Wednesday, December 2, 2020

AAR War of the Pacific Pt 1

  A few weeks back, before we had more COVID restrictions in place, I GMed an actual naval game.  I took me a while to get my AAR together so I don't remember the turn by turn details but the basic situation is as follows.

  • Ships are 1/2400 from Tumbling Dice painted by me during last year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge X.
  • Rule were Dahlgren and Columbiad a fast play set by noted nail game David Manley available from Wargames Vault.  These were a new set to all of us.
  • Curt hosted, so it's his sea mat (looks very spiffy), arid hills representing the coast of the Atacampa desert and a Spanish town masquerading as Iquiqui.
  • Instead of a historical scenario I put everything on table but in a historical setting.  Basically I wanted to test the various ship types and the rules, and figure that this might be a one shot game using the toys.
  • Jeremey had a squadron of Chilean cruising (unarmored) ships and was blockading the Peruvian port.  I took the local Peruvian forces, two ex-ACW monitors and two spar torpedo boats.
  • Curt had a Peruvian relief force of two sea going Ironclads and a well armed but unarmoured corvette.  Stacy had a Chilean force also of two sea going ironclads and a well armed but unarmoured corvette.

Game set up.

The Peruvian relief force, Huascar, Indepencia and Union

Jeremy's blockaders, the sacrificial offerings.

Close up of Jeremy's ships.

I pretend to know what I'm doing.  Actually after a couple turns everyone had the rule mechanics down pat.

Long range shot.  Curt's ships in foreground.  My ships are attacking Jeremy in the middle distance and Stacy approaches in the distance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sad Day

 It was my Dad’s funeral today in the UK.  With COVID travel restrictions, we had to watch over a video webcast from our couch in Regina.  Dad was 88 and lived a very full life.  He went into hospital at the end of September with multiple health issues and came down with COVID while hospitalized.

Dad joined the navy in 1946 at the age of 13, and served til the early 70s.  Not sure where or when this is from but it’s a good picture.  Take care of yourselves.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Best Father’s Day Gift Ever

No new minis to share today, but lots of backlog to catch up on.

However, today’s topic is this fine set of young men and woman who arrived on my lawn at lunchtime today courtesy of my wonderful wife and daughter.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Anglo Duch Wars AAR pt 3

Situation after firing on T7.  Smoke puffs on the engaged side indicate ships that fired this turn.  Puffs on the unengaged side indicate unloaded guns from prior turns.

In turn 8, the iniative order became key due to the Fire as She Bears (FASB) rule.  The Dutch won the toss and the order of movement was as follows.

  1. The Dutch move their Flagship Zeven Provincien first.  She attempted a FASB on the English tail ender Ruby before movement.  This required a successful reload roll and then -2 penalty kn her dice, ut it was the only way she could fire before the English swept past her.    She reloads and hits Ruby 4 times, causing a crew catastrophic hit.  Zeven Provincien then moves her full distance forward.  Ruby reloads and FASB before ZP moves out of arc, scoring 1 hit.
  2. The English move their flagship Royal Charles next,  attempting a FASB on the Dutch tail-ender Noorderkwartier.  However, she fails her reload and moves her full distance without firing.  Noorderkwartier declines the possible FASB on Royal Charles.
  3. The Dutch move Speigel next (second in line behind the ZP).  She could FASB but fans her reload.  The English Monck declines the FASB on Speigel.
  4. The English move their second Royal Oak.  She reloads and FASB on Geloof before movement, scoring 1 hit hit.  Geloof declines the FASB in return.
  5.  The remaining ship follow in line ahead without attempted FASBs.
In regular fire, Geloof reloads and hits Ruby twice.  Ruby is damaged and takes a morale check which she passes.

After firing on T8.  Puffs on engaged side show firing this turn.   Royal Oak has two puffs due to her heavy guns.

Turn 9 firing was on a FASB basis.  Monck failed to reload but Noorderkwartier hit Monck once.  Ruby hit Geloof twice but took one it in return.  In the morale phases, Ruby got a "must retire" result.

On the 10th turn the fleets swept past each other without FASB and the English admiral takes stock.  With his flagship worn and firing half dice and Ruby having to retire, he opts to retire with his squadron into safer waters.  The Dutch have taken less damage but let them retire rather than risk uncharted shoals.  This also made a convenient point to call it a day and figure where I'd messed up the rules.

Historically, typically the fleets came about and made another pass of one another.  The course reversals were made from the front and took a long time.  During the interval damaged ships attempted repairs, dropped out of line and/or retired home depending on the level of damage and the will of the captain and crew.  Seamanship was generally very high on both sides but it takes a while to get a line of 30 plus ships to reverse course.  James acheived the rare feat of a course reversal from the rear at Lowestoft which was quicker but took a high level of coordination and command control.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Anglo-Dutch Wars AAR pt2

The situation after 5 turns.  Dutch have won the race for the weather advantage and are upwind of the English.  Both fleets have turned to a broad reach to bring full broadsides, but no fire yet.

Turn 6 before firing.  Royal Charles and Speigel exchange fire, as do Royal Oak and Seven Provinicien.  Geloof delays her turns to fire at Royal Charles but the other ships have no target in arc.

Royal Oak and Zeven Provincien each scored multiple hits with the Dutch Flagship taking the worst damage due to the heavy English Guns.  The combined fore of two dutch ships reduced the Royal Charles to worn and scored a catestrophic hit (they scored a total of 10 hits on 13 dice!), reducing her firepower by 1/2.  Royal Charles hurt Speigel in return but not enough to reduce her to worn.

Turn 7 after movement and reloading but before firing.

Cotton puffs on the unengaged side show unloaded guns.  Royal Charles and Royal Oak have heavy guns so take at least two turns to reload.  Speigel and Geloof failed to reload, but the Dutch flagship was successful.

Turn 7 firing shown with cotton puffs on the engaged side.  Note how Geloof is out of line due to the delayed turn.  All fire is between 2-4" so at close range.

Zeven Provincien and Ruby traded fire with Ruby taking 3 hits and her opponent 2.  Both became worn as a result.  Monck opened fire at Speigel and reduced her to worn, while Noorderkwartier fired an effective broadside on Royal Charles hitting 4 times on 7 shots.

I realize in retrospect that I messed up the moment after both sides turned on turn 5.  The Dutch certainly and probably the English should have moved faster as they are broad reaching not close hauled.  Oh well rookie error on a fist time play through.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Action off the Galloper Sands 1666

It's been 6 weeks since I've posted, but I've been up to a fair amount in my own private isolation chamber!  April was filled with end of semester and exams, with Zoom lectures  taking far more time than normal.  Ditto for doing individual final exams for every student.  There has been some painting appearing on the Quaratine Challenge and I'll try to catch up on these posts in the next week or so.

This weekend I got the chance to do a solo playtest of Barry Hilton's 17th century naval rules.  I ran through 10 turns using 4 ships squadrons from my Dutch and English fleets (1/2400 scale Tumbling Dice minis)

The Dutch Zeven Provinciën (80), Speigel (70), Geloof (60), Noordeerkwartier (60)

The English Royal Charles (86), Royal Oak (80), Monck (58), Ruby (48)
The flagships had veteran crews with all other crews being veterans.  The three biggest English ships have heavy guns.

The two squadrons started on equal footing close hauled.  After three turns, the speedier Dutch are pulling ahead of the English. 

The dutch have clearly won the race and are in danger of crossing the English "T".

Turn 4:  the English have the initiative and bear off the wind to bring their broadsides to bear.

Turn 5 the Dutch turn to steer parallel but on opposite courses.  Anglo Dutch Wars battles feature repeated "passes" on opposite courses.  
I'll finish up the AAR later, but can make some initial comments on the draft rules.

  • This was a fun little game
  • They played well, were fast to pick up and things were relatively straightforward.
  • They seem to give a reasonable result of the period and ships.
  • Barry's QRS wasn't readable on my iPad but I didn't really need one!
  • I was using d6, d8, d10 and d12.  It would help greatly to have dedicated colours for each type of dice.  
  • I need to iron my sea matt!  It's exterior grade vinyl upholstery so this will take research and checking with the wife on correct techniques and iron temperatures.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Orks Discuss Lunch Options With the Snowlord

As part of the AHPC, I was given a personal challenge by Curt the SnowLord on reaching the summit  .  

A squad of Orks approaches the summit.  They are tired, cold and hungry but they are determined to complete their task.  The Boss in charge addresses the Snowlord.

"Oi Furball!  Are you the oversized Care Bear that's been givin' our mate Pete a 'ard time?  'e sent us up 'ere to sort things out and collect 'is loot from you.

Pete said we should introduce ourselves and tell you a bit about us.  We's from Crud Camphell's Crudsaders from the Evil Suns klan, as you probly figgured from all da red we's wearin'.  We's vetruns  we is.  We fought the Sandbagger, the Evil Badger of Kent, and the ar*ehole who keeps trying to tell us what our names really mean.  We fought in the Spider Vehicle War, the Plaid Primer Incident and the Duel of the Skullz.  I'd tell you more but my finker don't work so good afta too many KABOOMs!  Dok Hurty is s'posed to be the unit historian, but he and Millzy spend all their time pokin' each otha in the eye and it never gets writ down proppa.  

Pete likes dem Ancient Geeks so we'z modelled out kit a bit on dem, wit all the red and bronze bitz.  We also like dem Eytalians 'e does so some of us went for the bi-coloured pants - of course we 'ad to let out a bit in the seat.  Ray like liked the Eytalian look so much he even slashed and fluted his codpiece if you want to have a peek.

Anyway's there's sposed to be some reward fer us to collect up 'ere. I suggest that you cough if up snappy like cuz the boyz are getting 'ungry after that climb.  Mylez over dere figgers 'imself a chef.  'e found sum fungi comin' up the hill and some 'erbs over in da garden and he reckons 'e can make a pretty good Eyetalian stew outta you.  

Burchy with da Rokkit launcha has an ichy trigga finga but 'e figgers if 'e's real careful wid his aim he'll leave enough blue fur unsinged for a pair a mittens for Pete's missus.

So it's up to you big guy!  You can hand over da loot and point uz in the direction of the nearest pub wit an all day breakfast and we'll be outta yer fur pronto.  Or we can let Mylez and Burchy 'ave a go and we'll dine al fresco up 'ere.

So this is a unit of Oak Boyz straight outta the GW box, 9 regular boyz plus a  nob boss and a rokkit launcha squad weapon.  I went for the Shootas over the Choppa and Slugga option to get a bit better firepower (such as it is).  I had more fun than I expect with these guys.   I made a bunch of rookie mistakes and maybe learned a couple of things along the way.

I didn't use the GW canon paints but my research indicates that some freedom of expression is OK with Orks who use what's lying around anyway.  The green is pretty vibrant but no more so than what I found on picture searches so I left it so.  I avoided the evil transfers in the box and free handed the checkers on the rokkit - they look much better on table than in my close up pictures.  When my wife saw these guys she thought that they were ugly and needed softening up and that I should add flowers to the bases - which I have done.

I did look at Space Marines but got bogged down in all the arcane Marketing BS - it left me whimpering like a small girl and longing for the warm embracing comfort of Napoleonic regiment facing colours, piping, company pompoms and musician liveries.  So rather than drink the purple Koolaid  um become assimilated into the Borg Collective, um pursue Space Marines I went with Space Orks who are less regimented.  Plus I figured that if I'm going stupid I'll go all in stoopid.

So my brief was
  • paint up a 40K unit;þ
  • any race, any faction;þ
  • they have to be in the colours and livery set out by their Games Workshop codex þ
  • you have to explain the background of the unit.þ

I believe that I have completed the required elements of this technical program and await the judges scores in the kiss'n'cry area.