Tuesday, July 31, 2012

55th NY Flag - ACW

I love flags! I am a VERY AMATEUR vellixologist! I happened upon this flag this morning and decided to make one for my ACW troops. The 55th NY Volunteer Infantry.


Looks like they had some action in the early war period. Remnants being merged after December of '62.

What I like about it is the obvious French flag! I know that I did not get the laurel quite right, but I can't draw that stuff! I found an image to use on the great Internet. Making the flag is easy, colored rectangles. The "wavy texture" is from the excellent "Flag Monday" series at Quinda Studios. That gentleman makes some amazing flags!

I printed this up for my Yankees. I can't wait to see it waving on my tabletop!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Status: 28mm 3K Chinese Army for Pulse of Battle

Now that I have eleven units completed, out of seventeen units planned, I thought it may be time for a status update for my Three Kingdoms Chinese army of Wei. The intended use for this army is for Pulse of Battle. Terry has an opposition army, and I plan another Three Kingdoms army of my own.

When completed, this army will consist of the following units and bits and pieces:

1.   Commanding General and a detachable Military Strategist.
2.   A Hero that is in the direct service of the commanding general.
3.   Four generals to lead individual commands and a couple of musicians to accompany them.
4.   Two bolt-thrower artillery units.
5.   Two units of allied Tribal Light Horse.
6.   One unit of Heavy Cavalry.
7.   Two units of Medium Cavalry.
8.   One unit of mixed missile/halberd Medium Infantry.
9.   One unit of mixed missile/halberd Heavy Infantry.
10. Two units of unarmored crossbow (Light Infantry).
11. Two units of armored crossbow (Medium Infantry?).
12. Two units of unarmored halberds (Medium Infantry).
13. Two units of armored halberds (Heavy Infantry).

The second army, likely Wu, would be similar, but with more foot than horse.Further potential units, that could play in either army include various tribal infantry and peasant infantry. I have a wild hair about Vietnamese levies/allies for the Wu that could include an elephant! We'll see. Dream now, act later. The Wu also employed naval units.

I am looking forward to getting in on the play testing activities for Pulse of Battle. Currently, Brent has scheduled us for the 25th of August to dive in. I eagerly look forward to that date. The Chinese are not on the schedule on that evening - I believe that we're doing Rome and Carthage or something like that...I can't recall at the moment.

When the Chinese make their appearance, I am hoping to field some units and ideas that causes some good thoughts within the game, or just around the game. I have been making notes: mixed-missile units, fire-ships, stratagems - especially stratagems. I love the intrigue and guile employed by the warring parties in the book! Excellent mini-campaign fodder!

Well, here are some pics of the eleven finished units and other bits...(NOTE: I see that several of these images really suck. I'll replace them tomorrow with better ones).

The host - at present

2nd Annual DBA Smackdown

Yesterday, two wargaming clubs: Colorado Military Historians and Colorado Springs Gamers Association, met for the second consecutive year to engage in the DBA Smackdown! Unlike the previous year, the honor of the CMH organization was upheld as we defeated the opposing club by a narrow margin on the honorable fields of battle.

First, we participants would like to thank the organizing members of both organizations for their efforts in coordinating the event, food, venue, etc. Thanks guys! Secondly, a big thank you to the hosts, Collector's Mania in Parker. Nice people, clean store and plenty of varied inventory - go see them. And, last but not least, thanks to the CSGA for providing all of us with worth and able opponents! Job well done on everyone's part!

The Smackdown consisted of several games: one BBDBA event; many one-on-one DBA battles using 2.2; one 3.0 battle and even a couple of Hordes of Things battles (15mm and 28mm). There were also some pick up games of DBA going. There were prizes given out in several categories, and all parties seemed to have a great time!

I know I had a ball. I played in the BBDBA event. The theme was Roman Civil War and the two sides set parameters months ago for the ranges of Roman and allied armies allowed. The actual selection of armies and allies was a closely guarded secret of both clubs until the time of the game.

I can really only speak to the details of the big game I played in...so: My partner/emperor was General John Brown, he commanded the Roman 2/3 of our army. I commanded the allied contingent, Later Pre-Islamic Arabs. Art, our opponent for the day ran a Constantine-era Roman army with Alan allies.

Being the attackers, Art deployed first, 2/3 of his command, all of his Romans were placed in their positions. The right wing of the army was left open at this point as Art's main Roman force of footmen deployed ominously in the center - auxilia supporting the wings. This was perfect due to the positioning of two wooded areas nearby. This would be a tough fight for us against that deployment. A small force of Roman horse deployed to the left wing of the army. We assumed that the Alans would likely deploy in the vacant right wing, but could deploy on the left and try to overwhelm our own right with a strong and fast horse army.

We then deployed our forces in total: the Arabs on the left wing, a small Roman contingent in the center and a powerful Roman force dominated by horse on the right wing. There was no enemy opposing the Arabs at this point - but - Art did indeed then deploy his Alan allies to oppose them.

We took a while in debating our deployments - to the delight of Art. He did indeed cause us much conversation - so, kuddos! In the end, I think we decided on the right approach. We essentially ignored the large force of slow-moving infantry in the center and fell upon the two weaker flanks. We broke both flanks of the enemy army - and the center of the enemy only engaged in combat on the last turn of the game and after the flanks had been broken. The battle had good flow and all players had glory and challenges.

There was a particularly awesome moment in the game where Art had maneuvered his elements in a position to attack our C-in-C element from both front and flank - killing the C-in-C would obviously had a detrimental effect on the outcome for us. It was a pretty tense moment and a relatively even die roll...I tapped a drum roll on the table as the dice flew...and...we won the little fight! Whew! I took a picture as the enemy elements recoiled! 

At awards time, a really funny thing happened. We award a pink die to the player that rolled the most "1" results in the Smackdown. This year, there were three nominees. So, each of them stepped up to roll the pink die - with the award going to the lowest resulting roll. Art won the award - yep - by rolling a "1". Had to get a picture of that! The other awards were DVDs, a jar of hummus and a copy of DBMM - I forget now what the categories were (sorry). There was a can of chili and beans to be given out for sacking a camp - but alas, no camps were sacked this year! I won the hummus (yuck!).

Fun stuff, the General and Art are both stellar players and good coaches. I like DBA, particularly Big Battle DBA. Here are some pics:

The Club Leaders get us started!

Art, and the deployments of the armies.

General Brown, and the deployments of the armies.


Roy's awesome Egyptians do an amphib on Terry

Men, hard at play!

Men, hard at play!

The C-in-C has a narrow escape!

Constantine's Banner - awesome, Art!

Awards time!

Awards time!

Awards time!

Awards time!

Awards time! The Pink Die!

Thursday, July 19, 2012


This past weekend, my friend Matt visited me - he hung out all weekend (he's adopted family to us!) and stuff - and we managed to play a zombie game (All Things Zombie) and drink some beers.

We set up a table using the terrain that thrilled us the most and decided to each take two characters into the game - one Star and one Grunt each. We decided to use the four "redneck" miniatures I have, they're a lot of fun - and we decided to give ourselves two each randomly determined goals for the game. Yeah, we were just making this shite up as we went. That's one of the awesome things about ATZ: your imagination can just flow.

We sprinkled the town with about a dozen or so walkers in a spread pattern so that there were zombies in every area of the town. Then we drew up a little chart of items to find and rolled some dice. Matt's two guys had the goals of locating booze and medical supplies. My two guys had the goals of locating fuel and ammunition.These were our goals.

OK, looking at the town, there was an ambulance, a medical tent and a sports bar. So, Matt has a good chance of finding his stuff. There is a police car, a police station, a gas station and many abandoned vehicles, a good chance for my characters to succeed as well! The thing is, the world ended as we know it about two months ago, so there has been a lot of looting - so you'll never know if you'll actually find what you're looking for...chances are, other folks were looking for that stuff too.

We randomly determined where we'd enter the table - and caught a break coming in near the park. That meant we could make a beeline for the police/gas station/ambulance.

I got to the police car with my guys while Matt's guys swung around and headed for the ambulance. On the way here, we had to take down a few zombies - some via our guns - which while helpful do draw more zombies to the area.

After some tough fighting, my guys were able to search the police cruiser - nothing, picked clean. So we headed into the police station. After looking around in there for a while, there was nothing of use to us. Sure, there was stuff, but wasn't there were the two things on my "scavenger hunt list". Frickin' looters and other desperate folks had been here before us.

While I was doing my thing, Matt's guys arrived at the ambulance - not without a scary moment for his Grunt character - mobbed near a phone booth. He managed to kill a zombie and push his way out of the melee without getting bitten tho. Matt's Star had by that time gotten into the ambulance and found some remaining medical supplies - score one for Matt! When the Grunt arrived, they decided to try and start the ambulance (good for hauling booze too!). This failed and the noise drew a crowd. The guys had to high-tail it out the back doors of the ambulance. Well, to the sports bar!

As Matt's guys moved off towards the sports bar, battling zombies and using guns, and drawing a crowd - my guys left the police station and hopped in the police cruiser. We had to hotwire it, but we managed to do so and off we went! But, really, there was no gas in the tank...so...the car sputtered out. By now, a few walkers had gathered around, so we had to get out and scoot.

We decided we'd head to the gas station. We saw an SUV there at the gas pumps with the driver's door open. Hopefully, the driver fueled up before meeting his doom - 'cause the power is out everywhere in town, meaning the pumps are not going work.

As my Star steps out of the car, a barking dog runs up to me...being followed by zombies of course! I took down a few zombies with my pistol, but they got the dog. Bummer. I could have used a side-kick because, unfortunately, Cletis, my Grunt character got attacked getting out of the car...some walker in his tighty-whities got him.

Well, he's bit now and on the ground, there's nothing good I can do about that, so I run towards the SUV at the gas station knowing that the ghouls will all head to Cletis now for lunch. I can put him down later, on the way out of town.

So, Matt's guys arrived at the sports bar, there were a couple-three walkers in there, so he put them down after a little trouble. His Grunt kinda freaked out and hesitated. So while the Star handled the walkers, the Grunt started barricading the door. I don't know why, 'cause next to the door are big plate glass windows!

A little horde of zombies grew and eventually got through the door and the windows and flooded into the front of the bar. Matt's guys headed into the back room and the rear exit from the building. Although the front of the house had been cleaned out, there was some booze discovered in the back room. Each character grabbed some and made for the back alley.

Matt's guys then just battled their way out of the town - they way we came in and got off the table with both goals met.

My guys? Well, one is zombie chow and I have met none of my goals. The SUV was a bust. There was no gas in the tank - but there was a zombie in the back seat. Yay. Seeing the circumstances - I decided to beat feet with Matt's guys and head home empty handed. Hopefully, I'll get a swig from the booze Matt found. Cletis? Na, I don't think he ever got back up...at least I'd like to hope not. As I ran by, there didn't look like there was enough left of him to reanimate.

One other thing Matt and I did was keep track of how many zombies we killed with our little teams. After jumping out to a big lead, Matt ended with like 24 or so put back down. But, I nailed a handful more. I don't recall the exact numbers now, but we were shocked that I ended up killing more. My boys suck at scavenging - but at least they were good exterminators!

Fun stuff. Matt, thanks for the game and the mental relief I needed - you know what I mean, I don't need to drag that crap into the blog (even if I am thrilled about it!)...

The town, before the mayhem...

The town, before the mayhem...

The town, before the mayhem...

The town, before the mayhem...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Big Battle DBA Practice

In two weeks, our club takes on the Colorado Springs club in the Second Annual DBA Smack Down. Naturally, we used the club meeting as an opportunity for a team-wide practice session!

The Smack Down will involve several games of one-on-one DBA and Big Battle DBA. This year's theme is Roman Civil War.

General Brown and I are again paired in a big battle affair and we practiced today against two excellent DBA players, Greg Rold and Matt Vigil. I was able to sneak a couple of pictures out - but the Colorado Military Historians censors got hold of them and decided to black out some information - in order to preserve secret intel from getting into the hands of the Colorado Springs Gamers!

Greg and Matt are excellent gentlemen and DBA-ers

The good General Brown, a talented DBA-er in his own right

Suffice it to say that we performed well against our talented stand-in opponents have have increased our mastery over the particular qualities of our forces. In addition, many of our other team mates reported successful outings today as well. Looks like we're in store for good fun and good victories on the 28th!

The General's dancing girls were busy working their magic on our die rolls.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Eastern Europe, Summer 1944

My friend Matt and I threw down another 28mm WW2 game on the 4th of July - and - this time another friend, John, joined us. We continued to experiment with the SDS/LBSDS engine for WW2 Squad-level actions. This battle did not have a particular plan in so much as the idea was to toss everything out onto the table and experience mayhem and chaos and as many rules as we could.


John (and Buddha)

Before Matt and John arrived, I created a battlefield for us. The table is about 8'x5'. I created two uneven and hopefully interesting deployment zones for the forces. I randomly rated the quality of all of the units in both sides.

Viewed from the Soviet Deployment Zone

We randomly determined sides, via die roll. I ended up with the Germans and Matt and John with the Soviets. We then allowed the Soviet player to place some defenses on the field, anywhere on the field that was not in the German deployment zone. Some wire fences, sandbag positions and four small minefields were placed. When placing a minefield, they had to mark it (secretly) as either "anti-personnel", "anti-tank" or "mixed". We did not use any "dummy" minefields this day.

On the German side were 28 units and on the Soviet side were 26. This gives each army a break point of 14 and 13 respectively. We deployed units somewhat randomly, via a die roll, where the loser would have to place a command on the table. The Soviets ended up with the bulk of their units deployed before the Germans had to place too much, so deployment fell into the German favor.

Then we got down to the fighting. Various things went well for both sides, each of us experienced some joys and some frustrations. A particular frustration for me was that the Panther section was rated at a "2" (poor) and I did not get to involve them as much as I desired. A particular joy for me was the Puma section, out-classed by the T-34/85, managing to get 2 DIS on it! The Puma soon met the presumed fate however, but went down gloriously to some  Soviet infantry (and in the process exposing them to galling fire from supporting German infantry.

I know the Soviet players cheered the destruction of a section of Tiger I's! The Soviets also did a great job with the wire and the minefields, they totally prevented an assault directly into the larger town. Also, the Soviets had an armored car section (armed only with a machine gun) that survived against long odds and totally disrupted the activities of a German infantry platoon.

My panzergrenadiers did pretty well in a last ditch attempt to salvage the battle, but it was tool late, I did not well-handle them and they arrived just after their armored support had already been ravaged. I tried to do too much in too many areas of the field - mediocre everywhere and powerful nowhere.

The Puma Scores!

Later, the Puma is about finished...

The Famous Soviet Armored Car!

PAK-40 Support moves thru the woods

Soviets take the larger town

Panzergrenadiers in a last-ditch effort
We'll continue the experiment further. We really enjoy the reaction mechanic and the uncertainty that SDS delivers. The game play seems to promote infantry-armor cooperation - which we think important. Tanks are not unstoppable behemoths, if you don't support them with infantry, they are vulnerable to enemy infantry and guns.

We played four complete turns, which had the game 90% decided in terms of breakpoints, and then barbequed burgers and brats and relaxed for the remainder of the evening. When we called the game, the Germans had a breakpoint score of 12 (2 away from losing) and the Soviets only a breakpoint score of 2 (the Germans were not lucky at all this day). I don't know how long we actually played - we were consuming delicious beer and we Skyped in my brother so he could say "hey" and see the game and interact with us for a while. I saw on another person's blog that he has played a couple of games via Skype. I wonder if that is worth a shot with Ben?