Sunday, 23 July 2017

Ground Zero.......

work in progress!

I suppose it says something if I have gone to the trouble of designing a logo for this game. My enforced absence from blogging and game related activities has spurred my enthusiasm.  

As usual, I blame Norm and Peter for ideas which have lurked for many months. This game represents, at long last, my attempt to model squad level modern combat in a simple way and in a way that I actually want to play.

I even have a blurb (of sorts!):

A nameless small town somewhere in the war zone. This game is played on a six by nine hex grid, there is no scale but each hex represents an area sufficient for the footprint of a small house, back yard or street.

There is no timeframe other than that each battle is concluded in a day. Each turn may represent anything from a few minutes of violent combat to several hours of desultory gunfire. Units are activated by random card draw and unit actions are dice driven. 
The troop types reflect what you see on You Tube videos, small groups of men, of varying commitment and training, largely fighting in built up areas. Weapons are light small arms with heavier weapons in support, with the ever present HMMWVs and improvised armoured vehicles. 
Scenarios reflect the reality of modern combat, often mundane tasks fraught with risk and unexpected dangers.

Nuff said at this stage but progress has been excellent. This time I will blog test games to show the mechanics in development.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

I have returned.....

not that I've been anywhere of course!

After a blistering few weeks of work I'm finally getting back into the swing of things. Not easy when my thought processes generally resemble a plate of spaghetti!

What's new?

Now, I like a bit of Firestorm and it's great to see the Team Yankee folks starting up a Cold War version. Fulda Gap here I come!

What's next?

My first task is to complete a longstanding development project which has unfortunately lapsed over the last few weeks. Once this is done and dusted my list is:

  • Ground Zero: Modern squad combat - my latest attempt to finish Desert Eagle.
  • Ground Zero: Modern platoon combat - I have recently become very interested in the Lock n Load Nations at War and World at War system. As I have said before, I'm also very interested in the Tiny Battles Platoon Command game system. First thoughts are to adapt these ideas for the Turkish assault at al-Bab, Syria, in December 2016. 
  • Arras, 1940 - Time to finish the scenario map (it is nearly done!).
  • 5Core Sandbox: Also time to play with some toy soldiers using this squad patrol campaign game system from Nordic Weasel. 
  • Pikeman's Lament: Finally, I'm doing something with the rules as written. However, I have come across this chap (Roll a One) using 6mm figures to play GNW games. Very nice! Even I could paint up enough little chaps to do this!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Nice feedback.....

is always worth sharing!

A quick post to say that Paul has been giving my Quatre Bras a la Carte game a go and extending it to an alternative history second day. Paul has posted a nice picture....

Looking back on that game I'm sure I can make a better job of the graphics. Maybe a v2 at some future stage.

Paul's blog is also really interesting and is well worth checking out. I really like the style Paul has adopted for his Peninsular armies.....

...and lots of nice hexes!

Sunday, 21 May 2017

More interesting stuff.....

but not much action!

Real life is imposing some significant pressure so most of my projects are somewhat in disarray. However, new stuff keeps popping up that I am very enthusiastic about and may well result in some deep thinking (really!).

Now, you will recognise the picture above, this is the new Sean Chick Hold the Line variant game now adopted by Hollandspiele. This is the new box art...

Very smart. The reason for mentioning it two posts on the trot is that it is now available on Wargames Vault as a pnp for only $15. I know that this is (extremely) print heavy and not something that most of us would want to build ourselves. However, it may well be worth it just for the scenarios. 

Some free but also very interesting rules are:
  • Peter's new Grid Based Sci Fi rules. These feature a refined version of the activation rules that I was so enthusiastic about recently. Rest assured I shall be studying these closely!
  • In a similar vein, Norm has just posted his hex based ACW rules. I haven't had a chance to look at these in detail but a couple of interesting features have caught my imagination and I'll be considering these as well.
Well done Peter and Norm for a couple of fantastic rule sets!

I have also come across a couple of new (to me at least) blogs with some great stuff on them.
  • Roll a One: A 6mm focussed blog with an example of Pikeman's Lament played with Baccus 6mm figures. Very cool. Even I might be able to paint that number of tiny troops!
  • Jozie's Tin Man: This blog features some AWI house rules for Neil Thomas' OHW rules including fog of war cards. Not only is that great but he has done some work on FiveCore Company Command including US and OPFOR QRS.
All of this makes me very happy that we have such a vibrant, entertaining and thought provoking community!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

More free stuff....

and a catch up on news!

First the news....

The Horse and Musket version of Hold the Line by Sean Chick has been adopted by Hollandspiele and release is now planned. This looks great, check out the link. Worth anyone's $77.

I have been looking for good 20mm vehicles for modern battles, especially Hummers. I have found this interesting 3D print company, Butler's 3D Models, that I had completely overlooked. They do the same vehicles in 6, 15 and 20mm. Here is a sample picture.

A T72, picture is of a 15mm version but the 20mm size is only £8, very nice.

I have a long standing interest in numbers, especially how they relate to warfare. I have recently come across a series of books on Barbarossa written by someone who is obviously completely mad (Nigel Askey). The books are on Lulu and are worth checking out if you like data!  

...and now the free stuff!

Niemenczyn 1794 is a battle fought on 27th April 1794 near Vilnius. It involves the Poles and Russians during the Kościuszko Uprising. A new one on me and worth Googling. The game is by Strategemata, a well known Polish games company an is available free from the website. 54 counters and a nice small map.

Limanowa: Play test version with part of the map

Heroes of the Great War: Limanowa is by a new company, Gladiator Games Ltd. It is on Kickstarter (for good or ill). The background is:
Limanowa – the Galician town where, in the winter of 1914, Austro-Hungarian and Polish troops heroically prevented the further onslaught of the “Russian Steamroller”, saving Cracow from occupation. Limanowa – where the legendary Hungarian cavalryman Ottmár Muhr died a hero’s death heading his glorious hussars while protecting Jabloniec Hill, situated next to the town, with his men until their last breath against the Russian attackers.
There is a free print and play version available now and well worth a look. 

Pavlov's House game board
Pavlov's House is a print and play game from this years BGG PnP competition. It is a brilliant strategic/operational/tactical game from the Battle for Stalingrad to the fighting over a single building. This is from the guy that did the fantastic Castle Itter game. The files are available from the BGG page for the game. The files are also available from this website as well as a brilliant (I really mean brilliant!) overview of the battle (Pavlov's House Companion). 

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Glorious Morning......

a new AWI hex grid conversion!

I have had this on my list of things to do for a while. Here is the link to my first shot at converting Peter's excellent AWI rules to a hex grid format.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

I want some of these.....

just bigger!

GHQ perfection in 1/285, would you believe it!
I have just turned in a major piece of work on a development project so now have a short space of time to do some wider thinking before the next stage. 

My jumble of thoughts are on the subject of modern warfare, the type of small unit activity I'm working on in my temporarily paused Desert Eagle. What set off this train of thinking was the recent battle between Turkish troops supported by their Free Syrian Army proxies (Ahrar al-Sham) and ISIS for the control of al-Bab, a key town in central northern Syria. This is at the outer limits of the current Euphrates Shield operation. The Turks set out to take al-Bab and fought an intense battle for the hospital area. In this battle they lost 10 Leopard 2A4s, a Sabra M60 plus 4 APCs/armoured recce vehicles. Bellingcat have covered this here in a brilliant article.

Apart from proving that the Turkish Leopards are a bit feeble, as was seen in the earlier border fighting, it also shows the scope for using lots of tanks. I have become interested in the possibility of using 12mm scale for this type of game.

I have checked out what is available and I want vehicles that are quite large and the ability to use individually based infantry. 10mm is pretty barren in this respect. However, the Minifigs 12mm range is comprehensive. They do packs of three different types of arab insurgents (28 for £4.05) and US and Russian special forces. Irregular miniature do a range of large 10mm modern troops specifically to fit with 12mm vehicles which is described as Modern Bush Wars. So all set to go? Very nearly.

Minifigs do all the tanks you could ask for plus HMMWVs and Toyotas with MGs and recoilless guns. What they don't do is the new breed of HMMWV with armoured turrets which are the de rigeur vehicle for the Middle East. Where can I find something that will fit with 12mm? Not even Shapeways have anything that fits. I don't relish trying to scratch build turrets in this scale! Any ideas?

In other news.......

  • Activation mechanics: Peter at "Grid based wargaming - but not always!" has come up with a very simple, adaptable die roll based activation mechanism. Simply brilliant.
  • Scum...: A supplement has just been published with additional rules and units. A must for $1.49!