Friday, April 12, 2024

02Hundred Hours, Escape From Stalag Luft III (or The Great Escape by another name)

         I am a big fan of the 02Hundred Hours systems which makes night-time Commando raids into a playable game. It rewards careful play but usually ends up with a touch of Hollywood shoot-out at the end. I found it an impressive effort at re-thinking the usual skirmish game. Now comes Escape from Stalag Luft III, this game uses the basic principles of 02Hundred Hours, but instead of a highly-trained band of heavily armed elite combat soldiers  the Allies are cast in the roles of essentially unarmed airmen trying to organize a break-out and escape from a German P.O.W. camp. Yes, think about The Great Escape in all its glory (but sadly no Steve McQueen on a motorcycle).

        This is an expansion, not a stand-alone game, it presumes that you have a copy of 02Hundred Hours to supply the minis and game components. Inside the box you will find six metal minis of the fearless Allied airmen bent on escaping from their Nazi captors and one motorcycle kit with a positively lethal-looking German soldier riding it. These minis are all new and match the exacting standards of other Grey For Now Games products. Also in the box are MDF bases for the minis, new cards to add to the Action, Equipment and Event decks and a scenario/rule book that explains the different  approach that this games takes.

the front of the box

Thursday, April 11, 2024

The Unstoppable Force encounters the Easily Moveable Object

       Editor's two cents:

       We did our usual shenanigans of dicing for which book/which half and found ourselves in the first half of the third book. In the interest of further hobbling ourselves we agreed that I should pick an army and The Housemartin would choose a historically legitimate opponent. In a further act of madness I resolved to choose an army that I have never played before. After consulting my supply of Light Cavalry I selected Cumans with the idea that playing on the larger 5x8' table would allow them to skirmish properly. I've never had any luck with cavalry and I hoped this would be a turning point.

In riposte to Anton's loony choice of the Cumans, I responded with the Teutonic Order, I figured that since the army lists said that the Teutonic Order were the ones who destroyed the Cumans I might have a chance in the sand storm headed my way.  Anton outscouted me 204:13, so my army deployed first.  

Gaming Update, My place Saturday 04/13/24 7pm

 Like it says, my place 7pm. Be there or we will talk smack about you.

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Old Dudes and Old Rules, Champa vs Scots-Irish

        So this time Anton convinced me that limiting our selections would be a good idea so it was decided that we would still dice for a book, and then dice for which half of that book.  We ended up with the first half of the second, or yellow book (this is where the Roman Empire armies reside).  Anton selected the Champa, one of the armies of Vietnam.  I selected the Scots-Irish (Ireland during the Roman invasion of Britain).  Anton volunteered that he chose his army to field nine elephants.  I chose my army because it gets even more Light Chariots than the famous "Ancient British Panzer Division" of these rules.  I outscouted Anton 33:12, so he had to deploy his army first and I elected to have an element of my army go on a flank march to arrive later in the battle.  Here are our deployments.  

       As a note Anton got tired of me not giving units titles so he went through and applied titles in the photo editing stage, so I will say thanks and am forced to use them.  

28mm Fireforge Ashigaru Shooters

the front of the box
       Hot off the presses and courtesy of my local Brick & Mortar, Michigan Toy Soldier, we find one of the latest releases from the fine folks at Fireforge Games, Ashigaru Shooters from their Samurai Wars range. Crisply and cleanly cast with no trace of flash and hardly a mold-line these minis are made of a firm medium gray plastic that exhibits excellent detail and will glue up well using normal polystyrene cement (model airplane glue). The poses are active but restrained, no silly leaping or twirling figures, they will rank-up very well. Body proportions are realistic and the figures have delicately detailed hands and faces. Weapons and armor are correct for the mid-late period and these models can easily be mixed with the Samurai Shooters figures from Fireforge to represent poorer samurai or ashigaru that serve a particularly generous lord.

28mm Fireforge Game Samurai Shooters


the front of the box

        Fresh off the presses I got a look at the Fireforge Games Samurai range figures courtesy of Michigan Toy Soldier and what an impressive group of figures these are! Cast in a medium gray plastic they exhibit fine detail, excellent proportions and historic fidelity in equal measure. They are solidly in the middle of 28mm size-wise which perhaps makes them "overscale" as most Japanese were smaller than Europeans of the era but it matters little as they spent most of their time playing on their home turf.

        In all honesty I am no authority on "things samurai" so I dug through my references and spent some time online before I looked at these minis. I find that he equipment and armor are excellent depictions of mid to late period Samurai. The armor is delicately detailed and fits the figures well, it doesn't appear "stuck on" the figure as some other ranges of samurai minis look. The weapons are correct for the period including the eccentric Japanese longbow. But enough of my chatter, let's look at the figures themselves.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Khmer and fight me like a man*

       Despite our latest move to picking armies from the same half of one of the army list volumes we managed to get an even more unlikely pairing than the last one. This time we had the Vikings facing off against the Khmer, that is one long trip halfway around the world. Perhaps we should limit ourselves to a geographic areas? Second book, eastern Europe.... who knows, it's all just silly fun anyways.

The Terrain Gods proved fickle this time around and with neither of us taking much of a mounted arm I ended up outscouting Anton 2:0 so he had to deploy first and here is our initial deployments.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Battlefields, the morning at least!

        Despite the wonderful weather (a rarity in Michigan this time of year) The turnout was quite good with 100+ gamers partaking in the days events. All games were participation games and most were full to capacity. The jovial Pro or Con staff was welcoming and the company convivial. My apologies to the Gamemasters, Tabletop Events took down the list of games the day of the event and the game guide provided on the day didn't list the Gamemaster's name (which it used to do) you will remain anonymous but the great games that you brought will get credited!

overall shot of the hall in mid-morning

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Gaming Update, 23MAR24 My Place 7pm

        As usual the title says it all.

Be there!

Thracians take a thrashing, WRG 6th ed, yet again

 This time Around Anton gave me the "head fake".  We were working out of the first half of the first book, so all the VERY early armies were in play.  Anton spent the week talking about using the "Northern Barbarians" the Asiatic step nomads before they discovered horses, so I went with the Historic opponents, The Early Shang Chinese.  Anton however instead went with the Thracians which guaranteed a blood bath for our battle as both armies relied on 2 handed cutting weapons.   Anton massively outscouted my 49:1 so I deployed my army first.  

Saturday, March 16, 2024

Prehistoric Terrain

        When I think about it my idea of "prehistoric terrain" is more informed by Saturday morning "B" movies than any sort of erudite study.  These epics often took place in the desert valleys near Hollywood, a terrain MOST unlike anything encountered by humans trying to survive at the end of the last Ice Age! Some quick study made it clear that the climate was far more temperate. Land so recently scoured by glaciers would have far less topsoil and much more exposed rock so plant life would be scattered and struggling. With those thoughts in mind I sat down to paint the terrain for Zhodani Commando's caveman game.

a now-dead volcano's basalt core bared by the relentless weight of the ice

Wednesday, March 13, 2024

Wargaming Update, Battlefields is coming soon 16MAR2024

        That perennial favorite, Battlefields, will soon be upon us. Make sure to set the day aside to attend this great local convention, it is always a fun time. New this year is a Bolt Action tournament and a Paint and Take table, two great additions. Of course there will be the usual raffles and free Flea Market tables. Just $10.00 gets you in all day and games are free. There is hot food and a bar in-house and any number of good restaurants nearby. Easy access off of I-96 or I-275.

         You can find the list of games and the location on Tabletop Events.