Sunday, July 8, 2018

Hannibal & Hamilcar

Since I haven't been gaming lately I thought I would share a few images of a new boardgame I supported on Kickstarter. Hannibal & Hamilcar is the 20th Anniversary edition of Mark Simonitch's award-winning card-driven war game of the Second Punic War. A labor of love, the game features new artwork and updated, streamlined rules that include a complete new game of the First Punic War, Hamilcar, complete with new naval rules.

I took some photos of the game "unboxed;" then I went to the Kickstarter campaign page and saw all the great photos of the components. . . so I borrowed a few of them to show off what a great looking game this is. And it is a "transportive" gaming experience, taking players back to the time of Rome vs. Carthage and Scipio vs. Hannibal.

One cool feature of the update is the inclusion of 40mm miniatures of all of the prominent generals of the conflicts, each an individual sculpt.

Card and counter art is top-notch.

And of course I had to have some of the extras. . .

The giant playing mat is printed two sides!

Go to the link I provided above to learn more about the game if you're interested. 


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Red Alert! I'm back!

Red Alert! I'm back! I'm back? You didn't notice I hadn't posted for a couple of months? Well, the Red Alert isn't for me. . . more on me at the end of this post. First, the gaming content.

Richard Borg and PSC games launched a Kickstarter for a new space fleet game, and I'm all in: Red Alert. It uses the tried and true Commands and Colors board game system that started with the American Civil War, then moved into WW2, Ancients, Napoleonics, WW1 and now to what would seem an unlikely genre, space fleet combat. I am a fan of
Commands and Colors: Ancients from GMT Games and have played a lot of games using 15mm miniatures. I also own and play Commands and Colors: Samurai Battles by Zvezda.

So, does this system work for "space combat?" The kickstarter actually posts the complete rules for download. 

I really like the "fleet" aspect and emphasis on "positional" warfare as opposed to "dogfighting in space" like WW2 airplanes. My plan will be to exchange the multiple miniatures per unit to track losses with the individual 1/2500-scale Star Trek miniatures, tracking losses with "shield" markers instead of additional ship miniatures. That will mean about 12 ships (plus fighters) per side. The game ships in March 2019, which should be enough time to build the models, but we'll see!

Here are a few images from the Kickstarter. Hurry, if you're interested, it closes in about 40 hours.

So where have I been? Getting new knees. Or, at least getting the first of two partial knee replacements. Hereditary osteoarthritis and years of martial arts training finally made the replacements essential, at least if I want to be able to walk for more than 15 minutes at a time! Surgery, rehab exercises and a full-time-plus job is cutting into hobby time. Plan is to get the second knee done in the fall.

I decided NOT to leave you with a Cluck-Amok-style selfie featuring my new scar : )


Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Lord Kha-Ris battles The Amy From Heck

Two Undead armies clashed at Castle FusterCluck this past weekend in a Big Battle of D3H2 (DBA 3.0 with HOTT additions). We tried to play the rules as straight up as we could, since Bruce and I were coaching Aaron and Steve in their very first game.

Each army totaled 72 points divided into 3 commands. Lord Kha-Ris (MY Undead) fielded a large command of mainly Replaceable Hordes and Behemoths. Aaron led a mounted right wing command of Knights, Beasts and Heroes. I also led a third smaller command of Aerials, an Aerial Hero (Cruella, of course) supported by 4 Flyers.


Bruce's Army of Heck was more balanced, Heroes supported by Spears, Shooters, Cavalry and Behemoths, with two small groups of Aerials integrated into the two wing commands. Steve commanded the left wing, so the New Guys faced each other.

The Army of Heck Defended, so chose terrain - Ploughed Felds, Gentle Hills and one patch of Scrub, so terrain played little part in the game - and took first bound. . . a general advance.

Kha-Ris responded in similar fashion. . . two masses of Undead trundling forward toward potential mutual destruction . .

When Bruce advanced his right wing Aerial Hero and Flyers, Cruella pounced, killing a Flyer and drawing first blood (presumably "true death" AND some kind of blood was involved). Cruella was then promptly set upon by the Heckish Aerial Hero and destroyed! 

Another Heckish Flyer was eliminated as the melee continued. . . until the Aerial Hero noticed another more enticing target . . . Kha-Ris, all by himself, on his zombie dragon mount.

Meanwhile the center commands embraced, and on the opposite flank, Kha-Ris' Beasts and the Heckish Flyers were at a stand-off.

Then the Heckish Aerial Hero pounced on Kha-Ris and the battle took a dramatic turn! The dice were rolled, and Kha-Ris lost by a single point! Death had come to Kha-Ris, the C-in-C of his army.

But wait! I remembered a rule in DBA Big Battle which entitles the C-in-C of each army to re-roll one die-roll per game after the results have been calculated. Only a re-roll of 6 would save Kha-Ris by causing a tie-score! 

"What?!" exclaimed Bruce, suspiciously. "Let's look that up." It is not unusual for us to check the rules several times a game, always in the spirit of fair play, so in we went. Turns out I was wrong. The rule actually states that the C-in-C can add +1 to his die-roll after the results have been calculated. . . so Kha-Ris gets an automatic draw instead of chancing a re-roll, as I wrongly "remembered" it. Thanks, Bruce! Kha-Ris survives another bound.

On my next bound, I got enough command PIPs to surround the Heckish Aerial Hero and send it back to Heck! Just in the nick of time, as Heckish archery sent another of my Flyers to its doom, breaking and demoralizing the Aerial command.

In the center, the relentless combination of Hordes, Behemoths and Knights, though sustaining its own losses, inflicted even more on the Heckish troops. On the right flank, the Beasts swept past the PIP-starved Heckish Flyers to fall on the flanks of the Heckish center.

While the Heckish right flank troops bore down on Kha-Ris, their center finally broke. A couple bounds later, the Heckish army reached its breakpoint (half its total element points) and fled the field. 

 Victory to Kha-Ris and his Undead. . . and to good sports, including the New Guys who said they'd be willing to play again.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Wilderness Terrain "Tree Point Oh!"

I've played enough games on this terrain now to think I need a "final" set of "evolutions" to improve the overall playing and aesthetic experience. It's kind of a disease, actually. . . nothing is ever finished with me (huge eyeroll).

To improve ease of play, I'm making two changes. First, I'm replacing the grassy gradual slopes that cause my model soldiers to continually tip over with "terraced" hills. I haven't actually completed any yet but am actually just taking the concept of the cork "woods" tiles and covering them with fur "grass," a la:

Second, I'm changing the slopes, including the "woods" slopes, from 4 levels to 3, to make it easier to fit the bases of the models onto the terraces. Here are examples of the new tiles:

I'm guessing you already noticed the aesthetic changes. . . I added some green mossy texture and masses of "leaves" collecting along the edges of the terraces. Even without the usual logs, rocks and assorted scatter terrain, the following photos show how the new terrain starts to give the impression of mature old wood forest floors with the addition of a few "trees." And we still have plenty of flat tabletop for our model soldiers to fight over!

 Looking forward to some gaming!