Sunday 23 March 2014

Extra "Phwoar!"

Its that sort of day...

Yes, I have managed to celebrate Mother's Day a week early and spend most of the weekend working or doing homework. A difficult couple of days so this picture really cheered me up....

This was posted on the M44 forum and shows a close up of the D-Day map for Sword beach. The larger picture of all six maps that I posted doesn't show much detail and I was concerned about what we would actually get. This map reassures me big time that we have a real live workable scenario. My first questions is "does this look like my mental map of the battlefield?" and this does. The second question is "looking at the set up, do I have lots of historical options/problems to deal with?", the answer is again yes. I can see plenty of tension here between the drive on Caen and the reinforcement of the Orne bridgehead.

I'm really looking forward to this release. I have no hope of playing the full six maps, if I'm lucky I might get to play two or three maps, but will need to buy additional soldiers rather than additional base games. Maybe I also need some friends to play with!

Friday 21 March 2014

Things that make you go "Phwoar!"

Invading Normandy again (but bigger) 

We have not had new M44 kit for some time, the Equipment Pack being the last big ticket item in 2012. We now have a very special release to commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day itself and the 10th anniversary of M44.

We had the warning from DoW a couple of weeks ago with the familiar message that was originally broadcast on Radio Londres:

Les sanglots longs
Des violons
De l’automne
Blessent mon cœur
D’une langueur

This could only mean a D-Day release but what more could they actually do? The hints seemed to show maps covering the whole of the Normandy front with extra pictures of crowds of fat bald old people crammed into a games store playing a huge M44 game. Needless to say the forums were divided.....what did it mean? Was it to be more maps? More miniatures?

Well the answer came yesterday with the formal DoW announcement. Its six really big maps!

The base map for M44 is 13 hexes wide by 9 deep. You can play these in Overlord style with two maps side by side (26 by 9). A larger breakthrough map was was released giving 13 by 17 to enable battles in depth. Now what we have is a ginormous map set giving 78 wide by a generous 23 deep when set up together.

Forum intelligence estimates the size of the whole map at anywhere between 14 foot and three miles wide. Certainly, this qualifies for a Phwoar in anyone's money!

The great thing about this is that you can play single, double or triple etc etc map games. in M44 speak this map configuration must be at least a triple overthrough breaklord!

The scale looks good too as it appears to be regiment/brigade level. There's a whole fist full of gaming here for only what appears to be 30 of our English pounds. Great, can't wait til the release in June.

Sunday 2 March 2014

Mobilisation begins!

First draft counters for Tannenberg

This game is beginning to grow on me. I have been re-reading Barbara Tuchman's Guns of August and started sketching out some of the factors to be taken into account in the rules. Mmmh, that General Francois can't obey an order even if it was wrapped round a brick. That will fun!

In my own head I have a model for what I want to do but developing this and producing a decent and informative game may be tricky. But the momentum is growing and I'm really looking forward to getting this on the table.

I've started work on the counters....

A bit rough and ready at this stage but good enough for a play test.

These counters are generated in Excel with some added pictures, the flag and the Landser and dragoon. The flag is the German naval jack but I like to see iron crosses marching across the map! The Landser and dragoon are cut out of 1914 posters/prints and are a little blurry up close. My intention with the design is to be clear about the type and strength of the unit but to build in some real period feeling while avoiding any copy right issues. Not being a good drawer I'll have to rely on pinching other fellers work.

I'm pleased with the general format of the counters. I developed the Excel model when I wanted some colourful counters for the Minden Games' 1914 Opening Moves, a very nice little solitaire game. There's more about this on BGG

Hopefully some more progress tomorrow.