Sunday, January 23, 2011

First test of AK-47 Republic

Well we had our first test of the new and improved AK-47 rules. Aside from a few glitches due to this being the first time we played the rules I think things flowed well. The mechanisms are easily understood, the charts are well organized (and get this rules writers, there is a cite on each section of the cheat-sheet directing you the the relevant sections of rules - true genius!) and it's color coded as well.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Swap Meet Update

I am thinking that early March would be a good time to give this a try.

As it stands I will probably be hosting the meet at my house, I have a large basement and an understanding wife (plus it saves me from having to haul my stuff to another location).


Wargames Factory War of Spanish Succession Infantry

Joe Dobson was kind enough to pick up a box of these from RIW Hobbies. You will find inside 36 well proportioned and detailed figures that will provide foot figures for many units during the War of Spanish Succession, with minor adjustments you could use them to build units from 1690 through 1730.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This year Spartacon was spared the customary "weather event", somehow nobody seemed dissappointed with that! I played in one game (a French and Indians Wars ) and hosted another. I had a blast in both.
I took some pictures but the hall was just dim enough that they ended up being rather dark.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Favorite ruleset

Everybody has a few favorite rulesets, different ones for different periods, some old some new. What I would like to know is what are yours, and why do you like them?

For me it goes like this;

Ancients; WRG 5th edition, largely for nostalgic reasons, it is painfully mechanical in parts but if you are playing with people that have a working understanding of the rules, it moves pretty quick.

Dark Ages; Here I favor the Warhammer Historical Rules, to my mind the way the rules emphasise heroes and elite leadership nails down the spirit of the period. It is also well suppported by Army Lists and uses the familiar Warhammer/40K mechanics.

Middle Ages/Renaissance; Here I must say that there is nothing that really moves me. There are some workable sets but just not much that jumps out at me.

Age of Reason;  With this one I am going to blow my own horn, I like my home-brewed rules they reflect my perception of combat in the era of linear tactics. I am working on tightening them up and will publish them here eventually.

Napoleonics; I am rather smitten with Black Powder right now, it seems to capture the spirit of the times and is easily adaptable to reflect the idiosycracies of national armies. Another plus is that it can be played with any armies that are based in a fairly similar manner. Don't be put off by the gigantic quantities of figures in the units that were photographed to illustrate the rules, we used our Nappies that were based for the old Empire rules (twelve figs to a battalion) and it worked just fine.

ACW/Franco-Prussian/Etc;  Here I am thinking that Black Powder may fill the bill, another contender is Ever Victorious Armies. Both possess quick, clean mechanics and are highly adaptable to handle changes in technology. E.V.A. has a points list that allows you to create troops from an ala carte list of skills and weapons that is pretty neat.

WW1; Nothing ever seems to get a grip on the period wiothout turning into some weird version of a board-game with all sorts of steps and reactions in every turn, either that or they end up as a Wild West skirmish games with really dangerous weapons. Not happy with anything so far.

WW2; Here I will once again let my ego run rampant and say that I like my rules the best (really, why wouldn't I?) They are also on the list for a polish up and publish.

Moderns; I don't play, I don't care. Now for modern Colonial affairs AK-47 Republic is a great set of rules with a very different slant, I like them a lot and will probably build a few armies.

Naval;  Wooden Ships and Iron Men for sailing era, my own rules for pre-dreadnoughts/ACW.

Air Combat; Wings of War, mechanics that a seven year old can understand in ten minutes but a tough and challenging game due to the need to think ahead and the highly variable damage system.

Sci-Fi; Space Hulk wins hands down, super clean mechanics and a riot to play, but it really is just a very pretty board-game. 40K is right behind that with well refined mechanics, a mileu that has the depth and breadth of a good novel and a selection of army types that are different and fun to play. There is a reason that GW is the biggest force in wargaming and 40K is a big part of that.

Post your favorites in the comments

A Brilliant Idea

A short time ago I ran into a friend, Chuck, we began talking about projects started and never finished or projects completed and no longer played. Chuck suggested that we should hold a Wargamer's Swap Meet. The sort of thing that motorcycle types and mothers of small children do. Everybody brings their excess goodies and we all get together and trade/sell toys.

This seems like a truly Brilliant Idea to me. I have tons of stuff that I am pretty sure I won't live long enough to finish, even if I were still interested in it.

What I am looking for is to see if there is a level of interest from other gamers, ask your friends and associates if they have surplus items that they would be willing to bring to a swap meet. If there is sufficient interest I can host it at my house, if there is a lot of folks wanting in I could probably swing access to an indoor venue in July some weekend.

If you are interested and have stuff to swap post a comment with the type of items (period, scale that sort of thing). Maybe we can do this as a virtual swap meet if we can't all get together in one place.

I am off to the dungeon to conduct an inventory.                                   John

Monday, January 3, 2011

Immortal Miniatures Greek Hoplites

These are probably the finest looking wargames minis I have ever seen, and I have been wargaming for forty years now. If you are at all interested in ancient greeks as a wargames army this is the reason to start now. These figures are well cast, naturally proportioned and actively posed. The level of detail is intimidating. They even provide decals so that you don't go mad trying to paint those compliocated Greek sheild designs. A little pricier than Wargames Factory of Warlord Plastics but they are worth every penny. Behold;

Wargames Factory Shock Troopers

Not really an historical set but I don't like to limit myself, particularly if they are well done figures. I found myself having the same problem that I have whenever I open a GW plastic box, I want to custom pose EVERY figure I build, this greatly slows assembly and painting but I find it to be great fun. They are also like GW in that they provide tons of extra bits and bobs; heads, weapons etc to spare.

HaT Bavarians

These come in three flavors; Command, marching and action poses. These are not nearly as crisp as Warlord or Victrix figures as they are scale-ups of the 20mm figues that HaT makes in soft plastic. That being said they are well posed and nicely proportioned. And let's face it, NOBODY else is going to do  Bavarians in helmets in 28mm plastic. I recommend these to anyone looking to do something off the beaten path, with the caveat that I have already mentioned.

Photo review Warlord Games Prussian Landwehr

Well here they are, and mighty nice figures they be indeed! Everybody with a 28mm Prussian army can now finally afford the mobs of Landwehr that they need for the 1813/14 campaigns. I highly recommend these.


Despite (perhaps because of) the vast array of really cool new plastic figs out I have been in the doldrums for the last four months. I have barely touched a paintbrush or contemplated a new project. To combat this malaise I have decided to refresh my terrain, hopefully the better looking table will cry out for some new minis. I will also be doing photo reviews of the new plastics that I bought so everybody can get an idea of how amazing these models are.  Look for new posts later today or tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

FoW Scenario for SpartaCon

Here is my scenario for Spartacon, I will be running a Barbarossa  game using the Early War German and Soviet army lists on the FoW "unofficial lists" website. These are driven by the game developers and forum commentors and have been largely adopted by the FoW rules writers in the past.

Further nonsense with forts

The moat of Fort Pulaski

Well I tried uploading my pictures of the Castilio de San Marcos into the blog but they rules about how much stuff you can pile into an entry (selfish bastards) so I wil do this as an interim until I can set up more Flickr sites. I have comprehensive photo walk-throughs of the Castillo. hundreds of pictures that I will e-mail to you if you post in thecomments section. i could also burn a CD if you wish. I have photo walk thoughs of Fort Pulaski, Fort Mackinaw and Fort Clinch as well. Comment if you are interested.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Upcoming Schedule

Sorry, I have been remiss in keeping this up to date;

I have also been suffering from brain-farts

April, 2011

May, 2011
7MAY11     Game at John's
14MAY11   Game at John's
June, 2011
4JUN11       TBD
11JUN11     TBD
18JUN11     TBD
25JUN11     TBD