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X-wing PBB - new player needed!

I am now down to one player for the trial x-wing PBB, so if anyone else that reads my blog is interested in playing, please let me know by leaving a comment in the comments section.

X-wing - giving movement orders

I just realised that movement orders for the x-wing PBB will need to be given in a way that is easy enough for everyone to understand.

Thus I am posting the following image with an explanation on how to give orders:

Each player gives their movement as a two figure number. The first number is the line (1 to 4 for the x-wing and 1 to 5 for the tie fighter in the image above).  The second number will be the column (left to right) to use for the movement.

 Thus the Tie fighter has a 51 to represent the top line and the only column in that row, which is a 5 straight move.  A 31 = line 3 and column 1 is a left hand turn.  a 42 is a speed 4 koiogran turn.

Thus a player only needs to type a short email for their turn.

Example: X-wing player sends: 32, target nearest enemy, focus.

Hopefully this is easy enough.

X-wing PBB update and the rules for the PBB

 X-wing PBB update:

Rather than take up my usual wargaming area I have dusted off an old card table that is just under the recommended 3' x 3' playing area for X-wing, and as I wanted to make the game look a bit better, I ordered a black piece of cloth via ebay to go over it.

 With any luck, the cloth will arrive next week.   Once that is done I anticipate the game can start with a minimum of delay.

In the mean time, here is an image I found on the interweb to make this post a little less boring:

How the game will work/play out:

Each player will be contacted via email to get the information on which ship/pilot/upgrade they will use for the game.

The scenario being played will be a 'chance encounter' with ships being set up on opposing sides and they will 'have at it'.

The game will continue until one side either moves their ship(s) off the playing area or all of their ship(s) are destroyed.

Once I have set up the game I will post a photo of the playing area on my blog.

Each player is to then email me with there manoeuvres and actions for the turn.

I will then move the ships according to the player's direction, as per the rules and post the results along with photos of the movement phase, the combat phase and the end phase showing all dice rolls etc used with each phase.

Once a turn is over, players then submit new orders and the process begins again until someone wins.

With only two players I envisage that the game can be played as fast as players submit turns. Thus if players take their time to give me their orders I will wait for a week before pushing on with the turn... unless informed as to a delay by a player (to allow for real life situations).

IMPORTANT - I will automatically conduct combat unless told not to do so for a turn.  I will also automatically modify attack dice based on any actions submitted by a player unless they instruct me to do otherwise.

 The attacker will always use a target lock and a focus when attacking unless I am instructed to keep the focus to modify defence dice for that turn.

The defender will always spend a focus and evade to modify dice unless I am directed otherwise.

If any player gives an order that is illegal I will modify the move to the next closest matching move if possible, and if a move will take them off the table I will modify the move to keep them on the table unless it is mentioned in an email that the player wants a ship(s) to exit the playing area.

Any questions?

X-wing stuff

I have managed to play a game of x-wing by myself using an app on my new smart phone (yes, I am starting to use technology!) that is the app version of a set of solo rules.

 The app was very useful and helped to learn the rules.

I also picked up an A-wing and a Tie Interceptor to add to the collection, so I now hav a few more options for a play by blog.

With the play by blog - I have two players I need to test play a game, but I think using the mission editor might be unusable due to not having the turning templates at part of it - any movement I change on the playing area would be guesstimation only.

What I can do is set a game up on a portable table and take photos for folks to look at and then have the players submit their turns and what they want to do with tokens for that turn etc.

Ships I can use for the game, and thus ships players need in order to be able to submit orders etc are:

X-Wing (basic box set) x1
A-Wing (add on pack) x1
Tie Fighter (basic box set) x2
Tie Interceptor (add on pack) x1

Players can chose from those ships for the game.

Clint - I have your email/you have mine to use for sending orders for the game, but I need "sevenbastard"'s email. - if 'sevenbastard' could let me know his email I can see about starting a game.

Clint - as you were first to put your hand up, do you want to play Rebel or Empire?

Once I have everybody's email I will contact them in regards to setting up the game.

Video on making trees

I saw this on the interweb and thought it worth sharing:

 I have a few of these ferns at my place, and one or two of the fronds are looking quite dead, so I wont need to cut up the healthy parts and dry them out before I can try it out.

last post was in February?!

Wow, I didn't realise that my last post on this blog was so long ago.

Rather that go over every thing I mentioned in my zombie blog, you can read it here to catch up:


For non zombie things wargame wise, I have also been chipping away at a few projects, but really need to get some paining done.

I have a number of 15mm aliens for a too-close encounter of the third kind with my modern Aussies.

 The figures I have added to this are some Khurasan aliens (which are based and prepped) and some bug aliens from Rebel Minis.

I have some 28mm Mud Men for playing Pulp Alley, and a few French and Indian war figures for the same reason... only a F&IW setting, not a Pulp setting :-P

 On a totally different tangent, I picked up a copy of Star Wars X-wing yesterday. Having played Wings of War I was only too happy to make the move across the the Star Wars version of the game.

 I downloaded the solo play app from Google play to help play some games when I need to play the game solo, which might be a lot more that one would think the way this year is going.

 I am also seriously thinking of doing a play by blog X-wing game.

FFG has an online tool for creating your own scenarios, and I am fairly sure I could use this with a play by blog game.

By not publishing the scenario editor I should be able to go back in and keep adjusting things on the board.
Players could email me their turns and I post the results on my blog.  Each player would need a copy of the rules, but I think it could be done.

Edit - I meant to include this video of the x-wing mission editor for others to look at:

1879 - The Victorian Colonial Forces

As mentioned in my previous post, I am planning and invasion of the Victorian colony of Australia by Russia.

 Captain Darling very kindly sent me a link to information on Russian troops from the Russo-Turkish war to assist with some of the research I will need to do.

But, first of all, I am planning my Colonial forces.

What I would ultimately like to have is a small collection of figures to represent different troop types.

A couple of foot units, a mounted infantry type unit, a cavalry unit, some artillery (goes without saying) and even a Naval Brigade.

So, where to start.

Every army needs a good hero, so I am thinking this figure would make a very nice hero figure:

Figure from the Empress Miniatures "British Officer Types" pack
I am guessing by the uniform that my proposed hero is intended to be an Artillery Officer, but I like the pose. Combined with the patrol jacket and the pistol on the shoulder strap gives him an air of heroic potential.

The next chap would make a good commander for a unit of infantry. He is calmly reloading his revolver in the face of adversity; at least that is my spin on the figure:

Empress Miniatures British officer

The Empress Miniatures Natal Carbineers have a lovely mix of British and Colonial about them,so I feel they would be perfect for the unit holding the main focus of the game.

Depending on how many I need, I think I will have too many Sergeants looking at this pack

 and mounted:

Natal Carbineers

Natal Carbineers with Sergeant

Listed as "Auxiliary Command" on the web site, but can be used as a Carbineer Officer.

And these lads are intended to be 'standard' British infantry, but I think I might paint in a bottle green uniform with black facings to represent a rifle unit, which were often called "rangers" in the state of Victoria.

Empress Minaitures' British firing line to be painted up as rangers

The 'Imperial Mounted Infantry' packs are perfect for... err, well... mounted infantry:

Of course my forces have to have artillery, and here is a prime example of what is on offer:

 and these two Artillerymen (a mounted officer and a bombardier) would make nice leaders/characters for the game:

As the game will start near the coast line of Victoria, as any good naval landing should, I will also investigate what figures I can use to include as some Naval Brigade troops.

I am fighting the urge to add Lancers and Dragoons... but who knows, maybe at a later date.

When naming my units, I am steering away from naming them after townships, but rather using geographical features/areas instead.

Some names for proposed units are, but not limited:

Gippsland Carbineers (using the Natal Carbineer figures)

Strzelecki Rangers (using 'standard' British infantry with green uniforms)

Wyndham Volunteer Rifle Corps

 Latrobe Mounted Rifles (using the Imperial Mounted Infantry figures with nice red jackets)

Should I add lancers and dragoons to my Orbat, I have the following in mind:

King River Lancers 

Cumberland Dragoons

1879 Alternative Australian History gaming

One thing I love just as much as a campaign game is Alternative/What-if history game. Being able to create your own conflict based on some historical facts as a basis is a lot of fun.

 A number of years ago I made a list of Colonial alternative history, purchased a couple of figures, and promptly did nothing about it... as usual.

 Well, a fellow Aussie is living the dream and actually playing an Alternative History game where the Russians invade South Australia. Those interested in reading the background and the AARs can click here to do so: click me

Now, some of my readers might laugh at the idea of Russia invading Australia, but during the Crimean war it was actually believed that this might occur. Despite a small force of Colonial units had been raise in 1842, it wasn't until the Crimean War that these forces were increased in size and number.

The increase of these forces lead to the creation of militia units, some which provide the lineage of today's Army Reserve Units.

Some such units created in 1854 were  the Melbourne Volunteer Rifle Regiment and the Geelong Volunteer Rifle Corps. Other branches of service, such as cavalry, artillery, engineers, signals and torpedo units were raised after this, with the funding for many of these units being derived from private sources.

When British troops were no longer sent to Australia to protect the Colonies as of 1870, the need for our own troops was even greater.

Those actually interested can read more on these web sites: Click me & Click me too

So, with all of the above in mind, the astute reading can probably see where this is all going.. into a planning process!

Captain Darling, of "Captain Darling's Miniatures Emporium" (see the first link above) very kindly sent me a copy of the rules he is using for his games. The rules are not a lengthy tome, but they provide plenty of scope for some entertaining games.

So, what will my setting be?  The Russian invasion of Victoria, set in the same 'Alternative' World as Captain Darling's work.

My next post on the topic will most likely be about the figures I want to use and the units they will represent... I find choosing figures and deciding what the uniforms will look like a good way to fire up interest in a project, and it can be easier to weave the alternative history with units I have designed rather than coming up with the history and then matching the units to events.

Alien invasion! ?

I mentioned in a post on my Zombie blog (click here to read it) that I was tempted to do an alien invasion to pit my 15mm Modern Aussies up against.

 This is one step closer to happening now, as I purchased the 'No Stars in Sight" sci-fi rules that are the futuristic platoon rules based on the 'No End in Sight' rules I like so much.

 The 'No Stars in Sight' rules (henceforth referred to as 'NSiS') uses the same system as the modern rule set, but also include a lot of other goodies like power armour, drones, droids, and alien creatures.

 There are also rules for solo and campaign play as per the modern rules.

 The aliens have their own lists and is quite extensive, and there is a system you can use to make your weird and wonderful aliens (and power armour/vehicles) balanced for your games.

Best of all Nordic Weasel is having a sale at the moment: "items Until the 3rd of February, almost everything I've made is between 40 and 50% off." Link

Now, what type of aliens to use for the game?

Being a fan of "Falling Skies" (which sadly will have it's final season in 2015) I am thinking of borrowing ideas from the show.

Thus I will have some bug like aliens starting the invasion, and then 'upping the ante' with a race of aliens that control the bugs.

To this end I am thinking of using the following minis for the game:

The bugs (all Rebel Miniatures):

Rebel Mini's Terror Mites - 5 in a pack
Rebel Mini's Death Striders - 10 in a pack

As the invaders in "Falling Skies" have mechs, I took a look at the Rebel Mini mechs/robots/power suit range to see what was on offer:

The HAMR suit took my fancy for the job:

HAMR recon suit

HAMR Support Suit

For the Alien race in control of the whole lot, I am looking at Khurasan Miniatures' 'Intruders':

The above pack of 'Intruders' is sold as a squad pack, but I think I will turn this in to a platoon pack, which means they will be rather powerful compared to the humans resisting their invasion.

 Khurasan Miniatures might have other figures that are useful, but the website is under maintenance and I can only look at limited ranges at the time of posting.

I also took a look at the GZG 15mm range, and would like to find some way of including the following figures, if for no other reason than they look cool:

GZG spider drones

Critical Mass Games also have some nice looking figures I could use, such as these hover drones:

and if I want to tone down the mech a little (the rebel mini's ones might be too powerful) CMG also make this:

Campaign wise, I will probably start off with the death striders as the main enemy, and when they start taking a pounding I will add the drones, then they mechs, and finally the Intruders.

So, this is all only in the planning stage.  During March I should be able to increase my budget a little to get this up off the ground, but I also want to purchase the Eureka 15mm Bushmaster vehicles for my Aussie platoon.

 If the project goes ahead (which is very likely) I will need to play test the aliens to see how they stack up against the Humans.

Australians in the American Civil War

I have 'borrowed' this from the ABC news web site, as I thought it was interesting enough to share:

American Civil War: Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah's arrival in Melbourne remembered


   Maritime history buffs are celebrating a little-known part of Victoria's history today, marking 150 years since a ship involved in America's civil war arrived at Williamstown, in Melbourne's south-west.

   The civil war was fought between the Union, known as the Yankees and based in the north of the country, and the Confederates, in the south, between 1861-1865.

   The Confederates' CSS Shenandoah was a raider ship used to disrupt Union supply ships, destroying dozens of ships, seizing goods and imprisoning merchant sailors.

  It began its journey in England and was in the southern hemisphere searching for American whaling ships when it needed repairs.

  The crew had only two options for the stopover: Cape Town, where the crew was likely to come across Union ships, and Melbourne, where the likelihood of crossing the enemy was low.

  So the CSS Shenandoah docked in Melbourne on January 25, 1865.

  During its visit 42 Melbourne men secretly joined the Shenandoah's crew before it was sailed back out to sea to continue its attack on the way to the US, providing a rare Australian link to the war.

  Four cannons were fired at midday at Williamstown on Sunday to mark the arrival of the ship.

  One of the organisers of the commemoration, Peter Hemphill, said the visit had world significance.
"It destroyed the whaling fleet of the US, it had also fired the very last shots of the American Civil War," he said. 

  "It's important because it's the only real link to America's civil war in Australia.
"The ship started out known as the Sea King. It was bought by the Confederate navy secretly in England in late 1864.

"It was spirited out of England off the coast of Africa, they changed its name to Shenandoah, loaded it with cannon, with supplies and marines.

"[It] sailed to Australia and sank eight Yankee ships on its way. The captain, James Waddell, was trying to meet up with a mail run that was leaving Melbourne for the United States so he could report back to his commanders so they knew where he was at.

"He also needed repairs to his propeller. In the meantime the Yankees ... tried to get them arrested as pirates."

Australian recruits join the Confederate fight

Mr Hemphill said at one point ship was surrounded by Australian police and military after accusations it was recruiting men, which was not allowed.
The crew spent time in Victoria, visiting the Melbourne Club and also Ballarat, where they held a "buccaneer's ball".

"When they left 42 Melbourne men bobbed up on deck and they were part of the crew that for the rest of the journey," he said.

"They went up to the northern Pacific and created havoc - just destroyed the Yankee whaling fleet.
"They needed whale oil for greasing their cannon wheels and so forth, but it absolutely devastated the fleet for years to come.

"Part of that was after the war had ended. They sailed down the US coast and they found out the war had ended so they then stowed cannon in the hull ... and basically surrendered."

Mr Hemphill said seven years later the ship and crew, including the Australians, were involved in a court case brought by the United States against England, accusing them of assisting the Confederates.

"In the end Britain had to pay US$15.5 million in gold coin, which is worth billions today," he said.
"So it has a lot of significance in the world. It also fired the very last shot of the civil war."

The original article can be seen here: link

Maybe a PBB ECW game?

I am thinking of running a non zombie Play By Blog game for the English Civil War.

I say thinking, as I have no idea how many of my handful of readers are interested in the ECW.

If there was enough interest I would be happy to get the game up and running.

For those wanting to know a bit more:

The rules will be the excellent set of rules that are free to download called "Victory Without Quarter" found here: PDF   (right click to save)

 As the rules use card activation it makes it easy for me to manage the battles.

 The Campaign system will be from the Wargames Foundry rules "1644".  For those without a copy (and I had to hunt down a copy that wasn't over $100AUD, which I did) I can provide details later.

 The game maps will be the Britain and the Ireland & Wales maps found here: link   (even if you don't want to play, I suggest looking at the maps and downloading them, as they are useful for all kinds of wargames set in Europe).

Starting armies: each player will need to nominate which side they want to represent: King or Parliament. If too many nominate for one side I will even things out.  Armies will be generated by myself - there is a random element to the armies, but all will have a basic number of mandatory troops in them.

Players only need to submit orders for the game turn, provide me with how their armies will be deployed on the battle field and I play out the actual battle using the game rules and the card activation system.

I them post any results and players submit new orders etc.

So, if this sounds like for you please post a comment expressing your interest in the game.

 Of course if no one is interested, I might go it on my own regardless.

Dux Britanniarum

Yep, the more astute of you would have noticed by the title of this particular post that games of Dux Britanniarum are being planned for 2015.

 My mate is very interested in playing the game and after looking over the rules my interest was piqued.

 As I have forked out for a 20mm German Para force for Chain of Command and 15mm Modern forces for No End In Sight, I really didn't want to spend another small fortune making armies for Dux: my budget is rather tight at the moment.

 So I came up with an idea. I would create both armies needed for the game using off cuts of foam card and map pins. This is minimalistic war gaming at its best. But at least it means we can learn the rules and play some games to a) see if we like the game enough to invest in the figures needed, and b) give us both some time to save up some dollars for figures.

So this is what I have come up with:

The blue bases are the Saxons, and the red the British. Each pin represents one figure, and I have written what the unit represents to make it easier to remember what we are playing with.

 If we play the game using cms instead of inches, we can play a whole campaign in a very small area.

And should we need extra troops, then I only have to paint up some more foam card and stick pins in to it.

Just to clarify, we are only using this to test/learn the rules to make sure we want to play the game a lot before investing heavily in figures.

At this stage we are thinking of using 10mm figures for the game, as this will also allow us to keep costs down, but also play in a smaller area than we would need for much larger figures.

 I dare say many gamers would think this idea is heresy, but I honesty don't mind all that much what others think. We want to play the game and this is the fasted way we can get the project off the ground.

At this stage we haven't picked who will be commanding which side, but that gives me extra time to read the rules and do some research in to the period.