Saturday, 27 September 2014

Waterloo a la Carte Part 2

Nearly ready for play testing....

I have single mindedly pursued this little project over the past few weeks. This is quite a difficult feat given my inclination to wander so I'm pleased that I have got to the play test stage. This means:

Counters: Check. Ready for sticking and cutting out (they are on an A4 label and I can't make them any bigger).
Map: Check. Taken to the print shop and printed out on A3 card-stock
Rules: Check. Hastily cobbled together and ready for bashing during play testing.

I have no idea how this will play. The rules themselves, the scale of the map and the counters give me a really good feeling. I'm hoping that there is some magic here where things come together. If not, well there's loads more things to be cracking on with. AAR as soon as I can manage one. Feel free to have a go.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Waterloo a la Carte!

Draft counters

Very busy of late but today's progress is a draft set of counters for my Waterloo adventure. I'm quite pleased with them but they look better on screen than printed. Never mind. 

I have made progress with the rules and am very excited about having a first play test this next weekend. If only I had time to do all of the other things as well, Firestorm is sitting here requiring attention as well!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Even more Firestorm!

A surprise WW1 addition to the Firestorm series

Amongst the many and varied chores that I have had to do today, including fence painting, I have been very much enjoying Neil Thomas' latest book. Loads of good ideas and plenty of inspiration. 

I commented previously that the scenarios reminded me of the Charles Grant scenario books. This is certainly true in terms of style. However, on closer reading, I see he has used Charles' book as the basis for some of the scenarios. This brings back some happy memories. I bought both of Charles' books from Navwar in Seven Kings, London. I wonder if that shop is still there?

Imagine my delight when I find an additional surprise today in a new Firestorm game, this time covering the battle of Villers-Bretonneux in 1918. 

Fantastic, how much more pleasure can an old wargamer get in one weekend? Don't answer that! This Firestorm game is available from the FoW website. If you have not looked into these games before I strongly recommend them. There are eight in the series including one on Stalingrad in an old edition of WSS.

I obviously now have a surfeit of things to play with and consider. I have also just got the Bannockburn game, Scotland Rising, in time for the referendum. So, what's next? Well, I am continuing work on the Napoleonic hex grid game and hope very soon to be able to share a small game to be called Waterloo a la Carte (as in map not menu!).

Saturday, 13 September 2014

At last....

One-Hour Wargames

It has arrived at long last and here is a picture to prove it....

Strictly speaking, it didn't arrive as I had intended in an effort free parcel from Amazon. Instead, I went to the Ian Allan bookshop in Birmingham and bought it. Returning home I immediately cancelled my Amazon order which had no chance of arriving before Xmas.

The book presents nine sets of two/three page rules and thirty scenarios. In some respects it reminds me of the Charles Grant Scenarios for Wargames book. It has options to play every scenario in nine different periods and with variable force levels, around 10,000 combinations if my maths is right. I don't know if this is the holy grail or a mirage but it is rather exciting!

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

More Strategos

Volume 2 of Strategos can be found here. It contains plates, tables and statistics such as....

New Victorian military wargame!

Strategos by Charles Totten US Army 1880

I came across this through a chance reference on BGG. It is by a US artillery lieutenant and published in two volumes in 1880 with the approval of the US army. It is of interest for a number of reasons:

1. I don't think I have ever heard of this work before and it may be missing from our collective view of the development of the wargame (it is not mentioned in Martin van Creveld's recent study for example).

2. It is a clear successor of von Reiswitz, von Tschishwitz and Baring's rules, although Totten claims to have developed his rules without reference to other games.

3. It is complex, multi-layered and multi-purpose, perhaps to the point of being too complex to use (I've heard that one before somewhere!).

You can find a digital version at Hathi Trust. For ease of reference I append here the title page and index. Enjoy!

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Fab Foam is err...Fab!

It really is...

I have had this stuff lying around for a good couple of years. My plan was to use it as the playing surface for grid type games like the Portable Wargame. Alas, I didn't get very far with this. However, its a great opportunity to put together an 8 by 6 grid for the Napoleonic hex grid game.

Fab Foam is thin (a couple of mil max) and quite soft and floppy (oo-er missus). The surface is porous and the packaging says it can be cut, glued and painted. It takes a pencil line very well and is non-slip. It is 80p for an A3 sheet from Hobbycraft. My old ones were a bit sun bleached so I got a couple of newer ones today which have a slightly different shade of green. I quite like that.

After an hour or so with a compass and ruler I made a template and then produced nine 3 by 2 125mm hex sheets. As you can see, the fit is not perfect but will do. T35 and Robogear "thing" posing on the kitchen table on the new grid. Hurrah!

Yes, I realise that it is 9 by 6 at the moment but I haven't decided yet whether to cut it down. I'm tempted to get another three sheets so that I can have an 8 by 8 grid, this would allow me to play PBI (first edition of course) on it but I would need a bigger table. 

I'm really pleased with this because it looks good and feels nice to play on. What is also good is that Hobbycraft do a blue sheet for rivers and an orangey brown for hills. Counters next!