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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.

~                                   ~                            ~

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.