Monday, 31 October 2011

Tutorial - Old West Buildings

Old West Buildings

Being lazy when I started my Old West Collection I looked around for 28mm buildings. I was frustrated in my quest to find suitable (i.e. inexpensive) buildings, so my greater personality trait overrode my laziness (frugality, although other have a less kind description).

So I decided I would DIY some, I started off making some Major General Tremorden Reddering inspired foam board buildings.

I started off thus:




Not entirely satisfied (big foot print, small interiors due to foam board thickness) I moved on to:

Popsicle (a.k.a. craft) sticks, since they are easily found and quiet cheap, the buildings are quite sturdy and look OK. 
It is difficult to place the doors and especially the windows at the proper heights, might be easier with wooden coffee stir sticks.

I then had the idea of putting new siding on the buildings I made out of Popsicle sticks. I got some Bristol (art?) board from the corner store and cut out the doors and windows, lightly scoring the side that would be the exterior to look like planks or siding, I had to make some of the holes for the windows larger, so I could get a more proper look. I then glued the new exterior onto the Popsicle stick buildings, paint, and voila!. I looked upon it and it was much better.
The same building as in the previous picture but with new siding
So I decided to see if I could make them easier, now I get a single piece of Bristol (art?) board, draw all four sides of the building plus a gluing tab (so you can glue it), then position and cut out the windows and doors, score the outside to simulate planking, cut Popsicle sticks (I use a little saw that came in an knock-off Xacto knife set) set and glue them on the inside, at the corners, along the tops and bottoms of each side, leaving gaps for the doors and around the edges of the doors and windows.
Outside of Orr's Hotel

Interior of Orr's Hotel with Popsicle stick bracing, just needs some more around the windows, the doors are in place. Also shows what happens to a good table if you don't use a cutting mat.
Base, paint and add details like window frames, posters signs, et al. The stairs were made separately and added after construction. I don't detail the inside of my buildings, but if I did I would add an interior of Bristol (art?) Board to which I would add printed interiors.

Doors: I first started off making hinges, similar to what I saw on Gisby's door page but mine looked quite ugly and far too much work, then I went out and tried to find small hinges, like for a jewelry boxes or doll houses, but they are difficult to find and if you can find some, they ain't cheap! Now I glue a piece of Bristol (Art) board on one side behind the door opening 

Window and/or door Frames: I originally made made my frames out of matchsticks, I then tried printed card stock but I think Balsa or basswood strips are going to be better.  

Roofs: Probably because I have seen too many Westerns and I like to put figures on my roofs, most of my buildings have slightly sloped tar papered roofs (use black construction paper), But when I make peaked roofs, I first make the building then I make the roof. Because no matter how carefully I measure, the front and back peaks are almost always slightly off.  Get a piece of thick Corrugated cardboard cut it to the length of your gables (plus 1/2" each side for overhangs) then score it in the middle cutting almost all the way through, then cover up all the exposed corrugations with masking tape, add shingles and paint. 

Shingles I used to take strips of Bristol (art) board or breakfast cereal box cardboard the length of your roof + 1/2" and about 1/2" to 3/4" wide, then cut almost all the way though about every 3/8" to 1/2" glue the first strip along the bottom and work to the peak offsetting the next strip so that each the joining of two side by side "shingles" is in the middle-ish of the one above it. If your not careful your shingle strips are in a slight downward arc the longer the strip the more pronounced the arc is. Now I make individual shingles, it takes a lot longer to make and install but the extra time is worth it.
Roof section with shingle strips, i also shortened some of the shingles to increase variety

Reminiscing Old West

Old West

The Old West was my first (and still only) foray into 28mm miniature gaming, I started it as an impulse buy at a con. I was at Hotlead (or was it MIGScon) 13 or so years ago (is Hotlead even that old) and saw some Warpaint (Old Glory) figs for $10 a bag, so I picked up one bag of lawmen and another of outlaws, made a few buildings, then started looking for rules.

I suppose like many, I started of with 'The Rules with no Name' since they were free, then 'Desperado 1, 'Desperado 2' and ' Desperado 3' (which despite their names are almost identical, just the price changed), then I found a set I really liked, Six Gun Sound, but my players weren't to keen on them, a newer version of them is now out 'Six Gun Sound: Blaze of Glory' which I also have but they are much more complicated that original Six Gun Sound. The more I changed rules the less I seemed to play Old West.

I have a hankerin' to revisit the Old West again and think I'll reboot my Old West Franchise with 'The Rules with no Name'. With that in mind I Downloaded the free new version and see they have fixed some of the problems i had with the old version, mainly Back shooting, you could not do it, so one of the players always turned his back on his opponents so they couldn't shoot at him, (what can I say, I was really lawful), that player has moved on and I less constrained by the letter of rules (or I am more chaotic) and more open to the intent of the rule.

Here are pictures of some Games I've run over the years:

This was the first game I ever ran using The Rules with no name.

Six Gun Sound

Another game of Six Gun Sound
Cowboys versus Zombies using Chain Reaction 2

HGA - October 23 2011

October 23rd 2011: This month we played an American Civil War naval game. Run by Glenn, using: Sail and Steam Navies: Naval Battle System 1840 to 1880's; Under Two Flags ACW expansion


I'm not sure if it is a published Scenario, one in playtest or a home brew inspired by the actual action. My understanding is Glenn plans on running it at a con (Hotlead 2012? maybe).

We played the Battle of The Head of Passes 10 days after the 151st anniversary of the battle.

The game, initially, went very similarly to the historical battle CSS Manassas rammed the USS Richmond, did very little damage, got its stacks shot up, but did not run aground. The Union vessels also did not run away, they instead blasted the Mosquito fleet.

Richmond being rammed by CSS McRae and CSS Tuscarora's flaming rafts, USS Preble crossing the infront of CSS Ivy and CSS Calhoun just having sunk CSS Pickens

USS Vincenes anchored in the way of CSS Calhoun, CSS Manassas left edge of picture.

Confederate confusion, USS Vincennes has slipped it bow anchor as USS Preble races by firing on a pair of entangled Confederates (Calhoun and Jackson)

Victory was determined by who had the most points at game end. Points are awarded for sinking or capturing enemy ships. The Union lost the coaling ship USS Toone (5 points)
Confederate lost 1 or 2 ships and had several more badly shot up.

The victory conditions need tweaking, since the Union player starts with 25 points (Confederates out point the Union at start) is unlikely to run away, and either Richmond or Vincennes alone outguns the entire Confederate force.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

HGA - September 25th 2011

September 25th, 2011: I ran a game of the 'Sword and the Flame' for my local gaming group (Historical Gaming Association of London [Ontario]). I decided to run one from a Scenario book. The book I chose was 'Colonial Campaigns: Ethiopia' and the scenario was 'Adowa: The Centre Brigades'.

Five players showed up which was perfect, the scenario seems to work best with that many (three Ethiopian and two Italian). I ran it once with six, three a side, the actual Italians enter on turn 2 and either take three to four turns to reach the fighting, which is desperate by that time, or they move to the West hill and see no fighting til near turn 9 or 10.

I made one change to the scenario to make it closer, I moved up all Ethiopian reinforcements by one turn, otherwise the Italians have to try very hard to lose.

To win the Italians must accrue more victory point than the Ethiopians, each side gets one point for solely occupying each victory hill.

The game is supposed to be 12 turns long, but you can determine by about turn 8 if the Ethiopians are going to win, which is where we got to.

By turn 8 the Italians had lost control of 2 of the the 3 hills and even if they kept the 3rd hill, the Ethiopians would accumulate enough victory point to win, the Italians didn't have enough troops to contest one of the hills, they used their reserves to hold the second hill as long as possible, if they could have contested it for one more turn we would have had to play til turn 12.


Turn 2: The Askari (Eritrean fighting for the Italians) move onto occupy 2 of the 3 victory hills, but Ethiopians cavalry is already on North hill at top of picture.
North hill being assaulted.

Last stand on North hill, the only survior will be general Albertone (on horse near South edge of the hill). The markers denote that a unit has moved  and the different colors which player is commanding said unit.

Italians reinforcements arrive to contest the South hill, constant sniping and rushes have reduced the defending askari to 3 figures.

Turn 8: Italians just about to be pushed off the South hill. Ethiopians assault the reserve to prevent if from counter attacking.
For the most part we played The Sword and the Flame' rules as written except melee resoloution and officer casualties.

Melee: I had each side start with1d6 per figure, or 1d8 per leader then add or subtract for various factors. Roll the dice with any result of 5+ inflicting a kill, the side with the most kills win, ties go to defender.  

Officer Casualties: when a unit takes casualties for each casualty roll 1d12 on a 1 unit suffers an officer casualty.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Not dead yet!

Its been a while since I updated, over 2 months, in fact, and thought it was time for an update.

Hamilton Road Gaming Group:
Saturday August 20th: Since I semi regularly play games at the Hamilton Road Gaming group, I figured I should run at least one game to repay them for all the games I've played. I wanted something different than they usually play and I decided on 'The Sword and the Flame' and as I was going to run the same game for my regular gaming group, I could use it as a play test. I hadn't played them in several years so it was also an opportunity to reacquaint my self with the rules.

I ran a scenario from Mark Fastoso's 'Colonial Campaign: Ethiopia' book the scenario I chose was the 'The Battle of Adowa: Centre Brigades'.

It was an Italian victory.

It was a good thing I did, I was very rusty and play showed I needed a faster way to resolve melee.


Historical Gaming Association of London:
September 25. I ran my game of the 'Sword and the Flame' for my local gaming group. I decided to run one from a Scenario book. The book I chose was 'Colonial Campaigns: Ethiopia' and the scenario was 'Adowa: The Centre Brigades'.

To win the Italians must accrue more victory point than the Ethiopians, each side gets one point for solely occupying each victory hill. The game is supposed to be 12 turns long, but you can determine by about turn 8 if the Ethiopians are going to win, which is where we got to. By turn 8 the Italians had lost control of 2 of the the 3 hills and even if they kept the 3rd hill, the Ethiopians would accumulate enough victory point to win, the Italians didn't have enough troops to contest one of the hills, they used their reserves to hold the second hill as long as possible, if they could have contested it for one more turn we would have had to play til turn 12.

Council Fires:
Saturday October the 1st, I went to Council Fires, new one day con in Cambridge Ontario. I got there late (1 PM) as the schedule of games didn't have anything I wanted to play. It was to be a buying expedition.

When I got there the 5 Vendors; W&S Hobbies, WGG Distributors, Bayshore Hobbies, Five Arrows and Crossed Swords(?) were set up, RAFM and JDR Games were supposed to be there but I didn't see them. One vendor was doing so little business (or had done so much he was exhausted) and was asleep, he had somethings I was interested in, but not enough to wake him up. I've seen him at other cons and I think he goes to to them to sleep or have someone watch the booth for him when he goes to eat.

As most of my gaming is in 1/72 there wasn't a lot there to interest me, normally I spend quite a lot at W&S Hobbies, but this year his selection of WW2 Stuff was very limited and prices raised stuff that cost $8-$10 in March at hotlead, was $12-$14. I ended up only buying 2 boxes of Caesar miniatures; 1 of Modern US and 1 of Terrorists, and I picked up a box of Italeri ISU 122's from the Bring & Buy

Impressions: A lot of people and a lot of games set up but not many people playing, I know of at least one game that was to start at noon and still had no players by 1:30, the GM was getting ready to pack it up.

There were supposed to be Flames of War, Warhammer and a DBA Tourneys and saw none of them nor the Warmachine Demos, though they all might have been finished by the time I got there, or they had been moved into a different room.

Bring and buy was well picked over by the time I arrived, I mistook one guy selling his stuff as the Bring and Buy,he had some nice stuff but massively overpriced, (he probably ended up taking it all back home) boardgames for anywhere between $20 - $140!!! , he had some nice 20mm WW2 30-40 painted German infantry and 11 beautifully painted vehicles (model kits), in which I was interested in, until I suffered from sticker shock ($110!). That's almost as much as my entire German army cost me and its near 200 infantry and around 40 vehicles.


Advanced Squad Leader Minis:
As I didn't expect to do any gaming at Council Fires I agreed to help my buddy Greg run a game for some friends of his in Toronto the next day.
For full details (i.e. pretty pictires) see Icicle's blog posting ASL Miniature.  I believe they were the first use of Icicle's new hills patterned after mine.

Here are my pictures of the game.
German Infantry riding in halftracks escorted by a SDKFZ 234/2 'Puma'. Infantry are actaully inside the vehicles.

Germans preparing to ford the river.

Germans move to cover the bridge,

Soviets Preparing to cross the river.

A Squad with a Panzerfaust sneaks up on a Soviet Armoured Behemoth.

German reinforcements advancing through wheatfields.

Bloody fighting near the bridge.