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1:600 reinforcements

My latest Tumbling Dice planes have arrived from the UK:

I now have some MiG-29s, F/A-18s, F-16s and a E2 Hawkeye.

 The E2 Hawkeye is for use in scenarios. Interestingly the C21 rules list the E2 as an AWACS in the notes, but I can't find any reference to what AWACS does in the game. I will see if there is any reference in the Yahoo group. If not, I will as the group what AWACS does.

Like previously I will paint the minis in a neutral way so that I can use them for various nations, plus I will use the F-16s as F-16s and as the Japanese F-2. The F-2 is based on the F-16, but is slightly larger with subtle differences. Until some one makes a 1:600 F-2 I will use the F-16s.

 The F/A-18s will allow me to field USN and Australian forces in games.

I will post photos once I have painted the figures. But first I have to glue the magnets to the planes and hope they actually stay glued. I have a lot of problems having the magnets stay on no matter what type of glue I use.

Projects for 2012

This post could be my undoing, but it will be good to look back a year from now and see if I talked the talk or walked the walk.

So, what do I want to accomplish in 2012 for the hobby?

1/600 Modern Jets
I have my modern 1/600 modern jet campaign. I have the C21 rules, and some planes hopefully in the mail. I need to write up my campaign back ground and then it will be systems go.

 The great thing about a plane combat game is I don't really need scenery, so I am ahead of the game already.

18mm Napoleonics
I want to finish my 18mm Napoleonic army for Black Powder. I just need to purchase some additional figures and then get off my butt and paint them. As painting is what I am slowest at, this might not be as easy to do.

 I just need to get back into a routine of painting, and it should be ok. I should clean up my painting 'desk' as this will help a lot.

28mm Vietnam war
I have my 28mm Vietnam war solo project.  I have the LRRPs, but not at all skillful at painting cammo uniforms. I will have to do some research on to which colour to use as the base uniform and I will have a crack at it.

 Somewhere in my collection is a handful of Eureka Miniatures VC, so I intend to paint these up as it will drive my motivation a bit.

28mm Modern Africa
 This is a project my wargaming buddy requested at the end of this year. He would like to play a skirmish campaign fielding a platoon of infantry.
 After doing a bit of research we decided on an Africa imagi-nation with British troops. As I had the background of such a nation already typed up, it was easy to decide on the setting.
 We intend to use TAG Modern British and Africans, with extra figures from other companies thrown in.

 I have some corrugated card to make a shanty town with, and I have ideas for a petroleum pipeline for scenery.

 28mm Wild West
 During 2010 I painted up a number of wild west figures and scratch build a handful of buildings. Using "The rules with no name" we played a short campaign that was a lot of fun.
 I need to finish off a number of buildings I started to make, build some new ones and paint a few more figures.
 This might be a slow but ongoing project, and I might even make it a solo campaign if the African imagi-nation takes the limelight.

 I purchased the 7TV rules for Christmas, and I have a few Kiss Kiss Bang Bang figures already, so I want to get something up and running for this. I will test drive the rules and then decide on what I want to do for this game.

EDIT - 28mm WW2
 I forgot to add that I want to finish my 28mm WW2 armies - one British and one Soviet so I can get a game of "Victory Decision" in. But this depends on if Warlord Games release their Soviets in individual packs. I would use BTD, but I have been burnt by them in the past and am loath to risk them again.

Other bits and pieces

Of course there is my zombie project - this was probably the highlight of the hobby for me in 2011, but more of that on my zombie wargame blog.

 I also have the new Mongoose Publishing Star Trek rules on the way in the mail. If they are any good I would like to play a bit of this. More on this after I get the rules.

I should get some games of Strange Aeons in as well, as I have painted up a lot of figures for this game, and I do like the whole Cthulhu horror thing.

I have always wanted to do a Super Hero game. I might try 7TV to see if it works for the genre. I like the Four Colour figures, but the postage from Old Glory sucks big time, so I most likely will go with Reaper figures for some super heroes. I know nothing about the Clix figures (?) but might look at some of them too.

 Of the above list at least one of the projects will get legs. This will be the 1/600 campaing, as it is the easiest.

 As the African imagi-nation is the focus for the year, I will work on this quite a bit.

Of course there will be other games played and worked on as the 'ooh shiny!' factor kicks in, or my simple mind wanders around like a gold fish.

It will be interesting to see what does and does not happen with the hobby in 2012.

What will you be planning for 2012?

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all the readers and followers of my blog.

 I hope you and your families have a great one.

Copplestone Miniatures Santa and his helper

Hopefully in the new year I will get some projects up and running and post a lot more on my blog... but no promises as life has a habit of getting in the way.

Vietnam crater - part 2

As I mentioned in a previous post I wanted to make a crater to represent a B52 strike.

 Thanks to a fellow blogger, I think I have a very simple answer to how best to make it:

making craters

Now I just need a decent piece of board to make the crater on.

TAG figures arrive!

My TAG Vietnam Special forces arrived today, and they included a bit of a surprise/present with the order.

 The nice Gentlemen at TAG included a war correspondent in the pack, which will be very useful for some scenarios.

 The figures I ordered were the Special Forces with M16s and M117 (colt commando). A couple of the figures don't have back packs, which isn't so good for LRRP missions, but I have enough with packs that this isn't an issue, and I can use the other figures for other purposes, so it isn't an issue for me.

 As I can't paint cam uniforms to save my life I am tempted to look for a painter for the figures and pay to have them done.

 The good thing about gaming with a LRRP team is that I have all the Allied figures I need to play the Allied side, and anything else I buy for the Allied is for scenario purposes.

 I have a hand full of Eureka VC figures, so I should be able to stage a small firefight while building up my Communist forces.


Previously I made a post in regards to Ebob Miniatures coming out with a set of Vietnam War rules.

 Well, they are taking their sweet time to come out, so I looked at other options.

 I purchased two packs of the TAG miniatures of "US Special Forces" that I can use as LRRPs, and I will get some more packs containing heavy and support weapons at a later date so that I can make a "Heavy Team" of LRRPs.

 I also noticed that Eureka Miniatures have a pack of NVA figures now. I hadn't noticed those before, but I suspect they were released the same time as their SASR figures.

 Even though Eureka Miniatures are smaller in size to most other figures out there I will use some of these figure - after all, the Vietnamese were so much smaller than the Allied troops.

~                               ~                                 ~                                ~                                   ~

 As part of my planned LRRP game I have a list of missions for them to go out on. One of these is Bomb Damage Assessment. Quite often the LRRPs were sent out to assess the effectiveness of the "Arc Light" bombings.

 What I want to make is a bomb crater, so I am doing some research into what I am letting myself into:

Aussie in a B52 bomb crater. Image linked from the "Steel Thunder" web site

Aussies looking at a crater.
The good news for me is that the craters are not as big as I was thinking they would be. Now I just need to come up with something that is easy to make and looks the part.

dungeon bash

For a number of years I have collected to odd fantasy figure with the intention of playing a fantasy game.

Recently I have been taking a hard look at the Hirst Arts bits and pieces with the intention of creating a set of tiles for dungeon exploration games.

As such, I figured I needed to design a dungeon so I would know how many pieces of pre-made Hirst Arts pieces I would need. The good thing about the Hirst Arts web site is they provide many great instructions and ideas for making the type of dungeon that I want to make: Hirst Arts Dungeon

 Being a little bit lazy I thought I would see what I could find on line to help me with my dungeon designs.

Fortunately for me it appears that role players are just as lazy and there were a few free online dungeon generators on line for me to choose from. Out of all the online dungeon generators I looked at, these three fit the bill best for my wants / needs:

The first one I looked at seemed to be the best. If allows you to construct different sized dungeons, add stairs, secret doors and you can remove any dead ends it may generate which prevents silly and pointless parts to a dungeon.
 The generator even numbers and fills the rooms with beasties for you, but I assume that is for a particular set of rules and I will just ignore the text part of the dungeon. The program allows you to save the dungeon as a PDF, and save an image for a player map with out the secret bits: Random dungeon generator 1

Player's Map for random dungeon

The next one is fairly good and is useful for generating a lot of rooms. Unlike the first one the layout is not always logical: dungeon generator 2

This one is very much like the first one, although I can't see a function that lets you print it out. Having said that, it does give you a link so you can create it again if need be: Dungeon generator 3
 One function I like is that you can determine the biggest room size, which I thought was a great function. It doesn't add stairs though.

Having created a dungeon, I will print it out and start planning the game tiles I need for my game.

For rules I might use the "Song of Blade and Heroes" or even keep it very simple and use the old "Fighting Fantasy" choose your own adventure system, or a little RPG game I have called "Dragon Warriors" that has since been reprinted by Mongoose Publishing and this year to be brought out by a company called "Serpent King Games". I have the original rules books, so I will use those.

 There is a great possibility that I will run games of this as a "Play By Blog" for followers of my blog very much like the zombie game being played on my zombie blog.

AirWar: C21 - review after game played

I just finished playing a test game of AirWar: C21, and it was very enjoyable.

 I randomly rolled for all pilot skill levels that gave me three average pilots and one green pilot.

 I pitted my F-15s against the Su-27s, with the only green pilot being in an Su-27.

As I was playing the game solo, I used the manoeuvre cards I created as hidden movement - a card was chosen at random and placed next to the enemy plane, with only certain manoeuvres beings allowed if fired upon. This was done to reflect a pilot taking an evasive move when targeted.

 Each turn I wrote down the orders for my F-15 pilots before placing enemy movement cards.

 I then rolled for initiative for all the planes and played out the phase in order.

Initially the game was slowed by having to re-read rule sections and to make sure I was doing the correct things, but after a few game turns I was using the QRS more than the book, with the exception of expanding on information that was on the QFS.

My pilot reference sheets proved to be essential as this had all the data I needed at hand, which means the game flowed a lot faster.

 During the game I realised I needed missile counters, so I borrowed an idea I found on the web and cut sections of pipe cleaners and up them on flight stands. This worked very well indeed, and I used the idea for missiles and chaff/flares.

 Due to the small playing area I had, I used centimetres instead of inches, and this worked perfectly.

In the first game turn my #2 F-15 failed his manoeuvre, but it was lucky for him that he was out of range of any enemy fire. All other planes moved without hassle.

 In the second turn F-15 #1 increased its speed in order to get into missile range, and his intended target failed its manoeuvre - presenting a nice target for the AIM-7s.  One of the fired missiles missed, but the second one did enough damage that the Su-27 blew apart.

In the third turn the remaining Su-27 fired two missiles at the victorious F-15, and in turn both F-15s fired missiles at the Su-27.

 Bad dice rolls saved the targeted F-15, but I am putting the misses down to the chaff used.

The Targeted Su-27 evaded two of the four missiles. The third missile struck the plane causing a lot of damage, but not destroying it. That job was left to the fourth missile, which destroyed the Su-27 in a massive fire ball.

 The game didn't take long to play at all - with only four planes in total the game moved very fast. I except with more planes the game would slow down, but once the rules are understood and I know what is what, that time would be cut down.

 I enjoyed the game, and will definitely be playing more games in the future.

When I next go shopping I will buy some different pipe cleaners and make some better missile and chaff counters with them.

Having played the game I am happy that I can play it solo, and with this in mind I will be purchasing more aircraft for each side with the intention of playing a campaign.

RECON28 - Vietnam War

Having played the Vietnam war in 20mm (I still have the figures but don't use them) and tried a 15mm game, I have decided I really want to do 28mm.

 The type of game I want to play is small unit (a platoon max) skirmish game.  I have some Australians and VC from Eureka miniatures, but haven't painted them up... mainly because I am not able to find a green colour that works for the Australian uniforms.

As the project was put on the back burner I didn't do much more about setting up a Vietnam war game.

Ambush Alley Games did release a Vietnam set of rules... I provided information to the author and didn't even get a thanks in the credits (I was told I would), plus the rules don't really do what I want for a skirmish game... they are more a unit game as opposed to an individual soldier game.  I will use the rules for the charts and campaign system though.

Since then Eureka has released some SAS figures, but no NVA or additional VC figures, which is what I would need more of for a game.

What I really want though is a LRRP (Long Range Recon Patrol) or SOG (Originally Special Operations Group, but they thought this would give the game away, so changed the name to ..... Studies and Observations Group. Go figure).

 An SAS, SEAL or Marine Recon game would fit the bill as well, although the SAS were not really used in the way I want to play my games.

Basically a small elite unit that can use regular troops as back up when needed.

SOG video

 Last year I noticed the Ebob Miniatures was releasing a set of minis and rules for a Vietnam Wargame. After contacting Ebob for more information I was told it should be released soon.

Ebob LRRP figure

Ebob has posted photos on their Vietnam site, but still nothing is for sale!  But they do continue to post the occasional update - they now have greens for SAS figures on the web site.

Ebob SAS figure

 I am very keen to get the rules and some figures to kick start a Vietnam wargame, but I might have to paint up my Eureka figures and go with them if they take much longer. Not that I have a problem with the Eureka miniatures... I just wish they did more figures for the range.

 TAG miniatures have a Vietnam war range, I might use the VC/NVA figures.


Eureka Miniatures Vietnam war figures

TAG Miniatures

If Ebob takes much longer to release the rules I might convert a new set of rules I purchased that have a lot of potential: Victory Decision

EDIT - if anyone can suggest a Vallejo colour I can use to paint up faded olive uniforms for my Australians please let me know.

A 2nd Russo-Japanese War?

As part of my preparation for an AirWar: C21 campaign I am researching some background on some potential modern day conflicts.

I wanted to do something different to the norm with this campaign (as I usually tend to do). Originally I wanted to set up a new Sino-Japanese war, as there is plenty of tension between to two nations.

 But due to the fact that I can't buy modern Chinese jet miniatures I scrapped this idea.

Instead I came up with a potential  Russo-Japanese war over the disputed Norther Territories (or Kuril Islands as Russia calls them).

Here is some back ground information on the tension between the two nations:

Note the Chishima video is 26 mins long

AirWar: C21 a first impressions review

My AirWar: C21 rules arrived this week after a bit of a delay from the U.K. end.

I ordered 2 x F-15s and 2 x Su-27s and magnets with the rules so that I could use them in a game ASAP.

 And have your anginine handy -  I have already painted the minis!

 The planes are Tumbling dice 1/600 scale miniatures and they are great. I didn't paint up any fancy or complicated paint schemes for them as I want to use them for many different nations as my scenarios require. Thus I won't be painting any markings on the planes.

F-15s and Su-27s - not very imaginative paint jobs I know.

Anyway, a quick review of the rules, bearing in mind that I have yet to play a game and that I have only read them a few times.

 I ordered the book, but you can easily pay for and download a PDF and print them out yourself.

 The rules are 44 pages long, including contents and quick reference sheets.

 Most of the book is taken up with plane and weapon data, with the actual rules taking up 14 pages, with an extra 10 pages dedicated to air to ground rules.

 At first glance the rules can be a bit daunting as there are a few stats to take in, but once you read the rules and check what the rules discuss against the plane and missile data it all makes sense and isn't really that complicated at all.

 Playing a game requires d6 and d10 dice and your playing surface. A hex sheet is not needed in any way at all, but if you can't cope without one you could easily adapt the rules to allow for hex movement.

 Also there is no altitude system with the game so you don't have to record what altitude your planes are flying at which helps speed things up a bit.

 Each turn is broken down into two phases which are almost identical in what you do in them.

 Players select their speed, their manoeuvres, roll for initiative and spotting. Based on the initiative the planes are then moved, combat is conducted and then final speed calculated based on damage or manoeuvres made.

Pros and Cons

  •  Pros 

    you can play a game from anytime 1960 on wards, which gives a lot of scope for different historical wars as well as some non-historical ones.
 While designed for two or more players I honestly think it would be easy to play solo by the use of manoeuvre cards.

  • Cons 

   the game doesn't come with manoeuvre cards, roster sheets or any markers the game requires you to have to play the game. Fortunately I was able to find some roster sheets and manoeuvre cards in a yahoo group.

 The rules mention campaign games, but doesn't have any campaign rules. As I love campaigns this was a bit of a bummer for me, but I will probably adapt an old board game I have called "Hornet Leader" for use with the game, or even make my own system.

 The rules have Pilot skill ratings from Green to Ace (5 skill levels in all) but doesn't tell you how to generate pilots for your games. Again I will come up with something for this.

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Overall the rules seem quite good, but I will reserve my full judgement until I have played a game. I will post my thoughts on how the game played once I have done so.

Trafalgar - learning the rules and first game

I have had the rules "Trafalgar" since they came out - I ordered them with a fleet deal that gave me enough ships to get a game up and running, but other projects got in the way, so they sat there collecting dust.

 As I mentioned in other posts I have dusted off the ships and the rules, including even painting some of the ships, and last night we gave them a go.

Despite reading other peoples' comments on TMP I chose to play the rules exactly as they are and then see what was what and make any changes if needed.

 The good thing about forums is that every person will have their own opinion which, gasp, sometimes isn't that accurate due to bias for or against a company or a set of rules. I am like this about several rules myself.

 So last night I laid down my 'sea sheet' on the gaming table and we took one ship each to put them through their paces as we learnt the rules, going through each step slowly, practicing what we just learnt and then moving on to the next phase.

After a bit of manoeuvring around 'the ocean' (which gave us plenty of time to practice the turn segments and actual movement and turning the ships) we managed to get in a broadside or two before time ran out for the night.

 Having played the rules I can't see the big problem people have with these rules. I not a big fan of the  Warhammer rules myself, but the Trafalgar rules don't have the same stats and combat charts like the other Warhammer rules.

 I would probably use the house rules David Manley wrote for Wargames Illustrated issue 260 (of which my friend had a copy), and we agreed that if we were to write orders for each turn it would stop foresight by other players that give them the edge over their opponent.

 Next time we play we will use more ships and try out writing down our orders for the turn.

 I also hope to include some photos the next time I post about playing a game of Trafalgar

Painting Napoleonic ships - take two

After my self flagellation over the bad painting efforts on my Napoleonic ships I went and did something else before becoming inspired and giving it a second go.

 I think the main problem I had was that I was trying to paint 1:2400 scale based on the eye candy I had seen in rule books and on other people's blogs.

 That and the fact I didn't really have the right colours needed (and I still don't) and that the detail is so fine my hand - eye coordination is more used to painting 28mm figures and not something so small as these ships.

So, my moment of inspiration was to reverse what I was trying to paint.

  In my first attempt I was painting the ships according to the 'how to' in the Trafalgar rule book. This didn't work for me.

 What I did instead was to paint the entire hull black and then paint the gun ports in the yellowish colour the British ships had, and to my delight it appeared that I had painted the hull the yellowish colour and that it was the gun ports that were black.

 With the small scale of the ships it actually came out ok. I painted up a second ship to see if it was a fluke, and this ship came out even better.

 Encouraged by my attempts I then painted up a French/Spanish ship and that too looks ok.

There are twenty two ships in total for me to paint, and I will have to do them in dribs and drabs as it actually hurts my eyes to paint them. I might have to invest in a magnifying glass.

This is the first ship I painted after a repaint 

The second ship I painted once I figured out what I was doing

 My first attempt at a French/Spanish ship

The camera shows up some flaws, but I am happy with the way they came out, and you can't see the flaws so easily when you are playing a game.

Ship painting epic fail

I tried painting one of my Napoleonic ships today and to accurately describe what it looks like will no doubt offend a lot of readers.

 It was so bad that I would proudly game with unpainted figures rather than show a single person what the mess I made of the ship looks like.

 I didn't quite have the right hull colour that is recommended for painting these ships, so I might be tempted to give it another go if I can find said suggested paint, but until then these figures will remain unpainted.

 If I thought I could ship the figures safely to a figure painter I would do so, but the 1:2400 scale is a bit fragile for popping in the post.

 I will still play games of Trafalgar with the minis, but it might be a long time before they are painted :-(


 Avast ye land lubbers!  If all goes well I will be playing my first game of "Trafalgar" tonight.  I also have the "Kiss Me Hardy" rules, but thought I would try the Warhammer Historical rules first.

I have enough ships for 11 per side, but as my mate and I will be learning the rules we will start off with one ship each as we go through the rules and then add more ships once we know enough to play an actual game.

Having not played the game (which I bought as a pre-order when it was due for release) I have read a bit about what other's think of the game on a few forums, but I will play the game as is initially and see what I think of the rules as is.

  I have read a few complains that the rules are a typical warhammer deal, I go you go, min max and so on, but having played a number of "Victory at Sea" games I can't see much difference in the play sequence.

 I will post my thoughts on the game and how the game played tomorrow, assuming I will be playing.

Edit: no game tonight - as usually happens when I do a lot of prep work the game night gets cancelled, so hopefully I will get to play next week.  I might even attempt to paint one (or more) of the tiny ships before then.

Witchfinder General

I have always wanted to play a witchfinder game - I have a couple of figures stashed away somewhere in case I ever managed to get this project up and running.

 I learnt today that a set of rules for playing witchfinder games is being released on 31 Oct this year:

Witchfinder General

I was looking for a book to read on the Book Depository site and found you can pre-order it for 25% cheaper than the price shown on the Dashing Dice site, and they have free P&P as well.

Anyone else interested can place their order here: book depository


Well, I guess Matakishi's Crom rules tempted me more than I thought, as two figures arrived in the mail today after I searched the internet for suitable figures to represent Conan and Red Sonja.

 Apparently both figures are no longer sold in shops - you have to buy them direct from Reaper Miniatures as they are OOP.

 I was lucky enough to find an ebay store that was selling both of these figures so I jumped on the chance to get them.

The sword on my Conan figure is bent in the package, and both figures have a bit of flash to clean up, but these things are not really a problem.

Hopefully the next time I show these figures they will be painted (fingers crossed).

Now I need to rustle up some opponents for Conan. I am still trying to decide which country within Hyboria. Hard to make my mind up, but I am having fun reading my old Conan books to help me decide.

Pirates arrrrgh!

In my pile of lead are a number of pirate figures. Some are the original wargames foundry miniatures and the majority are Eureka Miniatures when they initially came out. I painted a couple of figures, but the majority are unpainted (as usual).

I am seriously thinking of starting up with pirates again, as I think Matakishi's  "Crom" rules will be perfect for pirate games.

I have enough figures to get a game going provided I play pirate crew vs pirate zombies and or skeletons.

 What I want to do is have enough variety to play any kind of game:

          vs Soldiers/Sailors (French/English/Spanish) using War of Spanish Succession figures

          vs undead (Zombies and Skeletons)

          vs other pirates

         vs Natives (cannibals or many other types)

         vs Sea Monsters

Q:  What else have I not thought about for opponents for my pirates?


Pirates: Eureka Miniatures, Foundry, Brigade Games, Black Cat Bases, Black Scorpion, Reaper, Artizan, Crusader(?)

Soldiers: Front Rank Miniatures, Black Cat Bases, Wargames Factory (soon to be released plastic)

Undead: Eureka, Foundry (I think?)

Natives: Eureka, Reaper, Copplestone

Sea Monsters: Black Cat Bases

Q: What other figures have I missed?

Ooooh - I just found this site that has a guide to Pirate figures :-D  Pirate Guide

Modern "What if" Conflicts?

In anticipation of my Airwar: C21 rules and some planes arriving I am thinking about modern conflicts and how to justify coming up with situations where modern jets would be used against each other.

There are plenty of countries that could go to war, but the main problem I seem to face is the use of nuclear weapons.

So how to justify a conflict where nukes wont be used?

"Nuke - just don't do it" - maybe the threat of a world wide nuclear war is enough deterrent to prevent a nuclear war. Maybe a bit over simplified but it could work.

Russia - if the state of their navy is anything to go by maybe Russian nukes/deployment systems are so poorly maintained that whilst the threat is there, they can't be used.

North Korea - just write a bit of back ground with a) they didn't actually develop nuclear weapons and it was all a sham, or b) due to lack of funds and resources (inc. a starving population) they weren't able to produce nuclear weapons.

China - apparently they have a 'do not use first policy'. This can be very useful as it means they 'pwomise' they will not use nukes unless they are used on them first.

The West - well, being the 'good guys' the West will never use them on others first.

African Nations - well, considering most of these nations don't really have much of an airforce compared to bigger nations would it really be fun to have an airwar that could end in the first game of a campaign?

With these points in mind, I am tempted to work on some following conflict ideas:

Indonesia vs Australia (and allies). The allies would be needed due to the small size of Australia's air force.

             conflict against former Soviet states escalates bringing the west into conflict with Russia.

            vs Japan (over the northern Island chains). Can escalate including Western Forces.
           Also as per the background of the novel "Fortunes of War"

            War against the West due to invasions in Europe (Red Storm Rising novel)

North Korea:
                     stock standard 2nd Korea War (Red Phoenix novel)
                    vs Japan over years of tension, including kidnapping of Japanese citizens

           vs Vietnam - escalates bringing the west in (Red Dragon Rising novels)

          vs Japan/Allies - over resources and control of southern Island, as per events last year.

Other Nations?

 I haven't read the book, but apparently Larry Bond wrote a novel with France fighting against the U.S. which would be interesting to read.

To make a game interesting I think major powers are needed, or at least countries that have a decent sized air force.

 I will do some research to see if African and South American Nations could come into contention. After seeing how some middle eastern nations didn't really put up much of a fight with their air force over the years, I don't think a middle eastern setting would be very rewarding.

Crom play test - Samurai style

 I play tested a game of "Crom" using some unpainted minis (so what :-P ), a few pieces of scenery and an imaginary river (I need to make some scenery!)

I used a 60 cm X 60 cm playing area on a purpose built table for one of my scenery tiles and this area played o.k. for a seven minis per side game. I think I could easily push it to ten or maybe twelve figures per game in this playing area, but I feel it might get crowded after that.

The game plays very quickly - and while it might seem simplistic at first I found I needed to put a bit more thought in to what I do as going all out in attack leaves that attacker defenceless to other attacks that most likely will follow.

The initiative system works well, but then as it is card based activation (unless dice are used to help win the initiative) I am probably biased in this regard. I enjoy card based activation systems the most of all.

The rules state that characters figures can move through friendly figures. Some how I had it in my head that this applied to all friendly figures, but if only characters can do this then it is much better.

 As you will see from the photos allowing minions to move through friendly figures reduces the tactical advantage of controlling a bottle neck.

 Combat is quick and nasty - a minion can die with one hit, and the survivor more likely than not will be left open for a defenceless attack as mentioned above.

The game certainly needs a good scenario with objectives. A straight out battle is one thing, but being able to or being forced to use characters to meet objectives will turn it in to a whole different game.

Overall I enjoyed this game and the rules very much. Simple with enough thought needed to tactics.

I think this set of rules would lend itself to projects that have been in the back of my mind that I want to play very much: Viking, Greek Mythology, Pirates and a Pulp game to name a few.

I wonder if they would work for zombie games....

The set up: each side has 1 character, a 2IC and 5 minions.

The first combat on the bridge

The enemy minion suffered badly at the hands of the tougher good guy...

... but was left defenceless against the enemy character who cleaved him in half.

Clash of characters - the blue ronin winning out.

The monks start to mop up the last resistance 

Victory went to the monks and the blue ronin.

My Nihon project

Rather than post what I would like to do, I thought it might be a nice change to post what I am actually doing :-P

I started this a few years ago but depression and a painting block sort of saw it being stored in a draw for future times.

 The project was rekindled after reading Matakishi's set of rules called "Crom". The rules are designed for Conan wargames, but lacking a set of figures for this setting (hmm - a lurking project maybe?) I decided to try the rules out using my small collection of Samurai, Ninja and Sohei. I also have some Ikko-Ikki (which I intend to use as bandits) and civilian types.

The main figures I have come from Kingsford Miniatures and Perry Miniatures. Museum Miniatures do figures, but I can't load their web site at the moment to provide a link, or check to see what figures they have. I seem to remember they have some useful figures for what I want to do with my project.

(Edit: I can now access the Museum Miniatures site - maybe they were down for maintenance)

 If more companies made Mythological Japanese creatures I would include these into the game as well.

 Dixon Miniatures has a reasonable range, but many don't have photos on their website, and I like to see what I am ordering.

 I did order an Oni from a relatively new company called Riceball Miniatures, so I will use this figure when it arrives.

Scenery wise I have a Torii gate, a bridge and some nice trees that were custom made just for this project.  These are made by Fenryll but I actually ordered the Torii and Bridge through Spirit Games in the UK and saved a lot on the price.

I would really love to get some of the Oshiro range of resin buildings, but the bigger buildings are a bit pricey thanks to the exchange rate at the moment.

I will be playing a test game of Matakishi's rules this afternoon and maybe post some thoughts on the rules and how the game played.

PIWLTD #2: 18th Century Smugglers

Wargames foundry make some excellent figures that lend themselves to some potential wargames that would interest me very much.

 By mixing a few different figure ranges I have often though how a smuggler game set in coastal England would be fun to play and allow for some very interesting scenery such as beaches with cliff faces and caves with secret tunnels in them.

The smugglers would go up against military figures from the Seven Years War range, and the following seem to be the best to use for such a game:

 Wargames foundry did have a smuggler pack (code CIV07), but it is listed as currently unavailable on their web site. I found a image on a Japanese web page of all places:

And you can vary the games you play by adding in Highwaymen (another project I started ages ago but never went anywhere with it):

 Front Rank Miniatures make SYW British and 18th Century civilians that I could also use:

There is also plenty of information in books and on the web to assist in putting this game together.

 Some resources on the web are:

 Smugglers and Wreckers

The main reason this is only a PIWLTD is due to the cost of the foundry miniatures - a single pack cost anything from $18 - $24AUD without postage.

 I could use the Front Rank figures as the main troops and add a couple of Foundry packs in, which would save a lot of money, but at this stage this will remain a PIWLTD.

Projects I would Like To Do #1: Grav Bike Racing

This is the first post on Project I would Like To Do (or PIWLTD for short) but will probably never get around to doing due to many reasons. I might not get around to doing them, but I figured I would post them on the off chance that someone else finds it interesting enough to being a similar project of their own.

 PIWLTD #1 - this one keeps popping up in the back of my mind a lot: Grav Bike Racing.

 Critical Mass Games released some grav bikes a few months ago and this one would be fantastic for painting up as a racer:

And GZG have grav bikes too, so I can vary which figures I could use:

A great book to read as inspiration is "Hover Car Racer" by Matthew Reilly. The book is a great read and has many diagrams that would assist the making of scenery and rules.

Very tempting, but I will resist for the moment...


 As seen on TMP this morning Khurasan are about to release some jet bikes of their own:

My figure case

Back in May I came across a site in Australia that makes foam inserts for tool cases.

 As I really needed something to carry my figures around in I jumped on this double time.

The tool case I purchased from a large hardware warehouse franchise here in Australia. I gutted the insides so that the foam would go inside.

 The foam inserts come in two main types: infantry and cavalry size. I ordered the infantry size ones, and four of them promptly arrived. The case itself holds four layers with a foam cover layer for the top.

Airwar: C21

I weakened over the weekend and put an order in for a new set of rules - Airwar: C21 from Wessex Games.

 I am a big fan of 'plane games' having both WW1 and WW2 sets of rules and I have always wanted to game modern planes too.

 I placed my order for a hard copy of the rules from Dom's Decals in the U.K. and ordered some Su-27s and F-15s to go with the rules so that I could play a game asap.

 I really wanted the F-22 Raptor, but it seems no one makes them in 1:600 scale, but the Su-27 and F-15 will allow me to play games over a longer historical period and to represent many different countries for scenarios/game settings.

 Having read a few Larry Bond novels, I am tempted to use some of these as the back ground for a modern war.

 Stephen Coonts also has a number of novels that could be used for game settings.

 When the rules and figures arrive I will do a review.

Farewell to hex mats

There are many games out there that require players to use hex mats in order to play the game.

 As I play a few games that require hexes, I duly purchased a hex mat. It wasn't perfect - the hexes were bigger than I wanted and this wasted a lot of valuable gaming space.

 So I came up with an idea to play hex based games without the need for a hex mat.

I printed out 'hex rulers' (for want of a better term) that are laid down in front of the plane being moved so that you can move the plane according to the rules that indicate movement by the number of hexes the figure is moved along/through.

I have used this successfully for both "CY6!" and "Algenon Pulls if off". For the demonstration in this post I will be using "CY6!" as an example:

The plane is in place ready to be moved

I chose the manoeuvre I want to perform... in this case a 'L43'

I place the 'hex ruler' in front of the plane

Move the plane to the required position

And remove the 'hex ruler' from the playing area

 Simple and fast to use. It also mean you don't have to count hexes to move, which speeds up play a bit more.

Rather than print out every manoeuvre needed for each plane I printed out a number of straight sections and some side sections that are placed next to each other in the correct position as needed. The example above is actually two sections.

 You also need a firing arc template that you place in weapon arc required for the firing plane/arc, and this too helps speed up play, as you can tell exactly what the range and if the target falls within the arc of fire.

 I have played a number of games using this method and those I have played with have enjoyed the ease and speed with which it is used.