Thursday, February 21, 2013

New Battle Looms in "The Alpian Wars"

I finished my final cycle of chemotherapy earlier this month and while I still lack stamina, I do feel a bit better and am prepping another battle at my "The Alpian Wars" blog.

South, looking North at Roseville, with Rose Ridge on Lef

If you've forgotten, I am using Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" ECW rules to fight an earlier 16th century conflict between two Imagi-Nations (Alpia and Stagonia), who have split the first two battles.

The "kicker" is that a pair of gamers from the opposite sides of Canada are in command of these forces, emailing me their troop dispositions and plans . . . which, with VWQ's card-driven system, doesn't always work out as hoped . . . but it sure makes it fun for me.

So, if interested, do take a look at "The Alpian Wars", which has many more photos.

-- Jeff

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Morale & Fog of War

I am a great fan of "fog of war" in my table top games.  I do not like easily predicable results . . . I like to be surprised.

I also like forcing player generals to make decisions . . . and one of those is how to assign troops to the various roles you want them to carry out.

As with many gamers my home-grown rules have three levels of expected troop morale.  Superior, Veteran and Poor.  Your favorite rules are probably similar although the particular descriptions might me different.

What is different about the way I handle them starts with the breakdown.  If I have eight units of a type; 2 are Superior, 4 are Veteran and 2 are poor (if I have ten units; the breakdown is 3-4-3).

The ratio remains the same.  If, after a battle, I feel that a unit deserves to move up to the next morale grade, fine, it does so . . . but another unit then has to move down to compensate.  These morale changes need to be solidified prior to the next battle . . . because I always dice to see which units are involved in the fight.

By the way, while I have three grades of morale, their particular "morale number" for that day isn't decided until they have actual contact with the enemy and need to test something.

Veterans roll one "averaging die" (numbered 2,3,3,4,4,5) and their resulting roll is their morale number for that day.  Superior troops roll two averaging dice and use the higher number; Poor troops also roll two and take the lower number.  In general, better troops have higher numbers and poorer troops, lower . . . but sometimes it works out differently . . . and we never know until they are actually involved with the enemy.

-- Jeff

The Grenadier Option

It you look at the blog title photo above you will see a number of my WSS/GNW Bloodaxe 25mm figures.

I have two nicely balanced forces for some early 18th century campaigning . . . well I do still have a number of units I need to paint for the vile Stagonians . . .  but I do have the lead.

Unfortunately none of the units have any grenadiers and I really would like a "company" of them for each battalion . . . so that I can detach them for converged grenadier units. And today I found out that Historifigs has the Bloodaxe molds for such grenadiers.

So, of course, I need to order some.  But that will mean that I not only will have to paint them, but I'll have to repaint the figures they'll replace into new units.

All-in-all I'll have somewhere between 150 and 200 foot to paint or repaint.  Fortunately the Bloodaxe figures are rather simple to paint.  And, when finished, I will have ten battalions of 24-foot each . . . eight regulars and two irregular units for each side (as well as two 12-man units of jagers for each side). 

In addition I already have eight painted mounted units for each side . . . four horse, three dragoon and one light horse each.  although I do plan to add another unit of hussars to each force later.

So it certainly looks like my painting projects will be waiting for me once I've recovered a bit from the chemo.

-- Jeff

Friday, February 01, 2013

One Lost Year

A year ago today (Febuary 1, 2012) I started hemorrhaging and was transported to hospital.  What followed were hospital stays, procedures, tests, a cancer diagnosis, radiation, surgery, long hospital stay and six months of chemotherapy.

I am now in my last week of chemo and hopefully that will end this "lost year". 

Not surprisingly there hasn't been any space for gaming . . . well until the last couple of months when I was able to "solo" a couple of games with the help of long-distance decisions by Ross Macfarlane and David Murdock.

And, yes, I know that the third battle in the Alpian Wars mini-campaign is overdue . . . but the fatigue from the chemo is very debilitating.  Hopefully once the chemo is over next week I will be able to regain some of my strength and stamina . . . although it will take some time I'm told.

Anyway, my "lost year" is now over and with luck I will be able to get back onto the table top before too much longer.

-- Jeff