My blog about my wargaming activities. I collect a lot of 15mm miniatures for the American War of Independence and so collect a lot of rules for this period. I started miniatures with Napoleonics, so I have a number of armies in 6mm and 15mm figures for skirmishing. I have15mm WW II figures that I use for Flames of War, Memoir '44, and someday, Poor Bloody Infantry. Finally there is my on-again, off-again relationship with paper soldiers that I sometimes write about.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

DBA Tactical Puzzle 01


In the second turn of the game three Spanish Auxilia (lower) are facing off two Roman Psiloi. Assumption: the Spanish need to gain the woods so they are even against the Roman Blades and to avoid the Roman Cavalry (off upper right, not within several moves).

It is the Spanish move and they have two PIPs, but they want to spend one PIP in another section of the board, so unless the move is a good one, you only have one PIP to use. The lead Auxilia in the column is within 300 paces of the Psiloi in front of it, but more than 300 paces from the one on the right. The Roman Blades element (upper left) is more than 200 paces away from providing support to the Psiloi, but if the Psiloi recoiled, it could move to a position of support.

If the Auxilia contacts this turn, it is faced with a 2-2 combat, giving both an equal chance for being doubled. Further, if the Auxilia recoils or is destroyed, for 2 PIPs the Romans have enough movement to contact the Auxilia column frontally and on flank. So, what would your move be?

Tactical Puzzles

Remember the old Avalon Hill General magazines? I was thinking about them the other day and how they had a column of tactical puzzles to solve each issue. I am documenting situations for a tactical engine for solo DBA gaming (work can be found at the Solo DBA Development forum) and how other gamers deal with these situations would be helpful. I don't have any prizes to give, but thought maybe the readers would enjoy participating anyway. I'll present them from time to time here and on the Fanaticus Strategy and Tactics forum. Let me know if you need more information than is presented.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

DBA Tournament

We had out DBA tournament today and it went okay. Just okay. I knew the turnout was going to be bad, but we had more non-participants than participants! (Two gaming, two observing, and me as judge.) But hey, you have to keep plugging away.

I was hoping for more people, obviously, and I probably could have gotten them had I put off the game for another week, but I had delayed twice before, so I put my foot down and held it anyway. And thus I got two players.

I should have changed the format at the last minute and had three games where you (probably) would not know who won until the last game, but instead stuck with the open, "best of three games" tournament. Mark chose Later Polish (one Bw, 2 LH, no WWg) and Don chose New Kingdom Egyptian ((a) option: 4 Bw, no Wb). Mark seemed to have been expecting Don to play his Jewish Revolt army, but Don pretty much figured that Mark was going to play his Polish, so he really did not want to play an all-infantry force against Mark's mounted force (with four Knights to boot).

I won't go into the details of the games, I will leave that to Don and Mark to document on the SVHG forum, but we never got to game three as Don won the first two games. Mark wasn't in the mood to play the third, even for fun. Ah well!

My wife, Rita, and I played two games of DBA today too. She stuck with her Polybian Romans and I kept with the Ancient Spanish. In game 1 I was attacking and she basically set up a widely open battlefield. Nonetheless, I was able to load up my forces on the right flank and keep his left and center out of combat (they were occupied by three Psiloi). The hilarious part was when I hit his Blade on all four faces and then rolled a '1'. Fortunately, she rolled a '1' also and that ended the game with me winning 4-2.

The second game had me defending and I threw down a Road, Steep Hill, Gentle Hill, and a Woods. Basically I threw a column through the woods on the right flank and help back a large force on the Steep Hill on the left flank. The cavalry (1 LH and 1 Cv Gen) swept around the right flank right as the column popped out of the woods. I took out his two Psiloi and one Cavalry and finally won by flanking his Blade, ending the game, me again winning 4-2.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Painting Cowhide Shields

I've never been happy with my attempts at painting cowhide shields. I've tried the block painting style, which is to simply paint the shield one color, typically white, then paint patches in another color, such as black, red-brown, or dark brown. That looked too ... perfect. the lines were too hard.

My second attempt was to take a soft-edge camouflage painting technique (where you do not use an airbrush) where you paint the base color, then use a thinned color to paint the patches. You then keep painting larger and larger patches with thinner and thinner colors, making the center of the patch darker and dark and leaving the edges lighter. I probably did not try that technique enough to get it right, but I did not like it and it took a lot of time to do all of those ever thinner layers. Patience is not high on my list, unfortunately.

So, one day I saw someone's painting technique for cowhide and they had simulated the texture of fur by painting strokes of a different color, both on the center areas and on the patches. So, you paint a base color solid, then outline the areas for the patches in a lighter patch color, then fill in the patch with a darker color, again feathering the edges. I also found that then using a lighter color to feather over the base color adds a better feel. Here are some examples of what I mean.


I've included three versions of each so you can see it in close-up, "at arm's length", and "on the table" sizes. (By the way, the big brown mustard blob is an Egyptian sub disk or something. I still have to clean that up.)

I think I like this and the effort really isn't that bad. I am not sure that it will be noticeable on the table, but certainly at arm's length (and with my eyesight), it looks okay.

If anyone has any better technique, please let me know.

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Huachuca City, Arizona, United States
I am 50 yrs old now. I bought a house in Huachuca City, AZ (although I have a townhouse in Houston, TX and a small home in Tucson, AZ) working on a contract for "the next two years" that is going on five years now. To while away the hours I like to wargame -- with wooden, lead, and sometimes paper miniatures -- usually solo. Although I am a 'rules junkie', I almost always use rules of my own (I like to build upon others' ideas, but it seems like there is always something "missing" or "wrong").