Monday, July 27, 2015

Hell's Highway Play Testing

This last Saturday was the play testing of the Hell's Highway scenario.  In short, it was fun but I need to make several adjustments to the map and forces in order to facilitate moving the game along at a faster pace (very doable).  Thomas Foss, Roy Scaife, John Lantz, Dan Kerrick and Matt Hilzendrager all joined me to play through the game.  Thomas, Roy and Matt ran the Germans while John, Dan and I ran the British and US Airborne.

NOTE:  This is a WIP -- the majority of both German and British vehicles are about 1/2 painted (needing decals, metals, some camo and most importantly weathering) - so in some of the pictures you'll see really "bright" paint jobs on the vehicles ... those are not done yet.  Also, many roofs are in need of tiling and several buildings need paint touch ups ... all will be done before the con (hopefully all done in the next 2 weeks).

Ok, *lots* of pictures below of the game.  As my garage is 20 feet long and the table are 20 feet long, the table ended up sticking out into my driveway ... I pulled out a tent shade and blank to shield the players and miniatures from the evil sun ...

Notes and thoughts after the pictures ...

Ok, total sidebar in the image below Thomas multi-tasks to take pictures of ships for his webstore (Skull & Crown).  Thomas Foss is a notable game designer and the force behind Wooden Wars and his new game, Galleys, Guns & Glory! which covers Renaissance naval battles using 1/300 ships.  They are excellent models and look great all painted up --- I commissioned him to do 42 ships for me (Holy League & Turks) and I now have - and we'll be running a Lepanto game at the Pacificon Game Expo --- but more on this coming in a separate post  ... for now you can see more on this here.

The notable Mr. Thomas Foss taking pictures of this
1/300 ships for the Skull & Crown web store :-)
Such a multi-tasker!

Notes & Thoughts

  • The Germans used a sacrificial Panzer IV to block the main road through the town - this killed any real potential for forward progress by XXX Corps.  There will need to be at least 2, if not 3 paths through the town so I'm rearranging things to account for this.
  • Although the "mass activation" system looked good on paper, it really didn't accelerate the game to the point that it is worth doing.  Rather, I'll go with the "combat group" approach to activation.  Essentially each side will be divided into combat groups (teams) - should be around 5-6 per side, and each of those groups gets a single dice in the "bag" - when a dice is pulled all units from a single combat group are activated.  In retrospect this is a much better approach.
  • There is too much German infantry in the game - I'll be scaling it back as it really bogs down the game when you need to dismount and get into an infantry slug fest ... historically accurate but kills the playability of the game within a reasonable time.
  • I'm going to remove the "first line" German defense and start the British column further into the game table (they'll start 1/2 way across the bridge).  This will allow me to get the whole British column on the table from the start, and eliminates the need to spend time overrunning the token first line German defense.

I think by addressing the above we'll land this game and scenario is just the place I imagined.  I'll be updating the original scenario post to reflect these changes at some point in the next few days.


  1. Mind. Blown.
    What an undertaking! Hats off Jay, looks absolutely incredible!

  2. Stunning looking game indeed !

    Most impressive ! Glad you took a lot of pictures, real eye candy:)

    Best regards Michael

    1. Thanks! Still working on it but just had to take lots of pics :-)

  3. Never seen such an impressive looking set up... superb stuff!

  4. Very, very impressive Jay and on a 20ft table as well.
    Looks like your play testing is paying off and your amendments make a lot of sense.

    1. Thanks! Yes, so many things look good on paper ... then you play it and start scratching your head wondering what the heck you were thinking :-)