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, March 17, 2012

Cold Wars Report (5)

Welcome to new reader Bob. I hope you enjoy the blog.

If you are wondering what happened to Cold Wars reports 3 and 4 you can find them on my Dale's DBA blog, as they were DBA related. Report 3 is on Bob Beattie's War of the Worlds game using HOTT and report 4 is on my participation in a 25mm DBA tournament.

Here are the remaining pictures that I have that were from when I was wandering around. Again, as this is "Year of the Terrain" for me, I focused on the boards and less on the troops.

Bruce Weigle's 6mm Austro-Prussian War gameMore 6mm APW
I always heard that Bruce Weigle's boards were really good looking and I think that these pictures do not do them justice. I wonder how he moves units through woods? Does he put the figures on top? The board does look like an aerial photograph though. Just outstanding work!

WAB TournamentWAB Tournament
Okay, this is less about the terrain and more about the troops! I thought the armies presented really well. It would be nice to have a grand collection of 28mm figures like that.

Warrior game with lots of elephantsAnother big game of Warrior
Two large games of Warrior ("WRG 7th edition"), well attended by people. I could not wrap my brain around the rules (which I own), but boy did all of thos figures look nice. 28mm figures really show well.

Grid-based FPW GameWeird War II Aerial Game
The grid-based Franco-Prussian War game looked just fantastic. Now that is what I would like my board to look like. I like the grids (I wanted to peek at what he used for the tiles) and even though you can see the demarcations, it does not detract from the aesthetics of the game. By the way, he was using modified Square Bashing rules. This was one game that I wanted to play it, but it conflicted with another game I was signed up for. Unfortunately, he only had one game that weekend.

The Weird War II aerial game looked interesting. It had pterodactyls with rocket engines and German crosses on their wings, and guys with rocket packs escorting the bombers. I took the picture because I wanted to remember the look. I think the stands are very distracting. I can also see someone bumping one and it knocking others over like dominoes. I think I would be too paranoid reaching in that forest of wires to play that game.

WW II Pacific Island AssaultVictory Under Sail
The Pacific island assault looked very nice. I was rushing off for lunch and the Game Master (GM) asked me if I wanted to try it out (it looked like he was missing a lot of Japanese players), but I told him that I had a game coming up. His reply: "Don't worry, you won't last that long in this game!" Hmmm. Not that sounds like the convention game spirit.

Last is Victory Under Sail by Stan Sunderwirth. Boy, was that an impressive collection of miniatures. And the board was huge! You can't really see it in the photo, but each ship (there were about 150 of them) was on a base and had roughly eight little pins pushed into the hand-drilled holes of the base. You use tweezers to pull pins out as the ship is damaged, and place beads on the pins to show extra sail and such. Talk about lots of fiddly bits! I wonder how many pins, beads, and cubes (hit markers) he loses each convention? Believe it or not, he ran this (scheduled-for-six-hours) game three times over the weekend. That is dedication.

I played Victory Under Sail on Sunday (we were the last game to finish, as far as I can tell) and I liked a lot about it. And I am not saying that just because I won "Most Valuable Player" in the game. (I really just won the die roll. I don't think I was all that valuable even though my 1/3rd of the fleet did take on 2/3rds of the enemy fleet!) The movement system makes innovative use of a hex grid in order to move along twelve lines (not six), making turns and speeds to the wind much more refined than typical hex games. And given that it was on a grid, there really is no argument about which way you are to the wind, or whether you are 5mm outside of gunnery range, "so too bad, no shot".

I really liked Stan's concept of fleet signals, which worked in two ways. The first was a set of cards – one light colored and one darker – where you would choose one of each, representing the orders of your squadron. The darker one would be signals like "Fall Away From the Wind", "Haul Towards the Wind", "Ahead", and so one, while the lighter one would be either "Together" or "In Succession". The "Together" card meant that all following the signal needed to perform the maneuver that turn, while "In Succession" meant that each ship following the signal would do so when they hit a waypoint placed on the board.

The second form of signals was a sheet that the player filled out each turn and consisted of five blanks, one for each word in the message. Theoretically each player was not supposed to confer with the others, except through five word messages. Fun concept, but not very useful when you have so many new players learning the game. It did come into play, however, when the enemy's Admiral decided he would use the signal log at the court-martial of one of his squadron commanders who decided to ignore a critical signal.

I wish I had pictures of the game, but to be honest, I was spent. It was all I could do to game. I really did enjoy Victory Under Sail and have started dabbling in my own Age of Sail rules.

2 comments:

  1. Looks really cool. That WWII pacific game sounds familiar. The first (out of two ever) con I went to I played someone from Avalon Hill in an ASQL tournament. I'm surprised it didn't put me off of wargames for life. I guess I had had enough experience loosing to not get bent out of shape by it.

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  2. I met Bruce once at Historicon. he shared some information on how he builds his boards. Truly wonderful work thanks so much for taking the time to post it.

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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").