behind the players on the road to safety.  I thought this was going  to be  a quick scenario, since the players were driving trucks.  In this post apocalyptic world, vehicle maintenance has suffered, and the players had trouble keeping their vehicles running.  At one point, when a zombie reached into a truck window, the figure driving the truck failed her Scuffle with a 20 and fell out of the truck!

Lots of zombies mixing it up with players
Lots of zombies mixing it up with players

In this picture you can see the players’ trucks closing in on the downed helicopter crew, but the zombies are close behind.  At this point the players began shooting like crazy, which just about doubled the number of zombies on the table in two turns.  The black truck in the foreground had just finished running over four zombies, killing them.

Zombies closing in on Sister Mary Smith and Wesson
Zombies closing in on Sister Mary Smith and Wesson

In Zombies by GASLIGHT, if zombies are within in 12″ of a live human, they move toward the closest one.  If that is not true, they move toward the nearest noise marker within 24″.  If neither condition is true, they move in a random direction.  In this picture, Sister Mary Smith and Wesson (in the group of figures just behind the truck in the foreground) was left behind battling zombies while the trucks continued to the helicopter.  By the end of the game, she had 30 zombies crowded around  her!  Twice she was wounded.  When wounded, you have to make a Save to see if you become a zombie.   She passed both times, surviving until the end of the game.  I may have to paint a medal on that figure for future games.

In the end, the players got one of the three crewmen and the medical supplies off the table.  (They only got one of the three crew off, because at one point Sam fired a shotgun into the mob of zombies crowded around the unconscious figures.  She killed almost all the zombies, but also took out two crewmen.)

This was great fun!

Cold Wars 2011

Well, Cold Wars is over for this year.  I had a really good time.  I ran several games, and they all went well.  I had a chance to play in a FIW game with my kids.  I even found most of the stuff off my shopping list and managed to avoid too many impulse buys.

We drove up Thursday night and played Magblast (cards) and Betrayal at the House on the Hill (board game) with some buddies.  Friday I ran three games.  The first was a Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWII France 1940 game involving a French force trying to keep a road open against German opposition to allow the rest of the French to pass.

The French commanders study the battlefield
The French commanders study the battlefield

Eric and Andrew, long-time LSNC players were on the French side.  Andrew has been playing LSNC since before the rules were published.  He is growing up, and apparently his “kid dice luck” has deserted him.  When the smoke cleared, none of his French tanks remained on the table.

BAPS game
BAPS game

Friday afternoon I ran a BAPS game as part of Don’s article project.  He had the same scenario run three times, once with Battleground, once with BAPS, and once with Disposable Heroes.  He intends to write an article comparing the three games.  From what I could tell, the outcomes were pretty similar, ending in a grenade throwing contest for control of the house in the center of the board.

Friday night I ran the French and Indians come to Schlegel’s Ferry.  Schlegel’s Ferry is a fictitious town on the upper Chesapeake that starts with two groups of Indians fighting for control of the area.  The area grows through a series of scenarios:  Indians vs. Indians, Indians vs. Dutch settlers, French and Indian Wars, War of 1812, American Revolution, American Civil War, World War I spies, 1920’s gangsters, 1950’s alien invasion, and post apocalypse.  I ran the FIW version, with the French squeaking out a minor victory by getting a few soldiers into the stockade.

A view of the Lvov table during setup
A view of the Lvov table during setup

Saturday morning Chris and I ran our 16 player LSNC game of the battle of Lvov in Poland.  I’ve described the scenario in a previous post.  This was the fifth time we’ve run it.  We didn’t get quite enough players to run the full game, so we cut off the Polish attack portion and just played the German and Russian attacks on Zboiska.  This was the first time the Germans or Russians have gotten to the town with more than a handful of platoons.

Germans executing the "Von Fuson" plan
Germans executing the "Von Fuson" plan

Sam Fuson wanted to play Germans, since he had played the other forces in previous iterations of the scenario and because he “had an idea” of how he wanted to attack.  We dubbed his idea the “von Fuson” plan.  The Germans punched through the Polish cavalry, avoiding Chris’ infantry on the Polish right due to their anti-tank guns.  Eventually, the Polish cavalry was forced back into Zboiska and constituted most of the defenders.  Chris’ infantry was beaten back by Eric’s German infantry and eventually retreated back toward the town as well.  On the Russian side, Kurt pummeled poor Andrew (again having lost his kid luck) while JJ pushed through the Polish defenders at the creek.

Fighting around Lvov
Fighting around Lvov

The Germans reached the town first, but the staunch Polish defenders pushed them back.  By the end of the game, botht he Germans and Russians were fighting for the town.  The Germans and Russians were not allowed to fight each other, so they used clever tactics like moving their forces between their “allies” and the town to slow them down.  In the end, the Russians had about twice as many bases in the town as the Germans, so we called it a Russian victory.

Saturday afternoon I played a Brother Against Brother French and Indian War game with my kids.  Tommy and Sammy were on the French side.  I had the Indians on the British side.  Brother Against Brother is a very bloody system.  On turn one, I moved my Indians to the edge of the woods in open order.  Then my daughter opened fire with her Courier du Bois from behind a stone wall and wiped out an entire unit.  Taking advantage of the long reload time for rifles, I then sent my second unit across the field to work my way around her flank, but my movement rolls stunk and she got another opportunity to shoot at me.  By the end of the fourth run, I only had 2 Indian figures left.  Despite my miserable showing, we had a good time playing a game together.

The town of Granville before the action began
The town of Granville before the action began

Saturday night I ran my GASLIGHT gangster game.  The scenario, a reprise of the one I ran for the HAWKs on New Year’s Eve, featured two gangs and police.  One gang had captured a senator’s daughter and had also hijacked a shipment from the other gang.  The second gang then came to town to get their money back and also to rescue the girl to ingratiate themselves with the local police. 

Granville in the heat of the action
Granville in the heat of the action

Almost immediately, despite my warnings, the gangsters began firing tommy guns.  This, of course, demanded a response from the police who came out with BARs and shotguns.  Lots of 20’s were rolled, blowing up two car engines and jamming several weapons.  In the chaos, the police found the hostage and got her off the table.  Another group of police found the vault with the stolen loot and managed to get away with it as well.  Atypically, the police won!

Frogs battle in the swamp
Frogs battle in the swamp

My last game of the convention was co-run with Chris Palmer on Sunday morning.  It involved the South American frogs fighting for independence from their Spanish overlords.  With the time change, our 0900 Sunday morning game was largely empty, so a group of teenagers from Howard County, MD, filled it. 

The Spanish frog "self propelled" gun
The Spanish frog "self propelled" gun

The game featured a number of scratch-built tank vehicles.  This scene shows a lone South American frog leader (who was unattached because the rest of his unit had been wiped out) preparing to take on the Spanish artillery crew single-handedly.  Surprisingly, the cannon crew abandoned their gun and charged the lone leader.  They were joined by the commander of the self propelled gun who chose to dismount and charge rather than reload his cannon.

The king approaches!
The king approaches!

In this picture note Chris’ war snail has been shot.  The Spanish frogs scored a catastrophic hit, which killed the snail, but the crew survived and later charged the Spanish frog king.  They were unsuccessful.  Despite the rout of the Spanish king’s guard, the Spanish king defeated the South American guard, the snail crew, and a unit of South American frog spearmen.

A view from within the fort
A view from within the fort

Interestingly, the South American players decided to leave their fort and attack the Spanish frogs in open ground.  (In this picture you can see the Eureka war turtle in the background.)  At the end of the game, all the South American vehicles were destroyed, and the Spanish still had three.  Both armies were almost devoid of infantry.  We called it a minor Spanish victory.

I picked up a few items in my one hour of shopping that I needed for Historicon.  We’re still on track to release The GASLIGHT Compendium at Historicon, so watch for lots of GASLIGHT games there.  I’ll even be running at least two that are “straight historical” games; although, the scenarios will be ahistorical.

The Six-Barreled Colt-Webly Semi-Autmoatic Shotgun

Sam admiring the fine workmanship of the six-barreled automatic shotgun
Sam admiring the fine workmanship of the six-barreled semi-automatic shotgun

From a previous post, you know that I’ve been working on some props for an upcoming GASLIGHT photo shoot.  One of the props I’ve been working on is this six-barreled, Colt-Webly shotgun.

The six-barreled shotgun is difficult for aimed fire, but it makes a swell area effect weapon!
The six-barreled shotgun is difficult for aimed fire, but it makes a swell area effect weapon!

The high mounting of the ammunition magazine makes it difficult to aim.  The weapon is designed to be fire by a heavy man to repel boarders or discourage large groups of unfriendlies.

Closer look at the left side of the receiver.
Closer look at the left side of the receiver.

This is a closer a closer look at the left side of the receiver mechanism.  Note the double trigger.  The front trigger is for semi-automatic fire.  The rear trigger is used to three-round bursts.

Right side of receiver
Right side of receiver

This is a view of the right side of the receiver.  Note the copper dial near the near brass strap.  This is used to adjust the amount of gas vented after each round.  When set properly, a round will fire every time the front trigger is pulled.  If not adjusted properly, the receiver won’t cycle properly.  Sometimes this can cause rounds to mis-feed.  In extreme circumstances, particularly when firing a three-round burst, it can cause the receiver to explode.  This has been known the ruin the day of the operator and make him quite surly.  This is another reason the weapon is most often employed from the hip.