Monday, November 12, 2018

Gigabytes Historical Games Day - Part 3

Unfortunately, I didn't get much of a chance to look around. There were some wonderful games going on around me. Right next to me was a large game of Chain of Command set in the Spanish Civil War. It was a 28mm game and looked great and the players all were having a good time.

These were the only pictures I got of the game. With the windows behind it, the picture turned out horribly.

There was a pirate game using Blood and Plunder (I think) in 28mm that had some nice but large ships.

Mark had a game of Wings of Glory with a balloon busting scenario on hand. I really wanted to play this but didn't have time. He also ran a Coastal Patrol game that I really wanted to play but again, no time.

There was a Team Yankee game that I got a picture of him starting his set up. It was taken down by the time I got to wander again.

Right next to me was one of the two other Sharp Practice games that was ran that day. This was using elements of Sharply Buffed. It was set in the Netherlands and looked really good.

Mark ran a third Sharp Practice game featuring the Seminole Indian Wars. It was fantastic but apparently, I took no pictures of it. There was also a gladiator game with a fantastic arena setup. My phone was at the table and I saw it waiting to order some food before my blood sugar completely collapsed. There was rumors of another chain of command game. And some other stuff I never saw.

Again, thank you to William for setting this up. I hope we can make this a regular event.

Gigabytes Historical Game Day - Part 2: Sharp Practice

Once the Kiss Me Hardy game wrapped up, I managed to get the table reset for a game of Sharp Practice. This one was a Napoleonic game based on the Dewey Lambdin Book, Troubled Waters.

In the book, Captain Alan Lewrie, RN, is in command of a small squadron. These include sloops, schooners and cutters below the rate. In the course of the book, he is dealing with spies as he operates off the coast of France. Near the town of Royan, there is a battery of guns guarding the mouth of an estuary that protects the river leading to the port of Bordeaux. A fort is being constructed at Royan but is not yet operational. Lewrie hatches a plan to take out the battery and then move on and destroy the fort that is under construction.

This is where the scenario picks up the action. Lewrie has commanded two of his vessels to land a force of marines and sailors to attack the battery. Guarding the battery is a small group of voltigeurs from a light battalion situated in the town of Royan. The battalion has sent out strong parties of men to search the coast for British sailors that have been getting water and firewood recently.

The sailors are from the a schooner and a sloop that are anchored off of the coast. The marines are from Lewrie's flagship.

The game had two British players and two French players. The British made good progress getting their men headed to the shore. They had three larger rowboats and two smaller ones. This enabled them to land their entire force without having to return to the ships. One group of marines, however, had some issues moving and remained stranded in the water with the one rowboat armed with a gun.

The French deployed their voltigeurs to block the British advance on the gun and opened ineffectual fire on the seamen on the shore. In return, Both the musket armed seamen and the schooner opened fire on these troops and basically neutralized them for the rest of the game.

The French sent out a runner to get reinforcements from the town this was accomplished quickly, but the reinforcements were distracted by the tavern in the village as they spent several turns there.

The next French reinforcement was in the form of three groups of chasseurs that arrived in the top left corner of the table. These troops deployed in a line and advanced through the woods. They lost formation and were picked apart by the marines and the guns from the the sloop.

By the time the second group of marines landed and the gunboat moved off, the French force morale was largely broken. The force from Royan barely played a part as their cards didn't show up before the Tiffin card until toward the end of the game. The French did have their own naval vessel arrive in the form of a single gun gunboat. This opened fire on the schooner and caused some damage but not enough to make a difference.

It was a fun game and played in 15mm. The ships were Sea Dog Studios models with three of the rowboats being Old Glory models. It was a fun game but probably needed some adjustments. Swapping the arrival order of the chasseurs and the gunboat may have helped. That would have distracted the ships from the infantry.

Originally the scenario was going to make the French vessel a small 4-gun sloop but I ran out of time to paint it. The gunboat, I think, proved to be a better help as it was equipped with a heavy gun.

Giga Historical Games Day - Part One of Three

Saturday, November 10, 2018 was a historical games day at Gigabytes Cafe in Marrietta, Georgia. William Thorpe did a fantastic job or organizing and getting games lined up for the entire day. He even got sponsors to donate prizes for a raffle that we were doing. Very impressed. He almost had the games running on time, but given the material he was working with (me included) that was asking too much of the poor man.

Starting at 10am I didn't leave until 7pm when my games finished and I was able to pack up. It was a great but exhausting day.

It was a terrific event and it was used as a fundraiser for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. From what I gather, there were 16 games that went on throughout the day. I hosted two games: a Kiss Me Hardy variant and a Sharp Practice game. In both games I had a full table of participants and they were at least kind enough to pretend they were having a good time for my benefit. :) Well I had a great time anyway. I also did a poor job of getting pictures of the games as they developed. Half the time I just forgot and the other half the pictures were questionable.

The first game was a five player game of Kiss Me Hardy using some modifications that I made for ships under the rate. It was a quasi-historical scenario based on actions of the Georgia and South Carolina State Navies in the American Revolution.

The game began with a merchant brig anchored in the center of the table. This is a Sea Dog Studios 6mm Brigantine model. The dots that you notice on this mat are markings from an attempt to make a hex mat on the reverse side of the felt for a game of Bag the Hun. It taught me to never make my own hex sheet.

To the southwest corner was a sloop from the Georgia Navy named the John B. As for the name, I am sorry, I couldn't help myself. During the game, I only heard one passerby groan when they noticed the name so I am guessing there is a dwindling number of Beach Boy fans left. The John B was a six gunned sloop armed with 6-6pdr guns. This model is a Sea Dog Studios 6mm Bermuda Sloop.

In the Northwestern corner was two small vessels from the South Carolina State Navy - the Defiance and the Liberty. Both were actual ship names but applied to different vessels. The Liberty was actually the name of a Georgia sloop. Both were very small vessels. The Defiance had a single gun in the bow and a stern gun on a pivot. The Liberty was a pilot boat with a single bow gun. Both of these miniatures are from Langton Miniatures 1/300th scale Napoleonic line. One is a armed ships's launch and the other is a British Gunboat. Excellent models that my painting does not do justice to.

To the Northeast was a Royal Navy galley Tamar. The Tamar was the name of an actual RN sloop that was very active off the coast of South Carolina but it was most certainly not a galley. It was a galley for this scenario as I didn't have a chance to make the ship that would have corresponded to it. It was an eight gunned vessel with 8-4pdr guns. No individual photos of this ship. But in the later pics, she is the only one with lanteen sails. This is a Warartisan paper model.

The last ship actually matched it's historical counterpart. The RN schooner St John. The St John had an extremely active career in the Revolution. It was involved in a number of actions including the Rebel raid on Nassau. It was armed with 12-4pdrs. It started in the southeastern corner of the table. Another model I don't have a good picture of. Which is just as well as I have dropped it at least 4 times and had to reattach its topsails and equal number of times. It is a WarArtisan paper model. Not the ONLY thing that happened to it when it was dropped from about 4' from the ground is the loss of one or two topsails that were fixed with the application of superglue. In the instructions, it mentions that rigging the ship makes it stronger. This is 100% true. Where I have rigging, it is much sturdier. I ran out of time to complete the job.

At the start of the game, the wind was blowing to the east which confounded the Royal Navy in moving towards the merchantman. The Rebels were able to move with great ease and quickly moved to intercept the merchantman.

The Liberty took a scenic tour through the rocks. One of the things I missed was pointing out that there was shoal water surrounding the rocks. The Liberty was so shallow drafted that it wouldn't have mattered anyway. But she shot through the rocks and spent a good amount of the game out of the action until the end.

One of the items that I was trying out was rules for "Flying False Flags". The Rebels weren't operating in a coordinated fashion as the Georgia Navy didn't know that the South Carolina Navy would even be there. The Royal Navy wasn't sure what any of the ships were. The Tamar and the St John were aware of each other, though. So I had a system of spotting test to determine friend from foe. It worked out mostly well. With the close confines of the space we had availible, it was obvious to the players who was who, but they were game for whatever the dice showed. Everyone was able to avoid a friendly fire incident but only just barely.

This run out of the rules with someone other than my 10 year old was very valuable. The early moves of the game can seem very slow. I am thinking of adding an optional rule to allow the first turn to be conducted in Inches rather than Centimeters to allow the ships to get into action faster. Also, the strike system needs to be adjusted from the base Kiss Me Hardy rules as no one passed a strike test during the game.

This shot is toward the end of the game where the John B has taken the Merchantman and was starting to be pummeled into submission by the St John. You can see the Liberty has made a come back and would sail circles around the St John before fleeing the table.

The scenario played out well. The Defiance menaced the St John for a while but one broadside put an end to her. Not unexpected for such a tiny vessel (a sailed ship's launch). The Tamar was beaten by the John B (turns out a father v son battle with the son as victor). The Tamar struck and had lost a mast in the fighting.

The John B went on to take the merchantman that had started to flee. Once the Merchantman was on its way to safety, the John B and the St John has a quick engagement that forced the John B to strike to the superior gunnery of the St John.

With the Liberty as the last Rebel vessel on the waters, their victory conditions assured by the merchantman's escape, it deftly dodged the St John's best efforts and escaped.

It was a well fought game. Top honors went to the captain of the St John who was our youngest player at the table. He was also a son of the Tamar's Captain as well. He captured two Rebel vessels and re-secured the Tamar. The Rebels also counted the action as a victory as they absconded with the gunpowder.

Rewarding his gallant victory, the captain of the St John was awarded with a 6mm Sea Dog Studios Bermuda Sloop. Ironically, the same model as the John B sailed by his brother who he happened to capture. (Players forgive me if I get this wrong) The St John was captained by Collin. The Tamar was captained by Tim. Jake was captain of the John B. Jim was captain of the Liberty and Chris (not me) was the captain of the Defiance.

One of the things I have noticed, is that I rarely take pictures of the gamer's during events. After Terry Haney's passing, this became evident as I went through a bunch of pictures of our games together and I didn't find a single picture of Terry among them. This one I hesitated to take since it involved a minor but I asked his Dad for permission. I wanted to show Brian over at Sea Dog the recipient of the prize.

I am going to stop for now and make another post on the Sharp Practice game and a third on the other events as this is starting to get long. Thanks again, William for a great event. I came so close to winning the raffle twice. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

2018 Santa Clause Update

This year time completely slipped past me and I missed out on getting this started. I just don't think I have time to organize it this year. Which is unfortunate as it was one of my favorite parts of the season. I have always enjoyed seeing what people came up with for their recipient.

So as a result, I am not going to host it this year. But I do intend to restart it next year again. It was too much fun to cancel completely. I am sorry for the late notice and cancellation.

Friday, September 21, 2018

1940 French for Chain of Command

I had a chance to make a break for it and check out my troops. Honestly, I was in much better shape than I thought I was in. I have an entire infantry platoon painted including the VB launcher team. The downside is nothing is based. That is not too bad as I can do the whole force at once to ensure they look the same.

Next up I needed to know what types of supports that I had. Going through the support list for the regular platoon I founr that I had quite a few items already painted. In terms of troops, I had six, Renault R35s, one FT-17 w/ 37mm gun, two 25mm AT Guns and crews, a 60mm Mortar and crew, a 75mm infantry gun, a pair of Hotchkiss MMGs, a forward observer team, and two 47mm anti-tank guns. I was pretty impressed with what I had availible.

None of the tanks that I have area actually painted. I have been intimidated by camouflage schemes. I will have to press on and get those done. I also have some Char B1 Bis tanks (3) and a few others.

But I am short a few items. I need 4 more riflemen to field an additional squad. That is solved by Peter Pig. I don't have a motorcycle squad but Flames of War sells that. The items that are problematic are a sniper, an AA MG, and engineers. I think I found a solution for the engineers. Irregular miniatures offers open handed french troops and troops carrying ammo cans. These should be able to tart up to fill in engineer functions. For the AA MG, I can probably get another mmg and modify it. But I may just do without that.

Plenty to do but in better shape than I thought.

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Chain of Command Blitzkreig Supplement

Well Rich has done it again. Another fantastic supplement that has captured my imagination and is dragging me from one of five unfinished projects. I haven't had the opportunity to rummage through my figures drawers yet and see what I have in figures for this supplement but I am sure I have quite a few.

I really want to round out my French force. I have most of a platoon but just lacked the VB launchers. I had bought some from Peter Pig but I can't remember if I painted them. I had a huge French force in 6mm that I sold off. I have a few bits of armor in 15mm that I need to review. I am pretty sure that there are some FT-17s. For some reason I really like that tank. I just have no idea what is painted.

The supplement offers plenty of options for some really interesting troop types. I may end up buying some more lead to field some North African troops.

For the BEF, I have plenty of figures. I am sure I have close to two platoons worth of Infantry with much of it painted. I have a good bit of armor as well but that is only partially painted. I doubt I will need to do much to field them. What I am lacking is engineering options which is my complaint across the board for 15mm. I can probably modify some late war troops for it if I feel up to it.

My Germans are ready to go. What I would like are some infantry with older weapons. There were reserve and security units that fielded older LMGs up into 1942 for the second battle of Kharkov. It would be neat to have some. Just not sure how different those weapons would look in 15mm.

I do have a sizable Italian force that is ready for the table. I am just lacking in good accounts of any actions fought by them in France. Most are high level and dismissive of that particular side show.

Sadly, I don't think I will look into getting Dutch or Belgian troops. While they are very interesting and in 6mm I used to have some Belgians, I just can't justify the cost of adding in those forces nor spending the time to paint them. I need to get troops on the table from armies I already have.

Hopefully, we will have a Summer Special out soon that will have more support for this wonderful supplement.

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Fleet Expands

I just picked up some new ships.

First up is a schooner modeled on the HMS Pickle. The schooner has 12 gun ports but did not come with twelve guns. It did come with a jolly boat on the deck. I will probably pick up another couple of guns to finish out the ship. The masts were in pretty good shape. I think it is in pretty good shape. It lacks the lower booms for the main and foresail. But that could get in the way of putting miniatures on the deck. I'll get pictures at some point. The ones I took were pretty bad.

Next is a 6mm twelve-gun cutter. I only bought the hull. It is a 3d printed hull and looks sharp. I need to create the masts and spars for it. It will need significant work to get it on the table.

Lastly, I picked up two 6mm ships boats. These things are tiny but needed for a couple of scenarios I am planning. I am still deciding on how I will paint them.

In addition to that, I have started work on the War Artisan galley. I will be working on this as a Xebec type of vessel. I have managed to rough out the hull shape and that's about it.

I hope to get more done soon.

Friday, August 31, 2018

Kiss Me Hardy for Below the Rate

I have been working on a title for this as I wrap up the text. I have completed the supplement and have moved on to the editing phase. So far the supplement is 91 pages, has fifteen scenarios, a campaign guide and the rule modifications for ships below the rate.

It is designed for small vessels below the rate. But it can be used for frigate actions. That will involve significantly more dice to roll though. You could take this and recreate the action of HMS Speedy (a brig) against the El Gamo (Spanish Xebec Frigate). It can also be used for sailed ships boats with a single light gun mounted in its bows. Once scenario features pilot boats armed with only swivel guns engaging.

What I lacked was a working title. As I posted before, my working title of Small Warriors, stinks. I think I found a title that I like. Using the original rules as a guide, I started surfing the web for Nelson quotes. once I filtered out the quotes from the Simpson's character, I think I stumbled on a winner. My current title contender is To Covet Glory.

This is from the quote by Nelson where he said, "My greatest happiness is to serve my gracious King and Country and I am envious only of glory; for if it be a sin to covet glory I am the most offending soul alive." I found this on: Brainy Quote.

Running out to Deposit Photos, I purchased the rights to a nice image that I am using for my cover. This is what I have come up with.

i am still willing to throw this away for something better, but for the moment, I am happy with it.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Kiss Me Hardy for Below the Rate

I am now at the 90% point with it and am struggling with the title. At the moment, the working title is "Small Warriors: Modifications to Kiss Me Hardy for Ships under the Rate." I don't like it. My next runner up is "Sloops of War: Modifications to Kiss Me Hardy for Ships under the Rate." The subtitle is really not that important to me and can be changed around as needed. But the title is weak right now.

I have a nice image of a schooner sailing for the cover. The same artist that I grabbed for my newest cover for a fiction book I should release early next month. It is not a battle scene but still a nice image. The full image also has another vessel at anchor but I am just using part of it. The license only allows me to sell a limited number of hard copies but that is far more books than all of my scenario sales combined so it should be fine.

I need to select a title before posting an image of the cover.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Kiss Me Hardy for Small Ships

Progress is going on the text so far. I have 14 historical scenarios fleshed out. The one I added at the end seemed like an interesting find. It was an action on March 14th, 1808 between the Danish Brig Lougen and the HM Brig Childers. The Childers was operating in Norwegian waters and had taken the galliot Christina as prize in a harbor. On exiting the harbor, it met up with the Lougen. In a three hour chase, the Lougen ran down the Childers and captured her. The Childers was slightly short of its normal compliment of 80 men having put men into the Christina as a prize crew. The Danish brig, however, had a huge compliment on board at the time with around 160 men instead of her normal compliment of 85.

This was a fun find as it was not the usual British v French or British v American actions that I had been finding. I think it will be a fun action. Edit: In looking back over this for the scenario, the Childers was not captured but was nearly sunk. She had five feet of water in her hold. It is unclear how badly damaged the Danish brig was damaged in the fight.