Monday, September 17, 2018

General Update - PacifiCon and Lord of the Rings

Hey there folks!  Wow, I've really been consumed in recent months.  What time I have gotten for hobby stuff has been packed full of making progress on multiple projects.  The good news is that while I have not blogged much, I have been making steady progress.

If you are still following this blog by some miracle ... thank you!

Lord of the Rings

An exciting new development is in the area of the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.  For DundraCon (February) I'll be running a game called "Charge of the Mûmaks" - in which 5 Mûmaks will be facing off against 60 mounted Rohirrum. 

I finished assembling the 5 Mûmaks and they've been sent off to the trusty Steve Dake for painting.  I did some head conversions on them to add some variation, and used the Forge World Mûmak Chieftain conversation kit for the "main" guy.  I'm working through assembling the Rohirrum now.  They will be divided into 5 groups of 12 models each (with a leader/character in each).  Theoden's retinue will be 1/2 Royal Guard, along with Gamling and Theoden himself.

Really looking forward to this game as I've been meaning to get LOTR on the tabletop for years now.


I attended the PacifiCon Game Expo this year in Santa Clara, CA.  I've gone many times in the past, however last year we opted to rent a cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains and do our own thing for the weekend.  This year we headed back though.

I did have fun, but not because of the miniatures games.  We opted to "take it easy" and play mostly board games all weekend.  I had several new games I wanted to try and they all turned out to be a hoot.  The hotel is under construction which really dampened the entire atmosphere.

Unfortunately, my overall opinion of the convention hasn't much improved.

Perhaps I'll be a little too honest here ... I generally want to provide positive reviews of gaming related things (following the age old "if you have nothing positive to say ...") - but an exception is warranted here.  

This is a convention that has been on life support for years now IMO.  Miniatures has been the focal point of what is played at this convention, but sadly the games showing up are mostly on the very medicore scale with essentially none that are good looking at all.  Matt Hilzendrager ran his Bunker Hill game, which looked splendid ... but it was the only game that looked anything like "quality convention" level gaming.  The size of the miniatures area has shrunk.  The miniatures coordinator and convention in general hasn't done anything to provide a welcoming atmosphere for miniature gamers - to the point of sending long rants ahead of time about not wanting long running games or large games.  Sadly, that mostly keeps me and the group I play with away from running anything there.

I do recall - long ago - the good times I had there playing and hosting miniatures games.  I hope for a future return to that - but for now my time and effort will be invested in DundraCon (February) and KublaCon (May).

On a potential positive note though, a new miniatures coordinator is stepping in.  We'll see if a change is heralded by this - but I'm not holding my breath.

Other Things

I continue to pick away at my ships for Trafalgar.  This is taking longer than expected due to work getting in the way of things and my general proclivity towards gaming distractions.  I needed to take some time to assemble the LOTR stuff ... but rapidly closing in on finishing that.

I've had two Kickstarters arrive --- the second wave of pirate stuff (the No Peace Beyond the Line KS) - which has a truly redonculous sized Galleon - and my Game of Thrones stuff (ASoIaF).  The GoT stuff I have on the radar to get done, but it is slated for the first half of 2019.  I also have some odds and ends to wrap up with my Napoleonic French and ACW armies.

My big thing right now I wanting to just play more games in general.  I'm a little burned out on "all work with no play" ... so I'm pushing to host some games very soon.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

This Hallowed Ground v3.0 Update (ACW Rules)

This update has been long overdue.  For my Waterloo game I had completed the 3rd revision of the Napoleonic rules (Empires at War or EAW).  That involved replacing the Kings of War style morale system with a new one.  This Hallowed Ground (THG) needed the same updates.

If you've played THG in the past, or Kings of War, you'll know the morale system isn't very reflective of real battles.  Units stick around relatively undiminished for a long time until the "pop" due to excessive casualties.  While this worked better than other systems, it just wasn't the right feel to the game and period.  The new system I like far better and provides a far more realistic result IMO than the previous system.  Combined with the disorder rules, and overall being simpler, is a win.

In addition to the much improved morale system, a lot of information has been consolidated into (hopefully) easier to read tables and formats.  This has worked really well for EAW and based on our game yesterday works really well for THG.

Perhaps the single largest improvement is the orders table.

The rules can be downloaded from the right side download section or directly from here:

Anyways, pictures below of the rules.

ACW Battle Report - Meeting Engagement

I hosted an ACW game at my place yesterday.  This was a bit last minute, but it just happened to work out for everyone.  So, Roy Scaife, John Lantz and Dan Kerrick joined me for a meeting engagement scenario.

All miniatures are Perry Miniatures 28mm.  Table size is 6 feet by 8 feet.  We used my This Hallowed Ground rules - the 3rd edition (posting that next).

This game was a bit symmetrical in that each side had a brigade deployed (or mostly deployed) and a second brigade in march columns trying to get out to the flanks to hold the line then possibly push on the enemy lines.  Cavalry starts for both sides on the "flank" the marching infantry brigades are attempted to get to.

Lots of pictures ... and more about the battle results about 1/2 way down.

Table setup and starting positions can be seen below ...



1st Brigade
5 x Regular Infantry Units (Standard Size)
1 x Artillery Battery (Standard Size)
1 x Skirmishers (Berdan's Sharpshooters - Standard Size)

2nd Brigade
5 x Regular Infantry Units (Standard Size)
1 x Artillery Battery (Standard Size)

Cavalry Brigade
2 x Cavalry Units (Standard Size)



Virginia Brigade
2 x Regular Infantry Units (Large Size)
3 x Regular Infantry Units (Standard Size)
1 x Artillery Battery (Standard Size)

Texas Brigade
5 x Regular Infantry Units (Standard Size)
1 x Artillery Battery (Standard Size)

Cavalry Brigade
2 x Cavalry Units (Standard Size)


The Virginian brigade (run by me) got a steady advance on the Union cavalry.  I took light casualties on the advance but the Union 2nd Brigade units soon engaged and casualties started to mount.  That halted my advance as I needed to start rallying units as much as possible to keep that Union brigade from advancing while the Texas brigade did it's work on the other flank.

John, running the Union 1st brigade was very aggressive.  He drove several march columns straight at the dismounted Confederate cavalry.  Dan (Texas brigade) quickly deployed his artillery and the Union march columns took severe punishment on the advance.  This has longer term effects for the flank as John failed rally orders to try to recover those wounds.  Disordered units confused the Union advance and the Texas brigade was able to come online on turn 3 and really start to push hard.

Roy (2nd Union brigade) got online more conservatively, but with far fewer casualties, effectively halting my advance with the Virginia brigade.  He was plagued periodically throughout the game with some terrible morale tests that resulted in disordered units, which slowed the brigade deployment and advance.

Overall this was a very fun game and a long overdue wargame in general.

Victory went to the Confederates, who scored 31 VPs to the Union scoring 23 VPs.  We played 6 turns and really should have played a 7th as I believe the game would have been much closer, but some players need to head home.  If we played a 7th turn, I imagine the VPs would have been more like 34 for the Confederates and 30-32 for the Union - making it more of a draw.

Lots of pictures below ...

Two large Confederate units from the Virginian brigade.

The Virginian artillery is ready for action.

Union cavalry face the Confederate onslaught.

1st Union brigade deploying.

1st US Sharpshooters pressure the
dismounted Confederate cavalry.

If you made it this far - thanks for checking out the post!  More games to come.  PacifiCon is right around the corner in 4 weeks!