The HAWKs supported the Harford Community College gaming day, HARCON, this past weekend. The theme for HARCON this year was zombies. Last year we changed our model for supporting HARCON. In the past we ran a handful of games, but we found that many folks at the convention didn’t want to devote four hours to a miniatures game. Last year we set up a large French and Indian Wars game so that a player could take a small group and execute a short, one-hour mission. That worked well for us last year. This year we set up the zombie shopping mall that we built as a club project in addition to a convenience store (“stop and rob”) and parking lot. When players wanted to join the game, we gave them a survivor group and told them to gather supplies.
We used G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. as the rules for the game. When players searched an area, they made a Save roll. If successful, they drew a random supply chit. Each chit had a certain number of “victory points” as well as an “encumbrance.” Encumbrance was depicted as a reduction in the movement allowance of the figure carrying it. There was no maximum number of supplies a figure could carry, but eventually figures moved pretty slowly as a result of all the stuff they were carrying.
Survivor groups included the Scooby Gang, The A-Team, the Ghostbusters, police, Boy Scouts, Mountain Folk, corporate women in high heels with guns, rampaging nuns, and others. It enabled the players to choose a gang thats or too fit their personality and then play for an hour.
When the smoke cleared, we had about twelve players join us for an hour to 90 minutes, including a number of people who had never played miniatures.
I recently received these alien invader figures from Slave2Gaming, which is an Australian outfit. Their service was excellent, by the way. I had a limited amount of painting time this weekend, so I was looking for something I could knock out quickly.
I primed them black and then sprayed them silver. Then I applied a Citadel Nuln Oil wash. I still have no idea what the heck a Nuln is or why it needs to be oiled, but is a pretty good black wash.
From many of my earlier blob posts you can see that I typically avoid the temptation to make all aliens green, but these guys were just crying to have green skin. Though they had nice big eyes that would allow easy painting of pupils, I decided that the figures looked much more alien without them.
I have enough of these to make a full squad for Combat Patrol(TM) or GASLIGHT plus a heavy weapon team, and an overall leader. I suspect that the overlords of whatever planet they came from feel that that is a large enough invasion force to take over Hoboken, Fitchburg, or Cucamonga.
This weekend I had a couple of the folks over who are working on supplements to Combat Patrol(TM) to help Greg play test aspects of his Star Wars supplement for Combat Patrol(TM). All the combat stuff is working fine. A focus of this play test was to look at the Jedi rules. Greg has come up with rules to represent different Jedi powers from the movies, The Clone Wars, Rebels, and some of the “canon” comics. We wanted to try to test as man of them as possible during this test. Some powers got more testing than others, and we agreed that we need at least one more play test to work off a few more of the rough edges, but in general, it seemed to be working well.
In this scenario, the good guys (Stormtroopers — I was on that side), were attacking a Rebel scum base. Our goal was to plant one or more thermal detonators on the ships and disable them, killing as many Rebels as possible in the process. Their goal was to stop us from doing that.
The Rebels were supported by Luke Skywalker and Yoda. On our side we had Darth Vader (pre “I am your father.”) and Darth Geoff, named after one of our club members.
Most of the Rebels began near the freighter and in the three quonset huts. As the game began they took up defensive positions on top of the Phantom and in the woods surrounding the base.
Led by Darth Vader, three squads of Stormtroopers advance on our right toward the space ships while another squad and the chicken walker provide a screen on our left.
Luke Skywalker used his acrobatic Jedi leap power to jump onto the chicken walker with the intent of cutting open a hole and dropping in a thermal detonator. The chicken walker was supported by a squad of Stormtroopers who blazed away at Luke to thwart his efforts. Luke used his Jedi shield skill, batting away blaster bolts. Eventually the sheer volume of fire took its toll. After three turns of him batting away bolts, trying to un-stun himself, and cut a hole, he succumbed to several blaster hits and was incapacitated, falling to the ground, where the chicken walker did a celebratory chicken dance on his body. Go Stormtroopers!
To get into good firing positions, our Stormtroopers had to advance across some open ground. Greg lost half a squad, and one of my squads got badly mauled. Eventually, however, I was able to get into a position in which my blaster rifles were in short range against the Rebels, but their blaster pistols were in long range. Then my superior firepower began to tell, and I began cleaning the Rebels off the Phantom.
Darth Vader used his Jedi inspirational power to lead a sort of Banzai charge against a group of Chris’ Rebels. As part of the action, Darth Vader force leapt into melee with Yoda, but Yoda got a groin hit on Vader (perhaps the only piece of his anatomy not burned off in the lava pit), forcing him back. This melee went on for a couple of turns, with the Stormtroopers eventually getting the better of it.
Darth Geoff finally got into the action by Force leaping right on top of the Phantom to engage in hand-to-hand with Dave’s Rebel scum. Dave was able to slow down Darth Geoff with some well-placed blaster fire, and then Yoda Force leapt on the Phantom. Yoda employed the Force push/pull skill on Darth Geoff, throwing him off the Phantom. In the next turn, Yoda cut Darth Geoff in half.
While Yoda was cutting Darth Geoff down to Yoda’s size, Darth Vader leapt onto the freighter to cut a hole in which to drop a thermal detonator. Despite several rounds of light saber combat with Yoda and some supporting fire from some of Dave’s Rebels, Vader eventually did cut a hole and drop in a detonator, which disabled the freighter. Then Don’s chicken walker, no longer preoccupied by Luke Skywalker, moved to a position that was blocked from Dave’s shoulder-fired rocket launcher and begin shelling the Phantom. After a couple of attempts he was able to penetrate the hull with a really good “die roll.”
At that point, with both of their ships in flames, the Rebel spirit broke and they fled the field.
About half of the Jedi skills were tested to an extent that we are comfortable with them. We need at least one more play test before we’ll be comfortable. Greg has completed his “historical research” on the orders of battle for droids, clones, rebels, and Stormtroopers. He has also completed his “historical” research on the various weapons and equipment. Once we clean up the Jedi rules, this free supplement will be ready to post to the Combat Patrol(TM) rules’ Web page for download.
I have enjoyed these Star Wars games as a way to use all those miniatures from ten or so years ago. The games have been fun. It has also been enjoyable to use a few bits of science-fiction scenery to turn a “normal” table into a Star Wars table. We don’t have the next play test scheduled, but I am hoping to complete this supplement before the end of July.
I acquired this scout ship kit from a buddy. I assembled it a few weeks ago, but this weekend I finally had time to paint it. I am very happy with this kit. I am also very happy with Bombshell Miniatures. When I got the kit from my buddy, it was missing one of the landing gear pads. I sent an Email to Bombshell to see if I could buy a replacement pad. The fact that it was missing was no fault of Bombshell; I bought it second hand; nevertheless, they put a replacement set of landing gear in the mail, and I received it in a couple of days.
This is the cover art on the box, so you can see what to order if you want one of your own.
This ship has a definitely retro feel. There is a lot f nice detail on the kit to really make it pop. These pictures make it look sort of white, but I painted it with an silver spray paint.
In addition to this kit, I also knocked out some “space giants” I got from my buddy Ma’k. You can see how they stack up against a variety of 25mm and 28mm figures in the following pictures.
The figures other than the space giants have been discussed in earlier blog posts.
I received the Bombshell Miniatures’ ISW-69F Scout Ship from Rob, who had gotten it on Kickstarter, but then decided he didn’t want it. I will post pictures of it in a subsequent blog posting (when I finish it). In the box, however, were a handful of Bombshell Miniatures’ pulpy science fiction figures. Over the past week, as time has permitted, I have been picking away at them. As I had way too many hours at work this pay period, I took an hour or two to finish them up this morning.
Some weeks ago I found these ducks on Ebay. Anyone following this blog will know that I have been building up units of ducks for different games. My Frostgrave gang, for instance, is made mostly of ducks. I don’t know what manufacturer these are or for what game they were made, but the price was right, so I bought them. They are clearly 1970’s sculpts, but they have a quirky quality I like.
I didn’t paint these super heroes. They came from a pack of Disney PVC collectors’ figurines and are about 28mm scale. I am going to have to work Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl into a game.
When we bought into the Reaper CAV Kickstarter to get a bunch of N-scale tanks and infantry, we also received some aircraft for close air support. They had been languishing in my to-be-painted pile for some time. I had to subject them to steam to bend them back into shape. Then I sprayed them either black or brown, depending on the color scheme I was going to paint them. The Rusotleum camouflage brown did not cause the Bones material to get sticky, but the Krylon matte black did. Usually I can fix this with a coat of Army Painter anti-shine matte finish, but my local hobby store has been out for over a month. I usually try to support my local store, but after four trips, I ordered three cans directly from Army painter, and they were cheaper!
I haven’t decide if these will be units that get placed on the table or whether they will be merely close air support like in the WWII set. I suspect the speed and range of these will be such that it is impractical to place them on the table. Until I decide, I haven’t based them.
I painted them in pairs by camouflage pattern. Ideally each commander who gets close air support might get two with a distinguishing camouflage pattern to keep them straight on the table.
As I have not back story or specific theater of operations in mind, the camouflage schemes are all over the map. I even did a couple in solid olive and solid brown.
While I still have a lot of Combat Patrol(TM) projects to work, I have begun to think about the Near Future and Science Fiction variant of Look, Sarge, No Charts. While Combat Patrol(TM) has been well received, it still hasn’t achieve the status of “cool rules.” Still, I have been promising folks to start on the science fiction version for several years, and I suppose it is time to start. All my battalions are painted up and ready to play.
There are some who really appreciate the placement of the labels on the bases for LSNC so that all the information you need is right where you need it for both players to see. Others don’t like the labels on the bases. While I understand the up-front effort of building, printing, and gluing the labels on the bases, I have never quite understood the aesthetic argument. If you print the labels on khaki paper, I think they quickly blend into the table after a turn or two. I really don’t like the look of big chart cards on the table. Even with Combat Patrol(TM) and GASLIGHT, where we get everything a player needs onto an index card, they tend to get scattered across the table and spoil the look of the game more than the base labels. But, to each his own. For those who don’t like the labels, I have provided downloadable rosters that players can use instead.
When I posted the news that the WWI supplement had been released for download, someone of course felt compelled to point out that he doesn’t like the labels. Another person responded that he thought it would be good if the labels were printed with a dark background. So early this morning, I decided to see what that looked like. Below is the traditional white background so that you can print the labels on a neutral colored paper.
This is what the label would look like if I changed the background to a dark olive color.
I twill be easy enough to provide both sets of labels for the game.
Both Tom’s and Sam’s Spring breaks were the same week this year, so we took a family vacation to southern Florida to see the Everglades and the Keys. We began our trip with half a day in the “Little Havana” portion of Miami, where we indulged in some terrific food. We also purchased some Cuban sandwiches to take with us to have later for dinner. During the walking tour the guide talked a lot about the Cuban community and the Bay of Pigs invasion. We also passed a relatively famous park where the old timers play dominoes.
After leaving Miami, we headed for Everglades National Park.
The Everglades were worth seeing, but frankly, they were the least impressive of all the national parks we have visited. There is not much variation from one stopping point to the next. After you’ve seen a few gators and birds, not much changes. Again, it was worth seeing, but I think we’ve checked that box.
From the Everglades we headed down into the Keys, stopping for the night on Key Largo, staying as we usually do at a mom and pop motel.
The Seafarer is on the “bay side” of the keys, pointing north and west toward the coast of Florida. From here we could see a terrific sunset.
We also enjoyed our Cuban sandwiches on the deck next to our room. The Seafarer was low on ambiance on the outside of the rooms, but the insides were very nice, and they provided a nice continental breakfast that included egg frittatas,
The next morning we had planned to take a boat out the reef and snorkel for an hour or so. The surf was too rough, with three-foot waves, so they weren’t taking folks out to the reefs who weren’t very experienced snorkels. It wouldn’t have been much fun under those conditions, so instead we took a glass-bottom boat tour out to the reef.
After about a 40 minute boat ride out to the reef, the boat slowed and loitered over the reef for about an hour while a guide pointed out different fish and coral.
The number of fish wasn’t as high as I had expected, so after about 30 minutes, I had seen what I needed to see. If the tour had been planned for just 30 minutes, however, it might have seen too short for the amount of money we paid. This was definitely worth doing, but I think it would have been better in calmer weather.
From Key Largo we headed to Marathon Key. We had a terrific dinner at a local (but sort of expensive) seafood restaurant. The local fish is yellow tail, and I had a lot of it during the trip. It is a nice white fish that doesn’t smell or taste to seaweedy.
We had an upstairs room with a nice view of sunrise, since we were on the “ocean side” of the Keys.
Our second night at this hotel, Tom decided he wanted to sleep outside in a hammock. It got a little chilly, but he said it was very nice.
Marathon Key turned out to be the highlight of our vacation. We visited the Dolphin Research center and paid an insane amount of money to swim with the dolphins. As the weather was a little chilly, we rented some wet suits from a local dive shop.
Each of us had a chance to get pulled around the tank by a pair of dolphins.
Then we each had a chance to perform some other tricks with dolphins, such as…
… shaking hands…
… and getting a smooch.
In this picture we’re not telling them to wait a minute or count to one. We are preparing to tell them to swim fast across the pool. They were so fast that if you blinked you might actually miss them swimming across the tank.
From Marathon Key we headed to Key West. Along the way we saw an electrician working on some power lines from a helicopter.
Here we stood on the southern most part of the continental US and found the beginning of highway one, which runs up the coast to Maine.
Frankly, Key West didn’t do much for any of us. The place seems to really be about nightlife, partying, and drunk people behaving badly. We had some very good food, and had a good time, but it is a place I am not in a hurry to visit again.
We visited Ernest Hemingway’s house on Key West, which was interesting. We also saw the 50+ cats, a large percentage of which have six toes.
It wouldn’t be a vacation without miniature golf. There is only one miniature golf course on the Keys. Being the only one, it could have been bad and still been crowded, but it was one of the better courses we’ve played. So we played it again on our way back to the mainland for our flight home. The first time we played, three of us had 49s and one had a 50. The second time the spread was about four points between first and last place. The miniature golf has become quite fun as everyone has come close in skill.